Well this week I have gone from no training to stepping up a gear or two- literally! I read in a quote that there are no “short cuts” to training for endurance and stamina, but I wonder if they ever considered shorter sessions and whether they still count?! Hey- a short session is better than no session! I have also entered the Strava world and that’s a game changer!
And also, is it like some unspoken law that every cyclist in the county has to always wave or say hello to each other when on route? Because I swear I’m not being rude if I don’t wave, it’s just I am either out of breath or going to fall off my bike if I let go!!! But no seriously it is an awesome community culture that I see and experience, everyone supporting and waving to each other is lush and there is definitely a cycling community that is appreciated and needed when there is so much cycling in the Local Area.
This week I have worked 5 days plus completed 2x cycles to Amroth which is about a 16mile loop but has an incline of 2000ft! So was pretty chuffed to start to get some hills under my belt. The route usually only takes me about an hour, but it’s a nice route to just go on a blow out and quickly squeeze in if I can’t do a longer ride. I treat it as a sprinting bike ride and literally just try and get it done as quickly as possible! For one cycle to Amroth, Billy, my brother in-law, started 10 minutes before me so it was really good to put my chasing skills to the test and to try and track him down. It was a good source of motivation for me to go as fast as I could as I had someone to chase, plus it just added general excitement to the bike ride as it kept the intensity and my engagement up- as usually within 10 miles of my bike rides I am daydreaming about what I can have for dinner or how much money I have on me to get a taxi home! It brought excitement and motivation to both mine and Billy’s bike ride and will probably be doing more of the cat and mouse training rides again!
I have also completed my usual Lifeguard training swimming session which I had to do my 400m test which I did in 5min 42 seconds! I have also been trying to cycle as much as I can, even on the smaller distances, like just cycling to the gym whenever I need to do my gym and strength sessions so that I can get comfortable with my bike, practise and experience bike issues like if my chain falls off or get a flat tyre. I also managed to do a 10km coastal path run which I was chuffed with, running on different terrain and with tired legs. I was sweating buckets, it was so hard, especially running on the coastal path with the uneven surface, so I had to concentrate on making sure my feet were safe, keep my pace up, not fall over and make it home before dark and the tide gets me! I ran from Giltar Point to home across South Beach and it was lush on the sand, it felt like an extra leg session at the end, because not only were my legs dying but my feet were struggling on the sand with all the extra movement so was really good for ankle stability and my concentration!
I also had a new revelation this week- STRAVA! How awesome is that?! It’s like an online Local and Global Olympics where you can check out and stalk each others times, scores, distances, rest breaks and wee stops! It’s awesome! My competitive nature definitely comes out with the app, and definitely helps me to address my own endurance capabilities! I’m there every night before bed after I have trained comparing scores and times and it’s an awesome way to get involved and realistic about times and suitable and appropriate competitive times for beginner and elite athletes!
I love how you automatically have like an extra boost of motivation because of Strava, like when I’m running, I remember that there are thousands of people also running and secretly racing me, and yet suddenly my speed steps up a bit and I become so determined to beat my time and other people (don’t ask which one is more important because I don’t know myself!!) But seriously, Strava is wicked because I love challenging myself to beat my times and plus I like seeing where I drop off of the pace when I’m running or cycling certain parts, because then when it actually comes to Ironman I can remember which sections of the course I usually lose concentration or pace so I need to eliminate my drop offs- other mentally or physically.
These are screenshots from both of my cycles, the same routes, just different days and a massive difference with the windy conditions! I’m pretty chuffed with my speed at the moment, but obviously I realise that it’s at smaller distances so speed average is going to be higher, so going to try and add some larger distances in my training as soon as possible- both to me and my “pancake balls” disappointment!
But so far, I am chuffed with my slow but steady increase rate of training, even if it is the smaller distances, short sessions are better than no sessions! For next week I am going to try and include bigger mileage and to try and not neglect my stretching and mobility exercises as I am definitely getting more stiff and tight with all the training on both the bike and the run. This is so important to reduce the risk of injury plus being my size, mobility and flexibility is important for both sport, daily activities and function. My body is not used to this amount of cardio- give me weights any day!