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I’m now just under 4 months away from the Lakesman trialthon on the 18th June. It’s been just over three months since I decided to become a triathlete so I wanted to briefly write how my training is going.

As I highlighted in my December post, running has been extremely annoying. I made use of a triathlon coach who gave me a structured plan and everything was going great until a few weeks later when ITBS struck. This effectively ended my training for the year and I decided to rest up and come back stronger in the new year.
Fast forwards three months, I’ve cut all my runs down to 1 hour max and I’ve just come back from yet another injury. For reasons unknown I keep rolling over on my left ankle. I did it a few times previously but was able to continue and run it off. However this time it was more painful and I knew I had done some damage.
Although my least favourite discipline of the three, I don’t actually mind the prospect of running. When things are going well I do get plenty of satisfaction, especially on a brick run straight off the bike. However, I’ve had nothing but hassle and right now I feel a deep hatred for what should be a basic human ability.
I’m going to get some new shoes, do some ankle strengthening techniques, take it real easy and hope for the best. Here are some of my running times, many of which were painful for the wrong reasons:

  • Hilly 16 mile – 2h 40min
  • Half marathon – 2 hours
  • 10k – 45min
  • 5k – 21min

Swimming is something I really enjoy. Every Monday I do a 4000 meter swim at my local pool. This fills me with confidence as I’m doing the required distance every single week. Some swim times are as follows:

  • 3860m (iron swim) – 1h 14min
  • 200m drills – 3min 30 sec – 3min 50sec pace
  • 100m drills – 1min 35 – 1min 40sec pace

My stroke is probably average, I’ve improved a lot but I know that I don’t kick my legs enough and my body could be a bit more parallel to reduce drag. Apparently this is a common trait among triathletes and it’s something I’m not particularly bothered about – perhaps naively – as it forms the easiest part of the course and I feel my time is better spent perfecting the other disciplines.
I can now do flip turns and they are also probably a bit messy but they make you feel really cool – not to mentioned faster – in the water.
On the whole I love going to the pool early morning. It’s always warm and I get a great deal of satisfaction from the feeling of powering through the water like a skinny walrus.

I’ve been doing a fair amount of cycling, but I’ve been a naughty boy as I’ve not always been following my plan. I need to focus on the shorter harder efforts in order to increase my average speed. I’m still going out riding for 2-6 hours at 15mph which is doing nothing to push me. My trainer set me HR zone and big gear efforts and I did initially follow them, achieving my highest ever average of 19mph over 20 miles, however life got in the way and I started to neglect them. I’m back on with them now, with this weeks big gear efforts leaving me in a deteriorated state. My aim is to be able to ride at least 18mph average, something I feel should be perfectly achievable given how much cycling I’ve done.

“What is the point in all this?”

I’m feeling really positive at the moment and I’m the fittest I’ve ever been in my life. However I went through a bad patch when I injured my ankle and I was thinking, “what is the point in all this?”. The sacrifices that are made to reach these levels are simply ridiculous. I’m up at 5am most days and I spent around 15-20 hours a week training (I’m lucky in the respect that I have no partner or children, I have the utmost respect for those who fit a triathlon around an already hectic life).
That said, I am actually enjoying this voluntary torture. I know that the fundamental point of it will be proven if I become an Ironman. In addition, I’ve have never felt so alive in my life. I feel so switched on all the time and hardly ever feel tired besides from my bedtime, which is about 10-11pm. My weight is now down to 75kg (6ft 2) from 79kg and I’m producing more power than before. I can feel a benefit of this weight loss in all aspects of life, especially peddling uphill. I reckon I can still drop further, to 70kg, but admittedly my diet (Dominoes and fish and chips mainly) does let me down.

I’ve not actually swam open water yet so that’s something I’m looking forward to, once the lakes open in a month or two. I am concerned about the cold temperatures though, my hands and feet hate the cold. I still need to buy a wet suit, tri suit and potentially a time trial bike.
Overall I’m feeling pretty happy with how everything is going despite the setbacks. The moment I can run a half marathon comfortably I will feel a lot better though!

Cheers for reading!

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