Monday, August 3, 2009

Lead legs

Lead as in "lump of" not "in the".

Bowthorpe marshes, 37:45, so 9:48/mile. Wearying.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tour de loos

Out with Lizzie for a weekend run, she requested staying close to civilisation, so it was an extended round-the-block with pit stops at Waitrose and the Holiday Inn! About 1:05 or something, so pretty slow. Still got achy legs and I think my PF is coming back :(

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Meh. Whatever. At least I went!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Making an effort

Back to Thursday efforts for the first time in ages - over to the grass track for some short sharp sprints.

4 x 200m (relay, groups of 3) - 3 mins for the whole lot (I don't think we split the track into even halves, as my splits were 41, 49, 42, 48) makes about 6mins/mile.

2 x 100m (relay, groups of 4) - didn't time it. We cocked up using teams of 4, as that meant there was nobody at 0/400m on the second rep! So it was 1 x 100m and 1 x 200m. Lesson: teams need to be the number of relay stages plus one if you want to go round more than once!

2 x 150-200m - not exact, not timed, just an attempt at a handicap. Quite good fun running really quickly (everything's relative...) in a huge chaotic bunch!

Then I had to walk back as both my calves were cramping. Oh well - the main set was good. I'm not as slow as I might be, or thought I was, and am faster than some. It would be interesting to get some technique training, not that I will ever compete in anything sprint-like, but just to see how I could go faster.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

No motivation!

I passed up on swimming at lunch time but then Lizzie emailed about a run tonight, so I redeemed myself a little and joined her. Around the block, so 5.9km, 34:50, 9:30/mile. Felt about the same as Monday - I just can't get this pacing lark at all!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Short lunchtime run

Down by the river - just 5.4km, but 35 mins: 10:25/mile. Didn't feel that slow :(

The runs from UEA seem to be the ones where I think I ran quicker, or that the distance is a bit short. How odd!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Weekend long runs are back!

Well, long-ish. 13km, which is just under 8 miles, done in glorious drizzle with Lizzie. Perfect running weather! 1h16, 9:24/mile, which is great and makes me even more doubtful about the supposed 10 min miling from last Monday. Today felt leisurely and less effort than that, but was allegedly significantly faster. What's going on here?

Friday, July 17, 2009

For the sake of it

Little swim to escape the office, no watch and no counting, but a few speedy lengths thrown in for interest.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pretend training

Fed up of aimless swimming, I decided to repeat an old training session:

300m WU
200m drills (kick, pull, fists)
6 x 100m, 5s rest (all 1:57-1:59)
6 x 25m sprint, ~45s rest (done @1:10, all between 23-25s)
300m CD

Total 1550m

Pleasantly surprised to see my times still quite decent! Just need to keep it up now. Probably going running instead of lake swimming on Sat, so will aim to get another pool session in on Friday.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Better, but not quicker?

A much better run than last Weds, with Lizzie and Jeanette at Conac. Doing Colney/Bluebell or Bowthorpe marshes AGAIN was vetoed, so we went via the park and the posh bit of Unthank, and back via the river. It felt like a good pace, but it was 4.3 miles in 43 minutes, so 10 min miles - certainly felt faster than that to me.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Longest lake swim

I traded in my red hat for a slightly slower yellow, and joined forces with fellow yellow Sue who wanted to do 1900m in preparation for a middle distance tri.

There are 4 buoys in a line down the lake, and 2000m was given as being out to the far (#4) buoy (750m), back to the nearest (#1) (+250m), back to #4 (+250m), back to the deck (+750m). We swam out to #4 (16:30), back to #3 (+8:15), back to #4 (+8:15), and back to the deck (+19:00 - getting tired). Total time 52 mins, total distance likely 2250m. Methinks there should have been an additional buoy between #3 and #4! Never mind - it was a good swim and another nice day, although the wind picked up a little as we swam. The lake seems a bit green and murky at the moment, and the weeds are high, but it's nothing too bad.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

2 x 50%?

Lacklustre swim (35 mins, no watch, little motivation) and lacklustre run (Keswick Hall/Brettingham Ave, chunk of walking related to need for Waitrose pit stop - 52 mins, 4.8 miles).

Monday, July 6, 2009

Recovery run

Around the Waitrose loop: 6.6km - 38:37 - 9:24/mile. Legs fine, a bit out of breath but nothing too chronic. I suppose a week off should be plenty, but it's good to be back. Lovely evening, sun coming out after a shower, still drizzling a bit, and a fantastic double rainbow.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Longer race report, with photos

You can see my full results here.

The story of the day...

Up at 5:15am - astounded to see thick fog outside, and immediately worried that the bike leg may be cancelled. Lovely B&B owners let me microwave my porridge (although no discount for not availing myself of their breakfast!). Over to the park for 6:20am to set up in transition - clearly nothing is cancelled at this stage. Feeling very bleary and pretty nervous. Realise I forgot to bring my MP3 player for a few preparatory tunes.

Meet up with Nigel plus Sally, Hannah and Richard supporting us. Announcements over the PA indicate a late start due to the fog so we don't bother fully suiting up just yet. I am, of course, delighted to have a swim hat bearing the legend "Big Cow"...

We were ushered over to the swim start, ready to go after 20 minutes - it was questionable whether we could see the first turn buoy through the murk, but with canoeists to assist it wasn't a problem. There were three waves: male seniors, male vets, and women and relay competitors. Even at this point I didn't really twig to the male/female balance but there were only 50 or so women competing out of about 300.

The three waves went 4 minutes apart, so after skittering down the bank in my flip flops and tiptoeing over the pebbles, then a brief bit of acclimatsation, I was off. No, you can't work out which one is me in the photo. There was plenty of room and very little contact going on - I didn't have any problems. Even managed to spot Nigel as I passed him about 2/3 through lap 1. The leaders zoomed past to exit just as I turned to start lap 2, but I carried on pretty steadily I think, and exited in 41:29 (32nd fastest female - my most successful leg). Being dragged up a slope isn't the prettiest exit, and there was a brief threat of calf cramp, but I did remember to fill my suit with water to try and make it easier to take off.

Sadly it didn't really work, as I just couldn't seem to concentrate on running and getting the top of the suit off at the same time, so by the time I got to my space all the water had gone. Oh well - I was out there in under 4 minutes (!). Also gone were most of the other bikes, but not all.

I had some kind of problem with my right pedal/shoe - just couldn't clip in. Probably due to running over wet grass, I guess something was just clogging up the cleat. I stopped twice to try and check but couldn't see the problem so just pressed on. Halfway up the first hill it just clicked in (at which point I immediately unclipped it just to check I could!) - just after that, Nigel swept past me on his way to a 3:03 bike leg.

The first lap was excellent - although probably too fast. My computer gave me 28.2km/h (17.5mph), and the downhill past the race HQ was what gave me the big grin as I passed a few of those who had passed me on the earlier uphill. I reined it in a bit for the next lap, but was temporarily undone by my chain popping off at 41km (easily fixed, but while checking it I noticed I couldn't get into the lowest gear - worrying). Of course, it happened on an uphill that I had to then walk up before I could start off again. At 52km I got a puncture on the front tyre - did a quick fix that I thought would be good enough, but at 62km, 75km and 85km (!) it needed topping up. By the last one I had used my two CO2 cylinders and was topping up by hand.

The other killer on the bike route was Chicheley Hill, up to the A509 about 5km from the finish. The OS map makes it a 30m climb in 600m, so 1:20 or 5%. I'm not sure I could have trained for it in Norfolk! The first time up, it was tough; second, tougher. Third time up, I downed an energy gel 5 minutes before, dropped down to as low a gear as I could get... and my quads locked. Just cramped up completely, simultaneously - I just managed not to fall over like a complete idiot, but then had to walk gingerly to the top and hope they relaxed enough to continue. At the top, after a final tyre top-up, I was primed to hit the main road again for the last stretch.

So, 3:43 for the bike leg. That's an overall average of 24.7km/h (15.3mph) including stationary time, but the bike computer said (I think) 26.8km/h (16.6mph), which equates to 3:26 cycling time (including the last hill walk) - it would have gained me 10 places (on the women's bike leg - I would have lost some of those on the run!) and presumably about 17 minutes overall had I not had the mechanical "issues". So, time to ask around about better performing tyres!

I was quick in T2, so it was on to the run. At this point I was noticing Mark's absence - I hadn't seen him since the end of bike lap 1, and he was supposed to be handing me gels. The Conac crowd were there, cheering and receiving the sweaty bike top I should have left in transition (yum), but it wasn't until lap 2 that Hannah was able to hand me 2 gels and tell me Mark was unwell and back at the car. I didn't have the mental energy to do much more than think "oh well" and try to concentrate on keeping going, but he was actually quite poorly and had been seen by paramedics! (Everything turned out fine, though, thankfully - too much heat/sun and not enough water - but we're really grateful that the others were there to look after him, especially Richard. Thank you!)

The main problem for me on the run was my legs, continually threatening to return to full-blown cramp in my quads, calves, or (at one point, and a new one on me) achilles. I knew if that happened it would lose me more time than walking, so I had to judge when to ease up. So, an interminable run/walk, in the midday heat, but with a total of 12 water stations and the gels that Hannah and co had thankfully found, I made it. A stop each time to sip water and pour more on my head (no hat, just a buff) got me round. One incline, but a matching up and down so that wasn't too bad. Not much shade, though, and boy did my shoulders feel that later. A week later I have a lovely tri-suit tan line on my back. The great thing about the run was loads of encouragement from other runners on their later laps, although it was torture running past the finish sign three times before actually turning to cross the line! But on the whole I think the laps worked well for me. Run time was 2:30, which, given that my personal best is 1:59 and I have run "just" a half marathon in 2:17 (Toronto, 2005) I was very pleased with!

I think I'm waffling now. After a week it's hard to really get back into the post-race frame of mind and remember all the details. Plus the first thing I did on finishing was drive a pale and groggy Mark to Oxford (where we were visiting Sally and Tom), via various Little Chefs and laybys where I had to stop to stretch, so there was no leisurely debrief either.

I do think I want to do another one. Kind of. I know that with a better-behaving bike I could take a chunk off that time... it's very tempting... Dammit. I might just have to start looking at what's on next year. Antwerp has been suggested... well at least they have good beer.

Thanks to Hannah for the last 2 photos, and of course massive thanks to everyone who supported and sponsored me. Adding online and offline sponsorship it's over £600, which is excellent!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Initial race report

After a few days "enjoying" the heat in the south-west, I'm back online with just time to post some initial results/thoughts. Proper race report to come soon.

Overall time: 7:00:32 - slower than expected. Excuses: heat, bike failure (chain, puncture, puncture, puncture...), legs failure.
273rd out of 282 overall, 45th female of 48.

Swim: 41:29 - 224th/304 overall, 32nd/53 female
T1: 3:52 - 256th, 43rd
Bike: 3:43:26 - 288th/299, 46th/53
T2: 1:02 - 53rd, 9th (!)
Run: 2:30:43 - 259th/276, 44th/48

(Some finishers seem not to have a run time listed)

The swim was fine, start delayed due to fog but the water quality and temperature were pretty good, and there wasn't too much bashing going on.

T1 was pretty slow as the top tip of letting water into your wetsuit just before you exit the lake, to make it easier to remove, doesn't work if you have to run a long way to your bike. Also wasted time getting it stuck on the timing chip around my ankle.

The bike leg was the disappointment. Lap 1 was too quick really, but after reining it in a bit for lap 2, fate reined me in a bit more with a few bike issues, before the final hill on lap 3 killed my quads.

T2 was bloody quick, all I did was change shoes - perhaps everyone else wisely paused to apply suncream!

The run was a run-walk (or should that be walk-run); leg cramps (calves, quads, achilles) were far more of a problem than energy levels, after my quads problem on the bike. The heat was bad, but I don't think it was the killer issue for me.

Overall? It was great fun until I had to fix the bike rather than riding it. But I bloody well kept going. There are plenty of lessons to be learned.

In many ways, I don't want to do another one, but I do think I could do a better one... watch this space?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The plan...

I know some people are actually reading this blog (amazing), and I need to mentally rehearse things anyway, so for non-tri people here's an insight into my plan for the weekend. Guaranteed to cure insomnia!

Staying here - The White Cottage B&B - about 9 miles from the race location. We'll get there mid-afternoon on Saturday and then go over to Emberton Country Park for early registration and to suss out the route there. Sunday morning at 5am is not the time to be looking at the map for the first time! Then it's time to seek out something good for dinner - steak or pasta I think - maybe here? And after that an early night!

What about kit? Working through it logically:

Directions, entry confirmation, British Triathlon card.
At registration collect race number, timing chip, swim hat.

Plastic crate to hold everything!

Tri-suit, sports bra, wetsuit, swim hat and goggles.
Timing chip.
Old trainers or flip flops to walk to the swim start.
Watch, hair bobbles.
Inhalers, sun cream, Bodyglide to prevent wetsuit chafing on my neck, liquid soap to rub on to stop my goggles fogging, and tissues to dry it off.

Transition 1/bike:
Two towels, one to stand on and one to use. Talcum powder to go on towel and in socks (and everywhere else, usually...).
Socks, bike shoes, bike top, all prepared for easy putting on when wet.
Number belt, stocked up with energy gels, and numbers attached.
Buff headband, helmet, sunglasses.
Bottle of water, to drink and/or wash off feet before putting socks on.
Bin bag to cover shoes/clothes in transition if it looks like rain.

Bike! Track pump to ensure tyres are at 100psi when I set it up.
Saddlebag stocked with spare tube, puncture patches, multi-tool and tyre levers.
Bar bag stocked with CO2 inflator, spare cartridge, and energy bars (kind of like this - cheers mum :) pre-cut into chunks to grab easily.
Drinks bottles - one water, one fruit juice and water.

Transition 2/run:
More gels.

Towel and shower stuff.
Food and drink for after the race: peanut butter bagel, banana, chocolate milkshake.

Oh yeah, and some supporters :)

Last run

A very gentle run, as much because I was cooped up all day as anything else. Just out past Lizzie's and back, 26:30 for 3.8km, 11:13/mile which is pretty much what I was aiming for. I was aware of my shoulder, but it wasn't affecting my breathing like it was last week - I'm still a bit ginger about clearing my throat/coughing, but it's not really a big deal. I'm sure I will have more to think about than that!

So, that's it for now. I can start packing up all my stuff and thinking through the day. Wish me luck!

Scouting out the routes

Just been checking out the race details properly:

Transition closes at 6:45am. Ouch.

Swim - 2 laps of the lake - there are various lakes (see maps linked below) but I assume it's the one to the north?

Bike - 2 x 36km laps and 1 x 20km lap. Map
This includes about 3.5km on the A428 and about 4km on the A509, the rest is B-roads and minors. A few interesting climbs but there are the downhills to go with them. The route passes the country park twice before finishing so it will be good for support too. I should pass at about 1:20-1:30, 2:40-3:00 and then 3:20-3:50 to come in for T2.

Run - Four ~5km laps. Map
Also good for support, and mostly flat. Two drinks stations and four laps equals unlikely to get dehydrated. Hopefully it's OK for supporters to hand you gels? If I can make sub 35 mins for each lap I'll be happy (sub 2:20 total).

So, at worst...

Swim and in to T1 0:50
T1 + bike 3:55
T2 + run 2:25
Total 7:00

At best...
Swim and in to T1 0:43
T1 + bike 3:27
T2 + run 2:10
Total 6:20

That's a fairly big error margin :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Last swim

A gentle half hour at the Sportspark, swimming comfortably and not too slowly (1:04 ish for 50m), no problems from my shoulder although it was a little stiff this afternoon. Miles better than last Tuesday though.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hard easy run

I went out for, and did what should have been, an easy run but it was tougher than it should have been. Only out over the marshes, an old favourite route (not to mention mostly flat!), but it was hard work for some reason so I eased up, averaging 9:48/mile. I did feel a little bit wheezy (humidity? pollen?) so perhaps it's just that. Whatever - it was a leg-stretch, which was the idea.

A day off on the wherry tomorrow (no quanting for me!), and a gentle swim on Weds plus a final gentle run on Thurs, and that's me done until Sunday.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Easy bike

Still trying to get my saddle back to the right place after it mysteriously dropped on Friday - kicking myself for not having marked it somehow before! So, off I went around the Intwood/East Carleton loop, for an easy spin and a few adjustments en route. I think I've got it now, and I can also say the right place is 10 rows of carbon fibre weave below the bottom of the logo on the seatpost! In some ways it could take a little more height, but I also remember that when the seat height compared to the pedals felt spot on, I felt unstable and nervous when starting and stopping, so I think I've got the best compromise. I did the 24km in just under the hour, 25km/h average, nice and easy. So that's probably it on the bike now. Hopefully a short run later, then a couple more in the week, and lots of drinking water and eating pasta :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Last open water swim

Since my previous swim was Tuesday's aborted one, I was a bit wary about swimming this morning. I didn't want to pair up with someone and then have to give up halfway, so I just nabbed a lift down with Kerry to catch up with people and gather a bit of sponsorship (thanks folks!). Then I used the novice swim to see how things went, with no pressure for speed. Good plan I think - it went really well. I had a lovely, relaxed swim, and no real problems with my shoulder. I can feel it's not 100% right, but it's not stopping me from actually swimming, and if anything it's a good incentive to maximise each stroke and therefore take fewer.

I was able to stretch out because "my" novice group of Sam, Nicky, Sue and Lynn all had an excellent swim and completed something in the region of 1000m - one lap out to the buoy at ~300m, and a couple more around a nearer buoy that's about 100m away. It was brilliant to see them deciding "we're just going to do another one" when just a couple of weeks ago they were very nervous of doing anything other than going from the deck to the beach. What progress! I know they are all going to do brilliantly at Norwich, and look forward to giving them a cheer as they pass my marshal point on the bike route :)

So, that was a reassuring session for me and I'm feeling more confident and geared up for next week. Still wary of the shoulder, but there is no stopping me now.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Personal photo shoot

Still resting my shoulder, I decided to skip efforts last night (sorry Lizzie!) and then spent all day Friday on Hathor at Womack Water, seeing 160 visitors (including about 100 primary school children and assorted parents and helpers) before doing a Wonderwoman-style quick change to become Triathlon Girl. Not for some more training, but because Kate from the tri club, who's an Evening News journalist, had organised a photographer to take some shots for a story she's going to write on my fundraising efforts. Excellent!

So, feeling only mildly foolish, I posed with my trusty bike in some odd places - coming up the stairs out of the hatchway, and on the roof of the boat - as well as some action shots on the road by the staithe. Hopefully I'll get a PDF of the article when it appears, for the club scrapbook, and I'll link to it here. Let me admit now, before any smart-arse notices from the photos, that yes I was "riding" in my trainers (SPD cleats on Hathor's lino? I don't think so!), and somehow my saddle had dropped a bit so I probably look a bit squashed. I think I also have at least one big smear of grease on my leg but you're not a real triathlete without at least one chain tattoo, right?

With one week to go, I also want to say a HUGE thanks to everyone who has sponsored me so far - I know some of you are reading this. Between my online total at Everyclick and pledges I have on paper, I'm over £400 and heading for the magic £500 target. It's a huge incentive for me to keep going and give it everything, both training and on the day. So from me, and on behalf of the wherries and everyone involved with them: thank you!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Exploratory run and a few good tunes

Thought I would head out for a gentle run to see how the arm/side held up - things had been feeling a bit better over the day. It wasn't quite the easiest run ever, but nor was it the worst I've had. The main thing was not clearing my throat, as the coughing movement was about the worst thing I could do, whereas running itself was not really a problem and even breathing hard was OK. I did seize up a bit for about 20 minutes after I got back, but that's not a big concern for me on race day.

I think as long as I can keep ticking over with a few small, easy runs, and at least one (also easy) bike and swim, I'll be fine.

I decided to run with music again, just in case I needed helping through the run, and this time used my mp3 player's SenseMe feature, where it had scanned my library and put the tracks into categories like Upbeat and Energetic. I went with energetic, and while some of the choices were a bit ropey (Frank Sinatra's New York New York, and the Star Wars theme), it turned out to be inspired to start with a bit of ISIHAC*. Others were right on. In particular, in the last bit of the run I was delighted to get She's So Lovely to help me up the hill on Cantley Lane, and then Kirsty MacColl kicked in with There's A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis and it was blast off. Pain in the side or no, I was running with a grin and a turn of speed. After that, Moxy Früvous popped up with My Baby Loves A Bunch Of Authors and it was all over. Nice one :)

* One Song To The Tune Of Another: Rob Brydon singing Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mister Hitler to the tune of the Carpenters' Yesterday Once More. Unofficial mp3 from here. Sublime....

55 minutes - 5.6miles, 9:56/mile. Significant difference between the first 40 minutes (3.9mi, 10:13/mi) and last 15 (1.7mi, 9:16/mi) - not that 40 mins was the boundary between slow and fast, but I just happened to look at my watch then.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Aborted swim :(

I'm hoping I haven't done anything serious and/or daft - yesterday I was crewing on the wherry (yes, the very boat I am supporting by doing this tri!) and in amongst all the shoving, heaving and other quant-related activity I seem to have pulled, twisted or otherwise slightly knackered something somewhere. There's a niggly little pain under my armpit when I breathe in and do some movements, although it's not really bad. However, when I swam today, only ever intending to do a relatively gentle swim and concentrate on lengthening my stroke, I could only manage 15 minutes - breathing in with right arm extended (as I do at the start of every length) was not comfortable at all, and so in the end I gave it up as a bad job. Still, I only did it yesterday, so maybe if I rest it until the lake on Saturday (or beyond if it's not much improved) then it'll be OK. I hope! If push comes to shove on race day I reckon I can grit my teeth and get through it, but it'll be annoying if I can't do as well as I want to because of this.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Big ol' brick

56km on the bike, out to Hickling (to find the wherry, and Mark), and then as immediately as possible a 12.2km run. That was pretty tough, but it was hot, and my legs were suffering after I dropped the saddle (I thought) a weeny bit to get some confidence back.

The bike was out via Wroxham, Worstead and Bacton, which was not bad at all - a few climbs, but also at least one cool descent. By switching to a couple of bigger roads to Worstead, it would make a good route for another time. From Hickling the run picked up part of the Weaver's Way and a slightly unofficial (*cough*) path along a farm track that I thought was the right way, honest guv. I should have gone on through the woods for a bit further before picking up a different track. Still, not a "git orf moi larnd" to be heard, so no harm done. It was slow, very very slow, but I left the watch running the whole time apart from one loo stop (interesting, in a tri suit) and one bit where I was trying to work out the way. Made the mistake of learning the bike course really well at the expense of the run, but it all worked out in the end apart from the non-footpath. So in truth it was probably a bit quicker than I have by the watch, but I'd rather underestimate my speed than over.

Consumed: half each of an apricot and pineapple bar, water and water/apple juice; 2 gels and more water.

Felt much better in the last half hour than the first. More gels needed?

Also, following a bike service (new chain, couple of new cables), the seatpost creak has gone. Yippee! Apparently it's down to water getting into the downtube via the slit at the back where you tighten it around the seatpost. Advice from Geoff at the shop: bathroom sealant! Hmm.

Bike 56km, 2:07, 26.8km/h including a max of 50.5 :D
Run 12.2km, 1:27, 11:20/mile (!)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Two more swims

1) open water, 1500m, no watch so no time. Felt longer than usual, and the water was cold. I never got into my rhythm, and was holding up buddy Rachel which I felt bad about. She moticed that my stroke rate was too high, probably due to stress from the cold and from feeling slow! So that's something to concentrate on next week.

2) novice session, out to a 375m buoy and back (among a few other short loops). Most people made it fine, just one went back in the boat due to threatening cramp and slightly panicked breathing. I tried a bit of long, slow stroke swimming, and it felt pretty good, but I couldn't just go off as I was watching the novices!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Slow plod

After half a day of conference, plus sitting waiting for, and on, the train, it was time for a slow evening plod, another around the block (sort of) with Lizzie. Neither of us was doing especially well, and I seem to have deleted the time (oh dear). Worth it for a leg stretch though, and yet another lovely evening to be running.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Capital run

In London for a conference, managed to squeeze in 40 minutes for a morning jaunt around Regent's Park. Didn't make it to the zoo or Primrose Hill, but had a nice toodle around the flower beds and trees, getting a dose of green.

6.5km, 9:54 mile. Probaby something to do with copious amounts of red wine round at the Finnish Ambassador's gaff last night...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Late one

Got back from Manchester about 7pm, but still managed to fit in an around-the-block run with Lizzie. Slow, but worth it after sitting around all day! Can't remember the time, though...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Another double day

Lunchtime: 40 mins straight swim, no counting, no timing. It felt pretty warm in the pool, I must be acclimatising to the lake! Good just to swim and not have to think about it, enjoy being in the water without a wetsuit.

Evening: 46 mins run, just under 5 miles - 9:15/mile is a little over what I planned as recovery pace, but it was a good run. I probably won't fit many others in this week so plenty of time to recover further!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Blazing new trails

I wanted to do 13 miles today but was a bit fed up of the same old routes. OK, so there are only so many ways you can start a run, but I thought I would check out some new paths further out in the sticks. I started by going out to Ketteringham via the road - after last week I didn't trust that footpaths across arable fields would be clear, especially the steps down the wooded bank near Ketteringham depot, which needed a machete last time I went that way. From there it was over to Hethersett, and then the new bit (exciting) involving some field-edge paths over towards Little Melton. They were all very well used, clear and easy running, so I would do them again. From LM it was back over to the Hethersett road and home. Total 13.3 miles / 21.4km.

I took just 2 gels (having had breakfast not long before), which I took at about 1:00 and 1:30, and that worked fine. I took water but didn't drink much of it, it wasn't hot and in fact rained for about half the run. I was a bit worried about crashing towards the end of the run, but I just didn't, it was fine, and if anything the last 45 minutes was all good solid running, whereas the first 30 or so were very slow and leaden with a couple of pauses to stretch. An overall average of 9:55/mile was beyond expectations but just about the pace that I would hope for in the tri.

Being without my trusty running buddy Lizzie (away for the night at Byford's, lucky thing), I took along my new MP3 player - just quietly in one ear, so as to hear traffic, but tuned into the radio it just gave me enough company to keep me going. The earpiece needed a bit of help from my headband to stay in, and when it started to rain I realised it wasn't the greatest idea having it out with no cover, but on the whole it worked to get me through what could have been a mentally very long run on my own.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Making up for lost time...

A busy week including meetings, wherries, race marshalling and a trip to London meant that I didn't get anything in at all. I really should have (note to self) as swimming at the lake this morning was definitely a bit of a struggle - but it was also very windy and choppy today, probably the worst conditions I've swum in. Trish and I made it to the buoy in 16:50 (15:30 last week), swimming non-stop), although benefited from the wind behind us on the way back (15:50, total 32:40). Standing in the water by the deck was just like being in a wave pool, really, and swimming was a constant battle against facefuls of water (outward) or feeling as if we could be body-surfing (return leg). We certainly felt we'd had a workout! Didn't envy those people swimming two laps.

Later on I headed out on the bike, timing it to meet Mark back down at the lake so I could help with the novice swimmers. I had a gentle warm-up riding to UEA to get my bike helmet and glasses, which I left there on Friday, and then made my way out to East Carleton to do one quick loop before heading to Whitlingham. I didn't record the overall time, but the 9.1km of the loop was done in 17:27, so 31.2km/h. With a headwind on the return segment it was a real push, but I was pleased with that and it was good to have a blat for a change. Unfortunately the headwind persisted all the way to Whitlingham, but I was there on the dot of 5:30, so good timing!

Last week I had an annoying creaking on the bike, still present this week - but more of a plasticky creak than an aluminiumy "dink" noise like I had a couple of months back. Didn't have time for much investigation but it seems to be the seat post (which is carbon fibre) - I loosened the screw by half a turn, not wanting to suddenly find my seat dropping, and that sorted it for a bit but towards the end of the ride it returned. I'll make sure Mark mentions it to the bike shop when he takes it in for a service this week while I'm in London. I wonder if I should drop the saddle a bit anyway, I had a couple of nervous moments when starting off at junctions.

The novice session went well, it was still a bit choppy but much less so than this morning. I stayed with the more cautious group, going between the deck and beach for a while to get them more settled in to being in the water, but by the end of the session we had ventured out to one buoy (100-150m maybe) and back to the deck, which was (rightly) met with a real sense of achievement. OK, so they are not going as far as some people, and not always swimming crawl, but they all made real progress in that one session and should be really pleased with themselves!

Monday, June 1, 2009


A nice steady recovery run following yesterday's exertions, just out over the marshes. Tough going on tired legs, but definitely better for it. 3.9 miles in 40 mins, so a good solid recovery pace. It was also bye for the summer to running parter Claudia, off back to Germany until her next contract in August. Club runs won't be the same!

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Not quite a brick, but two workouts for the day, if not in one go.

First up, 100 km on the bike - out to meet Rosie (via a drop-off at Trudie and Tim's!), on to Shipdham to scoop up Trish and Rob, then Larling, Old Buck, and home. More stops than last week (ice cream at Old Buck, yay :) but some good stretches in between, often with me and Rob out front. A great little straight near Watton prison allowed a nice sprint, and in general it was a pretty good ride out as far as East Harling - I reckon the wind was behind us, as it certainly wasn't as we headed back home. Average speed dropped noticeably all the way to Potash Lane, where I said goodbye to the others, and trundled home from there. Consumption: one energy bar, two slices fruit soda bread with peanut butter, 2/3 apple flapjack, one bottle orange juice/water, one bottle water, and a Ben & Jerry's 'Wich.

After a 2h30 break for lunch and sitting around (bad idea), I went over to Lizzie's for a run. Tried to run carrying a bag with stuff I had to take over there, but that wasn't working. Between that and rutted ground (I went via the marshes, the long way as the cows were hanging out by the gate on the short way, looking menacing) and no doubt tired legs, it wasn't working, so I walked over there. We then proceeded to crank out over 10 miles at ~10:30 pace (another watch mishap so I don't know exactly), which given that some of that was ploughing through waist high barley and calf high wheat, and we had a few little walk breaks, is not bad. It was tough going, ut a lot easier than it would have been without support! Consumption: ~300ml water and one Go Gel.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Recovery run

No efforts tonight, just a riverside recovery run. Did ~5.2km in ~33 mins, then stopped to wait for Claudia and never restarted the watch. I was glad to wait to be honest :) But I don't like leaving people alone either.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wroxham 5k #1

"I'll be happy with anything under 27" I said, not having done many effort sessions recently. Result? 25:20 (a little less by my watch). Whoa. I don't know which bag I pulled that out of, but I hope it has something left for the tri.

Official results

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Little brick

The same 90km route as before, but the other way around (left turns, much better). Actually, not quite the same as this time I took the planned route via Great Ellingham and not the backroads detour around Rocklands. This one was set out to be non-stop, properly fuelled, with a half decent run afterwards. Thanks to a puncture at 70km it wasn't non-stop, but the other two worked.

There was some strangeness going on with my cycle computer. I'd look down to check my speed, and see it periodically drop down to a lower speed, e.g. 28kph to 20. I think the sensor was not consistently sensing the magnet on the wheel, translating that to lower speeds. That would also explain why I was barely over 90km when I got home, yet last time on that route it was around 92-93. Bikemap says 93.7km. The computer gave me an average of 26.1kph, but using the extra 3km in the same time it would be about 26.9kph (16.9 and 16.2mph). I was at (approx, from bikemap) 26.5km at 1h, 54.5km at 2h (so had done 28km in the hour), and 80.5km (done 25.5km) at 3h.

I felt great for the first 2h-2:15, then started getting pretty tired - I had to push it much harder to keep up the speed, even on the flat. Yet all the time I was thinking that I had to go for a run when I got in, and not to completely kill my legs! I took on two Aptonia energy bars and one gel, then another gel in "transition". The bars I ate a bite at a time, every 15 mins or so after 40 mins - the pineapple one was very chewy, to the extent that I wouldn't have it again, but the apricot/apple one was very good, and melted in the mouth a bit more. I'd unwrap them first, they were fiddly to do on the go. Gels were fine. I pretty much finished 2 bottles of fluid, one water and one orange/water half and half. It was a hot day and I'd probably have drunk more if it had been available.

The total time was 3:27. According to Bikemap, the 90km mark was just outside Intwood Hall entrance lodge, but of course I have no idea what that is in time terms. Maybe it is about 3:20, 3:21 or so. The last time I did the route it was 27.4kph average, so today wasn't as good, but I don't think the conditions were quite as favourable, especially the heat. I did also swim and run yesterday!

A very quick change of shoes and some water, and I went off on a run. Initial intention was the bridlepath loop from the other night, over the field by Keswick church, but as I got to the end of the flat bit of Marston Lane, nature called and I decided to keep it short this week. I just did a lap of the marshes. The rough ground was hard going, but the run itself was not actually too bad. Overall it was quite a reassuring run.

So, feeling reasonably good about the big event, but obviously 21km of half marathon is a bit different to 2.6km plodding on the marshes! More, bigger bricks to come I think.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Swim run swim

Lake swim first thing - gorgeous morning, quite a slow swim but that was due to stopping to make sure Sue was OK (cold got to her a bit). Thankfully we swam in a three, so while she went back with a canoe observer, Rachel and I swam on. 37:40 was our total time. I wonder whether next week I could grab a red hat and convince them to partner me to make me swim quicker?

Then I went on the 10k course, although not quite the old course as there is a new off-road path when coming back towards the lake. It feeds you off to the lakeside path so there was no double-back down the road and then back on the lakeside. I tried to make up for it at the end but my guesstimation was a bit off. 9.5km, 54:25, so prob about 57 for 10k. Not too bad.

Later on it was back in the water again, helping out the novice open water swimmers, who all did really well. The worst thing was the cold, as there was more standing around and less swimming than a normal session. That should all change next week!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Slow slow slow

9.9km, right on the hour. Between flies in the eye and loo stops and rain showers, not the greatest run, but hey ho.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Back to front

Swimming at 50m this morning. I arrived at the pool yesterday late lunchtime only to find a triathlon - a triathlon!! - in the pool, so that put paid to that idea. It was quiet this morning, but I didn't have such a great swim. The idea was 8x100m moderate, and 7x100m hard. They came in as:

(missed first one on the watch), 2:02, 2:01, 2:01, 2:02, 2:04, 2:06, 2:07

2:10, 2:05, 2:06, 2:06, 2:08, 2:06, 2:10

So, somehow, moderate is quicker than hard! I was tiring badly, my arms weren't holding up well, and it really shows in the times. I also messed up the rests and had too long on the moderate ones - should have been 5s not 45s.

However, swimming early @50m worked quite well, I have to say. I could perhaps be doing that again!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Two runs

At Conac, I did a short, slowish run with two new beginners, Emmy and Rita, just around the marshes. Came home and decided to boost that with a blat around the block: 21:20, 8:48/mile - not bad, expecially considering I took it slightly easy at first as cramp was threatening, and didn't exactly zoom up the hill by the scout camp either. It wasn't easy, but feels great now it's over :) Aim for next time: knock that 20 seconds off!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wet 'n' windy

Out on the bike for the first time in about a month, spangly bibshorts and base layer (from Decathlon the other week) on test. The route was over to Rosie's at Hethersett, then over to the Bungay road via a slightly hairy crossing of the A140, Bungay, Harleston, Attleborough and then home. There was a lot of head and side wind, and a fair few showers as well, so tough going at times.

Total (including to Hethersett and back) was 115km for me, a bit more than I ideally wanted, but not too bad. I knew the other guys were always on for 60 miles, but I think it was tougher mentally just due to me being geared up for the idea of 90km! I was a bit dismayed to reach Besthorpe and then head for Hethersett via High Oak and Great Melton, but the cake at the end made it all worthwhile...

Bib shorts and base layer were a bit much when the sun came out. That extra layer, however thin, does make a difference. That said, I like the way the bibs don't cut me in half like normal shorts. And I welcomed the long arms when the rain was really coming down! The top is thin enough to dry quickly, which was just as well.

I was disappointed/annoyed to get a p*ncture (in my new blue "resistant" tyres!!) within about half a mile of leaving Rosie's - to make things worse I only noticed it as we were setting off after Rob had fixed something that was up with his back wheel. At least the hole was easily identifiable (due to the lethal shard of white flint embedded in it) and could be patched without removing the tube completely. Coupled with the new CO2 inflator (lifesaver) we were on the road again quite quickly, and not troubled by the p*ncture fairy for the rest of the ride.

The raised seat seems to be working well, and I'm getting good power from my legs without too much fatigue. However, I still need to get used to sitting on it by standing on the pedal as I push off. I fudged this a couple of times at road junctions, including one where everyone else went off and failed to notice I wasn't there! I also need to get used to unclipping on the left as well as the right, which currently seems to be a bit of a mental block for me. I don't understand why this is a problem!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stopping and starting

...specifically, my watch, and failing to do the latter after the former!

Did a nice long run tonight, out to the monument and back, via Lizzie's. Lovely evening, blue skies and skylarks all around, but after a short pit stop I failed to set the watch going again and "lost" about 7 minutes as far as I can work out. So, total running time about 1:26 (longest in a while), pace about 9:50, but that's OK - 8.7 miles is a good bit of distance to get under my belt.

First (proper) swim

Down to the lake for the first time this year... on a slighty chilly, damp and grey morning, it's worth remembering it does look like this later on in the year:

Apparently 13º today. Cold enough! But a good turnout - must have been 50-60 crazy people on the decking when we started.

We got in to a chorus of assorted "oohs", "aaaaahhhs" and "brrrrrrrs", and possibly a few slightly more rude expressions. I still maintain that the best thing is to get it over with, a quick tug on the neck of the wetsuit to let all that cold water in at once rather than enduring trickles as you swim. Honest!

I decided to regress to a yellow hat for now (dropping from the faster red category I'd gone up to last year), and swam with fellow yellow Lynn. Not accounting for the break at the buoy, we did 35:20 for the whole lot -not a bad start for the season. It took at least half of the swim out to get comfortable and acclimatise, but it really wasn't too bad after that point. I even felt hot when I got out!

I had been slightly nervous that I'd find it hard to get back into lake swimming, but by the return leg, I was enjoying it just as much as last year, especially when we had a brief glimpse of sun from behind the clouds. Just need to add on another 400m, and I'm ready for the Cowman.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Just swimming

Lack of a watch, and just fitting a swim in, means I don't even have a length count for today. 40 minutes more or less exactly, swimming constantly, so hopefully I covered at least the 76 lengths needed for 1900m. Pool swimming is getting very boring - can't wait to start at the lake on Saturday!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Steady run

Out with the Monday group - Claudia, Victoria, Jeanette and a few others. Had a nice steady run down by the river and on Marriott's Way. 9:47/mile but that's a good group pace. This is going to be a busy week, and I don't know what I'll be able to fit in, so anything's a bonus!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Swim aborted

Newsflash: "Swim for all" actually means "swim for all except those who want to actually swim". The new pool at Sutton was crawling with kids, toys, and was a general free-for-all. Thank goodness for windows, so I could make a swift exit before I paid to go in!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Kirkby loop

Did the usual loop at Kirkby, 10.7km, just over the hour, making 9:17/mile. Still pretty windy, hard going along Derby Road into the wind, but good going on the second half.

Friday, May 8, 2009

First swim... slightly unplanned

Busy day today - crewing on the wherry first thing, then home and off to mum's for the weekend. Didn't plan on fitting in a swim, but managed to slip on the quay heading in the rain at Potter Heigham and ended up in the water. Thankfully I didn't go fully in, and was able to hang on to the quay while everyone else made sure the wherry made it safely past and moored up further along. I had time to think about how warm it was in the water, and how ridiculous my armpit-level tidemark was going to look. Once I'd been unceremoniously hauled out, and changed into overalls kindly lent by the boatyard (who also washed my clothes - how lovely), I really was fine. Shame the same can't be said for my phone, but then it's my own fault for leaving it in my pocket! Felt a bit more shaken later on when I thought more about what could have happened, but there's no point going over it. I wasn't doing anything I shouldn't have been, it was just one of those things.

Anyway, if the water at Whitlingham is that temperature next week, it'll be lovely!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Morning run

Knowing I wouldn't get much of another chance in the next couple of days, I went out first thing this morning. Down over the marshes, up past the mill and then round to Waitrose via the playing fields and the loke, overgrown with cow parsley. It was a bit breezy, not boding terribly well for a wherry sailing later on, but sunny and with everywhere looking very lush and green.

Overall, 6.9km in 39:31 so 9:13/mile. Given the marshes were a bit uneven (although dry), and therefore slower to run over (as I'm quite fond of my ankles as they are), that's not too bad at all.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Swimming harder

300 WU
7 x 100m moderate, 5s rest: 1:56, 1:58, 1:56, 2:02, 2:02, 2:01, 2:03
5 x 100m lactate, ~1 min rest (done @ 3 mins): 1:53, 1:54, 1:54, 1:56, 1:54
300 CD

Total 1800m

Not the best moderate intervals I've ever done. As usual, started faster and then tailed off, although I didn't really perceive that - it felt consistent to be honest. However, about halfway through each third 25m of the later lactate intervals, I really started feeling it - arms weak, technique worsening, breathing more erratic. I had to push it to keep going, yet the times are much more consistent!

My turns were not good today either. I seemed to fudge a lot of them, getting a faceful of water from somewhere and just not being very slick, basically. Over 4 lengths that probably doesn't make much difference, but it does affect whether I think I'm having a good session. At least there are no turns in open water!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A bit quicker

Waitrose loop - 6.3km, 36:15, 9:15/mi - although Brian's GPS was complaining about going sub-8:30 at a couple of points. Wahey!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Squeezing one in

Managed to get a run in before today's seminar session. Did the riverside run again, 36:00 this time but that's not too bad - a comfortable 9:21/mile. Lovely morning to be out and about.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

More efforts

Twice in one day... what's going on? It was such a lovely evening that I decided to join the Conac gang for efforts. It was over to Eaton Park for laps on the grass - 6 x 3 mins, 1:30 recovery. The loop is about 660m, and I was doing around or just shy of a lap each time, so that translates to something around 8 minute miling, towards the middle of the pack. Not bad for my first effort session back since the injury.


Trying to find something different, today I alternated 400m sets with 50m sprints (1 min rest between):

200m WU
50m 0:50
400m 7:45
50m 0:50
400m 7:56
50m 0:51
400m ?8:05-8:10 (watch buttons klutzfest)
50m 0:53
200m CD

I set my watch up for intervals at 1:05 (basing that on last week's performance, i.e. >1 min per 50m) and then just noted the time left at the end of whatever I was doing. However, the beep went after about 3/4 of a length on the last 400m so I must have left it going after the sprint - duh. It was noticeable that on the first two 400m I was getting further along each time the beep went, i.e. 1:05 was enough for me to do 2 lengths and a bit. On the third the size of the "bit" was much smaller most of the time and I was in more or less the same place when it went! Only on the last 2-4 lengths did I open out a bit. I've guesstimated at 7 full intervals plus about 20s before and 15s after.

First 400m was good, smooth and controlled and feeling powerful. Second was OK but definitely felt harder, I had to concentrate to maintain form. Third was getting very tough - aside from the confusion about the time, my arms were feeling pretty weak. The last 50m sprint left them feeling like noodles. Still - must have worked hard, and the times didn't fall off too badly considering.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Long swim

Conscious that I haven't done a straight swim in a while, so I did that today. Just 40 mins to spare so it was a cursory warm up. To save counting I just hit lap on my watch every 6-10 lengths, to work out my speed and see how it varied over the swim. Average time (secs) per 25m over 10 unequal intervals:


Total 1900m, 40:30 total time. 50m WU at the start wasn't ideal but never mind. I felt slow for the first half, then felt faster but really wasn't going too much faster looking at the times! I stopped at what I thought was 40 min, with a couple of quicker ones, but then realised I had another 2 minutes to go - bummer. I guess I could count that last section as cool down ;)

Monday, April 27, 2009

A run of two halves

Nothing yesterday apart from spectating at the Marathon. Out at 6:30am, home at 2am, I think that's enough for one day!

Ran with Conac tonight, around Newmarket/Christchurch, enjoyed it until I needed the loo around Unthank/Christchurch... oh dear. But after walking for 400m and letting the others go on, I seemed OK and was able to get all the way back to University Drive, at a reasonable pace too.

8.8km (-0.4km walk = 8.4km) in 49:30 = 9:29/mi

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Intended to run from home, then realised I forgot my trainers, so it was a phone call and an emergency drive to work (where I left them) and then straight to Lizzie's to run from there. We did the Waitrose loop plus a little bit to make 40 mins.

6.8km, 40:44 = 9:39/mi

Foot seems OK, not perfect, but not giving me major problems either...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mixed swim

Not too great on the 200m reps today, but good on the 50m sprints. Swapped to an empty lane halfway but I can't see that made any difference. I was just slow!

300m WU
6 x 200m hard, 20s rest: 3:56, 4:00, 4:07, 4:02, 4: 06, 4: 12
4 x 50m sprint, 45s rest (done @1:45): all 57-58s
300m CD


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Riverside run

Lovely run by the river and broad at lunchtime, it wasn't overly sunny but was quite warm - are we spoiling for a storm I wonder?

Total 6.2km in 35:30, so 9:13/mile. Again, not bad! Although today I definitely thought I was going at a decent pace, and worked to sustain it. It felt fun - just running for the hell of it, through to woods and along the boardwalk and everything. Nice, really nice :)

Orthotics are still doing well, no pain and no obvious effects elsewhere while I'm running. Fingers crossed it stays that way. I reckon next week I can start to at least approximate the run sessions from The Plan.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Five minutes more...

I failed to get out yesterday - had time, strictly speaking, but didn't. Ah well. Out tonight, round the block and making up the time a bit to hit at least 30 mins, following Monday's 25 minute success. Total 5.4km in about 31 minutes (reset my watch without taking proper note, d'oh) which makes 9:15/mile. Huh? Are these orthotics made of helium or something? 31 mins is an outside estimate, too, I am pretty sure it was actually 30:something. Rock on :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Little run and a few weights

Back with the club - hurrah - if only for a bit. Out over Bowthorpe marshes, cut back early and walked after 25 mins. Everything seems hunkydory - 10 min miling again. Really nice to catch up with Claudia, Sally and co., and lovely evening to be out.

After the run I squeezed half an hour or so in at the gym:

Biceps, 8kg dumbbell, 3x8 each side (moderate/hard)
Triceps, 5kg dumbbell, 3x8 each side (hard)
Shoulder press, 6kg dumbbells, 3x8 (hard)
Lat pulldown, 35kg, 3x8 (moderate/hard)

Shoulder bridge off ball, at ankles, 2x10
Side leg lift, 2x10
Clam, raised feet, 2x10
Shoulder bridge, normal, 2x10 - tried for leg extension while up in bridge but hamstrings complained!

Less dodgy swim

Was looking forward to a nice uncluttered lunchtime swim, and almost got it. Swam alone for warm up and first few 100m reps, then was joined by a couple, swimming 2 lengths at a time and then resting. They were swimming almost at my speed (and resting a LOT), so not too bad, but I did delay a couple of reps here and there to give myself some clear water.

300m WU
5 x 100m, 5s rest
9 x 75m @ VO2 max pace, 45s rest
6 x 25m sprint, ~20s rest
325m CD

Total 1950m

100m reps:
Did 5 - should have been 6, but, er, I can't count?! Times: 1:57, 2:02, 2:02, 2:01, 2:01

75m reps:
Done @2:15, between 45-50s rest, so 1:25-1:30 per 75m. Pleased with that, especially as some of them were slightly held up behind the other people in the lane. I was definitely pushing it, just not quite sprinting.

25m sprints:
Done @45s, 21-18s rest so 24-27s/25m. I was really feeling it by this point. On the last rep there was a guy in the lane next to me at about the same speed, so I tried to race him, and suddenly my left arm was just like jelly, no oomph at all. I guess I just used everything!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Another big bike ride today - 90km, this time via Old Buck and Bungay.

Leg 1 - 28km to Old Buck, 1 hr exactly, 28km/hr. Meet Rob, who's done the same from Shipdham, with a headwind. I noticed a bit of breeze but couldn't say I had been struggling so far. So far.

Leg 2 - 37km to Bungay, 1:23, 26.6km/hr taking the overall average to 27.2. As this was in pretty much the same direction as Rob had come, there was a definite headwind. And one or two hills. But also some good roads where you could at least keep it rolling. At Bungay we refuelled with a bacon butty and waited for Trish and others to complete the half marathon.

Leg 3 - 25km back home, about 1:07, 24.2km/h. I accidentally reset my computer when leaving, and in the confusion forgot to check the sensor was in place until about 5 minutes up the road, so lost a little bit. Took the back roads through Thwaite, Seething and Brooke to pick up the main road a bit later on - my legs were really feeling it so I was glad I wasn't trying to contend with faster traffic until I'd warmed up. Even stopped and raised my saddle about another inch or so, but whether it helped I can't say! Didn't hinder so I have kept it for now. Back roads were very pretty, quiet, held a few nasty hill surprises, and were devoid of any signposts to Brooke! Made it on instinct though.

A glorious day, good to be out, but that last 25km was hard work. The first 15 of the last 25 was the worst, I think the break at the race finish was possibly a bad idea, but live and learn.

Punctures were a pain - one slow around Tibenham (37k), fixed thanks to Rob's magic CO2 device. Needed another top up at Flixton (58k) and then it was getting flat again by Bungay (64k), so I changed the tube. That got me home, aided by the talisman of borrowing the CO2 widget. Must get one of those and replace Rob's cylinder - forget pumps.

When I got home, I went out for a run. It wasn't really a brick, as I put the bike away, had a pit stop (where I drank far too much, d'oh) and then set out, but the legs were still complaining a bit. Trundled down to Lizzie's as I thought they might be in the garden on a lovely day like this - no sign, but then there she was just going for a run! So we ran together up to Church Lane and down to Waitrose, which made my 20 mins and I walked home (OK, jogged down Marston Lane at the end). Added up to 3.2km, so 10 min miles - pretty comfortable. The orthotics seem to be settling in well. I had minimal discomfort this morning (2 mins after getting out of bed, maybe), then some stiffness after sitting on the sofa post-run today but by bedtime it all seemed fine.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Annoying swim, another run

Off to the pool this morning for my usual Saturday swim. I got in a lane with some people doing a similar speed to me. I haven't been over Easter due to pool closure and other stuff, and I just wanted to swim steadily for an hour and see how far I got, no sprints or efforts or drills.

After about 40 minutes of steady swimming, the lane had lost most of my original companions and acquired about five slower swimmers who had no clue about letting faster swimmers past at the end! And they were spread out so that I couldn't overtake, and even if I turned early to get ahead, I just caught up with the next one.

I checked the other 3 lanes - one full of crazy fast dudes, two with a sprinkling of equally slow swimmers as my lane. Why can't people get in the lane with people going a similar speed, rather than going for the one with "most space"?? I got so frustrated, I got out and stomped off to shower and change, cutting my planned session short by a third. 100m warm up and 1600m in 40 minutes including all the dawdling and faffing. 2:30 for 100m! FFS.

Later on I went for my 15 minutes in the lovely spring sunshine. I could feel yesterday in my foot for a short while when I got up this morning, but it wore off sooon enough. Since today's run again I can feel a little bit, but not sure what choice I have. The orthotics are wearing in well, I kept them in for a good hour or more after the run and they feel fine. I'll try for 20 mins tomorrow and see how we go.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tentative run

Yesterday was crazy, no time for anything, but I did manage to pick up my orthotics. Scary big things - have had to re-lace my shoes to miss out the midfoot holes, as otherwise they are too tight.

I went for 10 minutes, as instructed, down by the broad. It was a nice sunny evening, good to be out (added to my wildlife tally with a confused hedgehog stumbling around...), and the running seemed OK. It's obvious that there's something different about my shoes, but it's not necessarily uncomfortable. I guess I might get niggles in odd places as the rest of me gets used to it all - there was a funny twinge on my left ankle at one point, but that could have been random. I'm most worried about getting calf cramp if the shoes remain too tight, as was the problem with the ladies' Sauconys. The big test will be how it feels tomorrow...

After that little warm-up I went to the gym:

15 mins rower - dodgy display that didn't record most of the time, grr
2 x 12 mins stepper, profiles 3 and 5, level 8 rising to 9
pilates exercises - move up to level 2 next time
abs upper and lower

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Poorly but recovering

Came down with a rubbish head cold yesterday - managed to trail round Bury with Lizzie (not that I was much company!) but was then no good for anything except sitting on the sofa mainlining hot honey, lemon and ginger.

This morning I felt a bit better, but unable to face going to work, I grabbed some marking to do at home and snuck off to the gym (which I would have done at lunch if I'd gone to work, honest). Wasn't up to the greatest session ever but it was good to get the blood flowing, and I think it helped.

5 mins bike WU
10 mins rower 2395m
2 x 12 mins stepper, profiles 3 and 5, level 8
20 mins bike, profile 3, level 6
pilates exercises interspersed as before

Monday, April 13, 2009

Going the distance

After being rained off the other day, I thought it was time to bite the bullet and do the Cowman bike distance - 90km. Weather wasn't too inspiring but there was no wind, and the sun did come out for a little while. It was good to be out!

It was bad luck that my plans didn't match up with anyone else's, so I was out on my own. Not really a problem except it is easier to keep speed up in a group, so I wasn't expecting too much from the average. However, I managed to match last week's of 27.4kmh (17mph) - amazing! It was actually 27.5 until I wearily slogged up Church Lane to come home. At max I hit about 44kmh, and it wasn't down a big hill either!

I put my saddle up a bit (quite a lot really - about an inch or so) and that made a big difference. I was tired at the end, but I didn't find the hills quite as bad as last week in terms of leg fatigue. I'm beginning to think I may just need a different bike, as the reach still feels too long. My arms were stiff from being extended all the time. But I don't think I can quite justify it at the moment. We'll see.

A nice little lift towards the end of the ride, when I was tired after climbing up from Thuxton towards Mattishall, was a barn owl (with prey in its talons) flying parallel to me over the fields for about 200m. Beautiful.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Having taken yesterday as a rest day, typically it was glorious weather. We got loads done in the garden but it would have been ideal for a bike ride!

So, today, I thought I would get in an hour's bike ride with a few hills, and a gym session. Stupidly I did the gym first and now it's raining... maybe later it will clear up!

5 mins rower WU
triceps: 15kg 4x6, 10kg 2x12 (15kg too hard to do >6)
biceps: 15kg 4x12
lat pulldown: 30kg 3x12
shoulder bridge 2x10
shoulder bridge with ball 2x10
clam 2x10 each side
leg lift 2x10 each side
abs: 3x25 upper, 2x10 lower

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Ah, a day off work, so... two hours down the gym! Not all spent flat out, though - actually a lot of time lying down, doing the gluteus medius pilates exercises from the physio!

5 mins bike WU
15 mins rower 3515m (2:08/500m)
2 x 10 shoulder bridge level 1 (plain bridge)
12 mins stepper, profile 5, level 8
2 x 10 clam level 1 (each side)
12 mins stepper, profile 3, level 8
2 x 10 side leg lift (each side)
30 mins bike: 5 mins level 7, 4 x (3 mins level 9, 2 mins level 6), 5 mins level 7, all at RPM 85-90
5 mins bike CD

adductor 35kg 3x12
abductor adequately covered by pilates above!
squats 3x12, 2 with 3kg weights, 1 with 4kg (hard)

Felt very tired on the rower, just couldn't summon up the oomph, but found it by the stepper - reduced that down from 27 mins total to 24, but in 2 lots. Tough, but I kept it going, ditto the bike efforts. Horribly sweaty :(

The exercises were OK, will see how I feel in the bottom area tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Had my physio appointment this evening - I found the practice online, looking for one convenient for work/home, and it seems really good: Murphy Physiotherapy. I had a good hour's consultation with Jo, including pinpointing the exact problem, discussion of what might be the cause, some general advice to help ease the symptoms, exercises to help long-term by strengthening the gluteus medius (keeping everything in alignment), and ordering some orthotics.

It seems there might be various causes including the new shoes, some slight biomechanical issues (slight pronation, slightly lower arch that side), maybe not so much the mileage increase (due to my previous running at higher mileage) but possibly the effect of road camber from the Great East as my longest run in a long time. Also running in men's shoes is less than ideal as they are not just for a different foot shape but for complete different biomechanical layout (narrower hips, more straight up/down). However, as they have served me well so far Jo thought that it was worth keeping them and trying the orthotics. It seems there is a reasonable chance that will sort things out.

Also reassuring was the idea that the pain is not really related to long-term damage. Obviously I want to get rid of it, but running through it to get me through the Cowman shouldn't cause long term problems. The orthotics should be here next week, allowing for Easter, and so hopefully I can try another gentle run and see how it goes.

Before and after

Before: tired, slightly achy arms, not really up for it.

300m WU
4 x 200m threshold: 3:55, 3:53, 3:58, 3:58
6 x 50m sprint: 52, 53, 52, 53, 53, 53
300m CD

Tired, pleased, barely able to lift fork to mouth to eat lunch, so may starve to death this afternoon...

Seriously, I'm really pleased with the consistency of the times, and the times themselves! Under 4:00 for 200m is way better than I expected, and to hit 52s for 50m means I might finally have got the turns right. It was tough, but just the right amount of tough. This is why I should always make the effort to go even when tired!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Step it up a bit more

After yesterday's upper body weights, I didn't really fancy rowing! So limited tonight's gym session to stepper and bike, upping the stepper time by 35%.

5 mins bike WU
27 mins stepper:
9 mins profile 5, level 8 (abrupt lo-hi sequence, 4 peaks)
9 mins profile 3, level 8 (smooth lo-hi sequence, 3 peaks)
9 mins profile 1, level 9 (abrupt lo-hi sequence, 4 increasing peaks)

Embarrassingly I admit I did 9 mins because the machine displays have 18 columns on them to show the profile, and I wanted a round number of minutes per column! But then gave that up and for the bike did:

15 mins profile 5, level 7
10 mins profile 2, level 7 (smooth lo-hi sequence, 1 small & 1 large peak)
5 mins CD

I was getting flickers of calf cramp towards the end, so level 7 was enough. A good old stretch was well appreciated afterwards.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Introducing lactate intervals

Week 9 of the training plan, and this week I introduce lactate intervals (RPI = above threshold but below sprint). I was a bit worried about these when it came to swimming, as I wasn't sure if I really had a speed in between moderate and sprint! I felt a bit creaky and slow when I got in the pool but warmed up well, and was able to hold the 75m reps at a pace that was just sustainable given the 45s rest in between each - but still had enough to keep up 24-25s for the 25m sprints. I'm really pleased with today's times, they're dropping nicely compared to a week or two ago.

300m WU
6 x 100m, 5s rest: 1:57, 1:58, 2:00, 2:00, 2:00, 1:58
7 x 75m, 45s rest: 1:24, 1:25, 1:24, 1:25, 1:25, 1:26, 1:26
6 x 25m @45s (~20s rest): 24, 24, 24, 24, 25, 25
300m CD

Total 1875m

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Beautiful day...

Spent the morning marshalling the Diss Duathlon, then biked back via Hingham and Barford with Rob and Rosie. We were cruising along pretty nicely, and my average read 27.7km/h until we hit the hill from Bawburgh to Little Melton! Overall average 27.4km/h, distance 57.3km (17mph, 35 miles). Really nice ride - the sun was shining, birds singing, and drivers behaving.

No odd noises from the bike this week, but I do think I need to put the saddle up as it seems to have dropped and I'm not getting full leg extension. Maybe it was the seat post creaking?

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Up to the Sportspark for a swim at 50m this morning. Saw Gill and David who had just got out - Gill joked "don't go in lane 4, it's full of crazy people!", but on examination lane 4 was the only one without breaststroke swimmers (4 lanes were in use by a club again), so I got in. It wasn't too bad for the first half but either people got crazier or more people got in, as soon I was being overtaken (and cut up when the overtaker was cutting it a bit fine with oncomers), bashed, and unable to touch at the end for people hanging about. I caught up with splashy kick lady from last week, it's kind of like swimming in a jacuzzi but with the POUNDPOUNDPOUNDPOUND of her kicking feet as a soundtrack. This week I pushed it to overtake her and managed to stay far enough ahead to not have her on my toes.

As soon as I was done, I ducked under into the nextdoor lane to cool down without inconveniencing the turbo people, and was immediately frustrated by the slow speed. And this was on a cool down, even swimming with just arms and very slowly. So basically there was nowhere for me to go. Thankfully I had done 300m warm up so only needed 200m cool down and I was out of there (actually a bit short as I turned early at one point just to get some clear water!).

100m splits were variable, at least for the first 9 - my watch didn't save any more than that as the memory was full :( So, from memory, I think it was 32:29 for the full 1500m , which makes 2:10 per 100m. The laps that did get saved varied from 2:06 to 2:22, although some were artificially longer as I waited at the end to be overtaken.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Gym session at lunchtime, going for maximum calorie burn/cardio benefit in the time available so no weights or abs.

5 mins rower WU
10 mins rower 2487m (!!!!)
2 x 10 mins stepper, interval profile 3 & 5, level 8
20 mins bike, interval profile 3, level 6 increasing to 7
1 min bike CD, quick stretch and gone!

Heel feels a little dodgy today so won't run over the weekend, although will go with beginners on Monday as it's short and slow. Have booked in with a physio next Weds to try and get it sorted.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Completing the set

First up, a little run mostly on grass - now it's light, the club are over on the grass doing efforts, so I ran down there with them and made up a circuit around the playing fields and back to base in 30 mins. Just mapped it as 5km so that's 10 min miling. Foot feels OK now, let's see how it is after a rest.

Then hit the gym for some weights:

Adductor 35kg 3x12
Abductor 30kg 3x12
Lat pulldown 30kg 3x12 (hard)
Biceps (barbell) 15kg 2x12
Squats (dumbbells) 2x4kg 3x12
Abs: upper x60, lower x30


Forgot to check the training bible before coming out this morning so I made up a session of similar length to Monday's:

300m WU
3 x pyramid = 1200m
200m CD

Total 1700m

Pyramids were 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 lengths, i.e. total 16 lengths/400m each. Done @ 35s. Times were pretty good, ranging from 25-26s for 1 length to just under 30s/25m on some of the later 3 and 4 length reps. Overall I was usually around 29s/25m, which I'm really pleased with. Some of the slower later times came because I had 2 other people in my lane and turning was sometimes tricky.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sweatin' it out

Off down the gym for a good hour's cardio:

5 mins bike WU
15 mins rower, level 5: 3529m = 2:07/500m average - slow to warm up; ended up rowing at 2:02-2:05
2 x 10 mins stepper (profile), level 8: 232m, 236m
25 mins bike (profile), level 7: 10.96km
5 mins bike CD

Don't know why, but I was just dripping tonight - yuk (but also a good workout!). Legs were tired after yesterday's squats, so I felt it on the stepper. Wonder if I could go to level 9 next week though? I'm never out of breath, just not able to move any quicker. I need to dig out the old HRM I think.


Plans for the rest of the week:

Tues: evening gym, cardio only, hard, 1hr
Weds: morning swim
Thurs: lunchtime gentle run; evening gym (cardio + lower body weights + core)
Fri: lunchtime swim
Sat: morning gentle run; core work
Sun: bike back from Diss Du

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tentative run

First of all, a swim:

300m WU
6 x 100m, 5s rest: 1:58, 2:02, 2:00, 1:59, 2:00, 1:59
9 x 25m @ 45s: seven at 24s and two at 25s
300m CD

Result! Excellent session, quickest and strongest in a while. Blasting out the 25m sprints feels good, but I can also really feel the power in the 100m reps.

In the evening, I tried a run with the beginners' group, on 3 x 8mins. That was fine, although I was at the back and we did barely more than a walk on a couple of uphill stretches. However, a run is a run and I have to start back gently.

Having done the run as a warm up I thought I may as well do some weights, so:
triceps (CJ) 15kg 3x8 (hard)
biceps (barbell) 15kg 3x12 (OK)
lat (approximated on CJ as machine busy) 25kg 3x10 (hard)
squat (dumbbells) 2x4kg 3x12
abs: 25 upper, 25 lower, 25 upper

I think next time I will either wait for the lat pulldown machine, or omit that exercise, as it's just not effective on the cable jungle.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

All's Wells that ends at Wells

Interesting ride today. All my buddies were otherwise engaged, so I forged off alone to the coast, to be met by Mark for chips and beer (this is highly specialised nutrition!). First stop Frettenham, to see Lizzie finish a 10k under an ominous black cloud. Apart from a few pathetic spits of hail, that amounted to nothing. Then it was off to Buxton, Aylsham, Saxworth, Briston, Thursford, Hindringham, Wighton and Wells: route.

It was certainly chilly, and I kind of wished I'd worn my jacket instead of just long and short sleeved tops, but I survived. One quick stop for a drink and a breather on the way, but other than that I kept on plugging away and averaged 25km/h or 15.6mph. Given that there was a headwind and several hills, I'm pleased with that - although I didn't mind the headwind so much as it was blowing the clouds away, and the closer I got to Wells the sunnier it became!

Slightly worried at the creaking noise that has recently begun to emanate from the bike. Can't tell if it's the headset, forks or bottom bracket but I think I need to get it looked at.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday long swim

I am trying to make Saturdays a habit in the 50m session. Today was a bit harder as it was more crowded (club using 4 lanes), but I got through it. One or two lengths were subject to hold ups behind the crazy old man swimming jellyfish style, and at one point I took a 20s break to get away from a woman who was slower than me by just enough for me to be on her tail, but not enough to be worth overtaking. I accepted several lengths of slipstream (mass start training - heh) but then couldn't take any more of the pounding noise from her kicking. No watch, so no splits.

300m WU
1800m 40:26 = 33.7s / 25m
300m CD

I swam best towards the end but that was probably because the pool was emptying out - I got out just a few minutes before the changeover to 25m.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Gym: more of the same

Compact set as I had to squeeze it in first thing:

5min bike WU
10min stepper profile, 8
15min rower, 5
10min stepper, profile, 8
5min bike CD

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Swim and gym

300m WU
8 x 100m, 5s rest: 1:59, 2:05, 2:04, 2:05, 2:07, 2:09, 2:04, 2:04
11 x 25m: 25-27s, done @45s
350 CD

5min bike WU
10min stepper, profile, 8
abductor 30kg 3x12
adductor 25kg 3x12
tricep (CJ) 15kg 3x10
bicep (barbell) 15kg 3x12
lat pulldown 35kg 3x12
squat (dumbbells) 2x4kg 3x12
abs: 25 upper, 25 lower, 25 upper, 25 each side, plank 3x10s

I figured it was time to start doing some strength work instead of all cardio. Some of the weights are a bit hazy as I wasn't writing them down as I went. Core strength seems especially poor from the plank!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Swim: 1000m time trial

350m WU/CD
1000m - 20:59 = 2:06/100m

100m splits: 2:02, 2:05, 2:06, 2:07, 2:07, 2:07, 2:07, 2:07, 2:11, 2:00

Total 1700m

One aim with all this training is to get 1000m down below 20 minutes, so this is a benchmark.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Gym: cardio

5min bike WU
2 x 10min (profile) stepper
10min rower 2462m
15min bike profile
5min bike CD

Short, hard, functional! Goal: break 2500m on the rower.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mini bike blat

Out to Simon's to meet Mark before we all went for a walk around the Pingo Trail. Almost dead on 56 minutes' cycling time (i.e. excluding the annoying wait at Spooner Row crossing for a train!), gives me 25.9km/h or 16mph. Not bad!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Swim: mixed set

250m WU
7 x 100m, 5s rest: 1:59, 2:04, 2:06, 2:10, 2:05, 2:05, 2:05
10 x 25m @ 45s: all at 24-26s, so 19-21s rest
600 CD

Total 1800m

Feeling pretty good, more so on the sprints. Clearly I start off a bit too fast on the 100m reps, and can't maintain the pace. Five seconds' rest is just about enough for a gasp or two of air!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The usual

5min bike WU
2 x 10min stepper, profile, level 8
10 min rower, resistance 5
20min bike, profile, level 7
5min bike CD

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Swim: 1700m

(31st March) I've been a bit slack in filling this in - have kept a few scribbled notes and saved sessions on my watch, so will the blog fill in retrospectively but details are a bit sketchy in places! Must do better from now on!

Long base swim today:

300m WU
1700m 37:49 = 33s / 25m
300m CD

The hardest thing is probably keeping count of the lengths. Well, that and keeping going fast enough ;) I do tire - the first 100-200m are quick, then I settle down, I notice myself flagging a bit about 800-1000m, and I pull it together again at the end.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Long swim

Having missed Saturday's time trial swim (due to red wine overindulgence on Friday - oops), I thought I would do it today rather than go back into efforts and a mixed set.

200m warm up and cool down
1700m main set

Total time for 1700m 37:40
Average/25m 33 secs

100m splits (ish - sometimes I forget to hit "lap" until a few seconds into the next 100m):
2:05, 2:13, 2:11, 2:08,
2:08, 2:09, 2:11, 2:13,
2:14, 2:12, 2:12, 2:19,
2:16, 2:13, 2:17, 2:16,

The times seem a bit slow, even though I had the lane mostly to myself. Maybe I could have pushed harder. I had a few lengths where I could really feel the power, my breathing and kick were both strong and consistent, but it just didn't show on the watch.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ferry 'cross the... Yare?

A really lovely bike ride today over some new roads for us (me, Trish, Rob, plus Graeme for the first half). Basically out to the Broadland Half (where Graeme found himself some faster company for the ride home!), and back via Reedham Ferry, just over 70km or nearly 45 miles. Gorgeous weather, not much wind, quiet lanes, nice scenery, lots of happy people at the half (Lorraine with her 1:40 - go girl!), and the best post-race cake stall you have ever seen. What more could you ask for?

For me the ride felt great, I wasn't too tired at the end of it, and we kept up a good pace, averaging 14.5mph. Once into a rhythm I could just pretty much keep going. But I did forget my gloves, and noticed the difference - sore palms on the outside edge.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mixed swim

Another mixed swim session:

300m warm up
6 x 50m drill (fists, stroke count (as low as 21), trailing fingers)
9 x 25m sprints, 15s recovery
300m cool down

There was supposed to be more kick in there but I was on a tight schedule...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dire rear

Decided to try and do a midweek bike session in the gym. The book said 1h15, so I did 10 mins warm up, 2 x 30 mins (max allowed in one go), and 5 mins cool down.

Hard work, not the most comfortable bike ever, but successful I think! The worst bit was the handlebars getting sweaty, and the seat not being comfortable (just way too huge). By the end I was standing up every 5 mins to give my backside a rest. I picked the bike with the best seat, but it was in front of the TV showing Emmerdale - I nearly lost the will to live...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stepping up the swim

Up to 1850m total workout today:

300m warm up
200m drills (stroke count - minimum 21; closed fists)
6 x 100m moderate, 5s rest (all between 2:04 and 2:09)
9 x 25m sprint (between 24 and 27 s)
1 x 25m slow (because I can't do odd numbers of lengths! and my float was at the other end...)
200m kick (zzzzzz)
300m cool down

Felt really good, especially the sprints. I'm really getting back into it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Gym progress

Squeezed in the usual session tonight and managed to up the distances:

10 mins rower, steady, resistance 5, 2412m
2 x 10 mins stepper, intervals, level 8, 235m and 225m

Felt fairly comfortable, the pace was hard but sustainable, and after some weights for biceps and triceps I was pretty knackered!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The long and windy road

Out to Shipdham again, picking up Rosie en route at Hethersett, but back via Old Buck this time. Trish, Rob and John joined us from Shipdham to Ellingham, with Rob continuing with us to Wymondham (where he got a puncture). Total 52 miles, average 15mph but probably seriously affected by the wind for the first half (well, and for the second half but more positively!).

At times we were cruising along very happily at 19mph, other times we were crawling into a headwind. Last week's return route was our outward route this week and took 1:27 (1:12 last week). However, I honestly enjoyed every bit and didn't really struggle at all. When we were going, we were really going and it was brilliant.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Olympic distance

Not a tri, just the pool :) Tried the 50m swimming this morning. It was fine, felt slow but that could be me and not the pool. I did do some arm stuff in the gym yesterday and so was a bit tired. But the pool was good, not crowded at all. One bizarre thing was that I felt much slower over the "shallow end" than down my usual "deep end" haunt. Surely there can be no reason for that - but it felt that way quite consistently! Twilight zone....

250m warm up
1200m continuous (27 mins, average 33-34 secs/25m or 1:07/50m)
250m cool down

Friday, March 6, 2009

Skipped another one

Thursday was just too busy to fit anything in, lots of work and lots of work-but-not-core stuff over lunch and the afternoon, then out with Alex in the evening. So today I made sure I did a good old gym session:

5 mins bike warm up
10 mins bike, interval profile, level 7, "24km.h"
10 mins stepper, sharp interval profile, level 8
15 mins rower, 3532m (2325 @ 10mins)
10 mins stepper, interval profile, level 8
5 mins bike cool down
triceps on cable jungle - 3 x 8 @ 10kg
biceps single barbell - 3 x 12 @ 10kg
abs 20 each side and 40 straight

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

One in two

Memory-related kit problem on Tuesday. Lack of shoes and sports bra. D'oh! So had to give that one up as a bad job. Made it on Weds, though, and hit 2382m for 10 mins rowing, plus the rest of the usual workout.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Two in one?

The scheduled swim was pretty much as below, except for the last bit. I added that in to "make up for" not doing a 40 min fartlek run with 6x30s all-out efforts. Does that work? I don't know, but it's what I can do at the moment. I've upgraded my Sportspark card to a Gold card, i.e. unlimited gym and swim, any time. Unfortunately with the gym and pool being separate there is not much chance of doing a mixed workout (not to mention the time factor), but hopefully this will make things a bit easier for a month or so. My foot feels a lot better at the moment, so perhaps the rest is working.

300m warm up
8x25m drills = 200m (fingers, fists, catch-up)
4x100m moderate = 400m
6x(25m sprint, 50m recovery) = 450m
350m cool down

1700m, 40 mins including rests.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

First bike ride of 2009?!

Yes, really. That's quite shameful - no rides in Jan or Feb!

Ah well. Despite being late it was a good start to the year's biking. Just short of 43 miles at an average of 16.5mph. Over to Trish and Rob's at Shipdham via the usual Hingham route, back via the more main roads (Watton road, Hethersett road). Route is here.

I'm short of my bike computer still, but I took some splits in km using my watch and Bikemap:

30:22 - home to Stanfield Rd, 12.5km - 24.7km/h (15.3mph)
20:25 - Stanfield Rd to Deopham, 8.75km - 25.7km/h (15.9mph)
34:22 - Deopham to Shipdham, 15.25km - 26.6km/h (16.5mph)
23:35 - Shipdham to Hingham, 10.25km - 26km/h (16.1mph)
48:27 - Hingham to home, 22km - 27.2km/h (16.9mph)

That's pretty good going I think. It was easier to get speed up and sustain it on the way back, as I was on more main roads, but I really enjoyed the whole ride, and remembered why I love getting on the bike. Heading up High Oak, I was going slowly and even though it was a manky grey day there was a skylark singing, no traffic... lovely. Flocks of pigeons clattering up out of the fields as I passed, horses peering curiously over hedges, goldfinches bursting out of the hedgerows, crocuses and snowdrops on the verges... can't wait till we get a bit of sunshine too!

It makes me think it was worthwhile spending over 3 hours cleaning and adjusting the bike yesterday. Wouldn't have had to spend so long if I had done a proper job after the last ride, so made sure I did a proper job after today's. All cleaned and lubed and ready for the next one.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Slow slow slow

Back in the pool, just about able to fit in a 40 min session before teaching.

400m warm up
6 x 200m with ~1 min rest. Quickest was 4:03, slowest was 4:21 or so - feeling tired and sluggish for most of it. I used to be able to hit 30s/length consistently :(
100m cool down

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stir crazy

Getting bored of the gym already. Bargain Hunt and Loose Women are not really motivational TV. I kind of miss being outside really, the nearest I get is using the rowing machines that face out of the window!

Today: warm up/cool down on the bike, 10 mins stepper intervals, 10 mins rowing (2351m), 10 mins stepper intervals, lunges, tricep extensions and bicep curls with 4kg weights, squats lifting 2kg weights. Should have done some abs but time was marching on.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Swim pyramids

Thought it was time to go back to something more interesting than just swimming, so did 400m warm up and 3 x 400m pyramids (1-2-3-4-3-2-1 lengths). Set it up as 37 secs per length, building up the unused time on each length to use as my rest when it came. After the first one I felt 37 was a bit easy, and so took it down to 35 for the next two. Swam consistently at 30-32 secs per length, tiring towards the end, although on a couple of the single lengths I did sprint, for the hell of it. 100m cool down and I was out of there.

Arms ache a bit from the 20 min row last night, but nothing too bad. If being injured means I swim more, this may not be a bad thing!

Monday, February 23, 2009

No running for me

Instead of running tonight, it was down the gym for 20 mins rowing (4600m exactly, equal split for each 10 mins) and 2 10-min interval profiles on the stepper (200 and 240m climbed). I felt like the intensity probably matched running, but with no impact. Warm up and cool down I did on the bike, and then a good old stretch.

Only thing is, off peak gym is £2.70 and peak is £4.20. But with seminars on Thursday lunch, I guess I have to deal with it... ouch.