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The road ahead for Joe Skipper

At the end of November, MBF-sponsored Ironman triathlete Joe Skipper posted a report on his training progress from sunny Spain.

When the weather has turned grim in the UK, it’s good to look forward. He said that in this winter period, all the hard work is done that will pay dividends in the summer. He summed it up in a neat training mantra, ‘winter miles make summer smiles!

His message to supporters and followers back here was to put aside poor TV and get out the door. He has always found that a training partner is helpful in mutual encouragement.

Training Hard

He has worked on good running sessions with his speeds improving in both distance and shorter lengths. Hill sprints and with a warm-up and cool down he called it all ‘a quite big session’. He likened it to a Saturday night out and ‘dodgy kebab in Great Yarmouth!’ Reading between the lines, clearly, the training is a better feeling than that.

Swimming is going well too, for Joe. The team have a key to the pool and can go there whenever they want without time constraints and the inconvenience of ‘some old granny or chav kicking you in the ribs as you swim past’. Sounds harsh, but he has encountered it a lot in British pools where people swim ‘some kind of demented breaststroke in the fast lane oblivious to the rest of the world’.

Joe has quite a way with words as well as his athletics.

Pool Discipline

He described a typical pool regime as follows, with flexibility to replace some sections with shorter faster ones:

Day 1-  9*200s, rep 1 will be steady hard, rep 2 is hard, and rep 3 you feel as though you are giving yourself a hernia *3 off 4m30.
Day 2 – 2*1500s Steady Swimming, pick up the last 500 meters.
Day 3 – easy swim maybe some 50s, lots of drills and a smaller session in total.
Day 4- No Swimming
Day 5 – 9*300s similar theme to the 200s!
Day 6 – 3*1k steady swimming but aim to swim it at a slightly faster pace then the 1500s 2m recovery, push the last 350 meters.
Day 7- easy swimming again same them as day 3.
Day 8 – No swimming

Joe includes kick and drill in every two hour session and ‘usually there is some pull as well’. He has to be careful to try to keep his times improving, which is a constant pressure, of course.

Cycling Rides

The benefits of group rides are elaborated by Joe, with the natural, instinctive, human habit of racing to the top of any incline first being beneficial in training.

Admitting to the boy within him, Joe knows he has ‘to just get involved’ in any sort of competition against peers. This has improved his timings generally, and his description paints the agony and the ecstasy of it perfectly: ‘it was just pure pain the whole way but I felt really good and could tell I was moving well so it was a really nice place to be in as I could tell I was climbing right on the edge, a fantastic feeling if horrendously painful!’

So, as we at home settle in for what is forecast a long and challenging winter, we wish Joe every success in his training with some sort of Christmas break before it resumes. Then we can all look forward to summer and Joe doing well in the various contests lined up.

See also:

Joes’ latest blog, 30 November 2012
Training Update, 15 November 2012
The Start of Winter Training, 4 November 2012
The Ironman: Joe Skipper Talks to MBF Blogs, 15 October 2012
Joe Skipper in Superb Performance, 3 October 2012

Image: Brown-shippings