Paweł ChalacisPaweł Chalacis

Time flies quite fast, it’s been already three months since I've started my Triathlon preparation. Over this three months I've probably swum and run more than in my entire life, I've experimented with few different meal plans, lost weight, gained muscles, spent countless hours at local Virgin Active gym, got few punctures and bought things I'd never thought I will own. And the best thing is that this journey has just begun!

I think that the best improvement so far is my swimming. When I started in January, I was not able to swim more than 50 meters using front crawl. Now I can swim 500 meters without break and around 2 km with short breaks here and there.

I had my first swim coaching this weekend and it was a true eye opener. In less than 10 minutes I've been able to eliminate two strokes on 25 meters swim and I'm quite sure that’s not the best I can do. For this month, I will start every swim session with some drills to improve my stroke and kick. I also found nice swimming pool close to my place and since it’s open from 7AM, my plan is to go there before cycling to work. The bad thing about this pool is that they do not allow photos / movies to be taken, so waterproof housing for HD HERO has to wait for better times.

I truly can't wait for open water season to kick in! It’s still damn cold here in London, so I don't think I will be able to use my neoprene in next few weeks, ‘cause water needs to rise at least to 13 - 15 celsius. Well, Patience is a Virtue!

Two weeks ago I started indoor cycling class. So far I've only been there few times, but I know already that it’s going to be recurring thing. I always treated cycling as something natural and never thought about technique too much. Damn I was wrong. I have stamina now, that’s true, but there is place for serious improvement in terms of cadence, power output and all that technical crap that I need to look into ;). I’m also searching for stationary second hand trainer to be able to add some mileage even when the weather is as it is.

In terms of running, I know that it’s a bad excuse, but I’ve been fed up with weather too much lately to be able to run at my usual route. This is going to change this month, since I plan to have one short and one long run each week. My main goal for this year is only 10k run (yes, after cycling, but still only 10k) and I should be able to use strength build up with cycling.

Oh, funny thing happened last Saturday. I've signed up for free tri training session organised at Leonard Cheshire Disability Centre, located in beautiful Crystal Palace Park. I know it’s beautiful, ‘cause I've been cycling around for twenty minutes before I found the venue! Anyway, I expected swim, run and cycle training and advices. What we got was little different and I felt disappointed at the beginning (oh, I was so stupid!).

So, we started with transition training. It was windy and cold and we had to listen about organising your space near bike and transition rules. It was really cold! I was thinking “is that really what I came here for?”. Yes, it was free, but it seemed damn boring! But then we started practice and I found out damn fast what I was there for! First time, I mounted my bike straight after removing it from rack (not allowed). Second time I dismounted my bike too late (not allowed). Third time I put my helmet on before putting my shirt on. Fourth time was truly smooth. Shirt, helmet, shoes, gloves, bike, mount, dismount, changing shoes, run! I was so proud, running in my helmet (I think it’s allowed tho :p). A big freaking lesson of humility! In the end I've managed to do everything correctly, but I was not bored anymore! Not at all!

Then we changed and had a 30 minutes swim class focused at making stroke smoother and longer. Not much to add other that what I’ve said already, very useful session. Oh, I forgot my towel so I had to use my shirt. Creativity rules!

In the end we received sales talk about their Tri Together event. It was short, informative and not intrusive. It’s cheap (32 pounds) and does not collide with anything planned so far (1st of September), so I’m actually considering it. Training session ended with surprising giveaway - we all received tri suits for free!

Perhaps the session was not what I thought it would be, but it was very good and I am grateful for the opportunity to participate. If you ever need training and happen to be able to sign for that one - do it, it's definitely worth your time!

P.S. I got my cardiology results recently. All ok! I will write more about that soon.