Here we go again?

This was a line from dear hubby when I was talking about my possible return to racing again this weekend. I’m hoping I do not become the same highly strung race addict that I was back then?!

I have been doing some further research into the aquabike race that I am hoping to do: there are some hidden facts uncovered that I did not necessarily bank on:

The swim is a beach start

Which means this triathlon without the run leg starts with a run. Not fair! Plus, the beach in Wanaka is a stoney one, so my already ungainly I have a knee replacement attempt at a run is about to become even more ungainly!

The race does not finish on the bike

This was a huge shock when I found this out! I have to dismount, rack the bike in transition and run to the finish line. yes RUN…!!! So wait a minute… this race that is a triathlon without the run STARTS AND FINISHES WITH A RUN!

The training plan

‘If you train slow, you will race slow’

I know that I need to make a periodised plan working backwards from race day, but loosely speaking, here is my plan.

Base training; bike

I’m aiming to have 1 long bike session a week. I have already been working towards this plan and this is quite different from the types of training I did when I was last racing. This is now all about endurance. I have gradually been increasing the length of this long ride and I am now at around 2 hours. My focus here is time on the bike rather than the distance covered. This week’s was done on the indoor trainer with The sufferfest to accompany me!

I have had several drills to complete on the bike these last few weeks to build leg strength and I actually discovered through doing this that there’s something wrong with my bike shoes. I should have known when Timehop reminded me of a photo ten years ago, where I was wearing the same shoes!

So, I guess I’m going to throw them out then!

This is the first time my ride has gone to a length where it really feels like a long session. As soon as I stopped, I was freezing and also starving! Oh the joys of long distance training! I’m also going to have to start trialling different food options, someone even told me I should buy jet planes!

In addition to the long ride, I also aim to complete at least two shorter rides, these ones will include strength and speed work. I am aiming to get the long ride up to around 4.5 hours before I stop extending it and just keep completing a ride of the same length each week.

This is not all that I do, I love to get off the road and into the bush. My favourite walk is Forest Hill. The reason is that its short and steep (at the Locheil end anyway!) and if I walk up it really fast its about as close as I can get to the feeling of running, without actually running! I have a new PB for Forest Hill – started pre – knee replacement at 35 mins. I am now down to 21 minutes!

Base training: swim

I already have my long swim up to the target distance (3km) so I simply aim to repeat this once a week for now. I have also been doing a 2.5km swim in addition to this, but I am aware that I should start including some drills and longer interval speed work into that second session at some time soon.

This will be the first time that I have coached myself, so I will need to be very organised and work this all out properly into a calendared sequence: I do much better with specific lists and exact training plans!

9 months to go… and I am still waiting for confirmation that the Wanaka aquabike race is actually a selection race!

Author: Melanie Magowan

I am a massage therapist and part time athlete

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