I do enjoy looking back and seeing what I have accomplished throughout the year. I also enjoy reading what my training buddies have completed as well.
2017 stats for myself were:
•Swim: 155 sessions with a total of 334.6km (14 more sessions and 47.6km more than last year).
•Bike: 185 sessions with a total of 9101km (65 more sessions and 3237km more than last year).
•Run: 129 sessions with a total of 1639.8km (13 more sessions and 65.2km more than last year).
•Strength & Conditioning: 190 sessions (127 sessions more than last year).
I am disappointed with my running in 2017 however I did have many weeks throughout the year not running due to injury so I should be satisfied.
Changes I am looking to make:
In the lead up to last Ironman, I was the most consistent I have ever been when it came to miles and sessions however when it came to intervals and completing structured sessions, I wasn't very consistent at all so this is one of two big things I hope to tackle in 2018.
I also had a shocking diet for the most part of 2017 so this is defiantly something I hope to fix. Since June of last year, I have been scoring my daily nutrition every day and I log it in my training log. To give an example on the quality of my diet.
In the past 29 weeks (the number of weeks I have been tracking my diet)
•Poor Days: 116 days
•Below satisfactory Days: 58 Days
•Satisfactory Days: 16 Days
•Good Days: 3 days
•Great Days: 7 Days
Even now while I write these stats out, I am disappointed with myself. While I have been tracking these numbers, it isn’t something I have been looking at from an overview glance and think there are some major room for improvements.
Looking back throughout the year with my weight, the heaviest I weighed was 83.3kg. Normally my weights jumps a lot between 80kg and 82kg. Since tracking my weight, every year I would balloon out to 85kg plus so if I was to take a positive from 2017 with my weight, it would be it didn’t go over 83.3kg.
Something else I have been tracking is my motivation/drive levels each day for the past twenty-one weeks, this is completely on how I feel each day.
•Poor Days: 13 days
•Below satisfactory Days: 29 days
•Satisfactory Days: 59 days
•Good Days: 28 days
•Great Days: 17 days
One thing I picked up on right after Ironman Cairns was the amount of weeks I was nursing a niggling injury, had an injury or an illness was rather high.
Before Ironman Cairns 2017
•Niggling injury: 9 weeks I had a niggling injury of some kind or another.
•Injury: 4 weeks (just before Ironman Cairns)
•Illness: 6 weeks I had some sort of illness
After Ironman Cairns:
•Niggling injury: Zero
•Injury: 6 weeks (Achilles)
As soon as I picked up on this after Ironman Cairns, I started using a foam roller often. In the past 28 weeks when I started using a foam roller, I have used it 79 times.
As for illness, well I am doing my best to stay away from anyone who looks remotely unwell and taking Hulk Hogan’s advice with “taking my vitamins and saying my prays Brother!”.
I started a new style of swim training this week. A lot of it is very threshold focus with the aim of me swimming as close to my VO2 Max celling as I can. This is where the CSS test last week came into it. Going off the time trial results, I am able to structure my swim sessions pace and rest around that CSS score.
I swam today with my son Jacky and a work friend Steve Rowlings who is around two levels above me. The main set was 200m, 25sec rest, 300m, 25sec rest, 500m 25sec rest. Jacky did every 2nd 50m with me with a few of the sets me swimming on his feet. Man, he is getting crazy fast in the water. I felt great in the water but for the first time in a long time my shoulders by the end of the sessions were tight. I love that feeling.
According to my CSS test last week, if I was to do a 3.8km swim (in a pool), my time would be 1:05. If I did this in the rough ocean water in Cairns I could add another 10 minutes. Crazy.
With Christmas tomorrow, this week I have had a little less than normal available training hours, with that I have also had far less sleep over the weekend than normal. Knowing that I will be limited with sleep, time will be killing me and me working Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, I changed my run program to help get me though the weekend.
Instead of me really struggling to stay awake at work, I decided to run at work when I really struggling. I ended up running four times over the weekend. I didn’t think the bosses would mind as I am the only person on site and I work on a very large site so I just put it down to me checking the fence lines a few times. Each lap of the site was 1.5km so it was easy to calculate.
The runs helped keep me alert and I got the volume in needed for the week. It turned out I haven’t ran over five times in a week for a couple of years. As I have been a little injury prone a few years ago, I changed my running to only running three times a week with 2x 1hr runs and 1x long run and I have kept that going as it seemed to be working for me so running six times this week felt a little wearied.
I did a Critical Swim Speed Test (CSS) that includes a 400m time trial and a 200m time trial within the 2km session.
•400m: 6:30 •200m: 3:14
This gave my CSS pace of 1:38 per 100m. Looking at the two time trials, I had a drop off of 0.5% and this would fit within an “elite level pacing”. I just wish my pace was that of an elite swimmer.
Funny enough, both time trials were personal best times of mine. This session and my last swim session have been the only two sessions of late that I felt good. Every other swim has been very poor.
Looking back through my log, there could be a few reasons.
•I started doing 21 push ups most days.
•The past two weeks I have been well under my average weekly sleep hours, (I normally have around 51 hours sleep a week and in the past two weeks I have fallen short from this).
•The weather in Launceston has been rather warmer than normal and looking at most sessions of swim, bike and run. Almost all of them have been either pool or normal. None of them I have felt good.
•My diet has been far from good. This could be part of the reasons but it was far from good this week and my training has improved.
•Could be a combination of everything.
I tried something different after Ironman Cairns last June than what I normally do. Normally I would take two full weeks off all training and three weeks off all running and slowly bring things back. I do this because that is what you do. I was taught this by my old coach Allan Pitman. I never questioned it, I never thought about it. I simply did it.
This time around I decided to spend a month recovering but still keep training through. I did take four days after Ironman and was back on the bike. All my training for a month was between easy to moderate.
The only downside to this was I went into the Ironman with an achilles injury so I did take two weeks off running but still reverted back to my template for the rest.
•3x swims per week equalling 6km
•3x bike rides per week equalling 150km
•3x strength sessions per week (all body weight during this time)
The results were what I expected, I felt like for months after that I could do an Ironman at any time and get the same time I had in June. Now I feel like with a months’ notice, I can get a personal best time.
Would I do this again? Unless I had an Ironman coming up within four months, I would most likely not do it again.
Once I got going again in proper training, I hired a cycling coach Wez Sulzberger who had only just started his coaching business after retiring from professional cycling. I learned a lot from Wez. Four months into being coached by him, I stopped as I was making a lot of financial cut backs so I can reinvest all my money into my own coaching business Train Smooth.
I could see the outlined plan that Wez was doing with me so I chosed to stay on the same path of focusing on a higher cadence, strength endurance, VO2 max and sweet spot work.
I reinjured my achilleas again shortly after I restarted running again so I took six weeks off all running and very slowly started running again.
I changed my swimming structure I had been doing for the past year to include more build sets within my warm up. I have stayed very consistent with my swim but I am now ready for another change.
My strength training, I have been in the gym twice a week and doing another session at home. Very much to what I have been doing for the past year but this too will need to change.
Since Ironman Cairns mid-June of this year, I have completed: