Ironman training ebbs and flows, often leaving you with doubt. I’m almost certain I was further ahead at this time last year and yesterday’s run was a wake up punch to the gut.
That said, two weeks ago I felt like I may have been ahead of last year’s training, certainly from a mental standpoint. So, which indicator is accurate? How much stock should we put in a workout?
One thing is certain: My speed is down. Just over a year ago I ran a 1/2 marathon at 7:38/mile and a 10k at 7:10. Yesterday, it was all I could do to mix in two miles at 7:30 over the course of six.
So, how do I move the meter?
The difference seems to be in my lungs and for me that signals a need for more swimming. Probably more running. And speed work.
My legs feel healthy and strong, but I have to move my aerobic threshold, and quickly. Especially if I want to make Louisville a special day.
It’s weird thinking back to how I felt last year. The following is from a post I wrote 67 days before my first Ironman:
What I have learned in this relatively short period of time is that you should never doubt your potential. I have transformed from a couch potato into a spirit that believes he can complete 140.6 miles of swim, bike, and run in one day. If that’s possible, what isn’t?
So, I stare down the Ironman barrel again. I am no longer a couch potato, but I have my doubt. Doubt about whether or not I can tackle this beast on my terms.
Ironman mirrors life as an exercise of patience and belief. I may not feel it now, but I have to have faith my path will allow me to be ready in 54 days.
I will stand in that line ready to do something most would never consider. I will swim 2.4 miles, bike 112, then run my second marathon. I will do it on my terms.
I am slower than I was a year ago and my goal is to be an hour faster. The ultimate test awaits. Am I willing to do what that takes?
With the right momentum, and right mind, the human spirit is unstoppable.