On Being Fulltime

FullTime1Thought strictly speaking I’m not full time anymore as our coaching business takes a decent amount of time each week I am still fully flexible in my work hours and have had a period where I’ve been able to allocate all my time to training… it’s not as easy as you think. Before I get on to this I’ll give my Kona update.

Only plan today was to swim the course. Steady out and fast back. Had fun after the quarter distance buoy. I could see that Russell and Roger were on my toes and for a moment I considered giving them a free ride all the way to the turn. With hindsight I wish I had as the banter would have been good and perhaps they would have owed me coffee. Instead, my mischievous side came out and I decided to hammer hard for about 20-30 strokes and see how hard they’d fight to get back on. I looked back and Roger had gone but Russell was maybe a few metres off. I went back to steady to see if he’d re attach. He never quite did but stuck at about that distance the whole way to the turn. Russell is swimming well – last year he would not have stuck with me at that pace. On the way back I swam strong and hard the whole way returning in 31 minutes. I was very pleased with that.

Rest of the day has been chilled so far. Bought a new Aero Helmet – see photo above of me testing out how to decide if I’m holding it in the right position. Looking at the photos I feel I may drop down 5mm at the front. Will try that tomorrow. I’ve also fitted my Speedfill Bottle. All the stories yesterday were of how terrifying the wind was further out on the Queen K. In those sort of conditions being able to drink without taking your hands off the bars is a great advantage. Funny thing is on this bike the tube seems way too long but it was perfect on the P3.

FullTime1-1Those are my annual hours training logged since I started my training diary. I was working full time through to mid 2006, then part time till end of 2007. 2008 I was not working at all but still living in London. 2009 had my injury so those hours are really for a 10 month block. Just looking at those raw figures you can see that my hours didn’t really change dramatically by reducing my regular work hours.

I think there’s this belief that going full time would be some sort of silver bullet but I can assure it’s not. Just getting more time doesn’t make you better. My best performances are still back when I was working full time. One thing is that work provides a natural structure to your day, week, month, year. It helps keep you focussed as there’s limited time to train so you have to get going and do the training when you can. Lunch time runs can’t be put off, pre work rides can’t be done later. I rarely questioned heading out on a session back then I just got on auto pilot and out the door. No wondering if the weather will be better later on.

The move to full time for me coincided with me staying in London, as Jo was still working. This isn’t the ideal location if you’re full time and it’s certainly better now we’re in Taunton. Having more time in theory means you can do more but more isn’t always better … not something you’d expect from me. I am not training more now but my life is more relaxed, I have more time to do nothing or little. I get more sleep. I get more time to recover and yes I regularly get the option to shift sessions to avoid the rain or start later in the day to avoid really cold starts to rides. I’m hoping all this will pay dividends over the long haul and wonder if it wasn’t for last years setback I would be reaping them now rather than feeling I’m just re-approaching the level I’d got to.

I certainly feel very privileged (I almost said lucky but it’s not luck) to have been able to structure my life to allow such flexibility in what I do and when. Riding mid week I still find myself pinching myself that I’m not sat behind a desk. I’m finding a life structured around Triathlon – coaching and training – is certainly hugely enjoyable, whether it will result in improved performances only time will tell … hoping it will tell in the coming year ;o)

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