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…
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
My favorite training session of all is what we call big day training. I just love how epic it feels. I love the idea that on any random Monday while the rest of the world rolls into work I could be doing 80-90% of an Ironman in training. Of course I it takes months and even years to build up to this sort of session. I start with a more manageable big day but the fitter I get the bigger the session gets. We start BDT early in the season and gradually build it up until we hit about 7-8 hours. Click on through for the details of this monster day.
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.
If you’ve never experienced one it’s difficult to describe just how hard the two hour turbo class we do on Monday’s are. We had one of the lads lose his lunch about 30 minutes into the session this week. He had to spend five minutes in the toilet but then he came down, got back on the bike and finished out the session.
I was really impressed.
I’ve only puked off the side of the bike a couple of times in my 18 years cycling. Once was during a mountain bike race and once in a road bike race. It’s very unpleasant and it’s hard to come back from but Joe dug in and kept going.
We have a couple of spaces left in the current block of classes if you fancy joining us drop Grace a call in the shop and she will sort you out the number is 01 6201000. All you need is a bike, towels, water and your kit. You can even rent a turbo if you don’t have your own and we will provide the bucket if you can push hard enough that you need one. Just ask Joe.
Anyway let’s get on with the weeks training.
Most of us who’ve done an Ironman will recognize the thought process.
You swim how far? You bike 112 miles!? Then you run a marathon? Over how many days? One after another? That’s crazy, I could never do that…
But then we stop and think “What a challenge…imagine what it would be like to finish one of those…Maybe I could do it…I’ve just entered…oh crap…I’m training for an Ironman”
I started the year really tired and feeling almost burnt out. It took quite a bit longer to recover from the last few races of 2016 than I’d anticipated but as we get to the end of January I’m finally starting to feel normal again.
I’m also really enjoying the feeling of returning fitness and the unique buzz that comes from just running. Most of my training this month was done on my feet which means that I’ve made reasonably quick initial progress as I mostly just focus on the one sport.
Even with the gains I’ve made though, it’s hard at this stage to see how I’ll hold my target marathon pace for 26 miles. I know I shouldn’t focus or worry about something that is still over two months away but every so often (usually when I’m struggling during some of my faster efforts) I can’t help but wonder how the hell I’ll run this fast for hours…
This post will look just what is involved in training for an Ironman triathlon and how to get started. We will also look at how much time do you need to train each week. We will detail how much training is actually involved in just crossing the finish line versus how much training is needed to be competitive. We will look at what’s the best way to split your training time and offer some suggestions about how to best fit Ironman into your life without coming home to find a suitcase on the doorstep. Click on through for all the good stuff.