FitBits: LESSONS LEARNED AS A BEGINNER TRIATHLETE

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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

LESSONS LEARNED AS A BEGINNER TRIATHLETE


That's the main thing I've realised this past couple of weeks whilst throwing myself into my non-training plan for my first tri this September. Never assume you can't do something if you haven't actually tried. Although I love challenging myself and learning new things, I do sometimes take the 'easier' route to make progress if it means not having to change and re-learn.

Like swimming. I've made so much more ground this past couple of sessions than I ever did last year, and that's because I was 'forced' to step outside of my comfort zone. Yesterday I swam my first ever (flappy / stop-in-the-middle-to-have-a-cough-and-splutter) full length WITHOUT my nose clip. It was completely by accident too - I set off forgetting to put it on and then decided to just go for it and see what happened.

Turns out, no one died.

I did however, make the mistake of going for an evening swim on the day that schools broke up for summer. Which was no fun at all.

Lesson no.2:


Check the pool timetable



I'm really enjoying triathlon training at the moment. Or am I actually enjoying just 
not marathon training? I'm not following a training plan as I couldn't find one that worked for me as a beginner swimmer but strong cyclist and experienced (but not great) runner. (Any ideas, anyone?)

So my non-plan is currently consisting of whatever I feel like putting in, typically involving two or three swims a week (including one sea flap), daily cycle commute with a weekend long ride, strength training, boxing (for fun) and yoga (for the soul), and then poor old running squeezed in whenever I remember.





So herein lies the third lesson learned:

Don't neglect the running

The thing about running is, as soon as you stop doing it regularly, it gets bloody difficult again, and all that rainbows-and-unicorns-sunshine glory you once had bounding like a gazelle around your favourite run-route soon gets replaced with a whole load of arse.

As I discovered this week:





It's OK though, me and running are like that *crosses fingers*. We just need to rekindle our affair and soon we'll be pumping out that ever-elusive sub25 5k.

But hang on - what about running off the bike? I've only done one brick session so far - I ran the inaugural Hove Prom parkrun after cycling to Worthing and back a couple of weeks ago and let me tell you it was far from pretty, and definitely something I have to work on. 

So - at least one brick session per week from now. It might never get pretty, but I'll get better at it. Maybe??

Cycling-wise I'm pretty comfortable to be honest. I cycle every day and feel right at home on the bike. Apart from when I'm half way up a beasty hill and realise I've got nowhere else to go on the gears. When the legs are burning, lungs screaming and that bastard gradient increasing ever-more, it's a dark, dark time when you look down and realise you're already in the lowest gear.

Say hello to lesson no. four:


You always need another gear


The cycle route at Eton Dorney is thankfully nice and flat so maybe I won't have this problem. Just the god-awful run off the bike to contend with then. Still, it's only 2.5km and whatever happens, it's gotta be better than the duathlon I did there last February. Even if I did lap Dame Kelly Holmes.

So yeah, a few lessons learned so far, no doubt there'll be more. Looking at the weekly roundup of last week's training below it's pretty clear I need to add some regular brick training and running in.

Just gimme a couple more days in the week first, yeah?

Mon: REST
Tue: AM swim 16 lengths front crawl / Sweaty Betty Yoga PM  
Wed: PT with Amy PM
Thu: AM swim 20 lengths
Fri: REST  
Sat: Hilly ride to Eastbourne & back (45 miles)
Sun: Stanmer Park mtb trails  



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What's your biggest lesson learned during your training (triathlon, running, cycling, whatever). Do you sometimes take the 'easy' way out if the option is there?



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