T-25 On the brink of serious
We’ve crossed the Rubicon this week and entered what feels like the pointy end of the training program. Most wisdom available on the internet (I suspect the quality of which is rather like consulting Dr Google) indicates that 20-24 weeks is needed to get from zero to 70.3 so I gave myself double that. I’m almost sure I could complete a half-ironman today - it wouldn’t be very pretty but it would be survivable so the next 24 weeks are about how well I might be able to finish.
The first 6 months of this year have been excellent for my swimming - I’ve swum 56,000m so far this year over 36 sessions and my time to swim 100m has gone from 4mins36 to 2min44. Those of you who know me IRL will not be surprised about what I did next…..I took all my data points from this year, used Strava’s relative effort, pace and date as my variables and did myself a little regression analysis. This tells me that I should be able to achieve a 2min08 pace by the time December rolls around or a swim time of 40min32 seconds. Of course all my swimming has been in a pool so I don’t know how open water is going to impact that time however my dream goal of under 45mins is looking feasible!
It wasn’t a random act that I got into my swim numbers. I knew I’d been improving and I figured that, being someone who skews to skepticism, if I really looked at the improvement it might be better than I realised. And after Sunday’s shit sandwich of a run I really needed a little ray of light. And it truly was a shit sandwich.
The run/walk strategy got increased for this month’s training to 9min of running and 1min of walking. I may have done a sneaky couple of “test” intervals last week to see what I was in for and honestly, it didn’t seem like it was going to be too bad. So come Sunday and Rocky got loaded into the car and we set out for Williamstown with windows down, happily singing along to Ava Max and a bucket of optimism that this was going to be A Very Good Run. I will glide along the foreshore mentally wrapped in visualisations of Great Success with my legs effortlessly reaching and striding beneath me. I don’t quite know what happened when reality arrived but it was a literal shit sandwich. For those readers who may have missed the corporate programming on How To Be A Manager, usually the first “technique” you were force fed was How To Deliver Feedback. The advice was to start the conversation with something positive, then move on to the feedback that needed to be given and finish with something positive. It’s such a nonsense way of teaching people how to manage - it just perpetrates the adult daycare mentality, wastes two pieces of positivity and helps undermine a manager’s position with their team. Who in the team is going to keep believing and listening to any positive feedback that manager might deliver when they don’t know if its going to presage an incoming piece of criticism? I’m more in favour of radical candour myself. I think/hope the technique has fallen out of favour because blind Freddy riding backwards on a horse can see the shit sandwich coming. Although the irony of that statement is that I didn’t see this one on the horizon.
Anyhoo - hope and optimism still lifted my feet for the first 9 mins and the 1.24km covered went by in a dream. Interval 2 slightly less of a happy time but that was completely understandable as it was a very slight uphill and into the wind as we came round Point Gellibrand. From there it was a sudden descent into the pit of despair. For no known reason, it all just emotionally fell apart. By the time the end of interval 3 rolled around, there was no way I was ever going to be able to finish, I wasn’t made to run, I didn’t have the mental strength to do this and the self-flagellation dial was being turned up. By the midst of interval 4 I had reached the stage where two single tears of self pity rolled down my cheeks and I was going to have to cancel all plans for Taupo. No inspirational think-of-x techniques were helping. Even telling myself that at that very minute my coach was finishing an Ironman somewhere up north and if he could run that then surely I could keep going for another 9 minutes was working. I can’t remember having a run quite so despairing - I normally spend most of my run luxuriating in some mental drama-queen tendencies (“I hope that’s not my tibia cracking underneath me”) but I don’t usually get emotional and this was getting absurd. The only part of the emotional spectrum not yet explored was anger and that kicked in just in time for the last interval. Both Rocky and the Garmin got yelled at (I apologise to the startled man in the green shorts who may have given me a wary side eye and then literally turned and ran in a different direction) and there was no way that I was going to arrive back at the car without getting the better of this run.
So there you have it. A Shit Sandwich Run. Bread: 7:15min/km Filling: 8:04, 8:14 and 10:47min/km Bread: 7:31min/km. So with 24 weeks to go, I’m going to focus on sorting out the running. I really don’t want to spend the next 24 weeks have emotional break downs every week. And I’d really like to be able to apply my regression model to my running numbers!
TSS: 408. The various training load metrics are giving me the shits because I can’t work out how any of them calculate their scores. Strava is even worse with it’s incomprehensible Relative Effort.
CTL: More good news! 44 - an increase of 2 on last week and if we keep increasing at a nice steady rate of 2 per week then we will arrive in Taupo with exactly the level of fitness we want.
Quote of the week
The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.
J M Barrie, Peter Pan