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Sunday, 29 March 2009

March is at an end

Well, it's been a good month. Solid block of training with my balls busted on Box Hill in amongst it all! This weekend has been an excellent end to the month with some good workouts which have got me turning the pedals with a bit more vavoom!
April looking good with Bournemouth Bay half marathon on the 6th, Winchester triathlon on the 19th and a couple of time trials inbetween. Hopefully another good month shall be had by all.
Right, off for some sleep.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Ballbuster duathlon results

Ballbuster Duathlon March 2009

Well, here we go. Far too early, it's 4am and I'm just waiting for the kettle to boil. Coffee is most definitely on the agenda this morning. 30 minutes to get myself together and get car packed up and set off. As per usual, I can feel every soddin little creak and sore muscle in my body and I look at my bike and I keep thinking 'how do I pedal again?'. My kit is strewn all over the kitchen floor, amongst turbo trainer, track pump, toolbox, footwear a plenty and various children's toys!
Race report will follow later today. Chip timing as well, so race results should be immediate and will get them posted asap!
Right now, where's the sugar...?

Well, race is now over, it's the following morning, and I have just had to get up with the boys at 5:30am!! No chance of a lay in, with it being Mother's Day and all! Oooh, me calves are sore! Race went very well, good solid start to the season. Lovely weather for it and once up there had to queue a while for registration, collected the necessary chip and numbers, visited the ladies loos as the gents was full, got changed and looked at watch, 7:30am, no time for turbo warm up. Got racked and then 5 minutes to go! Stomach not at its best, back to the gents this time! Rushed over to start and off!!
Stomach feeling decidedly rough as we set off, but my legs were in good shape and I soon settled into a comfortable pace, probably a bit easier than I would have liked but not having done this race before, all the rumours of it being tough were praying on my mind. I let a lot of runners go and just shrugged my shoulders and took in the scenery of Box Hill. After 6 comfortable miles the serious climbing began, 2 miles of 6%. And I attacked it, nothing stupid or balls out effort but solid running and it got me past a lot of guys who'd obviously gone off a bit quicker. However, last section of the climb my guts decided to scream for release! Damn, ran off -road to do the biz but loads of general public out walking and didnt think I could go, not fair really, so I go back on road and ran off up to the end of the run and before I got to transition made a diversion to the gents in the cafe! Cost me a good couple of minutes, not in the best of health and felt pretty ropey. But got out of there as quick as I could and off onto bike. I faffed around a bit in transition and after a rocky run to the mount line I got going at a reasonable pace until bang, cramp in left calf. God knows why, I think it might have been the cold wind on the bike, having heated up a lot on the run. Dunno, but I spent the whole of the bike leg fighting it off and couldn't push a high gear. Really annoying as I was feeling my bike legs return. I was solid up the climbs and picked off riders steadily along the course. Very enjoyable bike and could have happily ridden a lot longer had it not been for the cramp. 3 lap splits were very even, and it was nice to do this on new road bike and the Scott CR1 pro was ideal for this race. Didn't miss the aero bars really, but I think it would have saved me a minute maybe, just for the first 3 miles of the loop, but other than that, drops were fine. So off onto second run and noooo! the cramp in calves had returned, so I had to really slow down and gingerly run along until it had gone off and I just slowly began to get into stride and was running strong until mile 5 and then groin went! Not been a problem before but all of a sudden my pace dropped as a result and I was left to plod home for the last 3 miles.
Thoroughly enjoyable day. Made even better as James Gilfillan was on terrific form again with a 6 minute margin win!! He is in great shape at the minute, the turbo sessions have obviously been working as his bike speed is top class and a very strong second run. Well done James. And thank god you didn't buy those horrible looking Nike lunarlite racers!!
So, a lot learned from first race of season, lots of little things went wrong, and with a bit more prep and focus sub 3 hours is comfortably doable. But so far so good, training is obviously working and nice to know coach is pleased with my progress. Well done too to other driventotri athletes, Emma Smith who won the women's race and Piers Constable who finished in 22nd. I was back in 39th, so 3 DTT athletes in the top 40, good stuff.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Man City into last 16 of UEFA cup

Oh god, being a lifelong City supporter is as hard as training. In fact, watching last night's Uefa Cup second leg against Aalborg, was harder work than completing a Half Ironman!! 85 minutes of comfortable control without any alarms and bang, before I knew what was going on we're staring defeat in the face and after 30 minutes of nothing in extra time we're into penalties. Good job I didn't have my heartrate monitor on, otherwise it would have broke. Thankfully their last two penalty takers choked and we went through! Please, if any City players ever read this, then do NOT put your fans through it again! In fact, regardless of the manager in charge, City have always been the same! Why????????? I do hope we can get rid of this shocking away form and get SWP and co firing as well as they do at Eastlands. Then we can become serious contenders in the Premiership.

Ballbuster duathlon

First race of the season and after my bad days of Wednesday and Thursday, I'm now feeling much better. A gentle jog this morning for 20 minutes just freshened me up a bit and I rode to work very easy, starting to think about tomorrow and get in the right frame of mind. Got a lot to sort out tonight, bike, running shoe laces, new battery in watch, work out what gear I'm gonna wear, find some CO2 cartridges from somewhere, or whether I'm even gonna bother with changing a flat. And generally getting ready. I gott a be up at 4am and leaving by 4:30, travelling up with James Gilfillan. Really hoping he goes well and can come away with the win! After winning the Peopleton Duathlon last week, he's obviously in good shape and dominating the bike as well as running strong.
Race Report to follow, and wishing fellow DrivenToTri athletes all the best for the race, and indeed, hope everyone who races has a fun( if slightly painful!!) morning!!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Not always positive

Well, I experienced a new low whilst training last night. I was swimming at Wareham pool and after a bunch of 100s that went pretty well, I was swimming easy and I just stopped half way down the pool, floated to the end and got out 15 minutes before the session ended. I just had the urge to get out of there as quick as possible. I didn't want anything more to do with swimming, biking or running. I thought to myself 'What the f*** am I doing all this for, what's the f***ing point!'. I got in the car and drove home completely vacant. I don't feel much better about things this morning, and I'm in no state for racing on Saturday. Mentally frazzled. My legs seem to have been like jelly all week which hasn't helped, I have no top end speed on the bike and I've been struggling with bike pedals since I changed to Look. I've now gone back to Shimano and much improved. But I don't know what I can do to get over this mental low point. I'm sure it will pass and a decent night's sleep is bound to help.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009 has had an update. Excellent resource for planning training and racing for all triathletes. Sign up and use it for free.

Monday, 16 March 2009

James Gilfillan wins duathlon

James Gilfillan
Well done James, good man, I don't know why you were worried about your bike legs!

Come on James, Ballbuster is there for the taking!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Running hurts

Well, today was nasty interval session day! Not a big fan I must say, but I'm sure it's doing me some good. I hope so anyway! No pain no gain and all that.
Another Steve Monghetti set, spent most of my time looking at my watch trying to hit the lap button, about 55 times in all! 53 minutes of fun. Well, 20 minutes was easy running, 33 minutes of hurt! Rest day tomorrow, and I must say I am looking forward to it. Oh no, hang on, I just remembered I missed today's swim so I'm doing it tomorrow. Oh well, least my legs will have a rest, before the weekend which will be a 2 hour solid bike on Saturday, and a 3 hour ride Sunday, with a 40 minute run straight off the bike. I must admit I do like the long bikes and then the run, almost feels like racing!

No, it won't!

Fed up of having to ride everywhere still in leggings and winter tops. Oh for some warmer weather. Binned swim this morning as I was too tired from last night's 3 x 1000m efforts and wanted to be fresh for today's run session, a nasty interval set that requires more concentration looking at my watch than it does actullay running! I should really get a programmable one but it's more money and to be honest I'm really anti gadgets at the mo'. For the last year I now just accept the gear I have and actually spend the money on a coach and put in the hard work. If it works for the pros then it'll do for me!! results are out from last weekend's Mad March triathlon, which I finished second in last year in 49:12. Fitter, stronger this year and would have been interesting to see how I would have gone. But, racing is not my focus for the time being. Ballbuster duathlon next week, and then back to concentrating on good consistent training.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Do you think Spring will ever come?

March is well under way, the good weather threatens and then disappears behind numerous rain, hail and snow clouds, and it's less than 2 weeks to my first race of any note, to kickstart the season. Ballbuster duathlon. Bike legs are slowly returning, my run fitness is improving and mentally I'm going through a good patch, so hopefully I will be able to put in a reasonable performance. I just want to finish the race strong having put in 100%. It will give me an idea of where I'm at, what needs work for the rest of the year and how training has been going under the supervision of Harry.
Since last post I've been out for 2 strong bike sessions, 2 hours and 3.5 hours, an easy 40 minute run, and a 5 mile run off the bike and just had a good swim session today. Will do an hour on turbo tonight. I seem to have got the balance right with my training and the level of effort is just about right, recovering well and at last managing to get a reasonable amount of sleep. Long may it continue!!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Crisis of confidence

Well, it's been a funny old week so far, and life seems like a bit of a rollercoaster after all. I'm not one for cliches, but this seems somewhat appropriate. I have been on and off with training, mentally shattered and yet physically in great shape, until a little a soreness returned in my medial quad, which was the source of last year's long knee injury. So I have backed off the running, and biking is only light spinning. It's just me being over cautious but no bad thing because it's still 3 months to my first 'A' race and there is no point overdoing it at this stage.
So I have taken the opportunity to re-focus on my swimming.
Now, the swim camp I went to back in January was excellent and gave me lots to think about. Only problem, that was the problem!! I've spent the last 6 weeks over-analysing how I am swimming and actually not getting anywhere, just more and more frustrated that I'm not swimming right. Instead of just relaxing in the water and getting a 'feel' for it I've just been worrying and tense and stressed and as a result not getting very far!
That was all laid to rest last night, and this is the benefit of having an Olympic standard triathlete as your coach. Harry Wiltshire came to see me swim last night for some one on one coaching. And a result I have never swum that quick. It just felt great to have someone to take care of the counting, timing, and just telling you what to do. I could just get on and swim. And it turns out I'm doing pretty well, and only a couple of things that I need to improve to get me swimming a lot quicker. 1 hour of solid coaching and expet help was the tonic I needed and we're now back on track and off the rollercoaster...for the moment anyway!!
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