The first rule of Running club is…..

……don’t be an eejit at Running club.

I’ve been so busy with my swimming in the past year that I’ve only had time for maintenance runs with the Tri-sistas and not really had any focus on running….but I’ve always had in my mind my target to break 50 mins for a 10k.   I’ve come close in the past with 52:00 being my PB but shaving off that 20 seconds per kilometre has eluded me.

Now lovely husband has been trotting off with his friend every Monday night to the local running club for nearly a year and he has just got faster and faster and more and more lean.  Last month I decided it was time to get back into it, and having booked the delightful girl next door to mind the Tri-mini’s team while we went out with some trepidation I went along to join him.

It is a lovely, friendly and informal group, not affiliated and free for anyone to come along at any level.  They explained that there is normally a group who splinter off at about 3 miles and then another core group who run 6 miles.

When I arrived at my first session, one very nice lady kindly explained that it didn’t matter how slow I was I wouldn’t be left behind (she may or may not have looked me up and down assessing my non-runners slightly paunchy build).  It was a very kind thing to say but these kind words unfortunately triggered all my proud competitive instincts and I was FIRED up.  When the team set off I went off like a bat out of hell.  I ran faster than I ever had before in any race at any time and even led the faster core group for a few very short moments.  I thought I was going to DIE the whole time, but kept a super happy running face on and was chatting and laughing.  It was like being in a race but actually racing people rather than trying to beat my own time.

For a week after each session, my legs ached a lot, like a deep core bone ache.  But I was so pleased with myself, I could smell that sub 50 minutes coming just round the corner.

Well yes, anyone who has ever had a running injury before or who has even the smallest amount of common sense can guess what happened next…the deep core bone ache post-running is not a good thing. Of course it’s not.  I started waking up in the morning and having to limp down the stairs because one ankle wouldn’t bend and the same calf and foot ached all the time with a nasty stingy hurt.

Eventually I could no longer run at all.

Lots of googling has pointed towards it being Achilles tendonitis, hopefully only mild but lots of evidence to say if it starts that I should take it seriously and stay away from the pavements for a few weeks.

So the sub-50 will still elude me for a few more months.   When I can start running again, I’m definitely going to be more sensible and patient.  Maybe even follow a proper training plan rather than just going out there and running hell for leather…..?

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Swycle

First ever Swycle session this weekend (and yes Swycle is a word, I googled it, in Triathlon circles anyway). Basically we swam and then went for a bike ride i.e. the first two legs (phases?) of a triathlon.

It’s also called Brick training – where you combine two of the triathlon skills to get your muscles/body/brain to practice the horror/shock of doing something hard right after you have done something hard and then go on to do something else hard after that. Triathlon sounds just great when you write it down like that hey?

There were some hiccups, one sister went to a completely different pool so missed the swim leg. Lets call it a gin related WhatsApp miscommunication or misunderstanding, all parties taking responsibility and apologising profusely while equally all parties feeling just a little bit guilty/ and slightly annoyed. Anyhow we put it behind us and only two of us swam.

On a side note, my swimming is getting better every session, I swam a drill session, working on my breathing to try and stop hyperventilating every time I get tired and also started breathing out through my mouth rather than my nose. Is that obvious and what everybody else does already? It made things much easier. Sessions go so much faster with variation, we had written swim training sessions with us and floats and the 45 minutes flew by.

Then straight out of the pool and into cycling kit. This was quite hard and a little bit terrifying. Damp bodies trying to wrestle on lycra, wet hair into helmets. It puts the whole transition thing we are going to have to deal with into perspective. This particular transition took 45 minutes, what with dealing with lockers, extracting bikes from cars, pumping up tyres and a little bit of chatting and apologising (see above). But we eventually got going with a 10km bike ride. And you soon dry off. So that’s encouraging.

Basic bike maintenance is definitely moving higher up the priority ladder. And an Open Water swim session is on the horizon. Stick with us.

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Veni, Natavi, Vici – Swimathon 2017

4 months ago I couldn’t swim a length of front crawl. 2 weeks into adult swimming lessons and I could manage 2 lengths and then my capability seems to have exponentially increased every week. Swimming has become just a little bit addictive, I just want to get back in the pool to concentrate on different bits of my stroke and breathing and speed. But in all my sessions so far I’ve never swum continuously up and down for longer than 2 lengths, I’ve always stopped and had a drink, a breather, possibly (probably) a chat. This as it turns out, was an oversight.

The target for this first part of the year was Swimathon 2017, a 5k distance which depending on my progress, my sisters and I were going to split equally or some other proportion between us as a team.

We ended up with my stints being 10 lengths at a time. I’ll be honest my preparation wasn’t the greatest, I did a boot camp the morning of, then didn’t make good choices in the hours before regarding pre-exercise fuelling (I’m writing a really interesting research blog about eating and exercise – watch this space – but this was an example of what NOT to eat before you swim) so when I finally got in for my turn it was with a slightly heavy non-dolphin like air. 10 lengths in one go is hard. I don’t think I ever realised how hard swimming is when you do it as an endurance sport. Writing this down in actual words makes me want to face palm about what a numpty I am, of course it’s hard…..

My sisters, aka mermaids, swam their 20 lengths barely breaking sweat, and I made it through my 4 lots of 10 lengths, but it hurt, interestingly though each set got slightly easier and we finished in style with some sprint lengths, last team in the pool, just us and the wonderful volunteers who organised and the lap counters (slightly wearily) applauding us in.

Next target, keep working on technique to increase the efficiency of my swimming (I might be swimming but it’s not very pretty if you know what I mean) and build up swimming endurance. I’m going to do some swimming interval training, just like I would if I wanted to increase my running speed and distance. I’ve found some Speedo Swim Training workouts that I’m going to try – an 8 week plan, check it out here:

https://proswimwear.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/speedo-swim-fitness-training-plan-week-8-of-8-the-finally/

They seem a bit complicated so I have tasked one of my sisters with coming up with some simpler ones that you can pick and mix from. Watch this space.

Also Open Water Swimming……soon anyway……when it’s a bit warmer [coughs nervously, sidles into next room].