Saturday, 31 March 2012

Week 5 of 18 - Extreme Taper!

Well this will be another short blog people, because one I did close to no training, and two because I am leaving for a plane to South Africa in half an hour.

A manic week at work and pretty much nil motivation to run on my part meant no running at all this week, I worked this Saturday so I did 6 days of cycle commute and I sacked off the planned swim.

So there you have it a paultry training week by anyones standards, but particuarly someone three months from their first Ironman :-)

The coming week will have me running 34.8 miles at the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, thus an enforced long run for me. I will also do an inverse taper and try to run 3 times before the big day to get used to the heat and get my body used to running again. No cycling as I'm on holiday and without my bike. and I doubt very much if I will swim, if I do it will be more of the dip in the Ocean variety and so not worth recording.

So a summary of this weeks training is :
Runs - Zero
Swim - Zero
Cycle - 12 Times (73.44 miles)

Training Time - Approx 5 hours

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Week 4 of 18 - Less is More

Had a shocker this week, was away with work and so missed three of my cycle commutes, and only managed the solitary run of a 5K Parkrun at Albert Park. O and missed my weekly swim. So all in all not a very good training week. But the 5K run was much more positive than my recent runs as I managed to dip under 20minutes 19:59. I had started to think it might never come back.

But with my more immediate aim being the completion of a 35 mile ultra, my return to some kind of form in the 5K is not overly significant. The 20 mile race I did three weeks ago, is all I have in the way of specific training, and with the race just two weeks away it will have to be enough :-)

One positive of the poor training week is a short blog. Below is my training summary for the week.

Run - Once - 3.11 Miles (19:59 5K Parkrun)
Bike - Four Times - 24.5 Miles
Swim - None

Total Exercise Time - 2 hours 1 Min. Ouch!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Week 3 of 18 - A Baptism of Fire at the Tri Club

I joined the East Essex Tri club in Feb, but I hadn't managed to get down for a training session prior to this week. But in week 3 of the countdown I succeeded in going to the pool for a 400m time trial and also got up stupid early on a Sunday morning to go on a 40 mile Cycle with some of the club.

Both the swim and the cycle had there poor moments, I particularly enjoyed going out into the foyer of the swim centre wet, in just my baggy green shorts with a towel over my shoulder to ask the assembled people if they were the East Essex Tri club. The fully dressed people with the confused looks on their faces confirmed, they infact were members of said club. It felt too awkward to just slink off and meet them pool side so I spent the next 5mins chatting to some of the members before they went and got changed whilst I went back to the pool.

My evening didn't improve hugely, I had set myself a target time somewhere between 8 and 10 minutes and I managed to complete the 16 x 25m lengths in 9mins 30secs around 35seconds a length. For large parts of the swim I felt I was drowning, and this feeling was not helped by the guy I was sharing a lane with called Toby who succeeded in finishing in 6 and a half minutes and ending up at least 4lengths ahead of me. The evening was rounded off with me desperately trying to haul myself out of the pool and finally with no style and a big dollop of embarrassment eventually succeeding. Next month I will definitely use the end lane and the steps!

I fared little better in the cycle, getting myself to the carpark ahead of the half 7 in the morning deadline, and meeting Gemma, I also met Sue who had timed me at the swim time trial and she joined me in the third group whilst Gemma joined the second. We headed off and all was going well, some flat and downhill and fresh legs will do that for you! But after just 13 or so miles of the planned 40 miles my day worsened considerably.

We were going on some fairly well worn and mucky country lanes and I succeeded in getting a puncture. Disaster! I tried aimlessly to change it, succeeding in getting the wheel out, before Matt saw my struggles and changed it for me. I watched on helpless, I really have to learn to change a tyre. The gators were not as bullet proof as promised and are a devil to get on and off, but no excuses my tyre changing abilities are nil!

But it didn't feel right, and neither me or Matt could find anything in the tyre, so half a mile further on the tyre once again had gone flat and so I had to nick Matt's inner tube as I was all out and like a trooper he once again got me back on the road. Thankfully the second inner tube lasted for the remainder of the ride. My fresh legs however did not!

The first half of the ride, was taken fairly leisurely and then with my punctures the ride time average was around 14mph perhaps a touch over. But after the half way point, everyone seemed to put the hammer down so that by the end of the ride after I had dragged myself around the final 20 miles and up Crown Hill the average was pretty much dead on 15mph. I cruised the mile home and parked my butt on the bed exhausted! All that done by Half 10 on a Sunday morning! But having checked my fetch the 40miles I cycled today was my longest ride by some distance since LEJOG and at 15mph that is not to be sniffed at. I have no idea how I will ride that fast for 112 miles and then follow it up with a Marathon but that is what training is for! Cycle training proper, starts post Two Oceans and Ross Stag Do.

In other training news I commuted to and from work every day and I managed to fit in 4 short runs (should have been a final long run before Two Oceans) including a 4 mile run tonight after the 40 mile cycle this morning and a big Mother's Day meal out.

Training Summary for the week

Run - 4 Times - 18 Miles
Cycle - 11 Times - 102 Miles (Longest 41 Miles)
Swim - 1 Time - 400Metres (9:30 400M PB)

Training Time 9Hours 30 Mins

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Week 2 of 18 - Promises broken and Recovery

After the big effort at the Essex 20, this week was always going to be a struggle.But I hadn't realised just how much of a struggle it would prove to be, with the race remaining in my legs pretty much all week.

I must confess that in just my second week of training and blogging I have failed in one of my promises, succeeding in running just twice in the week and for a pitful combined distance of just 6 miles even in kilometres of just under 10 it doesn't sound much better. My week panned out as follows:

Monday - Viewed house
Tuesday - Put offer on above house which was accepted, saw IFA in the evening.
Wednesday - Swim session
Thursday - Watched shambolic United performance at friends
Friday - Travelled northwards to Mother in Law's
Saturday - Ran 5K Parkrun in 20:47 and watched my Brother in Law in a musical.
Sunday - Travelled home and ran 3 miles in 23:30

O and worked 40 hours at the office.

So as you can see there are some fairly solid reasons for missing my very reachable target of 3 runs per week. But my low run frequency and mileage is a pattern that has occurred frequently in 2012. An answer must be found or I am going to be moody and miss my targets and that's not good for anyone!

The answer is simple and it is the requirement to move my body clock away from midnight to 7am sleeps and over to 10pm to 5am sleeps to allow for some early morning training. Again this is something that I have been attempting for ages without success,but it has to change! So starting next week it will :-)

Aside from the poor running I swam once and managed to do my 76 lengths a minute quicker than last week, as well as managing four commutes into the office, after allowing myself Monday off post 20 miler. The cycles were tough and as I said previously my legs were heavy pretty much all week, first the post race fatigure and then the swim piled on top. Hopefully they will be somewhat fresher for tomorrow's commute in and run.

So there you have it a poor training week, but ended with United back on top of the league and with Lauren and I close to landing a lovely new home.

My training for the week was as follows:

Run - 2 Times - 6.11 miles
Swim - 1 Time - 1.18 miles
Bike - 8 Times - 49.46 miles

Total exercise time - 5hrs 0 mins

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Week 1 of 18- All 5 Promises Still Intact

Week one of proper training went well. I managed to commute to and from the office on all 5 days, I swam 76 lengths (1900m) which I believe is half the Ironman swim distance. Whilst I also managed to do my promised three run minimum but only just, running Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This culminated in the Essex 20 a 20 mile race run on quiet roads just outside of Colchester.

The day was miserable, with rain and drizzle pretty much from when Lauren and I woke up at before 8 O'clock till just before 1 when I finished the race. It went about as well as I could have hoped for with my current training and level of fitness. I had set myself a target time of between 2hrs 40mins (8min miles) and 3 hrs (9min miles). I intended to run a little quicker than 9 minute miling to get some time in the bank incase the wheels fell off.

I had read a few comments from runners who had done previous editions of the Essex 20 and they all made reference to the flat, fast course. But unfortunately the race had changed location and route and so within two minutes of the start we were enjoying a long, steep descent, but all of the runners around me knew that what goes down must also come up and so shortly afterwards we were treated to our first hill of the day.

There were 2 or 3 other very decent hills over the remainder of the lap, and as it was a 3 lap course you can see that we got to 'enjoy' another two goes at each before our day was done. I really tried to run on feel today and not to times. This was my first go at a 20 mile race, and I was far from peak condition, so just wanted to run well within myself. Aside from the last 5 miles where I really was fighting the urge to walk or call Lauren to end my anguish the race wasn't too painful.

I believe there were about 500 runners doing the race and after the initial two miles we began to spread out and so by lap three it really was a very lonely trudge around the quiet village route with only the drip,drip,drip of drizzle to keep me company. But I made it, I didn't walk at all, it was even paced, there were vicious hills and I hit pretty much smack bang in the middle of my targets running something like 02:50:30 official time should follow tomorrow.

Came home to a big beef roast, followed by an hour and a halfs nap, to wake up just in time to see the tail end of Uniteds 3-1 win over Spurs, this all followed my packed Saturday which meant I have had a pretty spot on weekend.

My Training for the week was:

Run - 3 times - 26.2 miles
Swim - 1 Time - 1.18 miles
Bike - 10 times - 61.03 miles
Total exercise time - 8hrs 39 mins

My 20 Mile Race Splits were:

5 miles - 42:04
10 Miles - 01:24:48 (42:44)
15 Miles - 02:07:05 (42:17)
20 Miles - 02:50:22 (43:17)

Per my garmin. So very evenly split.

Check back in next for week 2 of 18 where I will have news of a swim, some cycling and a 5K Parkrun.