Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Enough's Enough

As you have seen from the September posts - this has been a topsy turvey all over weird sort of month - its been all in my head - its not been a lack of motivation as I have done lots of exercise - just not necessarily triathlon training - I have included mountain biking and general stuff in my hours this month! Perhaps I was feeling a bit burnt out - although I've only been doing this for 9 months, when your focussed on one goal that is a long way it can be pretty tough sometimes to maintain that level of enthusiasm! So I decided to not worry about this month so much - I'll tick over to twenty hours over the next two days with some running and swimming and that'll do fine!

However I can only justify this by making the most of October - I'll get back on the bike, having not ridden on the road during September and start combining more sessions and getting double days back in! Swim in the morning and running in the evening!

One huge positive is my running - I've built it back up nicely during September and am cruising along at a nice speed for where I want to be! Thats a massive bonus as my knee would appear to be fine! Lets hope it holds out when I start cycling again!

To start October I am going to have a big session on Saturday - swim, cycle and run - nothing fast or too intense but hopefully some good times - my plan will be a 1.9 mile swim, 30 mile cycle and 12.5 mile run - all being well that will be a really good session!

There I have said it....I can't not do it now!

anyway i can stop whinging now - its all about hard work - I 'll be too tired to whinge!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Building back up...

This month so far has been slow in training terms but not in anyway lazy I should add - as I previously stipulated I was just taking it steady and building up my running - this has really paid dividends and on saturday I had a good session!

It started with a 5.55am alarm call - I had been feeling pretty ropey the two days before so it took some serious will power to get out of bed - I jumped in the car (prepacked) and headed down to Ellingham ski lake for a good swim, although it was dark and the car temperature read....2 degrees (brrrr) the sun was slowly coming up and it was laid on for a beautiful day!

When I arrived there were only two people in the hut (plus the owner) and the lake could barely be seen for the fog rising up off the warmer than air water! We gave it ten minutes and then slowly got changed and wandered down to the lake - normally you can do 1400m laps of the lake but as you couldn't see more than 25m it was all about keeping reasonably close to the Jetty and doing roughly 400m between the banks - the water was actually really quite nice at about 17/18 degrees and it was an amazing swim - at one point you were swimming in thick fog, with out being able to see any bank or buoy - this was pretty spooky but awesome at the same time!

As the sun slowly broke though the view just got better and it was by the far the best swim I've had to date! After this I drove straight up to the forest and ran 5 miles out along the main road and then 4.5 back along tracks and through woods - it was about 12 or so degrees by now and clear blue sunshine so was a perfect time! I had to stop in some woods at one point - the sun was dappling through the tree's and it was perfectly still and quiet - soaked in some of the sunshine and then finished it off - having seen only one other person out on the trails!

So a 1.2 (ish) mile swim and a 9.5 mile run was a perfect Saturday morning and I was feeling so comfortable running at that pace - so the few weeks of slower training - 5 to 7 hours have really paid dividends! I then hit the mountain bike for 45 minsutes of blasting about yesterday to blow away the cobwebs from saturday afternoon (big lunch and a beer or ten)!

I feel so much more confident with my running and am enjoying building up my long runs - next weekend will be my old 12 or so mile route which includes some ridiculous hills! I have a 1/2 marathon on the 17th October which should be good - 2 hours will be about right for my time - slow and steady!

As for cycling - well I just looked at my record and I haven't been on my road bike for 3 weeks (!) Its fine because it has allowed time to sort out my running but I am concious that the nice weekend days will have to be used for some long rides to keep my eye in! Its all about building an endurance base and cycling is fantastic for that!

Swimming has been ticking over - a few pool sessions and the odd coached session - not getting any quicker but keeping that base going!

all good - so building back up to bigger training weeks over the next few months - tis good to get the drive back!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Catch Up....

I've not blogged for a week or two - due to a combination of being very busy and not doing a great deal of training either!

To be honest that was fine with me - I hadn't realised how tired I was until I had a day or two off and then struggled to get going again! So as I have done little of training this month I will keep it that way and keep focussing on my running! As I have mentioned numerous times i had many knee problems and have hardly run at all for a few months - so now that I am over that (fingers crossed) I am concentrating on running and getting in the miles!

I'm up to ten mile long runs at the moment at a steady pace and will be looking to get comfortable with the long two hour runs before hitting some big winter mileage! I have a 1/2 marathon at the end of October which will be a good indicator of where I am!

That comes at the expense of cycling - however having done loads over the past few months I am happy with letting it slide a bit! Swimming will continue to tick over for a few weeks until October when I will be looking to get fully back in to the swing of things for the winter months!

Bring on next June...I can't wait to hit the startline...patience is not a virtue of mine!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August Monthly Update

I'm afraid it's a long one as so much as happened this month, after last months steady build up I was looking forward to hitting it hard this month and I most certainly did! It started strongly and built right through to the New Forest Rattler before a bit of a rest to see the month out!

Swim - 12 miles - 7.8 hours
Bike - 425 miles - 24.1 hours
Run - 38 miles - 6.7 hours

Total 475 miles - 38.7 hours

All those total to give my biggest month to date in terms of hours - averaging around 10 hours per week for the bigger weeks so its been really good! Oddly I have put on weight, only a few pounds but its made a difference from the continuous weight loss I have seen so far! Its mostly because I don't eat enough decent food during the day and end up snacking on chocolate and sweets in the evening to make up for lost calories - more discipline required for September I feel!

During my two biggest weeks I used a lot of energy and recovery products which really made a big difference - unfortunately they are too expensive to use all the time but I'm holding out for some sort of deal on them...! (Hint...everyone go and buy ZipVit products)

Swim: -

Nothing ground breaking to report on, just lots of it! I've been doing plenty of sessions in the hour or so that I go two/three times a week before work, varying it between speed and then just plain endurance sessions - I've been enjoying it though which is a good thing and though I've not been breaking any records my consistency as increased a lot! On my biggest training day of the month I went to one of the coached sessions at the gym - I was happily motoring up and down doing the drills but got pulled out of the middle lane and dumped in the 2nd fastest lane - flattering but not what I needed! Still I held my own against all the fast young whippets, despite plenty of cramping! The guys in the fast lane where super quick - it was just plain scary!

Bike: -

Great month on the bike, the plan was to build up to the New Forest Rattler (79 miles around the forest) on the 22nd - although the distance isn't a problem for me I wanted to do it as fast I could maintain for the entire distance - ideally 20 mph average!

So I started the month getting lots of sessions in on the tri-bike just getting used to sitting in the position and maintaining a good cadence - it was very positive actually and felt easier than I expected! I also intermingled this with lots of longer rides on my road-bike taking in plenty of hills and generally getting out and about!

As previously mentioned my biggest day involved a really good 50 miles up over the hills around shaftsbury followed by 2400m of swimming - I was so tired after this ride but it shows how far I have come that I was still strong at the end and able to have a big swim!

So that all led to the Rattler!! I wrote a detailed report here...

but essentially I held my average at 19.9 mph until 64 miles when I was just exhausted - at that point I managed the hills and brought it home in 4 hours and 7 minutes having averaged 19.5 mph - I was shattered but very happy with it! Just got a lot more work to do!!

Run: -

So I have only been running once a week really - the odd smaller 3-4 mile run and a few bigger 7.5 mile runs which have been good - no knee pain but I am struggling with pace and fitness - no real surprise given the last few months so I am pleased! From now I am going out slightly more often and trying to get the distances up, I walk when I am tired for a maximum of 30 seconds at a time and just try to maintain a solid pace throughout! Easier said than done mind you!

All that has left me feeling pretty rubbish - unless I am on a bike or in the pool - then I tend to feel pretty good! The triathlon season is running down now so I won't be able to fit in anymore races - I can't justify the entry fee for the one-last-tri so I will sit that out - I may enter a half-marathon in October and should know by then if I have made the cut for the London Marathon in April which will be good training?!

So what's the outlook now - I would really like to concentrate on my running and get that back on track (forgive the pun) so for September I am going to focus on more of that whilst just maintaining the cycling and swimming - so cycling will be restricted to more weekend rides whilst swimming should remain consistent!

I am not going to increase the hours as I have been because I don't want to burn out and this will give me a chance to focus on the quality of my running rather than having to keep the quantity high! I have had a few moments in the last week or so where I have doubted if I could see out the next 10 months of training and get to Forestman and it really has been up and down - but it wouldn't be a challenge if it wasn't hard - it doesn't help that the rugby season is kicking off and seeing the boys running out can be tough - however I know this is the right thing to be doing and looking at the charity work and the donations that have come in really strengthens my resolve!

We're off to Cornwall next week which will be good so I will be taking my trainers and wetsuit to get some sea swimming in hopefully! The rest of the week will be good ol' sitting down time!

This month I am not taking a break from donation begging - a few more and we can hit £1,000 - so please, please, give what you can before Christmas rears it expensive head!! (I am aware its only September!!)

Anyway here comes September and it starts with a run tonight - going for a solid 9 or so but won't be pushing it! Fingers crossed!!