The Scribbler

17 April 2011

A round up and a recce

Filed under: bike,run,swim,training,triathlon — The Scribbler @ 21:04
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Another great week of training this week and it’s all really starting to come together. After my super weekend brick session last Sunday, I pushed myself through a weights session in my yard on Monday night, then decided sleep was more important than an early morning run on Tuesday.

I did still get the miles in though, running my first 10k since I raced in Blackpool, out along the North East coast on Tuesday evening. I took it easy as my legs were still recovering from the brick and weights sessions. I was actually a little nervous of the distance, as I’ve been concentrating on short and fast. So I just told myself no time pressures, no pace targets, just run it. And it turned into a lovely evening.

When my legs felt slow and leaden, I slowed down and thought about the things that were going well, like my breathing. And I just kept going out along my tried and trusted route, back in time for tea.

Wednesday night, I wasn’t sure what to do. It’s basically my cross training night, so up to me. I had my swim kit in my bag, but had had a bit of a frustrating day and my head was a bit mashed. So I ditched the swim and punched out a fun workout at boxercise.

I had a restless night’s sleep, which is unusual for me, especially after an energetic session. But still managed to bounce up and out early for my PT session on the beach at 06:30. A glorious morning, still and fresh and 1 hour’s worth of whole body training with the med ball. Plus plenty of advice and encouragement from Ian ahead of my first triathlon.

After a busy day at work, Gary’s let me know his Wine School class had been cancelled, so I wasn’t needed as chauffeur. So I took the chance to go to pilates instead. I haven’t done any pilates for a couple of weeks and it was a real welcome relief to stretch out, work the abs hard and shake off a hectic day in my head. I slept like a log that night.

Friday I headed for the pool after work. A chance to tackle my swim monkey again and take on a proper swim session. I wanted to swim at least 1x400m set of front crawl to give me an idea of my time, ready for Ashington. I got in the pool, rehearsing some of my breathing and calming techniques, did a few warm up lengths and then got into the swim.

I tried to take it easy, not worrying too much about arm placement, but getting the breathing smooth and steady. And I gave myself a little rest to catch my breath about 12 lengths in. I was getting close to the end of the set when a couple of lads got in the pool and were mucking about. They were far enough over the side for me not to worry about them too much, or so I thought, when bam! I swam straight into them halfway through a length.

I went straight to bloody fuming. Stopped, shouted at them and then ploughed back to the side, having mucked up my 400m swim. I stopped my watch and saw I only had another 2 lengths to go. But I was shaking. Not so much about messing up the set, but having another uncomfortable experience in the pool when I had been feeling so relaxed. I had a good couple of minutes at the side, doing some deep breathing and calming myself down. Then I ducked under the lane rope into the swim lane and finished off my set.

After another couple of minutes recovery and a couple of lengths breast stroke, I decided to give another 400m set a go. Part way through this one, I could really feel the drag on my arms and sense I was getting tired and splashy. But I kept it going, slowed it down and then kicked hard for the last 2 lengths to swim a 9:15 for 400m. About where I said I’d be for the triathlon.

Now I was back in the groove again, and I actually didn’t want to get out of the pool. I did a couple of 100m sets and then the first signs of cramp in my foot told me I had done enough. But it was a great confidence booster.

Saturday I opted to skip parkrun in favour of another long bike to run brick. I wanted to make sure last weekend’s wasn’t a one off and finish my last hard week of training. So off on the same route as last week, feeling full of beans on the bike and enjoying every minute. I did 20k in about 56 minutes, then off into my hallway transition area, helmet and gloves off and out onto the run.

Hard and heavy legged again, but it eased after the first kilometre and I made it to 5k in just under 27 mins. A tiny bit slower than last week, but it’s all training and experience and I’m not going to fret over 30 seconds or so.

The rest of the day I just pootled around the house, tidying up and doing chores. Then decided to go into town to look for some sunglasses to use on the bike. After trying on some gorgeous Oakley ones that I couldn’t justify the cost of, I got a bargain £25 pair with interchangeable lenses.

And so to Sunday. A bonus day for training as I’d ticked off all the important sessions already this week. But thanks to a very kind offer from Pete Brooks, there was the chance to check out Ashington’s bike route along with Flip.

Another early start and manhandled the bike into the back of the tank, then off up to Ashington to find the Leisure Centre. Met Flip in the car park and began to regret wearing my cycling shorts as it was a bit chilly despite the sunshine. Pete arrived and we admired his lean, mean red, white and black machine. Truly a great looking bike. Makes mine look like a real chubster.

And I was soon to see the real difference between a proper road bike, ridden well and my trusty old hybrid with it’s go faster tyres. I wasn’t pushing hard today, as my legs were still recovering, but Flip and Pete were quickly streets ahead. But I was enjoying the ride and the chance to try out the course. And, kind souls that they are, they waited for me a a couple of rest stops. And we all drooled over that bike some more.

I’d thought I’d only want to do one lap to get an idea of the course. Especially after encountering the hill! That had me struggling in my lowest gear. But in the end, we rode the lot. I was even enjoying myself so much I missed the turning back to the car park at the end.

A rather lengthy transition in the car park as we racked the bikes back into the cars, but we did manage a lap of the run route too. And I even snuck a peek at the pool.

After all that, Flip and I drove to the Rising Sun country park hoping to catch the end of the race. But we were a bit late and it was all over by the time we got there. Nice to see so many runners enjoying the sunshine though and congratulate Jeff and Kev on their runs. And to snaffle a free sausage roll (they were being offered). Seems like a good race and one to consider for next time!

It was a great day for a bike ride and great company. I know I’ll be hammered by the faster bikes, but I don’t care. I will feel so much more confident going into my first tri event now. Thanks for all the tips Pete.

Mon: Weights
Tues: 10k run
Weds: Boxercise
Thurs: PT session / pilates
Fri: Swim
Sat: Bike/run brick
Sun: Bike and run

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