Thursday, 17 December 2015
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 hours I would need to log the following average pace numbers:
08:56 mins per km OR
14:24 mins per mile
Doesn't sound too bad when you see those numbers!
I will let you know how I get on in my first 5km parkrun event - been a while since I have done any fast stuff.
Monday, 30 November 2015
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 open-water race.
ROKA is a US based company that kindly approached our club (Horsham Amphibians Triathlon) to ask if we would like to try out their top of the range SIM Training Pro Shorts and promptly sent across a couple of pairs (Mens, size medium) to get the Club's thoughts.
A good number of the Club's members have tried them out and the feedback has been predominately positive. All have remarked that their body positioning has improved and has led to faster times within the pool. Once experienced triathlete and top age-grouper (top 10 UK competitor at 70.3 distance) recorded a personal best at the 100/200m distances.
My own thoughts mirrored these findings that the SIM Pro Shorts certainly helped me go faster because of the better body positioning whilst not losing the ability to kick. The only slight negative was that the shorts came up slightly lower at the waist than I had personally expected - only marginally but another half of inch I reckon would have given me a more comfortable fit. I should say that about 50% of the Club swimmers felt the same as me and 50% had no issues and they sat comfortably at waist level. Whether a med/large might solve this one slight niggle is certainly worth investigating. Meanwhile, the shorts generally got a big 'thumbs up' and we have gone back to ROKA with an initial Club order.
Further details can be found via the ROKA website.
|ROKA SIM Training Pro Shorts|
Friday, 20 November 2015
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 more interested on jumping on the turbo. A lot of the guys are experimenting with Zwift, which looks a heap of fun. I reckon I could set it up with my existing trainer, Garmin speed sensor and ANT+ USB stick but am yet to download the software and give it a go. I would love to be in a position to invest in a updated turbo trainer - one of the latest smart trainers that have built in ANT+/Bluetooth plus can handle power more easily but for the time being my TACX Flow will have to do.
I will back in contact with my total volume for the week and plans for the coming days. I also need to post a review of some of the ROKA swim gear that have been recently sent to the Club.
Until then, over and out - keep on training!
Sunday, 8 November 2015
|Equipment check and selfie before my long Sunday morning run|
|New Asics trail shoes - did the trick|
Monday, 2 November 2015
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 Sweatshop - all looks relatively simple. I am likely to purchase another pair of Asics trail shoes with Goretex, however I also wish to try the Salomon shoes before making a final decision. I can see another equipment review blog post coming up! If anyone reading this would like to know about Vitality and their rewards scheme then please let me know - I get some useful John Lewis vouchers if I can make an introduction.
Anyway, on to the week ahead:
Mon: 2:45 bike commute + 1:00 club swim
Tue: 0:45 run + 0:15 strength work
Wed: 1:30 run + 1:30 club swim
Thu: 0:45 bike turbo + 0:15 strength work
Fri: 2:45 bike commute
Sun: 2:30 easy trail run
In summary, bike: 6:15; run: 4:45; swim 2:30; strength: 0:30. Grand total: 14:00. A big step up from recent weeks. The key will be completing the long run on Sunday and committing to the extra club swim tonight.
I feel in need for a run commute to help with the big mileage targets but that may have to wait until next week - one step at a time.
Thursday, 29 October 2015
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!
- Reduce sugary foods and restrict alcohol to weekends
- Plan 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 mins
- Add in a Monday Club swim to offset lost Wed/Sat swim set that I now coach (not swim)
- Plan a few very easy fat-burning long runs (25km+) prior to building up the back-to-back weekend runs
- Reminder to self - new trail shoes - had to dump old Asics Gel Lahar shoes after 1,175km (RIP my old friends) plus new goggles - Aqua Sphere Kayenne are my current favourites
Tuesday, 27 October 2015
Tuesday, 20 October 2015
Monday, 25 May 2015
Monday, 23 March 2015
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 and training for my first ultra distance (50 mile trail) event in just under a fortnight's time. My run training has certainly been more intensive than previous years when training for an Ironman or marathon, however, I do feel I have come up a little light on the long runs. Ideally I would have got in a 50km plus run into Brighton over the Downs and/or one longer back to back runs (2x 30km runs on consecutive days). Neither happened and I am worried if I tried to sneak one in (possible but may be not practical) I could end up injuring myself before the big day.
I know it is going to hurt and I am more likely to end up with a 12-hour time than 10 hours but for the first one I think it is all about completion rather than competing and simply experiencing the world of ultra running.
If I manage to get my finger out and write a few more blog posts then I would like to do one in the lead up to the ultra race to include the equipment and nutrition I plan to use. I recently purchased a rather nice, light and waterproof jacket that I need to review. Also got a pair of Inov ultra distance shorts.
The other news is that this is my last week at home before I start my commute again to Brighton, hopefully leading to an increase in my weekly training volume, which will certainly be important with the Liege - Bastogne - Liege sportive coming up and a host of Club races. Meanwhile, it is taper time on the run front.
Schedule for this week and next:
Mon (today): 1:30 run - steady pace (sub 5mins per km) DONE
Tue: 0:45 bike turbo set - focus on power
Wed: 1:30 Club Swim
Thu: 1:00 run - intervals
Fri: 0:45 bike turbo set - more on power
Sat: 1:00 Club Swim
Sun: 2:00-3:00 Cycle
Mon (30th): Rest day
Tue: 3:00 Cycle commute - easy spin
Wed: 0:30 morning run; 1:30 Club Swim
Thu: 0:30 stretching and foam rollers
Fri: Rest day
Sat: Race Day - Centurion SDW50
Sunday, 8 March 2015
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. Plans for a long Brighton run over the Downs and back to back long run days are still in my mind. Not long now!
Monday, 23 February 2015
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 distance training run, a scenic route from home to Guildford (47km - my age in km) mostly on the Downs Link.
My pace slowed for the last 10-15km and it was tough on the legs, however I did maintain an acceptable average pace of just over 6 mins per km, albeit it was a pretty flat run from start to finish. A friend and accomplished ultra runner recently told me that long flat runs can sometimes be as difficult as hilly ones, mainly because you are using a narrower range of muscles / movements, which are likely to get more fatigued than when using a wider range to cope with hills - interesting!
Since that long run I have had other stuff to focus on but am now planning the next big block, likely to be 2x 20 miles runs, back to back (Sat - Sun). I only have just over a month to get my final training in so time is short. I have also been recommended to include some down hill intervals, as many ultra runners find the down hill as tough as the climbs.
I logged some decent hours more recently as my Tri Club hosted a training weekend. It felt good to increase the volume with a number of back to back sessions, which should help me to start thinking more seriously about the forthcoming season.
Finally, I completed the first 2 days of my BTF Level 1 coaching course. It was quite challenging but very interesting. The focus is on the delivery of a suitable training session rather than the creation. Lots of good skills and best practice was learnt. I have just over a month to complete the homework, study the content in the work books and practice the swim session I am going to give on the final assessment day.
So lots going on even if my training is below target in respect of actual hours logged. I will report on news of my business changes soon, which is no doubt going to impact my training calendar yet further.
Onwards and upwards.
Thursday, 29 January 2015
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 territory. Thereafter I aim to get in a 50km run over the Downs.
It also won't be long before I have my Level 1 coaching weekend in Brighton - I will report back on that later.
Still going through more mid - life 'fun and games' - thinking of progressing to a full motorcycle licence and now growing a bit of an ultra beard (untidy stubble at the moment).
Monday, 19 January 2015
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 distance of 42km). I will allow myself 5 hours. If I start around 10am then I can reach Guildford around 3pm giving me an hour or two for a coffee and some food before heading back with my daughter in the car (she is currently working in Guildford) - sounds like a plan!
Thereafter I have plans to run to Brighton over the South Downs but via Devils Dyke to include a good 3-4 climbs, which will be the identical route for my ultra event. A month before the race I am also thinking of entering the Steyning Stinger marathon, again over the South Downs, giving me plenty of practice.
My cycling has taken a bit of back-stage, mostly because of my run focus and lack of commuting to work. Post the ultra run my focus will very quickly shift to the bike as I have Liege-Bastogne-Liege sportive to think of at the end of April.
Hopefully, these events and the training beforehand should provide a good base for the forthcoming triathlon season, which are going to be bias to a number of shorter-distance Club events and possibly a half-ironman!
Sunday, 11 January 2015
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.
Sunday, 4 January 2015
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 (1:30)
Thu - Z2 bike (2:00)
Fri - Spin bike set and gym work (1:00)
Sat - Club Swim (1:00)
Sun - Long run (2:30)
If all goes as expected a 11 hour total, which is more than I have done for a while. I would like to think I could bank a 25km plus run on the Sunday and increase by at least 2-3 km each week.
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