I wanted to send you a quick note of thanks... let me explain.
Over the last 6 months I have been using your 2 most controversial training programs. I started out using your 13 weeks to a 1/2 IM for people with limited time & raced my first 1/2 IM at Canberra (Australia) in December.
I paced myself conservatively, knowing I was exploring new territory & as it turned out dealing with the run in 35+ Degrees Celsius heat & finished within myself in just over 6 hours. Most importantly I enjoyed myself & gained some confidence - I think this is the key.
After such a good experience, & having validated the possibility of racing a full IM by finishing in Canberra, I had a couple of weeks off before deciding to have a go at the full IM at Ironman Australia on 28 March 2010. The bike course is one of the toughest on the world circuit, lots of hills & strong sea breezes.
Luckily I am strong on the bike & regularly train on hilly terrain. I stuck to your 13 week plan unswervingly and 2 weekends ago successfully completed my first Ironman. I can't tell you what an overwhelmingly positive experience it has been, on many different levels. I supplemented your training plan by talking to as many experienced Ironman triathletes as possible, picking up tips along the way, & I sought help from a sports nutritionist which turned out to be essential as well.
I'm sure I am not the first to have stacked the 2 plans together, but it worked very well for me & in the end I finished IM Oz in just over 13 hours, exactly on target according to the plan.
I found I had to hold back at times in order to maintain the pace i had trained on, which was a good conservative strategy for the first IM, but now I will want to step up and address racing faster in the future.
Anyway, I hope my experience & positive feedback makes you feel good & thanks again for being an integral part of my IM journey this far.
I have put up a few images from the race on the web that you might be interested in having a quick look at too...