Monday, February 21, 2011

Week 6 / 20

Last week was quite "pesado" (heavy) - over 19 hours training and most of that on the bike. My bum is pretty sore but what made the week a pain in the butt more than saddle sores was the weather, which was like a typical week in London. After Monday, I gave up trying to commute to work off-road as my wheel got wedged in another mud bank and I went flying over the handlebars (again) and instead went the long way around on the back roads. I ended up doing my long rides at the weekend on my trusty mountain bike either because it was raining or because it was foggy and the roads were covered in debris. I'm beginning to think that I should have bought a triathlon specific bike instead of the road bike and opted to the bulk of my training on my mountain bike. It is much slower and heavier, of course, but I found it much easier to stick to my pulse rate targets with the much wider selection of gears. Also, my shoulder is much less painful and yet I think that it is getting strengthened in the right measures by riding the mountain bike. Lastly, you really don't care how fast you are going (although I have to say that I did enjoy overtaking "roadies" now and again).

I went for a short run outside near my work on Friday and was astonished to see how low my pulse rate was compared to my perceived effort (except when I was surprised to see a 3 foot snake in my path which was luckily already dead). It seems like Maffetone was right in that it now feels like fairly hard work to get my pulse up to 150. As the weather gets hotter I expect my pulse rate will rise again but, for now, it is a nice confirmation that I am doing something right.

This week is going to be quite a challenge - 22 hours, 5 of which are on Wednesday (plus, as it happens, I have my heart check up that day which involves running to exhaustion on a treadmill). I've decided to take the day as holiday because it is just too much to do on a work day. Although it probably won't mean much to you, here is the plan for this week:

I just got sent the full training programme from now until the Ironman. At a quick glance, there are only one or two weeks heavier than this week - the maximum number of hours is about 25. It is quite a sacrifice, and not just for me but for the whole family. On Saturday I got up early (as usual), put on my kit and went downstairs at which point Luca, my eldest son, started to sob. I asked him what was wrong and he said "I don't want you to go running I want to spend some time with you". This is one of the things I have to remember once I am an Ironman...

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