Complete oxygen depletion
I stop. Eyes blinded. Lungs hoovering air in. I stumble.
That’s racing and finding the ‘Letting go’. A confidence and hunger for pain. Its been months and I'm glad its back.
In my last post I was in the middle of a 4 week flu and the comeback I must say has been pretty good.
I haven’t achieved a bucket load of volume training but instead targeted VO2 max efforts
Day by day I chose the fear I needed to face, whether it be putting myself against a specific short interval goal or threshold race distance effort in the swim.
I remember coming back into swim training and trying some 100’s at max … the first time I faced lactic in weeks and I was like a kitten. Half knowing it was coming and then wanting to reduce the impact I shied out a feeble effort… acknowledging that I let go a little more on the second. Faster.
Next day I chose 50’s but this time flat out - The goal not being time but to not be afraid. Confidence grew…. That evening an intuitive message....‘Its time to start hurting yourself again’. I devised a session on the road bike starting with a hill repeat and the goal was just to throw myself at it, go lactic and menace my way through it. Fearlessness engaged. Following the hill was a 2km bike loop with a 470m circuit.. Its exciting type training that lets you pour it all out and pretend you are racing ITU or Super League style… Leaves you feeling released and excited at the prospects of racing again.
I was far from race fit but needed to be within 2 weeks, ready for a 2km ocean swim and in 3 weeks ready for a short Triathlon.
The process of test and conquer built confidence and fitness.
Last week the Burleigh Ocean swim was on and weather was terrible. So bad in fact that after our start wave was let go they cancelled the rest of the swims.
It was completely exhilarating. I think it took me 15 mins to get out to the first can through the breakers. Seas were so high it was hard to see the cans except for when the waves dipped low. It felt amazing swimming in the ocean – Blue/green water I could transparently as my hand entered. All I could think of was how grateful I was to be in the ocean. I took a punt that I was at the last can and headed into shore – Weary of the increasing chaos and not wanting to end up around the Miami headland – It was flowing down hard! I sighted the finish line and caught a huge wave into shore. Sprinted up to the finish, it was pelting rain I was speechless and my eyes about to pop out of my head from the adrenalin. Awesome.
Feeling a little more race confident now I looked forward to next week - A Saturday Club Race at TVT 500/14 /4. The distance of 500/14 /4 would be a challenge at full noise – Its easy to question your fitness when the longest full bore effort you have done in training is 15 mins.. this would be 50 mins I could only imagine somehow feeling short of the strength.
I decided it would be a good form finder none the less – Knowing I had well conditioned myself to smash the swim was a good start, allowing me to see where the hammer landed on the bike run.
I ended up having a really solid effort – finding strength on the back end #winter base #VO2 conditioning.
Now with race 1 under the belt I would also back up with the short course at Bribie the following day going shorter again. Confidence high I knew I could drill the 300/10/3 – I was excited for this race looking at the course – A weaving bike course that looked like an F1 track – I took the roady and played it super league style. What a blast. I felt like a big kid. I was thinking mid way I was in the ITU or Olympics minus the draft pack. 3km Run I went even harder than the day before. That familiar pain sigh as you rise into lactic and rise above it. A spectator added ‘That’s it, keep giving it to your self’. So I did.. and it felt bloody good.
I knew I was well clear of my age group – As all the talent was in the longer race of course, I didn’t care, it was ridiculously fun and I came 3rd overall. Which was really surprising as I’d seen the row of QLD talent squad members on the beach head off in the first wave(young but fast!).
So search for hurt well in motion and I’ve learned the value of high intensity training and racing – It breeds a lot of resilience. I’ve also learned not to sell myself short in terms of capabilities. Although it does pay to be prepped to a point where you can visualise yourself doing well - and well enough to deal with any defects.
Now I build on this, keep the intensity but lengthen it out as I prep towards a hopeful Hell Of The West long course campaign.
Final word, because I get asked often, kids and age groupers a like.. Should I race the long or the short? Should I do both races? - Go shorter and harder if you cant go long and hard, then go as hard but longer or don't go at all. Slow stuff is for aerobic training.