Monday, 22 December 2008

Last (guaranteed) run for the next few days

Off home tomorrow and with all the hectic Christmas madness, figured tonight was the only chance that I'd definitely be able to get a run in. Was very slack with the running last week, for one reason or another, so just done the second quality session I missed last week.

This session called for a warmup (I done 10 mins), followed by sets of 5 mins hard followed by 3 mins recovery (I done 30s walk + 2m 30s slow jog). Aim was to do four sets, followed by a warmdown which I'm glad to report that I completed. Wasn't easy, especially getting over the third one.

Made it around for a total of 8.7km in 51m 41s, an average pace of 5m 57s per km. HR averaged at 165bpm and I'm totally wrecked right now.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Long slow run

After slacking off yesterday to go to a gig - Saw Doctors were playing here in Cambridge, I got my second run of the week in tonight. I decided to go for a long slow run, roughly 15km in total and to leave the second JD quality session for this week until tomorrow night.

Set my HR limit at 160bpm and set off. Run was as standard as you can get, pretty much sticking to the HR limit for the most part. Did find the last 2-3 km tough enough though and did my (now) customary thing of speeding up in the last km and all out for the last 200m or so (a.k.a. finishing strong).

Overall, done 15.62km in 1hr 39m 12s (average pace of 6m 21s per km, average HR of 161bpm). Very happy with the pace, it's certainly coming down nicely over the last few weeks (for the same (HR) effort).

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Good Day #2

Got back from work late enough (about 8.30pm) and was debating about going for a run, especially considering it was supposed to be a long one. Jack Daniels running formula had me down to do
  • 2 mile warmup at easy pace
  • 2 x 12 min threshold with 3 minute recovery
  • 1 hour easy
Didn't fancy a run the guts of two hours, so did
  • 10 minute warmup
  • 2 x 12 min threshold with 90s walking + 90s easy jog
  • 30+ minutes of easy running
Big news about this was that I crossed the 10km mark in 1hr 40s...a new PB. I definitely could have broken the hour but was focusing on sticking with the plan. I'm pretty happy with that.

Overall, done 11.92km in 1hr 12m 34s (average pace 6m 5s per km) with an average HR of 164bpm. After the second threshold run, I had done 6.51km in 37 mins (average pace: 5m 41s), which is 2hr half marathon pace. It's a long way to go from there, but at least there's a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

Good Day #1

Went to the pool at lunchtime and managed to pull off 2 x 100m non-stop efforts!!! Major milestone for me, considering last week was the first time I done 50m non-stop. It wasn't exactly pretty, but I'm happy with it.

Finished out the 400m in just over 16 minutes (another PB) and then started doing 25m sprints (approx 35s per length) followed by 60s rest. In total, done 625m in the 30 mins, another PB.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Well done

You know who you are :)

Thursday, 11 December 2008


After my poor attempt at 1km intervals last night (hardly surprising really), I decided to attempt a more reasonable session this evening. After a 10 minute warmup, the idea was to do 8 x (200m interval pace + 100m recovery (slow jog)).

I actually made it through this session, though not all the recoveries were jogs. The warmdown was quite a struggle as well...these intervals really take it out of you. Just done the small lap (5.54km) in 31m 55s, an average pace of 5m 46s per km. Short and sweet, but definitely not easy.

Split distance Split time Avg. HR
1.72 10:04 163 (84%)
0.20 0:57 176 (91%)
0.11 0:37 180 (93%)
0.20 0:54 180 (93%)
0.10 0:36 179 (93%)
0.20 0:58 178 (92%)
0.10 0:40 181 (94%)
0.20 1:00 181 (94%)
0.10 0:52 176 (91%)
0.21 0:55 171 (89%)
0.10 0:38 176 (91%)
0.20 0:57 178 (92%)
0.10 0:39 180 (93%)
0.20 1:07 178 (92%)
0.10 0:52 169 (88%)
0.20 0:54 166 (86%)
0.10 0:45 174 (90%)
1.39 8:23 172 (89%)

Swimming update

Cracking session down at the pool at lunchtime today. Finally been able to do two lengths more or less non-stop, which I'm delighted with. It's not pretty, but it's definitely progress. Actually done a few lengths in the middle lane as well and didn't totally embarrass myself.

Going to aim for three lengths non-stop next or at least to reduce the rest time after two lengths. Another goal would be to learn how to tumble turn, but I'm probably getting ahead of myself. Pace wise, I'm not going to worry about things until I'm able to do lengths without stopping...there's people passing me doing the breaststroke at the moment :)

In the end today, done at least 600m in the 30 mins I was down at the pool. The distance is slowly creeping up :)

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

What I've been up to lately.

After the long run on Monday night, legs were a bit stiff yesterday so didn't really fancy a run. Hopped on the Turbo (indoor bike resistance unit) and done a 45 minute session. Thought I was only going to last 15 mins, but eventually made it the whole way through.

Tonight, the aim was a speed session, based on the JD plan I've been ever so loosely following. The plan called for sets of 1km intervals (which for me should be around 5.20 / km pace) with 3 minutes recovery (walk or slow jog). My initial aim was to do 6 of these...absolutely ridiculous now that I look back at it.

First of all, done a 10 minute warmup and my first km was pretty tough, especially as there was two uphill parts to it (and one downhill). Actually done that in 4m 50s - pacing was going to be an issue. Was very glad of the rest and after a minute started a slow jog.

Next interval, set of flying again...blew up pretty soon. And so started the fast\slow intervals...not exactly what the plan called for :) Actually managed to do this kilometre in 5m 15s which is impressive considering the stop\start nature.

Rest of the run isn't worth writing about...honest. I actually made it around the lap at a decent pace (average 5m 58s per km) but that's the only good thing of note.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Long slow run

Thankfully it was raining lightly tonight. Perhaps a strange thing to say, but the last few days have been pretty cold here and the footpaths have been pretty slippery. At least when it's wet, you can still get a decent run in.

So after once again doing nothing but eat at the weekend, I set off this evening for a long slow run. Aim was 15km at 160bpm. It was actually quite a nice run, the rain taking the cold edge out of the air. Managed to stick to the 160bpm cap for the most part, really settling in around the 162bpm mark. Was debating stretching out the run a little at the end, but just figured I'd do what I'd set out to do.

I put the foot down from the 14km mark (which I assumed to be the last km), but it was actually 1.5km. Oh was tough, but something I'll be hoping to be able to do at the end of the half marathons so should come in useful.

Best thing about this run though was my average pace came in at 6m 25s / km, almost 10s faster than comparable runs. Still a fair bit to go down to the 5m 40s I'll need for a 2hr half marathon, but getting there.

Average HR was 162bpm, total distance 15.87km in 1hr 41m 56s. Legs are a bit stiff now :)

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Running update

Didn't really get up to much over the weekend, so aim this evening was to get out for some sort of run. Was half thinking before I left work that I'd go for a 15km (or so) long slow run, or perhaps an attempt at the hour for 10km. In the end, it was freezing cold as I was driving home and I had to convince myself to get out for the run.

I was just thinking of doing the big lap as I left the house but thought I might head down one of the local side-streets for a bit of variation. Next thing I know, I'm going down every side-street and finding the novelty of the "new" run very interesting.

By the time I got to the 1km mark of my normal run, I'd already done almost 7km! Plan after that was to just finish the big lap, which I figured would be another 5.5km. For more or less all the run, I kept the HR at (and sometimes considerably below) 160bpm. Pace wasn't great, but as per usual, the HR was the goal.

Overall, done 12.5km in 1hr 22m 17s (6m 35s per km) with an average HR of 159bpm.

1st December Weigh In

02/01: 115.64kg
01/02: 113.79kg
03/03: 114.04kg
01/04: 114.39kg
01/05: 112.37kg
03/06: 110.13kg
01/07: 108.34kg
01/08: 105.01kg
01/09: 104.17kg
01/10: 104.77kg
12/11: 104.35kg
01/12: 103.12kg

All good, but I'm a bit worried about the scales accuracy :) More about that in a post sometime in the next few days.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Tempo Run

Had a good run tonight after my days rest yesterday. Idea was a short tempo run, based on a HR of 170bpm. That was the plan at least. A few mins into the run, I was over that limit and going strong so just went for it. I wasn't going flat out, just comfortably hard.

My 4km pace was pretty good (by my standards) doing the distance in 21m 53s (average pace of 5m 28s). Made it home (after a brief walk and a leisurely jog) in 31m 15s (5m 40s average). Average HR was 175bpm.

My next goal for this sort of run will probably be the 5km mark, but there's another obvious milestone...doing the whole 5.52km in less than 30 mins! Now that will be tough, given the idea isn't to go flat out :)

Where are my cankles (sic) gone??

Cankle n. A fusion of the words “calf” and “ankle,” a cankle is a very thick ankle - one which appears to be a continuation of the calf itself.

For the last few years, I've had swollen ankles which I'd put down to injuring them playing football. I used to wear some ankle supports they'd gotten so weak and I guess the swelling was just a result of that. I never really had cankles, as I've quite large calves, but I guess the idea is the same.

Anyways, I've noticed lately that I seem to have ankles again. Must be a product of the weight loss and probably a strengthening of the ankle muscles due to all the running I've been doing. Getting my old ankle injury sorted out also probably helped.


Bit sore and stiff today after the long run last night. Guess that's to be expected somewhat. The main area of stiffness is my left's amazing how much that muscle does that you don't realise until it's sore.

Anyways, went for a gentle swim at lunch and that was about it. A few weeks back I would have done a fast-ish run, but I'm just not up for it today...going to listen to the body.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Longest run...not quiet

Made sure I was going to go out for a run this evening after being quite slack in recent weeks. It was pretty cold around here, but in a "fresh" sort of way if that makes sense. I often find it easier to run when it's like that, as opposed to when it's just plain cold.

Aim for the run was my normal Tuesday long-slow run. Started off trying to keep my HR in the mid 150's, but the cap was set at 160bpm. Kept to that level pretty well, which hasn't been the norm of late and I was soon counting down the km's. In the back of my mind I'd a figure of 16km for the run, if all things went well, which I'm glad to say they did.

Last few km, I really just wanted to get home so let the HR up a bit which had a little bit of impact on my pace. My left hip started to hurt slightly, along with the arch of my right foot, nothing major though. I was actually thinking of going for over 17km when common sense prevailed and took the turning to take me home in 16.57km. Not quite my longest run (had I known \ remembered this, would have definitely done that extra bit), but slightly faster pace.

Total time was 1hr 51m 54s, average pace 6m 45s per km, average HR 161bpm. I'm a bit stiff now...probably be a lot worse in the morning.

Monday, 24 November 2008

New Swimming PB

Done 400m in the pool on Friday in 20m 12s. Tough going and last 100m had very little form \ technique. Just going to do one all-out session per week, rest of time will focus on technique. Can't really say it's getting easier though.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Today I did...

Half an hour of easy stuff in the pool, which included a fair bit of messing around in the deep end.

Got back after work and went out for a big lap around the block. My left calf was a little stiff from last nights run, so decided to take it easy. HR varied between 160-170bpm and finished off with a quick 200m to finish.

Overall distance was 6.93km in 43m 14s (6m 14s / km) with an average HR of 164bpm. I'm definitely getting closer to that golden milestone of 6m / km for the 160bpm (or so) average HR. Obviously, for a 2hr HM, it needs to get down to 5m 40s / km, but HR shouldn't be limited then.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

New Swimming PB

I also made it to the pool this lunchtime for a swim. Managed a 400m PB of 22m 45s or so and squeezed in 500m in the 30 mins I was in the pool. Not bad considering a month a go it took me the same time to do 400m.

Back on track

After two chunky kit-kats (out of three for the day), along with a heap of biscuits, I figured I'd better get out for a run this evening. Didn't fancy killing myself like my last run, so I lowered the HR limit on the Garmin to 160bpm and set of at a nice easy pace. Didn't have a set distance in mind, was thinking 5km minimum, 10km max.

Felt quite good for the most part, though was struggling to keep the HR in check. By 4km in I was up around the 170bpm mark, so decided to go by feel from there. Also decided around this point to go for 10km.

Overall, the run went well. Once I got to 7km, I went for home as hard as I could. Because of that, the last 3.65km were under 6 min km's which I'm pretty happy with. Thought I was going to throw up at the end though, but guess thats the signature of a good session.

Stats: 9.65km in 59m 24s (10km PB pace). Average HR: 169bpm

Monday, 17 November 2008

Last few days

Done hardly anything...enough said.

Going to get the finger out this week though. Was at the pool at lunch today for the first time since my hols. I've changed my shorts to speedo's, more like boxers though than briefs. Don't know if it's that, but I seemed to be finding it easier today. Didn't keep track of the distance or time though.

Plan is for a few nights running now, going to take it easy though. Don't want a repeat of my last run.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

First run after the holidays...

Despite almost talking myself out of it on a few occassions, I got out for my first run in a few weeks. The plan all day was to have a nice easy run, just to ease myself back into the swing of things. That idea went out the door pretty soon though, as I found myself bombing down the road, thinking I'm just going to go for it.

I actually felt surprisingly good, a little stiff, but not too bad all the same. I was purposely not looking at my watch for any times or splits, just having an odd glance at my HR. I had set the HR alarm for 170bpm, but was over that 1km in, so just ignored it from there.

Everything was going fine until 3km in where I got some "bowel" cramps...honestly thought I was going to embarrass myself there and then. Stopped, took a few deep breaths in and it passed, so I set off again. I also had a quick look at my watch and I was on a record pace. Got about 100m down the road and it happened again. Run was more or less over from there.

Made it back and had a look at the times...I still managed 5km in 29m 54s, which is still good going for me (considering I've only done a handful of sub-30 5kms). The first 3km in 15m 40s was actually my fastest 3km ever. Oh well...maybe next time I'll last the distance.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

12th Nov Weigh In

02/01: 115.64kg
01/02: 113.79kg
03/03: 114.04kg
01/04: 114.39kg
01/05: 112.37kg
03/06: 110.13kg
01/07: 108.34kg
01/08: 105.01kg
01/09: 104.17kg
01/10: 104.87kg
12/11: 104.35kg

Half a kg reduction, which considering that I've been on holidays for two weeks isn't too bad. I'm still a bit disappointed though, as I had been down to 103.5kg at one point. Oh well.

I haven't really been looking after what I've been eating since getting back from Cuba...mainly because the food was pretty poor over there and I'd made up a list of things I wanted when I got back to the UK.

Back from hols

Got back on Monday from two easy weeks in Cuba. Went on a hiking holiday and had a great time. Talk about a totally different place.

I thought my backpack was going to be overweight when I was checking in, but was pleasantly surprised to see that it weighed in at just over 16kg. That really hit home how much weight I've lost in the last two peak weight was 126kg while my current weight is 105kg...lugging that extra weight up those hills would have been a real pain!

The walks \ hikes themselves were pretty good and not overly tough for the most part (averaged 5/6 hours I'd say). Some great scenery, including some good opportunities for some swimming in natural pools and waterfalls.

The highlight of the trip, if you could call it that, was Pico Tourqino, the highest mountain in Cuba, standing at 1970m. This was done over two days, staying the night in between at a mountain hut (1300m)...the hike to here took about 6hrs and was pretty tough. The ascent was the following day (about 3hrs) and then started the toughest part of the whole thing...a 6-7 hour descent to sea level. Legs were absolutely shattered after that.

Back to some serious work now.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Off on my hols...

It's finally arrived, after months of waiting & planning and if I'm honest, a few years of procrastination, but first thing Sunday morning I'm off for two weeks hiking in Cuba. Plan is plenty of walking, some good weather and some good nights sleeping :)

Looks like it should be manageable enough, except perhaps for days 9/10 which come across as being the toughest. That said, I'd say it can't be any worse than the Croagh Patrick section of Gael Force (although the mountain is three times the size).

Anyways, all the packing is more or less done now, so I'll be signing off until I get back in two weeks.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

The week hasn't been a total write-off

Actually made it out for a run tonight, but really had to dig deep to get out there. Got back from work late enough, absolutely starving and the weather's been quite blustery all day so had convinced myself on at least three occasions to just make some dinner and relax.

Done my usual trick of putting on my kit, which if I get that far, always means I'll get a run in. The run itself wasn't really that enjoyable, found it tough enough. Aim was to do a short lap (5.5km) at 170bpm. As per usual, found I was hitting a wall after 4km, but struggled through.

I actually done a small lap PB, but that's technically not quite right as I've done two 5km runs before on the same route, but obviously stopped half a km short. Still, it's a marker for the future.

Also made it down to the pool today at lunch...nothing too stressful, mainly some drills and generally took it easy.

Just over two days to the holidays...can't wait.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Swimming update

Got down to the pool today for the first time this week. Although I set a 400m personal best (24m 9s), it's probably been my worst session so far. I really struggled with my breathing.

Still haven't got out for a run this week. Less said about that the better I think. It's mainly a mix between laziness and life getting in the way this week. I'm off on holidays next week for a fortnight and I guess that's also part of it.

Tomorrow's another day...we'll see what it brings.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Weekly Update:

A mixed three runs in out of four due to a busy weekend. Weekend also meant I was very lax on the food front, which has sadly continued into this week.

Total running for the week was 16.6 + 6.87 + 10.39 = 33.86km which is down a bit from last week. I also got down to the pool for three sessions as well, so overall, not a bad week.

Weight wise, started off well, but as mentioned above, ended badly.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

10km easy

On the way home from work, I was tired and hungry, it was cold out and I was debating whether or not to even go out for a run. I stopped off in Aldi, where I knew they'd some cheap deals on running gear and picked myself up a long sleeved running top, running jacket and a pair of gloves for £20.

Figured I may as well use them, so when I got home, threw on the gear and got ready to go. I was still feeling lazy and the only way to get myself out the door was to say I'd just do the small lap (5.8km). As usually happens these days, once I get going, I don't mind adding an extra km on here or there.

As today was supposed to be a recovery session, I capped the HR at 160bpm. I also done something that I'd been meaning to do for a few weeks now...just change the display on my Garmin to JUST display my pace \ distance \ etc. Just focus on the HR. I think it actually worked a treat. Still kept an eye on my 1km splits (watch automatically pops them up for a sec or two), so was happy out.

Done 10.39km in 1hr 8m (6m 33s per km) with an average HR of 160bpm. This compares to last weeks run of 10.97km in 1hr 14m 30s (6m 47s per km) with an average HR of 163bpm).

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Current Training plan

I seem to be settling into a weekly routine of (based on this being my second week doing it):
  • Tuesday: long run @ 160bpm - 1hr 30m + 10m every week
  • Wednesday: tempo run @ 170bpm - my usual "big" lap (approx 6.9km)
  • Thursday: long run @ 160bpm - undecided about this one...last week was 10km
  • Weekend: one interval run - again, undecided about this
So tonight, I done the tempo run over 80s faster than last week. It felt "easy" enough for the first 4km, but after that I found it tough going. I've actually noticed effect a bit with my runs over the last few weeks...seem to hit a bit of a "wall" after 4km. No idea what that is about, maybe its a remnant of my training earlier in the year where most of my runs were 5-7km.

I need to think about what to do tomorrow, but will probably do something similar to last week as I've had two tough nights in a row now.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Swimming PB

Was down at the pool at lunch today. Slow lane was mad busy for some reason but got in anyways. Done the 400m in 24m 35s or so, which I'm well chuffed at. Will probably have to do 500m from now on to make up the half hour.

100 minute run

After my 94 minute run last Tuesday, todays long run was to be 100 minutes at 160bpm. Set off at an easy pace which felt quite comfortable and slowly worked the HR up to 160bpm. Kept it more or less at that level for the first 6-7km and then seemed to settle at 161-162bpm for the rest of it.

Despite the long time to do, it didn't feel too bad at any stage. I kept breaking the time down into five minute chunks and knocking them off one by one. By the time I got to the 100 minute mark, I was still around 2km from home, which I wasn't overly happy about. Decided to stick with the plan and completed 16.6km in 1hr 52m 35s (avg HR: 161bpm). Should also mention that my average pace was 6m 47s per km, while it was 7m 10s on the run last Tuesday.

As I write this my upper arms are getting stiff for some reason, but I'm fine besides. Reckon I'll sleep well tonight.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Weekly Update: Over 40km running in a week!!

Tuesday: 13.54km (1hr 34m 12s)
Wednesday: 6.90km (40m 11s)
Thursday: 10.97km (1hr 14m 30s)
Sunday: 10.03km (1hr 9m)
Total: 41.44km (4hrs 33m 53s)

Average pace: 9.1kmph

Other thing to note from last week is that I spent 4/5 lunch times in the pool, doing 400m each time. Had a new PB (breaking this daily at the moment) on Friday, doing the 400m in 26m 40s (including around 1 min talking to a work colleague) . Hopefully will keep knocking some time of this in the next week or two.

Will be interesting to see what the scale says tomorrow. I'd a great week last week, until the weekend where I let loose. Today wasn't any better, but I guess tomorrow is another day. Suppose the hope is that the exercise from last week continued to burn some calories when I was lazying about the place, but we'll know more in the morning :)

Weekend Run

Despite high intentions of two runs over the weekend, I only managed to make it out for the one, on a glorious Sunday afternoon in Reading. Decided to have a go at the following session:
17 x 400m fast
16 x 200m recovery (e.g. walk or slow jog)
10km in 1hr 9m

Found the whole thing extremely tough. It probably didn't help that I started off trying to jog the recoveries, instead of walk them (which I will be doing in the future until I build up to jogging them). In the end, just done the 10km, the last section of which was pretty hilly. I was actually looking forward to that part before the start, as I'll be doing part of that in the Reading Half next March.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

10km run

After the quicker pace of yesterdays run, decided to drop the tempo again today and go for a nice easy run. Decided on another 160bpm run, initially thinking of just doing 5km or so, but it was going well so I doubled up for 10km in total.

Started off with my usual lap, but then took a detour when coming up to the 5km mark, just to run around a different bit of Cambridge. The paths were a bit dark and uneven in places, but overall, a very pleasant run. Weather was quiet mild, so I figure I should get these runs in while I can.

Last 3km of the run brought me through the city centre, which I always enjoy, especially now that the students are back. There always seems to be something happening, like the police giving out to three students (in makeup), where one of them was in a shopping trolley! Funny stuff.

One downside to running in Cambridge is that its extremely touristy and they generally tend to hog the footpaths. Pretty annoying, but I think I'm just complaining for no reason.

Done 10.97km in 1hr 14m 30s, with an average HR of 163bpm. First 4km my HR was under control, but just couldn't seem to reign it in after that. Happy enough with the run though.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Tough run

Following on from my post yesterday, aimed to do some running tonight at 170bpm. Was kinda thinking of doing around 45 mins, but 10 mins in and I was thinking I'd be lucky if I lasted to 11 mins!

Kept in there, making it to 3km but wanting to stop as soon as I could. Dug in again, focusing on the 5km mark which I'd done before at a similar effort level and then decided to go for an extra km. Then I was less than a km from home, so it was hardly worth stopping then! Crazy what you can do if you don't let your mind get in the way!

BTW, its easily a PB for my "big lap", by over 4 mins!

I was really surprised at the RPE (rating of perceived exertion) difference between 160bpm and 170bpm. Yesterdays run I'd have put down as a 4 (or 5) on a scale of 10. Todays effort was a lot closer to 10...probably at least an 8! We're only talking about 10bpm! I guess it probably illustrates that I've been training so much at that level its become easy (even if times aren't particularily fast). Perhaps getting out of the comfort zone won't be such a bad idea.

Another thing I noticed today was that I really dropped off from the 4km point onwards...anyways here are the splits. Here's an overview of the run.
1km: 5m 25s
2km: 5m 42s
3km:5m 46s
4km: 5m 42s
5km: 6m 03s
6km: 6m 05s
6.9km: 4m 55s

Ran out of road

Main aim this evening was to get a run in, just to ease myself back into a routine. Something nice and easy, perhaps like a 30 min run strictly adhering to a HR limit of 160bpm. I made sure I got some shopping done beforehand, so I'd have something to eat when I finished up.

So off I went, nice and easy. Too easy. Still, I stuck with the plan, keeping the HR regulated, even up-hill. I was thinking of just doing 5km but 3km into the run I was feeling good, so figured I'd do my large lap (a little under 7km). When I got to 5km, still figured I was going ok, so figured I'd throw a quick lap in of a local park (probably an extra km).

I was about 35 mins into the run at this stage and it was around this that I started having crazy thoughts..."Hey, this is so easy, how about we go for 1hr 20m". So I altered my route to take in a longer way home. Five minutes later..."sure why not 1hr 30m". Altered the route again. It was actually getting to the point where I was considering an attempt at 2hrs.

So while the HR was kept stable around the 160bpm mark, my splits were slowing rapidly. Guess thats the trade off. Like I say, it was feeling really easy at that HR level. In the end, I ended up doing 13.14km in 1hr 34min. I was contemplating the "100min" mark and also the "2hrs" mark, but common sense prevailed (and I was starting to get hungry).

I'm probably going to play around with the HR thing a little over the next few weeks...shorter runs of up to 30mins, I will probably up the HR limit to 165bpm and see how that goes. For the longer runs, 160bpm seems to be handy'd be nice to up the pace a little at that HR level, but I guess that'll come with time.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Training Update (Part 2)

Forgot to mention in the previous post that although I'd done hardly any running in the last few weeks, I'd been getting down to the pool regularly enough. Just a quick update on todays effort which is worth a mention.

Done 400m in probably just under 30mins. Initial aim was 10 lengths but felt reasonably good so carried on. Played around with some breathing styles which seemed to make a bit of a difference. I seem to have settled on a system whereby I breathe out (while underwater) of which-ever side of my mouth that my arm is "recovering" on.

Seemed to be working a bit better for me today. We'll see how it goes in the future.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Training Update

Not much of an update really. Went out for a 10.37 km "run" tonight, which I done in 1hr 9m 15s. The aim, as per usual, was to keep the HR down, which wasn't too bad for the first 5km. It's been pretty cold around here the last few days, so I threw the London Marathon Fleece I'd just received (see previous post) on and it seemed to do the job. Not sure its ideal, but it'll do the job.

This is the first run in two weeks and while it felt great to get out initially, I did struggle a bit towards the end. Still, its a mark in the sand.

Now, just have to stop my weight tipping over the 105kg mark...easier said than done.

Didn't get in...

Got home to find a package lying outside my door. I already knew what that meant...I hadn't got into the 2009 London Marathon. Bit disappointed in one way, delighted in another. So what was the package all about? Well, on the entry form, you can choose to donate your entry-fee to charity if your application is unsuccessful. If you tick this option, they send you a fleece as a reward.

Oh well...

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

1st Oct Weigh In

02/01: 115.64kg
01/02: 113.79kg
03/03: 114.04kg
01/04: 114.39kg
01/05: 112.37kg
03/06: 110.13kg
01/07: 108.34kg
01/08: 105.01kg
01/09: 104.17kg
01/10: 104.87kg

First month since April that I've actually put on weight :(

Can't say I'm surprised, my activity levels have dropped right down and I'm now using excuses like "its too cold" to avoid going out for a run. Fair enough, I've probably dropped some "insulation", but I still think its fair to say I've plenty left.

Oh well, October's another month and I've got two weeks hiking in Cuba at the end of it, so will definitely be guaranteed to up the activity levels. I'll also need to start training for the half marathon soon enough.

Also, should hear in the next few days if I got into the London marathon...fingers crossed!

Monday, 22 September 2008

Gael Force 2008 Report - Part 2

Right, its time to get this over and done with...its almost a month since the actual event!! A brief recap of how far we'd got earlier:
a) Run - tougher than expected, especially the first bit of the cross country. Held back as wanted to keep plenty of juice in the tank.
b) Kayak - went well, a lot shorter than I thought it'd be. Was actually relatively tough, but you could really go whole hog as it was all upper body.
c) Run - 3km run, didn't really get into my stride for this and also got slightly lost as well!

So that's where I left off, just at the transition onto the bike. I'll continue in the same format as before.

Transition 3: Run -> Bike
I'd just arrived at the bikes. As I said in the preview, I took my time at this point. Changed top into a dry top (didn't change socks), took a moment to have a bite to eat and a drink. Double checked I'd everything and set off.

Stage 4: 35km road cycle
So despite starting to get caught by the faster runners in the second wave, I was surprised that only 2/3 passed me on the bike. Set out at a decent pace, found the going relatively easy. I did find it quite strange cycling without cleats. It wasn't too hilly for the first few km but I knew there was a massive climb not too far ahead. I just focused on keeping a nice steady rhythm to that point and tried to take in the scenery (which was top quality).

Hit the big climb, which we'd gone over in the car the day before. I knew it'd be tough then, and I wasn't wrong. I was determined to make it up without getting off, but when I realised that I was actually cycling slower than I could walk, I decided to conserve my energy and walk! Even that was tough.

Eventually got to the top of the climb and hopped onto the bike. I went about 200m (still a slight climb) and noticed two girls having trouble with one of their wheels. Turns out I was the third person to stop to help, and they didn't have too much luck with the previous two guys. I quickly diagnosed a few problems:
  • Don't do this sort of event if you can't at least change a tyre \ tube (yes Eamon!). After the initial puncture, the first guy changed the tube for the girl. Surely the girl should have been able to do this!
  • Secondly, there was a problem with pumps. It didn't appear that this girl or her friend had a pump. I think the first guy that stopped pumped the tyre but they were having trouble with that. Madness.
  • Thirdly, they flagged down a second guy to help them pump the wheel. Got it pumped and he got on his merry way. They put the wheel back on the bike and it won't go around! Cue good Samaritan #3 (i.e. me) to come along
  • I arrive and see that the tube is coming out under the tyre at a point which is causing the trouble with the wheel not going around. Figure straight away that the air will have to be removed, which they are against as they've had so much trouble pumping it! I insist and put the tube back in.
  • At this point, I notice that the valve isn't quite right...turns out whoever put the tube in forgot to take off the ring that secures the valve before fitting it! I quickly fix that, pump the tyre, fit it and continue.
  • Moral of the comment!
This whole episode probably cost me the guts of 10 mins. Probably cost the girl (who must have been flying) about 25 mins. In any case, I left here and started the downhill section...serious bit of speed :)

Rest of the ride was pretty un-eventful until we started getting close to Croagh Patrick. There was a brief section on a main road and as we turned off, the marshall said something about there only being 5km left...this didn't make sense (I'd the GPS so knew the distance) and quite a few of the lads were annoyed with him about that...there was well over 10km left at that point...all of it an uphill slog!

I made some good time here, catching and passing a good few people. It was tough, but I was still within my limits and eventually made it to the transition.
Estimated time: 1hr 36mins
Actual time: 1hr 39m 44s

Transition 4:
Bike -> Hike
Met Eamon and Fintan here...there were just about to hop on the bikes after already doing Croagh Patrick...unreal. Took my time again, grabbed a few fig rolls and filled the water bottle.

Stage 5: 5km mountainous hike
Start of this was over some pretty boggy terrain. I wasn't too bad, slightly energy sapping but fine. After about 600m, started the ascent and things immediately got harder. Seemed to be sticking pace with 3/4 lads which was good, one of which turned out to be a lad that had stopped to help the girl earlier. I was diplomatic, thats all I'll say.

About half way up the first ascent, I met John and Brian on their way down. Boys told me it wasn't too bad, but I'd a feeling they were only saying it to keep my spirits up! Soldiered on and made it up to the base of the mountain itself. Again, almost immediately the intensity increased again! It was really really tough from this point on. It was like I was talking 5-6 steps and having to rest. No word of a lie.

I was still more or less sticking with the same bunch of lads which was good as it gave me a goal (not to let them get too far ahead...I didn't care if I dropped them). The climb just kept going and going and going and get the idea. Almost at the top I met Orla, Simone and Peter who were just there to pass the time while we were doing the event. Had a good chat with them for a few minutes, kinda out of socialness but more out of it being a great excuse for a rest :) They assured me there was only about 5 minutes to the top and thankfully, they weren't lying. I made it to the top in just over an hour.

Turning straight around, I started the descent. We'd been a bit worried about this beforehand as we figured the fatigue would be a massive factor. It was a lot easier than I expected, though I really had to exercise care in place. Met Brian at the bottom of the scree and also Orla, Simone and Peter again. They said that Justin was just behind me. On the way down, also met Ian. The descent down to the boggy section was fine as was the traversal of it. At one point, I feel flat on my ****, got up, started to run and fell knee deep into a bog hole. All I could do was laugh.

Made it back down to the transition for the final stretch.
Estimated time: 1hr 30m
Actual time: 1hr 33m

Transition 5: Hike -> Bike
Hopped straight on the bike and was off down the road...

Going to leave it at that for now...

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Good run or bad run??

Another early start this morning...hopefully can keep this ball rolling. Went to the pool again at lunch, done around the same number of lengths as yesterday (i.e. not that many). Spent a good while down at the deep end just playing around, trying to get comfortable out of my depth. I'm getting there, slowly, very slowly.

Got back home early enough, so decided to go out for a run. Figured I do the 10km loop, trying to keep HR down around 160bpm. For some reason (maybe it was the swimming earlier in the day), I couldn't seem to keep my HR at the level and on top of that, I'd been having an upset stomach all day. After about 3km, I had to stop for fear of not being able to control my bowels...not a pretty feeling, by any account. Up to this point, I'd been more or less spot on 6 mins per km.

After this, run turned into a bit of a disaster...frequent stops, a slightly nagging right ankle (don't know what thats about!). In any case, I soldiered on focusing on going faster in between stops. Strategy worked well but I decided to change tact after 8km. Up to this point I'd averaged 6m 14s per km, which wasn't bad considering (i.e. 8.14km in 50m 40s).

After this I focused on 1 min flat out, followed by 1 min walk recovery. I was still suffering a bit with stomach cramps, but the longer recovery seemed to help. In any case, I covered 2.02km in 13m 1s (average of 6m 26s per km).

I've just been looking at the output from the 305 and it turns out that I passed the 10km mark after 1hr 2m 40s, twenty seconds faster than my 10km PB. Considering the disaster of a run this was, I'm absolutely delighted at this! Makes you think!

Not the report...update

Great day today, exercise wise. After signing up for the Reading Half marathon yesterday, I got out last night for a just under 7km run, capped my HR at 160bpm.

Then today, got into work for 7.30am, so went to the pool at lunch for a few lengths and some messing around in the water. Delighted to report that I haven't got any worse with the swimming, despite not being in water for a few months. Done around 5 proper lengths + a few poor attempts. Also done some skulling in the deep end, which is a novelty for me. Still pretty pooped after a length, find it hard to imagine going for another one straight afterwards.

In the evening, got home pretty early (5pm!), so got out on the bike for my first cycle since Gael Force. Hadn't really eaten since lunch, so was a bit tired, especially towards the end. I averaged a respectable (by my standards) 27kmph for the first hour. Was struggling a bit though, but made it back out to Barrington Hill, which was a real struggle! Made it back to Cambridge with bang on 40km done (in 1hr 32m 30s) and just coasted the last 5km or so home. Absolutely shattered afterwards and had a fair bit to eat...mainly junk.

Went to the cinema then to see Tropic Thunder...absolute waste of time!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Gael Force 2008 Report - Part 2

Coming soon...honest!

Time to get serious

I've been slacking the last few weeks, there's no denying it. Been talking with one of the lads about doing the Reading Half marathon and \ or the Wokingham Half in Feb \ Mar respectively. The main goal for this (for both of us) is to break the 2hr mark.

I've done Reading twice, in 2004 \ 2005 I think. I done zero training for both...most I think was 3 runs around the block...not non-stop and can't have been any more than 5km! Nowhere near enough training as I found to my detriment.

The first year I done it in around 2hrs 30m or so (I think). Then, after putting on 20kg, the second year was closer to three hours (a lot closer)! Hopefully, I can make the goal, but considering my 10km pb is still over the hour (due to not doing any 10km events), it will be tough.

Bloody scales

Had a health check with work yesterday...basically a nurse does a few basic checks such as height, weight, bmi, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. Nurse gave advise on the results. Nothing too surprising there, apart from the weight I registered on her scales...18st. Now, I normally work in metric, but even still, was thinking that was a bit on the high side!

Back at the desk and got the calculator out...18st works out around 114.5kg! Thats a full 10kg heavier than my current weighted-average weight of 104.5kg! While her scales seemed about as shonky as mine, its still a bit worrying. I've had a suspicion about my scales for sometime, but wasn't expecting a 10kg difference.

When I was a member of the local gym, I used to use a scales there to also track the progress...normally about 2-3 kg heavier. I guess its not the end of the world, its probably safe to assume that the margin of error on my scales has remained consistant, and since I've been using it since the beginning, its still reflects progress in relative terms.

I've also got other measures...a good few people have mentioned it to me that I've lost weight, my clothes are definitely looser (really noticed the difference two weeks ago when wearing my suit). I guess the main thing is that I feel better.

Not too sure what to do about the scales though...

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Failed to take the start line...

Was supposed to be doing the London Duathlon this morning (challenge distance - 9km run \ 20km bike \ 5km run) but twinged my hamstring yesterday so decided against it. I'm a bit disappointed, but I guess these things happen. Probably could have struggled around, but may have done more damage. Besides, it was definitely easier to stay in bed :)

Wednesday, 10 September 2008


Done a 10km run which I found tough enough. Took 1hr 9m and parts of it were in the dark, which I don't think I'll be doing again. It seemed a lot tougher than running in daylight \ streetlight as legs seemed to be really tense in anticipation of something going wrong.

Pace wise, it wasn't great, but fancied doing a longer run as opposed to the speed work that I'd done the last few times I've ran. Will hopefully get out tomorrow for a speed session.

Monday, 8 September 2008


Quiet few days, where I done pretty much absolutely nothing. Knee was a bit stiff on Friday and Saturday and was half considering a run last night but didn't bother in the end.

Had a physio session again today, a fair bit of massaging the muscle behind the knee and then some more needling, which didn't really hurt as much as last time. He finished off with some ultra-sound. Knee was a bit stiff this evening, but again, was debating on whether or not to go for a run. Once again, didn't bother :(

Other news is that I got my new wheels today and got the cassette (gears) fitted. Guy in the local bike shop didn't seem too impressed that I didn't buy it there, but have to say I didn't feel too guilty considering I've got him to replace the spokes a few times. He didn't charge either, so I'd be very inclined to go back.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Gael Force 2008 Report - Part 1

Well, I've been putting off writing this for a while now. I'm going to follow the format of my preview of the event. The results are up here. I finished 436 out of 682 finishers (just over 700 starters).

Registration: Day before
Went down to the bike transition the day before the event with one of the lads. Spirits were high and the hour trip was pretty much taken up with talk of how we'd do things in the event the following day. Arrived at Delphi around 2pm to find that we were one of the first few to register, so all things were going well. However, this was to end soon enough when we were told that the guy we were renting the bikes from hadn't arrived and that they had no idea when he'd be arriving! We'd been debating what to leave with the bikes all the way down in the car, as this would mean less weight we'd have to carry, so we weren't impressed to say the least.

We hung around there until 3.30pm or so and decided we'd have to leave. I knew I'd probably be back later that evening with one of my friends so it'd probably be alright, but we left our gear with the organisers to put with the bikes when they arrived just in case.

On the way back, we done a recce of the bike course...more on that later...

Registration: Day before (part two)
Got back to the registration area with my friend around 9pm. Met one or two of the other lads who were doing the event. Thankfully the bikes had arrived, so set them up for the next morning. Got back home pretty later (around midnight), considering I'd to catch the buses the next morning at 6am.

Buses: 6am
My brother woke me up at 5.10am (thankfully as I was out for the count) and dropped me back to Westport. Didn't see any of the lads I knew as I arrived as a few of the buses were already loaded. Just hopped on the next available bus. As I mentioned previously, I was in the Elite\Runner section and to say that I was out of my depth was probably a bit of an understatement. The lad I was sitting beside was a regular mountain runner but he was very encouraging and passed on some good info.

Settled in for the 1hr trip to the start line. Had a bottle of energy drink and an energy bar (this was breakfast after all). Arrived at the start line and met up with the lads. It was starting to drizzle a little bit, but weather wasn't the worst. We hung around at the start line for a while (no more than 10-15 mins and after a brief race briefing and prayer, we went down to the beach and the start line.

Stage 1: 12km beach\road\trail run
There was only about 100m of beach running (hardly worth starting it there I guess) and we got onto a small but hilly road for about 3km. I was determined to take it easy on the hills, so when the first hill came almost immediately, I slowed to a walking pace to conserve energy. I wasn't the only one, but I was definitely at the back of the group.

I got to the end of the road section as probably the third last person in the wave. The next section was quite a steep and slippy x-country hill section. This was immediately energy sapping and a slow walk was the best I could muster here. I caught up with two people here.

Going down this steep hill on the opposite side was actually worse than the ascent. It was treacherous in places, really muddy, slippy, etc. Eventually made it down, again catching up with another two people.

Most of the remainder of the run was a relatively flat off-road run along Killary harbour which I found extremely enjoyable. I kept pace with the people I'd caught up with and persisted with my walking up hills strategy.

By the time we got to the kayaks I'd caught another few people and I was really enjoying myself. Overall, I could have probably pushed myself a bit harder on this section, but not knowing what was to come, I felt it best to take a cautious approach.
Estimated time: 1hr 24mins
Actual Time: 1hr 37m 29s

Transition 1: Run -> Kayak
I'd a very short transition here as there was a lad ready to go, stopping briefly to refill my water bottle.

Stage 2: 2km kayak
I had hoped to keep my feet dry on this event, but that was already out the window on the previous run section. It was certainly out the window at this point...I had to drag the kayak into the water.

My friend for the trip was a guy called Dan. Very nice guy and had obviously kayaked before. I hope I didn't annoy him too much. I found this pretty tough, especially on the upper legs and had to briefly stop at least once. We kept bearing to the right which didn't really help. Was glad to get this over with.
Estimate time:
Actual time: 9m 32s

Transition 2: Kayak -> Run
As you can see below, I saved a considerable amount of time over this section that what I was expecting. I was probably a bit slow getting out of the boat on the opposite side though. I also got a bit confused as to where we'd to go after we got off the kayaks, in the end simply following my Kayaking buddy.

Stage 3: 3km road run
This wasn't a road run for the first km, that's for sure. Stayed with Dan for most of this but he seemed to be struggling a bit and overtook him. Came to a dead end in a field and he caught up to me again. We eventually figured out the way up to the road. It was around this point that the first of the next wave started to pass us!

Got on the road and got into a run \ walk strategy. This section wasn't too bad, but I was looking forward to getting on the bike. A few more people from the 2nd wave passed at this point.

Estimated time:
24 mins
Actual Time: 32m 17s

Going to leave the report there for now. Hopefully the second part will follow soon.

Stop poking me with that needle...NOW

Now that was painful. As I mentioned before, I hurt my knee playing football a few weeks back. It hasn't really been causing me any trouble, but a few times now I've noticed it cramping up in the middle of the night! Like I say, nothing major and I am able to run on it no problem.

So I was at the doctors the last day and used the opportunity to get referred to see a physio (which is covered by work's health insurance). I went along today and after a quick investigation he said that I'd a "trigger point" in my popliteus muscle. His recommended course of action was needle therapy, something similar to acupuncture.

I figured I'd give it a go, as he'd previously sorted out my ankle problems. After some initial probing with the needle, he hit the jackpot (trigger point) causing the muscle to spasm uncontrollably. It was extremely painful, especially when he touched the needle. After 10-15 mins it was over and my knee felt quite stiff, just like after a cramp.

I've been hobbling around all day afterwards and expect it to be pretty stiff in the morning. Obviously, done no training today and probably won't get any done for the next few days. Next session is on Monday, so I'm hoping the reaction isn't as extreme next time.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

New 5km Personal Best

After another day of eating any and ever biscuit I came across, I decided to go for a run for the first time in a few days. It was a real struggle and I really had to force myself out but got the running gear on in the end.

As it was a bit late, just decided on a flat out 5km run. Tough going, as these things generally are but found the first km very good. Second km wasn't too bad either, but it was definitely getting tougher, especially as I knew the hilly section was coming up. I struggled up that, feeling like a madman as I was gee-ing myself up in my head...get to the top of the hill and you can have a rest, you're making great time so don't stop, etc, etc.

So got to the top, after about 16 mins. I remember when I first started running getting to that point after a particularly fast effort getting there with 18 mins showing and that definitely brought a smile to my face and an inner resolve to continue.

Next km wasn't too bad, as its flat and relatively feature-less. Last km was really tough. It's slighly uphill and the last 1oom is definitely uphill. Really had to dig deep but thankfully made it. Watch was showing 27m 49s for 5.1km.

In ST, it had my 5km split as being 27m 12s. My previous best was 28m 24s, so I've knocked over a minute off. Must have been the biscuits. Looking at the splits, it was the first two km!

Here are the splits (last pb splits)
1km: 5m 13s (5m 52s)
2km: 5m 19s (5m 47s)
3km: 5m 29s (5m 33s)
4km: 5m 35s (5m 36s)
5km: 5m 35s (5m 33s)

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Lull after Gael Force

With Gael Force taking up a fair bit of my life for the last few months, both in training and planning, now that its over its almost a case of what next! This has been brought to the fore as well with the fact that we lost our semi-final game in the football at the weekend, so the football season is more or less wrapped up for the year!

I've more or less got a blank canvas to work off. I haven't been too inclined to train after Gael Force, just doing a few sessions last week and so far nothing this week. I've been eating way too much...I spent most of today raiding the biscuits at work. I know I shouldn't, but just couldn't help myself.

So there's at most two GAA games left for the season. I've signed up for a Duathlon (9km run / 20km bike / 5km run) on the 14/09 and thats more or less it. Next big thing is probably a half marathon in February.

Monday, 1 September 2008

1st Sept Weigh In

02/01: 115.64kg
01/02: 113.79kg
03/03: 114.04kg
01/04: 114.39kg
01/05: 112.37kg
03/06: 110.13kg
01/07: 108.34kg
01/08: 105.01kg
01/09: 104.17kg

Still heading in the right direction...I had dipped under 104kg before the weekend, but as you can probably see from the weight charts (on the right), I had a big weigh in today.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

HundredPushups: W3D1

Oh my about a step up. I done the max test earlier in the week, registering something like 33 pushups, which put me in the third tier again on Week 3 of the program. Not exactly sure that this was a good thing.

The first day calls for 25/17/17/15/(max (at least 25)) with 60s recovery and I was dying after the second set. I managed to get through the first four sets, but could only register 16 on the last set, obviously falling way short of the required number. I've got a feeling that I may be repeating this week, but we'll see how the progress is over the next two sessions.

Another kilo down

Passed the 104kg mark today. After the bumper results of last month, its all slowed down so far this month, but the weight is still coming off (thankfully). My eating over the last week has been absolutely atrocious, mainly due to being back in Ireland. Still, after Gael Force, I think a little indulgence isn't a bad thing...just need to make sure it doesn't carry on for a month after the event.

Speed Training

After getting over Gael Force at the weekend, I've decided to focus on some speed work over the next few weeks. This is main as we're coming to the business end of the GAA season and a bit of pace probably wouldn't go astray.

To that end, I'm planning on doing two speed sessions a week, one over shorter distances (say 10-20s all out with 1m recovery) to replicate football type sprints and one longer session (also called Tempo sessions) to get the legs used to going at a faster pace.

I'll be ignoring the HR during these sessions, so that'll be interesting. I also hope to get one "long" run in per week as well, but that'll depend on other things.

Done the first "short" session last night, a 2km warmup followed by 10 sets of (10s sprint + 1m recovery (30s walking + 30s jog)). It was a tough enough session and was glad to get it over with. Warmdown was the 2km run back, which I treated as a tempo \ fartlek run.

Quick update

Figure I may as well write a quick update for anyone thats interested in how Gael Force went. I'll hopefully get around to writing a proper report in the next few days.

I really enjoyed the race, even while suffering on Croagh Patrick. Overall, I took 6hrs 15mins which was more or less the figure I predicted (of 6hrs 1min). A couple of things would have made me get closer to that goal, but I'll leave that for the bigger report. Suffice to say, I'm really happy with the time and will more than likely be back next year to better it.

As for how I felt afterwards, surprisingly good. I felt fine the next day, around the same as I'd normally feel after a GAA game.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

HundredPushups: W2D2

Done the required 16/13/11/11 and finished off with 22 (at least 15 required). Was sweating at the end though...I really need to harden up :)

3 days to go...

This will probably be my last post until after the event (its not a race, at least as far as I'm concerned). I'm all packed up now, ready for the flight in the morning. Pretty sure that I've got everything, but I bet I've forgot something (hopefully minor).

Got some more info on the start times for the event, I'm in the first wave, in the bus leaving at 6am. Early start, but guess the earlier I start, the earlier I get home. The tension is building up a bit now, it really seems to be hitting home.

Oh well, guess this is it...see you all on the other side. Next update will probably be on Tuesday.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

4 days to go

Well, we're well and truly on the final stretch to Gael Force. I'm going to be off-line from Thursday, so figure I may as well put down some predictions of how I see it playing out. This is all guess work and a lot will depend on the terrain, but hopefully I haven't under-estimated the event.

Stage 1: 12km beach\road\trail run
This is the part I'm looking forward to the least. Some of this could be off-road and some of it is definitely on sand, so it'll probably be very energy sapping. I'm happy enough that this is the first part though, as it'll be my toughest discipline. My aim is to take this really easy (even to the point where I'm debating walking the distance), will probably walk up any medium or larger inclines, with a suggested pace of around 7 mins per km.
Estimated time: 1hr 24mins

Transition 1: Run -> Kayak
Thankfully, we time out at this transition, so its essentially free. Main aim here will be to get some fluid on board and also get some calories in. Not too much, but enough to tick over for later.

Stage 2: 2km kayak
Reports suggest this will take 10-15 mins, so I'm going to factor in 25 mins for this in total. Hopefully I won't be too stiff after waiting for a kayak.
Estimate time: 25mins

Transition 2: Kayak -> Run
Essentially another free transition. Plan is to get straight into the next run.

Stage 3: 3km road run
A short and hopefully relatively straight forward run to the bikes. Will probably adopt a similar approach to stage 1. Going to allow myself some extra time here, in case fatigue is setting in (hope it isn't...long way to go yet!)
Estimated time: 24 mins

Transition 3: Run -> Bike
Probably the key transition I think. I should hopefully have the bike pre-loaded with all the necessary gear (energy drink, water, food, pump, etc) and will probably take a bit of time to change into some dry(er) clothes.
Estimated time: 5 mins

Stage 4: 35km road cycle
This should be my strongest discipline. However, I could really be struggling at this point, but hopefully I'll be ok. Cycle itself should be undulating for the most part, with the wind being the problem from reports that I've read. Last few km is uphill, with will bring us to the next section, the ascent of Croagh Patrick.
Main aim on the bike is to make steady progress, but not to push myself too hard...there's still a fair bit to go after this, so will aim to keep the fluid intake up while also getting some calories on board.
Depending on the headwind, would hope to average at least 22kmph, based on my training rides after runs.
Estimated time: 1hr 36mins

Transition 4: Bike -> Hike
On the homeward stretch massive obstacle in the way though, the iconic Croagh Patrick. Transition here shouldn't take too long, besides racking the bike and probably stopping for a quick breather.
Estimated time: 5 mins

Stage 5: 5km mountainous hike
Well, its a mountain by Irish standards. First section of this is boggy, so this is a worry. The actual mountain itself is pretty steep and the footing is very rocky \ shale. This will be a slow steady plod, that's for sure. The decent will also be slow and steady, as given the expected fatigue at that point, it'll more than likely be worse than the ascent.
Estimated time: 1hr 30m

Transition 5: Hike -> Bike
Last transition...this will hopefully involve hopping straight on the bike and going.
Estimate time: 2mins

Stage 6: 12km cycle on and off road
Not long to go now. Will just be a case of getting it done. Hopefully mainly downhill (certainly the first section is).
Estimated time: 30 mins

Total (estimated time): 84 + 25 + 24 + 5 + 96 + 5 + 90 + 2 + 30 = 361 mins = 6hrs 1min

Hopefully, I can knock one minute of those times somewhere!

Monday, 18 August 2008

HundredPushups: W2D1

Session called for 12/12/9/7/Max (at least 10)

Done 12/12/9/7/16, which I'm happy enough with. Hopefully will keep up the challenge this week.

Long time no post...

Haven't updated the blog in about a week, mainly because I've been pretty busy doing nothing. Had some visitors last week which distracted me from training for a few days.

The sum total of my training since my last post was one GAA training session and a 10km training run on Friday evening. Had planned on going for a cycle on Saturday, but laziness got the better of me (and eating at the wrong times if I'm totally honest).

Another thing to fall by the wayside was the HundredPushups challenge. Will get back onto this tonight, with Week 2 Day 1.

Had a game on Sunday which was tough enough, but overall, a pretty easy week. We're into the last week before Gael Force (on this Saturday), so just tapering down at the moment. Went for a 10km walk this evening to loosen the legs and can't imagine the rest of the week getting much more strenuous.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Training update

Dragged myself out for a run tonight around the block, which was good, as it was definitely one of those times where I was talking myself out of doing it. Still, I knew that I wouldn't be doing anything tomorrow and with a game on Sunday it was a prime chance to get a run in. The fact that GF is only around the corner (15 days) was also another thing playing on my mind.

Done a low HR session, doing the larger of my normal laps around the block (6.86km). Limited the HR to 160bpm and actually stuck to it tonight, which I hadn't really been doing the last few runs. Felt good throughout, doing the distance in 45m 43s, which is 6m 40s \ km pace.

Looking back over my training log, this is actually the first time I've done this route non-stop, so technically its a PB. That said, I have done it faster using a run\walk strategy, but I guess given the aim of this session was endurance, I can't complain too much.

Weight Milestone: 105kg

Crossed the 105kg barrier today, with my average weight coming in at 104.99kg. My actual weigh-in was 103.9kg.

Very happy with this, but will focus on 104kg instead of the "massive" 100kg goal, which still seems unachievable, despite my weight-loss to this point. One day (or kg) at a time though.

HundredPushups: W1D3

This session called for 15/13/10/10/max (15) with 120s rest between sets.

Done 15/13/10/10/21. The extra rest made it so much easier. Should be interesting with the first session next week when it gets knocked back to 60s rest.

Matt: 15/13/10/10/15
Dan: 15/13/10/10/13
Anyone else?

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Another mammoth session

As Wednesday is my traditional Gael Force specific training day (football seems to get in the way every other day) and there are only three Wednesdays left before Gael Force, it was back into action after a week off for another mammoth GF training session.

I hadn't done anything in a week, due to a GAA club fundraiser last Wednesday and coming down with a bout of the cold Thursday to Monday. Then, I'd no football boots to go training last night and got drenched when I went down to give a hand out.

Also, its probably worth a quick reminder of my last mammoth session while we're here (just to gloat a bit)...14km run followed by a 40km cycle - total time 3hrs 20m. Tonight I planned a more modest 5km run + 20km cycle + 5km run, the first run bike to replicate the GF a bit (I knew I'd struggle with daylight on the cycle so had to cut these down a bit) and the last run just to push the endurance side of things.

In the end, for the 5km runs I done my small lap around the block, which is a regular training route for me. Its actually something like 5.8km or so, which is good that its long rather than short (no short-cuts in GF). I'm happy enough with the paces as well, which were 6.39min/km and 6.57 min/km respectively.

As for the cycle, done 27.6km in 1h 8m (avg 24.3kmph) with an average cadence of 86.5rpm. Not the fastest I've ever done, but this session wasn't really about speed. Cadence was a bit on the low side as well, will try to work on that in the next week or two.

Only one more big session left before GF (will be resting on the last Wednesday), who knows what I'll do.

HundredPushups: W1D2

Plan was for 12/12/10/10/max (at least 10) with 90s rest between sets. Done the required and finished off with 13 for the max attempt.

Can't get over how tough this is, as I was considering skipping a week or two initially. Think I need to harden up a bit.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

HundredPushups: W1D1

Plan was to do: 10/10/8/6/max, with 60s between sets.

Of course, felt that'd be too easy, so did 10/10/10/10/12, which is a bit disappointing, as I should defo be able to do more than 12 :)

Monday, 4 August 2008

Ausut 1st Weigh-in

Bumper month, losing over 3kg. Delighted :)

02/01: 115.64kg
01/02: 113.79kg
03/03: 114.04kg
01/04: 114.39kg
01/05: 112.37kg
03/06: 110.13kg
01/07: 108.34kg
01/08: 105.02kg

Thursday, 31 July 2008

So who's joining me...

Starting Monday...if you want, you can update your progress by leaving comments on the blog.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

New 5km Personal Best

As mentioned in a previous post, after football training tonight I went out for a quick run around the block. Didn't really fancy bothering with a HR limit (it was set to 160bpm, but wasn't paying attention to the beeping) and jogged according to how I felt.

While I won't say the run was easy (it wasn't), it certainly felt easier in some ways than the running I'd been doing previously, limited to HR. I felt strong most of the way around (though the last km was tough) and was doing a decent pace up hills. Around 3.5km in I was thinking of taking a rest (walk), so that I'd still come home in under 30mins, but pushed on through it.

Eventually made it around in 28m 20s (according to Sports Track), which is a personal best by around 3 mins (I think). Average HR was pretty high (by my normal runs) of 169bpm. I definitely think that the lower HR training has had a big influence on this, so will probably stick with the for the time being, mixing in one of these sort of runs per week.

Here's the overview of the run for anyone thats interested.


Was back in Dublin at the weekend and used the opportunity to scout out what the Kayaking leg of the Gael Force might be like. Couple of my friends are pretty big into their kayaking and offered to take me out for a spin, which was pretty good of them.

So after sourcing a boat (kayak), bouyancy aids, helmets, wetsuit, decking, sandals, t-shirts and Lord know what else for me, we got onto the Boyne for a trip between Navan and Slane. The stretch of water has 7 weirs on it, which was news to me (probably should have done a little bit of research first I guess). Spent about twenty minutes just paddling around, getting used to the boat, which is definitely more complicated that I thought it'd be. These boats have two ridges underneath, either side, which unless you're perfectly balanced, seem to catch the flow of water and turn you.

After a while it was a case of just having to give it a go and seeing what happened. Went for the first weir (which as it turned out was pretty small) and after an inital good start, capsized and thought I was going to drown. Eventually got out of the boat, with no lasting damage, save having to empty it and get back in. Needless to say, this was going to be a recurring them for the trip.

The next two weirs were a very similar story and we then came to the biggest obstacle of the whole run, called the S-bends I think. The idea was basically to stay in the middle, where the water was flowing fastest and let it take the boat through, all the while paddling to more or less maintain balance. It was a disaster from the very start...didn't enter the run straight at all, and started ricochet of the walls on either side (around three times) before capsizing. Got out of the boat ok, but problem here was that the run was about 100m long and pretty fast flowing, so basically had to float the whole way to the end. Kinda wish I could swim properly for this bit.

Had an absolute disaster getting back into the boat after this but eventually did. Almost made it down the fifth weir, failing just as I thought I was ok. Thankfully made it throught the last two unscathed. Boy was I glad to get out of the boat...while not tired physically, I was still pretty wrecked. Thankfully, had some warm clothes to get into in the car on the way back.

I think the GF kayak stage will be pretty different (its on the sea and in a two person kayak for one thing), but I'm pretty sure this experience was definitely worth it. Its also good to know that its not going to be too much exertion and all upper body, but I guess that'll be a problem in its own right if my legs start getting stiff.

Anyways, I'd like to thank all the guys (Eamon, Ger, Ian, Niamh) for their help and patience on the day. I'd like to think it wasn't as bad as the skiing :) Also, I'd like to thank John for lending me the loan of his kayak...hopefully it wasn't too muddy when returned.

Bring on Gael Force now...

Recent Training

Following on from my mammoth session last Wednesday, I did the following:
  1. A 27km bike ride during lunch on Thursday
  2. A little bit of GAA training on Thursday evening
  3. Kayaking on Saturday ... more to follow on this.
  4. Got back from Dublin on Sunday and done a 10km run, of which I'd say 6km of which was in a torrential downpour.
  5. Re-done the cycle part of the monster session on Monday, doing it just less than 10 mins faster, logging my third fastest time on the bike. The two faster times would have been drafting (like in the Tour, where you take turns being the first rider), which saves a fair bit of energy.
  6. Tonight (Tuesday), went GAA training earlier.
  7. Afterwards, done a quick 5km lap around the block. Will be posting about this separately.
So, had a pretty busy week so far, with just Friday off. May be taking tomorrow off, or may have a quick bike ride at lunch.

Monday, 28 July 2008

GAA update

Some of you seemed interested in my refereeing career over the weekend, so here's an article about the game I refereed: (third paragraph being the only relevant part)

Also, some interest was expressed in my "full forward" career...more info here:
and here (I'd a shocking game, despite what the report says):

Monster session

Its almost been a week since I actually done the session, but figure I may as well write something about it for posterity. After realising that I was probably really under-estimating the Gael Force (my proposed finishing time would have put me in the top 50 out of over 300 last year), I figured that it was time to get serious training wise.

So, last Wednesday, I decided to try and mimic the bulk of the first half of the race by running home from work, the long way (14km) and to follow that up with at least a 35km bike ride. In Gael Force, that would more or less get me up to Croagh Patrick, without doing the Kayak section and also saving 1km from the runs.

Run, went ok for the most part. Seemed to struggle a bit in the early part, taking a walk after around 3km. Got into a rhythm though, keeping the HR around 155bpm to 160bpm or so, but the pace wasn't too blistering. Still, I'm pretty sure that'll be my strategy in GF, so thats no harm.

Got back to the house, after 14.1km in 1hr 41m 40s, an average pace of 7.13 per km (157bpm). A brief transition onto the bike and I set off. I'd always assumed that once I got onto the bike in GF that I'd be grand after that, but this session definitely opened my eyes. I was hating it almost immediately, and it didn't get any better as the ride went on.

The km's just seemed to drag and drag. As I've probably mentioned before, Cambridge is pretty flat, so I can only imagine what its going to be like in the actual event. On a few occassion I had to stop pedalling and let myself recover briefly before continuing.

Eventually made it back to the house after 40.4km, which I done in 1hr 38m 27s, an average speed of 24.6kmph (average HR 142bpm, cadence 82.8rpm). Given my state at that point, I was struggling to climb the stairs in the house, never mind Croagh Patrick.

Still, it was a useful experience and at least its proved to myself that I should definitely get around, even if it means crawling the last bit!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Must be doing something right

Since the weekend, five totally unrelated people have said to me that I've lost weight. These people varied from people that see me daily (secretary at work), to people who only see me every few weeks. Might have to start keeping a count :)

Monday, 21 July 2008

Last few days

Main thing over the last few days fitness wise was the championship game on Sunday, which we won comfortably enough in the end. Made hard work of it at times, conceding goals at key moments, but we kept the heads down and pulled through. Played the full game at full forward and got three points for my troubles. Really should have got another 2-1, but the keeped made two good saves to deny me.

Then tonight, went out for a cycle with one of the lads. Another one was supposed to join us, but had mechanical difficulties. Idea initially was to do an easy cycle after the game yesterday, but that quickly developed into a hill session over the course of the day. The final draft had us going up and down the hill three times from each side, followed by a run over and back.

Thankfully, when the main instigator of the above plan dropped out, we decided on over and back four times. We'd an easy cycle to the hill to act as a warmup, and gave the hill part a good go. Found it tough, especially the last set but probably could have done another set (if pushed). Had a nice easy cycle back, mainly talking football the whole way.

Gael Force is just over a month away now though...can't wait.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Jeez, your 6/7ths of the man you used to be...

Weigh in today meant that I'd passed the 108kg average mark for the first time since I started keeping track (Jan 06). Bit of a milestone, considering I weighed in (on average) at (just over) 126kg at my heaviest, back around April 2007.

So far, the loss has been eighteen kilo's, or one seventh of 126kg. Don't know why I noticed that (as opposed to one eighth\one ninth\etc), but just feel its worth mentioning. Its been a long sixteen months, not all smooth, but I'm delighted with the progress so far. I definitely notice the difference, especially in the fat suit department (its still there, but no-where near as big).

In the overall scheme of things, I guess I'm about half way to where I want to be. I'd love to hit around 90kg, which I think is a good place to aim for. For the last few years, the lightest I've been is just over 100kg, and I definitely still had some to lose, so 90kg at the moment seems about right. It would still put me over the 25 BMI (85kg!!), but it still a damn sight better than my max of 37. (I don't particularly put too much belief into BMI, at least on an individual basis).

Obviously, the next goal is 107kg, and we'll take it from there :)

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Another hour run

These are getting easy :)

Considering, I left work with the intention of doing a 10km run, followed by a cycle (probably around 40km), got home, fell asleep for 90 mins and felt like doing absolutely nothing when I woke up, I consider this run a great achievement.

So initially setting out for a 30min run, I felt I was going well enough to stick with the original distance (still had no intention of doing the cycle). Aim was to stick at (or below) 160bpm, but for some reason, I seem to settle around 162bpm. I'm not going to argue over the 2bpm.

As per usual, wasn't the fastest run, which is generally the case when I stick to a HR limit. Done the 10km in 1hr 8m 32s, five and a half minutes slower than my (race) PB. Still, it was a darn sight better than the last time I tried this route, which took me an extra ten minutes (didn't really seem up for a run that night).

Swimming update

Managed to get down to the pool for the first time in a few weeks at lunch today. It was a bit overcast, so the outdoor pool was pretty quiet. Pretty cold initially, but was fine one I got into it.

Just focused on breathing and also some skulling work. The couple of attempts I made at freestyle were at least as good as the last time i was down, if not slightly better. I made it about one third of the length (100yds) in my furthest attempt today. Hopefully, I'll be able to build on that in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


Busy enough few days, training wise. Had a blitz tournament on Saturday, which more or less took up the whole day for about an hours worth of a game. All the waiting around between games meant I was pretty stiff on the Sunday.

Reffed a game on the Sunday, which loosened me out a bit. Got a serious amount of abuse, but that seems to the be norm, rather than the exception. Then last night, done some some sprints with one of the lads and tonight had GAA training.

Weight seems to be on the way down again, which is good. Had an upward bit there last week where I wasn't really doing much after hurting my knee\hamstring, but seems to be on the way down again. Knee still isn't right, especially when turning, but its not really causing too much problems besides.

Haven't been out on the bike in about two weeks, so might try and get a ride in over the next few days.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

That seemed easy...

Went out tonight for my first run in about a week. First part of the week was a voluntary rest, after I was just feeling spent after a few tough days of training. The remainder of the rest was forced, after picking up an injury during a game at the weekend.

Went down to football training tonight but didn't train, so decided to go for a run when I got back, to see how the knee\hamstring was? Initial plan was to do 30mins or so, but I felt pretty good, so kept pushing that out until I'd got an hour in.

Inital plan was to stick to a 155bpm HR limit, but didn't seem able to do that. 160bpm was the next plan, but seemed to settle around 163\164bpm. Anyways, here's a link to the run.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Brisk walk

Knee felt an awful lot better today, but still want to take it easy on it for a day or two yet. Called down to GAA training briefly, didn't do anything besides kick a few balls. So when I got back to the house, went for a brisk walk around the block. Done around 7km (my normal route) in just under an hour. Knee felt fine, but calf was a little stiff.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Week off

After more or less killing myself with too much effort last week, I decided on Thursday to take a few days off to recover. We'd a big game on Sunday in the football, so it was probably a sensible idea I figured. So cue three days of basically eating anything and everything I wanted. Happy days.

Done absolutely nothing besides some walking around London on Saturday. So on Sunday, thought I was fresh for the game. Conditions were a bit wet to start off with, but then absolutely poured in the second half. I figure I'd done alright in the first half, but really struggled in the second half conditions. Anyways, despite being nine points down early in the second half, we pulled back to win by a point in the end.

Got back home last night and went to the cinema. Knee really seized up during the film and it was a bit of a struggle on the walk home (only about 250m). Had a very patchy nights sleep and dropped into the Sports Injury Clinic in the hospital this morning. Turned out its more than likely a lower hamstring problem, as opposed to a knee problem, thankfully. Its a lot better this evening, so will wait a few days before doing anything on it.

Got to stop eating though...

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Tough day

Pretty wrecked right now after a tough day. Was meant to play football with a few lads at work at lunchtime, but only three turned up. Its been the same way for a few weeks and to be honest, unless there's at least eight people there, I struggle. I'd much rather go for a run instead, believe it or not...I certainly get more out of it.

So instead of playing football, done a few laps of the park with the other two lads that turned up. Didn't bother putting the Garmin on, but it seemed like the pace was faster than what I was normally used to. That said, having someone there to run with made a massive difference.

After work, met up with the lads for the weekly GF training. Had a hill session planned for the bike tonight, basically six reps of the biggest hill we know of near Cambridge. Only managed five, probably the main reason being that one of the lads pedals fell off, but I guess I was also looking for an excuse to stop. Very tough going and was definitely glad to see the end of it. No doubt will do it again a few times before GF.

Probably the main reason I was suffering so much on the cycle was that I had zero energy. After the exertions at lunch, I just had a bowl of soup and some rolls. For breakfast, I'd a (biggish) bowl of muesli. Probably not enough in hindsight.

Left the car at work, so going to cycle in tomorrow morning, probably taking the long route. Hopefully, will clock up 40km or so, which isn't a bad start to the day.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Last few days

Well I failed pretty miserably on the 7 day challenge. In total, done four 30 min runs in the seven days, including last nights run which was an interval session. Also got three cycles in and a longish walk.

Made it down the pool as well, which is a first for the last few weeks. One of the sessions was actually a couple of hours of swimming tuition, which was excellent. Still not flying, but definitely got a few pointers that I'll focus on over the next few weeks.

Finally, had two GAA training sessions. Don't really find these too tough, for the most part, but still much rather be playing with a ball than running for half an hour.

July 1st Weigh-in

Still going in the right direction. Slow and steady Smile Really happy last night when I came across an old belt and could fasten it one extra notch comfortably, while two notches was possible but a bit more of a squeeze.

02/01: 115.64kg
01/02: 113.79kg
03/03: 114.04kg
01/04: 114.39kg
01/05: 112.37kg
03/06: 110.13kg
01/07: 108.34kg

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Weight Charts

You may have noticed that I've got the weight charts back up and running on the right hand side of the blog. Feel free to let me know if you've any questions \ comments \ etc.


Quiet weekend really, training wise. Had two games of football, one Saturday and one Sunday. Wasn't planning on playing on Sunday but got roped into it. Drew the first and lost (heavily) the second.

Main news to report though is that I got a dead-leg over the weekend which will no doubt hinder and training early this week. I'm not too impressed with that as I was planning on doing a 30 min run each day for seven days. Might have to start mid-week now instead.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Last week or so

Spent last weekend up in the lake district, doing a few walks. Lovely spot, would thoroughly recommend it to anyone. Stayed in a nice B&B, which again would totally recommend. Done most of the walking on the Sunday and Monday, about 6 hours each day. First of the days was pretty hilly, while the second was more undulating.

Rest of the week was taken up with two cycles and a gaelic training. Done 50km cycle on Wednesday night, which I'm quite happy with. First 30km or so was done with two of the lads from here that are doing gael force. They went off for a run and I just continued on with the cycle. I actually haven't done any running lately, but plan on doing a week of thirty minute runs next week on top of anything else.

Then today, done a cycle at lunch with one of the lads from work. Started off slow enough, as we were going through town, but picked up the pace and came home with a respectable 26kmph average. My cadence is up as well these days, seem to be averaging around 84rpm, so hopefully going to bump that up a little bit in the next few weeks.

Got a game tomorrow. Hopefully goes well.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Should have stayed in bed

Went for a cycle at lunch yesterday with one of the lads from the office. Went well enough, and had the bright idea of leaving the car at work last night and cycling home, thereby forcing me to cycle into work this morning. Great idea in theory.

In practice, it worked out somewhat differently. Got home last night to be told that that weather forecast for this morning was rain. Woke up, looked outside straight away and seen the ground was dry. By the time I was ready to go however, the heavens had opened up...a serious deluge of water.
So I figured, in for a penny, in for a pound and hopped onto the bike. Went the way I was planning, about 25km's incorporating a fair chunk of the route I done at lunch yesterday. The direct cycle to work is about 7km for comparison.

The aim for the cycle this morning was just an easy cycle...keep the HR around 140bpm and the cadence as high as possible (at least 70rpm). Happy to say, I done both (139bpm & 77.9rpm). On the section of the route that overlapped between today and yesterday, 39mins vs 42 mins for the 16km's or so.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Race Report: Dorney Dash 2008

I entered this race at the last minute, the main reason being that I done it last year. Didn't really have any aims for it, which I think was a mistake given the outcome. I was actually slower than last year, by a good two minutes and roughly five minutes slower than the London 10k a few weeks ago. I just didn't seem to have it in me on the morning.

I was really struggling over the first two km, and stopped pretty much on the 2km mark. I knew it was going to be a mistake, but still had to stop. From then on, I was into a walk\run strategy. I initially aimed to keep my HR around the 155bpm - 160bpm mark, but found that my pace was pretty slow. So I then changed tact and went for an all-out burst followed by a rest. That strategy actually seemed to make me some ground on my peers.

However, I really found that tough towards the end. It was a glorious day and its a pity I didn't really enjoy the race that much. I had to talk myself out of quitting on a few occassion but thankfully got through it. Oh well, no doubt I'll do the race again next year.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Weight milestone

I crossed the 110kg mark on Friday which I'm quite happy about (based on my moving average weight). I haven't weighed myself on a different weighing scales in a while, but would be interested to see what the scales in the gym has to say for itself these days.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Weight Update: May 2008

Going in the right direction again, though I'm a bit worried about the accuracy of the scales!

03/06: 110.13kg
01/05: 112.37kg
01/04: 114.39kg
03/03: 114.04kg
01/02: 113.79kg
02/01: 115.64kg

Monday, 2 June 2008

80 minute runner!

I set off for my first run since the 10k tonight with the intention of doing a slow (155bpm or less) run around the block. Felt alright for the first 40 mins or so and was keeping HR in check so decided to keep going for the hour. The pace was quite slow, but my HR was usually in the 155bpm - 160bpm range which felt relatively easy (though had one or two tough patches).

To sum up, I done 80 minutes in total covering around 10.7km. Nowhere near a fast pace, considering I was about 14 mins fast at the 10km mark last week. Still, my average HR was much lower and its good to get the miles into the legs after doing absolutely nothing over the last week.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Bupa London 10000 Race report

Talk about miserable conditions! It was pretty wet and a little blustery which didn't really help my mood going into the race. It was so miserable I didn't do a warmup, but that doesn't really mean much...I hate doing warm-ups. So enough of the chit-chat...I got around in (officially) 1hr 2m 55s which I'm happy enough with. Its a PB for me, so thats always good. Not too sure I could have given it much more (without blowing up), so in that regards, can't ask for much more.

I'm happy to report that I acheived three out of four of my goals for this race (see previous post). I'm really chuffed with that, so hopefully can progress with them for my next 10k.

Firstly, I ran the distance non-stop. This was actually pretty tough as I really had to fight with myself to keep going at times. Having other people around helps a lot, but I think the biggest help was that I'd set that out as my number one goal for the race.

Secondly, as I mentioned earlier, I ran a PB. Again, I don't think I could have done it much faster so happy enough there.

Thirdly, I ran a negative split...just about. I didn't really use HR to pace myself, but all the same it seemed to settle around the 170-172bpm mark for most of the race. This is about 10bpm higher than I normally train at, so would imply that I was slightly outside my "comfort" zone in the race. Officially, my splits were 31.32 and 31.24. Like I say, not a massive difference, but still a negative split all the same.

Finally, a word on what my Garmin had to say about things. Notice that the distance as 10.43km in 1.03.10 (6.03 pace). I guess that this means that over the course of the race I ran the guts of an extra half km, most likely dodging people or by not taking the "racing line". Bit of a sickener really, as that would have put me within reach of my fourth goal, breaking the hour mark. Oh well, I guess there's always next time.

Friday, 23 May 2008

10k goals for Monday

Just want to publicly state a few goals for the 10km I'm doing on Monday ...
  1. Run the 10km non-stop
  2. Run a 10km PB
  3. Ideally do a negative split (2nd half of the race faster than the first)
  4. Break the hour mark
These are listed in order of likelihood. I've actually run a 10km non-stop in training, which means I can probably mentally and physically do it on Monday. Not going to be easy, especially at the start where there will likely be quite a bit of people to contend with.

The second of of these is also achievable. I've actually trained more up to this point (though not specifically for this race) than I have for any other event in recent times. My previous PB is approx. 1hr 05m which was done using a run\walk strategy. I generally find I'm faster using this approach, but hopefully I should be able to still acheive a PB by going non-stop.

The negative split I think could be tough. The idea behind this is so as not to set out too fast. I'm planning on sticking to a HR limit of 160bpm for the first half of the race as I normally do in training, but might just let that creep up a bit towards the end. I'd hope the last km for instance would be as fast as I can go (non-stop), so hopefully this goal is achievable.

Finally, I'd love to break the hour mark. This was actually a goal I wanted to break before the end of 2007, but obviously didn't achieve that. This is my first 10km race in 2008, so the first crack at it so to speak. Its probably doubtful, given the times I've been posting in training, but we can always hope.