Things start to unravel at the start of the week forcing a change of plan. Trying to balance the training, work and life can sometimes prove a bit tricky.
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.
Monday 1:00 (1) Work 2 hours
S&C 1:00 John Belton, getting to heavier weights today with some Olympic squatting
Sleep was very poor last night. Woken at 5 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Switched off the alarm at 6, thought it would be better to take today as an easy day and eventually fell back asleep for a couple of hours. Will probably train Friday (which was my planned day off) instead. Felt good during the day.
Tuesday 2:50 (2) Work off
Swim 1:25 4000m
Run 1:25 16k (WNR 1:23:12) This is our hilly 10 mile loop, I ran easy on the climbs and steady on downhill and flat sections. I felt pretty tired & sore from yesterdays gym session but I was very happy with the time considering I was going easy.
Sleep: 6.5 hours poor
Wednesday Work 10 hours
Sleep 5 hours poor
Energy low, tired
Motivation low 4/10
Thursday 1:20 (1) work 9:30-9 11.5 hours
Swim 1:20 3000m
Easy recovery/technique swim. Feel like I’ve been driven over by a bus.
Motivation very low
Sleep 5 hours very poor
This was supposed to be a swim/run but we had someone out sick at the shop so I needed to go in to cover. To be honest it was a huge relief to get out of the pool to see the text. It was like getting a little present. Normally I would spend the day figuring out how to fit the run in later but today I’m just glad of the “out”. Not too sure why I’m not sleeping. Three days of it and I’m flattened. I never respond well to missing sleep, Ais says I need sleep like a toddler, and like a toddler I get cranky and useless when I don’t get enough.
Friday :35 Work 12-9 9 hours
Bike :20 8k
Sleep almost 10 hours.
The only things I can think of that caused the sleepless nights are that I possibly had too much coffee for the last few days and that I’m not switching the head off from work. Anyone who works for themselves knows how difficult it can be to draw a line between work and the rest of your life. I’ve always found it hard particularly as I’m so heavily involved in the sport that the business is based around. It’s great to be able to work at something I love but I need to remember to have boundaries. Particularly mental boundaries. Working until after 9 in the shop then bringing more work home just means my brain is wired and won’t switch off so I lie there for hours trying not to wake Ais (not always successfully) anyway, the lesson for today is switch the head off. Hopefully I sleep again tonight and I’m feeling good tomorrow so that the week won’t be a total write off.
Saturday 1:00 (1) Work 7 hours
Run 1:00 12k
This was an easy run with no efforts. Felt a bit better than the last few days.
Sunday 4:00 (1) Work 8 hours
Bike 4:00 110k
Included close to 3 hours of very Ironman specific intervals. This is one of the most important training sessions we do for Ironman. It not only has a massive training benefit but teaches a huge amount about Ironman racing. It has to be done in a very specific way to gain the maximum effect. If I’m honest I probably went a little too hard but that’s a big part of this session, learning correct pacing.
Weekly total hours/sessions 10:45 (8)
Swim 2:45 7000m (2)
Bike 4:20 118k (2)
Run 2:25 28k (2)
S&C 1:15 (2)
Work 47.5 hours
Month accu. hours/sessions 26:45 (16)
Swim 4:25 11500m (3)
Bike 13:40 352k (6)
Run 7:05 70.5 (4)
S&C 2:40 (3)
Weekly thoughts & wrap up:
It’s been a pretty poor week training wise if you just look at the numbers but it is a very good example of how important it is to have everything set up and going right when we are trying to subject the body to big training loads. As soon as one part of the structure collapses (in this case sleep and recovery) it all overloads very quickly and the whole thing comes apart. To be honest I was probably skirting up to the limit of what I could reach in this block anyway. With close to 60 hours training in the last three weeks I was getting to the stage that I needed a few easy days. The poor sleep just pushed me over the edge and forced the issue. Looking at the overall picture I’m happy with what we’ve achieved this soon and where I am after just 2 months.
You can find all of my training diary updates here
You can read about my background and how I went from smoker to Kona here
If you are interested in talking to us about coaching you can do that here
If you are interested in the most common traits of very high performing Ironman athletes I’ve written about how six athletes qualified for Kona an incredible 29 times and you can check that out here
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.