Say it very quietly…….progress

Now, I hope this doesn’t result in a commentators curse type situation, but the past few weeks have been, overall, pretty positive.

The calf strain that has been dogging me since that first track session is still loitering and got very bad last week after going for an exceedingly slow run around Berlin. Since returning, I’ve been icing it most evenings and managed to do a very good track session on Monday. The calf ached afterward, but nothing like the previous week. After that I’ve taken the decision to not do any running on it for 2 weeks, just to give it some proper time to heal up. With the first Duathlon only 4 weeks away, I would rather get it sorted now than have it drag on much longer.

Hold on, how can the title say progress when the above is pretty negative? Well dearest readers, that was the bad news first. What follows is the other side of the coin.

First up is that swimming stuff that I am not so hot at. I had another lesson with Mark@Create on the 19th Feb which was focussing on me relaxing my stroke and getting breathing a bit better. As I suspected, Mark said I was kicking far too much which isn’t uncommon with more nervous swimmers and even more so those with strong legs. After doing a length I was just out of energy because of the work the legs were doing. We used a pull buoy a few times, just to take them out of the equation and although I kept rotating my body too much and flipping over, it did feel much better. The remainder of the lesson was then just trying to slow them down as well as relaxing my arms too. The difference was noticeable immediately. I was only getting 1 length still, but was not wiped out by the end of it. The breathing aspect, turns out turning to my right was not my preferred side as first time trying to breathe to the left it felt much more comfortable. All in all, pretty decent 60minutes. As always Mark, huge thanks.

Following that I didn’t really get much swimming in due to being away for work etc. This week I took the decision to change up the majority of my training schedule. Whereas I was only managing 1 or 2 swims per week around weight training, cycling and running, I can now swim 4 or 5 times a week. Instead of weight training during my lunch breaks each week day, I am now swimming. This has been possible because I’ve re-joined a Crossfit box and am using that 2 or 3 times a week for WODs (workout of the day for those who’ve never done Crossfit) which should keep me covered on the strength and conditioning side. I only started this training on Tuesday but already seeing the benefits of swimming each day because today I swam 2.5 lengths of the pool with a pull buoy. I could have gone beyond that but the traffic jam of oldies in the pool stopped me. I did 2 lengths on a few more occasions today, so left a happy boy. Will continue the majority of my training with the pull buoy but will not totally forget about the legs, but as I’ll be in a wetsuit in September, I feel it is an acceptable focus to have.

Moving away from the wet stuff to finish off, cycling has been going well, been out on the bike with Paul (my brother) and averaged around 35km/h on a pretty flat 10k route and then averaged 25km/h into a head wind on a more challenging 10km return. This week I did 30km on the bike in the gym and did that in 52:08. So think on a flat course like Dorney, I should be ok to average around 30km/h+ which was where I was hoping to be when I started the journey.

Running wise, I did a couple of solid runs before the calf went south. Ran a  horrible 4km with Paul and Lauren (sister) and averaged 4:40mins per km despite having a very tight chest and little warm up. Following day, after the bike ride with Paul, we did a very gentle 4.5km averaging around 5:15mins per km which felt great. The run in Berlin was with others dictating pace and was 4km averaging 6:40mins per km. I did manage to run in the Tiergarten, as seen in picture at the top, so not all bad.

Judging on the runs and the track sessions I’ve been doing, I think I will be able to average around 4:20-4:30 mins per km in the first race, which I would be happy with. Hopefully have that nearer 4:00 by the time September comes round.

Nutrition wise, just finishing off the GSN 30 day challenge but can’t lie, I was not exactly strict on ith, especially in Berlin unsurprisingly. It has opened my eyes a bit to a few things that I was not getting enough of in my diet before, so shall be using those findings going forward.

Right, enough of me waffling on, until next time let’s whisper this even quieter…….even more progress.



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