So the last post was all rosy and was I was in quite a positive mood. I can't promise this update will be as upbeat. 

Before you say "oh great, another winging Ironman athlete saying training is hard blah, blah, blah" and close the page I urge you to stay here. You might learn something - not just about me but also what it takes etc etc.

I have never been able to hold a high volume of training without my body rebelling and shutting down. In the last 12 months my biggest month was 73 hours of training and that included my training camp in Majorca which was 26 hours. In August I racked up 80 hours (well 79:56......grrrrrr). For me that is huge and I was expecting a "little" bit of grumpiness to be coming round the corner. Sure enough that grumpiness (read complete tantrum and crisis of confidence) happened about 11 miles into my 19 mile run yesterday. Somewhere near Sandbanks on the South Coast of UK. I managed to salvage a bit of dignity and finish (albeit missing the last mile) and spent the evening in the company of a Chicken Dhansak and 2 bottles of Doom Bar. I had pressed the F - it button. But that's what I felt I needed to get me out of the hole that I had been waiting for. From a mental point it worked. An evening away from all things triathlon. From a physical point it will be a few days before I am back to normal energy levels. It is important that anyone who has signs of overtraining a) recognises the signs and b) gets themselves out of the hole before it is too late. I like to push myself to this point and there are some of my athletes that I will push to the brink before backing off in time to rest, recover and rebuild. During the final 3 miles of the run yesterday I imagined myself on Alii Drive facing the same metal and physical conditions and I feel that despite the run not being exactly what I planned maybe it was actually more useful than if it had gone perfectly. 

So you may be asking that if my normal hours are reasonably low (last years biggest month was 56 hours and building in to Ironman Nice I was doing about 14 hours compared to 19 this time) and I knew that my body reacts badly after big training volume why did I do this block.

Panic. Pure and simple. I don't want to be under-prepared on 8th October at all and I am willing to drill myself to get there in the best possible shape. I found myself remembering things I have told pretty much all my athletes over the 7 years of endurance coaching.
  • Don't change a winning formula too much. 
  • Consistency is key. 
  • Less is more - better to do seven 1 hour sessions a week for 6 weeks and have good energy throughout than it is to continuously do a big session one day and miss one or two days after because you are tired. 
Where do I go from here then. Well first thing is to sleep and let the body recharge. I still have 5 weeks training to be able to crank out - albeit at a lower volume (possibly) - some decent sessions!

So there you go. Hopefully you have learned that it is important to make mistakes, acknowledge them and not give up on your goal.