I haven’t posted for a long time. This is not because I have been idle and inactive. Far from it.
My focus for this year is the Challenge Weymouth long distance triathlon – Ironman distance – which is in September. The distances involved are 3.8 kilometres swimming in the sea followed without a break to180 kilometres cycling and then direct to 42.2 kilometres running. This is a big challenge for me and I’m not sure if I will manage to complete it. However I have been training with this event in mind since October 2014.
There have been some interim events, including the Grizzly in March and most notably the North Dorset Villages Marathon in May which served to remind me just how hard running 42.2 kilometres is. And that’s without having done the swimming and the bike ride.
I have gradually built up the distances in all 3 disciplines, so some weeks I manage to do in excess of 4 kilometres swimming, 180km on the bike and 42.2 kilometres running – in a week. That’s quite tiring. As well as this I am trying to be more focussed and actually do ‘training’ instead of just going out for a bike ride (swim or run) and work with the Garmin to do hill reps or sprints to increase the intensity of the session and hopefully improve fitness. It also makes it ‘hurt’ a bit and I think I need to get used to that.
As I approach 60 (shortly after the Ironman) I find that the running, particularly, is getting harder. Running is strenuous and trying to run as fast as possible requires a lot of energy. Earlier in the year I noticed that energy was becoming elusive. Following the marathon in May I had some tests which revealed that I have Hypothyroidism. Treatment started a few weeks ago and I have seen a significant improvement in my power output since then. I also seem to be moving bit faster!
I am so lucky to live in West Dorset where running is always scenic with plenty of variety from the coast to inland trails over historic hill forts and through woods.
Training is always a pleasure. My own rules are that if it’s not fun I don’t do it. I draw the line at indoor running and cycling and do not train indoors using rollers or a treadmill. I am fortunate to be able to get outdoors in the daylight all the year round. I swim indoors and am a bit of a wimp when it comes to cold water, so despite having the sea at the bottom of our road I am still doing most of my swimming in the pool.
In addition to the swim, bike and run my training also include some strength and conditioning sessions in the gym and weekly (sometimes 2 or 3 times) Iyengar yoga sessions.
My new best friends are knee length compression socks which I put on after training and a foam roller which I roll around on massaging the sore bits (its painful). So far I have managed to avoid any injuries which have actually stopped me. That’s not to say that bits of me don’t hurt from time to time.
I have been keeping going with some Audax riding and most notably completed 2 years of AAARTY last month. I will keep this going for the foreseeable future. . Finding hills to ride in West Dorset is never difficult.
So I write this as I am ‘tapering’ for the standard triathlon at the weekend. It feels like skiving. I know I am getting the tapering right when I feel fat and sluggish. Maybe I’ll just walk down to the beach and check out just how cold the sea still is!