It’s been a funny old preparation period for this Ironman. It’s made me reflect on how I’ve been lucky over the previous 24 Ironman races I’ve done. Apart from missing two races completely after surgery I would say that non of my races have been severely compromised through lack of training. Yes I’ve had preparations with more or less motivation and thats reflected in the result but never before has my preparation been taken out of my hands like this. A combination of two bouts of illness and a niggly trigger point and left me feeling decidedly under prepared for this. As this dawned on me a few weeks a go I must admit I felt completely gutted as after Ironman Wales I felt a really good time was there for the taking here – just 2 months solid work. Well … below I’m going to look at the truth of the past couple of months.
The training stress graphs are from mid august till now. The following are indicated:
1. IM Wales
2. Illness – two spells. First just a regular bout of flu for a week. The second was a horrible cough that had me doing nothing for 2 weeks.
It’s clear from all the graphs the drop off in fitness with the first weeks fitness, then a solid period of training followed by the second bout. With my swimming when I finally got over the second lot I was able to get some real quality training done largely because of lack of fatigue from biking and running. It was like I passed a tipping point and suddenly I could really feel the water. I was managing sets of 100s going 1:25, 1:20 and 1:15 – not swum like that since being at University. I’m quite looking forward to the swim this weekend, given good sea conditions and some chasing sharks I should manage a pretty decent time.
IM Wales doesn’t show that well here. This is generally the case as the bike in an Ironman is relatively easy compare to overall fitness.
Following the first illness I was building fitness well and was very motivated but it’s declined since then. The big problem was that riding seemed to aggravate a trigger point which was preventing me running.
It was a huge dilemma for me. I was enjoying my riding and could have cranked on but was really concerned I would just not be able to run. So I eased back, in fact had to go for periods of no cycling. At least now it seems to have cleared up fully.
This is where it gets ugly. You can see that following recovery from Wales and the first lot of illness I managed to built my run fitness back up. I was running well and getting a solid long run in each week.
Stupidly following the second illness I did a single long hill repeats run. Even during it I could feel the outside of my left knee but even more stupidly I continued.
Luckily Helen at 10-Point Tri who as ever was right on the case. A 30 minute call one Saturday night and she’d not only identified the problem but managed to explain over the phone how I could self treat it. I went from not being able to walk downstairs to no discomfort at all. The problem was it came back very easily. At least I knew what the problem was since the treatment worked instantly. Helen told me patience would be required. I understood. She’s come to my rescue numerous times ahead of races so I totally trusted her.
So this brings me to now. I am running completely pain free. I’ve not risked too much running but I have done a long ride. My feeling was that my bike fitness may come back with a solid block so I did a fair bit last weekend but now have eased off.
How can it go on Sunday ? Who knows. Alex has suggested I race to fitness which is a great idea but I’ve no idea what my fitness is. So some predictions. What the hell, may as well.
SWIM: 51:00 T1: 3:00 BIKE: 5:05 T2: 2:00 RUN: 3:59 TOTAL: 10:00:00
At least I’m now looking forward to racing.