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Friday 3rd March has gone down as a notable day in my Ironman log. After 4 weeks training build I got to Friday 3rd well, let’s say, knackered. Fit but knackered. That week was typical - Mon strength and conditioning session, Tues 10km tempo run, wed 1 mile swim, Thurs 1hr on turbo trainer and a 6k total efforts running session, Fri 1hr swim of 2000m in a coached rep session. With half of the 6 sessions in five days being pre-work. I knew I was getting tired and so it proved. The saviour was that on Friday 3rd I was off to the Cheviots for three days on an annual training trip with Sedgefield Harriers and the following week I had a couple of days in Amsterdam with work so I knew my routine was going to be broken anyway. So, I still did the Friday morning swim then straight to the Cheviots and a 7-mile hill run and 7 miles walk. At 5pm I was in my sleeping bag! The great thing about the Cheviot trip is that the food is legendary – amazing for a remote YHA bunkhouse; so, it’s loads of training, loads to eat and no TV, Wi-Fi or phones. I felt good after the weekend and in Amsterdam, following an enforced rest day on the Tuesday while travelling I did a half hour run around Vondel Park. Back at swimming on Friday I was making my times in reps of 100m and 200m again – so back on track. The episode did make me think though and I realised I was at a key point in the training. I had achieved a good foundation across all three disciplines but I understood I couldn’t carry on with the same weekly routine and simply load the endurance so I’d need to think how to play the next few weeks. I need to increase the distance of individual training sessions for each discipline but ensure that I build to it and recover afterwards. March is designated a swim focus month and on Tues 14th I increased my endurance session to half Ironman distance of 1900m – without a problem and in a time of 43:40 in a 25m pool. The next swimming step is to get to open water which I hope to do at the end of the month. One other positive development is the lighter and warmer spring days which makes running and cycling more pleasant.
It’s now only 3 ½ months to go and it doesn’t seem long!
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