Much Needed Rest

Been enjoying some wonderful rest since Kona. I have done absolutely no exercise since the race. That’s over 2 weeks now where I’ve not even swam or ridden my bike to the shops. I’m trying to be good about my rest to set a good precedent for my approach to training when it starts again on Thursday (1st Nov).
Much of my time has been spent not thinking about triathlon at all though much of it has. Reviewing the year and planning for next. I’ve been to parties and stayed late and even slept in past lunchtime on a couple of occasions. Today has been wonderful clear blue skies and I haven’t even felt guilty about not getting out on the bike. Numerous nights of 10+ hours sleep make me hope I am making a deep recovery. The only concern is my back is very sore following a run in with a 4 foot wave in Maui the Thursday before we left.
Looking back at this years racing I can see that Lanzarote was the highlight and my racing has gone downhill since then. Kona was definitely my worst performance this year and my worst IM ever. Can’t really complain since it was still a pretty ok race. Looking back and comparing my preparations coming into my races it is clear that I was in a far better position going into Lanzarote than any other race. Much can be put down to niggly injuries – getting ill after Lanzarote, ankle and then hamstring following Switzerland certainly resulted in miniscule run training through most of the summer. However, I feel a lot was down to mental attitude. I got fairly down after Lanza and didn’t snap out of it. I think I used illness and injuries as a good excuse to cut back on planned training – particularly run training. I think in a better frame of mind it wouldn’t have impacted me so much. I look at Jo and Raf who both did all the Ironmen races I did and look how they just progressed from race to race culminating in their best races at Kona. From being 3 minutes behind Raf and over an hour ahead of Jo at Lanzarote – in Kona I was an hour behind Raf and Jo was within 30 minutes of me. Clearly I should have been prepared enough to go faster. They are both younger than me so I can imagine they can adapt quicker to training but to me it’s clear how much the summer cost.
I’m still trying to make out why I let the normal post race blues become a poor summers training. One thought is I never really committed to proper rest after the race. I rested on paper but felt I should be back training and got tempted. In my planning for next year I’ve already scheduled full periods of rest and am mentally walking through these periods trying to ensure I will rest.
There is still some review to be done so there may be more on this in later posts.
As for next year here are some of the races and goals as they currently stand. Till 1st Jan they are subject to change !
• Ironman New Zealand – qualify for Kona 2008, low 9 hours, top 10 overall
• Ironman Germany – sub 9 hours
• Ironman Wisconsin – qualify for Kona 2009
• Kona – better than this year !

If you are interested here’s abit of a summary of the past few weeks.

Pre Race
Really enjoyed the build up to the race. I swam every morning as planned. This initially was on my own with very few other competitors. Within a few days it increased to maybe 100 and by a week before the race there were tonnes and tonnes of people. Early in the week John arrived, then Jo at the end of the week and finally Rafael – so by the week up to the race we had a nice group meeting at 7am each morning to swim the course. For the final few days there was a little boat 700m serving expresso !! In the first week john and I swam with Dolphins ! The kayaker near us said they’d been following for several minutes before they decided to come alongside and under us. They were within touching distance and swam along with us for a couple of minutes – awesome !
Got to know the Queen K highway like the back of my hand including in some very strong winds. IN such conditions John and I cycled out to Hawi and back – reckon it unnerved him abit. I just felt it would be so much easier on race day with no traffic.
Managed to follow my ‘Mark Allen’ taper and felt I’d manage to get myself as well prepared as I could given the time since clearing up my run injury.

Post Race
Went to Maui with Jo, my mum, her mum, sister and John. Had a reasonably relaxed time. Saw some of the Island. On the Thursday we went body boarding and I got caught and tossed around by a wave which dumped me directly on my right lower back onto the sand. I could hardly walk. Even now nearly two weeks later it’s pretty uncomfortable. It’s a big worry that come Thursday I won’t be able to start training because of this. Rounded off the trip with seeing the Sunrise from the top of the volcano – absolutely awesome.

Back In The UK
Usual blues. However, still desperate to go to Kona again and my motivation to train for New Zealand is increasing by the day.
Been enjoying some wonderful rest since Kona. I have done absolutely no exercise since the race. That’s over 2 weeks now where I’ve not even swam or ridden my bike to the shops. I’m trying to be good about my rest to set a good precedent for my approach to training when it starts again on Thursday (1st Nov).
Much of my time has been spent not thinking about triathlon at all though much of it has. Reviewing the year and planning for next. I’ve been to parties and stayed late and even slept in past lunchtime on a couple of occasions. Today has been wonderful clear blue skies and I haven’t even felt guilty about not getting out on the bike. Numerous nights of 10+ hours sleep make me hope I am making a deep recovery. The only concern is my back is very sore following a run in with a 4 foot wave in Maui the Thursday before we left.
Looking back at this years racing I can see that Lanzarote was the highlight and my racing has gone downhill since then. Kona was definitely my worst performance this year and my worst IM ever. Can’t really complain since it was still a pretty ok race. Looking back and comparing my preparations coming into my races it is clear that I was in a far better position going into Lanzarote than any other race. Much can be put down to niggly injuries – getting ill after Lanzarote, ankle and then hamstring following Switzerland certainly resulted in miniscule run training through most of the summer. However, I feel a lot was down to mental attitude. I got fairly down after Lanza and didn’t snap out of it. I think I used illness and injuries as a good excuse to cut back on planned training – particularly run training. I think in a better frame of mind it wouldn’t have impacted me so much. I look at Jo and Raf who both did all the Ironmen races I did and look how they just progressed from race to race culminating in their best races at Kona. From being 3 minutes behind Raf and over an hour ahead of Jo at Lanzarote – in Kona I was an hour behind Raf and Jo was within 30 minutes of me. Clearly I should have been prepared enough to go faster. They are both younger than me so I can imagine they can adapt quicker to training but to me it’s clear how much the summer cost.
I’m still trying to make out why I let the normal post race blues become a poor summers training. One thought is I never really committed to proper rest after the race. I rested on paper but felt I should be back training and got tempted. In my planning for next year I’ve already scheduled full periods of rest and am mentally walking through these periods trying to ensure I will rest.
There is still some review to be done so there may be more on this in later posts.
As for next year here are some of the races and goals as they currently stand. Till 1st Jan they are subject to change !
•Ironman New Zealand – qualify for Kona 2008, low 9 hours, top 10 overall
•Ironman Germany – sub 9 hours
•Ironman Wisconsin – qualify for Kona 2009
•Kona – better than this year !

If you are interested here’s abit of a summary of the past few weeks.

Pre Race
Really enjoyed the build up to the race. I swam every morning as planned. This initially was on my own with very few other competitors. Within a few days it increased to maybe 100 and by a week before the race there were tonnes and tonnes of people. Early in the week John arrived, then Jo at the end of the week and finally Rafael – so by the week up to the race we had a nice group meeting at 7am each morning to swim the course. For the final few days there was a little boat 700m serving expresso !! In the first week john and I swam with Dolphins ! The kayaker near us said they’d been following for several minutes before they decided to come alongside and under us. They were within touching distance and swam along with us for a couple of minutes – awesome !
Got to know the Queen K highway like the back of my hand including in some very strong winds. IN such conditions John and I cycled out to Hawi and back – reckon it unnerved him abit. I just felt it would be so much easier on race day with no traffic.
Managed to follow my ‘Mark Allen’ taper and felt I’d manage to get myself as well prepared as I could given the time since clearing up my run injury.

Post Race
Went to Maui with Jo, my mum, her mum, sister and John. Had a reasonably relaxed time. Saw some of the Island. On the Thursday we went body boarding and I got caught and tossed around by a wave which dumped me directly on my right lower back onto the sand. I could hardly walk. Even now nearly two weeks later it’s pretty uncomfortable. It’s a big worry that come Thursday I won’t be able to start training because of this. Rounded off the trip with seeing the Sunrise from the top of the volcano – absolutely awesome.

Back In The UK
Usual blues. However, still desperate to go to Kona again and my motivation to train for New Zealand is increasing by the day.

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