LEJOG...amongst other things!
by tiggaJun 1st 2010
Too long since my last post.... but man, it's pretty hectic all round!
Work has been a challenge with me being thrown into projects at the last minute when things were like a pressure cooker and deadlines had to be met. Trying to keep on top of training has been tricky... that fine balance between sleep and training. Finding the time to swim in London is also mission impossible, but I did manage at least one swim a week.
All that, and I still had to think about our four man relay for Lands End to John O Groats. Initially my thoughts were to use it as training, but I spoke with a friend who knows a couple of the guys who did it last year and he said they were tired for 2-3 weeks afterwards. So with those concerns I backed off the training that week and started on fresher legs, but the aim was to ride decent pace. Just not race pace. Always ride within myself... I have to think about Bala 3 weeks later.
In preparation for LEJOG, I did manage eight weeks in row of decent paced long rides of 100+miles. The final 2 weekends were immense... The sunday before we started I did a huge brick. HUGE... 160km bike at 35km/hr, followed by a 30km run in 2:04. Maybe a bit much as I felt very flat the final 5km of the run, but I think that was a lot to do with nutrition. Jess ran the final 8km with me and I was a 'ratty' grumpy tired athlete. Once I had a decent meal I was a nice guy:-) Yes, I did apologise for my grumpyness.
Talking of meals... I'm eating my body weight in food everyday, and still get told I'm loosing weight? hehehehe hovering around 73kg, which is 3kg lighter than when I last did Ironman. A good sign, cos I have got the energy and don't feel fatigued right now, and only have 3 more tough IM specific weeks to go.
Back to LEJOG:-
Awesome experience, all 39hours56minutes and 26 seconds of it. I'll write up a detailed blog about in a day or two with some photos... really was a highlight of my cycling 'career' so far! Our crew was fantastic, we all had half decent rides... our navigational skills were tested through Bristol Warrington and Edinburgh. All in all we targetted 42 hours a decent goal, sub 40hours was achievable but not something any of us pushed for because of the unknown factor of duration, fatigue and lack of sleep.
Personally I had mostly positive riding... We broke it down into 5 hours blocks and paired up, riding with my partner Ian Patterson in 20 min stints. John Sibley and Nick Crosby, the other pair, did the same. Oddly enough even though we're on the same team...we hardly saw them, only at our 5 hour exchange points... brief kiss and tell, and either into the campervan for eat/sleep or on the bike and riding. The celebrations at the end were memorable, sneaking in under the 40hour barriers was a big achievment in our books.
On a personal note I racked up 10hours 52mins of riding and clocked up 402km. Yes, more than quarter of the riding, but I was feeling uber strong at the end and did two extra 20min blasts as we fell behind pace and Nick was feeling the strain of doing a 90min effort by himself earlier when the back up van was caught in traffic.
Good training, but I won't bluff you when I say I shattered... not from the physical effort required, but the simple no sleep factor for 2 days solid. It's taken me a week to recover, but thankfully the cycling legs are back and swimming is still going strong as I made progress into the sub 3min for 200's barrier, and ran out a 5x1km repeats with 1km IM pace run as recovery (4:12/km)... cracked off my last 1km (albeit downhill) in 2:53!!!! I cannot remember the last time I ran a rep that quickly!! Bring on Bala... I might not scare anyone in the water, but I like hunting people down in races. It should be a fun day of chasing!
As for Ironman Switzerland? 400+km in less than two days at 23+mph can only make me strong and certainly give me the confidence I can do a 4:40-45 on the bike and still have it in me to race a marathon!!
PS photo attached is the end of 3rd 5hour stint which started climbing Shap Fell, finished climbing Devils Tub... this is Devils Tub, just tired and hungry and hating the headwind!