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!