Training plan = more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules

I’m just past the halfway point in my 18 week training plan.  Does this mean I’ve done 9 weeks of solid work and ticked off everything on the training plan?  Not quite.  Not by a long shot.  All the unticked activities on the training plan mock me, and highlight the gaping chasm between me and the half ironman race.  What was I thinking?

But hang on.  Before starting training ‘proper’ in April I was doing one swim and maybe one run a week, and going cycling once in a blue moon.  Since then I’ve trained for almost 70 hours, covered almost 700 miles under my own steam, had a training-induced ride in an ambulance, and consumed a sizeable amount of guilt-free cake (see Allotment Mum’s Rhubarb, Orange and Almond cake for my current fave).  Over the nine weeks thats about 7.5 hours and 75 miles a week.  (True, that would equate to really slow cycling, but it would also be super-quick swimming).  When I’m feeling a bit demoralised about my inability to stick to the training plan I think of the progress I have made.   And I’m reminded of the Pirates’ Code (in Pirates of the Caribbean), which Geoffrey Rush describes as “more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules”.  I can’t even think that line without breaking into a pirate accent, which cheers me up no end.

I realise I’m not going to be breaking any records in the race.  But that was never the point.  My first aim is still to just get through the half marathon at the end without walking.  (don’t forget you can sponsor me and pledge a little extra to give me even more motivation to achieve this aim!).  If I had a bit more spare time I could train more and think about putting in a better performance.  But that’s not going to happen.  And that’s OK.  But I have started planning a multisport event that my day-to-day activities might permit me to perform better at: in addition to the traditional swim, bike and run the fourth discipline in the Richardson Quadrathlon would be digging a row of spuds tatties (sorry), and each transition would involve a full body application of eczema lotion.  It’s going to take a while to build up a following for this event, so maybe Rio 2016 is a bit optimistic, but we’ll see.  Watch this space.

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