Monday, March 31, 2008

Seeing the light

Ah, the clocks change and we can run in daylight again!

First: beginners, 3 x 8 + 3, covering about 2.5 miles around the playing fields and Broad. Mark coped really well; I jogged at the back with a brave lady who decided to come out for the first time even though we were on week 3!

Second: an easy run "around the block", accompanying Sally almost home then continuing with Richard and Hannah. Basically a cut down Greenways loop, coming directly back to Eaton park via the cut through off Unthank Road. Somehow the twitchell was a new route for the others! It felt like a really good run, pretty strong thanks to the nice long warm up with the beginners - but it worked out at just about 10 min miles, which is a shade disappointing. Still, nice to run in the light and the warm - hard to believe it was only last week we got snowed on!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

More sunshine

First of all, a short bike round to Lizzie's. Then a run with her in a figure of 8 loop. Then a bike out to Hingham and back via Trudie and Tim's, and a roundabout way home to avoid Thickthorn, collect my trainers from Lizzie's, and because it was such a glorious day.

I didn't time it properly but the average speeds were nothing to write home about (14.7 for the whole trip but that includes walking the bike over the A47 footbridge) - bit of a headwind going out, and no energy since I'd forgone breakfast before the run to avoid getting up at 6:30 (really 5:30 due to the clock change), although after a tea and a toasted teacake at the cafe I felt a bit better and managed a few good bursts of speed on the way home, with a max of 29.5mph between Barnham Broom and Barford.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Round the lake challenge

Down at the lake again, in sunshine for a change, but it was still windy! My first ever handicap race, one lap of the lake, quite good fun but a bit of a lung-buster. The lap is 3.6km, I did it in 18:08 as opposed to 18:30 and 22:30 for the duathlon laps a while ago. I'm pleased with the improvement in my time - it equates to just over 5 mins per km so slightly slower than my best 5k pace (but my best 5k was on non-muddy roads with no wind!), and I was suitably exhausted at the end. I overtook one person and was overtaken by three. Results.

I did cycle down and back - as did Mark, who came to do his beginners' session and managed 4 x 5 mins + 3 mins (schedule was 3 x 5 + 2) around the lake again.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Another swim

Just time to squeeze a quick swim in at lunchtime with Jenna. Not really counting lengths, but trying to improve my technique and get the "flow" going. Had some great lengths (27 secs), did a few 1-2-4 pyramids on 37 secs (down from 40) and managed it OK. Just good to get out of the office to be honest!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Long pyramid + short beginners

Efforts tonight - a long pyramid of 2-4-6-4-2 minutes with 2 minutes rest in between each.

Route was via Bluebell, Unthank, and then South Park and North Park. After the long effort I wasn't feeling too great (headache/sick) but I figured I just pushed it a bit much. Felt just as bad after the 2 shorter efforts and had a slow jog home at the back with Granville. Fine later on - just probably a bad idea to have that as my first proper run in ages.

Before the efforts I went out with Mark, aiming for 5 x 4+2, but he was really flagging and just managed to shuffle through 3 x 4 mins around the playing fields and Broad. Turned out he just hadn't eaten or drunk properly during the day - silly boy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Movin' on up

Promoted to lane 3 (from 4) tonight :) And I pretty much kept up as well!

Can't remember the full set - lots of bits of this and that including kick and closed fists, and a 50-100-150 pyramid in the middle. Kerry reckoned that the total for the whole lot was 2200m, so I probably managed 2000?

Get a little bit of calf cramp right at the end but otherwise OK! And the new swimsuit (with legs) is great.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Should have gone out for something today, this morning's ride was cancelled due to snow and ice (which also cancelled Kerry's and Clare's kids' activity day), but it cleared up later. However, we got stuck into house stuff and I never made it out of the door. Oh well - I'm writing off this past week and getting stuck into it again from tomorrow.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Only beginners - again!

Same route as last Monday, but covering 5 x 3+2, perfectly. Got snowed and hailed on, and I didn't really want to face any more afterwards! What a wimp. It wasn't as bad as the Trowse 10k yesterday...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Oh dear

Having singularly failed to get out for any kind of exercise yesterday, all I did today was another beginner session with Mark - more warm up this time and 6 reps of 2+2 (route), and he was going really well. Still didn't inspire me to do any more, though, with a snow cloud chasing our heels.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mini efforts

Chaperoned Mark around 5 x 2+2 (route) - need to do more warm up next time, although he was doing well by the third rep. Both bought new shoes today and they seem to be perfect. I got Saucony Triumphs again, but men's 8 this time. Mark got a pair of New Balance 692.

Then I did a mini effort session around Abinger Way, 4 loops so 8 hills. Not much but just enough to ease my conscience :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Great swim

A good session tonight, reasonably tough but pitched just right.

Warm up: 200m steady
Main: working on 40s lengths to include swim and rest:

2 x 50m on 1:20
2 x 100m on 2:40
2 x 150m on 4:00
2 x 200m on 5:20
2 x 150m on 4:00
2 x 100m on 2:40
and then no time for the last 2 x 50m!

Total swum = 200m + 1500m - just over a mile.

40s was a good interval - at 35s I would have been swiming more or less continuously, but at 40s I was getting enough rest. The other lanes were doing 35s or 30s though, so we were mixed between 45s and 40s in our lane. Seemed to work OK in terms of overtaking though. I guess the way to go is to cut down 1 or 2 seconds at a time, not the whole 5.

I'm also thinking that I could alternate the swims - if Wedensday night is endurance, I'll do technique on a Friday, and vice versa. Some time to concentrate on form without a watch bleeping away would help, I think.

Still trying to work out "proper" arms - I can't do that and breathe properly at the same time. If I do what seem to be successful arm strokes, I'm slower and my stroke count goes up.

Ate bananas and brazil nuts - no cramps.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Easy run

Just a little (3.6 miles) 10-min miler with Kerry, but starting with Conac (where my achievements were recognised, hurrah ;).

Lovely, easy, enjoyable run. Could have done longer but there was German revision to be done!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Starting again

Beginners' group, that is :)

1 min run, 1 min walk, x10 (schedule) - think we actually did 13, covering 2 miles.

I declined the offer of a run "around the block" with Sally, Hannah and Richard...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Beyond expectations

Schedule: Half marathon, RPI 10/10, 1:58:00

Actual: Broadland half marathon, RPI 10/10, 1:59:02

Course: "undulating". Conditions: wet and windy! Previous half PB: 2:02:42. Previous time on this course: 2:08:39

Not bad for a morning's work :) Although I followed a sub-2hr schedule, it was more in hope than expectation, especially when I saw the conditions today. So I really was amazed to do the time I did, although of course I had my watch and so could see that it was working out to be a good run. The amazing bit was seeing the miles go past so consistently! Mile splits:

8:53 - 8:56 - 8:58 - 8:51 - 8:39 - 9:00
9:02 - 8:59 - 9:09 - 9:40 - 9:13 - 9:38 - 9:07

Quick mile 5 included most of the long downhill from Woodbastwick to Salhouse; slow mile 10 included the third water station and the only significant headwind; mile 12 included a couple of nasty little hills. Even though it was a windy day, most of the course is sheltered by hedges and it was rare to be buffeted for more than a few seconds.

Apart from miles 10 and 12, I felt really good and just settled into my pace; in mile 10 I think I was also suffering from not having drunk or had sugar at the expected 6 mile water station (they ran out - !!), which also meant I walked a little to properly take on both at the one just after 9 miles. Mile 12 is a bit soul destroying as you pass the direct route to the village hall and climb a hill along a (relatively) main road before looping back - it also starts and more or less finishes with short, steep climbs. Mile 12 into mile 13 is the longest stretch without hedges, so you have the sidewind whipping your breath away, but you then get a downhill when you leave the main road, and of course the scent of the finish, so I guess that compensates!

The weather wasn't great but I survived in short sleeves/legs, and would only have rolled up long sleeves/tights! I was cold on my skin when I finished, but not chilled through. Oh, and despite short toenails I went through both of my socks. Grr.

The hills weren't quite as bad as I remembered - they were there, but doable, and certainly balanced by downhills. Definitely better than last time, this is actually a really attractive route and a lovely race. I'd probably do it again :) However, possibly the best and most amusing aspect was that I finished while the Conac support crew had nipped inside for a cuppa, clearly thinking that I wouldn't be finishing just yet. Ha!

RW event rating

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Didn't notice today's 3 miler (33 mins) in the schedule until it was too late! :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Stretching out

Schedule: 8 x 200m, 100m jog, 4M total, 45 mins, RPI 8/10 (note - originally Tuesday's session in the schedule; Thursday's had an RPI of 6/10)

Actual: 2 x 1.3 miles for warm up/cool down, 4 x (2 hills + 1 flat effort), 45 mins, RPI 6/10

Out to Norvic Drive and then the usual hill session. Ran with Rosie (also taking it easy before Broadland) and Jeanette, coming back directly instead of via the dreaded Peckover Road. Felt fairly comfortable, obviously wasn't doing the same level of effort as normal, just trying to stretch out my right inner thigh which is stiff as hell after yesterday. I just have to sort it for Sunday!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's back

Cramp :( The annoying painful one :(

Swimming was 50m-100-150-200 and back down, working on stroke length/count. I finished that but never got to try the "golf" game (add stroke count to time, for 50m, and try to reduce). It was going really well until then. Hmph. Stroke count was 23-25 per 25m, with more lengths at 26-27 as I get tired.

Having followed last week's advice to reach further forward in between my hand entering the water, and dropping it to pull back, this week's additional refinement was to make sure I am reaching only forward and not losing any power by pulling sideways as well as back. I seem to have a tendency to reach in to my centreline.

Advice from others about the cramp included to eat more bananas (I didn't have one today) and maybe think about magnesium supplements.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Schedule: 3 miles, inc 5 x 150m strides, 35 mins, RPI 6/10

Actual: 3.2 miles, inc 6 x 100-50m strides, 30 mins, RPI 5-6/10.

Did the first 1.5mi of the Conac route and then turned back. Pretty windy, but a good run, just putting the effort in for 4-5 lampposts or so.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Postponed 3 miler

Schedule (for Saturday!): 3 miles easy, 33 mins, RPI 3/10

Actual: 3.9 miles, 39 mins, RPI 4/10. In the rain.

A nice little recovery. I think I like the schedule better this way around!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

"Flat out effort " 10k

Schedule: 10k (plus 1mi warm up & cool down), target 50:00 (10k), RPI 10/10

Actual: 1mi warm up, 10k, tiny cool down, 52:34, RPI 8-9/10

Route: Kirkby, Nuncargate. Cut this one a bit short on the cool down due to morning/lunch plans - did the 10k, near as I could (6.02mi, GMaps inaccuracy permitting), and was really pleased with 52:34 (8:44/mi). It was hard to have a consistent effort as the terrain was varied, more inclines than I remembered, but a really good run. I don't really know what constitutes a "flat out effort" that is sustainable for 10 kilometres, though - in some ways I felt I could have gone quicker at times, but I didn't want to wind up exhausted after 5 miles. I knew I wasn't going to hit the 50:00 target, but it's still the best 10k I've done in a long while. Here's hoping for an equally good run next weekend...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Slight reshuffle

Schedule: 3mi easy, 33 mins, RPI 3/10

Actual: sod all :) Decided to stay in bed and do the 3 miles on Monday with the beginners. Off to mum's at 10am so would have been a bit rushed.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Long efforts

Schedule: 3 x 1mi + 200m jog, total 6mi (??), 5k pace, 65 mins, RPI 8/10

Actual: 5 x 1km + 3 mins rest, total 7km, 46 mins, sub-5k pace, RPI 8/10

The old km rep route around Bluebell/Earlham roads - although now I measure it, as best I can, it turns out to be 920m :) - run 5 times with a jog out and back. I was really pleased to keep consistent (every rep between 4:15 and 4:20) and to have a pretty good run overall. Rests should have been 2:30 but I was at the front (!) of the back pack and we waited so everyone got at least 2:30 rest, so I got longer. The reps were tough while I was doing them, but I felt strong and recovered well. Less total distance than the scheduled set but quicker reps, so a more or less equivalent session I think. And I enjoyed it :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Swim technique

Schedule - 4 mi easy, 38 mins, RPI 6/10

Actual - 1hr swim, 1750m, RPI 7/10

A longish swim session during which I got a welcome bit of coaching on my technique - reach further forward before dropping my forearm, and keep my hand just under the water while reaching. No instant difference in speed (just aching shoulders!) but it's something I can work on. However, I definitely noticed a better flow to my stroke when making a point of kicking from the hip with legs together. I just need practice!

Warm up - 3 x 150 f/c, 3 x 50 kick (much more efficient kick if I go on my side...), 30 sec in between
Main - pyramid which started off as 4-6-12-6-4 (lengths) with 30 sec rest, but Kerry sneakily changed it to 6-12-16-12-6 after I set off. I got as far as the 16, and the last 4 or so of the following 12 served as cool down.

Total distance 1750m. No cramp, good session!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Schedule: 4mi, inc 2 mi fartlek, 43 mins, RPI 7/10

Actual: 4.6mi, inc 0.4mi slow run/walk and 2mi fartlek, 41 mins (exc. the 0.4), RPI 7/10

A lovley, enjoyable run with Hannah, we left the main Conac pack at the end of Bluebell and went off on our own via Unthank and Christchurch. We were perhqaps a bit generous with the intervals in between the speed bursts, but we itted in about 7 of varying lengths (especially where there turned out to be a deficiency of lampposts as we were running to the 5th one on our side) I had to detour to the Farmhouse for a loo stop, but ran really well after that, including the last mile (after the efforts) at a good solid pace which felt great.

Monday, March 3, 2008

"Rest" day

Just over 3 miles with a few beginners, 36 mins, really enjoyable (if a bit chilly). Today was set to be a rest day so that's fair enough.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

First duathlon

Still pretty windy today, and blowing such that it was a head- or sidewind for 90% of the bike route, although at least the run lap was half and half. Unfortunately the headwind was on the homeward half!

I started with a good run, too quick if anything at 18:30 for the 3.5k (according to GMaps) but I ran out with a tail wind and alongside Ross who pulled me along for a while. After turning into the headwind I realised my stupidity and slowed down, so goodness knows what pace the first half was if I still made 18:30.

The bike route was simple enough after navigating out of Whitlingham Park, up the Stoke road to Saxlingham Nethergate, and then looping back on the back roads to join the Stoke road again. With the wind from the side that was a bit of a slog - it was even blowing down Skeet's Hill (which we cycled up), which was a bit cruel. Just a shade over the hour for the bike plus T1 (1:00:14) so that was pretty good considering the wind. Average speed of over 15mph was bumped up by several downhills and the one nice fast tailwind section.

I didn't have jelly legs for the second run, so much as just being pretty knackered overall. With the wind all the way on the bike, there was no chance to cruise, it was just push push all the way. It felt like I was baby-stepping around the lake, and hardly moving after I turned into the wind! Added 3:30 to my first run time (although including T2 as well) to make 22:00 or so, total time 1:40:48.

Cycled there and back as well :)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Last long run

Before Broadland that is :)

Schedule: 14 miles @ 10min/mi, 2:20, RPI 9/10.
Actual: 12.3 miles @ 9:42/mi, 1:59:30, RPI 8.5/10.

Went out with Mark alongside on the bike, dispensing jelly babies and water, and occasionally forgetting where we were going despite it being mostly the same route as the other week. No frantic dashes for the loo, just a quick stretch about 1.5 miles in and no other breaks. Total time a shade under 2 hours which makes it a bit under 10 minute miles. It was a good steady run but not as easy as I had hoped, since I ended up with a rest day yesterday. However, given that coming up the Church Lane track I was sure I would have to finish at the gate on Marston Lane, I was glad I pushed myself to go on to the bollards and back, to take it over 12 miles. It's worth saying it was rather windy, and I was running into the wind when going along Bluebell, Earlham, or back along Marston Lane for the last time - but loop routes have their advantages and it was behind me up Colney Lane, which I was very glad of!

So, somehow I have to squeeze another mile or so out of that same time in two weeks! Maybe Broadland isn't the course for a PB and under 2h, but I can give it a bash. What's to lose?

It's the duathlon tomorrow (even if windy). Next week I'm switching things around a bit. I'll run with Conac on Monday and do my threshold run on Tuesday (maybe with Conac as my lunch time is busy). Then it's a swim on Wednesday, efforts Thursday, and a rest on Friday. I can fit the scheduled 3 miles easy in before we head to Kirkby on Saturday, and work out a route for the "fast" 10k on Sunday morning there. Here goes!