Category: Robs Training Diary

Robs Blog: Chasing Kona 2017: 21 weeks to go

I sat down with Ash to write my plan for the week on Sunday evening. We were also looking at the the big picture (mapping out the weeks and putting a rough overall plan in place for Ironman Florida in November)

(If you missed last weeks post you can catch up here)

So after we sketched out the long term plan we worked on the upcoming week. Ash first started with the key sessions. Then she moved onto any that I’ve planned to do with someone else, like Patrick’s swims or the long ride on Sunday.
Ash called out the sessions and I filled them into the calendar and after each one I ask “is that long enough” or “will I add another run after that swim?”

Ash patiently answers “no that’s enough” the first couple of times.

After the fourth time she turns to me and asks “Do you want to coach yourself? I don’t mind if you do”

I realise that I’m now walking on that thin and treacherously dangerous ice that husbands occasionally encounter when they say something stupid to their wives. Especially if that something is questioning their wife’s ability to do something.

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Robs Blog: Clontarf Half Marathon 2017 Race Report

This is a half marathon that I’ve done before and despite the fact that it’s advertised as the flattest half marathon in Ireland there is about 6km of it that is run on sand and exactly half of it is always into a headwind so it’s far from the fastest half marathon course.
I was hoping to break 1:30 today. I figured a 1:29 would be a good day, anything faster would be brilliant and slower would be a bit disappointing. Ais had given me instructions to run the first 3k easy and then I could race however I felt. I made the mistake of not getting myself onto the start line and instead jumped in with the 1 hour 30 group. This had the desired effect of controlling my speed at the start as I worked my way through the crowds but it also had a down side… Read More

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Robs Blog: 100 x 100 swim: Race report

So I did a 10k swim the other day.

I know! A 10k swim! In a pool! 100×100’s!

In case you’re trying to work it out that’s 400 lengths of a 25m pool. I’d been talking about doing this swim for probably a year or more and Patrick my swimmer mate had been keeping the pressure on me.

Click on through to read how it went…

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Robs Blog: Chasing Kona 2017: 22 Weeks to go

So we’ve entered a race and set a target for the year. Last year the blog was a very public way to keep me honest about my training and to show people what we believe is required to qualify for Kona. As it happened I didn’t actually qualify so that part didn’t go so well.

It’s not much fun to fail in public but I keep on telling myself that I’ve only failed when I quit trying. I thought that maybe I’d try for a Kona slot again this year, but I also thought that if I didn’t tell anyone what I was trying for I wouldn’t have to suffer the shame of a public failure again.

But that felt a bit like like cheating, it felt dishonest. After setting out to do something and do it in public I felt that I should continue to do it publicly or I wasn’t really being very straight about it. It felt like I was skulking off into a corner to try and do it secretly and if I was successful then I’d pop out all “TA-DA!! Look what I did! See I told you I could!” Happy to celebrate in public but if I failed that would be better done in private.  Read More

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Robs Blog: Ironman training: May 2017. Week 4

I got to the pool with a rough idea of what I was doing. I’d brought the paddles, pull buoy and band and was going to do a strength session. Until that was I saw Patrick come out on deck and he came over and offered to pace me through a set.
Not wanting to lose face I of course told him to jump in but I quickly qualified the invitation by telling him how slowly I’m swimming hoping he’d go easy in me.
I jumped on Patrick’s feet for the 2×200 “easy” warm up. I was coming in with splits that were faster than I’ve managed for my hard efforts.

This was not going to end well.

Click on through for the full blog but be warned there’s some swearing… Read More

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Robs Blog: Ironman training: May 2017. Week 3

Ais and Grace are away so that means myself and Cillian are home alone. Well aside from the dogs that is. I’m also working a lot at the moment. I’ll be working 21 days straight through now after Lanza. So if I want to get any training done it will mean getting really disciplined and organised with general planning and food preparation.
Planning my own weeks training.

I’m not usually allowed do this but seeing as Ais is away I thought I’d take over my own training planning. I started to write out a plan on the flight back from Lanza after I planned out all of the logistics of the week. Work, commute, walking the dogs, shopping and food prep.

I’d just managed a 26 hour training week so figured that 15 hours would be an appropriate starting point. I wrote up all the sessions, read through it and happy that it would be a good weeks work I closed the computer.

As I sat there thinking about the plan I had the feeling that I’d better not tell Ais that I was planning a 15 hour week as my second week back training, especially as I’m working every day as well.

She’d start me back much more conservatively. I then asked myself what would I do if the plan I was writing was for someone else, would it have 15 hours and hard sessions?

The answer was no so I reluctantly opened the computer and deleted three sessions and shortened another two. I was down to 11 hours. That looks ok I thought. Click on through for the weeks update.. Read More

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Robs Blog: Ironman Training: Lanzarote Training camp

Two thoughts for the week while on training camp in Lanza with John Rogers.

  1. 1. Don’t waste belly space on less than excellent food while eating at a 4 star buffet.
  2. That and I think I know why they don’t have weighing scales in hotel rooms with as you can eat buffets.

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Robs Blog: Week 1: May ’17

I don’t think 3.5 hours can be called a training week. In fact I don’t really think it can be called training, but it is a start. I was going to skip over this week and start next week when I have some decent training numbers but that wouldn’t be honest.

I think we just have to start where we are, whether that’s at 3 hours a week or 13. From a motivation point of view I’ve found it quite difficult to get going after the Boston marathon. Another disappointing race after a pretty good build up seemed to just knock the stuffing out of me a bit.

Work has been really busy so the easy and I’ve been really tempted to use it as an excuse fir why I can’t train properly. But in reality all that would be is an excuse and looking for an easy way out just because things are difficult.

So I’ve decided that I’ll go back to basics and just aim to rebuild the training routine. I’m not putting pressure on myself to do anything other than get each session done.

So with that in mind the aim for May is to try to train regularly again, to make swim, bike and run a proper part of each week.and just enjoy the training.

There won’t be any big volume at this stage because…

  1. I’m not fit enough and
  2. Big volume won’t work and isn’t sustainable when paired with my current work hours.

This week I worked 6 days and 63 hours. I reckon that I might get the work hours down to between 55-60 hours a week for the rest of May.

If I can manage to fit in 10-12 hours of training on top of that and more importantly if the body can absorb that without falling apart then I’ll be satisfied.

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Ironman UK 2015 race report

I was just along for the ride in this Ironman. This was Aislings target race for the year and I had jumped in at the last minute via an entry with Nirvana so I had more invested in Ais’s performance than in my own but if I’m honest I secretly thought that with my swimming coming back to me much faster than I expected and my biking being strong, probably the strongest I’ve been after almost a year of just riding with no running or swimming. I would only have to run an ok marathon to scrape into a decent time and maybe, if there was a roll down, then there was the slim chance of a Kona qualifying slot.

I thought with about 8 weeks of running I could get in shape to run a decent 15k maybe 20 and surely history would get me through the last 20k…
Famous last words. Famous last stupid words…

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Robs Blog: The Boston marathon 2017

A race normally warrants a race report but in this instance it doesn’t. When we started training properly for the Boston Marathon I thought that a low 3 hour finish was possible. Especially after my half marathon on New Years eve where I was quite a bit fitter than expected at that stage. In fact Ais commented afterwards that she had no idea where I had pulled that run out of given our lack of training in the preceding month and if Ais was impressed then I was happy that I was starting out in reasonably good shape.

Anyway the training went well for the next couple of months and for the first time in a long time I felt like it was working well, the body was handling and absorbing the increasing load. I was seeing constant steady improvements as the year progressed. At some point along the journey my aim became to go sub 3 which I haven’t done in a number of years. The numbers I was seeing in training indicated that I was close and we reckoned that with a good day I had a really good chance of a finish time starting with a 2.  Read More

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