Summer days….

The weather has been pretty muck here in Dublin since getting back into training at the start of November. It always is but this year there seems to be more rain the usual!! In saying that my training is progressing well and each week I’m doing a little more, with more structure and focus.

November and December are full off cross-country races and mountain running races. Id penciled myself in for 3 weeks of racing in the lead up to the Triathlon Ireland winter camp in Spain in December.

I went into IMRA Powerscourt ridge feeling good, but the 16km over some very steep ground wasn’t going to be something I could “race”(not in Nov, in March yes) so it was going to replace my long weekend run. I stuck to the plan as best I could and tried to avoid getting caught up in the racing. The second half of the race I couldn’t contain myself anymore and pushed on. The every place counts mentality took over, even tho I was over 10mins down on the race leader! I was pleased with been able to ‘turn it on’ over the last few km, I was clearly in even better shape than id thought.

Powerscourt Ridge
Powerscourt Ridge-Credit John Shiels

Unfortunately after the Powerscourt race I was sidelined with a small hamstring injury. The IMRA race didn’t cause it, but it didn’t do me any favors either! Something id picked up at the end of last season, didn’t take notice of it and flared back up once id returned to structured run training. Luckily I’m working with Physical Therapist extraordinaire Ciarán Mcdonagh who got me on the road to recovery quickly.

With the injury recovering nicely and some pants weather on the forecast for December I couldn’t wait for the Triathlon Ireland Winter camp. Not only was the weather in Aguilas going to be mid 20s, the group of athletes and coaching staff going over are world-class. A week in a positive, structured high performance set up was well needed for the body and mind!

Dec camp
Dec camp

18 of us traveled to sunny Murica for the 8 day camp. 10 triathletes, 3 cyclists, 4 coaching staff and 1 physio.The schedule for the week was full on with 7 swims(5 in the pool, 2 in the sea) 6 rides,6 runs and some strength and conditioning sessions.

The theme of the camp was aerobic overload. The majority of the training was all about getting good quality consistent hours in, as well as building functional sport specific strength. With the Injury, my running over the 8 days was limited to a few easy jogs but my swimming and cycling got a serious working. Out on the bike with Cyclists Dlyan Foley, Matthew Teggart and Marcus Christie there was no hanging about just a lot of hanging on!!

Final spin
Final spin

Arriving home on the 22nd Dec means two days of panic Christmas shopping. Luckily Colin had most off the hard work done while I was away. I was able to aimlessly wander from shop to shop picking up the few last bits and take in the Christmas atmosphere around the city.

Christmas week was pretty relaxed, a few friends were home from Australia and England for the break so was great to catch up with them. Of course Christmas eve in The Traders and St Stephens night out were partaken in.

A few days after Christmas I picked up a chest infection which essentially knocked my training to zero and left me either in bed or coughing me lungs up! With the 2nd TI winter camp starting on the 9th Jan I done what I could to get the body back in action. It didn’t work!! Still a bag of Lego, I decided the best thing to do was change my flights and join the team for the second week of camp.

Aguilas
Aguilas

This camp was once again based around Aerobic overload and sports specific strength. The sessions were similar to what we done before Christmas but with some added intervals at higher intensity to get us working through the gears.

Scout skills
Scout skills

With the hamstring well on the road to recovery not only could I run more but I was also able to do some hill work and some Tempos! This really made the camp for me. Outta the 3 running would be my favorite so to be back able to knock out even a basic tempo session was a big win for me. Add to this good distance in the pool and sea, some solid hours on the bike not to mention the great banter, the camp was a massive success. Another step forward!

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I’ve pick up a new sponsor and should be able to reveal who in the next few days. It’s very reassuring to get the support of a well know Irish Brand. I’m looking forward to announcing who they are and to working with them this year.

Dont forget you can follow me on Twitter @neilbolger and now on Instagram under the same handle @neilbolger

Write soon,

Neil

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