Wow really has been a long time since my last post! Well since then, my stomach started working again after a few days, though it took a week to get back to normal, I went to Manchester for a stag do, end of exams party, and general mental refresh, and I have hit training HARD!
The week after the last post (so 2 and a half weeks ago), I started my final build for Switzerland. What was planned was 3 and a weeks of intense training, followed by a mini taper for Llandudno Triathlon to recover, a couple of final main sessions, then my final taper. So far it has been interesting, with mega bike hours, good swim sessions and a running injury…
The first week went pretty much to plan, with around 22 and a half hours done. Totals were:
I felt good and the long rides after the office really started to help, and I began to see improvements. Having an easy office ride on the tuesday, and a long, hilly ride on Wed has given me vast improvements in my bike, mainly with fuelling and stamina. They have helped me be able to ride for long hours on little food and still feel fairly good. Also I have been riding pretty knackered recently, so hopefully when I am fresh I should fly!
Swimming was plodding along nicely, and I was getting my feeling back for the water, and times were improving. I also upped the distance to 3.5k so the full swim should be fine, and leave me with plenty left in the tank. My running had a big improvement in mileage, and I was beginning to feel it click. I did my long run after work on the Friday (due to a wedding on the Sat) and again had little food, but felt great. I was running smooth, light footed, and my endurance was good. Unfortunately it went wrong in week 2.
So having had a big week, I decided that having done a weights session in the morning too, that I would do a speed run session in the evening! This was a 20 min run, 10x 1min on, 1 min off, 20 min run. Given that this was the first speed work I had done for a long time, and my legs were knackered, meant that by the last few reps I wasn’t exactly running light-footed! The Newtons don’t offer too much support or cushioning either (deliberately, and this is how I like it), so my feet were slamming into the ground. The end result was some sort of tendon strain in the outside of my left foot between the heel and arch. I couldn’t walk, let alone run, so I didn’t run again the rest of the week!
However, this did allow me to put in a mega bike week. Hitting nearly 450k for the week, including a 230k ride on Sunday really boosted my confidence for the IM. Granted it wasn’t exactly quick, but now I know I can ride 50k over the distance, with tired legs (and having been out the training before, no drinking of course!) puts me in good stead. I just have to wait for the fatigue to lift in my taper so I can push harder.
So totals for the week, 26 and a half hours:
So entering the third week of my ‘supercompensation’ training, and I am beginning to feel it! I had a good massage last week, which cleared out a lot of the knots, but exhaustion is beginning to set in. Part of the problem is a calorie deficit, the weight is dropping off me with all the training, a big part is lack of sleep; I seem to have an inane ability to go to bed late, with training late and working long hours so I have been lacking in sleep lately (hopefully will help correct that tonight!). But the biggest reason is I am putting in more hours than some pros do! I haven’t built up to it gradually, more using the crash training approach, which works for me. Hopefully with my foot on the mend, I can start to ramp up my run training up until Llandudno next weekend, and afterwards I will have a swim week, as this takes the shortest to taper, hopefully with a trip to a lake at some point, one long bike session, and a longish run before I scale it way back to recover. Meanwhile, I am doing the Manchester-to-Blackpool bike ride for a bit of fun with the office. I am mixing it up though, I riding to the start (I live nearish to Blackpool), doing the ride, then riding home! This should give me another big day of cycling, and as this one starts early, hopefully I will have time to run after!
Hopefully will get around to writing a blog before Llandudno as my training scales back!
Well I think it’s safe to say the moral of the story is to not do it! I had been ill in the few days prior, night sweats, dizziness, headaches, cramps, dodgy stomach and generally feeling pretty rubbish, but having spent most of Saturday in bed, and gone for an easy hour on the bike, I felt ok and decided I should be ok to race. Sunday morning I felt ok, so headed off to Mikes for the race, having only managed half my breakfast, a sign something was up.
I don’t remember most of the ride really, I know that I was seriously struggling to keep up with Mike on the smallest of climbs and anything that got my heart rate up was causing me problems, so he went off ahead, and I carried on for what was to be a very long day! Le Terrier is only 125k, but with 3000m of climbing, its not an easy ride! I stayed in a comfortable pace for me, which involved going very slowly and being overtaken by most people, and just struggled round. The main problems I had were, I felt flat and tired, and couldnt sustain any power at all, and my stomach just didn’t want any food. I tried gels, energy drink, jelly babies, bars and all the food at the stops, but I just wasn’t hungry, and eventually stopped eating as I felt full and bloated, despite the small amount I had had.
It wasn’t a bad ride, I struggled through but I just wasn’t quick. It was basically good fat burning exercise, with some horrible climbs thrown in that sapped what little energy I had left. At around 95k I decided I needed to eat, so forced some Jelly Babies, drink and a gel down me. 5k later we hit a big climb, and I promptly threw it back up! My stomach was having any of it, so I was left to do the rest without food. Not bad training, but bad given my situation.
However, I finished it, and if I can manage 6 and a half hours on a bike feeling that bad, with very little food, at least I have some fitness. Fresh, I should be fine. It took me a while to notice, but once I had got home, showered, tried to eat a bit more, and got into bed to watch some tv and recover, it occured to me that I hadn’t actually peed that day! 6 and a half hours on the bike, and I hadn’t been to the toilet 2 hours after! Not good, turns out my kidneys weren’t too happy with the stress and went on strike for a bit! By the evening I had got my appetite back a bit and had a pizza. Mistake. I spent the night throwing it up! So I took Monday off work and slept, and have spent the last few days, trying to stay hydrated and get something into my body.
I have no idea what it was, maybe food poisoning, or a stomach virus but I seem to be over the worst of it now and I am eating proper meals again and they’re staying down! I went for a run this evening, and although I didn’t feel 100%, I am definitely getting better and it was nice to be back training.
Obviously this puts my Ironman build into a bit of a problem, given that I will miss at least 2 weeks of my main build. Not exactly ideal, though given the good base of fitness I’ve built up, I should be ok. I will spend the rest of this week easing back into training, and then start my build next week.
I don’t know if the race pushed back my recovery, probably not given my stomach didn’t really get any worse (or better) and I haven’t had any more fever since, but one thing’s for sure, I won’t be racing when I feel like that again!