The whole idea all along was to use this as a way to motivate me to get through my first triathlon. Ironically, it was the writing I lost motivation with and the training that was the enjoyable part, maybe too enjoyable.
I completed my first sprint triathlon (750m swim, 24km bike and 5.5km run)non the 24th of September, and it was one of most rewarding things I thing I’ve ever done. The swim went a bit pear shaped due to foul smelling water and muck churning up with every stroke, I exited the water feeling dizzy and sick. The bike seemed to be by far the easiest part, and even the short sharp climb at the end of every lap was strangely enjoyable. The run was where things seemed to get hardest, the first half was hell, I had jelly legs and my feet felt like lead, then halfway through the run it suddenly became enjoyable again. Things didn’t seem as hard anymore and my feet were finally moving. As I crossed the line I instantly knew why people get addicted to triathlons. I loved every minute of it, even the painful jelly legged hills!
However the time taken to complete was longer then I would’ve hoped, which got me thinking about how I’d approached training. In hindsight, I think I was almost going through the motions, go swimming and swim one lap of the dam, ride the bike the same route and stop halfway round for food etc. I was getting slowly fitter and finding the training easier, but instead of increasing the distances or intensity, I think I was just taking that as being enough.
My theory was proved the week after the triathlon when I went to swim at the dam as usual, but this time one of the lads said “come on let’s do two laps”. No one drowned, no one collapsed through exhaustion, we just got on with it and did it. Lesson learnt, don’t stick in your comfort zone, nothing gets done when your comfortable!
so my attitude to training has now changed. Running is back in favour in a big way, but again, instead of going through the motions, it’s a heart rate zone based training plan designed to build endurance over the winter. It seemed ridiculous that you should slow down to get faster, until I got my first ever Srava CR/KOM on a horrendous hill (yes I am a segment chasing loser now) and now I’m sold on the idea.
My targets for next year are more triathlons, longer triathlons and a swimrun event.
No more going through the motions.