I have taken some of the categories of review from Steven Lord, another IM triathlete who is training full time. I am pleased to have hit another 6000+ miles, two consistent years puts mileage in the bank. I don't think my cycling has advanced far but it has moved forward. When I entered IMUK I trained a 'little scared' in terms of riding 112 miles. I took every opportunity to ride long, I rode 5.50. However I was a little complacent in the build up to IM Switzerland knowing I could pull out a 112 mile ride, so I didn't ride enough long rides. I rode the bike on more days, but shorter rides, I rode a pleasing 5.30, although I'd set myself a more ambitious short 5 hour ride. My family circumstances also changed between UK and Switzerland. Prior to UK I had a 2 1/2 year old daughter and Sarah was pregnant. In the build up to Switzerland Ellie was 3 1/2, and Evie was heading to her 1st Birthday. Anyone with two children knows the change from 1 to 2 is dramatic. I didn't think it right to leave Sarah with both girls for longer than necessary so would get out for what should be a long ride only to cut it short. I also struggled a little to get excited about riding long, instead riding long because I had to. 'Having to' and 'wanting to' are very different things when faced with a 4 hour plus ride, its got to be 'wanting to'. I would ride up to 2 hours before work and up to 2 hours home (some days), great training days, but not the same as a single 3 to 4 hour ride.
I know I was in better shape than 5.30, but horrible riding conditions affected me. In both IM bike legs I have ridden conservatively for fear of blowing 'big style' on the run through lack a deep running conditioning. Watch this space for 2009. I have an ambitious IM Lanzarote bike split, and want no fear of blowing on the run!!!!
Both in 2007 and 2008 I did just enough running, at the right time. At UK I ran 4.01 (I think it was a tad short) and at Swiwitzerland I ran 4.16. I was very pleased with both run splits, but if I am to feel like I can race the bike, I need a much deeper base of running. Putting my running in context, I ran 1.30 at the Brass Monkey 1/2 marathon in January off the back of jack all run training. I can run well, but have yet to build a deep enough base of running. I need more run endurance to feel more comfortable when the marathon gets into the 3rd and 4th quarter. However 2008 has progressed in all but the biggest week, more 1, 2 and 3 hour weeks.
I have also analysed my training in the final 1/3rd of the year. This will give me some sort of guide as to how motivated I am and how I will start the New Year.
Not much difference here. Both 07 and 08 have similar ends to the year with one notable exception (apart from a great month of Sept 07) I have already started riding longer (3hrs +) At this time in the year this is very pleasing. What it does for me is remove the barrier that seeems to be quickly erected after you stop your focussed IM training a barrier which say's, '3+ hours on a bike is a long long time'. I am entering 2009 having removed the 3 hour barrier (infact I rode through 4 hours last week)
In summary I am really pleased with my training year. Quantity is dictacted by life circumstances. I would love to, and think I could log 200 miles a week on the bike, I would love to swim 3 times a week, I would love to run 3 or 4 times a week, I would love to be in the gym 3 times a week, however you have to be realistic. I only have a certain amount of time available. I can create a little more time by training early in the morning, or squeezing in a lunchtime run, (and I will no doubt do this on my big weeks) but to do it consistently is hard. I want to be a great Husband and Dad, so must leave some energy for my family. I also have to teach, coach and inspire the next generation (as well as earn a few dollars) I believe we have a limit to our energy reserves. I think it can be improved/ trained, but think it is also genetic. I liken it to sleep, some people can operate very effectively on 6 hours, some people cannot. I have trained very constistently. I have made a number of break throughs, a PB of 11.03.16 at IM Switzerland, a longest ride of 153 miles, I have completed 1000 miles of training in the month of May, I have removed a few psychological barriers like running on consecutive days, like running to work and home again, and I have put in place the foundations for a more consistent approach to my run training.
What I have done all year is enjoy myself. There are many tools for training well, an often under estimated tool is training friends. Unfortunately I don't get to train with mine as often as I'd like, but I get huge motivation and inspiration from chatting, texts and reading blog's. So thanks to Dad (206 miles in you're first 12 hour TT at 60 yrs young, awesome) Max, Tom, Helen, Ben and others who I have had the pleasure to train with and read about, keep it coming, it all helps. Finally to Sarah (much more than just my coach) Ellie and Evie, you guys are always with me when I train and race.
As it say's on my new art of tri Hoodie,
'One passion: Endless Training'