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Monday, 27 August 2012

T - (just under) 4 weeks and counting

Apologies for not blogging for two weeks. I was at a festival last weekend and hence didn't do much exercise apart form exercising my right arm with bicep curls. As you can see from the photo below. I managed to punish my liver. Everyone needs a blow out every once in a while.

The result of a days drinking with two of my friends.
It's not big or clever. 
In the last two weeks I've done hardly any exercise because of the festival, being up and down the country for work and the awful weather. In total I've managed two runs, three bike rides and a swim (my first swim this month).

The rulk on 14th August was further than I had managed since I developed peroneal tendinitis. I rulked 7.23km in 55:10. Not bad considering it was so hot after work that I nearly didn't go for a rulk.

On the Sunday of the frestival I was invited to go and photograph the Jenson Button Trust Triathlon at the Luton Hoo Hotel for RG Active and Quest Sportswear. I had a really good time taking photos of the triathlon as it combined two things I really enjoy, those being triathlon and photography.

Some of my photos form the event can be seen below.

Jenson Button 
Jessie Michibata



I am really impressed with the photos I took and so is the rest of the World as I have had over 29000 photos views in just over 24 hours thanks to a RT by Jessie Michibata who is Jenson Button's girlfriend. This has blown my previous record out of the water. 



This week has again proved difficult to train due to work commitments. I was meant to go for a run on Tuesday but was too tired after setting off for work at 04:00. Then on Wedesday I was meant to swim at Ham Lake after work but that wasn't possible as I had to stay late at work.

On Thursday I had to have a restructure to my training as I've done no swim training this month. I went to the RG Active swim at Hampton Pool and as expected I struggled with the swim. It started off well enough but as usual I went off to hard and ended up struggling through the rest of the swim. I even had to miss a set to go to the toilet to sing to the toilet bowl. In total I completed just over 2km which was what I wanted to do.

Saturday consisted of a 16km bike ride and I got drenched as the heavens opened. I was planning on a longer ride but the rain cut that short. I set off and it was sunny but after 10km it started raining and by 11km it was bordering on a monsoon. I spent the next 5km worrying about my phone, which I had tucked in my bib shorts to protect from the water.

Sunday consisted of another bike ride. Again it started to rain so I cut the ride short. I only managed 13km but my average speed was the best that I have managed since I started this quest, which I was pleased with.

On Monday I had planned a brick as I didn't do the one I had planned for Saturday (damned weather). As soon as I put on my cycling clothes, it started to rain again. I think there is a recurring theme for the weekend. I decided I had had enough of getting rained on while riding my bike so decided to do my bike training on my turbo in the dry. I then followed this with a 7.75km run. This run was further than the one earlier this month. so the 10km leg of my triathlon is looking more and more achievable.

Shock horror I actually enjoyed the run today, I just ran until I felt like stopping and paid no attention to time or lampposts. My first interval was nearly 1km. This a marked improvement on the previous couple of runs which I have struggled with.

The last two weeks have seen me doing a lot of soul searching with regards to triathlon. Do I aim for Outlaw next year or will it be a step to far.

I have also been debating following Andy Holgate's example and turning this quest into a book and am thinking about contacting a publisher. Whats the worst that could happen? I even have a title worked out.

I have also completed my initial design of the trisuit for HHHO and am just waiting on confirmation from Georgie Moseley that she likes it. As soon as I have this I will share the design with you and then proceed to getting it manufactured.

I have something planned for my next blogpost and just hope I have enough time to turn this idea into reality.

I also have some details about the London Triathlon, I am competitor 8763 and will be starting my triathlon in the wave that leads at 14:05 on Sunday 23rd September. I can't wait to get to that startline.

Remember you can still sponsor me via Justgiving or by texting NSMK50 £2 to 70070.

Thanks for reading,

Michael



Sunday, 12 August 2012

Another week of learning and inspiration

Well this week it was time for me to get back in the saddle do to speak.

I hadn't done any training since my triathlon. That all changed this week and so far I've done a lot of walking, some rulking and a brick session. I don't think I'll do more training today but who knows.

Walking and people inspiring me

On Tuesday I went to watch the Men's triathlon at Hyde Park. What an inspiration the athletes were completing the 54.5 km swimbikerun in 01:46:25. That equates to an average speed of 30.8km/h, I'm amazed people  don't use triathlon as a form of transport in London as this is quicker than I've ever moved in London. It really is amazing the punishment they put their bodies through in search of athletic perfection, after all Jonny Browlee had to have medical attention before the medal ceremony. Some of my photos can be seen below.

J Brownlee leading on the bike on the first lap
A Brownlee, J Brownlee and J Gomez on their first run lap
A Brownlee on his third lap of the run
J Brownlee on his fourth lap
I went to this event with Anne, Laura, Miles and Simon who I train with at RG Active. See what I said about them making you feel welcome. I spent most of the nearly two hours perched on a bin so I could get some good photos.

After the event myself and Anne went to the pub but managed to get lost en route. We were going to meet Stuart Amory who is a PT that Anne follows on Twitter as it was his birthday. After finding a pub we then met with Stuart and what an inspiration he is. He trains numerous celebrities and helped me realise that what I am doing is amazing.

I never imagined nine months ago I'd be doing triathlons or having nearly 7000 people read about my exploits. But I am and I'm thrilled by this journey and it's not going to stop anytime soon.

After we left the pub we walked to Victoria. I think I must have walked about 6 miles during my day out at the triathlon.

Rulking

On Wednesday after work I went for my first run in 2.5 weeks and I couldn't believe how much I hurt for having the break. I was in bits at the end of my run. My 5km time was (just) under 35 minutes so the time off hasn't slowed me much. This was the first time I had woken with aching quads in a long time. Ah well. What doesn't kill you and all that. So...............

On Thursday I went for another rulk after work. I increased my distance for this rulk as I realised my Olympic distance triathlon was just over 6 weeks away and I have some work to do on my distance.

To this end I came up with training plan and as long as I manage to stick to it. I think I'll be fine. But then again I might be wrong I might boink on the run. I think I'm stubborn enough for this to not happen though.

My training plan. Hope I manage to stick to it.
Anyway I digress. The rulk on Thursday was not very pleasant due to the pain in my quads and the heat in London (it was almost unbearable and colleagues said I was mad for going running) but I completed 6.34km in 45 minutes and that included my warm down walk. Progress made.

Brick

On Saturday I was performing a masterclass in procrastination for some reason. When I finally got my ass in gear.

I went to the Post Office to pick up my KT Tape and so far am thoroughly impressed with it apart from having to shave my legs so the tape lasts as long as possible.

The tape on my Achilles has so far lasted 24 hours and that has included a bike run brick a shower a nights sleep and a bath.

My achilles all strapped and the tape has lasted longer than 24 hours

More digression. Apologies. Back to my bike run brick. Due to time constraints brought about by my faffing I went on my usual 20km route and completed this in 00:45:49 which is an improvement of 00:01:55 compared with last week. I spent a lot more time using my tribars. And they felt really natural as my confidence grew. My average speed was 26.7km/h which is my best effort to date. When I got home I quickly transitioned into my running shoes and set off on my first run without my Achilles strap (as I now had KT Tape on). I really was nervous about this and thought my Achilles would protest but to my surprise the pain was no worse than usual.

After about 1 mile my old friend the muscle pain outside my shins returned. Damn it I had forgotten my Compressport Calf Guards. I didn't wear them during Thursdays rulk and assumed I was over this niggle but my body had other thoughts. Rather than push things I immediately made a beeline for home as I didn't want to injure myself. It turns I did right as I woke today with no pain.

A summary of things I leant this week

  • A break from running hurts your body.
  • KT Tape (although a tad expensive) is so much better than other brands of kinesiology tape due to its stickiness.
  • I need to wear my calf guards when running as they seem to hold my muscles together and stop pain.
  • Ali Brownlee is amazing at punishing himself.
Ali on his last lap looking a bit tired but who can blame him
  • Stu Hayes was amazing during the bike leg of the triathlon and seemed to appreciate the cheering from the crowd in Hyde Park.
Stu Hayes thanking the crowd with a fistpump
  • The generosity of strangers is amazing. Thanks to Duncan Bannatyne and his #tad trend on Twitter and subsequent RT I have a new follower who sponsored me. Touched.

  • I have a positive outlook on my quest which can inspire people and that in itself inspires me to complete my quest.
Remember you can still sponsor me via Justgiving or by texting NSMK50 £X to 70070.

Thanks for reading,

Michael

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Less than 50 days to go.......

Well in 49 days I will have completed my Olympic distance triathlon in London.

Bit daunting that considering when I started this blog it was 237 days away. Where has the time gone?

I'm not worried in the slightest as I know I'm stubborn enough to complete it.

Since my triathlon I have been finding it really difficult to motivate myself into training. This isn't due to laziness but is mostly due to me being stupidly busy this week.
  • On Monday I drove to London so didn't train.
  • On Tuesday I drove back home so didn't train.
  • On Wednesday I went to the Canoe Slalom K1 final at Lee Valley so that meant a drive down and back up in one day, but I had  an awesome time visiting the venue which I managed the construction of.
  • On Thursday I had a days holiday to recover but flew around the North doing bits and bats. More on this later.
  • On Friday after work I managed to do my first bike ride since my triathlon, again more on this later.
  • On Saturday I went to watch the Ladies triathlon in Leeds and then had to do some photography in the afternoon.
  • And finally today I had house chores to do and the day disappeared.
Thursday was a hectic day even though I had the day off from work. I had a dentist visit in the morning as I had been suffering with toothache and then I went to buy a balance board as my PT said it would help strengthen my weak ankles and this was before I had my double falls during the triathlon.

I then drove to Nottingham to visit TFN and as usual I got a superb service from the guys there. It is amazing the quality of service you get in this shop. It is no wonder that the store have been voted retailer of the year for every year since 2007 by 220 Triathlon.

I went to buy some tribars with my birthday money from my Grandma. The staff in the shop fitted them for me there and then and let me try them out before I purchased them, how good is that?

They even videoed me using them so I could check my position. Like I said amazing service.


video

After I had selected my tribars I then decided to buy an aero bottle as during the triathlon I really struggled with drinking whilst on the bike. I didn't feel very stable reaching for my bottle while going at speed. At least with this new bottle I can drink while on the move.

My new aero set up
I then drove home with the intention of going out on my bike and following this with a run however two of my friends were competing in the Canoe Slalom C2 final of the Olympics. What an emotional roller coaster the final was. They ended up winning gold. I was a wreck after this and the brick didn't happen.

On Friday I managed to go out on the bike and felt really good.  I tentatively started to use my tribars and quickly learnt that the slightest movement makes a lot of difference to steering. I thought I would have beaten my PB for my 20km route and would have had it not been for two sets of traffic lights that I get caught at. The tribars felt good but I felt like they limited my top speed on a downhill section as I was lacking power or felt I was.

Saturday was spent watching the Ladies Olympic Triathlon. What an amazing race Lucy Hall had. She owned the swim and bike legs, she worked so hard I am not surprised she looked in pain on the run. I think she could have a great future ahead of her. I was gutted for Helen Jenkins at the end but the heart and grit shown by her in finishing fifth whilst carrying an injury was an inspiration.

LOCOG's tagline of "Inspire a Generation" is really exceptionally fitting given the performance Team GB are having during these Olympics. Some of the medals we have won have been amazing. If the next generation aren't inspired by this I have no idea what it will take. I am loving every second of the Olympics and am proud to have worked on them.

I can't wait to go and watch the Mens triathlon on Tuesday in Hyde Park. It's going to be immense. Hopefully I'll manage to get some really good photos that I can share with you all.

I also intend on getting back to my training next week. Unfortunately swimming is off the cards as I won't have access to a car (so won't be able to go to either of the RG Active swim session. That means I am limited to running which is good as it is definitely my weakest discipline if we exclude the fourth discipline of triathlon which is transition, which I need to practice.

I need to go to the local playing fields to practice my swim bike transitions.I need to perfect the technique of having my shoes already clipped to the bike.

I hope I have found a product which will mean my bike run transition will be quicker. KT Tape is meant to be beneficial for achilles tendinitis and it is waterproof so I should be able to wear it from the start of a triathlon.

Now I just need perfect running and biking without socks and not getting blisters and then my transitions will be speedy quick.

I have preregistered for an iron distance triathlon next year, which seems a big step but I know I want to complete one. Next years triathlon wish list is as detailed below

March 2013 - triathlon training camp in Majorca
May 2013 - IM 70.3 in Majorca (possibly depending on flights etc..)
April / May 2013 - IM 70.3 or middle distance triathlon in the UK if Majorca is too expensive.
June 2013 - GE Blenheim Triathlon as it looked beautiful this year
July 7th 2013 - Outlaw triathlon. The race I have preregistered for.
July 2013 - Hatfield Triathlon (the one which started it all)
September 2013 - Either London or Doncaster triathlon
October 2013 - Kona (yeah right I can dream)

In 2014 I want to do a full Ironman triathlon. I know it's the same distance as Outlaw but it's an official Ironman.

Remember you can still sponsor me via my Justgiving page or by texting NSMK50 £X to 70070.

Thanks for reading,

Michael