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Nath hits 5 weeks to go.

As he gets to the pointy end, Nath is seeing that work + recovery = rewards.

Week in review

Apologies for being a little late with the update folks, I’ve been quite busy with work and trying to fit training in! The race is approaching quickly now, only 4 ½ weeks to go!

I was anticipating that I was to be away from home due to work so I loaded up the week previous and used this week as a bit of a recovery week to absorb the workload and prepare for the final push of my training block. Monday was my usual rest day and I also took Wednesday off due to work and travel, which helped me recover from the fatigue. My TSS was in the minus fifties, so I needed some rest to let my body recover and when I did get running again on Thursday my legs felt like rubbish, it was like the beginning of a taper!

It was actually a good reminder to me on how important it will be to get my taper right and come down from this solid preparation and be cherry ripe for race day. I will need to keep my routine and keep my body moving so I don’t get that stale and lethargic feeling.

As far as my mental wellbeing and freshness is concerned I am still quite good, I’m not getting too grumpy or sick of the hard long training which is great. Normally as I get to the final few weeks of an ironman preparation I get sick of all the training, tiredness, hunger, non-drinking etc! But I guess as this time it is for the big one in Kona I am more excited and stimulated to keep pushing for a big event.

On the family side, things are going really well. My wife is still off work, recovering well and perhaps because she is not working she is not as tired and able to handle most of the home duties and allow me to execute some good training sessions. Normally when she is working I get quite guilty and cut sessions a little short so I can get home and help out, but she is OK with things at the moment, as long as she knows how long I’m out for and how many big weekends are left (only 3!!!).

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Positives

My body is still going great guns, with no niggles or specific soreness to work around which is great. I am not executing the plan which I lay out on a Sunday exactly as I tend to let my body determine if it is fresh and ready to hit it or if I need to adjust things slightly to be sensible.

Typically by this part of my Ironman preparations I am very ad lib with the training as I have a lot of weeks of built up fatigue and stress, so I tend to go by feel and focus on the key sessions but let my body determine exactly I can do. This is good in terms of keeping healthy but you still need to be disciplined and know the difference between needing to take it easy and the times when you still need to get those tough sessions done and not be lazy.

I completed a good quality long ride on Sunday, with 3hrs in the rain which really helped with my mental toughness. It was not much fun at first, but once I accepted it was nothing that I could change, I just got on with the job and completed a key session that I will look back on as a ride which helped define my race.

My running may not be very high in volume but the quality is there and my confidence in my run has never been higher. I’ve had a good solid year or so of consistent running and my legs are very hardened, the six foot track ultra-marathon was not fun in March but it has definitely toughened me up and I will take a lot from that event into the second half of the marathon in Kona.

Negatives

Only got 7.5km of swimming done with 2 sessions, but one of them was a quality 4.5km swim so there is a silver lining. Apart from that there were not really any negatives.

Weekly summary;

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Upcoming week

This upcoming week will build steadily to the weekend where next weekend will be one of the most vital weekends in my preparation, along with the following weekend. As my daughter’s netball season has finished I can get out on Saturday for a good race simulation long ride and then have my long run on Sunday which is great as it will help to simulate the race fatigue.

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Monday was a double run day to get some quality k’s into my legs and start a week of loading up the running.
On Saturday I am planning on a big ride of 180-200km which will include 4 x 1hr intervals at goal race power with my race nutrition so I can confirm and lock in my target power and get used to my nutrition plan, so this is a key session. I will then finish off with a run off the bike to test out the legs and my goal race pace for the run.

My Sunday run is also important this week as it will be the one of the longest runs in my preparation and should be a mentally challenging run for the last hour, which will help me prepare my mental game for the race.

So this weekend will help to determine my targets for Kona and  help me to lock things for the final rundown to the race.

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