I was then very grateful when Coach Vinnie advised me to enjoy the next couple of weeks. “Do something fun; as well as celebrating Christmas, celebrate the sport and remember what it is that makes it fun for you.”
Given a free reign (within reason I guess) to alter the training I did miss a couple of sessions. I overindulged waaay to much and still am – this I predict will go on until New Years Eve or until my freezer is emptied of sugary chocolate crap. Christmas Eve saw the usual bike run brick but without any intensity. Purely a volume workout and a pleasure to execute, Gadget girl Bee was on leave and joined me on the 60minute run afterwards which made a nice change. The evening ice bucket swim was replaced with a few of the guys coming over for drinks and sugar and board games.
Christmas Day I was cooking dinner, a late morning swim that was a struggle due to alcohol and too much sugar in the system the night before proved how much you (or I) can screw yourself up in just one night. It reinforces the concept that diet is SO important when training and racing to get optimum performance out of your body. My Christmas swim was probably 30% off the usual, it didn’t bother me, still very enjoyable and it was nice to do some exercise before reporting to the couch and TV remote and fridge for the afternoon.
NO this isn't me, I wouldn't waste so much chocolate, but the tummy is pretty spot on!
Saturday was back to normal training with a 157k ride on a rough bumpy road but with some very long flats (read 27k) to hammer. My goal on long rides is not to kill the session. The idea is to complete it strong, anything left in the tank on the return then crank it up. So Easy/Moderate is my tempo, keeping a steady ‘comfortable’ pace I avoided drafting at all times and just rode. Felt really good and posted a blasting brick run. Beetroot red from the effort, I was hot but felt great and very happy. With an estimated 30k to do Sunday morning I washed up, fed myself and returned to that indentation in my coach for the rest of the day. Any slight movement and the legs complained. Am thinking about moving the couch to the kitchen or even better the fridge to the lounge to aid recovery and save any unnecessary movement!
My Sunday run was not one I had been looking forward to. My first 2hr40min run for a few months this is something that will be repeated for the weeks to come. I started early and ran with Denis out and back for 20minutes then joined Bee and Randy. Keeping the pace comfortable – the idea is it should be a pace you can hold for a marathon (hmmmn) we did the usual route and then I coerced Randy to accompany for the little extra 30minutes at the end. Felt fantastic. I have absolutely surprised myself this weekend but will not let it go to my head. Instead I will log it to memory to remind me of what I can do when that bad week comes a knocking.
Fingers crossed it isn’t this weekend with a PD ride and New Year but you never know when the body is going to decide ENOUGH is ENOUGH! So my advice for what it’s worth; when you feel strong swim strong, ride strong, run strong. And when you feel knackered, swim, ride and run. Listen to your body, the next few weeks will get tougher and tougher, you will be asking your body to do things it doesn’t want to do, and you will question your actions and reasons for training and motivation will hit an all time low. Above all else when the body tires a strong mindset will trump your body’s complaints every time!