About 4 weeks after Ironman UK the post race high had well and truly worn off, the last slither of hopes of a Kona qualification by roll down had been laid to rest and my enthusiasm for the trip to Wales for the world’s toughest Ironman race was similarly low. My body was beginning to deliver hints that after 5 Ironman so far in the year, and 2 of those in the previous 2 months, I was operating very close to the margin by manifesting minor niggles and persistent neck and back stiffness. On the other hand, I had put in some very encouraging training sessions since IM UK and could see that my form was still good, and there was potential to finish the year off with a lovely “home” race amongst many friends, club-mates and some athletes that I coach.
Having 5 weeks between races made all the difference to my training compared to what I had done in the 4-week gap between Frankfurt and UK (which I wrote about http://www.tri247.com/article_11887.html ) with that additional week was assigned as a second recovery week. This enabled me to include one “big” week of training in the middle of the block – the first since prior to my taper for IM DE. At this stage of the season it’s not necessary to “back up” these big weeks in the same what that I do earlier in the year to build endurance, but I feel 3 weeks is too long to go without some proper endurance work. After this week, I then reduced the load prior to a 10 day-taper.
As I say, by the end of this mini block, I was not feeling like I had a lot of energy or enthusiasm, but I talked Steven and Rob into accompanying me for a Half IM simulation session 9 days out. It proved to be good fun, a 5 hours of decent work with pleasing “numbers” provided me with a good confidence boost. From there I spent a lot of time on the yoga mat, massage table and the foam roller trying to appease the parts of me that were ready to curl up into a ball and hibernate, and trying to resist joining them!