Wednesday, 27 February 2013

River deep, mountain high

I am of rather a sweaty disposition and it's not uncommon of me, particularly during the summer months, generally at a wedding, to regularly ask Mrs Trihard whether I am sporting an embarassing sweat patch.

Usually I am. When I lived in London one of the main reasons I'd cycle into work was so I had a legitimate reason to take a shower before I reached my desk. On the rare occasions I used the tube I'd stagger out of London Bridge station dripping with sweat looking like I'd spent an hour in a sauna wrapped in bin bags.

It can happen to the best of us. And Tony Blair
Having therefore seen me in many different sweaty states Mrs Trihard was highly intrigued when I returned from last night's club Turbo Training session proclaiming that I'd just been sweating more than I ever had in my life.

As I've mentioned before, the way the turbo sessions work is working up to a percentage of your maximum heart rate using different cadence/resistance on the bike. This simulates different cycling conditions, for example, cycling at a low cadence in a high gear (a slower rate of spin with higher resistance) simulates a hill climb while cycling in a lower gear at a higher cadence (spinning more quickly with less resistance) simulates a descent or more a sprint.

In the turbo sessions that we've had so far we have regularly worked up 85-90 per cent of our maximum heart rate, sometimes for prolonged periods. However these are always broken up with recovery periods where we cycle in a low gear to get the heart rate back down. However last night's session was slightly different. Last night we kept our heart rates at 85 per cent for 40 minutes alternating between low cadence, high gear hill climbs and higher cadence, lower gear spins in the "aero position" (holding on to the curly bits of the handle bars).

Wiggo goes Aero
Therefore there were no recovery periods during the main, 40 minute, section of the set. Therefore I was drowning in a river of my own sweat. More than I've sweated before.Apart from that time when I was 17, house sitting for a friend and I had a surprise visit from my mum. But that's another story.

Monday, 25 February 2013

The comeback trail

Hello, it's been a while hasn't it? So what have I been up to in the last 18 days? Well much the same as was detailed in the last post - fighting and losing the battle against cold, after cold, after cold. As a result I have missed several events in a bid to get healthy. Training has been rather sporadic so I haven't had a great deal to talk about and I'm sure everyone is well and truly sick of hearing about me being sick. Hopefully I'm now ready to fight back and properly resume my training.

However a few things have happened since my last post. First of all I had my 35th birthday and received several triathlon related gifts so hope to tell you about those in future posts. While I have missed a couple of events (some that I'd entered independently and others that are part of the EGTC Winter GP) and haven't been training quite as much as I'd like there have been one or two small triumphs.

One of these was the 1km time trial swim which was part of the Winter GP on 9 February. Despite it being the day after my birthday (meaning I'd treated myself to a few glasses of bubbly) I did it in 18 minutes 26 seconds, taking quite a chunk of my previous best which was 19 minutes 56 seconds.

This Saturday should have been the off-road duathlon that I won entry to. However, as I mentioned I haven't been doing a great deal of running in recent weeks, particulalry of no distance so didn't feel particularly confident about the 8km run, 13km cycle, 4km run off road. This was compounded by the fact that the amount of off-road cycling I'd been planning to do in the weeks before has been severely limited. When I had been out, even since the last post, it involved some embarassing spills so decided to give it a miss.

However as I didn't feel totally on the scrap heat I made it to the Swim/Run event of the Winter GP. Effectively a sprint triathlon without the cycle section, this involved a 500m swim straight into a 5km run. Last year I did it in 34 minutes 15 seconds which I was quite happy with at the time.

However I knew I wasted a lot of time trying to pull on a t-shirt (a lot more cumbesome than you expect when you're soaking wet) and lacing up my trainers on after getting out of the pool. This year I wore my Tri-suit (despite then having to run in the snow!) and had elasticated laces so didn't waste as much time in the transition or have to stop repeatedly to re-tie my trainers. I don't know what my official time was but am pretty confident that I have beaten last year's effort.

And if I have managed to avoid hyperthermia from running through East Grinstead half naked in the snow then hopefully I have well and truly beaten the man-flu!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Kill or cure

Have you missed me? It's been rather a long time since I updated the blog, primarily because I haven't been doing any training. This last bout of man flu really knocked me sideways and as a result I went 10 days without any exercise. Whilst I had intended to wait until I was fully recovered before doing anything too strenuous I have to confess that cabin fever got the better of me and on Tuesday I got out on my mountain bike for a bit of an off-road session. 

As well as feeling quite restless the fact I have the off-road duathlon in just over two weeks was enough of an incentive to get out, even if it wasn't the most sensible option in the long run. And I have to confess I feel a lot better for it. However it wasn't the most enjoyable ride, particularly because I ended up taking a bath in a huge muddy puddle.

Artists impression
 My mountain bike is fitted with SPD's (to the layman pedals that your cycling shoes are attached to and you have to click in and out of.) Having embarassed myself on several occasions, by not being able to get my feet out quick enough and falling down to the side, I decided to play around with tension so that it easier to make the movement smoother. Before heading out I even had a quick test and was satisfied that I could get my foot out of the pedal and down on the floor if I had to make any sudden stops.

However a test on the drive isn't the same as a test in the field and my first test in the field occurred as I came to a sudden stop in the middle of a newly formed lake. I desperately tried to twist my foot out, but without any luck, and down I went soaking myself in the freezing cold water and mud. I was absolutely covered. The only consolation was that while the left side of my body was completely submerged my ride side stayed dry, including the pocket which my brand new iPhone was contained in. Just in case I had any accidents and had to call for help.