Sometimes I wonder if I'm getting soft when it comes to training as I get older. Over the last couple of years I definitely haven't put in as many long hard sessions as I used to. I no longer just keep plugging out hard days after hard days. I now find it much easier to call it a day when I'm not feeling great. Maybe I'm getting soft, maybe I'm learning from past mistakes or maybe training is just no longer the overall focus of my life.

I'm happy with the fact training and racing isn't the only thing my life revolves around, that would be unhealthy since I don't make a living out of it. In fact, racing drains the bank balance. I'm also happy with the fact I think I have learnt from some past mistakes. I have overtrained myself pretty seriously in my earlier days to such an extent it took months to recover from. I'm also happy that I have more experience and knowledge and therefore in theory have a better understanding of how my body responds to training, so I can get more bang for my buck. What is bugging me is I've noticed I don't seem to be experiencing the same levels of pain in training that I used to.

This lack of pain has been playing on my mind today. Now most of my training days feel almost easy. It's not because I am fitter, currently I am still a long way behind where I was two years ago. I think I am performing most of them within my current capabilities and not pushing the envelope as hard. I am hoping it is just training smarter, but I am wondering if I am just using that as an excuse not to train as hard.

Looking back at my last few races I know I definitely gave them all I had on the day. I definitely remembered how to hurt myself during them. I also showed some good improvement from the start of this year so I have been doing something right. It's has been a long time since I have completed an interval session that has seen me revisit my breakfast. This is probably a good thing, maybe the fact it has been playing on my mind is enough to keep me honest and hurt myself when it is necessary.

My main concern is because I am not experiencing the same level of pain and fatigue that I used to, I'm worried I am losing the ability to really push myself. When it comes to performing at the Ironman, fitness can only take you so far on the day. It is an event that causes a unique and intense pain that lasts for hours. To perform well you have to push past pain and many of the body's defence mechanisms. It is not a day to be soft.

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." - Anatole France


  1. I can't offer any suggestions about dealing with IM pain Jason. It's probably an 'on the day' thing, and mainly mental rather than physical.

    I reckon you probably are training smarter. I wouldn't have thought that painful anaerobic interval sessions do much at all for IM-type fitness - at least in running and biking.

    Isn't the big pain from the fatigue of going long? The all-day rides? 35km runs?

  2. You have alot more experience than I do, but I'm going through the same thing. If nothing else, your post helped me understand a few things about my own training.

    thank-you for posting it.


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