well, its been - what? 4 weeks - since IM Uk and i have a few moments for a quick catch-up at last!
we've just said goodbye to Rachel (Joyce) who has been our first house-guest in taunton, joining us for a week of training before she departs for the States and 'real' preparation for Kona. It has been great having her company and motivation and i think its fair to say that we managed to wear one another out quite nicely this week! for me that's a +35hr week ... the second week back into training after the Ironman at the start of the month. after what i considered to be a pretty packed race schedule since May, I was getting ready for some 'down-time' post UK, with a number of domestic projects lined up for my attention in the new house. of course getting a Kona slot is a massive bonus and far outwieghs the delights of fruit picking and home brewing...but even so i felt that i was in need of a bit of recovery before starting over again with race preps.
so this month i've been 'ticking over' and seeing to the list of minor DIY home improvements jobs that had accumulated over the summer, doing my accounts (yes, really!), redesigning my website (check it out) - as well as seeking some fast help with my swimming. Whilst i've been putting in a reasonable level of work on my swimming, and finding that the races with a pro 'area' start off the main race gun help my swim splits, its still by far a weakness in my racing. The 15 min ahead start, non-wetsuit sea swim in Kailua bay is a daunting prospect -any age groupers catching me will be swimming a lot faster than will be of use as a draft for me. so, what can be done? - of course i don't expect that there is any 'quick fix' but this is certainly motivation to do as much as possible to get me on the right track - or a right track. Part one of this process was getting some footage made ( by Andy Bullock of BAd Tri at Bristol Uni -very good footage for £30) which clearly revealed technical areas to focus on. In a sense it's a encouraging to see how bad my technique is - imagine how frustrating if i had near perfect stroke but still swam slow! I also signed up to a 'stroke improvers course' at our local pool - no high expectations, but why not? Luke, the instructor there, was great and did come up with some useful observations and drills for me and i have found these helpful too. Investing time in my swimming whilst low riding and running has enabled me to keep training focused with low load - though its a time-costly approach. Hence lack of attention to blog.
I'm committed to keeping up this momentum in the pool, however having gotten back on the bike for a couple of long rides, and picking the run vol back up to around 40 mi this week i'm certainly feeling a little in sock. the race schedule through the summer it's been a while since i've done this sort of volume. I'd expect to maintain this level, with the addition of race pace focus for the next 3-4 weeks, with a few extra curricular activities which were planned pre- qualification to provide a little relief from tunnel vision - namely Alex the Lodger's arrival this week, the wedding of my close friend Kate, a trip to Hungary to support my lil sister at HER first world championships race with team GB, and a couple of visits from more triathlon training friends.
And then it'll be bye-bye UK for a while....
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