The moment of finishing the ironman is the culmination of a years training. That was my main goal for the year and our lives had been geared up to achieve that goal.
So what’s next? The perceived wisdom seems to be that six weeks rest are in order before a return to gentle training. Well that was never going to happen!
In order to avoid post ironman depression syndrome (PIDS – yes really!) I had a few things lined up in advance so the coming months in the diary were not empty!
The first week after the ironman I rested – apart from some gentle pool swimming. I was very hungry and despite being tired I had to get up at about 03.30 to make porridge and toast as my rumbling tummy was keeping me awake.
The second week was spent in the Lake District on a planned holiday. Time to reconnect with my family and my inner – non-triathlete. Hill walking wasn’t a problem and we enjoyed some long walks in the hills around Keswick.
On a rainy day there was even a gentle bike ride!
I had deliberately left my own bikes a home so as not be tempted.
We went out for a walk on the Cumbrian Coast to St Bees Head which was very scenic with dramatic cliffs.
St Bees is the start of the Coast to Coast walk which we are planning to do in 2016.
The third week after the ironman I returned to some training. A couple of hours on the bike felt good. Two kilometres in the pool felt luxuriously short and then I tried running. This didn’t feel so good. My heart rate rocketed with the first real effort. At yoga I was very crampy and stiff. Clearly some way to go before my body was recovered from the ironman.
There were huge tides with the autumn equinox so a group of us went down to the River Avon in the South Hams of Devon and swam down with the ebbing tide. It was very fast and great fun.
The fourth week after the ironman I began to feel better when running with a bit of spring back in my stride. I took it gently though and kept a close watch on my heart rate which was still soaring more than expected. I returned to the gym for some strength and conditioning work and I managed better at yoga. Bike rides were most enjoyable in the warm dry October weather.
In 2015 I had a few targets. The main one was the Challenge Weymouth iron distance triathlon. I also challenged myself to complete at least 8 Egdon Heath Harriers Club races and also 6 Dorset League races. I have already done more than 8 Club races. The other target is to maintain the AAARTY – I am on Month 39 now so that’s all going well.
It’s been a good year – all the boxes have been ticked. I am lucky to have stayed healthy and injury free and have competed the targets I set myself
On the 12th October a month after the ironman I did my hard and hilly AAARTY. It was a beautiful day for 100km with over 2000m of elevation.
This felt pretty good. I really enjoyed the ride and my performance was up there close to pre – ironman.
I ran on 13th October and then planned to take it easy for the rest of the week but the weather was so good that I have been out on my bike every day. The reason for taking it easy is that it is the Weymouth 10. I wouldn’t have done the race if it wasn’t my only opportunity to complete my 6th Dorset League race and thus achieve one of my 60th year goals I had set myself. This will be my last event before I turn 60!
However – instead of taking it easy I ended up cycling every day – more of that later!
The weather for the Weymouth 10 was excellent – as good as it gets. Weymouth sea front was quite benign. I can’t say I enjoyed the race. I was careful not to push too hard and just kept my heart rate at about 90% of maximum or 150 bpm. However I was pleased that I completed in a reasonable time and also that I ran very even splits. I just hope my running improves from where I am now.
Now the Weymouth 10 is successfully completed – not very quick and not all that enjoyable, it has to be said – I can turn my attention to the next big thing.
After a brief sojourn in North Wales next weekend we are off to Nepal on a trekking adventure. We’re not exactly sure where yet, as the Manaslu area is still off limits due to damage from the Earthquake in April 2015.
We’re hoping that situation will change in the next couple of weeks otherwise we’ll just have to go to Annapurna. It’s not all bad!