As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve recently been toying with the idea of doing an Ironman. I know this is a huge challenge and not one to be underestimated – it’s especially not one to be entered on one of my spontaneous whims. So, to test the waters I’m going to spend the next 5 months preparing for triathlons and a duathlon, to see how well I adapt to training regularly in three different disciplines and, more importantly, whether or not I enjoy it. I’ll be taking part in the Diamond Triathlon in August and the London Duathlon and Hever Castle Triathlon in September. If I enjoy taking part in these, then I’ll let myself think properly about Ironman.
So this was my first official week of training. I say official, but I’m not actually following a specific training program at the moment. I’ll be following a 12-week Olympic Distance training plan for the Hever Tri, so until that begins towards the end of June, I’m using the first month to increase my swim and bike confidence; continue my strength and conditioning work; and maintain my flexibility with a regular yoga practise.
The week got off to an achy and exhausted start after running the Hackney Half Marathon last Sunday. The combination of extreme heat with 13.1 miles of running left me pooped to say the least. On Monday I had a serious case of DOMs so apart from a 25 minutes yoga session in the morning I took a much needed rest day.
Still a little achy today but feeling much better. I taught a yoga class in the evening, which did me the world of good but left little time for anything else. Probably for the best though.
My training kicked off properly today, starting with hard a 25 minute cycle at the gym in the morning. I am to get to work for around 7.30am so realistically I can only fit in a 30 minute work out in the mornings, which means I’ll probably have to go back for a second session some evenings. The bike is probably my biggest concern as I really struggle to get any speed up and feel like I have absolutely no power in my legs – it’s frustrating as I know my legs are pretty strong, it just doesn’t seem to translate onto the bike!
In the evening I joined my new triathlon club for the first time. I am naturally quite a shy person and was really nervous about going to the first swim session by myself (usually I’d have Jess there, who’s naturally more confident than I am.) Although I’ve been working a lot on my swimming over the last year, I still wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up in the session. Anyway, to cut a long story short I forced myself to go and ended up really enjoyed it! It was a tough hour-long session, combining front crawl drills, speed work and some triathlon swimming technique. By the end I was absolutely exhausted, but had managed to keep up and was amazed by how much more capable I was than I thought I’d be.
On Thursday morning I went to the gym to do 25 minutes of speed work on the treadmill, which is my new favourite thing. I’ve been doing HIIT sprints for the last couple of months and have definitely noticed an increase in my fitness. It’s a great workout to do if you are limited for time and I love it!
In the evening I did an hour long weights session on my back and arms – finally getting a little closer to the elusive pull up!
Rest day – Jess came round in the evening to keep my company while I furiously tried to finish off some work for my Master’s dissertation.
After I finished teaching on Saturday morning, I had a few hours to kill before heading to the Royal Albert Hall to see the Film Music Gala (incredible btw) so I went to the nearest Virgin Active where I saw they were about the start the Tough Mudder Class. I decided to join in, unknowingly embarking on what was to be an absolutely gruelling 45 minute session. My arms were still aching from Thursday, which made heaving the ‘log’, throwing sand bags and swinging along the monkey bars a bit of a challenge. Despite feeling like I was going to die for most of the session, it was a great workout and I’d definitely give it another go.
Today Jess and I had planned to swim at the 50m lido near her house with our friend Lizzie. However, once she arrived and we started nattering away we decided to go on a run instead as it was beautifully sunny and we wanted to carry on catching up. I was still very aching from the Tough Mudder class the day before, but the others assured me we wouldn’t run far… 14km later I knew I’d been scammed! It was lovely to be outside running along the the trails and whilst doing so I nearly persuaded Lizzie that she wanted to think about doing an Ironman too (nearly, but not quite!)
Next week my aim is to try to complete 3 workouts in each discipline, even if they’re short, so that I can begin to work out a structure for my training. I really enjoyed the variety of my training this week – it’s nice to know that if I don’t fancy running then I can do something else and this flexibility seems to make me more motivated.
ARE YOU TRAINING FOR A TRIATHLON? HOW DO YOU FIT IT ALL IN?