Sir Steve Redgrave was famously quoted after his record breaking Olympic triumph “I’ve had it.If anyone sees me near a boat, they can shoot me”. There is many a turbo session or long swim where I am dreading the thought of 12 hours plus slogging away. And we are 6 months away from the event.
When I saw that my plan last week contained 2 straight days of rest (Pilates doesn’t count), I was practically doing cartwheels. Well I would have done had I not been so damn knackered after 6 straight days of training. Endless laps in the pool boring turbo sessions, no more box sets just normal telly….But…
On waking, (after a considerable lie in, something I’ve not been able to do for years since the kids were born), the was the sudden craving, slight guilt and what can only be described as edginess. Cold Turkey had begun. Then the thought of no training for 48 hours. I was like recovering drug addict..How could a short swim hurt? 30 mins on the bike you know you want to..My alter ego was playing tricks. In the past this voice may have been encouraging the extra glass of wine (not at 10am I hasten to add) the dopamine receptors were demanding a very different fix.
I stayed strong, but the edginess remained – for day 1.By day 2 I had clearly gout used to the relaxation but ever so slight boredom. What did in a lunch hour before training began in earnest. Well, sadly social media and sports websites and sitting on my backside. Time just frittered.Now it seems I am looking for any spare opportunity to get a training session in. Whilst this maybe understandable in the midst of training for a crazy event. The question occurs to me – what happens when it’s all over? Will going for a 10k run or 1 hour bike ride feel like liberation or will something else fill the void?
I can never be compared to to Sir Steve,his achievements are incredible, but I can kind of understand why he kept on going…the fear of what might replace it…
My new appetite for chocolate biscuits or, in fact, anything vaguely edible was well document last week. The hunger and grumpiness with lack of food is a common problem/challenge for endurance athletes the world over…. What I guess you can never factor in is tiredness..
I am not talking here about ‘ I am so tired, I have had a busy week at work’. This has a part to play but I am tired because of a busy work week, child care duties and I ve fitted in 2 runs 3 swims and 4 turbo sessions. This fatigue really creeps up on you. It has stealth, like a cat. It takes you by surprise. The focus of an Ironman has changed my behaviour. I now look for any opportunity to squeeze in a training session whether it be first thing in the morning, lunchbreak or after work. What I didn’t realise is this same behaviour is focussed upon any opportunity to fit in sleep.
Sure the training does ensure you, generally, sleep well at night, but I can now find justification for a nap at anytime and in any place. Commuting is my favourite (clearly by train not car). Warm trains, albeit not hugely comfortable are perfect for 30-45 mins of shut eye. I am your worst nightmare, quite possibly dribbling on your shoulder, but oblivious because twenty winks is pure heaven. Weekends….Oh my having to get up early for the Run/Bike or swim sucks but come 2pm on saturday afternoon…Cup of Tea (chocolate biscuit clearly) and away we go…What could be better…
Some click bait article last week suggested that there we merits to dating a triathlete…all mainly focusing on physical attributes and sexual prowess (surprise surprise). However, the downside is that your partner may think you have turned into a cat. When not training, sleeping for any amount of time necessary. The one upside, as a triathlete, you would never know your partner is cheating on you – you are either asleep or training!!!!
Please give if you can…
Last week you may have heard me perhaps complaining about my committment issues (not romantically) although my partners’ maybe be sorely tested when it comes to cravings regarding chocolate. More of which later…
February has brought a couple of challenges, earlier in the month, the stabilisers came off the bike but another stabiliser, the turbo trainer has become a mild obsession. For those not familiar a static bike stand so that you can ride indoors in the winter. Advantages are that you can avoid dangerous icy roads, avoiding crazy drivers. Disadvantages, anyone living in the house or visiting while you are training, leave the room convinced that this middle aged man in Lycra has completely lost his marbles.
I have no idea what my children think, but thank god they haven’t yet told me. As for my girlfriend, very supportive yet probably pondering the merits of going out with someone obsessed with staring at the wall on a stationary bike quoting motivational mantras. I feel a bit like Gareth Cheeseman for any of those familiar with Steve Coogan.
This weeks major challenge has been the diet. I have been relatively good since Xmas. Alcohol intake reduced hugely, being very good wit a nutritional diet (clearly obsessed I have made a food diary and had it analysed) and hydration. I have managed to avoid the nuttier end of the spectrum, I have no truck with crazy foods or fads or supplements. I am a realist and whilst the merits of a healthy lifestyle are obvious, I m not going to suffer the opprobrium of friends and family who are desiring a burger and chips whilst I munch on quinoa or alfalfa hoots.
So the challenge….Chocolate biscuits… It seems I am a crazed man when faced with this temptation. Trainspotting lime addiction is being sorely tested. Like a junkie I am driven to nearly any means to procure them. Bingeing is not even adequate. Boredom ennui.. And starvation may well be a normal response to this increased level of training.However, as mentioned earlier I am testing my partner’s love and resolve because being the purchaser of said biscuits, she isn’t really getting a fair share. For this I am truly sorry. However, she can be consoled there is no way I could ever be cheating on her. I am too obsessed with Heart Rate zones and wondering what my VO2 max can be ….With Valentine’s Day looming she is in for a treat….
So the title suggests I have something to say about the pool….. I don’t …..125 lengths this week and not even half way through the week…Next week I might be able to get the damned armbands off. Is the sense of mania, boredom and fear coming through ? I hope so…
Until next time.