When I first got word of my secondment to Vancouver I had some thoughts of possible conflicts with my Ironman preparations, but for the most part felt I could manage it and stay on track with my plan. I knew the job in Vancouver would be demanding and I would likely be unable to ride outside much, but my hotel was very near the seawall running path and a big 50m pool complex. It seemed, in September 2009, that I had nearly everything I needed to train effectively. The one concern was the bike as I did not want to bring my own turbo trainer due to the weight and challenges of carrying it with my 3 bags, and bike box. I went back in forth over what exactly I would do (find a spin class, or rent a turbo trainer, or buy a used one or cheap one..)
My plan was in full build during January and February and the volume was planned fairly high with a heavy focus on power development on the bike, consistent and frequent running, and swimming lots of good quality meters.
My work schedule was built around the timing of the Olympic Games and the nature of my venue, and it was fairly clear that my Ironman plan did not fit neatly with the Olympics demands. In fact, my time in the venue was much greater than what I believed it would be, cutting into my training time even more. With the Venue going live much earlier than other venues, and it also being a 24hour/7day a week operational model, I knew the latter half of January right up to the beginning of March would be super busy.
How did it all work out? Well, the Olympics won and the games were flawless from our perspective and my job was a success. My Ironman training? I would have to say, a step backward for sure. My training volume was only about 50-60% of my plan with running being the most consistent, followed by cycling then swimming. If you would ask me, I would have thought being so close to a pool would make it easy to get in 5-6 swims per week. Turns out, the pool was really busy at times and had some classes that would limit access when I needed to squeeze in a swim.
I got in a decent amount of running and met most of my daily goals, which was satisfying and helps me think that maybe my fitness is not a total lost case. My cycling, however, is where my worries are the highest and my Ironman could be a disaster if my bike prep is insufficient.
Time will certainly tell if this experience was beneficial to me in total or just professional.