The Scribbler

20 May 2012

I’m no Chrissie Wellington, but…

I could certainly learn something from the four time world champion, ironman triathlete.

I took a trip to my work’s offices near Oxford this week, which gave me plenty of time on the train on the way back to finish Chrissie’s book ‘A Life Without Limits‘. Out of all the sports autobiographies I’ve read, this is the one I identified with the most.

Maybe it’s because of her nickname, ‘Muppet’ because of  her ability to get into scrapes. Maybe it’s her honesty and down to earth-ness. Or maybe it’s just the sport she’s chosen to make part of her life.

Thankfully I don’t have personal experience of the issues with food and diet that she talks about honestly, but it did help me understand them a lot better. And I’d never survive her training regime or put up with half the things she did when turning professional. But I could learn a lot from her chapter on mental training, something I think she covers far better than anyone else I’ve read.

On of her bits of advice is to have a mantra. I’ve had several now and use them in different ways in different races. ‘Don’t think, just run,’ is rapidly turning into ‘Don’t think, just swim’ as that’s another area where my brain tends to cause me more problems than my body.

When all else fails, ‘relax and enjoy’ (thanks Scotty) generally has a good effect. But my new one might be ‘What would Chrissie do?’

It’s been a pretty good week of training for me and a bit of a build up as I approach my first open water triathlon. Tuesday evening, I ran 10k mixing up my pace a little with some long intervals. 10k is a long run for me at the moment and it was good to feel I had some pace to offer. Even better not to feel any pain in my foot afterwards.

I’m pretty confident that injury’s behind me. But I’ll keep on using the good habits I’ve learned during my recovery and hope to prevent it coming back.

Wednesday and Thursday was business as usual with a boxercise class and then a PT session early on Thursday morning using the kettlebells as I’d missed my usual weights workout.

I wasn’t sure whether or not to do parkrun on Saturday morning, after a tough run on Friday morning, but I figured it would be nice to catch up with some of the parkrun crew.  It really is a supportive and friendly community on the town moor and there were some inspirational stories out there. I loved hearing Diane talking about her club Tyne Bridge Harriers  and how much they are helping her. You could just hear the enthusiasm and pride in her voice.

I topped off Saturday with a return to the tri club swim. I haven’t been able to go for a few weeks and strangely I was more nervous getting in the pool for that session than I was getting in the lake for my first open water swim.

My breathing was a bit messed up and I was having a hard time settling into the swim. But the coach took pity on me and the other guy in the ‘slow’ lane and gave us some simple 200 and 100 sets to do with the pull buoy and after a couple of sets I started to relax and swim more controlled. I actually took the lead on the second of the main sets and found it easier to keep going on the longer sets.

I was glad I kept going and shook myself out of feeling uncomfortable at the start. Each time I get a little nervous and anxious in the water, it gets easier to deal with. There’s still no conscious logic or reasoning behind it. It just happens and I deal with it. I think Chrissie might just do the same.


1 Comment »

  1. Awesome training Michelle, good to hear you’re fully back on form! x


    Comment by juliabfitness — 25 May 2012 @ 17:21 | Reply

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