Well since the last post the training regime has been OK. I have done some hour long roller sessions, some 30-ish minute runs and some productive swim sessions.

The swim has seen the most progress. Over the last two weeks I have progressed up to 1000m and last night I managed a 1500m swim in 33 minutes. WOW! I am incredibly chuffed with myself. Before anyone points out that its not a brilliant time I will admit I know that – however for someone who was not managing more than a couple of lengths a month ago I think it is great progress! I am very happy with the progress. My arms definitely felt like they had done a work out last night!

The bike sessions… well rollers are boring, very boring.  But it’s good time spent on the bike. I did a 3 hour ride outside last weekend at a low to moderate heart rate. The bad news was that the seat post clamp (or is that “seatpost clamp” or “seat-post clamp” ??) snapped on my B2 during the ride. So for a large part of the ride I was sitting much lower than I usually do – my quads did not like me for that!  Anyway, I have got a new clamp on the way and should be in the saddle again soon.

The seat post is aero shaped so it’s an unusual clamp style. The bit that snapped is a very thin piece of metal that just doesn’t seem to like being over tightened at all. Anyway, I think it might be a bit of a design flaw with the seat post clamp – but at least it is a replaceable component on the bike.

The run… well the few runs I have done are all around 30 minutes or so.  My calves still feel sore the next day even with serious amounts of stretching. I do hope the sort themselves out soon. The knee twinges every so often which I hope isn’t the sign of anything going wrong.

On the whole training is going well and I’m very happy with the swimming progress!

Well since being back my training hasn’t been nearly as plentiful as I’d have hoped.  The long and the short of it is that there isn’t enough time in the day.  Last week was a nightmare due to issues at work which ate into my training time, kept me up late so was too tired to train or just made me feel like not training.

 I have managed to get some swimming and cycling on the rollers in over the last couple of weeks which keeps things ticking over nicely.

I am trying out forefoot running after my running “layoff” and so far its not looking too bad.  I have just done a run with a new pair of Newtons and I have to admit that I’m not 100% convinced I can feel the spring and bounce that the brochures claim. That said, they are comfortable and the fit is good – I chose 1 size up (for US rather than UK size) from my usual Brooks. They do help you run on the forefoot and you tend to notice when the odd heel-strike happens.  I think I need a few more runs to decide if they live up to their claims. That said, the bright orange does stand out and takes some getting used to.  All in all, nothing to complain about relating to the Newton’s yet… maybe they are my running saviours!

Well today was the last day in Girona… We started off with a very brief swim in the lake… the water must have literally been around 4 degrees. The air temperature was 7 and it felt warm compared to the water temperature.  Thank goodness for the wetsuit and neopreen hat. The swim didnt last that long but a couple of swims to a bouy and back were enough for us to get out and hit warm showers.  We did get some puzzled looks and some “are you insane” looks from the rowers….

We then did a 70km cycle including a total of 800m climbing and then did a prompt T2 followed by a 28min run. 28 minute run I hear you asking… well yes, I just added a bit on to the planned 20 minutes as I was feeling pretty good on the run so made the most of it!

Got back to the UK to be greeted with rainy weather… great!

Well today we had our “technique” cycle session. A session focused slightly more on the how, why, what to do rather than just cycling.  I took on-board the many tips, hints and tricks from the day. 

The “stinker” part of the day consisted of a section about a mile long to climb with an average gradient of about 11.5% and sections of 18%. The surface was good so traction wasn’t an issue… but strength to keep going was lacking. At one point I figured that if I had to continue to the top because if I stopped I wouldn’t be able to unclip and would hence fall over… So I pushed on and on and on some more.  I must admit that I would rather take time-trial hill (from day one) ANYDAY over this horrible section.  Of course, if you are wanting to do cycling in the Alps or other such mountainous regions, then this would be a reasonable starting point…

Even though I would not like to do that hill again, I certainly got a sense of achievement after completing it!

Well today was meant to consist of a 90km cycle.. but alas the route we took only resulted in 81.9km.  Sigh. It did consist of 1500m climbing so it wasn’t too shabby a ride. I recon it can count as a 90km cycle on flatter terrain 🙂  OK, so we did stop for lunch along the way too.. but a great ride!!

There was a particularly nasty 18% section that went on for ages (well actually was probably no much more than 20-40m long).  The road surface was horrid and gritty so we were struggling for grip.  But boy- did that feel tough after 10km of climbing…

Of course, with so much climbing there comes a fair amount of descending too… weeeeeeeeeeeee as you race down the curving roads that are almost free of traffic and that are in superb condition!

Well today the thighs were still feeling the abuse from the day before. We headed off on a two hour ride which turned into about 2.5 hours. We covered around 45km or so. Again, a computer issue didn’t record the results for a significant part of the ride. All I know is that the top speed I saw on the display was 60.4km/h going down a nice long gentle hill on a straight. WOW. what a rush 😀  There were some nasty hills including one which the coach got me to cycle twice…

We finished the ride with a flurry and then did a quick T2 and I headed off for a 20 minute run.  Lead legs is a suitable term! After about 10-15mins the legs were feeling more like running and I was getting into the feel of things but had to stop as it was only a 20min run.

The afternoon consisted of lunch and a 2hour nap.  We’re told that the pros do this on many days so it’s gotta be a good thing 🙂

Well I’ve managed to get some training in for the first time in a while! Woo hoo!!

I did a 1h10 run on Saturday evening. Did a bit around Canary Wharf and then headed to Tower Bridge and back.  Was good to get out but not too much fun watching all the people at bars and pubs having Christmas time type fun!

Today I did a 40 minute swim session. It was good to be back in the pool but I have realised how much more swimming I need to do in the next few months.  After the swim I did a 50 minute session on the cycling machine at around 80% MHR. A bit boring as the gym was quiet but a very necessary training session none-the-less!

Hurray for Christmas tomorrow!!

Well the last few days have been very quiet on the training front, which is not good for the training regime!  I managed to get out for a 55 minute run last night (roughly 10.5km I think) and boy it felt good! Whats quiet interesting is that I must have sweat about 900g (about 900ml) of fluid during the run. Quiet scary given how chilly it was in the evening. Anyway, lots of water there after and during today and I should be back on the hydration road.

It was an eye opener and I will definitely try to drink more water each day!

Well Sunday saw me complete the Bedford Half marathon in a personal best chip time of 1h43:52! Yippee!

The day started off badly with me not getting up at 0645 like I had planned but only dragging myself out of bed at 0715. I had planned to leave home by 0730, but was clearly running late before I had even managed a shower.  I was very tempted not to go.  I was out the door at around 0745 only to be called by work (I was on call) about some problem that turned out to be due to planned changes.  Anyway I only left home at 0810. 40 mins late. Long story short I eventually got to the bag drop area (after missing my motorway junction- don’t ask…) about 1 min before the race start. The race had started once I got back to the start line.

Anyway I managed to make up a good number of places in the first mile and even stayed on my 8 min mile target. Race was going well for the first few miles until the wind picked up and brought some drizzle. Not too bad I thought… until the rain came. And boy did it pour down.  Combined with the wind the rain drops were stinging my face.  Anyway having had a training session in these conditions I figured I’d cope and just head onwards. Shoes squelching and shirt clinging I trundled on.

I felt quite strong going up the hill leading to the final descent from around mile 8 or 9. I was going quite well for most of the race and feeling ok even though a number of the runners I passed were puffing and panting heavily.

The last mile did me in though. Up until mile marker 12 I was feeling comfortable (albeit very cold and wet) and relatively pain free. Past mile maker 12 however, my hamstrings started to give up and my pace dropped off. The last mile was closer to a 9 min mile, compared to a steady 8 min for most of the other apart from mile 10 which I managed a 7 min mile, unfortunately. I did finish and eventually hobbled back to the car.

I was cold and my legs were sore and I was tired. Not a good combination. Anyway car heater on with dry clothes did help but my lunch at a motor way services with a coke and a coffee definitely got me on the mend.

Right now my legs are still sore. More so than from Palma and Nottingham. I do wonder if the cold weather played a part in my legs not feeling so good, or maybe it was the lack of a warm up prior to the race. Either way, I’m pleased with my time but am surprised by the pain!

yes sleet- tonight I went for my hour run outside in the rain… along the way I wondered what the sharp stings were- I worked it out pretty quick though! SLEET.  Anyway the run was pretty good overall. Seems I have the layering thing right, apart from my gloves which are quite clearly not water proof. They got wet and cool quite quickly in the rain, but were still warmer than not having them. Two of my Canary Wharf laps and I was done and heading for the warmth of my shower!

Thursday got an hour’s spinning session at 65-75% MHR after a enjoyable and productive swim session. Think I may have been getting the catch and pull correct along with maybe getting the hang of better rolling. Managed to fit in an hours run before work on Friday!

Fingers crossed I manage to get a full week of training in this week!!