Getting Taupo Ready

GettingTaupoReady.jpgIt’s over a week since my last entry. I was struggling with getting back in to things after the exhaustion from Epic Camp. I now call it exhaustion – hindsight allows me to see just how tired I was. If I’d had another day of Epic i could have hammered for another day but as it was my body just kind of switched off to recover. It shows how much the mind plays in terms of fatigue. You know how long you have to go for and you somehow meter out your efforts to cover it (Central Governor).

I thought I’d go through what I’ve done since then to get me to now where I’m feeling pretty positive about my level of readiness.

On Thursday I did my long run. I extended the Godley Head loop at start and end along the flats and also stuck by the coast rather than take the road. Managed to push the pace at the end. Despite feeling pretty jaded on the bus to the start I felt good running.

Friday I felt so tired that I didn’t get up for the squad swim. I ran to and from the QEII centre where I did my gym session. Motivation was low to swim but I got in just to loosen off and ended up getting in to it and did a 3.7km set.

Saturday I still felt so tired and knew when I woke I should knock on the head any ideas of a Big Day training. I got up and ran to and from the QEII again. I wore my Vibram Fivefingers. I’m doing this for my shorter runs, I really enjoy it and can feel my feet strengthening which means when I do my normal runs I feel really strong and run on my forefoot. At the gym I did upper body and weights. I’ve lowered the weights on my upper body because of a shoulder niggle but I can now feel that the niggle has subsided which is great. I got in the pool and did a 4k TT followed by a load of pull and kick work to give me a 7.6km swim. I chilled out till late afternoon when I headed out for a ‘push’ run – just over 14km in 69 minutes. Felt strong running.

Sunday Jo and I met up with Scott and Cam and various others for a lovely ride out through Cust to Oxford and back along the Gorges. It was a great bunch and we ticked it along at a decent pace. Along German Road I did a nice little 15 minute effort on the front. Coffee and bacon sarnie at Oxford then back along the gorges. Over the rollers I got a little disconnected from the main bunch and worked steadily to get back on. Cam told me after they were doing 43km/h and he could see me slowly coming back. I got on the back, took a few minutes to get my breath then went to the front. I’d worked hard to get on so didn’t feel I needed to be friendly. I went through at 50+km/h and continued when I hit the front. I heard after there was quite a combined effort for several minutes to close the 10m gap I’d got !! I stayed on the front for about 20-25 minutes all the way to Loburn pulling at 45+km/h the whole way. I felt pretty strong and wondered whether I’d finally recovered.

Monday – hoped to start a proper weeks prep. Fivefinger run to and from the QEII. Good 5.4km squad swim. Good in the sense I stuck it out but it was a struggle I didn’t feel great in the water. Full body gym followed. In the afternoon I was very pleased with myself that I got myself out for my hilly ride. Once out I felt good. Went through Sumner and up Mount Pleasant. Down Dyers and along up Gebbies and Coopers Knob. Then back down Dyers to Lyttleton and up over Evans.

Tuesday – rest day. 5.5km squad swim, still not feeling great. Managed to get lots of work done before heading out to relax watching “Edge Of Darkness” at the Cinema. It was better than I expected, which is always nice.

Wednesday – long run day. Slept in then worked till mid afternoon. This time I ran to Bottle Lake Forest Park for a slightly flatter run. I ran for 2h40 and managed to run faster and hard in the last 40 minutes.

Thursday – Lift to pool for squad swim. I felt great. managed a 200m swim in 2:27 at the end of the main set. Stayed in the pool after doing some paddle work and kick to make it a 6.3km session. Full body gym followed by a 30 minute tempo run.  I started my gym session today doing the “plank” and found myself thinking how these 90 second reps were helping me compete at an event taking 8+ hours. It’s the sum of all these little things done for lots of weeks that set you up for success. I think this is something some athletes struggle with. There’s no feedback that this will work but you just have to back yourself. Understand that those that decide there little 90 seconds aren’t important and regularly decide not to are those that you will beat. It all adds up, every little bit.

In the afternoon I headed out on the flats for some interval work. Did two lots of 20 minutes pretty much flat out with 5 minutes easy followed by 15 minutes of 15s MAX, 15s freewheel all staying on the aero bars in the same gear. Thats a tough set if you do it right! Very encouraging day as I felt really good on all three disciplines.

Today – Got up for the swim and a little rain was enough to get me back in bed. Felt really guilty when it stopped before I’d even fallen back to sleep. I slept a further 3 hours so it was probably the right choice. A great sign about my motivation is I didn’t let this ruin my day I just dropped in to my plans post swim. The idea was a big swim / bike / run day but now it was going to be a big brick. The plan was my extended Gorges Route (177km) at a solid effort followed by a transition run at a solid effort. It went awesomely. I completed the ride in 5h11 and then ran just over 14km in 67 minutes. Thats 3:17 pace. Very encouraging indeed with Taupo 3 weeks away.

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