As expected I have had to start learning how to juggle training and family life around the new job and this continues to be a learning exercise. However, I am not the first Age Group hopeful to have the pressures of work and family and I certainly will not be the last. I am sure that everything will fall into place.
That said this week has been a good week of solid training with no “wasted” miles. I have kept my base of runs to an interval session, a mid-week half distance tempo run and a weekend long run. In between these I have added a healthy spattering of good turbo and swim sessions. The new Sufferfest training video “Blender” is highly recommended …. for the slightly insane! Great workout though. (www.thesufferfest.com)
This weekend I decided to take part in the Nice Tri 18 miler in rural Cambridgeshire (www.nicetri.co.uk). This was actually my first race of the season as the two previous ones have not happen for me for one reason or another. This race meant another thing as it was an 18 miler, not a distance I have “raced” before so I was guaranteed a PB. What a PB though, I wasn’t expecting to hold 7 minute miling all the way round, but I did and that led to a great 2:06:00 time over 18 miles. Really happy with the result and stands me in good stead for Paris.
Race report for St. Neots is now on the “Race Reports” page.
Me taking a much appreciated drink from one of the well manned water stations.
Next weekend sees the running of the Oakley 20 race in Bedford and as this is a race I have run before I will be in search of my first real PB of the year.
Another first happened for me this week, when I was asked by a friend to give advice to a triathlon newbie. I had always seen myself as a newbie as I have only been doing this for 2 years. However I was honoured to be recommended to help someone who was just starting out. So I thought to myself “why not put this in the blog”…. So here it is, here is the advice that I gave to him based on what I found as a beginner.
Male, Age 30, Experience: Beginner,
First race: Jenson Button Trust Triathlon, Goal: Top 50 and to make the second wave.
OK, so let’s start with the bad. I need to warn you about the 2 worst bits of triathlon.
Number 1 is the start of the swim. You have a good strong swim time for your 1km; therefore I suggest you position yourself in a strong position in the swim so that you are not being held up by slower swimmers. However the start is always frantic and you will be right in the “washing machine”. I’m sure you have heard this phrase but it’s a melee of hands feet and elbows, expect to be squashed, punched and kicked!
So my advice is more for the start of the swim, the longer it goes on the calmer and more spread out it gets, it’s all about the start.
- In the pool after a warm up, time yourself over 750m, but push REALLY hard at threshold (as hard as you can) for the first 200m, then swim at your normal pace… do not rest. This will replicate the frantic start on race day when the adrenalin is pumping.
- Swim with others if you can, or ask people to swim alongside, in front, behind etc. So you get used to people being all around you when you swim.
- Practice your sighting, don’t always trust the feet you are following, they may be going wrong. Stay aware of where you’re supposed to be going.
- Get open water experience, it is NOTHING like a pool. Wearing a wetsuit, cold water, unknown depths etc. etc.
Ok, so onto the second worst bit of a triathlon….. jelly legs. Again I’m sure you know what it is but basically it’s the feeling in your legs when you transition from bike to run. This generally isn’t too much of an issue in half and full Iron distances as you have time for your legs to adjust. However in the short stuff this is VITAL, you don’t have 1km to “get used to it” you want to be off and running at your best immediately.
- Practice going from bike\spin\turbo to run as much as you can. Brick sessions are so important. A great session that you can do inside (gym) or outside is; 10 mins bike, 10 mins run repeat 3 – 5 times. Try and run as fast as possible as soon as you get off the bike, but don’t use the bike as a chance to rest. Hard session but the benefits are massive.
People think triathlon consists of 3 disciplines. It doesn’t its 4. Learn to go through your transition (even if it’s in your garden\front room etc.) I can’t tell you how important this is in short distance races. Practice your layout, practice everything. For example I have been known to put on my wetsuit in my garden, goggles, swim hat etc. submerge myself in my daughters paddling pool, then run to my “transition area” and prepare for the bike, do a loop on the bike around my block (literally half a mile) then back into the garden to change for the run and another loop. Sounds like a tiny session but I see so many people fuck this up and cost them serious time and places, and even worse get disqualified. I will be practicing this soon heading into the season.
I would recommend going to the race location one day and having an easy run \ walk around. Get a feel for where the fast sections will be, where the hills are etc. Just so that there are no surprises on the day.
Wow….. I don’t half bang on! Sorry – a lot to digest there….
Practice a fast and frantic swim start then hold the race pace for the 750m. (time it)
- Brick sessions! VITAL! Run off the bike – always.
- Practice Transitions
- Know the route and prepare.
Hope all this helps, stay in contact and give me a shout if you need to. Happy to help