The Spoke June 6, 2011

A Triathlon Training Update

Triathlon Training Update: Still Going Strong! 

To recap. I'm doing my first triathlon in 6 days time and until recently I haven't spent much time swimming. Infact, make that any. Cycling is going fine and running, well, we'll come to that in a moment. So how am I progressing? I'll make this my last update before Sunday because I'm running out of time. Also, having had a glorious 2 week holiday where I could do anything I want, my paid employment is getting in the way of my training. Still, that's the way it goes. 

Will a Swimming Pool make any Difference?

Without doubt, I was most concerned over the opening leg, the swim. After making nothing more than a mediocre attempt at swimming on holiday, it's make or break time now. Surprisingly, it's turned out ok. A swimming pool clearly does make a difference. I'll qualify this. I am not strong enough to do 400 meters freestyle. I cannot get the breathing right, or at least sustainable for that distance. However, my breaststroke is ok. Not Moorhouse standard, but ok. Pre-event I've claimed I will be able to manage the swim in 9 minutes. Evidence is however I can actually do it a bit quicker. 

My (slightly revised) plan is this. Alternate between strokes for the duration. I will struggle to do any more than that, but that alone should put me close to 8 minutes. So far I have managed a best of 8.30 with only 66 meters being freestyle. However, in a short course pool I should be able to sustain freestyle for longer because the 'rest' (breaststroke) leg, is more frequent. That's the theory anyway. I've done a couple of sessions in the local pool and the experience was actually ok. I won't claim to LIKE it, but it's a very effective workout. I had definitely forgotten that. I've done two sessions in three days and my legs know all about it. You'll also be pleased to know I've bought a swimming hat for the event, so I will look ridiculous on the day. However, if it takes a second or two off I figure it will be worth it! 

Tidetimes iPhone Apps, the Beach and my Shins

On the running front, I've had to be quite careful. Although the training went well on holiday (on the beach), the same cannot be said once at home. In order to try and replicate the Zante running experience, I bought an iPhone App to tell me when the tide would be out. This works well but is unfeasibly complicated to understand. It's designed for sailers. Last Monday the said App informed me that the tide was out. I duly confirmed this by putting on the Asics and going for a run after work. The only issue with this was that the sand ran out half way and I had to run the remainder on shingle. Bad news. The shins/calves tightened to the point where I had to stop and stretch them out. It did not bode well. I got home ok, but it was a slow 4 miles. Frustrating because engine wise I felt golden. Usual problem though, got to mind the legs..... I've not done any more running since, but the swimming has helped loosen them up. The race tactic is to get through the first two disciplines, hang on, and hope for the best. Realistically I think that's as good as it gets. 

My Road Bike makes a Rattle

Overall, the cycling side of things has taken a bit of a backseat. Swimming needs to take priority. That said, I've tackled the infamous Bank Road and Riber Road in Matlock over the May Bank Holiday plus alittle Mountain Biking in and around Crasington Water (Derbyshire) for good measure. Different, but equally fun. The Miura was the heaviest bike of the three on show, but I'm pleased to say I was first up the hills. Not quite the same story for the downhills. Anyway, I reckon the proficiency gains will be made outside of cycling. That said, the road bike is currently at the local shop being cured of a very annoying rattle coming from loose lower bottle cage lugs. They must have just worked loose over time. Anyway they are being sorted out, which is good, because they were making a real racket. I've also gone all 'Summer Racing Tyre' and taken the 4 Seasons off and put the Conti GP4000S's back on. The orange ones. They look cool with the blue frame. Put simply, I'll take any frictional advantage I can find! 

So there you have it, my progress to date. I think the event will go ok, my biggest concern is whether my legs hold out. Hard to tell really; the proof will be in my performance. I'll let you know how it pans out.

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