Train Hard TriathlonWell I hope you’re all been enjoying the gorgeous summer weather…oh wait, that’s right – it’s been cold and wet again! Not quite the perfect conditions we’ve been longing for after the longest winter since records began (or something), but at least we don’t have to worry about dodgy tan-lines from Lycra shorts and cycling tops!

Since you last heard from me I have been mainly, well, swimming, biking, and running! I decided I needed a couple of months to consolidate after my first race and training weekend before my summer race (which has just been cancelled incidentally, so any recommendations for races in the Oxfordshire area gratefully received!); a time to establish a routine and try to put some of what I’ve learnt into practice.

The main thing I’ve realised is how much I need to take my job into account. Obviously as a personal trainer I am active pretty much all the time. I work outside in parks rather than in a gym, so even if I only join in some elements of each session, that’s a lot of shuttle runs, planks, boxing and burpees each day!

On one hand, this is a great opportunity for cross-training – to maintain core strength and general conditioning. On the other hand, I have to make sure I’m not trying to do this in addition to a full-on training schedule. But whatever your job, whether you’re office-based, travelling a lot, home-based, you will encounter obstacles and challenges that you will need to work around to achieve your triathlon goals, and each of us have to find ways of overcoming these. The key, I think, is to be realistic: don’t beat yourself up if you miss a session, just get back on track the next day; and most of all to make it fun!

Some of my recent training highlights include:

  • Joining the Saturday morning peleton in Richmond Park. It’s an extraordinary sight: by about 10am there are hundreds of casual and club cyclists completing laps of the park. From time-trial speed-machines to hybrids with shopping baskets, everyone was out enjoying time on their bikes. I’ve never seen so much Lycra.
  •  Swimming in the fast-lane! Ok, confession time. There were only three of us in the pool. One was a lady in her 70s doing breast-stroke. The other was a middle-aged man wearing a medallion (surely not good for aerodynamics). But still, I did it!
  •  Discovering new running trails around Oxford. Due to the lingering effects of my stress-fracture, I am only running about twice a week at the moment and staying mainly off-road. Once a week I do hill sprints in a local park (did I mention I’m a glutton for punishment!), while at weekends I do a longer trail run and explore new routes. I would encourage everyone to get away from the tarmac – who knows what hidden gems you will discover on your own doorsteps.

Whatever your training involves, I’d love to hear how you fit it in between work and family commitments, and what your recent training and racing highlights have been!

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