Here we are, 9 weeks out from Ironman Frankfurt and only 2 weeks away from my first tri of the season- Swashbuckler half IM in the New Forest, one I raced well at last year (5:04, 4th lady!)… After having a week off last week on holiday post London Marathon, and having been ill the week before London I’ve really been slacking on the training front recently so this was definitely the week I needed to get my butt in gear and step it up a notch (or 10!) before serious panic mode sets in…
Monday was a bank holiday in the U.K. which meant a day off work- perfect! After having our food shopping delivered and making lunches for us both for the week (turkey mince with tomatoes and courgettes, quinoa and green beans 👍🏻) I set out for a run.
It didn’t feel particularly easy in all honesty, I guess I’d kind of expected my legs to feel fresh as a daisy after the week off. It they felt quite heavy and I plodded my way round 10 miles… averaging 8:03/mile 🙈
Monday evening we went to see Ed Sheeran at The O2 with Simon’s cousin Matt and his girlfriend Jen. That man is simply incredible!
Tuesday morning, after about 5 hours sleep it was back to the 5:30 alarm… off I went to the pool for an improvised set as my training plan was empty. I enjoyed it, I ended up doing a main set of 500 paddles, 5×100 hard, 400 swim, 4×100 hard, 300 paddles, 3×100 hard, 200 swim, 2×100 hard, 100 swim, 100 hard to make it 4km in total.
I struggled my way sleepily through the day, I felt exhausted! I’d told myself this was going to be the week I got back on track though, so after a quick coffee and kit change, it was turbo time. 1 hour later I was a sweaty, very satisfied mess! 😊
Wednesday morning, another early start, this time taking it back to the track 💪🏻 although it didn’t feel particularly great if I’m honest… the session was 10 min warm up, 4×8 minutes at 5km pace (approx 6:23 in theory…) the first couple felt ok despite not hitting the pace and then it just all went to pot. I felt so slow and sluggish, my legs just didn’t want to go! Once I’d finished I headed in to the gym and did a few core exercises and stretched and used the foam roller before a shower and heading off to work.
Thursday morning, another early one, this time for the turbo… and another thoroughly enjoyable ride! The main set was 4×6 minutes in Zone 4 which felt good. I usually really struggle getting my heart rate up on the turbo, but the last two sessions it’s been fine! An hour and 10 minutes later I had a mad dash to shower and sit in traffic on the way to work!
Thursday evening Simon’s sister and brother in law and their baby came to stay, so we had a nice dinner and a rather chilled evening 😊
Friday morning was the final 5:30 wake up for the week- wahoo! Off to Guildford Lido with one of the girls from work, Ffion, who is a very good swimmer! We did my session (300 swim, 4×400 off 6:00ish, 800 steady, 10×50, 100 easy) and it was so lovely to have someone to swim with! Made a real difference to motivation 😊 were planning a weekly session which will be great!
Saturday morning came soon enough and after breakfast it was bike time! I’ve not really done a lot of cycling in Wales. In fact I think I’ve only ridden there twice (the failed Long Course Weekend attempt doesn’t count!) and we decided to bring the TT’s so I was doubly nervous… hills and a bike I’ve not ridden outside for months!
After changing the tyres from turbo to road tyres, filling up bottles and getting nutrition sorted we headed out.
The first bit of the ride was terrifying, busy fast roads and then through town, my bike felt mega twitchy and I felt like I’d lost all my confidence. But soon enough I settled into it, calmed down and relaxed and it started to feel good!
Admittedly the hills were fairy brutal, long steady climbs with the occasional short sharp rise. But some really good downhills too!
We stopped after the first hour as Simon’s not been out on his bike for absolutely ages… so after a short rest and a couple of mars bars (for him!) we headed onwards and as we hit 1:25 we turned around as we didn’t really know where we were (!) so had decided on an out and back route.
On the way back home we realized we’d basically been cycling uphill the entire way out! Before too long we were back in Carmarthen and home… 50 miles for the day, the furthest Simon’s cycled for a while!! And the furthest my TT has been since Zurich last year!! I was pretty happy with how it had felt and it was the confidence boost that I needed 😊
Sunday morning we had a bit of a lie in before breakfast and then headed to Burry Port and out along the coastal path where Simon went running one way and I went the other, accompanied by his mum on the bike. It was an absolutely stunning day, windy when running one way but roasting hot running the other! There was a race being run along the coastal path, turned out it was a marathon! Which turned out to be a bit awkward running past the race finish as people were cheering haha!
Paula left me around 10 miles to head to a little cafe to meet Simon, where I was going to finish my run a bit later. The final 6ish miles were on my own. It was such a beautiful place to run it felt really easy and my legs felt surprisingly good. A bit annoying really as I feel I could have done quicker at London had I not had a cold and felt rough haha! Ah well!
15.76 miles later I met them at the cafe, never been so sweaty in my life!! A brief pause for a drink then we headed the 2 ish miles back to the car. Simon and I ran just about 1.3 miles (so I could make it up to 17 miles for the day ha!) and had a nice stroll in the sunshine the rest of the way 😊
So all in all it was a pretty successful week of training, completing all my sessions (although Sunday’s long run had some specific sections to it, I just decided to run it straight oops) and getting a good 12 hours of training in for the first time in a while!
Swimming: 1hr 54 mins, 7300m
Cycling: 5hr 20 mins, 88.7 miles
Running: 4hr 46 mins, 34.4 miles
Less than 2 weeks to the first tri of the year, and just under 8 weeks to go until the big one now… time for focus, hard work and lots more effort.
Bring it on.