Category: Training

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: 20 Weeks to go

When looking from the outside at someone training for Ironman you could be forgiven for thinking that it is an individual, solo sport. When I’m writing my blog posts about how well a training session has gone or about getting kicked up and down the pool by Patrick it’s not at all obvious that there’s a number of people without whom I just wouldn’t be able to do this.

The first and most important is Aisling. It’s not just that she tolerates me training 15-20 hours a week. Rather as my coach she’s the one who’s pushing me when I’m tired or feeling lazy. Another almost invisible aspect of what she does is all of the small things that allow me fit in training when the business requires a lot of hours. Ash cooks meals, brings in food to work and takes care of so many of the other things that go into running the house and family so that I don’t have to.

Our team in the shop allow me come in a little late and leave early to get in sessions. Patrick has taken me on as his own personal fixer upper. I think he’s made me his pet project. He’s going to improve my swimming even if it kills him (or me more likely)

Training partners like Cillian, Fergal, Big Dave, John, John, John, Eoin, Eoin and Eoin (yes we know and train with a lot of John’s and Eoin’s….) Paul Moran’s Sunday morning run gang and more all help me get through hard or long sessions.

All of these people make a little or large contribution to my training and all do it for no other reason than they are good peeps.

My folks have been to almost every Ironman we’ve done (Mam has been asking about me am I chasing a Kona slot again, I think she fancies the idea of another Hawaiian holiday)

There are lots of people who contribute to making all of this happen and they are rarely acknowledged. I’m certain I’ve forgotten to mention someone so I’m sorry in advance. Then there are all of you guys who read and follow the blog and leave comments or ask about my progress when I meet you at the pool or in the shop.

I’m always grateful for all of the support, help and encouragement.

Anyway that’s my thought for this week, lets get on with the training. Read More

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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)

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: 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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How to not walk the Ironman marathon

My first Ironman marathon started out quite well. I ran the first 10k in about 50 minutes or 5 minute kilometres. The second 10k however started to hurt and I slowed down to about 6 minute kilometers. By the time I was on my third lap I was walking each aid station and taking on an energy gel at every one. Considering they were only about 1-2km apart meant I was taking on a gel, coke, water and whatever else I could stomach every 10-15 minutes. Needless to say it didn’t go well.
My third and fourth 10k’s each took about 75 minutes and like I said involved walking every aid station and towards the end I was stretching that walk a little further every time. I was also very ill by the end and finished in almost 4.5 hours despite the fact that my first 10k was run at 3.5 hour marathon pace.

Three months later I watched Ais do her first Ironman in Sherborne in the UK and she not only posted the third fastest women’s marathon of the day, beating all bar two pro women in the process, but she did it with a big smile on her face. It was the most impressive thing I’d ever seen. Click on through to read what I learned from Ais and how I managed to get my Ironman marathon time down to just over 3 hours.

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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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How to Cope with low training motivation

I remember when Aisling was training for her first Ironman in 2008 each time she met with her coach he would ask about her training motivation. She would say it was fine and move on. Later on she said to me that she had no idea what he was talking about. If she had training to do she just did it. Motivation didn’t enter into it. She could either train or she couldn’t and unless there was a physical reason not to train then she did everything she was told. Click on through for more…

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