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.
I quickly and carefully back up off that patch of thin, dangerous looking ice and encourage Ash to continue and assure her that I’ll shut up and do what I’m told.
She looks at the plan and starts talking as if explaining to a young child.
“You’re working seven days this week. You can’t do that and do two sessions every day and do a long bike and a long run and recover from it all too. You’ll just fall apart and end up missing days of training. We need to be selective and smart about what training you do when your work load is so high”
She pauses as if waiting for me to come back with “but what if I just did one more run over here?” I somehow resist the temptation and manage to keep my mouth shut.
But we both know what I’m thinking.
It’s always the same at the start of a project. My enthusiasm to train is through the roof and I’m always looking to do more, go harder, train longer and faster. I usually add in little extra bits here and there. The 3 hour ride turns into 3.5 or 4 hours and then I add in an easy hour cycling home that evening. I sneak in a 30 minute strength and conditioning session on my day off. The 60 minute runs stretch to 75 minutes and the long run….well you get the picture.
Then without fail about three weeks into the plan when Ash is starting to ramp up the workload I’m starting to fade. The little bits I’ve been adding on that have had very little impact on my fitness. But they have however affected my ability to recovery from the work I was supposed to do.
So I push the thoughts of tacking on extra training aside and get onboard with the plan.
Ash is in charge.
I’ll do what I’m told.
Most of the time anyway.
Just don’t tell Ash I said that bit…
Let’s get on with the weeks training
Monday 12 2:30 (2)
AM Swim 1:20 3500
This was a Patrick session. Slightly less torturous than usual.
PM Run 1:10 15k
Inc 10k progression tempo
- Energy 7/10
- Motivation 9/10
- Work 4 hours
- Sleep 6.5 good
- Work 9 hours.
- Sleep 7.5 hours
Wednesday 14 4:20 (2)
Swim 1:30 4200
MS 5×400 on 7:10
Splits 7:02, 7:05, 7:04, 7:01, 7:01
Bike 2:50 65.5k 1080 meters ascent
6×10 minute seated big gear hill repeats
A swimmer turned triathlete friend of mine read last weeks blog about Patrick kicking the shit out of me in the pool and left the comment “I like Patrick”
I could just see Dazz sitting there reading with a big grin in his face.
So I replied…
“He does the same stuff you used to do Dazz. He says things like -now we’re going to swim 5×400’s on 7:10 including 10 seconds rest- like that would be the most normal thing in the world, never mind the fact that it’s a physical impossibility. I’m there hanging onto the pool edge and thinking I don’t think I can even do one 400 in that time… and before I get to argue he’s gone gliding away just like Dazz used to do…”
Funnily enough that’s exactly what happened today.
Patrick: “We’re going to do 5×400’s on 7:10 including 10 seconds rest”
And of course I nearly shit myself “I can’t swim that fast I thought”
But of course Patrick was already gone and again I was frantically chasing his feet.
I was stunned to see that we came in on the first 400 in 7:02. I hardly had time to be impressed with myself before Patrick was gone again. We did the the second one in 7:05 which of course meant that I was really only getting a couple of seconds recovery before going again. The third interval was a 7:04 the fourth a 7:01 and the fifth was also a 7:01. We did all of them off 7:10 so I had less than 10 seconds recovery on each.
It often takes someone else setting us targets that we wouldn’t set ourselves to help us break through barriers. Aisling has been doing it for years for me in my training and racing. Setting me sessions that I look at and think “Jesus I don’t think I came do that” but of course you don’t want to admit fear or failure so I give it a go and more often than not I get it done exactly as Ash had it written.
- Energy 7/10
- Motivation 10/10
- Work 7 hours
- Sleep 7.5 hours. Good
Thursday 15 1:20 (1)
Swim 1:20 3600m
- Energy 6/10
- Motivation 7/10
- Work 8 hours
- Sleep 7 hours.
Friday 16 3:40 (1)
Bike 3:40 107k
This session was to include 2 x 1 hour at Ironman race pace and has been a staple of my Ironman training for the last seven years. I really enjoyed it and again rediscovered the love of the tri bike, it’s just so much faster than the road bike and the speed is so enjoyable and addictive.
- Energy 8/10
- Motivation 9/10
- Work 9 hours
- Sleep 7 hours. Broken
Saturday 17 1:20 (1)
Run 1:20 16k
- Energy 6/10
- Motivation 8/10
- Work 7
Sunday 18 4:00 (1)
Bike 4:00 120k
This was to be a longish easy ride and right from the start I was tired but as sometimes happens the further I went the better I felt. I ran out of food and slowed a little in the last hour. A good lesson to re-learn. I need to be mindful of nutrition on all of my long rides.
- Energy: tired starting but felt good the further I went. Ran out of food and slowed a little at the end.
- Motivation 8/10
- Work 5 hours
- Sleep 8 hours. Broken
Total hours/sessions 17:10 (8)
- Swim 4:10 11300 (3)
- Bike 10:30 322.5 (3)
- Run 2:30 31k (2)
- S&C —
- Work 49 hours (7 days)
- Total 32:25 (18)
- Swim 9:40 26,800m (7)
- Bike 16:05 467.5k (5)
- Run 6:40 78.5k (6)
- S&C —
That is probably the most balanced training week I’ve had for a long time. With the exception of missing my long run I got three good swims, three good bikes and two quality runs.
Considering I also worked 7 days this week I’m very happy with how training is going. Of course it’s easy to do that for one or two weeks. Let’s see how well I can keep it together for the next 21….
I haven’t done any S&C for quite a while and that’s probably not going to change for the foreseeable future while work is as busy as it currently is. That is as long as the body continues to hold up and I can keep getting away with skipping it.