I have absolutely loved this week. It was a hard week, with treadmill intervals, a bike time trial, and a swim time trial (due to missing last week’s swim), but it was fantastic. I loved going “fast” again! (Fast is in quotation marks because probably nobody else would call it fast, but it’s fast for me!) Getting the heart rate up above 190 and not just because I am cycling up a steep hill, dripping with sweat and panting for breath and legs that won’t stop shaking once the workout is over. It’s been fantastic. Like last week, green is for workouts I nailed, orange for ones I kind of did, and red for those I missed …. oh wait, there is no red this week (although not quite in the order suggested)! Not shown on that chart is a test swim (yep, I swam three times this week!), a yoga class and a few short strength and conditioning workouts (varying from 10 minutes to 30 minutes).
Swim 1 was the tempo swim and that was HARD. 5 x 300m of swimming hard was difficult to get my head around beforehand and I was tempted to cop out after four reps but pushed on for the last one. Swim 2 was the test swim and that was AWESOME. Another swim that it was hard to get my head around beforehand, I hate “test” workouts as it is mentally difficult to push yourself as hard as you can go outside of a race. And this was a 400m test which is quite a long way in the pool to swim as fast as possible! I was tempted to put the swim off, but knew if I did that I might never end up doing it…. The swim started with a 300m warm-up and then a progession of 4 x 50m building. That was fun, I fully sprinted the last one and managed it in 51.20 seconds – my fastest 50m yet! Then came the dreaded 400m test….. which I finished in 7 min 55 – again, my fastest 400m on record. So I came out of that feeling pretty awesome (and exhausted). Treated myself to an onion bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, eggs and spinach for breakfast. It was delicious.
Also I texted my mum to tell her and she replied like this….
Swim 3 was just a short 1200m with various drills (single-arm, kicking, tarzan drill, shark drill….)
Run 1 was on the treadmill and it felt fantastic to be doing some intervals again. I kept my rest intervals very,very slow in an attempt to keep my heart rate as low as the plan wanted it, but basically all I have to do is jog at walking speed and my heartrate is above 120 so didn’t pay too much attention to it! I watched several Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Meghan Trainor YouTube videos and was very, very happy.
Run 2 was planned for Saturday morning but a few too many copas on Friday night put an end to that… So instead it happened Sunday afternoon. I set off on a sunny afternoon, it had been raining heavily earlier but looked as if that was over. I had planned an easy hour long run with some hills thrown in to up the heart rate, so wasn’t wearing a watch and just had strava on my phone. The run down is mainly downhill and went kind of as expected. I felt really good going down the steep hill so just let me legs fly underneath me, really enjoying myself. I crossed over the bridge into Casa de Campo and it was then I noticed a massive grey cloud………
I ran on but was feeling slightly unsure so after a minute or two decided to turn back. I’d run out for over 25 minutes and I knew the way back was uphill and therefore slower, so thought I’d still manage a full hour. I felt really strong trucking up the main hill – my speed dropped but I was still a lot faster than the last time I ran up the hill (35 whole seconds faster over 1.1km) and enjoying myself more. I started to feel a few drops of rain….. within moments the rain was torrential and the streets were flooding, water running in torrents.
I sped up. Honestly, I ran home faster than I have run in months, faster than I’ve ever run outside of park runs with my fastest split at 5.02/km. It was pretty awesome. I was soaking wet but actually still loving it because I felt super strong, and badass for being out there in that weather. I even had to slow myself slightly on the last (downhill) section as I was worried I would slip in the wet. As soon as I got in I was freezing and immediately jumped in a hot shower with all my clothes on! Planks and yoga would have to come afterwards….
Cycle 1 was the 16km time trial on a spin bike in the gym – I chose to do it on the spin bike because I hadn’t found a 16km stretch of road that would be good for a time trial and wanted to test myself properly, rather than trying to figure out where to go! And I had to do the workout before work so just figured the spin bike was the best place to go. Head down, 90-100RPM, sweat dripping off me. It was great fun but really, really difficult. So much so that at some point my breaths out were coming out as “fuuuuck”.
Anyway – 16km (10 miles) in 31 minutes. I was happy. But I wonder how that translates on the road. I’d imagine slower, as I didn’t have to contend with road surface, wind, turns. I will have to find a road at some point to repeat this on.
Cycle 2 – meant to be 2 and a half hours relatively easy spinning in zones 1 & 2. I finished work at 4pm on Friday (Spain is great) so decided it would be a great chance to go out and explore Casa de Campo. So that is what I did. I got into the park and immediately discovered it was full of cyclists on bikes ranging from mountain bikes to super-speedy road bikes, and I followed a couple of the road-bikers at first to find my way. I ended up finding quite a nice loop with a long hill at the beginning, a couple of good descents, and then an out & back section.
I thought at first that the wind was ridiculously strong as I was going 10kph faster in one direction than the other, with my heart rate the same! Later on, looking at the gradient of the cycle, I realised that it was also on a slight slope – barely noticeable to the eye but noticeable to the legs. I went up and round the lake that I’ll be swimming in for Madrid triathlon, and completed this loop three times.
Something that I’m proud of this week was all those early mornings. I completely nailed getting out of bed when my alarm went off every single morning. It’s the first time ever that I’ve managed that (and I’ve already failed this week as this Monday morning my alarm went off at 7am and I reset it for 8.30!)
Something to work on – nothing really from this week. I’m really happy with how everything went and I loved it.
Something fun that was nothing to do with training:
A really good night on Friday night on Calle Ponzano in Madrid, drinking wine and eating tapas with some friends.