Monday, May 20, 2013

Summer Programme

I'm a bit knackered - did 50 miles on the bike at the weekend along with a day of rallying and visiting family and I've just got back from my first session in the pool for my summer programme - in a nutshell this will be short!

Here is the ride from Sunday morning:

For some time now I've been training by swimming, running and cycling.  I was doing weights too at one point but I was struggling to feel like I was structuring my training and was feeling a bit lost.  Since I recently got a road bike, and indeed one of the influencing decisions to buy one was that I wanted to try a triathlon, particularly with open water swimming.  I've not decided on an event yet, or distance but I found a middle distance training plan on tri radar here the time rich plan looked a bit hardcore so I've opted for the time poor plan which is closer to what I am doing already.

I did a race pace crack at a local 2 mile Strava segment as a bit of a benchmark, I'm down to 8:35 min/miles on the golf course loop which is part of a 3.5 mile run from work:

It will be interesting to see how the training pans out.  I'm going to try and be disciplined so that I can make the most of the programme but with sportives and ldwa events tempting me plus some downhill riding I've got to try and keep focused as much as possible.

I had my first pool session tonight with drills.  I haven't done any since I was a kid.  I bought myself a float and pull buoy.  It's interesting putting it all together when you take an element out and focus on it and how much that improves you stroke, although I feel its more an issue of fitness and intensity rather than technique for the time being, I can happily bang out a couple of miles but my technique does slide.  One revelation was crawl with closed fists.  It's a lot to remember though!  Here's a post swim pick of my notes!

Fellsman 2013

Well, it's been some time since the Fellsman and although I mean to update this more often I've not got into the routine of it again just yet.  Thankfully I roped Jo into coming to Yorkshire with me.  I was worried about driving back and concerned that I might need someone to prop me up.

I think I'd built the event up in my own mind a lot.  I had plans to do the TMB and this was a qualification event that I wanted to get in my back pocket.  We stayed in a B&B the night before after arriving late, I slept ok but didn't eat that well the night before but started the day with a proper bowl of oats in the morning (not the normal instant microwave guff I eat at work).  I got stuck into the event and had a few ups and downs but nothing major.  During the night we crossed Fleet Moss en route to Cray.  I hadn't eaten for a while or taken any pain killers.  Part of the lack of eating was the fact I thought I only had 2 energy bars left - when I got home I had 4/5 - you don't check things properly when your tired!  The tendons in my right knee were sore and I'd gone over on my left ankle I think a few times so that was quite sore.  I was ok with all of that though.  As I came down off the hill I was looking forward to a closed tent to get warm - I'd started getting very cold.  Sadly the Cray checkpoint wasn't the best and the tent was wide open and I got colder and colder until I was shivering.  At that point the Doc checked me and suggest I quit as the next checkpoint was 6 hard miles.  I only had 1000ft and 15 miles left after climbing 10,000ft and travelling 45 miles.  I think it was 17hrs ish.  I warmed up soon enough when I got back.  I'm glad I dropped out as my right knee was quite creaky and my ankle was painful for a week after.  I think masking it with diclofenac wouldn't of made that any better!

After the first (biggest?) hill - Ingleborough

On the way up Whernside

I was ok after a cup of tea but felt cold for quite a while after.  There was no reception in the pub Jo was waiting at so she arrived around 6am, so I was looking forward to bed by that point!  I got back to the pub had a couple of hours sleep before the road in front of the pub was dug up!  Stihl saw and jack hammers!  I had scrambled egg and Jo drove us back.  My muscles felt ok Monday, I didn't ache too much.  Overall I was pleased with the performance - writing this retrospectively I've decided on a change of direction.

Looking forward to doing it again in 2014!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Physio, planning and perspective

Well I don't want to turn this into a training log so I won't rattle off a bunch of stuff I've been (not been) doing.  If I look at my training the volume is good but I wonder if I have making the most of my time.  Perhaps I'm just feeling sorry for myself because I had too much to drink over the weekend or maybe it has been the niggles I've been getting with my legs.

I went to the physio tonight who took a look at my stride.  I've been going to see him for a few sessions now and the original shin splints is better.  My right shin doesn't have pain now and the left is much better.  I have however been getting pain in my right achillies.  So much so it gets tight and I can't really carry on running.  I had though that this maybe down to shoes and that was my physios first guess, but we looked at my arches and I don't seem to have much control over them.  I'm sat trying to do some exercises for them now but it takes so much concentration.  He has also given me some exercises to strengthen and stretch my calves by lower them over a step.  I'm gonna have to cut this short because I can't bloody write whilst trying to do these arch exercises, especially on my weaker right side.

I've got the wolf run this week and its a shorter week with the bank holiday.  I want to try and get 3 runs in, 6km in pool and a couple of bike sessions but maybe optimistic!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Well I've been busy sweating so not had time to write about any of it!


About a month ago went to Llandegla with the people from work - Nick fell in a massive puddle at the start of the first section after the slog up the hill.  Not just any puddle, it was Llyn Llandegla!  He was submerged so deep only his neck and head were out - there were huge chunks of ice so fair play to him for staying in such good cheer for the rest of the route!

Got a 910XT forerunner and retired the 305 to my dad.  Bit annoyed you need to do some working arounds with the TCX/GPX files on larger routes or the zoom plays up - apparently you need to select the normalize route option on if you convert, look in advanced options for the space evenly option.  If you don't do this the track disappears and it keeps redrawing which takes an age!  Also zoom at highest level didnt work - I'm yet to verify this!

Chiltern Kanter - First go at running an LDWA event.  Did the first 12/13 miles in 2.5hrs which was good - finished in 6:45hr overall.

Mud & Mayhem Duathlon (Thetford) - Planned a time of 2:30 from an educated guess - finished in 2:09 so pretty pleased.  Felt a bit off too - so definitely room for improvement.

Second Lap!

Strava - I've been blowing up trying to tempo run too fast but managed a PB the other day on a 5k route - about 25mins :)  Need to be careful that this doesn't dominate the schedule and I continue paying attention to my heart rate for cardio runs.

Today I bought a Ribble R872 - so hopefully the peddling should be stronger soon :)  Need to get the turbo from my dad!

I also managed a PB in the pool - averaging 1:50/100m over 400m - it's all going the right way!

Tomorrow I'm getting into work early - long run at lunch, somewhere between 7.5-8.5 miles :)

I've been doing weights - although haven't done any for a week or two since the Kanter - although I just did 30 push ups with some left in the tank.  I need to get back on this although I have the South Wales Three Peaks (17 miles platinum route) on Saturday which I'm walking with my dad, so I'll be back on weights next week - need to get squatting!

Bit of a sketchy post - really need to do this more regularly!

Oh one other thing - got my Fellsman entry! :S

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Quick one...

Yesterday I swam somewhere between 2000-2500m in the local pool - took just under an hour-ish.  I hate counting laps and since I want to do longer events I've been thinking for sometime about retiring the Forerunner 305, my trusted steed.  This watch has been without doubt the best gadget I've owned.  I said before I'd do a review of it/how I use it (not to DC Rainmaker standards probably definitely).  It should be replaced tomorrow by a 910XT (perhaps a tri beckons, although this will mean buying a road bike - I've always wanted to do the Bala half ironman although it's probably a stretch for June/July).  I had a cheeky look at an open water swimming site at lunch, I really fancy it this year - perhaps if I'm good I can ask for a suit for my birthday.  Also dropped the Commencal at the bike shop to get the shifters upgraded from X7 to X0 ready for Llandegla on Saturday.

Tonight I decided to run down the to gym which is just under 5km away.  I did a bunch of chest stuff which I can't be bothered to describe but was pretty knackered after, then I ran home.  I've been suffering with shin splints so I jumped in a cold bath.  I'm gonna try and rub down my calves so hopefully that will straighten it out - it seems worse on tarmac than around the park.  All in all really got into trucking along when feeling tired (I was tired when I got in from work) - its what endurance is about - almost a hazy dream like experience - so relaxing when you get in the zone.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Monkey Trail

My first time on the Monkey Trail.  I've ridden Follow the Dog a few times.  Got their later than I'd planned so only had time for one lap so I went at it about as quickly as I could.  I took my Cube bike which is great for covering distance on but a bit sketchy on technical stuff some times (it's a hard tail).  I'll have to write a review of it some time.

I had to stop 3 times unnecessarily (twice for seat post adjustments and once for a rider asking if I'd seen someone.  Other than that it was balls to the wall and I did it in 1hr 55mins which I was quite pleased with.  Damn seat post slipping slightly mean eventually my back starts aching (which is the only clue it's slipped) and this is because of my hamstrings tightening up.  Overall a great ride and I look forward to doing it in the dry in under 1hr 45 mins.

Back to it!

Well it's been an eternity since I posted last.  Basically I got fatter, just over 17 stones to be precise.  I tried getting back into running and made some progress but it didn't last.  I was reluctant to post anything on here as it's a bit depressing if it all slides again!  Anyway I've been fairly consistently training since before Christmas (maybe November), I'm now about 15.5 stones.

I bought a bike and started riding to work and going out to trail centres with friends.  This resulted in me buying a bigger bike - a Commencal Meta SX.  I love riding it around Llandegla and I'm getting higher with the jumps every time :)

I've also got back into running and I'm down from over 10 minute miles to under 9 minute miles (I can squeeze out an 8 min/mile but not consistently yet!), I'm also cross training with mainly swimming but sometimes rowing or other stuff.  I miss the climbing, but for the time being I'm concentrating on other stuff, the biggest of which is the Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc in 2014.  I've entered a bunch of LDWA events and I'm hoping to get a place in the Fellsman which is a qualifying event for the UTMB.

I read an article in Outdoor Fitness in which a guy (whose name I can't recall) who won the 50s (I think) age group said that he wished he'd started resistance training a long time ago and that he could bench press 100kg.  With this chiming in my ears I've gotten back into weights too and I'm doing 3 sessions a week.

I say this every time I get into my fitness, but this time I hope it doesn't just last a year or two in the usual boom/bust cycle.  In the mean time I'll put it all on here again.....