In the second instalment of my series for Triathlon Ireland, training clicks into place, work gets in the way and I begin to build towards TriAthy with some brics.
5 weeks to go and all is well. Since we last spoke I took the bull by the horns, got up and started really focusing the mind towards the goal.
For some reason I keep thinking that an Olympic distance triathlon isn’t that big a deal, part of me is trying to keep the nerves in check but I understand that it needs to be treated with respect. I’m pretty confident about all the individual disciplines, I can certainly swim 1500m, 40k on a bike is achievable and before I was injured, 10k was a lunchtime run. Simples! But to quote Donald Rumsfeld, the known unknown is what happens when you put them all together!
That’s why they invented bric sessions! A uniquely triathlon related training method, I have learned that bric training is where you work on two of the three disciplines, immediately after each other, to ensure your body understands the stresses of moving from one activity straight to another.
Easter weekend saw the family, my bike and I travel to the in-laws in Galway for a few days R&R. Remember, the goal in TriAthy is to finish, but finish with honour, so I had picked this weekend when I had lots of time and quiet country roads available to understand what I had signed up for.
One swim/bike and two bike/run sessions later and I now know what lies ahead!
– My planned bike times are achievable.
– I need to practice getting out of a wetsuit quickly.
– I obviously need to be able to run more than 5k at a time.
I did the 40k bike distance twice, I’m going to assume that like running, race day adrenalin will help in carrying me that little bit faster and I’m really delighted that I made the distance without too much concern. Getting out running straight away brought it’s own issues but both times I was at pace, but possibly still a bit wobbly, after just one KM.
I’m still building up the run distances after the injury but it was really encouraging that there were no lasting effects after running 5k other than a small bit of stiffness following each session. That was a great week and I was full of enthusiasm!
Last week saw a dramatic (but expected) drop off in activity. I was away for most of the week working and triathlon training and hotel living don’t really go hand in hand. I did get to use the hotel gym though so technically I’ve started my S&C training! Belfast has some nice trails along the river Lagan and one visit there got the legs moving, but most of the work this week was just pure time on the feet, walking, walking and more walking with 12 hour days at work.
One unexpected benefit was that all the time on the feet has worked wonders with my niggles, both the achilles and the back have improved dramatically. So much so, that I could easily say that this morning was the first time in at least 10months where I have got out of bed ‘pain free’!
I’m definitely changing from being ‘just’ a runner and I’m growing into being a triathlete. The Garmin has been changed to measure in kilometers; I pack my runners when I go swimming and at least as far as I’m concerned, the bike is now part of the family.
To get up on Easter Sunday before the rest of the family wake and go for a 40k bike ride brings and incredible feeing of achievement. Alone on country lanes through Galway with the sun rising and farm animals the only company around for miles is an indication to me, that I’ve mentally committed to this challenge, and I couldn’t be happier for it.
Now I just have to teach the kids that jelly legs aren’t sweets and they can’t be bought in a shop…
*EDIT: I’ve been asked what Jelly Legs actually are! I should have explained. Jelly Legs are what you get when you hop off the bike after a long spin and head off running straight away. It takes the body a bit of time to realise its not actually peddling anymore and the result is a fair bit of wobbling around – Hence the term, Jelly Legs. Simples.