A week in the life of a come-back athlete!

For the first time in what seems like a lifetime, I have managed fitness each and every day of the week this week! This makes me incredibly happy and symbolises for me another reason why this hellish operation was worth every bit of the agony I have and are still going through.

Having a target to aim for definitely helps but actually this will be the first time in – like – ever, that I have been self coached! That set sup a whole heap of doubts right there, even though I should quite clearly know what I am talking about, since I do it for a job!

I am doing my best to NOT let work rule the roost. I have quite simply had nothing else to have to worry about for years now, but its time to exercise a boit of balance again and look after myself for a while.

So the goal this week was as follows:


1 x 3km steady swim, 1 x sprints session. I am sticking with the 2 x 5 x 50m at the moment. It is quite a short session but I need to be able to complete it with ease before I start making it longer or harder! Plus, i have a limited time slot to do this session in on Wednesday morning now, so I have to use my time wisely.

The sprints session went well this week. This is only the second time I have done it so I was not expecting much. I used to be able to knock a 50m sprint out on around 46 seconds. At the moment I am at 54 seconds. BUT…. this week I knocked 1 second of two of them, 2 seconds off two of them and was NOT slower on the others. I see that as progress. The aim is to improve the anaerobic fitness in the pool which in turn will improve my overall swim speed at distance. Each minute I save on the swim is time I gain on the bike… and these wee legs need all the assistance they can get right now!


We’re coming into winter and I knew this would happen when I was given an October date for the knee replacement. Just as I am finding my cycling legs again, the nights close in and the weather turns crappy! So, more of my bike sessions have been on the indoor trainer than is ideal, but you have to make the best of what you have, right?

I always have the kiwi cat guardian sitting at my wheel for company, even if the scenery doesn’t change! I am using the Sufferfest training videos at the moment, which really help to keep me focussed on the longer rides when they end up being indoors. The aim here is 4 rides a week, one long (and incrementally increasing by 15 mins a week) plus two to three shorter ones, including a strength and a speed session.

This week I exceeded the goal, despite it being a really crappy start to my working week. Speed on the road is still a touch under the target, but the stats suggest that my strength and power are improving so all the leg exercises work is starting to pay off, and I do have plenty of time yet. (even though the impatient in me wants it NOW!!!)

The long ride is now up to 2.5 hours in the saddle, and the butt is quite simply not used to all that time! Ouchee!

Other fitness opportunities

I chose to take some time out away from work on Tuesday. It was a sunny day so I walked the estuary. This was the first walk I did after the knee op, and I remember it feeling like 90 miles! So it always makes me happy to go for a stroll around that loop (was 60 mins, now 40!) and I can now walk it relatively effortlessly, when I couldn’t before.

And in other knee news…

Two things happened this week that I cannot tell you how excited I am about!

Foot grab

I can finally catch my foot behind for a quad stretch! You have no idea how much this has frustrated and eluded me!

I can finally hop on the TKR leg!

Sometimes tiny things mean the most and both of these tiny things have been bugging me for a long time. I am so pleased that I can still confidently see progress, even at the 6 month + mark!

Author: Melanie Magowan

I am a massage therapist and part time athlete

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