Specificity of Training (Change of Sport)


So I just about managed to get a few weeks of running together before the Hampton Half Marathon on 22 Feb. I finished with 1hr21 and 13th/2600. This was as good as I realistically expected, and could have been a lot better if I hadn’t lost time and places in final few miles from lack of training. A good start. Unfortunately I damaged (tore) a calf muscle in the following week on a run. It’s not a deep tear but has meant pulling out of the Civil Service Road Relays and an 8 mile race in the coming week.

In the meantime I have been working on developing the swimming, cycling and conditioning/resistance work. After just two months I’m starting to fill-out again and the stats show I’m getting much stronger, which is great. Inevitably it has added a little weight.

On 7 Mar I helped with the running of the Green Man Ultra race around Bristol. I do enjoy helping out at races and particularly seeing people complete their first Ultra. Although I have to say it was a strange experience marshalling a race where my course record was broken, albeit on a shorter course. I do miss Ultra run racing, but my body wasn’t happy with the punishment it was getting.

So at the moment while trying to build my fitness back up and enter the odd short-distance running event I am considering my options. I could build up my running through the distances and perhaps do an end of season or spring 2016 marathon. Or I could continue to work hard in the gym and have more of a balance between swim, bike and run and enter some short distance triathlons. I have already entered a sprint triathlon in May for a bit of fun. I can now compete in the Vet cat as well as overall, which adds another dimension. It’s possible to train for both the marathon and triathlons at the same time. But I may train specifically for one or the other this time around and optimise.

Then there are the more obscure alternatives…

Modern Triathlon / Tetrathlon
About 8 years ago (while training for Ironman) I was a member of a fencing club. It’s a surprisingly quite physically demanding sport, requiring a lot of focus. I would sweat buckets on some nights, and find that my shoulders suffered due to the fencing pose, and the amount of swimming and resistance work I would do in the same week.
I also had a compact air pistol and lived with an ex GB junior modern pentathlete. I was keen to try a modern triathlon (swim/run/shoot) or tetrathlon (+fencing, or riding) but my focus was more on Ironman, and the opportunity passed. The main problem is you generally have to join separate clubs, and events are far less frequent than triathlon. You can use club gear which reduces costs, but you’d eventually need to invest in equipment for competitions. Mind you it’s no more expensive than competitive cycling equipment! A biathle (swim/run/swim) would be a good way to get involved and see what’s local.

I’ve always fancied trying my hand at archery, and we were lucky enough to get tickets for the Olympics which added to my interest. It’s another one of those interesting sports you know you can try at any age. I had the opportunity to ‘have a go’ during an Ultra running event (12 Labours of Hercules) last year. It was one of the twelve challenges (‘Labours’) you had to complete within the Ultra run. Well, despite getting kitted out and feeling like I could wipe out the French, I was useless. It’s not as easy as it looks and takes quite an effort to lock your arm as you draw the arrow back.

I wish :(

If all else fails.


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