Your life needs to be uncomplicated for triathlon.
Maybe that’s not quite accurate. Your life needs to be uncomplicated for Ironman. I think you can only have so many draws and pulls on your time and attention before you start to drop things.
Kona Secrets book available
Kona Secrets: Lessons learned from over 50 Kona Qualifications.
Knowledge doesn’t produce results, action does. Just knowing how to do something doesn’t guarantee success, especially something as difficult as qualifying for Kona; you have to put in the hours. In this book I share some of the lessons I learnt between being a back-of-the-pack beginner to qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
Or start to lose focus. Or maybe just shift focus.
People ask me all the time how I fit in all the training. I usually answer that Aisling is very supportive or that I have flexible hours running our business or simply that I love the training. And I guess that all of those things are true but they’re also just the easy, quick answers.
I think that maybe a more accurate one is that for a long time I’ve kept the rest of my life outside of training very uncomplicated.
I suppose in a way, for years we’ve built our life around our training. Actually it would be more honest to say that we’ve built our lives around my training and racing. What time we go to bed at, what time we get up. What hours I work, how often we go out and how early we come home.
We’ve even chosen where we live based on the proximity to the swimming pool I was training in and how easy the access is to the roads I like to ride on or the trails and mountains are to run or walk in.
Those choices might seem perfectly normal to a triathlete but could also appear a bit over the top to someone who isn’t an athlete. But choosing where we live based on how easy it is to ride the bike on quiet roads or how much we love to run in the forest seems perfectly rational to me. Normal even.
And it makes a part of the training easy. I don’t have far to go to cycle in the country. Only about 50 metres to be accurate. And we have a room at home set up with bikes on turbo trainers and a treadmill if I can’t get outside to train.
Removing impediments to getting a session done became a priority years ago. We realised that the easier it was to do, the more likely it was to get done.
But then despite all of that preparation things can still get complicated. Life can start to get in the way of triathlon and training. We moved house and now live in the country which makes running trails and riding on quiet roads easier but it has also thrown up a complication. The house and gardens need work and for the first time in my life I want to do the DIY and to work in the garden.
I did not see that coming.
DIY, jobs at home, drilling, digging, building all just took away from my training time in the past. But now when I’m out on the bike I’m looking forward to getting home and working on whatever project we are currently on in the house. In fact I’m cutting rides short because I want to be at home with Ais in the house or the garden.
For a number of months now I’ve been fighting against the competing pulls on my time and attention. In the past I’d quite happily ride the bike or train all day but recently I’d started to have other things taking precedence over eight hour training days.
I guess things are cyclical. We build then rest, there’s an on and off season, we train and recover. Sometimes training is a priority, sometimes it’s not.
I’m not sure if I’m going through an “off” in respect to Ironman. Or if maybe I’m finished with it. Either way I am taking this year off.
I’m still riding once or twice a week and trying to run a couple of times a week too, (not always successfully). As usual the swim is a bit hit and miss, it’s more like fortnightly at best. But I’m enjoying the sessions I am doing, even if they are more often coffee rides than anything you could call training.
I think that swimming, biking and running will always be a part of our lives. But for now it will be a bit less all consuming than it has been for the past few years.
Chasing Kona eBook available
From smoker to back of the pack triathlete to the Ironman World Championships.
Read about how I overcame all of the odds and discovered what it would take to get to the Ironman World Championships – my eBook is now available to buy as an eBook on Amazon UK, Amazon US, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes
It is also available as a paperback at Wheelworx.