Week 1: Coming Back after Leaving

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What it seemed and what it actually is.

At first it really did not feel that I left the trainings, the triathlon, after finishing Ironman Copenhagen. I planned to participate in Vilnius Marathon mid-September, however nasty cold got me and I had to skip it, doing less and less training afterwards. I still felt however that I can do that 4:30min/km pace with ease and I am the same person who has finished his first Ironman in 10:06:00. Fastforwarding to the end of October and my first week with a Training Peaks coach – how wrong was I. Seems like it was a different person, with different body and capabilities this year’s August, compared to the one who got his session planned out by the coach in the end of October.

Despite factual evidence that there was a huge gap in my training, I thought that this year’s form, which got me through Ironman was together with the first signs of autumn – just around the corner. Now I have been hit by hard facts how fast your (read: “my”)  physical capabilities deteriorate. Body is nowhere near, however mind remembers what were the capabilities and sometimes pushes to that free flow, which was built during difficult interval sessions on the track. Mind reminds you that this hill – push it out of the saddle, it is a short one and easy. All of that, just to see how heart rate popped like a balloon, just like the hopes that I am still the same me. So it seems that it took me this whole week, not to start the build up phase of my future training, but to actually put my mind back to reality and to understand – mind and body have to work its way up from new beginings.

Run / 27.5km planned / 34.7km finished

The start was, to say the least, difficult. Temperature closer to negative Celsius, rainy, muddy and dark – and you have to go and run your first 7+km after long break and 2 illnesses. Focusing on technique, I did some drills, which killed my thighs for upcoming 3-4 days. Further on I had to remember how 10km are being run and it was, cold and difficult – again. I think to run as per plan (2km Warm Up, 6-8km Main Set of 140-145bpm with 4-6 30sec. strides, 2km Warm Down) felt like the most difficult 10k that I have done this year. It seemed like it will take ages to finish the distance, heart wanted to go elsewhere, leaving the body through the throat and legs were still in bad mood after what I did to them with my technique training earlier. However this precedent helped me with upcoming fartlek session, which did not have any specific heartrate planned, coach just said that I should have fun – and I did. This is where body started remembering how fun it is to feel the ease of your strides, to control your speed, to rest, while running and to not care about rain, mud and darkness. This is where I started appreciating that there is some music playing in my ears, not like previously, where I just wanted to be home. Finishing it all off was the second endurance 10k run, exactly the same as previous one. This time it was not raining and I did it during daylight – despite the relentless want to quit and again be home, warm and playing some games, main set’s start was painful, but it evened out after the strides – I managed to complete the run with pretty positive mind and some energy to spare. Additionally, it seems that I will be buying a foam roller, because previous painful areas are coming back – so I will need additional stretching.

Bike / 3h planned / 2:57 completed

If I could put more clothes on myself, I would and I will, but only during the outside sessions. It is funny how indoors and outdoors sessions impact you absolutely differently. Due to warmth at home, which I can not control – it was super hot to do a 1hr session on my Tacxs trainer and I spent a lot of time sweating and using towels. Due to coldness and winds outside – it was brutal to come back. Average speed dropping from 28km/h to 14km/h on the way back, feet and hands freezing. But, but, but! At least I missed the rain, which started 30mins after I came back. In the end, I am happy with what happened, because I would definitely not withstand cold autumn rain, the way I was dressed. At such situations, I usually think how would police react if I were to stop passing through vehicle and ask to get me back home – I always think they should help me out… Oh and with all the cold and wind it seemed like I hit a troublesome wall during the session, luckily I had some old Nectar gel, which I consumed and was it placebo or not – I felt a bit recovered and ready to move on back home. In general, the main set of 135-145 bpm (I think I was closer to 145bpm) was easier to handle here, than on the run – both indoors and outdoors.

Swim / 1h planned / 0 completed

Due to some miscommunication with my coach I did not go to the pool at all.

Strength training / 2 Sessions planned / 1 Session completed

It was super fun to come back to core/strength training with my father, who is a Physical Education teacher with huge luggage of experience, with poor communication skills and possibly explanation skills on par with those of communication – to be combined into a strict and angry-looking 50 year old, who rarely says that you have done a good job, but when he says so, you think that you are going to Olympics. All in all, it was fun to go back, to do some training session. However due to the same miscommunication, I managed to squeeze in only 1 session instead of 2, but that session killed my quads enough to be happy that I missed the other one.

Random

Song of the week: Mastodon – Tread Lightly
Reading:
Terry Pratchett – Light Fantastic
Game: Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void / Dragon Age: Inquisition (DLCs)
Average Weight: 79.4kg
Average Suunto Recovery: forgot to start measuring

Overall, I started getting up early and squeezing in a 15min warm up on a trainer and some quick yoga session to stretch out and start the day by welcoming the sun. One of our cats started to like my yoga and usually comes by to show me how flexible and cutely-fluffy he is. This distracts me from focus, but that is my weakness – I like to pet our dog or cats, even, when I am in training.

I am happy with the start of the training, despite the start, which seemed to grab the bull by its horns and not being easy. Hopefully I will be able to maintain the tempo going further.

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