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.