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.