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Home / Blog / Forgive me father tri, for I have sinned

Forgive me father tri, for I have sinned

Work and the weather disrupt Bronwen Vachery's voyage

It’s been two weeks since my last blog and I’ve hardly moved a muscle. Those few I have moved, I’ve managed to injure.

So far, my ‘training’ has consisted of two runs (actually more like one and a half), cycling to uni and back five times a week (about 10 minutes each way) and precisely no swims. Oh dear.

I have a number of very weak and unconvincing excuses for my lack of effort thus far. Firstly, I’ve been really busy. Honestly, I have. I’m approaching the business end of a Masters degree and the last two weeks have been spent working towards submitting a particularly taxing assignment. I have been in uni from 9 to 6, then by the time I get home I’ve only had the energy to eat dinner and watch Masterchef. Training definitely gets tougher than this.

Secondly, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s absolutely FREEZING. When you’re someone who finds it difficult to get motivated to go for a run at the best of times, a snowstorm will generally be the icing on the cake for reasons not to go out.

I’ve been meaning to start swimming at my local lido too but, although it’s heated, you still have to find your way in and out of that lovely warm water and I haven’t much fancied wandering around in the snow in just my swimming cossie. I’m going to have to start dealing with this one though. According to forecasters we’re likely to be wearing thermals until the end of April, and I really need to be doing some regular training by then. Brrrrr.

I could have sworn I had more excuses than this, but I can’t think of any more. So I should probably talk about what I have actually done – my impressive one and a half runs.

Parkruns and croissants

Up until recently my regular runs have been quite short – there’s a weekly, Saturday morning parkrun about five minutes from my flat. It starts at 9am, which not only ensures I get out of bed at a reasonable time, but also means I’m done by 9:30 and can justify a croissant when I get in. Just about. I’ve done it a couple of times and loved it, but as it’s only 5k I feel like it’s not really enough in the run up to Vachery.

So I extended another regular run to something more like six miles. I plotted a route and duly dragged myself out while it was snowing, feeling very sorry for myself. I actually felt fine on the run, apart from getting exceptionally cold hands, and was very happy to reward myself with a hot shower and spaghetti hoops on toast when I got in.

But I neglected to stretch properly and have subsequently been suffering with very tight calf muscles (I’m sure the cold weather must have had something to do with it?) I tried to go for another run a couple of days later and bailed after about 2.5 miles as I was in so much pain. Not good. I’ve learned my lesson now though: I either have to move to a tropical climate or be more vigilant with my stretching.

So now I’m waiting for my legs, and the weather, to return to normal. Let’s hope it’s soon…

Profile image of Matt Baird Matt Baird Editor of Cycling Plus magazine


Matt is a regular contributor to 220 Triathlon, having joined the magazine in 2008. He’s raced everything from super-sprint to Ironman, duathlons and off-road triathlons, and can regularly be seen on the roads and trails around Bristol. Matt is the author of Triathlon! from Aurum Press and is now the editor of Cycling Plus magazine.