Some Proper Time Off

ProperTimeOffNo it’s not an Eddington Review but for lack of a picture for this entry I decided to display some of what I’ve spent my time doing these past four weeks. Only a small proportion of that time but it has meant all my Eddington numbers are now imperial and metric. In my head I think of this as “Training By Numbers” – just each day try and contribute to at least one Eddington Number.

It’s been a long while since I’ve blogged. Partly intentional. I’d planned a break after the ETU Long Course. I’d realised that it had been non stop since recovering from my injury and felt it was essential to just down tools for a period. A little luck and a little judgement meant that I completed the purchase of my new house in Taunton the Wednesday after the Europeans. There was an initial calm before we moved anything in and then it has been non stop.

Life has been so easy with everything in one bag. With all my stuff I suddenly couldn’t find things and I needed to get things sorted. I know what I’m like my mind just couldn’t focus on training until things are organised. Charity shops got probably 5 times the amount of clothing I’ve been living with these past 18 months and I just hadn’t realised how my cycling jerseys I’ve amassed. I would place money on me never ‘needing’ another cycling jersey in my life. I’ve even been DIYing ( not sure what my dad would have thought of that) – I’ve partially boarded the loft and have just got all the wood to finish the job – have to decide when to fit that in.

On the bike front news has been as good as it could be. Not only is it looking likely that my frame will be replaced under warranty but uncertainty prompted me to follow up on a discussion I’d had with the QR rep at Kona last year. He said “hassle me” to get  a bike from him. Well I did and I should be getting a QR CD0.1 frameset in the next few weeks. Exactly the same colour as Jo’s much to her horror. I’ll try and sneak a photo of us both on them in EverydayTraining kit – it’ll look great.

The title says proper rest. What does that mean for me ? This is the first time I’ve really taken having a break seriously. Here are the stats:

ProperTimeOff1

Up until this point I’d never done less than 10 hours in a week and I had it as a little to go the whole year that way BUT I came to my senses and seriously downed tools. The first week was big riding purely because of social stuff – riding with European champions Roger and Roz immediately after the race and then a social ride with Rachel. The following two weeks found me only riding because of the pursuit of an Eddington Number – not divulging it until end of the year (assuming I manage it) though the astute amongst you may be able to work it out. This motivation to at least ride a little paid dividends when i got back in to training this week. I did zero running for two weeks – completely intentional. Give my foot a chance.

During this rest period I had a visit to Profeet to have pressure analysis done and insoles built for my cycling shoes. They did an excellent job and so far I’m pleased with the results.

ProperTimeOff2I found this incredibly interesting. The left foot is the one that had the surgery. The most pressure is going through the big toe. My consultant’s comment was “the tendon is clearly working”. I wonder whether this pushing with my big toe is what put too much stress on the tendon in the first place. Hopefully these inserts will get me putting the pressure through the ball of my foot. Once I’ve done a decent amount of cycling with the inserts I’ll be back to see Jonny at Profeet for a reassessment. I fully recommend going and seeing these guys.

I’ve also been spending time thinking about the set up of the QR. I’m sorely tempted to go with integrated shifters rather than bar end ones. This bike will be my only bike for 5 months this winter and wonder whether the trade off in races verses training of this set up would be worth it. Answers on a postcard please.

This week I’ve got back in to training and I feel absolutely full of beans. It’s great. I’m motivated, I’m feeling good and I’ve loads of fantastic new roads to explore. The riding round here is truly awesome. If every direction there are tonnes of minor roads to explore. Hills – just a few – Quantocks (2 miles away) then there’s Exmoor, The Brendon Hills, The Blackdowns and further afield Dartmoor. There’s flat riding on the Somerset levels and then rolling terrain if you head into Dorset. Swimming appears to not regressed at all. The only downer here is no squad so I’m in a public pool each morning. It means a lot of steady state. A 1:11 plus seconds 5k including warm up confirmed to me I’m still strong. The odd set of 200s off 3 minutes coming in sub 2:50 (33.333m pool) comfortably also helped my confidence. As for running, it was a struggle initially but it’s coming back quick.

I managed to enter Ironman Austria so my coming year is pretty mapped out: Kona, Busselton, Wanaka, New Zealand, break, Austria. For now the focus is on really building up my base. Depending on how that goes I’m may just continue with that sort of training right through to Kona. I feel I’m back in the saddle now so more regular blog posts should become the norm again.

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