As we approach mid October we have the first signs of autumn trying to blot out summer, the leaves are turning golden as did the sky on Monday due to Saharan sand being blown across the UK leaving us with a blood red orange sun and yellow light. This followed the Sunday when we had bright blue skies, sunshine and 20c which was perfect conditions for the first of the Winter mini Sportive series of rides.
However the winter storms have made an approach and have left trees and power lines down, storming seas and flooding due to Ophelia. Fallen leaves and twigs in the garden have kept the puppy amused for hours ! Snuffling in fallen leaves, proudly carrying twigs and chasing blowing leaves as the wind picks them up. Puppy heaven !
However the aftermath of the storms of leaves stripped from the tress, debris on the roads, and heavy downpours don’t really allow for safe out door running or cycling. The temperature hasn’t dropped significantly to affect my asthma yet with cold air, but I’ve had my flu jab early to be safe.
So time to think of alternatives for winter training and look for indoor training options:
Christmas came early as my local gym has recently added three brand new WATTBIKES, with more to follow. Happy sweaty cycling days ! I have downloaded the APP, connected my phone and heart rate to each of the WATTBIKES and connected my Garmin & Training Peaks account too – nowhere to hide now from coach Claire.
The gym treadmill has also been added into my training repertoire – as much as I hate the treadmill it does have its uses. I charged up the iPod for AudioFuels Run Faster with Chrissie Wellington. With the filthy weather outside reminding me of IM Wales when I met Chrissie in the rain cheering friends along the bike course it was good to get indoors and push my self through intervals with her encouraging voice in my ears – “you can do this, your limits are beyond where you think they are, training effort now will help you in race days……”
Its back in the swimming pool as the lake temperatures have started to drop into penguin territory. So far steady continuous swims as I was out of the water for 9 weeks since Hamburg – I didn’t drown as I took the plunge in Bath University 50 meter pool for the first time ! But the long pool makes you realise how much swim fitness I’d lost, and 50 m before you could hang on to the end or tumble turn. Masters sessions at the sports & tri club are available Monday & Thursdays, I just need to get there and get stuck back in.
So thats swimming, cycling & running sorted for filthy weather days, now S&C.
Strength & conditioning – brings out the dread & sweat in us all, I know I need to keep this up with core, arms and leg stretching and strengthening. But who enjoys endless planks, push up, burpees, bicep curls, lunges & squats – not me !! But I also know I need to do them.
I started adding a few squats, lunges & planks into my evening dog walks. Tried the foam roller in the evening but became more of a puppy play thing than use to me. So while I have woken up my dormant soft body after its post ironman recovery and feeding frenzy with an Insanity fitness test which I felt for three days after ( and that’s just the fit test !) I know I need to get into a routine or structured program and follow it.
I haven’t chosen my new path of winter strength & conditioning training yet. Looking into a few options. What I want or need is something to do at home so don’t need to get in the car and brave the night storms. Can access on my iPad. Develops intensity over a few months, is sustainable, to have support or occasional company from others would boost motivation, and of course needs to provide awesome results !
So as triathlon season draws to a close for 2017, its time to get out of post race party mode and slide into Off Season strength & fitness base training. Social runs & rides, something different, running with my dog, getting muddy back onto chalky trails and made even get the mountain bike out its dormant state and ride some hills. Plus regain my strength, flexibility & fitness this winter – mission on.
Ten and a half months the ironman Wales – now that still scares me writing it down.