The Road To Tri: 1 Month In…

*turns to a mostly-asleep J in bed whilst googling optimal wetsuit thickness and reading Run Ride Sink or Swim with heart thumping and feverish excitement*
“I think, I’m obsessed…”

So it is officially 1 month since I started taking my first steps on the road to TRI craziness. 1 month since I laced up my pair of (pretty inadequate for road running) trail shoes and forced myself out the door so quickly that I’m not sure I actually realised what I was doing. One small, hard lap of my local park later, I was pooped but I had done it I HAD RUN FOR MORE THAN 30 SECONDS. 1 run down, 1 mile run.

When you’re counting down to something in months, you really start to realise how bloody fast time seems to slip by. Suddenly, I realise that after 1 month I have made lots of quick progress, but also that quick progress is what characterises the start of any endeavour. I am facing up to the scary fact that now, the hard work actually begins.

But before I talk about the slightly scary plateau-problem, I feel like I’m allowed to blow my own trumpet a little in what I can now do after 4 weeks.

I can now run 5km. That is an actual fact now, not a fluke. I’ve done it quite a few times and have yet to die, so this makes me very very happy. I also bought some super fly running shoes from Natterjack in Liverpool: Brooks Ravenna8, which are may I say, the bomb. To put it lightly.

I can swim 50m to 100m continuous smooth front crawl, and I’ve reduced my rests at either end of the pool to just a few breaths during a set of laps. My technique is constantly getting better, and I am gradually discovering a great little swimming community in the Liverpool area. I am also constantly reminded how much I enjoy swimming. I now think about my catch, high elbows, body rotation and calm breathing – woo!

I suppose my cycling is the hardest to see improvements in. I cycle to and from work every day and have seen no drastic improvements in my times, but because of this commuting I also tend not to ‘train’ on the bike that much. I’ve done a few nice longer 20km rides on a weekend, with some interval laps round good ol’ Sefton which admittedly felt pretty damn good. But my daily cycle to and from the office is me at my least alert and most tired so I wouldn’t exactly say it was always a peak performance. Something to definitely think about in the next few months, along with my toying with buying a new bike… oops.

So, the Plateu…

The first week of February has been a bit tricky. It’s kind of classic me in that, I get really keen and excited for the first month or so and then my attention wanes or life gets in the way and it kind of falls by the way side a bit and then gets harder to get going after a longer break than I’ve been used to. This is what I found when I had a bit of a lazy week when the temperature decided to plummet and our planned run on a Thursday night appealed as much as arctic skinny dipping… This meant only one run that week, and then going away with work meant a missed weekend of training, and a week after my last run I attempted to get out on the pavement whilst I was down in LDN.

I was all optimism until I got to the end of the street. I had got into a good rhythm in Liverpool – my usual largely flat routes, nice and dark or too early for much foot traffic, and mostly away from cars. But my rough route on this occasion was mostly pavement-bound, lunchtime and got a bit hilly at one point. I made it up two of the hills before stopping only about 1.5km into the run. UGH. It was fucking awful and I felt so ashamed that I actually paused my stava so I wouldn’t have to witness this at a later date. I felt like crap and was angry and frustrated in equal parts. I thought I was getting better! I raged at myself whilst stomping down the hill towards the pavement. I ran most of the way home, stopped once again and then ran more. I have now resigned this run to the inevitable heap of bad sessions that will happen this year. Since then, I have had a splendidly productive run where I accidentally turned off my strava but the running part felt really good.

So it’s onwards and upwards from here! My training buddy and the whole reason I fell into this whole Tri thing is FINALLY back from her European sojourn, I am going to look at shiny new bikes tonight AND I went up a big hill quite fast yesterday then found a chilli lunch pot on the discount shelf in the co-op for 90p…. So basically, the one month bump looks to be over, THANK GOD.

1 month down, 5 to go. #RoadToTri


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