Training for this triathlon has taught me a number of things about myself – primarily, that I’m crap at blogging – but also about what I can do when I set my mind to it.
Here’s an example: when I first got into a pool in my wetsuit, in July, (which, by the by, I wasn’t even wearing right, well done me – it’s not meant to reach your wrists/ankles!) I couldn’t even co-ordinate my breathing and submersion. Not smart when you’re trying to breathe underwater.
Fast forward two weeks from that point, and I can do a length in the pool (in a swimsuit, indoors) but my arms are pretty shattered. Three weeks ago I first got in to Hampstead Ponds, in my wetsuit (on right this time) and I could manage 50m without stopping.
Yesterday, I jumped in and did 500m (including a warm-up 100m), straight off the bat. I’ve been open-water swimming every other day for three weeks, and the difference is amazing. I’m so pleased I kept up with it.
The story with the running is less positive. I can knock out 3k on a treadmill at 9kmph without stopping – but that’s easy when someone is moving the floor for you, and there’s no wind resistance/traffic/people to manage. My road running has not been so great – I’m currently training 3min run/1min walk, and taking just under 18 minutes to do 2.5k. My speed has improved, and I’m doing better than when I started road running three weeks ago (2min run/1min walk was killing me!), but I’m still not running non-stop – and, perhaps more importantly, I won’t have my phone with me on the day to help my time my minutes. Going to have to think carefully about that.
Overall, though, I’m feeling pretty chipper. The triathlon is in 11 days, and I’m not freaking out; I’ll definitely be able to finish, although the run might be slower than I wanted.
So my current thinking on my own personal goals is as follows. I want to complete:
– the swim in about 15 minutes (current time for 600m is about 17 minutes, which includes a slower starting 100m as I acclimatise to the water temperature – on the day I’ll have 5 mins to do this before the start)
– the bike in about 25 minutes (I’m managing 8k to work in the morning in 25 minutes, and that’s with plenty of stopping for traffic, junctions etc)
– the run in 20 minutes (based on a current pace of 18 with a cycle or swim before).
Add in two lots of transition at five minutes each, and that makes a finishing time of about 1 hour 10 mins. If I can do that, I’ll be happy.