Ever Evolving Training and Racing Schedules

So here I am a few days into my next 3 week training block and to be honest I’m stuck for things to write about. Well technically I’m stuck for new or different things to write about and I’m lacking in new pics for the site. Really this is just to warn you now that you may experience a sense of deja vu during the course of this post.

It’s funny how training ideas evolve during their execution. I came out here with a notion of a basic week of training week in, week out. Then I planned in bigger weeks, along the same structure, but doing more. Which led onto a weekly timetable for the whole of the next year. Now as I execute the first basic week of this training block I find myself planning my daily hours and how this fits around the races I have each weekend. It’s not quite as simple as I imagined.

It has however left me with a lot to consider over the past few days. I’ve advocated a plan of racing a lot, believing it helps eliminate my race nerves, provides good intense training and is a chance to see new places. The flip side of this is it disrupts the training program. You obviously lose a day or some aspect of a day to a race, but what you really have to factor in here is the travel. For example the Port Macquarie Half requires a 7 hour car trip each way along with spending the weekend there. When I plan a big week straight after it I’m losing 7 hours on day 1, that’s hard to make up (though the extra rest time is perhaps a bonus).

It looks like Port has become a solo trip too with the others I knew who were doing it pulling out. Work and life easily make it hard to train and race, I’ve experienced this myself, but you start to forget this when your full time. After all training and racing pretty much is life, if it’s not those it’s eating and sleeping! Being a solo trip also is a reminder of the financial cost of racing, motel rooms, travel expenses, food… It soon adds up to an expensive weekend away.

I think I mentioned a article by Gordo a while back on what was needed to live the pro-athlete lifestyle. He talked of the travel and time impact of races on training and how this can disrupt consistency. Similarly the financial impact involved and the money needed to live as a full time athlete. It’s an interesting read and over a month into the life style I’m starting to appreciate the points much more. I’d regard the Gold Coast as my perfect training location, whilst back home in the UK is the cheap training base. I’ve developed a schedule aiming at consistency over the long run and now I’m reviewing my race and travel plans.

Taking the training disruption and the financial impact, especially as travel cost spiral I’ve slightly altered my schedule. I’m dropping the two Challenge Series Olympic races, as each would provide a weekends interruption to my training and a fairly expensive trip. A more difficult choice, but ultimately sensible one is to also drop plans for the Busso Half-Ironman next May. Financial and logistical issues of moving all my stuff to WA then flying home from there for Lanza aside, with 7 weeks separating Ironman Oz and Lanza I don’t need a race in there. This probably means I’ll come home a bit earlier and head out to Lanza 3 weeks before the race now.

Whilst I’m lightening the load of my racing here I’m still considering what I do with the summer back in Europe. After Lanza I have the whole of June to train in before Roth in July. Then if all has gone to plan it’s time to recover and build towards Hawaii. I’m thinking of a training trip to France, 3 weeks out there in the mountains would be good. Nothing definite in mind yet though. I guess I’ll see how things are going, but if anyone has thoughts on doing some big training during the June and August period I’d be interested to hear. I am considering the Ironman Germany 70.3 in August just to see how I’m going, but if I have the Hawaii slot I’ll not compromise training for that race. I might consider a UK Half in that time if there are any, it should work out cheaper.

As scheduling seems to be the topic of the day I also noticed that the ITU World Long Course is on the 25th of October, far closer to Hawaii than I thought. I may have to start reading up on approaches to doing two long course races in quick succession, I think TeamTBB have some views on that. Not ideal, but if things work out I’ll be doing both. I vaguely entertained the idea of going for a slot for the ITU Worlds on the Gold Coast too, but I’m not sure I can compete with those short course guys! There’s time to reconsider that next year though, I’m likely to be here when the race is happening.

What do you know, a lengthy post anyway. I was going to write up my long ride from the other day. Back through Murwillumbah, down through a place called Mooball and back up the coast. Some quiet roads, beautiful scenery and nice little towns with enticing coffee shops. Plus a vicious headwind and some of the worst road surfaces I’ve been on here. I’m going to save it all though, my plan is to redo the ride when I’m back from WA and take my camera. There’s some fantastic views, not just on the coast but inland in the cane fields. A long ‘easy’ ride with stops to take pictures and definitely checking out a coffee shop or two along the way.

We are out of coffee here, well there is instant if you count that! I may have to squeeze a coffee shop detour into today’s plans and probably a trip to the stores to get some more. Some things are essentials to the endurance athlete!