I woke Monday feeling great which is a really good sign considering the fact that I did close to 7 hours training the previous day. It really shows that the training is working. I feel like I’ve spent the last 6 months just getting fit enough to train properly. It’s taken that long for the body to adapt to the constantly increasing loads and now at last I’m comfortably getting through a 7 hour day and feeling good afterwards. I’m really looking forward to some more hard, long days as I think they too will start to deliver bigger improvement as I’m becoming better able to cope with them.
This week I manage to hit 20 hours for the first time in a while and on Sunday I have a real breakthrough session, not just because of how well it went but also because of how quickly I recovered after it. After months of slogging through hard slow bike rides I’m starting to see results. Ironman is such a long slow process, and progress seems particularly slow and hard in the early stages but if you just keep on ticking off the sessions and doing the work the results inevitably come.
This week sees a couple of breakthrough bike sessions. I’m finally starting to feel good on the bike which is a bit of a relief as a part of me was getting worried. I don’t know why because it always takes me 3-4 months of base and strength training before I start to feel like I’m going well. The run is also progressing nicely but swimming has sorta fallen off me and I feel like I’ve got all the grace and style of a wind up swimming frog toy. Ironman is so hard to balance all three sports. I rarely feel good in all three sports at the same time (although as long as I do on race day that’s all that matters) anyway click on through for this weeks update.
Training time this week was tight to fit but despite that the quality of the sessions was good. It turned into a very run focused week as a reaction to the time constraints. I should really incorporate some more turbo work in a week like this as the bike is my biggest weakness at the moment so therefore the area with the biggest potential for improvement. The weekend took us to Leeds and the ITU World Triathlon Series and it was the most fun I’ve had at a race in a long time. We got to meet loads of the big stars of the ITU and the Olympics including Gomez and Jorgensen. There was also an incident with the flight home so read on for the full story.
I think I tipped myself over the edge a little with the combination of work, training and lack of sleep. I have also been slacking on some of the basics like nutrition and caffeine intake and timing. I start off telling myself it’s ok to eat cake a couple of times a week, which turns into daily then adding in the occasional ice cream and the next thing I know I’m having sugar 2-3 times a day. The reality is that after years of eating almost no sugar I know I’m very sensitive to it and that it disturbs my sleep if I have either too much or have it too late in the day. I kept on making the excuse that I’d get away with it because of the training load. The irony is that that’s exactly why I need to be more disciplined with the food. I can’t afford to miss or have poor quality sleep with such a big training volume and increasingly busy workload.
Work has gone a bit nuts in the last couple of weeks as we enter the busiest time of our year and I think that’s what’s been affecting the sleep. I’m taking it home with me at night and not switching the head off. I then spend the whole night unable to sleep, I’m tossing and turning getting increasingly wound up at the lack sleep, the fact that I’m supposed to be up early to train, that I’m not resting and in a vicious circle I get more and more wound up. I’d probably be better just getting up and reading a book for an hour then going back to sleep when I’m less distracted and more relaxed.
This week see’s the return of the first of what I call a “big day” of training since 2013 when I was last getting ready to qualify for Kona. I did it on Thursday and was out with a couple of the guys we coach. The day consisted of a 3800m swim and straight out onto a 5 hour bike and we got straight off for an hours run. I was glad that I wasn’t too fried after it to go in to work, I was on the last few hours of the late shift. I really enjoyed the day and was even able to do a 2.5 hour run the next morning. Overall it’s a good weeks training. Read on for this weeks update…
I’ve found over the last few years that it takes me months before I start to feel fit or strong. I suppose it’s the nature of the way we train, big volume coupled with a lot of strength work means that for months I’m moving relatively slowly and constantly drifting in and out varying states of tiredness as I get through the increasing workload. I usually reach a point a couple of months in where I think it’s not working, I’m not getting any faster or stronger and a couple of times I’ve gone and gotten blood tests to see if I’m unwell or run down. I recognised that phase over the last couple of weeks and I think I’m now starting to come out of that phase. I’ve seen signs over the last week that the body is starting to adapt to the massive load of the first three months and I’m feeling strong in all three sports. Thursday saw me do a 3.8k TT in the pool and I was very happy with the results. Sunday was one of the first times on the bike for almost as long as I can remember that I felt strong and lively, I even pushed the pace a little on the climbs and found myself not getting dropped. It was a good week of running too and although I haven’t seen a bump in speed on the run yet I feel like it’s just around the corner.
Anyway, read on for the weeks training.
I don’t have a training image for this weeks blog so here’s the dog looking bonkers. He had been causing trouble with all the allergy issues but now he is actually turning into a good excuse for a second run some days. I guess he’s gone from being a training hindrance to a training aid. Anyway it’s been all about the bike this week, swimming takes a back seat and the run is also a little neglected but I am finally starting to feel the results of all the strength work on the bike.
I do however suffer a bit as a result of being lazy on the S&C front. Read on for all the weeks goodness.
I’m heading into a rest week so training volume is low but the sessions I do get done go pretty well.