Well the big race day is dawning and the nerves are starting to kick in and I am starting to realise the sort of challenge I have let myself in for! I did my last training session before the race this morning, I now have 2 rest days and am now starting to think about what best to eat the day and night before the race. Thank goodness for the internet – how did we ever manage without it????
Am I prepared? Not as much as I would like to be (which is always the way), but I feel confident I will get around. I feel better prepared for some of the sections than others but my goal is just to get around in less than 5 hours! Anywhere between 4 and 5 hours and I will be happy.
1500m Swim –confident:
I am pleased to say that this part of the race (thanks to Dermot from RG Active and a lot of perseverance) has gone from one of my weakest disciplines to one of the ones I feel most confident in. I have been training with them in the lake twice a week for the last couple of months now and it has really made a huge difference. I am now confident in my ability to swim the distance and cope with any pushing, kicking or punching that may go on. I did the distance a few weeks ago at Marlow against the current and last weekend I did the RG Active 3 lakes swims – a 2km swim around 3 different lakes with a little bit of running in between the lakes. Despite having issues getting out of the lakes as kept getting dizzy and having to walk between two of the lakes as the ground was so stony I managed to finish the race in 50mins and had a great time in the process. Next year wetsuit socks/shoes and ear plugs will be in order and I’m sure I will be able to beat my time.
I am gutted the open water season is almost over – I tried a session in the pool yesterday and it felt so weird. I felt naked without the wetsuit and struggled to get into my rhythm as kept reaching the end of the pool and having to turn around. On the plus side I was 15secs quicker over 80m than I was before this summer, which over 1500m is 3-4mins quicker 🙂
42.5km Bike –confident:
While I haven’t been able to get out on the bike as much as I would have liked lately, this is the discipline that has always been one of my strengths. My new saddle has made a massive impact to my comfort on the bike and while I am not a bit fan of my pedals (they are more of an issue when need to repeatedly stop at junctions) they will be fine for the race. My new cycling shoes are comfortable, have easy access and the added stiffness means I have longer before the balls of my feet start to go numb! I have purchased a little handlebar bag which is now stocked up with energy bars to give me some energy on the bike.
I have done the distance several times with the cycling club and been fine with it and even tried running short distances straight away so practicing my brick transitions. My biggest concern is that I need to find someone who is slightly quicker than me so I push myself harder to catch up with them. That and needing to get my odometer fixed so it actually records the distance I am doing which will help me keep track of the 8 bike laps I need to do! Now I know I am not the quickest person but I do know I am going faster than 0.0mph going up hills and 5mph going flat out downhill as it currently tells me (and yes I have tried moving the sensor and changing the battery – neither worked).
10km run – gulp!:
OK now this is the bit where the panic sets in. Running and I are not friends – I would like for us to become friends but as yet it hasn’t happened. As a result I haven’t trained for it anywhere near as much as I should have.
I haven’t run the full distance in training but I guess I have been doing more than I think – I have done 7.5km a few times, a few short runs at a faster pace, a few hill sprints and for most of the summer I was playing hockey at least once or twice a week which involved a fair bit of running about. In addition to this I have been having 2 x 1hour long personal training sessions each week, which my trainer Rob has focused purely on triathlon specific activities building up the muscles and stamina that I will need in the race. I may swear at him sometimes, especially when he brings out the Vipr (an instrument of torture designed to make you walk in pain for several days no matter how fit you are!) but I think he has done a reasonable job of it as the running in today’s mini triathlon session definitely felt easier than it did a few months ago.
The other benefit of all this training and eating healthily is that I have lost just over one and a half stone in weight (over 10kg) in the last two months which I am very happy about. Now I just need to keep it up though winter and I’ll be ready for next season so can build on where I have got too – yes I have the bug!