Sunday, 9 July 2017

From Ironman to now

It has been a month since I did Ironman Cairns and I have taken a completely different approach with my rest and recovery than I have in the past. A few friends and family members have made comments and questioning my thought pattern.

In the past I would take two full weeks off all training. I would start to swim and bike in the third week and start running again in the fourth week.  I never questioned  this method too much as this is always been what my old coach would get me to do and his other athletes.  He would often say "It takes two full weeks to recover fro an Ironman". 

Just before the Ironman, I was listening to a podcast called Gaincast hosted by legendary track and swim coach Vern Gambetta.  He was talking about athletes during the break who train lightly versus the athletes who fully rest. In his experience the athletes who do unstructured light training with still the goal of rest and recovery not only start their season in better shape than the athletes who fully rest, but they often out perform throughout the season than the others athletes.

I found myself agreeing to a lot of what Verm was saying even though we are in completely different sports.  It got me thinking back to an interview I read with Le Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins where he spoke about his coach Tim Kerrison's approach to coaching.  Tim is an old Australian swim coach with no cycling background.  He brought his swimming methods and adopted them to cycling.  Elite swimmers stay in the water all year round so this is what Tim got Bradley Wiggins would do.  When Bradley would go on holidays, he would have to take his bike with him.  He raced less but trained more and the aim was to keep his fitness to around 95% of his peak all year around.

Now the problem with this is you run the risk of mentally breaking the athlete.  Yet this still got me thinking so I started to do a little more research and thinking how I can relate this back to athletes who race Ironman.  Racing an Ironman is such a violent race on the body, I do think there needs to be some rest but I am thinking that we have too much rest after an Ironman.

For athletes like myself who love to train and love the process, I thought about it and created a program for myself that would keep me moving sooner rather than later.

Week after Ironman
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - 20 minute mobility session
Wednesday - Rest
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Ride eighty minutes easy
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - 45 minute mountin bike ride

Week Two
Monday  - Swim 2km,  bike 2 hours, Core session, Oxygen depravation session, 30 minute mobility session and meditated
Tuesday - Swim 2km, Core session, Oxygen deprivation session, 30 minute mobility session and meditated
Wednesday: - Bike 2 hours
Thursday - Swim - 2km and bike 2 hours
Friday -  30 minute Mobility Session
Saturday - Core session, Swim cords, 30 minute mobility session, Oxygen deprivation session and meditated
Sunday - Meditated

Week Three
Monday - Swim - 2km, Run 30 minutes and Bike 2 hours
Tuesday -  Bike 70 minutes, Swim 2km, Gym session
Wednesday - Swim 2km, Run 50 minutes and oxygen depervation session
Thursday - Bike 1 hours,Oygen depervation session, Mobility session, Core session, Swim cords and meditated
Friday - Rest Day
Saturday - Bike 1 hours
Sunday - Run 20km and 30 minutes mobility session

Week Four
Monday - Swim 2km, Bike 2 hours, 30 minutes mobility session, Core session and a oxygen depervation session
Tuesday - Bike 2 hours, 30 minute mobility session and a oxygen depervation session
Wednesday - Run 1:10 hour, Gym session and a 25 minute mobility session
Thursday - Swim 2km, Bike 1 hours
Friday - wim 2km, Run 30 minutes, 25 minute mobility session and a oxygen depervation session
Saturday - 30 minute mobility session, Gym session, oxygen depervation session and swim cord session.
Sunday - Run - 1 hours

Current Thoughts
There were times when I questioned what I was doing. Looking back at my training diary, it looks like a lot but it really hasn't been too much at all.  My main focus has been on recovery and rest and my training hours are very low. I am use too and the intensity is low for most sessions.  I took a little extra rest from the run as I went into the Ironman with an achillies injury  At this stage I am very happy with my process and I am looking forward  to seeing if I am on the right track with this approach.

I am still around a week away from me building back up. My body is absorbing everything nicely except the gym sessions but my body has always struggled a little with this over the past year.