How I train and what I eat…

The question that seems to interest a lot of people, so why not write about it? 

First of all before I go any further, can I just have a moan?…I am tired. I can’t moan to Ben because he often tells me to suck it up and I can’t moan to Joel because he just smiles as if to say “Great! We are on target.” So instead I thought why not moan to you guys. You listen right? Or shall I just shut up and get on with it? 
Now when I say tired, I mean physically fatigued, this last training block has been very hard. Mentally I am great, my body is holding up well but WOW it is over loaded at the moment. You know when you wake up and just wish you could stay in bed, well I had that this morning…
…we all get it, open the training program, take a double glance at it to say “really? Oh s**t this is going to be a struggle”. My job is high performance sport and since working with Joel I have grown to realise that unless there is major concern or something is not right then there is no real place for moaning. So as much as I hate to admit it, when I get the Filliol smile and the Powell words of suck it up, I guess I should do just that. I have a team around me that I trust 100% therefore I just have to get on with it, however it is nice to let off some steam once in a while so thanks for ‘listening’. Now moaning over and back to the main topic – what I eat and how I train.
Now having just read that this morning I opened up the training program and responded with “really? oh s**t this is going to be a struggle”, your probably thinking but what was the session then. Now purely out of respect for Joel I will not go into any details of individual sessions but I will be happy to share with you some values and figures in relation to my training over the past months. Then I will finish it up with what I eat. 
Training, like most peoples, comes in blocks. We plan our season, we schedule in our goals and then we work out a program. A program that allows us to hit a peak for the races that would have a big star next to them. This year however has been a little different, there is no big star visible on the training schedule. Oh at least not yet…my aim is purely to become a more complete triathlete, develop and put myself on the start line of some highly competitive races. ’14 is a little different I have my star hovering close to Vegas but let’s just see how things go. I am a serious person, often mistaken as being too serious but this is just who I am, so whenever I do something I am in it to do it right. High performance training is all about creating a fundament that allows an athlete or sports person to back up the work, session after session. Providing we can form this fundament then backing up race results is a far less complicated process. High performance sport is not supposed to be easy and this counts for training also, we should never expect to race at the highest level we want to if we are not prepared to train hard enough for it. This is something I have not actually recognised as much as I do now and I think this is a large part of why my early season form has been good. We have worked for it.
My average training week is hovering at around 25 hours, not massive in comparison to the likes of others but it works for me. Since February I can see that I have logged 255,373m of swimming, cycled 3853.41km and ran 582.84km to be honest quantity doesn’t impress me it is just numbers what is key in all of this mileage is the quality. A training block that I am in right now, has something specific every day and each session has a purpose. Riding is now strength based consisting of hard TT efforts within longer rides up to 4 hours, running is often 4 – 6 x a week with a minimum 3 sessions being very much speed/strength specific. Swimming, well swimming is just always hard, for me it is important that I don’t get complacent and pull my foot off the gas when it comes to swimming. I want to be competitive from the gun and with more and more ITU girls making the switch to non-draft/Ironman 70.3 there is no reason for me to change my swim approach. 
I have not had one complete rest day since February apart from travel days. Crazy huh? but not uncommon. The first thing I try to pick out whenever I receive my new program is the easy day, why? It allows me to build my mindset up in blocks, as an example if I identify the easy day in any given week is a Thursday then I will mentally approach it as 3 days on, 1 easy day, 3 days on. What may surprise you though is that the easy day that I seek out can often be something like 1 hr 15 min run and a 3.5km swim. So why is a 2 hour training day a recovery day? Well it is quite logical – recovery periods. Recovery periods are periods in a day where I can recover, get my feet up, sleep, rest, eat and generally allow the body to recover. The day that contains the largest amount of recovery period in any given week is regarded as the easy day. 
I can not stress enough how important recovery periods are when it comes to training results. Heavy training days for me can often be between 4 – 5 sessions, this means I am always on the go, very little time for resting. So if I don’t have time to rest in between sessions my priority is re-fuelling. This now brings me onto the next topic what I eat. It seems my slight yet toned body composition fascinates many and believe me when I say this, I eat so much. 
A few days ago I posted this picture to Facebook…

It is from one of the comments by Anna Hertel that led to me writing this blog post, so thanks for the inspiration Anna. Unfortunately like always it seems my muscular, slight physique throws up controversy and people take offence to it, Nike Women creating this fantastic commercial back in 2012 – I love it.
Actually now I come to think about it, why not split this post into two parts? I think it will become easier to digest  rather than me now ramble on about what I eat, so I will post a blog specific to what I eat tomorrow.
Enjoy your weekend and good luck to all those in St. Anthony’s.

2 Comments

  1. You’re a triathlete, in peak physical shape and you look good. Too many people who are inactive and don’t understand the sport have a skewed perception on what a healthy and fit person looks like. Keep training hard and winning races!

Submit a Comment