Most of us over estimate what we can do in a year or even just a couple of months and under estimate what we can do in 2, 3,4 or even 10 years. When we set out with a target to do our first race be it a triathlon, running race, Ironman or whatever the challenge a lot of us give it a certain amount of time. It might be 4, 6 or maybe even 20 weeks to get fit and complete the event. Often our next target is to get faster so we go back and again we allow ourselves a certain amount of time to get in shape. Sometimes we add in extra training and maybe do some intervals or other specific sessions. This usually works for a while and we get faster, then along comes the big idea. I wonder could I podium in my age group, win a small race, break a certain time for a distance or whatever the target is. It’s often a stretch from where we currently are so when we decide to go for it we train like crazy. Harder, more, longer sessions and sometimes it works but often it doesn’t and as failure looms we stop and accept defeat. But what if the only thing we are getting wrong is the amount of time it takes? What if we allowed ourselves longer to reach the big goals. Instead of thinking about how fit you could get in 10 weeks of cramming in training for an event what if you managed to do a little less each week but trained consistently in a sustainable manner for 100 weeks? Can you even begin to imagine how much fitter, faster, stronger or healthier you would be if you were able to sustain a training block for 400 weeks? If training properly, consistently became a lifestyle and a normal part of your life.
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.
There are a number of similarities I’ve noticed among really good or really successful athletes. Traits that most of us can learn from and copy to our own advantage. Unlike the monster engine the very top age groupers or pro’s have which most of us could never match, we can copy a lot of the things that add to their repertoire. Things that give an extra 1% here or 2% there but when added up they can make a massive difference to an age group athlete.
I’m looking for feedback on the TriCoach articles. I have a bunch of ideas but thought I would put it out to a vote to see what there is most interest in. If you comment below please and maybe tag someone who may also be interested in this post. Thanks.
1. Weight loss/fat burning & training
2. Training volume needed for Ironman
3. How to build an Ironman training plan
4. How to improve biking for Ironman
5. How to improve running for Ironman
6. What to do in the last 4-6 weeks before race day
I’m heading into a rest week so training volume is low but the sessions I do get done go pretty well.
My first attempt at qualifying for Kona saw an eye watering jump in training volume. It was also the first time I went sub 10 for an Ironman, although that wasn’t even a target at the time. I wasn’t as concerned with the time as I was with just ticking the Kona box. I’ve always maintained that I’m not particularly talented and that in reality it was just an awful lot of training that got me in qualifying shape. Most people think I’m being modest when I say that so for those who doubt that Ironman is predominately an aerobic sport, one that you can build a big engine for as opposed to having to be born with it. I will do a series of posts covering the sort of training I put in for the first couple of years training at a level to get up to Kona qualifying standard. I maintain that for me and a lot of other athletes I know getting to Kona has a lot more to do with having a life that allows you fit in a massive volume of training and the desire and motivation to do it consistently for a long time as opposed to the size of engine you start off with.
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.
This is an excerpt from the free Kona Qualifying report I’ve written which is available to download here
“This is crucial. I’ve experienced it myself clinching the last Kona slot in my age group by making a pass in the final 100 mts. Martin Muldoon cites the run as his strength, although Martin is a very strong all round athlete with an excellent swim and bike he sees the run as his strongest. Owen Martin and Alan Ryan also highlight the benefits of having a strong run and finishing strong”
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.