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.
This was one of the best weeks training I’ve had in years, certainly the best since I’ve been back Ironman training this time around. I’ve been addressing specific issues like bike strength and I’ve also been adding quality runs to the mix so the volume and intensity combine to make it a hard but very satisfying week.
Normal service is resumed, mostly, with a return to normal training volume albeit at a slightly easier intensity. The dog is even contributing to the training now (as opposed to killing me with the allergy) as we are doing some evening runs with him meaning I’m getting some good double run days added in as a bonus.
The allergy to the dog seems to be under control and I managed to achieve the first aim for the week just to get back training in any way shape or form. I wasn’t concerned with intervals, quality or anything else. I just wanted to get a week of solid, consistent hours again. I’ll worry about adding in the quality of strength work or intervals, I just wanted to get back to basics. It really felt like going back to base training again, I felt unfit and like I’ve lost all the work I’ve done. The nervous insecure part of the athlete in me has been worrying about not just losing training time but losing the fitness I’ve built so far. The logical part of me knows that it won’t happen but the irrational fear gnaws at my stomach whenever I let it. I don’t know if it’s just me or if all athletes have the same sort of fears? I’ll probably feel the complete opposite in a couple of weeks as my confidence grows as the training starts to build again.
The last few days of the month saw the first half way decent return to training in over three weeks. I still don’t feel great, but to be honest I’m just very relieved to be back training again. The prospect of moving into a shed to get away from the dog was looming large for the last week but it looks like I’ll get away with it at this stage.