Welcome back folks. It’s been a while since the last post, revision for University exams has taken up virtually every spare moment over the course of the last two weeks. After much hard work the first year of my Sports Science degree is finally over and I now have time to sit down and write something without feeling lazy or guilty. Here goes.

A fortnight ago I took the first few tentative steps towards becoming a triathlete. I last swam seriously as an under eleven, the highlight of that venture was winning the 50m freestyle at my primary school swimming gala if memory serves. Since then much has happened which is to say I’ve forgotten most of what I learned in the water. That first session was nothing less than an embarrassment. Standing at the edge of the pool looking bleary eyed following a 7AM start and sporting a pair of ancient swim shorts that really have seen better days. My physique is classic for a cyclist, muscular legs coupled with a much less flattering upper body complete with what I’ve nicknamed the revision belly. Not exactly an inspiring sight.

Rather embarrassingly I struggled to swim a mere 25m, I could hear my ten year-old self scoffing from a distance. It’s surprisingly easy to forget to breathe when concentrating very hard on technique, only realising your mistake when it’s too late and having to stop and gasp for air. Fortunately after a few more sessions I’m starting to get the hang of it again, slowly but surely becoming faster and stronger. Inspite of this any thoughts of a good swim time come September have long since been put to rest, my goal for the first leg of the Half-Ironman will simply be not to drown.

Running has proved to be something of a headache, you could be forgiven for thinking my feet were made of glass judging by how injury prone they seem to be. Quite why I felt absolutely fine following a four mile run yet ended up semi-crippled after doing five miles a week later I will never know. It looks as if a conservative approach will be needed in order to complete the final leg of the 70.3 without the need for crutches.

Juggling three sports is already proving to be a challenge in more ways than one. It’s meant early starts, planning a week well in advance and generally having to be very organised (something which doesn’t exactly come naturally to me). I’ve decided to break with tradition and adopt a reverse periodisation approach to my training, for anyone who doesn’t know this involves starting off with high intensity sessions and increasing volume later on. To my mind it makes sense, especially when training for a long distance event – *the principle of specificity still applying. If nothing else, shorter sessions are much easier to fit in around work and revision.

It’s a daunting task, getting ready for a multi-sport endurance test with only 3.5 months of specific training. Nonetheless it does make a nice change, no more lying awake at night worrying about crashing during a crit race and ending up in an ambulance. It’s been a long time since I last enjoyed training this much, with three sports to worry about there is very little in the way of monotony. For now improvements in swimming and running performance will be large and won’t require much in the way of structured sessions – a good morale boost while it lasts. Anyway, time to change the subject.

I’m writing this surrounded by piles of unpacked bags and boxes after having only returned home yesterday evening and lacking the energy and motivation needed to go through it all. I’ll look back on the last nine months with a sense of fondness, a much more enjoyable experience when compared with my first ┬áill-fated attempt at University. I’ve made some good friends and discovered some truly spectacular places to ride.

It hit me yesterday during the course of my last ride in Devon before going home. Sat outside my favourite Cafe, looking out over the sea whilst tucking into the best piece of carrot cake I have ever seen. A realisation that I had definitely made the right decision, starting again with a course I liked and a place genuinely enjoyed living in. Life is finally on track, let’s just conveniently forget about that year of wasted tuition fees.

 

Thanks for reading.

*The closer you get to your A-priorty event, the more like the event training sessions should be.

 

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