I'm a huge fan of what Alan Couzens writes in his blog, and I try to make a habit of following his advice and ideas, the “The Stotan Code” basically, that he has adopted from Percy Cerutty. The hardest part is the 8 hours of sleep every night. And I didn't come home before 2:30 in the morning yesterday. But I try…
I've heard about Tommy Nielsen before, he's quite the hero with an 8:33' Ironman PR, a full time job and three kids, but now he's even been profiled on Ironman.com as the current Ironman Hawaii champ in his age group.
A very interesting fact in that article, apart from the fact that he is just 2 years younger than I am, is:
He trains an average of 11 hours a week from January to October. In his easy weeks, he trains six to seven hours a week and in the big weeks he trains 17 to 18 hours. This includes one to three swims a week (approximately five to nine km a week) and two to four bike rides (approximately 200 to 330 km a week) and three to four runs a week (25 to 50km a week). This volume of training works for him because of his long history of endurance sports.
The last sentence there is definitely key.
If I keep it up I suppose I could sustain a similar training load in 2010, possibly doing an Ironman again. But I'd still not be as fast as Tommy Nielsen, that would have to be another 10-15 years of consistent training… but then I'll be around 50, and age will curtail speed significantly. Still, that sub-10 hour Ironman that I really want isn't completely out of reach. I just have to do it, to train consistently. And that is hard.
The writing of Alan Couzens, the fact that someone like Tommy Nielsen really exists and race well with a life similar to mine is a huge inspiration to me. I just try and cultivate a habit of consistency in training, because that is the key more so than sheer volume or speed.