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We have limited places available for our individual one on one specialist coaching service

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Ironman Training: Robs Blog: Week 2. Jan 2017

One of my pet hates is people being late. The unfortunate part of this pet hate is that more often than not that people is me. For the most part I get away with it because I’m the boss but when it comes to training I try to always be early, it’s probably the only area of my life that I do.
I think it probably stems from showing up for group rides where athletes arrived on time but they did so in their car. They would then spend the next ten minutes getting on shoes, overshoes, gloves, helmet and assembling their bike while the rest of us stood around shivering.

As a result I tend to roll out a ride at the exact start time so as to encourage people to be there early and ready to go.

So with that little introduction to this weeks blog I will start at the end of the week, Saturday evening to be exact. Myself and Ais got all of our kit ready for the Sunday mornings run, shorts, t’s, gloves, warm gear for the post run coffee and clothes for work afterwards. While packing my bag I realised that I’d left my running shoes in the van after my last run. I decided I’d grab them in the morning on my way out.

We were up early the following morning and had a coffee before gathering kit bags and started moving towards the door. I went looking for the van keys only to have Ais remind me that we’d left it in work the previous day and had come home in the car.

I felt that horrible sinking feeling in my stomach as I knew I didn’t have time to go get my runners. The fact that we were doing a three hour run also meant that I wouldn’t get away with a pair of racers. My feet would likely be in flitters after three hours of mud and grass in featherweight shoes. I went rooting through the kit room hoping I’d find something suitable and eventually found a really old pair of trainers that I figured would do.

The problem now was that our finely measured schedule had been thrown out of whack and we were going to be late. I rushed back downstairs then rushed out and piled into the car and headed in to meet the lads.

In the end we were about five minutes late and I deservedly came in for some stick as I’m rather fond of warning people to show up on time of the run or ride or we will be gone without them.

Next week I’ll make sure I’m on time again and I might even wait a couple of minutes in case anyone else has lost their runners…

Anyway let’s crack on with this weeks training…

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Turning Pro: 10 things Pro’s & Elite Athletes do that you can emulate to become a better athlete

Have you ever wondered what it is that the pro’s do to make them so much faster that the rest of us don’t? Aside from maybe being a slightly different species of course. Click on through to see what it is that separates the likes of Olympic champion Gwen Jorgenson, Irish Ironman record holder Bryan Mc Crystal or Ironman legend Mark Allen.

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Robs Blog: January 2017 Week 1

Looking down the barrel of a year filled with promise and potential I can’t help but wonder how we view a single day, a number as having such power. I don’t know quite why, when the calendar switches over from the 31st of December each year to the 1st of January we en-mass suddenly see our future as holding some promise that it didn’t have before. 

Losing weight, getting faster, being happier, why do we believe in these possibilities because of an arbitrary number? 

I’m no more immune to the allure of breaking old barriers and achieving something life changing regardless of how big or small and I have a slowly building excitement as we set some of the years targets and goals. 

The first one will be the Boston marathon in April, both myself and Ais are running it and I’m just looking forward to feeling like a proper runner again for a while. I’d like to get my running to a level that will allow me then build towards a summer or autumn Ironman but I’ll wait to see how the body handles the return to training first before hitting enter for a race I mightn’t be ready for. 
Sunday 1 2:25 (1)

Bike 2:25 63k Z1/Z2 ride 

I rode this morning with big Dave who at 6’6 makes all 6’2 of Cillian look small and with me scraping in just under 6′ look I look like the runt of the litter. The roads were empty as the country woke up with a hangover after the New Years celebrations and we were alone to enjoy the cold winter sunshine. 

Focused on changing my position on the bike after my initial fit with Ivan. Trying to drop the heel, tilt pelvis and engage the glutes. The changes certainly engaged the glutes as they were sore and tender afterwards. I think the conclusions we came to regarding the fit and the problems I was having as a result seem to have been correct. 
Energy 7/10

Motivation 7/10

Work —

Sleep 9+ hours good 
Monday 2 1:25 (1) 

Run 1:25 13k 

Very easy Z1/Z2 run to clear the legs after the weekend. The glutes were still sore, not 100% sure if it was the half marathon or the new position on the bike that did it. Either way it’s good that I’m getting them switched on and working again. 

Energy 7/10

Motivation 8/10

Work off

Sleep 9+ good
Tuesday 3 :50 (1)

Run :50 8k easy run Z1-Z2
Energy 8/10

Motivation 8/10

Work off

Sleep 8 hours good
Wednesday 4

Off 

I had planned on getting on the bike for a couple of hours but the day just sort of got away from me. Because I’m still only sort of ticking over and not in full training mode I’m not killing my self to train every day and I’m enjoying the luxury of lie in’s and days off (and eating way too much junk) 
Energy 8/10

Motivation 8/10

Work 7 hours

Sleep 8+ hours good
Thursday 5 2:05 (1)

Run 2:05 21k 
Energy 9/10

Motivation 9/10 

Work 7 hours

Sleep 9+ hours good 

After six weeks of really low energy and motivation levels since my last Ironman they are finally returning to normal. I’m starting to get the itch to train again. It’s right around now that Ais tends to reign me in as I feel the urgency to get started again. 
Friday 6 1:25 (1)

Run 1:25 14k 

All easy Z1/Z2
Energy 7/10

Motivation 8/10

Work 10 hours

Sleep 7 hours poor
Saturday 7 2:30 (2) 

Run :25 4.5k 

Bike 2:05 51k ins 3×8 min bg hill repeats

Slade valley climb 8:10-8:20/repeat

Energy 6/10

Motivation 6/10

Work 6 hrs

Sleep 8 hours good 
Sunday 8 2:20 (1)

Run 2:20 24k easy mostly Z2 run in the park. 
Energy 7/10

Motivation 9/10

Work 6 hours

Sleep 8+ hours
Total weekly hours /sessions 10:35 (7)

Swim —

Bike 2:05 51k (1)

Run 8:30 84k (6)

S&C —
Monthly Accumulated hours /sessions 13:00 (8)

Swim —

Bike 4:30 114k (2)

Run 8:30 84k (6)

S&C — 
So that’s the end of my first week back training. With the start of the new year and the start of January traditionally being when I start back into proper training there’s a building sense of urgency to start a structured plan. 

Ais still thinks I’m not fully recovered (I agree but don’t think I’d have the self control to wait another couple of weeks if she didn’t have me on a tight leash) I’m hoping that with another easy week or two that I’m fully ready to start some of the harder sessions. 

Rob 

 

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Robs Blog: Lock Up The Year Trail Race Report 2016

This is one of my favourite races (that’s probably got a lot to do with the fact that it’s one of my very few race wins back in 2013) That was three years ago though and I was in better shape back then so this time around I didn’t have any real expectations going into it. That being said there’s always a little part of you that hopes that no one fast will show up, or if they do maybe they’ll get lost or slip into the canal or something… Anyway that’s enough of a glimpse into the nasty side of my mind. Lets move on.

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Robs Blog: The Kona Book

Three years ago I had back surgery and spent almost two months in bed. I was horizontal for 23 hours a day. This came at a time when I had been in the best shape I was ever in. I’d just finished my second Kona and was looking towards a third and with the accumulated fitness built over three consistent years of hard training I was starting to think the next step was to aim for a top ten finish in my age group at the Ironman World Champs. All of these plans came to a screeching halt as I faced the reality of a long and frustrating rehab and the resulting total loss of fitness. Two months of complete lack of any activity never mind training meant I wasn’t just coming back from injury. I was starting at a place that I hadn’t been for probably ten years.

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Is This The Fastest You Will Ever Be

When we are at the height of our powers I think it is often accompanied by the belief that we can be faster. If we just train a little more, better, harder, smarter we can push on to that next level. But what if this is as good as it ever gets. And what if we miss enjoying it because we are so focused on how much better we can be tomorrow?

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How do you react to problems in racing or training? 

One of the mistakes I see people making with their training (and by people I really mean me) is being too reactive to our training on any given day or week.

When you’re training for Ironman it’s normal to be tired but being tired isn’t always a reason to not train. The tiredness itself isn’t necessarily the problem, the problem is our reaction to how we feel about it. When fatigue means that we start to go slower in training than we might ideally like to go it can then get into your head and make us doubt the training, or the plan, or the coach, or our own ability. Which can lead to panicking and what I call “reactive training” I like to think that I’ve gotten better at this over the years but Ais might have a different perspective.

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Ironman Fortaleza 2016: Lessons Learned

One thing that kept on coming back to me over the 24 and 48 hours afterward the race was how ridiculous it seemed to be chasing tiny gains like trying a new aero helmet or a faster chain or wearing a swim skin in the hope of gaining seconds or minutes when in fact what I needed to be competitive is almost an hour. It feels like putting the cart before the horse. I’ve always said that I didn’t want to lose out on a Kona slot by seconds or minutes for the lack of investing in the best equipment I could afford. But I think I first need to be in the right ballpark before chasing those gains.

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