Recovery: Post-triathlon training camp and a little swim
As I wrote when I was in at Playitas on Fuerteventura in the Canaries with the Glasgow Triathlon Club, normal can mean something very different. A normal day on a triathlon training camp included an hour’s swim session, a long bike or run followed by a shorter bike or run. This didn’t seem unusual because everyone was doing the same kind of training and it was only for a week.
In fact, I could have done more cycling or running but I chose to keep the training to a reasonable “sensible” level because I am currently being coached towards a few World Champs Triathlon qualifiers taking place in June. (I shared a room with my coach, the Mighty Vickster, and she acted as my voice of reason over the week of training!)
But, of course, when I returned home last week I was pretty knackered. The travelling adds to the tiredness and then being faced with a ton of catch-up work meant I didn’t have the chance to properly rest. Bad timing meant that after only two days back home I set off again to take part in a work assignment, cycling the Great Glen Way for a magazine article.
By early this week I was beginning to feel a bit less exhausted and a yoga session with my lovely coach helped to iron out a few tight muscles. But, still, you can’t underestimate the need for your body to fully recover after a week of full-on swimming, running and cycling.
Time for a swim time trial
So, last night, when I finally made it to the pool at 8pm (after a day of work that began at 8.30am and went on until 7.30pm and included the covering/writing about of an event in Glasgow city centre) I was pretty sure a proposed 400m and 200m time trial would be a total failure. I had to force myself to make it to the pool and so many times I wondered if I should just go home and sleep. But I didn’t want to let myself, or my coach down, and so I made it into the pool. The Mighty Vickster had said not to worry if my times didn’t show a great deal of improvement when compared to couple of months ago because the week at Playitas could have impacted on my strength and conditioning in the short-term.
After a long-ish warm up I was ready to leave the pool. I felt surprisingly okay while swimming but I just couldn’t face the disappointment if I swam a slower 400m and 200m than the last time. I am not expecting to become a dolphin swimmer but I would like to improve my 750m swim by about 30 seconds when I come to racing.
So I told myself to get on with it. I turned on my Garmin, started the stopwatch and swam. The first few lengths felt good and strong, the next few felt surprisingly okay, the next few felt like a slog and the final few four lengths of the total 16 were agony. All this is normal, I told myself! And the clock told me I’d knocked 10 seconds off my PB. Nice.
A recovery and easy swim was followed by a 200m timed swim. This time I knocked 6 secs off my PB. If I’m honest I would have liked to have seen a little bit more improvement but swimming is a technical sport and after seeing myself filmed swimming on holiday I know I have many, many weak technical points.
During the cool down and a shower I reasoned with myself that my times were quicker, even if they are not as fast as I imagine I swim. So I gave myself a wee pat on the back. I hadn’t felt like putting myself through the time trials and I was still suffering the after effects of the triathlon training camp but I’d managed to get in the pool and put in the effort.
Back home I ate a large bowl of home-made beany casserole and sunk happily into bed. The G-Force gave me a good talking to and told me to be pleased with two PBs! Training is progressing well thanks to the Mighty Vickster and I’m feeling positive about being in good shape for the June World Champs qualifiers. Well, I hope so anyway!