Friday, 27 September 2013

My 'Bucket List'

Whilst thinking about my 'A' races for 2014 I came up with a more broader 'Bucket List' of races I would love to have a go at over the coming years:

My Bucket List

1. London 2 Brighton 100km challenge - The London 2 Brighton Challenge is one of the UK’s greatest endurance events. Most will walk the 100km; some will jog it, and many will run it as an ultra-marathon. However you take it on, it’s a test of determination and stamina. It’s real, no gimmicks, rewarding and is achievable!

2. S.O.S. Triathlon - The Survival of the Shawangunks (SOS) is an eight stage triathlon held in New Paltz, NY. Cycle country roads and scenic highways circling the northern ridge of the Shawangunk Mountain Range. Ascend the western face. At the entrance to Minnewaska State Park leave your bike for a combination run/swim journey through some of America's most beautiful cross-country trails and spring fed lakes.

3. IronBaby - a self-supported DIY ironman distance race created by the great Coach Brett from 'Zen and the Art of Triathlon' - a wonderful podcast that I have been listing to for the last few years, over which time I really have felt that I have got to know Brett. I would love to meet him, race alongside him and raise a bit of money for a great cause at the some time.

4. L'Etape du Tour - established in 1993 to allow amateur cyclists to test their legs on the route of one of the mountain stages in the Tour de France, has become the reference race for cyclosportive riders from all over the world.

5. Lands End to John O'Groats - Cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats, the furthest possible distance in the British Isles, is a classic challenge that many dream of. Starting at Land’s End on the southwesterly tip of England, cyclists pedal their way through Cornwall, over Dartmoor and north along the Welsh border, skirting the Lake District into Scotland, via lochs and mountains to the North coast and John O’Groats. In all they cover almost 1000 miles in 10-12 days, passing through some of the most stunning and remote countryside in the British Isles.

6. Challenge Vichy - Vichy is in central France, 3 hours from Paris. It is an "easy" full distance ironman event compared to other French long distances such as Nice, Embrun, Gerardmer, Alpe d'Huez, Altriman. Ideal for beginners and for athletes who want to go for a PB.

7. Escape from Alcatraz triathlon - features a 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz Island to the shores of the St. Francis Yacht Club, a grueling 18-mile bike ride, and a demanding 8-mile run through the trails of the Golden Gate Recreational Area. Set against the natural beauty of San Francisco, this thrilling triathlon is a virtual postcard of the City by the Bay.

8. Tough Mudder - events are hardcore 12 mile-long obstacle courses designed by the Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses and 1,000,000 inspiring participants worldwide to date, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world.

9. Norseman Xtreme Triathlon - Ten years ago, the first Norseman Xtreme Triathlon carved its own category in international triathlon. Norseman has remained true to its core ever since, and continues to attract triathletes from around the world to the ultimate test of endurance, grit, sportsmanship and friendly competition through some of Norway's most amazing landscapes.

10. No respectable 'Bucket List' can be complete without the big one - the world Ironman championships in Kona - you never know, one day! 

What would be on your 'Bucket List'?

Little news on the training front - thinking ahead

Little new training news this week. A strength / run set on Monday, 60km of cycling on Tuesday with a few decent hill climbs, Wednesday in the pool - spent some time using the pull-buoy focusing on bi-lateral breathing to improve my body position and rotation. A little niggle crept back in my right Achilles tendon, which has made me hold off training over the last two days. Tomorrow another swim set with the Club. If the Achilles issue settles down again I will attempt a run on Sunday, hopefully an easy off-road session.

Thinking about my 'Bucket list' of ultimate races - will be the subject of my next post.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

My ideal week of base training - a challenging goal

The last week was almost back to plan but not quite! I ended up missing my Friday run and Saturday morning club swim but made up for it on Sunday by getting in both an off-road run and cycle ride with my old training partner and neighbour, Chris (approx. 3 hours in total).

By Sunday afternoon I was back to my target weight although a couple of days on I have let in slip once again.

The good news is that my tendonitis issues have further eased and I only have a minor niggle in my left Achillies heel. The right side having completely healed - finally!

So thinking ahead to my base training for the next season I have been considering my ideal week of training, which should certainly give me a strong foundation to build on, whatever race distances I end up doing over the coming months.

The week would look something like this:

Mon - 0:45 strength exercises / circuit + 1:00 club swim
Tue - 2:00 bike commute: interval set + easy return
Wed - 0:30 run strides set / intervals + 1:30 club swim
Thu - 2:00 bike commute: hill work + easy return
Fri - 1:00 easy run
Sat - 1:00 club swim + 0:45 run set / turbo
Sun - 2:00 to 4:00 long run / cycle or brick session

That brings the total between 12.5 to 14.5 hours, good enough even for Ironman training.

Obviously I would have to allow the occasional rest day (normally Monday or Friday) and would work off a 3-week cycle, increasing the total hours training each week and reducing it back down on the fourth week.

That is the theory - in practice not so easy to pull off.

All decent goals should however be challenging, albeit still realistic. They also need to be listed in detail, easily measurable and time driven.

Let's hope I will be reporting back over the coming months that I am at least getting close to my ideal training week.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Back to the plan

Some improvement in my eating / drinking habits so getting back to normality on the weight front. I wouldn't say I was obeying all my top tips for weight loss (see last post) so still room for further progress.

The good news is that the regular stretching is finally paying dividends and my Achillies tendonitis problem is easing. I have also been making every effort to use ice (small ice pack down my socks) to speed up the recovery.

This morning I logged my longest run for a good month or so after completing 10km along Brighton seafront. The pace was embarrassingly slow (approx. 5:30 to 6 mins per km) and although I hardly broke a sweat I did not have any ill effects from my tendons. I still do not feel confident running a half-marathon distance or increasing the speed significantly but there has been a definite improvement. I will continue with the stretching and ice until there is no further pain whatsoever.

There was some discussion at the Club of getting a full Ironman distance race in the calendar for next year (end of season. - Sept / Oct). Currently the two races (both Challenge rather than official  Ironman events) on the radar screen are Barcelona and Vichy. No decision yet but I am keen to return to a more structured training plan in preparation for some 'A' race in 2014.

For the rest of the week I am aiming for the following:

Wed - 1:00 easy run (Done) + 1:30 club swim
Thu - 2:00 cycle (via commute), morning - interval set, home - easy
Fri - 1:00 easy run / strength set
Sat - 1:00 club swim
Sun - 2:30 cycle (possibly on mountain bike)

My objective is to build back to 10-12 hours over the coming months but will be subject to injuries and any decisions on 2014 races / events.

Stay safe out there my loyal followers!!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Tri Hard Dave's tips to lose weight

Just back from my Friday morning run around Preston Park - about 6km in distance but stopping every km to do exercises - 10 reps of the following: push ups, dips, thrusts, squats, and step-ups. On 2 sections of the circuit I pick up the tempo so I break into a bit of a sweat but generally it is a relatively easy workout aimed to build in a little bit of strength work.

My tendon pains are definitely easing although I still felt some slight discomfort for the first 1km of the run - still more strengthening to be done before I can up the distance and speed. As a result of the continuing problem I have decided not to enter the tricky Barns Green half-marathon in late September - so my 2012 PB will stand for another year.

I highlighted in my previous post that I had put on a bit of weight over my summer holiday. I shouldn't feel too guilty, I thoroughly enjoyed the time with the family and it was great to focus on other things than just training and working. However, I was quite surprised to see how quickly the weight can be put on. Over a fortnight I gained 6 pounds!

I have already lost a couple of that just getting back to my normal routine but in order to return to my fighting weight (under 12 stone) I need a bit of a plan.

I have listed below my top 10 tips for weight loss - well they have worked for me in the past.

Next week I will update you with my progress.

Have a great weekend.

10 ideas - lose weight

1. Reduce sugars (no sweets, cakes, biscuits etc.)

2. Reduce bread - limit to 1-2 pieces a bread a day

3. More salads and healthy foods, i.e. fish, pulses, vegetables, fruits - smaller portions but eat more regularly - don't starve yourself

4. Green smoothie for breakfast

5. Clean teeth whenever graving for food - sometimes it is habit driven rather than hunger

6. Drink lots of water - some people confuse hunger with thirst

7. Limit alcohol - weekends only

8. Exercise - long easy fat burning runs. More frequent training 2-3x a day - keep the metabolism firing

9. Take Thermobol (Maximuscle fat loss product) - I am not really into supplements but I have found this product (mostly natural ingredients / herbal extracts) to help. I only take one tablet in the morning rather than the prescribed 3 a day, simply because the caffeine is so high it would probably send me a bit loopy!

10. Limit TV and sitting around - plenty of activity - MOVE!!


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Back on home soil

And I'm back - back on home soil.

Had a great relaxing holiday although it did involve a little more drinking and eating than training so I certainly need to get rid of a few excess pounds.

The plane flight home was a bit of disaster with a 7 hour plus delay, which resulted in less than 2 hours sleep before work. I think it is probably wise to miss the longer Club swim tonight and use the time to re-build my bike (still wrapped up snuggly in the bike bag).

Tomorrow I will start off with a commute into Brighton and back, probably involving some hills (over Devils Dyke). My tendons are better but not yet fully recovered so possibly will plan an easy 5-10km run on Friday.  Saturday will see a return to the pool. Sunday and Monday I am travelling up North so limited time for training.

The plan is to build the training back up to 8-12 hours per week and start thinking about next years goals; also an opportunity to review 2012/13.

Looking forward to running some longer distances but still not confident enough to chance it whilst I have the current tendon issues.

Will keep you informed.

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...