Cabin Fever

This week, I have spent my entire time in a hotel: Whilst this might sound glamorous to some, this was a bit more Alan Partridge or the Faulty Towers Major than a summer break in San Tropez…

linton travel

To clarify, I have not (just) been hanging around a hotel all day for no reason like some sort of nutter, but have had a work training week with about 20 others in Cheshire. This is my second course this year after a similar week in London in January (sadly before I started this blog so not previously covered) and the main similarity – aside from the obvious workplace benefits, for those of you reading from my office of course – was how much training I could fit in during any downtime.

This might sound like a serious logistical task, but it turned out to require near military precision as the course ran from 8am to 6pm, with an evening meal following from 7pm until late. So aside from the propensity for cabin fever in spending this much time in a confined space with so few people, it meant my only chance of training was setting the alarm for the crack of dawn, with only a narrow window later on.

But like a true triathlete, the sleep sacrifice was made and I managed to get in seven sessions in the space of just five days, which involved four 6am swims in the narrowest pool I have ever used, and three late-afternoon sessions in the (surprisingly well equipped) gym, getting in a few intervals on the bike and treadmill. None of the stints were long by my usual standards – less than an hour each – and of course I would rather it had not been raining all the time so I could have trained outside, but this was a case of needs must, and it actually went very well!

doubletree pooldoubletree treadmills

This was by no means the first time this year that I have unintentionally managed to convince a bunch of work colleagues I am off my head doing this, but the funny thing is – despite the early mornings and intense sprint sessions – I really think it helps me work better. Early lengths in the pool help me wake up and stay alert for the day, whilst afternoon sprints on the machines gave me a chance to clear my head and run through the day’s events. Maybe it is not everyone’s bag, but it certainly does it for me.

More importantly for the Chile Challenge, this meant I not only got a few more miles under my belt, but managed to not injury myself before the next race by doing something crazy like football slide tackles, jungle training or generally getting hammered – see earlier posts for more on these…

alan big platePartridge Shorts

As for the Alan reference earlier, I was on best behaviour with my kit, making sure there were no incidents with perished lining on my running shorts, and no big plate at the breakfast buffet. In fact my only real Partridge worthy incident came on the second to last afternoon, where I tried to clean my boots in the hotel room bath and somehow managed to jam the plug shut, quickly filling the tub with six inches of dark muddy water. Panicking, I tried to lever it open, but somehow a stone had wedged underneath and it would not budge. After a good 10 minutes, having had visions of having to come clean to the receptionist to get maintenance to help me out (which I cannot imagine would have gone down well) I finally managed to lever it open using one of the free shampoo miniatures in the room. At least I did not have to resort to a mini-bar!

As for cabin fever, well anyone overhearing our random conversations on our final evening (ranging from how you could run a penguin farm in the UK, how to draw a Belgian Blue Bull, and what politicians our fellow course-mates resembled, alongside miscellaneous other topics which cannot be mentioned here) might go someway to answering that question. I am sure it was no coincidence that was the only afternoon I did not get in any training! So the moral of the story is when spending time away from home do as much exercising as possible to avoid going crazy, and be careful when washing outdoor clothing in the bath…

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