A busy few weeks

So my last few weeks have been extremely busy, and usually that’d be enough of an excuse to sack off the training and revert to my old ways.

Fortunately I haven’t done that. Since my last post I have cracked running 10 miles (Although my daily run is 5), I’ve had my first sea swim and tested my new wetsuit, and I have also tested out my cycling kit by having a few rides out in preparation for my bike finally arriving from Ribble.

The highlight of these past few weeks has to be my first sea swim.

I took the kids down to Bovisand and went out for my swim in the bay. No sooner was I in the water, my two eldest were in there with me. No wetsuits to keep them warm, just youthful exuberance. And the water was COLD !

It was great fun splashing around and brilliant to see the kids so happy to be in the water as well.

It really shows that enthusiasm and a sense of excitement can make even the hardest task fun, and that is something I want to carry through to the rest of this adventure.

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I have to say how impressed I am with the wetsuit as well. It makes you so buoyant and swimming in it was a dream. I can’t wait to get a few more swims under my belt.

 

Something that has changed this month has been my own attitude towards………myself.

I was lucky that my birthday coincided with my new hobby, meaning I could basically buy all the equipment I needed right from the outset.

That said, initially I still did all my training  in my old sports kit and barely wore any of my new stuff.

I think it’s because at first I felt like a fraud. I had “all the gear but no idea” as the saying goes, and I genuinely felt embarrassed to be running in compression clothing, or riding wearing a cycling specific getup.

I guess I was kind of worried that people would see this fat, unfit oaf struggling to do whatever activity I was doing at the time and laugh at the level of kit I was sporting.

Well, I’m still a fat knacker but my view of myself has shifted subtly.

I’m now happy to don whatever attire is best suited to my training.

This last 3 weeks I’ve been wearing tights whilst running.

I know that’s a horrific mental image, and a few people who might be reading may be thinking “Well, it’s not the first time he’s worn tights” but these are compression tights.

And now I don’t care what anyone thinks (or is it what I thought of myself?)

I’m no Mo Farah, but now I can now run 10 miles and I’m training every day, I’m finally starting to feel like I can take myself seriously.

And that’s a nice place to be.

 

The final part of this puzzle that I really need to sort is my diet, but now I’ve taken control of the rest of my life I feel like that shouldn’t be to such a challenge.

Time to sacrifice the Ginsters

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7 Week Training Camp…..

Well okay.

I’m not at a training camp as such.

What beginner triathlete goes to a training camp ?

I am though, away from home for 7 weeks on a couple of training courses.

And what with being in the Navy I have my pick of gyms, pools and activities I can do to continue to up my fitness and stamina.

Add to that the fact that my shiny new bike should be arriving sometime mid month, and I have my pick of training available.

So even though I am here to learn about the 30mm DS30M Mark 2 Automated Small Calibre Gun  (the mighty Bushmaster II) and the 4.5 inch Mark 8 Naval gun , it is the training time that this affords me that I am looking forward to the most.

So where am I now.

I’m 84.4kg. Which is a drop 0f around 3.5 kg.

I can happily run for 45 minutes covering about 8km

I can happily do 20 min bike, straight into 30 minutes of running and I can manage 30 minutes breaststroke in the pool without to much drama.

Where do I want to be in 7 weeks

I am quite fearful of doing any real high intensity running as my shins splints play up the harder I run.

So, with that in mind I am going to increase distance rather than speed.

By the end of the 7 weeks I want to be running 12 km in around 1 hour 10 minutes.

I want to have my brick sessions (bike followed by run) up to 40 minutes cycle and 40 minutes run.

And as for time in the pool, I’d really like it if I didn’t drown. At all.

In all seriousness though, I want to be swimming full hour sessions and have a target of 14 consecutive lengths front crawl in the 33 meter pool. That’s 462 meters and although it is less than a third of what I need, I feel it is a realistic goal.
I have also been subtly altering my diet as well, and now the excesses of my birthday are over (takeaway, cake and wine) I’m feeling good again about being on the straight and narrow.

I’m having porridge for my breakfast, a carb packed lunch and a full meal in the evenings,minus the desert.

And although I’m never really feeling full to bursting as I used to after almost every meal, I have to say, I’m not feeling hungry at any point either.

Now I just have to incorporate some core exercises into my boot camp routine, and maybe I can deflate this spare tire around my waist a little……..

Disaster strikes……

Despite my best efforts, and despite trying to avoid the inevitable, the inescapable has happened.

 

I have turned 32.

But in spite of this truly horrific occurrence I am feeling mostly positive.

I say mostly because although my training has been going better than expected (Especially in the run department), my shin splints are back with a vengeance.

And I know why.

I have been so sensible, making sure I stretch correctly before every run, making sure I pace myself and don’t push myself to far to fast.

That is, until my birthday.

Knowing that I would be celebrating with the family that evening (cake, wine and takeaway, oh how I have missed you), thus having no time to train, I decided to have a lunchtime workout.

This left me with a 35 minute window so I decided that I should do as much as I could in that time.

So with minimal warm-up and stretching I set the treadmill so I’d cover 7km in 30mins with a 2% incline.

And within minutes I was in pain. I knew I should stop but I wanted to cover my daily distance so I kept on.

I managed about 6.5km in the end, and was it worth it.

No.

My shins stopped hurting after about 9 minutes so I just kept on.

That is, they stopped hurting until after I had finished my run.

And then they let me know in no uncertain terms what a wally I had just been.

And not just my left shin, they are both painful me know in equal measure.

I now feel I have set myself back a bit due to my own stupidity.

 

Strangely, this setback may work to my benefit in the long run.

Right from the start I have carefully set my goals and targets, and taken note of what I was capable of and what I should be aiming for week on week (working to the 10% increase rule).

And the one time I went against my careful planning it has ended in the full return of an avoidable problem.

Lesson learned.

From now on I will be sticking to my plan.

It’s a shame as I was really starting to love the running part of my training, but I guess I’ll just have to focus on my swimming (read: thrashing wildly and ineffectively whilst in water) and my cycling for a few days.

 

Now, it’s off to bed for me. I have my first outdoor swim tomorrow.

 

 

Outdoor swimming locations.

With the wetsuit ordered and on it’s way that leaves me with something of a quandary.

Where to test it out. And where should I go for my first outdoor swim

I definitely don’t want to try it at an indoor swimming pool, or any swimming pool for that matter.

I can just imagine the scene.

“Mummy, what’s that fat man doing dressed like that?”

“Come away dear, don’t look at him”

So that leaves me with trying to find somewhere to swim.

I asked around, and in the Devon area a few recommendations kept coming up.

Bovisand is a beach where I have taken the kids in the past. And although it’s a recommended swimming spot I don’t really want to try out my wetsuit in front of a crowd.

The same can be said for another oft mentioned swimming spot in Wembury.

So I had to look for somewhere a little quieter, where only my own children could laugh and point at me ridiculously thrashing around in the water.

I decided to search the web and came across a few sites for outdoor swimmers.

The best of the sites I found was http://wildswim.com

It uses Google maps and markers and covers the the entire globe, but mainly focuses on the UK.

You can find spots by type of activity they are good for: Dip, Swim, Journey/crossing, Distance/Endurance, Jumping, Exploring, Skinny Dipping, family friendly.

It was using this site that I have found a reservoir up on Dartmoor.

Apparently it  has lovely clear waters.

I’m not sure if that’s a bonus or not. Do I really want to see all the sharks and murderous jelly fish that will inevitably be drawn to wherever I am swimming when they sense an easy meal.

The swim itself is 400m there and back and to say I can’t wait to try it out is an understatement.

And well, if I don’t get on with the wetsuit, wildswim.com says the reservoir is suitable for skinny dipping…………