Month 3 Training Blog – Laura Winder
This month, thetrilife Masters programme moved onto helping me develop my power. In the swim, I’m using hand paddles, which feels like underwater flying – just an amazing sense of power and speed. I get to the end of each session feeling a sort of untapped strength building in my shoulders. My hands bear the brunt of the paddle training with little finger cramps kicking in pretty much every session. I thought my fingers were pretty limber but I guess my hands use different muscles for typing than for full body propulsion. Wearing hand paddles is like playing with puppets: it’s whimsical fun, but hard to scratch your nose. The programme also has me focusing on rotation in the swim and I have one of those swimming epiphanies, during a rotation session; one moment I’m working thetrilife rotation drills then suddenly something clicks into place (not literally) and I become aware of my hips and core propelling me forwards, in synch with the flick of my feet. I understand now why these drills are so good! You never quite know how they’re going to enlighten you but the repetition works and suddenly you discover something that makes a huge difference to the way your swim feels. Thank you thetrilife Masters programme!
On the run, I’m doing a lot of hill work, tempo training and intervals – things I have always shied away from. It turns out, pushing myself when running generates a real buzz. It’s a different buzz from the slow joy endorphins that flow after a long run – more of a high intensity power surge that makes you feel like a superhero. And, as the hill runs leave me – appropriately – at the top of big hills, I find myself feeling like superhero a lot, surveying my kingdom below and contemplating the next adventure. Also, the hill runs take me deep into the Guildford countryside, which I love. Nature is all around me. Today I found a freshly departed shrew on the forest floor. Score! I tucked its cooling little body in my camelback for my niece; she just got a Discover Science kit.
Building on the superhero theme, I decided to run one of my long runs at the Hackney half marathon, wearing wings. My superpower would definitely be flying – no question. I couldn’t find any actual wings but that would probably have been cheating anyway, so I donned the pinkest, fairiest party wings I could find and on the hottest day of the year, butterflied my way around Hackney with some work buddies. thetrilife Masters programme training is definitely paying off. I’m still slower than I need to be for IRONMAN Copenhagen but I feel so much fitter than a couple of months ago and the big miles are starting to build up nicely (I found a new muscle in my leg yesterday). It was such a beautiful day. The crowds were incredible and, as the heat climbed to 27 degrees, people stood outside their houses with hosepipes, cooling us down as we passed. Little children high fived us all the way round and steel bands played “Eye of the Tiger”. One Hackney woman shoved a handful of jelly babies at me and I ambled off, stuffing them in my sports bra to her daughter’s cry of “flap your wings, Mrs Angel”.
I tell you what: thetrilife Masters programme has helped me get back the lifestyle I love. There’s no doubt about it – consistently(ish) following a training plan means that you can do lovely, fun things on impulse and not have to worry about not being fit enough. Tomorrow is Sunday and I’m going to start the day with a lovely lake swim with the ducks, followed by the Little Lumpy sportive in the sunshine to get some hills and homemade cake in. I feel so lucky. This IRONMAN training is the life!