After a week in the beautiful Lanzarote we finally came back down to earth when we arrived back to England and saw the rain. However, we had a great time out there and things couldn’t have gone better for us. Speaking for myself I feel a lot fitter since leaving Lanzarote than I did when I arrived, the tan probably helps me feel better and motivated too. I think it’s easy when you set aside a block of time for serious training to have unrealistic expectations of what you might achieve. Perhaps I would have trained longer and harder had I not had such debilitating gastric issues in the preceding days before flying out, but as a result I arrived only wanting to get back into training. Therefore, what I considered we achieved over the past week exceeded my expectations. Either way, the outcome has left me pondering this statement:
"Whatever happens is the only thing that could have"
Not wanting to get into a deep philosophical discussion of what that might entail just now, instead, I’ll talk through our week. We arrived on Thursday morning, and instead of renting the bikes from Friday-Monday leaving two days to relax after, we rented them from Saturday-Tuesday giving me and extra day to build my strength for the days ahead. We started with a 4 mile run on Friday, even though I was not feeling 100% and boy the trails we took were not the best but just training again felt great. More literally, Lotte and I also ensured we did our POWERbreathe training, choosing to do the 30 breaths after our run, to work the already part-fatigued inspiratory muscles. Not only does this add an aspect of specificity to the training, but it is also a good way to get it out of the way. I tend to do most of my training in one big block in each day, so putting at least part of the POWERbreathe practice actually into that training block seems to lessen the logistics of performing the twice daily regimen. Saturday we went for a 50 mile ride followed by 30 minuted of running. Talk about punishing but it was worth it. Sunday was the big Ironman course and I have to say I did find it a bit of a struggle thanks to the scorching heat. After this gruelling course we decided to take Monday off, we needed that to recover. Lotte and I managed our POWERbreathe training every morning and evening, and having performed the twice daily breaths before, and also having only ‘dabbled’ before, it is also clear that the rapid progression comes from the regularity of practice. No surprises there then. This time, I have opted to also perform half of my daily practice standing up, without the inspiratory muscles supported. Although these attempts seem significantly harder initially, and some adjustment of the level is required for the standing, I hope that the hard work will pay dividends. For now, I look forward to building on the both the momentum and hard work (21 hours of cycling in 4 days) established out here in Lanzarote. To read a full account of Andy and Lotte’s Lanzarote experience go to my blog