Training updates

I just got home from another fun Tuesday night race.  In spite of the fact that I am officially burnt out on racing, I still enjoy the Tuesday night races, largely because I have no hope whatsoever of doing well, and so there is no pressure.  I just hang out in the back, watch what is going on, and get a good workout.  I like hanging out in the very back these days because from there I can see clearly what the people up front are doing as they ride around the corners.  That way I keep an eye on where Hobgoblin is — and he’s generally up front somewhere, usually winning or in the top five.  He’s leading the series by a ridiculous number of points.  At this point, I’m much more interested in how he does than how I do.

So my triathlon training is going pretty well, all things considered.  My feet don’t protest the running too much, although I run only a very little way.  I started with a mile and am all the way up to a mile and a quarter!  Yes, it will take me quite a while before I can run a marathon, but I hope to get there one day.  The doctor tells me I can increase my mileage by 10% each week or 15% at most, assuming I have no serious pain, so you can see how slow the whole process is.

But the big news in my training is that I am now taking swimming lessons.  I can get myself across a pool, and can even do it a decent number of times, but I can’t do it with anything like proper technique, so I decided to get myself some lessons before my bad habits get any further ingrained.  My teacher, who was very patient in the face of my occasional incomprehension, gave me some drills to do, and a workout to do on my own, and I’m so happy to have some direction, instead of just floundering around trying to figure out the right way to swim but not really getting it.

My goal is to run and swim three times a week and ride my bike four times a week, or perhaps three if I do long rides.  All that is easy to do right now, although it will be more of a challenge when school starts.  I had my eye on a September triathlon I thought I might be able to do, but I don’t think I’ll be ready for the running part of it.  But that’s okay — if all goes well, I’ll compete in triathlons beginning in the late spring, and that will give me plenty of time to figure out what I’m doing.


Filed under Cycling, Triathlon

11 responses to “Training updates

  1. I must say that I read your training diaries with interest and fascination and amazement.

    I find that gradually, at this late date (I’m 41), I’m becoming a bit of an athlete.

    I ran a 10K 10 days ago and came in 2nd to last. I was deeply dispirited, though I still feel proud to have run…

    The whole notion of recovery, training, injuries, marathons, triathalons still feels really foreign.


  2. You sound so busy, but I admire the variety of sports you are working on. I learned to swim when I was young, but I bet I’d be awful at it now, since it’s been ages since I’ve gone to a pool. Good luck on the training–it’s good you’re pacing yourself and your doctor is involved, too. And I bet there is far less stress with the cycling since you’re just going to sit back and relax a bit for the rest of the season. It sounds like the Hobgoblin is doing very well!


  3. Still in complete awe of you, Dorothy!

    And yay for the Hobgoblin, too!


  4. May I ask what race you went to last night? Mr. Suitcase does Tues. night bike races too, but I got there late so may have missed you.

    Swimming lessons sound like a lot of fun, especially because you can do it outdoors this time of year. When I’m on my bike on a hot Saturday afternoon, and pass all those people relaxing on the beach, I get envious. 🙂


  5. Being largely self-taught in many categories, I often reject lessons, but I can see how learning something like swimming would be much better done with expert advice. I took a lot of lessons as a young child and I can get myself across a lake or other large body of water; however, I do a lot of the “floundering about” on the way there. It would be much nicer to do it smoothly and efficiently. Normally I use a breast stroke for long distances because I can do it well and it is efficient, but in a race I imagine crawl would be preferred and mine is sloppy at best.

    Best of luck with your running issues. Don’t push things too hard. If you play it smart, I’m sure you’ll reach your goals.


  6. Burnout? Sounds like you have as much ambition for the training, but just a shift in focus. Major props for trying a Tri – I hate running too much. And I can’t swim. Will enjoy following your progress though!


  7. Your training never ceases to amaze me. I wish I were athletic enough to do what you do. I know I could do it just for myself, but I have a rather competitive nature and if I can’t win or be near the front then it’s no fun. That’s probably a bad attitude to have but I’m not very good at self-motivation when it comes to physical activities. If I knew someone else at my skill level it would be fun because we could challenge each other, but by myself, not so much.


  8. I’m sorry about your foot problem. Remember not to overuse it–do what your Dr. says!

    With the swimming, it might help if you try to breathe as little as possible–maybe every 4th or 5th armstroke. It helped me when I was competing because I had a tendency to “flounder” on occassion. Waiting for the next breath kept me steady.

    I really admire you, Dorothy! And you’re smart too!


  9. I am also in awe. I can’t even imagine doing the same kind of training. I am cheering for you though!


  10. Anne — how wonderful that you ran a 10K! I’m jealous, I must say. I love the fact that most of the people I ride with are older than me, most in their 40s and 50s. It makes me forget that in our culture athletics is supposed to be about youth. I think it does take a while to figure out the culture of competition and training, but it does suck you in …

    Danielle — I’m taking swimming lessons because I’m in the same situation you are — I haven’t taken lessons since I was 8 or so. Time for a refresher course! I do feel busy, but I like the variety of training and it does take the pressure off cycling, which I need right now.

    Thank you Litlove! I’m a bit surprised at my enthusiasm myself … 🙂

    Debby — we ride in a Tuesday night series in Bethel — I’m guessing you were at a race a little closer to your house! Actually I’m not swimming outdoors at this point; I don’t really know where to go, and I want the enclosed space of a pool for some security, but I’ll definitely be out in open water next summer.

    Bikkuri — I’m doing my best not to push things too hard with the running — in fact, I’ve been more conservative about it than my doctor! I like to learn things on my own too, but with swimming it just won’t work … I can read about it, but actually doing it is another thing entirely. It’s kind of comforting to have a teacher, as it takes the pressure off me a little bit.

    Suitcase — yeah, I’m not burnt out on training at all, just the intense competition of bike races. I’m tired of all that pain and struggle! You know how that is 🙂

    Stefanie — it’s interesting to hear your thoughts on competitiveness, as I’m not terribly competitive at all, and don’t mind if I’m not out front 🙂 I do know what you mean about motivation; if it weren’t for Hobgoblin and for my triathlete friends, I’m sure I wouldn’t train as much.

    Chartroose — thanks about the feet; so far so good! I ran today, and they feel fine. You’re right about breathing, although if I don’t breathe every stroke right now, I get a little panicky. But I do work on that now and then and I’m sure over time it will become easier.

    Zoesmom — thanks! I think most people could do this kind of training if they built up to it very slowly, but I understand not everyone is interested in doing it!


  11. Swimming lessons: now THAT’S something I think I could get into!


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