Winter training, harder on the mind than the body.
I had the usual triathlete break in October where I carried on swimming a few times a week to keep some fitness and stayed eating relatively healthy so when coming back into training in November I didn't feel like a complete elephant!
November arrived and I was happy to be training again. I've switched around my training plan to try and improve my swimming: this involved more swim sessions without loosing any other sessions and the easiest way I found to do this was joining a swim club. I have joined Dartford District swimming club, although I do stick out a mile as I'm the only one going up and down doing front crawl the whole time! Oh and kicking?! What's that all about!! So I was back into a new training routine and loving it. Next item on the agenda was to find a race for December to keep me focused. I decided to go for the Gravesend Cyclo park duathlon and the Beccles Turkey Trot 10 miler.
December came and first of all it was the Duathlon. I have raced the Cyclo park before and always enjoy it as it's a tough little circuit with a few little digs in it to keep you on your toes. I had a good race. I didn't go too mad on the first run, came into T1 with a healthy lead, pushed the bike hard to try and build a better lead but I did ease off a little for the last 3k of the bike so I was ready to hit the last run hard. All went to plan and I came home with a win and a little write up in 220 triathlon magazine :).
I got through December pretty well then it was the week before Christmas for the Turkey Trot race. My aim for the Turkey Trot was basically to get a PB. I wanted to run fast and push myself and I felt I ran pretty well. I managed to run in a little group for the first 2.5 miles then it split up with two going off the front and one dropping off the back and little old me in the middle. I got to 5 miles and started feeling pretty rubbish, then the doubts started drifting in!! "I've gone too hard too early" I was saying to myself! I felt like this till about 7 miles, then thought to myself 3 miles left, let's see what I can do. I upped the pace and to my surprise got into a nice rhythm. I was running hard but not flat out, partly because I knew there was a little incline between 8-9 miles. At the top of the hill I pushed real hard: the adrenaline kicked in and I felt good. I was comfortable and in a strong steady stride, not having any idea of what pace I was running or my time as I had left my watch at home. I came to 800m to go where dad was standing. He shouted 55min. I sprinted. Everything I had left went into the last 800m. I was rewarded with a time of 57.15 and a 3 minute PB. A good day all round.
Coming into January after being ill at Christmas, a dip in training and a tough New Years day 10k, I must admit I'm struggling to get back into training and feeling good whilst doing it. I am trying not to worry about it as it's only January. I have a couple of running races coming up to keep me focused.
On New Year's Day I competed in Lamberhurst 10k, having not run since the Turkey Trot 16 days earlier I wasn't expecting anything amazing. 2 minutes before the race start gale force winds came in bringing torrential rain with it. 11am soon came around and we were off, the race was 2 laps of a 5k loop. I started pretty conservatively (so I thought) mainly because I knew it was a very hilly course, to sum it up you were either going up hill or down hill! Very draining on the legs, coming to the end of the 1st lap I was in 2nd place. Coming into the start of the 2nd lap it all started to fall apart, my legs turned to lead and I had nothing more to give, cutting a long 5k short I lost 2 places and slowed down considerable. Overall I enjoyed the race mainly because I enjoy racing, it was tough but after not running for 16 days I'm not surprised my legs didn't react to well!
Some good news: I am awaiting the arrival of the New Boardman air 9.8 from In a Spin cycles at Tri Harder. It's going to be a dream to ride especially after a Retul bike fit with Ride Harder also at Tri Harder.