Wednesday, 7 June 2023

VO2 Max (running) finally back to 50 and 'Superior rating'

This morning my scheduled run and Garmin Coach recommendation didn't really work out as planned. My Garmin watch somehow disconnected from the system and I was forced into going solo - just a 7km out and back run at a steady pace along the seafront, up to see the new Sea Laines 50m outside pool.

My legs felt a little heavy (maybe it was my body!) - I don't know the reason why as I had a couple of rest days (only an easy spin on the bike). Anyway, when I finished I was a little surprised and generally quite pleased to see that my VO2 Max for my running had increased from 49 (Excellent rating) to 50 (Superior), based on my age.

It has been higher (Ironman days) although I am glad I am back in top bracket (last time - end of 2022) and apparently in the top 5% for my age and gender.

Now how to move it to 51?

Monday, 29 May 2023

DIY e-MTB and new life for Ellsworth Epiphany

Bank Holiday and today I completed the conversion of my old trusty 26inch Ellsworth Epiphany mountain bike into a e-beast with a powerful Bafang mid-motor and crazy large 48v 19Ah battery, which is too big for the frame so goes in a backpack - crazy but wow it is fun!

More on that later but first the scores on the doors for the week - just scaped over the line with 6 hours of cycling and running (3 sets) training.

I am still going with Garmin Coach and generally enjoying the sets. A couple of cycle commutes thrown in for good measure. No swimming and no strength sessions - not so good!

Today (new week) were some more 'Goal Race Repeats' - I am probably doing them a bit fast (faster than half-marathon goal pace). Later in the week I have a similar set but 'Speed Repeats' so they should be quicker, hopefully it will help me to tune in to the recommended session pacing.

As mentioned earlier I did have a cheeky hour on the new improved Ellsworth Epiphany, now with a powerful Bafang motor to power it up the hills. I may need to do a bit of tuning and fit gear/brake sensors to stop the motor firing all the time. I am not completely convinced I have sized the chain that well so work to be done!

I do love my DIY e-bikes (Brompton and now e-MTB) - great fun and good for recovery days. Don't worry I am not going completely e-Bonkers (digital) and my road plus triathlon remain analogue (old school).

So need to rectify the lack of swimming and strength work for rest of the week. Might try a sea swim tomorrow if waves aren't too big. Also 4 runs scheduled for this week - one completed so 3 left.

Onwards and upwards 

Sunday, 21 May 2023

Another decent week of training but not hitting 6 hours+

So a number of decent training sets this week - I am still working through a Garmin Coach half-marathon intermediate plan (1:40 target pace) - only 3 runs a week with a focus on high-cadence drills, gliders (walk-jog-run transition), hill repeats, goal pace repeats and a long run (also incorporating some run/walk). This week I also had a test 'Magic Mile', which I completed at 6:48 - 1st time so looking to improve over coming weeks.

There was no swimming this week so I really need to start introducing more time in the pool, lake and sea. Actually I was also light on the strength work, maybe not such a good week!

Anyway, the weather looks to be improving and I have a couple of cycle commutes planned, a min of 3 runs (possibly 4) and a swim - you never know I might even make 6 hours plus!

Monday, 15 May 2023

A SwimRun day

On Sunday I managed a decent long run. My Garmin Coach wanted an easy pace 11.6km but I finally had some spare time so decided to push the distance a little. I planned for a 16km loop (ended up over 17km), mostly off-road, at an easy pace (around 6min per km).

The run didn't get off to the best start. In the field opposite me (within first 300m of run) I lost my footing and lunged forward grazing my leg and wrist. Fortunately I hadn't done any other damage so I dusted myself down and continued the run.

The rest of the run passed with not much drama - all felt relatively easy at the 6min per km pace - there were some super boggy fields that I wish I avoided, literally my foot disappeared in the sloppy mud. It did make me change my route a little and I ended up with the last 5km on the road.

When I got home the first thing I did was wash my trainers (fortunately I wore my SwimRun Salomons) and then I hit the shower to see exactly what damage I had done from the fall - not too bad. I also weighed myself and was not surprised to see a decent reduction, albeit probably all water. It dropped a massive 1.6kg, although the next weigh in, before bed, and it was up 1.1kg, so a net loss of 0 5kg.

That same day I also went up to Southwater Lake for the first dip of the season. Only one other swimmer joined me (Julie), although we had a spotter (Miles) watching us both. Julie is a much stronger swimmer than me so off she went, I actually used my paddles (SwimRun training) during the 1000m swim or 4 laps of the lake. It was surprisingly warm(ish) with my wetsuit, well a lot better than going in the sea. My arms did hurt that evening, probably too much paddle work, so much so I had to take a Paracetamol to ease the pain.

Tomorrow will definitely be a day of rest. I probably only managed 5 hours+ of training for the week, however it was quality sessions (more specific).

Here is a picture of me and Julie taken after the lake swim, taken by Miles and posted onto our Club website to try and encourage other Club athletes to swim in future weeks.

Friday, 12 May 2023

Garmin Coach

So my initial plan (last post) is not exactly working out - but, the new plan is looking OK. Since my last post I have been trying out one of Garmin's coaching programs (half marathon - intermediate level). The Coach (an experienced, albeit well-seasoned coach/athlete) recommends integrating walking in between some of the run sets. He is also an advocate of high cadence drills, gliding (transitioning from walk-jog-run) and hill repeats, which I did today. 

This Sunday is going to be a heavier set with a long run (1.5 hours plus), which I haven't done for a while. I am going to keep it easy but it will be nice to get some increased mileage in the legs. 

My weekly swim will be rescheduled for Monday evening (club swim) but I will need to make every effort to build the weekly swim up to 2 sessions over the coming weeks. This week has also seen greater strength work although my legs were tired after some weighted squats and lunges.

Right, going to plan my route for Sunday's run. Over and out.

Tuesday, 9 May 2023

Plan for the week

Still aiming for 6+ hours of base training (swim, run, bike, weights/strength) this week - doesn't have to be too race specific simply decent quality sessions, moving me in the right direction:

Bank holiday Monday: recovery day (post some heavy sessions on the Sunday)
Tue: 30min recovery run [DONE] - legs still heavy after recent weighted squats/lunges
Wed: 1 hour tempo or threshold run
Thu: 1 hour swim (local pool)
Fri: 2 hour cycle; 30 mins weights/strength
Sat: 1 hour Peloton bike
Sun: 30 min run; 30 mins weights/strength

If I can successfuly complete majority of above sets then I am well across the line. Meanwhile, need to re-focus on weight management and make further progress.

See you on the other side

Monday, 8 May 2023

Good and bad for Coronation weekend

On the whole a relatively decent week - volume was bang on 6 hours after including some weights and strength sets. I also got in a Club swim, 2 cycles and 2 runs. Would have liked another run - 3+ is my weekly goal, however I enjoyed the swim and managed a decent enough pace/effort over the hour albeit some of that was with paddles and pull-buoy (good practice for SwimRun 'A' race).

The disappointment came in the weight management - I was doing really well and was down another 1kg earlier in the week, however with a Friday dinner party and the Coronation celebrations over the weekend my food/drink choices were not most ideal - nothing terrible but the scales didn't like it! It could be that my weight loss was too aggressive and as soon as I added back more normal levels of carbs/sugar (nothing crazy) my body was going to store every bit of it.

Anyway, it is not going to stop me moving forward. Next 1-2 weeks back on it plus lots more fitness planned. More on that in my next post.

VO2 Max (running) finally back to 50 and 'Superior rating'

This morning my scheduled run and Garmin Coach recommendation didn't really work out as planned. My Garmin watch somehow disconnected fr...