Friday, February 29, 2008

MoJo found...

After last nights last night panic I feel better now... my MoJo is coming back .. phew

I went out for a run (scary) as my schedule (which I've not followed for several weeks now!).. called for a 20min easy and 20min at half marathon pace... so given that scared me I did 12mins easy and 12mins at half marathon.... FELT A LOT BETTER.... phew

I put down my recent lethargy to;
1. Jet leg (after all)
2. Lack of red wine

As I found, having gone cold turkey for 10 whole days that I ran today much better having had a glass of wine and slab of cheese last night. Not that I'll be following that diet tomorrow night ;o)

Now we've got that panic out of the way (with less then 48hrs left before the "race" I think that entitles me to at least two more), here's a summary of my training week this week;

Saturday - two rides - issues with Bike Saddle on ride one.. which lead me to fixing and going out again on ride two!
1. 17k in 1:15
2. 30k in 1:30
Sunday - A SWIM! Shock horror ... and my first 2k session of the year... get me! ;o)
Monday - Easy run (4.2k in 26mins) followed by 5mins drills
Tuesday - 45min Spin on Turbo trainer, followed by 5min run straight after
Weds - ANOTHER SWIM! Club swim this time. 1.1k with a rumour that a did a 7min something 400m timetrial but as I didn't get timed we'll never know, so I'll assume it's 7:59 !
Thurs - OFF - another 12hour work day led me to losing my MOJO and panicking about Sunday's half!
Fri - easy/half mary pace run 4.2 in 24mins

Actually now I look at that - it's not too bad.... contemplating either a short 3k run tomorrow morning just to spin my legs around.. or I may opt for an easy spin on my bike..hum

Another change - I have been following a training week Sat to Fri... as of Monday I'm going back Mon-Sun... So this phase is getting an extra couple of days and ends on Sunday!

Thank crunchie for Friday! OH and....

HAPPY LEAP DAY! Especially those whose birthday arrives today

Thursday, February 28, 2008

No wonder I'm worried

I have a half Marathon on Sunday

I hurt my back 1 Feb and haven't done more then a 60min run since

I felt **GREAT** during my training in December and January

I feel **WEAK** now

I've just looked at my running chart... it doesn't read good...

December 82k
January 90k
February 43k

... There's taper .... and then there's taper :o(

I was *hoping* to come in around the 2hour mark...

I did a 1 hr session last sat 10mins easy then 10mins at half pace and repeat*three

... I nearly died.... my HR was HUGE at the end of each 10min session

At the end of Jan I felt strong....

.... now I feel weak......

I'm not going to have a race strategy as such... I may even wear my Garmin.... I just want to finish and hope that in so doing I neither get injured, I would say also hope that it doesn't hurt too much... but who am I trying to kid - it's a race ain't it!!! I would *hope* I can get a PB..... <2:10 I can dream of <2:05....

I consider myself marked down .. "could try harder"

I wonder if my physio appt tomorrow will somehow give me an extra boost?!


I must sleep and stop even thinking about it already....

.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Saturday, February 23, 2008

OK... Here it is..

What you've all been waiting for.... My Club La Santa recap... well good things are worth waiting for.. ok in this case perhaps not... but it'll keep me outta trouble writing for the next half hour or so!!!

Here was the schedule;
0900: Swim 1.5hrs video + techinque
1300: Bike: 2hrs
1500: Run; HR zones (I didn't do this, this was the nose breath = 80%MHR thingy)
0900: Run 1 Hr off road easy (I didn't do this)
1100: Swim; 1-2Hours video, technique, fitness
1530: Bike: 2hrs
1730: Run (as a brick) 3k
0830: Bike: 5hrs
0900: Bike: 1.5hours
1500: Mini Duathlon race (optional, I didn't do this)
1630: Recovery swim or wetsuit in lagoon (didn't do this either!)
0900: Bike 2.5hr
1130: Run (Brick) 1hr
1500: Swim 1hr technique and video
1000: Mini Tri (400/18/4.5)
1330: Bike: 3.5hrs - cancelled due to high winds!!!

So it was a great, full on camp. We also has some evening lectures/ talks which were good. As Jules has mentioned in a comment on my last post our swimming video's/ horror movies are now on youtube... Very interesting seeing where you are going wrong.... some things I knew I did badly and somethings I didn't realise - it just shows you that actually to get yourself video'd in the pool is probably a worthwhile exercise!!

Here's my main learning points from the camp;
1. 80% of your training should typically be done at 80% of MaxHR..... indeed coach Joe said 60-80%of maxHR. If you don't know your maxHR you can gage the 80% mark by breathing through your nose throughout. The moment you stop nose breathing you have exceeded 80%Max! Interesting stuff
2. The human body has amazing capacity to train. Even when you wake up feeling achy and tired in those muscles once you start up again you find renewed sources of energy. Anything is possible!
3. SLEEP is an essential part of recovery! (G&T is not)
4. Rather then getting a flywheel turbo trainer try out a roller.... you won't need a video to keep yourself occupied as you'll be concentrating that hard to stay upright and balanced! Joking aside - because of the balancing thing you develop two things; better stability and better pedal stroke/ technique. Coach Joe reckoned they're the best thing, basically do 30mins then hop of for a quick run then get back on for another 30mins and another run after.
5. The weather plays an important role in races! Now take the mini triathlon... It was blowing an absolute gale. Even going on the flat into the wind meant I was in my granny rings! So despite posting a quicker swim time and faster run time then last year (despite the wind, which shows how much better my run is getting), I still ended up with a slower time overall because of the bike split - this was all down to the headwind! So I learn from this that whatever race time goal I may set for myself the weather does play a vital role. So you can't always consider absolute time achieved without taking into account the conditions - simply put even if you race the same venue over the same course you can't expect a "best" or a "time" as the conditions will impact the result. I know this is obvious but I've learned not to therefore be disappointed if your performance seems worse year-on-year as it's all relative!

I'd love to go on a camp again this year but doubt I'll get the chance - it is an excellent way to focus though. I've got lots to improve upon which is a great place to be!

Oh now no "holiday" blog is complete without the odd picture - these are courtesy of Jules (my roomy) as I've still not downloaded my camera yet!

Here's Bianca (left) getting some sunshine alongside Julian's trusty stead;

Then there was me looking excited about the 5 hour bike ride up the volcano!

Putting my legs up after the 5 hour ride;

And obviously a bit more tired after another session (please note I DIDN'T KNOW my roomie had sneakly taken this picture - BAD BOY!)

And finally a picture of Pete (left) who was one of our bike group leaders (also did the "follow" the tour de France last year, the whole lot!). He was great for the first couple of days... until the point when one of the group riders took him out, causing not only a bit of a large crash but also pretty bad injury to Pete's shoulder. Hope he's recovery is going positively. The rather large guy on the right is a twice winner of Ironman Lanzarote - Jules, if you be so kind to confirm his name in a comment! This guy went up the 10k climb I did in 55 mins in about 35 - and was only in his zone 1 - YIKES!

Oh and how could I forget the CLUB SANDWICH:

Training since the camp has obviously been missing in action slightly. Not much done whilst boarding (one quick x-trainer session and one 40min dreadmill interval session). Since getting home Monday have been struggling with jet-lag and getting back into work mode.... so only managed a 30min hill session, club swim night and a 1hour run. Right now I'm not feeling too confident about the half-Mary a week Sunday. More on that later.

Next post - Tremblant recap! Happy training folks!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Home! :o)

I'm back! :o)

In one piece!!!


I will do a complete download of both the la santa camp and snowboarding a bit later. Landed at 7.30am yesterday and went straight in to work (what jet-lag...)...... made it to 4pm then had to head home (oh there is the jet-lag!)... Have managed to sleep/ pass out all night long which is good although I'm not quite sure whether I want breakfast, lunch, dinner or something else?!

In summary of Canada - well I can't say enough GREAT things about both Tremblant and Montreal. Put simply it was a FANTASTIC holiday and a brilliant place to visit. Although it was shudderingly cold up the mountain I won't go on about it as really if you prepare it's ok (ie have no bit of skin showing!), but hey you expect that this time of year. Yes it was -26 or more but yes it was very manageable and despite the temp I'd recommend Tremblant to anyone.

OK got to go and figure out what time of day it is and get to work..... photo's etc later!

IT's great to be back .... apart from the whole work thing! ;o)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Very quick update

In summary...


We did A LOT of cycling.... .quite a bit of swimming (very interesting swim video ... my technique sucks!)... and by the end of the week I even managed a spot of running and squeezed in a mini-tri (400/18/4.5)... which by the way I WON! Ok so there were only three ladies in it and the class athletes either didn't do it or paired up in a team.... but still.. winner ... possibly the only time I'm ever going to win a tri!! LOLOL!!!

... what now.. .well I'm packing for CANADA... in fact I've packed - all that is left is for me to load the car up with by bag and board... YIPPEE...

So fellow bloggers - hope things are rolling well for you and training is going fabbo... I'm now off for a week to play in the snow! :o)

I'll try and update the blog whilst I'm away with all that went on on the camp, if not you'll have to have a rather large essay when I get back.


Friday, February 01, 2008

8mins = 1 Euro

That's how much internet time i get for a euro and I only had one... taken 4 mins to login so I'd better type fast!

SO update on tri camp day 1...

well let's go back to yesterday up at 02:30!! YIKES drove to airport where disaster struck - yes pulled my back getting stuff out of the car! AGGGHHHHHH

Made it into the airport and got some drugs as soon as I got through check-in etc... wasn't looking or feeling great! By the time I got to the resort moving was challenging so booked up an hour with the physio - nothing serious just some locked up extensor muscles... take it easy for 2 days he said... like yeah right, I'm on a warm weather TRIATHLON camp... .take it easy!???

So today I gingerly got up and decided I'd see how it went - stop if anything caused too much pain... then I'd just have to stop..

agh - time is up ... will continue when I have sourced some more Euro's!

The next day - it's now Saturday I've got (a) a training break and (b) a couple more euro's!! Where was I......

OK so I got up yesterday and staggered down to the swim with my roomie Jules.... who was also a bit crock from a skiing injury the previous week... we looked like a right pair of cripples shuffling to the pool (and on day 1 too!),... still got in and actually had a good session, nothing too crippling come out of the back. We managed about an hour and half for about 2k we reckon. Quite a bit of time just spent getting used to the 50m pool - hardly anyone was used to swimming in that length of pool.... Most challenging reps were 3*200m, the 200 split 50 easy, 50 build, 50 build down, 50 hard! Yikes! I was blowing a bit at the end of that! We then did some swim golf (nearly wrote pub golf then which is a whole different thing involving drinking vaste quantities of alchol!)... anyhow yes, swim golf.... time your 100m (in seconds) and count your strokes.. add the two and that's your score. We did this twice and I came out about the same both times.. 1'46 for the swim (=106) + 96 strokes = score 202... the idea being we'll compare to the score at the end of the camp. So that will be interesting. We also got filmed swimming head on to the camera.. I'm sure that will show a lot of room for improvement too! Back survived only stiffened up a little while after and pain on every movement was easing... the brufen must be working!

Next part of the programme was a 1.5hr bike session "set up and ride"... so in my innocence I thought this would be an easy 20k... Again I thought I'd just see how things went... Well it was't pretty to begin with. My back did not want to curl over to the handle bars and didn't really want to extend my leg to pedal... but I figured I's see what happened once I warmed up and hey it was only 20k right... WRONG... 40k and 2hrs later we got back! Nothing like putting in our second longest ride of the year with a sore back... but finished with no pain... until it stiffened up again but even then it wasn't as bad as the day before. I decided though to skip the run session altough I did go down to listen in.

Essentially what coach Joe was getting the chaps to do was to run 4 laps of the track only breathing in through the nose! Interestin! This marks approx you 80% HR zone (I think) and top end of easy run! So that then gives you your easy run pace in miles per hour (4 laps approx is just over the mile). Next thing was to have little jog down and back up the 100m accelerating to the point where you were "mouth breathing" .. this should have required approx 5% more effort, approx 10bbm more (I think, I'm going to have to check back with the coach).... This pace is your next zone but not quite race pace which should be slightly more. I'll have to have a chat with the coach and make sure I got all these factoids right as it all was very interesting at the time!

Having done that we then had a sports nutrition from the marketing guy from Science in Sports (who make a great range of gels, powders etc here in the UK). Quite interesting, although I had the same talk last year on the camp it sort of reminds you of all the good things we should be doing (eg having a rego protein drink after the run, possibly better then the large G&T which Jules and I opted for!?).... Humm. Dinner then bed by 10 last night - a bit pooped but happy that old backy was feeling a little looser!

This morning (Sat) was an hour easy run at 0900... lucky for me that meant a lie in (as I'm still not up to running!)... 1100 we were back in the pool. This time some hints and tips (how to swim in a straight line and kicking) followed by some more camera work, this time being filmed from the side.... I think we did about 1k in the hour which doesn's seem like much, but given I only woke up 20mins beforehand was plenty! ;0)

Next up is another 2+hour bike plus run (brick)... If I'm not too stiff after the ride I may venture on a little jog, won't do the programme's 3 or 5k run but just do some light stuff on the grass...

Tomorrow will be a real challenge with a 5 hour (YES FIVE) ride up the mountains... in case you didn't realise the only way out of the resort is up (and that's before you get to the big volcanoes) and the wind here is a real killer! Should be fun (in a warped sort of way!)

OK enough for now I've only got 3 mins of time left so better hit that publish button - apologies now for bad english, mistyped and misspelt words (I blame the fact I'm in a hurry rather then the fact I've just got a crap handle on my mother language!...LOL)