Triathlon is international, right? Since a while I am considering internationalizing my blog. This article is an experiment with a first post in English about my training time between two triathlon races. Just to recap for my hopefully new international readers: my triathlon adventure started only 9 months ago with a very intensive kick-off changing my training habits from some hours running exercise to immediately 15-20 hours per week swim, bike, run. I became member of the local triathlon club „Nonplusultra Esslingen“ and engaged in building up a women’s team for the regional triathlon league. After my first two sprint races in Baden-Württemberg league end of April, the next milestone is an olympic distance on 12 June and I am longing for accomplishing my first mid-distance end of August in Malterdingen.
New training habits moving from sprint preparation to mid distance training
The months March and April were mainly dedicated to getting my body used to changing between the three triathlon disciplines and getting short distances done with maximum speed. This meant swimming at once maximum 700 meters, running at once maximum 10 kilometers. In the last weeks together with the triathlon coach of Nonplusultra Esslingen, we slowly moved to longer training units which is yet another challenge for my body. Last week I made 3,5 hours swimming, 10 hours biking, 3,5 hours running and additionally 2 hours weight training.
Moreover a typical transition training session is now getting much more time intensive. I took advantage of the public holiday on Thursday to do a 80 kilometers cycling unit followed by a 16 kilometers run. Yesterday was yet another intensive day with 70 kilometers interval cycling and fast running for 10 kilometers.
Are triathletes reasonable? Not always.
If you had asked me yesterday how I felt, the answer would have been „great“. Running felt so easy, speeding up was no problem, breathing during running was quiet. And even after the training session, fatigue wasn’t an issue. Completely different today, when I woke up and felt some shivering. If I had been reasonable, I would have stayed at home taking a rest day. But I guess one of the characteristics of triathletes is that they are not always reasonable. So, I got on my bike and started cycling with some triathlon friends. But I realized almost immediately that I was completely exhausted from the last days and had to shorten the originally planned tour. Back home I managed to eat something and then fell immediately asleep for three hours. Honestly this had not happened to me before (unless I would have had a big night of partying beforehand). For me this means that I should better listen to signals of my body – meaning taking a rest day if your body tells you to do so but your training plan does not. And I take this also a sign that the body needs some time to adjust to the longer distances.
Fun MTB race in between
Besides more intensive training units during the last weeks, I used the break from the official regional league races to take part in the Gonso Classic Mountainbike race in Albstadt. Of course, our triathlon coach also gave some meaning to this kind of race. As I had so far only cycled 20 kilometers in the last sprint triathlon races, the MTB race of 46 kilometers should give me an impression of how it felt to do a longer cycling distance in a race. It was a good experience and it indeed changes from the 20 kilometers of a sprint. I was not permanently at the limit and took more time to do some carbohydrates supply on the bike. Besides these learnings, it was just extremely fun and I could reap the fruits of my recent training when I was overtaking the MTB guys particularly on the uphill sections and finally ranked 3rd woman in my age group.