Well was a day of mixed results! I finished in 57.36, so very pleased to break the hour, which put me 15th overall, which I was happy with, but I think I was 3rd in my age group, so not too happy with that, but there were some quick guys there. I should also be in bed, as the clock change means I am up at stupid o’clock, so this could be a quick one.
Before the swim, I was actually getting nervous! Been a while, since I was nervous before a race, IMUK to be exact, and had god know how many loo stops before I started, but it was soon my time to go. I set off hard, being the last in my lane and felt really good, and holding a good stroke. Within about 8 lengths, I was overtaken by a woman who was on course to do about 5.40(!), so sat on her feet until the turn. She tumble turned, I normal turned, and I lost the draft. Just goes to show how much difference tumble turns make. Having not managed to start my watch at the start of the swim, I exited on about 3.20, having started my watch at half way, which I think probably puts me at around a 6.20/30 swim, so fairly happy with that.
I had a quick transition and caught a few people up and straight out on the bike. I was overtaken by a guy immediately in full aero gear/bike and managed to keep him in sight for a few k until the wind forced me back, and boy was it windy! I was still managing to hold a good pace, and came in under half an hour for the bike, which at about 17k was fairly pleased with, given the wind. The legs felt good, but not great. I suspect the illness during the week capped my top end, but I don’t think it would have cost me that much time. And I love my wheels, forgotten how quick they were!
Another quick transition and out onto the run, and this is where the illness really knocked me. Having run no more than 5k in the last week, the running legs weren’t exactly all there and I had pushed hard on the bike and was struggling to keep the ticking over. I got overtaken by a couple of people and tried to hold them but couldn’t. On the 2nd lap, they finally started to come good, and I settled into a really good stride and began to push the pace and pick people off.
It was rewarding coming in under the hour, and had definitely been a goal of mine for the season (I’ll ignore the missing 3k on the bike!). Although disappointed with my placing in the age group, I was only a minute off the winner of it. And thankfully I definitely couldn’t have given another minute, my heart rate was over 180 for the whole thing! Although if I had gone another 7 seconds quicker, I would have been in 13th! If you ignore the winner (who put in a stupidly quick time of 50 min) I was only about 2 minutes off 4th, so they were all pretty bunched! And I can be very pleased with that, I was a lot closer to the leading people that Fleetwood, where I was 15th also, and 1st M20-24. Waiting on the results to do a complete breakdown, but from what I can remember, everything was pretty good, with perhaps the run being a little down on everyone else.
This week it is back to normal training and building it back up from a couple of easy weeks. As it is Easter, it means that it is back home and a few days off work. So I am planning on having a busy weekend with some long miles in the saddle, and also the chance to get some long running back in, I have definitely been neglecting it. Not long to the Fred Whitton either, need to practise my long rides!
Wow, yes it has been a very long time since my last blog post! It has been a busy time, a trip to Russia, sorting out another trip, catching up with friends, work getting busy and an increased training schedule mean that life has been busy! But it is better than being bored!
I suppose now is a good time to be blogging as annoyingly I am ill, so have lost all excuses for not blogging! It appears that a weekend in Manchester catching up with mates, going out, drinking, little sleep and not eating properly now has adverse effects on me! So my body has decided to punish me with an illness. Thankfully at the moment, it is nothing too bad. I managed to bash out a swim this morning and weights, though am switching tonight from a run to an early night. Hopefully this can nip it in the bud and keep it at a sore throat and headache and let me get back to training as soon as possible. I would much rather miss one training session than a few and a race, or not be in decent shape at the first race of the season!
Speaking of races, this weekend means Ribby Hall Triathlon! It has been a long time since I have competed, and am looking forward to testing my form and getting the Zipps out of hibernation! A little bold, but I am going for the win in M20-24 (even though there is no official category), as it is run by the same people as Fleetwood triathlon and should have a similar field. Timewise, close to an hour would be good, as I don’t think I quite have the speed to go under the hour at this point. Could be a good race though, and if there is little wind it will be fast.
Training is going well. Running is slowly starting to increase, and I am feeling fairly comfortable, though need to start getting another run in to get my fluidity back. Hoping to get some Newtons at Easter, so hoping this will help a lot! Cycling and swimming are all going well. Lots of riding in the Lakes has paid dividends, and I am feeling a lot stronger, though need more practise at long rides to get my nutrition and pacing sorted, it was all over the place last 100k+ ride I did, with dire consequences! Swimming is going well too, and is slowly starting to click with some reasonable mileage. My times are certainly down anyway.
One major difference I have noticed is my strength. It appears that all the weight training is beginning to pay off, and I am feeling a lot stronger. Not only am I lifting more in the gym, I am a lot stronger on the bike. I did Hardknott Pass at the weekend, the steepest road in England, and was oh so close to getting up until my back wheel spun out! Not bad for a standard chainset! I will be switching to a compact in a few weeks in preparation or the Fred Whitton, and it will be nice to have to option for either one. Thankfully, the longer runs have kept my weight down, and have reduced my body’s annoying tendency to bulk up at the sight of a dumbell!
The next blog will be a lot sooner (promise!) and will be a (hopefully good!) review of Ribby Hall. Might get my training plans up at some point too!
And so comes to the end the first part of my training. My first 5 week block has ended and now, off to Russia tomorrow for a few days, means that I will rest for the first time in what seems like AGES! Annoyingly I haven’t got my totals on me, but will put them up when I return. But I know that I have logged some big numbers, far bigger than this time last year.
I have shown improvement in all three sports. My swimming ever since camp, has had a massive improvement. Swimming every day on camp really raised my swimming up and I have managed to keep it up there. I did a 2.5k tt this morning on a whim, when I got to the pool yet, and pulled off a 43.30! Baring in mind when I was mega fit and doing tri club swimming before my crash last year, I did a 48.40, I’m pretty happy with a 5 minute pb! With a bit more work, I should be able to get it down to 40 min comfortably, which sets me up nicely for around an hour in the IM with a wetsuit on!
My cycling has strengthened, and I am definitely feeling better on the bike and lasting longer. Lots of work in the Lake District has improved my strength massively, and as soon as I can afford a compact crank, I should be flying up those hills! Running is much the same, and I am feeling really fluid and efficient and just need to work on building up my endurance with some longer runs.
After my rest, it will be much more of the same, more Lakes training, swimming with lots of interval work over 3k, and increasing my run distance. My weights and yoga have really helped keep any niggles under control, but my weights program changes, to start to work at increasing my power. I have another 5 week block before I take a long rest before I start my main build up.
Whilst I am looking forward to finally getting a bit of rest, with 20 weeks to go, I am loving the training and cannot wait to race!