My training is taking all sorts of false steps.

There was that disaster when I thought the top Tri people ran without socks (confused it with riding without socks, which I think is a thing) and knackered my feet for a fortnight.

Then I went for a professional bike fit (getting the saddle at the right height, position forward and back, angle of seat, setting the cleats in the right place, adjusting the handlebars to correct length of reach, armrest, and height, etc. Basically getting the bike to be a perfect fit for me.)

The guy doing it was an ex Tour De France professional rider, so he knew his stuff.

The fit is great, totally not how I had it, so hopefully that will rule out further knee pain and such.

Better than that though was the free advice. It took about 2½ hours to fit me up (really!) so he had plenty of time to talk.

Everything I thought is wrong. Everything.

I remembered as a kid riding all day in boots and jeans and going flat out in top gear. From that I extrapolated the best way to train is no padding in your shorts to toughen up your nethers, and put it in top gear on the trainer and grind it out until you get huge muscles.

All wrong.

As he pointed out, if you could toughen up your bits don’t you think the professional riders would do it?

And don’t go for big muscles. You have the physique you have. He said, as a runner, I’ve got strong legs anyway, get them moving. I am comfortable at about 70rpm on the bike. He said I should be aiming for 95. I’ve done a few training rides on the turbo trainer at that cadence. It is brutal. I’m in a pathetically low gear, legs screaming, sweat streaming off me. He said to maintain that cadence so when you transition to the run your legs are already at the right speed. Fair do’s. I’ve just got to adapt.

After he’s adjusted the bike to perfection the tri bars had a big bit sticking out the back which needed to be cut to length. Which entailed taking the gear cables off, then rethreading them through the frame. I gave it a go. I managed to do it, but it just wasn’t right. The rear derailleur wasn’t taking the slack on the cable.

So I had to take it in to Ron Spencer’s to have a proper bike mechanic look at it. It turns out there is a length of outer cabling, through which the cable must pass, hidden inside the frame. That was out of line so the cable was snagging.

Got that fixed, brought it home, all set to start battering my commute. The seat post isn’t the conventional round one, it’s a thin, long, aero blade. I can’t fit the clip on mudguard to it, or mount a rear light on it. *sigh*

The last two days I’ve been resuming my commute on the other bike. I’ve set it up to same dimensions at the pro bike-fitted one. Yesterday, the first day, nearly killed me. Low gear, thrashing my legs around. Awful.

Today was a lot better. Still awful, but progress.


Then there’s the running.

My training plan went out of the window playing catch-up after the no-sock fiasco. Getting a base of speed, fitness and stamina is the hardest part, but then you can build on it. I’ve had to skip that bit and just try and set new PBs every time I go out. This week it failed. I went from 4 miles at killer speed straight to 5. Only I didn’t. I failed big time.

I’m going to get out and try to redeem myself tomorrow, but it’s looking incredibly hard to get a sub 3 hour marathon by April.


And the swim.

After me getting my hopes up with the swim lessons coach, now I’m not so sure. I’ll give it a few weeks of practicing smooth, regular breathing, (which was my primary goal, anyway) but then I want him to iron out the rest of my problems. He keeps telling me there’s nothing wrong with my stroke, but there so is.

As he said, he’s the expert, I’m there to learn. I’ll do as he says. For a few weeks at least. As I said to Wendy, I’m sorting out my breathing which is the first and most vital thing, and I’m forcing myself to go swimming. That is a good thing. If I wasn’t taking lessons I’d find excuses not to swim at all.


Next Day:

Today I had a bonus day off. Wendy had booked a week off work to use up her holidays, which I didn’t know about, but there was one day available at my works so I booked it off.

Yesterday I did my ride into work and back, an hour and half to get showered and some food, then out for my swim. When I got back my nose was running again. I ignored it. In the night I woke several times all stuffed up, with the threat of a sinus headache. Still ignored it. Today I set out to see where I stood for my Manc half marathon on Sunday. After the disappointing last few runs I thought I’d do 10 miles at 7 m/m. Tough, but possible.

I set off fast but just kept getting slower. I couldn’t get my breathing and my legs had nothing in them. I ended up averaging 7.38 which is pitiful. I was thinking it could be the strong winds, the ride and swim knackering my legs, or a catastrophic loss of fitness.

Not a happy bunny.

After that we went around Durham Massey gardens and suddenly my nose was streaming and I felt like crap.

Ah, the penny drops.

Hopefully it was just the onset of a beastly cold.

Sunday isn’t looking promising. The Manc half is supposed to be my attempt at a 1.30 half marathon, the way I feel now it would just be a “finish”. I can do a 13.1 mile “finish” run any time, without travelling to Manc.

I’ve had a load of food and painkillers and I feel OK at the minute. I’ll see how it goes tomorrow. My eyes feel tired still and I just want to lay down.

I suppose I’m due. I’ve not had a cold in ages. March ‘17 was the last bad one. I’ve still not recovered my sense of taste or smell from that one. I can still taste some things, not accurately or consistently, but I know if I like it on not. As for smell, that is just odd. I was convinced my leather motorbike jacket stank of rotting meat. I was gagging putting in on. Then the days of smelling nothing but diesel fumes, now an ongoing thing where strong smells all smell the same, a sort of fruity, yeasty smell.

On the bright side, I’ve not smelt Wendy’s perfume in forever. I expect it’s nice, but I didn’t like strong smells so I used to choke on it. Now I don’t even know if she’s wearing it. So, swings and roundabouts.

Anywho, here’s a deer.


And another eating chestnuts.


While a ninja deer looks on.


Poorly ill Buck.