The krazy life of triathlon

Man Tri Training Weekend

So…. only a week late! But never mind

So last Friday, I traped off to the middle of the Peak District with around 30 others from Man Tri to get a good weekend of training in. When we arrived, it was a 30 min run to loosen the legs up from the long journey and I felt pretty good! In the evening we all went to the only pub in the village and enjoyed some decent home cooked food – which for me and a couple of others also involved eating our body weight in the most amazing chocolate cake known to man! Despite the grossly huge number of calories I’m sure were in there, we would need it for the day to come.

Saturday morning was an early start before the big ride of the weekend. We all set off in one big group, and then as soon as we hit the first main climb, I worked my way up to the front group just as the hammer was dropped and we blasted up to the top. The legs were feeling ok, considering I had only been on a bike for 20 mins a couple of days before since the Fred Whitton. After the next big climb when we split the group for the 2nd time, maps were passed around and then it was hammer time again! Going up an A road, a group of about 8 of us took an early turning and ended up getting lost – a sign of things to come! We picked up Anne who had dropped her chain on a climb and towed her to the first town, when we dropped her off after some amazing descents and then headed off.

The roads were pretty good and my legs started to come through, doing some big turns on the front and just enjoying group riding again. I have to say I am being spoilt for choice with my riding lately, with the Lakes the week before and the Peaks this weekend! It was an interesting ride as well, with a few ‘Closed Road’ signs which we decided to go through anyway. In the end, we got to practise a bit of cyclocross, carrying our bikes through building sites, dug up roads and tutting builders, but it was good fun especially as we ended up attacking each other pretty much every hill, especially me and Harsh.

After a few hours, a couple of guys decided they had had enough of our hill antics and took a shortcut home. We pressed on, and ended up in a farm, wondering where the hell we were! The roads were pretty small and we had to have a few map checks with some walkers to get us on the right track, but we decided to go off the route and find some decent roads as it was too slow going. On the final climb home, Harsh did his usual thing of starting an attack and waiting for me to jump and hammer it up to the top while he sat up and either enjoyed a tow or watched me suffer! We blew the group apart again, and it took a while to regroup, but I managed to keep my nutrition under control, which I was pleased with. We ended up doing about 6 hours (4hr 20 ride time) and 110k, and although I was tired, I didn’t blow at all thankfully. My saddle sore, which I picked up at the Fred Whitton (hence why no time on the bike on the week) however was not amused with 6 hours on the bike and was extremely sore!

When we got back, I went for a short run again. However, where we were, you either went left and down a massive hill, or right and up a massive hill… I opted for right and had a look for some trails. Finding one trail, I followed it for about 50m, until it went seemingly directly upwards! Deciding to stick to the roads I bashed out half an hour, though I don’t recommend an entire malt loaf in between a brick session! My stomach was not happy.

As soon as I got back, I had to quickly grab my swim kit, as it was off for a group swim. Having been told that it was a very warm pool, despite it being outside, I left my wetsuit back at the accommodation. We got to the pool to see a notice of “Apologies but the pool heater is broken so it may be a little cold!” – annoying as I was hoping to get some wetsuit practise in before my half IM! Anyway, it was freezing! We soon warmed up and set off with some IM style main sets, would have been interesting to see my butterfly! It was also quite amusing seeing people sporadically jumping out of the pool with cramp, knowing that it would hit us all soon. Amazingly however, it never came for me! I got one little twinge in my quad in a butterfly set but that was it. I was also pleased with seeing that my swimming was not as bad as I thought, both having it looked at by our resident professional triathlete Jacqui, and where I was swimming in the squad.

After a much better sleep (despite ending up sticking to the plastic mattress) it was another early start for Sunday to fit everything in before everyone left at lunch. After spending a good 10 mins trying to find someway I could sit on my bike and with copious amounts of chamois cream applied, we set off for a few hours on the bike, though this was a much more leisurely pace until we hit Winnats Pass. Thankfully my legs weren’t too bad from the day before and I was first up to the top, which was reassuring. After a cafe stop and having an incredible bacon and sausage sandwich, things heated up on the way back and the pace shot up. However, after about 10 mins, my front derailleur decided to twist round and jam itself into my crank. Thankfully there was no major damage, and I managed to fix it roadside. One guy stopped and we headed off back home, but I got us lost (again) so it was back to the map to try and plot a route home. Having decided that my phone would give us the best route home, we followed it, only to discover the road was closed for a half marathon! We picked up a group of girls and headed home with them, another ‘scenic routes’ which gave us a good 3 hours on the bike again. A few of us set out for a run after, and I stayed out to do my first hour long brick run outside of training ever I think! Legs were pretty dead to begin with, but I got a bit stronger towards the end, though the hills really didn’t help!

In total, I clocked up a good 12 hours of training, which was great! An awesome weekend, with some great people, and it was so nice to be back to squad training again, just helps you push that little bit harder. One thing I did notice, was yet again my diet went to pot. I was consuming too much junk food and it has shown this week in an extended recovery time. I need to work on getting enough calories in when I do big bouts of training, but keep some of the goodness in there.

This week has seen me struggling to recover from 2 hard weeks (and a weekend of junk food!). My running has taken a hit, and through various reasons (including an exploding oven!) I didn’t get any long runs in during the week. On Wednesday, Mike and I went out for a long bike to scout Le Terrier, and my legs just didn’t want to play ball, especially on the climbs. To be fair we did clock up 87k of riding and 2000m of climbing (which is half the Fred Whitton! Not bad given I had done an interval swim in the morning and a full days work!) but I didn’t have the top end power. An easy day on Thursday and Friday has given my legs time to recover, and today I had my first 2 hour run in an absolute age! With the incredible weather, it was a hot one, and I lasted about 90 mins of feeling good until I started to die from lack of fuel and dehydration, but I still clocked up 23.5k, so can’t complain! I will get a long bike in tomorrow, with a brick run, then another long bike on Tuesday before my taper begins for the Beaver in 7 days!!

Finally, I appear to have been sucked deeper and deeper into the ultra-endurance world, and am currently planning some other crazy events. Will keep you posted



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