A Final Flourish – Triathlon Season Coming to an End
The summer is drawing to an end, and I’m looking forward to a bit of a rest from hard core structured triathlon training too. The last couple of sessions have felt fairly autumnal and there is definitely a change in the air.
I was out swimming in Aberystwyth yesterday evening in what turned out to be glorious conditions. It was about 7pm and the sun was already beginning to set, casting an orange glow over everything. The sea was calm with just a gentle groundswell and everything was winding down ready for autumn. There was no band in the bandstand, the diner on the seafront was closing early and there were very few people about. No tourists on the beach, very few people walking along the prom and no boats on the sea.
It was just me, the steady rhythm of my stroke and breathing and the occasional cry of a gull. The prom looked nice from my vantage point out in the bay though with the orange setting sun reflecting brightly off the windows of the Victorian terraces that back the prom. The swim itself was good too. Nothing crazy, just a 1.5 mile swim done as repeats of 100m fairly hard followed by 100m easy. The overall pace wasn’t too bad, but it still wasn’t fast.
There’s only just over a week to go until my final race of the season though and it’s a big race too. The ITU Age-Group World Championships in London and the competition is going to be fierce. I’ve got no chance against some of the entrants but it would be good to at least pull of a good race and finish it to the best of my abilities so I’m still training hard despite the season rolling to an end.
I was circuit training before the swim last night which involved some good track sprints amongst the usual exercises, and then I was up again early this morning for another autumnal run. It was a cool and misty morning as I set off on my run. The sea was still calm and mist was rising from its surface as I ran along the beach. I then headed up onto the soaking wet dew covered grass of the golf course as I headed into Borth.
The session today was quite a hard one – 12x 90 second efforts with a target pace of less than 6:15 min/mile and only 60 seconds recovery run in between the efforts.
The first one felt hard and my shin is still sore, but I stuck with it and was soon putting in a good effort. I managed to hit my target in all but one of the efforts and I only missed that one by three seconds per mile thanks to a cattle grid crossing and having to avoid a group of school lads boarding the school bus. Here’s the pace data for each of the 12 intervals:
- Split 1: 6:02 min/mile
- Split 2: 5:55 min/mile
- Split 3: 5:49 min/mile
- Split 4: 5:50 min/mile
- Split 5: 5:55 min/mile
- Split 6: 6:02 min/mile
- Split 7: 5:50 min/mile
- Split 8: 6:00 min/mile
- Split 9: 5:43 min/mile
- Split 10: 6:18 min/mile
- Split 11: 5:58 min/mile
- Split 12: 5:47 min/mile
I managed a 41:15 10km in the middle of that as well which isn’t too bad. I’m fairly pleased with that, although faster would of course be good!
The mist had burned off by the time I’d finished and it looks set to be a lovely day – a final last gasp from summer hopefully. Just a couple more days hard training then I can start tapering for the race and hopefully race it rested and ready to go as fast as possible. I’ll then be looking forward to easing off and doing more recreational exercise such as mountain biking and windsurfing for a while.