Now this years attempt depends on more than just Covid restrictions. In one of the weirdest injuries ever sustained (and Chris James was with me when it happened and those are his words!) I managed to screw my foot up running less than a mile on flat grass…I know!
X-Rays and Consultations took place and the official diagnosis was “Grumpy Foot” – this is actually the term used by my consultant. Damaged Ligaments and a foot that was basically “fucked off with the amount of work it had been doing” – yep, again, the actual phrase used at the hospital.
This means we approach the 6 month mark of training prep and I have run the longest distance of a mammoth 4 miles. Houston, we have a problem… or do we? Possibly not actually, I’m a stubborn bitch and love being up against it so realistically, Houston, lets fucking do this.
At this point in 2020 I had just completed my 5 marathons in 5 months, hit a comfortable distance of 1.5 miles in the pool and was damn comfortable working at power on a bike. Roll forward to now and I’ve run 4 miles, not swum since that last session in 2020 and my FTP is down over 25 watts, plus I haven’t been out on my bike since 2020 either. Lets face it, things aren’t looking great.
Before, I had the luxury of using this 6 months to play around. We all know I love CrossFit and was never going to quit CrossFit for any event.. however with such a solid base I could afford do a bit more of the non essential stuff and use some unconventional methods to get myself conditioned and race ready. *At this point I need to stress that for me “race ready” does not mean I am planning on actual racing. I have no interest in being “competitive” and race ready to me means being confident I can finish the event and enjoy the experience. Maybe I should say “participation ready” instead,
This time around I have even, for now, had to give up my 121 Coaching with my Coach, Kerry. This was decided during a meeting we had last week and I am now dead to her 🙁 This should make the CrossFit classes she coaches interesting when I’m in attendance. Will she just ignore me? Will my name even get put up on the board? I jest obviously (hopefully?!) as I need her, and as many positive supporters in my corner now more than ever. The haters are gonna hate, that will never change and thats fine – let them talk, that shit just adds fuel to my fire.
So why quit my coach? I just need that time to dedicate to the basics right now. It’s only an hour a week but when you examine the big picture that hour is needed for the pool. I am still not going to train in the most traditional way as it just isn’t for me and I am not your traditional triathlete. However, this time round it will look a little orthodox.
So training starts in earnest today and that means my weekly Training blog will be back so you can follow my progress, if that interests you, on my Ironman Training Blog
Today is Day 1 and the goal is to get from 0 to 140.6.
Body Comp Stats Weight: 75.5kg (-0.1kg) Body Fat %: 28.9 (-0.1) Muscle %: 33.4 (+/- 0)
This week is my first de-load week of the year and after a hell session on Monday and 33 mile Ultra on Sunday man, did I need it!
Mon: Rest Day
Normally the day after a marathon/ultra I would go to the box and do a very light recovery total body conditioning session but I was told by many sources (Kerry – my coach and Tim @ We Dominate Nutrition, my nutrition coach to name just two) to just take the day off. I quite like to move the day after as I think it helps my recovery so I took Cracker dog for a long walk instead.
Tue: 10:30am Insanity Class
Coaching this class wouldn’t normally even be considered as part of my training but on de-load week it counts.
Wed: 6:45am Indoor Cycle Class and 2 Mile Run
I asked my class this morning “have you ever seen a Spin Instructor die on a bike before?” Even during the warm up my legs felt heavy and my breathing was very laboured. I struggled through the entire class but made it through and weirdly, the run was absolutely fine. Well, I say fine. It is supposed to be a zone 2 run and on checking my watch at the end it was pretty much all in Zone 3. I had Gary for company again (thanks Gary) so maybe the fact that we just chat had something to do with that.
Wed: 1pm Pull Up and Push Up work
Amy and I, same thing every week, working on a couple of our weaknesses for half an hour. I recently found Eliud Kipchoghe’s 10 minute core routine from his training camp on YouTube and did this before we started the Upper Body Work.
Thu: 9:30am Indoor Cycle Class
The first go at Speed Week this year, renamed ‘Get Faster’ for 2020. I was a little nervous after how hard yesterday’s class was, especially as speed work is not my favourite. It was still tough, but I felt a little better than yesterday.
Thu: 6:30pm Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class
Get Faster take 2… Having the power meter and colour zones keeping me honest and controlling my output meant nowhere to hide and I honestly don’t think I have worked as hard on that bike as I did in this class to keep up. I hated myself a little bit for creating the damn session!
Fri: 10:30am 400m Swim
After coaching Insanity, LBT and Tabata classes I took advantage of the Nuffield Chichester facilities and hit their pool for an easy 400m. They only had one lane open as there was an aqua aerobic class going on which made the swim a little busy and choppy. I guess thats good IM training in itself.
Sat: Rest Day
Sun: 9:30am Sunday Funday Boxing Session
I was due to do a 15 mile cycle today but thanks to Storm Ciara I decided to bin this idea and Saturday night I put a call out to some of the Forza Fitness squad to see if anyone fancied a boxing session. Lorraine and Anna answered the call and we spent about an hour boxing, combining it with Squats, Jump Lunges, Slamballs, Push Ups and Sit Ups. All done by 10:45 meaning The Boy and I had the rest of the day to binge watch The Stranger (in between taking Cracker Dog to his training school) and yes, we finished the entire series by 10:30pm!
Body Comp Stats Weight: 76kg (-2.2kg) Body Fat %: 29 (-+2.6) Muscle %: 33.4 (+0.3)
Mon: 12.15pm Total Body Conditioning
You know the drill as well as I do now… Monday = Row, Bike, Ski. This week we had a little twist, meaning we also did a little bit of running. We worked in 5 minute intervals on each piece of equipment with each interval starting with a 400m run. No rest, so a full on and intense 35 minutes of pure engine work. Safe to say, I loved it!
Mon: 1pm 10 min Pull Up EMOM + 10 min Push Up EMOM
Getting back to working on a couple of basic upper body strength/gymnastic moves. 3 reps every minute on the minute. Pull Ups are banded and strict. Push Ups are full, which means chest and thighs to the floor.
Mon: 5.30pm CrossFit Class
Two technical movements in focus today; the Handstand Push Up and the Pistol Squat. Both things I suck at so it was good to have a bit of time to strip them back and work on some accessory movements that will help me progress. The workout was a 21-15-9 of Handstand Push Up, Box Jump Over and Pistol Squat. My progressions were DB Push Press and supported Pistol Squats.
Tue: 12.30pm Pool Swim
I decided to go back to basics in the pool. I had 400 meters to do so I did 50m every 2 minutes and used each interval to focus on a different thing; breathing, stroke pull, kick etc.
Wed: 6.45am Indoor Cycle Class
Week 2 of my 2020 programme so one last shot at ‘The Threshold’. Found it a little harder early in the morning but still got it done. I put the Coach By Colour on just to keep me honest!
Wed: 7.45pm 1 mile Run
This was meant to be a 5k zone 2 run but by the time I got out of the spin studio I only had 10 minutes left before the car park charges kicked in so I decided to just do a mile as something is better than nothing.
Wed: 12.15pm Total Body Conditioning
I was late to class which meant I had to just jump in as the workout had started. It was a partner workout but I had to throw down solo which meant I lost the rest part of a You Go – I Go. It was also the amazing Pamlaaa’s 40th birthday so she got to write the workout but she shared this honour with those that were there on time. It became an AMRAP; 40 reps of Burpee, Cal Row, Box Step Over, Cal Bike, Plate Cluster, Cal Ski Erg, Slamball and Devil Press.
Wed: 1pm CrossFit Class
A little bit of everything today with a 15 minute AMRAP of 40 Double Under, 30 Sit Up, 20 12.5kg DB Hang Clean & Jerk, 10 Jumping Pull Up. As usual the Pull Ups were the hardest bit so hopefully with some more focus and work these will start to get easier.
Thu: 9:30am Indoor Cycle Class
Because this was the first of my classes to start back in the new year it is always the first to experience the next week in my programme. This week was week 3, Feel the Burn. A conditioning class aimed at building endurance.
Thu: 1pm Pool Swim
800m to get done today. Still lots of rest as my breathing is still very laboured but I actually did a little bit extra and ended up with 850m. I’m really hoping it starts to get easier soon and I can start to put together more distance without needing to stop.
Thu: 6.30pm Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class
Second shot at ‘Feel The Burn’. Using the Coach By Colour system I managed to control the session better and get exactly the results I wanted from the session. Boom!
Thu: 7.30pm RPM Indoor Cycle Class
Swapped my instructor bike for a participant bike and once again did a double session to get a bit more time in the saddle.
Fri: 1pm CrossFit Class
I had planned to do the TBC class but swapped to the CrossFit Class as the workout was burpees and skipping, yum! As a class we also got to choose the gymnastic skill we wanted to focus on for the skill part of the session and between us we asked for Pull Ups and Handstands. Head Coach Toby took us through some really useful accessory drills we can do in our own time to help us improve both of these things. The workout was a short and sharp 7 min AMRAP of 2 Burpee, 30 Single Under, 4 Burpee, 30 Single Under, 6 Burpee etc etc etc. It was as spicy as expected but I really liked it.
Sat: 8am CrossFit Iron Duke Charity Row for Rowans
Once again our amazing CrossFit community, led by Team Cooley, came together to try and do a little bit of good and give something back. This was our third charity event and this time it was the ‘Row for Rowans’, the 2 million meter challenge. 20 teams of 4 rowing 100k each. Our team comprised of me, the Boy (my husband Carl for those that aren’t familiar with my blog yet) and two more of the lunchtime crew Claire and Olly. We split the 100k into 1k intervals and smashed the 25k each in just under 7 hours. We started at 8am and the last team to hit the finish line did so roughly 8 hours later. It was a long but brilliant day and currently, at the time of writing this post, our fundraising efforts are just shy of £8k for the amazing Rowans Hospice. I am so proud to be a part of this crazy, caring crew!
Body Comp Stats Weight: 78.2 kg (+0.9kg) Body Fat %: 26.4 (- 4.1) Muscle %: 33.1 (+2.5) * Take a moment to digest these figures. I am constantly talking to my clients about the fact that the scales won’t always accurately represent your journey, especially if you are training hard and fuelling efficiently. If I just went by the number on the scale I would probably be feeling a little deflated. Luckily, I learnt along time ago that number only tells me about gravity’s effect on my body and nothing more. I always do my measurement and take progress photos and alongside losing fat and gaining muscle I also dropped a total of 2.5 inches. Other things to consider are the fact that I am sleeping well (apart from one rubbish night) and have more than enough energy to complete all my planned training sessions and can give my clients and class members 100% of my energy, just as they deserve.
Mon: 12.15pm Total Body Conditioning(Recovery Style)
Recovery TBC means I do a round (it was Monday so Row, Bike, Ski, obvs!) and then skip a round and use the time to hold various stretches and poses. Toby, our head coach, used this during The Open, and I have adopted it as a good recovery session after a hard effort like, say, a marathon.
Tue: Unplanned Rest Day
On the way home from coaching Insanity in the morning I blew a tyre so by the time I had got that sorted out (huge thanks to the Boy for coming to my rescue and helping me put the spare on… I did learn how to do it but not having had to do it ever I had no idea what to do).
Wed: 6.45am Indoor Cycle Class
First early morning class of the New Year so that meant treating my class members to Week 1 of my new 2020 programme. To keep myself honest I use the Coach by Colour system even though this isn’t officially a Power Training class. It’s useful as then I can compare my performance on the same equipment and same programme at different times of the day as my Thur 6:30pm class is in the same studio.
Wed: 7.40am 2 mile Zone 2 run
This was meant to be a 5k but I went out straight after coaching my indoor cycle class and the car park started charging at 8am so I had to get out and back in 20 minutes. The point of the run was a Zone 2 and it went surprisingly well. I held a 10 min pace and honestly, I was pleased as I thought I would struggle to hold any kind of run pace given that I’d just done the cycle class. Legs felt fine, lungs felt fine. All good 🙂
Wed: 1pm PT with Kerry (my Coach)
Today was all about the Paused Front Squat. Lots of glute firing work first. This means putting a band around first my quads and then my ankles and walking/waddling up and down the gym. Bless Kerry for walking with me so we could continue our conversation. I say walking, at one point we were more dancing than walking as the music seemed to demand it. Cue finger snapping and everything! The Paused Front Squat is exactly what it sounds like, do a front squat and pause in the bottom position for 2-3 seconds before standing up. Things went well, I got to ring the PB bell. I don’t like ringing the PB bell but Kerry was pretty insistent and the gym was practically empty. I also got to practise bailing out of front and back squats which isn’t something I’ve ever had practice with. I think this likely helped with the PB!
Thu: 9.30am Indoor Cycle Class
This is the class that uses MyZone but since acquiring a Garmin chest strap to pair to my watch, I’m no longer using MyZone as I want all of my data and stats to be in the same place. Regardless having MyZone definitely increases the motivation and effort from the class members and it showed today for sure.
Thu: 12.30pm Pool Swim
Yay me! I finally, finally, actually got in the pool and do a swimming thing. I haven’t really swum since 2014 and for some reason I thought I would just jump back in and it would be as easy as it was then. Now, really, I know that isn’t how it works but hey. My training plan said 2 x 400m with a 3 minute rest. It was originally 1 x 400m but when doing the double check before finalising it, I decided that would likely be too easy so I doubled it! More fool me, I did the first 250m and then decided that I would be better doing it in 100m intervals and using each block to focus on a different aspect; breathing, stroke pull, kick etc) I got very out of breath and my heart rate was quite high but it still felt like a victory as I had done my first swim session.
Thu: 6.30pm Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class
Week 2 of my 2020 programme and I unleashed ‘The Threshold’. Naming my sessions is one of my things. I don’t really know why, I’ve done it ever since becoming a power trainer and writing periodised programmes. I think it helps give the sessions meaning and fit the programme together. Plus, people remember it and it sets me apart from other trainers. The Threshold is, obviously, a threshold session, working in the saddle at 100% FTP for varying lengths of time and cadences. The slower the RPM the longer the interval and rest breaks between intervals got shorter and shorter. It was unilaterally described as tough… job done!
Thu: 7.30pm RPM Indoor Cycle Class
This one was as a participant, not a Coach. To help build my overall stamina and endurance I will be staying after my class to take part in the next one on any week that isn’t a recovery week. It just happens to be an RPM class. I am not particularly a fan of Les Mills RPM as I find doing the same programme week after week a little dull but at the end of the day it is another 45 minutes in the saddle and I stick the Coach By Colour on to help keep my efforts honest and consistent.
Fri: 12.15pm Total Body Conditioning
3 ten minute workouts as is becoming the norm for the Friday Class, separated by 2 minutes rest. 1; 10 min amrap of 200m Run, 10 Walking Lunges, 10 24″ Box Step Ups. 2; 10 min EMOM. Odd = 50 sec Assault Bike. Even = recovery paced Down Ups (chest to floor burpees without a jump) 3; 1 min on, 1 min off Max Effort Ski Erg
Fri: 1pm CrossFit Class
It’s been Back to Basics week at our CrossFit box which means stripping back the fundamental and basic movements and just having a week to refocus, relearn and tidy up technique. Today was the turn of the Overhead Squat, Pull Up and Push Up. All the work I have been putting in on my mobility showed during the Overhead Squat portion of the class so that was nice.
Sat: Rest Day
Sun: 10am 20 mile Bike Ride
Yay me.. again. I actually got on my actual bike and cycled outside. I think the last time I used my beautiful Bianchi bike was probably 2017. I aways enjoy being on my bike but I lack confidence. The boy came and kept me company and some might say we have issues as we decided to test ways to cycle to CrossFit, and yes, it is closed on Sundays! This is because I want to cycle to CF occasionally but the roads are quite busy and in some places not where I would feel safe on a bike so we tested different routes. I have lost some basic skills, like being able to look over my shoulder without pulling the bike to the centre of the road but all that will come back with practise. Two big wins this week… I got in the pool and I got on my bike. Whoop Whoop.