Athlete Journal: Andrew Read, Entry 30 – When Training Goes Right

When training goes right it goes right. Every now and then you get a little kick, a surge beyond what you expect. This has been that week – and it came just in time for my half ironman next weekend.

Click here to read other journal entries and articles by Andrew Read, and look for his new journal every Monday as he trains for Ironman Melbourne.

Journal Entry 30 – When Training Goes Right

When training goes right it goes right. Every now and then you get a little kick, a surge beyond what you expect, an unexplained leap in ability. This has been that week.

With the bike mess finally cleared up Friday night and a big deposit in my account I could relax and re-focus on training. And what a payoff it’s been. This was my first full week back running, and while I’m not exactly road runner on roller skates, for someone who has barely run for months my pace has been good. Hitting 5min/km isn’t great, but compared to walking it feels like I’m flying.

The great week really began on Sunday with a 100km ride, followed by a 5km run. It went surprisingly well. So well that I have run 8km Wednesday, 5km Friday and have plans to run 15km tomorrow morning on Saturday. That will be a solid week of running for me. It also gives me hope that I won’t completely die next weekend (more on that in a bit).

Swimming has been great, too. I managed a thirty-one minute 1.9km swim on Wednesday – the same length as the swim next weekend. And after today’s swim – which usually just destroys me – I actually could have done another set. Today’s workout was:

  • 400m warm up
  • 12 x 50m flat out, 150m easy.
  • 200m all out.
  • Repeat that for three sets.
  • 400m cool down.

Usually just the three has me almost scared to swim again the next day, but this week’s swimming has left me feeling like I used to when I swam competitively as a kid. Fast, lean, strong, and fit – not bad for an old man.

And riding? A hard 50km on the time trial bike yesterday saw me blow past everyone who was out enjoying a beautiful mild day. While it’s never the point of the ride, it is somewhat satisfying that this old man can stay ahead of many pairs of younger legs riding in groups.

And all of that leads me to hope that next weekend will be good. What’s next weekend? Well, it’s my first triathlon. In true crash test dummy style I have chosen a half ironman race (also called a 70.3) as my first ever race. It’s a 1.9km swim, 90km ride and 21km run. Because every fun day should finish off with an easy half marathon (or, as Lance Armstrong calls it, “a shampoo, blow dry and a run”).

The race is in Canberra. I’m going to really put myself on the edge and let you know that you should be able to follow my tortoise-like progress via and going to the Canberra 70.3 section.

I’m a bit scared – I’ve never run that far. With only a few runs in me I’m worried I won’t have the legs, or worse, that my calf will let go again and I’ll totally derail my Ironman preparation. But I’m also really excited, more than I’ve been for any event I’ve participated in for a long time. This is a new and difficult challenge for me and I get to share it with my girlfriend. That’s right, she’s finally thawed out after our snow ride. We bought a new bike for her for Christmas and she’s looking dangerous. Both of us are as dumb as the other so having another nutter there with me will be great to soothe my nerves.

At this point I need to thank everyone who has helped thus far:

  • Leon Nardella at pro-Motion for all his help and support.
  • The team at 2XU for the gear (Aussie-made too!).
  • And MX12 – the VIP support group started by Ironman world champion Chris McCormack, who will be giving away one of the world’s fastest bikes in two weeks (and while I don’t need one, in my head the perfect number of bikes is always whatever number you currently own plus one).
  • My parents who put up with my continued odd behaviour.
  • The only girl in the world who not only puts up with me but who can also keep up with me (but I’m still going to crush her on the day).