Well so far, so good... the training is going really well. I racked up 16 hours last week and I'm still able to function, so that's a result!
My swimming is coming together and last Friday I managed to take 2 and a half minutes off my best ever 3.8km time in the pool; hitting 4km in exactly 1 hour and 20 mins (and 0 seconds!) - holding 2 min/100m pace for the entire duration. I was rather chuffed with that!
The ATHelite swim sessions on a Tuesday night are paying off for speed and technique and I'm going to continue with a longer swim every Friday to keep the endurance going. Dare I say it but I'm actually starting to enjoy my time in the water! Shock, horror!!!
I'm sticking rigidly to the plan Gary is developing and I'm noticing benefits, especially in my running. Whilst I've not been outside as much as I'd like (a necessity of having to look after the young 'uns when Lorna has been out racing / training / picking up shiny new bikes), it has allowed me to keep in the correct heart rate zones. This low heart rate training is called the Maffetone training method and seemingly it is what our short track speed skaters have been using to get fit.
A couple of months ago I was struggling to hold my heart rate at the top of zone 2 (<128 bpm) at 7.5 km/hr with a 3% incline on the treadmill... This is the HR trace from today:
A maximum of 121 bpm and an average of 110 bpm; pretty much 10-15 bpm lower than it had been at the same pace / incline.
This basically means I'm getting more efficient at the same speed, or alternatively I can run faster with the same heart rate. The goal really is to push up the threshold heart rate as much as possible to allow me to run as fast as I can whilst staying aerobic. It seems to be working...