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.