The last length was killing me. My legs were burning, my lungs were bursting and I was desperate for it to end. I finally touched the wall and reached for my watch to stop the timer. I was so tired that I missed it the first time, but finally managed to stop it. I took my goggles off and checked the time. 6:01…
It had been a long day. A slightly disappointing client meeting that had required a 7-hour round trip drive to get there and back. So by the evening I wasn’t sure if I was ready for the gym, or for my bed. In the end I opted for the gym.
I took my kit, my SiS sports drink and my wife’s words (“Remember, you’re meant to enjoy it”) with me and did a light set on the bike and treadmill, with an abs set between the two. Once that was over, it was time to hit the pool.
A gentle 200m warmup and then I decided that it was time to do another time trial to see how the threshold training was going and if I was getting any quicker. So I set off on a 400m set and pushed myself as hard as I could and swam as fast as I could. And boy was it hard, but would it be quick?
… 6:01 …
I was amazed. That SMASHED my previous time!
Then it slowly dawned on me that maybe that time was a bit too quick… maybe, just maybe… okay, probably… I’d only swum 350m!
I was gutted, but I rested for a bit and then did another 400m in 7:04 and a 200m in 3:28, so my training is really starting to have an impact which is really pleasing.
The plan today was to go to do my first gym and swim session of the new training plan. I was also planning to test out the new SIS orange supplement as well as some of my new Speedo kit (towel, shorts and goggles) for the first time.
SIS and Speedo
However, my plan was slightly ruined by the fact that the pool was shut today!
So it was just the gym instead. I had a good session, although I didn’t enjoy the orange flavoured drink. I’m not sure whether it was the drink itself or just me this morning, but I couldn’t drink too much of it. I initially bought two orange and two blackcurrant, so I’ll give it another go, but at the moment the blackcurrant is the winner.
As for all the Speedo stuff, well that’ll have to wait until next time.
I’ve previously said that I don’t believe in coaches to help with training for the events, but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in taking a bit of help – what I don’t want is someone else making my training decisions.
So, as part of the plan towards Windermere 2014 I’m going to seek the right help where I can find it – and I’ve started with supplements.
One of the things I didn’t do well last time I swam Windermere was “feed” properly during the swim. I didn’t take on enough fluid and didn’t take on board enough nutrients. The main reason for that was that I hadn’t done it as part of my training, so I didn’t know what to take or how much or how often … or anything. If I can get my nutrition better then I’m sure that I can improve my time.
However, I need to work out which supplements are best for my body and help me the most, so for the next few weeks / months I’m going to do some trial and error.
As you can see I’m starting with SIS GO Energy powders. You mix each sachet with 500ml of water and it then provides extra carbohydrates for you as you’re working out. Or, as they say:
“SIS delivers superior nutrition so you can train harder, race faster and recover quicker.”
Today’s workout was the first time I tried one and I tried the Blackcurrant flavoured powder. With any test like this it’s hard to tell how much it helped (or even if it did at all) as there is no way of comparing to today’s workout without taking any supplements. My view on this is you have to just believe that supplements will help (which I do) then trust in that and work out which ones you feel most comfortable taking.
According to that reasoning today went well. The flavour of the drink is okay – a bit sweeter than I would normally have for a drink, but then it’s not a normal drink – and it seemed to be east enough to digest and didn’t affect my stomach while I was training. So, so far so good.
I’m going to try the orange ones as well and then will assess some other brands and some others types of supplement. As well as the energy ones I want ones which provide a bit more fuel – if I’m going to be in the water for just under 7 hours I’ll need to “eat” as well as “drink”. But for now I’ll call that a success.