Monday, 10 September 2012

Where has the time gone?

I'm sitting here in my hotel room and wondering where the time has gone. It still doesn't seem like more than two blinks ago that I decided I was going to give up smoking and the following brainwave of completing a triathlon for charity.

Here I am with 13 days to go until the culmination of my quest to complete an Olympic distance triathlon in aid of Cancer Research UK.

I've spent a long time training for this and this is only a stepping stone in my bigger quest but more on that in the near future.

To date the time I have spent training consists of

Swim - 13.13 miles in 11 hours and 5 minutes burning 11220 kcal, the equivalent of 845 lengths of a 25m pool.

Bike - 330 miles in 19 hours and 49 minutes burning 22094 kcal, the equivalent of a tad more than a return journey from Doncaster to London.

Run - 108 miles in 22 hours and 46 minutes burning 18288kcal, the equivalent of just over four marathons.

Thats a total of 451 miles in 53 hours and 35 minutes or 2.23 days training at an average speed of 8.42mph.

This is staggering when you consider the last time I did any formative exercise was the London to Brighton bike ride in 2008 and considering all the injuries that I have had.

I'll freely admit to being a little nervous in the run up to the triathlon but this is surely only normal given there are 575 other people in my wave at the start. Thats 575 to swim with which is a lot of people. To date the most I have swum with is probably the 30 that were at the Hatfield triathlon in July. A bit of a difference. I hope there are mini waves within the wave.

Recap over with.

What have I been up to?

Erm probably not as much as I should have been doing if I'm being honest but I have still been logging the miles.

On Tuesday I had to go home for something and got back at 20:45 and thought balls to it and decided to go for a run. I left home at 9pm and it was pitch black. Well as pitch black as you can get living in a city. I rulked around my neighbourhood and completed the 6.18km in 44 minutes. I felt really good during the run which is amazing considering I had a commuters tea of McDonalds. Needs must and all that.

My thoughts on running in the dark are that it is very peaceful, eerie but peaceful. I'll have to get used to it as the nights are drawing in and I have lots of training to do over the winter months in preparation for my second season as a triathlete.

On Thursday I had a double session booked. My weekly swim and a running session with Karen Weir.

Being taught to run

I'd decided to book an hour with Karen (who is one of the RG Active coaches) as I have been struggling to meet with my PT up North as I've been exceptionally busy.

The hour with Karen was enlightening and I feel that I learnt a lot.

I won't bore you with specifics but in a nutshell.

  • There is nothing wrong with my forefoot striking run, Karen even commented how nice it looked.
  • How much you lean controls your speed.
  • Arms act like the pistons in an engine and the faster they move the faster your legs move.
  • I have to keep my upper body stiff and move my arms instead of twisting my body.
  • NEVER EVER contemplate switching to heel striking (as I forefoot strike) as it is less efficient and my body runs the way it is meant to.
  • Ditch my stability trainers after London and invest in a pair of neutral trainers but not some by Newton as I already forefoot strike.
The hour flew by and before I knew it it was time to head to the pool for a swim.

I felt like Austin Powers after the hour was up as I think I have finally found my running mojo. I have a new training plan which should make things more interesting over the coming weeks and months.

Now I just need to find my transition mojo. London is calling for me to put that demon to bed.

In total I ran just over 4km in the hour.

Swimming and learning something new

I thought I knew how to swim, well I do and I happen to think it is my strongest discipline but given my swimming upbringing this is hardly rocket science.

However I learnt something that blew my mind on Thursday thanks to another of the RG Active coaches.

Slower = Faster

What the heck, this does not make sense.

Stick with me. I decided to swim in the easier of the two sessions, that are run on a Thursday given I had just finished my hour long run and it was a decision that paid dividends.

I was happily swimming the laps prescribed by the coach and completing them well within the times set.

2 lengths (72m) in 1 minute and 13 when the allotted time was 2 minutes 20 and a similar pace for 4 lengths and was feeling pleased with myself when the coach asked me to swim 4 lengths relaxed.

I did as asked and completed the 144m in 2 minutes and 50 seconds.

He then asked me to swim like I normally would. 144m completed in 2 minutes and 35 seconds.

The coach then asked me how I felt about the two differing techniques.

In a word I was bollocksed after the second four lengths when I gave it my all and all for a measly 15 seconds (or 10 seconds / 100m). Hardly worth it in my eyes when I felt so good after the first 4. Slow and steady definitely wins the race when it comes to swimming. I'll be saving this for the triathlons in the future so that I can perform well on the bike and run. Conservation of energy and all that.

The session was topped off with relay races and I got really bad cramp. I don't think running then swimming agrees with me.

So all in all a productive Thursday and definitely a lot learnt. Proof that every day is indeed a school day.

After driving home on Friday and breaking my self imposed alcohol ban with a few cheekies in the pub. Well England were playing after all. I decided to go for a run and test out my new technique on a continuous run on Saturday.

Cue my first sub 35 minute time for 5km in a few weeks. I felt nice and relaxed during the run and tried to remember everything Karen had taught me. I still need to work on my distance endurance but even this was better. Gone are the days of 4/2 lampposts. Now I walk when I feel like it. The 4/2 worked for me but now it's time to listen to my body.

Plan for this week is to do the exercises prescribed by Karen daily and mix the running up with some shorter and faster sessions.I should've run tonight but had to work late. Never mind there is always tomorrow.

I can't wait until Thursday to use my new swim paddles and try out my new goggles and I can't wait until Saturday to put in a solid 40 km + ride on the bike.

Then just some simple runs next week and a swim or two before D-Day.


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

Thanks for reading,


PS sorry for the long blog but I had a lot to share.

1 comment:

  1. Good that you are logging the miles. Lots of really good shoes out there for when you ditch the stability trainers. Just take it easy with your new shoes and don't rush.