I was surprised and extremely excited to be chosen for the Academy for 2010. I’m still wondering how it came about! I came into the early part of this year looking forward to the racing season ahead.
Last year was my first season and I only started training with any sort of structure in April and hadn’t ridden a bike in years so I had no base to race off. This year I had braved some cycling and running during winter, and even travelled to the Pyrenees for some climbing practice (not to mention some good red wine and cheese).
In March, Bill Black got in touch and we had our first academy training session. In addition to being an all round top guy, he has so much knowledge. Unfortunately for him I bombarded him with a lot of questions. I’m sure he was glad when that first session was over!
In the sessions so far we’ve covered training structure, nutrition, turbo sessions, swim sessions and run drills. He expects us to do two sessions of each discipline per week, which is realistic and achievable for me. I always worry that I don’t do enough compared to a lot of other people in my club, so it was nice to be reassured that I could get faster while doing less sessions and increasing the specificity and intensity.
It all seemed to be falling into place just as injury struck. Prior to being selected in the Academy I had entered Austria Ironman 70.3. I was just into my last big week of high volume training when I injured my knee. I know worse things happen but I was pretty devastated. Getting up and running in rain, hail, more rain and snow in addition to those chilly winter cycles were all motivated by racing, and that immediately looked unlikely. I’m a sports physiotherapist and l knew this wasn’t going to settle down quickly.
A few appointments with sports physicians, and a couple of cortisone injections later, my knee is improving but very slowly. A 70.3 race was definitely out of the question and what’s even more frustrating is that I feel like my base has gone.
I’ve now been resting for eight weeks. No running, no cycling. I’m a bit of an Duracell bunny and have far too much energy, so I’m finding resting difficult. I suspect this is the same with a lot of triathletes who are drawn towards the sport, as it uses up their boundless energy.
This week I’m back spinning but still can’t put any power through my leg due to pain, so I’ll have to see how it goes. I’m going to make some adjustments to my racing plans and aim for races later in the season. In Blenheim, instead of doing the individual race, I’m in a relay team with the two guys in the academy. From all reports they’re speedy so I hope my swimming is up to scratch!