Three Months Later…

After prompting from members of Team Run For Your Life, I’ve decided it’s time to get back to semi-regular blogging. Between training, work, eating and sleeping, time has been limited and blogging is a little way down my priority list.

Since my last post in early May, I got back into running training. Having had an eight month break from running last year, and then having very few runs before Ironman in March, I was keen to get my running legs back. Under the guidance of coach Louise, I worked towards the Wellington Marathon on 5th July.  The day was not ideal. Although there was no rain and the day was calm at the start, the renowned Wellington wind soon got up. It is an out and back course with a repeat out and back about 10 km into the run. The camber played havoc with my IT bands and the head wind was plain annoying, especially in the last 10km coming into the city. Regardless of that I was pretty satisfied with my run, coming in just over one minute slower than my personal best.  My enjoyment of running has definitely not waned.

Wellington Marathon Finishers

Wellington Marathon Finishers – Alison and I

Once home from Wellington, my coach informed me that my running programme would be reduced considerably.  With only weekly wind trainer sessions, while training for the marathon, I had lost some of the cycling muscle and endurance that I had build up for Ironman 2015. I am still getting in a good fast 90 minute tempo run a week and a long slow run every second week. I relish those opportunities to run, whether it be on the road or in the Redwoods.

I’m back cycling on the road and loving it. This winter has been wet and cold.  As a result, some rides have been cut short and finished off on the wind trainer. I was fortunate to be able to do some Saturday rides with Shirley, who is currently in Sweden and preparing for Ironman Copenhagen, next Saturday. I am doing at least two wind trainer sessions per week; either a 1 hour 30 session with intervals or a 2 hour steady state session. I’ve felt the improvement in cycling strength and fitness over the past few weeks. Personal Records on several segments of my ride this morning are a real confidence boost.

My cycling improvement can be partially put down the the Gravity Training, which I’ve now been doing for about four months.  My two session per week have made a noticeable difference to full body strength; particularly core strength.

IMG_1596

Semi-permanent lounge furniture and my view.

Swimming has taken a real back seat. It’s concerning me just a little. The less swimming I do, the less I seem to enjoy it. Somehow I need to change my mindset towards this discipline. Coach Louise has had me completing drills to target areas of poor technique. It makes sense that there’s not point in me swimming two to three times per week with a squad, if my technique is inefficient. I would simply be reinforcing bad habits.

Fitting training in around work is always going to be a challenge during Term Three. I find that I need to be in bed by 8.30 at night if I’m training in the morning. Most mornings the clock is set for 5.30 and occasionally I run at 5 a.m. I’ve had to become super-efficient both at home (with meals and organising gear for training) and at school (getting as much planning, marking etc completed at school). By the time I get home, even if it’s 4 p.m., my brain is dead and I’m not at all productive.

I’ve begun listening to podcasts, thanks to prompting by friend and running buddy, Alison from Run for your Life Coaching. ‘Fitter Radio’ is what keeps me sane during  steady state sessions on the wind trainer. I’ve learned about training in all three disciplines, new gadgets for triathlon as well as nutrition and recovery. I’ve also heard inspiring interviews with some of the world’s top triathletes.

The plan from here is to chug along with training, targeting just a couple of events later in the year; The Taupo Cycle Challenge and Taupo Ironman 70.3, before the big on again, in early March 2016.

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