It's Triathlon, Not Swim, Bike, Run

If I don't feel fit for running, then I don't feel fit overall. It doesn't matter how well I am performing in swimming or cycling, or any other activity, if my run isn't working, then it all doesn't feel right. I've put in some better training over the last few days. I think the 4 days where I directed my attention elsewhere (slacked off?), may have actually been a good thing. I've nearly completed my initial break-in training and in just over a week I'll be starting on a more directed program.

My swimming is progressing as it should, I am starting to develop a feel for the water. My local muscle endurance is way off the mark, but that was to be expected. My backside is getting used to spending time in the saddle, and my legs are remembering how to spin round and round. As for running, I feel like I've taken a few steps back. I went to the track this morning for an aerobic capacity session. During the dynamic warm-up I felt very uncoordinated. The warm-up involves technique drills and low-grade plyometrics which usually have me feeling light and ready for some fast running. Not today. Instead I felt like my legs were full of lead and the running wasn't that quick. I had originally planned to run 3x2000m, instead I shortened this to 3x1600m which seemed about right in the end.

Even though it feels like it is, my running isn't really going backwards. I have just completed about three weeks of triathlon training after about a full year off doing any swimming or cycling. Therefore, as far as my body is concerned, this training is new. The body has to go through quite an extensive adaptation phase when significantly different training is introduced. An expected symptom is a temporary reduction in performance level. The key word here is temporary.

I guess it also depends on how I look at improvement. Thinking of the sport as merely a swim, then a cycle followed eventually by a run just doesn't cut it. It is hard to remain objective when you are your own coach, but objectivity is always required when reassessing training. If I think about it, I am progressing in my triathlon fitness. My body shape is changing. My quads are taking on a more pronounced shape and the musculature in my shoulders and upper back has definitely increased. I can now swim and ride for longer and in more comfort than a few weeks ago. The only problem is my running just doesn't feel good. Not much to complain about really.

Where to from here? I think I am often impatient and want to get into the big hard sessions as soon as possible. Never a good idea to rush into this type of training. So I'll commit to following a similar structure for the next week and finish this phase of training with a running race of 12km before embarking on the next focus. In the meantime I also have to ensure I don't neglect the mundane chores of life. I have slacked off in this area a bit of late, luckily I have a wife who is there bring me back on track.

"The single most important concept I have incorporated into my life is the courage to question established protocols... if that (out-dated) ideology had been upheld, then we would still be doing bloodletting on a flat planet whose sun orbits it." - Hulon Hayes


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