thetrilife Masters Hard Won Wisdom of the Month:
I love triathlon. I do. When we’re all bobbing around in a freezing lake together at 6am, like rubbery otters, waiting for the klaxon to blare, I get a little thrill of bliss. We’re at one with nature, having a laugh, doing something fun and lovely outside.
You know what I don’t like about triathlon? Being unfit. Not being able to keep up on long rides. Falling behind on long runs. Getting to know the unique profile of each of my team mates’ bottoms as they recede into the distance. Well, okay, that bit’s not so bad.
This month I began my thetrilife.com Masters training programme. The usual challenge for me in training is consistency. I find that I start enthusiastically, manage several days in a row then feel a bit tired or have a long day at work and before I know it, I’ve missed two days in a row and kind of trail off. I like thetrilife training plan because it’s in manageable pieces, so I’m finding that I don’t feel overwhelmed by the volume and can just take it a day at a time.
In the second week of training, I flew to Lanzarote, with the Ful-on Tri gang, to get some early season miles in. thetrilife swim drills fit nicely with the training camp as there was lots of emphasis on kicking technique, while building up the mileage for endurance. The biggest challenge was the long miles on the bike. I was by far the slowest rider and ended up drafting a power lifter from Dublin who’d never actually ridden a bike before but had come to the island to sweat off some Winter padding. Boy, do I have some serious work to do getting the pace and power back into my ride.
Happily, thetrilife Masters programme contains lots of isolated leg training, so I’m working on strengthening my legs and hopefully, will be rewarded by seeing my times improve. Mostly my strength training hopping drills at the moment are more wobbly-baby-flamingo-trying-not-to-fall-over drills and my running is still a long way off iron pace. Another of thetrilife drills focuses on improving running speed and efficiency by making sure my leg hits the ground 90 times in a minute. I set out enthusiastically, for a run around the La Santa lagoon. But try as I might, I maxed out at 85 rpm. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was actually running on the spot at one point trying to get my legs to lift up and down fast enough to hit the required cadence.
Back at the ranch, my tri girls, Ruth and Lara, comforted me with wasabi peas and some upbeat music. As that indomitable queen of triathlon – Yazz – sang back in 1988: The Only Way Is Up. With Ironman I’m usually chasing the cutoffs and looking over my shoulder for the broom wagon. But maybe not this time, if I follow thetrilife Masters programme!
Let’s see how March goes. Watch this space…