So, I have now been in Korea for one month and I have actually learned a bit about myself as an athlete. The main thing I learned is that I am less stuck in my ways than I originally thought I was. Because performing well the Ironman at the end of July is very important to me I have had to make some weird changes to my training schedule to make sure I fit in the key workouts. 

Before this trip, you would rarely see me training after 5pm and you would never have seen me in the pool in the afternoon. But here in Korea, pools don’t open till 8 or 9am so that makes it impossible to swim before work. So, because I still need to get that work in I am often found in the pool after a full day of work getting my swim in and leaving the pool after 7pm which is really not like me. I think the evening training sessions has helped me on the mental side of things because as most people know, working out in the evenings kind of just sucks! Your body is tired from working all day and mentally you are a bit drained, so this is a great time to work on the mental side of racing and pushing through those low moments when all you want to do is quit. 

Weekends are also a very different training schedule than I have been used to. Back home I was used to getting up early (5am) and being done training by noon. But here the pool I use doesn’t open till 9am on the weekends. So, I guess I get to sleep in which is nice, but it does end up leaving me done with my long days of training at 4-5pm. I have found a good side to this though. In an Ironman I will never be done racing at noon and it’s more likely that I will be racing until after 4pm. So, by having my longer days not finishing until after 4pm it is teaching me mentally to handle long days of training and racing into the late afternoon. 

There has also been a weird amount of air pollution while I have been here so nearly 100% of my training has been spent indoors. I have put in a few solid 18-19 hour weeks and they were all done indoors on my trainer and on a treadmill. To make the indoor training a bit better I am using Zwift now which makes those indoor bike miles a bit more fun and the time does goby faster. I do like the indoor training for being very purposeful in gaining fitness, but I know I will have some key outdoor work to do when I get home because getting used to the roads will be crucial for a good race.

                                                       ZWIFT for days!

                                                       ZWIFT for days!

In short, my tips for if you find yourself on the other side of the world for an extended period of time and still want to train hard is the following:

  1. Be ready to change your “normal”
  2. Adjusting your daily routine will be crucial to be at your best
  3. Find the good in the changes
    • i.e. mental training
  4. Find joy in the small things
    • i.e. find a cat/racoon café because that is just cute as hell!
John 2.jpg