Saturday, 30 June 2007

New 10k PB

Done the Dorney Dash (10k) today, coming home in a time of 1hr and 6 mins, a personal best. Well, its a PB in that its the fastest that I've ever done a 10k run. However, I'm still a bit disappointed, given the nature of the course (totally flat), that it wasn't better.

Still, a PB is a PB, and I knocked over 5 mins of my previous PB of 1h 11m. However, as I've said previously, that course was pretty hilly (or undulating as they described it), multi-terrain and on a scorching hot day. Todays course was the exact opposite...totally flat, all on tarmac and pouring rain!

I obviously set off too fast, doing the first km in a little under 6 mins, which killed me. I settled into a rythm after that, generally 4min/1min or similar. Done the first 5km in 32mins, just as the winners were crossing the finish line! Kinda struggled over the next 2.5km, crossing the 7.5km distance around 50mins. Perked up a bit on the homeward stretch, doing it in about 16 mins. For this last bit I tried to pick up the pace for shorter periods of time, with shorter recovery as well.

Still, I definitely learned a few things today
a) BBQ is not the best major meal before the race
b) I hadn't really trained too well for this, with just three runs in the last two weeks. Must do better next time. Actually my time was a little faster than my last training run, so perhaps should have had a more realistic expectation going into this.
c) Pacing is important...I can't seem to get this right and tried a few different approaches today. In training, I'm able to run initially for about 15mins non-stop (say just over 2k), followed by 1 min recovery periods and 4 or so mins running. Today, after setting off too fast, I still averaged the same initial pace over the first 15mins which was good. Up to half way followed my training runs but then I struggled. Should probably have done one or two training runs closer to the 10km distance.
d) Mental definitely helps to have a few mental goals to help you keep going throught the tough times. After the usual hectic start, I settled in with two or three people that seemed to be running at my pace. Decided that I was going to finish ahead of these people, which thankfully acheived. One girl in particular, was just ahead of me the entire race, until I overtook her in the last km. Goals like this seem to push me into keeping up with the pace, no matter how tough the going is.
e) Lack of change of shoes, no mp3 player, dodgy directions, etc, etc. No excuse for this really.

So, in summary, some done, (a lot) more to do.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Busy Life

Its actually been a few days since I've got a chance to sit down and post something new here. And tonight was the first time I've had a chance to go to the gym in almost two weeeks...pretty poor form considering.

Well, spent the last two nights helping to organise a poker tournament for the local GAA club here...we'd a good night and raised some much needed money for the club. Skipped GAA training tonight, to go to the gym, only to find out that they're refurbishing the spent half an hour in the pool, concentrating on 1 drill. When I came home, went for a quick lap of the block (5.5km). I knocked 45secs of previous time, but thought that I should have done better.

I've got a 10km run on Saturday morning in Windsor. Itll be a totally flat course, so hopefully Ill improve on my previous 10km time. Watch this space.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

an easy week

haven't really updated this over the last week, mainly due to no internet connection at home. Only thing I've really done was GAA training on Tuesday, followed by a weights session in the gym afterwards and a quick 5.5km walk on Wednesday night.

Rest of the week was taken up by a club photograph (followed by bbq) on Thursday and the Darwin College May Ball on Friday night, which needless to say, meant I was out of action all day saturday. The rest of the cambridge lads were playing in a blitz in Luton, which I went along to (they came second) but there was a few dodgy heads there all the same.

Big game tomorrow in the Championship for the Anthony's. Got to win the game against the Emmetts or we're out...sad thing to think about in late June! Plan is to get up early in the morning, get a good breakfast (maybe a pasta brunch is more likely) and be up for this game from the off. Last game I played, I'd an absolute stinker due to lack of preperation, so hopefully won't suffer from that this time around.

Monday, 18 June 2007

A good run tonight

Done a very good run tonight, probably best so far. Basically done 45mins at 8.5kmph/5.5kmph pace, covering 5.92km, which approximates to running for about 79.8% of the percentage by about 14%. I started off with 16 mins straight of running, again a pb.

I'm a confused about the HR side of things at the moment. For the last few sessions, I've been sticking to a 150-166bpm interval, but I'd been finding that I haven't really been tired when I hit the upper limit. The main reason I stop is to not overdo it and basically save my legs for the next day. The last two sessions, I've decided to ignore the upper limit and let my body tell me when its tired. As such, I'm running longer and feeling fine afterwards (I'll verify this tomorrow)! The intensity must be the key.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Weight Update

Today, my average weight dropped below 120kg, which represents a 6.41kg drop from my maximum average of 126.41kg on 6/4/2007. Still a lot of work to do, but its a start. Ideally I'd like to get my weight down to 90kg (just over 14st), so about 17% of the way there!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

First 100km of running down!

Believe it or not, but following my run this evening, I've put in just over 100km of running in 11 or so weeks (actually I've probably put in more, but wasn't really logging for the first few weeks). 69km of that was in the last 5 weeks.

So after GAA training, went to the gym for a quick 30min session on the treadmill. As discussed on previous post, I dropped the pace down to 8.5km but upped the recovery pace to 6.5km while keeping the training zone the same (150-166bpm). Lets just say it went well, but there's a bit of tinkering to be done with the format yet.

After an initial 10 min jog, I reached the upper limit (my pb at 8.5kmph is almost 13min, but HR was already elevated after GAA training). Dropped pace down to 6.5kmph, but after 2mins, HR was still at 160bpm! So decided to go again...basically meant that I was doing 1min at 8.5 and two mins at 6.5. After a few cycles of that, just said fvck it and ignored the upper limit, just slowing down when tired. HR never really went above 173bpm.

So I figure next time, I'll just use the 8.5kmph as an easy run. I'll only keep an odd eye on the HR and let how I feel dictate when to stop...certainly doesn't feel that I've crossed the LT threshold at that pace anyways.


Well, seems like the exertion of yesterday took a serious toll on me. Basically, went GAA training, which consisted of a 8 v 8 full length game (slighly narrowed pitch) for an hour and went down to the gym for a 25 min run afterwards. Was pretty tired after it, but cycled home without any trouble.

I threw on my heart rate monitor before going to bed last night and it was registering just over 100bpm...that was a full 2.5 hours after I'd got home. Then again, when I got up this morning it was still around 85bpm...about 20bpm higher than normal. I'm putting it down to dehydration, so must look after that in future.

Anyways, went for a 45 min jog this evening on the treadmill @ 10km/5.5km pace where my training zone was 150-166bpm. Managed 5.85km, which averages out at a running percentage of 51%...not great compared to 3 weeks ago. I'm putting it down to yesterday's exertions.

So, whats the plan to get out of this doldrum? I reckon that I will start alternating jogs between 8.5kmph/5.5kmph and 10kmph/5.5kmph pace in the same training zone to see how that goes. The 8.5kmph is slightly faster than my 10k pace, so hopefully I'll be able to build up some stamina at that pace. The 10kmph runs will hopefully keep me up to speed on the start-stop way I normally seem to be running these days...hopefully I can get the running percentage up to what it was like 3 weeks ago.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Back in the saddle

After a few years of what can only be described as absolute laziness, I've been back on the bike now for two consequtive days in a row (I've probably done this a few time over the years but bear with me). I used to cycle the whole time when I was in college in Dublin...when I think of the number of times I climbed the hill up to DCU its enough to make the legs turn to jelly. Sadly, that was years ago, and the purchase of a car removed any need to cycle places.

So when I broke the drivers window earlier in the week, it gave me a good excuse to get back into cycling. How things have changed. I've done about 200km on my bike since I purchased it this time last year...hardly anything really. Longest cycle that I done was from Ely to Cambridge - about 28km which took me just over an hour. Not too bad, but not that great either. Even the slightest of hills seems to kill me these days...I don't know what the hill to DCU would do to me now!

Still though, its all good and hopefully i start putting a few more miles in each week. There's a bike ride from London (Watford I think) to Cambridge next month that I'm considering entering (50miles in total) which would be an interesting benchmark. I'm also thinking of cycling to the gym from now on...its only about 2.5km via the quickest route, but it'll be easy enough to bump that up to 10km which would be a nice warm up.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Holiday ideas

I'm giving serious consideration to Cuba for two weeks this autumn. I quite like the look of this and this over the course of the two weeks. Both tours in themselves seem class, but we'll see how it goes. Still need to figure out if I have enough time left to take both.

Was looking around for other ideas for next year and this tour looks pure class. Actually all the tours on that site are savage...if only I'd the time\money\fitness!

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Last week

After running a 10k last Sunday, I basically done zero this week. This was mainly due to the fact that I was back in Dublin where my brother was in hospital after a car crash. He should be ok (getting discharged today or tomorrow, but will be in a halo brace for 10-12 weeks).

I suppose the only real exercise I got was walking around, normally with a bag on my back. The weather in Dublin was absolutely savage all week. I definitely fell back in to old habits while there, where my main source of food was either takeaways or deli rolls (fortunately didn't even have one brekkie roll!). As I was spending a few hours each day in the hospital, was snacking on sweets the whole time.

Needless to say, expected to have put on a few pounds over the week. I was pleasently suprised to see that my weight was 120.7kg when I came back last night, approx the same level as when I left. The body definitely works in strange ways.

Anyhow, I'm aiming to settle back into the regular routine asap. Planning on heading down to the gym later for a run and a swim. Think I'll be cycling to work tomorrow as the car window is currently broke as well.

Monday, 4 June 2007

First 10k result in

Well, I've set a 10k benchmark. Probably should have researched the race a bit better before going along, but completed the Chiltern Chase in approx 1:11:11. Very happy with that overall, mainly because the course was mainly cross-country (multi-terrain), quite hilly (or undulating as they described it...especially compared to Cambridge) and the weather was roasting.

I'd say about 2k was on tar, which I'd never been so happy to see in my life! The rest of it was generally on rough paths, gravel roads, forest paths etc. No two steps the same which sapped a lot of extra energy.

I aimed to use the heart rate monitor through out, setting the limits to the slightly higher 150-175bpm. Needless to say it was nearer the top of the range most of the time, rather than the bottom of it. Any bit of a hill and I was easily topping the upper limit...just as well cause each hill nearly killed me, even walking up them.

Overall though, a very nice course. I'd definitely do it again next year, if only to compare the times.