Friday, February 29, 2008

Enforced rest

Things cropped up at work and conspired to rob me of enough lunchtime to mean I couldn't get a run in before teaching at 2pm. Too tired to do it later, and given that it's a long run tomorrow it doesn't seem sensible to do a threshold run the evening before. So, rest day it is.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Efforts - short'n'sharp

Schedule: 8 x 400m @ 5k pace, 100m jog between, warm up and cool down not specified but as total is ~5mi, must be ~2.5mi! RPI 8/10.

Actual: 1mi warm up (9:30); 8 x 400m + 100m on the grass track, 400m slow jog cool down, 1.35mi cool down back to base (13:00). Started at 1:52 for 400m, this lengthened to 1:57, dropped back to 1:54ish, and a push on the final one took it to 1:48. Walked, rather than jogged, the 100m in between.

RPI 8/10 is about right, maybe 9.5/10 for the last one! Was surprised how hard it felt given how fast I was going (or wasn't) -I am sure I have reliably done 1:42 for 400m on there before, but 1:55 ish was as fast as I felt I could go sustainably.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Getting quicker

Well, the swimming set got quicker, don't know about me!

Like before, 2 x 50m @ 1:30, then dropping by 5s for every 2 x 50m. After getting down to 55s per 50m, the time then increased again. I made it to 1:15 but missed out on 1:10. The whole group were doing it together (so no 2:00 for us slow-laners), and when you dropped out because the pace was too fast, you swam 25m instead. It was OK, but was hard to know when to come back in - and again I found myself catching up with others in my lane on the quicker reps.

I don't know how much time I lose by not being able to turn very fast at the end - but then again I probably gain time with pushing off and gliding, so maybe it evens out.

Finished off with a couple of relays (freestyle, backstroke) and a little cool down. Interesting to just do one fast 25m.

I felt I was starting to make progress in some aspects of the stroke, e.g. getting a continuous flow of movement and not stop-starting, and while there were occasional flashes of "this is what I should be doing with my arms", I really had to concentrate to keep that up. Practice, practice, practice...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Almost but not quite

Schedule: 6 miles, 9:45/mi, 58 mins, RPI 9/10

Actual: out with Conac, slow with the relative beginners until about 1.5 miles, then left them with Rob and Granville to turn back, and I ran with Sally to catch up to the back of the others - up the neverending Bowthorpe hill on Chapel Break Road. Completed the route (5.1 miles) in 52 mins, but I know we must have been doing 11-min miles for the first 1.5, so that averages out at just under 10-min miles for the rest. It felt pretty comfortable - just should have been a bit longer and a bit quicker!

Rest day tomorrow, swim Wednesday.

Recovery bike ride - and new pedals

The schedule actually said another run (5mi inc. 3mi fartlek), but I went out for a bike ride instead :) A little cake run to Hingham (out via Barnham Broom, back via Wymondham and East Carleton) - just over 33 miles, don't know pace or time as I forgot to reset my bike computer, but it was a lovely relaxed trip with Kate and her workmate Chris. I tried my new pedals and they are great! I didn't fall off and am slightly wondering what the (my) fuss was about...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Back to the forest

Scheduled: 13 miles, 10 min miles, 2:10:00, RPI 9/10.

Ran in Thetford Forest again, same route as last time with a mile or so more before turning around.

Actual: 14.5 miles, 2:22:40, 9:50/mile, so met the target and exceeded it a bit. OK to about 12.5 miles, then really started to feel it, had a couple of walks from 13 or so and cut out 2 sides of the triangle at one point (only shaved 0.2 miles though!). The rest of the run felt much better than last time. Was stuck with wine gums again, they sort of worked but jelly babies are on the shopping list for next week!

Friday, February 22, 2008


Target: 1M warm up, 3M threshold, 1M cool down.

Threshold = 85% working HR (RW article). Working HR:

Resting = 52
Theoretical max = 206 - (0.9 x age) = 180
180-52 = 128
85% of 128 = 109
109 + 52 = 161

Actual HR: 155-165 during warm up, 170-180 (!) during threshold, 165-170 during cool down. I think I need to derive my max HR by practical means, not the formula.

Didn't check time at 4-mile point but at 4.6 miles it was 43:30, or 32 mins for the 3.6 miles of effort which equates to about 8:40 per mile. Total time 50:40 for 5.4 miles or 9:22/mi average. I'm really happy with that! The threshold run was as comfortable as it could be for that speed, and it did include the nasty little climb on Intwood Road, a steady climb on Colney Lane, and the biggish hill just before the Watton Road junction.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Guardian hills

First Conac effort session in a while - old favourite Guardian Road. Out and back with 4 x Winchcomb and Wheatley, and 3 x Guardian itself for the efforts. I was at the back, as usual, probably could have gone a bit harder but I really needed the loo...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


In London today, so it's this week's rest day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Swim - getting slower?

Found time for a 40-minute swim today. 400m warm up, and then a few sets of 2 lengths arms-only, concentrating on what the hell I do with my arms after they are in the water, plus 2 lengths "fists", trying to find the action with the best pull. Maybe 24-28 lengths all in. Finished off with a 400m continuous swim, trying in vain to find the 8:46 form from Waveney last year - I was 9:50. And I thought I had done quite well. Still, not a bad little session overall.

Monday, February 18, 2008

On plan so far :)

Schedule: 4 miles easy (9:45/mile), 38 mins, RPI 5/10.

Actual: 4.6 miles easy (10:00/mile), 46 mins, RPI 5/10.

Turned out to be a bit slower than I thought, but a good, steady, comfortable run given yesterday. Very cold, with the fog closing in, and places along the pavement where the frost hadn't melted all day. First run I've done in long tights, long sleeved top and gloves, where I've been comfortable without losing the gloves or rolling up the sleeves.

Thought for the day

I exercise purely for the joy of it, not to make my body more pleasant to the masses. Instead of thinking, “These are things I must do to lose weight,” I now believe, “This is just how I live my life.”

From Shauna, aka Dietgirl, writing on Elastic Waist.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New targets

OK, with the GER over, it's time to think about new targets. I have signed up for the Waveney super sprint and Norwich Olympic tris (May and July) but I need something in the meantime. I was disappointed with today's result, so I want to keep building on the higher mileage I have scraped together, consolidate it and do a half - with Broadland coming up in exactly 4 weeks, it seems like a good time to try and better my previous fairly poor showing (2:08:39 in 2006). After that I have 8 weeks to get into the tri training for Waveney (probably doing Chase the Train in April), and another 8 weeks after that to build up to Olympic, including open water swimming and with the Norfolk 100 mile bike ride in June, plus one or two Wroxham 5ks in the meantime too.

I've nabbed a half marathon schedule from Runner's World, and will follow and adapt the last 4 weeks. It'll be based around:

Monday - steady shortish run (beginners, ~9:45/mile)
Tuesday - 4-5 miles including fartlek or threshold 3 miles or hill 1 mile total
Wednesday - swim
Thursday - Conac efforts (2.5 miles or so)
Friday - rest or swim
Saturday - moderate run or bike
Sunday - long run (10:00/mile) or 10k (target 50 min)

Great(ish) East Run

Hmmm - not bad I guess, for a week of no training and a bout of food poisoning (or whatever it was). Ran more or less comfortably with Kate from about 2k to 13k, at which point I said she should go ahead as she was clearly having a better run than me! From there I walked/ran in various proportions and made it over the line about 2:06 or so, exhausted but intact, pleased to have made it. Route - results.

Yay: it was a glorious day for a run, absolutely perfect, crisp and sunny winter's day, no wind. Thermals not required! And a brilliantly organised race as always, with TWO beers in the goodie bag.

Boo: wine gums just didn't cut it, jelly babies are less chewy and nicer.
Boo2: I keep getting a niggly 2nd toe on my right foot, it goes a bit numb after about 8-9 miles. Loosening my laces helps a bit, but it doesn't go completely. What the hell is it?

Friday, February 15, 2008


Poorly... was it the curry or something I ate en route? I shall never know. Not a very pleasant day, managed to drink water and peppermint tea, and eat 2 plain crackers, but really feeling off. Have cancelled tomorrow's morning run with Lizzie, and will see about Sunday.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Four days in Berlin

Hand luggage only, so no kit (and no time). Copious beer, cake, chocolate and meat, fewer veg (managed to find a fruit shop though!), plenty of water though. And finished it off with a curry on arrival home, due to laziness. Not ideal training - we shall see!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Duathlon cop out

Full of enthusiasm, I changed my pedals for the SPDs yesterday. Then was too petrified to cycle around the street. I finally got going, and it was kind of OK, but I needed moral support (from accompanying SPD-using cyclists - sorry Mark!). Following a panicky text, Clare kindly phoned to talk me through a few things, but with neither her nor anyone else doing the duathlon I was still feeling a bit nervous. When she explained the route out of Whitlingham (from the outdoor centre to the road) was along the potholed, gravelly path that we start the 10k on, I felt even less enthusiastic. I realised I didn't know the full route and it wouldn't be signed either. Sunday dawned cold and frosty, and that was enough - I stayed in bed.

For my first ride with these I need a nice relaxed ride, not against the clock and trying to remember the route, with people to ride alongside. So not a duathlon! I felt a bit of a pleb for missing it, but happier than if I had gone out and injured myself.

Ho hum. Onwards and upwards.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Short and long

A nice combo run today - 3 miles ish with Lizzie, and then another 9 with Mark accompanying me on the bike - the whole route encompassed Church Lane to Greenways to Waitrose to home, then Bluebell Rd, Eaton Park, UEA, Earlham Rd, BUPA, Colney Lane, Brettingham Ave, and Keswick mill, total 12.9 for the whole lot. I had to scoot off on the bike to grab a loo stop at UEA, so I didn't actually run from the bottom of the Avenues to the Lodge (half a mile)! Total time was 2h, so 9:40 per mile - I went along the lane a bit to make up the time at the end. It was a good run and felt OK all the way - hopefully bodes well for the Great East, although clearly the effect of the loo stop and changeover at 3 miles needs to be considered!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Independent swim

Decided to try a late morning swim with Jenna, before the lunchtime rush at the Sportspark. I repeated the set from this Wednesday, but this time starting on 2 x 50m @ 1:30, to see how far I could get. I got down to 1:10, but couldn't take it to 1:05, so worked back up to 1:30. That took about 15 mins, so I repeated it, and with a warm up and cool down it was a nice neat session.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Rest day

What it says on the tin.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Great swim

After last night's crap run, I had a great swim, on a decreasing-increasing interval:

2 x 50 @ 2:00
2 x 50 @ 1:55
2 x 50 @ 1:50

I got down to about 1:15 but at that point was getting caught in traffic, with no chance for consistent times either swimming or resting. So I make that 10 time intervals (2:00 to 1:15 in 5-sec decrements), with 2 x 50 at each, = 20 x 50m = 1000m. Plus warm up and a little cool down.

I definitely felt that swimming 50m on 2 minutes was a bit slow for me. The other three lanes all started on 1:30 (and are full anyway), leaving me nowhere to go for a "little" improvement, and feeling a bit held up with the others in my lane (not through behaviour, just through the different speeds we swim at).

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Dismal run

Just over 7 miles (Bluebell, Newmarket, Eaton, Tuckswood, Hall, Cecil, Ipswich, Lime Tree, Christchurch, Avenues, Fiveways), but a generally crap run. Felt breathless (without inhaler - duh) as far as Ipswich Rd, at which point I decided to cut my losses and head back, while Granville who had generously stayed with me went off to do a longer route. After a cheeky but very necessary loo stop at the squash club (I tried to find someone to ask, but found the loo first!), I felt better but then it chucked it down rather a lot which was a bit miserable. By the time I got to the Avenues I felt good enough to go back in via Fiveways, to take it over the hour - 1:04 in the end. I can't help thinking I must have stopped my watch for longer than I thought somewhere, so let's call it 1:10 for 10 min miles, rather than the 9:06 min miles implied by 1:04!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Recovery run

Three miles "around the block" (Earlham, Christchurch, Avenues, Fiveways) with the beginners, a nice gentle recovery run after which I felt really good.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Loooooong run

With the Great East Run approaching, I've done precious little in the way of long runs, so a couple of hours in Thetford Forest sounded ideal. Marie, Kate, Rob and I did twelve miles from Hockham car park, using the Pingo Trail, NCN 13, and the Peddar's Way to make an out-and-back route. Kate had her GPS and made it 11.75 miles back to the car park (she and Marie made up the quarter mile - I didn't!), but Google Maps has it as more, 12.75. That's quite a difference so I am tempted to check it on GIS at work. Coming back was mostly a straight line and we had the wind against us for a lot of it - that was pretty tough going. I reached the car park in 1:59:59 by my watch! That makes the average pace 10:12 or 9:44 per mile depending whose distance is right. [Edit - GIS supports the GMap distance of 12.75 miles.]

No doubt about it, it was a hard run for me and I was really feeling it by the end (last 3 miles). We had a little break at the turn around, and another little one at about 2 miles waiting for Rob, but I was still barely moving by the end. Three jelly babies and a bottle of water turned out to be a lifesaver, and next time I will start them earlier.

I definitely need to do the same distance next weekend. Otherwise the GER is going to be pretty tough...

Yay: I fitted my new pedals to my bike.
Boo: I put my big toenail through one of my new socks (it's not like it's very long either).

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The white stuff

Snow stopped play. Mini blizzard last night, which partially melted but then froze. Didn't fancy biking in that, so didn't. Could have gone for a swim but got caught up with other stuff, as did Kate and Marie who I was going to go with.

Yay: new socks and swimsuit arrived from Wiggle.
Boo: new swimsuit is too skimpily cut around the back and will be returned...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Gym session

Felt a bit sniffly and sneezy this morning but firced myself off to the gym (and feel much better now!). The usual session was all I could squeeze in:

5 mins bike warmup
2 x 10 mins stepper (profile 2&3, level 8-9)
10 mins rower (2312m)
20 mins bike (profile 4, level 8)

Snow is forecast tonight, so we'll see if we get anywhere with our planned bike ride tomorrow. I would happily go in the afternoon, but not sure about the others.