Little motivational picture. This is from Kona last year, Jo had had an awesome race I’d had a pants one but you can tell from all the smiles it was well worth it anyway. Following that I promised myself I’d be properly prepared for next time. Come this summer I must remember this as I take on probably the toughest block of training I’ve ever attempted.
I can never remember being this completely wasted. Immediately after Epic I felt great and forced myself to take it easy. I felt I was going to completely nail the Thursday morning 100 miler and with that confidence I felt comfortable pushing it along. My collapse was horrible, being more or less unable to turn the pedals is not a nice feeling. It wasn’t hunger knock – Gabriel gave me a torq bar but it made no difference. It didn’t feel like I remember hunger knock feeling. I was just toast.
Since then I have felt so lethargic. Just look at my sleep – Thursday night 12.5 hours, Friday night 10.5 hours and last night 9 hours. On top of that if I’ve sat down and relaxed I’ve ended up dozing. I’ve done nothing since then. In fact, I’ve spent most of the time with a pair of running shorts on as I’ve always been thinking I’d go out for a run soon but each time just haven’t had the motivation to do it. You get doubts that you are losing fitness but my logical side keeps saying no – you’ll only get fitter if u let your body take the rest it clearly needs.
Today I felt lethargic when I got up and made no efforts to get out on the bike but after getting up I felt really enthusiastic. Feel like I want to train and have been considering a run. Part of me thinks I should leave it one more day from feeling like this. We will see… I am happier now as I feel I’m through the worst of this feeling and perhaps I made the right decision doing nothing since the 100 miler.
I asked Scott Molina on the final night of Epic for any thoughts on how I should change my training. He said that sometimes you have to be patient. I should stick with what I’m doing. I asked Gordo as well post camp and he concurred “Stick with what you’ve been doing… great advice from Molina. I would concur based on what I saw”. Very pleased with this. I’ve been happy with what I’ve been doing and felt that breakthroughs wouldn’t need dramatic change but just small things – especially consistency with my nutrition. However, I’ve been getting an underlying vibe from various training partners that I should cut the volume and increase the intensity. My gut reaction has always been my performances seems to be validating my approach for now, but it’s slowly got to me that I was having doubts. I’ve had a little rework of my training plan for Kona post Germany. Not major changes just put back some LONG rides – these are sessions I’d removed that I’d been a big believer in. Still included focussed bike sessions – ie specific repeats to do but now have some long steady rides with a run off as well.
The other advice Gordo gave was work on technique. Get my stroke video’d underwater – this just reaffirms what I’ve been told before. Work on overall flexibility to improve my position on the bike. This is a new one – the comments have generally been that my aero position is very good, I have a flexible back and can maintain a good aero position. I have adjusted my road bike to work on being more aero there. Finally Gordo mentioned removing the tension in my body when I run. This really hits a cord as I always look in agony when I run and my mum has often said I would run faster if I had the right facial expression. He says I could get big results from improving my running economy. Running economy is something I think about a lot when running but hadn’t made the connection with the tension that’s clearly visible in any photos of me running. I want to work on this. The question is how do I improve it (answers on a postcard please) as I’m really quire unaware of the tension when I’m running.