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Tri blogging from Tamworth, Staffordshire
Tri blogging from Tamworth, Staffordshire
I'm new to the sport of Triathlon coming from a running background which I originally took up in Nov '12 in order to lose weight. This is my blog and journey into the world of Triathlon. I have my first sprint under my belt and now I'm aiming for the Outlaw in 2014 !

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My legs are ready to drop off !

owenslaterby owenslaterJun 12th 2013
My legs are ready to drop off at the moment - they're under attack from 2 disciplines, swimming and cycling. However I know it's all for the longer term good and I'm not training in pain (that would be stupid!) just building up to my next race which is getting ever closer and future ambitions.

Monday was rest day as my legs were aching from running 12 miles on Sunday afternoon in the sun.

(See previous blog "When anyone tells me I can't do anything - I'm just not listening")

I was waiting for my new cycling shoes to arrive at the local Halfords so as to have an excuse to pop out for a ride on the bike. Sadly, they didn't arrive as expected so that was a missed opportunity...

Instead during lunch time I finally organised my first sportive and went for the Mendip Sportive, selecting the standard race of 61 miles and duly paid my £28. This nicely fills a gap I have in my race calendar in the month of August just after I come back off holiday.
Having registered for the VLM 2014 & Blenhiem Triathlon 2014 I started to think about getting a 2014 wall planner in order to start properly mapping out my 2014 Triathlon season so as to have a structured build up to my A race of 2014. So I quickly hopped onto Amazon and within seconds one was on order !

I really want to push out and do 70.3 races, Olympic and Middle distance races in 2014 particularly the Outlaw half, Liverpool and maybe one other like the Monster middle in Cambridge.

Tuesday morning I was up at 6.20am and quickly out on the bike. It was drizzling lightly but that only helps to cool you down as you ride. The roads were not too greasy thankfully. There were not many people around for the first part of my 1hr ride but I was rewarded with sight of 2 sets of goslings still trying to have a lie-in !
My legs are ready to drop off !
My legs are ready to drop off !
My legs are ready to drop off !
Surprisingly there wasn't anyone using the outside gym !

As time wore on the traffice increased and my loop took me back home before I knew it. 12 miles completed, a fairly light workout. In my next ride I'll be adding in another loop and that'll mean getting up earlier to fit it in.

Later that evening I went out running with my club ( for a 6 mile run around the fields and canals in the surrounding area. It was a hot muggy night and it also involved too many encounters with nettles !
My legs are ready to drop off !
You'll notice there are various pauses on the route as our club has a policy of 'run backs' at certain points to the last runner to encourage them to stay with the group. On this run the last person was pretty close to everyone so I took the opportunity to have a quick 30 second break !

Wednesday rolls around quickly each week and is my version of the Long slow run but in the swimming baths ! A 1,500 metre in about 50mins using the adult swim session from 9pm-10pm. This session is used to put into practice the things learnt from the previous Swimfit session ( and this evening it was concentrating on the leg kick. As a result my lazy left leg started to cramp up (3 times) but I persevered on relaxing the leg as much as possible. Basically it's objecting to having to work as much nowadays! I focussed on keeping the toes pointed and my feet near the surface; kicking with my legs close together and shallow leg movements as opposed to the big wide kicks I had previously been doing.
There was one fly in the ointment though - I left my shower gel and shampoo at home !

Thursday lunchtime saw me finally try out my new cleated SPD cycling shoes. The prior evening I fitted the new pedals to my bike. Thankfully the old ones had been greased and came off easily. I applied some new grease and on they went.
My legs are ready to drop off !
Fitting the SPD cleat to my new shoes was another matter - the instructions were rubbish ! This of course is where YouTube comes in handy :o)

After watching a couple of videos I was a lot clearer...

I realised that my shoes had some of the fittings already built in and that I didn't need all of the parts in the pedal box, which was puzzling me up to that point ! So 10 mins later everything was fitted and the only thing left to do was go out for a test ride.

I decided for my first outing to take a 8 mile (there and back) ride into the retail park to buy some lunch. I have to say it didn't take long too get used to the new set up and it did feel better. I found myself having to plan junctions and roundabouts better in order to decide whether to stop and unattach my shoe or just slow down and slot into the next gap.

I got back just in time as the weather turned from bright and sunny to rain...

I think I'll be tweaking the pedals a little but otherwise I'm sure it's been a worthwhile investment. I felt more connected to the bike and felt as if I was getting more out of each pedal cycle. I'll be comparing various rides from before and after to see what actual gains I get. If you're reading this blog in the UK and you're in the market for some riding shoes but don't want to spend a fortune then here's the link to the ones I bought.

The next day my calves were aching a bit which I guess is from a change in position in riding style with the cleats keeping your feet firmly in one position.

Swimfit was relentless with pretty much the whole session concentrating on leg work. Both coaches said as a group we all have the same problem - that being we skipped a leg kick halfway through a length. That meant length after length of leg drills with floats, vertical hold float work, invisible floats and finally speed work ! I clocked a 23 second length at the end which was not too bad.

I admit to being tired the following Saturday morning as I got up at 6.15am to go out for a 90min bike ride, however it had been forecast to be dry up to 11am in my area so I figured it was best to make hay whilst the sun shone!

I had the previous day use an app on my iphone called Walkjogrun - it's a useful little app that will suggest to you multiple routes in your area over a range of distances to suit you. I've found it useful as my work often takes me new places and it's a great way of finding a run. You can just as easily use it for biking.
My legs are ready to drop off !
I adapted the route so that it would take me past the Dosthill Quarry which is the local open water venue and where I intend to start swimming in the very near future. The route had a few hills in it and made good use of some quiet roads as I rode throught the village of Kingsbury and down into Dosthill. Within 5 mins of riding I was feeling alot more awake and was glad I had dragged myself out of bed.

On this ride I paid more attention to how everything felt. I've come to the conclusion I need to tighten up my right pedal and also adjust my seat. However it was a definite improvement and now makes me want to spend more time out on the bike. My seat is a little on the old side so that will probably be my next investment for the bike.

Before long I was about half-way round and near the quarry. Here is where I'll be braving the open water in preparation for my next race.
My legs are ready to drop off !
My legs are ready to drop off !
My legs are ready to drop off !
My legs are ready to drop off !
I was back home for 8am which was just in time for the kids getting up for breakfast and of course the obligatory bacon sandwich :o)

Today is, of course, Father's day :o) So no training today. As triathletes we spend a lot of time training and also in competition throughout the season. If you're like me I have races of differant types booked 12 months a year ! Balance is important and making sure you take time out for your family needs to be on the priority list. Hence is was out for local Italian on the previous day and down to the local nature reserve playing with pneumatic rockets, kites and walking around the duck pond.

Next week I'll be increasing the mileage a little more and fingers acrossed the good weather will hold for us all :o)

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sarahleonardby member: sarahleonard, Jun 19th 2013 11:58
Another really excellent blog. I love that you put in so much detail and the maps are great. No one does seem to use those outdoor gyms do they...shame. We have some less gym like and more old school equipment (like logs and pull up bars) at our local park and I used to love doing circuits round that. What I also love about your blog is that it reminds me about just how many great options for clubs and training sessions are available out there. If you're motivated to look then there really are loads of options and itdoesn't have to break the bank!
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