Friday, 31 December 2010

2010 Review of the Year

Hi dedicated readers,

Sorry I've been so terrible with my blogging. One of my 2011 resolutions is to blog a training summary at the end of each month and I intend to stick to it. Other resolutions for 2011 are to run 1500 miles and cycle 3000 miles. Not sure I have too many non sporting resolutions. I did buy a Yoga and stretching book today, but i won't make any promises about how much I'll use it.

But this isn't a look forward to 2011 blog. That may come another day. Today is about a review of 2010. Outside of my exercise I have got married, and can now call Lauren my Wife :-) I have been to Iceland for a very alternative holiday. Been to Bali on Honeymoon and we seem to have had a really packed 2010. As important as all those events are this is a fitness blog and so 2010 has looked like this:

Races - 13 Races

5K - 2
10K - 2
10M - 1
Half Marathon - 5
15M - 1
Marathon - 2

9 PB's set in the year.

Current PB's

5K - 20:31 (22:07 - 2009)
10K - 43:36 (47:15 - 2009)
10M - 1:12:05
HM - 1:36:21 (1:50:58 - 2009)
15M - 2:18:55
MAR - 3:50:10

Training - 187 Runs

Less than 5 miles - 108 runs
5-10 Miles - 71 runs
10 -15 Miles - 5
Longer than 15 Miles - 3

Total - 200 Runs - 1070 Miles.

So a decent racing year. I raced 10 Miles, 15 Miles and Marathon for the first time. I set PB's at all distances. So definate progress being made. But I really need to push on in 2011 to stop me plateauing. As you can see from my training it is all very short and medium length runs.

I have raced at distances greater than 10 miles 8 times and I have only done 8 training runs greater than 10 miles. If I want to get my Marathon time anywhere close to in line with my other PB's I need to get plenty of long runs under my belt early in 2011. I think a 3hr 30min Marathon is a realistic goal for 2011 I will be racing at Stratford in May and intend to run another in the autumn.

I would also love a 1Hr 30min Half Marathon, which I will be targeting in Bristol in September. But I think this is a stretch target and may have to wait for 2012. PB's at 5K and 10K should come too but they aren't such high priorty.

I haven't just been running this year, and invested in a new Bike in April ready for LEJOG in 2011. I didn't set myself any particular targets and just wanted to get comfortable using the Bike and get some Bike fitness. On the Bike i managed 774 Miles in 93 rides. 90 of these related to me commuting to and from the office. With the 3 remaining rides being weekend rides of 20-25 miles.

The mileage will ramp up quickly in 2011 as we are hoping to do LEJOG at the end of July/ start of August. I've currently got all the gear and no idea, but am confident with the fitness I have from my running I will be able to transfer it over to the Bike pretty fast.

So in addition to getting some flexibility from my Yoga/stretching in 2011 I also want to use the new swimming gear I bought in July and am still to use! As you can see 2011 is set to be a busy year for me fitness wise, and I can't wait! Hope you all have a fantastic 2011!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Bristol Half Marathon Race Report

Sorry I have been so lazy on the blogging front, but after nearly two months off I have great news to report! I PB'd at Bristol and what a surprising and big PB it was too. Made it round in 1:36:21 a PB of over 3 minutes!

My training had gone ok. But my promise of 8 long runs before Bristol never happened. I think I managed 2. So my expectations prior to the race were low. Felt a time of 1:38 - 1:45 was the most likely result. My 5K and 10K PB's had tumbled in recent months but I felt the lack of long runs would realistically mean a HM PB would be beyond me. Thankfully I was wrong.

My prep in the days before the race went well. Some gentle runs, a good healthy Spag Bol on Saturday night and stayed on water not the beer. Also managed to get an early night. Woke up feeling nervous but good Sunday only to see threatening grey clouds outside the window. As me and Lauren walked down to the race start the rain started to come down. Wasn't too heavy but not ideal.

I got to the start area before Pete and couldn't find him before the gun went. I got a great position near the front and so was over the start line within 10 seconds. The first couple of miles I took it easy, let people pass me which was an unusal feeling. I'm usually further back and so am overtaking people throughout the race.

Pete found me after a couple of miles and he fell into stride alongside me. After his 65 miles in a day only a few weeks ago Pete didn't have a fast time or a PB on his mind and so we ran together. I thought it would only be for a couple of miles, but he then decided to pace me round for my PB. It was a real help! I've never run with someone in a race before and it kept me motivated and running strong as the rain continued to fall. We saw Lauren and Pete's mum at the 10 mile mark as we came back into the city centre for a push before the final 5k.

I started to tire as you do in the final couple of miles. But then Pete stepped in for some motivational words. The last mile was a real struggle, physically and mentally. Hearing the finishing announcer and crowd 1/2 a mile from home and curving around away from them was depressing. But as we turned for home and got onto the paved surface I had a second wind and me and Pete kicked for home. We were going like a train when they decided to let some spectators cross so we had to navigate an improvised little chicane but then we were running hard under the finish line. Job done!

Was a great weekend. Dinner with Lauren, Amy and Cole at a South African restaurant Friday night. A pleasant Saturday evening in Bristol with Lauren for a meal and the cinema. Then the fantastic race with Pete to finish a brilliant weekend. Hope to bring you more good news next week after the Great North Run.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Brighton Weekender and a PB!

I have still been a little slack with the training. Managed five runs but the longest was just over five miles. I was in Brighton this weekend with friends and so always knew a long run was going to be a struggle. Had a fantastic time in Brighton, really great town and great company as always.

How times have changed since uni, instead of laying in till past midday we were up at half 7 for the 5K park run. All five of us managed to motivate ourselves to get out and do it and I had alot of fun. Finished 3rd out of the 5 of us and 21st out of the 223rd runners and PB'd with a time of 20:31. The course was also a lot hillier than my previous 5K races at Albert Park in Middlesbrough.

Aside from the run, we drank, ate Vietnamese Street Food, enjoyed the sun when it came out from behind the clouds and played some adventure golf. All in all a top weekend. I managed to get myself up at 8 Sunday morning to get the train back in time for one of my mum's legendary roasts and even had the energy for a 4 mile run in the evening.

Not sure my mileage is going to improve much in the short term, I have my honeymoon Saturday. But I am packing my runner trainers just in case :-)

Monday, 5 July 2010

Low training and new training partner

I haven't had a very good exercising fortnight and so don't have much to report. Not sure I'll keep up the weekly training updates, I think there is only so much training talk that 'normal' people can take :-)

The last fortnight has involved 9 runs totalling 31.5 Miles. All fairly short stuff. Hoping to get my mojo back this week. I did get introduced to a new running route and a new running partner. But both Amy and the new route are in Sandy an hour and a halfs drive away, so I don't think it will be an addition to my usual routine. It was a very pleasant run along quiet roads and through the forest. A nice start to the weekend before the serious drinking and partying started.

I have also been out on my bike for the first time since I broke my arm. I did a sponsored bike ride with Amy last week around some of London. Was quite crowded with lots of riders and cars, so progress was slow. But it was a very pleasant Sunday morning in the sun before the horror show of a football match in the afternoon. In total I cycled three times for a total of 24 miles, the longest being the 13 mile sponsored ride.

So there you have it a fortnights summary. I'm not sure when you'll hear from me again, but hopefully I will be able to tell you of a heavier training volume.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Week 9 Training & Bristol Long Run 1/8

A pretty pleasing training week. Just running no cross training. I managed:

5 Runs - 26 Miles Total - 10.72 Mile Longest.

Due to the footy being on I missed a run or two early on in the week. But did two runs Saturday and so still managed a respectable 5 for the week. Not a huge mileage week but pretty solid.

I was very pleased with my first long run of the promised 8 before Bristol Half Marathon. Did 8 laps round the bridle track on Sunday morning and it went fairly well. Pace dropped a little after 5 laps but not drastically. Saw lots of early morning walkers and cyclists but thankfully no horses!

I have now run over 1000 miles since I started running in May 2009 and halfway through my long run on Sunday my 2010 mileage passed that of 2009. I am also well ahead of my target of 1000 miles in 2010. Let's just hope I stay injury free and pick up some more PB's in the second half of the year.

I would write about the World Cup and England's performances thus far, but the pain is just too fresh at the moment. Perhaps another day.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Week 8 Training

Not a great deal to tell this week after my comprehensive Southend HM race report. No bike, swimming or weights. But cast comes off tommorrow :-) Lets hope everything has healed correctly and I can start cross training.

This weeks running looked like this:
4 runs - 25 Miles Total - Longest Run 13.1 Mile Race

Aside from the race just did some short stuff to keep me ticking over. Had intended to do 5 runs but one fell out as I was abit busy. Hoping to do 30+ miles next week.

Southend Half Marathon Debrief

After the disappointment of the football on Saturday night I needed a good race and a PB. I got neither! I took it easy watching the footy and didn't hit the beer in the hopes that would leave me well prepared for the race the following morning. The diet of Chilli, Pizza and Pringles probably won't be found in too many running books on good pre race nutrition. They might be in there actually but under the heading "Things to avoid!"

So the race itself. We left the house about quarter to 9 leaving us plenty of time to go the 15 or so miles to the start in Shoebury. But sheer volume of traffic and a small entry into the carpark meant standstill a mile from the carpark. I elected to get out and walk I had about 40 minutes so time was no problem. Got to the start line about quarter to 10 for the race start of 10. But due to the traffic problems the start was delayed by 20 minutes. The loudspeaker system wasn't working so that didn't get communicated to me in the middle of the pack. All very frustrating! But just after 20 past 10 we were off!

The first mile was congested, the race is small only around 1500 runners but their are some tight corners early on and no timing pens so I had to work hard to get myself some free space and get into my stride. Went through the first mile in 7:15 or so well inside my 7:30 target. Eased off to conserve my energy once the crowds had thinned out a little and went through 2 miles in 15:00. But I think the first mile was a little short and the second a little long. We were now on to the seafront and I was running easy and feeling good saw Shelley at the Castle and everything was going to plan. Went through 5 miles about 30 seconds ahead of schedule but it was feeling harder than it should. Was still ahead of target pace through 6 miles but it was at the end of the first loop that the problems happened.

I started to get a stitch. I ran with it for awhile but it didn't pass and got worse. Had to walk for a minute or two and very quickly I had slipped past my target time and I wasn't pulling it back. I think I went through 7 miles about 2 minutes down on my target and so also behind my PB pace. The pace dropped to 8 minute miles or maybe a touch slower and it was all about getting to the finish. I think I made it to mile 12 before I had to walk again, but by then Great Bentley and Bath were both long gone and the next one was Cardiff and 1:50. I brought it home and finished in 1:45:40 and in 426th out of 1511. Over half an hour quicker than last year in my first ever half marathon but a way off my target.

The regularity with which I get stitches is becoming a problem. In my 6 Half Marathons it has only been at Great Bentley and Cardiff that I haven't needed to have a walking break. I think the main reason for the stitches and the poor performance yesterday is lack of long runs. I have now been running for over 13 months and in that time I have done just 5 training runs of 10 miles or longer they are as follows:

December 13th 2009 - 14.04 miles
February 14th 2010 - 10.01 miles
March 13th 2010 - 15.45 miles
March 26th 2010 - 20.01 miles
May 2nd 2010 - 10.10 miles

Whilst in that 13 months I have done 8 races of 10 miles or greater. 6 Half Marathons, 1 15 Mile Cross Country race and a Marathon. Now I write it down that is shocking preparation! I now have 12 weeks to get properly prepared for Bristol and I will do at least 8 runs of 10 miles or further. I really want to do myself justice and will be aiming for 1hour 35mins.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Southend HM Game Plan & Week 7 Training

So after the excitement and happiness of my big 10k PB is the comedown, and I came down with an almighty bump this afternoon. Went out for a long run and made it to the meagre distance of 3 miles before I got a stitch and called it a day. Rather embarassing and frustrating!

All of this weeks runs have been hard work, maybe that 10k was more energy sapping than I had realised. I intend to have one more go at a long run tommorow morning and if that fails it will just be short runs before Sundays race.

Even with today's disappointment I still intend to attempt a PB at Southend. Plus points are the super flat course and the small field. The negatives are the potential for it to be roasting hot, the dull two lap course and the plaster cast on my arm that I didn't have for my HM PB at Great Bentley. The game plan is to go out at 7 mins 30 secs which would bring me home in 1 hr 38 mins 15 seconds and see if I can hold it to beat my PB of 1:39:32 I'd say chances are 50/50 for a PB but I won't die wondering.

So on to Week 6 Training:

Running - 24 Miles - 5 Runs - 6.25 Miles Longest Run
Includes 1 Race & 1 PB.

No other exercise. Just 9 days till cast is off and Bike, Swim, Weights will get underway and not a moment too soon!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Week 6 Training & May Summary

Week 6 Training looked like this:

Running - 5 Runs - 21 Miles - Longest Run 4.5 Miles
Bike, Swim & Weights - Nothing.

Was another below par training week. Did well to get out 5 days out of 7 but never for very long. I knew the 10K race was coming up on Monday so didn't want to push it, but still felt I should have done some longer stuff. With the cast still on running was the only exercise that I could do. It's starting to hum under the cast, but it's only two weeks till it comes off. Can't wait!

So to the month of May. It's a strange one, I have run 105 miles this month my 3rd best training volume month and run two PB's all this in the month after my first marathon. I should be ecstatic but I'm not. I'm very pleased with the two PB's but the training volume should have been so much more. In the month I did 24 runs and the run distances looked like this:

Less than 3 miles - 3 Runs
3 - 4 Miles - 4 Runs
4 -5 Miles - 11 Runs
5-6 Miles - 3 Runs
10 Miles - 1 Run
5Km Race - 1 Run
10Km Race - 1 Run

So as you can see all very short run focused with my one long run of 10 miles done on the 2nd May. The short runs have probably left me fresh for my 2 PB's and there were a couple of good tempo runs in there. But I do have the Southend Half Marathon in under two weeks and I would love a PB there. I now have only one weekend to do something long to see where I am at and so have a 10 mile run planned for this weekend. After the Southend Half Marathon I am going to up the longer stuff with my next running race being Bristol at the start of September, giving me plenty of time to build up my endurance for my second go at the Marathon.

But in conclusion May was great, one solid new 5K PB and a massive new 10K so stop whining Simon!

Monday, 31 May 2010

BUPA 10K Race Report

What a great mornings work! Did a massive PB, I came home in 43:36 with my half way split being 22:01 meaning I ran a negative split. It was my best all round performance to date and also my best result across the various distances with Fetch giving me a WAVA of 61.58%.

Now for those of you who don't know, and I imagine that will be most of you. WAVA is a mathmatical formula to compare results across race distances, age groups and gender. 100% being the ultimate goal. Due to me being a 26 year old male I am expected to post the super fast times and so a good WAVA is challenging. My focus is on getting my PB's at all distances to at least 60%. At present my PB's and the WAVA's are as follows:

5K - 21:11 - 60.90%
10K - 43:36 - 61.58%
HM - 1:39:32 - 59.49%
Mara - 4:02:26 - 51.53%

So as you can see, the marathon is the glaring poor performance. But will hope to remedy that in November. But enough crystal ball gazing, back to today's run. Lauren gave me a lift down to Benfleet station and I got on the quiet train at half 7 to give myself plenty of time to get to the start line. I Made it to St James Park before the masses and so avoided any long toilet queues then went about finding the Red B Zone. I was over an hour early so had a leisurely walk down past Buckingham Palace through the various coloured starting zones to Red B, the second group from the front.

Lara and Mike joined me about half 9 and we had a nice catch up and listened to the Announcer and the music before the gun went off. The big names were announced over the Tannoy system, and for some reason mine, Lara's and Mike's names were all missed. A small oversight on an otherwise perfect day. Once the super fast guys had sped into the distance it was time for our group to be released. I said goodbye and good luck to Lara and Mike and I was off!

I was hoping for 45mins but was worried that 46mins was going to be the more likely outcome, a PB was the absolute minimum requirement for today. My PB was over 6months old and I had done alot of running and PBing since then and so was confident I would beat 47:15. Set off with the goal of 4Min 30 Sec Km. I am a mile man but when the race and the markers are in Km's I go with them instead. First few Km's ticked through nicely, roads were not too crowded with the various staggered starts and I was feeling good. I was on or just slightly faster than my target Km splits and began to pick it up. I went through 5Km about 30 seconds up on my 45Min target and felt good.

By this stage it was just a case of running strong and maintaining the pace and a big PB would be mine. I was now going through each Km about 10secs faster than target and was keen to continue this to the finish. Went though the arch and under the 400m to go barrier and increased the pace, hoping to pass some more people on my way into the finish. Managed to cross the line still running strong and feeling like there was more in the tank, but was absolutely over the moon with my efforts and the time!

I really enjoyed the BUPA 10K, not just for the great time I posted, but it was really well organised, the setting was beautiful and the medal and T-Shirt at the end were fantastic. Can't recommend this race highly enough! Will be back in 2011.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Sunny Weekend & Week 5 Training

I have been up to lots this week. Not all of it good. From my last post you can see that I broke my arm which has proved more frustration than pain. I've had a pretty decent week in the office, Saturday in the Sun watching Seven's rugby with friends and a beer followed by Sunday's BBQ in the Sun with the family.

So aside from the broken arm nothing to complain about, right? Wrong! Had another very disappointing week of training. With a broken arm I legitimately avoided all cycling and swimming but the running was very minimal.

4 Runs - 15 Miles Total - 5 Miles Longest.
Zero - Swimming, Weights, Cycling.
1.5 Hours Skating - Not to be repeated!

But I shall put a positive spin on all this. Unless I really am a lazy git this week I am still on for a 100 mile month and if I can do the business at the BUPA 10K I should have 2 PB's for the month. So on reflection, if I could have that every month I most certainly would! Will report back on Bank Holiday monday. Enjoy the sun!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Broken Arm!

Well I say broken. It's more a little two inch hairline fracture on the inside of my right arm near my hand but a fibreglass cast says it's a break! Those ambitious targets of 100 miles on the bike and 40 miles running will have to be recalculated downwards! No bike or swimming for me for 4 weeks and the running will be see how we go. Am still intending to run the BUPA 10K and the Southend Half Marathon. Am doing a test run this evening and I will let you know how it goes. Miserable!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

PB & Week 4 Training

Week 4 training looked like this:

Run - 5 Runs - 20.5 Miles Total - 6 Miles Longest
Bike - 3.5 Commutes - 55.5 Miles Total - 8 Miles Longest
Swimming - None
Strength - None.

From the totals looks like a disappointing week and to an extent it was. The main reason for the low mileage was a pain in the sole of my left foot. Ran through it to Wednesday but then took Thursday and Friday off to give it a chance to heal before my race on Saturday morning.

Did the Parkrun whilst I was visiting the Mother in Law up North. Was a very pleasant hour, with Jan having a coffee as she watched me run past her 3 times. Managed a smile and a wave which was easier because I knew I was on for a PB. Finished in 39th place in a time a of 21"11 a PB of 56 seconds. My previous 5K was run at the end of October and so I expected to PB but was nice to do so by such a big margin. Hopefully stands me in goodstead for another big PB at the 10K at the end of the month.

The bike went well but my legs got heavy as the days progressed. I can't resist hammering it hard. Will make a concerted effort to take it easier next week as I have a longer cycle and run planned for Sunday. Hoping to post big numbers with 100 miles Bike and 40 Miles Run on my plan along with a swim which Lauren & I have pencilled in for Wednesday. Train hard, train smart.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Driver's Revenge

Since my Pro Bike, Anti Motorised transport blog, the driver's have fought back! Last week there was a near miss with a Bus driver eager to overtake me then crush me against the curb. Today's Bike vigilante was a white van man who I saw parked up, so I moved to the centre of the road in my bright yellow jacket. I know he saw me, he then swung open his door nearly taking my head off and then gave me a little verbal volley as I rode by. I kept stum though and carried on my way. I will be keeping ever vigilante for the next Bike attacker!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Drunken Weekend and Week 3 Training

Am now at the end of a very heavy weekend. Have spent it in pretty Sandy drinking & relaxing with friends. Had a great time, am now exhausted after two big drinking sessions and two late nights. I did take my running trainers with me and have run twice this weekend so I did try and balance out some of the abuse I gave my body.

Aside from the drinking I enjoyed watching England beat the Boks in the cricket. Was a real surprise result and a very pleasing one. Shame that United then had to lose the title the next day. But as mentioned in my previous post I didn't expect Wigan to do the business, but 8-0 was not a score line I was expecting!

I live in hope that Fergie will rebuild the squad and realise that we are short of where we need to be, but with the extension of Giggs, Scholes and Neville's contracts in recent months I fear this won't happen. But United will have to be put on hold as we are now close to a month till the start of the World Cup. Can't wait!

In other news this week I decided to weigh myself for the first time in ages. Weighed in at 11Stone 11lbs which is a whole lot less than my pre running weight. Will look to weigh myself once a week, more for interests sake than anything else. Don't particular have any weight goals, just wanting to tone up and run faster.

But finally the news you have all been waiting for, the 3rd week training summary! Did 3 and a half commutes on the bike and 7 runs. With the party weekend was unable to run long as planned, but only had one wasted run of 1 mile when I bumped into a horse so turned around and ran home then tried again later. Also did a 5Km time trial which went really well. Will look to do that at least once a month to monitor my progress. So the training for the week was as follows:

Bike - 55 Miles Total (8 Miles Longest)
Run - 27 Miles Total (6.25 Miles Longest)
Swim - Zero ( Got so close to a triathlon day with a 6am run, commute to and from work but the swim got dropped when Lauren had to stay late at work. It's gotta happen soon!)
Strength Work - Zero (Got as far as planning out the kind of exercises I want to perform but didn't then perform)

So a 6/10 week. Not as planned but still a decent body of work. Have a 5K race planned for next Saturday so hope to bring you good news next week.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Title Race Over & Week 2 Training

Just watching United 1-0 up at Sunderland. Hoping to take the title race to the final day of the season. But I fear the trophy is already in Chelsea's grasp. I was disappointed with the way Liverpool conceded the first goal, prior to that they were much the better team. But when the opening goal went in I feared the worst. Lampard put in Chelsea's second and I was out the door for a run. No need to waste another half an hour watching the procession. Was a really nice run a few spots of rain but the lower temperature made for a much more pleasant running experience. No more exercise planned for this Sunday so that is my exercising week over and it's time for the week two round up.

Run - 6 runs - 33.5 Miles Total (10 Miles Longest)
Bike - 2 Commutes - 34 Miles Total ( 10 Miles Longest)
Swim - Zero Lengths once again.

Was a good running week. Only one wasted run a very short one on Friday evening, I just didn't much fancy it. Could have done with my longest run being 12 or 13 miles but a ten miler two weeks after the marathon was pleasing. Used the Bridle track pretty exclusively so will be looking to move out onto the roads more next week and start building some hill work in. But on the whole very pleasing.

With having to get the kit to work and some other commitments I only managed two cycles to work and back. Should probably have got out on a weekend bike ride but with no company and rain I stuck to the running.

My swim gear is still in the spare room ready for it's first wear, but it will have to wait a little longer. Have pencilled in Wednesday night for my first swim outing. It isn't desperate because the sprint Triathlon only needs me to be able to swim 16 lengths but all the same I'd like to do myself justice and the different exercise would do me good. Will also be looking to add some strength work into my programme and that may start next week. Happy Bank Holiday everyone, take it easy.

Saturday, 1 May 2010


I am always looking ahead and with running, triathlons, friends, weddings, honeymoons and life in general planning has become vitally important.

I have now booked and paid for my remaining races in 2010. I have 1 -10K, 1 - 10 Miler, 4 - Half Marathons, 1 - 20 Miler, 1 Marathon and 1 Sprint Triathlon to look forward to.

But I haven't halted my planning at 2010. 2011 will be the year of Land's End to John O'Groats Bike Ride. The latest addition to get the approval of the planning committee (the Wife) is Comrades in South Africa in 2012 :-) Hoping to rope Cole into doing Comrades with me, and with him being South African he shouldn't be too hard to convince. 2013 is pencilled in for an Ironman but I think planning 2 1/2 years ahead is sufficient.

With the events booked, next comes the training plans and they are coming along nicely. The final piece in the puzzle and not to be ignored is the training itself! Too much chat and not enough training I think but that will be rectified this Bank Holiday Weekend, promise! Will report back soon.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

It's The Future!

No not Garlic Bread you Peter Kay fan's the future is the Bicycle! It's such a brilliant and under used invention. If just 10% of journeys were done by Bike instead of by car we would see a dramatic reduction in traffic. The Global Warming gang would love the reduction in harmful emissions. With the soaring cost of Petrol and motoring in general there could be some serious pounds to be saved. Least we forget the obesity epidemic in our children and the inactivity of our adults, the Bike is great exercise and places much less stress on your body than running.

It is one of those solutions that can really snowball. As more take up the Bike and ditch the Car the roads are less congested, safer and more pleasant for the cyclist and so more take it up and those already Cycling do so more often.

But alas this vision for the future will fall on deaf ears or more accurately on blind eyes. We as a country have become so used to the convience of the car that no matter how high the price of petrol rises our appetite for the car doesn't diminish. But at least I tried and it made a pleasant change of scene for my blog. Will write again soon Car lovers.

Monday, 26 April 2010


I have recently come down with a severe case of exercise obsession. I am starting to enjoy my running particuarly those round the bridle track. The commute to work is a grind, but I have had some pleasant rides in the sun on quiet country lanes.

But the obsession is not merely the undertaking of the exercise. I am now buying books and gear at a rate of knots. With the Honeymoon on the horizon though I think that will soon stop. But I have found something that is free and is providing me with hours of enjoyment, namely the podcasts.

I discovered Marathon Talk about 6 weeks ago and am now up to date and have really enjoyed all 15 episodes in the lead up to my Marathon. They have replaced the music on my Ipod and have made my runs much more enjoyable. No Ipod on the Bike, I am far too dangerous already so no need to further increase the risk.

But listening to Marathon Talk they then recommended Ironman Talk, and with me hoping to complete an Ironman in the next 2 or 3 years I thought I would give it a listen. The thing is Ironman Talk has been going a little bit longer than Marathon Talk. It started in 2006! So I have over 200 episodes to listen to, and at around an hour an episode that is going to take some time!

Now 27 episodes into Ironman Talk I found some useful and not so useful information to aid us in our LEJOG quest. My favorite and by far the least useful was the 5 tips on how to go to the toilet whilst on the bike. I can't speak for the others but I really don't think we need those kind of time saving tips. I will be looking for loos but I will settle for some dense foliage but cocking my leg on the bike I won't do! But don't let that put you off Ironman Talk it's a great listen with Bevan and John the two Kiwi's or Marathon Talk with Tom and Martin the Brit's.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

London Marathon & Week 1 Training

So now a full week after Brighton Marathon I am recovered bar the swelling on my right foot. Have managed 4 runs and 2 commutes to and from work. Totals are as follows:

Run -20 Miles Total (9.5 Miles longest run)
Bike - 31 Miles Total (8 Miles longest bike)
Swim - Zero not one length

Feeling good! The disappointment of the marathon has renewed my enthusiasm for training and so I have laid out my plans for success all the way to the Southend Half Marathon in June.

My most immediate target though is the BUPA 10K round the sights of London on the second Bank Holiday in May. Yes what an excellent way to spend a day off :-) Will be looking for a big PB hoping for sub 45min.

But enough of training, targets and tedious injuries this weekend was all about losing my spectating virginity. It was an experience, the atmosphere was incredible, and the sounds and colours of the marathon were something to behold. Was good to see Matty and Nick running well, along with a couple of celebs, I got a good look at Iwan Thomas. Big well done to Ross running a monster 3 hrs 7 mins at Stratford upon avon proving that London is not the only marathon this country organises. Also a big well done to Simone, so sorry we didn't get to see you.

The main conclusion from London though was that I am a runner and not a spectator I was itching to run the whole time and I'm too self conscious for the screaming and cheering. Unlike the brilliant nutty women on the wall at mile 6 they were machines!I relieved my pent up urge for a run on my return home and enjoyed a very pleasant 4 mile run in the evening sun.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Isn't' it funny how when you are in the best shape of your life and have just completed the biggest physical challenge you have yet to encounter that your body then decides to behave like that of a 90 year old man! I was almost bowled over by a fast moving 3 year old girl just after the race, I was weak and defenceless. I wasn't going to be chasing any would be mugger down on Sunday.

My physical shape has been gradually improving this week.I have been shuffling around the flat and office at snails pace, wincing with every step and using handrails where ever they have been available.

But now three days later I am moving much more freely and have just been for a nice gentle 2.5 Mile recovery run. Have been so restless the last three days and so was really pleased to get out. But I'm not all about the running, I intend to commute to the office on the bike tomorrow. It feels great to have my body back and I will be using it fully for the remainder of the week.

This Sunday however, after participating in 10 events in my first year as a runner I will be enjoying the London Marathon from the other side of the barrier and spectating at my first running race! A much more pleasant and painless experience I would imagine. I'll let you know.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Mixed Weekend!

On the whole a very pleasant weekend. Started off with a gorgeous fry up Saturday morning with Amy,Cole & Lauren, followed by Football watching at Walkabout. Late Scholes winner cue wild scenes of celebration. Quick trip home on the train just in time to see Spurs take the lead against Chelsea. Final score 2-1 Spurs and the stage is set for a spectacular tour de force performance by yours truely in the Marathon and a great weekend is complete.

But as you can see from the title it was not all plain sailing! The marathon is where it comes unstuck. A lovely sunny day, an almost flawless journey to Brighton, with a little detour arriving at the race at 8:15 for a 9 O'clock start. Quick loo stop and then into my Pink start pen. Start was delayed by 10 mins but eventually got going, well the hooter went but no movement down at our end. Eventually got over the start line after about 5mins.

First mile was slow going with the crowds, went through the first mile in 8:45. But after that got into my rhythm and started to tick through the miles at 8:25 pace. Soon found out that my 'flat and fast' course as promised was infact really undulating. Was definately not needed to go with the ever increasing temperature!

Went through half way in 1:50:52 so 3:42 for the race lovely! Feeling fresh, saw Lauren for the first time and managed a smile and a wave. Sun is out, worst of the hills are over and everything is right with the world. Take a few jelly beans on board along with plenty of powerade and water. Go through 18 miles still on track for sub 3hrs 45mins. But then with the 19 mile marker in sight, my Quads burn, really burn! I'm not sure why, but I'll go with a lack of hill work and the long training runs being in short supply.

Just checked my training log. My five longest runs in 2010 were:

1) 20 Mile Training Run

2) 15 1/2 Mile Training Run

3) 15 Mile XC Race

4) Half Marathon Race

5) Half Marathon Race

Doesn't shout fully prepared! Won't make the same mistake next time. But O how i paid for my lack of quality preparation over those next 7 miles! Walking, running, shuffling my way round. 3 hours 45 Mins soon faded into the distance and sub 4hours became the goal. But even this proved unachievable and so I turned off my watch with a Km to go, no need to depress myself further!

Offical time was 4:02:26 not what I wanted but no more than my preparation deserved. Having slept on it last night, feel much better about the whole thing. The marathon really is a long way and I am so pleased I have completed one. Will come back stronger next time and 4 hours is going to be smashed!

Sorry my second blog couldn't be cheerier I will make sure my next blog is a happy one. But the weekend did end on a high note. Got home to find that Arsenal had thrown away a 2 goal lead and lost 3-2 to Wigan. So a perfect Football weekend was complete!

Friday, 16 April 2010

2 Days till Marathon Day!

Hi All. This is my first attempt at blogging so be gentle! These blogs will be about my exercise exploits and perhaps some every day stuff too.

Just a little background for those of you who don't know me. I decided that I was growing in all the wrong directions in April 2009 and wanted a physical challenge. I tried to apply for London Marathon 2010 but failed to even make it into the ballot. So decided Southend Half Marathon in six weeks was a sensible target. Went out on the 2nd May 2009 to get myself some gear and went for my first 3 mile run that day.

Didn't train sufficently, and only managed 5 miles as my longest run before the big day. The steaming hot weather and lack of training did for me, and so my sub 2hour target soon looked hugely ambitious. Managed to drag myself around in a lowly 2 Hours 17.

Now almost a year later, my body has changed as have my Half Marathon times. I have now run 5HM's, 2 10K's, 1 5K and a 15 Mile cross country race. My PB's are as follows:

HM - 1:39:32
10K - 47:15
5K - 22:07
15Miler - 2:18:55

But my most pressing target as the title suggests is the Brighton Marathon on 18th April 2010. Less than two days away! My preparation as always has been haphazard and I have followed my own plan (Do what you want when you want). Will definately be looking to train in a more structured way post Brighton.

My Targets for Brighton are as follows:

1) Finish the race.
2) Sub 4 Hours
3) Sub 3Hrs 45mins
4) Sub 3 Hrs 40mins
5) Try & Smile over the finish line.

Yes for those of you with supercomputers for brains you will have noticed I have three time related goals. I am not going to run the Brighton Marathon three times in succession. These are staggered goals. Sub 4hours will leave me feeling ok, sub 3hrs 45mins very pleased and sub 3hrs 40mins ecstatic.

So there you have it my first blog. Hope it proved factual, entertaining or inspiring. Regardless of what it left you feeling, I will be posting a post race report on Sunday :-) Wish me luck!