Sufferfest’s mental toughness programme says you need to set quantifiable weekly and monthly goals. Then review how your training went that week so you can reward yourself for success and try to learn from failure.
So here goes.
I split my goals down into the disciplines.
Swim: (For the week: ) Arrange 3+ swims per week.
(Month: Learn not to sink. Learn to breathe.)
Bike: 3 sessions per week (2 Sufferfest, 1 long ride.)
Run: Increase fast (sub 3 marathon, 5.48 m/m) by half a mile a week.
It was my first week, I worked 6 days at work, doing a 12 and a 13 hour shift (with an hour’s commute, so two rest days).
That having been said I did 2 swim sessions and am making great progress towards my monthly goal. I have floaty pretty much sorted, and my breathing is really coming on. It’s harder than it should be because I have to overcome the way I have been doing it. If I don’t concentrate for a second I slip back into it.
I didn’t manage the outdoor long ride because I’ve only had the one day off and it’s cold and blowing a gale, but I did 3 tough sessions on Sufferfest. I increased my max power burst on The Shovel (a 1 hour 6 minutes intervals beasting) from 580 watts to 897. That was a good job.
The running was another mixed bag. Now I’ve decided to get serious and have rest days, then work battering me with hours, I’ve only done two runs this week. That’s after 2 months of running every day. Which is what I feared.
However, I did achieve greatness. I set out to do a 5½ mile fast run. Instead of a mile warm up, a sprint, catch my breath, then do the fast run, I tried to go at pace from the off. It was a mistake, frankly. It was so hard. At the end of 2 miles I thought my pace had dropped off so much I was going to have to jog and do it again. I looked at my watch, still 6.50’s, so I put my back into it. Then it was just a matter of not letting it slip. Horrible, horrible. I decided to make it 6 miles as I haven’t set my watch for half mile intervals. The last mile has a short but steep hillock. I looked at my watch at the top of it, wearing my lungs externally, and I was on 7.40 pace. So, on my last mile, totally shot, I had to claw back 50 seconds! And I did.
I should look into a proper speed plan. But I’ve gone from 4 miles, joint best ever distance at race pace, to 6 miles, in 2 weeks.
Some good achievements: broke my duck with the swimming, have worked out best times to swim, and started to make progress on a proper technique. I’m really digging in on Sufferfest and I think I’m getting a lot better. And I’ve increased my maximum effort on the run by 50% in a fortnight.
What can I learn from this week? There’s nothing more I can do about work stitching me up with long shifts, so best not to fret about that. To take a positive from it, I won’t schedule rest days, I’ll take the ones work forces on me.
I have to focus on swimming, make sure I get at least 3 sessions a week.
I need a big ride to see how Sufferfest translates to the road. (Just looked at BBC weather forecast: rain and wind. Forever.)
I need more runs.
My goals for next week: 3 swims, master floaty, get 90% on breathing.
3 rides, and redo my 4DP test (to see if I’ve improved).
4 runs. One long, one fast. Set a 7.45 brick pace.
Kicking My Arse Today So I Can Kick Theirs Tomorrow.