One of the (many) joys of coming home these days is the reaction I get from NP upon walking through the door. It is seldom in your adult life that the reaction of your friends and colleagues (or even significant other) at your entry into a room is to jump up and down, clap, and grin to an extent which suggests that this event, your arrival, is one of the best things to have happened all day (KT may think this upon my arrival, but I suspect mainly due to the fact that I am then available for NP duty, as it is sometimes called – KT herself doesn’t jump up and down). This joy extends into coming back in after a training session, when NP’s general cheers at my arrival can add to a sense of accomplishment on a good day, or make me feel better if I’m disappointed with the session – my own cheering section. Recently, my arrival after a run prompted NP immediately to dash and bring me her favourite book to read (La maison la plus grande du monde, by Leo Lionni)–in the run of a day if we say the title or the words ‘petit escargot’ (who features prominently in the story) she heads off to find the book. As in the picture, this post-run read couldn’t wait until I’d changed, but NP didn’t seem to mind having a sweaty reader.
NP’s cheers (even partially muffled, as they were, by a banana she was chewing) when I came back in after my run today felt particularly celebratory, as this afternoon I completed my initial 10-week programme, intended to build basic aerobic capacity and fitness in the three disciplines (swim, bike, run: see training log page). This first phase of my training is of course only a small step in a process, but I do feel like I’ve made some significant steps forward with my fitness over the past 10 weeks (which have flown by more quickly than expected) and learned a lot of lessons in the pool, on the bike, and on my feet. Perhaps the main thing is that, despite having to work hard at times, I’ve really enjoyed all of the training and am now looking forward to the next few months.
One big change in my training from this point onward is that I’m going to be coached by Katja Schumacher through until the summer. She is designing my training schedule and I’m attending technique and training sessions with her and Erica Hemmy. One thing I have come to realize over the past ten weeks is that my basic programme, if a good start, was both quite intense and bluntly administered. In order to avoid injury and make real progress, I can’t just swim, bike, and run without thinking carefully about intensity and technique. The experience behind my programme and coaching in the next weeks therefore makes me feel confident in my training, and hopeful that I’ll be able to make some serious progress.
The new training programme is also now going to proceed in order to prepare for races this season. I’m going to start off in March and April with a couple of 10km running races and work my way into triathlons in the subsequent months. Details of my scheduled races are now posted on a new page and I’ll be blogging about these races and my results as they happen.