I lay awake this morning listening to the wind and rain and said to myself “Self, you’re going out on the bike today regardless – if the weather’s bad it’ll be excellent training”.
Speaking of training it’s worthwhile explaining a few things. To start with I carry a couple of injuries, as you would expect at my age. Whilst at University I played basketball regularly. Not to any great standard (like my nephew Jacob who plays for GB), more so just to pass the time a bit in between lectures and have a laugh. During one especially hilarious episode we’d pushed the back-board up against the wall of the gym in order to run up, push of the wall and do some slam dunks. After a couple of these I snapped my achilles tendon. Three months in plaster, nice!
At some point in my mid-20’s I also managed to injure ligaments in my shoulder whilst at the gym doing shoulder presses. I’ve had asthma since childhood. During one triathlon I managed to come off my bike going into T2 and I dislocated my finger! The point is there are a couple of things not quite working optimally which has meant I have to change my approach to training in some ways. For example, stretching my ITB (in addition to other stretches) religiously before running to avoid Achilles tendinitis or, in the days leading up to a race being very careful with my medication.
It’s not all bad though! From the ages of 10 to 14 I swam competitively for my Borough which is a good base for triathlon. I understand the majority of elite triathletes come from a running background which is fine, I’m not an elite athlete. The thing people have most said to me is “I could do the ride and the run, but swimming? I hate it!!!”. Unfortunately, without a strong swim you’ll come out of the water exhausted which will negatively impact your bike ride. If your swim isnt great then get some training. I had some specific training on my leg kick 18 months ago at my local pool and it’s worked wonders.
Two years ago I also took a 12 week running course which was a complete eye opener and changed my training regime in a big way. Up until that point I was trying to get PBs every run I did, and not much else to be honest. Now I run in a mindful way, focusing on each aspect of my form in addition to varying my distances and techniques such as hill training and intervals. This year I will get some riding in with a club and find a course to see what I can learn about cycling.
The reason I wrote this post is because I’m probably similar to many people who think about their ability (or injuries!) before going for a run or a bike ride or whatever. You plan ahead, make your adjustments as you go and then you learn from your mistakes – or a good coach helps you avoid them altogether!
My next post will be again on Health: Apps & Iron