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Sunday, 31 December 2006

Festive Season 2006

Ho Ho Ho - I had the flu!!

Marvellous. I took the family up to North Lincolnshire to stay for a week with the in-laws in a lovely cottage in the countryside, lovely and relaxing. I went for a run on 23rd with my sister-in-law, felt great, just a gentle 5 and half miles. On Christmas eve I went a little further, a 6.5 mile run, time of 48 mins 40 seconds, which I was very pleased with. That night I started feeling ill, and did not sleep, only to eventually wake up Christmas morning feeling like Dr. Death had visited me! Then alomng came a cough and fever and that was it, until now. Sunday 31st!! I feel better now, cough has gone, but I am still a little drained. I have not done any exercise and am just completely resting until I am right. Probably not back on my bike until Tuesday, back to work then. Might go for a gentle 15 minute jog tomorrow, but I will need some more sleep before I do that.
I lost a lot of weight as I was not eating, so need to get that back a little. I was under 14 stone 2 days ago. Weighed myself this morning and back to 14 st 4lbs which is ok for now. Yes I will want to shed a few more punds before June but I wantt to do it the healthy way!!
So for those of you reading my blog I wish you all the best for 2007, I'm really looking froward to a healthy and fun-filled year. And can't wait to get stuck into my triathlons. Hope you had a better Christmas than me.
Best Wishes!
Steve

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Friday, 22 December 2006

1500m swim time

Did 1500m this morning, 60 lengths. 32 mins 42 secs. Not fast I know, but was a nice gentle swim. Just to make sure I have the stamina to go the distance. No worries!
Will be looking to get some coaching in January and possibly join a tri club.
Zoom tri club in Bournemouth looks ideal and is probably just the thing I need to improve my times and to enhance my enjoyment of triathlon. Training can be a very lonely pursuit.

Zoom tri club website

Thursday, 21 December 2006

Another day of rest!!!

Decided to relax today and lay off, as legs are still a little sore, give them chance to fully recover. Cycled to work, very easy, as it was damn cold, minus 3 and very foggy.
Good recovery ride, getting legs moving again, as good as complete rest. No run at lunchtime, determinedto rest and take it easy for a few days. Swim tomorrow and gentle bike to work, nothing strenuous.

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Day of Rest

No bike or run today. I feel a little tired, and my calves are sore. So an unscheduled rest day will do me more good.
Nice to have a rest, and will come back stronger tomorrow and day after.

Swam at lunchtime. 50 minutes of slow up and down, concentrating on head position, and lengthening my body, extending arms, and more rotation. Felt better. Smoother through the water. Kick better also.
More of same on Friday.

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Personal Best

5km run at lunchtime, did not want to go. Same route as the Poole Park 5k which was last March/April. I did that race in just over 25 minutes. Today I clocked 23 mins 40 secs. Very pleased. Didn't warm up enough either and didn't push as hard as I could have. But very pleased with time. In 6 months I want to be near to 20 minutes. On schedule me thinks!
Went to Wareham this morning for a swim, just trying to get my body position good in the water, using a pullbuoy for support, keep my bottom half of body as high in water as possible, body in a straight line. NOT easy, I need some coaching!!! I ain't gonna get any quicker on my own.
Cycle to and from work, easy riding. Rest tonight. I'll need it!

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Monday, 18 December 2006

Training today

Good day today.
Cycle to and from work - 7.5 miles there. 8.5 miles back. approx 20 mins and 25 mins respectively, depending on traffic and lights. Easy ride this morning. Not nice at night, but keeps me focussed on riding in traffic and calls for good bike handling.

Swim - lunchtime. Good session. 1 hr 10 in the pool. first half - drills focussing on body position, I sink too much and my body is not straight enough. Need to get my head lower, looking down and pushing down with my chest and keeping solid core muscles. Second half swam lengths, easy, trying to focus on smooth stroke, head position and rotation. Felt better, but still slow. No worries, it will come. Note to self - Patience!!

Gym - 20 mins warm up on treadmill. 10 km/hr gentle pace.
20 mins on rower - 2.5 minute intervals, full out. Covered 5000m. Felt very good. Recovery strong and last interval was very strong. h/r rate reached 169 bpm. Felt I had more in me as well.
weights and stretches, chest and arms.
20 mins on treadmill, 12.2 km/hr, steady. Stopped when starting to tire slightly. h/r at 154bpm consistent.
Good session, and starting to feel strong. Will extend length of workouts in the New Year. For now, just happy to maintain good cardio level, and build strength.
Note to self - don't overdo it.

Sunday, 17 December 2006

2007 Races planned!

Fast Twitch and Concept Sports Events

1st April – Hungerford Tri - Sprint
22nd April – Tidworth Tri - Sprint
6th May –
Dorchester Tri - Sprint
8th July –
Bournemouth International Tri - Olympic Distance
12th August – Swanage Classic Tri - Olympic Distance
16th September – Littledown Tri - Sprint

New Forest races – Beacon Leisure

17th March – Duathlon - r/b/r
29th April - Lymington Tri - Sprint
15th July –
New Forest Super Sprint Tri
29th July – Totton tri - Sprint
14th October – Duathlon -Short distance

UK Triathlon

13th May – Stratford Tri - confirmed entry
1st September –
South Coast Tri - Olympic distance - confirmed entry
30th September – Warwickshire tri - Sprint

Other organisers

3rd June – Blenheim Tri( unless I can find an Olympic distance tri)
17th June –
UK Half Ironman - confirmed entry

Before the tri season starts I will fit in some 10k and 5k run races, just to use as a gauge for my running. I also plan on adding a couple of cyclo sportives in there, to add to endurance training.

Full week of training this week, pool everyday as I have not been for 4 days. 3 runs and two gym sessions, bike everyday and one session on turbo trainer. Then we go away for a week over Christmas. Will take bike and running shoes. Plan on minimum two long bikes and 3 45 minute runs. Won't be easy with family around, but I can't lose fitness that I have got back over the last few weeks. Already have missed this weekend, as Tracey off looking after her dad who unfortunately is not very well. I have been looking after my boy Henry which has been great fun, and managed to do all my Christmas shopping, but I really feel I need to get out and do something. One day rest I can handle but 2?!?!?!

Friday, 15 December 2006

Long Bike

Just got back from good bike this morning. 2 hours 27 minutes of riding over the Purbecks.
Gentle ride down to Wareham, then down towards Corfe Catle. Turn left just before up and down to Studland, this is hard on the legs, but ok with a couple of steep descents for respite!
Head towards Studland Bay and then take a right turn to Swanage. Downhill all the way, would have been quick but for a strong south-westerly headwind, kept it down to 40km/h pedalling into wind. Along the seafront at Swanage then turn right and long climb up to Langton Matravers and up on towards Kingston.
From Kingston head North to Corfe Castle. This is a tight twisty descent out of Kingston, tiny village - 2 pubs , one house! Through Corfe was fast as tailwind and then turn left at Corfe Castle, straight into strong headwind and undulating, very hard on legs for next 4 miles. Up onto Purbecks and on firing range near Lulworth, hard climb comes at the end of 4 miles, when legs have been coping with wind and up and down.
Descent from the top down to another castle that I have forgotten the name of!!! and then through to Wool. This is quite a quick section, false flat and was over 50km/h on this section for about 3 miles. Through Wool and turn right on the road back to Wareham. Crosswind was a bit tricky but maintained good speed all the way back.
From home to firing range was only avergaing 25 km/h, headwind and warm up included, and mostly hard climbing. When got home average speed up to 27.2 km/h for the whole ride.
Total distance 66.75 km - 41.5 miles
Ave h/r 144 bpm. Max h/r 166 bpm.

Overall, felt good, but need many more endurance rides. Cooled down for 15 minutes on the indoor trainer when got back home.
Nutrition - 1 Power bar gel at 1 hour. 750 ml bottle water. 750 ml bottle water with little bit of Viper powder drink in it. Half a banana at 1 hr 50(dropped half of it!), mars bar on return and 1 litre water. Good recovery. h/r down to 90 after 5 minutes, 80 after 10 minutes. Writing this 15 minutes after getting off cooldown trainer - hr 77 bpm.

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Swim Training

Found this great article about swimming on t'internet!

Many things limit how fast a swimmer can swim, from swim technique to fitness to hand and foot size to a swimmer's natural bone and joint structure. Some athletes will have limits on technique because they don't bend certain ways - their range of motion is physically limited by joint structure. That does not mean that those swimmers can't get faster, but they may never be as fast as swimmers that have a differing joint structure.

There are several swimming technique skills you can work on to get faster in the water. These skill can also make you more efficient - you might go the same speed but use less energy. To increase swim speed, decreases swimming drag or increases swimming force. Swim slipperier (yes, that is a real word) or swim stronger - or both.

Swim coaches like to talk about how swimming gets harder as a swimmer goes faster because of an increase in drag.

The swimmer must decrease the impact of that drag or apply a great deal more muscle power while swimming. Swimmers find it difficult to get results from applying more muscle power to the water if they are not doing it the right way. The first steps to faster swimming are positioning, grabbing, pressing, and rotating, things that everyone can learn. Here are a few things to check before trying to put more muscle power into your swims.

  • Positioning
    • You need to have your body in the best possible position to both minimize drag and increase the potential muscle power available. Get your body straight and long, parallel to the water surface, as you swim.
    • Check what you see. You should be looking down at the bottom, sideways or almost up to the side as you breath, but never forward. If you look forward, your legs will tend to drop towards the bottom, and you will lose your parallel alignment with the water.
    • The top of your head always points towards your destination.
    • Imagine that you are swimming in a long tube. Keep yourself within that tube as you move forward. It may require a gentle kick, it may require looking a little more backwards than down, but practice your positioning.
  • Grabbing
    • You must grab or catch the water so you have a way to transfer your muscle power from your body to the water.
    • You need to put your hand and arm in a position that allows this to happen. Trying to grab the water with just your hand and you will be losing a lot of your grip.
    • Try to use your hand and forearm.
    • Imagine that you are reaching forward and down over a wall as you swim, with the edge of the wall at your elbow. Point your fingertips towards the bottom of the pool, point your elbow up towards the sky or out towards the side, and think of everything from the elbow joint down your forearm and through your fingertips as one large paddle.
  • Pressing
    • You must press on the water with the largest muscles available. For most swimmers that means the muscles in your chest and back, not in your arms or shoulders.
    • You should feel a pocket develop in your armpit as you apply force to the water.
    • As you press on the water, your back and chest muscles pull your arm from ahead of you to under and behind your chest (but do all you can to maintain the fingertip down, elbow up "grab" position).
    • Imagine yourself grabbing the water first, then pressing on the water. Feel your body surge forward over your arm as you press.
  • Rotating
    • To fully use your position, your grab, and your press, you must add body rotation.
    • Your body should rotate about an axis defined by a line from the top of your head through your neck, back, and legs.
    • When the arm is grabbing, the body body is rotated so that the grabbing arm side is under water and the opposite side is above the water - or at least closer to the water's surface than the grabbing side.
    • The body rotates as one unit, from shoulders through hips, with the hips and shoulders in line with each other (this means you need to use your core muscles to hold it all together).
    • After you have grabbed the water you are going to press on the water. As you press, you also rotate your body, moving the body slightly ahead of the press. moving the body so that the side that was lower is moving up towards the surface and the side that was up is moving lower (and that moving lower side's arm is moving into the water ahead of you, sliding forward and extending, but not moving into the grab or catch yet).
    • Imagine a string going from your hip to your palm. Move the hip to start the press by pulling on that string when the hip begins to rotate from a deeper to a shallower position.

Work on these swim skills and you will be swimming faster in no time.

Training Today

Nice and easy day. Bike to work, swim at lunch - 20 minutes, felt better, smoother, and had bags of energy, could have gone on a lot longer, just warmed up really. Biked home.
That's it. Up early for a run tomorrow before cycling in to work.

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Bike ride to Work

Went out early to work, via Swanage and climb up over Langton Matravers, and down Kingston, back into Corfe and then into work. Steady riding, couple of stops, 1 for money, and two to take off hat under helmet. Had 1 power bar gel after 40 minutes of riding. Total time out 1 hr 52 mins. Ave speed of 28.6 km/h. More importantly riding at good intensity, h/r average 145 bpm. Max h/r of 173 bpm. Took an hour for me to get my legs really moving, but on the whole felt good, quick recovery.
Will ride home easy tonight after work, and have evening off. Swim session at lunch tomorrow, will try and focus more on stroke technique and not just pile on the lengths. Bike to and from work.

Note to self - book a sports massage for next week.

Monday, 11 December 2006

Gym workout

Good short aerobic gym workout tonight. 10 mins warm up on treadmill. 15 minutes of 1 minute intervals on rower, get heart rate up above 170. Then straight back onto treadmill for 30 mins run, 20 mins at 12km/h pace, then up to 13.5 for 5 minutes and back to 12km/h for final 5. Cool down of 5 minutes at 10km/h. Heart rate at consistent 150 bpm throughout. Increased to 160 bpm when speed up to 13.5.
Felt strong again, good stretch after. Knee solid, legs feel a little tired, but overall fitness good.

Had 20 minute swim this lunchtime, 30 lengths of Dolphin pool. Not great time, but glad I went, will need to get some coaching to improve speed.

Also need to do some weight training for building strength, will help with swimming.

Sunday, 10 December 2006

New shoes


I had to get a new pair of Brooks adrenaline running shoes as mine had just about given up the ghost, almost no cushioning left. So I tried them out for the first time this morning, on a quick 3 mile run. Again, weather bitterly cold, so was well wrapped up.

Felt great, good positive run and felt strong. Highly delighted and I know that I am now fully recovered from knee injury. Still to go steady on the run for the next few weeks, not overdoing the mileage just yet. Long runs to come in January at an easy pace, no speedwork til later on into backend of Feb and March.

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Saturday long bike ride

Not as long as hoped for, as bitterly cold out and was realy only taking out Plasma for a spin to get use to it. That said I did 26.8 miles in a time of 1 hour 28. Went down to Swanage via Corfe Castle, out in around 45 minutes. And back up over Studland, long climb, legs felt good, a little tired from a week of commuting, and considering it's first long ride since 10th September not in bad shape.
General fitness level is very good as recovered quickly after the climbs. Lot of traffic on the way back iinto Holton Heath, slowed me up and I didn't push as hard as I could. Average speed of 18.4 mph. Really want to be minimum of 20, but for in, around and over the Purbecks that is not a bad average time. This will increase once I am used to the bike and, of course, when I get to January for when serious training starts.
Plan fo the next 3 weeks is to get a few more long distance rides in, although it might just have to be on the indoor trainer, depending on time and other commitments.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

My New Bike


My lovely new bike is A Scott CR1 Plasma Pro triathlon specific time trial bike, 2006 model.

I will add a picture of it later. But for now here is a picture of the 2007 model.

Base Training

From now til January is all about recovery from the year just gone and base training in all 3 disciplines, building swim techniques, long easy bike rides and gentle runs.
Just maintaining a good level of fitness into the Christmas period, not overdoing it, ready for eating all those mince pies!
Knee is just about fully recovered but will still take it easy until January when I start my full training program.

At the mo -
3-4 swim sessions a week. 1000 - 1500m. mostly distance at the moment, speedwork to begin in January.
Cycle to and from work at 20 miles a day. Mix of easy and hard riding.
Long ride at the weekend - 50 miles plus. good steady pace, 60-70% of effort.
Turbo trainer - 2-3 sessions of an hour a week. 2 easy workouts, one at time trial interval effort.
two runs to be upped to 4 in January. 30-40 minutes at the moment, easy pace. Run on time and not on distance.

So all good so far. On course, got to throw in a couple of gym sessions and some yoga work, gentle stretching and a sports massage here and there and we should be good to go come January, when I need to start upping the effort.

Monday, 4 December 2006

Training for Half Ironman UK 2007

This is my first post to the new Blog. A record of all my training and racing in the build up to Half Ironman UK in June 2007. Will include training diary, race results, pictures and an update of performances etc up to the big event.

For those who read this Blog and want to donate to charity then please got to my Just Giving page.