Good week!

Now that was a good training week.
Longest run: 2 hours
Longest swim: 2 hours
Longest ride: 2 hours

10 hour week in the bag. Did my first 5k swim on Friday. Which I completed in under 2 hours. Then the next day I competed in my first duathlon.
It was the midulster duathlon in Magherafelt. 2 mile run, 12 mile bike, 2 mile run.
Really enjoyed it. The field was pretty strong, i recognised a fiar few faces and those that I recognised I knew to be seasoned veterans. No on there looked like they were inexperienced. There was a LOT of nice and very expensive bikes. Plenty of people there with back wheels that cost more than my whole bike.

I went out, treating this as a hard training session and fitness test. I hadn’t tapered, and indeed had done the 5k swim the day before and my longest run in months on just Wednesday night.

I was very happy with the race overall. The first 2 miles I finished in 13:49 (6:47 AP). The 12 mile took 36:58 (19.5mph avg) and the second run which was actually 2.25 miles due to a lap of the track at the end took 15:26 (6:52 AP).
Add in transitions and I completed in 1:07:54. My target was 1:10 as a perfect performance so I’m very happy with this overall. My favourite part of the day was that no one passed me on the bike. I was at the tail of the leading pack going on the bike and while I played cat and mouse with one guy for much of the course, I ended up finishing ahead of him and no one else came close to passing.

My buddy Lisa who I am currently helping out with a bit of coaching also competed. It was her first multisport event and she performed really well, despite feeling that is was torture and almost giving up on the second run.. but she didn’t give up and she finished.. Much respect!

Today, despite the fatigue, I still got out and did my long ride, which I cut back to a 2 hour ride which was mostly on the flat. Tonight my legs are, without doubt, TIRED 😀

Oh, and finally.. I can firmly recommend this as a warmup for a race….

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The best laid plans…

This week was pretty rough. Monday I flew from Dublin to New York then
on from new York to Miami. 2 flights totalling more than 10 hours.
Once I arrived I met my work colleague, we had some dinner and I went
out for a short run .It was about 3am bodyclock time, and indeed it
was after 10pm local time but I was intent to get a 10 hour training
week done according to schedule and also going for a run after arrival
helps with the jetlag.
I got an OK nights sleep and headed out running again early in the
morning. From that point on it went downhill.
I saw nothing of Miami other than the stretch of South beach I ran
on. After the run I had to go do the work I was there for and give a
seminar in the University. After this we had to head to the airport
for another two flights.. .first to Atlanta then on to Columbia, South
Carolina. The second flight was delayed and then when we got on the
flight, they had apparently put too much fuel on board and had to
remove it.
Yeah
Seriously.
Anyway.. long story short… we didn't arrive till much later than
expected and I didn't get to sleep till after 1am. Which was, of
course, 6am bodyclock time. Usually my trips to the states, I deal
with the time differences OK by going to bed as early as possible and
getting up early to train. Staying up till 1am the second night there
is NOT advisable.
Woke up the next morning and felt like total shit. Hit the pool and
got in an hours swim that just didn't feel good and was a struggle.
Then another day of work… unfortunately though, on the way to the
university in Columbia I started feeling sick. For the few days
before I had left Zane had a stomach bug and had been suffering from
vomiting and diarrhoea.
Oh no
I thought
Seriously.. no.. no way.
The next few days were due to be pretty much non-stop. We had checked
out of the hotel that morning and were flying that evening to Atlanta.
I can tell you know, feeling ill and knowing that you have work to do,
knowing you have to give a talk to a room full of people, knowing that
you have no bed you can go and lie in and knowing that you wont have
an opportunity to lie down and be alone for about 12 hours… well
that's not a nice feeling.
I didn't succumb to the same depth of nastiness that poor Zane did.
Thankfully there was no bowel or stomach emptying for me.. but I felt
rotten.
I struggled through the day, got to the airport and another flight and
we went to Atlanta. That night I was so relieved to get to the hotel.
I went straight to my room, grabbed some food and was asleep by about
9. I was hoping that I would wake bright and early feeling refreshed
and better.
Didn't work.
I woke early, felt mediocre and headed to the gym. I only had 30 mins
so I jumped on the stationary bike for 30 mins and was sweating within
about 2 mins.
DEFINITELY not right.
I certainly wasn't better.
That night we had to go to a dinner then the next day was an early
start. Today had been LONG and I was the last speaker of the day. Now,
here I am on the flight home. I still feel like crap and its been a
very tough week.
My plans of doing lots of training just went totally out the window
due to travel and illness.. I had hoped to get in at least 7 hours of
training. I managed around 3.
I'm lucky that in the several years of travelling as much as I do,
this is the first time I've fallen Ill while away. Also it wasn't that
bad, but It gave me a taste of how unpleasant it could have been. Now
I'm just really glad to be on my way home.

Long ride and recovery

Before I start her I would like to take a brief second here to mention
something non-training related.
Its amazing how much technology has developed over a few years. I was
having dinner with my boss and some colleagues the other day. My boss
was talking about how when he was in university, he and his friends
used to write letters to each other.
My joking response was something like "wow, you really are old"
Funny thing is that he isn't that old. I think he is just under 5
years older than me. When I was in first year in college people were
just starting to get email addresses. I've always been a tecjnology
"early adopter". I bought my first computer in first year and it was a
custom built desktop. Really powerful, 33hz processor. 4 meg of ram,
and I think a 250mb hard drive

My current computer is a 1000 fold increase in all of the above.

The first website I ever had was written in raw html and uploaded via ftp.

I'm currently writing this blog post from the passenger seat of a car
on my phone while driving to get a flight to dublin.

The pace of progress is crazy.

Anyway, back to training. I had mentioned in my last post about
cycling across Ireland. Well, it turned out that we weren't actually
staying where I thought. Rather than Donegal town we were heading to
Newtowncunningham. This is 75 miles from home rather than 100. I did
it. It rained the whole way, but it was an enjoyable ride. I left at
7am and made it in less than 5 hours. It was a great feeling to have
cycled that far and got that good a training session in the bag and to
be at my destination with the family by lunchtime!

I followed this up with my first proper "recovery week"
I'm now working on a 3 week mesocycle. I'm aware that my readership
varies from very experienced ironman triathletes to total beginners so
I will explain, but briefly.

Periodization is important in training
generally but particularly in triathlon. In a periodized training plan
your time is split up into microcycles (usually a week) mesocycles
(usually 3 or 4 weeks) and macrocycles (usually a year/ season).

The mesocycle consists of both training stress microcycles and rest
and recovery microcycles.

My mesocycle is 3 weeks. In simple terms, 2 training weeks and a
recovery week. In this particular cycle, due to the ride to donegal, I threw in an extra training week so I did two 10 hour training weeks
and an 8 hour week before this recovery week. I planned a 5 hour week
but ended up doing about 4. Overall it was interesting. I felt like
training more and probably pushed a little too hard in the time I was
training due to increased energy levels. This is obviously not the
thing to do! Yesterday on the bike I pushed harder than I should have
and my legs are a bit sore today.

The expression "go easy on your easy days" obviously counts double on
recovery weeks.

Now I'm off to the states for a week of lots of travelling. 3 states
in 5 days. Lots of travel. But I'm back to a training week so my aim
is to get in 10 hours of training this week.

Wish me luck!