Tri Training Update
Wah, my triathlon debut is a mere three weeks away (actually less, but who’s counting?) and it’s fair to say I am bricking it.
In reality, my preparation didn’t start until May this year, when my two half marathons were finally out of the way, which I followed with a short break from exercise. After that, I was feeling fresh and immediately signed up to swimming lessons with Swim For Tri to get me front crawl ready (I literally couldn't swim anything before apart from an inefficient breast stroke). After discovering that swimming was actually blummin’ hard, I had a mild panic and put all my eggs in the swimming basket, which turns out to not be many eggs as I’ve only been averaging two – three swims per week. However, to go from not being able to swim front crawl at all, to being breathless after 20 or so metres, to now being able to go to 100 metres at a time, is a massive achievement for me. I’m still out of breath swimming (funny how it seems to get easier throughout the session, which to me tells me it’s not a fitness thing but more of a panicky thing) but I can seem improvement and my style is getting slightly better (thanks to a lesson with Swimming Nature).
I’ve gone on to swim: (on THE most beautiful morning) in open water in Essex; in the Serpentine (pond water anyone?); to several swims in (the actual sea in) Greece. During each of these swims, my immediate feeling is one of panic – being scared at not seeing the bottom of the pool/being able to see the depth of the sea/the salt water/the cold/being surrounded by other people swimming/the tightness of the wetsuit…everything basically. It’s one thing being in the safe environment of the gym pool and it’s been a whole different ball game being in open water – a difference I could never have comprehended before. I'm so glad I've been practicing this side of the tri.
My running has…hmmm…not gone anywhere really. Following the half marathons I was so pleased to be getting a break from running and concentrate my efforts elsewhere. I was supplementing my other exercise time with a bit of strength training and the occasional hiit sprints class on the treadmill. I’ve not had much focus, haven’t ran with a club in yonks and been generally relying on the fact that I know I can run to mentally prepare myself. A couple of difficult runs since, I’ve realised that I really need to crack back on with several 5kms a week, even just to keep things ticking over.
Aaaaand of course the cycle. Contrary to what you think I might have felt, I’ve been worried about the cycle the least (even less than the running). Heavens knows why – I haven’t been on a bike for years and don’t generally go spinning. I went on a short eight mile ride on the Brompton which was hard – must be the hills/weather/Brompton’s lack of gears/tiredness etc…so I was hoping. Then I went out with Sam and we clocked around 20 miles and it killed me. She zoomed off into the distance and I peddled (what felt like on the spot) until my thighs burned. So the next day I duly mounted my bike and cycled the ten miles to work…through Central London – Old Street, Holborn, the lot. Don’t say I don’t try.
I’ve ended up in this position flailing around between the three disciplines without much focus – desperately hoping I’ve done enough to not shrivel up in panic during the swim, and that I won’t have forgotten how to run/cycle in a month’s time. All my strength training has gone out of the window and I don’t look and feel myself (just cardio can do that to you sometimes, in my opinion). I’ve decided on holiday, in amongst all the scenic swimming, that I need to get my arse in gear and have booked in to see a PT. Watch this space!
P.S. Wearing my new SKINS in the cycling pic above and I looooove them! I've never worn bib shorts before (shorts with braces things so they don't fall down) and I was really pleased that the thick bands around my thighs didn't make my legs look like little sausages! You can get 20% off with the code THELARNS20 (it's no affiliate code - I don't get any reward from you using it, it's just a treat for you if you fancy yourself some sick compression gear!).