More learnings

New learnings this week have been around swimming and cycling.

I had another dip in  Lake Tiktiapu on Monday. I got further out this time, but coming back seemed to take forever, with the stopping and starting to get my breathing right. Having read online about the fear of open water swimming, I realise that it is very common. My issue with wetsuit tightness around the neck is also common. The solution seems to be … don’t stress. Stressing only increases your heart rate and makes breathing more difficult. The websites I read suggest warming up before the event as a way of keeping your heart rate down. I will try this next Saturday when I take part in my first triathlon. I had considered changing to a shorter distance (if that is possible), but have decided that I just need to toughen up. After receiving an email with detailed information about the event I realise that I have nothing to fear. I will not be the only ‘newbie’ and the swim is not out into the lake, but along the shoreline. There will be plenty of support.

Today’s ride provided another new experience. I had aero bars fitted to my bike on Thursday. I hadn’t even considered how using aero bars would be different, apart from the obvious difference in body position. Today I learned that when using aero bars you steer with your elbows, not your hands and of course you have no control over changing gears or braking while on aero bars. There were some wobbles, but after a few attempts I was riding in a ‘straightish’ line. Apparently I did very well for a first effort, but much practise will be needed over the coming months to make me proficient enough to use them for Ironman.

The gym work must be paying off. On my long ride today, according the Strava, I did 8 personal records on different segments of the ride. My legs certainly are feeling it tonight.

The next week is going to be challenging. Andy is going to be in Queenstown for the week. That means nobody to do the washing dishes, vacuuming and shopping. Along with that it’s report writing time at school. I’ve already warned Andy not to expect any housework to have been done, when he returns.

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