• Nic Walton – #thetrilifereporter – month 1

    So having never followed a training plan before, I began thetrilife Masters training plan in February. My biggest challenge in sticking to the plan is the travel itinerary with work. To give you an idea of it this year my local triathlon club #chilterntri have swim training evenings every Wednesday and Thursday. I haven’t been in the country to attend any of them yet, it’s not that I’m lazy or I’ve given up – if you’re reading this!

    I received the first 4 weeks of the programme and literally 4 days later I was off to Guatemala then to Mexico and I haven’t returned yet. Before I left, I got in a longer bike session and the first swim session. The swim session was an aerobic ladder down, where you do reps of multiple 100metres. Starting at 400m, reducing by 100m each time, with some seconds of rest in-between until 100m and then repeat. I approached this one with nervous scepticism, I was feeling tired that day, but I actually really enjoyed it. The bike ride was done with a cycling buddy, who tolerates me as a ‘triathlete’ for company. We took in more than the required climbs and the ride was longer than specified in the programme, but I won’t be out on the bike until mid-march when I return to the UK shores.

    So you’re away for long periods, you can’t take your bike and you’re going places where you can’t necessarily just go running in the streets from your hotel. You’ve got to use the hotel gym… I’m really not a fan. Treadmills, gym exercise bikes…. They are awful, but having the programme to follow actually got me using these, often small pokey fitness rooms, to bash out the hour or so sessions. Whilst I can’t say I love them it has given structure to my evening and morning visits. The one legged cycling was something that got me drawing eyes to the heavens, but upon doing it you appreciate why you’re doing it. Once you’re cycling normally or sweating away on a poor quality gym bike in an 8m x 3m room in my case, you’re thinking about your pedal strokes and making it as efficient as possible. I’ll get that Chris Froome cadence going eventually.

    The swimming, ah, here you can say I haven’t followed the plan or haven’t been able to. There was a pool at one of the hotels I’ve stayed in, in Guadalajara. It wasn’t the fact it was only 10metres long that got me however, it was warmer than the last bath I had! Tumble turns in hot warm water?! I’m afraid after trying to do some I called it a day. If we can find an excuse we will do..

    So 3 weeks down and I can’t say I’ve followed it to the letter. What I am loving is ‘discovering’ interval training. I say discovering as although I’d read a lot about the benefits, but never really put it into practise. Its making the ‘horrendous’ gym bike sessions almost enjoyable!

    I can’t say all my travel is with work. My wife Holly is presently flying out to meet me in Mexico City and from there we are flying on to El Salvador for a week and then Nicaragua for another. Our belated honeymoon. Whilst I cannot see my training going down so well on these 2 weeks, we are surfing every day. Whilst it isn’t exactly the same as swimming, it’s very similar and if you want to catch as many waves as possible you’ve got to work hard. I might be able to sneak off for a run on the beach… ssshhhhhhhhh #thetrilifereporters