Will Thames

swim, bike, run, tech

Into 2009

As 2009 starts, I’m happily keeping my training on track - this blog is probably the most neglected aspect of my triathlon work at the moment. While training logs are important, I’m just getting out there and doing it, and then forgetting to write anything about it!

Last week I went for my first fitness session with Swim for Tri at Kensington Pool (far north Kensington, it seems, near Latimer Road tube). I had serious doubts about my ability to swim for an hour and a half, but it was an entertaining session, and I wasn’t the slowest or the least fit, so I’ll be happy to carry that on. I have trouble maintaining the discipline in swimming, as it’s so easy to stop, or not quite do as many lengths in a row as you planned. I think the next focus of my stroke will be The Catch, so I’ll look at the drills for that for tomorrow’s swim.

Yesterday I picked up my new mountain bike (Specialized Rockhopper Comp 2009), and took it from the bike shop in Fulham for a circuit of Richmond Park. I nearly gave up tired, but popped a couple of strawberry Clif Shot Bloks and carried on - after that my motivation returned. My GPS decided to crash yesterday, so I have no record of the ride, other than it took me about an hour and a half from Barnes Green up to Richmond Park, round and back home. Rather than my usual road cycle route, I took the offroad Tamsin Trail around the park - great fun, although nearly an early crash as I went down a particularly muddy and slidy downhill tree section. I’m having problems with the inside of my left knee when really having to mash the gears - on one of the hills I had no choice but to mash even in first gear, and that hurt a little, so I’m hoping to get it checked out shortly.

Tonight I took my Petzl Myo for a test run, doing Hammersmith Bridge to Chiswick Bridge almost entirely in the dark - there was a reasonable amount of ambient light, but I was glad of my headtorch at times! I had my reflective arm strips and a rear flashing LED to increase my visibility, there were plenty of almost black cyclists about, although there were also a few that lit up like a Christmas tree in my full beam!

I have also started on the weights, in part to try and build up some knee strength, as well as improve my upper body strength. Hopefully I’ll see the benefits. I might look into some ski specific exercises too as my knees were certainly hit hard last year, I’ll hope extra strength, lower weight and better technique will all combine to prevent too much pain!

On Sunday I’m off to my first outdoor swim session, a training session with Olympic openwater swimmer Cassie Patten, arranged by the Outdoor Swimming Society at London Fields Lido. One of my minor New Years resolutions is to do at least different five outdoor swims (excluding triathlons).

My next race that I’ve signed up for is now in March 2009. This will be my first multisport effort, an offroad duathlon.