Let’s do this!The London Triathlon is on Sunday! I’m doing that usual thing I do where I fret about all possible tragedies that could happen on race day. I’m arguably more prepared for this than many other races I’ve done, but that race-day nervousness never seems to go away.
I only started properly training for this race the end of June. I wish I had started sooner. I was focused exclusively on running in May. With two half marathons, I completely neglected swimming and cycling. After much procrastination, I got back in the pool…The horrible, grubby leisure centre pool. It always had a band-aid and a hairball and there was always someone doing a sloppy backstroke smacking me in the face every time they swam by. It didn’t matter whether it was 6:30 in the morning or 7 in the evening. I bought a new swimsuit which was key for my motivation and my times have been improving each time I go.
I have also managed three open water swims at the Royal Victoria Docks. This is perfect training because this is where the triathlon takes place. Somehow I find swimming in the Thames less horrible than the pool. Even though I was convinced my hand grazed a severed head last week, I generally find the open water swims to be a pleasant experience. Especially the post-swim drinks with my fellow triathletes.
Each time we went, my 1500 metre swim time was faster and faster. I feel more confident in the water now. Sometimes I can’t believe that I can easily swim 1500 metres when I legitimately couldn’t swim one length of a pool 2 years ago.
I’ve been a regular at the 6:30 am spin classes at Digme. They’re great training. They push me so much harder than my solo bike training. I also did a few brick sessions too. This is when you cycle and then run right after. It helps get your legs used to the transition from cycling to running. To do this, I would do the normal spin class and then run the 5k home after class. This was a real challenge, especially in the hot weather recently. Encouragingly, the last session felt easier than the others so I take that as a good sign.
I haven’t really focused on running. But running’s my thing. That part will be great. I already know it.
My only regret is not doing any long rides on my actual bike. I haven’t gone more than 3k since LAST YEAR’S TRIATHLON. I’ve been cycling to and from work, which perhaps sounds impressive, until I tell you it is 2.5km each way. While this has helped me get a lot more comfortable on my bike, I can’t help but feel the 40km distance might be a shock to my system. I’m banking on my general running endurance to help me. That’s logical, right? RIGHT?
Because of this regular bike commuting, I’m also now concerned about the integrity of my bike. The number of times I ride over potholes, broken glass and cobble stones has made me worried that the bike is ready to implode at any moment. I’m taking it for a last-minute tune-up on Saturday so hopefully that helps lessen my anxiety.
After a particularly boozy couple of days last week, including an indulgent weekend in Paris, I vowed that this week would be a detox. I’m drinking a glass of wine as I write this, even though I said “no alcohol” this week. Just one though. Seriously.
I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. And to be honest, even if I could go back and do it differently, I probably wouldn’t. I want to be faster than last year where I finished the race in 3:07:17. Maybe I will be. Maybe I won’t. I am going to try not to put too much pressure on myself. I’ll just do the best I can and pray I don’t get a bike tire puncture.
Bring on the London Triathlon! Let’s do this!