Q11. If you're using HR data what approximate zones would you aim for in each discipline? Also, on race day how much food and drink do you think is needed on the bike leg?
Also, If I don't have a coach, what extra work do you think I need to put in? I keep a lot of records of what I'm doing, what I plan for the week, what my aims and PBs are. Is there anything else that is necessary to keep track of? - B_Kins
A. Zone 1
Most of your training - and some of the race - should be done in Zone 1, or between 50 and 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. The reason is because this keeps you at a pace where your body is using your fat stores for fuel, which is more likely to sustain you for the long hours required. It may seem too slow for race training, but that's what training is for -- to teach you to go faster while maintaining a lower heart rate. The Ironman is about endurance, which is the ability to maintain higher speeds with less effort.
About a quarter of your training time and most of the race should be done between 70 and 80 percent of your MHR. During training, you'll use this pace to do longer speed work and your easier long runs, and this will be your "base" pace for the race itself. Zone 2 is still aerobic, using your fat stores for energy -- but it is just on the border of your anaerobic threshold. Going any faster during the race will force your body to use your carb stores for fuel, and they will be depleted within a couple of hours.
Zone 3 is between 80 and 90 percent of your MHR, and you shouldn't use this pace in the race at all if you hope to finish. In training, however, this is the pace to shoot for during sprint intervals and other speed training. Although it doesn't translate directly into the race, it teaches your body to become more efficient at using energy at higher speeds, and it trains your muscles to perform explosively. This helps you improve your overall speed, which helps you go faster at a lower heart rate.
The food and drink on the bike leg will depend on the heat, your size/body mass and your rate of sweating. There is no general answer to this but it should be specific to you, the event and the weather.
I would keep a track of your rest and recoveriy sessions in the week and month. Your body needs time to rest and adapt to ironman training.