Training, Training, and More Training

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Howdy folks! You may be asking yourself, why is it that ActiveSteve seems to be perpetually two weeks behind in all his postings? Well, that’s a pretty valid question, and with this little post, I hope to enlighten you a bit as to why that is. Essentially, it’s a question of time. You might have noticed that I tend to get a little verbose when writing up my postings. Ihonestly don’t mean to, it’s just that I seem to have a rambling writing style. I’ll decide to just write a little paragraph about a certain leg of a race for example, but when I get down to it, I start describing a whole lot of little things in it. I’m not sure why that is, I guess I just want to make sure that my readers are getting a true sense of my experiences. Where and/or what will this ever get me? Well, not a hell of a lot, other than when I’m old and wrinkly, I can bring all the old stories up (I hope), and relive my ‘youth’. So there you have it. But I digress. This post is about my training, not my rambling ways, right? Hee hee, see, there I went again.

At any rate, if anyone has ever said “Sure, I could do an Ironman, I wouldn’t even have to train.”, I’d probably be tempted to punch them in the face. Not just because I’d think they were a loud-mouth jerk, but also so that they could experience a little bit of pain, which pretty much sums up what 6 months of training for an Ironman may result it. A little bit of pain. You see, it’s a lot like death by a thousand paper cuts. If you do all the training correctly, you’re never supposed to get really drained, but you’re just in a constant state of a little bit tired and hungry. Owing to that, it’s hard to find the motivation to sit down a type up long blog posts after a long day of work and 2-3 hours of training. Sure, you might think, but what about the weekends? Well, those mythical days of the week are reserved for epic 6-8 hour training days which lead back to symptom #1, tired and hungry. Throw into that an attempt at maintaining some sort of social and relationship balance, as well as my occasional work travel and races, and you’ll quickly see why I sometimes get behind. Trust me, I’m thinking about you all, and always keeping tabs on how many posts I’m behind (after this one, I’m just down 2 posts), but maybe you’ll be able to forgive me when it takes up to two weeks to post race stories.

So what about this training you speak of Steve? Well, glad you asked. I’d love to take you all down a typical week of my training, but there really doesn’t seem to be a ‘typical’ week. I seem to always be either preparing for a race, recovering from a race, or busy with some social function that requires my attention. My case in point for this post will be a 3 weektime frame . Flash back three weeks ago. Carl and I just raced over the weekend in a 2-day staged adventure race. That’s not just a 1 hour thing, but was over 14 hours of hard physical racing spread over three stages in two days. How long did I give myself to recover? Well, I didn’t. Monday I was back at it, swimming. The rest of the week consisted of runs at lunch on T,W, Th, Biking on T and Th, Paddling on W, you get the idea. Friday, the blessed rest day for me. No exercise. Then, I decided to kick things up a notch for the weekend. I was at about the 5-weeks left mark for my ironman training, which are my peak weeks (6W and 5W to go are peaks). 4 Weeks to go (this week) is a recovery week, and then a 3-week taper. Anyway, the weekend consisted of two gruelling training days. Saturday, I got up and ran 32km (in the rain). Got home, had a bite and a drink, and went to the pool for a got 2.5km swim. That afternoon / evening? Host a farewell party at my house for my sister! Sunday morning, up early for a 163km bike. Upon return, change shoes quickly, and knock of a 6.5km run. Followed by some rest.

The following week? Well, no recovery there, back to the hard training, and, as luck would have it, prepping for a race the next weekend (Kayak Tri). That meant some extra paddling. The weekend? Well, the kayak tri obviously. Resting time? Well, less than none. That very afternoon (Saturday), I headed out for a 17km run. That night? Birthday supper with Andrea, Patrick, Helena, and Patrick’s folks. Relatively early night, as the next morning.. yup, you guessed it, another 150km bike ride, followed by another 30min run. Ouch. That hurt. I was dead beat by Sunday. I decided to add another ‘rest day’ and did nothing Monday night this week, but now I’m back at it. Are you starting to get the picture? It’s a ton ofcommitment and sacrifice to get physically and mentally ready to tackle a 3.82km swim, 180km bike, and 42.2km run in one day, with a goal of 11h 30min. I’ve gotta say thanks again to everyone for supporting me, particularly Jody. Also, to my friends who are mourning my lack of fun-ness… I’m sorry… it hurts me as much as it hurts you. Some day soon I’ll be fun again, I promise.

Speaking of getting the picture, on one of those long rides, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. You see, I’m trying to come up with a way to log my NZ biking trip while on the road. In particular, I’d like to create maps of my daily rides, complete with geo-referenced photos of the trip. For a good blog post on another site describing what I’m talking about, click here. So, I took along a camera snapped some shots of the ride. If you’d like to check out the pictures, check them out in the flickr folder that I created. You’ll notice that they all have lat / longs associated with them, and you can view them on different maps. However, for real fun, you can also check out the custom-created map that I made using the RoboGEO software that I bought. Isn’t that just the coolest stuff? It has a few foibles that mean some extra work on my end, but all in all, it’s not too difficult to use. I’m that much closer to being ready for my trip now.

With all the training, I’m also that much closer to being ready for my iron-distance triathlon on September 1st! Well, that’s it for this post. I’ve gotta go. I’m slightly tired and hungry after another day of work, an 8.5km run, and a 2.5km swim 😉

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