Week #28 Ironman Training

Week #28 Ironman Training
July 15, 2014 Jess

It’s official, taper is now.  Thank goodness because my body is feeling like its had just about enough training.  Confirmed by the 4 hours of burning quads during Sunday’s bike/run session, this stage of preparation has come not a moment too soon.  It’s time to integrate, rest and remember that all the work is done.  It sounds so simple but the truth is, this portion of training is one where many athletes struggle.  It can be a time to double guess the months of preparation and create unnecessary anxiety during a very necessary stage in the journey.  A fruitless path since nothing in the past can be changed but one that is very real in the endurance world.

In my yoga class last night the instructor was talking about modifications, taking the struggle out by dropping to a knee or resting in child’s pose.  He made a comment about how ripped abs and strong hamstrings were not the things that will change your life but the wisdom to surrender and find a calm in that are the items of great change.  Then he posed a question. “Is your fitness from ego or wisdom? Fear or truth?”.

Another perfectly timed yogic experience since I had been thinking about the struggle that many, if not most, athletes experience when it comes to rest.  And although I would characterize my relationship with the tapering phase more as an embrace than a struggle, I know there will be times over the next few weeks when I will have a momentary lapses of wisdom.  For certain I will find myself referencing the calendar for the date of my last long ride and will no doubt look back at my weekly posts to reassure myself that I completed the necessary training.   Despite a full knowing that in order for my body to complete this ridiculous race I need to be fully rested, there will be times where I chose to mistrust that what I have done is enough.   Despite understanding fully that I need to heal all the micro tears in my body and rest my bones from months of daily pounding, I will chose moments of worry over acceptance.  As I recognize the symptoms of this dead end thought pattern these times will be few and quick but they will be present nonetheless.  So if I know that I’ve done enough why would I chose to question my training?

The answer is so common in my life that I’m really starting to tire of its incessant repetitiveness. It’s the finely crafted work of the ego.  The part of us that craves conflict and constantly strives to create suffering in our lives.  The news flash is that this little devil is not going anywhere.  We will have this part of us as long as we are here in this body but we can learn the manage it.  We can learn to see it, call it out and chose not to listen.  The ego does not derive its motivation from love, it serves only as a separation device.  In that sense its easy to recognize the ego at work especially when feelings of insecurity arise.  As athletes we tend to compare ourselves to others in finish times, quality of gear and overall fitness.  Feelings of being better than or less than is the work of the ego.  My unsolicited advice is to become curious at the first sight of these feelings and question their validity.   When we practice slowing down enough to notice our impulses and thoughts we will find ourselves in a gap of time where our choices are revealed.  We can chose to indulge the ego or we can chose again.  The more we practice this noticing we will find a powerful pause where our freedom resides.  Understand that anything that comes from love is true and anything else should be questioned.

So as I begin my tapering journey, I will take my own advice and be on high alert for any feelings that do not serve my higher good.  I will ask for the courage to chose love over fear and rest easy over these next few weeks.  Namaste.

Week #28 Recap

2100 yd swim
1 hr 10 min z2/z3 ride
20 min z2/z3
75 min heated vinyasa
3500 yd swim
50 min recovery ride
20 min z2/z3 run
45 min tabata bike
60 min z2/z3 run


3200 yd swim
45 min vinyasa
6o min heated vinyasa
60 min recovery bike
3hr 30 min z2/z3 ride
35 min z2 run

1 Comment

  1. Brian Gumkowski 10 years ago

    Love this post. In the past, taper was a scary thing for me. Mostly along the same topic as you discussed above, did I do enough, am I really ready. But soon, after a while, you begin to look forward to that time of rest and recovery, because that’s where you become a volcano ready to explode with your speed and strength on race day.

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