I’ve been in two minds about writing this. I’ve been enjoying my training this year and intentionally just been keeping what I’m doing pretty much to myself not wanting the pressure that can come from being too open on social media about what you’re doing.
At the end of 2015 I was only just getting back to running and it was not clear at all whether the problems with my foot had cleared up. The second half of 2015 saw the least training I’ve done in well over 10 years and thus my fitness has dropped to it’s lowest point. I wonder whether it was actually lower than it was post FHL surgery.
I decided to not do too much ahead of our camp in Lanzarote. I knew I would get fit at camp and it was more important to arrive there with great motivation than super fit. The three weeks out there has been the best training I’ve done for absolutely ages. I was like my old self. In three weeks I swam 13.1k, biked 2,328km and ran 219k for a total of 117 hours of training. I drank less than normal on these trips, slept more and though I had a great final night of camp I managed to train the fully the following days.
I was very aware of how last year I arrived very fit to Ironman South Africa but was also very tired. After returning from there I started to feel great in training. With this in mind I backed off for two weeks post camp with the intention of hitting if hard through April.
April went really well ranking as a pretty big month even by my standards from years ago. My training diary has my training back to the start of 2004 – 150 months worth. April ranked 20th in hours (150), 40th in swim distance (55k), 19th in bike distance (2,645km) and 30th in run (328km). I know it’s not just about the volume but (and certainly for me) for a race as long as Ironman there is a strong correlation between hours put in and performance. This certainly makes me feel more confident than I’ve been for a long while.
My running is where the biggest change has been seen. I’ve finally started to really enjoy my running. I progressed from not being able to run at all from Aug through end of November last year pretty much. Through december I ran every other day and then from the new year I gently progressed my running. I initially looked to increase volume through frequency rather than length of longest run with quite a few triple run days. There were a few milestones that I hit which were big confidence boosters:
- First month over 200 miles since my foot surgery (so thats in 7 years!)
- First time I’ve increased my run weekly Eddington number since my foot surgery
- Did a 48k run day – across three runs
- First time I’ve ever run over distance in training for an Ironman. I did a 43k long run 3.5 weeks out from the race getting through the marathon in 3:45 with a negative split run.
I actually believe I can run the whole marathon tomorrow. This is the first time I’ve felt that in… I really can’t remember the last time I felt like that.
Now the night before the race I’m trying to remember all the work I’ve put in as doubts are entering my mind. I’ve certainly strung together three solid months of training. However, prior to that I had 6 months of close to nothing and certainly my past good performances have had a longer period of consistency. My motivation has been awesome. I’ve been very good with my diet meaning I’m the lightest I’ve been since my foot surgery. I’ve also been fantastic with my sleep – I’ve now gone 56 days with my weekly average nightly sleep not dropping below 8 hours. I feel this has been key to maintaining my motivation.
I may as well do predictions:
0:55 – Swim – (it’s none wetsuit and I’m guessing with the last minute change in course it’ll be slightly short)
0:05 – T1
4:15 – Bike – (this is 5hr pace since the course is only 153km)
0:05 – T2
3:45 – Run
9:05 – TOTAL (equivalent to 9:50 on the full distance course assuming same average bike speed).