Indian Creek Triathlon, June 12, 2016

With my son, Pat, my coach

With my son, Pat, my coach

After last Sunday’s very windy, two-hour ride with a friend, who is 26 years younger, I was ready for a fairly easy week for training. Fortunately all of my training days were just that, easy!  

Monday was another mostly straight 60-minute swim and weights. Tuesday was 45 minutes of running, one minute fast, one walk, which was nice. I rode for a little more than an hour on Wednesday, with another friend. I don’t know where all the wind is coming from, but it was brutal. I guess that will prepare me for the November winds in Florida.

Thursday was a short swim and a short run, which I did on the elliptical. My thoughts were to do some weights, but another friend and I stretched and did a couple of abdominal exercises, but mostly we talked for an hour.

Sometimes it is a good idea to let go of the rigidity of training that I place on myself.

Friday was a rest day.

I am always ready to ask others about their Ironman experiences. We talk a lot about nutrition, during training, during the race, and post race. I will be trying different types of nutrition until I find the best one for me. Some women have reported gaining 15-20 pounds during Ironman training. I am scared to death of that, however, I know I need the right amount of nutrition to complete the race. I plan to use My Fitness Pal to monitor my intake and energy expenditure.

Everyone is different, and I will be experimenting all summer and fall to find the right amount and type of nutrition.  So far I have been using ScratchLabs drink mix, Stinger Waffles, GUs, and fruit chews.  My workouts haven’t been very long yet, and I realize that I will be adding more calories. Most articles have recommended 300-400 calories per hour while on the bike.

My last sprint triathlon before launching into Ironman-only training - the Indian Creek Triathlon in Alexandria, Louisiana - was this past Sunday. It was hot, 88-90 degrees, with matching humidity.   There was not a bit of wind. The swim was 800 meters, which is the second longest distance for a swim this season. I didn’t try to swim real fast and stayed at an easy pace.

My bike, which was 20 miles, felt good, and I dodged a snake on the road. It wasn’t moving, but it wasn’t squashed flat so I wasn’t taking any chances. The run was a slight incline to the halfway point, and a nice downhill shuffle to the finish. I met another lady in her 60s, who came in first in her age group. There are more and more women competing in triathlons who began in their 50s and 60s. I also came in first in my age group.  

My coach says I have two weeks of relatively easy workouts and then it is all-out training for the Ironman. I am ready to move on to harder workouts.  I hope I keep this attitude throughout the sixteen weeks of IM training.

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Gini Fellows

About Gini


Gini Fellows, a registered nurse, teaches health and wellness at the Biloxi, Mississippi, campus of Tulane University.  She’ll turn 70 in August, and is training for her first full Ironman in Florida in November 2016.  Her coach is her son, Patrick, who’s a huge inspiration to Gini as he schedules her workouts and helps her sort through her doubts and fears.

Gini’s always been active but only began competing in triathlons in 2007, after knee surgery.  In 2013 she competed in her first Ironman 70.3 race, and surprisingly came in 3rd in her age group, qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship.  In preparation for that distance Gini competed in Ironman Texas 70.3 and came in 1st in her age group.

Last year Gini began thinking about attempting to complete a full Ironman.  After talking it over with Patrick, who is competing with her, she decided to register and commit to her training.

Gini says she began her journey to Ironman Florida this winter by building a base and now she’s beginning to add harder and more specific workouts.

Gini’s excited to be blogging about her training – in her words, “the good, the bad, the ugly!!”

Thank you for following!!

A note about Ironman triathlons.

The Ironman 70.3 refers to the total distance in miles covered in the event, which comprises a 1.2-mile swim, a 57-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run.

A full Ironman triathlon event comprises a 2.4-mile swim, a 114-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.

Ironman also has other events, including events for children and for women only.  For additional information, see the Ironman website.