• Claire Howard – #thetrilifereporter – month 2

    Claire Howard 1It’s been an exciting month of a few firsts!

    Before I go into more detail about those a quick update about training and how it’s going.  The March sessions have been going really well and it’s great to see the hard work paying off, this is particularly evident in my swimming.  Only six months ago I would view 400m as a long way, now I’m swimming 2000m minimum in a session and dare I say it feels ‘normal’!  Love a bit of Strava and I’ve seen my average speed over 100 yards drop from 2.04 at the beginning of March to 1.49 in my most recent swim, not blistering speed to some but it’s progress, yeay!!!!!!  I’m still plugging away with the running and have been enjoying the challenge of the threshold intervals, running condition is still returning and I’m adding a bit more variety with some trail runs now that Spring is here and we have more daylight hours…… not quite sure what it says about me when my first thought about the clocks going forward is “Yes!  More time to train and sunnier, warmer cycle rides!”  Getting out on my bike is never a chore and have been combining both the turbo and road cycling to complete the programme sessions.  Have found the 3 hour plus cycles tough on my own but am lucky enough to have friends, family and club members to get out with.  Confidence is building with the brick sessions, big time jelly legs on the last brick though!  My lovely (sadistic) friend Ryan (likes to cycle in the Alps for fun!) led me on a 45mile cycle with over 3500ft elevation, some long hills round my way!  Thankfully my brick run started on a downhill section.

    So….back to those firsts!

    First time swimming in the London Aquatic Centre.  Remarkable how much time I had to think about my stroke technique over a 50m length, it really helped and I’m looking forward to getting back into the open water for that reason too.

    Claire Howard 2First time competing in a Time Trial race.  11 mile race with 850ft of elevation.  What a great experience and it’s true what they say about pinning a number on your back and managing to find another gear.  Can’t wait for the next one!

    First time running the 7oaks triathlon run section.  Anyone that has run in Knole Park in Sevenoaks knows how hilly it is!  Mothers Day and I sacrificed the traditional lie in and breakfast in bed for a 35 mile hilly cycle followed by a 5 mile run.  I have to thank my fabulous sister in law Anna and friend Ken for getting me round that route, “I’ve got the power!” by Snap was sang loudly and we reached the two mile point…..all climbing, I might add!  10 days and I’ll be running the route as part of the race itself.  My opening triathlon of the season.

    It’s definitely tough at times, tiring at times and I ache!  Thankfully I have a wonderful friend Clare who is a sports massage therapist, her healing hands work a treat!  Thank you thetrilife, I’m finding a new level of drive and determination!  The masters programme (middle distance) is giving me the confidence and preparation for the 70.3, something I never would have dreamed of this time last year.