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Robs Blog: The Boston marathon 2017

A race normally warrants a race report but in this instance it doesn’t. When we started training properly for the Boston Marathon I thought that a low 3 hour finish was possible. Especially after my half marathon on New Years eve where I was quite a bit fitter than expected at that stage. In fact Ais commented afterwards that she had no idea where I had pulled that run out of given our lack of training in the preceding month and if Ais was impressed then I was happy that I was starting out in reasonably good shape.

Anyway the training went well for the next couple of months and for the first time in a long time I felt like it was working well, the body was handling and absorbing the increasing load. I was seeing constant steady improvements as the year progressed. At some point along the journey my aim became to go sub 3 which I haven’t done in a number of years. The numbers I was seeing in training indicated that I was close and we reckoned that with a good day I had a really good chance of a finish time starting with a 2.  Read More

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Robs Blog: Week 13 2017

This week is the last weeks training before starting a two week taper for the Boston marathon. The training load is light as work is getting increasingly busy but the sessions I get done go really well. I think this is our fourth week back doing a weekly strength and conditioning session with John Belton and I’m really feeling the benefits of them. I think it’s increasingly important to incorporate S&C work almost all year round. I went and got a very specific S&C plan prescribed by a specialist physio in the Santry sports clinic last year and then worked on that and nothing else with John for half a year. Eamonn in the Sports Clinic identified what had caused my back problems and instead of working on the symptoms he gave me a program of really specific work to fix the cause.
John took the plan and we worked on it gradually increasing the difficulty as I adapted to the load and as a result my back is in the best condition it’s been in in ten years or more. I think this is the best way to incorporate S&C work into a plan. Identify the weak areas that are likely to break down or cause an imbalance or injury and fix them, not just treating the symptoms. This requires working with a really specialist sports specific physio like Cillian Moffat who you can find here as opposed to just going into the gym and lifting weights or doing basic core work. When I went in for back surgery in 2014 I had, for the first time in my life, a somewhat proper six pack and my core was in the best shape of my life. Despite this my back failed and I ended up having surgery and spent two months in bed recovering. If I had identified why my back was going instead of assuming that a strong core would protect it I would probably never have needed surgery.

Anyway lets get on with the weeks training which actually includes TWO swims if you can believe it. I almost feel like a triathlete again… Read More

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Ironman training: Robs Blog: Week 12 2017

We are only three weeks out from Boston marathon at this stage and I’m looking forward to my first attempt to run a quick time in a marathon in probably four or five years. In fact I can’t remember the last time I trained for and ran a hard, stand alone marathon. All of the ones I’ve done in recent years have been run easy as long training days or have come at the back end on an Ironman. Physically I’m feeling good and am confident that I’m in reasonably decent shape but I’m aiming for a time that’s going to be right at the edge of my current fitness.

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Ironman training: Robs Blog: Week 11 2017. The one about two toenails

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, or something like that. This weeks featured image probably tells the story better than I can. Having bits of your body fall off is not something that you tend to share with peeps, maybe with the exception of medical professionals. And you certainly are not likely to be charming someone with cast off toe nails.

It’s not like getting a text from your wife telling you that she has found your missing wallet or car keys. This would most likely be met with a feeling of relief. Finding someone else’s old, dead, blackened toenail in the washing does not go down so well. Read More

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Do you care enough to get hit?

I was listening to a business podcast recently by a guy called Seth Godin where he told this story which I thought applied just as well to Ironman training as his situation.

Seth tells the story of playing ice hockey when he was in school and one of the drills they were being taught was where the coach would throw a puck into the corner (a bit of a misnomer as the ice didn’t have any actual corners) The two players were to race to get try to get the puck and each was then to try to take it towards opposite ends of the ice.

The natural inclination was to race to be the first to the puck but Godin realized that if he took the opposite approach and arrived a second later that the second player to the puck actually had the advantage. He could knock the first player off and steal the puck. He changed the target and the rules and he won almost every time.

It took about twenty tackles before the other players realized what he was doing at which point they too started to try to be second to the puck. This invariably led to a comic slowing of both players as they tried to arrive to the tackle second. In the end it led the the coach to ban Godin’s approach. But the lesson stuck with him. Click on through to read more…

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Ironman training: Robs Blog: Week 9 2017

It was like someone pulled the plug out of me this week. All motivation and energy were gone and I ended up in a sort of holding pattern. I only managed a couple of short runs during the week and one decent one on Sunday but otherwise the week was a bit of a non event.

Luckily enough it doesn’t happen to me too often but occasionally I just completely lose the desire to train. I used to just stop completely when this happened, sometimes for as much as a couple of weeks, and of course I would end up losing a lot of the progress I’d made. Now though I try to just tick over with very easy, short runs or bikes so that at the very least I hang onto whatever fitness I’ve gained and it also serves as an easy recovery week.

That’s what this week became. Hopefully things will be back to normal next week. Click on through for this weeks fairly short update… Read More

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