Today marked the start of returning to a scheduled training programme. The last 4 weeks have been good, with the body feeling much better than it normally does post Ironman. With the excitement of another Hawaii qualification, there was a huge temptation to jump straight back into training, not wanting to waste a single day. However, I gave recovery the respect it deserved and gradually eased back into things. 17 hours of training last week was a good indication that I'm feeling good and ready to go.
Putting a plan together for the next 5 months of training has been a huge challenge. It would be much simpler if I was going to Hawaii for a 10 hour finish and the medal, but I'm committed to achieving more than that. I've been extremely fortunate to have the help of some kind friends who have offered their words of wisdom and advice, including UK based coach Russell Cox. The reason that the process of putting this particular programme together has been so tough is because for the first time, I've fully analysed and evaluated every element of my training. It's not just a case of counting training hours and deciding to do more, but a much deeper process of delving into the breakdown of my key sessions, and seeing where changes should me made.
I can't hide my excitement. Some sessions will be quite different to anything that I've done before. With this comes an element of mystique, as if I'm entering the unknown, which brings some nervousness. I'm changing things up with the goal of improving across the board, though certainly there are come areas that merit more attention than others. My training in the past 18 months has followed the same general pattern, so it will be exciting to throw something different into the mix.
Of course, it's all very well having a programme set out on paper, but it's following it that counts. There will inevitably be shuffling of sessions, switching of days or perhaps an additional rest day included if necessary. The programme is not set in stone, it's an outline. I won't be so stubborn as to stick rigidly to the workout of the day if I'm deeply fatigued or feeling the onset of injury, I'll adapt and change things if necessary.
Day 1 is complete. It started at 6am at the running track - a place I'll become more familiar with in the coming months!