I decided to go with the triathlon in Seaford. The prospect of official race photos with those gorgeous white cliffs in the background was what swung it. Not being crushed to death by a tractor was also a big incentive.
Anyway, I thought I’d update as to how triathlon training is going. At the moment it is a bit of a mish mash as I have three half marathons to do first (I still don’t know how “I am giving up distance running” turned into “I have signed up for three half marathons” either). A few weeks ago, I went to the Swim For Tri “Learn Front Crawl” workshop in an attempt to stop doing granny breaststroke, and today I had a follow up one-to-one lesson. I found these really helpful and the instructors were both very encouraging and clear (and thankfully the other people at the workshop were the same sort of level as me). I think I have taken to swimming more than I have taken to running or cycling, though whether this will translate into me being able to do it reasonably quickly is another matter. Unfortunately, it too so long to find a wetsuit to fit me that by the time one arrived it was too cold to swim outside, even with it on, and now I have lost a load of weight and it probably won’t fit me any more anyway. This comes under the heading of “things to worry about next Spring” though. (I will probably have put the weight back on by then.)
I have not done much outdoor cycling either (I sense a theme here) although I did one nice little cycle to and from the Springfield Park Peanut with one lap of the Peanut on foot (of course on foot). This was quite an enjoyable exercise that didn’t take too long and I think it will form a regular part of my spring training. I have had the indoor bike in action considerably more with an assortment of 20 minute interval sessions (there is a glut of these on YouTube, all conducted by very sweaty people in lycra. I think they must have turned the heating up in the studio to make them look extra sweaty because I never sweat that much in my living room.)
You already know that running is going well. My long slow run is up to 12km and I think I have now mastered the right kind of slowness. I abandoned all that crap with target paces and pulses and just removed everything except distance from the screen of my Garmin and ran at pace that felt slow. It is actually only marginally faster than the really awkward slow pace that I was trying to run at but feels so much better. I think heart rate isn’t really a good measure of effort for me, breathing rate and just my own perception of how hard I am working are much better. I ran 12km yesterday and I felt absolutely fine afterwards – I didn’t need a pizza or a nap and I even went out to a gig a bit later. I feel like the painful, slow, clunky legs I dragged around with me all summer have been replaced with a modernised pair.
(This will probably be my last post for several months, as I get hit by a bus on the way to football. That would be the story of my life.)