• Nic Walton – #thetrilifereporter – month 3

    So I’m writing this the night before my first race of the season.  The Mallorca 70.3 event by that well-known brand that organises long distance triathlons.  There are so many people here, most dressed in compression kit or sporting t-shirts from the various events they have done in the past…  you travel to Mallorca in May to get better weather than back home and what happens…?  It’s going to rain for the event here in Mallorca and be a hot, sunny 25c in London….

    If I had the time again I probably wouldn’t have chosen this event.  I’m not fully prepared and certainly don’t feel ready (get the excuses in early).

    So April I finally started to be able to get some training done without constant travel obligations – be that work or honeymoons (ahhh, such a chore I hear you mutter).  Forcing myself out early for the commute to work by bike helps a lot to get in the miles.  Once I’ve got out the door (the hardest part is getting up on cold mornings – thankfully those are coming to an end as the days lengthen!) it’s probably the best part of the day.  Not many motorist commuters up yet and the light is always best early.  I’ve been thinking about my cadence and pedal stroke a lot more since the single leg drills have been in play.  I think it’s working well.  When you start to tire or your mind drifts then you just need to refocus and think about efficient strokes, suddenly it comes back.

    In mid-April I did a trip with some mates to Mallorca, so I’ve effectively been out and back to the island in the space of 3 weeks.  It really is a cycling paradise.  Gave me the chance to put some real miles on the clock and find my legs again.  Also did some brick sessions running off the bike to get myself ready for the races.  I say running, but it was more of a Robocop walk.  My cycling mates of course think this is ridiculous and they didn’t even see the state of the ‘running’ technique.

    We were staying in Port du Soller, which is beautiful.  Unfortunately, being a port in a tiny valley in the sierras means that every day starts with a climb, a long one.  It also means everyday ends with a downhill!  On the morning of the day we were departing I did a longer run (with the bike packed up in the box) up one of the ‘hills’.  It felt surprisingly good, a confidence booster before the race.  I did another longer run last week back home and was hit with hay fever – not so good.

    Back to Mallorca and I did a bit of swimming that week in April.  Now I know people are now swimming in lakes and the sea without wetsuits year round, but I thought the sea in Mallorca was cold (I’m obviously not a hardy soul these days).  I headed out on my second swim of the week and through what I thought was little bits of seaweed.  ‘These weren’t here yesterday’… the cold was hurting my face still.  ‘Hang on, those aren’t bits of weed’.  I’d swam into a swarm or ‘bloom’ (I just looked that up) of jellyfish.  Swim ruined I headed back, face tingling, splashing the water in a breast stroke/doggy paddle swim pattern.  I suppose my mates might have liked to have pee’d on my face, but I stuck with the mild discomfort in my face for the majority of the day during the ride.

    So in the last couple of weeks the weather has improved enough to allow my beloved TT bike out on the roads (it doesn’t like the wet… poor thing out there in transition tonight, it’s going to start raining after midnight).  It turns out I’ve completely forgotten I need to spend time in the TT position, otherwise it hurts.  Got a few months before Elbaman to put that right, starting tomorrow in the rain here in Mallorca.