Friday, August 31, 2007

Short sharp swim

Just time for a quick lunchtime session, repeating Wednesday's warmup and then doing 2 lots of 400m, with 4 lengths easy in the middle and another 6 to cool down. Timed myself properly this time: 9:23 and 9:35. Tired at the end of each one but not exhausted. Looks good for the tri, anyway.

I seem to have reached a point where more effort does not necessarily lead to a fast time! It's all technique from here on in. However, it's amazing to think that barely 2 months ago I struggled to do 2 lengths of freestyle in succession...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

More grass-track efforts

Over to the track, then 15 x 200m with 1min recovery, then back via the Broad (route). I've done this session before on 45 sec recoveries, and survived (thought it was only 12x until I checked back) - so maybe I could have gone faster on 1 minute. We were starting each as a group, and I was towards the front (of the back group, I hasten to add!), so I tended to get more than a minute rest as it was timed so as not to short-change the back-markers. Regardless, I had a good sprint finish on the last one :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

400m time

This was the first swim session where I've had a good crack at 400m - I managed 9:30 as far as I can tell (peering at a tiny clock through goggles), which I'm pretty pleased with. Still getting calf cramp twinges though :(

Warmup: 100m FC, 50 kick, 50 FC, 50 pull, 50 FC, 50 kick, 50 FC
Main: 2 x (400 FC, 20 secs, 4 x (50 fast, 20 secs), 150 easy, 20 secs)
Cool down: 200 easy

Total 2100m

Transition training next week - could be amusing!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Steady run

An hour's steady run with Hannah (just back off hols) and Ann (who I'd not met before). Just around Keswick and back - a good stretch for the legs but not too taxing.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I've been slack...

Not done anything else this weekend since the bike ride. All sorts of good intentions relating to a swim but they didn't amount to anything. 2 weeks to go and I think that now needs to be my focus.

Mon: beginners' run, plus to UEA and back
Tue: club run
Wed: swim session
Thu: club efforts
Fri: swim session (own)
Sat: working at FD?
Sun: bike ride, maybe swim too

Tonight was good - 36:50 total for the run to UEA and back although the one there stopped halfway along Cow Drive due to stitch (didn't really warm up properly). In the middle was 30 mins with the beginners - they've all done so well, I'm looking forward to seeing them continue and improve! I stuck at the back, but they still did nearly 2.5 miles, with some hills in there too.

Friday, August 24, 2007

...the big one!

A tour of the rolling countryside of high Norfolk with Trish - 104.6 miles. Aiming for 112 (to mimic her Ironman bike distance), we couldn't face finding an extra 8 miles (the Gmaps route shows 102.5 but that's because digitising every turn in the road would have driven me dotty!). Tired at the end (really?!) but I enjoyed it all, even the dull drizzly start and the hills. I owe it all to the bike (what I really owe it is a damn good clean!).

Shipdham - Dereham - Aylsham - Blickling - Holt - Thursford - Wells - Holkham - Burnham Market - Ringstead - Sedgeford - Docking - Fakenham (edge) - Whissonsett - East Bilney - Dereham - Shipdham.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Nothing today...

...resting after the 5k and saving myself for...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sub-25 5k...

Well, 24:33 was what it said on my watch, no doubt the official time will be longer, about 24:41 I would guess (edit: 24:44, and 183rd out of 265 finishers). Splits were 4:57, 4:41, 5:14, 5:04, 4:37. Going by my watch time, that's 35 secs off my PB and a full minute off the previous race in the series. Wahey!

Next challenge - new 10k PB (51:49 currently)...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bring back summer!

No swim - too busy at work. Beginners' run (20 + 2 + 20) around Eaton Park very good - but what a miserable day! Felt like October, drizzly and grey, and dark very early. Yuk!

Three weeks to go - this week's plan

Monday - swim at lunch, beginners' run
Tuesday - wherry crewing
Wednesday - Wroxham 5k series, race 3
Thursday - club effort session
Friday - swim or gym
Saturday - working - maybe squeeze in a bike ride?
Sunday - Round Norfolk Relay recce trip

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Two out of three ain't bad

A double bill this morning - 15 miles (Ketteringham loop) on the bike with Clare (7am start, please note...), and then a run of just under 3.5 miles "around the block". Great to have company again on the bike ride. Less great for my front derraileur to stick (on the larger ring) after about 3 miles, but I completed the ride in the upper range and then took the bike down to All-Lite where Geoff fixed it in a matter of seconds with an allen key (stuck cable, probably due to me shifting up instead of down - oops). Thanks! Average speed was over 16mph so I'm pleased with that. If I was to pick out one obvious thing to learn from Clare it's take more advantage of the downhills and stop being a scaredy cat!

I'm amazed to see the run distance as high as it is - completing it in 28:26 gives me an average speed of about 8:15 per mile. On tired legs... with the hills on Marston Lane, Ipswich Road and Church Lane... (OK, and corresponding downhills on Donkey Lane, Greenways and Marston Lane) I'm just gobsmacked! I'm desperately wondering if I could have accidentally stopped and started my watch, it really does seem quick.

Bodes well for the triathlon, though :) Three weeks tomorrow, and with a 12 mile bike and 2 mile run I'm not worried about doing the distance now. Just want to get out there and see what I can do. Bring it on :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Slippery fish

A solitary swim session to try and put into practice the things I've been reading in Total Immersion, aiming to swim more like a "slippery fish" and less like a non-slippery human. I did a few lengths of the basic drills, finding my balance in the water, but to be honest I felt a bit daft doing "zen-like swimming" in the deep-water lanes when other people clearly wanted to find a lane and get on with their lengths. Nonetheless it did feel significantly different getting more horizontal, and particularly getting my head well down. I only did a little bit of the on-your-side, nose-down drill, but certainly felt the "swimming downhill" sensation the book mentioned whenever I got my head properly aligned.

Having read the emphasis on "fistgloves" in the book too, I did several lengths with closed fists, concentrating on a slow but powerful kick too, and was surprised to be getting 28-29 strokes per length. So, curious, I went over to open-handed swimming, and was absolutely amazed to be able to bring my total down to 24 s/l. It needs concentration - when I get tired, or distracted, it's up to 25-26 - and I think those lengths where I was down to 23 (and in once case 22) were down to a longer glide at the start.

But, to remind myself for next time, what seemed to be working was keeping my head down, rolling it (in alignment with my body) only as far as necessary when breathing, getting a good reach before pulling back, and always being mindful of the kick. Also it was good to be able to concentrate on one type of length over and over, rather than doing a length each of several different things and then repeating the set.

I did an hour, no real idea how many lengths, but probably around 60 due to the slow (er, zen-like) stuff at the start, and a few waits to synch with the other swimmer in my lane.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Park life

Off to Cromer Carnival fireworks tonight (I am truly part of the jet set), so lunchtime efforts up on Eaton Park with Lorraine - we thought the playing fields were still occupied by travellers, but the park is much more interesting anyway. School holidays, so lots of families, some sort of kids' activity session... it's just nice to be in a well-used park. We did a bit of a mixed session, totalling about 20 mins effort, some distance based but most time-based. We could trademark it as a "mixed up pyramid with extra bits", since we did do 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 minutes, just not in that order, and with some additional spurts. Stupidly the first one we did was a bit flat out, but we survived.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Total immersion here I come?

Different coach at swimming tonight, so a slightly different session - fewer lengths but maybe a bit more on technique. A lot focused on getting the elbow high on the recovery, which I don't think I have too much of a problem with. Also we did a few lengths looking at stroke count. Everyone else seemed to be around 20-22, while I'm up at 27-28 or so. I've tried lengthening as much as I can but I still stick around 25-26. Any longer and I am just "pausing" my arms, and only moving with my legs.

Having received my Total Immersion book this week I think that will help, as it covers stroke length a lot. I was trying to apply some of what I remembered from reading it, but really I need to start from the basics with balance. Maybe I can try that on Friday. I might try photocopying the drill sections and getting them laminated (since I can't afford the laminated drill cards TI sell!).

Crampy twitching returned this week. But the runny nose wasn't so bad. Some you win...

16 x 25m warm up
3 x (25m fists, 25m trailing fingers on recovery, 25m "chicken wings", 25m 3/4 catchup, 30s rest)
6 x (25m fast, 25m slow, 25m building, 25m steady, 30s rest)
4 x 25m pull
4 x 25m counting strokes
4 x 25m cool down

= 64 lengths, 1600m

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Getting a bit autumnal?

Ran a loop via Keswick Hall tonight, stuck with Hugh who was back after 2 weeks away - I think I'm doomed to always need post-holiday returners, post-injury recoverers, or similar on a Tuesday! I could do the full distance (Swardeston loop) but not at the pace the others take it. Still, under the hour, so once again just about on 9 min miles average - I seem to be building a good base at that pace. Odd, slightly damp night tonight - like autumn is setting in already. We haven't had summer yet!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Does this count as cross training?

A long weekend of wherry crewing, plenty of winching and quanting to be done, and not much time (or, to be honest, energy!) for training. Plans are also a bit unclear for next weekend, but this week's abridged plan looks like this:

Tues: club run, at least an hour
Weds: swim training session
Thurs: lunchtime efforts (out in evening)
Fri: swim session
Sat: possibly not here, but bike ride if possible
Sun: possibly working, but run or bike if possible

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Great effort session

Back to Eaton Park again tonight, thankfully more of us than last time! Most people did 5 x 4 mins + 2 mins, apart from four of us slower runners who did 10 x 2 mins + 1 min. At a rough estimate I reckon I was doing 7.5 min miles (GMap shows the distance on one rep as 0.27 miles or so, which equates to about 7:25). It felt good - maybe I could have pushed harder? I was at the front (hard to believe I know!) so it was difficult to gauge. On one rep I found myself with some of the other group who were lapping us, and kept going at their pace, but it would have been a struggle to hold it for 4 mins. Something to aim for...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A bit rusty

Never quite got in the flow at swimming tonight. It was a bit busier, and I was the slowest (of 4) in my lane - found the choppiness of the water difficult but then I am pampered at the Sportspark with the wave-reducing lane barriers! And I'm sure it's nothing compared to open water. But anyway, I seemed to be gasping and coughing and never quite hitting my stroke. I still swim more smoothly without using my legs! Definitely need to work on that kick... and stopping the cramp. Grr.

16 x 25m warm up (may have done 14 - lost count!)
5 x 8 x 25m (2 x f/c, 2 x pull, 2 x f/c, 2 x kick) + 30 secs after each 8
8 x 25m fast + 20 secs
2 x 50m fast + 20 secs
6 x 25m cool down

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Just a run

Figuring it was silly to try and get a good swim session and a good run in, I just did the run. Marriott's Way again, but "backwards", out to Costessey from Sloughbottom. Running with Julia, we seem to be about the same pace which is good. We cut off a chunk of the route as described to us, not knowing Costessey or the mythical "strawberry field" we were supposed to turn off at, and I added a loop around Earlham Park to make up the hour at a good solid 9-min mile pace.
One of those runs where the description sounds a lot longer than the actual run!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Pool trouble (again)

They were fiddling about with the deep water lanes this afternoon, so no swim for me (couldn't face battling kids and slow swimmers in the shallow bit). Might try and fit it in tomorrow instead.

Beginners' running was 3 x 12 + 3, with a longer walk at the end because we finished the last rep far from home and that was enough for the girls I was with. They're still doing brilliantly!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Plan for the week

A nice day's sailing, Hoveton-Horning-St Benet's-Ludham, very hot, but nothing too strenuous really. I'm sure there will be a few aches tomorrow to add to the motley collection of bumps, cuts, bruises and bites!

Plan for the upcoming week:

Monday: 1h swim at lunch (reasonably easy); run with beginners
Tuesday: club run, 1h-1h20
Wednesday: swim session (or maybe bike ride if pool not fixed :)
Thursday: club effort session
Friday: sailing
Saturday: half day sailing - maybe a shortish run
Sunday: bike ride, ~2h

Saturday, August 4, 2007


First long ride on the new bike.... I still love it! 45 miles, out to Old Buckenham, a cup of tea and some toast and marmalade at the cafe (no cake - booo), then round via Shropham and Great Ellingham, Morley and Wymondham to Little Melton, then home. No cramp - phew. Times:

Home - Old Buckenham, 17.7 miles, 1h08 = 15.6mph average (headwind all the way)
Old Buckenham - Little Melton, 23.4 miles, 1h22 = 17.1mph
Little Melton - home, 4.6 miles, 19 minutes = 14.5mph

Max speed 25mph, max on the flat about 22.5mph (but only after halfway when the wind was behind me!).

Friday, August 3, 2007

Wibble wobble

Wibbly Wobbly Log Jog - 5 miles on great forest trails, some killer hills but some excellent downhills to match. Shame it's one of the former just before the finish! Attempting to map the route is a futile exercise as the imagery on Google Maps is quite out of date, and the forest changes so much with logging and planting, but here is a vague effort.

Time on my watch was 44:51 - probably just about 45:00 officially. Will wait for the results! It was a good run, I was just out to enjoy it, which I did. I think this is possibly my favourite race!

(2005 time was 44:39, but that was a slightly different route... she says, grabbing at straws. Then I was 207th out of 293.)

Edit: 45:02 official time, 166th out of 292 - so either I got better or the overall field got worse!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Grass track efforts

Short sharp one tonight - 15 x 200m with 45 seconds recovery, plus warm up and cool down to/from the grass track. I was running the 200m in about 42 secs, so approx 6 min miles - felt tough but sustainable and I think I managed to stay consistent over the 15.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Change of plan

Something at the pool was broken tonight, so no swim session :( But it was a lovely evening, and I had a shiny new bike sitting looking sad and neglected in the garage, so out of pity I took her for a spin. And ended up joining everyone else at the pub quiz - how did that happen? I went a bit of a long way round to Wicklewood, to avoid the cruddy surfaces on the old A11 either side of Thickthorn, so it worked out at 11.75 miles which I did in 42 mins or so. On the open road I was keeping up 19-20mph which was excellent - although my calves felt a bit crampy and I wondered if I needed the seat slightly higher, or the bars a bit lower? Through Wymondham I was slow, which dragged my average down (tip - remember which streets are one-way in the opposite direction...). Since it was dark by the time we finished, and Mark had driven, I put the bike in the car to come home again - doing a full round trip on Saturday will be a novelty!

Don't think I'll get another swim in this week - efforts on Thurs, race on Fri, bike ride (Old Buckenham now planned) on Sat, and wherrying on Sun, so I'll leave the pool until Monday.