Training diary: week 6

Good solid week, although Wednesday saw another slight injury arise: a bruise like pain in the metatarsal area of my right foot. Unsure whether this was just a knock, or something more tricky like ligament damage or – worse – a stress fracture. I decided to lay off the running for a few days and ice/apply ibuprofen gel. If it persists I’ll get it checked out of course.

Fortunately swimming and biking are unaffected. The good news was a noticable improvement at Tooting on Monday with three of my Channel Swim team mates – all usually quicker than me, but I found myself a lot closer and feeling far better in the water. Looks like the drills and technique work are starting to pay off; long way to go though.

Week 6 (w/c Sunday 16th August)

Sun: REST; Mon am: RUN (5mins warm up + 2x15min @ 10k-5k pace / 5mins rec + 5mins warm down); Mon pm: SWIM (pyramid 2/4/6/8/6/4/2, Tooting Bec Lido 90m); Tue am: BIKE (1h15, inc Regents Park Reps x 4); Tue pm: SWIM (1hr, drills and lengths, London Fields); Wed: RUN (1hr, steady); Thu: SWIM (pyramid reps 2/4/6/8/10/12/10/8/6/4/2 @ 80% max effort); Fri: BIKE (1hr); Sat: SWIM (2.6k, The Triangle LC)

More Training Diary posts here.

Back pain

I’m injured. And in possibly the most absurd and ignominious manner. The cause? Rolling over in bed. The result? Classic upper back muscle strain in the supraspinatus and infraspinatus area.


Upper back skeletal and musculature


The large muscles around the scapula are often injured through repetitive movement, over-exertion or as a result of lack of strength. My back muscle tone is good, but I suspect more strength work on core and upper body musculature will be important for the Ironman. 

If you’ve had back pain before, you’ll be familiar with the debilitating robot-like movements and hunched-back feeling it causes. For muscle pain I find the best self-help treatments – in addition to rest – are icing and applying Biofreeze, an ibuprofen gel designed for relief from minor aches and pains throughout the body.



If the problem persists, a massage or medical advice will be required. Knowing my own body I’m confident it will heal with a few days rest – as frustrating as that is.