I’m now past the halfway point in my training schedule, and am just about to finish the 12th week of a total of 20 weeks training. Every fourth week is a recovery week with minimum efforts across the three disciplines of swimming, cycling and running. And this week is one of those weeks. I hate them.
Why? Because I feel like I can do more, and the lack of training sessions is making me feel bored and restless. I know I need to stick to the plan, and for good reason. My calf muscles are very twitchy, my hips have been hurting, my shoulders are sore all the time, and my elbows are swollen.
Today, I could barely lift my copy of Joe Friel’s ‘The Triathlete’s Training Bible’ off the table with one hand. I think the muscles in my forearms are shot from trying to get the hang of the ‘high elbow catch’.
But let’s not go there with the ‘high elbow catch’ malarky! That’s a whole blog post on its own.
The point is, the training takes its toll. Aches and pains are just the body’s way of telling you to ease up a bit. Because under the skin, things are changing. They really are!
I used to be a card carrying insomniac. Not any more. Bed at 10pm, happily sleep to 7.30am if allowed.
And here’s why: every night my body is working hard to repair and strengthen my body. For that it needs some quiet time. And in return I’m gaining muscle in places there weren’t muscles, and making encouraging gains in speed and stamina.
But it’s not all good news. Not so welcome is the constant battle with sweat rashes, athletes foot, and my skin reacting badly to the chlorine in the pool. The worst thing though is my diet.
It is out of control. While I’m burning thousands of calories every day, I am consuming many thousands more.
For goodness sakes, I ate a slice of homemade lasagne at 11am today.
That’s a lie, it was 10.30am.
So that’s the reason I looked up Joe Freil’s weighty triathlete manual today. To read up on nutrition and find how best I eat for triathlon training while ditching those unwanted empty calories.
Throughout the detailed section on nutrition, Joe makes a case for living the Paleo diet. And I am a big fan of the Paleo concept.
It boils down to eating and drinking like we used to, before modern farming and big food corporations fucked up our food. Like any diet, you can live it like you are a zealot in some kind of foodie cult. I need looser reigns than that, especially with a diet plan that calls for wild game, and seasonal nuts & berries!
So, I am going to cut out processed carbs and cut back on refined sugars (with the exception of my weekly rest day, also known as ‘beer and ice-cream’ day). Hopefully that will see my intake of healthy greens and fruit & veg increase and wipe a bundle of unwanted calories off the plate.
And I’m going to buy a steamer. Right after I eat this last slice of lasagne.
Waste not want not 😉