For two years I have been racing and training with a focus of going fast(er) and hard(er). I reacquainted myself with the lung busting, leg burning, brain frying training sessions that would lead to being able to go as fast as possible.

Anyway, during my short course years, I still had friends and athletes I coach doing long course racing and training. Seeing them go for 5+ hour bike rides didn't make me think I really want to do that. I'd get back from a long ride (90 minutes) and think "so glad I don't have to do that again". I still kept my running volume up and I still swam only 2 times per week (sometimes 3) but boy I didn't envy those still on their bikes. 

When I signed up for the Forestman this year, it wasn't because I had a massive burning desire to "compete" over the long distance again - I still had that dread about putting the hours in on the bike, rather motivation was due to the athletes I coach. They were doing sessions that I was telling them and I felt I had to remind myself how it felt to be doing those sessions, how it felt to do a long run after a long ride - so I could sympathise with them and offer 1st hand advice on how to push on, how long the fatigue and feeling will last and also try a few different things. I know that my training cannot simply work for others - a cookie cutter coach I am not - but to be able to say "right we've just come out of a run block, you will feel tired and your legs will feel bruised, but in 4 days time I felt like I had tonnes more to give and that key brick that you are about to do will be manageable." is invaluable. 

So the journey starts again. The Long road to The Forestman. What are my goals? Well, I want to run under 3 and a half hours and go under 10 hours. Both are going to be hard but I think achievable. 

Already I am relearning the "joys" of Ironman. Here are some observations from the first month or so - 
  • you forget things - what day it is (probably long ride day), towels, to charge your Garmin, to pack 4 pairs of socks in your sports bag, to eat when you get a chance (you never know when you can get a sneaky run in).
  • you need to make the most of your time available.That 20 minutes on the sofa just won't happen. Get out and run.
  • 4 pairs of socks probably isn't enough.
  • the monotony of Brazilian music is quite nice when your running but not when you are driving.
  • when you finish a 2 hour bike with only a bottle of water for company and set off on an 8 mile run by about mile 3 you are visualising your fridge shelves going from full to empty in record time.
  • it isn't just when you have ridden 2 hours and run 8 miles that the fridge shelves are emptied quickly. It happens with scarily regular occurrence. 
  • you end up looking at new kit every day. Saying "I really do need a GoPro camera - it really will help document my training"
  • you really don't need a GoPro camera.

Standing in the way of me and the Forestman on the 22nd June is the Wokingham Half Marathon and the infamous Ballbuster. Which reminds me - I really must go for a run.

See you next week for more musings.