Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Next Challenge

Hmmmmm, only 2 and half years since my last post, but nevermind.

First a bit of background.  Around this time last year, I did something to my shoulder.  Not sure what it was or how I did it, but it hurt when I lifted my arm above my head, pulled anything up or tried to pick up the kids.

I buried my head in the sand and hoped it would just fix itself, but to no avail - in fact it just got worse.  I stopped going to the gym, mountain biking and even road biking because my shoulder hurt so much.  In the end I went to a physio who sorted me out, but in the meantime I started running again.

Christmas last year I was running 3 times a week for about 5km at about 5min/km pace (25mins for a run then).  About the same time I got the OK from the physio to start training again, but I wanted to try and do both the running and cycling.  I started running at lunchtimes at work and continued cycling the 50km to work once a week and the odd mtb session on the Quantocks.

In March we also joined Taunton School gym, which has two indoor swimming pools and a gym, all of which the family can use for a bargain £30 a month!  I was already running and cycling and now I had a swimming pool to use - the seed was sown.

At the end of March I signed up for a sprint distance triathlon being run at Taunton School and began training.  I'd not swam more than 2 lengths since lifeguarding 16 years ago, but just got down to the task at hand.

I also took advantage of the online training app micoach (for running) and Strava (for cycling) to get me up the hills that little bit faster.

By the time the triathlon came around at the beginning of June, I had reduced my 400m swim time by two and half minutes and my 5km run by over 5 minutes.

The end result was a pretty good time and a creditable 45th place:

Although I'm quite pleased with my time, a quick look at the stats shows several areas where I can improve my time without having to improve my fitness:
  • Swim - I can reduce my time by a minute by just doing 16 lengths instead of the 18 I did (!!!!)
  • Swim to Bike transition - This was rubbish.  I can reduce this time by not drying feet and not putting on socks.  A race belt will also help here as it will already have my race number pinned to it.
  • Bike to Run transition - This was truly appalling.  The main chunk of time here was due to having to safety pin my number onto the front of my suit.  Again, the race belt should improve this time significantly.
The changes above should improve my time by at least 2 minutes, which would have pushed me into the mid-30 placings.

I've just spent the past week and a half drinking wine and eating chocolate cake after the race.  I'm bored now and ready for the next challenge and have just applied to do the Langport Triathlon in September.  Lets see how we get on with this one...

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