Since I recovered from my torn Plantar Fascia after Western Sydney 70.3 in late November last year. I have pretty much trained 7 days a week most weeks for nearly 6 months culminating in Cairns Ironman on 7 June. My plan after Cairns was always to have 2 full weeks completely off from training and enjoy a well-earned rest. I was really looking forward to taking some time off and pottering around the house and sleeping in and maybe even putting a few kilograms on by eating a few hamburgers and plenty of ice cream.
In the days after an Ironman as a 48-year-old age grouper, resting is a nonnegotiable. By that I mean every chance you get you sit down, lay down and just not move. Muscle soreness in the days after is huge. The amount of inflammation flowing around my body was palpable. my feet were quite beat up with some sizeable blisters on 3 of 5 toes on each foot.
The morning after Cairns Wendy and I walked around Cairns on quite a bit and also attended the Ironman after race function as well as the roll down ceremony. My race not panning out as I hoped for meant I was not in a position to hope for a Kona Ironman Spot. Wendy on the other hand had come in 6th in her age group and in with 3 qualifying spots there was a possibility that she may get a spot. In the end Wendy missed out by one spot but we were actually relieved as it is a big financial undertaking to get to Kona.
Once we returned home from cairns and went back to work it was then I started to feel almost like I was letting myself down. I felt lazy and I was wasting what I had just taken 6 months to build up. I was no longer training 7 days a week, 20 hours a week. I was sleeping in until 7 am some days and basically just being a slob. By Wednesday the majority of muscle soreness had gone and the little voice inside my head was saying “hay man. you are losing all those fitness gains you made over the last 6 months. You’re getting fat. Get on your bike and go for a ride. Go for a little run. It will do you good.“ It was actually really hard not to do some training.
As a person that has struggled with alcohol, I know I have quite an addictive nature. I know that when I get stuck on to something it takes quite a bit to stop doing it. By Friday on the first week I was waking up constantly each night often with a decent sweat going on. Each day I had to remind myself that this rest is good for me, enjoy it. The habit of training was massive. It wasn’t until Sunday the following week when I woke up at about 7 am and decided to go for a walk down the beach when I realised, I slept through the night and felt really rested.
Now a full 7 days later I have ridden to work only twice and the only other exercise I have done has been walking on the beach with my dogs. I have however eaten hamburgers every chance I got and also chugged down more than my share of ice cream and just let my hair down and enjoyed the down time. It was also a great opportunity to get a few chores done around the house and clean up a few things that I had neglected during the last 6 months. I feel really rested and ready to go.
I am looking forward to starting my next training block and working on implementing the lessons I learnt at Ironman Cairns. I have a sense of calmness about this round, a sense that I may be starting to get on something resembling the right track.
I have 11 weeks until Sunshine Coast 70.3 in Mooloolaba on September 8. It is a race I have done twice, and I look forward to having a red hot go at trying to qualify for the World 70.3 1/2 Ironman Triathlon championships in November next year.
Interestingly after 2 weeks of complete rest, I feel that learning to relax again has been something I didn’t feel I needed but is likely one of the most worthwhile things I have learnt.
Thanks for reading and remember.
Exercise is a privilege.
Not a punishment.