The Click

Posted on January 28, 2014. Filed under: brain training, cycle, Ironman Austria, ironman regensburg, Klagenfurt, marathon, motivation, nutrition, run, swim |

Sometimes the iron life is like trying to push water uphill.  Despite your strength and agility it is an unrelenting, and unrewarding pastime.  I often have conversations with people who think that I find it easy to go out for a run – some days I do, and other days I would rather boil my own feet in  hot oil.  And going to the swimming pool can be another circle of hell all of it’s own.

But, other times it just clicks.

I genuinely have no idea what makes the difference. I have thought about it a lot recently as I struggle to find my way.  Sometimes motivation comes like a rampant wild fire and consumes me but other times, mainly January, it is like a damp match in a snow storm.  The difference, I think, comes when I can truly join the dots from here and now, straight through to my objective – Ironman Austria.

I am not renowned for quoting latin but a line by the Roman poet Ovid resonates.  In fact, had I been confident it doesn’t say “chicken donner with chips and don’t spare the chilli sauce” it would probably have been tattooed for posterity on my leg after Ironman Regensburg.

“Perfer et obdura, dolor hic tibi proderit olim.”

It could be the ironman maxim “Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you”.  And that is where I find myself now – I have clear line of sight from here to 7am on 29th June, I have joined the dots.  I know exactly when the pain will be useful to me.  It has clicked.


Through illness and recovery, December and January were unsatisfying.  It is difficult to describe – the body was functioning and I was doing the training hours; the brain was engaged and I was training with purpose.  But my heart wasn’t in it.  For the last ten days though, all body parts have locked onto the target like a heat seeking missile.

So, what’s changed?


Well, basically it’s working which is a genuine novelty.  However, more than that it is getting strong.  At the tail end of 2013 I was getting frustrated as sport specific strength work was not yielding power gains.  I was doing the right stuff with the right effort levels, so what was wrong?  After a lot of soul searching I put it down to 20 years of office work – my core was as strong as overcooked spaghetti and my glutes were refusing to chuck their contribution into the legwork kitty.  So I hit the gym – deep squats, heavy deadlifts, some pilates and so on and now, finally, I am noticing immediate changes in how I pedal and how I run.  It may be psychological but hell, at this stage, I’ll take it.


Christmas proves to be very disruptive, I had a great nutritional plan pre December and then a combination of ironmanflu and ready access  to trifle and bacon forced me off the rails.  I now have laser focus on the hills in Ironman Austria and the final miles of the run and the toll that any additional timber will take.  It literally is like a light switch has flicked in my head.


After last week’s swimming lesson, I have a new lease of life in the pool.  A sub 1 hour ironman swim is not only within my grasp but beatable.  Each length that was a turgid purgatory in November is now an opportunity to hone my stroke, to test race skills, to develop a relentless cruising pace.  I am a born again swimmer.

There are still 5 months to go according to the countdown on the blog.  That changes to 4 tomorrow.  It really was time for my mojo to join the equation and pull me ever closer to the beach at Klagenfurt.  Finally, everything is pointing in the right direction.

Now, if Wincey Willis would just sort the weather out…….


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8 Responses to “The Click”

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Wincey Willis…now there’s a blast from the past!


Especially included for the oldies like you!


Seeing other people “finding their way” on the training road, however it happens, is about the only thing that persuades me at times all is not lost. That sometimes it does have to be really bad, in order to make you fix or least change things.

Your training have more than any mirrored mine, I was going well before Xmas whereas you were struggling to breath. Your 2014 has started in an upwards direction, mine is again mirrored.

Your training road has been the one that convinces me it will get better – I’m selfishly hoping yours doesn’t get to good if mine is a mirror.


You just have to have faith in the plan. It is designed at 30 weeks for good reason – illness, injury, building, getting stronger.

You will get there!


You are right I will, or break myself trying!

One annoying thing because arthritis / knee problems, building strength in the standard gym way is a no no

But I am going to try a Pilates class next week, see if that helps without breaking me.


I think everyones mojo takes a holiday over christmas and new year, glad yours is bad and your back into full swing. Hoping the pain is not too great but I now it will be inevitable as I head to Bolton for my first IM.


Yeah we hibernate a bit too long don’t we? Anyway, we’re on the road now!


Yes just wish the roads weren’t submerged ! At least plenty of time to focus on swimming.


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