First day started with a lot of excitement and a little anxiety. A training program has not ruled my life for almost a year now. While I've been training and racing, its been whatever I feel like doing on each day which is no longer the case.
The program comes from "Be IronFit: Time-Efficient Training Secrets for Ultimate Fitness" written by Don Fink. Fink is an American triathlete and triathlon coach (www.donfink.com) whose personal best of 9:03 and list of coached athletes includes Spencer Smith (3-time world tri champ). I'd say this qualifies him as a good example and solid choice for my unofficial coach.
On waking up today, my back was feeling surprisingly good, loose. Through my over-ambitious "pre"-training, I injured my back muscles. The physio-therapist said my back was extremely tight due to overuse, but not a major deal, it just requires proper rest (which I've been giving it), not sitting in any one position for too long and heat (let me tell you, going around day after day with a heat pad on your back makes you feel a lot older than 28). But, back is improving everyday and feels about 95% today.
This week calls for 6hrs of sbr which started today with a 2500m swim and 30min run. So I popped over to London Fields Lido (a great 50m pool in Hackney) and went through the set concentrating on form (as discussed in Fink's book) while the other guys in the lane scrapped it out testing each other's pace. I have to say, after years of organized swimming, open swim at a public pool is quite entertaining. A lot of people swim on their own, but eventually they're all drawn together (including myself) by the desire to out-swim the others. This usually ends in five swimmers or more smacking feet and dueling it out at each turn until one-by-one people begin to drop off. The last man standing will usually do a couple "victory" laps before stopping for a much needed rest and possibly a chat with the other racers. Given my focus on technique, I kept to myself and went at my own pace.
After a cool-down in the pool, it was out to Victoria Park where the numerous other runners provide good motivation. Again, focusing on technique for the first ten weeks, the 30mins was more a test of patience and my ability to stick to a plan as my ego and legs begged to take-off every time someone burned past me. But, as instructed by coach, the first ten are all aerobic training (at a low heart rate, aerobic training to be discussed in a future post). I followed the instructions and enjoyed the blue sky and outdoors before returning home for some nutrition and a stretch.
All-in-all it was a good first session, and I'm looking forward to more.