Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

Well a new Year is nearly upon us and what a year I've had. A year ago I was in Basra having an early night with a can of blackcurrant fanta.... a year later and I'm having a peaceful evening in with a good mate and some nice tucker.... 2006 has been a long year personally, and one which has seen me change as a person probably quite significantly due to the experiences that came with the start of the year in particular. I'm looking forward to 2007 and all the experiences life will bring along - particularly the London Michelob Triathlon in August!!! :o)

Training this week has gone pretty ok - easier as I was off work, but hard still as I still had the "Christmas must catch up with mates and drink beer" bug!! Although thankfully only one day of that this in the last week!!! Got a really good core session followed by excellent swim session in on Friday. During the swim I did a good set of drills and a few tempo lengths to get through an hour and 2.1k, all felt really good. As a reward I then had an afternoon out on the town... oh dear, although the pints of London Pride did go down well and the company was fab!! Woke up early saturday with a sore head!!

As punishment therefore I had agreed to help a friend out digging over their garden - what felt like hours of hard labour in the rain to repent of my sins of the day before! Still wanted to punish myself some more so did a 5k hill session on the treadmill in the gym... only one word for that... UGLY!

Today I was supposed to be doing a mtb orienteering thing with my mate Claire. Alas I have had a senile moment and thought it was today but when I checked the time on Saturday afternoon on the web I discovered the date of the event was the 30th - yep that would have been Saturday morning then.. doh! so missed it. Not to be outdone though the local gym had a 1.5hour spin session - so we both did that instead which was actually quite enjoyable (in a warped sort of way), just for good measure I left the bike and got on the treadmill for a quick 1k run. Legs held up well and not too much wobbling - amazing!

Well better get out and start celebrating (with elderflower cordial and fizzy water - honest), the arrival of the New Year!

Wishing all of you out there and your families one fabulous celebration tonight and a happy and peaceful 2007.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Spring is on the way - honest

Yes - before Christmas we obviously had the winter solstice and so we're getting around 8hours of sunshine a day... well ok if you could see the Sun we would be - although I did hear someone say they saw it for an hour today... ;0) I have to say I missed it. The thing about winters here is there is nothing to them - neither too cold or too hot, just grey and very little sunshine. Well at least I don't live further north where they have next to no chance of any sun at all do you won't catch me anywhere in Scandinavia in the next few months eh ;o) ... but still as I said Spring is on the way - the birds are even in song in the morning already and yes there are the first sign of tulips, daffodils and the like coming out - but hey isn't this just all a little too early? Time will tell if they all get beaten back my some sort of winter that's not come yet. We have had a few days of minus temps all day (that was when the fog was here last week ), but that's about it.... not that I guess that I'm complaining as have to figure out far too many layers to wear when I run in the cold ;O)

OK - on to this week. Did a really nice run on Christmas Day. Later then usual I set off about 10am, without the santa outfit (which I did contemplate wearing)... met quite a few dog walkers all wrapped up. Hit the bridle ways of Finchampstead and had a really lovely 7.5k outing. That of course allowed me to indulge in the rest of the day! Excellent day too, over to Mum and Dads, brother, his wife, my two nephews (8yrs and 2mths), Nan, Aunt and Uncle - phew a busy day!

Took Tuesday off and took Dad's dog to the beach with some family friends. At least the dog got an excellent run around, think she's been flat out ever since!!!

Wednesday I took in a steady swim, some drills and a 400m (disappointingly still just over 9mins for that) in total about 1500m. Club training doesn't restart until next Wednesday so I would like to get a couple more swims in before that.

Today I took to my bike, could have risked the outside as it was brighter then it has been (still no clear skies), but the road was damp and slippery all day although a mild 8degrees. So didn't do it but caught 2 episodes of Alias (series 1 again) to get me through an hour or so on the bike. Did an easy 10mins warm up then 5*1k intervals with 1k easy, after that another 10k small gear cadence >90. So felt like that was a good workout.

The 'plan' for the rest of the week is 1-2 more swims, at least one run and I've entered a 2hour mtb orienteering event for Sunday. Now I've done some of these before and they're quite a laugh, although currently the weather forecast is not too funny looking!!! Still it will be entertaining if nothing else.... especially if the storms arrive as predicted.

Right that's it for now - and would you look at the time - well past my bedtime, I need my beauty sleep after all.

Oh yeah and Muffin the cat has also enjoyed his Christmas although he's really not getting into the exercise thing like his Ma - seems to be doing lots of stretching, cat snoring and eating. Well sounds like he's got really into the Christmas spirit!


Monday, December 25, 2006

Ho Ho Ho!

Merry Christmas!!! Tis the season to be jolly la la la.. or something like that eh? OK time to confess it's been nearly two weeks since my last blog and I think I can safely say there is a correlation between how much training I put in and how regularly I do my blog... you will gather therefore as I've been a little lax on the blog front I have also been lax on the training front. Lack of will power has seen me go to too many festive gatherings and consume the wrong type of hydration (ok more like right type of dehydration depending on your view!). Still Christmas comes but once a year... and I wasn't here last year (in the sense I wasn't in the UK) so I guess I've been making up for it.

I'll keep my training diary brief then (well I have little choice in that matter!)... The week of my last blog (starting 11th I think) I did err grand total of err 1 hour of training... yep shocking.. and that was on the Sunday. By the time I'd got to Wednesday 13th I'd been commuting for over 16hours, the next day I went to Ireland for a flying (social) visit so by the time I got to Friday I was well and truly pooped. Saturday I cleared off the Christmas shopping list so that left Sunday to go for a run... and suffer I did.. a week of living the high life and lots of travel took it out of my legs. So steady 9.5k in an hour (although did slightly beast myself for last 2k which I raced home in a little over 10mins).... On to the last week then (told you this wouldn't take long...)... Managed a good day on Monday, both strength session in the morning and swim session in the evening. The swim was as much of a nightmare as the previous days run had been. Felt more like a dead weight then a light flipping dolphin in the water! Still did my lengths... and then the week started to go down hill again, nothing Tuesday and another social occasion on Wednesday up in London again. Couldn't help myself (I evidently have the self control similar to the breaking strain of a kitkat)... so started on the champagne at 1pm (yes 1 in the afternoon) and it went from there... so that kinda wrote off Thursday really. Still managed to slightly recover my position by an hour on the turbo Friday and Saturday with an hour core stability work Saturday too. Blobbed out yesterday. So totals for last week a rather generous 5 hours, although I feel like I really barely did anything.

Still Christmas day is here and I give my body a present today - a nice steady hour run through the fields - will be doing that as soon as this blog is done. Hey and I've got some skins(tm) to try on. I've heard rave reviews for a long time about these in terms of aiding training/ performance. Never really that sure but have worn them for both bike sessions last week and had no muscle soreness at all after. So either they really are ace or I wasn't working hard enough!! ;o) You can take a look at the skins website here .

I actually have some time off work this week so have no excuse for missing my week training goal.... hold me to that one then!

OK so time to get out on to the roads and fields. Leaves me to say to anyone reading this I wish you and your family and friends a really happy and peaceful Christmas wherever you are. Especially those who have loved ones serving overseas either with the armed forces or serving a cause close to their hearts. Take care.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas silly season

Ho Ho Ho! Ok perhaps not quite yet - Christmas decorations go up this weekend for me, earlier then that and it's just too early and besides I've had multiple kitchens invading my house and not much space to put them up in before now :o)

Last week ended up being a really excellant training week... until Sat when I played a game of hockey. Wrecked my body - I really am getting too old to be running around an astro turf with a stick and let's face it half the team are 20 (yes twenty) years younger. Upshot was had to have a hours snooze after and didn't get either my Sat morning run or Sat afternoon swim in. Did make the swim however Sun morning but then failed to get on the bike.... Still weekly stats aren't bad given the hockey;

Swim: 3k (2hrs Mon, Sun)
Bike: 22k (1hr Tue)
Run: 9k (50' Wed)
Strength (2hrs Mon, Fri)
Hockey (!) (1hr40 Sat)
Total time: 7hrs30mins, if I hadn't played hockey I think I'd have bust the 8hrs30 target I had set :o)

So my decision is pretty much made - am enjoying the challenge of Tri Training and am enjoying the feeling of fitness and wellbeing it's giving me... so have written a mail to hockey captains and said I'm unlikely to be playing after the Christmas break and so far I don't feel like that's a mistake.

Just a quick thing to note - watched some of the European short course swimming at the weekend - OMG! Talk about F-A-S-T.... puts my PB record breaking 50m in 55s at the weekend into context... but then I never had a dream of being an elite athelete!! ;o)

So after my successful training week last week this one is ...err.. well lets just say an enforced rest week thus far. Travelled north to Manchester on Monday so missed my early morning gym session but was still planning on my evening swim session. However public transport had other ideas and I finally arrived back in Reading some three hours late at 10pm - so no swimming for me then!

Yesterday was a day up in the city and I could have probably got something in very first thing but given I didn't get my head down until past midnight I was too darn tired. So another rest day yesterday and likely to be the same today. The good thing however is I'm feeling refreshed and raring to go. So I'll accept that this week can be a "recovery" week - or at least half of it is!

Well best get on!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Where has the week gone a;ready!

Sigh - must confess to supping a small glass of wine tonight. So far so good for the training week although work has definately tried to get in the way ;o)

Managed both sessions on Monday. Some strength stuff again first thing then swimming in the evening. Have to confess that I was late for the swim session but I do think my technique may actually be (marginally) improving ... hurrah! ... Well at least I'm not feeling like I'm drowning so much anyhow... I'm now tending to breath in air rather then water which is always a good thing!!! Still though much to improve both technique and stamina, well at least i've got another 8 months before the big one.

Tuesday was my well earned rest day - then moved to Wednesday. I knew I wouldn't be able to get my lunchtime run in so made it on to the trusty steed in the morning. 10' warm-up, then 20' at HR 130-142.. followed by some easy spinning before going to the big rings 1 min in every 3... before collapsing and back into my saddle for a 8min spin down. Didn't manage too many kms... total 24 I think... but happy with the time in the saddle... and watching some old episodes of Frasier helped pass the time on the bike!!!

So on to today... woke up to what sounded like someone throwing water at my bedroom window... so that'd be a big horrid storm then. Didn't look at the weather forecast and figured I'd just have to go out for a run at lunchtime and hope for the best... and wasn't I lucky. Made it out between torrents of rain. The sun even blessed me and the squirrels as I had a good munch around the lake and woods. A really good run in the mud, streams and sand for 55mins. No idea how far just enjoyed running out, taking in a few hills and a few puddles. Didn't really test myself anaerobically (apart from when I ran into the wind up the hills which was impossible), the only sore things after was bizarrely by calf muscles but I think this was due to the new off roaders as much as anything else. So looks like I can get a good hour in without too much bother, so now need to work that a bit more, will be glad to get up to 1.5hrs in the next month before concentrating on more speed work.

Right I think that's about up to date then. So more exciting things then - oven is fully working and yes, the new kitchen is coming along brillo! Although the floor's not going down until the 22nd and I've only just chosen the tiles for the walls. So you never know it may get done in time for xmas .. but then again... still it looks great so far and that's the main thing! :o)

OK enough waffle, time to turn in I think!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

End of a better week

Ok so sunday here again and I feel better this week for the training done then I did last, and that felt better then the week before.... so maybe I'm getting into a bit of a routine (at last) - still a little way to go before I find my real training rhythem, although I fear for myself with December upon us and the start of the social "silly season".

The weekend hasn't gone exactly to plan. Meant to do a run yesterday morning but a mix a late gas man (for the cooker fitting) meant I was hanging around at home an extra hour and a half not sure whether to go out for a run or not. Still he did finally show and my cooker now has gas and I may even be able to cook a proper meal again before long! Did manage to have a good swim session as planned in the afternoon. Mixture of some drills followed by 5*100m (on 15') followed by more drills then 400m straight before a cool down. Beginning to feel really comfortable in the water although still don't have the timing of my breathing right. Think I need to look at my "SwimSmooth" DVD for some more advice - maybe I'll get some time tomorrow evening before my Monday night swim!

My 5k Santa fun run (picture to follow) nearly didn't happen due to torrential rain and gale force winds.. however the sun came out before the start so we donned our outfits (beards and all!)... however change of plans as my pals decided to actually walk it. Hum ... however no fear so I ran while they walked, running 20m ahead then 20m behind and catching them again. So we did it in 51mins.. they walked 5k, reckon I probably ran 8 or 9k!!! But it was really good run and I did need a long slow run after weds easy/tempo session. Alas this evening only got home late so I've missed the chance to mount my trusty steed and get some spinning in. A bit disappointing then I only got an hour on the bike the whole week. Really need to double this in the near term and do lots lots more in the medium term!!

Still - happy with my progress. I'd like to now spend a few weeks achieving the same sort of training before upping again. So I'll take a look at my training "plan" to get to the London Tri and work back!

It's all getting rather addictive! Total hours last week only a rather misely 6 - however that's an hour up on the last 4 weeks and with no hockey either so I'm feeling like I'm beginning to get there. Ideally I'd like to be doing more like 8 hours - so if I only took one day off a week I reckon I could get to this. Well that's my aim then for the week to come!

.. but now it's time to sleep! Which is another thing I seem to need more of - which is fine in my book, the more zzz's the better!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Thank Crunchie it's Friday

Have a confession to begin with - treating myself to a glass of wine... Not the ideal drink for the serious triathlete... however I have never claimed to be serious and I'm not sure I'd even class myself as a triathlete just yet.

Anyhow just to say I'm so far keeping honest to my cause with both a strength session first thing this morning and some time on my trusty steed (the turbo) this evening. Changed by strength session as it's the second of the week. Still light weights but about 20-25 reps of each... circuit as follows; squats, lat pull downs, lunges, press-ups, tricep pull downs, calve raises, abs... did that three times over with a 1min30s break in between each circuit. Cycling this evening was a little tiresome but still kept it in the small cogs with cadence between 82-88rpm. Did 20k in 52 mins then slow 2.5k warmdown, an hour in total.

So pleased with today, both training and work actually - hence rewarded myself with a glass (ok or two) of wine.

Tomorrow's schedule has changed slightly in so far as no longer doing my OU lecture as my gasman is turning up to move my gas point in my kitchen (have I mentioned before that I'm having a new kitchen fitted..... I'm living in house chaos!). So still intend nice gentle run tomorrow morning then a swim session in the late afternoon before going out in the evening.

Good news of the day - Santa outfit has arrived for Sunday's 5k fun run - now that should be a sight to see!!

All for now, here's hoping the boys traveling down under do well in the cricket overnight!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Getting hooked

So it's Thursday today and a no training day - it's ok though I had a long day travelling so kinda knew I wasn't likely to do much today. Happy to report though that once again I did my run yesterday (Weds) - 7.5k in about 43mins which was a couple of mins faster then last week. Not only was the weather kind to us after some torrential rain this week, but it was unseasonally warm to - fantastic to run in. The run route itself is just outside of work in some woods with a nice lake to run round plus a whole myriad of trails to choose. We went out nice and easy then at about the half way mark Keith (the old git) started cranking it up which was a bit cheeky! Still we finished nice and strong, even my new off-roaders did well. All in all a thoroughly refreshing run.

Got up at 0530 this morning (just to prove I can)... as I said no training as I had to be on the road before 6. Did contemplate a spin on the turbo this evening but feeling a bit whacked so figured I'd leave that til tomorrow.

So plans for tomorrow (other then work of course) is to get up early and go to the gym for a strength session and then go for a good spin in the evening.

Saturday brings the weekend and another no hockey weekend. Think I've already said I didn't really miss it that much last week, the plan for the day is a short easy run first thing then off to London for another Open University lecture. Hopefully then get an hour of drills and reps in the pool before going out in the evening.

Sunday brings the excitement of a seasonal 5k "Santa Fun Run" where apparently we all get Santa costumes to run in - so that'll be a site then! After taking some friends out for some traditional "afternoon tea" (I kid you not - it's a thank you pressie from me) then I'll need to go for some more spinning to finish the week (and burn some calories off after consuming those clotted cream scones!)

Will keep you posted!

.. Oh and let's not forget the cat .. meow!

Oh hey and I've been meaning to tell... I've done it.. I've entered the Michelob London Triathlon!! I've entered the Olympic distance (ek!) so have got a way to go before 3/4 August next year! I've also entered a sprint at Blenheim palace - it's supposed to be a fab setting and good race (will prob also be my first open water swim too). It's good to have those solid targets!!

Oh and I also wanted to say (if I've not already) congrats to Cazza out in Oz - finshing the Canberra ITU long distance event is an accomplishment in itself let alone coming 17th in the age group... WELL DONE MATE!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

and stretch and breath...

Monday done and a good start to the week - other then the fact it's midnight and I should be in bed by now.... I blame my aunt who fed me a cup of full caffeine tea at 2130!

Just a quick blog today. Got up early and managed a weights session (much needed as I am weak!) so that was the first hour of the day done. Flip on to twelve hours later and I went swimming. Lots of lengths and still lots of trouble timing my breathing! Sigh.... so much water up the nose again this week (and so much sneezing after!). Still I think I get what the coach is saying (now I've seen what I'm supposed to be doing in action)... my problem is I'm breathing as I start catching my hand back through the water rather then as I stretch through the water (ie I'm breathing too late). This is apparently leading to a lose of momentum, and more importantly for me personally - a feeling of drowning ;o) Still reckon I did about 1600m or more, will take a look tomorrow.

Not sure of my plan for Tuesday - theortically it's my rest day, but I doubt I'll be able to get anything done Thursday as travelling all day with work. So I guess I'll have to see how things go, one things for sure - given it's now 0014 I won't be getting up early for a run!!!

.. and a final word from the cat... meow!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Another Sunday evening

Ok I think I'm beginning to actually get into all this training lark now. Although still not made my planned 8hrs I've done more of SBR swapped for a bit of hockey - and not actually missed the hockey this week either!

Weekly stats;
Swim: 2 * sessions (a miracle!)- total about 2hrs and about 3.2km mostly drill sets of 100m.
Bike: 2 * sessions (also a miracle) - one sess of 30' another 75'. Both on the turbo in small rings with cadence 85-90 rpm. Also added in 1' reps of big chain and then also some 30s bursts of single leg for good measure (or not as the case may be). Not sure of exact total but something like 38k seems about right
Run: 2 * sessions (well done me) - not a great deal, two sessions. Sess 1 7.5k should have been easy but ended up being 50% easy and about 50% steady. Next sess 4.8k, of which 4k v.easy then 4* 100m hill reps
Strength training - NONE - Opps!
Hockey - NONE - not worried about that.

A total of 5hrs but all relating to SBR which is a bit different then previous weeks and I'm still feeling relatively fresh which is good.

So I didn't do the hockey this week as I couldn't make Thurs night training or the game on Sat. All the games were off anyhow yesterday due to an amazing amount of rain that fell - pitches flooded! I actually was booked on an Open University lecture day anyhow, so expanded my mind instead! I've started a post-grad certificate in conflict development and had an interesting day yesterday. Both the studying was interesting and the people I met more so. Only problem is I've been lacking a bit in the study stakes and my first module allegedly needs to be in next week (where did November go!?!)... So I have some catching up to do. Still I'm planning to not do hockey training this Thurs and will consider also missing Sat I think as I don't feel I missed it at all this week. Also it'll give me some extra valuable time to study!!

Will make my best attempt to actually update my blog tomorrow with the days exciting events!!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Casino Royale

Yes the title of this blog entry has nothing to do with Tri Training, but I did go and see the film last Sunday and jolly good it was too... Despite what I expected Daniel Craig playing bond did fit the 007 role very well, excellent in fact - a good action movie and one I'd recommend to 007 fans!!

So on to my tri (try being the operative word) training and first a summary of last week - although not great it was barely acceptable to be classed as a training week;

Swim: ?1200m 40' drills + pyramid (Sun)
Bike: 31km (Tue and Sat, small gear highish cadence ~90rpm)
Run: Sadly only 3km!!! Poor or what! (Thur post hcky training)
Strength: 1hr (Mon)
Hockey:2hr (Thu, Sat)

Not a great week, but at least I scrapped one session in each discipline. Bike much better with two spin sessions, one an hour long on Sat as hockey didn't give me an adequate enough work out. Got my swim in on Sunday at the local pool so no coach present. Set my own drills (ie those that I could remember!!)and then did a pyramid, 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 lengths of a 25m pool with 20' rest between. Not great distances but will use this as base and look to grow some more.

Due to work commitments and general randomness on my part I don't feel in any sort of routine at the moment to enable me to do the volume/ quality of training I'd like. Have spoken to my sporty knowledgable friend Claire about this and think I may have a plan of sorts. Will have to see if this works, am also still feeling that hockey is proving a distraction from what my goal is. So thinking of dropping the Thurs night hockey training session (not sure how this will go down with the coach!!), to enable me to pick up something else instead. Now I appreciate this won't necessarily add to the overall time spent training but at least I can be more happier that I'm following the schedule!! If that makes sense!?!?

Summary of last week then; interrupted by work commitments, did enough on the bike (gold star), maanged at least a session of swimming (could do better), and only one very small run (ignoring the hockey) - so this makes the run the must try harder category of last week!

Managed my swim session last night.... talk about lots of lenghts. I know I didn't follow the whole of the schedule set by the coach (which is just as well as it would have taken me until today to have finished it!), but did do lots and lots of lengths, drills and free resulting in sore arms and shoulders today. Given my "new" weekly training days schedule today has fortunately been my rest day (hurrah - genuine excuse for being lazy).

Not much more to add other then Muffin the cat caught me two mice on Sunday nice. Am now beginning to contemplate a tough sentance for him; catch one and the cat flap keeps you out! Can't be doing with two mice in the night (one live which I had to catch and send on a flying lesson back out the door, one dead) - just interrupts my sleep too much with his [the cat] celebratory cat singing. I know they are a present - but there's just no need at 3:30 and 5:30 in the morning!!! Hopefully none tonight!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Blip - week of nonsense or no sense?

Sigh! Last week did start so well didn't it...maybe too well... As expected didn't get anything done last Thurs/ Fri (apart from eat unhealthily!), however as a result I did feel slightly more energised for the hockey! Despite the new found energy though I did play rather crap and we lost too... bah-humbug! Still got my game in and worked hard in parts.. .best thing though was the energy drink before the game seemed to do the trick as didn't have the same fainting incident during the game that I had last week. So at least hopefully a lesson learnt on hydration and getting energy on.

On to Sunday - Remembrance Sunday. Really had other things on my mind and didn't get any phys done at all. So stats for the week not reading great - especially on the bike front with a big ZIP... so gold star last week for swimming, big cross and "must do better" for the bike.

This week I seem to have started with the same lethargy I ended last week. Have been on a course this week for work. Early starts and late finishes has meant a long day with little opportunity for much, that plus a new kitchen going in at home and I'm pooped already and it's only Wednesday. Swimming is in danger of going back to the bottom of the pile again this week as I missed Monday's session (still at work!) and have not gone tonight. Have however managed a weights session and a 30' turbo. I actually have a hockey game tomorrow night rather then training and as the course has finished have a couple of normal office days. Hopefully I'll therefore be able to get away tomorrow in time for the hockey game and actually do something on Friday too.

I'm beginning to realise that
a) If I am indeed going to finish the Olympic distance events next year (which I will), then I really need to start focusing on the goals both training and events.. thus I'd better set some!!
b) Diet and hydration really does effect performance and ability to train (something I've known for ages but for some reason not recognised fully withing myself.
c) Wondering if hockey is helping or hindering the effort. We will probably have a small break mid-Dec to mid-Jan so that'll be a good time to test things out.

Oh and of course must update the blog more regularly!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Still going strong!

OK so, so far so good this week! Succesful day Monday followed by a good tempo run Tuesday (about 6.5k in about 34') then another - yes another - swim session! Fortunately my day up in the big smoke was canceled so could get the Weds swim session in - hurrah!

The run yesterday was good fun, although I did choose to go out with my ultra fit friend Claire and a good friend of hers Andy.... Now I should point out that I was told it would be an "easy" session... started off that way until we hit about 12min mark when we certainly moved to what, for me, was a tempo session. Not only is Claire well fit (and 5 years younger), but Andy is a young whipper-snaper too... still stayed with it until the effort up the "hill" which I really couldn't be bothered with so no effort for me... and then the sprint for home.... made about 100m of the sprint then gave up on that one too!!! Still a good tempo for the most part and a good run. Didn't rehydrate properly though as felt like I had a whooping hangover this morning so can only assume I didn't drink enough....Hum

Swim session tonight was good to - less drills then Monday but more swim time which was probably what I needed. Certainly helped get the lactic out of the legs from the run yesterday. Can't figure out why I keep getting cramp in my toes though - happens almost immediately when I hit the water and stays the whole time. Just in the toes - wierd!

Really can't see me getting in much of a session tomorrow as am out and about for a couple of days. May get something done Friday evening but suspect next activity will be Saturday. Hum. No biking yet this week so I guess I'd better get on the saddle at some point.

Right - time to catch up on some zzz's early start tomorrow and I've not been to bed early enough any night this week.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Gold star for day 1...

Hurrah for Monday's that's what I say.... not that work was particularly exciting but having managed a strength session before the work day began I felt somewhat more invigorated then normal. The work day itself had it's usual crazy moments but felt great having got one session out of the way. The real challenge was getting home in time for having some quick pasta then out again for the first Monday swim session ever... Humm

Had many arguments with myself... it's too cold vs I need to go, I need some food vs I need to go, I should do some of my OU course reading vs I need to go.. think you get the drift. So finally, facing up to the fact I may not get the opportunity for another coached session this week I forced myself into my swim gear, through a tracksuit on with a nice big jumper and hopped in the car. Alas the venue wasn't quite where I thought it was, however, despite being 15mins late the coach still let me join the session. Really enjoyed it - learnt more drills and actually felt good in the water (which doesn't happen often!). So managed a 45min session - no idea how many lengths. But learnt more - I just need to remember to only concentrate on one thing at a time (otherwise there's danger of swallowing water!).

So - a gold star for week 1 day 1. Have plans of a run tomorrow evening with some friends but that's dependant on timings... may end up being billy-no-mates and going on my own. Will have to see. After tomorrow it will all start going pear-shaped as am in London working on Wednesday (which will enevitably lead to a post work glass of vino), then I'm out from home for a couple of days with little chance to train at all.

Oh and news of Muffin the cat... well despite being nearly 12 he managed to get in a scrap in the middle of the night... one puffed up eye, one bloody ear and some sort of scab at the top of one of his front legs... nice! I just hope he won!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A lull in training....

Yawn - Sunday evening slumber is upon me. Not that I've done anything today - well apart from help a friend move some stuff into her new home... well actually I didn't actually help much there really but the cups of tea were good!! :o)

Have been a little lacklustre today. Had contemplated driving to Winchester to do a 5k race. Could have done it but am really sore today from yesterday's game so skipped it with the intention of getting on the bike and doing a turbo session instead. Alas that hasn't happened either. Just too tired - which is no excuse really. Hum.. No gold stars at all for this weeks training then. Have ended up having two days off (Fri and Sun) and probably hitting about 6hrs - 6.5hrs total. Half of that on hockey so not too good for Triathlon then!!

Still next week is actually WEEK 1 of my training plan building up to next years Triathlon events, primarily the London Triathlon which, as I've now been paid, I should enter - then I have no excuse for missing it! So that's my #1 event for the year, am going to enter the Olympic distance event with the aim of simply finishing it. Have no idea what time I should aim for and will be chuffed to pieces not to drown in the swim, fall off my bike or cramp up in the run. So the aim shall be finishing - hopefully in one piece!

Had an interesting experience in the hockey yesterday.. not only the 4-4 draw (!!) but a really odd dizzy experience - now this has happened before but not quite this bad.... After the half time break got up to start the second half, and within first 2mins felt really faint, carried on running around none the less... and then got really dizzy and nearly did faint - at least the closest I think I've ever come to it. All settled down after 10mins - all very odd! Anyhow have spoken to a friend who knows about this sort of thing who's suggested by glycogen levels had dropped off and body couldn't adapt to half time break and starting again as had nowhere to get some easy energy (this all made sense to me). So plan next Saturday is to eat a high GI food before the game as well as drink some sports drink before and during. Hopefully that'll be the cure. Any other suggestions greatly appreciated!

As I've said the week coming is the official "start" of preseason training. 4 weeks of "Prep" phase. All this from the Tri training bible mentioned in an earlier post. I think my personal aim for the week has to be getting two (yes two!) swim sessions in at least. My problem is going to be work, am going to be away from home 2-3 days this week so will be interesting to see how it works out.

Right must go - Plant Earth has just come on Beeb 1!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mad Cat and some training

Howdy everyone - if indeed there is an everyone out there reading this ;o) So I originally posted this on Wednesday evening but seems to have been corrupted somewhere in the ether... wierd.

Have had an interesting week, good strength session Monday, a quick spin on my bike (turbo indoors) on Tuesday then the excitement of an early morning run yesterday. I say excitement as the run itself was to be a nice easy 4ish km so not terribly long - just something to wake up to. A lovely morning it was too - sun was shining and the ground looking a little of the frosty side. Before I actually got dressed for the run I sensibly poked by head out of the window to assess the temperature... BRRRRrrrrrr.... so long tights, shorts, helly top and lightweight gillet type of showerproof thing, cap oh and of course iPod... Off I set noting to self it was colder then I thought - confirmed by first frost on the cars. Hummm... Anyhow, was intending a nice easy run again, concentrating on HR <143

Set off nice and easy again trying to keep my feet moving quickly and relatively short steps (to make HR kept in target window). The run itself is half on the road around to a country park, round the lake up a slight hill and home. It was near the end of the run that the excitement happened. Once I get to the hill I usually look to motor up in and good effort home. Got to the bottom of the hill, head down and off I went only to be met by a medium size dog coming down the hill woofing. Now this is not too unusual as the park is a favorite for dog walkers. I'm dog friendly so just carried on running with my head down ignoring the mutt... so it circled behind me and chopped my leg at the bottom of my hamstring/ back of knee.. OUCH! Fortunately for the dog and owner I was concentrating on getting up the hill and initially thought it had just jumped at me. However the bruise does indeed point to a bite - quite literally.. four pointed incisor marks circled by a mutt shaped jaw circle of brusing. Nice.

Still at least no blood was drawn so no need for injections or anything.

As everything is getting a little chilly at the moment I think this is also having an effect on my cat. Thursday morning he had a mad moment or perhaps he is doing his own cat fitness sessions?? It went something like this - starting at 0630..
  • Run in - run upstairs - meow, meow again make a strange noise, run downstairs Attack catnip filled giant spider on the (wooden) living room floor
  • Run back upstairs, meow, jump on Mum's head, meow - run off, run downstairs
  • Attack same giant spider and skid around on the wooden floor some more as it's fun to do that
  • Run back upstairs - meow louder
  • Jump on to every surface including window ledge which has curtain on it and so fall off
  • Meow and run downstairs with embarrasment - kill the spider some more for good measure.
  • Run back upstairs, jump on bed - meow again, jump off bed, go to bathroom and drink some water!
  • Collapse in doorway of bedroom waiting for owner to get up and feed me.
  • ... and all of this I think because there was a frost! I wouldn't mind if he was a kitten but he's 12 years old!! Right must get on! Tally-ho!

    Monday, October 30, 2006

    A week gone by

    So - I did try to do my blog early then this but alas I chose a time when the server was down.. doh! Silly me.

    Well I think I had a fairly ok training week last week. Had a good swim session with the Tri club on Wednesday - focusing on drills again which was useful. Both head position and a good high elbow. Drills were - err interesting and thankfully I didn't manage to drown, although breathing was sporadic and did entail inhaling several mouthfulls of water.... Not surprisingly the coach did make note of this and said we'd work on in a few weeks time. Didn't get a second swim session in though through the rest of the week which was a little poor - my swim is no doubt my weakest event so I recognise I need to do more drills and spend more time in the pool - must do better, so no gold stars on the swimming yet ;o)

    Woke up on Thursday with a bit of a cold so obviously ignored it and managed to go Hockey training Thursday evening which was a good session. Also managed to incorporate some loose interval/ sprint sessions a little unstructured but I find hockey a good way to do some faster stuff without having to think/ plan it. Not sure I'll be able to carry it on but hockey season ends in March so won't disrupt Tri season.

    Friday I woke and unfortunately felt worse then Thursday, sore throat and possibility of first Autumn cold - no fun. Not wanting to get any such lurgy I took standard immediate action drills (ok should have done these the day before), vitamin c, echinacea etc etc, also and somewhat unusually for me I did actually decide to listen to my body and took the day off from any exercise too. Seemed to work as by end of business Saturday I was feeling much better despite a full game of hockey! Hurrah!

    On to Sunday - what a glorious day. Not only did I get an extra hour in the day due to the official end of summer time, but it was fantastically sunny too (how ironic - sunniest day in about a week!). Got out on the bike and had a really good ride around 35k. My friend Claire joined me, or should I say I joined her. She's much fitter then I so took the lead most of the way which meant I got a bit of help in the slipstream! Still I'm really happy as it was my longest ride to date (and so also a little saddle sore!!) - it was a fab ride! Concentrated on not mashing and getting a cadence of >= 90rpm for the most part. Am particularly weak on hills (ok not so much hills as slopes as it's not too hilly where I am!), but will work on that later. Really want to concentrate at the moment on building time in the saddle!

    So I don't think I quite managed all my targeted training for the week but not far off it which was good. So will give myself a rating of ok - but could try harder! "Official" pre-season training is now a week away, when I'll start to concentrate on the content of my sessions a little bit more.

    Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    Yawn - how do you get up in the morning?

    Sigh - so I had good intentions of going swim training last night but the couch caught me and a good book - so I didn't make it out (far to dark and miserable).... Must do better! Although at least I did make it to the gym for some strength training (light weight lots of reps)

    So I thought I'd maybe get up for a run this morning but Autumn is really coming to us and really the sun didn't even peak out itself until about 0800... so there was me all keen - in my duvet - at 0700 as the alarm tried to waken me from my slumber... alas with no light to be seen my body was obviously in hibernation mode and didn't wake - in fact I only stirred 30mins later when my wet cat decided to jump on my head (a mixture of wanting some food and excitable cat-i-ness about being soaking). Hum! None the less I have done my run this evening - at least it was dry even if it feels like it's getting a little chilly. Not wanting to overdo it ;o) I did a v.easy 6k at about 10k/hr pace, try to concentrate on keeping HR relatively low (146 avg), and strike rate high. Have to say I generally find it wierd and quite difficult running slowly-still it's what I think I to do in order to build up my stamina etc. Went out it my tights (of the running variety!), canterbury winter long sleeve top and light-weight gillet oh and a cap. Just about the right amount of gear - was neither too hot or too cold. Ipod was also welcome company - a random mixture of Queen, Elton John and Green Day! So at least I've got the run in and don't feel too wacked.

    Should be swim training tomorrow - I've been to the Weds session run by the local club once before. I have to say I was well pleased to find out that there were some swimmers equally as weak as I, meant I didn't feel like such a dodo in the slow lane! Lots to learn - previous lesson was all about body positioning in the water, great how keeping your head looking down makes you swim noticably higher in the water. Looking forward to learning some more stuff tomorrow (assuming I'm still awake come the evening - what with the light going by about 1830 means I'm sleepy within the hour!!)

    .... Right thought of the day... why is my cat (which is black) getting lots of white/ grey hairs!!??

    Sunday, October 22, 2006

    The first of a few

    HI!! OK the training doesn't start until tomorrow but thought I'd start a blog to keep me honest on my endeavours to pursue my first Olympic distance tri next year. I did my first (and only to date) triathlon in August (sprint400m/20k/5k) and was really surprised at how wonderful and welcoming all the participants, marshalls and spectators were - and have to say when I staggered out of the swim and on to my bike I felt like the preverbial pig in muck- I loved every minute of it, including the madness of trying to run at the end which was entertaining. I ran (ok more like waddled) my way around the 5k and could only cheer (whilst gasping for breath) at the athletes who coasted past me - amazing!

    So why a triathlon?!! Well I guess I'm a little sporty which will help my endeavours. My usual sport being hockey (field that is) but now I feel I'm not motivated to keep my fitness up for hockey as I've had a year away and not motivated to want to perform at my previous standard and so although still playing there's no inspiration to maintain/ improve fitness which was previously the case. So a new challenge was needed; i love being fit and wanted a goal other then hockey which would inspire me enough to want to put the hours in for training and keeping fit.... and so I found the Sprint Tri in August. The event was run by a local Tri club so I'm lucky I can join that and get some training in a structured way (particularly swim which is - er entertaining for want of a better word - picture lots of splashing and getting nowhere fast!).

    So I've got a great book which helps both with goal setting and working out a training programme.. can't remember it off hand but it's something like "The Triathlon Training Bible" and it's excellent. My schedule starts officially in a couple of weeks - but at the moment I'm starting to put in increassed hours (gradually) as I'm intending to start off with a 8.5hr training week. Whether I manage this much remains to be seen - but that's part of the reason for the blog as hopefully it'll keep me honest! My rough intentions for this week are 2 hours swim (join the tri club!), 2 hours bike, 1hr easy run + 3hrs hockey (training and match)... blimey now I've written that down it sounds like a bit... so we'll see how it works out... hopefully work won't get in the way ;o)

    OK enough wittering on for now - let's see how it goes!