Friday, September 24, 2010

The prodigal blog returns

Wow, where do I start, miss me ? Nope ? OK read on.

I have successfully managed to achieve my goal for the last 12 months, no IRONMANS ! It was a year of rest, reflection and spending quality time with Kelly and Teya. Unfortunately it also meant my blogging went by the wayside after Kona.
So a catchup, what we’ve been up to, where I feel I am now and what to look forward to for the next 12 months.


We are making plans for getting married in 2011, June is the proposed month and we are probably (99%) going to get married in Cyprus, details are still sketchy as dates for accomodation don’t get released til October this year, I will update on that in the coming weeks.
This obviously comes before any racing plans but needless to say, any dreams of faraway IM racing will be on hold for another year, however with the amount of racing on our doorstep in the UK now we are spoilt for choice.

Teya is now 17 months old and acting like a 5 year old, the words are coming thick and fast, she now runs flat out without falling over and can get from one end of a Toys 'R' Us aisle to the other in the blink of an eye. However, I think we also have a touch of the terrible two’s prematurely as it can go from Miss Nice to Miss Grumpy quite quickly, although not in public, everyone else just thinks butter wouldn’t melt lol, but she is the centre of everything we do at the moment.

The year of training post Kona

Starting in October 2009, I decided to have a few weeks off after we got back and then start into a challenge I called November Run, the basic premise was to run as many km’s a day as there were numbers in the day of the month, so 1k, 2k, 3k ..etc to ..30k so right the way through to the final 7 days which was going to be around the massive 190km of running for the week. Well, lets just say after realising the enormity of the task I tried to even out the running to do an average of 16km a day instead. I got through 2 weeks of running and tweaked my calf on more than one occasion and then was just runing for the sake of it, I was also going too hard too early after Kona, challenge halted.

During this period I also entered Edinburgh marathon with the hope of breaking 2.50, November run put paid to the best part of a month of decent training and then Xmas reared its ugly but enormously tasty head and we were into January.
The weather this year was horrendous, snow, ice, cold, wet, you name it, we got it, not the best to encourage an already flagging mental attitude to step it up.
To make me kick back into life though, I targeted a local league road race of 5 miles in the first week of January, the weather was bad, bitterly cold and snow everywhere, the race was cancelled but undeterred I joined a hardy local bunch who had joined together at the last minute and we went for an off-road run around Burwardsley, result, pulled ligaments in my ankle as the snow and ice got the better of a sharp descent. Bang went another 6 weeks of running until that repaired.

At this point I could have settled for improving my swim as this would have been a great time to do it, but I still had a marginal dislike for swimming and having a year off triathlon doesn’t give you the oomph to get back in the pool, so I opted for the bike, from March onwards I decided to concentrate on improving my bike, dropped Edinburgh and entered a couple of triathlon relay legs at Bala Middle and Challenge Roth. I actually thought I would spend more time on the bike than I did but as it turns out I probably did the same amount of biking as I would have done if I was full on IM training, around 4-5 hours a week and when the spring arrived the longer rides took that up an hour or two.
Work was getting in the way and because I wasn't full on racing, I didn't mind. The 2 races I did were a great break from serious training and racing and meant I could enjoy the craic with others, Roth was a blast again and we had a great family break as well as I wasn’t quite as uptight as I normally am before a big race. We also did loads of other days out that we wouldn't normally spend time doing, picture below is Teya and Kelly in Blackpool.


Fast forward to 4 weeks ago and my biking is OK, my swimming is like trying to wade through treacle flowing DOWNhill and my running, well, that hurts after 3 miles …!

The challenge is on to get back to the former glory, and to be better. They say the tide waits for no man, athletes just keep getting faster and times are coming down further. Time to step up.

The next year

As I sit here today, I read another UK based IRONMAN (Wales)has just been announced, that means we have 2 official qualifiers, a Challenge race and at least 3 other iron-distance races in the UK to pick from for 2011. The success of the Outlaw means that non IM races are no longer thought of as second rate in the UK by the badge hunters and getting a result there will be as hard in the next few years as any branded IM.
I will be doing one or more of these races next year mixed with a few 1/2 IM races in the UK.

Training wise, I aim to improve my swim, I am working with Chris Malpass who aside from being a top bloke is one of the best swimmers I know and even though he has given some good targets to achieve over the next 6 months hasn’t actually seen me in flight (or not !!) as yet, that’s tomorrow at the endless pool in Tri Central.
Getting out of an IM swim in 55-56 mins is my goal, watch this space.

I am still being coached by Lawrence Oldershaw who has coached me on and off for nearly 10 years now, we will be working on changing the focus a little and keeping the training interesting, challenging and yet still somehow painful !

Cycling and running go hand in hand for me, one relates to the other in terms of overall result at IM, get off the bike in a good state leads to a good run, work on the bike to improve the speed and get off in the same shape, even better.
And then there’s the word consistency, something I haven’t had for a while and something I maintain will be the way to make that next break thru for me, as long as I can stay injury free, which it my age now seems to be getting harder, I will be able to give it a good go.

The blog

Hopefully I will be maintaining this blog weekly with anything that catches my eye or an update on training as I move towards aiming at Kona again, over the next few weeks it will be a bit of training and then the incredible build up to this years World Championships, watching a few mates compete and wishing I was there again. I might try a few different races during the year as well to keep the interest over a longer period going. I missed the Nokia Coast to Coast this year but if you read another blog of a friend of mine (Les Kennedy)you will understand the attraction, and if you are reading this and don’t do multisport or endurance sport, maybe you won’t !

Til next week.