Feeling Normal Again


Just got a load of photos from Epic Camp [Thanks Russ]. Here’s one that rather sums up the camp for me – trying to stay on Gordo’s wheel. I did my best most days and it was fun to try but it was pretty clear he could decide to drop me at will. Pleased he decided to allow me to hang with him for a while most days !

This morning I woke and felt like a changed man. My motivation was right up there, heart rate back down, I felt like I had a spring in my stride and I wanted to train. Amazing – only yesterday I was still knocking sessions on the head, dosing on the sofa in front of Wimbledon despite averaging over 10 hours sleep a night for 5 nights. I can’t remember a period of feeling so completely zonked.

Between doses I read Mark Allens description of a taper and it made me more positive. His second week described me perfectly and I consoled myself believing that I must be tapering (and recovering) awesomely well to feel like this.

The change started last night when I mustered the motivation to go swimming. As Germany may be none wetsuit I wore my Blue Seventy. I stormed in the pool, even taking into account the suit I was swimming well. We did a main set that was a broken set of 24 x 100m and I was nailing them close to 1:15 in the early part and even as I fatigued I maintained sub 1:20.

Yesterday I also managed a decent run at last. I met Jo at lunch time and joined her for her tempo run. She had “40 minutes at L4” – should be a nice pace but given my lack of running and the way I was feeling my goal was purely to hang. Hang on I did – just. My shoelace coming undone didn’t help matters but I managed to claw my way back. Jogging to swimming I felt so much better and then this lunchtime I ran with Steven and was starting to feel comfortable.

This morning, despite the sudden arrival of motivation I stuck to the advice of “don’t be tempted to test your fitness” and to just do small bouts of intensity. Gabriel was there hammering out some fast laps (see his blog for a great entry giving a bit of the history of the solstice 100 miler) – I joined him and decided to do some spurts. I’d drop back and then work hard past getting up to 27 or 28mph – felt really solid and cheered me up immensely. Plan was to head home after 25 miles or once Simon arrived (I had club kit for him) whichever was later. Simon turned up and we did a couple of chatty laps before I headed home.

Feeling a lot more positive but still this is an interesting tapering exercise. This is how the 4 weeks leading to IM Germany is looking like panning out:

•Week -4: 58 hours training

•Week -3: 8 hours – all on the bike

•Week -2: 28 hours

•Race Week: 12 hours

Not a typical taper and far from what I’d planned. It is how it is and now I’m feeling a lot more ready for the race and finally starting to look forward to it.

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