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.


Tom said...

Great post mate... probably the most challenging aspect of Ironman training as there's no point in getting to the Kona startline a miserable billy no-mates!

Jevon said...

Or indeed, a Billy no-wife :)