Friday, 22 August 2008

Like pedaling through treacle

Great training week, with some quality miles on the bike (gym and home) and less pain in my feet. I've clocked some endurance work with 1 hour rides and have hit steady state around 140 (Zone 2), so am feeling a bit smug. The best had to be coming in from the local ride and proclaiming to my wife, 'I am SO fit'! Well, at least compared to the group that rode on that day. My climbing was great, and I just felt one with the bike. Not the Zen type thing, but literally I was part of the bike. My reflexes were spot on, and even up the technical hill section I lasered the line with a perfect cadence.
We have another full house over the bank holiday weekend, so will try to watch the alcohol intake. The goal is to hit a brick on Saturday (tomorrow) and then a long run on Sunday. Bull is over for dinner, so should be able to shame him into the Sunday slog.
Thats it for now, see you in a few days.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Thats the MTB sorted...

As the post states, the Kona is finally back. Or is it? After shelling out for the BB and the Headset I thought £80 all in, but after the initial shock of £135 (down to £105 as I am a good customer) I wonder is it really? Without getting too techno geek on you, the BB is an ISIS drive which is normally bombproof (its all relative, but if you huck off 6ft drops nothing is) and with quality comes money. I plonked down for a Race Face IRB to ensure longevity, and the headset was a quality brand from England. But the labour sent it up the chute. But at least its ok, and should last a few of the UK winters.
My training has been ok, with a bit more cycling and swimming and less of the foot pounding. I've seem to have a bit of an issue with soreness after the run in the sole of my left foot. I've tried some new laces and have bought some decent shoes for work (which will stay at the office) so hope that helps. The laces are elastic and have given me a few strange (and knowing) looks on the train.
Struck up a conversation with some people at the pool who kept going on about 'Total Immersion' swimming. Any thoughts on this? Is it good for open water? Till next time....

Monday, 11 August 2008


What is happening? One day I feel like I am on the top of the training game, and today....

I spent the weekend watching the Olympics and just stretching. I went for a quick ride on Saturday as I needed to go into the office in the morning. Quick cadence with a big climb. My rhythm was good, and as I started the climb I saw a rider about 1/4 mile ahead. Target. I maintained my gearing, and sat in the saddle for the climb. I got him pretty quickly and then passed him and he got out of the saddle and started to climb out. I stayed in the saddle and spun, and matched him at the top. We spoke briefly, and he stayed on my wheel for most of the ride into town. I could only guess how long he was out, but he stayed on my wheel as I maintained a strong cadence back into T Wells. I don't know when he left, but I took a glance and noticed he was gone. HR never pushed into zone 3, and I felt really good.

Then, I just watched TV. I made a pact with myself to only stretch on Sunday. We took the family to the pool and just had fun on Sunday. It was great to see the kids in the pool. Boy is just fearless and really is begging for lessons. The girls were bold and wanted to stay in the pool for hours. They slept great that night.

So, today's Monday and that means Swim Training. And I am here on the blog. Can you guess why? It's because I don't want to go. Yep, you guessed it my motivation is nil. And I don't know why. My feet (arch) are killing me on my left foot, that's one of the excuses. But deep down, I just don't want to do this on my own. I've always enjoyed the sense of oneness that you got by yourself, but now that I am really making progress I want someone to be with me to tell me how much better I am. Glory Hound. So, if anyone can give me some Silver Bullet to get rid of this 'buddy' mentality please let me know.

I also checked the results for the London Tri Olympic distance held on Sunday. They are already accepting applications for 09, and I thought why not? However, the £78 entry shocked the hell out of me. Is that the norm for Olympic distances? Maybe I should look at Windsor or Eton next year.

Ok, that's me out. No more stuck in the mud Otter. Tomorrow its pool in the afternoon, followed by the Tonbridge - Home run. Wish me luck.

Friday, 8 August 2008

30 metre pool?

Work has started to creep into my training lately, so its been interesting trying to juggle the training and staying focused on my job. At least my family are supporting me.
So, I had to work late Thursday on our Healthy Campus initative and then as I was late in London I stayed overnight in Halls and opened the Sports Centre in the morning. This would normally give me a chance to use my local pool, but it was being used by the Water Polo Club so I tried a different pool.
I walked in and was told that I only had until 8pm. It was 7.23pm so I thought, sure no problem. Went in and found one of the busiest pools I have ever seen. 3 lanes roped off, with a Slow, Med and Fast. I went in Med (along with 10 other souls) and started my 5 lap warmup. Strange, but I felt so heavy in the water. Maybe the busy pool? Anyway, then on to paddles and working on long, slow, technique strokes. Still I felt very heavy. What was going on? Well, as the title says..... I left the pool at 8.10p and thought my lats were going to burst. As I left, I happened to look at the advert for the site. 30 metres! So that was that. What a difference 5 extra metres makes.
And here I was thinking about London for next year. Maybe a bit more practice in open water.

Its been very cool to see some other blogs about guys who have completed triathlons or are preparing. One madman (WildWill) has completed the ULTIMATE. My respect for anyone who has completed any Ironman is growing by the minute. He also happened to give me some of the best advice for improving time in your training. REST.

Thats it. Family are amazing, and really do deserve some credit for letting me get on with training and supporting me when I want to just laze about. Ki has been great and I hope she realises it.

Easy weekend this week, with some light cycling on Saturday and maybe a pool session on Sunday if possible. 5 metres! Think about being in the water for 2.4 miles! No rest in the open water, eh?

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Running down a dream

Well, I have kept it up and have been doing the doubles regularly. Today was Swim at lunch and then running in the evening. The pool was crowded, but I still managed to get in a medium lane without too many issues. I set my goal at 10 lengths warm up, then paddles for 6 lenghts, 4 lenghts with just pull bouy and then 4 on my own. Finshed up with 6 lenghts of just long, slow swim. This was truly a record as I got a good 30 minute workout and felt pretty strong throughout. Technique went to hell during the warmup, but came back at the paddles.

Then, it was the run in the evening. This is the hill one, with a gentle run in to town. 4 miles plus and I knocked it out in 34 mins. Heart rate was through the roof, but I did. And felt good in the process.

I also won the bid for the tri shorts, so am bit stoked about that. £62.99 retail and I got them for £23. Let hope they aren't used.

Thats it for now, I'll try to holla back at you later this week.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Smells like teen spirit

So, spent most of last week working on swimming (I know, why?) even though its only 15% of the Triathlon. My running has really felt good lately, as I have started to fall into a rhythm during breathing. I also have been doing a bit more with my stride and relaxing my foot. For some reason I have been curling my toes whilst going uphill. Don't really have a clue as to why. But at least I have corrected it.
But enough about that. Training is training, and I have been keeping it up and know that it is going to make a difference. Bull went to the pool with me today, and did make a rather good comment on how much better my technique was (easy when you start from the bottom). Of course, I jumped in the pool when we got there pumped up by my improvement and went like a bat out of hell for the first 3 laps and spent the next 3 minutes trying to slow my heart rate down. So I now have that to worry about during the race, as I am sure the moment will catch up with me and make lose my concentration and just sprint off. But I have been trying to keep my strokes per length at 24 -26. If I can continue to 'go long', I should be ok.
Want to see a grown man cry? On Saturday morning I got ready for the show and go with the MTB group. All dressed up, and sure enough a flat on my rear tyre. So much needs to be done to the bike (Bottom Bracket replacement, Headset adjust/replace) and then to see a massive split down the sidewall was just the last straw. So, I went back in and promised myself a swim later that day. But, that didn't happen. We spent most of the day playing with Mabel.
Spent Sunday at Bedgebury. Our annual pass has expired so, went with Bull and his boy. Boy rode his bike without the stabilizers like a pro. He is just starting to get the hang of starting off without a push. Flats and downhills he's fine. Ups are difficult for most people my age, so when he is able to start off on a big un' then we need to look at getting him a cycling coach.
This week sees me ramping up the intensity, with M, T, W, F, S, Su getting a double. I've also put a bid in for some tri shorts, so I don't have to wear the dreaded Speedo. I'll know in a day or so whether I have won.
Adios for now, might be back at ya on Wednesday evening.