Becoming Ironman With Craig Alexander – Bike Magazine Australia

I try to do motor pacing behind a motorbike, Images: Delly Carr


“There are no secrets. If you spoke to anyone in any triathlon discipline whatever the length, there are going to be a lot of similarities between their training programs. Obviously you need to do long rides and long runs. You also need to do your brick sessions, which is one triathlon discipline followed closely by another. The brick session is a staple in every triathlon training program. I have this key session just before Kona when I come off the volume and I’m starting to freshen up a bit. I’ll ride four hours really hard and then run for an hour hard either negative splitting the run or by doing intervals at the track.”


“I get asked a lot of the time what I think about out there during the eight hours of the Ironman. All those long rides, a lot of which I do by myself, train you mentally. You learn to distract your mind and concentrate on the things you need to think about out there, like hydrating and taking calories on board. You also learn how to zone in and out. Long rides train your mind as well as your body. I’ve always been a big believer in training the way you race. You have to train your mind with what is going to happen to it on race day. And what happens in Ironman is that you’re out there a long time and you have to rely on yourself.”


“I eat your regular healthy diet. The good thing about a healthy diet for a normal person or an active person is that it covers everything you need to eat. I eat red meat once or twice a week, fish and chicken. Also for protein I make up shakes with protein powder and take 1000mg of vitamin C per day. The thing about being up at altitude is that you lose weight, because at five and a half thousand feet your heart rate is about ten beats higher than it would be at sea level. You’re burning more calories on a day-to-day basis, and that’s without all the training. I’ve found both years that I’ve done my big block for Hawaii that I’ve lost weight really quickly. So the problem is keeping it on. For this reason I get a one litre 7-Eleven Big Gulp cup, fill it with chocolate milk and skol it every day.”