At the Double Brutal, I was aerobically fit enough to complete the race, but my body let me down. I was not biomechanically fit enough to reach the finish line. As I plan the next great adventure, I know that I have to address this issue, and that’s how I ended up talking to Alice Frewin of Sano Physiotherapy in Morley, with a notebook in my hand, reading out a laundry list of physical problems.
I have a very distinct memory of the Rubicon Triathlon in 2015. My abiding memory is not the excitement of the river swim, nor is it the fantastic support from the Wakefield Tri Club feed station. It’s not even the soupy paddling pool at the finish line. No, my overriding memory of that race is that I seemed to be the only person doing the event that wasn’t wearing compression sleeves on my calves.
Anxiety is a normal part of life – it’s a primeval human instinct that stops us casually walking off a cliff, or trying to stroke a cute looking sabre toothed tiger. Controlling that anxiety, managing it and mastering it – these are difficult skills, but ones that can be learned with practice. You learned how to swim. You learned how to run through transition holding your bike. You learned how to wee in a lake. You can learn this too.
A serious block of Double Brutal specific training last night, as I had my first experiment with overnight riding. On race weekend, I’ll be cycling all day and well into the night, probably finishing the bike leg around two o’clock in the morning. The big question with which I am wrestling is whether to stop and sleep at some point between the eight laps of the bike course, or to just press on and ride straight through.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the idea of using periodic walking as part of a structured strategy for running long distance. The idea is that you run for a fixed period of time before inserting a stretch of walking on a regular basis. You do this from the very beginning of the race, which means your first stretch of walking might feel a little self indulgent, but in theory it preserves the strength in your legs, and enables you to maintain your pace throughout the run.