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Let the sport transition begin – what goes down must come up ?

What goes down must come up…. Right???

Ya, I’m just gonna reverese that saying. Truth is when it comes to training I believe in it. Take a look at all those graphs on scientific physiology research papers. They are constantly leaving a state of homeostasis. A persons fitness drops like a rock, sometimes for reasons unknown to man, and then can almost immediately spike back up. Up down, up down, round and round…. Im on that meri-go-round!

After a couple weeks back at home from my last ski race of the year I resumed my triathlon training. Now I’m not trying to be egotistical here but truth is I had kind of thought that my shape was pretty good. I mean, hey, I’d just returned from nearly 1.5 straight weeks of racing and some pretty descent ski training blocks prior to that. I figured that would fairly smoothly translate into fast running times. Nadda, nope, WRONGO.

3 days ago was the test. My own sprint-triathlon time trial (accompanied by Mike and dogs… in car). Time to give those legs a go. Well, the swim was actually not too bad at all (mind you my expectations for that part are less than impressive)! Then it came time for transition. Into the changeroom! Forecast for the day was an overcast -2. Yup, not exactly typical tri weather.

***Side note- has anyone ever tried changing as quickly as possible from a swimming time trial into many many layers of spandex? Let me tell you, the sports bra is the easiest part! Pretty sure I came out of the changeroom wetter than when I came out of the pool!

Well, turns out there was no need for that as the weather looked exactly like this:

So Mike and I decided that maybe riding my bike to the top of spray lakes road and then running up there was a bad idea. Back into the gym to time trial on a gym spin bike and run in my bike short diaper on the treadmill. In the middle of my bike leg, on a very hot sweat smelling room (I 100% contributed to this), an older gentleman decided he needed the fan turned off. Coming from racing in minus 10 to racing in 25 degrees with no fan is not an easy transition! When I got off the bike I actually missed the floor and landed flat on my well-padded dupa (thanks to Sportful bike shorts!). The man kindly helped me up saying he had never seen anyone workout that hard in his life, and was I ok? AKA, crazy. Buddy, there are lots of us crazies out there, but we just keep it to the outdoors… usually. Yup, I embarrassingly sauntered my way to the treadmill, excited to hit it hard.

When I was in high-school and ran lots, I could pretty easily run a 17:30 for a cross-country 5k. So I strategically looked at the treadmill pace charts and determined that I would simply run this 5k on the treadmill on 17min 55s. That’s do-able right? Ha! Boy was I ever wrong! I started my speed at 16.7km/hr, and within 2 minutes was grabbing onto that front bar in full on “save me from flying off this thing” mode. So I put it down to 16.2… ya no… still hyperventilating within first minute… 15.7? I had to surrender myself to a comfortable 15-15.5 pace, clocking me in at a blistering 19:56, a full 2.5minutes slower than I thought I was capable of.

I’m telling you all this because I want you to know just how fast things change, and how amazingly adaptable the body is. Today I ran 8x2min at 16.7-17.7 km/hr with 90s rest pretty easily on the treadmill. That is just 2 days later. Now, of course, my performance the other day was probably because when I began my run I was already in a state of fatigue and dehydration, but honestly, things change fast! A lot of it is as simple as re-training your motor control patterns and biomechanics. That is what I love about treadmills; they don’t lie. If you aren’t running the pace, well, you simply fall right off. They force you to run at the speed you need to run, and your body quickly figures out the most efficient and effective way to do it. I highly encourage all of you racers out there to so some pace workouts on the treadmill before your season starts! It pays off quick!

Happy Treadmilling! Brittany and the COG girls

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