Category: Robs Training Diary

Robs Blog: Chasing Kona: Week Ten: Navel Gazing

It’s eight weeks to go to Ironman Texas. It’s my first time training for an early season race and although I’d always traditionally start training in January I wouldn’t normally be hitting the sort of hours I’ve been getting up to for the last couple of months.

It’s also been a very unusual build for me in that I’ve done almost all of my biking in the trainer and a lot of running in the treadmill. I’ve never cycled or run indoors as much in my entire life.

It sort of makes me think about why I do this sport. Is it just so that I can achieve a goal? With how I get there just being a function of attaining an outcome. Or is it because I love the lifestyle?

I always thought that I do this sport as much for the love of the training as I do it for enjoyment of the event itself. I love racing but I also love the training. I think this is important because the training is the much bigger part of it. The race is measured in hours. The training is measured in months and years.

I love the fitness and strength that comes with it. I also love the discipline. I love the process, the sense of achievement that all come from living the lifestyle of an athlete.

But this year has been a funny build so far. It’s probably the coldest winter I can remember ever training through. And maybe I’m getting soft but I think I’ve only been outdoors on the bike once in the last four months (excluding Lanza in January)

Despite the lack of riding outside I don’t think I’ve missed a single bike session this year. I’ve been on the turbo three, four or five times a week and have done a bunch of five hour days indoors. Something I’d probably only done a handful of times in my life before this year.

The training has almost become a means to an end. I quite enjoy the short, hard turbo sessions (short turbos are now measured in hours instead of minutes, it’s funny how a bunch of four and five hour sessions indoors can make a two to three hour turbo feel relatively short) But the five hour indoor rides have never quite gotten to be as enjoyable as five hours spent outdoors in the sun. Funny that.

Still, I’ve been getting through them. But it has made me think about why I’m doing this. The Ironman day and the Kona thing are hugely motivating but that’s always only been a part of it. The love of riding and running outdoors was almost a bigger driver.

I think I always get to this stage in March where I’m sick of a winter that won’t just fuck off. I suppose that because of targeting an early season race this year that feeling is just magnified.

Anyway that’s enough naval gazing. Let’s get on to the weeks training.


Monday 5

Off


Tuesday 6 3:30 (3)

  • Swim 1:30 4200m
  • Bike 1:30 7×7 mins hard bg. Turbo
  • Run :30 6.5k. Treadmill
  • Energy 8/10
  • Motivation 10/10
  • Work —
  • Sleep 8 hours. Good

Wednesday 7 3:05 (2)

  • Swim 1:20 4000m
  • Bike 1:45 49k steady turbo
  • Energy 6/10
  • Motivation 7/10
  • Work 8 hours
  • Sleep 8 hours. Good

Thursday 8 1:20 (1)

  • Run 1:20 16k inc 2×25 mod/hard
  • Energy 6.5/10
  • Motivation 7/10
  • Work 6 hours
  • Sleep 8.5 hours good

Friday 9 1:45 (1)

  • Swim 1:45 5000m
  • Energy 7/10
  • Motivation 8/10
  • Work 8 hours
  • Sleep 7 hours. Good

Saturday 10 4:50 (2)

  • Bike 3:55 114k turbo inc 3×30 1×40 IMRP
  • Run :55 10k
  • Energy 7/10
  • Motivation 7/10
  • Work 5 hours
  • Sleep 7.5 hours. Good.

Sunday 11 3:00 (1)

  • Run 3:00 31k
  • Energy 6/10
  • Motivation 6/10
  • Work 6 hours
  • Sleep 8.5 hours. Good

  • Totals 17:30 (10)
  • Swim 4:35 13200m (3)
  • Bike 7:10 198k (3)
  • Run 5:45 63.5k (4)
1 Comment Qualifying for KonaRobs Blog: Chasing Kona 2018Robs Training Diary

Robs Blog: Chasing Kona: Week Nine: Emma’s Fury

Snow

The snow is so deep Asho has to get into my footprints behind me 

We’ve had weather warnings over the last twelve months that have been carried and promoted by the media that didn’t come anywhere near to occurring. Yellow or orange or red weather storm warnings which never came to pass.

The last one caused the shut down of most of the country.

The last warning that was. The storm itself never actually materialised.

As a result of the previous “boy crying wolf” weather disaster warning stories that didn’t happen I was sceptical of this one. In fact when I heard this round of stories of snow storms and red warnings I scoffed that I’d believe it when I saw it.

Wednesday arrived and along with it came the heaviest snowfall we’d seen in Dublin in about eight years. Myself and Ais ran into work with bags on our back but when we saw how bad the conditions actually were we decided that we would just open for an hour. Read More

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Robs Blog: Chasing Kona 2018: Week 8

I’d felt really tired in the middle of last week and Ais pulled the plug on a couple of my sessions. What ones I did were either shortened or less intense than originally planned.

This week was looking like being a bit messy from a training point of view. Work hours were going to be shuffled, I had a days work outside of the shop on Thursday which meant I most likely wouldn’t get anything done and Ais was away Friday and Saturday at a family wedding.

Ais put my big training day down for Tuesday and moved some of her stuff around to accommodate it. Orla and Grace in the shop also covered me for some hours during the week. It was another reminder that Ironman might be an individual sport but I very much have a team behind me supporting and helping me train and race, without whom I’d never be able to do this.

Tuesday was down as a big day, 4000m swim, five hour bike and run off it for one hour twenty. I was a bit nervous as I still felt tired and wasn’t sure how I’d cope with it. Read More

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Robs Blog: Chasing Kona 2018: Week 7: Confidence

When I first set out to qualify for Kona Aisling was the first person to believe I could do it. Alan Ryan was the second.

Shortly after I started to train for my first attempt at qualifying I asked Alan what he thought. Despite being our most successful Ironman athlete to date with six Kona qualifications and two Kona podium finishes as well as having held the Irish Ironman record. Alan is just about the most down to earth guys you can meet. If you didn’t know how accomplished an athlete he is you certainly would have no idea from talking to him.

Last weeks blog can be found here if you missed it: Robs Blog: Week Six: Candy Floss

Alan immediately and unreservedly said that he thought that I could qualify and that I should have a go at it. In my experience Alan, like Aisling isn’t prone to blowing smoke up your arse. So given his qualifications to make such a statement I believed him.

Myself and Ais were chatting to Alan last weekend and he asked how training was going. I hesitated long enough for Aisling to step in and answer for me. She said that she thought that I was doing the best training that she’d ever seen me do. Better consistency, better quality and for a longer sustained period than ever before. Read More

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Robs Blog: Week Six: Candy Floss

Pupper is outside the back door and barks to be let in. When Ais opens the door she comes in proudly carrying a bone like a trophy. She drops it on the floor, looks at it blankly then barks at it.

“The bone” I think “The big doofus is barking at the bone” and vaguely wonder why. But this is Pupper. There doesn’t really need to be a why.

The bark attracts Coopers attention. He wanders on over to see what the fuss is. He looks first at Pupper doing the barks then looks down at the bone.

Cooper takes one more look at Pupper then picks up the bone and walks off with it.

Pupper’s left standing there wondering what’s just happened. Whatever it was it doesn’t seem to be what she intended. She looks puzzled. It’s hard to picture a Boxer looking puzzled but Pupper somehow manages to pull it off.

“What do you think she was barking at?” I ask Ais. She just shrugs.

“What do you think is going through her head when she does something like that?” I ask.

“Candy floss” Ais answers. “That’s all there is in there, candy floss” Read More

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Robs Blog: Chasing Kona 2018: Week Five: Things You Never Say To Asho

When I looked at this weeks training plan I mistakenly wondered out loud “Is this meant to be an easy week?”

This was then answered with just the tiniest hint of annoyance…

“Why don’t you come back next Sunday and let me know if you still think that was an easy week” Read More

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Robs Blog: Chasing Kona. Week Three: Big days.

We sat down on Sunday evening to write out my plan for next week. I’m itching to get into what I think of as proper training since I got back from Lanza. This week has been fairly moderate as Ais was careful to make sure I’m recovered and ready to go again before ramping up the load.

I’m sitting there impatiently pen in hand, note book open. Picture a poor hungry orphan sitting there, cutlery in hand waiting impatiently for the food to be dished up.

Ais starts with a question.

“What do you think of starting back with the big days this week, maybe on Thursday? You could go into work late. Swim, bike, run?” Read More

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Robs Blog: Happy Irish Dogs Calendar

As many of you may know Aisling and myself have become quite involved in dog rescue. We take in and foster pups until they are rehomed. But the dog rescues are the real heroes who take in abandoned, ill and neglected dogs and find them homes.

The Happy Irish Dogs Calendar 2018 has been produced by Sambor of Happy Irish Dogs to raise funds for the Dublin Husky Rescue. 100% of the money raised goes to rehoming, feeding, medical care of abandoned, abused or neglected dogs that are taken in by Andy at the Dublin Husky Rescue.

The calendar even features our own two Boxer dogs on the cover, Cooper and Pupper the Screwball.

You can buy the calendar online here or in store at Wheelworx, Fonthill

Every euro spent is sent directly to the Dublin Husky Rescue including the postage if you choose shipping as opposed to in store pickup.

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Robs Blog: Chasing Kona. Week Two: “Cool”

I woke early and had some work to do before heading to the pool. I had intended on doing an hour  or so but when I started swimming I was really tired. Right from the first length I was arguing with myself that I needed an easy day. I added up my training hours so far this week in my head and thought I had about sixteen hours so far and I told myself that with two more big days over the weekend I’d still get close to thirty hours done.

The arguments went back and forth in my head as I slowly clocked off the laps. I eventually decided that if I did 1500 meters I could call that a reasonable swim, anything less would be embarrassing.

Read More

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