A Novelty

This week I finally got through an entire weeks worth of training, and it felt like the first time for ages.

Following on from my knee injury, just to be training regularly again feels good and add to that training without pain or stiffness and then you have a real plus.

This weeks training was by no means a tough week, 3 runs, 2 of which were in zone 1 and the other at lowish pace, but they all felt good. The swim was enjoyable, especially as the water in the pool was warmer than it has been for ages. It is no real surprise that swimming seems easier when you aren’t feeling like you are freezing to death!

The one downside this week was the turbo session, it was a power test and the result was the same as the last one, in fact whilst the numbers were the same I felt worse doing it and actually struggled to hold a good pace, it felt as though I couldn’t find the right gear. I guess that having had the injury it should not come as a big surprise that the numbers were not brilliant, but even so I thought I had retained more power than I did.

So, all in all this week I hope marks a bit of a breakthrough as it should be the start of a return to normality and this means proper training and the start of the build towards next years races.

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An Easy Time Of It

Over the Christmas period my training was set up as unstructured, as a time to refresh myself both physically and mentally. On first reading this I thought I would probably just train like normal, but on thinking about it I decided to just do what I fancied, which is what it said.

From this I didn’t do anything for a couple of days, did an off-road run on Christmas Day morning and then on Boxing day a short turbo session.

What I have found is that taking the time off when it is scheduled is just as important as doing a big session, when you train I don’t think you always realise just how much tiredness you can accumulate.

To this end the Christmas period is providing me with an opportunity to do what I feel like and so when when we get into 2014 I am not starting the year shot to bits.

The only downside so far is that my local swimming pool is shut and so I need to find another one to go and do at least one swim session to keep me ticking over, who would have thought I would actively seek out a swimming pool!

So for now it’s off to eat some more, drink some more and generally enjoy myself and you should to!

Seat post Sunday – A Week In Review

I haven’t doen a review of a week for a while, and to be honest I haven’t been writing as much as I would like to, no excuses there just need to get on an d do it.

Back to this week, and unusually Monday was a rest day so that was good, gave me a chance to watch Watford being robbed at Brighton by a referee would couldn’t spot a ball in the goal.

Tuesday was swimming lesson night, now these lessons are group lessons, where you can do what you want and the coach just gives you advice on the areas you ask about. For me this is good as each week I can work on a specific area of the stroke and that is really helping.

Wednesday is turbo session night, and I think each week Mike tries to work out new ways of inflicting suffering, this week was intervals and you can guess it, yep, I was dripping with sweat by the end.

Thursday is supposed to be a run night, but this week I did Thursdays run and Fridays swim on the same night, the sessions separated by about an hour. The run was an easy 45 minutes, the biggest problem was dodging the trick or treaters who think that walking around in the dark somehow makes them visible. With the weather still being mild these evening runs are still reasonably pleasant.

The swim session ;ager on was good fun, I decided to take my fins with me and to use them to allow me to practice my technique. This idea worked really well, I was able to do 750m quite easily. But, the biggest plus was that my breathing was good on each length, always breathing both sides and this I think led to me finishing the session without having a blocked nose which normally happens when I swim, a major plus!

Friday night I went climbing, not something on the plan, but a sport I still enjoy and better than going to the gym to lift weights.

Saturday, the plan was to run off-road for an hour without taking a watch or heart rate monitor, and to see how far over or under the hour I was. Well, it turned out I went 8 minutes over, but to be honest it didn’t really matter as the run was good fun. I also took my GoPro with me, but as I only decided to take it at the last minute I found out the battery was nearly flat, it managed to record about 20 minutes.

Sunday, bloody Sunday (thanks Bono), this will be etched on my memory for the amount of issues I had with my seat post, it just kept dropping despite having been recently done up to the correct torque setting. After the third stop to fix it, I gave up and rode home. It was a shame as even though it was windy the sun was shining and I was having a good time out riding, I did manage to do an hour and a half, but was supposed to do at least 2.

There you have it, a whistle stop tour of my week, I am still enjoying the training and the only thing causing me any issues is that I can’t swim as well as I like, but, I am sure it will come.

It’s All Good Fun!

Well this week so far has been a marked improvement on last week.

Monday nights run was done with legs that were a little stiff from Sunday, and the heavy rain didn’t help but I did get out there and do it.

I went swimming on Wednesday, and this was by far my best swim, I have made a great stride forward in improving my breathing, I didn’t kick anywhere near as hard and so I was panting as much. I managed to slow my stroke down and bilateral breathing was in evidence and was used more than just going to one side. I felt pretty pleased with myself at the end, let’s hope the improvement keeps going.

Tonight I did my turbo session, and for a bit of fun I have made a time lapse video of it, probably not the most exciting film you will see, but it does show that just using a GoPro and iMovie even someone like me who has no video editing skills can produce a short film.

No More Boundaries Please!

Tonight was a turbo trainer session with a slight twist, fartlek training plus cricket.

Now I ahve done some fartlek while running but never really on the turbo and the added twist that the time to sprint etc was governed by the cricket!

The idea of the session was to do 15 minutes easy then 45 minutes of fartlek, the suggestion was to watch either football or rugby, then do a 1 minute sprint every time there is a throw in or line out and go for 5 minutes hard when there is a goal or a try.

In the absence of either football or rugby I decided to use T20 cricket, with my rules being 1 minute sprint for each boundary and 5 minutes hard for each wicket. The only rule was if I was sprinting etc if another event happened during that time I could ignore it.

I was certainly glad that my 15 minutes easy finished after the power play had finished as Hampshire were smashing boundaries like it was going out of fashion! So off I went spinning along at a minimum of 160W, then it happened a boundary, sprinting along at a minimum of 250W for the minute. Relax again, then a wicket went down so it was 5 minutes hard. The time was going along fairly quickly, broken up by the sprints, Hampshire were not losing wickets so no sustained efforts.A few more sprints and then I was down to the last two of the 45 minutes, and guess what, yep that’s right they lost another wicket, so to finish off with a hard set, to ensure fairness I did the entire 5 minutes.

Overall this was a really fun session and one that I will look forward to it being repeated, although next time I will try another sport, perhaps F1 I could do a sprint for each overtake, that would make for an easy session!

I would say to anyone, try this type of session it’s a lot of fun, yes it can be hard but then that’s part of the fun not knowing exactly when the next effort will be required.

Increase In Work

This last week has seen an increase in the amount of training I have been doing, and I have to say I have been enjoying it.

The week didn’t start in the best way as I was tired due to the excesses of a wedding and associated parties over the weekend, this tiredness was reflected in my Monday run, a 5km time trial that was actually a few seconds slower than the one I did a month earlier. On the plus side I felt much better at the end of it, I just wasn’t able to carry a lot of speed through the run.

The turbo session this week was great fun, pushing out the watts for 10 minutes intervals, certainly worked up a good sweat, in face I left a puddle on the floor of the garage.

Thursday nights run was a struggle, the heat made it really tough, I had heavy legs an only just got through the session at the correct pace. However, Saturdays run was brilliant, I took a caffeine drink before I went instead of my coffee, and it seemed to really work. I covered more distance in the time and set heart rate than ever before.

My swimming has not been a thing of beauty this week, and in fact it’s been a struggle. I discovered a real problem and that was that I was having issues when ever I took the fins off. I am now addressing this and hopefully over time it will improve.

As I said at the outset I am really enjoying having my program set by Mike of TriPerformance and I am sure overtime I will see and feel the benefits.

Over the next few weeks I will try and share how this is going and maybe some data to illustrate any points.

Until then I will carry on having fun and training.

Back In The Saddle

After yesterday I was not sure what I would feel like doing today, I planned to go swimming but due to it being very foggy I decided I didn’t want to go out again, SO I decided a session on the turbo trainer was in order.

Now, I have owned my turbo trainer for about 10 years or so and its a Tacx Basic. It does all the basic functions, time, speed, power, cadence etc and to be honest still works as well today as it did when I bought it off a friend all those years ago. The reason I mention my trainer is that I have often looked at those ones you can connect to your laptop and ride mountains etc and thought what a great idea. However, the downside to these is the cost, and in reality how often would you use it, for me not often enough to justify the cost. I actually enjoy turbo sessions just as long as they are not the only method of cycling.

So for tonight it was on with the cycling kit, into the garage and the cold onto the bike and start up the iPod. The turbo is the only place I listen to music whilst training, I don’t do it while running as for some reason I just can’t run relaxed listening to it.

The session itself was a relaxed one, never going above zone 1 and generally just spinning the legs to stretch them out, the 40 minutes seemed to go really quickly.

I feel the motivation has returned, so it’s onwards and upwards!