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What does it take to log a 50 mile week

The start of December's training log was definitely lacking in volume. Throw in a couple of family trips, some much-needed DIY, work commitments, plus Christmas festivities and the volume falls off a cliff.

This week has looked a lot better with a couple of long runs and some easy spinning (to give my legs some rest). It got me thinking what does it take to log a 50 mile week.

So far this week I have managed:

- 5km on Monday
- 15km on Tuesday
- 25km on Wednesday

In total 45km (28 miles) so far

Today was my easy spin on the bike and Friday is likely to be a recovery day. I was thinking of trying a 5km park run on Saturday and another long easy trail run on Sunday.

If I only manage 5km on Saturday, Sunday is going to have to be 30km to get me to the magic 80km (50 mile equivalent) target. Possible, but may have to be deferred to another week!

Just another interesting stat for me in relation to my forthcoming ultra distance event - if I wanted to finish the 100 mile distance under 24…

ROKA SIM Training Shorts - review

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Before I start on my review of the ROKA SIM Training Shorts a quick round up of last week's training and for once I am pleased to report that is wasn't too bad on the volume front - I managed to record over 13.5 hours of training, most at zone 1-2 (nice and easy 'Pegler pace') including a long run into work (24km) and in total 9 hours on the bike.

I expect that during the lead up to the busy festive period the training volume will drop and my consumption of food/drink will increase - not the best combination but kind of expected for December. The main goal is to not overdo it too much and find an acceptable balance.

So onto a review of the ROKA SIM Training Pro Shorts.

I have always been a fan of rubber training shorts / swimwear, which acts like a pull buoy in lifting your legs up but still allowing you to kick. I think they are a great aid for those who wish to get faster in a wet-suit and experience a bit of the body positioning that you would likely expect in an op…

Running going OK but still in comfort zone

This morning I managed to bang out a sub 6 min per km mid-week run into work, albeit on an almost pancake flat route - from Bramber along the Downs Link and then seafront to Brighton.

Over the coming weeks I intend to increase the time/distance and then will tag on another run shortly after/before so I experience running on tired legs. Today's run was a relatively gentle affair at around 18km and only 1:45 on my feet. I had previously done longer weekend runs but sometimes it may actually be more convenient to get in a long mid-week run instead (or as an additional session). This weekend I am unsure of the hours I will have available for training so thought it best to get some mileage in beforehand.

I do not feel any ill-effects from the long run/commute although I mostly stay within my comfort zone - 'Pegler pace'. Going forward I should not be afraid to schedule both some quicker and slower runs.

As the weather starts to turn a little colder I am starting to get a little…

Equipment review

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Last week's training came up short in terms of volume but at least I finally managed to complete a longish run and test out some of my ultra equipment - some new and some purchased last season.
First a quick word on how near I got to my weekly (ambitious) time goal of 14 hours. Unfortunately I missed, yet again, by some margin (about 4 hours light). Here come the excuses...
The bike was light by about 2.5-3 hours because I opted for the car one morning as the weather conditions were really awful. It would have actually been quite dangerous to cycle into work. Then there was a big of re-jigging with my coaching/swimming and one of my morning runs that reduced the overall total. I am sure I could have found some way to get it done but in the end my focus was on the main set of the week, which was a 2 hour plus weekend run.
So it was up at 6am with all the gear including head torch (which was useful for the first 30 mins only), my new Salomon running vest and a new pair of Asics gel…

The week ahead

With the exception of the weekend just gone when my training was a big fat zero, the few days beforehand didn't look too bad and I completed nearly all of the sessions I listed in my previous blog post.

The key weekend slots throughout November are looking a lot less busy than my October schedule, so now is the time to really move it up a gear.

This coming weekend I am planning a long run and review of my new Salomon trail backpack. I also intend to dust off the turbo-trainer and set up my racing (Tri/TT) bike on it, ready for action. Other weekly goals include buying a new pair of trail shoes and some new swim goggles.

Today I re-jigged some of my life assurance to include a Prudential Vitality plan where I hope to earn lots of rewards for my training (Garmin link to Vitality account). Included as partners of Vitality are Garmin, Sweatshop and Evans Cycles - some deals provide Vitality members with as much as 50% off.

I plan to start by getting 50% off my trail shoes from Sweatsh…

Overweight - not bike, run or swim fit - Oh Dear!

I am keeping to my training plan this week and will have banked over 8 hours by the time I get home tonight (post commute). That is the good news.

The bad news is I am currently overweight and simply not bike, run or swim fit - Oh Dear!

The reason is primarily related to lack of volume but also I expect to too much of the same 'Pegler speed/effort' training. Throw in the lack of strength work and I know I am more than likely going to get injured if I simply up the volume and keep to the same effort level.

As for being slightly above my 'fighting weight' I have had too many nice food/drink experiences recently and the silly festive season is not even here yet - I am peaking too early!

So actions:

Reduce sugary foods and restrict alcohol to weekendsPlan more mixed sessions - tempo, fartlek, strides, hills etc.Learn to go very easy and very hard - less of the 'Pegler pace'Incorporate 2-3 strength sets every week, even if 15-30 minsAdd in a Monday Club swim to offse…

So let's get serious!

I have been loosely following a training plan for the last few weeks based on a 3-week cycle of 2 increasing volume and 1 recovery. For example (in hours) - 9, 10, 8, 10, 11, 8, 11, 12, 8 etc.
My success rate each week is not good, in fact it is terrible - I think I have hit the numbers of 1 week out of 6!
So what is the problem and what do I need to change to get serious and hit my numbers.
Well the excuses are decent enough - new business, family engagements, weather, coaching commitments - all fair but not really good enough.
If I really wanted to do it I am a great believer that I would find a way - early mornings, better use of evenings, less TV, training built into commute, get out the turbo trainer, mend the treadmill etc.
In conclusion, the focus is still not there and I do not always make the best decisions.
So what is the answer?
Well, my forthcoming goal of running a 100 miles across the South Downs feels more real than ever - I have successfully entered and the event is firmly i…

And I am back (again)!

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Yes - I am back for more Tri training tips and chat, hopefully with a new sense of purpose.

So, lots to tell!

Since my last post I have become a fully qualified Level 1 British Triathlon Federation (BTF) Coach, completed my first ultra distance event (50 mile off-road), had a few days cycling in the Alpes, set up a new business in Brighton and am slowly and gradually getting back into some form of regular training.

New challenges you make ask?

One big one is already in the diary - a 100 mile ultra distance run across the South Downs in June 2016. I am also thinking of entering the classic Paris Roubaix cycling sportive and need to have a crack at another half - Ironman distance triathlon before getting my name on the list for the full distance in 2017 (number 3).

Over the coming weeks I will be checking in to post my training diary and progress. Hopefully along the way I can share some training tips and all the highs and lows of this great sport.

I still need to focus a lot of time and ener…

Signing off for a while

If there is anyone out there still logging in to read this blog then I must apologise for my tardiness of posting new content. It has been almost 2 months now and probably the longest time between posts - I think this is a telling tale.
Although it has been a rollercoaster 8 months I have continued my triathlon training, albeit not to the kind of volume in previous years, however my passion for recording all the detail has obviously waned.
I will be back at some stage but for the time being wanted to thank you for your support and interest in my journey - don't give up on me yet!

BTF Level 1 coaching and an update on training

Hi my loyal followers - welcome back

Just completed my British Triathlon Federation (BTF) Level 1 coaching course and hoping that I have done enough to pass. The final course date (Sunday just gone) started with a 45 written exam, then over 2 hours in the pool, when I had to give 15mins of swim coaching to the group, followed by a 1:1 session with a Level 3 coach. I am awaiting the results of the written paper but so far so good!

All in all the course was very informative, interesting and worthwhile. I will be honest and say it was more challenging and probably more difficult than I first imagined but as a result I think I got more out of it.

Once I hear the final result (hopefully positive) I will start to work more closely with the other coaches in the Club and deliver some future sessions, that the main Level 2 Coach has put together. Next year I might even consider the Level 2 qualification myself.

But one thing at a time and at the moment my focus is setting up my new business an…

Weather and training both improving

The last few days have been lovely and I have actually questioned my clothing selection wishing I had opted for shorts and one less layer on top.The good news apart from the better weather is that I am still injury free and picking up the training. The focus remains on running however I did get a couple of bike rides in this last week. I wouldn't say I was properly bike fit (call it 75%) and struggled to keep close to an average of 30km per hour for more than 1-2 hours. Time is going to be short between my big 50 mile ultra distance trail run and the Liege - Bastogne classic bike event 3 weeks later. I think that I will need to get some serious miles in plus a bit of power work on the turbo. Commuting into Brighton more frequently should help to build up the miles.I recorded some downhill intervals a few days ago to build up my quad muscles in preparation for the SDW50 ultra, which is going to be very lumpy.I ran on slightly tired legs today but manged 20km without too much effort…

So what is going on

Sorry but it has been a while (again) since my last blog post.So what is going on?I have to admit that my gardening leave has not been the most productive time of my life, especially in respect to training. I always thought that with all that free time it would be training heaven. I imagined I would be consistently logging 12 - 15 hours per week and going on epic adventures but the reality is that my head has been a bit of a mess and it has taken all my energy to try and sort out some kind of acceptable life / work / family balance. I certainly haven't been lazy and cannot really understand where the time has gone!Anyway my gardening leave will shortly be ending and I will be going back to work (more on that later). Ironically I think my training will start to pick up, especially as I add back some commuting time, the weather starts to improve and the triathlon season begins yet again.There is a bit of training related news to share with you. First, I completed my first ultra dist…

Getting there - slowly and surely

Last week I clocked nearly 11 hours of training including a 4 hour long run. Still not back to my pre - Ironman volume but not bad for base training. Considering I am still not benefiting from my Brighton commute, which accounted for a good proportion of training last year, it is looking OK and I am making steady progress - slowly and surely.So far in January I have logged 35 hours of training. Last year it was 41 hours in total so it would be nice of I could trump that and end up nearer 45-50 hours.I managed a decent bike on Tuesday and was pleased with my swimming on Wednesday evening. This morning was a short stride set. One of my mates commented on Strava - training for a sprint finish for my ultra run!I hope to jump on the turbo later today and/or tomorrow. Saturday is another swim set and possible tempo run. Sunday will be another run but not as long as current efforts.The plan is to break 45km next week (4-5 hour on my feet) for one single run getting me firmly into ultra terri…

Still coughing but managed 50km on the trails last week

I am still struggling with a dry cough, especially at night time, however last week wasn't a total 'write off'.

There were only a couple of bike turbo sets and one long swim but fortunately 3 decent run sets - 2x intervals / tempo sessions and the all-important long run when I clocked just over 34km. In total I hit the magic 50km, which was my goal for the week.

Over the coming weeks I expect to push my total run distance up, aiming for an additional 10% increase until I hit around 75km (weekly total, not an individual run).

For my next long and easy run I fancy the Downs Link again. This time I aim to first run to Southwater (on country roads, approx. 12km from home) and then will head towards Guildford on the Downs Link (33km from Southwater to Guildford). It is nice and flat, which is not what I will be experiencing during the South Downs 50 mile ultra run, however it would be a good test and the longest run I have ever attempted (before that it would be marathon distan…

Man Flu hits

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First week of increased training and I get taking down by Man Flu - serious stuff.I did soldier on but missed a couple of run sessions and an easy bike. The week was not a complete disaster as I managed three decent enough turbo interval / power sets, 2 swims (despite all my coughing) and a 31 km long run, which was the key session of the week. The long run was slow (over 6 min per km average) but it did include a couple of nasty hills and lots of mud. I did achieve the distance / time goal, which I increased to 30km and/or 3 hours.I would normally enjoy a rest day tomorrow but if it is nice weather I cannot resist doing an interval run along Brighton seafront as I will be down on the coast and have missed running there.Otherwise if I can shake this cold / flu I will try to up the time and run distance. Goal this week is to hit 50km in total.Will leave you with a picture I took on top of the Downs by Cissbury Ring and 20km in to the run.

Setting yourself up to win

Still a relatively low volume week but started to set myself up to win. First thing was to get my turbo out in the garage (named the 'cave of pain'). I also utilised an old TV and bought myself a £20 DVD player with SCART lead (old school) so I could easily play Spinervals workouts and favourite movies while I train. Managed 2x 40mins turbo sets during the week.Was unable to use the pool on New Year's Eve so opted for the Monday evening swim session. On Saturday went for an hour off - road tempo run rather than a coffee.My longer Sunday run wasn't that long (family commitments), however I felt pretty good and am confident that I would have had no problem if it had of ended up a 25km plus run (only managed 17km). During the run I experimented with honey and water as fuel - felt pretty good so will use again for longer runs.So my plan for the coming week:Mon - strides set (on treadmill) and gym work (1:00)
Tue - Turbo power set (1:00)
Wed - Tempo run (1:00) / Club Swim (…