« 2.1 » means that the 1st week of the 2nd phase of my preparation is a wrap.
This week : 14 sessions, 13.3k of swimming, 148k of cycling and 48k of running. I always wonder how to improve my training but the truth is that I swim better, bike better and run better. So I won’t be too demanding. I am living my dream so giving you a recap of the last 7 days is the least I can do.
3k of steady swim. The great news is that « today » steady swim is 50 seconds faster per 200m, than the « a month ago » steady swim! Since forever, I have been told « You’re a Pisces so you must be a romantic, sentimental guy ».
Now I can say « No, a Pisces is a guy that goes in the water and goes on for laps and laps »
A few days before that, I had found a nose-clip at the bottom of the pool. When I saw it, I thought it was a sign. A sign that it is now time for me to do turns like real swimmers.
I always avoided doing any before because, nose-clip or not, the water would always go up through my nostrils! Therefore, at the end of each lap, I used to just touch the wall and go for another lap. But since the last few days : miracle! The nose-clip is on, I finish my lap, do my tumble turn, put my feet against the wall, push and go on dolphin style, as if I had done that for the last 10 years. I promise, it’s a miracle ! One of the major improvements of the month.
I had an appointment at a pool in the West Side of Singapore to meet coach Waide.
I met coach W., 2 weeks earlier, through a friend who wanted to make me work as a swimming coach. On that day, there was a swimming competition. Therefore, after a warm handshake, I ended up as the finish line official! My role was to stay on the finish line, eyes focused on the starting blocks and write down who would finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd. It was really cool!
But on this Tuesday, the program was way different : Swim stroke correction! Coach W. had texted me 72h earlier saying: « Greg, I bought a waterproof shell for my iPad! Come to the pool at 10am! » Conclusion, I swam 45 minutes and he filmed me from outside the pool and below the water. I can’t wait to see the videos.
When I was a student in Marseille, France, I loved to run through Saint-Ferreol street, a pedestrian street who was always packed. I loved it because at each step, I would suddenly change direction, speed up or slow down. Often, I would see a wall of 3 people in front of me, then, a bit forward and to the right, 2 more persons. There I would think « To go through those 2 groups, there is only a small window of possibility. If I run at 15kph for 4.5 seconds, I will catch it! » That’s why before going running, I would tell my friend: « I am going for a matrix, what you think ? »
But this Wednesday morning : no matrix at all. I was at Mac Richie Reservoir, in the heart of Singapore: a huge forest with a big lake in the middle, where future rowing Singaporean stars are training. The night before was a storm but still, I was decided to come for a « visit ». Usually, I prefer to run in the city, on a flat course. It allows me to pay attention to my Kenyan strides, my rhythm, my breath…etc. But there, I got in the middle of a muddy path; and God knows how much mud is an element I still have to master. I had the clever idea to wait 24h before putting my bright yellow Nike Free 3.0, bought in Hokkaido, in the washing machine. But after a few strides, running graciously and trying to avoid the mud, I ended up with my ankles covered with mud. I was done acting snobbish and it was the start of another type of jogging. From now on, « Indiana Jones » mode was on. The advantage of running in such a jungle is that when I exited the forest, a few baby monkeys hosted me. It was the first time I would see some like this, in the wild 🙂
I am fascinated by dreams. Daydreams of course, but also night ones. We don’t exactly know what they mean but we know one thing : they mean something. I believe night dreams are messages coming from our subconscious (that is to say what is buried deep inside of us, without us even knowing it). I had read that our subconscious doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what’s imaginary. I usually remember my dreams and I find it fascinating to try to understand why since I’m a teenager, I dream that I play basketball like a God or that when running I lose myself along the course.
For the last 2 months (and certainly for more than that), I have only been thinking about the Rio Olympics and what I need to do to qualify. I think about it again and again and again until I get comfortable with the idea and without it stressing me inside. Therefore, following the same strategy, I recently started trying to picture myself training with Javier Gomez (3x olympic distance triathlon world champion) and Jonny Brownlee (3x sprint triathlon world champion). When I run, I look to my right and say : « Javier, como estas ? » then I give a look to my left and be like : « Hey Jon, you’re doin’ good ? ». At the beginning, it used to make me laugh but also to make me nervous to picture myself training by the sides of the two guys I admire. This is how between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, I dreamt that I was running with Jonny Brownlee. We were at the same pace, easy. To me, it means, that it’s it ! I got high-level triathlon brain-tatooed.
On that day, I went to the gym, met another white guy and started talking to him. His name is Raimundo. He’s Italian and swims the 100m fly in less than a minute (the world record is 49’’ and belongs to Michael Phelps).
I finished my open-water session. Took a few steps on the beach. Recovered and watched some guys playing cricket, one sport I don’t understand a thing about. There, a young man came my way. I asked him a few questions about the rules, then we spoke. His name is Faji, Singaporean, born in India, in the French neighborhood of Pondichery. He runs the 800m in 2’ flat (the world record belongs to David Rudisha in 1’40, since the 2012 London olympics). We left each other saying « See you in Rio in 2016 »
That is my life. I train all the time and while recovering, I speak with people around me. I remember as a teenager, I was so shy. Even between 2007 and 2010, when I lived in Canada, I was so depressed and felt so lonely because I didn’t have any friend. I am so proud today I became so sociable. It is one of the major success of my life.
It is 8pm and it’s raining like crazy. But I still have one session of interval training on the track before calling it a day. Now, when it rains, I repeat to myself this sentence that I recently read: « I will love the sun for it warms my bones. Yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit »
In addition, who am if I don’t run when it rains! I am a Pisces after all!
Last but not least, I am going back to France on Thursday December 12th. It will be a nice opportunity to recharge, see some of y’all and make new videos with new landscapes.
To all those who sent their encouragements, their congratulations or who told me I am crazy, thank you from the bottom of my heart.