Triathlon training week 6 – back on it

After last week’s training fiasco but social success, I was back on it this week. A total of just over 10 hours spent training, and my training plan looked like this:

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Yes I accept that’s a lot of orange … but there were reasons! And on top of that I also managed 4 sessions of yoga / strength & conditioning, one spin class, and a few leisurely cycles at the weekend.

Running

Run 1 was a casual 40m jog – up to Retiro Park, around the lake in the sunshine and then home. Apparently I ran my second km in 4.41. This is either wrong, or fully explains the pain in my right thigh I had in my third km, which meant I ended up walking a large portion of it! Average speed dropped to 7.18 per km ….. After that one slow km, the pain in my thigh had kind of disappeared so I picked up the pace slightly for a slow jog home, being super careful all the way. Definitely do not want any injuries.

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Run 2 was a set of treadmill intervals. I’d planned this for Friday morning, then had to go into work an hour early as we had a deal signing. Then I thought I’d get it in Friday lunch time … but my to-do list was about 20 items long and I knew it would be too stressful. I worked through lunch hoping to get out early and do the run then. By the time I ended up leaving it was 7.30pm, I was meeting friends for dinner at 8.30, I was tired and in a bad mood. So the run was put off until Saturday!

It was awesome on Saturday though. I held the intervals – each 6 minutes long – at a 12kph pace on the treadmill. That might sound deathly slow for some, but last summer the best I ever did was a set of 5min intervals at 12kph. They killed me, and I was only able to do them a couple of times at peak fitness. This time? They were fine. Totally, completely fine. It left me feeling really happy – sure, I still have horrendous runs, but in general I am a lot faster than last year and that is great!

Swimming

Swim 1 was a slow set of 6 x 300m. Swim 2 was a “tempo” (fast) set of 6 x 300m. I only managed 5 due to getting tired and really, really fed up with the other swimmers. My pool has six lanes. Two slow, two intermediate, two fast. There was a woman swimming in the FAST lane who could not swim a length of front crawl – she kept trying, and then stopping mid-length, treading water, and finishing with breast stroke. Now, there is nothing wrong with that, we’ve all been there. But GET OUT OF THE FAST LANE. After I had overtaken her several times and almost swum right into her several times, she eventually ducked under the lane rope to the medium lane. By this time there was another guy doing horrendously slow backstroke and I was in an awful mood so cut it short at 5 reps!

Swim 3(!) was my first open water swim of the season. I picked a point to swim to that kept me practically hugging the shore line – not so close I would hit any rocks, but not so far out that a motorboat might not see me.It turned out to be roughly a 10 minute swim away so I swam there and back twice. The first ten minutes went by very slowly – I kept stopping to look around me and tread water, I felt my chest was slightly tight, I wasn’t hugely enjoying myself. I had forgotten that it can take a little while to ease into open water swimming! It is so weird as I didn’t think I was scared or panicking, but the tight feeling in my chest would suggest otherwise! And on my second loop, the tight feeling went away. I was much more in the swing of things, plus by this point I knew I wasn’t going to swim into a random rock and was going to be just fine. The training plan is orange because my swim was nowhere near as structured as it suggests it should be – just four sets of 10 minutes swimming, with some treading water in between.

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Cycling

I do worry that this training plan doesn’t involve enough cycling. It only had one cycle on the plan for last week! So I added in a cycle 1 – just a short 20 minutes on the spin bike at the gym for a good tempo workout.

Cycle 2 was an awesome / awful day out on the bike. I had planned an 80km route, using Strava to find a route that it seemed several cyclists had done. I started by heading into Casa de Campo and doing one loop of the route I’ll be doing at Madrid triathlon. Average speed – 26.7kph which to be honest I am quite happy with. I will be very happy if I can keep that up over 5 laps….. It was quite fun as I overtook a lone woman on a tri bike at the start of the hill. She then kept behind me for about half the way, before taking a turn up front. At the top of the hill there is a dip and then another steep incline – we stayed together on the dip and then I moved out and we had a little race up the steep incline. No idea if she was actually racing me but I quite enjoyed it! Especially when I “won” and then sped off down the hill.

After that one loop I set off out of the park and after about 15 minutes, turned off the cycle path following the route I was doing. I quickly found myself in an area of trail. I could see from google maps that roads were marked very close and thought perhaps this was just one tiny section, so I walked my bike, occasionally cycling slowly when the trails were in better condition.

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I got to the point where a road was marked … and it was just a wider trail (although in even worse condition). By this point I was quite far from where I’d left the road. I just kept walking, hoping eventually I would reach a road, and found myself in the absolute middle of nowhere, literally no roads in sight. It was beautiful but I was annoyed at myself!

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I eventually found a road and a lovely one it was too – straight, good surface, very few cars. It went all the way up to El Pardo and then stopped – a dead-end. Time to turn back on myself! I then took a turning where the road led up a long but not too steep hill, through the national park, reached the top and then swooped down towards Madrid again. It was fantastic. But I was still nowhere near 80km so I found my way back onto a cycle path. This is where the trip started to go even more downhill …despite the fact I was still cycling uphill…. There was a long stretch of cycle path that was just right beside a motorway, in the blazing sun with absolutely no shade. It looked from the maps like it might be leading somewhere nice eventually but I was too hot and had been out too long to really care. Eventually I turned around and had a fantastic cycle back into the centre of Madrid, mainly downhill and I was zooming. I got home with 77.6km under my belt and 3 hours 35 of cycling so was pretty pleased with myself. I now have plans to rent a mountain bike and go and explore those trails on more appropriate wheels!

Something I’m proud of: that interval run and my longest solo ride yet. A half ironman will be 90km of cycling so I still need to build up that distance, and speed, but I was pretty happy with how it went. Especially given the incredibly slow sections when I was off road!

Something I need to work on: swimming, swimming, swimming. Motivation for swimming. And planning routes for my bike!

Something fun that was nothing to do with training: the glorious day I had on Sunday spent by Embalse de San Juan with friends – a bit of open water swimming, a bit of exploring, a ginormous paella, a good book and the sun on my skin.

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3 comments

  1. Well done for hanging in there with those intervals!

    Rude people are the number one reason for why I don’t want to try swimming again. I’d be willing to work on form, and there were times when I enjoyed it, but idiots going at the wrong pace and invading your lane to the point where you can’t complete your workout gives me so much anxiety that I just want to go for a run instead because I can escape from the stupidity of humanity.

    • It may have been me being the rude person in that particular swim … I was just so fed up of weeks and weeks of stupidly slow people in the fast lane. Other people getting in your way so you can’t complete your workout drives me absolutely crazy – I am actually thinking about moving to a different pool at some point (when I get round to it, change is stressful) as the current situation is putting me off swimming. Absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever with being slow / a bad swimmer, but please don’t get in the fast lane 🙂

      • No, you were in the right! I have no issue with the speed other people swim either, but if you’re not in the correct lane then it’s just not fair on the people around you and it’s selfish to the extreme.

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