Since my last blog post I completed 3 weeks of training which was pretty hard. Every 3-4 weeks since November I’ve been building on the previous block with more intense sessions and a bit more volume. After this recent 3 weeks I had an easy week which finished off with the Almeria Half Marathon.
During the easy week I did a 400 Meter swim time trial which I completed in 4.56, it’s a 2 second pb which I was really pleased about as between the start of January and when I did this test my swimming had been feeling pretty rotten so it was a nice surprise and a step in the right direction. Also this week I completed my best set of 6*200s where I averaged 2.27-2.28, I felt like I was swimming really well during that session and hitting the target times felt easy I kind of wish I had done a 400 tt during that session as I know it would have been faster. Since that 400 meter time trial my swimming has just felt like it’s clicked and I feel as though it’s gone up a level. It’s funny really as you do all the drills in the world and spend hours upon hours in the pool and don’t see much of a change and then all of a sudden you get a big jump. I’ve heard some other people recently say the same thing where as in cycling and running it seems as though the progression is pretty gradual all the time as long as you put the work in.
I think a lot of it is the mental side as last time I did the 400 tt I had only completed it in under 5 minutes once so I didn’t really feel as though I deserved to go under 5 minutes or was a sub 5 minute swimmer (it sounds bizarre saying this as 5 minutes isn’t even quick) but now I kind of expect to go under 5 and I think that may be why my swimming feels as though it’s taken a big step up. It reminds me of the first time I broke 24 minutes for a 10 mile time trial, It took me literally 2 seasons to get under. I had been within 5 seconds loads of times but just couldn’t find the last bit but then once I did manage to break 24 I went under 23 within a month.
Anyway going back to the Almeria half marathon, myself, Rob Brundish, and Paul Hawkins traveled down to do the race. There was a strong field assembled for the race which was one of the reasons I wanted to race it. I thought this would be a really good test of fitness. Out of the three of us which travelled down to race Rob was first home in 1 hour 13m 20 which fair play to him as he started off very quick and I thought he was going to pay for that but he certainly didn’t and looked strong all the way through. I was 2nd in 1. 14m 20, and then Paul came in 1 19m. The Strava file for my race is just below:
Since the half Marathon we had 25 students from Bath University com out here which was a great laugh. The highlights of the week had to be a nutter called Janson who would literally bury himself everyday and would also swim in the lake out here without a wetsuit; Man the boy gets my respect as it was bloody cold enough with a wetsuit. The day before the Bath Uni guys came I thought I would see for myself what the lake was like and I lasted a pretty appalling 30 seconds the day before they came, it’s amazing to think he was a southerner with this kind of attitude!
Also another thing I learned from the Bath Uni guys was don’t tell them that if they ride 200 kilometers you will cook them tea as they will ride 200ks and you will end up cooking them tea!
Dan with the meal I made him (2 homemade burgers and chips!)
To finish the week off we organized a triathlon which was absolutely brutal. It consisted off swimming about 250 meters in the lake around two buoys and back, quick transition and then a 2.5k hill climb up to the dam followed by a full on descent and then to finish it off a brutal run which consisted of about 1k up a 8% hill and then a 800 meter sprint across the top to finish. It lasted all of 20 minutes but was absolutely horrific just a pure sufferfest!
The run for the triathlon went up the steep road you can see all the way to the top and then you had to run along the plateau at the top all the way across the dam.
Other then all that I’ve got a few new sponsors which is great. They are Bonk clothing which do really cool casual wear for triathletes, there website is: http://bonktriathlon.com/
Me in one of the Bonk triathlon t- shirts
Also Amphibia have given me one of there bags for training which is great as they have a separate compartment for wet gear so if you have a laptop with you, clothes or anything which you don’t want to get wet you are safe. As well as this they also have a matt which if you go somewhere say a triathlon or even a festival pull the change matt out and you have a clean matt to stand on. They are a great company which have some great bags which as well as being practical they actually look good as well which come on let’s face it is essential! There website is:
All packed up ready for an epic ride which me and Chris did. The wet change mat came in handy as did the waterproof section in the middle which was handy for putting the dirty clothes in after the ride.
Also Huub are going to give me a wetsuit for the season to use. I will be using there Archimedes 4:4 wetsuit which is 4mm all over. You get the choice of having either 5 or 4 mill on the legs. I have gone for the 4mm as my legs are pretty buoyant and I have a strong leg kick so it works better for me. Having worked at Royles which sells Huub wetsuits I’m very pleased about this as I think there wetsuits are the fastest on the market.
There website is http://www.huubdesign.com/product_archimedes.html they also explain why the Archimedes is so good.
Finally anyone who knows me will know that I haven’t been the greatest fan of compression gear. However Sigvaris contacted me and asked if I would be interested in trying the gear for recovery. They explained that how compression gear actually works which was great for me as to be honest I didn’t really understand it before and also that Bradley wiggins uses it himself for recovery, as well as this the Welsh rugby team use Sigvaris compression gear as well. It makes sense really to try it as I put so much effort into training, nutrition, getting good nights sleep etc and if I get even an extra 1% then to me that’s definitely worth it. All these 1% gains add up! There website is:
Finally a little heads up on two foods which I’ve come across which are awesome for training and after training. The first one porridge (yeah nothing new there) with stewed apple and pear in apple juice with honey, it’s awesome and great for before training!
The second one for after training banana pancakes with stewed apple. Basically mix flour, milk, eggs, and a banana up and then fry it with a bit of butter and then add stewed apple or pear on top with another pancake on top of that and honey on top of that. Yes it is as good as it sounds and I have no idea how many Calories it has and to be honest you are probably better off not knowing.
Any way until next time keep up the good training and remember the more you hurt in training the more races you will win!