Sunday, December 06, 2009

22 Miles of swimming leads to sore arms - shock, horror!

Well - we managed it - 22 miles of swimming - the equivalent to the length of the channel. In total - it took about 8 hours of swimming each - although I may have done a few more lengths that the wife. I never ever ever want to do that again - my shoulders are knackered, all I want to do is sleep now and I think my arms are falling off!

We raised over £470 for Aspire - so thanks to everyone who sponsored us - we really appreciate it.

I'm now off to sleep - so any further updates will need to wait until I have woken up and my arms work again....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A lot of swimming and a long bike…

Have been doing loads of swimming recently – especially with some new paddles that were given to me by a friend – Tom. These are awesome – they really make you concentrate on your technique and seriously tire your shoulders and elbows! I’m knackered from using them – and after completing about 5.5km in total over 3 sessions I’m going to give them a rest for a bit to let the muscles recover.

Went for a nice 20 mile bike ride with another TriChi team member the other day – Ben – who is shall we say – slightly fitter that I!!! When he turned up in his “Ironman Finisher” cycling top – I thought that perhaps I had bitten off more than I could chew – but in reality – he was great company to cycle with and while I probably slowed him down a bit – it made me push a lot harder than I would have done on my own – so I’ll be happy to do it again and hopefully I’ll get better.

Managed a gym session as well today after the swim – loads of weighted squats etc – my legs are on fire now as well as the arms and shoulders – so tomorrow is definitely a rest day – especially as I went running this morning as well!

If you cant tell from the sudden flurry of activity – I’m on holiday this week – so trying to kick start the training schedule again and loose a little weight for Christmas – aiming to do a few cross country events after the holiday period in the new year again.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Summer of slacking....

Well – its coming towards the end of the summer now and in 2 weeks, the kids go back to school. I haven’t exactly been active on this blog recently – and that’s mainly down to the fact that I have been slacking and not doing any exercise! I cant remember the last time I went to the gym, or had a swim, or was on my bike! I have done some running – with notable achievements of running up and back down Dovedale in the Lakes, all the way up to Hart Crag at 822m and another run up to Hartsop above How from the bottom of Brotherswater. However, apart from a couple of smaller runs, that has been it.


I dare not weigh myself – for I know I have piled on the pounds from the lack of exercise – and I went for a small run this morning to find my Heart Rate incredibly high on such an easy run. So – back to it – we have a race at the end of September – Roade sprint Triathlon – which I need to get in shape for, plus I intend to start the marathon training now as well – I am to complete at least two next year and a number of half marathons as well.


I am back off to the Lakes in a few weekends – but not for running this time – but walking with a group of friends with whom I climbed Benn More in Scotland a couple of years back. We are just taking bivvy bags and will be sleeping rough – so should be a hoot!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Distinct lack of directed training!

Well – I haven’t written much for a while – but I have been busy in other ways. I’ve done a lot of running – but not a lot related to my sprint triathlon distance – I’ve even been in a race – the Chase Challenge – or whatever it is know as this year – where I had a terrible race and finished with a time of something over 28 mins – my boss beat me (although I have to say – he was a bit of a dark horse and fair play – he could bloody well run) and so did quite a few others.

5km just doesn't seem to be enough these days and I crave further distances. I actually ran to the station and back repeatedly one week – a total daily distance of 28-30km – clocking up 4 days of this and over 100km in a week. It was amazing. But my legs started to really hurt.

Went running with a friend this morning and did 10km – and I really enjoyed it. I know I said I would never do a half marathon again – but I am going to – in fact I intend to do a few marathons!

In fact – I intent to run the Atacama desert race in 2011 – have a couple of people interested and will see how it goes. Lots to organise as it is a massive undertaking – but what is life for if not challenges?

Along with a few other friends we also set up a Triathlon club – – which all and sundry are welcome to join – no under 18s is the only rule I am afraid. No charge and we are affiliated with the BTF.

So – after this season of Triathlons – looks like I will do a couple next year – but I’ll also be doing a lot of marathons and off road half marathons etc in training for 2011….

Monday, June 15, 2009

I can see why people hire a coach....

It’s a few months into the season now, Ive finished a number of running races and three Triathlons and the thing I have noticed most is that my enthusiasm is definitely on the wane. The amount of training sessions is down and the will to get on the bike or go for a swim is pretty much non existent. The only thing I am managing to do is run reasonably regularly and I am having to force myself to do that. So why is there this mid season slump for me? Well I can put it down to a few things but up there in the lists top five are, no training partner, no variation of training and boredom. You can see immediately how you would benefit from a coach who you report to and who is able to vary your training without you having to find time to plan that out for yourself.

Perhaps there are ways of increasing the motivation without this kind of support I wonder if the online forum communities help at all but I very much doubt that they are any substitute for someone screaming at you to do that extra push up or sarcastically asking why you failed to swim today, or someone who simply tells you to do 50m * 4 and rest 30 secs rather than just going for a 5km run. There are training programs you can get for free, buy or make yourself but I am sure the simple act of having to report to your coach what you did this week must make motivation less of an issue.

Perhaps next season.

Two weeks until Northampton Tri looking forward to that. And I will be joined by a few of my friends from Blenheim at the Roade Tri in September so heres hoping they have also caught the bug.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Blenheim Triathlon 2009

Blenheim 034Myself, Tom Egan, Rosemary Scott, Alexander Leggeat, James Chapman and Hugh Dowling all took on the Blenheim Triathlon last weekend and we all succeeded.
Tom went from not being able to swim 6 months ago - to swimming 19:13m for the 750m open water swim - an impressive achievement.
This bunch (apart from Hugh) were the result of a pub bet last year that I made - which saw them all sign up for the triathlon and start their training - and frankly a great job was done by all of them, especially since none of them were big runners, swimmers or cyclists previously.
The race times are here:

Overall Swim T1 Cycle T2 Run
Thomas Egan 01:32:26 00:19:13 00:04:34 00:40:20 00:01:41 00:26:40
Mark Sharrock 01:36:17 00:17:06 00:04:38 00:41:20 00:02:17 00:30:58
Hugh Dowling 01:39:41 00:16:43 00:04:56 00:43:30 00:02:12 00:32:22
Alexander Leggeat 01:59:37 00:27:45 00:06:24 00:47:22 00:02:56 00:35:12
James Chapman 02:01:05 00:22:21 00:06:33 00:49:40 00:03:28 00:39:05
Rosemary Scott 02:18:12 00:22:36 00:06:36 01:06:21 00:02:18 00:40:22

Unfortunately it wasn’t one of my best races – in fact – it was 10 mins slower than my previous worst race – and much of this is no doubt down to preparation.

IBlenheim 045 had been training with Gatorade – it was available on course and I quite liked it. It didn't cause me any problems and I had used it in the previous race. But I found myself on Saturday morning without any and couldn't find any at the supermarket – so had to get Lucozade sport instead – a silly and frankly schoolboy mistake that would bite me on the ass later.

The start of the swim was relaxed and I was looking forward to it – but as soon as the horn went – the mayhem began. I had my foot dragged by someone behind at the same time as some other bloke tried to swim over my head and while I can hold my own in the water – this still shook me up and I took a lungful of water – not a great start. The swim got worse from there – I was tense, the wetsuit made my arms ache, I just couldn't get my stroke right – I just felt uncomfortable from there on. No idea how much of it was in my head – but a 17:06 swim for 750 is pretty much the slowest I have ever done and it wasn’t exactly trying conditions.

Ran up the steep 400m slope to T1 and the wetsuit came off nicely this time. Onto the bike and power off down the slope and up the next hill. I took on some Lucozade sport prior to the hill and by the time I reached the top my stomach was cramping and I threw up. Managed to stay on the bike while this was happening but it wasn't pleasant – and it left me dehydrated and weak. I carried on and tried to push it a bit more – but the next time around my legs were jelly on the hill. I knew I had to get some fluid inside me – so I chanced some more drink – but the results were the same – stomach c ramps and shortly after I threw up – just as I passed James on his first lap.

Blenheim 078 Racked my bike and staggered out of transition – grabbed some water at the water station and this stayed down – but didn't get very much. Got some more at the next – but the damage was done – my legs weren't working well and I was dehydrated, getting blisters and frankly pretty unhappy. Pip and Rose were cheering at the side and this kept me going until the end. Boy I was happy it was over – and that was the first triathlon I have felt that on.

Lesson learned – if you cannot get the drink that you trained with – stick to water!

Well done to the other who did a great job.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A half marathon followed by the Big Cow Tri...

I decided to run to work on Friday - essentially to the station (10km), then from St Pancras to Fleet Street (3km) and back again (26km). Felt pretty good and quite enjoyed it - had a few blisters at the end and was fairly sore on Saturday - in fact I had a hard time walking! I was a little worries for the triathlon today - but I woke up this morning in good form with most of the aches and pains gone.

So - we arrived early at Emberton this morning for the Big Cow Sprint Tri - the first open water swim I have done. Wow - the water was freezing - but I was absolutely amazed at how much effort was required to move your arms in the wetsuit - my shoulders were incredibly sore afterwards - and the time was terrible - 16m for 750m. I was so knackered when I climbed out of the water that I started running the wrong way to transition!

Getting the wetsuit off was just a hoot - it wouldnt come off - and it actually took over 2 mins t get out of the suit - meaning T1 was nearly 3 mins long!

The bike was OK - I could have done better - but it was my quickest 20km of the year - it was a great course and the marshals were awesome.

T2 was OK - but it still nearly took me a minute - and then onto the run. I still had the blisters from Friday - but they didnt seem to worry me too much. It was a 2 lap run - and my first lap sucked. Again my legs were like lead and I couldnt do much more than jog along - the first 2.5km taking over 16 mins - the second lap when I was able to push was more in the region of 10-11 mins.

Anyway - all over - 01:26 - so reasonably happy with that - but can be improved upon next time....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A long swim

I've been cycling most days - and ended up soaked a few times - but have mostly enjoyed it - thursday and friday were quite hard work on the bike due to the wind - but the rest of the week was quite enjoyable as the weather was quite good.
This morning I went to the gym for a couple of hours and concentrated on the swimming. I managed about 3.5 - 4km in a single session which was pretty good - had one brief stop in the middle - but other than that - swam continuously without any stops. It felt pretty easy and yet it was definitely quicker than many of my other swims. I guess I was fairly relaxed after the race last weekend and I'm less concerned about pushing the swim - so more relaxed in the water seems to make the swim faster.
Spent the afternoon trying to put a basketball hoop up for my son on the outside of the house and failing miserably - I measured the distance between the holes incorrectly and need to do it again - I couldn't manage today as my arms were simply dead and I couldn't face lifting my friends industrial and therefore incredibly heavy masonry drill again! Will try tomorrow.
Cai wants to go for a run tomorrow - so looks like I am getting up relatively early for that as well prior to attempting to put it up again.
One more week until my first open water swim triathlon - looking forward to it - just hope that the weather is good for it so that the family can come and watch.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Stratford 220 Tri, 10th May 2009

Well, that's the first one under the belt this season and it was both
a joy and a shock and perhaps a bit of a wake up call at the same time.
I arrived bright and early to find a hive of activity at 6:30 am and
quite a few competitors already there. Registration was open and I was
swifty ticked off, handed my Gatorade and written all over with a big
black marker pen. Everything seemed very well organised, friendly and
laid back, something that carried through the whole experience and is
testimony to the effort put in by the organisers.
I did my usual pacing like a cat on a hot tin roof up and down with a
small warm up before it was time to head to the pool for my 8:55 start
time. I'm not sure how we were ordered but perhaps on swim times.
The swim felt a little odd. It was a 33 metre pool and only 12
lengths, again well organised so that you wouldn't miss count, but I
got stuck behind a few people on a number of occasions and struggled
to get past, but I still managed a half decent time of 07:40 for the
swim, an improvement on last year.
Transition was easy, but I was slow and even though I didn't put socks
on (note to self - this is why I have blisters) I didn't get out on
the bike very quickly.
At the start of the ride my heart was going nuts. I could have done
with my HR monitor but had elected not to bother- a mistake I think.
It felt as if I was going far too quickly so I tried to slow down and
drink some isotonic drink. I have fitted the tri bars to the bike and
actually find them rather comfortable, but it is difficult getting the
drink so I will have to think about getting a bottle between the bars.
I caught quite a few people on the bike, but was overtaken by one at
the top of a big climb when my legs were complaining - I was
definately in too big a gear most of the time - but I got him back on
the decent and he didn't get another opertunity. 46 mins for 23km, not
stunning and requires improvement.
The run was awful. Really bad. 26 mins plus for 5km and I struggled,
both from boredom (I hate two laps of the same circuit), blisters (no
socks and wet feet) and what felt like lead weights in my legs. No
where enough brick training I think.

So 01:19 overall - same as last year but slightly longer course. Also
I didn't feel knackered all day afterwards and could cycle today.

Need to do some serious training for Blenheim however....

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Thursday aches and pains....

I ran to the office this morning from the station after taking another rest day yesterday. I have some odd pains in the lower half of my left leg they were there on the 10km the other day as well but they don’t seem to be going with rest unlike other niggles which is slightly worrying with the first race only a few days away. It feels almost as if the muscle below the calf is about to Blow up! So I think there will be little or no training for the rest of the week while I rest it and see how it works at the race on Sunday at Stratford-upon-Avon.

As long as it is better for Blenheim and I can get some more training in before then I will be happy not too worried about this weekend if I do badly but Blenheim was always the A race and Id like to be fit and healthy for that.

I am  also conscious of the lack of cycling I have been doing I need to make a concerted effort next week to get on the turbo trainer and do some more hills. It was on the training schedule this week but once again that has been blown out of the water. You can see why people hire a coach now in order to keep them on the straight and narrow I seem to be wandering aimlessly at the moment.

Anyway rest is the order of the day I think for the leg..

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Swimming the Channel for Charity

Kerys - my wife - and I have decided to swim the equivalent of the channel (22 miles) for the charity Aspire this year. That is 1416 lengths of a 25 metre pool!!!

Aspire works with people with Spinal Chord Injuries. Spinal Cord Injury has a devastating effect on the 1,200 people who become paralysed each year.

The individual affected will lose muscle and sensory control and the vast majority become full time wheelchair users for the rest of their lives.

Its a great charity and its a fairly large challenge. I'd apreciate any donations anyone could give - there is a widget on the blog page as well as on Facebook and the link is if you want to go straight there. Anything you can give to support this charity would be great, even a few quid.

It is a fairly large challenge - for those of you that have swam distances recently I am sure you understand that this is a decent challenge, and for those that have just run the London Marathon - this is only 4 miles less that you ran!

So come on - this will be my only charity event this year - I won't nag you for anything else. Please support this if you are able.

Many thanks

Mark & Kerys.

Tuesday Run & Swim

Managed a 1500m swim and a 10km run last night. The run was quite nice - all done with the HR below 150 and it took me 54 mins to run - 2 mins outside the racetime I did over the winter which is good. Obviously means I could go a lot quicker if I could pace myself properly.

I have a very sore left leg this morning however - the muscle below my calf and just inside feels very sore - so I think I will rest it today, no point in blowing up just prior to the first race of the season.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Monday run

On Saturday I went a bit nuts at the gym and swam 2.25 km without using my legs in about 45 mins, followed by sprint training on the treadmill heading up to 15 kmph. It felt alright at the time – but in the evening the intercostal muscles on either side of my chest were sore, and today (I took yesterday off apart from a very brief swim in the morning with the kids) when I went running they were very painful after 3.5km.

Still – the run was fun. We bought the kids new bikes today and I spent the afternoon unboxing them and putting them together. Halfords quote 2 days, and I in my infinite wisdom thought I could take far less – obviously! Bloody hell – nearly killed me!

Firstly – I don’t have a bike stand – so everything is done bent over double and after 2 hours of this I could hardly stand. Secondly – I just couldn't get the indexing on my son’s bike right – and that took a further frustrating 20 mins. I must admit – I can see why Halfords won’t build the bikes straight away for you there and then!

So – I took my son on his bike as a pace maker once it was in a ridable state – and he was a lot quicker on this one than his old one. I had to work incredibly hard to keep up and after the first 3.5km I was knackered and had to send him in so I could do the next loop at a nice leisurely pace! Should be good for the future however – have him pace me around.

This weeks training schedule….

Day Hours Details Actual
Monday 0.5 6km Endurance run 0.5
Tuesday 0.5 Early morning run
0.25 Evening run to station
Wednesday 1 Evening cycle - hill training
Thursday 0.5 Swim 1500m
1 Evening gentle cycle
Friday 0.25 Early morning run
0.5 Spinning cycle
Saturday 0.5 Short morning run
Sunday 1.5 Competition - Stratford 220  
TOTAL 6.5 0.5

Saturday, May 02, 2009

This weeks Training.....

Its been an interesting week this week - and I have oddly enough managed to train every day.

I managed to cycle on Monday both ways, Tuesday one way, Wednesday one way, Swim Thursday and core training on Friday.

I ache all over and that is mainly down to the core work - my ribs are killing as are my glutes. Good swim this week - covered 750m in a little over 14 mins and 1500 in a little under 30 - so was quite pleased with that.

Am planning on going to the gym today and having a run tomorrow as well - so will have trained all days this week.

Next weekend is the Stratford 220 Triathlon which I am looking forward to - and it will be interesting to see what time I set.

My wetsuit came yesterday - have decided to hire one for the season - so have one of the Speedo suits. It is sooooo tight! Almost uncomfortable. Can't wait to try it out and see what it is like. First open water triathlon in 3 weeks at Emberton - Big Cow Sprint Triathlon....

I dont seem to be loosing any more weight at the moment - and this is prompting me to rethink my diet. I think I have been drinking too much lucozade sport and not eating enough sensible food - too much fat - so from next week I am going to be a bit more careful - we shall see if that makes any difference.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Troublesome breathing....

Towards the end of last week , over the weekend and today, I have had some trouble breathing. It started last week during the hot weather with a tight chest and shortness of breath although I could still exercise 30 mins on the bike on Thursday and a swim on Friday morning, a simulated time trial on Saturday using my new TT bar extensions and a run, mountain bike and swim on Sunday! But I still feel quite tight afterwards and I am having trouble at night I just don’t feel as if I have slept properly at all.

I am wondering if it is some form of hay fever and hopefully with the start of the rain it will go away but it is quite worrying.

Rode the creaking Mountain Bike in today. God it makes a lot of noise and needs a good service. It seems to be the cranks that are creaking so I presume there are some loose bolts somewhere but not sure where.

I bought some TT extension bars the other day for my Trek Madone. They were pretty reasonable - £80 or so from Wiggle and I tried them out on Saturday evening. At first they make you feel out of control but once you smooth your riding style out a bit they are quite comfortable to use and rock solid. Ill do a proper review later.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Full of cold...

I did manage to run today but after my run yesterday I started feeling pretty rubbish felt cold, shivery, tired, head ache etc. Typical man flu stuff without the runny nose. Still have it today. As I said I managed a run this morning but really dont feel up for anything more than that and all I wanted to do last night was go to bed. Pretty sure that is all I will manage tonight as well. I have to cycle to the station tomorrow as the wife needs my car so will no doubt not enjoy that given my current state! Still gotta muddle through.

I am presuming that I wont be doing myself too much damage by exercising during this period given that it is essentially a cold (albeit a MANs cold which is obviously far worse!!! :-0 ) So bike ride for the rest of the week and perhaps if I feel better a swim as well.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day off on Monday and a run on Tuesday

Took Monday off exercise as I probably overdid it last week and I was very tired. I was however itching to get outside as the weather was wonderful so today I ran into work. Had to run the short 3.5km route as the train was delayed so I didn’t have time to do anything larger but hopefully I will get a chance to run back this evening.

I haven’t had a chance to map out the week yet but the Wife has already said she needs my car on Thursday and Friday as hers is going into the shop for its MOT so I will be on the bike both those days. It will be the road bike as well as the Mountain Bike needs a bit of a service!

Only a few more weeks until the first triathlon now and I am looking forward to it. I need to hire a wetsuit, get my race day kit list together and a few other jobs but really looking forward to it and feeling quite positive.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A hard easy run...

I woke up this morning a little worse for wear - my Father in Law, brother in law and cousin came down to pick the missus up and to take her down to Wembley - and we all went out for a curry and a few beverages last evening. Well - as normal in these situations - I may have consumed a few too many beers and I didn't get to sleep until very late. Hence the bad head this morning....

Anyways - I thought I'd go for a run anyway to complete the week - and it was pretty hard. I was going for 5km endurance - so nice and slow and keep the HR down - but my legs were tired and I couldn't get the  HR much above 140 anyway - so I found it very hard going - and I was exhausted after the 5km when I got home - even now my legs feel pretty sore. Still - it was interesting that I managed it in 30 mins with keeping the HR so low.

Anyway - good luck to Everton today in the match against Man Utd - the wife and family are there today and I hope they enjoy it. Back to work tomorrow and I will have to start fitting the training around work again - so will hopefully work out a plan for this week tonight - but tomorrow will be a rest day - my legs certainly need it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday and a little bit of Mountain Biking

Couldn't remember what the devil I was supposed to be doing today - and didn't fancy a run this morning - so jumped on the Mountain Bike and headed off to Irchester Country Park in the sun. My Mountain Bike definitely needs servicing - it is creaking like an old man and the gears keep slipping - but I managed about 3 laps of the park and quite a few bits of the single track including a great bit between the trees which includes a couple of 'hairy bits' where I had to swing between two close trees. Really good fun.

Some decent single track on the way home as well - about an hour and a half in total - 1150 kcals.

Interestingly my legs were seriously aching by the time I got back home - really really aching. Far more that on the trainer - and I couldn't have gone much further - so either I have over trained a bit - or I just didn't have enough carbs - will have to watch that in the future. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lunchtime Bike power/sprint training

Jumped on the bike trainer and chose a different training route to normal - usually I take the hill training - but this time I took the power/sprint training route - lots of quick sprints with recovery afterwards, a couple of big hills at the end - but generally lots of quick power generation climbs.

I managed a personal best today - 772 Watts. I've never got anywhere close to this before - I think I usually generate about 400 watts on a quick climb for a short amount of time - but today the force was obviously with me (Revenge of the Sith on the laptop infront of me!) - and I managed a couple of pretty big pushes - 602 watts being the previous one and 772 Watts the last push. I am pretty pleased with these - especially as they were at the end of the ride - 32km in 56 mins. I am pretty peckish now - so going to get some grub now....

Not so sure about a run later - might have done enough today now.....

A good morning swim

My daughter, bless her, has chicken pox at the moment - and didn't sleep too well last night and in the process managed to keep my wife (and me a bit) awake quite a bit. A feat - those of you that know me will agree - as I can sleep through Armageddon. So - I was planning on heading to the pool at about 6:30am this morning and going for a run afterwards, instead - I arrived at the pool at about 8:30am and forgo the run. I managed 2.7km in a steady time - about 1 hour 10 mins including a warm down at the end - so not too bad.

My arms don't feel quite as bad as they usually do which is encouraging - so I might jump on the cycle trainer in a bit and see if I can manage a few kilometers on that.

My photos from the Half Marathon at Silverstone arrived today as well - and by golly I look quite tired at the end! I forgot what an ordeal the last 2km were - but my face on the finish line tells the story in its entirety I feel. I don't look too happy to say the least. Oh well - at least I did it, but I probably won't be doing it again. I'm still thinking of stepping up to Olympic distance next season - but haven't gone any further than thinking of it yet. At least I know I can do the distances involved - although I suspect my time will be poor on the more endurance distance event - but I guess that is what specific training is for hey?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A brick session

I thought I would get all the training that I wanted to do in early
today so I could get beaten at Monopoly by my kids today and not have
to worry about fitting any more in.

So I decided that a decent bike session was in order - so a 27km hill
training session on the trainer with the aim to see what my average
wattage would be. I was a little disapponted to see only 150 watts
average at the end of 48mins, although the high was 400 and on some of
the climbs I had sustained over 250-300 for the entire climb - the
descents just wouldn't allow me (read my legs wouldn't allow me!) to
keep that up afterwards.

I did manage to do all this without socks and also while practicing
with shoes already attached to the bike etc.

Then straight into my trainers - again no socks - and out for the run.
My legs were heavy and my HR was above 150 at the start, but I managed
a half decent 3.5km in just over 15 mins.

Brick training is pretty hard and it was a bit of a shock - I forgot
how hard it was to run straight after a bike. I definately need to
keep trying this a few more times. Tomorrow I am hoping to get up for
an early morning swim and a run, we shall see how that works!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ouch! My arms don't work...

Went to the gym this evening for a swim and managed 2.7km including
some drills - touching my hip with my thumbs during the stroke and
some speed work - gentle first 25m followed by a fast hard pulling 25m
while concentrating on form and trying to keep my stroke in order. All
with no legs using a pull buoy.

It all seemed like a great idea - but now - my arms and shoulders feel
like they ate going to drop off and I am completely cream crackered!
Tomorrow is a rest day and to be honest - that's probably a good thing.

I will probably snore for England tonight!

This week’s training schedule

Day Hours Details Actual
Monday 0.5 Morning fartleck training 0.5
0.5 Endurance cycle training 0.75
0.5 Swim 1500m 1
0.25 Afternoon Farleck training 0.25
Tuesday 1 Evening swim, drill sessions
Wednesday 0 Day off
Thursday 0.5 Early morning run
Friday 0.5 Early morning run
0.5 Swim 1500m
0.5 Spinning cycle
Saturday 1 Long run
Sunday 1.25 Long Cycle  
TOTAL 7   2.5

A few changes this week as I am at home – so lets see how we do – I’ve changed this week to a 7 hour week (although I am sure I shouldn't – Joe Friel would be cross!).

Last Weeks Training results

Not such a good week of training last week – with a combination of injury, beer and rugby contributing to the low stats. Well – it supposedly a low week this week referring back to this post: – but I think this is probably unlikely as I am on holiday and have already clocked up over 2 hours on the first day of the week – so may take last week as the low week and slot a higher one in this week…

Day Hours Details Actual
Monday 0 Day off - rest day 0
Tuesday 0.5 Ride to station from home 0
0.5 Ride home from station 0
Ride to Raunds 1
Wednesday 0.5 Lunchtime run, endurance, 5km 0
1 Cycle trainer - hill training at 200 watts 0
Thursday 0.5 1000m Swim, speed training. 0
Friday 0.5 Early morning run 0.5
Swim 3000m 1.5
Spinning cycle 0.5
1 Core work. 0
Saturday 1 1500m Swim, endurance. Try not to stop. 0
Early morning run 0.5
Sunday 0.5 Run - fartlek training. 0
1 Cycle trainer 1.6
TOTAL 7   5.6

Monday, April 13, 2009

And yet more…..

Following on from this mornings brick session – I went to the gym in the afternoon and jumped into the pool for a long session with arms only. It wasn't too bad – I am sure I was as quick as normal – and I counted my strokes per length at 14 again – but I was tired certainly and didn't have as much stamina in my arms as I would have liked. Managed 1.5km but felt pretty worn out, so decided the best thing I could do after that was some work on the treadmill!

I think I may have lost the plot somewhere as I ended up doing more fartleck training on the treadmill and totally knackering myself out! Great fun – but I was dripping wet by the end and my legs burned for ages.

One thing I did do – was try running in my trainers without socks on. It is going to be easier in transition if I do not need to get into socks before donning running shoes or cycle shoes – much less time wasted. Wet cold feet do not take well to being stuffed into socks and time can easily go by while doing this – so I thought I’d practice without and see how much my feet need to be hardened up.

Oh my God! My right foot is now a sea of sores where the running shoes have rubbed – I feel that while this is a worthwhile exercise – it isn't going to be pretty – and it may take some time….

Bank Holiday Monday Madness

Its half past 10 in the morning and I have already been out for a run and a bike session - and have 2 hours booked in the gym this afternoon!

I managed some fartlek training this morning - 4 x 30 second sprints intertwined with 3 min normal recovery running. After a 1km warm up I started sprinting for the first of the 30 seconds - and of course the road headed uphill - bugger - I just knew that would happen - but I managed to keep the sprint going for the full time. The recovery run felt slow - but looking at the pace afterwards - it was my normal running pace - which I guess is the purpose of this training - to make you generally run faster.

The second and third 30 secs felt ok, but tiring and the 4th was a killer - I just couldn't wait for the clock to hit the required time. The run back to the house felt like a jog - although my lungs were gasping and again - analysis shows it to be normal running pace.

After a few mins back home I got on the cycle trainer and slapped in a 46 min training program with a few decent hills and some long flats. This was to be a fat burning session, I didn't want to do another massive ride like yesterday - as I am in the gym this afternoon - so a long fat burn session at low HR was the order of the day. A pretty good session - I sweated like a pig - I love the long low HR sessions - you look like you have gone hell for leather - but in reality it is all pretty easy in comparison. Managed an easy 27km. Swimming this afternoon....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Bike training a beer burning session....

I went to the Rugby yesterday with a friend of mine - to watch Leicester play at home to Bath. Cracking game - but I did end up drinking a few  too many beers and a nice curry afterwards. Now while I didn't wake with a bad head - I did feel the need to do a pretty hard set of exercise this morning.

And so it was, before breakfast, that I set up the bike trainer for a 40 km hill ride. Starting I had the soreness in my right knee come back - but it soon went and was replaced with pain everywhere else after the first climb. I had a DVD on - Sleepy Hollow - a terrible film with Johnny Depp, but something to  take the mind off the burning sensation in the legs and the gasping of the lungs.

This was really hard - its the furthest I have done on the trainer so far - and unlike outside in relatively flat Northamptonshire - the trainer generates climbs the like of which you find only in the alps! I am regularly having to generate over 400 watts to get up the hills.

After 20km it generated a series of small climbs followed by small descents - literally 500m steep climbs followed by no where near long enough descents for any recovery time. This was perversely great fun - and the mat under the bike was now drenched! (Lovely!!!)

I managed 40km in about 01:40:00 and burned over 1150 kcals - all before breakfast. Great fun. Certainly cleared the head!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wet Saturday run

I looked out this morning to see a fairly horrible damp morning - but instead of thinking "oh no" I was actually pretty happy. I wanted to have a good 5 km run this morning - and I don't tend to get them in the heat - so a wet cool morning is perfect for me.

I got dressed up in full wet weather gear and headed out to repeat the route of yesterday morning and see if I could improve on it.

It was a great run - I felt a little sore towards the beginning - and had a slight pain in the left arm and intercostal muscles of my chest - a residual effect of yesterdays swimming no doubt. I managed to keep going at a pretty steady pace all the way and although I felt very tired towards the end - and the last hill was a killer.

All in all - I managed 5km in 23:45 - my best ever training time and I came back into the house smiling like a cheshire cat. Not bad given all the training yesterday.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday catch up

Right - started my hols today and the catch up training as well. I
decided to go for a run in the morning - around the block - quite a
nice run actually as it was fairly cool and the roads were quiet as it
is a bank holiday. I managed a nice 5km run in about 26 mins including
a couple of hills. It was fairly comfortable - and I could have gone
faster - but I wanted to preserve my knee. It was a little sore to
start off with - but the pain went fairly quickly after the first
kilometer or so.

After a hearty milkshake (diet of course) for breakfast - we were off
to the gym. I decided to catch up on the swimming - so managed a
decent 2,500 - 3,000m in about 70 mins, all with no logs and front
crawl. Its quite nice just using a pull buoy and concentrating on your
stroke and making sure it is technically good. I even started
counting my strokes. Apparently Michael Phelps can cover a 25m pool in
approximately 7 strokes, and reading an article on good swimming
technique I was intrigued to read that you should try to get your
stroke rate down to 20 strokes for 25m ideally - only stroking when
you feel yourself slowing down and try to glide the rest of the time.
I counted a few of the people in the lanes and their stroke rate was
fairly easily 20+ strokes a length so I thought mine would be a
problem to get down to 20 - but oddly when I counted - mine was
already 14 - 15 strokes a length - so I'm quite pleased with that. I
actually feel like I am thrashing about in fact when I up the rate at

After that was 25 minutes on the spinning cycle, I managed somewhere
in the region of 10-15km at a high cadence and pretty much knackering
myself out.

I'm aching like crazy now and have a compression top on as my arms
once again feel as if they are falling apart, but I am pretty pleased.
I know I will wake up starving tomorrow - but for now I am content to
lie in bed and watch Ronin on the TV.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Wednesday and Thursday wash out....

I didn't manage to get out on either Wednesday or Thursday - my knee
was sore on Wednesday frankly and I was a little demob happy on
Thursday - just wanted my holiday to begin and had pretty much
finished everything at work. So that means I need to make up for it at
the weekend - well Friday, Saturday and Sunday and I'm pretty sure
that is going to hurt!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

An evening ride with lots of Wind!

I haven't been on the baked beans – it’s blowing a gale out there! Jumped on the bike just shortly after 6pm and decided to take it out for a decent ride up to Raunds and back to see how the leg coped after the doc said I could carry on training.

I had to pop some Nurofen – but once done – it didn't give me any trouble and its only winging slightly now that I am back home which is pretty good.

I lovely day out there when you are looking through the double glazed glass of home – bright sunshine and only a few clouds – several hours of light left – a perfect evening for a ride you think. But then you are out there and realise the fatal flaw in your plan – the 25mph cross winds that slam into you and chuck you and your bike into that pot hole you were neatly avoiding up until now!

Crikey – that was hard work.

26.3km in 01:09 with 183m Ascent, burning 1028 kcals. Not the best time in the world – but I just couldn't go any faster in that wind!

Bruised Ligament

So – I’m pretty happy at the moment as there is definitely nothing broken – I have a bruised ligament that goes over the top of the knee and some fluid on there – but the doc says I can train as long as I don't train until it becomes very painful! Yeh right! When isn't it painful?!!!

So – as I am hope at the moment working – will have to go for a ride tonight to catch up on the training and keep me on target….

Monday rest followed by Tuesday pain!

Didn’t exercise at all yesterday which was a good job as I ached all over after Sundays exertions. However this morning (Tuesday) my right knee is rather painful. It has hurt since the bike accident in Wales but this morning it is worse or certainly seems so. It is painful when twisting and especially painful when sat with it bent. Slightly worrying so no riding to the station this morning and off to see the nice Doc at my local surgery this afternoon! Hopefully it is still bruised and nothing more but I suspect it may be worse and have me laid up for a while which I certainly do not want.

I hate injuries they really spoil your day!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

This weeks Training – Build Week 3

This week is another build week – prior to next weeks lower intensity recovery week of only 4 hours. Am taking tomorrow as a rest day as I am fairly tired from this weekend and it is the same day as the injury day last week – so fits nicely.

Day Hours Details Actual
Monday 0 Day off - rest day 0
Tuesday 0.5 Ride to station from home
0.5 Ride home from station
Wednesday 0.5 Lunchtime run, endurance, 5km
1 Cycle trainer - hill training at 200 watts
Thursday 0.5 1000m Swim, speed training.
Friday 0.5 Early morning run
1 Core work.
Saturday 1 1500m Swim, endurance. Try not to stop.
Sunday 0.5 Run - fartlek training.
1 Cycle trainer  
TOTAL 7   0

The past weeks training summary

Day Hours Details Actual
Monday 0 Day off - injury. 0
Tuesday 0.5 Ride to station from home 0.5
0.5 Ride home from station 0
Wednesday 1 Lunchtime endurance run 5-8km 0
  Ride home from station 0.6
Cycle trainer - hill training at 200 watts 0.5
Thursday 0.5 1500m Swim, steady pace. 0
Ride to station from home 0.5
Ride home from station 0.5
Friday 0.5 Ride to station from home 0
0.5 Ride home from station 0
Run to work steady 0.5
Saturday 0.5 1500m Swim. 400m warm up. 50m fast, 50m slow. Alternate. 0
1 Core work. 0
Morning run with Cai - 2.5km slow. 0.5
Swim 2500m, inc some speed training. 1.5
Sunday 1 Run - fartlek training.
1 Cycle trainer
Swim 1500m inc technique drills 0.6
Core work. 0.6
TOTAL 7   6.3

Sunday Training

Today was meant to be fartlek training – but my knee just wasn’t up to the pounding – so instead I had another swim and did yesterdays core work.

The swim was pretty good – 1.35km in a little over 30 mins – not fast – but steady and incorporated a few drills – hip touches, face pushes (pushing your face into the water) and fist swimming. All with no legs.

I am conscious of the fact that I swim most of the time with no legs – and need to start looking at my kicking soon – only 5 weeks to go until Stratford. I also need to get a wetsuit and cant decide if I should go all out and get an expensive 2XU one or just get a cheep £99 Foor Quantum or some such. I’m earring on the side of the cheaper suit for once as only two of my triathlons this year are open water – and if I like it I can always get another next year.

Did a whole load of core work for the next 50 mins including: 1 legged superman squats, two legged balance ball squats with medicine ball, weighted lunges, weighted balance ball lunges, wood chopper pull, rolling pin. No idea if all the names are correct – but they are reasonably descriptive.

Came away from the gym with very sore arms, but not dehydrated like yesterday – took plenty of drink with me this time.

Given that I was carrying an injury this week – which is still painful today – I am fairly pleased with the training – but a little concerned over the continued pain from my knee.

Congrats to Paul Wood….

Well done to Paul who finished the Paris Marathon in 4 hours 41mins. Amazing when you consider his training has mainly consisted of 5-15km runs on the treadmill and lifting his beer glass! Bloody impressive mate – I expect you will eat like no ones business now for the next few days.

Good Luck to Paul Wood in the Paris Marathon Today

My friend Paul Wood is running the Paris Marathon today – and has so far clocked up 21km in a time of 02h24mn34s.

Go on Paul – keep it up mate and well done – we are all rooting for you.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Big Bad Saturday….

My 8 year old son woke me up at 6:30am. He didn't want to play, watch TV or anything like that – no – he wanted me to take him for the Saturday morning run! I seem to have developed a bit of an eye infection in my left eye (it looks almost like the wife has been punching me!) and as I unglued my lids to look up at the young questioning face before me I wondered why on earth I had ever agreed to an early morning exercise with my eldest on essentially the only day I get a lie in during the week.

Still – we both ended up out for a nice run – some of it off road to save his knees – and I must say once I was out I actually enjoyed it. My son is pretty good to run with – he can keep up (for short periods), doesn't complain about all the stitches he gets (a lot) and frankly keeps me company. He loves getting home afterwards and he never looks as if he has enjoyed it – but every week he asks the same question - “can we go out running on Sat Morning?”. Amazing.

We covered 2.76km in a gentle time of 18 mins – and there were 2 walk pauses – he has certainly got slower since last time we went out – so we obviously need to do a bit more – but it was good fun.

My knee however was killing me after this…..

We went to the gym for 10am – and I went for the pool. Today's plan is a 1500m swim – with speed training. Well – none of you will be surprised to hear it didn't work out quite like that. I ended up swimming 2.5km with technique training as I just couldn't find the energy to do speed training. That is the furthest I have swam for quite some time – so I am fairly pleased with it – but I am a little cross with myself for not hydrating enough. For the whole afternoon I was dehydrated and therefore very tired. I only drank about 500ml through the one and a half hours I was in the pool – and frankly that isn't enough. I suffered for this until late into the evening and ended up going to bed early.

I also forgot my compression top – and after the swim could have really done with it as my shoulders were killing me.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Friday run

Today was planned to be a ride – but instead – as I haven't run all week – I thought I’d get a little run in. I took it nice and easy – and 21 mins later was at work – this was a run to find out if my knee was OK after last weekends accident – and to be honest it hurts a bit. Still – isn't that what painkillers are for?!!!

I decided not to do anything else after this – I don't want to aggravate the injury so will see what it is like tomorrow…..

Lazy Thursday afternoon

Thursday afternoon I had promised myself that I would go swimming. Well – that didn't happen as predicted and instead I left work early and took a ride home on the bike. It was lovely and sunny when I left London and I was looking forward to a warm ride home – but of course, while Bedford was still sunny as we passed through, Wellingborough was windy and overcast and the ride home was more of a chore that anything. Little bit of a disappointment  - but managed to burn about 668 kcals and that's not too bad on a ride home.

I didnt manage anything else that evening – I was so tired I just headed off for an early night.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Tuesday and Wednesday not to schedule...

Tuesday and Wednesday didn’t quite go according to plan I managed the ride to the station in the morning, but missed out in the evening as I had to stay in a hotel in London on Tuesday evening as we had a major release that evening and there were concerns about me getting into work for the early morning checkout.

Wednesday as a consequence was run less as I was without the correct attire Id left my damn running shoes at home! Instead I got a great ride home on the mountain bike last night found some amazing single-track which was dry and hard-packed to ride along at breakneck speed. Burned up 424 kcals and hit 43kmph it was great and all the better for it being light! Got home and managed a further 30 mins on the trainer with 310kcals and averaging 200 watts on the hill climb I programmed in covering 17km. Felt pretty tired after that.

This morning I cycled on the road bike 23mins to the station and hit 58.5kmph what a difference on slick tyres! Really enjoyed the ride to the station along the road on this it was empty (4.30am) and pretty chilly but great fun. Cycled to paternoster Square to find loads of police protecting the Square from approx 8 demonstrators, all being covered by about 150 press photographers and cameramen!

Still planning on going swimming later and as the 8 protesters have gone home for a sit down and a cup of tea as reported by the BBC Ill probably make it out in one piece! Also planning to ride home tonight as well so might change tomorrow to a run but will see how I feel.