Illness and Injury, Ironman 70.3, Training

Illness and injury…. A comedy of errors

It was a terrible end to 2014

After an amazing year of accomplishments and a fabulous holiday in Marakesh  I started my campaign to Ironman 70.3 with a spring in my step, happy heart and an indomitable desire to smash my training.

Of course the universe has other plans :0) one being to test how solid your resolve really is.

First my achilles tendons. Okay in all fairness this was a lot less to do with the universe and more with me making the following classic (weekend warrior) errors

  • Poor/inconsistent  stretching: Yep, I am one of those guys. Love to train – the adrenaline, the pump of blood through my muscles, the feeling of awesomeness as I increase my P.R week on week. I also don’t like the stretch as much – slow, sedate, hurts (not in the nice way)
  • Poorly conditioned muscles (who would have thought lol): Here’s something I learned from my subsequent trips to the physio to get this issue sorted, Apparently as a minimum standard of conditioning a runner should be able to complete 3 sets of 10 reps of slow/controlled/full range sgl leg calf raises…mmm again not one of my favourite exercises
  • Changing your running style without adequate coaching and conditioning: Yep not only did I not stretch and not condition adequately I also in my infinite wisdom decided that I was – in my quest to be more efficient and faster in my running – going to change to forefoot running.

I must admit that I was very glad to find out that I am not alone in this matter. Thanks James Dunne from Kinetic Revolution for your insight into this :0) Forefoot running for athletes, This actually led me to a fourth sin

  • Pushing through a strain: So I went for my first forefoot run and about 2.5 km in picked up a serious strain in both calves, Not wanting to let my gorgeous running partner (and wife) down – okay I didn’t want to look like a woosy – I simply change back to my heel strike and continued on the course. Of course when I got home what did I not do? Stretch

So there I was beginning of November and no more running for four weeks. Okay I can live with that I thought, I can ride and do strength conditioning and stretching.

Of course if only it was so simple. Next came the flu – I alluded to this in previous post. The flu this year has been crazy it never seems to clear, one day your good the next your throat is on fire the next your coughing a lung…grrrrr I hate being sick

Achilles injury? check!

Cold and flu? check!

Then I went an put the nail in the coffin.

  • Do not watch white colour boxing, drink copious amounts of beer and then wrestle with your mates! If only I took my own advice :0( because I went and did exactly that and ended up popping my knee in the process. Medial ligament as the primary strain, 6 weeks of rehab

So here I sit beginning of January two months into my planned program, 7 months away from D day and no activity.

Thankfully I am almost at full strength and mobility. I have managed to start training again and cant wait to get fully into it again

First major change. On the 20th January I am booked onto a running workshop to maximise my efficiency and speed on the run, cant wait!

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Conditioning, Illness and Injury, Motivation

The universe is conspiring against me

Sick

Its funny how the moment you commit to a goal, the universe conspires to test your will. Last week 3 days into starting my training for Ironman 70.3 the dreaded ‘Man flu’ struck and I have been man down – no running; cycling, swimming, weights and conditioning. Not a great start…grrrr

There was a time when I was a young pup that I would have pushed through and sweated the nasty lurgy (South African slang) but luckily wisdom (and longer recovery time) has prevailed and nowadays I choose to retreat and live to fight another day. Anybody reading this might be asking themselves “Why the fuss, you have 9 months?”

Great question! Here’s my conundrum – Hyper-obstructive Cardiomyopathy (enlargement of the heart muscle) is a sudden death condition. When I was diagnosed my cardiologists opening statement was

“You have H.O.C.M, Stop exercising or die”

The road back to where I am today has been a long, long road made up of two steps forward, one step back. A road which has forced me to learn to listen to my body, accept my limitations and celebrate each small improvement as a major victory. Each day that I miss my scheduled program means that the next session I have to play catch up which increases stress.

Does this mean I have been idol? Not at all, there is always something I can do which will help me achieve my goal. At this point flexibility and balance is the bain in my life so I focussed on and successfully completed each required day of the 30 Day Challenge

Having things around me to keep me motivated and eyes on the prize really helps when I am down. This clip really kicked &$ss the first day I lay pitifully in bed feeling sorry for myself

Thankfully my decision to rest has worked I am feeling 80% better and should with a great nights rest be at 100% which means I can get back to the program and also start

STAGE 2: Basic Strength & Core Training

Here’s Day 7’s session

Strength Exercises

  • Split Squat (video) – 2 x 10 each leg
  • Hip Thruster (video) – 3 x 10 reps
  • SL Straight Leg Deadlift (video) – 2 x 10 reps each leg

Today’s Core Exercise

  • Mountain Climbers (video) – 2 x 20 (10 each side, alternating)

Cant wait to get going again

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