At the moment it feels like I’m getting stronger almost every time I train and that the body is really starting to handle and absorb the training load. I’ve hit almost 40 hours training in the last 10 days including some hard sessions and even with the increased training load I’m still feeling good. There has been a marked improvement over the last 2 weeks. I’ve gotten a new antihistamine which seems to have made a big difference. I’ve also had some time off work which is helping hugely with recovery between sessions.
This was a “testing the body/build week” after the last few weeks of not feeling great and I’m pretty happy with how it went. I managed close to 18 hours training again and I got a decent long ride as well as a couple of medium runs done. The only swim of the week was short but reasonably good quality and the splits weren’t bad. I’m hoping that the consistent 7 months of training has given me enough of a base that when we get what we think is the dog allergy problem that all of the built up fitness will just pop out.
At least that’s the hope.
I’ve been debating what to say in this weeks blog. 3 sessions in a week does not a Kona qualifier make. Admitting I’m having problems feels like admitting to failure but something’s not right and hasn’t been for a quite some time. The training hasn’t been having the usual effect and I don’t seem to be getting the resulting gains in speed and fitness I normally do with the level of training I’ve been doing. It’s been gnawing away at the back of my head that something’s wrong but I kept on telling myself it would come good in time. I also kept on telling myself that it was just the training volume and load that had me constantly tired but I think there’s something more than that. I’m seeing a doctor next week and we will hopefully get some answers. Anyway Let’s get on with this weeks fairly short update.
Total training hours doesn’t always tell the whole story. Most of the time For me 18 hours is a good amount of training for the week but at this stage the quality of it is probably more important. Considering I didn’t get a long run or bike in this week hitting 18 hours is pretty good but not getting two of my key sessions done isn’t.
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.