How to pack triathlon training into your holiday week

Posted by William 15/04/2019 0 Comment(s)

Wondering what to do during your Easter break? Active Root Ambassador and triathlete Kirsty O'Brien tells us how she spent her week of training like a professional athlete. 

So, with being off work for the Easter break, I got the rare opportunity to train full time last week. But no warm weather training camps for me, I loaded my bike, my running shoes, my Active Root and my husband in the car and we headed up to Boat of Garten to stay with family and train! As the forecast was for snow, my kit bag was packed full with extra layers, and I opted for the mountain bike rather than the TT bike.  I also left the wetsuit behind – I probably wouldn’t be swimming in the partly frozen Loch Morlich. 

Monday i snuck in a swim before we hit the road. I decided on a 2.5k swim, with 2km done as 20x100m at CSS pace (critical swim speed – which means ouch, but not so ouch you can’t hold it for 20 efforts with a short 8-10sec rest). I don’t drink much during these sessions, and I don’t like to waste a drop of Active Root, so I filled the bottle with the peppermint and ginger flavour. This gives me energy, but also really helps me recover. So what I didn’t drink in the pool (which was most of it) I sipped on in the car on the way up the road in order to recover for my next session. The afternoon was 2.5 hours of mountain biking round the trails in Boat of Garten and Aviemore.  It was a bottle of original ginger flavour that fuelled me through that. As the snow had started 2 hours into the ride, what I didn’t drink on the bike I heated up when I got back to help my warm up in front of the fire.

Tuesday was a 12 mile speed run on the trails, including 12x400m efforts (and a 200m to make it 5k as I am weird with numbers like that) and then a 5k at half ironman race pace. I don’t carry anything on the run with me, but I always drink 500mls of Active root at least before I head out.  Again, I opted for the peppermint and ginger flavour as I knew I would drink the rest to recover when I got back. I got an unexpected rest in the afternoon as the snow was too heavy even for me to bike in. So it was a core workout and then feet up (and maybe a wee drink with my husband in the local hotel).

Wednesday morning it was still pretty snowy, but there was some rain doing a good job of washing it away. So I decided it would be fine to do my 10 mile easy recovery run. By the time I got back I had more snow in my shoes than foot, and my feet had turned a strange colour of purple. So it was hot original active root in front of the fire again to warm up and recover for the next session. The afternoon was 90mins of hill reps on the bike fuelled by the remainder of the mornings active root (as I said, I don’t waste a drop)

Thursday morning was a hard watt bike to run session in the gym. I am a very sweaty person, and dehydrate a lot during these sessions. So it was a full bottle of green tea and ginger active root on the bike (this always tastes best when I am working at my hardest – it is so much more refreshing than the sugary drinks I used to use) and then about 250ml of peppermint and ginger on the run. The rest of the peppermint and ginger got me through my 3km recovery swim in the afternoon.

Friday is my easy recovery day. That consists of an easy 5mile run in the morning (usually 2.5mile up hill and 2.5 miles back down) and then a 3.5-4km swim in the afternoon focusing on power and technique. This is what I like to call my boring day. As I got older though, I see the value in these easy recovery days. If I am feeling really depleted from the week I will drink a bottle of Active root during the swim. If not, I stick to water. I had put in a pretty tough week training so opted for a bottle of peppermint and ginger during the swim and afterwards to help me recover.

Saturday morning I always have a bit of a lie in, but took it way too far last Saturday. I slept for about 14 hours and woke up at 10am. Oh dear. As I do my long run on a Saturday (usually up to 2 hours) I need to eat a lot before it, so I need to give myself 2 hours between eating and running. I also sip on a bottle of active root the hour before, on Saturday it was a bottle of green tea and ginger. I finally got out for my run just after 12 – there are so many other people out and about at this time, who knew. As my local pool shuts at 4pm on a Saturday, and I had 4km to do, it was a quick change, eat and drink then a race to the pool as fast as my wee bus would go (I am not sure the driver was in on the fact this was a late swim emergency). During this session I usually do a load of 50m sprints at just above race pace. I had 40x50m to do so the rest of my morning bottle of active root was well and truly used up in the pool.

Sunday was another unplanned lie in (I could get used to this) and then a 100k watt bike in the gym. I have carpel-tunnel, so if it is too cold outside to ride the bike I have to go into the gym as my hands seize up in to a claw not suitable for changing gears and pulling breaks. As it was wet, as well as cold, this meant watt bike. A long watt bike means a lot of fluid to take on. I don’t use gels or anything, but I take 1 bottle of original ginger active root, one bottle of green tea and ginger, and one bottle of water. All three get drunk, usually ginger first, green tea second, and water intermittently. Then it is a few hour rest before a 5 mile recovery run. The watch doesn’t even go on when I am doing that. I run to my turn point and back, trying to forget that there is such a concept as pace.
And just like that, my week was done. Miles done – loads. Slices of cake eaten – 3. Hours slept – too many. Active root drank – loads, but not a single drop wasted.

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