Sunday, 12 June 2011

Known Knowns

So pretty much my training is done. A few more sessions and a race next week and then taper and it will be showtime.

This year I have learnt some more things about myself and my training. I know that it would be hard to get any more training done in my current lifestyle. The tolerance of my family and friends is matched by my stubborn persistence to do the training, but I have found my limit to time and reserves for IM training. I have learnt that probably early season weight training and a big winter running base seem to reduce my propensity to injury. I have learnt that less intensity earlier in the year allows me to manage more later. I have learnt that I can win a race but that this does not motivate me (well maybe a little),

I have enjoyed the company of others in training which helps reduce my "blind" areas but perhaps this is the area for greatest potential. Do we ever take enough notice of what others say. Is this rectified by having a coach? I am starting to see the value of letting others see more of me, the so called hidden areas. Doing IM is not always comprehensible to others and trying to explain the perceived benefits to others makes one evaluate the benefits that you get yourself. Finally remains the unknown unknowns. And I don't know what they are.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Twist or stick?

Time comes as we get to the pointy part of the season, as the ironman race looms large, where we have to start deciding how much more fitness we can get out of the remaining time, and how much risk of injury and illness that final push may carry.

Put simply, and to plagiarise as ever, you've trained to train, your now trained to race an you wonder whether you might just be able to get that bit extra in the last few weeks to train to win (whatever your win might be!)

I know my body pretty well and have no doubts that the weeks 6-3 prerace are where I can make some real differences, but some for good and some for bad. Put simply my goals are to max my running volume, see my bike load climb and sustain or increase my swimming. Much like everyone else then... but with the increased training load comes stress, both the physical from the training itself but also from maintaining the rest of my life as a partner, parent and worker. So after two great days at the Tour of Wessex I bailed on the final day. This was probably necessary as it allowed a faster recovery to get back to the rest of my training programme, and enabled me to be back with my family a day early which was a real pleasure. That said I was still carrying the aches and pains of my bikecrash and was not sure I was on track to meet my goals. Nearly 16 hrs of training in the next 6 days saw me overcome the painful ribs and log some solid running. By Sunday night I was tired, had a sore calf and a bit of a sore throat. Today is a rest day.

So now I have to decide how hard to push this week. The plan says more of the same but the body feels tired and a bit worn. But that's how it is meant to be isn't it? Surely the peak block of training should see you close to your limit but not beyond, so that you can gather up all your fitness gains, shed a bit of fatigue in your taper and go out and smash it. I have done enough IM to know now that so long as I dont crack I should be able to make those goals, but run a risk of getting overcooked!

Twist or stick... I still have enough time to push the envelope a bit more, but will look for signs of real deterioration. If I have two sessions in a row where I feel I cant hit my own goals I will rest 48 hrs and then try again. If the sore throat develops then the same rules apply. If however I can hold it together then I have 12 more days before HIMUK to put those finishing touches towards a PB at IMA.... Oh yeah it is also about this stage in training when we start getting unrealistic ideas about how fast we are gonna go come raceday.