Twenty-Two days till Ironman Australia. Close to, but not quite taper time. I’m already feeling a little bit of the race nerves coming on though. Right there in the back of my mind are those questions. The ones about whether I’ve biked enough, run enough, swam enough or done them at suitable intensities when I have. I’d be surprised if I wasn’t getting these thoughts to be honest. However as of Thursday what happened to my motivation?
Wednesday was an OK day. The weather was a little poorer and with well worn biking legs I decided to focus on a long run. It went well too. The first three hour training run I have done since… Well a very long time ago, in fact I think when I was just training for marathons. It wasn’t perfect, my route wasn’t ideal as it left me without fluids for 90 minutes whilst I ran inland. Dehydration wasn’t a big issue though I’m growing to accept that my failure to hydrate much on runs may be extending the recovery period. Anyway, the run was done and I threw in a somewhat half-hearted swim afterwards (I was tired by then). So overall the day felt pretty successful.
Thursday’s plan was to be a nice easy day to recover from the past 4 days. In that respect I give it a thumbs up. I went out on the bike and didn’t need a bike computer to tell me my legs were dead. Downloading data afterwards simply amused me with a 101BPM average for my heart rate. Yeah, that one was really easy. I should have swam as well, but discovered the main pool was being used for waterpolo and the other one was heavily crowded. I canned it. Right that’s not so bad really, after all it was an easy day?
Friday’s plan was get up early, go swim 5K. Pick up newly rebuilt powertap wheel. Come home and get out for a 4 hour ride. Finish it all off with an hours run. I swam… 3.5K.
What’s up with that? It didn’t start well as I changed my alarm 3 times following a poor nights sleep. I was having a fantastic dream mind you. It’s unsuitable for this blog though, but fantastic… Anyway. When I did get up I arsed about for an hour before getting myself out the door. By the time I got to the pool I was probably about 3 hours later than planned! To be honest the swim wasn’t too bad though. I did a test set to prove my swim times have improved lately and to establish a new baseline for training. They have and I did!
Then I stopped off for brekkie and coffee before making my way to the bike shop and picking up my shiny new wheel. I’d forgotten just how shiny they can be, maybe I should clean mine more often. My phone went off whilst I was in the shop and rather than being the scammers from the Philippines it was my sponsors Jaggad. They had some great news for me, they’d chosen me as one of their athletes to get a free entry to Ironman Oz! I can’t say how pleased I was with that! I’ll be racing in their new custom team kit with a big kangaroo slapped on it. Apparently it’s very bright, but hey that seems to be my criteria for race kit these days! Yes I will also be racing in it in the UK and anywhere else even though I’m not an Aussie. If they actually made British kit in red,white and blue with a badger on I’d race in that.
By this time of day a 4 hour ride was clearly out. I considered a 2 hour run instead, the weather was poor anyway so I was happy to put off the ride. I was also happy to put off the run! I sorted out my training wheels back onto the bike, that didn’t take too long. Then I decided to change my cleats over on my bike shoes. They’re desperately needed I managed to pull my left foot out the other day! This proved to be more difficult than expected. I assume everyone has a preferred stopping leg – the one you unclip and stand on when you come to a stop. Mine is my left leg and on both my road and tri shoes the cleats are mostly worn on this side. Unfortunately to the point that in each case one bolt was well and truly locked in place. Changing two pairs of cleats took me about an hour! It involved allen keys, a pen knife, several screwdrivers, a hammer, a hacksaw blade and some pliers in the attempt.
Long story short I went from one easy day on Thursday to two in a row. Not driven by fatigue just an odd and unsettling lack of motivation. I’ll admit the current very British weather doesn’t help and I actually wish I had a turbo trainer here! There’s other factors though. My plan is a bit to flexible right now and I’m not holding myself accountable enough to it. I am getting good training sessions in, but not always well timed or with a little too much up or down.
Something I’ve considered for a while now is getting a coach. I think a bit of input on structure, plus additional accountability would be a big help. My training in Oz has increased my fitness of that there is no (real) doubt. I just feel that to really make the next step up I need to be a little bit more focussed in how I work. Something I could do myself? Perhaps, but I’m not sure that’s realistic. I’m waiting till after Ironman Oz and will start looking properly once I’m in the UK again. I’m open to any suggestions or recommendations!
So it’s the weekend coming up. Weather actually looks OK. I’ve got my training set-up back in shape and I’m well rested. The plan is to make Saturday a distance focussed day. Get up and get to that pool early for a 5K set (no slacking). Then out on the road for a 6 hour ride with plenty of hills in. Then run straight off that for an hour. Sunday I’ll aim for more modest distances, but a little more intensity. Fatigue allowing of course!