7th January 2016

So it’s been almost a month since the last blog.

“How’s training going you ask…?”
“Well to be totally honest with you…..SLOOOWWW!

There are a few reasons for this (that’s it, I’m going to get my excuses out of the way).

Firstly, I’ve had this Achilles injury that hampered progress in 2015 and meant that I essentially had a year off. I’ve seen several professionals about it but it seems that I have a very stubborn injury that won’t improve anywhere near as much as I would have liked or hoped.

There is no way I’m going to be able to complete CELTMAN unless I have a strong Achilles, so as you know from my previous blog entry, I decided to give Becky Spencer Brown at Peak Performance a call.

Becky carried out a full analysis and it was really clear from the cringe-worthy videos that she played back that my bio-mechanics on the left hand side is okay but it’s very poor on my ride hand side. As a result, Becky has got me to go right back to basics on exercises such as the lunge and squat, focusing on form and not adding weight.

Following the initial consultation prior to the Christmas holidays, I had my first session this week and there is definitely an improvement but there is still lots of work to do.

Over the Christmas period, Becky also asked me to stop running to give the Achilles a rest. I was a bit gutted as I was flying out to Ireland to visit my parents and the plan was to do some running, having over-indulged on mince pies. However, I kept up my side of the bargain and didn’t run throughout and as I write this blog, I still haven’t run.

I’m seeing Becky again next Wednesday for another rehab session. I’m hoping that she’ll give me the green light to start running. So how does the Achilles feel now? Well to be honest, I’ve become super sensitive to every twinge, so I need to make sure I’m not being a hypochondriac. However, what I would say is that I wouldn’t feel confident running lots of miles but I’m hoping that by being sensible and following the rehabilitation that Becky has prescribed, I will come out of this injury a stronger runner. Time will tell.

From a training perspective, there isn’t lot else to report. When I was Ireland, apart from the exercises Becky had set me, I managed a quick dip in the sea on Christmas day for a charity swim (more of a paddle). I was slightly anxious when my mum told me that she’d be embarrassed if I was the only person who wore a wetsuit. So I manned up and only went in with my speedos on.

Straight after Ireland, I went to Illfracombe with Meg. Although the weather was wet and miserable, we still had a great time. We both share a love for the outdoors, so we managed to get some good walks in. Once again, apart from the walks and the prescribed rehab exercises that I was following, the training plan took a back seat.

Fortunately, I knew that as soon as I came into January, I would be able to introduce some structure to my training. Jason, my coach from IM Wales and I were in touch over the holiday period to figure out a plan that would work around my commitments and also not put too much strain on the Achilles, meaning a reduced running volume initially.

I’ve lost count of how many IM races Jason has done, but it’s well over 10 and he’s recently back from Kona. Jason is like an encyclopaedia when it comes to the sport and he knows exactly what volume and intensity you should be aiming for.

The other advantage I’ve found from working with Jason is that he’s very pragmatic. He has to balance a demanding day job with family life, so he totally gets that training has to fit in with work and home life.

My plan with Jason officially starts on Monday 11th January and although there is some anxiety as I know it means training won’t be so relaxed, I’m also really relieved that with 6 months to go, there is going to be real purpose every time I get on my bike, jump in the pool or throw on my trainers.

Both Al and Jamie, who I had hoped were going to agree to be my support team, have confirmed they will be able to make race weekend. Its means a massive amount to me that these guys are giving up their time to support me with my goal of completing CELTMAN.

Me, Jamie and Al on an infamous fuel stop which always includes cake

By the time it comes to my next blog entry, I’ll be well into my training plan and I will have a good feel for how the Achilles is recovering. Fingers crossed!

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