Saturday, 25 April 2020

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 Achilles niggles wearing them, which normally prompts me into a purchase. Fortunately I get a half-price pair from Runners Need via my Vitality life insurance benefits. So these beauties cost me £60 rather than the retail £120:

Anyway, they seem pretty good during my first run so they will be my default training shoes going forward - best to stick to what you know works!

I also ordered the start of my SwimRun gear, which I hope I will get an opportunity to use for my scheduled A-Race in Loch Lomond at the end of August. I am looking forward to receiving some  Saloman trail shoes that are specifically designed for the SwimRun event - light and have water drainage holes.

I have my eye on a Westsuit but unfortunately they do not have my size at the moment.

Talking of my size, this lockdown might be doing good for my fitness levels but I am not doing myself any favours on the weight goal (I definitely need to lose 2-4 kg over the coming months). My weekend drinking (not in excess but enough!) is now more like daily drinking. The snacks that go with the glass of wine or gin & tonic, salted nuts, crisps, cheese etc. add to the problem.

I need to take action and stop talking about it - let's hope I can share some progress on the weight front over the coming weeks.

That is it for now - I plan a fast run today (only 30 mins) and a bike ride with my Fiancee tomorrow. Volume generally down a bit this week.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Progress report

So what have I been up to in the last 12 days...

Despite the lockdown and not knowing what day it really is, I cannot complain. I am happy, healthy, working, being paid, exercising regularly (good bit), drinking/eating more (bad bit), missing my friends/family and going out for adventures further afield. On the whole, I am defintely one of the lucky ones.

So looking at my Strava record since my last post I have completed 4 rides (about 200km in total) and 2 runs, albeit one was a half-marathon challenge.

I chose what I thought was a relatively interesting and flatish course for the half-marathon challenge to try to ensure a decent time, however ended up getting a little lost by opting for an off-road detour rather than run a smallish hill that looked like it could slow me down and reduce my average pace. In the end the off-road section probably slowed me down more and my average pace for the whole run was a little disappointing at 5:01 mins per km and an overral time of 1:46:13.

The next day my legs did feel heavy, although I managed a longish cycle ride so was quite pleased with that. That kind of volume felt a little bit like the old days, however it was only for a couple of days. I used to be able to continue that kind of daily volume for the rest of the week. Anyway, given my overall fitness and current circumstances I cannot moan.

I know that my training needs to become more specific over the summer months with the focus on swimming and running but for now I am quite happy with building some decent base fitness and slightly increasing the volume.

All good.

I am just about to go out for another 10km run, exploring new trails and testing out my Garmin navigation functions.

Stay safe out there.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Garmin status 'Peaking' - ready to race (not)

So my current training status on Garmin is 'Peaking', which is normally an indication that you have a short window when fitness is high, training load has been reduced, so you are in good position to race!

Ha, race... that would be wonderful, however very difficult in current lockdown scenario plus I still don't really feel race ready!

Anyway, at least I am getting out and exercising a bit (generally within government's guidelines).

So more of the same this week, alternating between 30-45km cycle rides and 5-12km runs. I have said it before, and I will say it again.... I need to mix it up a bit and include some higher intensity sessions and a bit of strength work.

Over the coming weeks my attention will turn to getting myself some gear for my forthcoming SwimRun event (if it is not cancelled) and once the lockdown restrictions are relaxed some open swimming in sea/lake.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Initial review of Garmin Fenix 6 plus (titanium)

So... I promised some initial 'words of wisdom' on my new Garmin Fenix 6 and recent upgrade to the previously owned Garmin Forerunner 935.

First question... was it worth the upgrade.

Well, 'yes and no'. The Forerunner 935 was an amazing watch and despite opting for the titanium version of the Fenix 6, the 935 is still considerably lighter.

There is quite a lot of extra tech in the Fenix 6 but it is relative, the 935 was also a high-spec bit of kit.

In this initial review I am not going into all the 'pros and cons' and the complete functionality of the watch, there are hundreds of YouTube reviews that do this much better than I can.

So I am going to focus on my top 3 reasons why personally I do believe the upgrade was worth it, maybe not totally necessary, but certainly makes me smile:

  1. Firstly, it is simply the looks - the 935 wasn't an ugly watch but I think the Fenix 6 is very attractive. I love that I can change the watch strap easily - in addition to the standard orange Garmin rubber strap, the watch came with, I purchased a couple of straps on Amazon: the blue/white rubber strap (shown below) and a brown leather one for evenings out. As it is my main watch I wanted something that looked good, whatever the occasion.
  2. Secondly, I love that I have my favourite running playlist downloaded to the Fenix 6 and once connected to my Jabra Sport bluetooth headphones it means I don't necessarily need my phone when running. OK, so I cannot take calls or take advantage of the incident detection functionality but I can live with that on a short run.
  3. Finally, the interface is that much more user-friendly, especially when scrolling through widgets/apps and the screen much larger with options to display more stats.
I cannot wait to try out a longer trail run and make use of the more detailed maps/navigation. Also I want to try out the Garmin coaching plans. Lots of other functionality to play around with. I will probably post a further review after a few months in and living with my new baby.

E-Bike adventure

I know, you must be thinking 'E-Bike adventure'.... that's it, he has finally given in to old age, no more 'Tri Hard Dave...