“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”
… said Mike Tyson, a man who won his first world title when he had a severe fever from gonorrhea, and wanted to finish the fight as quickly as possible. My goal this year was to compete in a few crossfit competitions, but my pairs partner got injured and my plans turned to manure.
So I decided to enter my first ever triathlon (at Olympic distance) while I was sculling in the middle of a lake.
Somehow my mind had made a lateral jump from thinking:
‘I’m preparing for the upcoming regattas’
‘I’ll do an event I’ve got no experience of that doesn’t involve rowing at all’
It includes my weakest event – running. But I’ve got a plan, of sorts. I’ve also got a plan for when my plan goes wrong (the metaphorical punch in the mouth) that involves my study of duglegur – but more about that in another post.
Rowing is a very pleasant thing to do when the sun is out
I’m going to run, bike or swim seven times a week. That’s step one right there. I’m going to get moving. I’ve got 12 weeks before the event, so I reckon if I can get a minimum of 24 training sessions for each discipline by the date of the race I will be laughing. Or at least not throwing up my breakfast.
As I mentioned before, I decided to do the triathlon while I was out training at my rowing club, so as soon as I finished I wanted to do something more in line with a that. So I went swimming.
I drank some pre-workout in the car on the drive over because I was a little tired, and by the time I arrived practically bounded through the doors ready to jump in fully clothed.
The swim went way better than I thought it would, I was making good times on my splits (about 2.04 per 100 metres), and I felt pretty strong in the water. But then little niggles came in – my cheapo sports direct goggles were letting water in the right cup, which went directly into my eye as I turned my head out of the water to breathe. It started to piss me off, but not too much. Then after a particularly quick lap I reached out of the water to steady myself on the side and my shoulder slipped a little. I’ve dislocated it before, and this wasn’t anything severe, but I decided to sack it off and go home and get a nap. But I couldn’t, damn pre-workout.
Cycled in to work on my road bike, took a usual route, around 6 miles. Didn’t feel it was too difficult, and felt great when I got to work. Energised. At the end of the day I signed up to the triathlon and then immediately had a little panic. A mile swim, 40km bike, 10km run, all in one go. This is way out of my comfort zone.
To calm my nerves I went onto my Garmin app and planned a 10 mile ride home that would get the blood pumping a bit and leave me feeling a bit better.
The ride home was tough – mainly because I planned the route on the map and had never been on some of these roads before. I spent ages weaving through slow moving traffic and avoiding people opening their car doors on me. It was not fun. But I got a bit of a sweat on, and racked up another 10 miles fairly easily.
Had a very busy day at work, and had lots of life admin to do when I got home. Around 9pm as my wife and I were finishing tidying up and hoovering etc I sauntered into the kitchen to put some stuff in the dishwasher wearing running leggings. She pissed her sides laughing at me, but I wanted to get a quick run in before shower and bed, and it was cold outside!
I followed a programmed run by Garmin Coach Jeff (RunWalkRun), but was a bit perturbed that it was only 9 minutes long. This program is supposed to get me ready for a half marathon (overkill but I want to be as fit as I can be), and I didn’t understand how a quick run less than 10 minutes would help.
Turns out it was pretty fun. A 2 minute warm up, a 5 minute ‘run strong’ and a 2 min warm down. I actually felt pretty good on the 5 minute run bit, and my pace was quicker than it usually would be. Apparently this is part of a trademarked running program called ‘run walk run’, and some of the fittest athletes in the world swear by it. Who knew?
Thunderstorms and high winds meant that rowing was unfortunately cancelled. I ate pancakes instead and looked after my littlun all day because she was sick. After having tea and getting all our house jobs done I went out to complete the second RunWalkRun workout – 10 minute walk/jog, 2 minute run, 10 minute walk/jog. I was pretty happy with the plan because I was knackered, and a 2 minute run in the middle of two walks didn’t sound that bad.
I read it wrong.
As I was about 5 minutes into the walk I checked my Garmin and looked at the next step, and it said 2 MILE run, not 2 minute. I saw 2mi and made a stupid assumption. But I cracked on and ran the 2 miles pretty easily, and felt good when I had got in and showered. However I’ve noticed a little pins and needles in my foot – a tightness that goes up my shin – I’ll have to keep an eye on it.