Long Course Weekend Training Diary: Tips for training with a cold

Get the latest from Yorkshire triathlete, Emma Oakes, on training and keeping motivation high whilst feeling under the weather.

The challenge

Yorkshire.com is following Emma Oakes, one of the athletes training for Long Course Weekend, an epic three-day multi-discipline event, taking place from 6-8 September 2024.   LCW is one of only a handful of sports festivals that encompasses swimmers, cyclists, runners, and triathletes over one weekend. 

The event will be hosted at the Nidderdale Show ground in Pateley Bridge, with the cycle and run elements starting and finishing at the Athlete Village. The Yorkshire Dales Swim will take place at Grimwith Reservoir. The biggest reservoir in Yorkshire and the first time in Yorkshire Water’s history that open water swimming has taken place in one of their facilities. 

Yorkshire businesses can get involved by providing those taking part with a special offer. Find out more by getting in touch with Oliver Duckett on 01437 765 777 or contact him via info@lcwyorkshire.com. Local running, sports and tri clubs also qualify for discount codes, again contact Oliver for details.

LCW Yorkshire also needs volunteers to help with marshalling, manning aid stations, pre and post event set up and lots more. In return they will receive a free event t-shirt, lunch, entry to the post event party plus discounted merchandise and even a volunteer medal. Get together a group of ten or more volunteers and get £400 towards your chosen team, club or charity. Alternatively, if you’re a sports team of 25 people, volunteer and earn yourselves new kit for the next season, you all just need to be over 16. Sign up here.

Emma’s latest training update:

The last couple of weeks have felt like a blur. As many of us know when you’re juggling many things, it can feel like you’re on a hamster wheel, just spinning, going through the motions, and not achieving anything.

When I’m writing these training diaries, it reminds me of how much I’ve accomplished each week. Training, kids, cooking, work, household jobs. Every week when I get my training plan my brain immediately goes into planning mode and I sit down with my husband to discuss our training and we come up with a rough plan for the week. My focus is that the kids are happy, I’m healthy and the house is in a reasonable state of living, perfect is not on my radar. Sometimes, something must give, and we must recognise that this is ok.

I’ve been battling a cold this week. Like many this time of year I’ve caught the dreaded lurgy (not hard when you have kids in nursery). So, I’ve been dosing up on extra veg, vitamin D tablets (which I take regularly, especially throughout winter) and my go to supplement Green Magic although it’s just changed its name to Complete Greens. https://www.proto-col.com/. It’s a powder an ex-trainer told me about, and I’ve never looked back.  I take a teaspoon a day and it just helps to top me up with the good stuff so I don’t get as ill as I may have done without it. I’m also a firm believer in a positive attitude when you’re not feeling well. If you tell yourself your healthy, you’re more likely to stay healthy. But that’s not to say you must push through and flog yourself when you’re training. Give yourself leeway to either take a day off or lower your Watts on the bike and just give yourself time to get better.

I’ve had a mixed bag of training over the last couple of weeks. We were back at track for one week only (until March) and it was so nice to be back. One of the things I like about being in Harrogate Tri Club is track sessions. A 400m flat course where I can really challenge my pacing. The challenge is to get even splits so you’re not going off too hard or slowing towards the end. It was 1km efforts (2.5 times round) this week with 200m recovery. Everyone goes at their own pace and we encourage each other to do our best.

Turbo sessions this week have been a mix of torque (low cadence), easy, VO2 intervals and endurance. I’m starting to do longer session on the turbo now which is making me realise I need a new saddle and that podcasts can be just as motivational as music. I was following Lucy Gossage’s journey on the Spine race, and I’ve listened to a couple of podcasts about her experience which have been inspirational.

I have managed to get outside into the elements, essential training for the hills and potential weather I will encounter on LCW Yorkshire in September.  A one hour run with Ava in the buggy around Swinsty/Fewston Reservoir is my go-to for a steady run. It’s so beautiful around there even with 30mph winds. Followed by a 5ml walk with my parents and Ava (in the backpack) from Pateley Bridge. This area is such an amazing place to train and I’m so lucky to live in Yorkshire.  

A four-hour planned training slot allowed me to do my first brick session in a long time. A brick session is where you do two activities one after the other, normally a bike/run so you get the feel of running straight off the bike or bike off a swim. Although, with @lcwyorkshire you don’t have this worry as the swim, bike and run events are on different days. I planned a lovely Level2 40ml ride followed by a 40 min easy run. It was windy and cold, but it was great just to enjoy being out, a bit of me time. Although my café stops will have to wait, as it is a luxury I don’t have now.

The training plan

Here is my training plan in full:

Week 5

  • Mon – 1hr Strength/1hr Zwift torque
  • Tue – 1hr Club Track. 1km efforts
  • Wed – 1hr10 Club Zwift easy bike
  • Thurs – 1hr Club Swim 2 sets 10x60m sprints
  • Fri – 1hr15 Zwift bike
  • Sat – 1hr run with buggy
  • Sun – 1hr40 Zwift endurance bike

Week 6

  • Mon-1hr Zwift Vo2 intervals
  • Tue – 1hr club run with intervals
  • Wed – 1hr30 Club Zwift easy bike
  • Thurs – 1hr Club swim Tempo set
  • Fri – 40ml L2 Bike + 40min easy run
  • Sat – 45min run Vo2 set
  • Sun – 1hr30 Zwift varied Watts bike

So whatever level of training you’re at, whether you have kids or not, just go out there and don’t focus on the end goal, enjoy the journey.

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