Older and Wiser

Ewen is right, most of the pain from Ironman training does come from the prolonged runs and rides. This is mainly the pain I was referring to in my last post. I have been thinking fairly hard about whether or not I am becoming soft, and after receiving some feedback from a number of people the conclusion is I am becoming a bit wiser. I have learnt from previous mistakes.

Looking back at my first three years of training when I was still going to university, studying Human Movement. A typical day consisted of the alarm waking me up at 4:47am. Yes, the odd time was exactly what I needed. My morning routine of dressing, toilet, picking up my bag of uni and training gear, and food for the day was well ingrained down to the exact second. Then it was onto my bike for a 50 minute ride to the pool. A swim of about 90 minutes before riding into university where I showered and then usually ate breakfast in my first lecture. Then the day consisted of different classes and fitting in another training session with my uni mates. This session usually was a run and/or weights set. Sometimes it was an extra bike ride. At the end of the uni day, I again hopped on the bike and rode for just shy of 90 minutes to my part time job where I worked until about 10pm before riding home. Something to eat, get my stuff ready for the next day and into bed hopefully by midnight.

I was somehow fitting in about 4-6 hours of training on each weekday with longer sessions on the weekend and only getting about 4-6 hours sleep per night. I was always sore. My legs always carried some level of fatigue and pain that just became normal to me. I felt like I was pushing through something nearly every day. It all did eventually catch up with me.

Now I am older, I spend more hours at work, I have other responsibilities and my social life is just as active, but I no longer carry around any great levels of pain and fatigue from day to day. At the start of most of my training sessions I now feel relatively fresh and recovered. I am able to concentrate throughout a full set and even maintain a good posture for a prolonged time. These are things I use to struggle with.

Hopefully, I have learnt how to pick when to push the boundaries hard and when I should just gently stretch the envelope. Maybe I am getting a bit soft, but if I can save up what I have left deep inside me, then maybe I can use it all when it counts.

"Great beginnings are not as important as the way one finishes" - Dr James Dobson


  1. Your time-management skills at Uni were finely honed! I don't know how you managed on 4-6 hours sleep though. That's got to be one of the main differences (talent being the other) between full-time athletes and us. The extra time available for sleep and recovery.

    Being more recovered from daily training is a better outcome. I'm sure you won't forget how to go hard when it counts.


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