Training continues for the triathlon and it's still going great! I completed my longest ride to date last weekend, cycling 20 miles round the country lanes of Essex. It was the first time I've gone for a proper spin on the road bike, especially on roads open to traffic (as I usually stick to dedicated cycle paths). It was great fun, and once I was out in the sticks it was really quite enjoyable. Who knew there was someone around the corner from me that has a llama farm!? That was quite a find. The only downside is the motorists. At this point, I'm wondering if I'll ever get used to the feeling of a lorry thundering past me with only an inch of space, or the speed at which people approach junctions while I'm cycling past. I can't shake the feeling that it only takes one idiot one time to make one mistake and that could be me in a heap on the roadside. But still, I persevere, especially as cycling round town is much better for both me and the environment than driving. My car hasn't moved in a week! I have set myself a goal of cycling 40k (roughly 25 miles) next weekend so I'll let you know how that goes.
The running is also going fantastically. I ran a comfortable 5 miles at the weekend and although my feet were killing me the whole time, I can honestly say I enjoyed it. I was sweaty and starving when I got back, but the feeling of achievement definitely overpowered that. It's the longest run I've done since I stopped running last year, and now I'm aiming to run my first 10k in a year this weekend. One of the biggest challenges I find is actually just deciding where to run! Living in a seaside town, the seafront is an obvious choice. But having run that same route countless times over the past few years, it gets a bit boring after a while, and there's nothing worse than a boring route to make a run feel like it's going on forever. So I'm looking at some new routes I can test out.
I still haven't done any swimming training or taken any swimming lessons, but one step at a time. The cycling and running are coming on in leaps and bounds and that's all I need in the lead up to the duathlon that I've entered in October. Once I've completed that, I'll look at getting my swimming up to standard a little more.
I am also on a personal weight loss journey at the moment, which is definitely being helped by all the cycling and running! I mentioned in the first post of this blog series that I have changed my diet from high fat - low carb to high carb - low fat, and it seems to be taking my body a little while to adjust. Our MD at Sundried followed the 5:2 diet very strictly for a long time and swears by it for dropping body fat - and it clearly works as he's sitting at about 6%. The premise of the 5:2 diet is that for 2 days a week you only consume 500 calories, and then for the rest of the week you eat normally. Now, I absolutely do not believe in fad diets and I do not condone them whatsoever. However, the concept of intermittent fasting - which is the underlying foundation for this diet - is one that has been tried and tested by athletes for many years and is a widely accepted means for dropping body fat in not only the fitness community but the spiritual one too. So I'm going to compromise, and eat 500 calories for 1 day a week while eating normally for the other 6. That 500 calorie day happens to be tomorrow so I'll be sure to let you know how that goes! Eek!
Read the next instalment - Couch To Triathlon (6) - Slow And Steady Wins The Race