Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Triathlon Training Begins!

Ok, I don't know why I put an exclamation mark after the title. It really wasn't a very impressive beginning, but I hope it was the best I could do.

It's been absolutely pissing it down all day, and after playing a 3 1/2 hour tennis match against hard competition last night, I wasn't feeling particularly energetic. I'd suggested to Fonda we play a bit of tennis tonight, but I'd cricked my neck a bit and it was feeling pretty stiff this morning. Couple that with the filthy weather and I decided to postpone our game. She's coming round to dinner next Wednesday instead. Much more civilised.

Around 2pm in the afternoon, when I'd achieved diddly squat apart from devouring a pot-boiler novel, I suddenly decided I was in serious need of exercise. Fisher wanted to go to the gym and use the elliptical machine and some weights, so I suggested I run the back way to Cupar, then I'd go for a swim and join her in the gym for some weights. Unfortunately the pool turned out to be closed, so I decided to cycle to St Andrews leisure centre instead, swim and then run in the gym.

The ride to St A's was fine, albeit frickin' freezing and very very wet. The cycle route is very pretty, and it's nice not to feel as if you're about to be knocked off your perch every 4 seconds. There's nothing like riding a bike to make you realise just how many cars are on the road, and how fast they travel on unsuitable roads. I didn't notice that the downpour and slick surfaces slowed anyone down at all - but I don't imagine I'd have been any more careful if I'd been driving, either. Hooray for double standards.

I covered about 8 1/2 miles, maybe 9, on my bike ride, which isn't very much. Nor was the 200m swim particularly impressive - especially as I did 50m breast stroke followed by 50m crawl, then repeated it before getting out. It's clearly my swimming I need to work on most, as I find it utterly exhausting! I could certainly have done more at that pace, but my training schedule suggests starting with small amounts and building up, so that's what I decided to do. In the gym, I only managed a mile and a half in about 16 minutes - but that pace isn't bad for me. I suspect I could have run for longer if I'd been outside, but if that's true then I'm pretty sure the pace would have been slower - and I can't be certain anyway. I must learn to be happy with what I've achieved, not constantly comparing it to previous sessions or making estimates after the fact that leave me feeling wanting.

After the run, I did 10 - 15 minutes in the gym. I managed three sets of 12 lifts on the chest press at resistence 6 (30kg?). I also did three sets on the horizontal leg press, at resistence 9 (45kg?), one set on the shoulder press at r. 5 (which nearly killed me) , three sets (just!) on the stomach cruncher at r. 10 and three sets on the lat pulldown machine - one set on 6, the other two on 4, which was a bit pathetic but I was really tired by then!

Afterwards, as we were leaving the gym, I was pleased to find I felt I could actually have gone back and done more - which is what the schedule suggests. I imagine it's important psychologically, as if you leave feeling drained and exhausted you'll only remember how miserable it made you, and going back again will be difficult. All I felt was bloody hungry! A quick snack of an apple and some dried banana has tided me over thus far, but I'm juuust about ready to eat my own foot, so I hope Fisher has supper ready soon.

I'm not planning on doing any exercise tomorrow, except maybe a little tennis in the evening (doesn't count as it's doubles), so that can be my rest day. On Thursday I'll do something else. Maybe a long run. But one thing I've learned about me is that I simply cannot plan things. Everything has to have a degree of spontaneity about it, or I'll just end up dreading it.

I have to say, sitting here now, I'm starting to feel some serious weariness. I don't think this is a good thing. I don't think 8.5 miles on a bike, a 1.5 mile run, a 200m swim and 10 minutes on the weights should tire me out quite this much. Or am I being too hard on myself? Hm. This is a bit of a problem. I seriously don't know what I should expect from myself. Should I aim to do more in my next session, or less? Is this my 'big session' for the week, or should I think on it as maintenance? I'll have to look at the schedule again, but it's tricky as it doesn't quite apply to me. I'm not a total couch potato, which is what the schedule is aimed at. I'm starting from scratch on the swimming front, but with everything else I'm more around the week 18 mark!

I think I need a new schedule.

Anyhoo ... I'm tired, cold and hungry. There should be enough hot water for a bath now, and I can smell a supper, so it's time to finish. I'll pick Fonda's brain next Wednesday (if I remember!) and see what she thinks about triathlon training.