Monday, June 15, 2009

I can see why people hire a coach....

It’s a few months into the season now, Ive finished a number of running races and three Triathlons and the thing I have noticed most is that my enthusiasm is definitely on the wane. The amount of training sessions is down and the will to get on the bike or go for a swim is pretty much non existent. The only thing I am managing to do is run reasonably regularly and I am having to force myself to do that. So why is there this mid season slump for me? Well I can put it down to a few things but up there in the lists top five are, no training partner, no variation of training and boredom. You can see immediately how you would benefit from a coach who you report to and who is able to vary your training without you having to find time to plan that out for yourself.

Perhaps there are ways of increasing the motivation without this kind of support I wonder if the online forum communities help at all but I very much doubt that they are any substitute for someone screaming at you to do that extra push up or sarcastically asking why you failed to swim today, or someone who simply tells you to do 50m * 4 and rest 30 secs rather than just going for a 5km run. There are training programs you can get for free, buy or make yourself but I am sure the simple act of having to report to your coach what you did this week must make motivation less of an issue.

Perhaps next season.

Two weeks until Northampton Tri looking forward to that. And I will be joined by a few of my friends from Blenheim at the Roade Tri in September so heres hoping they have also caught the bug.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Blenheim Triathlon 2009

Blenheim 034Myself, Tom Egan, Rosemary Scott, Alexander Leggeat, James Chapman and Hugh Dowling all took on the Blenheim Triathlon last weekend and we all succeeded.
Tom went from not being able to swim 6 months ago - to swimming 19:13m for the 750m open water swim - an impressive achievement.
This bunch (apart from Hugh) were the result of a pub bet last year that I made - which saw them all sign up for the triathlon and start their training - and frankly a great job was done by all of them, especially since none of them were big runners, swimmers or cyclists previously.
The race times are here:

Overall Swim T1 Cycle T2 Run
Thomas Egan 01:32:26 00:19:13 00:04:34 00:40:20 00:01:41 00:26:40
Mark Sharrock 01:36:17 00:17:06 00:04:38 00:41:20 00:02:17 00:30:58
Hugh Dowling 01:39:41 00:16:43 00:04:56 00:43:30 00:02:12 00:32:22
Alexander Leggeat 01:59:37 00:27:45 00:06:24 00:47:22 00:02:56 00:35:12
James Chapman 02:01:05 00:22:21 00:06:33 00:49:40 00:03:28 00:39:05
Rosemary Scott 02:18:12 00:22:36 00:06:36 01:06:21 00:02:18 00:40:22

Unfortunately it wasn’t one of my best races – in fact – it was 10 mins slower than my previous worst race – and much of this is no doubt down to preparation.

IBlenheim 045 had been training with Gatorade – it was available on course and I quite liked it. It didn't cause me any problems and I had used it in the previous race. But I found myself on Saturday morning without any and couldn't find any at the supermarket – so had to get Lucozade sport instead – a silly and frankly schoolboy mistake that would bite me on the ass later.

The start of the swim was relaxed and I was looking forward to it – but as soon as the horn went – the mayhem began. I had my foot dragged by someone behind at the same time as some other bloke tried to swim over my head and while I can hold my own in the water – this still shook me up and I took a lungful of water – not a great start. The swim got worse from there – I was tense, the wetsuit made my arms ache, I just couldn't get my stroke right – I just felt uncomfortable from there on. No idea how much of it was in my head – but a 17:06 swim for 750 is pretty much the slowest I have ever done and it wasn’t exactly trying conditions.

Ran up the steep 400m slope to T1 and the wetsuit came off nicely this time. Onto the bike and power off down the slope and up the next hill. I took on some Lucozade sport prior to the hill and by the time I reached the top my stomach was cramping and I threw up. Managed to stay on the bike while this was happening but it wasn't pleasant – and it left me dehydrated and weak. I carried on and tried to push it a bit more – but the next time around my legs were jelly on the hill. I knew I had to get some fluid inside me – so I chanced some more drink – but the results were the same – stomach c ramps and shortly after I threw up – just as I passed James on his first lap.

Blenheim 078 Racked my bike and staggered out of transition – grabbed some water at the water station and this stayed down – but didn't get very much. Got some more at the next – but the damage was done – my legs weren't working well and I was dehydrated, getting blisters and frankly pretty unhappy. Pip and Rose were cheering at the side and this kept me going until the end. Boy I was happy it was over – and that was the first triathlon I have felt that on.

Lesson learned – if you cannot get the drink that you trained with – stick to water!

Well done to the other who did a great job.