Tri Training Week 5


Getting down to the pointy end! This was another big week of training but I also snuck some recovery days in to balance things out.

Monday was double workout day again – core in the morning and swimming at night. The core session was the same circuit as last week and I don’t think I’m pushing myself enough when I’m doing it; something to work on going forward. Swimming was back at the pool with the Masters club but there were only five of us beginners at the session. I started out with my flippers and then decided I needed to start practicing without them. After 200m I ditched them, slowed significantly, but pushed on for another 800m without them. It wasn’t great but it was a huge improvement over where I started. There is no way I could have done that four weeks ago.

Tuesday morning was interval training at the park, 5x400m runs this time. Coach told us to progressively get faster each lap and I started at 3.10 and ended at 2.14. I was so surprised at how I improved each lap and felt strong coming along the last section each time. Guess there is something to this interval training!

Wednesday morning was my first time trial at the track. 14km with 43 other riders on a 1.4km circular track. I don’t know what my time was officially yet but I think it was around 33 minutes. I was apprehensive the night before this but I figured it was my starting point and I can only improve from there. Watching the more experienced riders fly around the course was a bit humbling but when I think about it in perspective, I’ve been riding only for a few months and they likely have YEARS on their cycling legs. Onwards and upwards!

Thursday morning Coach advised us to not do the high intensity run session that morning to save our legs for our training camp on the weekend. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get back to yoga! A 6am class used to scare me and now it is an hour later than I normally leave the house. I was feeling tired last week and at the end of the class I fell asleep on my mat. Clearly, I was relaxed and deeply in the moment! Thursday night we had an information session at a physio practice that is associated with the club (they come to the events and give free massages to members) for an injury prevention session. I think I might have needed this a few weeks ago – my shins have started to complain with the intensity and frequency of training I’ve been doing.

On Thursday afternoon my new bike (Yes! I’m getting a road bike) was meant to arrive but unfortunately, there was a mix up with the order and it won’t be here until some time this week. Not.happy.Jan. I planned to meet a few beginner buddies at the track on Friday to get used to the gears on the new bike before the training camp but obviously I didn’t need to do that. A morning walk with hubby and cute puppy was such a difficult alternative to cope with <insert sarcasm font here>! 🙂 My shins also thanked me for the break.


Saturday was my first ever training camp (remember, non-sporty kid here). It was a huge day that included driving from Brisbane to Mooloolaba on Saturday morning to arrive at 6.45am. First up was some transition training at Kawana lead by our Coach and special guest star, Ashleigh Gentle, just number three ranked triathlete in Australia and number 12 in the world. No biggie (read: HUGE biggie and OMG!). Watching us newbies attempting running starts on our bikes was a little hilarious but we did our best. We then did the first of two rides on a road circuit. I got off to a late start because the front wheel of my friend’s bike got a warp in it. I had Coach, Ashleigh, and one of the club members who just finished a 70.3 standing around my bike trying to fix it for me. Slightly embarrassing! Anyway, it was adjusted enough for me to get underway and then it started pouring with rain. My first time on a road bike on the road and it was torrential. Awesome. One of the club members waited for me and rode with me for the first lap and I am eternally grateful he did! The main group did two laps for 16km and the newbies did one for 8km before we went into a run to simulate transition. Main group did 5km, newbies 3km. I nursed my legs the whole way and did not push, just getting the distance done and not aiming for speed right now. We hopped back on the bike for another 16km/8km ride and this time it was so much better for me. Also not raining for this one was a big improvement. I’m really excited to get my new bike and start to work on road riding but I’m not planning on riding on any main roads or to work any time soon.

The main group road back to Mooloolaba from Kawana while most of the newbies drove back. From what I was told by one of the newbies who did the bunch ride it was a little scary with the rain and some of the crazy drivers in said rain. Next up was a run along one part of the Mooloolaba Triathlon course, followed by a time trial hill sprint. Of course, just as we were about to start, the rain started bucketing down again. If your shoes weren’t already soaked from the morning ride (or you wore bike shoes and just changed),it didn’t take long for us to just give up jumping puddles and run on through. Again, nursing the shins and about half way up the hill I stopped to walk. I’ve come too far to be reckless and throw my race away on a hill that means not much in the long run. We walked back to the surf club after, in more rain, to get ready for the ocean swim.

Yes, I did an ocean swim. It was a little rough and the current was strong but we buddied up and just decided to see how it felt. I didn’t give myself much choice or time to get nervous, so I got out there and did my best. I was duck diving under waves and swimming around. I didn’t put my head under the water for side breathing all that much (I forgot to take my contacts out in the rush) but I felt that I did pretty well for my first attempt! I sent Simon a message saying that I had done it and he asked if we could start going to the beach now. Apparently my husband likes going to the beach and hasn’t because of me all of these years!

We had a Q&A session over lunch with Ashleigh and we all fell in love with her. Ash is so genuine, so giving of her time, and happy to share her training tips. Of course, her biggest tip was consistency and it is something that I know makes a big difference. I need to get consistent with eating whole foods again, not just training! While the thought of being a professional athlete and being able to do what you love, does seem like a dream, I think the pressure on performance linked to funding and sponsorship would do my head in! While the travel does seem amazing the quick turn around time between events wouldn’t be so conducive to recovering from jet lag either!

While I was away for the day, Simon was having a taxing day hanging out with this monkey:


This cuteness was shared with some of my training buddies who have now fallen in love with our little furball, too! We’re planning to get him a SBTC kids shirt that we’ll modify into a dog shirt for Jasper to be our mascot at the race on the 21st!

Countdown to race day has begun!


Tri Training Week 4


Over halfway! I’m going to do a separate post on my thoughts about making it to halfway, which I’ve been writing in my head since last Monday!

On Monday’s schedule was an evening swim at the pool and, while it looked like a nice idea to have a sleep-in, I knew that not sticking to a routine was not in my best interests longer term. The club also has a Monday morning core training session so I opted to go along to that at 5.30am. I did my first burpees ever as I’ve not been to a gym, done fitness classes, had a PT, or joined a boot camp in a long time! Two circuits through 12 exercises and I was done for the morning.

Monday turned into the first of two double workout days last week. This week we moved to the pool and were introduced to squad style drills. We weren’t with the main squad as this was a specific beginners session, but we did split into two lines of more confident swimmers and the rest of us. The strangest thing happened to me. I’ve always been intimidated by 50m pools, it just seemed such a long way to swim in one go. The man-made lagoon we’ve been swimming is about 75m and I wasn’t getting all the way without stopping but it, of course, felt a lot longer than the good old 25m pool I’d been swimming in last year. I’m still not convinced this was a 50m pool because it felt too easy! I was still using my flippers and I know it gave me an added advantage, but I still can’t believe how easy 50m felt. And the next day I was told we did 1km in total for the session. Are you imagining my jaw on the floor?

Tuesday was intervals with our coach. It was a smaller group as the stronger runners in our course went with the main group led by Pat Nispel. We did 5x600m interval runs around the park, progressively getting faster each time. It amazes me that I do actually get faster each time and on the last one I can sprint to the finish. Negative split queen! I headed home early on Tuesday after work and it felt nice to have a little respite after three training sessions in two days, plus extra puppy time!

Wednesday was our second double training day for the week. We started with our usual morning ride and added a run off the bike to simulate race day. This morning was also a big step forward for me.


One of my parkrun/trail running buddies, Cass, didn’t realise that I only had a hybrid bike and kindly offered to lend me her road bike that was languishing in her garage. This is me picking it up at parkrun the Saturday before and feeling very nervous and excited at the same time. No cleats on the pedals but foot cages were the perfect middle ground for me.

So, how did I go? I sent an excitable message to Simon after the session with a few expletives and all in caps about how awesome it was. I didn’t expect it to feel THAT different but my goodness, it felt like I was flying. The trip computer didn’t have a battery so I can’t tell you definitively my top speed but it was possibly around 32km/h, which for me is faster than I’ve done before! It took me a little bit of time to get used to the different gearing and I wasn’t confident enough to go down on the drops. All in all, a valiant first effort on a road bike for me! We did a small run off the bike across the middle of the track and it felt hard but manageable.

Wednesday night we were back at the pool and shockingly, I was enjoying it! Yes, still ‘cheating’ with flippers for the most part and trying a few laps without flippers to start to build my confidence because, as much as I protest, there are no flippers allowed on race day! We got rained out and finished out the session with core work that hurt more than the Monday core session.

Thursday morning was our high intensity session with Pat Nispel. Our coach has suggested that if we need to miss any session during the week it is this, just so we get the right amount of recovery in before our Friday morning brick sessions. I need to keep the routine and I’m challenging myself when I go to these sessions. This morning we did 15×15 second hill sprints. I did get faster over the session and it felt good to have done all 15. No idea of my splits, I just let Strava go for the whole session to get my total distance. I’m not yet down to the nitty gritty of heart rate zones, splits, and pouring over paces!

Friday morning was back at the track and I felt much more confident on the road bike. I discovered a slight technical flaw in my attempt to go onto the drops – the down shift was on the top of the bars and when I’m holding the handlebars in the drop position my thumb cannot reach it! I gave up on that and just kept doing what I was doing. We got to run around the 1.5km track this morning and after having ridden five laps at race pace my legs were like lead! We’ve been working on high cadence to try and match our strides off the bike and that’s not something I did at my last tri. In December I felt okay coming off the bike and transitioning to running but I realise that my ‘race pace’ at my first tri is significantly less than what it is going to be this time around!

I had grand plans to do parkrun on the Saturday morning of our ‘rest weekend’, thinking I’d be totally fine to do that. By lunch time on Friday I was so tired and my legs were so tight, I messaged Simon to say there was no way I was going to make parkrun. I took my recovery very seriously on Friday afternoon:


I snuck out of work a little early and enjoyed a strong massage, trying to work out the kinks in my legs after a pretty tough week of training. When I got home, I grabbed a cider and a magazine, plonked myself on the sun bed, and watched Jasper watch birds. It was kind of heavenly. Saturday involved a gentle walk with my boys before a rather busy day. Sunday was a tough morning to get out of bed and I put off reaching my move goal all day. I’m now so used to reaching it before 7am that it always feels like climbing Mount Everest if I have to try and do it later in the day, especially when super tired. I put it off until after dinner when I was out of excuses and I jumped on the treadmill for 2.6km and a youtube video to keep me company.

What a week!

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