So I did a 10k swim the other day.
I know! A 10k swim! In a pool! 100×100’s!
In case you’re trying to work it out that’s 400 lengths of a 25m pool. I’d been talking about doing this swim for probably a year or more and Patrick my swimmer mate had been keeping the pressure on me.
Click on through to read how it went…
So we’ve entered a race and set a target for the year. Last year the blog was a very public way to keep me honest about my training and to show people what we believe is required to qualify for Kona. As it happened I didn’t actually qualify so that part didn’t go so well.
It’s not much fun to fail in public but I keep on telling myself that I’ve only failed when I quit trying. I thought that maybe I’d try for a Kona slot again this year, but I also thought that if I didn’t tell anyone what I was trying for I wouldn’t have to suffer the shame of a public failure again.
But that felt a bit like like cheating, it felt dishonest. After setting out to do something and do it in public I felt that I should continue to do it publicly or I wasn’t really being very straight about it. It felt like I was skulking off into a corner to try and do it secretly and if I was successful then I’d pop out all “TA-DA!! Look what I did! See I told you I could!” Happy to celebrate in public but if I failed that would be better done in private. Read More
My first Ironman marathon started out quite well. I ran the first 10k in about 50 minutes or 5 minute kilometres. The second 10k however started to hurt and I slowed down to about 6 minute kilometers. By the time I was on my third lap I was walking each aid station and taking on an energy gel at every one. Considering they were only about 1-2km apart meant I was taking on a gel, coke, water and whatever else I could stomach every 10-15 minutes. Needless to say it didn’t go well.
My third and fourth 10k’s each took about 75 minutes and like I said involved walking every aid station and towards the end I was stretching that walk a little further every time. I was also very ill by the end and finished in almost 4.5 hours despite the fact that my first 10k was run at 3.5 hour marathon pace.
Three months later I watched Ais do her first Ironman in Sherborne in the UK and she not only posted the third fastest women’s marathon of the day, beating all bar two pro women in the process, but she did it with a big smile on her face. It was the most impressive thing I’d ever seen. Click on through to read what I learned from Ais and how I managed to get my Ironman marathon time down to just over 3 hours.
I got to the pool with a rough idea of what I was doing. I’d brought the paddles, pull buoy and band and was going to do a strength session. Until that was I saw Patrick come out on deck and he came over and offered to pace me through a set.
Not wanting to lose face I of course told him to jump in but I quickly qualified the invitation by telling him how slowly I’m swimming hoping he’d go easy in me.
I jumped on Patrick’s feet for the 2×200 “easy” warm up. I was coming in with splits that were faster than I’ve managed for my hard efforts.
This was not going to end well.
Click on through for the full blog but be warned there’s some swearing… Read More
Ais and Grace are away so that means myself and Cillian are home alone. Well aside from the dogs that is. I’m also working a lot at the moment. I’ll be working 21 days straight through now after Lanza. So if I want to get any training done it will mean getting really disciplined and organised with general planning and food preparation.
Planning my own weeks training.
I’m not usually allowed do this but seeing as Ais is away I thought I’d take over my own training planning. I started to write out a plan on the flight back from Lanza after I planned out all of the logistics of the week. Work, commute, walking the dogs, shopping and food prep.
I’d just managed a 26 hour training week so figured that 15 hours would be an appropriate starting point. I wrote up all the sessions, read through it and happy that it would be a good weeks work I closed the computer.
As I sat there thinking about the plan I had the feeling that I’d better not tell Ais that I was planning a 15 hour week as my second week back training, especially as I’m working every day as well.
She’d start me back much more conservatively. I then asked myself what would I do if the plan I was writing was for someone else, would it have 15 hours and hard sessions?
The answer was no so I reluctantly opened the computer and deleted three sessions and shortened another two. I was down to 11 hours. That looks ok I thought. Click on through for the weeks update.. Read More
Two thoughts for the week while on training camp in Lanza with John Rogers.
- 1. Don’t waste belly space on less than excellent food while eating at a 4 star buffet.
- That and I think I know why they don’t have weighing scales in hotel rooms with as you can eat buffets.
I don’t think 3.5 hours can be called a training week. In fact I don’t really think it can be called training, but it is a start. I was going to skip over this week and start next week when I have some decent training numbers but that wouldn’t be honest.
I think we just have to start where we are, whether that’s at 3 hours a week or 13. From a motivation point of view I’ve found it quite difficult to get going after the Boston marathon. Another disappointing race after a pretty good build up seemed to just knock the stuffing out of me a bit.
Work has been really busy so the easy and I’ve been really tempted to use it as an excuse fir why I can’t train properly. But in reality all that would be is an excuse and looking for an easy way out just because things are difficult.
So I’ve decided that I’ll go back to basics and just aim to rebuild the training routine. I’m not putting pressure on myself to do anything other than get each session done.
So with that in mind the aim for May is to try to train regularly again, to make swim, bike and run a proper part of each week.and just enjoy the training.
There won’t be any big volume at this stage because…
- I’m not fit enough and
- Big volume won’t work and isn’t sustainable when paired with my current work hours.
This week I worked 6 days and 63 hours. I reckon that I might get the work hours down to between 55-60 hours a week for the rest of May.
If I can manage to fit in 10-12 hours of training on top of that and more importantly if the body can absorb that without falling apart then I’ll be satisfied.
I was listening to a podcast by a guy called Seth Godin when I got to thinking about at what point do we “become” a triathlete. Godin is something of an internet and business Guru and the recording was made while he was talking to a bunch of aspiring entrepreneurs.
He started by saying that if they wanted to become a neurosurgeon it would take something like fifteen years of study before you would ever be allowed open up someone’s skull. Quite rightly too. Brain surgery isn’t really something that you want an apprentice or beginner practicing on your noggin. Wondering where I’m going with this? Click on through to find out…
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