Summer at last!

Posted on July 5, 2011. Filed under: baby, bike, brad wiggins, cycle, geek spot, Half ironman, ironman, ironman regensburg, knockburn, knockburn middle distance, regensburg, Rory, run, shakey, Sky Procycling, swim, Team Sky, triathlon |

Dad's tales of Ironman training proved overwhelming for Rory

As forecast, the weekend has left me puggled.  Work ended up being even busier than I thought – I took a rest day on Friday (from training) and worked through to just after 2am; I was up at 630am and out for a 7 hour ride; back at work from 3pm through to 2am, home for a quick cat-nap and back in from 7am to 4pm giving me another unplanned rest day on Sunday.

I haven’t drunk caffeine for a couple of months now but when I got to work I was instantly attracted to full sugar Coke to top my system up after the ride and get me through to the early hours.  Having been off the caffeine, combined with the volume I took in I was alternately giddy and sweaty but with a speeding pulse I made it through the day no problem.  When I got home Pam forced me to sleep against my better judgement and I woke a couple of hours later with an incredible caffeine and adrenaline hangover.  By the look of my boy on Sunday morning he was suffering sympathetic fatigue for his old man.

Anyway, fine weather has finally arrived in Scotland which has given me the opportunity to train in a climate more like what I will face in Germany and test my resolve against the elements.  Saturday morning was a lovely ride which provided some rich material for my bike photos.  I headed out over the hills past Knockhill and took in Dollar on the way out to Aberfoyle and then back through Stirling on a 105mile epic ride.  Nutrition strategy worked well with Clif Bars, gels, water and almost 2 litres of carb replacement drink.  It was a course that had a very similar profile to Regensburg so it was great to get some long stretches down on the aerobars and tested some new muscles that I haven’t used in a lot of the hillier courses that I have been over.  It turns out that being forward on the bars for long periods can leave you a little chafed in the moving parts – despite padding and a liberal application of vaseline I still needed to borrow substantial amounts of Rory’s Sudocreme to sort myself out afterwards.

I had a wonderful moment later in the morning when I got beeped at in Stirling when examining my map trying to find a way around the castle rock without going up a hill.  An older fella who I had been riding with earlier in the morning spotted me in my bright yellow cycling shirt and stopped to ask if I was lost.  I like how the Knights of the Road stick together.

The Temptress lounges at the Lake of Menteith

While the sun was welcome relief from the hail, rain and wind that I had suffered in recent weeks it still provides a lot of challenges.  Although I take electrolyte supplements in my water bottles I found I had some mild cramping.  Cramp is basically your body’s way of telling you that you are running low on electrolytes and salt so I have now ordered salt tablets that I will need to test (for compatability with my stomach) on my last long ride.

I passed the Lake of Menteith and stopped for a photo.  I always thought that it was the only Lake in Scotland but it turns out that it is one of 4 but the most famous.  There is a really boring reason why it is called a Lake which I choose to ignore as I prefer the legend that the local Baron betrayed Sir William Wallace and everyone else subsequently referred to it by the English name lake to indicate his true allegiance.

Anyway, it was a great ride with some good lumps and bumps but with long flat drags – all of which are perfect preparation for IM Regensburg.

Monday included a long run (just over 10miles) deliberately done at midday in full tri-gear and sunscreen to replicate a hot race followed by an hour on the turbo in the back garden with completely still air.  The run actually went so well that I completely forgot to rehearse my race strategy.  An Ironman marathon isn’t like a run of the mill marathon as it is done after a warm up of 112miles on the bike and a 2.4mile swim.  So, you need a plan and mine is a 9min run and 1min walk strategy which controls the heart rate, allows you to eat and drink when you walk  and actually keeps up a good average pace.  However, after 45minutes I realised I had forgotten the plan and was just jogging so it will need to be tested properly this weekend coming.  Unfortunately, I think I got myself so dehydrated that I had to dodge my morning swim today and I might as well have been jogging on slow roasted lamb shanks at lunchtime for all the use that my legs were.

Geek spot hasn’t been updated for a while so here goes.  Since I decided to start tracking mileage I have now covered 3400km or 2100miles and with my peak month still ongoing there is a bit yet to come.

The Tour de France started again this week and “my colleagues” in Team Sky have 3 of the top 10 places as I write.  I love the work that ozcycling do at LeTour so although they only have one hilarious video so far this year (bad translation) I have posted their analysis of how riders manage a “comfort break” in tribute to the Tour.

So, this week will see our home-made half ironman event after the cancellation of the Knockburn Middle Distance.  I am hoping for decent weather as at least if she has to drink a lot of water I won’t hear too much of Shakey pumping her gums.  On the other hand I could just make the swim last a lot longer amd I’ll never hear her with my ears submerged!  When we meet Pam, Rory and the rest of the support crew at the end of the Forth Road Bridge on Saturday afternoon I will only have one long distance session left before the drive to Germany.  It’s all getting very real now!

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