First blog post in a long time – and a lot has changed. As those of you who follow my twitter feed will know, whilst out in Russia I got stuck there thanks to the volcano, meaning I was out there and missed over 2 complete weeks of training. 10 days was borderline dangerous, 16 days was bad, meaning I lost a lot of fitness, strength and endurance, for what I found out now was essentially a wasted trip; but the less said about that chapter of my life the better.
So for now, that means I have to try and recover what I have thrown away. The main problem I have is that the Fred Whitton is on Sunday. Last weekend Mike, Andy and I went to the Lakes and did the course over 2 days, camping overnight at roughly half way. Two 4 and a half bike days after over 2 weeks completely off was not good! The first day I felt terrible, but thankfully I felt a lot better on the 2nd day, and managed to recover some sort of fitness. It’s nice to know that I still recover quickly.
The weekend gave me some fitness back, and a big bike week, and another planned big double day today and tomorrow should hopefully get something back. Having lost some of my top end power, I have fitted a compact, and hopefully once I am used to that I should be able to get round the course ok, and with no walking!
The other 2 sports pose a bit of a problem. After the Fred Whitton, I have a Man Tri training weekend, of 3 days in the Peaks which should be pretty good, then I will do a run specific week to pick that up and then it is the Beaver Half Ironman Triathlon.
With a swim specific week after this in June sometime, and some more solid hours, hopefully I should be OK and not lose too much fitness for Switzerland.
Anyway, for now it is time for some food, then get out on the bike for a few hours while the weather is good. Will hopefully have something up after the Fred.
Wow, yes it has been a very long time since my last blog post! It has been a busy time, a trip to Russia, sorting out another trip, catching up with friends, work getting busy and an increased training schedule mean that life has been busy! But it is better than being bored!
I suppose now is a good time to be blogging as annoyingly I am ill, so have lost all excuses for not blogging! It appears that a weekend in Manchester catching up with mates, going out, drinking, little sleep and not eating properly now has adverse effects on me! So my body has decided to punish me with an illness. Thankfully at the moment, it is nothing too bad. I managed to bash out a swim this morning and weights, though am switching tonight from a run to an early night. Hopefully this can nip it in the bud and keep it at a sore throat and headache and let me get back to training as soon as possible. I would much rather miss one training session than a few and a race, or not be in decent shape at the first race of the season!
Speaking of races, this weekend means Ribby Hall Triathlon! It has been a long time since I have competed, and am looking forward to testing my form and getting the Zipps out of hibernation! A little bold, but I am going for the win in M20-24 (even though there is no official category), as it is run by the same people as Fleetwood triathlon and should have a similar field. Timewise, close to an hour would be good, as I don’t think I quite have the speed to go under the hour at this point. Could be a good race though, and if there is little wind it will be fast.
Training is going well. Running is slowly starting to increase, and I am feeling fairly comfortable, though need to start getting another run in to get my fluidity back. Hoping to get some Newtons at Easter, so hoping this will help a lot! Cycling and swimming are all going well. Lots of riding in the Lakes has paid dividends, and I am feeling a lot stronger, though need more practise at long rides to get my nutrition and pacing sorted, it was all over the place last 100k+ ride I did, with dire consequences! Swimming is going well too, and is slowly starting to click with some reasonable mileage. My times are certainly down anyway.
One major difference I have noticed is my strength. It appears that all the weight training is beginning to pay off, and I am feeling a lot stronger. Not only am I lifting more in the gym, I am a lot stronger on the bike. I did Hardknott Pass at the weekend, the steepest road in England, and was oh so close to getting up until my back wheel spun out! Not bad for a standard chainset! I will be switching to a compact in a few weeks in preparation or the Fred Whitton, and it will be nice to have to option for either one. Thankfully, the longer runs have kept my weight down, and have reduced my body’s annoying tendency to bulk up at the sight of a dumbell!
The next blog will be a lot sooner (promise!) and will be a (hopefully good!) review of Ribby Hall. Might get my training plans up at some point too!
Wow it’s been a long time since my last post! In all fairness, I have been burning the candle at both ends a bit! I’ve set up my own web development company (http://www.condondesigns.co.uk – nice little plug there!), which I have been getting sorted, doing some work for that and developing the company website, which has to be a good one! On top of that I am in work doing long hours there as I attempt to build up some time for all my holidays and have a pretty packed training schedule! Anyway, enough whining.
It’s hard to believe that a) 3 weeks have gone, and b) I have only been on the plan for 3 weeks! I have got myself into a nice little routine now, with early morning starts, and double sessions most days. Compared to this time last year, I am logging massive weeks, and with plenty of room to increase it. More importantly I am holding up well doing this! Weights and yoga seem to be holding off any injury (touch wood!) and despite a few niggles, which I think is mainly down to the cold, I feel pretty good. Moving my long run to Wednesday has given me room to either recover properly on Sunday or put in another longish bike, and over the next few months, this should give me the option to do some mega weekends! The only problem I can see is trying to do 3 hour runs having done a swim in the morning and then a full day at work! Thankfully with plenty of time to build up and flexi time, I should be able to juggle it fairly well.
The concentration over the last few weeks has been keeping hold of the good work I did in Lanzarote. And I am pleased to say that thankfully, I seem to have done just that. Whilst I am a bit tired, I still feel good in all 3 sports. My swimming has had the biggest improvement and 3 swims a week have meant that I have lost very little feel since camp. I still feel strong in the water, even when tired and feel my stroke is a lot better. Last week I had one of those moments where it all falls together and it just felt great and I was motoring! And I even managed to throw in some consecutive tumble turns too! Though the direction I tend to push off in is a bit suspect….
Running is a similar story, and I am feeling fluid in my long runs, and just need more work to build my endurance. I have noticed a worrying trend over the last week where my HR has been about 10 beats lower than it should be. Now either I have got extremely fit (unlikely), my strap is too loose (tightening today confirmed that isn’t true) or I am very fatigued. This is possible, and I have also had a big calorie reduction as of late, which I suspect could be playing a part. If it is still like this at the start of my next block then it will need further investigation. The good news is that my times are still pretty much the same, so performance hasn’t dropped.
Cycling has been all about Fred Whitton training. I am doing this with a few guys from work, and it’s fair to say they aren’t as fit as me, so want to view the course first, and are more realistic, so know how hard it is going to be! Either way, it has meant that every Saturday we have/will be nipping to the Lakes to do some recce training, which is a great motivator and help to get me out on some really tough long rides. Though the views are certainly worth the pain:
Anyway here are the totals for weeks 2 and 3
- Swim – 7.5k
- Bike – 147k
- Run – 30.5k
- Swim – 7.5k
- Bike – 148k
- Run – 30.2k
Some nice totals, especially for this early on! A benefit of this increased training, as well as sticking mainly to a Paleo diet, with the odd binge, has been a change in my body shape, but a good one. I have slimmed down considerably, and lost the majority of my winter blubber, and am now close to a good summer shape. I have also lost a lot of excess bulk, mainly thanks to my running, from my shoulders especially. I have an uncanny ability to bulk up when not training properly, be it fat or muscle, but thankfully I find it easy enough to control.
This week is more of the same, building up for a good solid 10 days of training, including a very tough Lakes ride at the weekend. Then next Thursday I am off to Russia to see the girlfriend! This will be the end of 4 and a half weeks of solid training, and will give me a few days off, or a change to recover and enjoy a bit of a life outside tri, before I knuckle down for another solid 5 weeks of training. I won’t see the major benefits of training for another couple of months, but right now I am feeling very good, in very good shape and looking forward to the next 20 weeks before Switzerland!