Thursday, 3 January 2008

Swimming and running

What on earth was I thinking when I decided to do a triathlon? I must be crazy. That's what I was thinking after I swam 50 m this morning. I was dying quietly at the other end of the pool, looking back over the 50 m I had just swum, wondering how on earth I was ever going to manage to swim 400 m in the Lake.

I swam the second 50 m and then managed the third and fourth. I was thinking I'd have to stop after 200 m, but I still seemed to have some energy so I decided that I'd get out of the pool once I'd covered 400 m. I have no idea how long it took me. I can't read the clock without my glasses, and I'd forgotten to wear my HRM. I was out of the house for an hour, but that included my bike ride to the pool and back, my struggle with the cable lock and changing before and after the swim.

Obviously I'm going to have to do a lot more swimming between now and 3rd February. I guess I'll have plenty of opportunities to work out how long a lap takes me.

Apart from getting myself to the pool to practise my swimming, which was a minor victory in itself, I also was out and about on my bike for the first time since I came off it. I still have to practise riding with cleats, but at least I was riding.

This evening I went to the gym to run. The plan called for a hill run, but I'm not running hills at the moment. Based on the instructions for the hill run I figured that I should run 7 km today, however, as I missed doing the interval session on Tuesday because of the heat, I decided to give it a go instead. I also decided to go back to the interval session from the first week, as it seemed a bit easier. The plan was for me to run a 3 km warmup and then do 4 sets of 400 m pace intervals before cooling down for 3 km. All up 8.8 km.

I did some calculations beforehand so that I'd know what pace I should be running the intervals at. I realised that I was feeling a bit apprehensive about the session, so I decided to drop the speed a little. Instead of running the intervals at 9.7 km/h I ran them at 9 km/h. I hadn't really thought about the recovery speed, but I ended up doing the first 100 m at 6 km/h and the next 300 m at 7.5 km/h. One of the reasons for the 6 and 9 is that the new treadmills have quick start buttons for those speeds. I did the warm up and cool down at 7.5 km/h, which is a pretty comfortable running pace for me (8 min/km).

It was different being on the treadmill as the machine took care of the pace for me so I didn't have to think about it. Also, there was a tv set there to distract me. I was pleased to be able to run for more than 3 km, although I wasn't sure if I was going to manage the intervals. I had a backup plan where I'd do 200 m intervals if I couldn't last for 400 m. I managed the 4 x 400 m though, although my legs were really feeling it. I didn't have time for the 3 km cool down though, so I decided that I'd run for the hour, which ended up being a total distance of 7.6 km. It's quite a while since I ran for an hour without stopping, so I felt as though it was quite an achievement.

I'm going to have to make the effort to go back to the pool tomorrow morning. It's a rest day from running, so cycling was on my plan but I think the swimming fitness is more important at this stage. Besides, I still have to work up the courage to try the cleats again, and that might be easier over the weekend.

Thanks for all the positive comments to my last post. I was at work today wishing I hadn't posted it. I realise that I kept it pretty high level, but I feel a lot of the old emotions and remember the heartbreaking moments when I read it, so it seems a bit too personal for this blog to me. Mind you, it did me the world of good to look back over that time and remember how far I've come. I find diet blogs a mixture of painful emotions and amazing achievements, which can make them difficult to read regularly. While I might give you the odd progress update here, I promise to keep the angst over at Calorie King. ;-)

Thanks again.


jojo said...

dont feel you have to censor yourself about dieting..people are interested in reading about you as a whole.. im a dreadful swimmer but have done a couple of mini tri's .. i would recommend NOT looking at times for when you start swimming...just be comfortabel with swimming first.. time is irrelevant.. great effort on the run too!

Andrew(ajh) said...

The swim is the leg I'm most worried about too. I was reading the FAQs and Rules & Regs for my tri today on their website - it seems a lot more complicated than our easy old fun runs!

Isabelle said...

I found your weight-summary blog very touching. Well done you.

kathrynoh said...

Nice going with the intervals, how handy that the treadie has presets :D