A few weeks before a race I start thinking “If I had……. it would make my life better” Cue ordering unnecessary stuff. I have so far accumulated energy drink, gels, tyres, and new gloves. The energy drink I won’t use as I haven’t used it in training, the gels I will use, as I have had them before (but I accidentally ordered 3 lots!) and the gloves are not as nice as my old ones. However I did need new tyres.
Moral of the story, “new things will not make me faster”, (repeat, repeat, repeat)
Crazy cooking woman
I also get obsessed with cooking, and have started making yummy things to take on the bike, which I have blogged about here. I did just read in Tri220 that Chrissie only has energy gels, drink, and some dark chocolate on the bike and can’t understand how anyone can eat sandwiches etc on rides, as she is working too hard. “Must try harder on the bike”, (repeat, repeat, repeat) Anyway I made the most of the fantastic weather and sat out on the lawn to calculate my intake of food for the bike leg, and have now planned out what I am taking.
Like summer again!
Time to take stock
So its time now to reflect on what I have done up to this point and hope that I have a good day next week. I feel ready, but also still wondering if I have planned my peak and taper right, (need to get rid of a few gremlins here!), We will see on race day. I will give it my best.
There comes a point in your training when there is nothing more you can do to increase your fitness and you need to accept that you have done all that you can. Whatever happens on the day will happen, I got back off a long ride feeling pretty negative as my power and speed were low, but thinking about it rationally I had done a 10km (running) Time Trial the night before, and had been building for a while, only having a short recovery after the 100 mile TT, so not surprising really! There is a great post about tapering here which I found helpful and inspiring.
I have been looking at last years taper for Wimbleball and comparing it to my training this year, I had some feedback that my taper may have been a bit drastic, this was because I was ill after a race and then started tapering after I had recovered. This years will not be so drastic and I’ll be nice and ready to race!
This years Performance management chart
Last years Performance management chart. a sharp drop after Slateman
Time trials and tribulations (garmin data is here, full results here)
I went along to the 10km Time trial organised by Pembrokeshire Triathlon club on Tuesday evening, hoping to better my time from 6 years ago!! I can’t believe how long ago that was. My time in 2008 was 43.23. When I arrived Ian, the timekeeper, decided that I would be fastest and put me last. I was not so sure, but went along with it anyway! Ellie (the only other woman) went off 1 minute ahead of me and I tried to keep her in sight. It soon became apparent that she was flying, as I counted the time from her passing a lamppost, she was already more than a minute ahead within the first few miles. , it was a lovely evening, and nice to have a chat. I got a time of 41.14, so 2 minutes faster than last time. I should be happy with that, but maybe have been feeling a bit negative this week.
The long ride
I decided to ride the whole Ironman course the day after, and was pretty dissapointed in my speed. I may have been tired, and also lacking motivation doing the route on my own. I’m not sure that I really wanted to do it, because I knew that if I was slow it would make me depressed, but Patrick suggested it and I thought the pro’s would outweigh the con’s. Anyway I borrowed his go pro which was quite fun, although I have now spent hours editing the ******* thing.
A bit of geekiness
After I had recovered from the ride, digested my stats, done some more research, and generally got slightly obsessive about numbers, I spotted that my Intensity factor for the ride was based on my old FTP, so with a few calculations I realised that I will be able to go faster on race day, (of course some other factors will come into play too) but if the maths is right then I’m happy !!
After last weeks mini holiday, it was back to it. Luckily I had an easy week planned as there was the washing, shopping, and general catch up that you need after going away. I had also entered Pembrokeshire coast Triathlon at Broadhaven at the weekend so it meant I would have a bit of a rest before the race.
I had a great bike session on Tuesday. I had been thinking on my previous long ride that I tend to get a bit lazy towards the end of a ride and start dropping the watts, so when I was at the side of the road checking my bike for creaks, and a man flew past asking if I was OK I thought I would see if I could catch him!
I was near the end of my ride so it was ideal for me to push a bit more than usual. It became apparent that I was catching him on the ups and then he was pulling away slightly on the downs. I managed to reel him in after Yerbeston, on the Ironman course, we got chatting and it was someone whose name I had seen on strava (Dave Swan if you’re curious!) I turned off at Molleston and left him to complete the rest of the Ironman loop.
You can see my increase in power at about 2 and a half hours in!
Still getting the power dropouts, but have sent my power meter back, again…I may write a post about that bit of kit someday! Had a long run on Thursday and was surprised to see that my running has improved again!
A similar run last year and my run this week
Cancelled my swim session on Friday, as I was feeling a bit fed up with the pool and I didn’t want to do another session for the sake of it. On Saturday I raced Broadhaven and won! That was a real surprise, I knocked 5 minutes of my previous time, so I was obviously very pleased with that! Full race report is here.
Comparison between the years
I still need to do some work on programming myself to believe that I am a strong swimmer, as it was always my weak sport, so, in my subconscious, I still think I am not good, but the last 2 races I have done I have had pretty good swim times. Must keep that in mind 🙂
Look away now if you don’t want to read about hormones, and periods!
One thing men don’t have to worry about too much is how their hormones affect them during races, they pretty much have the same cycle of hormones every day ( high testosterone in the morning, which drops off during the day and is lowest in the evening) This is also affected by their actions, e.g. racing will produce a rise in testosterone, read more about this here.
Women, as you will know have varying hormones throughout the month, so at times all we really want to do is sleep all the time, when at other times of the month we are outgoing and confident, this corresponds to our cycle. I have been doing a bit of research on this, as I find it quite interesting. There is a lot more detail on hormone horoscope, which I find really helps me to deal with moods and how I feel certain times of the month!
The female cycle
The reason I am writing about this is that my period was due on the week of Broadhaven and all week I was worrying about when it would start, and whether I would have to deal with it on race day. I looked at a couple of forums, and found a post by a man who said don’t worry about it, chances are nobody will care, or notice, just wear some black shorts and get on with it. This relaxed me quite a bit, and I also mentioned to Patrick the night before, that the last time I had my period on a race I won!
I didn’t get my period until after the race but I still find it really interesting, as I am about a kilo heavier in the week before I start my period, so you would think that my performance would be worse. You would also think that there would be loads of interesting research on this, but I’m not sure if there is or where to find it. I did read Victoria Pendleton’s book and she mentioned that she always seemed to have her period on competition days. Maybe its time we started taking it into consideration, it is a massive part of women’s lives, but seems like people don’t really want to talk about it, although with online forums maybe people are starting to discuss more topics like this.
I did find some useful information here, which I recommend to anyone interested in how hormones affect your training and performance.
Have had another busy week this week, and lots of time outside in the fantastic weather.
A few more QOM’s
I entered the Pembrokeshire Velos Open weekend Time trials and Milton hill climb after I got back from Barcelona. I checked with my husband who said this would be fine…. A few days before, he mentioned an event at Freshwater West that he wanted to go to on the Saturday, which was the date of the time trial and hill climb. This was fine as my TT was early, but the hill climb was at midday, I ended up doing the time trial going home, packing up for the beach, driving to the beach, dropping the boys off, then driving back to do the hill climb. When I got back to the time trial HQ I had £5 in an envelope waiting for me, as I had won the morning event (only 2 women entered). I stayed on for the presentation for the hill climb, and won another £5 (again only 2 women entered!) My power meter conked out at the start of the Time Trial so no power data for me. Most annoying, as I was going to use these as a test for my FTP! Now I’ll have to do another one 😮
Hill Climb Results
The sea was great afterwards to cool off in. Beautiful clear water at Fresh West. When I got there the Pembrokeshire surf riders were organising their retro surf contest, which involved paddling races, flapping about in a puddle like a dying fish contest, and a mincing walk contest. (there was no surf!)The stars must have shone on us because Patrick (husband) won best adult male. I was so proud 😉 He won some surf wax, a wax comb, a T-shirt, a surf wax air freshener, and a bracelet!! We stayed for a BBQ which started to catch fire after half an hour, and spent lots of time in the water, lovely.
Freshwater West, so lucky to live near these beaches.
Got home for an early night for me, and beach party for Patrick, which was going to involve him sleeping on the beach and me picking him up at 6am to drive to the 15 mile Time Trial. I woke up at 2:45am to hear a van dropping him off back home, so I set the alarm for half an hour later, then woke up every hour until 6am, when I drove to Carew again. On the course there was a strong headwind on the way back, so I took it quite easy on the way out, probably too easy, but my legs weren’t working today, I finished 3 minutes slower than last weeks time, but still won my fiver (only 2 women again!) I got home to a very hungover Patrick, who I sent back to bed.
Well after Slateman I have had a hard week. I started off my training on Tuesday with a short swim, and then started to feel a bit ill on Wednesday, I wasn’t sure whether to run so I did an easy recovery run round the woods, it was either that or sleep on the sofa, in retrospect I should have slept on the sofa!! On Wednesday night I went to bed early and woke up Thursday feeling rough again, so no training. On Friday I was due to do a cycle ride but still felt under the weather so I decided to go on a long walk instead. It was very windy, so I’m quite glad I wasn’t out on the bike, besides I want to feel 100% for my next session so a few days off won’t do any harm! The walk was lovely and nice to get some fresh air, after feeling like I’d been moping round the house for a few days. Here are some pictures
Other than that I have had to satisfy myself by watching the Tim Don video giving some advice for the Wimbleball! Trying not to get too annoyed about my phone showing me lots of strava crowns being taken (you can tell its the bank holiday!)
researching Ben Greenfield then feeling like I’ve been doing it all wrong, and panic buying a sun visor, a sun visor?? I ask you? I’m sure it will probably rain, but at least I’ve had practise at that 🙂
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