Training Environment

TrainingEnvironmentWe’ve been in Christchurch nearly a week now and are starting to get settled, establish a routine and feel like we know our way around. We now can navigate round Christchurch reasonably well, we’ve met a local bike shop owner, can talk like a local having down the Short Bays and Long Bays rides and tomorrow we’re heading out to do the Gorges ride. We know several decent running routes and have manage two sessions with the local swim squad.

The swim squad is well set up with a session starting at 6am and another starting at 7am. With a 10 lane 50m pool which is half the time set up as two 25m pools there is loads of room. We’ve been going to the 7am session and it lasts over 90 minutes. I’m about middle of the second lane so am really getting pushed and fully expect my swimming to come on in leaps and bounds.

Scott took us out on a ride on Sunday. He introduced us to Cameron who owns a local bike shops. I had abit of an awful squeak when I’m out of the saddle and he’s offered to take a look. I remember Scott saying something about this being a pretty steady ride, almost apologising that it would be slow. So when we cracked out of town at over 20mph I was slightly surprised. After 2 hours I got into it and after 3 we’d managed more or less 60 miles. Jo and I tagged on to get over 100. Jo is clearly starting to feel full of beans as this is the second ‘tag’ on … a few days ago as we came down Dyers pass Jo felt we should climb it from that side to see whether it was tougher than the other way … it wasn’t. The picture above is me at the top of Dyers Pass.

I am getting into a routine now – have ridden the past 6 days, run the past 5 days. In the past 6 days I’ve swum 19.5km, biked 424 miles and run 46 miles. I find once I’ve established a “good” set of numbers like this I’m easily motivated to maintain them. Tomorrow is a long ride so will hit 500+ miles for a week !

For some reason I’ve been thinking a lot whist I’m here what motivates me. It’s pretty clear it’s not ‘success’ – any good performances I’ve had are rather like the gravy. I find targets of performance in a race very difficult to get me out and training. Roger has recently been giving me excellent pep talks via email. Getting me focussed on Kona rather than the intermediate races. He’s helped a lot with me looking at what I want to achieve but when I try to translate that into getting out and training day to day it doesn’t work. I could go a whole year without racing but instead have the goal of, say, averaging 500 miles a week of cycling (probably not much running or swimming ;o) – that would get me out of bed far more often than say getting a sub 5 hour bike split. I do these things because I enjoy them not because of success. Looking back at my fell running days – I rarely raced but did some monster days / weeks of running. Either on my own or with Alan. We didn’t need any accolades it was enough to enjoy it together over a pint that evening. When I started cycling I’d regularly head off just to see how far I could get – pick some distant spot on the map and get there (and back) – I was pleased as punch if I did it. My mum or sister may have been impressed / thought me bonkers but there was nothing more than that. It was sufficient for me to know I’d done it. It’s why I don’t tend to do these Cyclo Sportifs events – by definition it’s not that great an achievement as so many people do them. But get a map, pick a point 100 miles away – cycle there and back on your own, un supported. OK, u can’t tell you’re mates you did the XYZ event, so they won’t understand but you’ll know u did something special.

Thats a long winded way of saying I’m going to try to get back to that sort of thing and with luck I’ll also get some good Ironman performances. I must admit that here in New Zealand long rides on your own are  a little more intimidating – places are so remote and I know so few people out here to rescue me !! The sense of satisfaction will be awesome. Still hoping to make Arthurs Pass and back … recce’d the first bit – will be quite a 200 miler.

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