Posts Tagged With: Cycling

Ironman Copenhagen

I finally got around to writing up my Ironman Copenhagen race – only two months late. It’s posted on the GreenlightPT squad website which you can access from the link below:

IM Copenhagen – 2017

As for what’s next – I’ve no idea! I’ve now ticked the IM box so to speak so in theory I don’t need to do another do I? (Although it would be nice to get some decent finish line pictures!)

 

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The reward!

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Swings and roundabouts 

It was all going so well, got rid of the lurgy, knee was starting to feel good, was only 1 second off my 400m PB in our squad TT and had a solid race at the Southern XC Champs at Parliament Hill. Buoyed by this I booked my London marathon travel, a warm up half marathon and a post London 5km. It all looked like it was finally starting to come together. Midweek miles were stacking up and the weekend mileage about to start. I had a great 70 minute run on Wednesday followed by squad swim, then boom, penultimate rep, last length and cramp in my calf. Tried to kick it off but ended up hanging off a lane rope trying to avoid getting mown down by the boys behind me.

It’s not the first time I’ve had cramp swimming and normally by the time I’ve got out the pool it’s subsided except this time it didn’t. Next morning I struggled to walk and my swim on Friday was mostly completed with a pull buoy. So off to the physio I hobbled and it turns out I have managed to tear my calf swimming. That’s me with no running for two weeks, will miss the final Chiltern XC League match for my club and may well put my London place in jeopardy.

But foregoing London would not be the end of the world. In all honesty it’s not my A race.  It is a ‘nice to have’ and I would really  like to go sub 3:30. It would be a great confidence boost going into Copenhagen but at what cost? The time I need to spend running costs me time on the bike and to be honest this year I think I’ve only ridden outside once and when you’re supposed to concentrate on your weakest element of the race it just doesn’t add up. So as annoying as it would be missing London, it would mean I get more time to get some miles in on the bike and might even pass a few people come Copenhagen!

So, the next few weeks will dictate what happens over the next few months – I’m still gunning for London but it wont be the end of the world if it doesn’t happen as there are benefits to be gained by not doing it – as they say, ‘swings and roundabouts’…

Categories: IM Copenhagen, Injury, London Marathon, Races, Training | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Getting ready – plans for 2015

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Edmonton, Canada

Watching Top Gear tonight and their trip to Canada made me reminisce about my trip to Edmonton last year and also reminded me that I hadn’t written anything here for a couple of months. As my race number for the MK half dropped through the door this week it seems quite timely to update what is going on in my world.

The MK Half will be my first race of the year. It should have been the Bucks County XC Champs but as has been the case since May last year, my calf had other ideas. A common theme throughout my posts last year was my struggles with issues with both my calf’s. Although my running has gone from strength to strength (I’ve PB’d at every distance raced in the last 12 months) my calf’s neglected to join the party. Any time I run over 10 miles or a hard track session they give up, cramp up and generally cause me grief to the point I finished most of my running races nearly in tears and then need loads of physio to get me running for my next triathlon. Funny thing is, I never get the problem in a tri…

Anyway, after the MK Winter Half in December, I took some time off from running, ramped up the physio and have spent most of the winter doing strengthening exercises. Touch wood, the problem has eased massively but I’m nervous about next Sunday. It’s so early in the season and I’ve lots planned so first sign of trouble and I’ll be backing off!

Aside from my running woes everything else is going pretty well. I decided at the end of last year that I wanted to have a bit more structure to my training so have teamed up with Adam from GreenlightPT and it’s already working wonders. My time off the road has been well spent on the bike (mostly the turbo thanks to the wonderful British weather) and in just 8 weeks I managed to increased by FTP by 10%. I also decided to treat my swimming with a bit more respect, rather than the necessary evil that triathletes have to endure and have made some big gains in the pool over the last few weeks.

'Percy'

‘Percy’

I also treated myself to a TT bike. After my son started school in September I decided to up my hours at work back to full time and along with an unexpected pay rise, the extra cash was burning a hole so I now am the proud owner of a Planet X TT. It’s still sat on the turbo but as soon as the weather clears up we’ll be whipping up and down the lanes of North Bucks and South Northants. I know it’s all about the engine that drives it but to quote a well known supermarket ‘every little helps’!

So the next few months will be a lot of hard work to get ready for the ITU qualifiers, Outlaw Half and the ETU Champs in Geneva. I’m really looking forward to Outlaw. With an improved bike leg I know there’s gains to be made as long as I can run comfortably. I’ve no idea how the qualifiers will go. I’m now the baby in a new age group with the over 40s – I only turned 39 10 weeks ago so have no idea where I sit in the scheme of things, and am very conscious of the fact I got lucky with my qualification for Edmonton last year – hopefully luck with be with me again this year!

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Outlaw Half – Race Report

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National Water Sports Centre – Holme Pierrepont

Race morning started at about 3am thanks to a rather noisy chap returning to his room in our hotel after a night out. I dosed for about another half hour then got up – too excited to stay in bed. Porridge down, race number tats on and down to reception to meet my brother-in-law at 4:30.

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Start of wave four – that’s me – just there…

The lake looked beautiful in the early morning light – but it did mean the turn buoys were hardly visible in the distance – it looked a long way. I positioned myself to the left of the start on the side at the front but out of the way – it was a bit weedy but at least that should mean it was relatively clear of other swimmers. I quickly found some feet and stuck on them, but then seemed to hit a wall of swimmers – I went through them and could see a pack ahead and tried to catch them. Within about 400m we already were catching up with the previous wave, but I found another swimmer and stuck with her all the way to the first turn, except she didn’t seem to want to turn! I eventually forced the issue and we turned but I could tell I’d swum a great big semi-circle round the two top buoys – not the best route but as I came of the top buoy to head back I seemed to have escaped the main pack and could see only a few white caps ahead – trouble was there were a lot of red caps now and I spent the next 750m swimming around the previous wave, we even caught up some silver caps from the second wave that started 20 minutes before us.

I got to the ramp and climbed out – no pulling out needed for a change! I felt really good – in the scheme of things 1.9km is not too long a swim. I quickly got my wetsuit down around my waist and ran into T1. Wave four had a separate transition from the rest of the field which meant a long run along the lake before getting to the bike. As I came into T1 one of my GreenlightPT training weekend buddies came down and we had a quick wave and shout – quite a coincidence when you consider there were some 350-400 people in that wave. I quickly set about getting the rest of my suit off, shoes, helmet and number belt on and then set off with my bike. Turns out my T1 was pretty quick as I overtook a fair few people…

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T1 – really pleased with the number of bikes still in transition as I left!

First part of the bike was a loop of the lake. I wanted to take on food quickly so got stuck into half a Powerbar cereal bar. I felt great and was looking forward to the next 90km in the saddle. The first part of the course was very fast, although I did have a steady stream of both men and women passing me – the downside of being a faster swimmer and not such a good cyclist – but didn’t let that deter me as I was flying! At about 18 miles I checked my overall average and it was well over 19mph – I have never ridden that fast in my life and although I was feeling really good I was very mindful of the words of wisdom from Ian Turner (finished second at Outlaw Half in 2013 and 2014) who came to our training weekend about not burning yourself out on the bike. We had the only major climb of the day between 20-21 miles so I took that steady, although still passing people before we hit the first drink station. Luckily we had practiced this at the training weekend meaning I took my Outlaw branded High 5 bottle with no problem at all. Judging by the number of bottles scattered around, others were not so fortunate! The route continued in reasonably flat surroundings until we completed the northern loop and rejoined the original route before branching off again. For about 5/6 miles we met cyclists coming the other way – these were the leaders finishing the southern loop and heading back towards Holme Pierrepont.

The southern loop was much more rural than the northern loop. Pretty villages and winding lanes, but along with that came not such good road surfaces. As we were now over 30 miles into the bike leg the field seemed to settle down and I found myself overtaking and been overtaken by the same people. One chap and me exchanged places along a good 20 miles – which gave for a good bit of banter each time we swapped over – he’d usually wait until I was taking a gel or a drink and then blast past laughing that I couldn’t catch him – I did though 😉 . Didn’t half make the last 20 miles fly by! The last three miles of the route back into Holme Pierrepont was the worst surface of the day – would have been better off on a MTB.

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T2 – still pleased with the number of bikes ‘not’ in transition!

Back into T2 and I was still feeling good. I’d caught up with another fellow GreenlightPT swimmer so we ran the first bit out of T2 together which was nice. As we came out of the mens transition area I met the GreenlightPT support crew. They were brilliant and just what I needed. They were great and really got me going on the run, except after I passed them cramp kicked in big style on both quads – ouch! I tried to stretch it out but that caused both hamstrings to go – I gave up the stretching malarky and decided to run it off – the worst 5km of my life – but then it eased.  I was  almost running to the schedule that I had planned and felt ok. The out and back route along the river meant I got to see loads of team mates. A few gentle high fives were the order of the day although this had changed to more of a grunt by the second lap! I had a really bad spell on the first lap of the lake after coming off the river route and did a lot of walking. The regatta lake that we had earlier swum in looked so long and we had to run the whole way round it – twice. Coming off the lake the I passed the GreenlightPT crew again. It gave me a real lift as I was hurting by then. There was a feed station just after and I took a caffeine gel. It kicked in and I felt a whole load better so I took another one as I came back off the river for a second time – I ran the rest of the way – all the way to the top of the lake and back down again. It was a long, long slog, but I was passing people and the finish never seemed to get nearer but eventually I saw the red carpet and the finish line. I even got a bit of a spurt on – although it probably looked like a shuffle to anyone watching. But I crossed the line and stopped my watch – just sneaked inside 2 hours for the run – poor but I didn’t care as I realised I’d broken my 6 hour target – by nearly 20 minutes!

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All over – I am an Outlaw!

Recovery drink - it really is!

Recovery drink – it really is!

I loved that race – I felt good throughout, bar a bad patch on the run and this is due in no small part to my GreenlightPT training plan that Adam provided me with. I’ve followed it for 19 weeks, only really missing out on the running at the start and at the end due to injury. The training weekend gave us the insight to plan nutrition and think about pacing – something I probably would not have given too much thought to on my own. I went into the race prepared and confident I would finish with a rough idea of an achievable target. There was a large group of us from GreenlightPT participating and the camaraderie all weekend was great and made the whole event a fantastic occasion which I thoroughly recommend.

So, I am now an Outlaw (half sized)!!! When’s the next one? Got a target now…

Stats of the day:
Total time – 5:41:18 (32:22 swim, T1 2:13, 3:05 bike, T2 1:43, 1:59 run)
Overall position: 482 out of 1107
Female position: 50 out of 246
AG position: 17 out of 60

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The bling

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A copy of this report can also be found on the GreenlightPT site

Categories: Outlaw, Races | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Outlaw Half – DONE!!!

I am an Outlaw (well a half version anyway)! And I smashed my goal time of 6 hours – report to follow!

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Outlaw Half Training – Week 16-17 done – PB, injury and taper

Week 16 was the final recovery week before the taper starts and what better way to start a recovery week than a race! Bank Holiday Monday was the Milton Keynes Marathon and Half Marathon and I ran the half and ran myself into a new half marathon PB. The downside was the pain in my achilles and calf I felt towards the end of the race didn’t disappear with the other achey muscles and by Thursday I was at the physio. The muscles were so tight to continue running would be asking for trouble – with the St Neots Olympic Triathlon booked for the Sunday it didn’t look good. After been told I shouldn’t run for a few weeks I mentioned that fact I was due to race and was told I could race but shouldn’t really run – although if it felt ok after a short test run on Saturday I could take it slowly.

Probably didn’t help matters that I took the day off on Wednesday and went out with the ‘Wednesday cycle group’ – a group that my father in law rides with – they do push the speed a bit but I felt I needed a bit of a test after a relatively slow ride to the Beacon the previous weekend. It was also the day the Womens Tour of Britain started and came right through Northants finishing in Northampton – just up the road from me – so the route for the group was a trip to the Dairy Farm at Upper Stowe then a saunter across the other side of the A5 to Kislingbury to catch the peloton as they raced past. I struggled to start off with as I still had the tough half marathon in my legs but once I got going it wasn’t too bad and it’s not every day a major cycling road race passes through your manor! by the end of the ride I’d another 47 miles under my belt.

With no running possible I did an 40km on the bike on Saturday followed by a 10 minute easy jog to test my leg. It didn’t feel right but wasn’t painful so I resolved to race at St Neots but decide on the run when it happened.

The St Neots Triathlon is one of the first open water triathlons of the season. Run by NiceTri Events it was the first time I’ve taken part. We had a 150om swim in the River Ouse, followed by a two lap bike that headed out towards Grafham Water before takinig in a bit of a hill at Little Staughton. The run was then a four lap run around the Riverside Park. The race was supposed to be a bit of a warm up for Outlaw, a chance to race half the distance a few weeks out but to be honest with my bad calf I realistically knew I couldn’t race it so my heart wasn’t really in it. I enjoyed the swim and felt I’d swum well coming out of the water quite well up. It was very cold so I struggled to get bike shoes on and then just couldn’t get warm on the bike. I struggled big time and spent most of the bike leg being passed.

I got back from the bike leg and started on the run but it was clear after a lap that I probably shouldn’t continue. The ground underfoot was a mixture of path and grass so wasn’t the best mix of surfaces if you have a dodgy calf. My leg didn’t hurt but wasn’t right – after one lap I pulled out. Not how I wanted to end the day but there was no point making it worse. On the upside I did get a chance to cheer on the others which was great.

Week 17 was the first week of taper – same training sessions but turbo brick changed to a ride and I exhanged interval session for a physio session as I couldn’t really run. I needed an easy week as I think as well as being injured I’d still managed to over do it – 160 miles of cycling plus a hard half marathon and most of an Olympic Triathlon.

I did have a long 80km ride/run to do which went really well – I used it to test out my nutrition and managed to get a reasonably steady 3km run done after. I rounded off on Sunday with a quick lake swim and an easy 4 mile run – leg was ok but still not right.

Just two weeks to go…

Outlaw Half Swim Cap

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Outlaw Half Training – Week 12-15 done – the hard work is complete (I think)…

Week 12 was a recovery week – all the usual sessions but without the brick runs and a much shorter ride and run at the weekend.

Week 13-15 was the start of the second block of build weeks. Longer brick runs and the rides building up to 90km all followed by a run. At the end of week 13 I also took part in my first triathlon of the season at Duston, which as I’ve already blogged about was a great success!

I also took another swim clinic with GreenlightPT as it had been a few months since my last one. I had been working on the various points that Adam had picked up last time with my head position, cross over on my pull and my exit on the pull so was keen to see if I had managed to fix these issues, plus the session always has a few time trials to check on performance.

I am pleased to say I had improved on all counts and my 400m TT time was a season’s best by some way and not too far off my overall PB. As ever though I came away with more to work on and a super tough endurance session that has really made me work in the pool.

Week 15 was rounded off with a full length 90km ride followed by a short run. I wanted to try to build a hill into the ride similar to the main hill at Outlaw and received a variety of suggestions, one of which was Ivinghoe Beacon, which would be around 50 mile round trip from home. I’ve never ridden this hill before so thought it would be a good one to try. Just to make the day really tough it started early in the morning at Box End, near Bedford. A quick lap of the cable lake – my first open water dip of the year – before heading home for a quick bowl of porridge and out on the bike.

I rode alone as my brother-in-law, who I normally cycle with has injured his hip and was unable to ride but it was a good test for me as I have to ride alone at Outlaw. It made for a tough ride as it was quite windy in places and although the only notable hill was the Beacon, there were a few undulations out there to keep the legs burning, but took me through some beautiful countryside before the climb up to the Beacon. The inital climb starts down in the village of Ivinghoe – I started the gentle incline strongly when a 4×4 decided to come round me and slam its brakes on – no idea why but the end result was me in a heap in the road still attached to my bike and said 4×4 driving off. The road was quite a busy B road so I didn’t want to be lying in the road for long, but typically couldn’t get my shoes off my pedals as I was lying down and then realised my Garmin was still going! Not sure what concerned me more, lying in a main road or the thought of my Garmin still running. Either way, I resolved both situations swiftly. A couple of drivers had stopped to check I was alright. Luckily no damage to me or the bike that I could see, although I was concerned about my new trisuit which I was testing as I had landed heavily on my side.

I dusted myself off and continued on my way, a little bit angry at events – I have no idea what the driver thought they were doing but they clearly had no concept of other road users, particularly cyclists and it was clear why so many accidents happen. With the bit between my teeth I took the Beacon by its horns and had a nice steady ride to the top – even passing another cyclist on the way. It wasn’t as bad as I had been led to believe – quite long, but more of a gentle drag than a major slog. It kicks up a bit towards the end but the views you are rewarded with on the way more than make up for it.

I stopped at the top to have a check I was alright after my fall and I could feel my left leg had taken a bit of a bashing – nothing too serious but could feel there would be bruises in a few days. From the top of the Beacon I was a bit hazy about the route back down to Ivinghoe. I could return the way I came but wanted to take a more scenic route through Ashridge Park, down Tom’s Hill and through Aldbury (anyone who watches Midsomer Murders will recognise it) – only problem was my phone couldn’t get a signal so my route wouldn’t show. i decided to play it by ear and make it up as I went along. I knew roughly where I wanted to go so set off down through the Park, eventually arriving at the top of Tom’s Hill (glad I didn’t come up that!) and descended into Aldbury. From Aldbury I found a signpost that pointed to Tring (wrong direction) so took a punt on a random road that I thought headed in the right direction – luckily it did and I found myself back in Ivinghoe village and on the route home.

Although hit wasn’t particularly hilly going home it did feel like a long slog but gradually the miles ticked over and I reached home in 61 miles. A fair bit over the 90km I was supposed to do but with a few stops I figured it had evened itself out! A quick run after to round of the full triathlon day and that gave me the confidence to know I can complete the Outlaw Half.

Outlaw Half

 

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Duston Sprint Triathlon – Race Report

My first triathlon of the season and although still early days I was keen to see if the ‘proper’ training I had been doing since January was working. I’m not training for sprint triathlon at the moment – my goal race is the Outlaw Half in June and I’ve been following a plan set by GreenlightPT so very little out and out speed work has been done but this would still be a good test.

Due to my swim improvement over the last year, I was given a start time of 13:03 – some five hours into the event – although there were still a fair few waves after me (400m times posted at 4:30) – not quite at that level yet! This was a bit strange as most triathlons are started at stupid o clock in the morning when you get up, pack the car and go. Yesterday was different – I got up, had a leisurely breakfast, sauntered round the house packing up kit, checked online to see team mates were already racing and in some cases finished before I’d even left the house – all a bit surreal!

The event is run by JustRacing who organise many events locally around here plus the Challenge Weymouth event (formerly Challenge Henley) and I usually have a go at their final event at Roade each year so knew this would be a slick well organised affair. And it was – car parking easy, registration quick, plus a t shirt. I set up my transition area – in a bin bag as it was raining and went to find the family and team mates in the warm.

I haven’t done a sprint triathlon since September last year so this would be a good tester of how training has been going. It would be a 400m pool swim, 20km testing bike ride plus a reasonably flat 5km round the outskirts of the village of Duston. All distances are much shorter than what I’ve been training for but still a good training session if nothing else.

Each swim wave had 5 competitors and set off every three minutes. 16 lengths, jump out and get on the bike. For some reason my lane seemed to be short of people from the wave before and the wave after so when I started a guy from two waves previous was just finishing and I then had the lane to myself for around 6 minutes. In some ways this was great, but there was no one to race after so I was kind of left to my own devices – and lost count of my lengths – luckily the guy who started in my wave 2 lanes across was a similar speed to me so when he stopped – so did I. At the end you had to haul yourself out and run out of the pool complex – easier said than done! We were at the deep end so nothing to push off and I couldn’t pull myself up – I ended swinging a leg up and rolling out on my tummy only to find there were steps next to me – never to late to learn to scope things out first! Anyway out of the pool and a quick run outside to the bike.

A quick loading of helmet, glasses and shoes and I was off, utilising my new found running with the bike skills. The bike route could only be described as undulating and to be honest I really struggled to get going for about 6-7 miles. A few guys on TT bikes came past me but kept my head down and kept pushing. The road came out of Duston and onto the A428, a reasonably busy road. The surface was not the best and led for a very bumpy and lumpy few miles. About 5 miles down we turned and headed towards the village of Great Brington – this is the fabled hill that many competitors talk about but having just cycled over the Brickhills this week I wasn’t too worried and sure enough the turbo sessions kicked in and I whipped up it. According to Strava it’s 12% in places but didn’t seem that bad.

The hill seemed to kick start my legs and suddenly I felt comfortable on the bike and my speed came back. I got my head down through the next village and worked hard to get to the road that would take us back to Duston. I took on a gel – all good practice although with one hand on the tri bars, one hand on a gel while passing a gateway with strong winds wasn’t my finest hour – need to plan the best way to do that a bit better in the future. With the gel out of the way there was a quick 3/4 miles back to transition. With the school in sight, down the gears to get the legs spinning and T2 appeared.

I dumped the bike and set off on my run. As I left T2 my brother in law came into transition – I had a six minute head start on him from the swim so my first goal of the day was achieved, to get back to T2 before he caught me! We were a good 1/2 mile into the run before he passed me so I was quite pleased with myself! The run started well – no real jelly leg feeling (brick runs are working!) and I settled into a steady pace. I had no Garmin on me so was running by feel. A few guys came past me but no women so figured I was doing ok. The circuit of the village was a long drag out initially but this then ensured there was a reasonably downhill section towards the finish. The last 400m were tough but finished strong.

Just Racing offer an immediate results service so you can see how you’ve done as soon as you finish. I was a bit disappointed with my swim although those who had watches on showed the actual swim time was about 20-30 seconds faster – it just depended how long it took to get out of the pool and cross the timing mat! In my case probably nearer 30 seconds so must have a been around 6:30 for the swim which I’m more than happy with.

My T1 and T2 times were both less than a minute so the transition training we’ve done with Adam at the GreenlightPT turbo sessions are paying off.

I felt my bike was a bit slow. I’ve not done any speedwork on the bike – all long rides have been well over 20 miles but when you factor the wind and the undulating route my average speed was still higher than normal so not too bad considering but still a ‘could do better’ or ‘room for improvement’!

I was pleased with the run. Without a watch I actually ran over 30 seconds quicker than my Parkrun PB so was really stoked about that. I was even more pleased to then find out later on that I had won my age group as well – got to stand on a podium and received some nice glassware for the mantlepiece.

All in all, a good day out. My training plan from GreenlightPT is working, I’m swimming, cycling and running as fast as I ever have, in fact several of us from the team got podium places in our age groups and there were good results all round.

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I would recommend the Duston Triathlon – a really well organised event and totally inclusive – there were complete novices through to GB Age-Groupers taking part. Just nicer weather next time please?

Sun

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Outlaw Half Training – Week 10 & 11 done – the really hard work begins

Week 10

Turbo on Monday was a tough start to the week as usual, especially following the Cobbler from the previous day. We finished with some core work and I then ran 3km to make it a brick session.

The GreenlightPT swim session was a toughie and one of the hardest I’ve done (20x100m). The pace was 400m PB pace which sounds easy enough but not when there’s 20 to do and there wasn’t much rest involved. But I did them all, and got rest and gave a good indication of the what might be coming up as this training plan really gets into its flow.

Intervals on Thursday were what most people would call ‘character building’. The rain was tipping down as I left work and by the time I’d reached my starting point for the intervals it was torrential! This was then followed by lightning and thunder. I was completely soaked, but three of the intervals were the fastest yet – one was actually on target pace! Only taken four sessions to get there…

My early morning swim session on a Friday is now a firm fixture and I actually quite enjoy starting the day with it. I usually do some 400m reps and my times are now consistent so the endurance is coming together. This is also the chance for me to work on specific drills that have come out of my swim clinic.

Saturday was my first long bike/short run brick sessions. It looked chilly outside but wasn’t. With not enough water and being rather overdressed so I struggled towards the end of the ride. Once home a quick change and I was out for a run. I was quite pleased to be able to keep a reasonable pace. The first kilometre was tough but I was surprised how quick the legs responded and recovered to run normally.

I rounded off the weekend with a long run on Sunday. It was a nice day and I got a bit carried away on the way back with the last four miles around 7:45 a mile which was a bit quick for me really but was a good confidence booster to know it’s in the tank if needed! My body bit back though and my troublesome knee flared up afterwards – back on the ice and ibuprofen…

WeeK 11

Following the hard run the day before my knee still felt a bit tender so for a change I listened to my body and took my rest day a day early, but missed my turbo/run session as a result. By Tuesday it felt a lot better so took my bike out, with its new tribars for a quick spin up the road and then a quick 3km run after so this made up for the missed Monday session.

I swam as usual on Wednesday but had to miss my interval session on Thursday as the other half was really late home from work. With the GreenlightPT 70.3 Training Weekend this weekend I decided to miss my Friday swim session and went out for a run instead as I knew we’d be swimming on Saturday.

The weekend was consumed by the Training Weekend – a post covering this will follow, but it is fair to say – it was a full weekend of training!

 

 

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Outlaw Half Training – Week 9 done – ticking over

Another ‘solid’ week completed with no major catastrophes – well to me, my new bike isn’t so clever but that’s another story!

The week started well with a tough turbo session – lots of hard riding followed by hard running and rounded off with transition practice. I followed this with a quick run and was surprised how well the legs worked considering the battering they’d just received during the previous hour.

Wednesday night was the usual GreenlightPT swim session and was our 6 weekly 400m time trial. I’ve felt I’ve not performed particularly well at these over the last few months. The problem being towards the end of last summer when we did the first proper time trial I managed to post a massive PB, mostly helped by the fact I was able to draft for most of it. I’ve spent the last six months not getting close to it – but in my head that PB is now written off and this week I got a new PB – not a million miles off the old one, but a much more realistic one to work to.

The rest of the week went as planned – I did my long run on Saturday as I did a sportive on the Sunday and felt like I was flying – amazing how different it feels to not run on tired legs. Sunday was the ‘Cobbler Classic‘ a new sportive covering South Northamptonshire and started from Towcester Racecourse – just a few miles from my front door. 60 miles in rather cold and windy weather and finding some hills that I didn’t know existed. It was a tough, tough ride – particularly over the first 25/30 miles – constant undulating terrain battling the wind. It was a bit of a reality check – although we tried to schedule in food stops, they weren’t enough and the final 10 miles were a real struggle – not helped by a long drag into Whittlebury from Stowe. But I got round and despite several stops for food I managed to gain a Gold Award. Wasn’t the quickest ride in the world but a great experience and would definitely recommend this sportive for next year. With a choice or 39, 60 and 80 miles there’s something for everyone. The medals weren’t half bad either!

Cobbler Medal

 

 

Categories: Outlaw, Races, Training | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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