LATEST TRAINING UPDATES
Training Week Four done! We are less than a week out from the big event now. I feel like it is the run up to final exams and I should be cramming like hell this week but in fairness Alex Gray (with his old head on young shoulders) has been very clear about the need to taper over the next seven days. That makes so much sense but having trained so hard for the past month it is equally difficult to convince yourself to ease up. Yesterday was supposed to be the first day of “tapering” and (whilst I paced around the house like a caged lion) poor Anita finally yelled at me “you are like a sh*t on a swing – would you just relax and sit down….? Or go out and do something with yourself.”
Anyway, training for last week was pretty good – work got in the way a little bit but overall I was pretty happy.
Monday 17th July: I tried to do a shorter version of the event just to get a sense of how I would feel when all three are put together. I’m not sure I could have picked a warmer afternoon (it was around 21 when I left the office at 5PM) but hopefully that heat whilst training will stand to you on the big day.
Swimming – After 15 minutes of drills I completed a number of 3X25M splits followed by 1X100M set. I feel like I am improving but at a much slower pace than is needed. I still need to focus on very slow strokes and when I do it works well enough but it is still an area of challenge.
Cycling – Straight out of the pool, dried the feet and onto the bike for the ride home from the quays to Kilternan. This is a route I have done a number of times and it is always challenging but I was amazed at just how much harder it was after a session in the pool. A valuable lesson learned there in terms of overall pacing.
Running – 2.5K run was very tough. I tried to start slow and then up the pace to sub-5 minute pace after the first 500M but it was a real challenge to maintain it. I may need to reconsider my pacing on the day!
Tuesday 18th July:
Cycled in to work. Beautiful morning but I took it handy, knowing we were doing a Bike/Run session later with Alex and the KOG10 team.
Tuesday evening was a good cycle of the course (one loop) followed by a 3.5K run with the team. I got the fright of my life flying downhill past Eden Gate as a car came out of a side road without looking. Unfortunately the fright translated into a fairly free outburst of the vernacular. You know what they say – you can take the boy out of Wicklow but can’t take Wicklow out of the boy. Anyway – sincere apologies for anyone who overheard….
Wednesday 19th July:
Rest day! Well needed.
Thursday 20th July:
Swimming drills and more swimming drills. I still feel improvements but it is a slow process. Looking forward to seeing how it goes in the sea on Saturday.
Thursday night and down to Greystones for some sprint sessions with Alex and the KOG10 team. Never thought I’d see the ol’ ticker get to that rate but a really good workout.
Friday 21st July:
Wasn’t supposed to be a rest day but after 14 hours in the office I decided I just needed to relax. So I did – with some pizza. And a beer. Or two….
Saturday 22nd July:
I cycled out to Greystones from Kilternan to keep the legs turning over. It was a nice handy spin which also took in a loop of the cycling course. I then met up with the KOG10 team at the South Beach to practice swimming on the course. It was amazing how much colder the water was compared to the Cove. I started off pretty badly – couldn’t get the same stroke going as I had in the pool and am definitely rushing it as I see all my teammates head off into the distance. I just need to keep calm, focus on an easier stroke and I should be alright.
Sunday 23rd July:
So much for tapering. I took the pups out for a gentle walk up Carrickgollogan and we sat and watched the Bray Air Display from a great vantage point on a beautiful afternoon. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to relax around the house so went for a little (15K) spin on the bike and followed that with a 7K run. That is definitely it though for the hard training – I’ll be mostly swimming and doing a little light running/cycling for the rest of the week.
So that’s it for the last week of real training. Another great week in terms of cycling and running and again some improvement on the swimming. Now I just need to relax and start preparing for big day! Just like final exams……
Training Week three done and dusted. This time in a fortnight it will be the night before the big event!!
Monday 10th July:
Long run – 15k – from my office on Sir John Rogersons Quay to Kilternan. They were some tough hills in there but I felt good at the finish and ran the last 3k well. I’ve missed the running a little bit with everything else so it was good to get back into it.
Tuesday 11th July:
Cycled in to work. I was delighted to be back on the bike for the first time in a while. Of course , going from Kilternan to the quays is a fairly simple job. Get it to the top of the hill and then just hang on as gravity does its party piece. Cycling home that evening was a somewhat more difficult affair – it took me 10 minutes longer than the ride to work that morning – a big difference considering it is only 17k!!
Another great session with Alex and the KOG10 team in Roundwood on Tuesday night. The core work we are doing is very tough but I can definitely feel the benefits, particularly in the pool.
Wednesday 12th July:
Back on the bike for the ride to work. What an amazing morning. The sun was just coming up, the birds were singing – it was all very inspirational and I was able to take a minute to reflect on the real reason we are doing this – to raise funds for the Gavin Glynn foundation. I’m very lucky to have been picked for this adventure and given the opportunity to train with a great bunch of people.
Wednesday afternoon and back in the pool. 30 minutes focused on drills to try and improve my stroke and breathing technique followed by 15 minutes trying to put those drills into effect. The one thing Dee, Alex and Nicky kept saying to me was to keep it slow – just like if I was running a long race – and when I put those words into practice I felt there was a real improvement. My stroke improved, the breathing was better and I started putting a few lengths together without the need for oxygen and a defibrillator waiting for me at the end. Small steps, but definitely in the right direction.
Another 45 minute cycle home on another beautiful evening so a good day for the body and mind.
Thursday 13th July:
I took the bike to work for the last time this week. Another beautiful morning to do it. I’ve been very lucky with the weather which has made the cycling a lot easier.
Thursday night and back to Roundwoood for a savage core session with Alex. I was partnered with Keith for a number of the exercises – he is one tough nut!
Friday 7th July:
Back to the pool to hopefully build on my progress from Wednesday evening.
Narrator – “he did not build on his progress from Wednesday evening.”
We’ll leave it there folks…
Saturday 15th July:
My second sea swim. After the initial shock and brain freeze of the water I got into a decent rhythm. It was great to watch and try to copy Nicky Stewart whose stroke is incredibly smooth. It went pretty well and I was really getting into it until I had the cr@p scared out of me by some seaweed that looked just like a massive jellyfish…! Overall though I felt happy and might try and sneak another dip in the sea early Sunday morning.
Saturday evening and I went for a tempo run to give the new trisuit a spin. Didn’t feel too bad – it was weird trying to get used to running in an outfit that tight as I usually wear shorts and a t-shirt but to be fair it was only for 7k and I was delighted with the time considering the amount of training this week.
So that’s it. A great week in terms of cycling and running and some improvement on the swimming. On the day I may end up being in the water for longer than a Trump – Macron handshake but that’s OK. I’m only competing against one person out there and that’s me.
“First week of training for my first triathlon is complete. Mixed bag overall as I’m on holidays so have no access to a bike and I’m “carb loading” on a daily basis (with beer and donuts). I’m also training for DCM 2017 so trying to juggle multiple training plans at once.
Starting on Monday, I did a quick Tabata session with my good lady wife before an “easy” 10k run. I say “easy” but it was 33 degrees at 8am so a bit of a slog…..!
Tuesday – the first swim session…..
So I can do a mean breaststroke for at least 10 metres and therefore this is the element of training I’m least excited (and most nervous) about. My 16 year old daughter Amy is a savage swimmer so she gave me some good tips to stay afloat!! Suffice to say after a few lengths the pool owners wanted compensation for the amount of water I drank….
Wednesday was another 8k – this time on the beach in Portugal – tough going in the heat and wind but based on weather reports from home there are worse places I could be running. I tried a bit of sea swimming but after 10 minutes of going nowhere in the waves decided to leave it for the day.
Thursday…a free day. Nice walk with my wife on the beach but that was it.
Friday – good day for the training log. A good swim session in the morning followed by a nice set of HiiT workouts with the better half. Rounded it off with a lovely tempo run on the beach. The wind was strong but it was cool so I got a nice speed session in.
I’m not scheduled to swim tomorrow but considering that this is the weakest part of my triathlon I’m going to go in the pool again. I think/hope the more I do the better I’ll become. Let’s wait and see…..
I’m looking forward to getting back home – despite the weather (!) – to meet and work out with the KOG team. I’ll be following the lead of Fiona and getting a swimming coach. Unfortunately the race organisers have already confirmed that rubber rings aren’t allowed on the day so I’ll need to come up with a better plan for that part of the race.