How About the Ironman Again?

As I continued doing the ironman thing, I noticed I was gradually getting slower overall. My first thought was it must be all the accumulated fatigue and long slow kilometres I'm putting in. Sounds obvious, and for a while I put it to the side, but I don't like getting slow. Eventually I decided to have a better look at my training, and compare this to my racing performances over the years. I wasn't getting slow because of the all the hours of training, it was because I was becoming less consistent with training and most importantly, I was skimping on the faster, high intensity sets.

So why was I training like this? One reason is that what I thought I was doing and what I really was doing were two different things. I wasn't keeping a proper log book, which I have learnt is one of the best ways to keep you honest. I was still doing long solid sessions, but these were sporadic and I was performing them in such a way that I needed too much recovery afterwards. Which meant while I working hard, I wasn't seeing any true benefits from this hard work. But the most important underlying reason was I simply was losing the motivation to train. My desire to do the training just wasn't there anymore. I was just going through the motions.

This realisation came to me in early 2006 in the lead up to Ironman Australia. I made a decision. Knuckle down and do this race properly, then forget about Ironman and just go running for the next year or so. I trained well in the last couple of months and turned up at the start line feeling like I was back in my best form. Unfortunately the race was a DNF for medical reasons (not fitness). At some point continuous vomiting catches up to you when you're trying to race over 10 hours or more. I ended up in an ambulance. Surprisingly I actually felt pretty good the next day.

With that over I put the bike away and left the swim gear in the back of the cupboard and got back out doing what I've always enjoyed the most. I ran. Gradually I got fitter and faster and thought about running a marathon later in the year. Then I thought stuff it, I won't do anything too serious until next year. I even had a stint on the bodybuilding side, where I decided to see how much muscle I could put on in 10 weeks. I gained 8kg of muscle in that time, which was pretty good for a skinny endurance athlete.

This year I decided to set a PB at the Melbourne Marathon in October, and my initial three months of training have gone very well. But I noticed I've been starting to consider going back to the Ironman again. Not any major thoughts, just a teasing memory every now and then. Which was fine. These little thoughts were very easy to brush aside. After all, I'm a runner now, I'm going to run my fastest marathon this year. Then the other day, my beautiful wife picked the worst timing to suggest going back to the Ironman in Port Macquarie in 2008. Little did she realise the effect this seemingly small suggestion would have. My sister told her she has created a monster.

At the moment I am now strongly considering getting back into Ironman training. I don't know if it's such a good idea yet. Maybe I'm just getting carried away because this years race is only two weeks away. Maybe I really am ready to get back into it. Anyway I'm going to keep my run training up, at least until after Run For The Kids on 1st April, then decide what to do. Lots to consider.

Comments

  1. As a runner I am awe of triathletes. Anyone who can combine training in three disciplines and compete, at any level has my admiration. Your wife must be very supportive to suggeat that you consider the 2008 Ironman.

    All the best in whatever you decide Jason.

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  2. Yeah, what Eddie said! I train hours a week just to run, god know how much extra commitment a tri requires.

    Support from those you live with is invaluable though.

    Enjoy the R4K and have a ball no matter what you decide, and definitely keep that training log.

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