Thursday, 20 February 2014

Karen writes: A week to go to IM 2014

Started this blog entry a couple of days ago, at that point, I had 10 days to go before I line up with a couple of thousand others for the 30th NZ Ironman. 10 days where no further fitness gains could be made. 10 days where injury could occur or bugs could be caught. 10 days to marinate in anxiety about whether or not all that training was 'enough'.  The Ironman people have had a countdown going on since 30 days out, each day of the countdown representing 1 year in the 30 year history of the event in either Auckland or Taupo.  Some excellent stories, all, no doubt, to generate enthusiasm and excitement.

I'm yet to start feeling excited, but I do have a need to keeping going over and over what I have done to try to figure out how ready I am, it's about reassurance to prevent panic (I'm NOT ready!!). I'm spending time (still) poring over my training records and adding up hours from this year, comparing them to last year, and the year before.  Do the averages look better than for this week in previous years?  Has the 2013 total been overtaken yet? Did I meet my aim of improving on the cycle training?

For the final 10 weeks of training the figures look like this....

2012 IM - Total cycle km: 1064, run km: 266, Swim km: 34.1, Spin min: 421.  Average hours/week 11.8 hours.
2013 IM - Total cycle km: 1250, run km: 276, Swim km: 20.4, Spin min: 150. Average hours/week 11.3 hours.
2014 IM (incomplete, missing final week) - Total cycle km 1030, run km: 289, Swim km 20.7, Spin min: 595. Average hours/week 12.5 hours.

Now it should be noted that lots of other people do way more than this, but here's the thing, its a mistake to try to compare what you do with what other people do.  I'm lucky enough now having done this more than once to be able to compare with my own past experience, but the numbers don't tell the full story. Forgetting that the 2014 numbers are incomplete, there has to be consideration of quality as well as distance.  Some things I've figured out about those numbers include the fact that the lower cycling hours in 2014 actually aren't (such) a worry. I might be down on bike hours but spin hours are way up in quantity, and more importantly quality, perhaps equivalent to another 250km on the road.  Of concern though, I've been up in running km this time, but the quality has been poor, runs have been slow and difficult.  Swimming km may be slightly higher than last year, but again quality has been poor with no drills or pool work, and average distances of individual swims are lower.  Average hours per week increased by over 10% however this has been due to taking longer to do the distance.  And of course the elephant, or should I say Athena athlete in the room, I'm carrying all that extra weight. Still, I can look at the situation overall, add in the factor of a new bike and think yes, catastrophes allowing, I'm going to finish, but maybe take a bit longer.

So now I am now officially in taper time and taking it easy, 10 hours of training planned this week and I am not going to be too stressed if I don't achieve that, next week will involve very little effort. Just as well I dont need too much time to train right now though, things are busy with organising an 8yo's birthday party, evening meetings, and extra work to get ready to shift the whanau away to the lake for a few days.