Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Rookies - Take Note

Things I have learned in the last week:

  1. Swimming pool water will strip your fake tan off and make you look like you have vitiligo.
  2. Running too much with crappy shoes and unconditioned legs can lead to compartment syndrome
  3. Dressing as a fluoro 80's athlete at the Wellington 7's does not constitute training
  4. I am not allowed to compete in a half IronMan triathlon using a flutter-board or snorkel.

Last week's training was a bit of a write off. Every run caused un-bearable pain in my calves and my 7's hangover prevented any productive training over the weekend. Let's be honest, it prevented ANY training over the weekend. 
Short 30 min runs covering 5-6km may seem easy going, but when your leg muscles aren't conditioned to the impact it can cause a bit of carnage. I've had a niggling ache in the side of my left calf muscle which I learned can be the start of Acute Compartment Syndrome. Essentially my calf muscles are swelling up and bashing against the connective tissue surrounding them causing further swelling and pain. When it's acute like this, and clearly caused from a not-so-elegant running style, it can easily be fixed with a bit of rest and stability training. I've chatted with the training team and Emma has got me focussing more on my swimming this week, giving the running a break until I can buy some shoes that won't destroy my calf muscles. Scotty and Cath have both got me doing stability type workouts to help prepare my legs for hitting the pavement.

Coolest Kid at Freyberg
Monday was the first day I braved the pool by myself. Armed with my bright pink one-piece and my Turbo the Snail swimming cap, I marched out to the pool only to have my confidence shattered by the lack of a "slow" lane. I slid into the "medium" lane and used the other person there (a 75+ year old woman) as a pace setter for the next 30 mins. 

My big focus for this session was to focus on my breathing to get a little less panicky in the water. It's a bizarre feeling, I'm not worried I will drown, I just feel like I can never get enough air for the work I'm asking my body to do. Apparently this is pretty normal. I'm trying to hold my breath rather than force it out and get rid of the CO2 build up. Read this.
Tomorrow will be a big test. I'm going to ditch the flutter board and face a 50m pool. I may have a snail on my swimming cap, but I'm actually pretty serious about nailing this swimming thing.

Oh, and I entered an ocean swim event which is in 2 weeks. It's time to train. 
Note for concerned family members - it's a novice entry. 150m swim and 2km run. There will be safety boats.

I've got 2 more swims planned for this week, a few dates with my worst enemy the foam roller, then I think it's time I took my expensive room mate out for a spin. 

I'm referring to my bike. 


  1. Hey Sammy, know you're not one to let an injury get our of hand, get yourself right and you'll be back to it in no time! Have to say, i really really really can't wait to hear how your riding goes. Once you nail technique on the roadie and get the hang of group riding, it becomes all about fueling and hydration strategy. You've got this superstar!

  2. Thanks Char! I'll get on the bike asap, horrible weather today and I'm not sure I want my first ride to be in these conditions!