Week One of triathlon season, and it kicked off with a bang! I’m really enjoying mixing swimming and cycling in with my running, it gives good perspective and on the whole I think makes me a stronger athlete. If this was week one, I can only imagine how the next few months will look…
Monday: Long cycle + core
Bank holiday Monday gave the perfect opportunity to venture out on a long cycle with Graham from my work, who is cycling Paris to London in mid-June to raise money for Room to Read. I need to increase my distances in order to do Prudential Ride London 100 Miles at the end of July, so promised him £10 for every training cycle we do together. This one saw us do two laps around Richmond Park with a nice little hill climb in the middle (and a stop for coffee!), to total 36km for me. In the evening did a set of core exercises while waiting for the oven to bake my sweet potato.
Tuesday: Swim + track
6am alarm (yuk) to fit in a swim this morning – I need to get used to this. Set alternated 200m of freestyle with 2x150m of pull buoy, plus a 400m warm up and 200m cool down to total 1.8km. I forgot that I was meant to be doing the pull buoy at a slightly harder effort than the freestyle sections, but my arms by the end were aching so much anyway.
Finally went back to track after a long hiatus from speedwork. Only four people showed up to run in the middle group, so I ended up in charge of pacing a ~1:40 lap. From my watch I was doing a good job, but the others seemed to want to go a bit faster so our group was all over the place. It was a pyramid session, starting at 200m and working up to 800m in 200m increments and then back down again, with 200m of very easy jogging between each effort. Only completed one lap of the 800m, but did join in again after. Happy with how it went given I haven’t run much faster than marathon pace for a while.
Wednesday: Sye’s birthday run!
Celebrated Sye’s new year with a 45min jog around Victoria Park. We were both sore from our previous night’s training, so it was a bit of a plod more than anything. I still enjoy every run we can share together though, and I’m super happy that that’s how he wanted to kick off his day! In the evening we went and learned how to make dim sum (and then ate our creations nomnomnom) which was a fun birthday activity too.
Progression run Easy run
Eugh. This progression run was bad, because I gave up so quickly. Somehow the times I needed to run (finishing at 5km pace) got all up inside my head and from the outset I felt like I wouldn’t be able to do it – so of course I couldn’t. Silly. You are what you think. I give up too easily.
But then managed to turn it around in the evening by just going for a little jog with no expectations whatever. I played some funky tunes, ignored my watch completely and just ran! I even high-fived a guy running the other way because I was jamming and feeling the vibe so much. Cracker of a run. Not necessarily fast, but felt strong and so much fun.
Gave my body some extra rest with an early night and a sleep in, but still wanted to do another session in the pool. Ah, crazy lady passing up beers with colleagues for swimming laps alone, but hey – I enjoy it. This set was 3x100m three times through increasing in effort, with 100m of kicking in between (1.7km with WU & CD). The last set of 100s were fast (~1:50), but I kept pushing through them and for once didn’t just give up! It was revolutionary. Felt like a switch flicking over.
Saturday: Southwark parkrun + OW swim + lots of cycle-commuting
Covered some 40km on the bike today commuting between activities. First up was a visit to Southwark parkrun (my 75th!) to run with my friend Dorota who was visiting from Australia. I was hoping for a sub-24 result, but after a strong-but-too-fast first lap settled into a more achievable pace and came in at 22:18! Super duper proud of that effort, and a good sign for things to come.
Then, after catching up with Sye and some Advent Runners in Victoria Park and coffee, set off in search of a body of water to swim in. Unfortunately my first pick London Fields Lido was closed (boo!), so had to reroute to the Serpentine for a much colder option. Actually, it wasn’t quite as cold as I had expected – it only took one lap before I could feel my feet! Managed eight laps before calling it a day and warming up again.
Sunday: Long cycle to Box Hill + Easy run-off-the-bike
Graham and I went on an epic cycle beyond the M25 to take on Box Hill. Eugh, the climbs were awful – and although I’d done well on the Richmond Hill on Monday today they nearly broke me. However, we made it up and were treated to some stunning views and lunch before cycling the 35km back home again. My phone died at lunch so I couldn’t Strava the cycle home, but in total it was over 70km of cycling.
After a 10-minute break at home to change it was out the door again on my 60 minute ‘long’ run. I was expecting this to be awful after the long bike ride, but surprisingly my quads weren’t in that much pain. In fact, I felt quite comfortable and even reached some decent speeds while still feeling inside my easy zone. Cut the run down to 50min after I was too fast for the route I’d planned, and figured that would do anyway.
Total kilometres: 37.7km running + ~150km cycling + 3.3km swimming = ~193km