So after one week of doing absolutely NOTHING (well, except for sleeping, eating, enjoying some wine, and sleeping some more) last week was a “re-entry” of sorts—back into a more “business as usual” life on both the work AND working out front.
I headed to Tokyo for a swift business trip last week. 48 hours in one of the world’s great cities, with a completely full agenda. On the agenda included time to enjoy chilled soba noodles. It is still hot and summery in Tokyo, with temperatures above 30C and humidity too. Chilled soba is a summer treat – a meal that my Japanese colleague explained to me was designed to be easy to eat for when it is frankly too hot to feel much like eating.
A pile of fresh noodles, to be dipped into chilled soy sauce with wasabi horseradish. So simple and tasty. Soba outside of Japan just doesn’t taste like SOBA.
Last week was also the week when I started to ease back into “off season” training. This is my first “off season” working with my coach Russell Cox, so from what I can see, the plans for now are more about maintaining some sort of consistent schedule, with an emphasis on “easier” work. I am not complaining at all! It is nice just to focus on “doing” and not to worry about hitting targets or numbers at the moment. I managed to run twice, cycle once, swim twice, and get to bootcamp.
One of my two swims was The Great London Swim. On a whim, just after the Harwich Triathlon, I decided to sign up for this open water swim. I figured it would be at the same venue as the London Triathlon Swim, and I wanted to have a go at cracking the 30 minute mark (I was kind of disappointed with my time from London). Of course, when I signed up my trip to Tokyo wasn’t finalised, so as I had just arrived home on Friday evening I knew better than to expect a fast time from my jetlagged self so instead just focused on a solid steady effort.
Early last week we were informed that the venue would be changing to the Millwall Docks, down by Crossharbour. I have to say that I LOVED the new venue. I really hope that the organisers make this move permanent. It was an interesting swim, a sheltered and easy course so great for first timers or for those seeking fast times. It was also a perfect morning, super sunny and blue skies.
According to my Garmin, I managed to clock a consistent 1.44/100m time. A good effort for me, slower than I know I am capable of but a time that definitely shows the progress I have made over the last year. I am glad I decided to do this late addition to my schedule – it was such a gorgeous morning to swim!
Following the swim and a decent breakfast (gotta love egg fried recovery rice!) I headed to bootcamp. I have started a new (to me) Saturday bootcamp session by Ultimate City Fitness close to where I live in London, in addition to the once a week 30 minute session I am doing with Arete Fitness.
Doing an hour long bootcamp, complete with high intensity tabata intervals woven throughout, is like taking off the training wheels when it comes to strength and conditioning work! This is definitely not something I would have ever imagined doing a few years ago – and the simple fact that I can do it makes me immensely proud of myself and the progress I have made!
One minute wall sits – one of the “between set” exercises spaced throughout the 12 different strength and conditioning stations. Done twice. Oof. I’m just left of the radiator in the black tank top, enjoying myself immensely!
This stuff is killer – but in the best possible way. One of my goals is to build my strength over the coming months. I know that this will help to protect my knees, and will also improve my swimming with a stronger upper body, and improve my cycling with more leg strength. It is hard – but the good kind of hard. And although I do a lot of work arounds to avoid overloading my knee, I definitely had two day DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) as confirmation that I worked hard!
Nothing like “easing into off season” huh?!