Back in the Groove

This weeks Stats:

  • Swim: 14,500m
  • Bike: 229km
  • Run: 40 km
  • Training Time: 16.5 hours

IMG_5870After three weeks of travel including 2 countries, 3 states, 6 flights, 8 trains and countless busses, taxis and trams it was good to finally get back in the groove. Traditionally I have found it challenging to train consistently while on the road and out of routine but like everything in life, the more you do it, the better you get. While those three weeks on the road weren’t entirely perfect, I resumed my usual training load in pretty good shape. My only niggle continues to be my toe/fore foot which is still giving me a bit of grief but hopefully the specialist I am due to see this week will shed some light on the situation.

With only a week to go before I take the start line once again, I’m in two minds how I feel about it.

My swim sets this week were pretty solid. Monday night’s set was a little shorter than usual now daylight savings has finished so in the weeks ahead I will be aiming to get in the pool a little earlier to get a few extra kms in. On Wednesdays in recent weeks I have been dropping back a lane and taking turns at leading the lane, rather than sitting at the back of the fast lane barely IMG_5910holding on. I find it makes for a different kind of effort, with it just as challenging even though it is slower as there is no drag. This week however Spot pushed me back up in the fast lane. I feel like my swim is really coming along and while my times aren’t plummeting, my technique is improving and faster times are not too far away. The highlight of the week swim wise however was finally getting back in the ocean after almost a month away from BondiFit Beach!

The bike sets were the most challenging this week as it feels like an eternity since I have done a hard TT session. I missed the usual Thursday session as I was a little under the weather and then I got a new bike fit done on Friday. I was supposed to get my new Ski Tip TT bars fitted, but we ran a little short of time. This made Saturday’s TT intervals even harder than usual as I was coming to grips with a slightly better position. I highly recommend getting fitted for your bike position and re-fitted periodically. We were back in the park Sunday for a monster brick session and I felt much more comfortable, especially with the aero position up front which has meant I am far more stable on the bike and fidget around much less.

IMG_5886Run sessions this week were a bit more of a mixed bag. Aside from the ongoing toe/fore foot niggle, my run is really improving. On Tuesday we had 1km intervals on a 300m float. We were doing them on a new road loop which was really fun. My first two efforts were 3:53 and 3:52 which included an uphill, up wind finish. On the second two we reversed the course and my times came down to 3:46 and 3:44. It feels really good to run fast at the moment, something which hasn’t always been the case. Thursday’s hill run set was also a new road run venue. It was a tough set especially as I ran to and from the set which added a few extra kms. Saturday’s grass hill runs unfortunately aggravated my injury which meant that my two hour run off the bike became a 30 min run on Sunday.

I’m hopeful that I am in good enough condition to turn in a reasonable performance at Nowra next weekend. If anything, I feel a little underdone on the bike but it has traditionally been my strength. If it were a 70.3 I’d be a bit more concerned but with only 40kms to cover lets hope I can find something on the day. This week will be fairly solid with minimal taper. Can’t wait to get into it!

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This weeks Stats:

  • Swim: 14,000m
  • Bike: 325km
  • Run: 45km
  • Training Time: 21.5 hours

IMG_5492Celebrations after another successful race down in Wollongong were short lived and training resumed literally straight away. Sundays are usually our long ride day with a 4 to 5 hour ride, with at least a 30 min run off the bike. As the long course athletes who had raced had only ‘trained’ for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, we had to jump back on the bike post race and ride back up to Sydney. Didn’t seem too hard in theory, but theory went out the window the minute we headed off into a stiff head wind. A soul crushing 80kms and 3 1/2 hours later and it was finally time to relax and reflect on the race.

After a celebratory dinner Sunday night, Monday quickly rolled around and I was back in the pool. I was looking forward to an easy recovery session but was sadly disappointed. After Monday’s rough swim session we had a easy spin around the beaches Tuesday morning followed by 2km run efforts in the evening. It was just what the body needed to ease back into the grove ahead of what was to come.

Wednesday morning’s swim set was a cracker with Ex-BondiFit Athlete, now Pro Triathlete, Laura Siddle joining us as a celebrity coach. After our usual warm up and additional pre set warIMG_5500m up to really get the body moving we dived into a set of 18 x 100s. It consisted of one easy, one medium and one hard lap, then repeat. Only each repeat had an additional hard lap. By the fourth repeat we were basically sprinting 4 back to back 100s . It was a real arm burner!

On Thursday morning we were back in the park and Laura joined us as celebrity coach once again. The set was alternating big gears and normal gears at 100% for 2 1/2 laps with a 1/2 lap recovery. The first set was big gears and it was good to be going fast again. The second set was back to normal gears and things went to a whole new level. On the half lap recovery Laura jumped in with our group and really revved us up. We got through the first flying lap in 4:51 which is above 46kmh! With Laura still sitting of my wheel, pushing me along, I managed to hold the same pace for another 3/4 of a lap before a spectacular blow up! Needless to say the next big gear set was a little slower than the first but there was definitely a few lessons learnt throughout the session.

IMG_5503After the fireworks of Thursday morning’s bike set, Thursday night’s hill repeat run session and Friday morning’s sprint swim session were much more routine ahead of what was a pretty big week. Saturday we headed South to Cronulla Beach. The main session was a long run with a twist. It started of with a 6km run south around the coastline and harder back. This was followed by a 3.5km easy run to the Wanda Sand Dunes where the pain was still to come. We were handed down the challenge of three hard efforts up ‘The Mexican’ which is a rather steep 50-60m  dune with a steep 10m kicker at the top! There was plenty of burn in the legs by the end of it. This was followed by a 3.5km race back to South Cronulla Beach. The ocean swim that followed was certainly needed to cool down.

Saturday’s big effort was followed by a the usual long ride, this time down to Austinmer and back, followed by an easy 5km run off the bike. Sounded simple and was quite easy on the legs until we turned for home into another stiff headwind. It finished off what was a rather tough week for a post race week. Granted it was only an olympic distance event compared to a half ironman race, but it was tough nonetheless.

The next three weeks will be harder than usual,   as my usual training schedule will be interrupted by three separate road trips. The foot will need to be kept firmly planted to the floor as I will only have one full weekend of preparation at the end of all the travel before hitting the start line at TriNowra. Can’t wait!