February 8, 2012

Rattle & Hum

There is this series of emotions that occurs when you`re preparing for an event that pushes your limits. Whether it’s your first half ironman and you are aiming to make the cut-offs, a 5 day 250km trail run through the Sahara or going sub 9 at your local Ironman, the series of emotions / events is always the same.

I picked it up yesterday again for the first time in a while. In the morning, we had our usual group ride but being the only guy prepping for Ironman South Africa, I had specific low cadence, low HR work to do, which meant letting the guys go up the road every time it went up. For the past few months, I have been happy to attack with them. It took a lot of patience and it rattled me a little to watch them fly, seemingly effortlessly, away from me as I ground out a 40-50 cadence whilst attempting to remain aerobic, up the mountainside.

It takes a special kind of patience to hold back when you know you have the strength to go. I am yet to perfect the art, my boyish competitiveness often getting the better of me.

That was the rattle.

The legs hurt after a solid ride and in the afternoon I was less than excited to head out the door to run an hour including some Strides after a long day at work.

Within 5 minutes, the hum was there. Effortless, easy plodding and a removal from all of the world. I was unaware of other people, of the scenery and had totally forgotten about my entire life. The hum of my body eclipsed everything else in that moment. There was breathing, muscles moving in harmony and a completely clear mind and very, very little else going on. I ticked off the kilometers and intervals without really processing how easily they were going. I didn’t need to hold back, I didn’t need to push and there was only this easy, comfortable, quiet power left behind.

That was the hum.

While training for these events, I find that we go through this Rattle & Hum process often, sometimes daily for a few weeks on end. It’s an emotional roller coaster as we overcome in training to be great on race day. Rattle and Hum, Rattle and Hum as we go forth on this journey towards a better version of ourselves.

Some video inspiration for your training…

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