Whopping Week of Training

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Dailymile records training from Monday to Sunday, however we had a Bank Holiday on Monday this week in the UK if I take my training week from Tuesday to Monday my weekly miles including the Bank Holiday triathlon was a whooping 240 miles !! Still pleased with the 200+ miles and for the first time I’ve topped the Dailymile Leaderbaord :-)

How was this massive mileage accumulated ? Also I started the week with nasty stomach ache which lingered through the week so I’m glad in many ways that I still managed to complete the big week.

Firstly I went up to the North West to do a recci ride around the new ironman UK bike course. This was partly covered in A Lot of Saddle Time post. The recci ride was on the back of a stormy Tour of Pembrokeshire sportive with 40mph gusts of wind adding spice to to the hail and squally rain showers. I didn’t actually ride the full 56 mile loop as I managed to get distracted from the Garmin at some point, so did two 23 mile loops taking in the infamous Sheep house Lane twice. It wasn’t as bad as I expected and riding it now has given me confidence that I will be able to ride it on IMUK race day.

Hope plenty of direction signs & marshals on the day.

Hope plenty of direction signs & marshals on the day.

Wednesday was a steady recovery swim, followed by rest on Thursday, then it was my big block weekend starting on Friday with my longest single training day – eight hours.

Friday started with a 4,000m swim at 8am with the blue rinse brigade at my local pool. Luckily for the majority of the 85 minutes I had a lane to myself so could plough up and down uninterrupted. Then back home for a top up second breakfast of porridge, toast & a banana then out on the bike. Initially I planned to ride  three 33 mile loops but as I headed out on the first loop it was so cold when I returned home to refill water bottles I changed in to long winter tights, overshoes, long finger gloves added a skully and had a cup of coffee.

Heading out for the second section of the day I was much warmer and happier. Came across some Belgium cyclists and offered directions and local knowledge of lanes so they could avoid the main A4 in getting to Avebury & Marlborough.

I rode the second leg as one and cut it slightly short as I was getting snarled up in Bank Holiday traffic and had two too many encounters with caravans without rear brake lights so nearly ended up inside their cardboard boxes on wheels via the back windows ! Not a happy cyclist. It was also starting to get colder again so I called it a day at 86 miles and headed home.

After gulping down a huge recovery drink I then changed into running kit and headed out for the last part of my big training day. 5 1/2 miles running around town, passing the tail backs of traffic. I probably ran this too quickly and certainly not ironman pace. One stop/drinks break at half way as I caught up with Paul who is training for an Ultra this summer.

Big training day 8 hours 10 minutes – swim 4k, 85 minutes / bike 86 miles, 5 hours 55 mins / run 5.5 miles 52 minutes Tired but chuffed.

Big bike training ride

Big bike training ride – solo miles

Next morning the alarm was blaring at 5:45am to get me up and out, initially I was due to stay with my mum in Salisbury for the Wiltshire Sportive but on Friday when I finished training I still needed to wash a load of kit for the next day, eat, rest & recover a little so I called and said I would call in to see her after the ride.

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The Wiltshire sportive was a rolling 65 mile through some great countryside. Mainly up hill to the feed station at Great Bedwyn which I was pleased to get to as I eaten most of my food & energy supplies as early as 30 minutes into the ride as hunger took over. I assume after the previous day big effort. The sun was out but there was a chill in the air and a wind jacket and vest were required.

Wiltshire Sportive gave me 65 more miles in 4:38 average 14mph along very quiet country lanes passing water meadows, quaint. Villages, flint houses, woods carpeted in bluebells, brilliant yellow fields of rape contrasting with blue skies, massive mansions, half a dozen tanks and lambs sunbathing in fields. The routes showed off Wiltshire at its best, taking in many of the famous Wiltshire White Horses at Marlborough, Hackpen, Cherhill and Alton Barnes, as well as the prehistoric sights of Avebury stone circle, Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow. 

This ride was about spinning the legs, sitting up and enjoying the scenery. No particularly hard climbs just constantly rolling & undulating lanes.

Great organisation and relaxed start

Great organisation and relaxed start

 

Sunday morning I was giving a bit back to sport, as I was helping at a Events Logic Oldbury White Horse triathlon in Calne followed by a nice rest and recovery day as I had my first triathlon of the season on Bank Holiday Monday – the Hot Chilli Triathlon. This was an Olympic + distance. originally I was just going to complete the swim & bike sections after my big weekend. The actual race distance was 600m swim / 54km bike & / 10km run.

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First tri of the season and it took me ages to get my kit together, so much more that the sportives I’ve been used to recently ! Another early alarm but the roads were empty and a quick drive to Trowbridge. Into registration where we had our race packets, a great t-shirt which had all competitor name printed in the big T on the back and we were body marked – I haven’t had race numbers graffitied on me for years ! :-) We still had timing chips.

The pool swim was 24 lengths then a run across a carpark to the outdoor courts required a pair of shoes of these soft feet. Grabbed the bike and another 70 meters running across a grassy field which clogged a few people’s cleats. The bike route was mostly on quiet country lanes with a few sweeping corners and undulating. The worst section was about a mile on the main A36 which was a dual carriage way and straight into a headwind. Two loops of those doing the long course Big T then back through town to the sorts centre. The run was an out and back, two loops for 10km but turned out to be over distance and over 11km. The police control was brilliant for athletes, not so much for the build up of bank holiday traffic ! We dropped down the hill into Southwick Park, Trowbridges home for Parkrun. Electrolyte and water on offer than back up the hill, through the houses and back to the sports centre.

Whilst it was chilly on the bike and most added a tshirt or jacket over trisuits the sun was warming us up nicely on the run in sunshine. I came back around the grass track and ducked under the finish arch. I was a lap short but as I went in to this on tired legs I had already done more than coach Neil had expected so was happy to call it a day as I didn’t think I’d gain much more from another 5.5km. I informed the officials, I could have got away with a top age group finish otherwise ! So my official result is DNF but my watch showed 2:30:31. Happy with this that to round up a solid big block training weekend.

Hot Chilli Tri Big T – swim 11:23 / bike 1:38 / run 31:30  for  a distance of 600m / 54km / 5km

In seven days the tri had brought my mileage total in swim, bike & run to 245 miles. Yes I’m feeling tired now but have an easy week coming up to recover and build on.

This also coincides with my first anniversary with coach Neil, last year planning my training first for 70.3 distance at Challenge Henley last September and now we are only 11 weeks away from my first full ironman distance. He is the one responsible for my big block training weekend and pushing me to be the best I can be. I’ll never be one of his top elite athletes but I totally trust in his training plans for me which are specifically tailored to my triathlon experience, strengths, weaknesses, abilities and goals. He also works around other parts of your life in my case, shooting, snowboarding and police work incorporating them into the training plans.  He has stuck with me and I have mostly stuck with his training plans. Year 2 plans will see me to the start of ironman UK and who knows what beyond that ???   It works for me ;-)

Neil has just set up a new website promoting his multi sport & endurance coaching with his wife Beth as Performance- Edge. If you’re looking for a coach who listens to you and has a wealth of his own experience have a look at their website and contact them for a chat.  www.performance-edge.me  Plenty of articles packed with training and racing advice suitable for first timers or experienced elite. Also present on Twitter and Facebook.

Coach Neil & I have been working together for a year ;-) It works for me

Coach Neil & I have been working together for a year ;-)