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!