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