After a great couple of months here last year, I’ve returned to Les Stables triathlon camp in south-west France for 6 weeks of training. With a 25m pool on site and endless quiet country roads for riding and running, this really is a triathlete’s paradise. Each week there are up to 20 athletes to train with, which makes the training much more enjoyable. In the last 2 weeks I’ve become reacquainted with the compulsory café stop towards the end of the ride – a truly great way to end any training session! There’s always a great group of people and we have fun outside of training, whether it’s just socialising on the terrace or playing pool and table football, there’s never a dull moment.
Post Ironman I’m always conscious of easing back into training gradually, careful not to do too much too soon. There’s always the temptation to test yourself with a demanding session to see how much fitness you’ve maintained, but Brian has kept the training intensity quite low during the last 3 weeks. Last week I was back into the usual 20+ hour training week, predominantly made up of riding in the sun! I’ve also had the opportunity to have some one-to-one swim coaching, really focussing on improving a few key elements of my stroke. Even a short 30 minute session is mentally challenging as you’re focussing 100% of the time on trying to execute perfect technique. Having trained for the last 7 years without any swim coaching, my somewhat unique technique has become heavily ingrained, so it will take a lot of application on my part to make the necessary changes. They might be having a positive effect already, as I did this morning’s 1400m open water swim in just under 17 minutes (although it may have been slightly current assisted)! Regardless, a post swim hot chocolate and croissant was a nice way to start the day.
I’ve been spending a lot of time considering my race options for the summer and the rest of the year. I’ve never deliberated so much over choosing a full distance event – it’s really dawned on me how many available options there are. I hope to soon confirm what the big race for the summer will be, so watch this space!