Week 4 – The Roth of Challenge by Fred Willis – 41 ¾’s

  • By Paul Moore
  • Published February 2, 2013

Week 4 of my campaign has been massively frustrating.

It started very well with a perfectly normal swim session on Monday. No excitement just a 2,000 Yard (old fashioned pool) session of drills, pacing and stuff. My usual Turbo session was uneventful, went well and a nice brick session afterwards. All good so far and on track.

Running scared….

Thursday and it’s our club run session. A 1/3 mile loop with a not so pleasant short sharp hill was selected and 30 members or so were set a task of 7 x said loop at race pace. I was aiming for a 7 min/mile pace and I was doing alright pushing the pace, then bang! My calf went, I pulled up limping and walked home with my tail between my legs.

I was incredibly worried. Calf injuries can be a nightmare, taking ages to heal. I’ve been well on track with my marathon training and I had 14 miles to do on Sunday. Short term objective was to maintain my 100% on Jantastic challenge and I was cooked. First, don’t stretch, I’ll only tear it more. Secondly, get ice on it. Thirdly phone my Physio for an appointment.

I slept with a compression calf guard and put some hot cream on it to get the blood flow to the injured area. It was feeling tight but after some manipulation from Lilliput Health, as well as some good advice I was feeling much more positive. Swimming was allowed and I could bike as long as it wasn’t too long or too vigorous. Phew……..some light at the end of the tunnel.

What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger….

Friday is rest day so on Saturday I got my swim on and went for a ride with the short course group. 43 miles in the New Forest and it was all feeling great apart from a few gear slipping problems. Minor technical issues.

Coach A, one of my friends from the club who also runs the Turbo sessions, posted that there was a positive from a strained calf because it meant I could get more cycling time and be stronger on the bike. How right, but wrong he was.

I was down for a 14 mile run on Sunday but opted to miss my Jantastic 100% record and go for a 40 mile ride instead. We must look to the long goal and not the short after all. It was nice and sunny but it had been raining over night and it was quite windy. To meet up for the ride I had to go down a reasonable decent but nothing ridiculous. Doing about 30 mph a gust of wind hit me and set me up for the most almighty speed wobbles which lasted for about 300 metres. It was horrific and seemed to last for around 5 minutes. A friend was immediately behind me who thought I was putting it on and behind us both was a car adding more pressure to the situation. At one moment I thought the only way out was to hit the floor but I rationalised and put the power down to accelerate out of it. That didn’t work so I feathered the breaks and unclipped coming to a stop, convinced my back wheel was loose. I’m afraid it was just me being a crap bike rider.

We cracked on and each time I came to a downhill section I slowed. I’ve always had an issue with descending  but now I’ve got a proper mental block about it so yet another challenge to overcome on my way to Roth. It’s a good job that Roth is reasonably flat. Isn’t it?

To add insult into injury, the gear problems that I was having the previous day manifested themselves in the middle of the Wareham Forest. We pulled over to have a fiddle and the cable snapped. At that very same moment some old dear came over and asked me to hold onto her dogs so she could move her car which was parked in a massive puddle. Obviously my friend thought it an opportune moment to take a photo and post it on social media.

Next week I’ve got to get running again……and tackle that bloody hill.

No progress 82K and 17.5% body fat.




Paul Moore

Paul Moore

Paul Moore is the Online Editor for Triathlete Europe. When not glued to a computer he can be found writing books - most recently Ultra Performance: The Psychology of Endurance Sports and The World's Toughest Endurance Challenges. Both are available on Amazon. Paul has also written Ultimate Triathlon: A complete training guide for long-distance triathletes which is also available on Amazon.