I finished last week tired and it was with a lot of relief that I saw Monday down as a day off. Ash will often change my plan on a daily basis if she feels that I’m either handling the training load and the opportunity is there to do more or on the opposite side if I’m not able to she will back it off. It’s just one of the benefits of living with my coach. I get a level of attention and a tailored plan that I really couldn’t get from any one else.

The other side of the whole living with my coach is that she knows if I decide that a 3 hour bike ride should turn into a 5 hour one just because the sun is shining. If I do she will kick my arse. It also means that I no longer get to indulge the idea that I’m the boss…

Click on through for the weeks update…

This week is also the first one in close to two months that I have two days off work. To be honest I feel like I need it. I’m getting to the limit of what I can take of continuous 6 and 7 day work weeks and still train 6 days a week.

The upside of work being very demanding is that it really forces me to focus and get organised. When I’m looking at a week with seven days work and nine training sessions I have to plan it out carefully and I then need to stick to the schedule as closely as possible or I just won’t get everything done.

When I’m pushing this hard I also have to be very mindful of my nutrition and recovery. I have to plan how I’m going to get good food after sessions and I need to get to bed early so that I can recover.

On the other hand if I have loads of time it’s sometimes harder to get the training done. There’s the luxury of thinking that I’ll take the morning off and train later. This then leads to the thought that I don’t need to go to bed so early and maybe I’ll just have this cake for lunch because today is a day off and sure I’ve been training hard and a cake won’t be a problem.

Once I’ve hit that “fuck it” switch I can sometimes have a tendency to really hit it. Repeatedly. All day long. Again and again.

Monday was one of those days and I ate shite all day and stayed up late because I was “off” and because I’ve been working hard and deserved to go a bit nuts.

Tuesday I woke late with what Ash call a “sugar hangover” It felt just like what I remember an actual hangover used to feel like years ago when I drank. The only difference was the lack of nausea, but the headache and a mouth that felt like I’d been licking dogs were both present.

The other thing that was present was the lack of interest in doing any training. I was tired after the late night and felt like crap after a day spent eating cake, ice cream and too much coffee at every opportunity.

I think it’s a good thing to blow off steam and release stress but maybe doing it in a way that doesn’t also compromise the following day’s training might be a better option.

But then maybe that is exactly what I needed. Mentally it can sometimes be more difficult not to train but in weeks like this where I need the recovery that’s exactly what I have to do. Because one of my measures of how my training is going is to look at the overall hours, it can be difficult to get away from the idea that more is better.

So if a week with 15 to 18 hours is good then more must be better and less therefore is worse. By the same measure then this week at only 9 hours of training must be bad or a failure.

There’s a couple of problems with this logic.

  1. The real improvement comes during the recovery, not during the training. So in a week when I feel that I need a lot of recovery I need to remember that I am actually improving, not going backwards. As long that is that I actually take the recovery.
  2. I need to remember that there has to be more than just one measure of a successful week. Total training hours is one measure, quality of recovery is another, quality of the sessions is another.
  3. Life and work stress affect recovery and the ability to continue to push in training. In a period where I’m working almost every day I need to allow that I just can’t keep on training as if I was only working 35 hours a week.

Anyway enough naval gazing, lets look at how the training went.


Monday

Off

  • Energy 6/10
  • Motivation 6/10
  • Work off
  • Sleep 8 hours

Tuesday

Off

  • Energy 3/10
  • Motivation 3/10
  • Work off
  • Sleep 7 hours

Wednesday 2:15 (2)

Swim 1:00 3300m

Run 1:15 14k

Blind pace run 15, 15, 15, 15

This is a session that we use with our athletes to teach pacing and effort awareness. I’ve done variations of it on the bike but this was my first time doing this as a run. The goal is to pace the run completely on perceived effort. I wore my Garmin but wasn’t allowed to look at the pace, speed or use heart rate to measure my effort. I was to run 15 minutes easy then pick up the pace for the next 15 and again for the third 15 minutes. I was to finish with an easy cruise to close out the session.
I have the splits below and I was pretty happy with the results. Ais didn’t want me to go too hard so the effort never got above my Ironman race pace (IMRP)
One of the secondary effects was that the run flew by. Sometimes just slogging through an hour when I’m tired can feel like it takes forever but having to constantly concentrate on what I was doing and regulate my speed depending on whether I was on the flat, a drag or a downhill section kept my head occupied and entertained. There’s also the buzz of getting a session right and the satisfaction of being able to tell the boss I nailed it.

Splits

  • 5:45, 5:45, 5:30
  • 5:05, 5:19, 5:01
  • 4:43, 4:38, 4:41
  • 5:15, 5:12, 5:28, 5:31, 5:12

 

  • Energy 6/10
  • Motivation 6/10
  • Work 9 hours
  • Sleep 8 hours

    Thursday 1:00 (1)

Swim 1:00 2500m

Easy swim

  • Energy 5/10
  • Motivation 5/10
  • Work 9 hours
  • Sleep 8 hours

Friday

Off

  • Energy 7/10
  • Motivation 6/10
  • Work 9 hours
  • Sleep 9.5 hours

 

Saturday 1 1:55 (1)

Run 1:55 26k

Clontarf half marathon 53rd 1:30:50. Race report is here if you want to check it out

  • Energy 8/10
  • Motivation 8/10
  • Work 6 hours
  • Sleep 8 hours. Disturbed

Sunday 2 3:55 (2)

AM Bike 3:30 88k

PM bike :25 9k

Road bike easy ride. Pretty sore after yesterday’s half marathon.

  • Energy 7/10
  • Motivation 8/10
  • Work 7 hours
  • Sleep 8 hours very disturbed

 

Weekly totals

  • Hours / sessions 9:05 (6)
  • Swim 2:00 5800m (2)
  • Bike 3:55 97k (2)
  • Run 3:10 40k (2)
  • S&C —