The Scribbler

2 February 2011

Diary of a wannabe triathlete

Filed under: training,triathlon — The Scribbler @ 14:15

Triathlon training day 1 – Weights and swim

The plan says weights, so weights I do. This is already a pretty regular part of my training. Sometimes I go and swing a kettlebell around in my backyard, other times I hit the barbell at the gym. It’s designed to be a short session that’s easy to fit in, just strengthening and toning key muscles and adding a bit of variety to my cross training.

I got into it quite smoothly after a 10 minute warm up on the static bike (every little helps – right?). I’ve been bitten before thinking this is an easy workout at the start and finding myself flaking out at the end. But I managed a good, honest session and it felt good.

A quick change and I was off into the pool. I left my watch at home, so no timings other than clocking the time I got in and out of the water. It’s probably no bad thing as I went into a 400m set of front crawl and I’m still trying to rush through my stroke. It’s like every move is a move towards taking my next breath. I realised I was stressing and wearing myself out too quickly and managed to slow it down and take it easy. And rewarded my efforts with a two length blast of speed to finish the set.

Another 100m of crawl focused on technique and some warm down lengths of breast stroke and I was done in 20 minutes. And for once, I didn’t feel totally zonked out by my swim. Time to head home for some well-earned food, more stretches and a good sleep.

Triathlon training day 2 – Speedwork

It’s been ages since I ran any intervals and they are not my favourite type run ( are they anyone’s?). But if I want to get faster for parkrun, 10ks and the 5k at the end of my triathlon, I need to get the speedwork in.

For those of you who don’t know, intervals are short bursts of speed followed by running at a more measured, recovery pace. The length of the interval depends on the kind of run you’re aiming for, so short for shorter distances, longer for longer. You can base intervals on distance, or as, I do, time. I have my watch programmed to beep to warn me when a change of pace is due, but I don’t look at it during the run, preferring to judge me pace on how I feel and how out of breath I am.

With some welcome sunshine and warmer temperatures, I ventured out in short sleeves for the first time this year. And although the gusty wind didn’t make ideal conditions, I just got on and gave it a go.

I didn’t really choose the most inspiring route, sticking to largely traffic free roads near where I work and dodging a digger or two around the nearby housing estate. It was hard to pick the pace I could sustain for the run reps, and a couple were definitely into the wind. But I completed the set and enjoyed a gentle warm down after about 30 minutes, leaving me just enough time to get showered and changed and back to the office.

I’m pretty pleased that I managed 4 out of the 6 run reps at target 5k/10k pace and happy that the two I missed were on runs where I had to pause to cross a lane or was battling a headwind. But next time I’d like to make it six out of six.

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