Went for a gentle 4 hr ride today. It was hard work. As someone who feels I should be able to ride for 4 hrs without much fuss it came as a surprise as I started to find in the last hour that I had become one paced (slow) and tired. I recognised that I had done some reasonable training in the week and some fatigue had developed: I know I have not done many long rides in the last 6 weeks with one thing and another: and yet still I expected to be able to ride better than I did.
This self image reminds me that it is hard work that enables me to be the person I imagine. It is not some divine innate genetic makeup, it is not anymore the youth, and it is not a consequence of opportunity to train. This hard work AKA training is achieved by doing the sessions in spite of myself. Trying not to lie in on a Thursday morning because it sounds like it is raining outside and the ride will be wet and cold and dark! Not expecting myself to be able to just swim faster because I should do by now, I have had enough practice, but to remember it is the consecutive sessions that make me faster, not the single session.
Running is where I believe I have most to gain in my drive to become a more complete Ironman. With my goal to qualify for Kona next year I felt that I really need a strong focus to put down some big base running numbers. I attribute this years IM mara PB to a number of things including a greater amount of running!! I dont think this game is rocket science. With this in mind I plan to take on the Jurassic Coastal Challenge which is 3 hilly marathons in 3 days running along the coastline of my youth between Poole And Weymouth and beyond. The challenge will be to try and complete this within myself so to speak.. probably a big ask but without this strategy I might well blow a large hole in any IM training planned through April and May.
The plan is to try some everyday running (just as soon as my calf injury clears up). I plan to try and string together a minimum 6 runs a week through November and December. 30 mins will be enough to qualify as a run but an overall average to exceed 40 minutes a day (which at 4 hrs a week is close to what I can sustain based on previous years). The idea is to build in straightforward resilience to injury (although this could be a good way into injury!) so it looks like my alarm clock is going to be a bit earlier and I think i could do with a new headlamp.
We will see how strong my appetite for this hard work is, I still plan to ride and swim so will need to be conservative in my efforts across the week. I hope that by the end of December I will be running strong and ready then to move into some more extensive run training to get me ready for a 3 day ultradistance endurance challenge.