I remember when Aisling was training for her first Ironman in 2008 each time she met with her coach he would ask about her training motivation. She would say it was fine and move on. Later on she said to me that she had no idea what he was talking about. If she had training to do she just did it. Motivation didn’t enter into it. She could either train or she couldn’t and unless there was a physical reason not to train then she did everything she was told. Click on through for more…
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
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.
After last weeks lack of motivation and the resulting drop in training volume, this week sees a return to a more normal level. In fact this is the biggest run week I’ve had in several years. I also had a bit of a breakthrough session mid week. Click on through for the weeks update. Read More
What do you do if you miss a session? Do you beat yourself up about it? Do you stress about it? Do you try to fit it in the following day? Or do you move on and forget about it?
What should you do?
Ais has been known to say “there are no do overs” “there is no second chance” or in her best Yoda voice “do or do no there is no try”
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
It’s like the holy grail of triathlon. How do I get faster without training more. Where is the best place to spend money and what gives me the biggest bang for my buck? Everyone looks to Tri bikes and deep section carbon wheels first (Which is good because that’s what I’m selling in the day job) but there are a lot of much more economical ways to “buy speed” or even go after “free speed” some of which might surprise you. Click on through for the good stuff…
One of the most common Ironman training questions we get is regarding training volume v’s intensity. How much should people train and how hard should they go. Can they possibly get faster by training slower? And can intensity deliver better results than big volume? Click on through for the good stuff…
I experience what feels like a moment of transcendence. All external stimulus dims and my internal chatter quiets. All I’m aware of is my fast rhythmic breathing, my quickening heartbeat, my feet hitting the ground. I feel the strength and I’m aware of my fitness. Running faster feels effortless. It’s not like I’m floating, rather I’m feeling strong. I’m hyper aware of everything working together, a part of me knows that this won’t last but as soon as that thought surfaces I switch my focus back to just being here right now and enjoying this moment.
I can hear Fergal’s breathing on my shoulder it’s hard, a little harder than mine but I’m confident he can hang on a while longer. I have a strong urge to turn the screw, make him hurt more and in previous years that’s exactly what I would have done. But that’s not the purpose of this run and this time it’s easy to resist the momentary urge. I return to an awareness of my breathing and my effort and hold the pace.
The numbers don’t matter. My speed or distance or the average pace mean nothing as I hold onto this feeling.
In the end it does last. It lasts longer than during any of my runs this year. I’m reminded of what it felt like to be really fit. I spend the best part of an hour feeling this strong and as I eventually start to fade I try to hang on just a couple of minutes longer but all of a sudden it’s gone and my legs are empty.
Despite our best intentions we often judge each other based on our first impressions. People look at you and see who or what you are right then. We might look at someone driving a fancy car like a Porsche or Bentley and assume they are wealthy and often think they know something we don’t or have some sort of skill we are missing that allowed them to become rich.