Sunday, 22 July 2007

Back to reality...

Well, after three weeks of eating just about as much junk food as possible and sitting on my arse all day... 5am on Monday morning was a pretty big shock to the system. It's hard to believe something which was a daily occurrence that I took in my stride a little under two months ago pretty much wiped me out for the entire week! I'm always the same following a big race such as an Ironman or marathon... no sooner have I crossed the finish line than months of discipline go out the door and I turn into Ronald McDonald's number one customer. Following Ironman Austria (last summer) I didn't really get back in to serious training for about six months and subsequently started the new year more than a stone over my ideal race weight (68kgs) which in turn made January and February a real slog. In an attempt to avoid this late season slump H and I entered the Vitruvian Half Ironman on September the 8th which, as it's the national middle distance championships, should provide the motivation required to go hard over the next seven weeks.

Although it wouldn't be sensible to try and train hard from now until the 6th of July and the real build up wont start until midway through January, the plan is for every single day from now to then to be in someway focused toward success next summer. This week was the first of what I hope will be the 50 most focused weeks of my life so far. It certainly started with a bang!

Setting my alarm this time last week I was looking forward to getting back in to the flow of regular training... a few hours later when I was trying to work out what that strange noise coming out of my phone was at what seemed like the middle of the night it didn't seem so sensible. Anyway, managed to hit the pool for 6am and knock out 100 lengths in five 500m technique based intervals and backed it up with a great weights session with Andy KJ before breakfast. That evening an easy 60 minute turbo (static bike) session followed by a light four mile jog finished off a great first day of training and things were looking good. Tuesday brought me back to reality however and what would normally be a pretty straightforward treadmill session of 10 x two minute intervals saw me hanging on desperately and took my heart rate higher than it's been in several years at 188 bpm!! An unusually high heart rate in the weeks following a big event is a sure sign that you haven't recovered fully so I binned the idea of riding in our club 12.5 mile time trial (the Pool Triangle) on Wednesday and took the rest of the week pretty steady. (I'm hoping to stick my training diary on-line in the near future.)

Going into week two I'm already starting to feel good and watching the Tour de France on TV is really adding to my motivation to get out on the bike. Hopefully the rain will stop sometime soon and August can be spent flying round the Yorkshire Dales :) This coming week will see a return to racing of some sort on Wednesday at the Pool Triangle (my last two efforts have been just under 31 minutes but I think I'll be happy with anything under 32 this week) and hopefully a long bike ride (80-100 miles) on Saturday before legging it round Tough Guy on Sunday morning with our running club. The main focus however will be to keep disciplined and effectively manage the non-training aspects of my life. Without adequate sleep, rest and nutrition then productive training is impossible and illness & injury soon follow. I've lost less than five days training over the last two years through either of these two issues which I am sure is largely down to placing sleep before training.

On that note it's off to bed with a little under eight hours until it all starts again,



Jevon said...

Great site, Tom. I've got much work to do to get mine looking even remotely as good as yours. However... as in Ironman... you have inspired me - so I shall try.
Have no doubts about you qualifying for Hawaii and can't wait to share the year with you. Have fun, keep smiling and am looking forward to that training session.
Well... sort of looking forward to it...

Tom said...

Thanks Jevon ;)

Bring that training session on!!!

Jevon said...

Yeah... my site was shamed into renewal by a certain TomandH site !! Like all good film makers... I stole your ideas. :-)

Light training this week then off on Sat for a 2 week adventure holiday with the family to Croatia and Slovenia - white water rafting, canyoning, canoeing, mountain biking, trekking, rock climbing !!! sounds tougher than IMA !!!