Saturday, 24 January 2009

Triathlon Training Part 1 (of many, hopefully)

Although it hasn't been 'officially' signed up for (I'm still waiting to hear from the Terrence Higgins Trust), I've decided to do the London Triathlon come August. I've wanted to do a triathlon for awhile now - I guess it comes from being a retired swimmer, looking for a new challenge. And I figure if I'm going to do it, I might as well go big, so I'm starting off with an Olympic length tri. That's a 1.5km swim (open water), a 40km bike and ending it all off with a 10km run (dear god). I know that I can finish it, and with proper training, I could even have a good time. That depends, of course, on my ability to stare my nemesis down, and conquer her once and for all. Yes, nemesis, your name is running. The bane of my existence.

See, I'm a water creature at heart. I remember my mom telling me, age 10, how it was amazing how graceful I looked in the water, since I could barely walk without tripping over my own feet. My high school basketball coach went as far as to call me 'waterlogged'. I suppose there are worse things to be called as a gangly, spotty 14 year old.

I tried getting into running a couple summers ago, and I was doing okay with it, but it just sort of fizzled out (which happens when you dont set goals). So this time, I have a goal. Several, actually, to help me reach the ultimate goal of doing an Olympic length triathlon. First one is to build up my fitness level to even begin contemplating doing actual training for this bloody thing. I have a nifty 20 weeks programme to help me (focusing on running, I'm such a masochist). To help keep me motivated, I'm going to keep track of my training. Any advice or insight anyone can provide will always be greatly appreciated!

I joined LA Fitness early this month (I get 1/2 membership with my job, woot woot), so have been doing some random cardio/weights/crunches for a couple weeks. Here's a recap of the week:

Saturday (17/1)
Ronan and I went for a 4 mile run up to Brighton Pier and back. I feel alright getting there, but always enjoy our little 'halfway walking break'. I should definitely try to start breaking myself of the habit, but I think if it helps me increase distance in the meantime, without tiring or demotivating myself, than it can't be too bad.

Sunday - Tuesday (18-20/1)
Not much happened - I was pretty achy from the run (I don't think I'm stretching properly after my runs, boo), and I had an inauguration to prepare for!

Wednesday (21/1)
Dear god, I had my 1-on-1 induction with LA Fitness. Not only was I measured, weighed, and BMI calculated (as per standard induction procedure), but I was fat percentaged (too high), muscle percentaged (too low) and 'metabolically rated' (how many calories I need a day - 1520 if you're curious). The results were disasterous. Actually, that's not true, because my running book tells me to think 'Okay this is the fattest mcfat face I will ever be because there's no where to go but down, baby!!!' (or somewhere along those lines). Anyway, we set up a basic treadmill/spinning cardio workout for me to improve fitness, as well as some strength training and swimming when I feel like it. All in all, a pretty helpful (if not terrifying) day.

Thursday (22/1)
My gym work is supposed to be M-W-F (2xbike, 1xrun), but I've decided to come in and do some cardio work, so I do 20 mins on the treadmill and 20 mins on the cross-trainer, with 200 crunches.

Friday (23/1)
I set out to try the cycle programme the trainer suggested (basically 5x1 minutes, increasing either level or cadence, 8 times) but I really struggled on it. I managed 20 minutes before I scurried to the easy comfort of the cross-trainer. I'm going to need to buckle down next week and just try to get the 40 minutes down, no matter how crap it is. I definitely need to get used to cycling as it has been years since I've done it. Boo. I thought running was supposed to be my nemesis? I can't hate 2/3 events of a triathlon!

Saturday (24/1)
Ronan and I have decided to do runs every Saturday mornings, trying to increase our distance every week, so I can work on distance on the weekends, and intensity and speed during the week. We went about 4.25 miles today, again, I felt pretty good on the way out, but struggled at about 2 miles. Coming back felt pretty good, but then I got a godawful blister (thanks new running shoes) so I'm currently packaged up in pirate bandaids on my feet.

I've also decided to do 'bikini shots' (I need before and after pics!!!) to help keep me motivated, so we'll be taking them every fortnight. I also took my measurements:
chest - 42"
waist - 35"
hips - 41" (that's what I call an hourglass!)
thigh - 27" (yikes, that's what I call a fatty!)
arm - 14"

All in all, I'm feeling pretty motivated. I'm working on portion control and keeping my meat intake to a minimum. I've definitely been sleeping better, and I realised how much I miss the feeling of being sore after a good workout. The world sure does look good from the moral high ground!

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