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Just can't get faster

So I was unfit before April, only doing rock climbing, no cardio so to speak. Since I signed up then for the London OD I have been really trying hard to get some level of base fitness. I couldn't swim or run and could bike (but hadn't in years and only did MTB before anyway). Now I can do the distances fine and to be honest I am really proud of myself. I know my times have dropped but am still feeling very demoralised about how slow I am. I guess I shouldn't get down b/c I have made dramatic improvements in a relatively short space of time, but I am a bit. I've been reporting to Coach Coney on my TTs of each discipline of late and they are just awful. I seem to have one speed no matter how fast or far I am attempting to go. My 10k is about 63 minutes now which is exactly double my 5k. Why is my 5k not faster even when I'm trying? I cannot push myself on the bike at all, I'm on a MTB with slicks which I was fine with at first but now I get on it with disgust of 'oh if I was on a road bike this would be faster', which to be honest is probably not even true! I trudge along getting bored but also not going any faster and it takes me like 1 hr 40ish minutes to do 40k which is so embarrassing it is difficult to admit. My swim is much the same, always around 35 give or take a few minutes either side. Sometimes I can crank it up if I get lumbered into the fast lane with good swimmers and am trying to keep up, but then often get so out of whack trying to keep up I don't count my lengths so who knows what my time is then. If it is just me swimming, I'm slow. I guess my question is how long does it take to build up a decent level of fitness where you can start really pushing yourself, and how do you do it! London is only a few weeks ago and I'm still scared I won't finish or something horrible so fathoming really pushing myself is quite difficult. I'm probably just being a wimp and staying in my comfort zone but dont' know how to get out of it. Help!!!


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    md6md6 Posts: 969
    It sounds like you have made a lot of progress, which is great. I think you have hit the nail on the head there when you say that you don't push yourself out of your comfort zone. your 5k is exactly half the time of your 10k - when you finish a 5k do you hurt? when running over 5k i tend to hurt from about 2k in and then have the internal arguments about slowing down or stopping - you cant stop you can't slow down. It will hurt and it will be very hard, but keep pushing. On the bike i am no expert but i think it could be the same thing - fight and force yourself to keep going harder and faster. You will be fine on the mtb for London. Swimming - well that's the same speed i go at for 1,500m so maybe hope someone else can offer advice there
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    risris Posts: 1,002
    if you think you are stuck in your comfort zone, plodding along, pootling etc then the only thing that will get you moving is you! you could try intervals, fartleks (fast followed by steady, then fast etc), setting manageable goals and chipping away at them.

    if you do the same bike route regularly then set a goal of lowering the time it takes you by 5% within a time period that feels achievable (month, 6mo, year!). pick a part of the route where you are going to go as fast you can for 1min, or between junctions, villages etc. move those interval moments around on the route so that you don't get bored.

    i do this on my commute - it hurts like hell sometimes but as a way to mentally focus on raising speed, heartrate etc it is excellent. i find it a good way to ease the boredom of the same road, same potholes, same cars, every day!

    you can do the same thing on the run - sprint between lamposts, or parked cars, then go steady, then sprint again. if you run the same routes see if you can chip away at the time - if you increase speed at the end of the run then start that increase a bit earlier and hold it longer.

    chin up mate - you've come a long way and you get plateaus in training and fitness. be proud of what you've done so far and be even prouder when you cross the line at london in the best time you can manage. be the best you can and be proud.
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    Jelly legsJelly legs Posts: 278
    A few simple questions for you .

    1/ How long have you been training.

    2/ How many triathlons have you done.

    3/How many times a week do you train.

    I ask these questions because some people expect results very quickly and it just doesnt happen that way, yes you have small increases to start and when it tails off they wonder why isnt it happening anymore.

    Look at your training are you doing the same now as you were when you started, if you are then you need to be looking at what you can do to improve, and up this to the next level.
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    garyrobertsgaryroberts Posts: 869
    I can relate to your problem, because i too have a similar result on my bike. It doesn't seem to matter if i do 20, 40 or 60k......my average speed is broadly the same over all three distances meaning i'm no faster over 20k than 60k! This just can't be right.......i should be faster (speed wise) over 20k than 40 and definitely 60K.

    I will add that when i'm on that bike i push. I push hard. I don't seem to have a 'training' speed. I ride at race speed all the time.

    So how can it be said that i'm (we're) not pushing hard enough....that we're staying within our comfort zone?

    Well.....my conclusion is that the others are right......its just not possible that you can maintain your very best 20k speed over a longer distance.....is it? So i (we) must not be pushing ourselves to the max.

    Its something i identified a few months back with my running.......i dont know how to push myself.

    Its a skill in its own right. And we all need to master it to get the best out of ourselves.
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    md6md6 Posts: 969
    Gary i'm the same on the bike, but with a run i can push, i can hurt myself. The one thing that has taught me to do that most is to race, i will not give up and i will push until i break if i need to. It is difficult and i can't do it on the bike either - all you bike guru's what's the secret?
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    jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Try to get out of your comfort zone as other replies have have said by finding someone to train with and doing pursuit sessions.
    With swimming start off at opposite ends of the pool and for ten lengths try to catch each other,stop after 10 for aminute then start again this helps break up the monotony.You can do similar with the bike and run sessions.
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    TrisurferTrisurfer Posts: 228
    Do Intervals.

    If you're averaging roughly 10 min miles currently.

    try and do 1 9 minute mile. rest then repeat. (keep lowering as your times improve)
    this can be used with swimming and cycling also.

    good luck at London!
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    willieverfinishwillieverfinish Posts: 1,381
    I bet you surprise yourself and smash all your training times come race day.
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