Quiet week

Whole week since I last posted, time to recover and think about what came out of Epic Camp. I’ve done a bit of both of those, but I’ve still a way to go I think. It’s amazing to look back on the camp and see how much I can train in the right environment, it’s also amazing to see how much it takes to then come back from that.

It was a shock to the system to return to the real world after camp. Eight heavily structured days of training with no distractions and then back into an office for my last 6 weeks of work. One lesson learnt from this – I can’t wait to switch to full time training. The next lesson I’ve learnt since Epic camp is without a schedule I slip into bad old habits… Watching more TV, wasting time on the internet, later nights than I intended and not enough sleep. Recovery could have gone better than it has and largely that’s down to me. I’m sleeping heavily once I go to bed, but when I wake I could have used a few hours more. Not the smartest of choices.

Following camp I took 2 days completely off, absolutely nothing other than the commute to work. The following 2 days I swam a little and threw in a short run at a nice easy pace. I wasn’t 100% sure about running as there’s more injury potential there, at the same time I couldn’t face cycling yet. The run felt ok, and I followed it up the next day with more running, short and easy in the morning and then again to and from Masters in the evening. Another lesson from Epic camp was I could and should run more, and I need more variety in my run pacing. Not added intensity, but simply I rarely run really easy, instead I run closer to my ironman marathon pace all the time. Masters was probably the first introduction to any kind of intensity in training, but fortunately with people away competing the sets weren’t too hard.

Saturday and I swam again first thing as there’s a new open water venue very local to me and without the off putting 6am start. Good to get some open water practice in at the same time I didn’t feel that great in the water. I’d aimed for an easy swim but ended up pacing with the friend I’d gone with. I’m putting the general poor feeling in the water down to recovery from Epic. Another lesson from Epic was swimming a lot benefitted me, somewhere around 15k into the weeks swim I suddenly felt a lot better in the water. Things started to click and that’s been missing from my swim this year – the travel and training camps have made my training more sporadic and lowered the volume.

Sunday I finally got out on the bike after an abortive attempt to ride on Saturday (motivation and life got in the way). It was an odd ride, I didn’t feel great, at the same time I didn’t feel weak. Strong and gusty winds meant that you could go from easily spinning to grinding gears in seconds which wasn’t ideal. Originally I planned for somewhere around 4 hours, but pulled the plug just after 3. The down side of a powermeter on the bike is that sometimes it’s hard to let go of the numbers and take it easy.

Training guilt pushed me into an hours run at the end of the day, could have been a big mistake, fortunately it wasn’t. I tried out the latest fashion accessory in the form of compression socks. I encounter increasing numbers of people using them so it was time to give them a try. Based on a sample of 1 run I’m a convert, though very self-concious running in public in them. Still only one car full of teenage girls felt the need to comment on my dress sense and I didn’t catch what they said over my iPod.

So this week I’m back into training, the final few days before I taper. Things didn’t start well when I turned up to my gym and again they’d not got any towels in. Back again at lunch time when they do have towels and unfortunately a whole lane given over to Aquarobics. All is going well till I start on a kick set and get told off for splashing the aquarobics women. I struggled a bit to come up with something constructive to do until the pool was too crowded and it was time to admit defeat. At least with some nice weather I could go out on the bike for a solid 2 hour tempo ride. Surprising really, my legs hadn’t felt great in the day, but once out there the effort came easily. Was a nice confidence boost having felt a bit off form during recovery week.

Hadn’t entirely intended such a training focussed post and I’m not going to bother to cover any of the usual tangents. It was a quiet week for blog material after a week spent doing nothing but train it was a week spent mostly thinking about my training and plans. No concrete changes, but I may alter a few things in the 12-18 month plan.