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Making Time for Triathlon Training

At the risk of sounding like my Mother, I really don’t know where the time goes.

One minute I’m blogging about week 1, the next we’re halfway through week 4. That means I’m nearly A THIRD of the way through training. Some days I think now I’ve started I’m going to do this forever – sign me up for the Snowman Legend. Other days I think after Harlech is over I’m going to sit on the sofa and eat crisps for 6 months. All I can say is watch this space, I’m hopeful there is some sort of middle ground.

My theme this week is time. It’s such a barrier for so many people including myself. I work full time, I have a child, I even have other interests (real ones, that don’t include terrible television and slightly better red wine). How do you fit in 5 hours of training a week? I know some people who get up at 5am and bounce to the gym before returning to serve a healthy breakfast and do the school run. I thought perhaps I could do this for a little while. I thought…and then I decided I couldn’t. But there are things I can do and I’m amazed how easy it has been.

I CAN run rather than walk when I take my dogs out. It’s the ultimate in killing two birds with one stone. They even get a longer and more energetic walk.

I CAN do things at work. I have run, worked out and even swam at lunchtime. Just don’t forget your underwear when you go to work in a costume to save changing time (mentioning for a friend).

I CAN train on my bike in the living room when my daughter is in bed and my husband is out. I can even watch my terrible television at the same time.

I CAN have an hour to myself at the weekend in daylight hours where I can fit in a cycle ride, a run or a swim. Sessions are rarely much longer and when they are, we have combined it with family time. On Saturday we all went to Parkrun. My husband ran whilst I explored with our toddler. I then rode my bike home. On Sunday, I went for a ride on my bike to somewhere with a great playground and my husband and daughter came and met me.

What’s great about the training plan I am following is that the key sessions are highlighted, (these are normally the most intense and they are not to be done on consecutive days) and as long as you complete them the rest is flexible meaning you can fit them in to your schedule and if you can’t, well, that doesn’t mean failure.

We’ve had two awesome coached sessions where I’ve been able to think about my swim technique and remember to breathe (although I’m still having to remember to keep swimming whilst I breathe) and a group turbo session which was pretty much the hardest thing I’ve done yet. I’m slowly but surely starting to find my way round my bike – here’s my way of remembering which bit does what when it comes to gears – I apologise that this brilliant theory won’t apply if you’re left-handed (or if your gears are the other way round, which is apparently a thing – why would you do that?).

Basically, my right hand controls the cogs at the back – I remember this because it is a better/more capable hand and so it can cope with more cogs than the left. To make the bike easier to pedal think about going up a BIG hill = BIG lever. To make it harder to pedal use the other lever. If you need to make it extra harder or easier you can use your left hand to change the front cog. I only have two choices here so I don’t have to remember which lever, if one doesn’t work try the other.

You’re welcome.

Finally, my biggest achievement, in the week I turned 38, riding my bike outside. I didn’t get my feet stuck in the pedals, I used my gears and most of all, I really enjoyed it, especially the bit at the end where we had cake.

I’ve learnt lots again this week but the thing I’m taking away is how important support is, from those close to you and due to this blog, for me, from some I’ve never met. I’ve had some lovely messages and I’ve had some brilliant friends join me on training sessions this last week. They were better than me but I didn’t feel inferior, I just felt inspired and happy to be doing something I’m starting to love with people I love being around.

This week is a recovery week and has already thrown up some challenges, but's that's the next blog!

Thanks as ever to TriRox Training, Evolution Bikes and Always Aim High Events.

Follow me on Facebook at Tri-Hard Mummy.