Firstly, above everything else I’m pleased to say I’m walking normally again! I rebuilt my bike and am optimistic that this weekend I’ll be able to sit on it again. The long rides might have to wait till the next week, but it’s a start.
Aside from this I’m frustrated. Frustrated because I can’t get back into training yet and I feel more than ready. Plus frustrated with my racing so far this year. Two major races and two under-par performances. I’m willing to accept that neither race has been representative of my fitness, but as the year goes on the lack of good results is a problem. Perhaps it’s amplified by the fact I’m sitting at home without much to do. I can’t help feeling like I’m just wasting time right now.
Surprisingly despite the negative tone, I don’t actually feel that negative. My mind has already turned to the next opportunities to get the results I want. When I signed up for Ironman UK a couple of months back it was purely for fun. I didn’t expect it to become my last chance for a Hawaii slot this year! That’s changed my intentions for the race and also for Roth three weeks before.
A quick check of the calendar says I’ve got six weeks till Roth and nine till UK. That three week gap between the two becomes much more critical now. The original plan was to race Roth hard and see what happens in Bolton. Now the imperative is to be in top shape on August 2nd. What does that mean for Roth? I will try to hold back, at least on the run. My plan now is to ride my training wheels and use Roth to collect some useful Ironman power data.
Run pace is probably the key to recovery from Roth. Much as it’ll go against my nature I really will try to hold back. Roth to Ironman UK is then an experiment in active recovery. Looking to get the body moving and fit to go fast in a matter of 3 weeks. The fitness I take into Roth is the best I can expect to have in the UK. After all of that I can have a proper rest!
In the mean time I’ve enough time to work on fitness a little bit more. My experience in Lanzarote showed me that I can quickly turn around from declining fitness in recovery and build to a new peak. I hadn’t expected my training over there to go a little beyond the point I’d reached in Oz. The fact it easily did, gives me some confidence I can do it again in the next few weeks. I also learnt I could taper quite quickly, no more than two weeks. Though to be fair with injury being the race limiter I don’t know how well my taper would have really let me perform.
I failed to fully deliver on my intentions to race lean in Lanzarote. I was some of the way there, but it stalled in the last week of taper. This will not happen for either Roth or the UK. I’m aiming for a return to my race weight from two or three years ago. First step in the process is no post race indulgences. The next step is a focus on plenty of protein, good fats and a very controlled amount of carbs. The approach was working out in Lanza and I am now sold on many of the principles in the Paleo diet. Not touched a slice of bread since I’ve been home!
A reduction in weight will help, but the main focus of the next month is going to be running. I have complained about my running on and off for months now. It’s time to really deal with it and address what I think the problems are. Part of the approach is a simple challenge of 30 runs of 30 minutes in 30 days. Setting me the task of performing a minimum of 30 minutes a day from the start of June. Frequency isn’t the only component though. More focussed speed and hillwork along with the regular long run and some tempo sessions. Cycling may have to go into maintenance mode to fully allow this, I’ll see how it feels.
I’m going to sign up with a gym next week, specifically the local council gym scheme. The aim will be two or three focussed weight sessions a week. They were part of my training in the past and I felt better for them. I know it’s an area of contention, but as an athlete without time limitations there’s room.
Better mention swimming for completeness. I do swim frequency, that’s for sure. What I don’t do well – intensity. Plain and simple I need to incorporate more hard swimming into my training. Less cruising round the lake and more hard laps and paddle work.
So there’s the next couple of months for me. An intense and focussed period of training to really get on top of thing. At the end I want to be in Kona shape for Ironman UK and finally snag that slot.