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!