My coaching course, a bike fit and swimming in the lake finally improves…

Tamsyn and Irene

This week has been so exciting so far, and it just keeps getting better.

Coach in Running Fitness

At the weekend, Stu and I did the first two days of our Coach in Running Fitness course. I learned some really interesting things but was also really frustrated by the classroom delivery. I was good to learn about new sources of information, and I want to check out Athletics 365 in more detail, as soon as possible.

Swimming lesson

On Sunday evening, I had my usual swimming lesson. It went OK and I am feeling increasingly confident, but I just don’t think my breaststroke legs are good enough, so I need to work on them. I also need to relax more and remember to keep my ear on my shoulder when breathing in front crawl.

Monday evening training

Image of an elderly lady playing hopscotch
Running activities should be fun for people of all ages!

Monday evening’s training session was great fun. It was a circuits session, so I tried to build in some of the activities that we did at the weekend. It was focused around ABCs for runners:
– agility
– balance
– coordination

One of the first activities was to ask my athletes to line up and get themselves ready to sprint. None of my runners is so uncoordinated that they do not use opposite arm to leg when they are running, but when asked to assume the position, several people had the wrong arm forward. We also had a go at hopscotch with running arms and Cariocas. Most of the group could really see that lack of agility, balance or coordination will hold them back as runners.

Tuesday morning lake swim

My swimming session on Tuesday morning was THE BEST EVER. I got up at 5:30am to give myself plenty of time to get to the lake. It felt cold when I got in, so I decided to try Ant’s tips to help me relax. First of all, I floated on my back until I felt comfortable, then I floated on my front and blew bubbles. Surprisingly, it felt easy and good, so I felt ready to go… Until two swans and half a dozen cygnets arrived. I decided to give them a head start!

Usually, it is a big challenge for me to swim as far as the first buoy, but as I was feeling more relaxed and kept reminding myself not to kick too hard, it felt much easier than usual. I kept swimming towards the buoy in the far corner but then had to make a slight detour as the swans didn’t want us in their lake. I didn’t allow myself to use any stroke other than front crawl, and although my sighting isn’t great yet (I keep breathing and then looking, instead of the other way around), I managed to do a full lap.

Success at the lake

My second lap was similar to the first (but without a bird-based detour!) When I got back to the start, I decided to assess my progress. I realised that I was stopping at the first buoy out of habit and that actually, there was no good reason for me to do so. I decided to do another lap to see how far I could go. I managed to successfully swim around the buoy and got around a third of the way along the back of the lake. I’m not sure why I stopped – my limbs weren’t tired and I was still breathing easily. I think it was just that it was the longest continuous swim that I have ever done.

My aim was to do four laps, so I continued and did a fourth lap. Amazingly, I had enough energy to want to swim another lap, but sadly, I had to go to work. (Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but I just wanted to swim more!!!)

Bike fit at Vankru

On Tuesday evening, I went to Vankru for a bike fit. I am a complete novice cyclist, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but Garth Kruger put me completely at ease. It didn’t take him long to get down my measurements (and pay me a couple of compliments – he thought I look younger than I am and also thought I was flexible!) Now I just need to find the bike of my dreams. I’m wondering whether to get a Focus Cayo or maybe a Vankru. Any thoughts? My budget has increased, but I won’t go over £2k… Unless I really love what I see!

Focus Cayo 4
Focus Cayo 4 Ultegra
Vankru VK7

Manor Farm RR10

Last night, I battled my hay fever and ran Manor Farm RR10. It was a lovely run, and the only one in the series that I’ve never done before, as I was injured last year. I started at the back, so although I didn’t run brilliantly, it was fun to overtake lots of people throughout the race (and especially the lady from Stubbington on the final hill!)

Hmmm... these photos clearly show why I need to lose some weight!!!
Hmmm… these photos clearly show why I need to lose some weight!!!

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My first aquathlon

Tonight, I am going to do my first aquathlon. I’ve put elastic laces in my trainers, and am (foolishly?) going to wear them without socks. I’m doing the novice distance: 400m swim and 2.5k run. I’m going to have to run in glasses, which will be a first. I’d be tempted to insert contacts in transition, but I was bitten on my eyelid last night and my eye is too swollen to wear my lenses 🙁


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