The now traditional yearly dip in swimming form has started. Usually it is because the club changes to Summer times and because of family/work commitments I am unable to make it to regular training; the result is a mishmash of sessions at irregular intervals and a dip in the form I have worked towards all year. This year the slow-down has started earlier. Weddings, stag parties, increased cycling time and miscellaneous other excuses are now the cause. I should plan a strategy now, since I think I will focus on two things this yer:
Get good at cycling – by doing cycling races.
Do some drafting-legal spring distance triathlons.
The cycling races compliment the triathlons very well… there is one caveat though; the ability to cycle in a group is only relevant in triathlon if I have the ability ho hold the lead group in the swim… which brings us back to the title of this post.
Must. Swim. More.
Must. Make. Time.
Mist. Swim. More.
I did an recon of Lidingö MTB… Nearly did the whole course. 87,1km in total.
While I felt OK for the entire day I found that there was very little difference in pace for great difference in effort. This leaves me with a conundrum; how hard to push it on Saturday?
The positive side is that I feel pretty good today. Legs feel slightly tired but not my body – I’m actually planning a 40 minute run tonight.
With the race on Saturday I’ll probably train pretty hard Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday. Swim on Thursday and rest up Friday.
That should see me not 100% rested but good enough for Saturday.
I’ve been doing well lately – got two ‘big weeks’ in a row. Over eight and seven hours respectively… not big for most, but nearly double my yearly average.
Tonight I’m doing something stupid; I’m climbing aboard my racer for the first time in two years… as if that wasn’t stupid enough, I’m going to put the bike and myself on the start line of a crit. 40 minutes + 1 lap of an approximately 1km circuit.
Goal #1 – don’t crash.
Goal #2 – last one lap with the bunch
Goal #3 – last five laps with the bunch
Goal #4 – last 20 minutes with the bunch
I don’t feel the need to type any more goals – I’m already deep into fantasy land!
I thought I should do an update on my goals for the bike race…
Goal #1 – yep!
Goal #2 – did it!
Goal #3 – kind of… there was a split in the bunch. There ended up being two groups of about 25 riders each about 20 seconds apart. I was in the second one.
Goal #4 – yes.
I was 22 minutes in, my Garmin showed we were averaging 40,5km/h so far and coming out of the most dangerous corner on the course I hit a stone punctured. Pretty dramatic puncture – all air was out of the tire in 2-3 seconds.
I’ll never know if I could have stayed with the group… I’ll never now.
All I know is that I was feeling well at the time of the puncture.
I backed up the race with two hours on the MTB the following morning and a 35 minute run that night.
I’m aiming to keep the training at over seven hours per week for the next few weeks… so far so good.
…then back at it today.
I took a day off yesterday. I had planned an easy run but decided to skip it in the end.
Today I’ll run and then do a short but fairly intensive bike ride home. I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to swimming but if I can I will.
I’ve been testing this out for the past few days:
So far I’m very impressed with it; let’s see how it performs as I go though a though training week this week.
Just ended a big week of training… not big in real terms but relative to what I have being doing lately it was big.
Nine training sessions of varying lengths totaling over eight hours. Examining my training logs for the past 12 months shows this as my longest week.
Another record, yesterday’s 64km MTB ride – the longest I have ever done on the MTB.
That was all the good…
… the not so good is that yesterday’s ride was a test ride for Lidingö MTB race. That test showed that I am not ready for that race. Ready to ride around the course but absolutely not ready to race the course. With under three weeks remaining I’d say that fitness is not going to improve dramatically and the best I can hope for is to be able to push the pace a few times during the race and not blow-up at the end.
I’ll truck on this week and see what sort of form develops. Not much more to do at this late stage.
Yesterday’s big day wasn’t that big after all.
32 minute easy run, 10 minute MTB + 30 minute MTB.
Tonight I’ll run again and tomorrow -depending on work- I’ll MTB and swim or just swim.
A visit home, a wedding, many drinks and pretty much no training… not the best recipe for success.
The worst and most frustrating thing about this is that it is very difficult to gain momentum again. Habits are broken, routines and the burning desire are all gone. I know that once I start the fire will be stoked again, but it’s difficult to not say: “What difference will one more day day make”.
Today I’ll get right back at it and do a triple: Run, Bike and Swim. That will allow me to recover tomorrow or do a small bit of exercise – whatever suits best.