Is it normal 8 weeks out from an Ironman to be in a panic about training volume? In a way I hope so because I would know that I am normal. Have i done enough? Have I done too much? Why did I ever think I could do this anyway? The time is coming soon and all of the sudden I am starting to realize how many days I have left to get in shape. 8 weeks seems like a long time but a closer look reveals that it is acutally more like 5 or 6 weeks. There is 2 weeks of taper and one of those weeks is race week so it will be spent mostly travelling or at pre-race festivities. Then there is Spring Break. Next week I will be taking an entire week off to go skiing. Don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to the trip, it has been planned for at least a year. and in fact I think that it is a perfect time to do it. As a familt we need some time together and I am sure everyone will be happy to see my bike parked for a week.
At this point I have been going uninterrupted for almost 12 weeks and my body needs a break from the constant SBR, but my mind is having thoughts of those extra few miles that I wont be putting in. It is not like I will be sitting around all week. 2 or 3 days of skiing for 4 hours a day at altitude is just as good a workout but when all you do day in and day out is Eat, Sleep, Swim, Bike, Run, your body has trouble adjusting to not doing that.
I keep reminding myself of the story of Roger Bannister (first person to break the 4 minute mile). He was training hard for weeks on end and got to a point where no matter how hard he tried he had hit a wall. He was actually posting slower times even though he was working harder than ever. His coach told him to take a week off, so he went mountain climbing and did not even think about running for a week. After getting back, he broke through the funk and became the fastest man in the world and first to break the 4 minute barrier. Plus all the great coaches say that rest and recovery are where the greatest gains in fitness are made.
So in two weeks I have a Half Ironman and if this rest and recovery thing is true it will be the best Half IM I have ever raced.
I will let you know.