Today brings me to the end of the fifth week of my ten-week schedule for building a solid cardiovascular base. The time has gone quickly and it’s hard to believe that I’m now half way through this phase of my training. This was a good week–after a reduced week last week, the amount of time I’m spending on the bike and run went sharply up again, but my body seems to have handled it well and I haven’t been too tired after workouts–that is to say that I’m tired immediately after the session, but then I feel recovered to get on with my day before too long (although I have been sleeping very soundly at nights!). Not every training session has been perfect, but I continue to feel overall that I’m making progress.
My weeks are scheduled for the most part so that I have one long workout in each discipline in the first half of the week and then one shorter session in each discipline in the latter half of the week. Today was my short run, so I decided to do some work on hills by going up the Philosophenweg (as my longer run this week was on a flat track). The weather this week has continued to be chilly (minus 13 Celsius again this morning), which has been sending me indoors on the bike, but for the most part I enjoy running on a cold day with sun (as long as the wind isn’t up too much). Today was really perfect, with sun and very little wind. There’s no doubt that getting up the incline to the Philosophenweg left me breathing hard, but once at the top the view of the icy Neckar in the sun was a real treat, which then turned into a run through the forest. The frozen Neckar and the hill of the Philosophenweg can be seen in the picture above, courtesy of KT (who is far more of a photographer than I’ll ever be).
In other exciting news, I met today with Erica Hemmy, a swim coach from the Katja Schumacher Triathlon Akademie. Katja Schumacher is a world-class athlete and she and her team coach some very successful triathletes, but they also coach athletes of all levels (even as low as mine!). They offer a variety of services, including personalized training plans and individual coaching. Individual coaching is too much for me, but for a very reasonable price I can train in one technique session a week with them for the rest of my six months in Germany. They offer one bike, one swim, and one run session every week, and I’ll alternate between disciplines week by week depending upon what I feel needs most technique work (most probably more often the bike and the swim). I’m excited about this, as it’s a cost-effective way to get some top-class training and to meet other triathletes training in the area. I really love training on my own, but it will also be good to get some motivation by training one session per week with others. This week I’ll be with them for an indoor cycling session on Thursday and will report on how it goes.