It is 4 days since my Ironman and the 5:00am wake up call is not something that I am happy to hear. I put it on snooze and sleep for another 20 minutes before getting up. I head downstairs and give breakfast to the cats. I think about having something for myself but it is only the second session back for the year and I am sure that we will be easing into it. I grab a banana just in case and head towards the pool. It is nice and warm in the morning and seems like an eternity since I have last ridden my motorbike to swimming. Usually it is a bike ride followed by a ride to work and then home however this week I am taking it a little easier.
I make it to the pool and catch up with a couple of people regarding what they have done over the Christmas break and the various races that they and I have completed. I head into the pool area and there is no program. We are told to jump into the water and do a 400 metre warm up. This is followed by 300 metres worth of drills. We are told that the next session will be 3 lots of 5 minutes of swimming. Basically the first set is to swim for 5 minutes at 7 pace and see how far you can go in that time. When we swim our level or exertion is based on a number out of ten. Usually an easy swim is around a 6-7, a swim at a reasonable threshold is at 8, and a swim above threshold (absolutely flat out) is at 9-10. The first set will be at 7 pace followed by a set at 8 pace and then a set at 9 pace. For the next 15 minutes we are going to sprinting.
We complete the first set and I have gone around 275 metres. We have a break and then start the second. I am feeling okay from the first set but know this next one will be hard. I am just hanging on to the person in front of me when time is called and I have swum around 290 metres. We start the third set which will be flat out and my arms are killing me. I push through counting down the laps and make it to the wall just as the 5 minutes is up completing 300 metres. I am exhausted after this and it is only 6:40am. We are soon told that we are repeating the sets.
I let out a sigh and can't believe that we are doing it all again! I push through the second set of exercises, completing similar distances to what was completed on the first set. We are finished and I complete a 100 metre backstroke warm down before heading to work. I am officially back at training!! Why you ask, should I not now be resting?? No, as I have entered another Half Ironman in Auckland on March 18th and there is no time to waste!