On the precipice


Apologies first of all for not having made an entry in my blog in recent weeks, very remiss of me I know. I could use the dual excuses of illness and work commitments as the main reasons for the hiatus but that would be facile. While I was ill with a virus for a few weeks and pressed for time owing to work I’ll be honest and state here and now I simply didn’t make the time.

I suppose I found myself in a quandary from the point of view of writing something new that was worth reading. In the aftermath of that bloody virus which clung to me like quicksand, I felt I had to relearn the process of triathlon training all over again. I felt weak as a kitten and just completing a few hundred metres in the pool or on the bike was a challenge to say the least.

I can’t say that I was necessarily disgruntled by the prospect of trying to restore my pre illness fitness levels but more perturbed by the tedium of grinding out sessions that previously were easy to me.

I recently had the opportunity to train in the sports complex of the University of Limerick which was terrific. This afforded me the ability to keep my recovery on course while away from Dublin. I was most impressed with their indoor running track which enabled me to run in anger for the first time in months without resorting to the treadmill. I have a tendency to experience lower limb issues so I have to tailor my run training to suit, hence I avoid running on tarmac / cement until I absolutely have to. Thankfully I have experienced zero abreaction to track running or most recently grass running. In fact I ran only my 3rd outdoor 5km of the year on Tuesday and managed 19 min 53 sec, not the fastest by any means but very welcome at this stage.

I have found the best approach to training and staying fit is to listen to the body and build slowly. Sometimes you need to take one step back to move forward. This can take the form of simply sitting out a training session because of fatigue. It’s best to listen to your gut than push the envelope too far and then miss days or even weeks due to injury.

So the triathlon season has begun. I am taking a steady as she goes approach to my build up and will earmark specific races with particular goals in mind. Ultimately I’d love to qualify in my age group to represent Ireland and the European championships in sprint distance triathlon. If I manage to attain one of the top 5 places in my age category in any one of this year’s national series races then I qualify, it’s that simple. I haven’t as yet selected which races I’ll compete in purely because I’ll wait till closer to the date to see if I’m fit enough to race. So with the full season ahead we stand on the verge… Only one thing to do. Embrace the fear and dive in.