My training is taking all sorts of turns. Because I was dropping off my plan for the sub 3 hour marathon in April I was upping the mileage more than the rule of 10% per week. Also, because I was pushed for time, it was basically every run I was doing was trying to raise the bar. Every run. Not a pace run, a long, easy run, sets, rest, then batter it. Go out and run 3 miles at stupid pace. Next run try and run 3½ miles faster, next run try and run 4.
It was a stupid thing to do. I’ve gone and knackered my calf. As soon as I try to go fast it sets and starts hurting. And gets worse the more I push it. I was scared it was a tendon thing, but Dr Google says it’s just a weak muscle or muscle overuse. Too much, too soon. I need that printed on every pair of trainers I buy. The remedy is rest, then slowly build up again. With some strengthening exercises.
I did about 2 runs in 2 weeks. The first it had eased off so I warmed up for 2 miles, as soon as I went fast my calf seized. I managed to shuffle home. The second I started slow but it was hurting so much that I turned around at a mile, but then it eased off so I turned around and managed a 6 mile run.
That was when I hit Dr Google.
Armed with the knowledge and the experience that I could, slowly, push through it, I tried a long, slow run today. I managed a half marathon with no real problems. I’m hoping to build some stamina and maintain some fitness so I can build my speed again. I’m thinking April is out for next year, though. Downer. I’ll try for a flat course later in the year, if I can’t do it for April.
On the bike front I’ve got my fancy pants bike set up on the turbo trainer and I’ve got a monitor and a laptop so I can run Zwift. It’s a computer game that, with all the techno bells and whistles I’ve got fitted, monitors your power (in watts), your pedalling rpm and such, and converts it into your speed and performance in the virtual cycling world of Wattopia. Which all sounds a bit pointless, but the thing is you are on a resistance trainer so it’s all good, hard training. You can see the power and rpm you are pushing out, you get to race against other people from all around the world in real time and there are challenge sections where is suddenly says you’re on a timed section, the best has just finished it in 3 minutes 49, your ETA is 5.45, so you have to go flat out for the length of the challenge to try to beat it. And if, like today, someone comes past you with “such-and-such Tri Club” in their profile you have to thrash them.
Compare that to staring at a wall for an hour and just grinding the pedals.
That’s a generic picture from the game.
I still pour sweat and can’t wait for it to be over, but I reckon I’m getting the absolute maximum from my hour or so on the trainer. I’ve put my Fireblade away for the winter (going to service it and try to sell it. It’s too much fun for my job. I can get an automatic ban in second gear.) so I’ve started cycling my commute again.
I reckon I should really see some gains on the bike in next year’s Outlaw tri.
The other thing is the the swim. I’m not so sure about that coach. He’s determined to get me breathing, which I’ll accept is a prerequisite for anything else, but he keeps saying everything else is fine. It really isn’t. I was looking to see what else I could find and by a stroke of uncommonly good luck, we have a long distance swimming club in Warrington. Channel swimmers and the like. They should know the ropes. They seem keen. They have an hour and a half swim on Friday evenings, and open water swims during the summer. They could sort me right out. Got to keep trying.
Anyway, nothing exciting to report. Just plotting where I am for future reference.