Monday, November 29, 2010

Month Salvaged.....

Considering how November started out I'm chuffed that it has been salvaged by some great sessions over the past week! Best of all was this weekend, friday morning started with a great swim - breaking my 400 pb with a 6.02 - there were still some poor turns in there so sub 6 is real possibility any time soon!

Anyway Saturday was a run day - nothing really planned other than somewhere between 9 and 13 miles! I'll let you in to a secret...I love running in snow/ice and the cold! Its stunning to look at, fun to slide in and is usually quiet in the hills! so I drove out of town to do some running in my favourite area around Whitsbury Gallops!

The snow wasn't as plentiful as at home but about 1-2cm on the tracks and it was mostly virgin snow!

This was the view from the car - basically I run around the dips and hills in that view

Back where I had come from....

up to where I was going: -

about 5 miles in and looking back to where I had come from on the only bit of tarmac, a fair bit of melting in 45 mins! : -

So 10 miles on the nose in 1.27.47 which I was pretty pleased with as the first 5.5 I had cruised before really pushing it for the last 2 miles! Gives me confidence that I can push it over the longer distances without any dramas!
Sunday I joined with a friend and we went to the forest to take the mountain bikes for a spin and then in to a run! It was -3 per the car and felt so much colder for the first mile or so into the wind depsite wearing every single piece of cycling clothing I own! We totalled 15.5 miles in roughly 1 hr 45 - not fast but it was a properly tough ride - a few miles of gravel tracks interspersed with sand, gravel and icy boggy puddles! By my reckoning MTB'ing is about 2.5/3 times harder than road cycling so I'm happy with that distance for a mid-winter ride! (Open to discussion but I mean proper mtb'ing - off road and more than just gravel tracks!)!
We then went (almost) straight in to a 4 mile run, back over the same sort of ground as the ride - started off well but the legs felt it on the last couple of hills - still maintained a 9.30 pace without any great trouble! Then back home for some food and warmth!
View out the back of the house on Sat morning at the snow....

So all in all a good weekends training - especially on the running front, feel fine today so there was no great intensity - perfect for this time of year....must avoid getting ill now!! Exam and one more game of rugby to go and then its a straight line to June - can't wait!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Race schedule....

After much deliberation, I think I have nailed down the 2011 build-up to the big will probably only change 10-15 times before then!

So it goes a little something like this...

January 16th - Rough & Tumble 10 - 10 mile brutal XC race (entered)
March 6th - Mad March 20 - 20 mile reasonably flat race (entered)
April 17th - Wiggle Sportive - 83 mile sportive which I will again treat as a time trial
May 1st - Neolithic marathon - hilly off-road marathon
May 9th - Try a tri - tiny little triathlon just for fun

then the big race on 26th June...granted there is a significant lack of triathlon in there but the only 1/2 IM is a bit too close to the main event and I don't see any point in spending a million quid on any other distance which I don't really enjoy! The Try-a-tri is the first one I did last year so just fancy doing it for fun!

So there we go all ready to go!

Monday, November 22, 2010


So I am all better now which is good, though my training hasn't progressed from barely happening....what with the last couple of weeks being rugby and work focussed the time and energy hasn't really been there! I've still got plenty of swimming in but only been running twice a week and no cycling - this week may change that slightly and with no weekend plans I am looking forward to a weekend dedicated to training! Definitely a good cycle and a long run and hopefully a good long swim on Sunday too - this will be interspersed with studying for my final accountancy exam - it'll be good to get that out the way on December 10th - then there are no pressures! Just training! I'm really looking forward to training at the moment which is a good feeling!

I went for a recovery run yesterday evening which was only 3.5 miles and hurt a lot - big roast, sore body and some champagne/wine with lunch a few hours earlier is not good even for just that gentle run! My Garmin has been sent off for repair so I'm using Runkeeper on the Iphone at the moment - its rubbish compared to a Garmin and I am pretty sure it isn't as accurate or reliable as a Garmin - but its free so I am not complaining!

I feel I should enter more races as a kick up the backside to encourage training but I find I do less training as a result because I worry about tapering/recovery etc too much but they are fun...ah well we'll see what comes up - I keep checking the events pages for the right race to pop up!

I'm not in as good shape as I was two months ago but I think I really was in good shape back then and I can get back there pretty quickly and then push on to Ironman shape from there! Watching the guys at the Ironman Arizona race this weekend just shows that with the dedication anyone can do it!

Other than that #sillyswimcomp and #winterswim are good fun for ticking out the pool time - at this rate I think I will stand more chance of swimming 112 miles than cycling them! he he!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Back from the brink...

After being ill all last week I have finally turned the corner, it was the dizziness I blogged on previously which lasted right up through to Sunday really, though it was mostly gone by Friday! I even took a day off work just to rest....and I never take days off for illness - I think three in total in about 10 years?! Doctor confirmed it was the crystals in my inner ear that get knocked about and then take a few weeks to settle down, something I have to live with so nothing to do with diet!

Anyway I played Rugby on Saturday...I know, I know I have supposedly retired from that but the boys have had a nasty run of results so I stuck my name back in for three weeks to see if I can bring anything to the party...I didn't this last week but I think we'll turn it round the next two weeks! Ironically I think I am better player now then I was a year ago despite being a lot weaker! Anyway the rugby hopefully shouldn't impact my basic training during the week, it just means Saturday and mostly Sunday are no go days! Since November has been a write-off anyway I can live with it!

August was great, September was average, October was great, November was very poor - see a pattern developing!! If this is the way it is going to go then so be it, I reckon I can manage it fine right up to June providing I am sensible during the hard times and make sure I push it! The other side of it is to strap a pair on and turn the bad months in to good months! That hardness will come when the New Year is past, right now over seven months out it just isn't needed!

I asked what others did in terms of weekly hours for Ironman and most averaged about 10-12 hours which I am comfortable doing anyway so that was really reassuring - I would like to hit a few 20's next spring and certainly May time which will be great - obviously the weather will make a difference - its the long riding that I need to get back in to the habit of, I've been doing a few 2-2.5 hour rides to tick over but will look forward to the bigger hours in spring!

Anyway I am now feeling better which is good - the odd dizzy spell is still there but nothing too bad, last nights 4.5 mile gentle run went by fine, though I could tell I hadn't been for a while! This mornings 4*500m swim also went fine really, it took me 1750 of flapping before I found my grove and could flow but this was no surprise with shoulders that were still rock solid after Saturdays game and no swimming for a week!

The diet has been late night chocolate craving has not gone but I am trying De-caffienated Green Tea (tastes like a hedge dipped in water) to add a change from plain water! I've still got 5-6kgs of fat to lose so when that goes I'll be like lightening...zooooommm!

Anyway until next time...sick note is out...

Monday, November 8, 2010

An apology,...

Turns out I don't think coffee caused me feeling ill last week, well it may have done I don't know but pizza didn't help, nor did loads of sleep - only made it through 2 miles of Saturday's run before walking home and feeling rubbish! Still went out Saturday and had a good day and felt better sunday - more sleep last night and I feel rubbish again!

Its a dizzyness and nausea basically, a bit like feeling permenantely car sick - I get it probably twice a year (last time was feb) - I have had MRI scans and stuff but nothing was really ever picked up - they said a virus (mild viral encephalytis) had damaged one of the nerves between my left ear and the brain, meaning the other once compensated for it by sending faster signals - therefore making me feel dizzy! I'm not sure I buy it to be honest as it just comes and goes with no real warning or apparent cause!

Its rather frustrating as physically I am fine...body wants to go but head can't! I'll keep resting this week and hopefully I will be better by the weekend...its annoying though because thats two weeks training gone when I am supposed to be building up again!

Ah well back to the grindstone....everyone elses training sounds good! Keep it up!

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Good & the bad black stuff...

Don't know what has happened to me this week, Monday was a total rest day and that was fine, I had a great run on Sunday so just chilled out and with a busy work week that was fine! Tuesday morning I got up for my normal swim, started off with sprints but just couldn't find my speed, felt like I was pushing a bit of a dead weight so I chilled out and went a bit slower!

That night was supposed to be a run but I went to Rugby training instead, I do this occasionally because: -

a) Its fun
b) I get to see my mates
c) It breaks up the run/swim/cycle pattern once a week while still having some exercise
d) It is either sprinting or standing still so in a way balances out my long and slow running with some speedwork!

Anyway I felt fine then wednesday nights planned run, again didn't happen - when I got home from school I felt so washed out I couldn't face it, same when my alarm went off for Thursday morning swim, though I slept badly so wasn't bothered!

I then went to run Thursday night, I again felt washed out but needed to get it done so thought I would do my usual 5.5 miles around town, first couple of miles where fine over the hills and my form was pretty good, I then started to feel a bit tired but saw out the next mile...then it hit me, I had to walk every few 100 yds just to get home via a legs weren't tired or sore it was just my body and head put on a total mental block! It felt awful - worst run I've ever had!

I got some sleep and went swimming again this morning - I still felt a bit dead, my form was excellent but I couldn't push through to my normal speed, I blasted out a 100m burst half way through which was good but I practically died after that and the last 400 odd metres were spent mixing up strokes and cruising along, anyway it was a mile and its all time but it just seems I've been unable to pick myself up mentally - physically I think I am fine! So what is it?

I don't think its overtraining, I did ten hours last week with that long run on Sunday but it was all low intensity stuff and shouldn't cause a problem, I think its more to do with caffiene and being brain dead!

Brain dead because all week I have been at the training centre studying for my last exam - they are relatively short days (9-4) with lots of breaks and I never feel taxed (excuse the pun) but I think that much intense studying can leave the head a bit fuzzy to the real world - expecially noticeable back at work today where I can barely work out whats going on!

Secondly and more importantly I think Caffiene is the problem, I rarely drink it as I am not a fan of coffee, tea is fine but don't tend to bother and I don't drink diet coke anymore unless in a pub etc I also prefer cold to hot drinks. But this week I have had a cup of coffee (mocha actually, though I feel slightly pretenious saying it) at lunch tues, wed & thurs to stay focussed for afternoon study and I think this has totally f@cked me over! I've been fine till about 6pm and then just mentally passed out! Simple answer don't drink caffiene...its bad for you! Coffee = bad black stuff

Anyway I shall sleep well tonight, eat a load of carbs and hopefully that'll get rid of all the nasty caffiene from my system @janine_B_lewis suggested beetroot or pineapple juice to assist in this so I'll grab some of that too - tomorrow am is a short ride and long run - I'll keep the intensity low and hopefully settle in to it! After that I have the afternoon off for indulging in England Vs the All Blacks and lots of Guinness (the good black stuff, it is iron after all), sunday will be a mountain bike ride with @norts12 - I'll be hungover so it'll just be for a giggle!

Enjoy your weekends and whatever you do don't drink coffee!!! By all means drink alcohol though - thats really good for you!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ironman Update #10

Crikey...10 months! 10 months I've been doing this all building up to one day in 8 months time...that's a long time away surely it'll be a piece of cake by then I'll walk through it won't, I reckon I could do one now, it would just take me a few days! Anyway I wasn't going to do an update this month as I always jinx myself, however by popular demand (I think that's what they said) here it is: -

Swim: - 11.3 Miles, 6.9 Hours............Year: - 76 Miles, 48.1 Hours
Bike: - 165.3 Miles, 9.8 Hours...........Year: -1574 Miles, 99.7 Hours
Run: - 68.4 Miles, 10.6 Hours...........Year: - 601 Miles, 103.4 Hours
X-Train: - 23 Miles, 6.1 Hours..........Year: - 49 Miles, 11.3 Hours

Total:- 268 Miles, 33.33 Hours......Year 2300 Miles, 263 Hours

Swim: -

Another continuous month of good solid swimming, not really getting faster over the short distances but I'm getting more efficient and consistent which means I can put more power in to it! Over the longer distances I'm getting faster and my aim of an hour for the 2.4 miles is looking acheivable! Obviously all swimming is in the pool now which is fine, I don't have a problem getting up and going two or three times a week early doors and meeting other triathletes helps with mixing up the sessions!

My favourite session is 6*500 metres (20 lengths) alternating using my float between the legs, but to mix it up I sometimes to some sprint sessions one of which involves a warm up of about 300 metres then 25 metres fast, 25 slow, 50 fast, 50 slow, 75 fast, 75 slow etc right up to 200 fast/200 slow and then the same back down! Its pretty brutal and you get loads of shoulder burn but it feels goooooood once done!!

Bike: -

This has just been about getting on the bike again and putting in some base endurance work, I go purely on my heart rate averaging it at 70% of max (about 130bpm) for a couple of hours each weekend so nothing special to write about but it will stay like this for a few months just building up the time in the saddle!

I have used my turbo trainer (indoor contraption that you put your bike on to work out indoors) a few mornings but the heat it generates shreds my tyres so I am reluctant to use it till I can afford a proper turbo tyre!

Did have a rather odd experience last weekend, I had been out my tri-bike for about 75 minutes nice and steady, when I was sick...just that no warning, no strange feelings, I wasn't pushing it...just sick! Shook me a bit (I don't like being sick!) so I headed home - no other effects other than a bit dizzy - I think I went out too soon after brekkie and being bent right over in the aero position and drinking lots of water meant it had no where to go! Sorry to be gruesome but its all part and parcel of training!

Run: -

Another solid month, which is good having built in the bike work - I have to spend some time on my foam roller to keep my knee in check but I think I can stay on top of it!

I started off slowly and then really built up the running in the last two weeks, with week 4 a 30 mile running week! My final run on Sunday just gone was a 13.73 run from Salisbury over the hills to Fordingbridge and then on through the New Forest to Hyde Garden centre for some brekkie! This is the furthest I've ever ran and I felt great the whole way, it was faster, smoother and better than I have ever ran before! In fact I could have kept going for another 6 or so without too much trouble providing there weren't to many more hills! Most pleasing was that my 9 min/miles were easily comfortable over some big hills and the offroad trails! Guess I'll have to push it next weekend....

So overall I am really pleased with the progress this month, I have lost a lot of the weight I put on in September and removed the doubts I had about my ability to stay motivated, reduced intensity and increased hours are the name of the game for the winter to get that base endurance! No jinxing myself this month...nope nope nope!!

Trying to plan my races in the build up to the Ironman next is proving difficult, there is a marathon I want to do on May 1st then a half-ironman two weeks later, then the full thing 6 weeks later...hmmm maybe pushing it in order to recover in time! I'll play it be ear a bit on that front!!

P.s. having cut all my hair off it turns out I don't swim any faster....whoops!

oh and if you haven't then please sponsor me...I am so close to £1,000 across the two charities that it would be a massive boost to break it before Christmas!!

Thanks a lot to Everyone!!!!!!! Woohoooo!!