With just under 8 weeks to go I have completed one of my two big block training weekends over the bank holiday set by coach Neil.
Unusually this year the sun was shining throughout, the forecast rain didn’t appear and the breeze was warm.
The plan was simple – swim 4,000m / cycle 100 miles / run 18 miles over three days.
It was just like my own home based long course weekend.
Love school holidays as it means on Friday afternoon the swimming pool was virtually empty so I had the luxury of swimming most of my 4km with the pool to myself. Poor lifeguards must have been a little board as I ploughed up and down the 160 lengths. Not a spectator sport for sure.
Saturday morning started with a fully loaded bowl of porridge with chunks of banana and drizzled with honey. The sun was shining and if I got out early I hopefully would miss the rain so I decided to take my race bike out for a blast. This was a beautiful ride of 100 miles up to South Cerney, lake 32 and around the Cotswolds. To give myself refueling opportunities I chose to ride the middle 50 miles as two loops of the Cotswold 113 course having never ridden it before.
I was a bit confused as I had a stream of cyclists coming towards me, when asked if riding the 113 course they all said YES. I was mental looking to replace my Garmin thinking it had gone wonky again. It turns out we were all on the same out & back stretch and I hadn’t reached the lollypop loop yet – duh!
Badger alley is no longer as it has been resurfaced and badgers rehomed, plenty of activities in the area such as summer fairs, motor sports, horse events and a Cub & Guide village litter picking. Real British summertime stuff.
Plenty of sunshine but a breeze kept the arm warmers on for the first 50 miles. I ended up in Happy Land which made me smile as it sure was a great day to be out on a bike for a century ride. Riding the last 50 miles the breeze picked up to a headwind, but I fueled & hydrated well and felt good on the bike, clocking just shy of 17mph average which may be a touch faster than Outlaw planned pace as I still have a marathon to run.
Sunday I certainly wasn’t back in Happy Land as I was running the planned 18 miles as three 10km’s. The first 10km was sluggish but I was very grateful for Tracey keeping me company, and apologies for slowing her down ! I went back home and glugged a sports drink and had some peanut butter on toast which seemed to help with the second 10km as faster and more fluid running ( fluid not fast that is). Then the third was a little wobbly in the last couple of miles with some walking breaks, but I kept moving forward with the sun beating down on me.
I had the luxury of changing sweaty top out each 10km, that wont happen on race day. Running on tired legs is a reality check and you need to fuel accordingly to effort and heat. But that’s what training is for to practise and learn whats right for you.
In hindsight I think I was fueled well for the bike and good recovery meal when home, but under estimated what I needed the following morning to run 18 miles.
Bank holiday Monday was definitely a rest day, I drove to watch friends and club mates & support Westonbirt triathlon.
Last year I was part of a team at Outlaw in what can only be described as biblical downpours, here’s hoping 2016 is warm & dry. In 2016 I will have the 226Km to complete as a solo entrant. I will back in black & yellow racing in pirate colours and drawing on the supporters energy to get me around.
Here we go last 8 weeks to race day……