I'm new here and hoping you might be able to help with a couple of questions.
As some background, a year ago I set my sights on Ironman Italy 2019, having never completed a triathlon, swum outdoors or completed any form of long distance exercise over a casual half marathon. Though, as a keen squash player I at least had good fitness.
After a committed 12 months of training and a couple of half Ironmans as practice (both circa. 4:50 mark), I was pleased to complete Ironman Italy in 10:34, raise a decent amount of money for charity and generally have a great time learning something new, meeting new people and trying to improve in the three disciplines.
I'm now quite keen to do another to try and improve the time (likely aiming under 10), though my partner is infinitely less keen and its entirely possible life will get in the way. In any case, the two questions I'm hoping to get some advice on are:
1. Retaining Ironman Fitness - is there a level of training you'd recommend for someone trying to maintain Triathlon related fitness whilst also taking part in other sport (i.e. squash). For example, is two runs (1 interval, 1 medium length), a interval bike and two swims (1 interval, 1 long) sufficient to prevent losing too much Triathlon fitness for a few months before selecting and building up to an event? I don't want to go back to square one if I decide to get stuck in.
2. The value of a Triathlon Specific Bike - I completed my training and Ironman on a Canyon Aeroad with clip on aerobars. I've read a lot about the benefits of a triathlon bike (opening hips, specific muscle use, retaining strength for run, aerodynamics), do you think I'd be likely to see significant benefits moving from a Canyon Aeroad CF SLX with clip ons to a Canyon Speedmax CF? I'm trying to get a feel for the real benefits. (In case relevant I cycled circa 5.13 in Italy and would cycle somewhere in the 4.50s as a stand alone)
Appreciate any advice you can offer - cheers!