Swim, bike, run, write.

The Training Diaries: Caution, tapering triathlete - approach with carbs #IronmanZurich2019



So it turns out, if you want to make the first half of a year whizz by quicker than Lucy Charles-Barclay during an Ironman swim - you just need to move house, change jobs, plan a wedding and train for an Ironman all at once. I genuinely have no idea where the last 6 and a bit months have gone. Did I mistake them for peanut butter and eat them? Did I fall asleep and miss the entirety of June? Who knows. Time flies when you're spinning plates (or should that be gears?)

The final big push towards the Ironman Zurich 2019 start line is more or less complete. I'm checking the long-range weather forecast for Zurich more often than I check my bank balance - a wise decision when you have a tendency to throw every penny at swim-bike-run related stuff - and I'm going through hydration tablets faster than I am clean pants, which can only mean one thing: it's taper time. If those of you who have the misfortune of spending time with me ~in real life~ thought I was a pain in the arse during peak training, you are in for an absolute treat now I'm starting to taper down. Honestly? You're probably best shutting me in a dark room and just occasionally throwing some caffeine and carbs in my direction. It's safer for everyone.

Training has gone so well this year. I've been more motivated, determined and consistent than ever and I've really noticed the difference. Where last year me might have taken the slightly easier option, or given herself the benefit of the doubt, this year me has grit her teeth and got the job done. I want to get to race day knowing I've done everything in my power to be at my best. Just enough, isn't good enough. Relentlessly determined has been my 2019 vibe and I'm excited to see what I've got.

I just hope I can do myself justice on the day. Of course, being the mildly neurotic, type A, triathlon-obsessed weirdo that I am - there's also all the usual doubts and worries whirling around in my mind. I've trained harder than ever, but the regime has also been very different. Last year was all about volume - I spent countless hours plodding slowly through long runs and rides (I think I had more 20 mile runs than I did fig rolls last summer, which is saying something!) and building up a base of endurance to make sure that my body would be capable of just getting round. This year has been more about layering the intensity on top of that base endurance, finding faster and working towards getting that extra few percent so that I can achieve more. The numbers, and the change I can see and feel in my body speak volumes to the fact that it's been working. I've hit PBs for 5km, 10km, half marathon and 20 miles on the run. I'm super comfortable on the bike and hitting higher average speeds over much hillier routes than I could last year. On the one hand, I'm feeling stronger than ever in body and mind. But when you've got 140.6 miles of swim, bike and run ahead of you, it's hard not to doubt yourself. Throw in the sporadic bouts of cramp I've been plagued with in the swim, and you've got a perfect storm for me turning into a little tri-suit clad bundle of nerves.

As I gradually wind down the training hours over the next few weeks, it's going to be about staying sane and staying strong. If anyone needs me, I'll be busy applying excessive amounts of hand sanitiser, throwing evils at anyone who even dares to think about sneezing in my general direction and doing my very best not to raid the snack cupboard every 5 minutes.

The countdown is officially on: T-minus 2 weeks until Project Toblerone.

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