Monday, 30 March 2020

Isolation Duathlon

We were schedule to have our first Club race of the year last week, a short duathlon (5km run, 20km cycle and 3km run). Of course the Coronavirus and resulting lockdown put a stop to that. However, being a resourceful, generally highly driven bunch of triathletes we came up with an alternative event.

Over 3 days (respecting government guidelines on daily exercise) I logged the three respective activites trying to achieve decent (race) times, albeit the wind made that very hard. My choice for the first 5km up on the Downs (hills + fierce winds) was really not the best location! Anyway, it was less about the speed and more about the completion.

So my scores on the doors:

5km Run - 24:40 (average pace 4:55 per km)
19.2km Cycle - 38:09 (average speed 30.7 km/h)
3km Run - 13:12 (average pace 4:23 per km)

Total 1:16:01

Obviously there was no transitions to worry about.

I decided to look back at my previous attempts at the Club short duathlon (covering exactly the sames distances but with transitions):

2008: 1:13:05
2009: 1:14:37
2010: 1:12:21
2014: 1:08:48

Oh dear..... that doesn't look too good! I reckon I could have knocked a good couple of minutes off because of the wind but then should have saved on transitions/rest overnight!

Certainly not race fit - a long way to go!

Friday, 27 March 2020

Return to 'Productive' Training

So what day is it.... a quick look at my Garmin Fenix 6 and I see it is Friday, day 4 of lockdown - how is everyone doing?

I must say that despite my reservations about the global shutdown it does have a number of benefits - may be it is simply the better weather and sight of the sun but it does actually feel like the world is healing a bit. When I get out for my daily exercise it feels that much fresher, greener and obviously less busy - nice.

I am going to start off this morning with a Joe Wicks morning workout (something to do with the family). Later today I am going to get in a trail run, now the South Downs is less muddy.

Unfortunately swimming at the pool is likely to be cancelled for another couple of months but that doesn't stop me swimming in the lake/sea (social distancing of course), although at the moment a little bit too cold - on the radar screen for mid to late April.

I have also been able to cycle, just a few local loops but lovely when the sun is out. My training status on the Garmin watch has returned to 'Productive' indicating my fitness is improving and I have got the balance better on fitness and load. I still need to add in some shorter high intensity workouts, especially when the load is high and adding another long run/cycle at 'Pegler' pace has little to no benefits - although to be honest, none of my workouts seem long, 80% are between 30 - 90mins.

So like most people.... I am hanging on in there, trying to adjust to the lockdown and recommended restrictions. For now, I am so pleased that exercise is still allowed, and it hasn't stop my training, in fact it is a really good opportunity to get much more into it - always a silver lining!

Thursday, 19 March 2020

The world has gone bonkers!

I know it is my personal view (well it is my blog!) but I think the world has gone totally bonkers...

I do understand the severity of the Coronavirus and I certainly get the unprecedented domino effect and economic impact, however are we simply going too far? Would this have been better handled by letting everyone get the virus and then putting down the resulting deaths to a new strain of flu, that was worse than normal years - terrible indeed but we build immunity and move on. I am not sure of the numbers but there must be 10x more people dying from cancer and even car accidents and suicide.

Anyway, this is not a political blog so onto the important stuff, training...

Well, last week was as disappointing as other recent weeks. I am maintaining a minimum level of training, even with a specific SwimRun bias, however it simply is not moving the needle and this time my general fitness is not even good enough to get me to the start line, never known the finish!

There was a few little successes - first a decent SwimRun bias swim set, using paddles and pull-buoy, a relatively fast 8km local loop and more than the average cups on Strava (cycling commute). In addition, last evening I managed to get to a Wednesday 90 min swim - first for many years.

So what next, at this time of self-isolation exercise (for as long as we can). Well, the Club swim is off so finding a pool that is open could be a challenge. The sea/lake is a bit cold yet! My office time has been drastically reduced (80% working from home) so my commute time has gone the same way. However, for as long as I can, getting out to exercise will be one of my priorities over the coming weeks. So who knows, my training hours may even increase. Combine that with not going out eating/drinking and possible future rationing (now that would be grim) - I might even lose some weight.

There is always a silver lining!

P.S. Still loving the new Garmin Fenix 6 (review coming soon) although all my last sessions have been 'unproductive' and it says my training load is too much - I cannot believe that!


Thursday, 12 March 2020

Markets collapsing (also my training)

So I work in the financial industry - as a Chartered Wealth Manager. Let me tell you, if you don't already know..... it has not been a good week.

Markets are collapsing, Trump has just banned European flights (ex UK) to the US for 30 days, Tom Hanks has got Coronavirus, Boris could close all the schools in the UK..... not good at all.

Unfortunately, my training seems to have gone the way of the markets. I have been so caught up in this whirlwind of news that I seem to have forgotten about my plan and exercise commitments, and that is despite the arrival of my lovely new Garmin Fenix 6, which I thought would give me a new impetus to get out on those trails.

To be honest, the weather has remained pretty grim, and when I did venture out on my local trails it was a total bog-fest. However, that should not have stopped me running on the roads and getting in that pool, all vital training for my SwimRun event in late August.

As the spread of this Coronavirus continues it might mean I am working from home a little more - you would thought this increases my chance of exercise, however I have got into a bit of a routine of using my commute as a bit of a training session - it also gets me out of the door earlier and provides that morning exercise window, which personally works best for me.

So....more effort needed, if my routine has to change so my exercise program has to adapt to. Let's just hope they don't have to shut the pool!

My eating habits also need to be improved - I tend to have a healthy diet, however snacking and more drinking (alcohol) has an ever increasing part of my day to day living, which isn't going to help, especially when my exercise levels drop. You can see why people get into a 'vicious circle' so quickly.

What am I going to do about it....

Well I certainly need to log a couple of runs/swims over the next few days. I also need to schedule some longer distances runs, book a few events and also add in the speed/strength work - all have been lacking!

I also need to provide a quick review on the Garmin Fenix 6, which I am loving.

Keep safe out there!


Wednesday, 4 March 2020

New kit on its way - new Garmin Fenix 6

I love my tech, especially tech that I get a buzz using everyday and I believe makes me more productive/efficient. Top of my list (even above my smart phone) is my Garmin wearable(s) - over the years I have upgraded whenever I have been able to afford the next model. I normally hold off for 6 months+ and wait for the price to drop a bit.

So I finally got around to ordering the new Garmin Fenix 6 Pro (the lighter titanium model) to replace my Forerunner 935, which has done a stellar job. Even though I have opted for the lighter titanium model it is still heavier than my Forerunner, which I hope is not going to be a problem during my long runs - will I notice it more? I have read countless reviews on the watch and think it should all be good but I will not sell my trusty Forerunner until I am sure the Fenix 6 works for me.

Anyway, I will leave a formal review of the watch until I have it in my person and used it for a couple of weeks.

Otherwise, training is slow and I am yet to fully commit to the increased volume and measures to bring down my weight by the target 0.5kg per week. It is now only 6 months to my 'A race' and I primarily need to build up my strength, swimming and trail running.

As the weather improves I can see this helping in getting me out there and enjoying the sea and the Downs, which are conventially on my doorstep - ideal for SwimRun training.

Until then I need to do what I can to keep up the motivation (hopefully this blog and checking in will help, as will my new Garmin).

For the rest of this week I need to get in  another 1-2 runs and a swim, at the very least.

Tomorrow I am up in London at a conference so my usual Thames run loop (along South bank and over Tower Bridge) is definitely on my 'to do' list.

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...