Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Sensible Thing To Do?

So, on to Outlaw Ironman Triathlon July 1st. Looking back at my training to date there is a 9 week gap for swimming and cycling due to my back injury and due to concentrating on running pre VLM. With hindsight I should have been nailing the bike and swimming as well as soon as I was fit too. I'm sure I won't come to curse VLM because it was such a great experience but in a perfect world it wouldnt have been pre Outlaw. Also in a perfect world I would not have to work and could train all day. I dont live in a perfect world.
I live in a world where training comes third behind work (bastard reluctant necessity) and family (which I would not wish to compromise). I try to train early, whether weekday or weekend, so as not to compromise my family life. Unfortunately, unless I am super disciplined (I am not) and can go to bed at 10pm every night ( I cant) the result of early morning training is tiredness from lack of sleep. Its not actually the result of the training or it being early its down to my discipline of course!
Does that mean I am not taking it seriously or is it more that I am not quite sure as to what is required or is it that I am sub consciously building an excuse to fail? I'm somewhat overwhelmed by it all at the moment. As time rushes by I completely understand why people say dont chase missed sessions of training. That is completely impossible and all I can do is plan well with the time I have left. The time I have left being 7 weeks this Sunday. Allow 1 for taper thats 6 weeks training. Don't get me wrong its not that I have done nothing - I had a week off after VLM granted but got 6 sessions in last week (including a PB half marathon), will have done 7 this week (primarily swim and bike). Also the running I did and VLM have resulted in me having no running concerns to the point where I will limit my running to one or two sessions a week and a maximum session of 2 hours. The run doesnt concern me - if I get to the run in one piece and still breathing I will do the run.
My concerns are with the bike and swim. Traditional training schedules now dont apply (as they didnt for VLM). My plan is to get to the point in 6 weeks time where I can swim 3800 metres in 1hr 45mins. I've not yet swum the distance nor have I swum in open water so I am going to just swim it - see how long it takes - then swim it quicker - then quicker - and then quicker still. Chuck in 3 or 4 open water sessions at shorter distances I dont see why I cant trash my arms and be out of the lake within 2 hours and on the bike!
The bike - fuck me the bike messes with my head. I love being out on the bike but I still have a mental block to getting out on the bike. Why I dont know. To me its my biggest concern so I am going to get up to 80 miles by next weekend and do 5 sessions around that distance and work on my speed and hills as often as possible in between. Its not about speed really. 112 miles at as low as 12.5mph average is 9 hours which would leave me 6 for the marathon. Doable? (is that a word?). I am now looking at this as a fast swim, an endurance ride and a sheer nuts on the table dig deep soul dredging run! I've 17 hours to do it and if I need all of them I dont mind one bit. I wont trash my chances on the bike for the sake of a respectable time. I simply cant.
There is a huge issue in that Outlaw may turn out to be my first ever tri. Due to other commitments I may well not get to do even a sprint tri first. I know others have done this before and taken a 'separate events' view to Ironman. I can see that and if that turns out to be the case I think I can deal with it. I'm not Chrissie Wellington (although I have the legs) so it wont be about flying out of the water jumping on the bike and away I go and then skipping off the bike and straight into my running. If I have to take 10 mins in transition to prepare I have no issue with this.
I have had great advice and support. Tough advice from many stating the obvious that I am not well enough prepared to attempt this and the sensible thing to do is to defer to next year. Thats sound advice but who is to say next year will be any better/easier/less disrupted? Life gets in the way unless you're a pro or a lottery winner or doley (although how you afford the kit, events, registration etc would be called into question if you're the latter!).Would I want to go through the ups and downs of training for 6 months (off and on) again? Would I have the heart?
I dont want to face those questions so the sensible thing to do seems to be to just do it as best and as sensibly as I can using all the time and tools that I have. I wont be racing to go sub 13 hours, I dont care if I get chicked, or lapped nor do I care if everyone has packed up and effed off when I cross the line. When I do it I wont care about any of that as I'll be able to say I did it. If through doing this a shed load of cash gets raised then it seems to me the only sensible option.
By way of encouragement please feel free to tell me I cant - as often as you like - in jest or in all seriousness - it will help. Thankyou!


  1. Do it, Follow your heart,your dream. No-one ever feels they have prepared enough, you don't sound to me like someone reckless and ill-prepared. You can but try, if on the day it sucks balls you can always stop...chances are you won't, and it's incredible how far your body will go if you take care of it, it's overcoming the worries our minds create for us that's the tougher bit.

    You still have time - focus on the areas that concern you most - like getting on the bike. :-) Like doing the distance swimming just once - they will be hugely positive hurdles to overcome and once done i reckon you'll feel in a more positive frame of mind for it.

    I have faith in you, you sound a determined and level-headed fella. How amazing will it feel to have given it your best and tried, rather than not tried at all.


  2. Finally caught up with your post - after discussing it this morning!

    I think you have the right plan to 'rest of time' training. It would be best if you could get near distance I would say in the bike and the swim just so you, and your body, know what that feels like - just like running. You know what that feels like after VLM!

    I can only comment on the running side of it being allergic to water/swimming and have a bony arse in regards to bike riding! But you looked good and sustainable this morning running. If you can get that same steadiness and determination into your swim and ride (as I'm sure you can) you've got it!

    Enjoy the weeks training Pal! #TSG

  3. follow your heart. You and I are so alike, I could have written this blog, Like you Im not too orried abut the run, and struggle to motivate myself on the biggest section, the bike, I like to train early and worry about the swim. As long as we get past the swim cut off we are ok for a few hours, we need to crack this bike lark and fast, I figure we can get away with 2hrs swim and transition the 8-9 hours on the bike gives us6 hours for the run, its tight. the only place we can claw back time is on the bike. We can do this we are the tenacious 2. lets do it starting tomorrow we have our 6 weeks to sort it.