Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Going well this week

Following the Vachery ride I have kept a good momentum and training is going well this week. So far the sessions have been as follows:

Mon - Run - easy run with tempo set 1:30 (17.5km)
Tue - Push / Run - strength set around Preston park 0:45 + 0:30 bike interval set on rollers + 0:15 weights
Wed - Strides set (12x 30secs hard / 30secs recovery) 0:40 + 1:30 Club swim (3km)

Tomorrow the intention is to commute to work but take a hilly route for further strength training. That will help to bring the total to around 7 hours 45 mins, not bad for 4 days prior to the weekend.

One of my London 2 Paris cycling buddies was asking my advice on bike interval training today - I have a number of varied sets. It made me start thinking that I am now moving my own training away from base to the build phase, when the intensity increases and I start to get more race specific.

On my return from skiing my focus for March will be on running, more interval sets, strides, strength work and 1-2 long easy runs. This will be my final preparation for the Brighton marathon.

Thereafter my focus will shift to the bike but increasingly include brick sets and getting back use to running off the bike. Nutrition also needs to be dialled in - I am not convinced that sugary gels and bars work best for me and possibly cause stomach problems. I intend to experiment a little with more natural foods such as dates and bananas.

Lots to think about - hope I pick up some tips at the Tri show on Friday - I will report back

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Vachery event route

Not been a bad week for training: a decent couple of interval run sets, a 2:30 commute on the bike, 2 club swim sets and some time on the new rollers.

Then today a nice 2 hour easy ride of the Vachery triathlon route (40-45km - one loop of middle distance / Olympic route) with 5 other members of Horsham Amphibians Triathlon.

Very scenic route with plenty of variation: nice smooth flat roads (good for getting aero), big climb up Leith Hill, and a couple of fast steep descents. It should be a great event, especially on closed roads.

Full details can be found via:

www.trainingpeaks.com/av/LN73CBBCJUEEKA3Z2OAEB3N2FM

Approx. 9 hours for the week.

Plan to run tomorrow morning. Off to the Triathlon show on Friday and a week skiing from Saturday - can't wait!


Saturday, 23 February 2013

Toy Number 2 - Aluminium Rollers


Set my new rollers up in the 'Cave of Pain', strategically positioned between the old running machine and my weights bench to try and give some support when trying them out for the first time.

My son kindly shot a short video of my first attempt - not that impressive but a start. After 5 minutes I got the hang of it and was cycling at a decent speed, albeit still in my jeans and jumper.

Next time it will be in my cycling gear and with a proper training session in mind.


Monday, 18 February 2013

Toy Number 1 - new Huub Pull-Buoy

Finally received my new pull-buoy - look at this 'Bad Boy' or should I say 'Big Buoy'.

Hopefully it will provide greater flotation than my previous pull-buoy (unfortunately which has split in 2 pieces) and supposedly a similar feel to swimming in a wetsuit.

I will try it out on Wednesday and let you know my thoughts.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

On the bike - a proper session

Over the last couple of months I have been getting on my bike but the focus has been on shorter turbo / commuting sessions, typically 45 to 90 mins.

Today I managed to clear the diary and scheduled a longer ride with my training partner and neighbour, Chris. It was a misty start and as a result quite chilly. We met up with Ray after about 40 mins in who had ridden up from the coast to join us. He recommended we head back to the coast in search of a bit of sun.

It was a great move as within 10 mins of leaving Steyning the mist disappeared and we hit brilliant sunshine. The coast road through Worthing to Goring was full of life with cyclists and runners that all seemed to be enjoying the warmer weather. The pace along the flat coast road was relatively fast (35-40 km per hour) but it didn't feel too energy sapping, especially as we drafted off each other. Ray turned around at Goring as he was planning a long run.

Chris and I ventured on towards Littlehampton, Ford and on to Arundel. Chris set a decent pace but I managed to keep him in my sights even though I was unable to hang onto his back wheel. We climbed from Arundel up to the roundabout above Houghton - a tough ascent that found me trailing further behind and running out of juice.

From there all the way home my pace fell off, highlighting that I needed a few more longer rides in the bank to get properly bike fit. However, it was a start and a great day to be out - Spring feels only around the corner!

Total 77km covered in just under 3 hours with some decent hills thrown in for good measure.

Full workout details can be found via the following link:

http://www.trainingpeaks.com/av/IKTZ45NXHA662T6RMMMLN4FCBY

Friday, 15 February 2013

Training update - greater focus on the bike

After last Sunday's long wet and windy run I took Monday as a day off of training to let my legs recover. Despite the wet roads I cycled to work on my singlespeed bike on Tuesday, selecting a bit of a hilly route, and discovered my legs were still a little fatigued. Even on Wednesday morning my legs had still not fully recovered so I opted for a strength run (involving 6x strength sets of 10x push ups, dips, lunges, squats and step ups) around Preston Park.

It was only on Wednesday evening after the long Club swim that the legs felt normal again. The swim session focused on endurance work with a total distance well in excess of 3km. After a long warm up and build/drill work the main set was 1.2km in total, including 8x 150m sets with use of all the toys. 8x 25m all-out with fins followed before a cool down. A relatively tough swim so I rewarded myself with a chocolate protein shake before bed - very tasty.

The intention on Thursday was to complete an interval run set in the morning and a power session on the turbo in the evening. The weather in Brighton at 7am was really awful and I chickened out. The day was a busy one and the turbo set didn't happen either - oh dear, losing momentum!

Today started better, it was a beautiful morning and I took a slightly longer route to work, my favourite via Edburton, Fulking and Poynings over the top of Devils Dyke. The mornings are getting much brighter.

So far this week approximately 7 hours in the bank with the weekend to come. Another Club swim tomorrow morning with a possible run later in the day. Apparently it is supposed to be nice weather so I hope to get a 2-3 hour cycle in on Sunday with my old training partner Chris.

No sign of my new aluminium rollers yet or my Huub pull-buoy that I ordered on the Internet. Once I get the rollers I will try to publish a video to the blog, should be amusing!

By the way I received Wiggo's book as a Valentine's present from Mrs P - looking forward to a good read.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

I'm back!

I know it has been a while but I'm back!

You may have guessed from my last post that there was some disappointment with my recent training effort - I just felt out of sorts and was struggling to get motivated.

A slight improvement this week, I wouldn't say that everything has gone to plan but the volume and quality of my training is definitely on the up.

Monday started with a 5km time trial - certainly not a PB but respectable nonetheless, especially as the winds on Brighton seafront were brutal.

Also done 3 other short runs: 12x strides, recovery and interval pyramid. This morning was a decent long run of 27km, which started off-road up onto the South Downs but because of the high winds, rain and mud I decided to complete the second half on local roads. I was pleased that my last 7km was at a considerably higher pace than the first 20km, albeit some of the initial running was uphill and off-road. I do not appear to be suffering any ill-effects and hope that I can continue my training tomorrow, although probably aim for a simple strength set.

Missed my Wednesday swim again but had cycled 2 hours that day (Brighton commute), should have committed but my motivation to complete 3.5 hours of mid-week training on a single day was lacking.

I got on the turbo for about 30min but need to spend more time to complete the power set I have been working on recently.

Yesterday's swim was OK. I have managed to keep my position in Lane 3 despite being was of the slowest in my group. I will have to increase the weekly sessions from 1-2 to 3 to have any chances for improving further.

Looking forward to receiving my Cycleops aluminium rollers, which I ordered with my Birthday monies. Another great training tool to use in the 'Cave of Pain). With this wet weather it will be certainly safer to get a few indoor sessions in the bank.

So in summary, a better week, 9-10 hours in total volume with a number of good sessions. Almost coming to the end of the 'Base' period and entering the 'Build' phase when both the volume and specificity increases. Slight bias to running in preparation for the Brighton marathon in April and thereafter a lot more brick sessions (bike + run) to get me ready for Vachery middle-distance (70.3 miles - half-Ironman distance) in July.

Need to submit a blog with all my scheduled races, although not all been booked yet.

Back soon...

Sunday, 3 February 2013

It has been one of those weeks...

The plan was there but the follow through was decidely lacking. It has simply been 'one of those weeks'.

OK it was my Birthday on Wednesday and I had a great day with the wife skiing at the Snow Centre (Hemel Hempstead). Given that I had not been skiing for 3-4 years I did pretty well, my technique cannot be described as 'elegant', however I felt strong, fast and didn't fall over once. It was also nice spending some time with the family on Wednesday evening even if I had to forgo my regular Club swim.

Thursday and Friday were a bit of a wash out in respect of the weather and my planned training. Work has also been full on - lots of good excuses!

My Saturday swim was poor - the pool was very busy with 6-8 Club members per lane. I decided to drop down to a less busier lane, which worked out fine, however the leisure centre had some problems with the temperature / chemical balance and I was coughing for the last 10mins; as was most of the Club.

I had planned a turbo session but that also didn't work out. This morning managed an off-road 12km run at Z2 pace but then it was DIY for most of the day and little time for additional training. On top of the minimal training I have eaten and drunk more than my normal quota!

OK so not my best week but the most important lesson is that is just a short spell and hardly going to wreck my training schedule and chance for a personal best at my next race. Best to just put it behind me and move forward. Sometimes a lower volume week can result in great strides the following week.

Need to plan the week ahead tomorrow morning, should really do it Sunday but already have a good idea in my head, so hope to hit the ground running (clever wording!)

New running shoes and new SwimRun kit on its way

I decided to upgrade my trusty ASICS GT-2000 Series 7 to the new Series 8. I had run about 600km in my old shoes but had started to get some...