Triathlon training – swim swim swim 

Triathlon training went really well this week – with 2 weeks to go until my first triathlon of the season I am starting to feel relatively confident that a winter of travelling and eating, then focussing on marathon training, won’t leave me floundering on race day! The week involved about 8 and a half hours of training, composed of one strength session, one yoga session, one run (a “test” run pushing myself as fast as possible), two swims, one long cycle and six cycle commutes – a total of 114km for the week on the bike. The only thing I missed was a brick session – I am a little concerned that I may do this triathlon without having done any brick training whatsoever which is obviously less than ideal!

Five things I did this week:

Went to my first ever swim training session with Clapham Chasers. I have finally joined a tri club after months and months of looking at all the various sessions and wondering which ones I could make it to. Joining was just step one – step two was actually going along… I’d been to the Monday run before but that is quite hard for me as I have to leave work a lot earlier than normal so it is difficult to make unless I am very quiet at work. The next hurdle was the Wednesday swim… much more convenient, it starts at 8pm so I can go straight from work.

It was in a new location last week due to technical problems in the usual pool so there were only 8 of us there, everyone very friendly and different levels. As I wrote in this post, I automatically put myself in the slowest possible position and was quite happy to be moved up to the top of the middle lane. We warmed up and then did some drills, focussing on body rotation and keeping the core tight and strong. Then on to the main session – 3 sets of 1 fast length, 3 slow, 2 fast lengths, 2 slow, 3 fast lengths, 1 slow. All with 30 seconds rest in between and then 1 minute 30 seconds rest at the end of the set. Interestingly, I actually found the reps where we did 3 fast lengths and 1 slow easier. I find continuing to swim slowly after I’ve just really pushed myself very difficult, and it takes a lot less time to swim 3 fast lengths than 3 slow lengths!

I really enjoyed it, felt I improved my swimming, and will definitely be going back!

A new 3km PB: My run this week was a “test” run in which I had to warm up, run 3km as fast as possible, and then cool down. I decided to run from home to Battersea Park, run round Battersea Park as fast as possible, and then cool down on the run home. The lap I did around Battersea Park was just a tiny bit under 3km so it was just perfect. I had set my Garmin to beep if I went outside a range of 5 min/km – 4.30/km and began with lots of beeping because I was going too fast. It still felt relatively okay so I paced myself slightly but not a huge amount. Long story short, I finished the 3km in 14 minutes 30 seconds – my fastest ever! Last year, on a treadmill, I managed to run 15 min 17 seconds so that’s a pretty significant improvement, and I wasn’t absolutely dead at the end of it!

A morning swim in the lake with RG Active: I was really not feeling the 6am wakeup after a few drinks and dinner on Friday night. Add to that an argument with James and a grey drizzly morning and the last thing I really wanted to do was get out of bed and get into a lake. I trudged my way to the tube and made it to the lake just slightly late as people were starting to get changed.

The water was relatively warm so getting in wasn’t too hard, but as I set off on my first 450m lap, my new goggles kept leaking. It was so frustrating, every time I put my face in the water it would seep in through the sides. This really slowed me down as I tried to solve the issue and so I was last by quite a way back to the starting point! We then did a few mass start drills, trying to be as close to each other as possible, and a few drills trying to turn quickly around a buoy at right angles. Then we set off for a large lap of about 850m, trying to keep close together for the first few buoys to practice draft swimming and swimming in a pack. It was brilliant, a really good opportunity to practice which I have never done before!

Cycling around Richmond Park: Once back from my lake swimming, I changed into my cycle shorts and jersey and headed out on the bike. I cycled to Richmond Park and then, as I was feeling pretty strong, set off for a fast lap – really pushing myself along. I was so pleased to see 23.30 for my lap time on the Garmin which would have been the fastest I’ve ever done it (although strangely the Strava segment was quite a lot slower!). The slightly drizzly day meant the park and roads were quiet so it was a great cycle. I took things slightly more gently on my second loop and even managed to cycle with no hands for a bit! This is a first for me 🙂

A lovely long bank holiday in Northumberland: Today (Monday) is a holiday in the UK so James and I decided to make the most of the long weekend by going up to Northumberland to see his family. After I returned from my cycle, I quickly got changed and packed before we set out to the train station for a 3-hour journey to Newcastle. Once there, the sun was shining and it was surprisingly warm so we enjoyed a lovely weekend of eating, drinking, chatting and relaxing, starting with dinner at a nearby pub restaurant called The Feathers and followed by a huge Sunday roast and afternoon spent playing with my lovely niece who is just starting to crawl. 

So there we go! This week is week 11 of a 12 week training plan so I just need to get a few more good workouts in, work hard and rest well. 😀


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