I was chatting to Patrick my swimmer mate (the one who takes great pleasure in knocking lumps out of me in the pool) a while ago and had told him that I was finally going to have a go at the 100 x 100’s swim session I’ve been talking about for so long. I told him I was going to do it on my birthday, the 21st of July. Doing the 100 x 100 swim is a sort of triathletes birthday tradition, at least it is for the pros who are coached by Brett Sutton and who am I to second guess Sutto.
I finished last week tired and it was with a lot of relief that I saw Monday down as a day off. Ash will often change my plan on a daily basis if she feels that I’m either handling the training load and the opportunity is there to do more or on the opposite side if I’m not able to she will back it off. It’s just one of the benefits of living with my coach. I get a level of attention and a tailored plan that I really couldn’t get from any one else.
The other side of the whole living with my coach is that she knows if I decide that a 3 hour bike ride should turn into a 5 hour one just because the sun is shining. If I do she will kick my arse. It also means that I no longer get to indulge the idea that I’m the boss…
Click on through for the weeks update… Read More
When looking from the outside at someone training for Ironman you could be forgiven for thinking that it is an individual, solo sport. When I’m writing my blog posts about how well a training session has gone or about getting kicked up and down the pool by Patrick it’s not at all obvious that there’s a number of people without whom I just wouldn’t be able to do this.
The first and most important is Aisling. It’s not just that she tolerates me training 15-20 hours a week. Rather as my coach she’s the one who’s pushing me when I’m tired or feeling lazy. Another almost invisible aspect of what she does is all of the small things that allow me fit in training when the business requires a lot of hours. Ash cooks meals, brings in food to work and takes care of so many of the other things that go into running the house and family so that I don’t have to.
Our team in the shop allow me come in a little late and leave early to get in sessions. Patrick my swimmer mate has taken me on as his own personal fixer upper. I think he’s made me his pet project. He’s going to improve my swimming even if it kills him (or more likely me)
Training partners like Cillian, Fergal, Big Dave, John, John, John, Eoin, Eoin and Eoin (yes we know and train with a lot of John’s and Eoin’s….) Paul Moran’s Sunday morning run gang and more all help me get through hard or long sessions.
All of these people make a little or large contribution to my training and all do it for no other reason than they are good peeps.
My folks have been to almost every Ironman we’ve done (Mam has been asking about me am I chasing a Kona slot again, I think she fancies the idea of another Hawaiian holiday)
There are lots of people who contribute to making all of this happen and they are rarely acknowledged. I’m certain I’ve forgotten to mention someone so I’m sorry in advance. Then there are all of you guys who read and follow the blog and leave comments or ask about my progress when I meet you at the pool or in the shop. I’ve had a bunch of new American friend requests on Facebook and followers on Twitter and messages of support. These are most likely down to writing for Lava magazine online.
I’m always grateful for all of the support, help and encouragement.
Anyway that’s my thought for this week, lets get on with the training. Read More
I sat down with Ash to write my plan for the week on Sunday evening. We were also looking at the the big picture (mapping out the weeks and putting a rough overall plan in place for Ironman Florida in November)
(If you missed last weeks post you can catch up here)
So after we sketched out the long term plan we worked on the upcoming week. Ash first started with the key sessions. Then she moved onto any that I’ve planned to do with someone else, like Patrick’s swims or the long ride on Sunday.
Ash called out the sessions and I filled them into the calendar and after each one I ask “is that long enough” or “will I add another run after that swim?”
Ash patiently answers “no that’s enough” the first couple of times.
After the fourth time she turns to me and asks “Do you want to coach yourself? I don’t mind if you do”
I realise that I’m now walking on that thin and treacherously dangerous ice that husbands occasionally encounter when they say something stupid to their wives. Especially if that something is questioning their wife’s ability to do something.
This is a half marathon that I’ve done before and despite the fact that it’s advertised as the flattest half marathon in Ireland there is about 6km of it that is run on sand and exactly half of it is always into a headwind so it’s far from the fastest half marathon course.
I was hoping to break 1:30 today. I figured a 1:29 would be a good day, anything faster would be brilliant and slower would be a bit disappointing. Ais had given me instructions to run the first 3k easy and then I could race however I felt. I made the mistake of not getting myself onto the start line and instead jumped in with the 1 hour 30 group. This had the desired effect of controlling my speed at the start as I worked my way through the crowds but it also had a down side… Read More
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