This time between Ironman Lanzarote and Ironman Switzerland is far from going to plan. The hope had been weeks rest, 2 weeks build, 2 week taper. Into the third week of that and it’s all been a little bit random. I’ve not managed much running at all with only a couple of genuine running sessions since Lanzarote. Biking is going well since I managed the tour of Wessex then this last weekend piled on the mileage and then on Tuesday managed a further 140 miles. Swimming hasn’t been big on volume but the quality has been good largely due to the extra coached swim session the club has now got. It means I’m doing 3 x 90 minute coached session. Once in the swing of things I will add at least one long steady swim session to get a consistent 20+k a week.
Unfortunately there have been some niggles. To start with following the Tour of Wessex I got a tummy upset and even now more than 10 days later it’s not completely cleared. I tried starving it out yesterday which seems like it’s helped but may have to go see the doc about it. Not feeling ill but not ideal for the energy levels. Also my calf has tightened up after the weekends cycling. It start on Sunday but Monday was pretty easy and it felt great on Tuesday till about the last 10 miles when it really tightened up. I managed to see the Physio Wednesday morning – she did a load of massage and acupuncture and it seems to have helped alot. I’ve had this in the past and riding the fixed has helped which I did this morning and again it seems to have helped ease it off. Seeing the physio again Friday afternoon so hoping it will be cleared up enough not to interfere with the Weekends planned cycling. All this massively disrupts my routine and when I’m not my routine my nutrition goes to pot. I’ve had more than my fair share of bad eating days and the pounds I put on after Lanzarote on not coming off very easily. I’m concerned now that far from racing lighter in Zurich I could end up racing heavier.
Does this mean I should re-assess my Switzerland goals – I don’t think so. Each of the past few seasons I’ve had a spell of a few weeks without running for various reasons and I seem to have performed well off the back of it so am staying positive. At the start of the year I stated some goals for my key races (this translates to pinning them on my bathroom mirror and attaching them to the inside of my wallet). For IM Lanzarote it was sub 10 hours and top 3 – so I managed this. For IM Switzerland it was sub 9.15 and top 3. That is still the goal.
As for specific focus for this race… I’m in the lucky position of being able to try stuff out with this race since it ultimately isn’t important. A couple of things I’ve decided to do:
- Get in the thick of it in the swim start. This means I fully intend to position myself to try for the best line to the first buoy. This will mean getting in amongst the worst of the argie bargie but the aim is to find some fast feet and get a good time.
- On the run I’m going to push from the beginning. What does this mean? The plan is to go just a little faster than I think is possible. I.e. I hit the feeling I know I can maintain for the distance and take just a little bit more of that feeling. I need to find out whether I am successfully accessing my limits in the run or whether I need to push harder.
It could get messy! Whatever the outcome the idea is to learn something useful for Kona later in the year
I saw a sports psychologist this afternoon and spent a very productive 2 hours with him. My initial reaction is excellent. I feel I came out with some very good insights and potential techniques for use in races and in my preparation. I need some time to mull stuff over and try things out but at the moment it seems like a very good exercise. He also made me think clearly about my goals not just for this season but also for the longer term within triathlon and longer term about life in general and how they link. Not ready to fully articulate here but suffice to say we discussed goals and ambitions that were there but I’d never been willing to say aloud to myself.