Training has really ramped up over the last few weeks leaving me feeling tired but happy. The structured training has kept me away from injuries whilst also meaning that I am training more than ever before. Hence I feel tired, but I never get too tired as my plan will pull me back before I go too hard.
We have been doing more brick sessions lately, which is when you put two of the disciplines together back to back. Most commonly when you do a bike session and then immediately run once you are off the bike. Last year I used to do an leisurely 20k flat cycle followed by a ten minute jog and give myself a pat on the back. This year I’m doing 50km hill repeats on the bike followed by a 30 minute run which can be hard or easy depending on the week’s training.
These brick sessions have gotten me used to the idea of running when my legs are fatigued. It has been tough but enjoyable. As each cycle came to a close I wondered how I was going to manage the run on my tired legs but somehow it happened. On one of my hard runs I had a friend (a far fitter friend) with me. Of course my “hard” was her “easy” pace so she stayed alongside me and helped to motivate me through the session. The adrenaline coursed through my veins, the fatigue in my legs and raised heart rate made me feel like I was in a race. I felt like I was “running”… when you are slower than me this is a rare feeling, usually it feels more like jogging/trotting/stumbling. I visualised myself at the world champs giving it everything I had. I have often heard elite triathletes talk about the end of a race, where they thought any minute they were about to give up but they just kept going and suddenly… somehow… they won. This started to make sense to me. The battle against the mind can be what makes a good race and what makes a bad race. Now of course, everyone’s idea of what a good race is different, for some it is to win, for others (like me) it is to complete it without walking.
This year my training has proven to me that so much of the “I can’t do this” idea in my head, is exactly that, just an idea in my head and not the actual truth. My body can do it, sure it hurts a lot but it can do it, and if I remain positive then my body can do it quite well. I am feeling much more positive in my approach now. Yes I’m tired but more importantly I am happy!
Running has never been my strong point. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. Relative to swimming and cycling it is usually where I lose the most places in a race. However I find running great for stress relief and general happiness. I have been plugging away at it and I have started to see mild improvements over the last few years.
Last year I managed to break 25 minutes for 5km. This was the absolute highlight for me. To be honest I reckoned that this was as fast as I would ever go, that I had plateaued. This week however I surprised myself.
This year I am following a plan for my training by Tadhg. It meant changing the way I run (haphazard sessions depending on how I felt) to a structured plan. Initially I was surprised at the amount of easy running I was required to do but Tadhg reassured me “there is a method in the madness” so I have followed his advice. Last weekend, coming off the back of two hard weeks training, lack of sleep, stomach problems…I still managed to run 4.7km in 23 minutes and 5 seconds. Of course me being me, I wasn’t really happy with this as I felt awful during the run. This week has been a recovery week, I have caught up on my sleep and become stricter with my diet to ensure no stomach problems. I had a tempo run session with the club this week that I was dreading a little bit. However I showed up regardless and suddenly I was holding times I’ve never held before. Not only that but I felt comfortable holding them, I felt strong, I felt my form had improved and I didn’t quite look so like Phoebe from ‘Friends‘ any more.
The other night was just a training session but it was a big turning point in my head. I now realise that there is more potential there. I just need to stay focussed and stick with the plan!
On the 15th April 2013 two bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. My thoughts and prayers go to everyone affected by this tragedy.
This month I got my hands on my very own TT bike for this season’s racing. The only way I can explain how this bike makes me feel is that it is just like when Carrie Bradshaw spotted a stunning pair of sandals in a store window…”Hello Lover!” Continue reading →
The pre-alarm starts singing quietly, I quickly roll over and hit the snooze button… five minutes later the actual alarm start buzzing loudly. I blindly reach out and turn it off again and the mental battle begins:
“….SIGH… cosy here… I can hear the wind and rain outside… it sounds yucky… if I stayed in bed I’d get at least another hour and a bit of sleep…I should probably get up… SIGH… lots of training to do to improve… won’t get better if I stay in bed… but I don’t wan… quiet you’re going and that’s final… ok get up then… FINE I WILL I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY.” Continue reading →
Ireland loves football. So does your country you say. Soccer, Aussie Rules or NFL, whatever.
Ireland likes all football: Soccer, rugby, compromise (Aussie) rules, Gaelic football. All have huge followings. That outnumbers your single national football version. And the biggest is Gaelic football, which is only played within the country and is better supported than religion.
Someone submitted loneswimmer.com to Blog Awards Ireland this year (2012).
I recently purchased a new bicycle for commuting from Pretty Penny Bikes and I thought I’d give it a review. (Disclaimer: I know the owner of this company but I have not been paid any stipend for this post nor have received anything for free or discount.) I bought this bike for a number of reasons which I will go into in this post. Continue reading →