Monday, June 30, 2008

Good start to the week

After a weekend of indulgence, it was nice to get a 6 miler in, even if it did contain a pit stop (good old Waitrose). A good steady pace with Jeanette, although I had no watch and she forgot to start hers until the marshes. I think we were about an hour, maybe a bit more.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hen weekend

Not really training, but nice to mark where we went on our walk and horse ride :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Feeling strong

Another quick lunchtime swim, last chance before the Sportspark pool is closed for a few weeks. I tried the new goggles again and they were better, but I was still pleased to take them off at the end (40 mins). Not sure how well I would last an hour. It's the pressure on the brownbone, I can feel myself getting a headache but there's instant relief when I remove them.

The swim itself was great. A bit of a warm up (probably about 3-400m, I wasn't counting!), then the same inverted pyramid session from the other week:

3 x 100m, 40s rest
3 x 50m, 30s rest
4 x 25m, 20s rest
3 x 50m, 30s rest
3 x 100m, 40s rest
total 1000m, all at effort 8/10.

All the 100m reps were <2:00 apart from one, all the 50m ones were <2:00, and all the 25m reps were <30s. I felt good and strong in the water, everything was flowing really well... excellent session. Nice way to round off the week!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Recovery run

Around the marshes, 3.6 miles in 36 minutes, nice and easy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Strength to strength

Wroxham again. Lovely evening, lots of people around from the club, and Lizzie too on her first race back. Made the mistake of entering on the night (an extra £2 each - ouch!), but it was worth it as we had a great run. Caught up with Kate just after 1k and we stuck together for the rest of it. Captain Rocket pulled out another sprint finish and beat me to the line again to make it about 26:30 (results pending - 26:23 by my watch, started at the line not the gun). Splits: 5:22, 5:14, 5:15, 5:31, 4:57. That's about 1:45 off last time, and at this rate a new PB for me (never mind Mark) at the August race! PB for Kate too, and Lizzie was pleased with hers at about 28 mins. Smiles all round!

Bleh swim

New goggles - not good. Leaked, gave me a headache, and my eyelashes brushed the inside. Hmph. £9 well spent then.

With all that, I just had a swim, no really structure, 30 mins, not especially fast. Didn't want to tire myself out for Wroxham - it was just a good escape from the office really!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bike loop

Realising I'm not going to get much bike time between now and the tri (specifically I'm missing this weekend due to Sally's hen do), so tonight I went for a spin around the Ketteringham loop (looped the opposite way to this map though). Average was 17.1mph, not bad given that I treated the loop as the main effort and didn't push it so much on the rest. Was tempted to loop around again but I knew my tea was going to be ready soon :)

Still feel like I need to up the saddle, but I never seem to get the time for an adjustment session. In my head, high = unstable in traffic = scary. I'm fine on the open road, but don't want to get into trouble at junctions.

Not really a brick, but I went for an experimental run up the lane when I got back. Legs a bit crampy, but a quick stretch seemed to sort them out. Not catastrophic, anyway.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Moderate run

Another run spoiled by the need for a loo break. Over to Lizzie's, around to Waitrose, up Newmarket Road and back via the golf course, at which point it was straight home for me.
Total was 4.6 miles in 46 minutes. Enjoyable, but I really should have done more.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Miserable, wet, wet, miserable

Miserable 1: biked to the lake, via the ring road (yuck), my chain came off (think I half-shifted to upper front ring, then full-shifted down), and while putting it back on I cut my knuckle. Only noticed minutes later when blood was dripping down my fingers.

Wet 1: lake swim. Chilly to start but turned into a good session. 1500m course, 33 mins including rest halfway.

Wet & miserable 2: Olympic bike course. Got off to an interesting start when I sent my rucksack (which I had cycled to the lake wearing) off home with Marie, forgetting that the keys to my bike lock were in it. Had to call Mark to bring the spare out, getting told off (rightly, but nicely) by a ranger for driving to the outdoor centre to unlock the bike ASAP, and then pedalling like hell to catch up with the group. I managed to find them having a breathing stop at the top of Skeet's Hill, waiting for a chap with a puncture. After that, dull and grey turned into drizzle, then drizzle with a vengeance. We were soaked by the time we hit Hempnall, and the second half of the route was misery. Horrible drivers on the A146 too. At White Horse Lane on the way back I cut my losses and came straight home!

Happy midsummer's day! :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Swim, run

Time to squeeze in a quick lunchtime swim session, copying the other week's Wednesday one. 400m warm up, then 3 x 100 (40s rest), 3 x 50 (30s), 3 x 25 (20s), 3 x 50, 3 x 100. All felt pretty good, some cracking lengths although not consistently wonderful. Still well worth it though.

Then just shy of 5k with Mark in the evening, around Sunningdale and South Park. Little break for stitch, but 4.75km in 26:32 = 9 minute miles. Looking good for Wroxham 2 (next Wednesday)...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nine out of ten

Efforts down on the grass track - 10 x 400m with 90sec recoveries. I managed 9/10, one of those broken as I had to run for the bushes and pit stop. Times were 1:45, 1:42, 1:41, 1:45, 1:46, (broken), 1:48, 1:47, 1:51. Not bad going, but that was enough for one night.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sprints again

A fairly normal pool session:

400m warm-up
10 x 100m comprising: 25m @ 5/10, 25 @ 6/10, 25 @ 7-8/10, 25 @ 4/10
then drills inc. single-arm, and one or two attempts at tumble turns.

Still can't get the hang of single-arm. The best thing is to go fairly slowly and not have to breathe so often. Also felt a bit lost with tumble turns, don't think they are going to make the difference at Norwich!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Another steady one

Ran with Liz again tonight, took a route similar to my run on Sunday, but going out via the lane instead of the bridleway (fewer puddles!) and back via the golf course (shorter, fewer hills). Spot on 4.5 miles, although no stopwatch tonight. We were out for ~50 mins, with one pit stop and a couple of short walk breaks, so must be close to 10 min miles. Clearly evenings suit Lizzie better than mornings! Lovely evening to be out as well.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Solid run

A Colney Lane loop with the back of the beginners' pack, 4.7 miles in 47 minutes, so spot on 10 min miling. Felt really good too.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Back with it

I think I found my running feet again :)

Out with Lizzie for a short run by Keswick Hall, then continuing on my own up Ipswich Rd and over to Newmarket. Overall run was 1:07 for 6.9 miles, overall average 9:42/mile. The first bit was a nice warm up, and I really got going once I hit Harford Bridge. I left Lizzie at 32 mins, which leaves 35 mins for the last 3.8 miles (9:12/mile). Seeing as that includes the slogs up Ipswich Rd and Church Lane I'm really pleased with it. I felt strong and was really enjoying myself. And it was another lovely day too!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sunny swim, double bike

A glorious morning - perfect for open water. I went to the 8:30 session so as to meet up with the riders doing the Norwich sprint tri course, at 10am. Swam the long course with Trish and Chrissie, and made good time - 34 mins including stops (1 brief one en route, a longer one at the buoy), so I've graduated to a red hat now :) . Even went out for another 100m or so afterwards! Got into the flow after the first stop, and really enjoyed it again.

I did start noticing that the more frequent breathing is a bit dizzying, as it seems your head is hardly ever still, but while I can breathe on 3 for a little while I find it hard to do it for long. I can just about alternate when breathing on 2, and do a while on each side. Swimming straight seemed to be more of a problem today but I was never wildly off course. I found that when I concentrated on a long glide, I made better progress and could catch up with Trish.

After-effects: achy hands/fingers (maybe from pulling on the wetsuit?), and stiff neck, although both only slight.

On the bike route recce I hung out as tail end charlie (thus helping out and earning a freebie - good job as I forgot it was supposed to cost one voucher), chatting to a few of the new competitors. The route is good, although with a long climb from Stoke to Upper Stoke (hm, I wonder why it's called that?!) and Poringland. We averaged 13.3mph, doing the 11.3 mile route in about 51 mins. I then went around again, averaging nearly 17mph and completing in 40 minutes.

Next week the logistical challenge is to get my swim kit to/from the lake by other means, so I can cycle there, do the olympic course recce, and cycle home.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Busy :(

Thursday: visitor at work, early finish, evening meeting.
Friday: fieldwork all day, meal out.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


No Kerry tonight (on some work jolly drinking vodka ;) so Phil stood in as coach. Not many people turned up, I guess many are swimming earlier at the lake, so it's a good chance to get some advice. Phil had an interesting way of putting the need to stay compact in the water: imagine you're in a drainpipe. It seemed to work in a way, but then we were on to drills - specifically, one-arm catch-up, which I find so far removed from actual swimming it's hard to take any useful tips from it. Only doing half the stroke means that there's no continuity, no smooth rolling, and breathing is not so easy either. If I had been in a drainpipe I would have been wedged!

Warm up 100 f/s, 100 pull, 100 f/s, 100 kick
3 x 100, 40s rest
3 x 50, 30s rest
3 x 25, 20s rest
3 x 50, 30s rest
3 x 100, 40s rest
All at RPI 8/10

Drills: catch-up and kick interspersed.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Still recovering?

Acutely aware that I need to run longer, I went out for "an hour" tonight. I struggled around 5.6 miles, but with a 0.2 mile break in the middle when I had to walk (needed the loo - same old story). Time excluding walk was 56 minutes, so not even 10 minute miles. And for all the time after the stop, I had calf cramps threatening, and had to stop and stretch a couple of times. It's a lovely evening, and I'm glad I went out, but boy that was a rubbish run.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Recovery run

After yesterday I was feeling pretty much OK, and thought a recovery run would be a good idea. I think it was, overall, but the hot weather wasn't very comfortable. As it was beginnner/improver night, I found myself at the back run/walking, but that's no bad thing really. I'm a bit disappointed I didn't feel like I could have done anything more, though! A fairly miserable 3.3. miles in 37 minutes, but I still feel better for getting out.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Norwich 100

After doing 50 last year on the hybrid, I felt it was time to tackle the 100 mile route on my road bike. The changed saddle setup seems to have worked to some extent - I wasn't really uncomfortable until about 75 miles, as opposed to 40 when we did the 112 miler. However, I think it still needs some work to improve my overall position. I'm not forward enough, and still feel crunched up, so it probably needs to be higher - but that feels scary :(

We had almost the same weather as last year - misty (even foggy) to halfway, then blazing sunshine. The sun came out just as we biked up THE hill at East Runton to Felbrigg. Thankfully the hill is in the shade at least. I was fooled into thinking I had a puncture (back wheel all over the place, feeling every bump), but the tyre was fine - I just couldn't get on again until I had found a flat(tish) bit to start off!

Felbrigg as a stop was lovely, marred only by Trish's tube exploding randomly (the bikes were parked). The second half had no major hills but plenty of minor ones, especially in the last 20 along the Ludham road and on to Coltishall. That last 20 miles was mentally very tough, especially as Debbie and I had lost the other four and were cycling alone (apart from the unknown people behind who were drafting us - thanks for your help...). You don't realise what a difference a group makes until you aren't in one.

We made it, though, and even managed the cycle home from the city without too much trouble.

I know it's not a race, but I'm going to tag it as one since it's an event.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

On the boat

Open water swimming tonight, and I set out to do the long swim (1200m). The water seemed chilly, and it just took my breath away - 300m out, feeling wheezy and breathless, I called the safety boat over and went back to the deck. After some time acclimatising I was able to join the short-swim group, but it was damned annoying not to make the longer swim. I was fine once I had settled.

Lessons learned - acclimatise before setting off, and dose up on the old inhalers (and always have one in the swim bag).

I was going to run once around the lake with Mark beforehand, but a late lunch and things to do meant it got squeezed out. Really should have fitted something in today.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Flatten it out

Fairly leaden swim session tonight, but I have done something every day for the last week, after several weeks of next to nothing, so I reckon I'm just tired.

Did 200m warm up, then 3 x 400m (8:20, 8:38, 8:40), and got cramp halfway through the fourth. Just a twinge (inner thigh), and I think I managed to stave it off by stretching and a few lengths of pull. Annoyingly I swam much better with the pull buoy (clearly I would be better off without legs at all!) - Kerry complimented me on my swimming without knowing that I was using it, but then pointed out it makes me flatter in the water. Goodness knows how my lardy backside doesn't provide enough buoyancy, but I did a few more lengths really pressing my chest down into the water (to make my legs rise) and it made a big difference. I was still tired, but it felt much easier. Something to pay attention to next time.

The drills at the end were kicks on one side, switching from side to side after 12, then 6, then 3 kicks, to encourage proper rotation. OK in theory, in practice the breathing was a bit of an issue, and in the correct position (flat, i.e. head horizontal), you just get a nose full of water all the time. I have to admit that complete rotation feels like a waste of energy to me, like I'm just going up and down and it's not translating into forward motion. I must be doing it wrong!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Over an hour

...for the first time since Broadland I think!

The old Keswick loop, with Hannah H, we took 1:01 and it maps as 6.3 miles, so just under 10 min miles (and we felt really really slow!). Still, good to get a longer run under my belt for a change.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Well, Mark is, anyway. Previous longest run - 28:15 last week at Wroxham. New longest run: 35:30 tonight - made it to Earlham Park and walked the rest, but that's 3.5 miles so 10 min miles, a good pace. Route. That was enough for me - nice recovery after last night though.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Relay fun

A new race for me, the Alex Moore relay - in a team with Kerry & Darryl. Interesting structure, based on 2.2 mile laps of country roads:

Runner 1 (Kerry) - 1 lap
Runner 2 (me) - 2 laps
Runner 3 (Darryl) - 2 laps
All runners - 1 lap

The total distance is just about a half marathon (6 laps = 13.2 miles), and we finished in 1:45:29 (results). Quickest half I've ever been involved in :)

Although the course involves a big hill in the first mile, most of the second is downhill, which is a good opportunity to go for it. It felt tough at the time, especially lap 2, but overall it's a great race. The last lap all together is a brilliant idea, as is finishing at the pub!