I promised myself that, once I’d delivered, I’d get properly fit again. I even decided that I would enlist the help of a professional to get me in proper shape.
The first thing I had to decide was what I wanted to be fit for.
Much as I love mountain running, I’ve found it easier to combine running, biking and swimming whenever I live overseas. That’s because mountains are surprisingly hard to come by in many foreign countries. And though for the moment I’m based up in the north of Ireland, finding proper mountains to run around is still somewhat problematic.
So I decided that I wanted to get fit for adventure racing. I have never trained properly for adventure racing, so didn’t know how to combine the activities into a formal weekly plan. Finding an adventure racing coach was however another issue altogether.
I contacted a friend, Avril, who does multi-day adventure racing and had told me about her positive experiences with her coach. Though her coach couldn’t sign me up, he recommended me to another man. And so I’ve signed up with Eamonn Tilley. Though he primarily trains triathletes, he seemed comfortable with my adventure racing plans.
One week has gone by now with his training plan. And it’s been a low intensity week of getting back into the swing of it all. There’s been easy running and biking sessions as expected. But what has surprised me is the emphasis on core and strength exercises, pencilled in three times a week. I had forgotten how important they are to an athlete. He also has me in the pool for 10-20 minute recovery swims. Again, I wouldn’t have expected such sessions, so good to know that they are needed.
What has also been positive is the amount of communication on the plan. What with babysitting needs, it’s been a bit back and forth about the convenient way of fitting sessions in. We’ve worked out ways so that I’m not out of the house for more than 90 minutes. Rest days can be moved around to fit into baby activities. And sessions can be done back-to-back rather than staggered over the day.
Eamonn has also been flexible on events I’ve wanted to do. I announced last Thursday I wanted to go orienteering this weekend, and the plan was able to fit it in. Now all I need to do is I find the races that I want to aim for so that he can factor them all in.