So it has been far to long since I last wrote about my training. Since then I have completed many races (which I have blogged about) and become somewhat deluded into the fact I can get around an Ironman course. I won't go into how deluded I have gotten about the time I can do it in. Today I had a major wake up call (more later) and have decided to attack this problem head on. I have formulated a plan, and part of that plan will included an, at least weekly, reflection on my training.
So I guess I'll start with reviewing the events leading up to this point. This week has not been a wonderful one in training terms. As ever we are working shifts, which means the oh so joyous task of getting out of bed at 4:15 to go to work Tues-Thurs. This of course meant the 15K run I wanted to do would eat into far too much of my evening. Still I went out and, when the heavens opened 10K in, I manged to stick it out and do a third loop, I was so ready to quit after 2 though. Needless to say by the time I got back showered and fed myself it was already bed time, but I had to paint a living room wall. D'oh. I'd much rather shift everyday of the week when we have to do it.
Tuesday started far to early, still I finished earlier. In future I shall use this to my advantage a bit more and try to stick in a 5-10k run or a short turbo session before an early dinner and Masters. Not doing something before Masters was actually a good move this week though. My speed was there but I had naff all endurance. On the second 300m set I had to stop as I cramped in my foot, but I was also feeling a bit nauseous. Still, I persevered and made it through the 2350m session. Tuesday night was not good though, kept waking up as my throat hurt. Uh oh, I'm ill. The 4:15 wake up call bought confirmation, swollen throat glands, blocked nose. Yep I'd got a cold. Balls, Wednesday I had hopes of a cheeky little Turbo/run brick session. Cue rest days on Weds, Thurs, and Friday. Wasn't feeling too bad on Friday night, so if the weather cleared, I could try an easy ride on Saturday.
The rain gave way to a fine mist on Saturday morning and I opted to go for a gentle ride around my 54k loop. 3 drivers tried to kill me in the first 10k. Why overtake if you are going to turn left immediately after overtaking? Why do buses always pull out before indicating? And my favourite, what is the point in overtaking and practically doing an emergency stop before you've finished to let someone walk a horse across the road? How the hell am I meant to see the horse, and how the hell is the rider meant to see me? Well after all those shenanigans the rest of the ride went OK, I got around the 54K in 2:10, an acceptable speed, if not a little faster than planned. Whilst out on this ride I decided that I didn't want to push things too soon, so another, longer, ride would be more suitable on Sunday than a run.
Well, I learnt what a plonker I was on the ride today. My legs didn't feel good going up hills. At 34k when the turn onto the 20k loop appeared I told myself to man up and take the pain. I survived the loop, just about. Had to stop a few times to refuel, and my lower back hurt, but my legs just about held out. I was starting to worry I had remembered the distance wrong, I had, but a crafty shortcut would later fix that. There was a nasty little hill on that shortcut though, with a handily placed cyclist at the top to witness the pain on my face as I summitted the poultry 10m, 5% slope. 65 kilometres in and my world was about to fall apart. It was my nemesis hill, it is only a measly 3%, but it drags on for over a mile, and has a nasty sting in the tail just as you think you've done it. I knew things would be bad as I dropped down to the 30x20 early on. I was ready top cry as I reached the top, I had to stop and stretch.To make matters worse there was still over 8k left to get home. That was one of the more painful 8k rides I have ever made. My quads had blown big time. All I could manage as I walked through the front door was a stagger to the living room and lie on the floor. A few stretches and the pain would not budge. I looked at the foam roller, tried it but only got halfway down my leg. A touch of heat therapy and I was walking again. Great, enough movement to reheat the remains of the curry I made last night, and a couple of hours on the sofa in compression tights.
This ride was actually a good thing. It broke the cycle of delusion that I can do an Ironman of the junk training I have been doing. SO I sat down and applying a 3 weeks build, 1 week recovery, I have formulated a plan for my long rides and long runs over the next 4 months that will see me able to get around Frankfurt, at least I hope it will. Build weeks will go up 10k on the bike, and 2k on the run each week. The real scary thing is, that means 350km of running, and 1710 km of cycling over the next 4 months. This doesn't even account for training during the week, or the France training camp. It also doesn't pencil in any events between the MK half marathon and IMDE, and I really want to get a few sprints and some open water events in. Some hard decisions will have to be made, and that includes my social calendar too. Even though I've been tee total since new years eve, I can't see the opportunity for social drinking any time soon.
The road to IMDE starts here, hopefully I can hang on to the pain train for long enough. Let's hope the next week goes better than the last.