Good Week

Just a very quick update as I’ve had a really good week, and I wanted to share it.

I’ve done 6km swimming, 170 km cycling and 30 km running, my best week by far. Don’t feel too tired so hopefully things are falling into place.

Just need my bike to show up!!

Wilmslow Sprint Triathlon

Aside

Bit of a delay in reporting back from the Wilmslow Tri, but you’ll see why.

 

When the date first appeared, I just entered it and didn’t think much about the date. It was only a few weeks ago that it dawned on me that it was the last day of the season. Didn’t matter to me at that stage, City had blown it so I’ll just wander down after the tri. When it started to appear that we could still have a chance, I dropped Xtramile Events who run it a quick email and asked if I could start at the earliest part of my timed wave, as I wanted to get to the football. Guess they appreciated my honesty as I was put on a 9.00 start which was fine. The only problem was they’d put me down as a 12 minute 400 metre swimmer, whereas I’m more of an 8 minute swimmer, but it was very much appreciated so I just went with it.

 

Woke up early on Sunday, and it was throwing it down, not quite what I wanted but cant be helped. I’d packed the day before so just set off and parked up at the leisure centre and walked through to register. Get soaked doing that, and soaked again going back to the car to get my bike to put in transition. Tyres felt a little low so I asked the one stand who had braved the elements to turn up to check them out and put some air into them. I was allocated an end spot in transition, which was good. Got all my bits sorted, and under cover and went to get changed for the swim.

 

The format was the same as previous times. Report 15 minutes before your swim, register took, race briefing then allocate your lanes. There are usually 5 swimmers in 5 lanes going at 10 second intervals, and if you need to overtake, you just tap the swimmer in front on their foot, and wait until the end of that length. I thought that I might be having to swim around quite a few with the timings, but hoped that they might have put a couple of quicker ones in with me. There were also some who’d missed their wave so they were added to our wave as we also had a few no shows, guess the weather put a few off!!

 

We ended up with 4 in our lane, with me getting off first which suited me fine. Once we got off, I was quickly into my rhythm, but it soon became apparent for at least one, that swimming was not their strongest leg. I ended tapping my first toe after 3 lengths and so it went on. Wouldn’t criticise anyone as it was my choice to get an early start, but there were a couple of times when I came behind and I almost had to stop as we were going so slowly. Lesson one learnt, if you start early you just have to live with slower swimmers.┬áIn fact, I ended up passing a couple of times before the end as I just couldn’t tread water that slowly to keep up without touching the bottom. I finished the swim in 9.44, which is a good 90 seconds slower than I would expect, so not a great start.

 

Run over the grass/mud and into transition. My stuff was set out but because of the monsoon conditions, I’d covered it up which didn’t really aid a smooth transition. I also could get my gloves on so it was all a little messy. And when I saw my transition time, it was actually very messy, 4.13!! Not sure what I was doing but I don’t remember sitting down, making myself a brew and having some breakfast. Lesson two, practice transition.

 

Off on the bike, and this year, remembered to put my Garmin onto the bike from my wrist. Only this time, I hadn’t changed the display to show my bike timings so wasn’t much point. Also, when I got out onto the road, realised that I had not put my number belt on. Decided just to crack on. I had my number on my arms and legs, and I’d put it on for the run so I’ll take the chance. Lesson three, concentrate more in transition and don’t rush stuff.

 

Bike felt good, even in the wet. Took it a little easier round the corners and under the trees where it could be slippy, but overall, I felt confident on it. Got past the pot hole that gave me two punctures last year which made me feel better, and even overtook a few people. Rain was on and off, and was a bit breezy but just tried to get my head down and go on how I felt as my Garmin wasn’t any help.

 

Soon enough was back at the leisure centre, hopping off the bike trying not to slip and wading through the mud into transition. Bike time was 56.01 which given the conditions, I wasn’t too unhappy with. Dumped the bike, helmet and gloves, changed shoes, put my number belt on and on my way. T2 done in 1.55 which was better, but still not great.

 

Off over the field and onto the back alley way that takes you onto the road. This was seriously muddy here, and also quite deep. Kept my balance ok and onto the first footbridge taking me over the dual carriageway. I find the two footbridges here evil as the steps are just a little longer than my normal step so it really throws my early rhythm out. Ended up walking up and trotting down, just didn’t want to slip on the metal steps as they were very slippy.

 

Have to say, I really wasn’t looking forward to the run. I’d not done much run training as all because of the pains in my foot so I wasn’t sure how I’d feel. I was quite pleasantly surprised as got into a nice steady rhythm and started to pick one or two people off. Hardly flying past them but as a new target came into view, it gave me something to aim at. There’s a couple of short, sharp hills on the course, and the nice stewards tell you to dig deep but once they’re done, its not a bad run.

 

Soon got round, and as at the start, have to get over one of those footbridges. Really takes my legs out but stumbled up and over it, and back into the alleyway full of mud. Then its just a quick run through the trees and the finishline. Nice touch at the end with plates of sweets, bananas and Jaffa cakes. Unfortunately, there was a photographer at the finishline so apologies for the pictures that follow!! Did get warned that I should have my tritop fully zipped up as it can be considered nudity and a disqualification, but I managed to get away with that.

 

At the end, a quick visit to the tent to get my times, then had to gather my stuff to get home and showered to get off to the Etihad to watch City win the league again, though this time was a lot easier.

 

Thoroughly enjoyed the event, beat last years time by over 4 minutes so I should be happy with that but I really wanted to be south of 1.40, my total time was 1.44.34. I can easily take time off T1 and the swim so when I’m back in September, that’s the aim.untitled%20(103%20of%20380)-X3 untitled%20(796%20of%20921)-X3

Training Update

Been a busy few weeks with one thing and another.

 

I’ve got my first Triathlon of the season on Sunday, The Wilmslow Tri. Its a sprint so 400 metre swim, 24 km bike and a 6 km run. I did it last year in May and managed a DNF with 2 flats in the same one in October so want to do better. I’ve got my own target I want to get to and where I can loose some time, so quite hopeful I can put up a time that starts 1 hour 30 something.

 

The biggest problem with it is that its on the last day of the football season. I’d already noticed this, so I asked the organisers if they could put me at the start of the waves for my timed swim. I told them the truth as to why and I guess they appreciated that as I have a 9 o’clock start in a wave that to be perfectly honest, is a lot slower than I would do but from my point of view, its very much appreciated.

 

Training wise, everything seems to be coming together. I had a bit of a panic a couple of weeks ago as I started to get a pain on my left foot. It felt like the start of plantar fasciitis which I had a few years ago, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. As soon as it came on, I stopped my running training, started icing the foot and wore a compression sock. I also went for a running gait analysis as I bought some new trainers the other week and thought that could be the problem. Sure enough, these new ones were not giving me the support I needed so that would have been the cause. One new pair of supported trainers later, and hopefully all should be ok. I’ve only been for a few shortish runs in the new trainers, but they feel fine. I’ll have a gentle run tomorrow as prep for Wilmslow but once that is out of the way, I need to start building up the distance again.

 

Swimming is coming along. Distance isn’t a problem, I just need to improve on my speed. Having said that, its my first Iron Man and my main aim is just to finish. Times are really not a huge worry at the minute as I wont be troubling the pointy end of the field.

 

The main thing I need to get sorted for my swimming is to get some open water practice. I’ve not had chance yet, and to be perfectly honest, looking at the temperatures its not something I really fancy but I know I have to so I’ll be getting that sorted soon.

 

Cycling is actually showing a good improvement. I’ve been putting in a fair bit of time on the Wattbike and have been improving my times and distances on that. Having said that, there isn’t any substitute for proper road riding, so what I’ve decided to do is drop my Wednesday morning gym session and use that as my long ride. The last 2 weeks, its worked really well. Last week I did an 80 km ride, and yesterday I managed 100km, which in terms of distance, were both the longest I’ve ever done. The 100 km was done in 3 hours 50 minutes so whilst it isn’t particularly quick, its north of my targeted average of 15 mph or 24 kmh which means I should finish the Iron Man bike south of 8 hours which for me would be a result.

 

My legs were a little bit wobbly coming off the bike but they soon freed themselves up and I’ve had no soreness or stiffness which I’m well happy about. It also gave me the confidence to just get out on the bike as I’d never done that kind of distance before. I also tried out different gels/nutrition and I’m favouring the Torq products. I did get a little bit of cramp towards the end of the ride, so maybe I need to look at that and either use a salt stick or use a different drink that replaces the electrolytes that I’m sweating out.

 

So all in all, I’m reasonably happy with my training, although like everyone, I think I probably could do more. Once Wilmslow is out of the way, I’ll step things up again.