8 weeks until Aberfeldy Middle Distance Triathlon and I am gearing up for a more focused training strategy than the one I’ve been ‘following’ until now. Training just seems to be ticking over and this week I’ve been trying to get some structure to it. The weekend I needed to get some proper miles in (or KMs). With a 90km bike course, 21km run course and with 8 weeks to go I suspected a 70-75km ride would be needed and a 17km run would probably be enough.
I’m not the type of exerciser to just grind out distance for the sake of it, I need to be going somewhere, seeing stuff, adventuring or taking in scenery. I can’t just ride a road with no reason. Planning is of course necessary and that I did and the plan took me on a one way journey to Dunbar! Awesomely flat – ish and along the sea which always makes me happier, especially breathing in that salt air.
The ride was great, and I felt fresh after a rest day on Friday and only 2 pints on Friday night. The average pace was good, 27-28kmph. Good? I mean awesome for me. It just seems my cycling has come on leaps and bounds this season from my 20-23kmph averages I got while Ironman training.
Here’s the route I took. Feeling fresh on the ride, was probably due to the flat course, though I will note the end of the route got undulating with sharp ups, downs and the head wind popped up. I was generally pleased with my ride and my knees only grumbled a wee bit as I stiffened up eating scone and drinking coffee al fresco on Dunbar High Street.
70kms and 2hrs 30mins I felt good and probably could have done more!
The run was also great but happened after an afternoon out on the booze which turned out to an evening thing and then I didn’t get home until late after catching the midnight bus from Glasgow with a bunch of other boozed up people. 12pm waking up and then attempting to rehydrate and refuel as the Subway sandwich munchies didn’t really fill me up! Where would I run? Gathering inspiration on strava and looking at the green lines on google’s cycling map I decided Falkirk would be good as there was a new attraction called the Kelpies and they have pre-planned cycle paths which with some modification and still taking in the sights I managed to plot an 18km run, a wee bit longer than planned but I knew I’d be stopping to sight see along the way.
Litres of Juice, scrambled eggs on toast and a quick snooze I was off to Falkirk parking near Callendar Park which I never knew existed I started to run. Running through the park was a lovely start, good trails, leading in all directions, good for me to get lost but at least I had the route plotted on Strava so I could generally keep track of my progress and that I wasn’t massively off track. Exiting the park finding a road down to the stadium, then off road through the Helix park dodging people. SO many people, kids, dogs, cyclist, not my usual running where I like to be alone, but kept my mind off the running anyway. It is actually a great facility, and even some open water swimming can be done, though not for me, I prefer more remote places. Anyway, off I ran following the signs of horses to get to the Kelpies.
These are massive, and amazing and really shiny. Quick detour back over the canal and off I was back on track to find the route to the Falkirk Wheel… another amazing feat of engineering. I got lost a bit, or so I thought, a lack of signs meant looking at Strava a lot but I managed to get on track following a stinky river and eventually popping out in a housing estate. This is where i cut short the advertised cycle route to shorten the route so I went along a road for a bit and found a cycle path to take me to the Forth and Clyde Canal where it would take me to the Falkirk Wheel. Here the route goes up to the Union Canal and then back to where I started.
It’s a good feeling doing a training run where you can also do some tourism at the same time. I will be back Falkirk. 18kms done with some good strava segment results! I even finished thinking I could have gone further with a pace of just about 5min Kms I can be quite happy with that!
I’m feeling good about this triathlon and also how my injuries are keeping at bay. I may yet be recovered!