Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Training Week & Dealing with Anxiety

Last week's training was great - it felt like I had officially launched into something meaningful in terms of my progression.

I mentioned before that I have committed myself to a strength program with Chris from Excite Health and Fitness. This is not just a generic strength program which can be downloaded from the internet or one which can be followed from an app - I have been provided with structured program to strengthen my core, back and legs and to improve my balance. We had a sit down consultation last Monday which set the precedence to what is expected from both parties. This set the week off to a great start.

My calves were still tight from the Sunday's Sri Chimnoy run so the coach at Tuesday's run session had me do a recovery set instead of intervals. I ended up running 4km within 25min and it helped immensely in loosening up the tight muscles.

I decided that I still needed work on my swimming S stroke so instead of joining the Wednesday evening swim technique sessions, I did my own S-stroke work. I arrived at the pool at 5:30pm and swam about 2km - just working on my S strokes.

Thursday was a great day in terms of training - it started out with the GESAC spin session and I promised myself to push beyond my comfort zone. I felt great at the beginning - I pushed beyond my comfort zone and worked on pace and intensity. After about 30min or so, I was starting to tire out and my pace slowed down to accommodate the load. I lasted the 45min class and found a new comfort zone. That afternoon, I had my introduction session with Chris again as he stepped me through the strength program he had planned for me for the next 4 weeks. I am doing dead lifts, shoulder and chest presses and doing step ups beyond my comfort zone and loving every motion. My balance (and glute strength) is completely off at the moment and I am seeing how my weak core has lead to much of my injuries.

My weekend's training was great however it did start off on the wrong foot. I decided to bite the bullet and planned on joining the long ride with Bayside. They do a few "classics" within the year with a few sprint and KOM segments thrown in. The total distance was 100km and based on my years of training, I don't generally ride that distance around this time of the year. I was assured by the coach that I don't have to ride 100km if I don't want to. I planned on 3 hours or so and wanted to stick with what I am used to.

The night before the ride, I tried not to dwell on this new experience. The only time I thought about it was when I prepared my nutrition, pumped my tyres and placed my kit near my bathroom. I went to bed at 10:30pm but woke up in a fright (from nightmares) around 1:30am. I was covered in sweat and my body was throbbing to no end. I felt like I was having an out of body experience. My eyes were opened and I was in a panic but I couldn't move my mouth to speak or move my arms to wake up my partner. After what felt like 10min and could finally move, I went straight to the bathroom to spew. This happened twice during the night with minimal sleep in between. The last time I saw on my clock was 4am before I woke up to my 6am alarm clock.

I had a choice between getting out of bed to try this new training session or stay in bed to catch up on my sleep. I chose to get out of bed and I chose to step out of my comfort zone.

The group met at Linacre St at Hampton. I rode passed it completely at first as I thought they met within one of the beach car parks. I rode back as I knew that I had passed them about 1 km down. I was slightly late as the head coach was already giving a briefing. It was slightly warm and I took off my defeet gloves.

I stayed with the group from Linacre St all the way until Kars St at the back of Frankston when they attacked the first KOM. I didn't realise that it was a race up the hill as I was just pedalling along. I lost the group once they turned at one of the roundabouts and I stopped to double check where I was going. I was by myself from Kars St and when I hit Humphries Road, I tried my best to ride up the hill at a greater intensity than last week. I took off my knee warmers on top of Humphries as I was too warm. I then rode down 2 Bays and then up through the little side streets until Nepean Hwy.

I joined the ETPA recovery ride from Frankston for about 20min or so until a set of traffic lights split their group into two and the front group slowed down. I decided to forge on ahead knowing that they would catch up with me again. I ended up being amongst their group when they overtook me but I was squeezed into them again once we were going around a car. The ride was interesting as some riders within that group kept swerving into the bike lane but out again once there was a parked car in front. This was unnecessary, we could just stay in a straight line - better for a big group and better for cars sharing the road. They stopped at Mordialloc and I headed home. The total distance for my ride was 75km and it was the longest ride since Challenge Melbourne. I am glad I chose to to the ride as I am ticking off a box in my cycling build towards 3 peaks.

On Sunday, I decided to do a trail run at Lysterfield. The plan was to ride between 10 - 15km and I ended up with 11km in total over 1.5 hours. The speed was slow as I was running on trails and had to stop about a dozen times to give way to mountain bikers. I got slightly lost at one point and had to ask for directions. I had time to soak in the lake and the views were amazing. I tried my new Mizuno Hayates and they were good enough that I will run with them with I enter in Run Forrest in June.

Overall, I had 2 no-training days last week which wasn't too bad and a vast improvement on the weeks before. I am slowly building up my routine and training schedule and with others checking in on my progress, I am looking forward in seeing improvements over the coming months. Fingers crossed that the more sessions I do, the less anxiety attacks I will have, the less I will worry about stepping out of my comfort zone.

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