Monday, December 11, 2017

Getting back into it - building up a solid winter base

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I think you can safely say I am in winter training.  My Triblogs records for November show a total of just over 48 hours of training (8:10 swimming, 20:42 cycle/turbo, 14:56 running, 4:20 gym).

Apart from the Chilly Duathlon and the odd running or turbo intervals session, the training has almost exclusively been in zones 1 and 2 - pure aerobic stuff.

I know we're all different, but I do sometimes wonder when I read Twitter posts or Facebook comments from fellow amateur athletes talking about having 'smashed' a session at the track or in the pool.

I guess many of us feel the need to 'smash' a session occasionally; I know I do! But a year further into my triathlon training and I think I coming to better understand the value of periodisation - the concept of working almost exclusively in an aerobic capacity during the early stages of the off-season and then focusing more on the speedwork as you get closer to 'A' races in the following year.

A large part of this comes down to trust.  My coach and I don't always have the easiest of relationships (I say that because I think ultimately it's a good thing, if it was all too comfortable I don't think we would push each other hard enough), yet at this time of year I really need to trust that easing back and training at an 'easy' pace is going to deliver some benefit in the long run.

Having had some issues with my chest, which I am still not convinced are 100% resolved, hasn't helped too much.  Or perhaps it has.  On the one hand, coach is deliberately avoiding giving me harder sessions to avoid potentially aggravating the chest issue, while on the other it is perhaps preventing me from doing sufficient anaerobic work to keep my speed up. Either way, I think I need to bite the bullet and try to get myself sent for at least a chest x-ray, if not an appointment with a specialist.

For now, however, I'm sticking to the plan and ignoring the jealousy pangs (or is it guilt pangs?) when I read about other guys setting new PBs or pushing themselves to the edge.  I just need to get better at reminding myself that I'd rather set PBs in race season than winter!

I guess we'll see if coach was right in a couple of months - like last year, my first 'proper' race is going to the be the Wokingham Half-Marathon in early February.  Hopefully a strong winter base and correct in-race nutrition will see me break that so-far elusive 1:30 barrier.

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Matt Fisher runs TriathletesDiary.com - so it's all his fault! He pretends to be a triathlete, but really he is a husband, father and company VP. But he has raced for the GB Age Group squad a few times and is a 2014 qualifier for the IM70.3 world champs

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