Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Can't you see I'm running...

Why do people insist on stopping me while I'm running to ask for directions. Maybe its because I'm the only one out on the road at 11pm but still! After some more reading about the Maffetone method and deciding to put it on hold for a while (I know I keep changing my mind), I decided to go for a run tonight after a turbo session.

Started off slow enough, setting myself an upper HR limit of 162bpm which I adhered close enough for the first two kilometers. Trouble is, thats when two of the three hills on my route kick in.

Due to the easy pace I'd been keeping up to that point, I was happy enough to let my HR climb while sticking to a nice easy pace. Made it to the top of the second hill, almost three km into the run with no problems, so I started thinking of doing a non-stop 5km or 6km run.

I kept the same HR going for the next km (average increased by 2bpm over the distance) doing that km six seconds faster. With the end in sight, I seem to have subconsciously picked up the pace a bit in the 5th km, with my split time dropping to 6m 30s and my average HR increasing 5bpm to 175bpm...this may be a little on the low side as I said, someone stopped my about 4.8km into the run to ask for directions.

All in all, a good run. Bit of a milestone as its the first time that I recall doing a non-stop 5km this year. Overall pace was dead on 7m/km, which considering I was taking it easy to start off, ain't bad.

Here's a pretty good screenshot from Sports Tracks showing loads of relevant info. The actual run data can be found

Upcoming events: 2008

At the moment, I've just entered one event for 2008. Thats the London 10k on May 26th. I've got a few other events that I'm thinking about including:
Looks like a busy enough season, but I'll probably try and do a few of the events I done this year as well. At the moment, Wokingham is doubtful, its just a bit too soon. That said, I've done more training for that than I've ever done for either of my previous two attempts at the Reading Half marathon (personal best is 2hrs 35mins or so), so whats the worst that could happen?

Also, not too sure about Windsor, might be too big a step too soon. Its a good one though, as its also got a sprint version, which I should hopefully be able to handle at that stage. The other one would be the London duathlon, which I set a benchmark in earlier this year.

I suppose I should also say what races are the big ones for me...well, probably the biggest one is probably Eton Super Sprints. I've talked two of the lads from home into coming over and giving it a go, so there'll be two other complete novices like myself there to compete against. After that, I'd like to put in a good showing for Reading


After a day of eating a load of crap at work, I pretty much went straight to the gym after work. Done 40min on the treadmill, keeping HR around the 152bpm mark before going downstairs to the pool. Done a few lengths of three strokes\2 breaths but failed miserably when trying to do the normal three strokes\one breath.

Got back from the gym and headed out for a walk\run around the block, again aiming to keep the HR between 142bpm and 152bpm. Basically involved short runs, followed by a lot longer walks. Knocked 3m 20s of my previous best, not really much considering that was a plain walk. Plan is to stick with the walking until the end of the year (with the odd walk\run thrown) and see how that goes.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Weight update

After a weekend of hardly any exercise, I was expecting the weighing scales this morning to tell a harsh story. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they registered a very good 114.9kg figure, bringing my average weight down to 115.48kg. Lets hope this progress can be built upon until the new year.

More swimming progress

Got down to the pool tonight for the first time in a few days. Started off slow enough, didn't really seem to be making much progress from previous sessions. Then decided to give three strokes with a two breath recovery a go to see how I'd get on...made it the whole length of the pool. Now, fair enough, I'd lost a bit of form towards the end of the length, but its still almost a proper length all the same. Stayed focused on that for the rest of the session and I'd guess I done somewhere between 8-12 lengths, with a nice recovery between attempts.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007


Just completed two days of good training, so feeling a little bit knackered but good. Last night, I watched the Liverpool game at the gym, while on the treadmill. Still sticking to the Maximal Aerobic Heart Rate training idea, I kept my HR in the 142-152bpm range as much as I could.

For the first half of the game, I generally ran between 7 - 8 kmph and recovered at 6kmph. This is a lot slower than before, but gonna keep with it for a few weeks. At half time in the game, I done a quick weights session, using lighter weights than normal with a 15-20s rest between sets...bloody tough. Then for the second half I got back on the treadmill for a walk at around 6kmph and 3% incline (obviously varying depending on HR).

When I'd finished that, I done a quick 500m row in 1.47.7 and went downstairs for a bit of swimming. Overall a good session, which according to my polar, burning over 1000kcal which was good considering I'd eaten a rake of chocolate during the day at work (HR brought in a few boxes of celebrations for Christmas).

Great news this morning then when I got up and weighed myself...113.7kg, probably my lightest daily weighing in two years. This caused my average weight to finally fall below 116kg, so a massive milestone, considering how long its taken to cross that line.

Then this evening, went for the weekly turbo session at the local tri club. I kept getting stomach cramps, so probably wasn't as intense as it should have been, but it was still a good workout all the same. Usual warmup, followed by some single leg drills (including varying the handlebar grips).

Next up was the main killer of the night, a simulated team Time-Trial. The 16 people there were split into teams of four, with each rider in the team been given a number between one and four. Each rider was expected to give 30s at the front of their team, hence upping their intensity to a Zone 5 (not flat out sprint but getting there). The rest of the team were to stay in Zone 4 (long term endurance) until it was their turn at the front. The drill lasted 16mins in total and by the end I'd defo had enough :)

Finished off with some rolling\spinning drills, but this is where the stomach cramps really started to affect me so I kept having to stop pedalling while they passed.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Swimming progress

Went down to the pool tonight for a while to do some drills. Started off well, I actually managed to make it the length of the pool doing 3 strokes/3 breaths, but still struggling towards the end of the length and also a bit breathless.

Concentrated on a few drills, mainly trying to reach as far forward as possible on inserting the hand and rotating, which seemed to feel more natural as I was doing it. Then went back to the 3 strokes/3 breaths thing. I figured that as I was breathing ok but was just breathless as I progressed I figured that it must be that I was kicking too hard and using up too much oxygen. So for the next few laps, I focused on trying not to kick while stroking (really hard, but I settled for just kicking gently) and then kicking lightly while recovering.

What a difference that made. I seemed to be doing a length at real struggling towards the end of the length. When the length was finished, I could probably have turned around straight away for another length! Unfortunately this came at the end of the session, so I'll have to wait until next time to try again. But all the same, really happy with the progress tonight.

Quick update

Another weekend over. Done absolutely nothing since Thursday evening, which was basically a quick session in the pool and a brisk walk around the block. Foot seems to be ok now, so I might give it a test tomorrow with a short jog at a very low intensity.

Friday, 7 December 2007


Went for a ride at lunchtime yesterday, a rare occurrence for me despite good intentions. I'd noticed as I was taking the bike out of the car that the saddle was slightly loose, but decided to go anyways. It was pretty windy out but was making good progress until I got about 10km into the ride and the saddle started to cause troubles. Luckily, there was a short way back to work from here which I decided to take, easing off the pace considerably.

Had a tough session on the turbo last night down at the tri club. I'd missed a week, but that wasn't really too much of a hindrance. Started off with the usual warmup, then 15 mins going through the zones (4m @ Z3 / 5m @ Z4 / 3m @ Z5 / 1m @ Z4 / 1m @ Z5 / 1m Z4). This was followed by 45mins of spinning (pedaling as fast as possible in your lowest gear) and rolling (pedaling in your highest gear, focusing on technique). This session went something like this...
  • 3 x (1R / 30s + 1S / 30s)
  • 3 x (3R / 1m + 3S / 1m)
  • 1 x (4R / 1m + 4S / 1m)
The last couple of rolling sets were tough enough as we'd to get out of the saddle to do them...that was absolutely killing my legs!

Today, I'd a relatively easy day. Got down to the pool for a few drills (not really many as it was quite busy) and went for a walk around the block when I got back. Too early to say if there's any progress with this walking, but my pace seems to be fairly consistent and there is a slight drop in my average HR between the walks I've done. Will have to keep an eye on it over the next few weeks.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007


My overall calorie excess since 1/1/2006 is finally down to zero. See here for details :)

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Training Update

Another big day training wise. I was hoping to get out at lunch time for a bike cycle, but I'd forgot about our weekly poker game at work. Was kinda half hoping to get knocked out quickly and to go on the cycle anyways, but ended up getting down to the last two, but ended up losing in the end.

So after getting back from work, went down to the gym again for some strength work. All upper body and very similar to what I'd done yesterday. Generally don't like to do leg work with the weights as it usually means I can hardly walk for about two days afterwards.

Went down to the pool after this and got a few lengths in. Swimming is really starting to annoy me at the particular reason, just I'm putting the time in and still seem to be getting no-where.

After I got back, I went out for an hour long walk, something I'll hopefully do most evenings\nights while my foot is still sore. My average pace per km was about 15s faster tonight, compared to last night but my HR was up about 3bpm.

My HR in general is quite high while doing these walks...should be interesting to see if a week or two worth of walking causes it to drop!

Monday, 3 December 2007

Training update

During the run described in the last post, I'd actually hurt my foot. I kept on going, when I probably shouldn't have and later that night my foot was pretty painful. It was a lot worse the next morning so I went to the doc to see if there was anything serious wrong. I got the all clear from him, just some bruising, but he suggested laying off the running for a few weeks.

So, to that end, I've played it a bit safe and kept of the cycling as well. I've been doing a bit of swimming and some cardio on the cross-trainer to make up. Also had a weights session in the gym for the first time in ages tonight. Foot is a lot better at the moment, so took the opportunity to have a walk around the block to stretch the legs.

I'll probably give the foot at least another week and see how it gets on. I'll try to keep the walking up and make it down to the pool as often as possible. Might also try and get a few miles in one the bike some lunchtime.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

New Regime

Going to try out the following regime. Idea is that you train at low intensity (i.e. maximize your bodies fat burning potential) for a few months (until your fitness level starts to plateau). Then you switch to high intensity training to develop that.

I done this for the first time tonight. Went well I think. My target HR was 152bpm, so I aimed to keep it between 145-150bpm (don't ask why, 147bpm - 157bpm would have made more sense). Done 5.19km in 41.10mins, which is an average pace of 7.55min/km (7.6kmph). Average HR was 147bpm.

Swimshack: Report

Had another session at swimshack on Friday. Started off working on some balance stuff, moved to some active balance (kicking on back rotating shoulders around spine), which went well enough. I'd done a fair bit of work on that over the last month or two, so was good to see that it was paying off.

Next idea was to move onto doing the same thing, this time face down, rotating up to the air. Easier said than done and my first two attempts involved drinking lots of water. I was then given a snorkel to get used to the position, which wasn't too bad, but tiresome enough.

Eventually managed to get 2/3 breaths on my right hand side but had to have a good few attempts to get it on my left. Lesson ended there, but the coach was very happy with the progress and reckons I should be ready to go back early in the new year.

Was down at the pool last night and nailed both left and right breathing straight away. Could only do about half a length, but still, not bad.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Fitness test

I done a fitness test last Monday, which is basically the Aerobic Fitness test described here. Test results were as expected more or less, which were summed up well by Thomas as:

That's excellent....basically you're an unfit, fat fvcker. :P

Well, things can only get better from here. Here's the first couple of pages of the report...let me know what you think.



DATE: 19th November 2007

Personal Details: Name: Chris Heneghan Age: 28 years


Height: 1.84 m Mass: 119.5 kg

Body Mass Index: 35.3 (high)

% Body Fat: 31.0% (high) Lean Body Tissue : 69.0%


Resting Pulse 76bpm Average

Blood Pressure 135:94 High Normal

Haemoglobin 172 g.dl High average

Haematocrit 51.0% High

Lung Measures

FVC (size) 4.29 litres Below average

FEV1 (strength) 3.56 litres Below average

Peak Flow (power) 606 l/min Average


Grip 54.2kgf Excellent
Leg/back 150.5kgf Good


VO2max 40.8 ml/kg/min Average

Maximal Heart Rate 184 bpm
Lactate Step Test

Running Intensity Heart Rate Blood Lactate
(kph) (bpm) (mmol/l)
7.5 157 2.7
8.1 161 2.4
8.6 169 2.9
9.0 171 3.3
9.6 178 4.2
10.1 184 5.1

Please also see graphical review within the comment.

Summary Comment:

Please also refer to the graphical data review of the results.

Body Composition

Your body mass and body fat% levels are high and in need of dramatic reduction to the benefit of your athletic performance. You need to achieve steady and consistent weight loss, whilst at the same time maintaining lean tissue. Your extended exercise regime alongside a modification to your diet will achieve this. The sensible approach will be to lose 1 to 2lb per week, for 14 weeks, and then reassess your requirements.

Short term aim should be 110kg and 25% body fat. This could be achieved in 4 months.

Blood Pressure and Resting Heart Rate

Your blood pressure was slightly raised, but this is not uncommon within a testing environment. Your resting pulse was average at 76bpm, which will drop as your fitness improves.

Lung Measurements

Your lung measurements are the low side of normal, so you may always feel some limitation to breathing whilst exercising. As you get fitter this limitation will reduce as your body becomes more efficient at transporting oxygen.

Make a conscious effort to concentrate on your breathing rhythm and utilising the full lung capacity as you exercise. Even look to exaggerate the extent of your inhalations, to use as much capacity as possible.

Haemoglobin and Haematocrit

These two measurements highlight the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. Your haemoglobin was good and above the normal levels at 172g.l. Generally the greater the haemoglobin content, the greater the potential stamina performance. You can make an effort to increase Hb through the consumption of dietary Iron and Vitamin C (red meat, green leafed vegetables, liver, cereals, etc). The vitamin C assists the Iron to be absorbed.

Your haematocrit was high at 51.0% and this shows potential signs of dehydration. It is vital that you maintain a regular intake of water throughout the day, especially during times of high training volume.


Your strength is good to excellent and will be a physical benefit to your future fitness. Try to avoid to many high resistance exercises, as you will gain weight easily, but compliment your cardio training with high rep, circuit type training once or twice per week.

Maximal Oxygen Uptake (VO2max) - Stamina


Maximal Oxygen Uptake (VO2max) = 4.88 litres/minute
= 40.8 (Average)
Max Heart Rate = 193 b/min

100th Post!!

Well, its further than I ever thought this would go. This is the 100th post of the blog. Couple of things I could post about but think I'll just mark the post as is and post the other stuff separately.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Race Report: F3 Duathlon - Dorney Lake

Done the F3 Events November duathlon today at Dorney Lake, which was 5km run / 20km cycle / 5km run. Its on a totally flat course, around the 2012 olympic rowing lake.

Made it around, despite convincing myself at least 100 times that I should just do the "novice" version (2.5km / 12km / 2.5km). I started off pretty fast, mainly trying to keep with one of my mates who's a much stronger runner than me. When he maneuvered to pass a group of runners, I let him go and carried on myself at my own pace, which slowed considerably after this (see graphs below).

I was hoping to do the first run leg under the 30min mark (which would have been a pb) but unfortunately, I came in around 32mins, the second last person on that run leg.

Onto the bike, which was also my first proper go with using the cleats. Started off strong, hitting speeds up to 40kmph and thinking I was a great fellow. After 2km, that was to change, as the course doubled back on itself and I faced into a gale force wind. Believe it or not, it was actually a pretty calm day, (at least at the start where its a bit sheltered) so this was quite a shock. Speeds dropped down to about 19kmph on average and it was like a 2km uphill ride the whole way back. The route called for 5 of these loops and after the second attempt the "novice" race was appealing to me again.

I actually caught up to my mate on the bike leg, mainly due to the fact he was riding a mountain bike, with a half flat back tyre! Needless to say, he passed me quickly enough on the run!

For the second run I took a different approach, mainly a run \ walk strategy. Initially I was hoping to do 3 min runs \ 1 min walks but that just wasn't going to happen the state I was in! So settled on a good few 1.5 min runs \ 30s walks. I even told my mate at one stage when we met on the loop that I was only doing 1 of the laps! Next time I met him, I'd talked myself around into doing the second lap.

Anyways, got around in just under 2 hours. Official results aren't out yet, but I put my time down as 1h 57m or there abouts. Official placing I guess is 3rd last :) Things can only get better! At least I completed it!!

For more info, see here, here and here...

Run 1
Run 2

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Training: Turbo Session

Went down for my third session at the Cambridge Tri Turbo session. These are progressively getting tougher as the weeks progress. Attendance was down tonight (just 16), which I assume was mainly due to the England game being on.

Format was similar to the previous weeks, starting off with a warmup at our own pace, finishing off with 4 quick sprints of 15/20/25/30 secs in the lowest gear with a minutes rest. This was then followed by a few alternating sets of "rolling" in the highest gear (concentrating on pedalling in circles), followed by "spinning" in the lowest gear (concentrating on not bouncing in the saddle). Initially the sets were for 1m 30s, finishing off with 2 sets of 2 mins. The last rolling part was out of the saddle, which almost killed me!!

This was then followed by some one legged pedaling, which I just can't seem to get the hang of at all. This was then followed by a few minutes of pedalling in Zone 3 (e.g. pedaling at a level where conversation is difficult), moving up to Zone 4 (e.g. heavy breathing), before finally going for 2 mins at Zone 5 (tough going...legs start to burn). Started to cool down, going back to Zone 4 and Zone 3 before finally spending 10 mins recovering at an easy pace.

Overall tough going, was sweating like a pig. Probably felt better though than I did after the last two sessions though, which is good. Didn't get a chance to eat anything afterwards as I was straight down to a poker night in a local pub (in aid of the local GAA club), so diet was hardly the best today (grabbed a burger on the way home!).

Anyways, here's a graph of my HR over the session...

Tuesday, 20 November 2007


Had a tough session session tonight down at the circuits. Was a bit stiff after yesterdays exertions (fitness test in the morning, followed by treadmill run that night) so wasn't looking forward to it. Still, gritted teeth and went along.

Still struggling weight wise. When I'm stiff as I was last night and today, I tend to turn to comfort eating, although I wasn't too bad today (just one Twix...could have easily been more). That said I did have two pub dinners today, both of which were accompanied by chips.

Anyways, here's a graph of my HR for the session...

Monday, 19 November 2007

First Garmin Forerunner output...

Here's my first outing with my new Garmin Forerunner 305, which was basically a walk into town and back out. Its broken into three parts (I had to stop on the way into town for something to eat) but the walk back is uninterrupted so I'm just going to post a link to that.

Anyways, heres the link.

I suppose I've a couple of things to note about it. First is that I have no idea what is going on with the elevation data. GPS elevation is notoriously dodgy, so I'm putting it down to that. I can't imagine there was anymore than a 10ft gain in height over the whole walk.

Secondly, my HR seems to be pretty high for a brisk walk. No idea why this is, perhaps its was down to just having had something to eat as during my walk into town it wasn't as high. If you look at the HR graph though, you'll notice towards the end of it there is a definite spike...this is where I'm walking over a railway bridge close to home!! Pretty nifty, no?

Some of the data needs a pinch of salt when interpreting...for instance, in the same HR graph, also tick the speed button and you'll see it spike to 30mph at one stage...pretty impressive even if I was sprinting, which I was not!

Overall, quite happy with it. Have yet to take it out in anger, but hopefully will rectify that soon.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Another week...

Another failed of this morning, my weight stands at 116.58kg, a whole 0.58kg heavier than I hoped it would be LAST Monday! Workouts this week have been very, very poor, mainly consisting of a lot of stuff on Wednesday and a brief walk around town on Saturday! Not good enough.

So whats my excuse this time around??? I'm blaming the weather...its been bloody freezing here the last few nights and now its started raining. Well, if I'm not going to go outside to train then its definitely time that I started doing some stuff back on the treadmill, which I'll be on come tomorrow night.

I've got a duathlon this weekend...5km run/20km bike/5km run so hopefully a bit of extra training won't go amiss for this.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Quick update

Got my new Garmin Forerunner 305 yesterday. Haven't had a chance to play around with yet as I spent most of Tuesday evening at the theater (don't ask) and spent the rest of the night fixing new pedals and cleats to the bike (and adjusting the front dérailleur).

Main reason that had to be done on Tuesday was that I'd another turbo session tonight, which I followed up with a quick swim in the pool afterwards. All this on top of a game of 4-a-side football today at lunch, I decided to give the body a bit of a rest when I got in tonight. Will hopefully get out for a run at lunch tomorrow.

Played a game on Sunday as well which left the legs a bit sore. Lost, but we were rubbish and didn't deserve to win.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Tonights training

Thought there was some GAA training tonight, so decided to run down to the pitch like I'd done last week. Was also planning on getting to the pool afterwards, so brought my swimming gear with me.

I actually missed the turnoff for the most direct way to the pitch on my run, so continued onto the way that I normally drive. It added an extra 500m or so to the distance I'd say, but thats no big deal.

Overall the run went well, only stopped briefly to let a car pass at a junction (and took a couple of extra seconds break). Made it down to the pitch to see that there was no floodlights and hence no-training. Done the 3.6km run in 25mins.

Like my run last night, I was aiming to keep my HR below 166bpm, which I more or less did for the duration. My average HR for the run was 158bpm with a max of 168bpm.

Have to say that I'm pretty happy with two longish distance runs in two nights.

As for the pool afterwards, I'd an empty lane to myself for the guts of an hour. It went well enough, apart from the fact that my leg\calf\foot would cramp intermittently, which I assume was due to the run. Still not doing a length normally, but I've managed to do a few lengths taking three breaths every stroke. Hardly swimming, but something to build on. update

Made it around the block non-stop for the first time tonight. I'd initially planned on just doing a brisk walk around the block, but after two minutes decided to push the heart rate up a notch and started running. Main aim for the run was to keep HR below 166bpm (seems to be around my lactate threshold (the point above which lactic acid starts to accumulate in the blood)), which I managed to achieve for the most part apart from on the hills and the last bit of the run.

The lap time was 37m 39s which is about 2m slower than my PB, but the main point is that it was non-stop. My average HR was 163bpm and my max HR was 176bpm. I reckon I could have gone for further at that HR, so it would seem that is a good level to be training at for longer runs.

New Kit

Ordered a Garmin Forerunner 305 earlier today from Amazon. Basically a HRM with GPS capabilities, which makes it a pretty powerful piece of kit. To be fair, I probably don't really need it, but its just another gadget and one I've been thinking of getting for a while.

There's a bike cadence sensor that you can get as an addon, but it wasn't in stock so I didn't order it. I'll more than likely get it at some stage in the future. I must also get a bike mount for it at the same time.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Swimming update

I've been getting pretty bored with just doing drills in my swimming sessions so I've started trying to do laps. Still haven't managed to do a full lap properly (going a length taking just one breath per three strokes), but I have noticed that my balance and kicking have improved significantly over the last few weeks.

I do seem to be struggling with breathing though. I can go about 3 sets of 3 strokes with one breath between sets, but just don't seem to be able to extend that any further! To try to improve this, I've been practicing breathing every stroke, but only seem to be able to get 5-6 strokes before needing to recover (take more than one breath). Strangely enough, I seem to go the same distance in both exercises!!!

Still, work in progress and all that.

My first turbo session

Went down to Cambridge Triathlon Club's first turbo session of the year there tonight. For those of you that don't know what a turbo is, they are what treadmills are to running. You clamp the rear wheel of your bike into a frame (looks like an upside-down V) and the back wheel rests on a roller. The roller provides resistance which normally increases as you spin faster. Here's a link to a similar turbo to mine, which should give you a better idea of how it works.

There were about 15-20 people there, most of them kitted out to the max. Some seriously nice bikes there and obviously a few serious athletes there. I was also suprised by the amount of "kids" there...must have been at least 4-5 teenagers there. Despite the obvious fitness differences it was a very social and quite laid back.

Overall, it was an easy enough session, which was mainly down to it being the first session of the winter. The coach was taking time to explain the theory and concepts behind what we were doing as well, which was good and it also gave us an insight of what was to come over the upcoming weeks.

We mainly focused on technique tonight, which was relatively handy although the one-legged peddling was pretty tough I found. Need to get the cleats sorted out on my bike. There was also a bit of endurance work, going through the different levels of intensity, which meant the sweat was absolutely pouring of me by the end of the session.

All in all, its was a very good session and I'd definitely go back. For one thing its something to do on a Wednesday night, but also because there seems to be quite a few knowledgeable people there to learn how to approach the sport from. Its only a fiver for a session (2hrs) and in the 1h 10m I was going tonight, I burned about 750kcal! Magic.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Weight update

I've had two pretty decent weeks on the weight loss front, losing 0.76kg in that period. However, a bit of a bad start to this week already, where I'm after putting back on 0.17kg over the last two days!

Not going too bad on the exercise front either. Jogged down to the gym tonight, done some rowing and cycling, followed by a bit of swimming and had a brisk walk back. Didn't really eat the best stuff today, but hopefully I've broke even with the calories today.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Weight Charts

Last 14 days

Last 30 days

Last three months

Last year

All time

Personal bests

This post will be a place holder for my PB's and general race results. I'm also going to include PB's for some training routes that I do regularly.

Reality check

As was pointed out to me today by one of my mates (cheers Paul), I seem to be struggling to pass the 116kg barrier on my weight loss quest. As he said, its been down around that level since August, with no major changes either way.

Now, in the back of my head, I suppose I've always known this was the case. Its as if I have a mental barrier at the 116kg level that subconsciously is subverting my efforts to break through it. Perhaps this weight is significant because the lightest weight I've registered since Jan 06 is something like 116.3kg and I'm settling for that subconsciously.

Well, its definitely time to forget the excuses and just push on through. Looking at the stats, since mid-August my "average" weight calorific deficit has been a paltry 56kcal! 56kcal! 56kcal. Thats not even a mars bar! Its one and a half unbuttered cream crackers! Unacceptable.

As I said before, I probably knew this in the back of my mind all along. But now thats its been noticed and pointed out in public brings a lot or reality to it. I've had a pretty good week or so, weight loss wise, which I hope to continue. I'm going to forget about long term goals and just focus on one short term get my weight under 116kg. If I haven't done it by the 11th, you'll have to start getting on my back! I'll keep a daily note of how things are going here, just to keep you informed.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Training update

First day back doing stuff since last Thursday. I was supposed to have a game on Saturday but it was called off, which was a pain since I could have entered a duathlon that morning. Its pretty annoying to be honest. Was out Friday and Saturday nights so the whole weekend was pretty much a write-off, especially when I slept for most of the day on Sunday.

Can't really remember why I didn't do something on Monday night, but I was out again last night which meant no training. I really need to start getting up early in the mornings or doing stuff at lunch.

So today, I jumped straight in, starting with a game of 5-a-side at lunch. Tough going as it was really 4 v 5 and I was on the team with 4 for the most part. Was actually a bit stiff after it and my ankle was a little sore! Not good.

Went to the gym then this evening, mainly to get into the pool for a while. Before hand I done a 35 min run consisting of four sets of 8m runs followed 1m rest. Tough going, but bet my previous time around the route by just over a minute.

So thats that. I'll try to do the same drill again tomorrow at lunch time if I remember to bring my kit in.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Weight update

Following on from my previous post, my weight loss is heading in the right direction again. Long may it continue. Didn't particularly keep an eye on what I was eating over the weekend and with zero exercise to report, its sometimes strange how these things go. Anyways, long may it continue.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Talk about restraint

We normally get a buffet in at lunch time at work as one of the perks of the job. It usually involves a massive shop at Sainsbury's, with a load of bread, meat, cheese, some fruit & veg, soft drinks, snacks, cakes, etc. Its pretty awesome and there's generally no end of stuff left over, which gets used up during the course of the week.

Well anyways, as there's so much and its all good (I love fresh bread that you've to cut yourself), it can be pretty tough to show some restraint. Half the battle is at lunch-time, where I'd generally have a sandwich or two, with a portion or two of crisps, coleslaw, etc. All good stuff. The next part of the battle would be in the afternoon, where any cup of coffee would be accompanied by a cake or bun, etc. Basically Thursdays are a disaster for me.

If you look at the graphs on the right hand side, you'll see a slightly cyclical element to the data, that look like they're almost weekly...well they more or less are. It all starts on Thursday and continues over the weekend! So, I'm good for 3 days of the week and ill-disciplined for 4! Hardly ideal. Weekends are always tough for me, generally cause I'm always up to something be it travelling, watching sport, playing sport, etc.

Well, today was not like any other Thursday...I was very, very restrained at lunch. Just one sandwich (half a baton, with beef and cheese), a handful of cherry tomato's and a handful of crisps. I then succeeded in resisting all the cakes and buns in the afternoon (there were actually more of them today, as there were a lot of people out due to half term).

So, I'm definitely giving myself a good pat on the back for that. Lets hope the weighing scales are friendly in the morning.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Sore legs

Had planned on doing a 4x8min run with 1min recovery last night but couldn't really get into it, probably due to the lunchtime cycle I'd done. So started doing 30s - 45s strides (periods of fast running, not sprinting but at a pace that I'd only be able to keep for that amount of time). Between each stride, I was talking one minutes rest.

I made it around my normal lap about a minute slower than my PB, which I was suprised at, given the amount of time I'd spent "recovering". Which then got me thinking, why not try to push the times out in future runs and try to build the running sections up to a few minutes! Seemed like an obvious idea at the time.

That was until I got up this morning. I'd felt the familiar aches in the legs that I'd become accustomed to before I got my heart rate monitor, where my training usually consisted running as fast as I could for as long as I could, recover for a while and repeat. The result of this was that I was so sore the next day that I could never train two days in a row. That had a knock-on effect that it became easier to miss days, hence a poor training regime.

So where does that leave me? The thing is that these strides are still a valid way of training and indeed, the training plan that I'm doing at the moment calls for them to be used in the next level, albeit no-where near as many as I done last night, or for no-where near the times!

I'm just going to take it easy for the next few days and let my legs recover :)

Thursday, 18 October 2007


I've had a very bad trend on my weight graph since completing the rowers revenge the weekend before last. I probably took 3-4 days off after the event and eat what ever I wanted (I'd expended the guts of a days worth of calories during the event) but have been relatively good with what I've been eating since then. However, the weighing scale is showing some disturbingly high values and my moving average weight is definitely going in the wrong direction.

I've also missed a good few weigh-ins this week, mainly due to the fact that I'm on a training course all week and need to be there for 9am, which is causing my trouble.

This situation need to be rectified ASAP!

Training Update

Had a pretty productive day today. Despite my run plans going to hell due to my treadmill issues (see previous post), I done a nice handy 4k row in 17m 7s. Also got a few laps of drills in at the pool, which was good as I'd been unable to get a nice quiet session there at all this week. Still seem to be struggling slightly with my balance, but its definitely a lot better than before.

Treadmill Trouble

I made a conscious decision over a month ago to do most of my running training off the treadmill, mainly because I was suffering with road running during events as I'd only really trained on the treadmill. The result of this decision is that I haven't actually been on a treadmill in ages. So tonight, I decided to have a go doing my training run on one.

What a was a complete and total failure! Ended up cutting the planned session way short. I just couldn't handle it. I don't really know what the problem was, given that I wasn't really doing anything that different from before, but I just couldn't keep up with the pace (a measly 10kmph), which I'm pretty sure I'm doing while out on the road (give or take).

So where does that leave me? In one way, I'm not too bothered as I've got on fine on the road the last month. However, its definitely a lot easier to go for a run on the treadmill even if you don't feel like going for a run outside! I'm going to have to have a think about this and see what happens...

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Training update

Tough enough session tonight. The GAA team were having a circuits session tonight which I'd decided to head along to. Had also planned to do a run at lunch today, but forgot to bring my runners along which stopped that idea. So decided to run down to the circuits. Managed to get 2 x 10min runs in with 3 mins recovery before the circuits.

Circuits themselves were pretty tough. Got through it ok. Max HR was 174bpm, which is just under what it gets up to on a tough run! Considering I was doing weights last night and my HR barely got above 145bpm!

Afterwards, had great intentions of running back to the house, but was pretty wrecked so only made it half way back before stopping. Still, nice evenings worth of effort.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Training Update

Got back from work today, absolutely starving. Faced the usual dilemma of whether or not to eat, which would have the knock on effect on whether or not I was training. Decided to head straight to the gym, got a good weights session in. Also wanted to get into the pool but it was way too busy, especially for drills.

Running update

Done a 25min non-stop run last Wednesday night. Furthest I've gone out on the road and hadn't really intended to go that far. Was actually planning on doing 3x10 min runs with 3min recoveries, but felt pretty good so I just kept going.

Haven't been out since, but hope to get back on the running this week.


Rising and falling like waves; resembling wave form or motion; undulatory; rolling; wavy; as, an undulating medium; undulating ground.

Doesn't really describe the first 3-4km of the rowers revenge, which was literally straight uphill on the bike leg. Must have taken me 15mins to climb it. Absolute killer. Another big hill on 20km didn't really help either...I'm amazed that I actually managed to get up it without getting off the bike!!

Overall, the day went well. I was scheduled to start at 1.35pm but got there nice and early around 9.30am. Saw a nice dedication ceremony of a boat, which was named after a young local lad that had died of meningitis earlier in the year.

I managed to get an earlier start time, so warmed up briefly before starting into the rowing. It was tough going but I certainly wasn't the last to get off, finishing the row in approx 15m 33s (beating my previous pb by about 25s). Ran into transition to pick up the bike, taking a bit of time to ensure I got a drink and headed off on the road. As I mentioned above, first few km's were tough going and I was quickly dropped by the rest of the guys in my wave. Still, soldiered on, and indeed the course was undulating as described.

Hit another massive hill at the 20km mark, at which point I was actually passed by some boys in the next wave! Boy can those lads cycle. Made it back to T2, was pretty wrecked and the last thing I wanted to do was the 7.5km run section.

My stomach had actually been growling for the last bit of the bike, so decided to chow down on a protein bar that I'd brought for after the race. Big, big mistake. It was so dry I just had to gag and spent the next two km spitting trying to get rid of it. Had to settle into a run-walk strategy early into the run, as was just dead on my feet. This got progressively worse as the race went on, eventually settling for a 1m run\30s walk routine!

Eventually made it back in 2hrs 15mins, which was about 15mins slower than I'd hoped for. The run was definitely my weakest part, but could also do with knocking a few mins of the bike section. Thankfully didn't come last in my age-group as well, which is always motivating.

Must keep the training up over the next few months and hopefully knock some time of both the bike and run legs. I've already been out on the bike once this week, which sadly almost added 30% to this years bike training!!

Saturday, 6 October 2007

New PB

Knocked about 50s of my 5.57km lap tonight. Was doing the second exercise of the third phase of the Daniels Formula (4 x 8 min runs with 1 min rest), which went ok apart from the last rep which I really struggled with. Still, I suppose thats why he suggests doing each week for 4 weeks, so that its a lot easier by the time you're ready to move on.

Absolutely delighted with the PB, especially after my lack of exercise over the last two weeks due to my brief holiday. Not too tired after the run, so should hopefully be in good shape for the Rowathon on Sunday. Not doing anything tomorrow.

Friday, 5 October 2007

New Gear

Ordered all the stuff I need to put cleats on my bike from Wiggle there today. Won't bother putting them on until after the rowathon, but it should be interesting to see how they go.

Rowing update

Well, set a new PB today for the 4km row in the gym. Previous best was 16m 24s but I came in at a whopping 15m 56.7s tonight. Was pretty wrecked after it though. Took me about a minute to compose myself and I tried to do a bit of running afterwards, which didn't go well. Oh well. Will have to devise a strategy before the rowathon at the weekend.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Weight Loss Goal

Right...13 odd weeks until the end of the year. Plan is to lose 9.5kg in that time, which equates to a calorie deficit of about 800kcal per day. Will be making a special effort to include weekends in this. My weight today is 116.7kg, so my target weight on New Years eve is 107.2kg which would be my off season weight about 2-3 years ago!

Also plan to keep my food diary up-to-date.

Oh dear

Went for a run tonight. Was supposed to do 4x8 mins jogging with 1 min rest in between sets. However, did nothing like this. I guess taking two weeks off is going to take its toll. Got around in 38m 26s, about 2m 30s of PB but considering the amount of walking I did, I'm suprised it wasn't more.

Ankle is quite stiff after this though...should be interesting to see how it is in the morning.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

What do you mean I've got a race at the weekend!!!

Oh cr@p. Got the Rowers Revenge Rowathon on Sunday and I've done absolutely no training of note in the last two weeks. So much for my hopeful plans for doing some training at the weekend while at home. Oh well, guess I'll just have to make the best of the next few days and see how it goes.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Quick update

Following on from my last post, I've pretty much done zero exercise since then. I'd a relatively big game on Saturday (which we were hammered in), so it took it easy on Friday. Game was tough enough, but football is totally different than just normal running so was pretty wrecked after it.

Sunday, I was on the sideline for another game. Fortunately our team won, and Cambridge are now the Herts Senior championships. One of the lads was knocked out and concussed during the game, so spent a good few hours in the local hospital after the game making sure that he was ok.

Got back to Cambridge around 11pm and the celebrations were still in full flow. Didn't get to bed until close to 4am, which is not good for a school night!! Needless to say, work the next day was pure hell on earth. Thankfully pulled through and was in no mood for a jog or row. Besides, my left groin was very very stiff for the first half of the day, so it was an easy decision to just go visit the lad who'd just been released from hospital.

Tuesday, my groin was a bit stiff but was definitely considering a run. Had a quick GAA meeting after work (2hrs!) so when I got home to get ready, I fell asleep on the bed. Woke up after about 30 mins, but decided to call it a day. Got up at 9am this morning, after a great sleep.

So that brings me up to today. Groin wasn't causing any trouble. I was home from work around 7pm. Weather was pretty crap out, so was thinking of just doing some rowing and maybe a little treadmill stuff. Got home to realise that after the busy weekend, had feck all clean clothes. Threw a load on and just decided to head down to the pool, which was a nice little workout. Groin started to play up towards the end of the session, so that'll need monitoring.

I'm back home in Ireland until next Tuesday for a wedding. Hope to get a bit of training in, mainly following that Jack Daniels running plan. If I get a chance, I also hope to climb Croagh Patrick, but we'll see how that goes.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Can I have some directions please?

That question ruined what would have undoubtedly been a PB for my lap around the block. I have to admit, I wasn't expecting any interruptions as I set off just after midnight tonight, thinking of clear footpaths, traffic free roads, etc.

You may be wondering why I was out so late. Well, after a glowing recommendation from a friend I went to see the 9.30pm showing of Superbad, which is a hilarious film. Don't think I've ever been in a cinema with people laughing so much. Just before that, I'd been down at the training session of the local GAA team, but hadn't actually trained. So, knowing I've a pretty big game on Saturday and not really wanting to do much tomorrow, I decided that I'd get a run in tonight after the cinema.

Decided to repeat last nights run, which is Day 1 of Jack Daniels Running Formula's White Plan. I actually got the rest periods wrong last night, so decided to do the proper version tonight. All was going well, the timings meant that I stopped at the bottom of my first hill and started the second run at the top of it. Made it all the way up the next hill and was going strong on the long homeward stretch.

About two minutes after stopping for my second rest period, a car pulls over and asks for directions, easily costing me two mins I reckon. So I set off again, making it back to the house just a shade under 37 mins. Including the delay and the 10 or so seconds between starting my watch and starting, I'd say I could have done the run in 35 mins, but until that happens, its staying as a 37 min run (1m 22 secs slower than my PB).

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Training Update: 19 Sept 07

Had a pretty good day today. After doing nothing yesterday day, due to a pretty strenuous day the previous day, I was actually looking forward to going out for a run this evening. Its almost be perfectly honest, I dont really like running. However, its definitely growing on me, the more I do it.

I also tried a different routine tonight. I wanted to get a row in at the gym as well as doing a run outside, so I drove to the gym and set off on a run from there. W6R2 of the C25K called for the following
  • 5 min brisk walk warmup
  • 10 min jog
  • 3 min walk
  • 10 min jog
However, Ive just started to read Daniels Running Formula and I'm also considering doing his "White Plan", starting on Phase 3, which on one of the days calls for
  • 5 min brisk walk warmup
  • 10 min jog
  • 5 min walk
  • 10 min jog
  • 5 min walk
  • 10 min jog
So I decided to give this a go instead. Overall, I completed 4.5 miles in 51 mins, an average of 8.47kmph. The runs felt good, indeed in the second run I actually done 11 mins and the third 12 mins. All well, I got back to the gym in time to do a 4k row (in 16m 26.7s) and also do a few minutes of drills in the pool.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Rowing update

I'm going to enter the rowers revenge event on the 7th of October, so I've been trying to get a bit of rowing practice in beforehand. Up to now, I was struggling to do 1500m, which was a long way off the required 4000m. For the 1500m, I was keeping a pace of about 2.00m to 2.05m per 500metres.

I asked for some technique advice from one of the lads that I'm friendly with in the gym (he's an indoor rower, currently training for the British indoor championships in November and has previously represented GB in the European Champs). After a few pointers, I set off determined to complete the 4000m, no matter how long it took.

So, to cut a long, tough story short, I completed my first 4000m in 16m 24.6s, which is an average split of 2.03m. I'm absolutely chuffed with this, as I was hoping for a 2.10 avg split at best (i.e. first 1500\2000m in about 2.05m and the rest considerably slower).

Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot of time until the event to improve the time, but hopefully should be able to get it closer to the 16m mark. I wasn't entirely shattered afterwards either, but the thought of hopping on a bike wasn't really an option either :)

C25K: Week 6 Run 1

Second time around doing this run. The treadmill is sooooo much easier than doing it on the road. Done it today during lunch, which was a good excuse to get away from the PC for a while. Can't say I got fresh air though, as I done most of the running along a busy road.

The run itself went well. Was tired at the end of each of the periods (5m warmup\5m run\3m rec\8m run\3m rec\5m run), but got through them all ok. I've got football on Wednesdays, so I'll probably do the second of the runs on Wednesday evening or Thursday lunch.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Tesco Nutrition Info

I'd consider myself pretty savvy on nutrition, but I was fooled lately by Tesco's nutrition summary that they show on their own-brand foods. I bought a pack of tesco's finest spaghetti carbonara, quickly browsing the nutritional summary before placing it in my basket. Only thing I remember noticing was that it contained approx 750kcal, a little higher than what I normally buy, but its no harm once in a while.

So I was at work today, having just placed it in the microwave when one of my workmate comes up and says something along the lines of: "Those Spaghetti Carbonara's are tasty but lethal". I reply that they're not that bad and he suggests looking at the saturated fat content. Quick glance of the summary and I spot "x" grams, or 94% of your RDA! This info is conveniently placed in a light GREEN box in Tesco's own labelling standard instead of the RED traffic light system that's being deployed by most of the rest of the industry.

Needless to say, I was disgusted to have been caught out like this. I was in Tesco's again this evening and made a special effort to look at their own-brand labels more closely (didn't actually buy anything). It seems that they just have a standard colour scheme, irrespective of the contents of the food. Interestingly, the calories is darker than the rest, so you're (well mine at least) is drawn to this and when you see greens or light blues in the other columns, its easy to assume everything's ok.

After getting caught out today, I kinda said to myself to stay away from Tesco's as I consider this practice quite underhanded. They should have a social responsibility as the biggest food supplier in the UK and one of the biggest in Ireland in some way, put their customers health ahead of profits. As you can see though, my boycott lasted less than 24 hours, mainly down to the fact that they're open 24hrs and convenience rules.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

C25K: Week 5 Run 3

Gave this a go tonight. Plan called for a quick five minute brisk warmup, followed by twenty minutes of non-stop running. So, done the warmup and started off. Was going well, cleared the first hill without any problems. Make it about three quarters of the way up the next hill (about 12 mins into the run) and had to stop for a minute. Carried on for another 7.5 minutes after that, but couldn't make the full twenty minutes.

Recovered again for another 5 minutes and jogged for another five or so minutes. Total lap time was 38m 34s, just under three minutes slower than my PB.

My ankle is pretty sore after this run though, but hoping this will be ok tomorrow. I'll probably move onto week 6 next week and see how that goes, despite not completing the run properly today.

Swimming update

Had another swimming lesson again yesterday. Told the coach that I was struggling when kicking up and down the pool on my back. I'd start off ok, but slowdown to an almost stand-still, meaning it'd take me an age to complete a length.

So the first part of the lesson was working on kicking and also some balance stuff. Finished off with some breathing techniques. Apparently, the next day will require me to have a better grasp of both, so hopefully I get the hang of it before then.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Turbo Training

Well, after buying a second hand turbo trainer the last day, I figured that I may as well give it a go. The idea was to watch the Eng vs SA rugby game while pedaling away on the bike. Setting it up was relatively easy, so about 15 mins into the game I hopped on. Even at the easiest setting, the going was tough and I quickly realised that my goal of making it to half time in the game was unrealistic.

Head down, I plowed on. I was actually struggling to concentrate on the match, given the tough going and eventually had to hop off the bike after the grand total of 6 minutes. Lets just say, I wasn't a happy camper with that performance (probably like Brian Ashton). I resolved to give it a proper go in the second half.

So the second half kicks off, and the aim is to do 15 mins non-stop at an easy setting. However, easier said than done and after three minutes, my quads are begging for mercy. Disgusted with myself, off I get for a two minute stretch. The plan for then in was to do 3 mins on the bike, followed by 2 mins rest. After 4 of these I give up, beaten.

Maybe this is the way its supposed to work, but I'd have to assume I've got it set up wrong. If not, it'll be a tough winter!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Latest Body Stat Report

Done another BodyStat report today. Results are below, with previous results on 20/07/07 in brackets for comparison.

Body Fat %: 27.2% (26.5%)
Body Fat kg: 32.7kg (32.0kg)
Lean Mass %: 72.8% (73.5%)
Lean Mass kg: 87.7kg (88.8kg)
Total Body Weight: 120.4kg (120.8kg)
Water %: 52.1% (52.5%)
Water ltrs: 62.7l (63.4l)

  • As I mention in my previous post, I bonked today, resulting in me eating a lot of crap over the course of the day to get my blood sugar back to normal. Now, I realise that wasn't necessary, but I'm using it as an excuse for some poor results.
  • My total body weight above is for a FULLY clothed weighing (without shoes). Previous two times I was in shorts and t-shirt, not trousers and shirt.
  • Bit of a disappointing report overall though. Pretty sure my weight is at least 3kg lighter, at least according to my own weighings.Still, at least its less than the previous figure.

I think I bonked today...

Went for a cycle today at lunch, despite have eaten relatively little beforehand. Breakfast consisted of a banana and a few grapes. Started off on the ride, which I was planning to last around 22km. It was all going well until I got around 10km in, when I just had to stop all of a sudden. I felt dizzy, had zero energy, I was just dead on my feet.

Now, when this happened, I was in one of the four villages I was planning on going through, but as I didn't foresee any trouble, I didn't bring any money\mobile\etc. Bloody disaster. Nothing for it but to start riding back. Luckily, I was able to take a more direct route back to work than I'd planned, which was 5km.

These will probably be the toughest 5km I'll have to do for a long time. At one stage, I was thinking how nice it'd be to go for a sleep in the ditch. About half way back I'd to stop again and just rest for a few minutes. Eventually made it back to the car, grabbed some money and went to the shop for some food (inc. a load of chocolate). Started to feel better about an hour later.

So what happened? Well, I reckon I bonked, which basically means I ran out of blood sugar.
I'm pretty sure something similar happened me a year or two a go after a game. Not the nicest of feelings and definitely something I should learn from.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Speedwalking over hot coals

The pictures from the London Duathlon are up...not a pretty picture. You can see them here. I've got a link to some other pics from events if people are interested, but its more of the same...more agony.

New Kit

Purchased a second hand turbo trainer today. I've no idea how it works, but I'm sure there's plenty of info online about it. The idea is to watch a lot of rugby over the coming weeks, while pedaling away on this device.

The local tri-club also runs Turbo Training nights over the winter, so I might look into going along to one of these.

C25K Update: Week 5 Runs 1 & 2

Well, decided to start this again, this time ONLY running outside. I've had enough of doing it on the treadmill, getting to running outside and struggling. From here on in, all C25k running will be on the paths.

So I decided to start back at week 5 again. On Tuesday after a game of squash with one of the lads at work, I ran back to work from the gym, about 2.5km - 3km. I done this as 2 x 6.5 min runs, with a 2.5 min break in between. I'm putting this down as my Week 5 Run 1, as obviously I was doing some exercise beforehand to compensate for the run I missed.

So tonight, I go for the second run of the week, which calls for a 5 min warmup, followed by 2 x 8 min runs with a 5 minute break in between. I actually skipped the warm-up (I always do for these, warming up instead on the first run) and completed the first eight minute run. At the end, I was glad of the break.

The five minute break allowed me to walk one of the (three) hills on the route, placing me on its apex when the second run started. Once at the bottom of that hill, I immediately start to climb the longest hill on the course, which took about 5 minutes and which I completed non-stop for the first time tonight. Made it to the corner (top of the hill and reference point) in 19 mins, just slightly slower than previous times, despite the 5 minute walk. When the eight minutes were up, unlike the first run, I felt as if I could have continued, which is probably why a warm-up to start off is a good idea.

I actually done another 5 minute break followed by a final eight minute run, which almost took me home. Again, could have probably continued, but decided to stick with the plan. Got home in 39m 09s, about 3.5 mins slower than my PB, but like I said, I could have kept going at the end of the second and third runs.

Next up is a break-through run...5 mins warm-up followed by a 20 minute non-stop run. Think that I might actually do the warm-up for this and see how it goes. If I can't do it, I'll just repeat this week again next week.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Calm after the storm

Did not want to get out of bed this morning. Had a great nights sleep. Wasn't really stiff this morning, just tired, but thats not really anything new for a Monday morning.

Didn't really do anything today, just practiced a few drills in the pool for my next lesson at the weekend. Thats going ok, definitely more comfortable with water going up my nose these days and balance in the water is a lot better. Should be interesting to see how it goes at the weekend.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

London Duathlon tomorrow...thoughts

Well, its tomorrow. Kicks off for me at 13.50pm and I'm getting a bit nervous now. Bikes in the car, got a few sports drinks, kits more or less packed. So basically want to get a good sleep, up around 8.30am, bit of brekkie and head off in plenty of time.

As for the event itself, hoping to do the first run (5km) non-stop, ideally in 30 mins or less. Bike will basically involve busting my balls (pardon the french) for the entire 10km (with a bit of stretching in the last bit), hopefully getting around in about 22mins. For the last 5km, the main goal is to hopefully get back in less time than my 10k pb for the two runs overall. Not sure how feasible that is, but its worth a go :)

Anyways, I'll let you know how it goes in the next day or two.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007


Done my first "Brick" session yesterday in preparation for the duathlon at the weekend. Bricks involve a bike session, followed immediately by a running session. Its meant to mimic the transition from bike to running in duathlons and triathlons. As I found out yesterday, there's a good reason for doing them.

I'd been recommended to incorporate a few of these sessions into my training by a friend. So, after doing absolutely no running what-so-ever last week, I decided to give it a go last night in the gym (ease myself into it). After a 5k run on the treadmill (in a pb time of 30m 39s), jumped straight onto the bike for another 5k (approx 11m). I suppose thats a reverse brick, but its applicable to the duathlon this weekend.

After finishing the bike, I tried to do another 5mins of running. Needless to say, I lasted all of 90secs. Had to give up, as head was spinning, legs were wonky, etc. Did not give me much hope for the weekend.

So I give it another go tonight, this time out on the roads and pavements. Much better result. Done me usual 5.6km lap, first on the bike (12m 30s), followed by a run (approx 37m, my pb being 35m 40s), with a brief transition and also stopping to give some guy directions to the hospital. Total time was 50m 50s, which I'm quite happy with.

Again, it felt quite weird going from the bike to the run. Legs felt really strange, like I was almost running on a trampoline. Took it slow initially and this feeling soon wore off after about 500m. After that, down to the usual running, stopping occasionally to give legs a rest. Finished strongly, so happy with the overall performance.

Monthly Report: August 2007

I've decided to stop doing the weekly reports and just to focus on doing monthly ones instead. I'll aim to keep them pretty simple, just collating a few reports from the various websites I use to keep stats.

I suppose, I'll start off with my weight situation. I started the month weight approx 118.75kg and ended the month weighing approx 117.69kg, just over 1kg weight loss. Not exactly great, but progress all the same. Looking at the graph, that corresponds to a best-fit calorie deficit of almost 300kcal per day.

I had to get rid of all my data for the first two weeks of the month because of problems with my weighing scales. Towards the end of the month, the graph started going up again, mainly due to being away at celebrations (christening and wedding) for the last two weekends of the month. I stayed off chocolate for the first half of the month, but the sugar cravings got to me and ended up with one or two days of serious chocolate feasts.

Exercise wise, not a bad month overall (see below). Some points worth noting:
  • I failed to knock any time (well actually I knocked 20s) of my 10k time
  • Started going out on the bike again
  • Started swimming lessons at Swimshack
  • 16 exercises logged, but that does not include GAA training, gym classes or weight sessions
Running Summary
Avg. MHR:178.2
Avg. AHR:163.3
Avg. Time:00:37:41
Total Time:07:32:20
Avg. Speed:9.0 KMPH
Avg. KM Pace:6:41
Avg. Dist.:5.6 KM
Total Dist.:67.6 KM
Avg. Cal. Burned:724.2
Total Cal. Burned:8691
Walking Summary
Avg. MHR:137.0
Avg. AHR:127.0
Avg. Time:00:54:00
Total Time:00:54:00
Avg. Speed:6.2 KMPH
Avg. KM Pace:9:41
Avg. Dist.:5.6 KM
Total Dist.:5.6 KM
Avg. Cal. Burned:718.0
Total Cal. Burned:718
Biking Summary
Avg. MHR:172.0
Avg. AHR:160.0
Avg. Time:00:25:39
Total Time:01:16:58
Avg. Speed:25.8 KMPH
Avg. Mi Pace:2:19
Avg. Dist.:11.0 KM
Total Dist.:33.0 KM
Avg. Cal. Burned:503.0
Total Cal. Burned:1509
Swimming Summary
Total Summary
Total Time:09:43:19
Total Dist.:106.2 KM
Cal. Burned:10918

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Started cycling to work

Up at the crack of dawn this morning (well before 7am to be precise). Decided to cycle in, so after some faffing around, eventually left the house just before 8am. Made it up to work (8.5km) in just over 21 mins, with plenty of traffic light stops en-route.

Trip home in the evening was probably more downhill, but didn't bother to put the HRM on or to time it. Aim is to try to cycle in most mornings, especially before the London duathlon. Might even try to do a few bike\run sessions (bricks).

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Last few days

Done a 10 mile time trial on the bike on Saturday morning. It was my first TT, and I definitely learned a lot from it. Got around in 33 min 48 secs, which I was happy enough with. Previous rides suggested that I could do around 26 kmph, while I averaged 28.37 kmph on Saturday.

I was absolutely shattered afterwards and could hardly keep my eyes open that evening.

Didn't get up to anything else for the rest of the weekend. Most of Sunday and Monday were taken up with a Christening that I was at. Needless to say that I eat way too much. Half afraid to step on the scales at the moment :)

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Very good run tonight

Just done a tough interval set tonight on the treadmill. For the first 30mins, I was going for 3 mins at 12kmph, followed by two mins at 5.5kmph recovery pace. First few were easy but were getting progressively harder. Finished the last one and thats the main thing.

For the next 15 mins, done two sets of 2 mins @ 11.5kmph with 1 min recovery (didn't quite finish the second one). Finished off with a two 10kmph runs of 5 and 3 mins with a minute of recovery between them.

Over the 45 mins I covered a distance of 7.02km, which is actually a barrier that I've been hoping to break for some time. Closest I'd got previously was 6.73km on Week 6 Run 1 of the C25K plan. Just need to push onto the 7.5km mark and I'll be at a 10kmph average pace (means doing a 10k in exactly an hour!).

Got my next lesson with Ian at Swimshack tomorrow night, so stay posted to see how that went.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Weekly update: 21/08/07

30/07/07: 118.11kg
06/08/07: 117.57kg
Difference: 0.54kg

Well, it was a bit of an indifferent week. First half of it started off well, I was pretty disciplined with what I was eating. Second half of the week, went to pot though. Seemed to have a massive sugar low towards the end of the week, resulting in some serious chocolate eating/biscuit eating/etc at work.

On the fitness side, a relatively poor week. Managed three runs, totalling 15.6km and went to both GAA training sessions. One positive was that I was able to practice the Swimshack drills every night of the week, apart from Sat and Sun.

I really need to up the running side of things over the next few weeks. I must also try to get out on the bike as well. Was thinking of entering the Newmarket Duathlon but left it way too late to enter :(

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

C25K: Week 6 Run 1

Completed Week 6 Run 1 of the Couch to 5k Program earlier this evening in the gym. As this consisted of intervals, I upped the pace slightly to 9.5kmph from the previous run which was a long run of 25min at 9kmph.

Because I also want to start doing longer runs than 30mins to build up stamina, I done an extra set and made it up to a 45min run by adding two 4min runs at the end (split by a 1m rest). All in all, a good workout, which kinda got easier as it went along (if that makes sense).

I was at the physio earlier today and got some good news. The old scar tissue on the ankle has more or less been healed and now its just a matter of building up the strength of the ankle. He gave it a massage and it felt great afterwards. Didn't even hurt this evening while running on it.

Clapham 10k Report

Had to really struggle to get out of bed at 7am to drive up to Clapham for this. Was considering the train but it looked like I'd have had to sleep in a station overnight...not really an option. So got up and breakfast consisted of a banana and some Tropicana! Hardly the ideal start.

Made it up to Clapham in plenty of time, done a quick stretch and a bit of a jog to warm up. Started towards the back of the pack, and it took me the guts of 40s to cross the start line. Started off a bit too fast, as usual, doing the first 1k in under 6m and completing the 2nd in 12mins (non-stop). Started doing my usual run-walk routine from here, with the walks consisting of 30secs.

I made it to 5k in 30mins 20secs, easily my best time yet (1m 40s faster than Dorney) but thats the only good news to report. The second 5k were unbelievably hard by comparison. It took me 8 mins to reach the 6km marker as my legs were totally shot. I picked it up a bit until about 7.5km, where I really struggled for another km. Eventually got to 9km and the homeward come that last km is always easier than the couple beforehand.

Completed the race in 1hr 5min 40s, which was 20s faster than my previous best at Dorney. But given the 5k pace, it was a bit disappointing that it wasn't a bit better.

So what went wrong...well my preparation on the day was hardly ideal. Thats definitely something that needs to be looked at in future. But I think the main problem was probably my training runs in the previous two weeks...all except one (of 9 I think) were 30-36mins. No wonder I didn't have the legs after half way, considering the pace I'd set up to that point. I'll be making a conscious effort over the coming weeks to do more longer runs (at slower paces) just to build the stamina up.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Swimming Update

Well, made my way up to Loughborough on Saturday for my first session at Swimshack. Met Ian, my instructor\teacher, who gave a brief introduction into how things normally proceed, the setup, etc.

The setup he's got going there is pure class. Its a pretty big pool (I'd say massive, a lot bigger than I was expecting), loads of mirrors all over the place so you can see your stroke from different angles (thats if you're a good swimmer and have time to notice these things). There seems to be at least four different camera's on you at different angles at all times, with a projector in the corner, but more about that later.

So to start off with, I explained to Ian that I normally wear a nose clip while swimming as I tend to drink water through my nose. He wasn't too impressed by this and said that hopefully I wouldn't need the nose clip by the next session.

Next, he got me to try to swim. Now, I am pretty weak in a normal pool, but I couldn't seem to get the hang of this endless pool at all. Still, after thrashing around like a lunatic for a while, Ian had seen enough, he brought me down to look at the projector.

What I saw was NOT a pretty site...what I was doing didn't really resemble swimming in any way shape or form. I actually felt embarrassed. Fair play to Ian, he pretty much pointed out what I was doing wrong and was pretty re-assuring that it could all be rectified. My two main problems at the moment are breathing (pretty damn important!) and balance.

So basically the rest of the lesson focused on the first, with Ian going through the theory and introducing me to some practical drills. We also done some kicking drills and then merged the two to finally practice a drill that involved underwater breathing and kicking at the same time...doing two things at one is a killer. At that point, the lesson was stopped, for me to go and practice this stuff in my own time.

I'm pretty hopeful that this can work out. I practiced the drills tonight in the pool and seemed to be getting on better than I was on Saturday (doesn't mean that I'm doing them right though). Hopefully over the coming days, I can get the breathing to be like second nature, not needing to stop if I accidentally take some water on board. We'll see how it goes.

feckin scales

About a week and a half ago, my scales started to give me pretty inconsistent readings, often varying by 4-5kg between readings. Prior to this, the maximum range would have been 0.5kg, so something was amiss. I changed the battery and I was still getting the same problem.

The thing was, the average of the weighing that I was taking each morning were class (usually averaged over 5 reasonable readings)...according to this method, the weight was flying off. I was a bit suprised, but I'd been doing a bit of training so continued to log my weights.

Normally, I'd use the electronic weighing scales at the gym as a check but for some reason, they were out of order the last week or so. The mechanical scales they have in the mens changing rooms are always wrong (about 0.5 stone (3kg) out at the best of times), so these were no use.

Finally get to the gym today and the normal scales are back in action. Step up to face my worst fears...came in at a whopping 120kg (in clothes, so at a guess about 117.5kg if I were to weigh myself in the morning in just boxers). This was a far cry from this mornings reading on my scales of 113.5kg.

So I get home and do some investigating. Normally scales are on carpet in my room so brought them down to the kitchen, where the floor is lino (over concrete). Step on and get more or less the exact reading I was getting in the gym. Variation was down to +- 0.3kg over 6/7 readings. I've now relocated the scales to the downstairs bathroom (similar variation and accuracy as kitchen readings).

Needless to say, I've removed all the readings on the physicsdiet site for this month. Should be ok prior to that, as results were fairly consistent, despite also being on carpet. Anyways, lesson learnt...if it starts playing up again, it'll be binned. Its on its last warning :)

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Good fitness blog

Came across the Fitness Rocks Podcast on iTunes about a week ago. All I can say is that this podcast is class...the guy is a qualified doctor and he review all the latest health and fitness research, breaking it all down into good sensible advice. He literally talks about everything from diet to exercise to nutrition to genes. Go, check it out as soon as you can. You won't regret it, I promise.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

25min non-stop run

After GAA training this evening, went to the gym to attempt Week 5 Run 3 of the Couch to 5k program. Now, my previous run last night was an attempt at Day 2, which I failed to complete, so I really should have done that again. However, I felt there were two mitigating circumstances to allow me to attempt the next run:
  1. The program calls for 3 min rest between each run. I was only doing 1 min (which is what I was doing before I recently heard of this program).
  2. I upped the pace from my previous long running pace of 9kmph to 9.5kmph, which I feel really kicked in on the last set.
So dropping the pace back down to 9kmph, I set off to attempt the continuous 20min run. Now, this is quite a big jump from the previous days run of 3x8min runs with 3 min of rest between sets. However, the people that designed the course apparently reckon that most of the difficulty is actually mental. Now after completing it, I'd probably have to agree.

There were are least two times during the run that I was thinking that I'd had enough, both of which were between 12-15 mins. Digging deep, pulled through and actually got to the 20min mark feeling good, so decided to do another min. Which turned into 2mins and then 3mins. At this stage was kinda struggling, was getting a high HR warning on the treadmill so decided to call it a day at 25mins.

Finished off to complete the 30mins, coming in at a slightly less of a distance than yesterdays run at the faster pace.

I've got a 10k at the weekend, which it'd be good if I could somehow replicate todays run in. Not sure that'll happen though, as tend to set off a bit fast so that'll probably bugger me up :) Still, suppose I got week 6 of the program to look forward to now.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Weekly update: 06/08/07

30/07/07: 118.88kg
06/08/07: 118.15kg
Difference: 0.73kg

A cracking week of weight loss this week, as I've actually managed to stick to a decent plan of eating little often and no crap (well, I lie...I was at a bbq on Sat).

General idea is to eat a portion or two of fruit first thing in the morning, followed by a bowl of cereal (museli) mid-morning. Sandwich or whatever for lunch and another portion of fruit mid-evening (maybe a water-biscuit or two at some point as well). I'll generally try and eat a (microwave) meal (about 500kcal) around 5.30pm, so I'm able to train or go to the gym later in the evening. Last meal at night is generally a fresh-fruit smoothie.

My approach to fruit above is that I can eat as much as I want of it, any time. I'm going to the shop every second day or so these days and stocking up on grapes, banana's, plums, peaches, pinapples, etc.

I've also invested in a protein supplement, which I throw into the smoothies. I'm dubious, but I'll see how it goes.

Training Info

DateDist. (KM)TimePace Min/KMSpeed (KMPH)AHRMHRCal.Strides

DateDist. (M)TimePace Min/100Speed (M/hr)AHRMHRCal.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

My first triathlon...kinda

Volunteered to give a hand at the local triathlon here in Cambridge this morning. Very enjoyable experience. I was asked to act as a timing scribe, basically registering times and numbers of athletes as they exited T1 and also as they finished the race. Went well over-all, got a little bit hectic at times, but ran pretty smoothly.

Anyways, it gave me my first close up view of how a triathlon works, from seeing people setting up for transition thru to the last person crossing the line. And there's a fair bit to see in between. The lads (and girls) at the top of the game are unreal...literally taking no time to pass through transitions and going everywhere at pace.

Then you've the average lads, who are still impressive, but are generally out for a PB instead of to win the race. They're a little more relaxed through transition, but still posted some pretty impressive times overall.

There were a fair few people there as well that were just there to complete, which in fairness to them, they all did (only about 4 DNF's I think). In a sense, these lads are almost as impressive as the top guys, as the mental strength thats needed must be unreal. I have to say I feel a bit sorry for this group of people that happen to be in the wrong age group...I'd say its lonely enough as you're generally the last wave to leave, so you're always going to be finishing towards the end of the race.

Anyways, really enjoyed the day and I'd have no hesitations doing it again.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Another PB equaling run

Set off tonight, not really wanting to go but dragged myself out. Decided to do 5 min runs and 1 min recovery. Went well and completed the first 5 without too much trouble. Was even a bit ahead of previous times, but it all fell apart in the last 1k or so. Legs just gave out a little, so ended up stopping\starting for the next few mins. Finished off with a 2 min run to equal my previous PB to the second.

Hopefully I can continue to build on this, both in terms of running time (I did feel that I could have continued on a few of the intervals) and stamina (if I could have got the last interval in, I would have defo beaten my PB).

Arranged to have a quick GAA kickabout with few of the lads, mainly focused on drills. Was planning on hitting the gym afterwards, but was a bit too late when we finished up. Still, the kickabout was definitely worth it.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

New "Swimming" PB

Done 300m in around 25mins tonight in the pool. Of course, it wasn't "proper swimming" but somewhere in between drills 9 and 12 in the Total Immersion training drills. Still, feeling a lot better at the moment while doing them, no longer needing to stop when the pool starts to get shallow (a previous problem of mine).

Got the 1-2-1 coaching on Saturday week, so hopefully my technique will improve further with that.

Monday, 30 July 2007

Weekly update: 23/07/07


30/07/07: 118.88kg
Difference: 0.1kg

Well, as you can see, another disappointing week. Still, at least the figure is negative, which I suppose is a good thing.


According to buckeye, this week I did the following running

DateDist. (Mi)TimePace Min/MiSpeed (MPH)AHRMHRCal.Strides

plus two strength sessions and two GAA training sessions.