Time to train!

Working offshore vesselThe first half-year of 2020 has been a challenging period for many people. Some had to stay in complete lockdown due to the Covid-19 virus, others could only go outside for a short walk. I took the opportunity to work a lot offshore, train regularly (almost) every day on the vessel for an hour, and in my time between projects at home, expand the training schedule to make the most out of it.

Since the end of April when I just came home from a project on the North Sea, the weather has been pretty good in the Netherlands. At least good enough to train mostly outside on the bike and run. Unfortunately, the swimming pools were closed and in the last weeks before my next project, I even went for a few open-water swims together with a friend. Yes, the first OWS was cold, even with a wetsuit it was cold but still doable. The second swim already went better and after that, it was pretty fine actually.

Strava bike ride Iron Len Noord-Holland Netherlands Strava run Iron Len Heiloo Noord-Holland NetherlandsIn the few weeks, I was at home between projects I trained a lot on the bike. Long easy rides, interval sessions, and high power rides. I’m getting stronger and faster! Also, the runs were improving. Lower heart rate in endurance runs, good speedwork, and interval sessions. Overall, I feel that I’ve been improving during the winter period. Just lacking the swimming lately and I hope to catch up in summer again when the pools are opening and I can get swim training again.

Mid May a new project started again. This time working offshore between Northern Ireland and Scotland. Normally an area not known for its good weather. Luckily we had quite some good weather and therefore I could have some good training sessions on the treadmill or indoor bike without falling off due to the vessel’s movement. Maybe not everybody’s daily problem but on a vessel, this is certainly an issue đŸ˜‰

This project was on the same vessel as my last project so I knew that the indoor bike (Wattbike) and treadmill were good! Compared to other gyms on vessels, having a proper bike on board is just a world of difference. On this bike, it’s possible to do proper bike training sessions, based on wattage and heart rate with the Garmin Fenix multi-sport watch with heart rate belt. To train my swimming muscles, my coach Ruud gave me dry-swimming exercises that I could do with elastic resistance bands to keep my muscles active and trained. I also have an elastic swim band for my alternative swim training. To train the high catch, pull, and extend of the freestyle swim stroke.

Strava Iron Len achievements in BelfastOne time, we’re lucky to come to a port for a day. Immediately I took advantage of that and went for a quick run around the neighborhood. Having a fun run and trying to catch some Strava KOM top 10s đŸ™‚ Yes, I succeeded in Belfast with 2 top 10 achievements! And I didn’t realize that Belfast is going up and down that much! Quite a difference with the Netherlands or on a treadmill haha!

Of course, it’s not the same as training at home. At home where I can focus completely on training and other things, I like to do. Spending hours on the bike, doing long endurance runs, and have interesting real-water swim training sessions.  Coming home end of June, I felt I’ve lost some of my power but seeing my indoor bike and run training statistics, I also think I’ve become stronger and faster again! For my swimming, I’ll see… In a few days, I’ll be back in the water and hopefully, it won’t be too bad!

And what will the rest of this triathlon season bring? My Ironman 70.3 race in Subic Bay Philippines has been postponed to the end of October but what else would be possible this year? And will this race actually go through or will it be canceled? Who knows…

Anyway, I’m motivated and still have a goal! I’ll keep on training, training hard, and be ready, ready for my next challenge!

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