Say what now ?

cycle 3

What a glorious day for a cycle that was. The above photo was taken on the way back from Howth Head on Sunday just gone. I was hurtling down the road on the way home with bugs in my teeth and a bit jaded after a 90 minute cycle at the end of a long week of triathlon training when I saw this view and I just had to stop to take it in. Dublin is really stunning sometimes. This is the view across Dublin bay from the north to the south, amazing stuff.

Yes it had been a long oul week of training but a good one. After various injuries over the last twelve months I feel like I’m beginning to build some momentum in training with successive sessions. Before I had various aborted attempts at consistency due to leg injuries, but now I feel like I’m getting places. I have been quite strict about my run training in particular as I confine myself to running largely on grass. Grass is much kinder of the joints and muscles than concrete or tarmac and is in fact a slower surface to run on as the softness absorbs some of your energy and momentum. So training on grass has two benefits theoretically, one is fewer injuries and two, it means when you transition to running on harder surfaces which are faster surfaces you will find it easier. Thats the idea anyway. I’m just glad to be able to run injury free in successive sessions, if the speed transfers to tarmac then terrific.

I have also been doing some strength and conditioning work which till now I had ignored, silly I know. The idea behind S and C work is that you are reinforcing the joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles through a serious of exercises either using weights or purely body weight. Essentially the idea is to condition the body with the aim of providing anatomical balance so that the likelihood of injury is reduced and energy during exercise is transferred to the parts that require it in the most efficient way possible. Below is a recent video I did for core strength, which is very important in triathlon. A tight, strong midsection is vital for any single sport but more so in a multisport context. A loose wobbly belly and pure posture is the last thing conducive to injury free training nevermind posting good triathlon race times.

So this week I trained practically everyday, running twice, swimming twice and cycling twice plus doing the S and C work. I have edited together a short video of some of the sessions and posted it below. While the weather at this time of year makes it tougher to get outdoors I try to anyway, especially for run training. I was especially lucky with the weather last week which was unseasonably sunny so took to the Phoenix park for a run session on Saturday and even spotted some deer and then took to the hills in Howth on the bike on Sunday. I also had two sessions in the pool which are very structured now that I have joined a triathlon swim group. For instance my latest swim session involved swimming 50 metres by 16 within 70 seconds (that includes rest), then 4 sets of 400 metres with each 100 metres within 2 min 10 seconds, and a 45 second rest after every 400. It takes a while to get used to the combinations but I definitely prefer having structure rather than hammering out 1000 or 1500 metres at a steady pace with no real aim or attempt to get faster. The saying is if you want to race faster then you have to train faster and that applies as much in the pool as on the bike or in the run. While I was chuffed to swim 2550 metres in my last swim session, which was the furthest I’ve ever swam, it still pales into insignificance compared the top triathletes in the world who are doing between 5 and 6000 metres per session !!!!! Say what now ? Yes!! I know its nuts !!!

Check out my latest video below, if not for the training but for some of the lovely views of Dublin.

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2 thoughts on “Say what now ?

  1. Dirk Jansen says:

    Mathieu, I have probably said it before, but your energy amazes me. The other thing, which I would never be capable of doing, is to be able to stick to such a rigid programme. My career meant that I had very long, tough, days on my feet, but they were more the exception than the rule. Your idea of running on grass is only natural as, when my uncle and myself would go uphill to the bog, in Kerry, years ago, he would always bring the mare in off the rough road, to the grass, not for the soles, but for the muscles, as he said the softer surface would make them less tired and less likely to develop problems later. He knew his animals. My brother has one daughter, who completed a triathlon, ending in the Shannon in Athlone. Her sister, who loves cycling, but has a medical condition which affects her breathing, has already done 4000 kms, this year. She lives in London and the club she is in likes to take on things like the mountainous part of the Tour de France and other roads, in the Sierras in Spain. She had a fall, two weeks ago, which needed a few stitches and some rest time, but is determined to be back in the saddle, as soon as she can. Again, congratulations on your determination and success. Regards

    Liked by 1 person

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