Monday, 23 February 2009

What is the bigger picture? Macro- Meso- Microcycle

So I reckon that if I swim at least 15000m a week for 8 weeks, cycle 250 miles for same and run about 50 miles a week in the build phase of my ironman prep (weeks 13-5) then I should be on for Kona or there abouts (see older post somewhere). Problem is that represents 26 hours+ training a week never mind the getting dressed undressed washed prepped etc. Add to that some recovery time and we are talking in the region of 40 hours a week.

Devoted as I am to my goals I could not do this whilst maintaining a career, family and marriage and whilst to some it would appear that these are not limiters I do Ironman to add quality to my life and not to take away (macrocycle or big picture). To maximise my benefit from the training I do it is probable that I have a tendency to go a bit harder than is ideal in an effort to get more, but maybe this helps me to do just that.

I do know that I can nail about 17-20 hrs training in a working week when I have everything on song (the mesocycle). This requires all the usual planning and a clear limit to the timescale over which this will occur (about 4-5 weeks), otherwise the rest of the life starts to build up and things start to get in the way. I have also become much more disciplined in my response to niggles and injuries and I will readily not do a session if I think injury is a likelihood (although this last Autumn would suggest otherwise).

This might give 6-8 weeks of 10 hrs cycling 5 hrs running and 3hrs swimming which aint too be sniffed at(microcycle). Add a week or two where I push the limits a bit and who knows what I might achieve but I still think a breakthrough for me will come in my fifties (thats probably extending the definition of macrocycle a bit far) when my kids are at Uni and my life may be simpler.

So what I am trying to say in a long winded way is that I am starting to accept that the limits in my performance will be due to external limiters (time) but in reality it is the internal limiters that ultimately count: I like my life, family and career too much to let the necessary obsession overwhelm me. The problem is this gives me an excuse to accept a "lesser" performance because I did not have the time to do the training I would have liked, and this can be demotivating....
So I need to put up a goal. That will be 10 hrs 45 mins for Lanza including a sub 1 hour swim and a sub 6 hr bike (see last years results)... that should do for the motivation.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Getting whupped by the young 'uns

So yesterday I did the Hell of Ashdown which was essentially a 62 mile sportif over all the hills they could find in and around the Ashdown forest in Kent and Sussex. I new it was gonna be cold and bottled out of riding there and back as well as the ride itself and settled on a plan to go hard as I could.

Just after I started a trio charged past me and up the first hill. I chased hard and caught up on the descent when we all slowed due to the ice here and there on the road. A bunch of 5 me included proceeded to run along at a good lick. The first few climbs I managed to hang on but with the successive hills the youth soon started to gap me on the climb and I had to work to catch up each time.

After a water stop I set out on my own into a strong headwind. All was going well and I had a nice rhythm going and was gently passing cylists and apart from 2 keen club cyclist pacing each other was not myself being passed. Then 2 things happened: firstly Ollie another trilondoner said hello as we waited for the only set of lights in the day to change before vanishing up the hill without a back ward glance, then we got caught in a blizzard. My mojo went completely and I decided a safe roll in was the best way to cover the last 15 miles (which turned out to be 6!) and with only 4 miles to go I blew a rear tire and had to change it in the sub zero. Following other bike tracks through the snow is a novel way to navigate through a cycling event but worked OK

At the end I felt a bit dejected because I thought my bike was going strong but all is not lost. Firstly Ollie ripped the legs of everyone there that day to post the fastest time of anyone secondly, well i did not do too bad all things considered.

What have I learned. I think it is time to use a bit of bike competition to get me going that bit harder on the bike rides.... so its time to find a new partner or two!! Also I reaffirmed the knowledge that bikes and snow dont mix.