Greyhound and a Bunny

I have finally reached recovery (well – rest/test) week – after four weeks hard interspersed with one week chest infection it’s quite a relief. I had planned a little spin session this morning, but the schedule says ‘rest’ and I had the voices of various tri coaches/athletes I’ve spoken to for features in my head – reinforcing the need for rest for the body to actually adapt to training. That, and I haven’t blogged in far too long so I thought a bit of rest time could be well utilized.

The second to last week of the last build really got to me. Where when training myself I would generally put a hard session in the AM and an easy session in the PM, I was suddenly faced with long, or hard, or both, session on both ends of the day.

The majority of theses sessions the key focus was almost just going through the motions, getting through each interval or set, not putting everything in like I did in Summer. After all, now is about fitting in the miles. There were two sessions, however, that stick in my mind the most as more successful.

The first was a treadmill session, where the intervals were laid out to me with the speed in kph I was meant to hit for each one. Where usually sets might differentiate between level 1,2,3,4 or 5, (1 being easy, 5 being balls out/vomit inducing) – which can of course be open to interpretation depending on my mood – in this case I didn’t have a choice.

I nearly expired during this session, but I got to the end of it knowing I had worked hard and that I’d put in an effort that will no doubt bring dividends. And I can keep working on it and will be able to track progress when I add to the speed.

The second session was actually the last before recovery week settled into being. It was Thursday. I had done an interval bike/run brick that morning – and I had a long enough swim to go. I was expecting the session to go down like a lead balloon in a storm.

The session began with a steady swim, then gave way to sets of 100s. I finished the steady swim, with the lane all to myself – the pool was almost empty. As I neared the end on the final lap, a man hovers at the edge of the pool, examines the lanes, and plonks himself in mine.

Before beginning my 100s, I wait for him to reach the other end of the pool. The logic being there is a 50% chance of him being faster than me, and a 50% chance of him being slower, therefore if I let him swim 25 of 50 metres before I start it seems appropriate.

I blasted 100m number one, looked up and spotted he was approximately half way down the pool. And it occurs to me this could be a fun game.

So, I let him reach the end of the pool, and as he turns, I begin 100m number two. On finishing, my lane buddy was around 1 quarter of the way down the pool. And on it went. I got through my 100s and I had a swell time doing it. Let’s just hope, keeping his head under the water, my greyhound-bunny never knew his role.

With no races, no finish line to chase, training at this time of year can get monotonous. A bit of competition, be it with a computerised treadmill or an unknowing victim, is needed from time to time, to keep it all on track.

Saturday rides with friends serve the same purpose, and if I could find the time I’d like to train with the running club – and if I could find the money, the swimming club. This isn’t always convenient though. For now I suppose I will just have to find competition where I can.

Going through the motions, and totting up the miles is good, but competition needs to stay in mind. Rest/test week, of course, this becomes quite paramount too – swim 400m test tomorrow, bike 10mile TT being Thurs, and 5k run race on Saturday. Having recorded last months times, that should be enough to chase. With the clock in mind, lets hope I can slice off some seconds.

Published by michellearthurs

I'm an NCTJ Journalist and work at Cycling Weekly. Previous to this, I was the Editor at Total Women's Cycling. I've also dabbled in marketing and copywriting - having been Marketing Coordinator and Social Media/Content Editor at Evans Cycles. My first job was working on a local newspaper.  I've written for a variety of titles on a freelance basis, too. I got into cycling when I entered my first triathlon in 2010. I now race crits, road races, time trials, and do a lot of track training for not very much track racing.

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