Its not news to any of you that we are currently facing incredible times of isolation and uncertainty due to Covid-19. The triathlon I have entered has been cancelled. I can defer until 2021 or an event later in the year, however that event is during a time I hope to be travelling. I will continue to train as best I can and continue to do occasional updates on progress. I will get this event done and hopefully make the money I want to for such a great cause.
Keep the faith people we will get through this and return to an active fun life that we all deserve. Take care of yourselves and those you love. Above all, in the words of Caroline Flack “Be Kind”.
The hospital have said 6 to 8 weeks before I can train again. That’s cutting it fine, but forget that I need to get back on my feet. The first two days I spent with my foot elevated and ice packs every three waking hours. The bruising came out, the sharp muscular pain eased a bit. Trips to the bathroom involved adding the ankle support and a hobble the short distance. I didnt do stretching exercises until day three but prior to that I was slowly writing the letters of the alphabet in the air with my toes. Keeping the ankle mobile but under no load was a priority. As the days went on I used it more and froze it less. It was day 6 that I went back to work for an 8 hour shift, luckily I was rostored a day off on day 7. Since then I have been back at work full time and each day sees the ankle getting stronger, although it still smarts at the end of the day.
Swimming: I’m back in the pool, or at least I was last night. I managed 200m in small bites, all freestyle. It felt great to do some phys’.
Maths. It may have come to your attention that my weekly updates are more than a week apart. The truth is that I work 7 days and then have either 2 or 3 days off, therefore what I consider a week is anywhere between 9 to 10 days. Of course that means I have less weeks to prepare than I initially thought.
Other Matters. Oh where to start? Training was going so well, right up until last Friday. It was my first day shift back at work, three hours in I was stepping off a walkway onto uneven ground when my foot slipped and rolled onto its side as I transferred my full body weight to it. I fell to the floor with searing pain in my ankle and shin. I stayed down for about thirty seconds in absolute agony. I was helped to my feet and hobbled to the workshop where I sat for some time. Next I headed up to the surface and to Boots to buy an ankle support and pain killers. I pretty much sat out the rest of the day. On Saturday morning I got up to go to work but could barely walk and certainly wasn’t going to make it to the train station, let alone a day of work in the tunnels. I went to A&E where I saw two doctors and had an X-ray to determine if I had broken any bones. In the end it turns out I have stretched tendons and torn a few muscles. The upshot of that is I have been off work for five days and I have been told no running for 6 to 8 weeks (Your weeks not mine). No running until April, giving me less than 4 weeks to finish my training and get the event done on the 8th of May.
On a good note my Bens Just Giving page has got off to a great start and that is all the motivation I need to get back on it as soon as possible. I will get this done one way or another, so please visit the page and give whatever you can to this very worthy cause.
The best motivation. When you do these things it’s great to have motivation. I now have the best motivation, so I am pleased to announce the launch of my Just Giving page. I have some very dear friends who will appreciate your help with whatever you can give. Read the full story at Bens Just Giving page
I know it’s not been a week but I was late starting the blog.
So this week I have been on nights and it has been crazy busy at work. My job can be quite physical and this week has really taken it out of me. However I have signed up to do the Winchester Try-tri in May. 12 weeks to pull this together, so here’s the update.
Cycling… Well I have upped the duration but not the difficulty setting on the training bike at the gym. With 2 visits I am up to a 30 minute cycle and 5 minute cool down before heading to the running machine. 30 minutes sees me completing about 15km on what would be a flat road. My heart rate stays fairly reasonable and breathing is equally unaffected. But cycling is my best discipline.
Running… straight from the bike I transition to the running machine (Look at me with the tri lingo). Again I’m ok with running, I dont monitor my heart rate and I dont currently look at pace. I just make sure I add 5 minutes each session. It is currently in parallel with the bike riding. Quick story: when I started out I would run then cycle but obviously that’s the wrong way round, so I swapped. The upshot of that was I found myself needing a wee during the run. Thinking back and quite horrifically during my last actual tri I had to stop for a wee, taking cover in the grounds of a posh house to do so. Worryingly it seems I also have to train my bladder! I ran the Basingstoke Park Run this week and it felt ok. It wasnt a great time but it was a non stop 5km.
Swimming….. Oh god, swimming. I have watched a few training videos, well learn to swim videos, and realised I need to slow down and concentrate on my style and breathing. I managed 140m with some front crawl. I have also enquired about some lessons, yep it’s that bad.
I dont have a bicycle to use, it’s way too cold to run outdoors and I need access to a pool. A quick search on the web and I am confronted with a plethora of gyms local to me. I get it down to two and pay the first a visit. The Nuffield Health and Fitness Spa has a lovely ring to it. Most importantly its impeccably clean. You already know I’m not a fan of swimming but it’s a necessary evil that I need to deal with. The pool is only twenty meters but that’s ok because it’s a lovely place to be, with constant lane swimming if you want. I’m sold and after a jolly round the rest of the place I pay for the monthly, no contract option.
The plan is to use only common sense and YouTube to train. On my first actual gym session I start with a gentle run. I’m not looking at distance or speed, just making sure I can do 15 minutes with a 5 minute cool down. Then onto the cycle and again 15 minutes and cool off before a shower and home. It’s been ok. Im not terribly worn out and my plan is to add 5 minutes per session to build stamina and then up the difficulty to get some resemblance of race pace.
The first swim was a little less good. I was aiming for 100 meters in any format. It ended up being one length front crawl and four breast stroke. My lungs burned, my body sunk and I hated it. I knew I would and that I will have to work hard to conquer this thorough dislike of swimming. On getting home I watched some videos on how to breath and not sink in the water. I am now considering, actually paying for some lessons.
I also need to find an event to do and follow up on an enquiry I have made to help me stay focused. But more of that later.
There are 3 disciplines in triathlon, Swimming, cycling and running. Lets take each in turn in relation to my experience.
Running: I have done a few runs in my time but nothing for about 10 years. Previously I have run two half marathons, the last in 1999! That was a bit of a disaster as I had run the same event the year before. Having trained I and completed it without issue. So the following year I decided I didn’t need to train and ran it with no prior exercise. My rule for running is to never stop, so I didn’t. It wasn’t a great time but I managed it. At the finish I couldn’t find any water so I drank a can of Coke straight down. What followed was projectile vomit and three days in bed with shakes and pain I never thought possible.
Cycling: Well having not learnt my lesson from running, I did complete a huge cycle ride in 2018. The blog is on this site. In short with very little notice and just two test rides I fitted saddle bags to my 10 year old mountain bike and cycled to Italy. Unlike my running it went amazingly well, but it wasn’t a race just a nice ride. I’ve not ridden a road bike since 2006 or any bike since I came back from Italy.
Swimming: If you’ve read the above and are thinking the mans a fool, let me confirm that for you. I dislike swimming quite a lot. I will splash around in a pool and go in the sea but swimming is just not me. I did a starter triathlon many years ago and the swim was 400m. I used three styles of swimming, front crawl, breast stroke and doggy paddle. I was the last person out the pool and the next wave of swimmers clapped me, in a thank god he’s finished type way.
So that’s my fitness history and weirdly I have decided to do it all again. I have a good friend who wants to do a triathlon and we agreed to do it last year but it never happened. So its this years little challenge. It works well for me as I have a trip planned later this year that requires a certain level of fitness to deal with the altitude. I will try to do weekly updates as I try to get from old couch sloth to triath-sloth.