I bit the bullet ….
Back in September a friend of mine posted something on Facebook. It was an invitation for a Free month training with a triathlon club. Becky is totally awesome, she’s done the best of the best, the hardest race, an Ironman. She forwarded my details to the owner of the club , Dave.
Well that’s how I started my triathlon training experience. I never been part of any kind of triathlon club, to be honest not even a running club. But I bit the bullet , it’s time to get better and faster.
Back in Hungary I was part of the local handball club, and used to play pro handball. But that was totally different, we trained as a team, and also I was the goalkeeper. Nice and lazy position haha.
So after speaking with Dave, I’ve decided to try it out for a month. I have nothing to lose, it’s for free and fingers crossed I will like it.
To be honest I knew I need to up my game to be able to complete Bolton in 2019. I had a training plan, and I knew that I’ll be able to do most of the training by myself, but having coached sessions are totally different.
The first session was a few days before we flew to Chicago, but I thought I’ll need to get over my nervousness and complete at least one session before we fly.
So that was me, standing at the side of a pool on this sunday evening. Surrounded with lean and sporty looking guys and girls. Whilst me, with my chubby legs and a cheap swimming dress from Sports Direct. I was totally the odd one out.
The last time I swam front crawl was back in Highschool, 10-15 years ago. Since then I just kept using breaststroke. The few practice sessions I had been all with breaststroke. I was able to do a 3:30 mins/100-metre with it. I knew I need to get a bit faster, but thought I can do the Iron distance swim.
So at the first proper tri session, I went to the “slow” lane. I was just hoping that I wouldn’t drown. I tried to keep my cool and follow all the instructions. I felt so overwhelmed, but in the other hand it felt good to be part of a group. So in this first session I was able to swim about 10-metres without stopping, all the water got in my nose and mouth, had to stop and stand up half way though the pool. I definitely didn’t look like a swimmer, I even started to question myself that maybe I should just stick to my breaststroke haha.
So after surviving this swim session I was really pleased with myself. But had to say I had so much muscle ace on the monday that it was totally unbelievable.
I didn’t really want to do the run session on the Tuesday evening, because we were going to Chicago on the Wednesday. I had no idea what kind of training we will do, but most importantly I didn’t want to get injured.
So I was back into my nervousness and stood by the side of the running track. I knew that I’m not speedy, but I did run 3 marathons by this time so I thought I can’t be that bad.
This session started with a bit of a warm up, then we were divided into small groups by pace, and spent the rest of the session running around the rack. have to say I loved this.
Then I was off to Chicago, so missed out 1.5 weeks of training.
After recovering from Chicago I was back at the running track.
After the free trial month I’ve decided to stick with the club, because I love the variety of the trainings and I always work much harder in these sessions. So it’s definitely worth it.
The swim sessions are on Sunday evenings.
To my surprise I’m picking up the swimming really well. Every session I learn something new. I can easily swim a few laps now without feeling getting drowned. Also the different kind of drills helping me to improve my swim posture and get more efficient. The sessions are still really hard, and I’m still in the ” Slow ” lane, but I feel much more confident.
You can see my improvement below:
So as you can see above, doing all these coached swim session my swimming totally changed. From a slow breaststroke swimmer I slowly becoming a better and faster front crawl swimmer. In my own sessions (Tuesdays and Fridays ) I try to swim as far as I can without stopping.
Well the running sessions are totally different. I know that I’m a slow runner, and close to be like a sloth but I never met with so many speedy people in my life. I came last in a fair few running races, but it never bothered me. Because I got my medal at the end, finished before cut off, and manly because I don’t know those people.
Well these coached running sessions are much harder than I thought. I really thought this will be much easier than my swimming. But how wrong was I ?
Because it’s winter now, we do loads of agility training & XC running. So it’s in the dark, on uneven ground. Not on the nice and smooth running track.
We’ve done a few agility sessions with the agility ladder, I love those session. I’ve done so many of those when handball was off-season and we were getting ready for the next season. I love the different kind of jumps, hops, high knees, one leg jumps ect. Even though I have a reconstructed ACL I don’t have an issues jumping in the uneven surface.
We also done a fair few hill rep sessions. I think I’m okay with that. Running up and down a hill in a pyramid session. Run 1 min, 2 mins , 3 mins, 3 mins, 2 mins, 1 min. It is tiring but I’m okay with it.
We’ve done a few circuit running sessions as well. Run for 1-2 mins, then 1 mins push ups / lunges/ squats/planks etc. I think I’m okay with these as well. I won’t lie it is tiring but I’m capable to keep up the pace.
The hardest sessions are the out – and – back runs, or the lap running. The problem with the out-and-back runs are that even though I’m really trying my hardest I’m still at the “out” part when everyone else is on the “back” part. I know well I’m not fast at all, c’mon my marathon PB is 5:58, and my 5k is 34 mins, and I usually average a 7:30-7:45 mins/km, but in my marathon is up at 8:30 mins/km.
According to my Garmin in the last few session I was averaging much faster than these.
Even with this speed I’m always dead last. It’s so disheartening. I do try my best, and try to keep up the pace, but I’m always finishing last.
In the last session it got so bad that I was hardly able to breathe. Not because I was tired, but because I felt embarrassed and also do disappointed and upset with myself that it made me unable to breathe.
I even stopped and said I had enough and decided to just go home and never go back. because I didn’t just want to disappear I went to speak with the coach. He said if I do want to go home he wont stop me, but suggest I shouldn’t . I should just keep going, because even though I’m not fast I’m faster than the people who don’t even try. Also believes if I keep continue I’ll be better.
So I went and do 2 more laps. By the end of the session I ran 4.9km, it was a XC run with a massive steady hill, full with mu all the way around and in pitch black. I’ve checked others on Strava and one guy done over 15km. I wasn’t surprised that I was at the last spot on Strava.
Since this session I asked for others what to do about this feeling. So now I have planned breathing exercises and also bought book. Hopefully these 2 things will help me to get better. As I said earlier I love all the other kind of running sessions, but not the last type.
But I know I need to keep up with it, and I need to suck it up and get over it. It won’t be easy and won’t be a fast process but hopefully slowly I’ll be better.
Have to be honest, I’m not planning to do any of the coached bike sessions. They are on the Wednesday evenings and its turbo training. I really can’t afford to drive to town another time, and also luckily I have a turbo trainer at home so I can do my cycling sessions any time I’d like.
It’s incredibly hard, but it does work. In 2 months I got much better with my swimming, I never imagined this much improvement. Running is SUCKS , but I’ll get over it and keep going. No matter how much I dreading it. I do LOVE the variety of the sessions and there’s an awesome bunch of people there. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. Someone usually stays with me when I’m plodding at the back. They could easily speed off, but they not. Coaches are also great, all of them has a different training method , but it’s all useful and works.
So I’ll keep going at least July, when it’s time to tackle Bolton. Then I’ll see if I ever want to do any more triathlon. Have to be honest I only wanted to run 1 marathon and now I’m training for the 5th one. I’ve run 4 in 2 years. So who knows if I ever do another IM or not haha.
The club called Savage Tri Club, this is their website: https://www.savagesports.co.uk/
They offer sessions in Basingstoke and Southampton. The monthly fee is totally reasonable, it’s only £29/month for Basingstoke and only £26/month for Southampton.
I do highly recommend them 🙂