Training journal|week 7/41

It was Sunday morning and G and I were on the Tarka trail just outside of Bideford. I was half way through my 3rd (of 6) 400m reps when the thought occurred to me.

I was running each rep at just under 10mm pace and it was feeling hard. I have too much of a gap to bridge and with only just over 30 weeks to go, not enough time to bridge it, to achieve a finish at Ironman Lanzarote next year.

G and I had made our way to the Tarka Trail for many reasons. It was traffic free; although busy, people generally headed in the same direction; a 400m course was already marked out (it must be a common place for the running clubs in the area to complete their speedwork sessions) and most importantly, it was flat.

I always figured I would need every minute available to me to complete the race. The cut off for the swim/bike is 11 hours and 30 minutes – a very generous time in comparison with other Mdot courses – and a total reflection of how hard the bike course is over the volcanic mountains. But, the overall finish cut off is still 17 hours. So even if I scrape in off the bike, I’d only have five and a half hours to do the marathon, an average of 12.35mm pace the whole way.

I always knew it was always going to be a big ask. But, I suppose on some level, I believed if I trained diligently and followed Jon’s program to the letter then it was possible that it could be done. This was a huge chunk of reality check. I felt a bit enhausted by it but not down hearted. I’m certainly not going to give up on the training and I suppose, as long as you’re making progress there is hope.

I completed the session as set and headed back home to do the hours turbo prescribed for the second session of the day. That session was completed without drama.

The day before, I’d had another lesson handed to me by Woolacombe parkrun. G and I headed out for a warm up run before the time trial. It was shorter than previous weeks and we were back with sufficient time to go to the loo and have a drink before lining up at the start. It had been a bit wet in the run up and the sand was hard packed. With fewer tourists than in previous weeks there was plenty of room to run. So, I pushed on the first mile onto the beach and then tried to keep a steady effort along the beach before turning back for the climb back up to the finish.

In the end, I overcooked the flat section and went into the dune climb with too high a heart rate. I couldn’t get my heart rate down and ended up walking a lot of the top section, missing out on a PB by 45 seconds in the end.

I was gutted, but it had been a good run anyway and I was really happy with it. We finished the morning off by heading into the sea for the last sea swim of the season. It was glorious and calm and the perfect way to cool down after a hard run.

Slowly, I’m starting to feel tangible improvements from the effects of the training. I’m more flexible and moving easier. I’m not in as much daily pain as I used to be. I feel stronger on the bike and run – able to inject surges and changes of pace in now, where before there was only moving and not moving and most importantly, I’m enjoying the routine of regular training.

5 thoughts on “Training journal|week 7/41

  1. Hmmmmm. I don’t think I agree with you this time. Are you saying the realisation is that you can’t bridge that gap on the time available? If you are, I think you’re wrong, but let me explain!

    The minute you start telling yourself that the problem is too big or the time is too short or , you’re right. You’re telling yourself you can’t do something, and I think that will filter through into everything you do from now on.

    Is there enough time to get to the point you can finish? Maybe yes, maybe no, but the point is I really, really, REALLY think you need to believe there is. Because actually it is possible; it has been done before and will be done in the future. This isn’t even about finishing, this is about restoring faith in to itself and your abilities, and if you spend the next 30 weeks believing the impossible, maybe it actually will be. Wouldn’t it be better to spend those weeks believing in the possible, even if you don’t finish, than already telling yourself it isn’t?

    It just makes me think of my Regensburg attempt. I told myself from day 1 I was unlikely to finish, and so I knew in the back of my head that whole 30 weeks that I wouldn’t finish. It affected my training too. On the day, even thought it was physically impossible for me to make the cut off (I’d have had to maintain 25mph on the bike), I believed there was a chance, and went for it. I had the best mental race of my life and I loved it. That was in no small part because of your advice and support.

    So I’d say, stop telling yourself you can’t and believe you can. What have you got to lose? 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s controversial isn’t it. I agree with you 100%. The challenge for these type of events is significantly mental and if your head’s not in the game, well then.

      But, I had a firm belief that if I followed Jon’s plan that success (while not guaranteed) would be possible. I think now, that’s not true. But let me quantify the comment. He also said that if I followed the plan the regular training would effectively deal with my extra weight I’m carrying. That weight loss is essential to the success of this project (If you measure it in terms of finishing the race). Primarily I suspect because that is his experience.

      That weight loss isn’t happening. I’m not even making the progress I would expect an average person to make (from a PT point of view) so, in order to get that mental belief back, I need to change tack. I’m not giving up, and I’m not giving up on Jon. I have faith in his ability as a coach, I just need to take things like the weight loss back in house and be proactive about it. Project 16 (hours) is still on. It just needs to be tweaked.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good plan. I’d say definitely do the weight loss plan that you know works for you. There’s also a lot to be said that heavy cardio isn’t conducive to weight loss so much as people think, so it might take a lot longer to start to come off. Stress also has an impact, I can see that myself as I’m eating pretty well and exercising more than normal and staying the same. I know I can nail nutrition better though for sure

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes you have to believe Anything is Possible
    I went into Wales with injury and knee it’s be harder but I kept moving until I was pulled on the day.
    Keep believing, keep moving, keep training, keep consistent and enjoy the journey

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “I believe I can fly” – isn’t this the real problem? That somehow you have to distinguish between what is possible in reality if your negative thoughts don’t hold you back, and what simply isn’t possible in reality no matter how much you ‘believe’? I can’t say what is and what is not a truly realistic goal for you – nor for anyone else; nor for anyone but me – but by the same token, only you can make that judgement for yourself. So ignore the voices that say you can’t; ignore the voices that say you can; ignore every voice but the one that says, “Just the facts, Ma’am,” and then go do what you can.

    But I’m an engineer; that’s the engineering mentality. It may not work for everyone, so when I say “ignore everyone else”, do include me too 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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