This week has gone by SO fast! Only 2 weeks to go to the Plym Valley Challenge though, and today was my last long run before that. Good job too, since my foot (largest metatarsal on my right foot) is quite sore so I’ll need to rest it up a little this week and do more cycling and less running.
Only 1 swim this week but it felt good, like I’m starting to make progress, so hopefully I can continue to build on that. I’ve also made good progress with my “one hundred pressup challenge” although I was just too tired after my run today, so I’ve put that off until tomorrow.
This week’s training log
Running : 17 miles (3 sessions, with a long run of 9 miles today)
Cycling : 1 hour (I can start increasing my cycling time now)
Swimming : 1 hour
Plus an hour’s yoga and an hour’s squash
No long run next week, since it’s the week before the Plym Valley Challenge, and also our wedding anniversary so we’ll be doing something special next weekend – hopefully the weather will be decent and we can go for a cycle picnic, and maybe go gliding! No yoga class this week either (half term) but apparently we’ll be working on handstands next term which is great since I’ve never quite managed to nail that! So think I’ll work on handstand and forearm stand myself during the week…
Training has felt good this week, and the weather has helped most days. Today’s long run felt strong, with no need to walk at all over the 8.4 miles despite the very hot sun. I didn’t get to the pool this week, so I must make a real effort to get at least one, but preferably 2 swims in over the next 7 days. I have however found a swimming coach and booked a series of private lessons starting at the end of July. Jan is a triathlete herself, and was a competetive swimmer at the national level from 1976 to 1989, and competed in the 1988 Olympic trials so she knows a thing of two about swimming and I have high hopes for making some real progress.
I’m also 2 weeks into my hundred press up challenge and I think I’m making a little progress. I did 80 yesterday, over 5 sets and was struggling for the last few but I think another 4 weeks and I should be able to manage 100 straight!
This week’s training log
Running : 16.1 miles (3 sessions – nice increase on last week and felt strong)
Cycling : 1 hour (must increase that this week)
Swimming : NA
Plus an hour’s yoga and an hour’s squash
This coming week will include 17 miles of running, including a 9 mile long run on Sunday which will be my longest week before the Plym Valley Challenge in 3 weeks time. Apart from that, the plan is just to get out on the bike a little more and make sure I get at least one or two swims in!
Despite a sore ankle and cutting one of my runs short during the week, and not getting a swim in, training seems to have gone reasonably well this week. Today’s 7 mile run felt good, and I was still feeling strong at the end which gives me confidence for the 9 mile Plym Valley Challenge in 4 weeks time.
I’ve been in contact with a local swimming coach and have filled out an enrolement form, so I’m hoping to hear back over the next few days and get some proper swimming lessons started ASAP.
This week’s trianing log
Running : 12.5 miles (3 sessions, 1 cut short due to a twisted ankle)
Cycling : 90 minutes (2 sessions)
Swimming : none
Plus and hour’s yoga class, several stretching/yoga sessions, and 3 weights/push-up sessions!
This coming week will up the running mileage, with 2 4 mile runs during the week and an 8 mile run on Sunday. I’m also playing squash again starting this week (after several weeks off due to holidays), and with a bit of luck I’ll be able to start swimming lessons this week, if not I’ll just head over to the pool and carry on working on my stroke based on the Total Immersion book.
I struggled to get out the door today, probably partly due to being a little tired from yesterday’s swim, and partly because it looked grey and cold outside!
Once out of the door however I felt OK, did a 6 mile run without any problems apart from a slight stitch about half way around. I was wearing a hoody due to the cold which I had taken off and tied around my waist once I had warmed up, so I wondered if that was causing it. I put the hoody back on and walked for about 60 seconds and then started running again with no more pain, and managed to run the rest of the route – even the hills – with no worries!
This week’s training log
Running : 13 miles (3 sessions)
Cycling: 45 minutes (1 session)
Swimming: 50 minutes (1 session)
Plus an hour’s yoga!
This week will be much the same, just a slightly longer (7 mile) long run on Sunday, and an extra hour on the bike (on Saturday). I’m really hoping to get a reply to my email about swimming lessons too, and maybe start them next week!
I got up this morning at 6am to be at the pool for opening, figuring it would be nice at quiet at 7am on a Saturday morning and I could have my first serious attempt at teaching myself to swim properly in peace!
Well, while there were a reasonable number of people already swimming when I arrived, I did manage to find a bit of free space and began my long journey towards being a triathlon swimmer. I began by attempting a couple of lengths of “front crawl” (well – my pitiful version of it anyway!) based on the information in the YouTube videos I’ve been watching, and what I’ve read in Terry Laughlin’s Total Immersion book. That wasn’t a total disaster, since I did manage to get to the other end of the pool, but it was a struggle, I kept losing my breath and timing, and I’m sure it didn’t look too pretty (in fact, I glanced up at the lifeguard and I’m sure he was staring right at me, thinking I was about to drown!)
After that I did a few lengths of my “almost-breaststroke” to recover, since I know I can do quite a few lengths of that reasonably comfortably (if rather slowly) and then tried some of the balancing drills from the Total Immersion book. The idea being to lie on one side in the “sweet spot” with one arm extended and the head in the water but the face out to breath. I found I could kick myself to the other side of the pool like that, but it took a really long time and didn’t feel anywhere near as relaxed as it sounds from the book.
Finally I did a few more attempts at the crawl, interspersed with breaststroke, and finally got out tired and a little frustrated after about 50 minutes. I certainly felt like I’d had a workout, but doubted whether I was going to make any real progress trying to learn like this. So, as soon as I got home I emailed a local fitness center about getting some lessons – I think that might be the only way to make any real progress at a decent speed. Hopefully I’ll hear back from them within the next day or two, but in the meantime at least my cycle later today should be easier
It was COLD getting on the bike at 7am this morning, but the ride itself was OK – I couldn’t stop thinking about what it will be liking starting a 2.4 mile swim at that time in the morning though! But I got my ride done, and tomorrow I start my swim training which I’m both looking forward to and apprehensive about. I’ve never been an overly strong swimmer, but I’m determined to change that so I’m reading through Total Immersion and watching YouTube videos on correct stroke technique and breathing every day – we’ll see how it goes tomorrow!
My new book arrived from Amazon though – Be Iron Fit by Don Fink. It has a 5 star rating on Amazon, and appears to cover everything from Ironman history through early prep and training, through 3 complete 30 week training schedules right up to what to do on race day and after the event. I’ll read it over the next couple of weeks and post a quick review when I’m done, but after flicking through it last night my first impression is that it looks excellent. The other book I’m currently reading (yeah I know – I’m a total book geek, I always buy them faster than I can read them… and I read pretty fast!) is Becoming An Ironman by Kara Douglass Thom. It’s an excellent compilation of various amateur and professional athlete’s first attempt at the Ironman and I’m really loving it. It’s very inspiring, if a little off-putting in places, and again I’ll post up a quick review in a few days when I’m finished!
So I have to deal with not getting meetings my training goal today for the first time. I’m supposed to get a 45 minutes cycle in, but between dropping my wife to work, taking the car to the garage for an MOT, visiting the polling station to vote (it’s the general election here in the UK today), doing my regular yoga class, and getting my work done I just don’t have time
Not to worry, I’d better get used to this since it’s bound to happen many times over the coming months, I guess I just have to deal with it. So, minor adjustment to my schedule – I’ll do my cycle tomorrow, move tomorrow’s swim to Saturday morning and then do a cycle afterwards to catch up (my first “brick” session!)
On a positive note, it does give me an extra day of reading Total Immersion and studying the front crawl stroke before trying it properly in the pool for the first time. I’ve also watched this video, and it seems very good – I’ll find out how easy it is to follow on Saturday!
I did another 3.5 mile run today, and to be honest I’m quite glad I have a break from the running tomorrow to get a bike ride in because my shins are a little sore. I normally run with Zero, one of our dogs, but today he seemed to be feeling it too because he just seemed to want to plod along without much energy!
As you can see from the picture, he’s pretty sleepy so maybe I’ve been overtaining both of us a little! (Zero is the Ridgeback on the right BTW – Atari is the Rotti on the left, but he’s not built for running and prefers a slow walk and then a nice sleep!!! And yes, if you’re wondering, Zero is named after Jack’s dog from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas)
So, on the bike tomorrow and then my first swim on Friday, so I get 2 days off from running which should give me legs a chance to rest.
In the mean time I have a few tweaks to make to the blog here. I added the DailyMile widget in the sidebar last night which tracks my running miles, but I can’t seem to find one suitable for triathlon which will track run, bike and swim – if anyone knows of a service which does that please leave a comment. I’ve also started a Twitter account (TheActionGeek) and so I want to install a plugin to auto-tweet new posts here, and add my latest tweets to the sidebar along with a “follow me” button, so that should keep me busy for an hour or two
I’ve picked a 9 mile multi-terrain run, The Plym Valley Challenge, in 6 weeks time as a suitable short term goal for my running/fitness as I start to work towards my Ironman. So my main focus in terms of training for the next few weeks will be increasing my weekly running distance, while also getting in the pool to work on my swimming once a week, and doing a little cycling. I’ve modified a 10k plan and plugged it into Google Calendar, and I’ll post a weekly report of how the training is going each Sunday. The plan has a long run on a Sunday, followed by a rest day on Monday, a couple of shorter runs during the week, a swim session on a Friday and one or two sessions on the bike. Here’s the schedule:
I’m not including any speed sessions since 6 weeks isn’t long enough, all I’m bothered about is building up core fitness and distance. After this event, I’ll pick something like a 10k a little later on and work on speed for that. Hopefully by that time my swimming will have also progressed enough that I can enter a short triathlon.
While my focus in the long term is for next year’s Ironman, it’s too early to start an Ironman specific training schedule. For now I simply need to build up my base fitness, and start learning to swim properly.
I’ve never been very good at keeping to training schedules unless I have a goal to aim for, and since the Ironman is 14 months away I need some shorter term goals to keep me focussed. My wife and I will be running the rather hilly Eden project half Marathon in October, but I’ve been looking for something a little sooner to aim for, and this morning I found details of the Plym Valley Challenge, a 9 mile multi terrain run in about 6 weeks time that fits the bill, so that will be my short term goal. I’ll modify a 10K training schedule which I can use, and I’ll post that along with weekly updates here on the blog to keep me honest about not missing any training (especially on cold wet days!).
I’ll try and get that done over the next day or two, and I’ll post a training update each Sunday from now on, stating how my training went during the week, and what is planned for the week ahead. Since I don’t yet have a proper written plan, my intentions for this next week will be 2 runs, 2 cycles and my first swim (using the Total Immersion book as a guide) and then a longer run next Sunday.
Today I did a 6 mile run, the longest I’ve done in a while, and it felt fine. I walked up the 2 steepest hills, but otherwise ran non-stop at a steady, if rather slow pace, to finish in around 50 minutes…