Raynard Tissink Triathlon Coach
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The second week at altitude was pretty much the same as the first – not pleasant for training. There was still a lot of wheezing and gasping for air during the tough swim workouts in the 50m pool, but I’m coming to grips with the long, slow cycling and running sessions, where the legs don’t burn much anymore, but the lungs still struggle on the climbs.

This week’s training was a carbon-copy of last week, with 3 rides of 4hrs or more, including the Saturday long ride up to Estes Park. On this occasion I had Paul Ambrose for company, and he doesn’t like to take it easy, so needless to say, the ride was a little tougher than last week. In the afternoon, we headed up to Switzerland Trail for a change of scenery, to an easy 10km run. The problem when running at 9-10 000 feet (3000m) above sea-level is it’s never easy. Strangely, I didn’t feel too bad while running, but almost as soon as I stopped and headed back down the mountain, I started feeling nauseous and disorientated, and getting a headache, all classic symptoms of altitude sickness. The things we do for fun. Luckily it all passed soon, and the following morning it was business as usual.

Even though I’m not quite enjoying swimming in a 50m pool at the moment, I’m really enjoying the swimming (apart from the suffering of course). There are numerous sessions to choose from, seven days a week, and this week I managed to get in 6 swim sessions with a squad (which means not having to think about what you’re going to do next). Just jump in and follow the person in front of you (because the coaches “codes” are sometimes a little tough to decipher), or in my case, just try to hold onto the feet in front of you for as long as possible.

I’ve managed to put in some good mileage on the running side again this week. Thursday was double run day again, and Sunday the same 30km long run as last week. Fortunately for my confidence, I had a tailwind on the way home, which meant I narrowly missed/beat my personal worst 1km split of 5min34sec by 1sec. Or perhaps it’s just signs of improvementJ

Cycling has been mostly on my own, except for two long rides with Ambrose, which at this point in time hasn’t been a problem because of the lack of power in my legs. The two rides with Ambrose were really hard for me, and I had to do a lot of deep digging to keep up, especially on the hills/mountains. Hopefully in a couple of weeks time there will be more triathletes willing to ride with each other, as it seems there are a few “clicky” groups in town that don’t like to mingle with the riff-raff. Luckily I’m not here to make friends, just to train, and then to kick ass.

Next week will be a little more exciting as we head down to lower altitudes to race in Lubbock, Texas. The Buffalo Springs 70.3 will be the first indication of where my training needs to go from here, so I’m really looking forward to see how I’m going to shape up. Will keep you posted.

Annah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017

After a great first year racing in the professional category in 2016, I was amped for the 2017 season. Feeling stronger and fitter and more in the "right head space" - I had done some great training over December spending many many many (and many more) hours on the bike - I loved it. My swim was starting to click, I was starting to understand the phrase "feel the water", and my running was strong

READ ONAnnah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017
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