Conditioning, Ironman 70.3, Motivation, Psychology, Running, Training, Triathlon, Uncategorized

Oops I did it again :0)

As Britney so famously sang “Oops I did it again…” here I am saying the same thing “Oops I did it again” I’ve signed up for another Ironman 70.3

Ironman

“Why have I done this, wasn’t the first time enough?!” my friends cry with incredulity when I tell them the exciting news

To be frank, It was! The pain of training (It took two years and six visits to A&E before I could get this life dream complete) was the biggest ball buster lol. I would far prefer to just get on and get it over with.

But after more than a year layoff – and when I say lay off I mean I laid off completely to almost horizontal – the itch for accomplishment and challenge is back so here I am and rearing to go.

For any novices out there looking to do their first Ironman 70.3 here are the steps I am taking to succeed once again – feel free to use as you wish

Step one : Choose your race

Everybody will enjoy a different scene – Give me warm, mild weather any day over cold, wet and rainy (sorry UK, but I won’t be racing this distance in this climate anytime soon) I also – because of my heart condition – need to choose a race which isn’t tough (big climbs and crazy weather). But that’s what I love about Ironman – they ahve races all over the world so there are events for everyone

For this reason I chose Budapest as my first event – Beautiful city, great course, fast, flat, scenic, warm.

Unfortunately for some reason they are not racing in Budapest this year so I’ve gone for Ironman 70.3 Vichy which from what I’ve read and seen videos of is a very similar race environment

here’s a link to all events http://eu.ironman.com/events/triathlon-races.aspx#axzz59joRa5Ow

Step two: Set your Goals

As the saying goes “Failing to Plan, is planning to fail”

Whats great about goal setting is that they don’t have to be all about performance metrics (speed, time, pace) although do be aware of the cut off time. They can also be about experience, mindset etc

My goals for this year are as follows

  • Finish time: Finish the event – ideally in under six hours (cut off is 7:30) –

My last event I completed in 6:25 and I feel that with the right preparation and experience I now have this is an achievable goal

  • Finishing state: Alive, healthy, with a huge grin on my face, my chest swelling with pride, breathing easily and lightly.

This piece is critical for me and a goal that I continuously need to repeat to myself as I am highly competitive and if I am not carefully am liable to push to hard with serious consequences.

  • Smaller goals: 
    • Swim leg – Swim 1.9km in less than 35 min (last event took 48)
    • Bike leg – Cycle 90km in under  hours (about the same as last time)
    • Run leg – Run 21km in under 2 hours (this is the one that hurt most last time and probably my biggest challenge)
    • Transitions: keep each transition under 5 minutes
  • Racing state: Have fun, smile, relax and enjoy

Step three: Create the plan

I have just under five months/ 25 weeks to go which seems like a lot of time but believe you me time flies by. My learn from last time round was rather start slightly earlier which give you time to build up the distance and minimise stress and injury. I have the plan and will share this my next post.

There you have it time to get back on the road –

Have you done an Ironman? What would your advice be?

From Impossible to I AM POSSIBLE

 

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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, Off season, Training, Triathlon

Its all about that base(ics)

Its funny how every time I write this title a song by a very similar title comes to mind. Is it the combination of catchy beat and tune, easy to sing lyrics or the talented Meghan Trainor? Either way its in my head as I write this post so I thoughts why not share the love. (I probably am going to get into trouble from some high powered music executive for promoting this song and artist without agreeing copyright or paying loyalties or something. If so I apologise, please let me know discreetly and I will remove immediately from this post)

All about that base

Right now that you are suitably motivated (or annoyed) lets get back to the task at hand – Setting the foundations to an injury free season.

As I promised myself yesterday I completed Day1 of the 30 Day Challenge (here’s the link again in case you missed it yesterday)

30 day

This mornings focus was on Basic Mobility and Balance Drills and the session comprised of

Basic Hip Mobility Drills

  • Hip Flexor Stretch (video) – 3 x [20sec hold + 20 active reps] each side
  • Hamstring Stretch (video) – 3 x 20 reps each side
  • Adductor Stretch (video) – 2 x 10 reps [7sec contract : 10sec relax + stretch]

Today’s Balance Drill

  • Single Leg Balance – Eyes Open (video) – 2 x 30sec each side

Over all thoughts – Man I am in big trouble! The stretches really highlighted how tight my posterior and anterior chain is (my Hamstring stretch was pitiful) and the single Leg Balance activity (there are 3 separate movements, all very cool) bust my cahoonies. I have NO, I repeat NO balance in my right leg. Lol, I think the only thing that kept me upright when on the right leg was how my toes were so scrunched up into the mat that they acted like a set of claws :0) Not a pretty picture right

Any case, really cool and cant wait to see what tomorrow has install

Onto the main session then

Till February I am following an ‘Off season’ ethos and focusing on strength development (typically a 5×5 format, Complex moves, one muscle group a day, Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri) with a swim/ride on a Wednesday and a cycle/run on a Saturday. The run is on hold for the moment till my calf/achilles injury is sorted and then I will throw in 2 morning runs (station to work 2.3 miles, slow and easy – Remember my run is my biggest challenge)

In case you are following this and are interested in what the exercises comprise of, here is the session

  • Warm up

Stretch, strength routine

Pullups, Dips, Handstand Push Ups, Wall sits (each week increase by 1 or 2 reps; each day different style of pull up)

  • Main

Single leg leg press 2 x20 (start at 65% of max, each week increase weight by 10%)

Barbell squat 5 x 5 (same as above)

Snatch to over head squat 1 x 5 (practising the movement)

Walking barbell lunges 5 x 5 (same as above)

  • Warm down

5 minutes cardio (row, glider or bike)

stretch, roller

So far so good  looking forward to tomorrow

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Training, Triathlon

Its all about that base

I start my official training from tomorrow Monday 17 November 2014. This gives me 9 months to develop the muscular and cardiovascular conditioning required to achieve my goals.

I usually have a tendency to only focus on the strength/power/speed/aerobic and anaerobic facets of conditioning which has served me well…till now. All of a sudden I find myself with a range of niggles and injuries – calves/achilles tendon, wrist, neck

I have a feeling that this is partly – OK largely – due to my lack of focus on the flexibility/agility and core elements however I also think that it may be down to age YES, the big 40 is 10 months away.

If you are training for any sort of physical adventure you know that injury is the last thing you want – it impacts your training, mind set and overall preparation leaving you poorly equipped for the event.

I want to feel great on the event so things have to change and to start with I am going to focus on the base(ics)

How?

I came across this awesome blog by James Dunne, Performance & Rehab Director at Kinetic Revolution and have signed up to their 30 day challenge.

Why am I going to follow this challenge?

  • Because I like what James writes
  • The program promises to “Transform Your Running: Thirty Days, Thirty Workouts, Run Stronger, Run Faster

My run is probably my biggest challenge so I would be silly not to give this my full attention

  • Because the program is broken down into 5 stages each stage focusing on a specific conditioning aspect and guess what STAGE 1: Basic Mobility & Balance Training

Here’s Day 1 session I will let you know how it went once done

Have a good nights sleep

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