Building Blocks

mhowoodby mhowoodMar 18th 2013
Building Blocks
Suddenly it's the middle of March. The Virgin London Marathon #VLM is 4 weeks away, the Outlaw Half (70.3) is 10 weeks and the BIG one - Challenge Roth is only 17!
Not sure why I'm surprised to be honest. It's the same every year. You choose your key races, thinking, "I've got loads of time" but somewhere along the line, all that time runs out and your left looking at a looming date and an empty training diary.

I had a bit of a lull in February due to illness and workload but these things happen. As a friend of my said only last week, "with Ironman, the real challenge is just making the start line". So true.
Throw in work and family on top of training, and then add in all the viruses a young family is susceptible too and you're lucky to string a single week of training, never mind the solid 20 weeks for Ironman!
Building Blocks
So I'm trying to not let it get to me.
I'm also trying not to worry about the extra weight that hasn't shed itself. I'm reasoning that the last time I started the Iron Distance, I was too light, so it's no bad thing to have it. I also think that I may peaked too early with my running and missed out on that elusive Sub 3hr marathon, despite a 1:21 Half result!
With that in mind, I'm approaching things slightly differently this time. Rather than running at a goal pace in running races, I've started running by HR. The reasoning behind this is that with uncertainty hanging over my fitness, Pace is a good way to 'Blow Up'. By 'sandbagging' under my average Marathon HR (170BPM), in shorter distances, I'm assured of not only finishing but also minimising recovery, and Negative Split.
Funnily enough, the goal is still the same. Sub 3hrs. It's a longshot given my present state but I'm hoping a combination of HR and Pace is the key here.
Common Sense says that this ship has sailed but there is hope in the 'numbers' that if everything goes well, I could scrape under. Furthermore, I feel like I'm getting some kind of form back, and all being well, that could result in peaking just in time for VLM!
The key will be Control. Control of Pace. Control of HR. This I hope is what I will have learned in my second crack at VLM.
Building Blocks
Training Diary-wise, things are ticking along at around 10hours a week. Nothing major in the way of mileage. Just an attempt to keep sessions varied but the commitment consistent. I expect this to rise to 14 hours once VLM is out of the way and the weather improves.
It is flexible though. As you can see above and below, sessions where missed due to my wife's Birthday and Mother's Day. Roll with it - be flexible - an annoyed spouse is not worth that 6am swim on her Birthday!

Where, previously, I very much trained by what I felt like or could fit in, I've now got some key sessions that structure the week. These are partly due to my commitments as Dad-Taxi for my son on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. So rather than hang around gossiping, these 1 hour chunks are run sessions: 10km easy, Out N Back tempos, Parkrun, etc.
Supplement that with a coached Monday night swim set and we have beginnings of structure!
Next, add in Turbo Intervals Thursday AM, and Swim sets Wednesday and Friday, and things are taking shape.
Long run? Do that Friday night on the way home (unless you're racing Sunday).
That leaves space for Endurance Turbo sets or Bike on Saturday/Sunday - which keeps weekends flexible and family friendly.

None of this takes into consideration Commute Runs/Bike throughout the week, which can itself amount to another 5 hrs! However, these are largely unplanned as they are both weather and work dependant.
Building Blocks
If I though that I'd lost momentum in February, I've given it the kick I needed by volunteering to be the Poster Boy for Charity fundraising at work, but more on that later, as the details have not been announced officially....
Building Blocks
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