This week was a week has been a week of firsts. It was also a week where I needed to cram in some training as today I’ve had an operation (and general anaesthetic) to remove a benign Lipoma.

I had it removed because a) I wondered if there was an outside chance it may be connected to a less efficient running style, and b) because it was ugly! As a consequence I now have to endure up to two weeks of enforced rest… so because of the op and somewhat sparse training I decided to race myself fit this week and entered a local Sprint Triathlon at Ashburnham Place near Battle in East Sussex.

So the week of firsts: this was the first time I’ve gone to a triathlon without an experienced buddy alongside, and it was the first hilly bike ride for quite some time (ever?). Another first this week was joining a group ride and doing very, very low mileage running – without getting too anxious! And the best first was training with Mark Kleanthous and having my swim stroke analysed.

Last week’s training added up to nine hours and consisted of:

Swimming: 2 hours 16 minutes, including 1 hour of drills with Bodyworks XTC Tri Club, 28 minutes 6am sea swim with local club Tri Tempo, a 30 minute Swim drills and proficiency session in a lake with Mark Kleanthous (more to come) and a 797 yd (750m) lake swim as part of the Sprint Tri.

Cycling: 2 hours 35 minutes including 1 hour 42 minutes on the aforementioned group ride and 52 minutes as part of the Tri. It was so good to cycle in a group. In that short time I picked up some really useful tips, I gained a little bit more road experience, and boosted my confidence (I had no idea triathlon could bring out quite so many demons, fear of roads, open water etc)!

Running: 3 hours 5 minutes, comprising of one two-hour long run, one Fartlek easy run and a slow but okay 22.02 for the Tri. Oh…it seems so little, but I enjoyed each run. My Triathlon race run was enjoyable as I over took 12 people and was 3rd fastest woman in the run.

Weights/Resistance: 2 sessions one for 40 minutes and one for 30 minutes, doing mobility and strength exercises, specific to Tri. I’m focussing on hip openers and single leg work, as well as upper body work with traditional chin ups and lat raises. And with no chance to weight bear or swim this week, it’s going to be all about strength and conditioning for the next 10 days – excuse my amateur video (I never did get to trim it). The exercise below (taught to me by personal trainer, Matt Shore) is good for swimmers and will help to develop core and upper body strength.

At the moment I’m feeling quite average as a triathlete. I’ve got a lot to learn about swimming and biking – and loads to learn about transition. And even though I’ve run over 20 marathons and ran a 100-mile relay race in the Himalayas, I’m also feeling like  a novice when it comes to taking on Ben Nevis. But the good thing about being average and a novice, is that I’ve got a very good goal, and that’s to be above average and not a novice! If I do manage to get to Ben Nevis and complete the challenge, I know I’ll have achieved that goal!

P.S. I’ve just posted this on Facebook…

“You know you’re getting a little obsessed about triathlon when you wake up in the recovery room after a general anaesthetic asking the nurse if she’s doing a triathlon as part of a relay team (I asked her six times at least and she didn’t answer! Realise it must have come out as slurred rubbish 😉