After never really being the kind of person to set New Year’s Resolutions, this year felt like one where a few ‘changes’ should be made. I am forever setting myself monthly, weekly and even hourly goals, but something a bit more long-term is what I felt I needed. We are nearly at the end of January already (crikey!), however it’s not too late to start something new … that being a training blog.
Taking up triathlon last year was one of the best things I have done. It’s flipping hard work. The enjoyment and reward you get from it though, is amazing and I’ve been hooked ever since! The aim of my blog is to give an insight into the daily and weekly challenges of someone relatively new to triathlon. Starting off with a summary of my 2017 so far…
I can say I’ve never spent New Year’s Day like the one of 2017. In the gorgeous sun and heat of Gran Canaria. I was extremely lucky to be taken away for a week, where I found my running legs after several months of injury. Learning to body surf and slide down sand dunes on a body board were also major highlights. It was great fun. In between lots of relaxing (v. important!) we found it easy to hire some very decent road
bikes and cycle a good distance around the coast.
With the Christmas holidays meaning Uni training put on hold and with an odd-shaped pool at the hotel, I enjoyed some time away from the normal length after length. Instead, re-learning butterfly stroke and practising my tumble turns were at the top of the agenda! Since starting training sessions with the Uni Triathlon squad, I have learnt the importance of a quick turn. Practising heading into a tumble with my arms by my sides (instead of out in front) felt strange at first, but now putting them into practice feels much more efficient! Having not swam any butterfly since approximately the age of 10, I felt more than a bit rusty. However, I took the opportunity to make a fool of myself in front of the sunbathing Germans, instead of waiting until I was home.
Of course it was mandatory to get the GoPro out for a bit of fun too!
Back to Yorkshire and back to the colder climates, January soon continued and brought the challenges of getting back into running sessions, cycling more than once per week and getting back in the pool. Gradually building up my aerobic ‘easy’ runs during the week on holiday meant that I could attempt some running sessions with the Uni squad. Tuesday road/track sessions and Saturday grass sessions have since been very good and I have felt no return of the injury!
Last week I endured my biggest training week yet! It was a killer and I could definitely feel the burn on Sunday evening. Sunday’s ride out to Burnsall was my second longest ride and at the end of the long week, it hurt my head just as much as my legs. Training and competing is definitely just as much psychological as physical! Thinking back on last week, I definitely feel intrinsic rewards from my level of effort and achievements.
At the beginning of the Uni term, when I first joined to triathlon team, I was selected to be in the ‘Fast Track’ squad. Initial disappointment at being put in the lowest standard team soon passed, as I realised it was purely for swimming reasons and being in this squad would allow me to improve my technique. Last week I took part in two of the swim sessions with the BUCS squad, which is the next squad up. These I found extremely challenging, but with two fast track sessions, two BUCS sessions and one session a week with my local triathlon club, the swimming should come!!
This week started off easy, with a Fast Track swim and an easy run. Monday’s would ideally consist of a 1-2 hour bike ride, but with last week’s total mileage being 140 I thought I deserved to take it easy. I am currently sat in bed (due to having an extremely cold bedroom) and resting up after the BUCS swim this morning. Later on will be a road session, which should hopefully get my legs moving and ready for the Northern XC Championships on Saturday!
After four years of studying at the same University, this morning I sampled my first ever breakfast at the canteen (pack-up addict here) … granola, natural yoghurt and berries went down extremely well! I’ll definitely be back for more.
TTFN – ta ta for now!