Base training... done.
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10 weeks in and so far so good. This week concluded the base training program I am following from the Ironfit book and means that things are about to get a lot tougher. Looking back to where I was at the end of November it is great to see, and to feel the progress I have made, I only hope these improvements continue as I begin the next phase of my training.
In the last 10 weeks I have swam a total of 84.2km (equivalent of swimming the channel 2.5 times), cycled 1143.3km (lands end to john o' groat's is around 970km) and run a total of 378.2km (almost 9 marathons!). Of course this was all nicely divided into training sessions but does seem like a lot when added up. I have gone just over my planned volume for this period of training and feel ready to start increasing the volume, mostly with the weekend long runs/rides in the next few months.
The main challenge in the last 2 and a bit months has generally been the good old British weather. We have had one of the worst ever winters and finding a way to stick with a session has been as tough as actually doing it. I have spent quite a bit of time on the treadmill and more time than I would have liked on the turbo trainer. But spring is in site now and it cant come soon enough for me. In hindsight I should have chosen an event a little later in the year so I could have started my training later, but I am where I am so have just had to get on with it. I am going to try and picture that 12km run in knee deep snow when running the marathon in Nice in an aim to cool down !
Starting from next week I am introducing brick training back into my weekly program, something which I have avoided until now. This is where you combine a bike and run into one session to recreate the feeling of race day. These are crucial training sessions but cant say that they are my favourite ! Mon - Fri will remain quite similar to my current plan but the weekends will see volume increases week on week.
This week I only managed 2x3km sets, I skipped a session on friday to attempt to get over a cold I picked up from the kids. This is the first session I have missed since I started the plan and the guilt I gave myself was somewhat overwhelming! Ironically it seemed that going running later that same day actually made me feel a bit better so perhaps I should have stuck with the swim.
A couple of turbo sessions and a long saturday ride over the downs. It was super windy on saturday and I was nearly blown off my bike a more than one occasion. Although I haven't managed to fit a new stem to my bike yet as advised by Garth, using the flipped 10 degree one I have with the risers and following his advice of sitting further back, plus his other adjustments, resulted in a "pain-free" ride and even with the crap weather and slight head cold I knocked 5 mins of my previous time for this route. I haven't cycled this route for nearly 2 months so I have certainly improved my fitness a little since then, but I really felt dialled in to the bike and when I got home felt fresher off the bike than I have ever done (stands my in good stead for the brick sessions I hope). I cant wait till I get a nice dry day so I can really put some power down.
I felt a little "off" this week and am experiencing some foot problems on my right hand side - possibly trainers to tight ? - going to play around with it a little. Fridays run was a disaster but I put this down to my cold and was glad when I finished that one - but about 20minutes after I felt like I had sweated out the cold - I guess there is something to say about training through mild illness.