Thursday, July 29, 2010


This post is another one of my spill out all my thoughts/update in order to help me sort out where I am and maybe gain some clarity!

After Sundays race and a 30 minute cameo in a charity rugby match, I was pretty knackered - I went to get the bike out after work to have a spin but it had a puncture - decision was pretty swiftly made to not train! I pulled the tube out and it was a leaky valve anyway so couldn't fix it!

Tuesday I had a great swim in the morning and then a really nice relaxing ride in the evening with a friend - we only averaged 16.5 mph over 23.5 miles and it was really nice just to enjoy being out on the bike - when on my own I find I push hard and don't ease off a bit and enjoy it! We did put in some hills which were good, plus I managed 48.5 mph whilst on the tri-bars...which was shaky!

Last night was a run - 6.35 miles which I found tough going, in fairness it was off road and over a couple of hills, I did it with a friend who is recovering from a broken ankle and we spent half the time reminiscing of our 9-10 mile runs which we could knock out a couple of times a week with no issues....oh what a pain injuries are! Anyway my knee was slightly sore but nothing bad and some stretching and ice helped after! I am pretty sure that I am on the road to recovery with it, its just a matter of taking it steady and stretching all the time - once my hamstrings are a bit more normal the knee pain will go!

This morning - I knocked out 5*500m in the pool each set taking about 8.58 minutes - used my new goggles which were lovely! Training is going to be tricky over the next few days as we are moving house - only a couple of miles away but I will be right next to the leisure centre and a perfect 10 mile flat-ish cycle route - so no excuses!!

My main decision is which races to do before the end of the year - I have an 80 mile sportive on the bike which I am going to treat as a TT and go out on my own pretty hard and see what happens! thats on 23rd August!

I really want to do the One Last Tri half-iron in October but am worried about my running - if I continue to improve over the next couple of weeks I'll go for it - at £95 its too expensive to risk dropping out of! That will give me plenty of time to assess what I need to do before the Forestman next June!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Tidworth Sprint Tri

So triathlon number two done and dusted on the road to Ironman 2011 - slightly longer than my previous one and I much preferred it!

It wasn't as busy as I had expected (about 90 competitors odd I think) but it was a good standard with lots of hugely expensive carbon kit on show!

Swim -

Thankfully this was a proper 25m pool unlike the crappy 14m dirty thing at the last tri! It was lovely to swim in, perfectly clear, temp was fine for 400m, although it was deeper than I expected - 3.5m at the deep end - which was cool! Only problem was you had to exit from the deep end, wouldnt be a problem except the pool side was raised about 12 inches - so with no push off the floor you had to drag yourself most ungracefully up over the side! No worries but think some will have struggled! I managed to come first in my wave - I felt really strong and was well out in front and enjoying it - my technique was good and I was pretty much the only one tumble turning apparently - shame it all only lasted 6mins 30 seconds! On the 12 length of 16 my left goggle filled with water which was a pain but I left it and just carried on for the remaining 100m! This was good for 12th place in the overall swim - some people managed a minute quicker than me - which is incredibly fast! I can't imagine where I could save that much time over 400m - maybe I will find out one day!

Target of winning my wave - Acheived!

T1 -

I'm so crap at transistion - its almost funny - I had a lead of at least 10-15 seconds coming out the pool but that was reversed coming out of transistion - I sat down, put on my socks and shoes, whacked on my helmet, glasses and then fumbled with my belt - eventually got out level with the third guy out the swim! Compared to the guy in 2nd, who had his shoes on his bike and just disappeared! I should practice them but I'll have plenty of time during Forestman so I am not that bothered!

Bike -

Out on the bike and I dropped back a bit from the guy I was with out of T1 to avoid drafting, out and across the road and I was on the stretch to Bulford Camp - all the info pre-race and said it could be anywhere from 13-16 miles - not a big deal but would have been nice to know!

The roads were smooth and wide and the weather was perfect - I steadied myself behind the guy in front (about 10 metres behind) and tried to drop my HR, however with this was a hilly route - constantly up and down - mostly on tri bars which was fine but there was never enough flat to get the HR settled! Anyway I caught and overtook the guy in front and then he took me back a mile or so later just as the drafting-checker went by the split second he pulled in front of me - I was worried they may think I was drafting but nothing heard as yet...........

We traded places with each other and caught up the other guy and the three of us made it to the far end of the course - at this point two of the others from our wave went past all three of us!

Continuing trading places I decided I couldn't make the passes stick so I settled in behind the rest and decided to try and maintain a solid pace and even have a sip or two of water to T2 - I was pretty pleased with my 21mph average (garmin shows 20.5 as it includes transistion) though I realised there are some fast guys out there...pleased me and the Bianchi could mix it with Cervelo's and Quintana Roo's of this world! Perhaps I could have pushed a bit harder and caught up with the faster boys but the splits only show 30 seconds to a minute faster overall so perhaps I did okay!

One thing I must learn is not too talk to my fellow competitors as I go past....must focus on racing!

Garmin -

Target of maintaining at least a 20 mph average - acheived! 20th fastest split


This was odd, I came in to T2 and the guy who had zoomed out of T1 was sat there doing his shoelaces up - why would you go to the lengths of sorting your T1 and attaching your shoes to your bike etc and then not buy elastic laces??

Anyway I hooked up the bike, whipped off the shoes & helmet, slid on my trainers and then stood there for about 2-3 seconds wondering what I was missing - it seemed so quick - soon pulled myself together and scooted out of transistion - 3rd in my wave! I know individual waves aren't relevant overall but to me its the only way to gauge how I am doing at any given time!


Now with my knee problems the furthest I have run in nearly three months is 4 miles last week so I had no idea what to expect! I ran the first quarter mile really quite fast at about 6 minutes a mile - partly because I had the other guy in my wave right behind me - this shook him off and I overtook someone else then slowed myself down! One thing that was noticeable was that my legs felt pretty good coming straight off the bike - I have done very little brick training so I was surprised - whether it was because the last mile of the bike was downhill or the fast early part of the run shook them in to life I don't know but it was a good feeling!

Early on, the run took a sharp left turn up a long hill, I settled in to a steady rhythm and tried to slow myself down! I overtook someone on top of the hill from an earlier wave and at the same time was overtaken by a lady from an earlier wave! I also tucked in to a GU gel that I was kindly given by Chris (@chrismrussell on twitter) - wasn't sure if I would need it but I am glad I did - the mint chocolaty boost was great and made me feel good, regardless of whether I needed the calories or not!

The next section was downhill and then flat so I settled in to a good rhythm here - eventually catching someone else and passing them - a water station about 2.5 miles in was nice to refresh with and then there was a loooooooooong up hill on gravel whic gave the legs a bit of a burn - I was quite surprised at my pace (about 8 min/mile) at this point as I was expecting to be a lot slower with my lack of running! My knee was niggling slightly up the hill but it wasn't bad so I forgot about it and pushed on!

Down the otherside of the hill and into the finish I had no-one behind me and couldn't see the lady in front so I pushed it for the last 800 or so metres to the finish! I averaged 7.54 min/miles which I am happy with - I am capable of much quicker so am just content to have managed that!

Garmin -

Target - to complete the run in one piece - Acheived! 40th fastest split

Overall -

So I finished in 1.23.56 and 26th place - good for 4th in my age group! I had hoped for top 25 so I can't complain, I know that I could knock off an easy 3-4 minutes on the run which would have given me a great result!

Sprints are fun but they are expensive at £35 for 1.5 hours! So I'd like to do more but its not going to happen - need to decide what to do next - my heart is set on One Last Tri (HIM) - but it all depends on how my running progresses over the next month! I would be near the bottom of those finishers but it would be an amazing experience in the build up to next year, regardless of the finish!

Oh well best get some more training in!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The title is a race car zooming past by the way....

I feel I should blog after yesterdays depressing blog...I knew part of getting the focus back was just about writing down all the rubbish so it was filed away and done with! Probably should've done it on a piece of paper and put in the bin rather than the WWW for everyone to see - however this challenge is all about the journey and sacrificing something to help others so if it means putting yourself out there then so be it!

Excuse me I digress.....

So I felt yesterday that I just needed a pain free run or a good blow out to see me right again - and as I was driving back to my parents last night from where I was going to run, I was passing the Forestman run course so decided sod it, put my kit on and ran part of it - its gravelly with some ridiculously steep and long hills but I was able to manage 4 miles with no pain - (slight soreness after but fine now) at 8.54 ave. pace which I'm fine with! Thats my longest non-stop run since May so I chuffed to bits with it!

I only saw one person on the whole run - its in the middle of the New Forest - and it was a good reminder of what I like about running - being on my own in the middle of nowhere enjoying the freedom!!

It was also a great taster of the eventual Forestman Route - tough but awesome!

So I was back on a bit of a high after that....I then met up with some old friends which was really cool and left me feeling pretty happy and fresh!!

Hit the pool this morning with renewed vigour and banged out my usual set - albeit slightly modified - also hit a 100m PB of 1.32 - the rest all averaged 1.36 so nice and sorted!

With the run as it was and feeling good about the swim - I'm now really looking forward to the race on sunday - BRING IT ON!! Wooohoooo!!! Focus restored - only takes one session!!


Monday, July 19, 2010

No-mans land.....

I am stuck at the moment....not sure where I am or what I'm focussed on! I'm still training and enjoying it but its not as long or as fast as I feel it should be...totally my fault, I need to pull my finger out but its easier said than done! Pretty sure its all a mental hangover from Dartmoor and then my holiday!

I'm hoping my knee will be better soon because then I can run again - always a good think because you can get great workouts in just an hour or even less, wheras I need to be on the bike for a good few hours! I'm going to run tonight and give it loads of stretching and take it easy, hoping to get a few miles of pain free running!

I've got a sprint triathlon this weekend - 400m swim, 13 mile cycle, 4.5 mile run! I've not run that far in a long time, if I get through tonight I'll be happy if not - I'm not sure what to do - go and blitz the bike and swim and just pull out if it goes in the run....or just don't bother and have a good mornings training on the bike.....any reccomendations welcome....???

Ideally I'll be fine tonight and race on sunday, that'll give me my mojo back - I know I'm not fit or fast enough to do anything special in the race but it will give me my mojo back! Looking at last years results - I can hit top ten for the swim and bike....on a good day I reckon top 25 in total!

Anyway I should look at the positives - I am fitter and faster than I have ever been in my life, I've put a pound or three one this last two weeks but that will go again by the end of the month no worries! I'm going to put off entry to the ONe-Last-Tri until next month so I can be sure of my knee - I'm not spending that kind of money to not be able to finish it...!

So there we are...I'm wandering in no-mans land - training with no focus....will pull it together over the next two weeks and look forward to August....that'll be 11 months and counting to Forestman!

Ciao for now

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm back...

Realised I haven't blogged in a while so this is a brief update...

From my previous blog I had planned to do a big 112 mile route...that didn't happen! Decided to stay local and do a nice long route but even this didn't happen - I hadn't taken in to account how my legs would feel after dartmoor the week before - I suffered big time - even stopping to check the brakes weren't rubbing - I eeked out 25 odd miles and settled for that! Then added another 30 the next day with some mates - the legs felt fine!

Lesson recovery rides after big sessions!

Then I've been on holiday for the last 8 days - this was great though I did minimal exercise - the 34 degree heat was too much for me! A couple of 2.5 mile runs and I did lots of swimming but nothing I would really call training! The runs however were amazing - running along the quiet St Tropez harbour front is a stunning experience! And swimmimg in the 26 degree mediterranean is lovely too, I could have got used to it I reckon!!

I've been back for three days now and put in some solid work - at this time of year all the local rugby clubs are doing there pre-season training - since this mostly involves core, strength and sprints I'm taking advantage of it as it as excellent foil for Ironman training - thats roughly two hours a night every tuesday, wednesday and thursday between two clubs for the next five weeks! Coupled with some big weekends training and morning swims - I hope to see some speed improvements! It also allows me to run without knee pain - which is a good thing!!

Anyway thats a brief catch up - I have a sprint on the 25th so am looking forward to that!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Swim time,,,

So after pretty much no swimming in June, I dragged myself out of bed this morning to hit the pool - no expectations, no plan - just do it!

I did my usual session which is a total of 2k (80 lengths in 25m pool)

First 12 warm up lengths were nothing short of horrendous - it was like I'd forgotten how to swim! I plugged through them trying to foucs on technique, think - glide the arms, bend the elbow, roll the hips.............

anyway I then went on to 4x4 lengths of drills - first single arm drills, then catch up, then high elbows followed by gliding (i.e try and reduce the number of strokes in a length whilst never actually stopping arm cadence) got it down to 15 strokes per length which was alright!

then in to by 10 * 100 metres at fast pace (not 100% but quick)

These went:-

1.42 (goggles came off)

Never timed it before so not sure how this looks - but its about 6 minutes per 400 at this pace so its not too bad for first swim in a month!

Still suffering from trapped wind after swimming - more controlled breathing needed! but hey ho!

Trying to convince my self to do the full 112 mile Forestman bike route tomorrow - its three laps so I can park my car in the middle and use it as a feed station to top up with water etc - think I'll go out and do a couple of laps and if feeling good knock out the third! Anyway that is its raining...!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Monthly round-up...

Ironman update – Month 6!

Six months have passed since I decided to start on this challenge and whilst it’s gone quickly I am well aware there is a long way left to go! Thankfully things have returned to normal this month with some good miles on the bike and some running!

June totals: -

Swim – 0.8 mile, 20 minutes
Bike – 472.2 miles – 28.7 Hours
Run – 25.4 miles – 6.1 Hours

Total 498.4 miles and 35.2 hours

Swim - As you can see I have done very little swimming – in fact that was just one lap of the lake but it was quick and felt good! I don’t really have an excuse for the lack of swimming, but with the hot weather a stuffy pool is not remotely appealing and with the cycling to work – too many early mornings requires far too much organisation for me! I struggle with evening swimming as I end up feeling very sick – once that’s sorted I should be okay! Anyway I’ll take June for what it was and get back in the pool in July! I know I am a good swimmer in terms of technique so the fitness gained elsewhere should, hopefully, see better performances anyway!

Bike – You can probably guess that I have been focussing on my cycling! This was due mostly to the Dartmoor Classic on the 27th June plus the fact that I had my new tri bike! The tri bike is road bike but with altered geometry and very aerodynamic to increase speed – it’s not good on hills though! I got it through the Cycle To Work scheme, so it was cheap and I have to ride to work!

My ride to work is 23 miles each way and therefore can be quite a long day, but it’s a good feeling and easy way to get some quality training in – my best time so far is 1 hour and 13 minutes! I did it a few times in June and will get plenty more in during the nice weather – its mostly quiet roads so is reasonably safe!

This all built up to the Dartmoor Classic on Sunday 27th – I did this last year and nearly passed out a few times so was unsure about this year as to how I would fair – its 106 miles of hills in Dartmoor, with about 10-11,000 feet of climbing….plus the 28 degree heat!!

For a full detailed report please go to

But to summarise, it went brilliantly, I felt strong and fast for the majority of it and my recovery was excellent – I was out running on Monday night! Biggest plus was how I got the nutrition spot on! We completed it in 7 hours 51 minutes!

Run – Well it’s been three months since I have run pain free but I am almost back to normal, I’ve been doing a few very slow run/walks including lots of stretching! My planned 3 weeks rest lasted 2 ½ weeks before I went and ran a mile – the pain came straight back! I went to see the magic hands of Richard Gulliver (osteopath and hero) and basically its very tight hamstrings, quads and IT band which all focus on the knee and have inflamed the different attachment points – lots of ice and stretching and care and I’ll be back to normal! I managed a 10k last week of run/stretching with no pain so I am on the mend!

Where does this leave me now? Well I have lost just under two kilos since May and am on the verge of dropping below 96kgs – I checked a record I kept in July 2009 and since then have lost 14.5kgs (32lbs) and reduced my body fat by wonder the cycling felt easier!

I have a sprint triathlon on the 25th July so am looking forward to that, it’s a 400m swim, 13 mile cycle and 4.5 mile run – the only part I’m worried about is the run but I am hoping I’ll be back up to speed by then – the plan will be to go crazy in the swim and cycle and then just worry about the run as it happens! It’s not a race for me, just another training session!

I received a very nice running top from the guys at SeeSaw, which is great and reduces the constant stream of washing I have to do! The guys at Edukaid are also doing there own 10k locally in October so I will be looking forward to that!

I was asked a question recently here about what would make the biggest difference to my training – answer is drivers attitudes to cyclists – its one thing that makes me think twice about going out training! Strange how people seem to take a different attitude when surrounded by a ton of metal! The other thing is being able to afford the nutrition training products – thankfully someone gave me some contacts and I approached the guys at MuleBar – , another local company who make the best energy bars – they are helping me out in a big way and I can’t thank them enough – go and check them out!!!

Main goals for July are just to continue where I have left off – I am on holiday for a week but am taking my trainers to hopefully get some running in and then its back to training hard! I’ve enjoyed the gains I’ve made through June so really want to build on that!

Some more great donations have come in – with one year to go I would really appreciate the continued support so please donate if you can! If you can’t then please don’t worry but forward this to someone you think may be able to!! - SeeSaw – EduKaid

I have my constant stream of internet based areas -

On Facebook -!/group.php?gid=313626134776

Remember you can check up on twitter to see how I am doing daily -

I also have started a more comprehensive blog as twitter couldn’t cope with my ramblings :-

Thanks everyone!!