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Showing posts from September, 2012

Regained my Mojo - a PB at Barns Green

With the exception of my planned bike / commute on Thursday that never happened (rest day!) I completed my training pretty much as I set out at the beginning of the week.

The big focus this week was my old friend and 'Nemesis' - the Barns Green half-marathon. I really did feel that I could push it more than previous years and despite it being a bit of a lumpy course, try for a personal best (PB) at this distance. I also had some unfinished business with this particular race as my times each year had been getting slower and slower, something I needed to reverse.

My training prior to the race had not been intense but I felt I had done a little more than last year, especially with my recent timed 5km and 10km efforts. In addition I was hoping that my Ironman fitness was still there for at least one more race this season.

The conditions were perfect, the only negative was that I had come prepared to buy a couple of gels at the event but found there to be no stalls selling them. Lu…

'Lost my Mojo'

Struggling a bit at the moment with the family-work-fitness balance and training over the last few days took a back seat to some needed DIY and family time - I shouldn't moan because as mentioned on a number of previous posts my intention is to fit all these important elements into my life - sometimes I just get disappointed that I cannot allocate my time a little better.

Anyway I did get in the Saturday Club swim and a Sunday morning run (1:00) before the heavens opened and it rained for the rest of the day.

Last night I had intended to do an hour in the 'cave of pain' on the turbo or a strength session. However, I felt I had 'lost my mojo' and opted to do nothing - not the greatest decision.

Fortunately, I set myself up to 'win' this morning as before I went to bed last night I got everything ready for a bike ride to work (whatever the weather). When you have everything at hand and don't think about it too much you simply go through the motions and be…

Wise words - 25 triathlon lessons

I just received an e-mail from Simon Ward who I must congratulate as he has been competing / coaching in the sport of triathlon for 25 years.

To celebrate his 25 years he came up with 25 lessons as follows - Wise words:

Consistency is the key to success Results are important but having fun is better Your body can take a lot more than you think Triathletes are not indestructible Recovery is just as important as training Quality beats quantity most of the time Just because you are a triathlete and train a lot doesn’t mean you can eat with impunity Its not about the bike…or the shoes, or the wetsuit It is about the bike. Being strong here has a direct impact in your ability to run well There is victory to be taken from every finish, no matter how bad you think the result is Whatever position you end up, finishing a triathlon means you are still in the top 1% of fit humans. Keep your training a simple as possible There are lots of training methods which will help you get to your goals. Jus…

Timed 10km run - slight improvement needed

This morning I completed a timed 10km run along Brighton seafront.

After a brief warm up I set off towards Hove Lagoon and back. The wind was light so had little effect to the overall time. Just after 9km I ran out of seafront a bit and had to include a couple of ramps and turns in the last 1km, which probably added a few seconds but generally it was as good as it gets - decent weather and a relatively flat course.

My total time was 45:56, average HR was 150bpm (max: 159bpm) and pace 4:36mins per km. I pressed the lap button after 5km and recorded the following splits:

L1 22:50, average HR 148bpm and pace 4:34
L2 23:06, average HR 153bpm and pace 4:37

I need to get somewhere close to 43:00 to give myself the best opportunity of PB in the marathon in April so some improvement is needed. After the session I felt OK and recovered quickly, thinking I could push harder on the next attempt.

Runner's World have a fun tool on their website - the Race Time Predictor: http://www.runnersworl…

Back into winter gear - not the best decision

Decided to cycle into work this morning and thought it best to prepare for the slightly colder mornings (I normally set off around 6:15am) with another layer of clothing - back into winter gear.

It felt the right move as I started off nice and snug and comfortable in the extra layer, however after only 15 mins I realised that I was overdressed for the occasion. My pace was decent this morning, despite being on the old singlespeed machine, recording reasonable speeds during a good part of the ride (30-35km/h), although by the time I reached the office I was dripping in sweat - lucky we have a shower!

Fortunately I came prepared and brought some lighter clothing for the return leg home.

For those interested in the training for this week my draft plan is as follows:

Mon: Push-run strength session 0:40 / Timed 5km run 0:30 [Done]
Tue: Bike - 2hr commute (tempo ride in morning / easy return)
Wed: Timed 10km run 1:00 / Club swim 1:30
Thu: Strength session including turbo warm-up 1:00
Fri: B…

Interesting Sweatshop offer - running community

Before I get into today's topic - a brief training update:

Last week ended up a little different than I planned but the volume was close to target. Wednesday was a big training day with a 2 hour cycle (commute) followed by a tough 1:30 swim session. Thursday and Friday were busy days at work so training unfortunately had to take a back seat (i.e. rest days!). Saturday morning was another Club swim and then the afternoon found me back on the bike with my old Ironman training partner Chris for a 1:30 bike session. As published on my previous IM blog (http://journeytoironmanaustria.blogspot.co.uk) Chris suffered some serious problems during the big event and ended up in hospital for a week. On returning home he took approx. 8 weeks off resting (i.e. not training) and getting checked out by a number of medical specialists. Despite this long spell out of the sport I was pleasantly surprised how 'bike fit' and strong he was. We agreed on a rolling course with a killer hill (Stey…

Track session report

Missed this morning's scheduled run so decided to attend the fortnightly track session (Tuesday at 7pm) at Broadbridge Heath Sports Centre.

Our running coach (Tony G) unfortunately did not turn up but that didn't stop us having a decent training session. 6 of the HAT club members who attended (including me) completed a warm up, some dynamic stretching and drills before the main pyramid set of:

2x 200m
2x 400m
1x 800m
2x 400m
2x 200m

My running was quite consistent and I logged the following times:

200m: 0:46, 0.46, 0:45, 0:39
400m: 1:31, 1:32, 1:31, 1:30
800m: 3:01

The only set that was out of line was my last 200m where I found a bit more energy - always like to keep something back for the finish!

We finished with a cool down and some stretching - a decent session, well done Gareth for recommending the sets.

More likely now to complete my easy cycle tomorrow (commute to work and return) and leave the timed 10km to another week, given I now plan to compete in the Club Aquathon…

Week ahead - more focus on running

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Enjoyed a long off-road run on Sunday morning up on the South Downs - the great weather helped. I kept the pace easy on the flat (Z1-2) but it rose to Z4-5 on the main climp up to Chanctonbury ring (pictured). Also an opportunity to catch up on some of my favourite triathlon podcasts (Zen and the Art of Triathlon and Training Bible Coaching). Got home and was really juiced for the rest of the day.

Last week I logged about 40km of running. As I get closer to my next 'B' race - Barns Green Half-Marathon where I desperately wish to beat my time last year (and ideally my PB on the course) I will continue to focus on the running - adding in cycling and swimming for cross-training and recovery benefits. In previous years I have simply turned up on the start line for Barns Green and gone through the motion (typical 'end of season' event) - as a result my race times have got slower. This year I am determined to at least give it a go and train accordingly. The race is on the 30…

Friday update

Just about to leave the office for the weekend and thought I would bring the blog up to date.

Following my timed 5km run on Wednesday morning I attended the 1:30 Club swim that evening. Coach MT likes to incorporate some strength training as we approach the end of the season and during the winter months. After a number of 50m sets the lane ropes were removed and we swum a number of 'pyramid' sets using the width rather than length of the pool. Diving starts were included and 'press-up punishment' was handed out for any swimmer going too early - all good fun!

Thursday was an easy day, giving the legs a bit of a rest, although I did get in 20 mins strength exercises in the evening.

This morning more strength work with what I call my 'Push-Run' session - 6km of mostly easy running around Preston Park with 6 stops, normally at park benches, to complete 10x push-ups, dips, lunges, squats and step-ups. Might jump on the turbo tonight although when I get home I am sur…

The Aging Athlete - extract from Joe Friel's blog

As mentioned in previous posts I am making every effort to include a bit of strength training into my plan.

Just read an interesting post from Joe Friel's blog on the subject - extract below:

The Aging Athlete - Getting Older, Getting Faster, by Joe Friel
(The following first appeared in my interview with Performance Conditioning for Cycling Newsletter.)

Old athletes are old for many diverse reasons. But the primary one is due to their relatively slow rate of recovery following stressful workouts. Someone can be “old” at age 35 due to a poor rate of recovery. On the other hand, I’ve coached athletes in their 60s who recovered very quickly and so by this definition were still “young.” In fact, recovery is probably the key to performance at all ages, but especially so for aging athletes who appear to have the deck stacked against them. But there are also other reasons for declining performance with aging.

For the purpose of this discussion let’s say that one is "old" over ag…

5km morning test - more to come

Quick update following last post:

Mon - Run interval set - completed a brief warm up and then 10x (30 sec sprints / 30 sec rest). Cool down to finish. Done in 35 mins. Brief strength exercises in the evening, although should have done more.

Tue - Appox. 70km on the bike. 40km in the morning - commute into Brighton via Partridge Green, Hurstpierpoint, Hassocks, Keymer and then over Ditchling Beacon (9 mins of climbing) into Brighton - relatively easy pace Z1-2 (Z4 on hills), 1:40 in time. Return commute - Z1-2 pace again, some hill work but less than morning - another hour in the bank. Some stretching exercises on the foam roller before bed.

This morning I decided to do a bit of a test and after an initial 10 min warm up ran at above my normal race pace to complete a base time for a 5km distance. Following from my last post I am interested to building up my 5km, 10km, half-marathon PBs in preparation for an attempt of a PB in the Brighton marathon - that's the theory. My plan is to…

Southwater Tri Relay - fun marshalling

Little training over the weekend. A decent Club swim on Saturday - lots of fast 50s (diving starts) followed by recovery 100m sets. At least I got 2 swims in this week, which should the minimum. Ideally need to build back up to 3 sessions.

Our annual club event was on Sunday - the Southwater Tri Relay, which I was very happy to marshal rather than compete. It is a great event and though I have enjoyed competing in the past, watching the full race and helping the competitors exit from the lake swim is even more fulfilling. Some competitors grab you like their life depends on it and others fly out and on to the next discipline. That is the real beauty of the sport in that you have the first time novice competing with the seasoned pros and age-groupers. As I have previously highlighted it really makes me proud to be involved with the sport. However fast or slow there are a growing number of people that want to get off the couch, get fit and just 'Do It'.

My week is not looking too …