Archive for February, 2017

Another week has passed by and now I am more focused than ever on training. I have signed up for yet another event and this time I am really moving out of my comfort zone. I have registered for The Stratford Sprint Triathlon on the 14th of May! (http://uktriathlon.co.uk/events/stratford-220-triathlon/) This is something I have had on my mind for a while. I love running, cycling and swimming, why not put them together in one event?

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Sprint Triathlon will be an excellent introduction to the sport. As the name suggests it is a quicker version than an Olympic event, only having a 400m swim, 18k cycle and 5k run. Now, each of these events on their own are pretty comfortable for me at my current level of fitness. The trick comes in doing them all together which is why I have tried to fit two disciplines into some of my training days. A run/ swim/ run on a Wednesday for example. I must admit though the thought of the transition scares me. Having to locate my bike in a sea of them and then manage footwear changes has got me watching “how to” videos on YouTube. To that end I have bought myself a Tri-suit. This enables me to do all three activities without having to change my clothes…. Bonus!

Although my times for running and cycling are improving (Switching to a cheap road bike instead of the mountain bike has seen times tumble) the swim is killing me. I was very late learning to swim and can only really do breast stroke. My time has improved a bit but anyone doing front crawl just breezes past. Time to learn a new stroke, me thinks.

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Picking up my race number at Registration (Picture credit Jessica Lissaman)

Speaking of improving times, Today was the second Draycote Water 10k of the year held by The Race Organiser (http://www.theraceorganiser.com/index.html) and thankfully this time the weather was much more favourable. With around 500 people taking part it was great to feel apart of something. I spend far too much time training alone, unfortunately. With improved weather conditions the general mood was far better and I carried this with me. Occasional glances at my TomTom Spark watch told me that my pace was good at Km 2 but I expected it to drop off as I progressed further. However the pace held and I finished the race with and average pace of 8:01m/ miles. This knocked 2 minutes off my previous personal best. I was ecstatic. After a winter nursing my Calf injury its rewarding to know that I am getting stronger.

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The first climb (Picture credit Jessica Lissaman)

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The finish line (Picture credit Jessica Lissaman)

When I started getting fit in the Late Summer of 2015 I never thought I would be entering events like this. I wasn’t even sure I could lose more than a couple of pounds but this race saw me finishing in a time of 50:03 according to the official timing equipment and Position 102, the 91st Male home and 21st in my age group out of 71! How far I have come! With this result and the PB for last week’s Parkrun I know that I can crack the Triathlon. I know I will never come first but I am constantly beating the guy I used to be hands down.

 

Happy Running.

Despite my fears in my last post the new training plan has fitted in brilliantly. Yes, it’s meant more time given up to exercise but, as I have no social life, it’s all good. The first step was putting it down on paper. I believe this is vital to anyone starting training as it shows the activities you are doing and let’s you make sure you are not doing the same things back to back. I also consider it a contract with yourself. Writing it down makes it real!


As you can see I have even found I could squeeze more in should I need to. For now though this is working that well that I have been able to squeeze in 3 swim sessions a week which will be vital as I have decided the next new activity I want to try is Triathlon. I hope to be competing (well, aiming for the middle of the pack) in the spring category. This involves a 400 m swim, 20 k bike and a 5 k run. I am fairly confident I can do this but haven’t a clue about things like transitions and the rule book looks really complex. Just another challenge though. 

Back to this week and I am pleased to announce a new PB for the Coventry Parkrun. I finally cracked the 24 minute barrier by clocking in at 23:53. A minor achievement considering I only really started running last June. 

Another piece of news is there is now a new bike in the stable. Buoyed by the thought of Triathlon, I thought it was time I got a race bike. Now this one really is a bargain bin special but, frankly, it’s all I could afford. My cousin has kindly donated so clip in pedals so it’s already had an upgrade though and it will be good enough for me. Took it for a spin out to Kenilworth on Sunday clocking up 26 miles or so and set PBs on most of the sections so it’s definitely faster than my mountain Bike already. 


Looking forward, this Sunday I will be running another 10k at Draycote water. Really hoping it stays dry after the last one but I will have fun either way. This may mean I swap parkrun for a bike ride Saturday. We will have to see. 

What ever you are doing this week I hope you find the fun in fitness. Take care. 

So, as my fitness has increased, I have found myself feeling like I am not doing enough of any one thing to stay fit for everything. This time last year this wasn’t a problem as all I did was cycling. If I was in the gym it was stationary bike or Spin class. If we had a rare sunny day it was back to the roads and trails.

As the year progressed though, I came to love running. Not just running though, distance running. Running a mile for me was a dream but now it’s like, a mile? That’s 8 minutes. That’s not training! As a result even 5k now feels like a cheat day.

So far that’s running and cycling, distances and time commitment increasing for both. If only it was just that though. As a result of a recurring calf injury I started seeing a physio. She basically told me all cardio had made my body enter “starvation mode”. As a result it had started cannibalising my lean muscles to preserve fat reserves resulting in weaker muscles. To rectify this I needed to both add strength training and take a rest day at least once a week. I had been running or cycling every day so this came as a blow. 

And now I want to add swimming. A brilliant full body workout. I’m not fast though so 1k is taking me 40 minutes. 

I work full time and am now well into my fitness instructor course so time is needed for revision etc. 

I know this sounds like an “oh poor me” post but, honestly, it’s not. I feel totally blessed that I am in a position to be even contemplating all this. The me of a year or so ago wouldn’t believe it’s possible. So from here on in it’s time to buckle down. If I have to train twice a day I will. Even jog to the swimming baths and back. I love training. It really is my life now. I cannot wait to be able to help others find this too! Am I addicted? Yes maybe a little but when I see the addictions other people have had I can’t help feeling this is one of the good ones.