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.
There’s a couple of very good triathlete’s blogs that I follow and they cover everything from being from entertaining to informative. Here’s my current top 5 Professional and Age Group Ironman Triathlon blogs.
After the Dublin marathon at the weekend we took two days off completely. The aim was to run easy enough that we could make a more or less normal return to training by Wednesday. Neither of us had ever done a full marathon as a training run before so weren’t completely sure how this would work out. It turns out we seem to have gotten the effort about right as we were able to be back in the pool on Wednesday morning.
I’m a big volume guy. I not only enjoy the long sessions and the long races but I firmly believe it’s vital for success in Ironman. I’m frequently getting stick for my repeated banging of that drum. John, one of our athletes, reminds me with a wink and a grin whenever there’s a success in our squad “that’s the massive volume Rob”
I’m flattened after just three late nights and three days of over eating at the weekend and that’s without any alcohol. I’ve always been a bit of a lightweight when it comes to getting enough sleep. I’m like a 4 year old, I can’t function without my normal 8 hours. Anyway this week will see us hit the city streets to run the Dublin marathon. We will do it as a training run. That will make it by far the longest training run I’ll have ever done. It’ll be interesting to see how we recover after it. The plan is to run between 3:30-3:40 and hopefully that’s easy enough that we’re back training by Tuesday or Wednesday.
Read on to see how it goes.
Double run days.
I first started doing double run days back in 2012 but for as long as I’ve known about them I’ve always had a sort of fascination with the idea. The coach I was working with at the time was a big fan of them and he had them in the plan instead of a weekly long run. His thinking was that I could do more distance and quality work than in a standard long run but that the recovery was also quicker.
One of the differences between training for Ironman as compared to short course triathlon can be the fact that it can often tend to be quite solitary. This suits some athletes more than others in that some people find the social aspect of group or club training very motivating and enjoyable whereas other athletes do much better training alone. There are pros and cons to both.
There’s an almost universal fascination with what other people do. Look at reality TV, well maybe don’t look at it because it’s rubbish but look at how much people love it. In sports terms we all want to know what the successful athletes do to give them the edge. What’s their #killersession? For me, and I would guess most athletes there’s the same sort of fascination with what those athletes do differently to us. In a series of posts over the coming months I’ll write about my favourite sessions and also the best I have found across not just triathlon but across all three individual sports.
Mistakes, we all make them but I think in Ironman it is especially important to keep them to a minimum as we get so few chances to race each year. Learning from others mistakes is one of the ways to do it. Unfortunately some of us just do much better at learning from our own. I am also a big believer in making as many of my mistakes as possible in training so as to be able to learn from and avoid them in racing. I think including key sessions that teach pacing, nutrition and self control in a build up is as important as getting fit enough to do the race.
The dust has settled and we have had some time to reflect on both the race and the build up to it. Here are some of both mine and Aisling’s thoughts about the result and where we go from here.