Swim, Bike, Run, Work, Sleep & Repeat

Triathlon started for me many moons ago – back when I was 16, now 27. I found myself very quickly wanting it to be my life and I wanted to do well on an international stage. That was the dream

Swim, Bike, Run, Work, Sleep & Repeat

17 June 2019

Swim – bike – run – work – sleep – repeat

The daily routine, the daily rituals – the life of a triathlete.

What does a typical week look like for me?

Well, let’s jump right in!

We have early morning swims which I love because you leave the pool at 8am and you already have a session done – some people are still sleeping at that point!!

Monday

Alarm at 5.15am for coffee and pre swim activation exercises

6.30am- 8.00am swim

Into work for 10am until 3.

Home and get my evening run in before dinner and bed by 8.30pm.

Tuesday

Alarm at 5.15am for coffee and pre swim activation exercises

6.30-8am swim

Into work for 10am-3pm.

Day dependent either an indoor bike session inducing a lot of discomfort and pain, or an evening bike criterium race – also inducing an incredible amount of discomfort and pain but in such a fun format.

Wednesday

Alarm at 5.45 for coffee – later alarm as with the crit race being so late, I don’t get to bed until later.

6.30-8am swim

No work for me on a Wednesday as I do a long bike ride.

10am long group bike ride 3-4 hours usually.

Home for a nap before an evening run on tired legs.

Thursday

Week dependent – sometimes another early morning solo swim, sometimes a sleep in!

Work 10-3

Track session in the evening.

Friday

Alarm at 5.30 – track finishes late so I take 15min extra to sleep but as Friday swim is always hard, I still like to activate before going in to make sure my tired body is a little less tired!

6.30-8am swim

Work 10-3

Usually have Friday afternoons off to prepare for a big weekend.

Saturday

Usually includes a long bike with work involved. So, this could be anywhere in the region of 3-4 hours with 60-90mins worth of work. This is often preceded by a run off the bike – anywhere in the region of 40-70mins. A long session but when you are done by lunch time, it almost feels like you have the evening off.

Sunday

Sometimes a long aerobic ride – 4 hours

Sometimes a chilled 2 hours in the morning and a long run up to 2 hours in the afternoon.

And then we go again the following week!

My days are jam packed and full to the brim – but it works.

Triathlon for me is a lifestyle – a passion – something I couldn’t imagine not doing. My dreams and aspirations are big and I find it so amazing that something you love to do, could be considered a job. I am not a full-time athlete, I work part time (20hours a week).

Triathlon started for me many moons ago – back when I was 16, now 27. I found myself very quickly wanting it to be my life and I wanted to do well on an international stage. That was the dream. I have had anything but a smooth pathway since then, but the drive and determination I have, to make my dreams a reality never waiver. It is that stubbornness, that has got me to this point. I am still not where I want to be (but are we ever?!!) Don’t we always want more?! But I am closer now than I was.

I have moved country a couple times chasing this dream – moving to a set up which I thought would make the difference. It is my last move, back to Ireland last March that has really made the difference and I know this is the one that will make me get to a place I am content with.

The set up I have here in Ireland is a set up I have dreamed of having for a long time. Having coaches and squad mates that care for you and do things to help you is what every athlete should have and it is what I have here now that I am back home. Triathlon is an individual sport but we train as a squad, as a team. It is the squad sessions that drive us on and make us better. I am under a coaching team called HupHup – based in a beautiful seaside town called Greystones, in Wicklow. We are right by the Wicklow mountains which give us so much opportunity to build bike strength and run strength. We have the world of open water available to us for outdoor race specific sessions. We have all we need and when they weather plays ball – there is no place you would rather be for triathlon! The only thing that could be slightly better is if the price of coffee was that of the Spanish training bases – then …we would be laughing and high on caffeine a lot more than we already are!!

Who am I and where did it all begin?

Well, I hail from the best hurling county in Ireland – Tipperary! I grew up chasing sliothars around the place trying to be as good as my brothers. Being the only girl amongst my two brothers, meant I was very well prepared when it came to the rough and tumble on a camogie pitch! I strayed slightly from the GAA and found another love in horse riding. I had 2 horses over the years and absolutely loved looking after them and competing on them.

The next logical step was triathlon …right?! Camogie, horses -> triathlon! Obviously! Triathlon was something I stumbled across by accident. Facebook had just taken over from Bebo on the world wide web, and I had an evening routine whilst eating my dinner after school, to do a bit of searching on the internet. I stumbled across a triathlon club in Nenagh, only 20mins from home, and I saw they had a race on in the coming weeks. With little or not training, I opted in. And here we are many moons later.

Roscrea didn’t even have a swimming pool back then. The closest running track was a couple towns away and as for cycling – well, it wasn’t exactly known for its cycle friendly terrain!

None the less – off I went – did this race, loved it and so the triathlon bug started. I have yet to cure myself of the ‘illness’ but It’s one I am ok having! I love it!

What’s next?

I have just started my 2019 season off last weekend with a win in a local race in Tipperary. My season was very slow to start with having picked up an injury that took me out of action for a full 8 weeks. But, that’s all behind me now and I am very much looking forward to a good season ahead.

Stay in touch for more updates as to how my season goes.

Ailbhe 

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