Thursday, 30 May 2013

The outlaw half

So this weekend sees my first race in almost a year since Wimbleball - The outlaw half

New to this year a half iron distance from their very popular full outlaw which coincidentally falls on the same day as Frankfurt.

The course looks good with a 1.2 mile 1 lap swim followed by a 1 lap 56 mile bike ride through the Nottingham countryside then a 2 lap half marathon.

As the event will be running alongside smaller distance triathlons they have opted for transitions by the bike so it wont be a perfect practice for Frankfurt but i`ll have to make do with my box.

This is a great opportunity to test out my training over the past 5 months or so and see how I get on in regards to pacing and nutrition.

I have done barely any swimming in the past 6 weeks (once I think) so not sure a good time will be on the cards, I need to make sure my wetsuit is comfortable also as the past couple of times Ive put it on I think Ive rushed it making it seem tight under the arms.

The bike I am looking forward to, having done 112 miles last weekend the distance is not an issue, its more how shall I pace it as to get the best for Frankfurt? I think steady and IM race pace would be best although I think it will be tough to reign myself in once I get out there, part of me does think it would be beneficial to push harder on the bike to mimic 112 feeling when I start running but I will just have to see how I go.

I have been doing a fair bit of run/waling over the past few weeks and am starting to really get into it, 9 min run / 1 min walk gives my knees a good rest before the next segment, this allows me to break the run down into smaller chunks which physiologically Im sure will be a big advantage in the late race stages. I`m surprised how much a run/walk does not effect the run time, over a gentle paced 10k its only 6 minutes (if I stopped completely) but I`m walking (fast) for the minute so the losses are minimal.

The predictions:

Its seems so strange that last year I training 6 months for this distance and it was my main A race of the year, this year I treat this as a dummy run so I will not be pushing for any particular time especially on the run as to ensure my knees are kept uninjured.

Swim - Happy with under 40mins as lack of swimming
Bike - The course looks reasonably flattish so I am hoping for 3/3:15 or so
Run - Run/Walk the whole way (no exceptions) @ around 9:45/10min mile pace @ 9min run / 1min walk so should bring me out around 2:10

5mins each transition

Anywhere around 6 hours would be great.

I did 6:43 at Wimbleball last year which I went into with no pacing strategy or idea on times, it was very much do it on the day.

I`m hoping this race will be a little more structured and organized by myself to get me ready for the big one in a little over 5 weeks

Race report to follow

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The long weekend

So with race day a little under 6 weeks away now the training is really cranking up for the final 4 weeks before my taper kicks in and I bring back the mileage and recover ready for race day.

Last weeks training looked like this

Tuesday - 8.3mile run/walk (with 10min run / 1 min walk)
Wednesday - 50mile ride
Thursday / Friday (off preparing for weekend)
Saturday - 112 Mile (IM distance) + short run straight off the bike
Sunday AM- 10mile run/walk (with 9min run / 1 min walk)
Sunday PM - 25 mile recovery ride.

That was 14.5 hours training last week and I really should have gone to the pool or lake to keep my swimming going but am going to ensure I swim at least once a week from here on out as although my swimming is good I want to get out feeling half decent ready for the bike.

The 112 Mile ride on Saturday was a huge milestone in all my training, when I think back to Feb 2012 when I went out I struggled to cover 12 miles, now completing almost 10 times that. The course I took was somewhat as a obstacle that I needed to overcome, the route took me down to parents by the sea, The last time I did this route (march 2013) I found myself really struggling and had to rest multiple times on the trip and my legs were very very sore when arriving. It just goes to show that training really does pay off as this time round not only did I do the 68mile trip I also added on an extra 44miles for good measure cover 3,500 ft on elevation in the process.

I did around 50miles before meeting my mate Stu in Billericay, we then did around 35miles around the countryside before he went back and I continued on solo to reach my 112 target. The last 15 or so miles were tough but come race day ill know that is coming, I managed to average 16.8mph with 80 odd miles of that riding solo with a heavy backpack on the whole way, still more work to do but knowing the distance is in the legs is a huge boost ahead of Frankfurt in 6 weeks.

On Sunday morning the 10mile run/walk was another big milestone for me, with all injuries and setbacks over the past months to get to 10miles without any pain or niggles is great. The run/walk strategy for 9min run / 1 min walk seemed to be the best combination and found myself comfortably maintaining around 9:45 min pace which seems good to getting me along without hurting myself.

Heres a pic from my sat AM ride

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Few pics of Frankfurt Weekend

Recce Weekend

So this weekend me and some mates took the long drive to Frankfurt for me to see the course and the city to get a feel for the race day, cracking weekend overall with really nice weather and abit of a chill.

We got down to Frankfurt on the Friday late afternoon and decided it was best to set off on the Saturday.

6.30am me and one of the guys got up and went for a run (walk) along the footpath through the countryside, really great weather and a good chance to work on the run/walk. 1 mile run + 1 min walk managed a 54min 10k without too much effort which was a great test.

quick spot of breakfast and then onto the bikes for the day.

We left the campsite and headed to the lake (around 15miles) sorry guys :)

The roads were perfect tarmac and really straight and fast. We then joined the IM course from T1 and began to ride to the city, The lake to Frankfurt is fast and flat and with no traffic is a great opportunity to get some serious speed up before you get out of the city. Once through the city a left turn takes you into the middle of the country with fields as far as you can see with long sweeping roads (the kind that you see in TDF!)

The course goes through various villages and there is plenty to look at on the way round.

The climbs -

First climb is rather short and bends round through a small town and has a good descent coming out of it through various villages.

Second Climb is probably the biggest of the course and is not so much steep as long, small ring for me to just cruise up and save energy, after this climb is a 4-5 mile descent which is really really fast on these perect roads.

3rd climb (heart breakhill) not really sure what all the fuss is about, again not steep but long, little ring again for me with a really fast descent after back into Frankfurt town centre.

There are a few other smaller climbs but momentum takes you through them.

I have to say the road surfaces are incredible, its a very open course with straight never ending roads, perfect for tri bars.

We did 82 miles overall on the Saturday comfortably averaging 16mph stopping at it must have been 50 sets of lights and junctions.

On the Sunday me and one of the guys went back out to do the course again but only from the start of the loop once round which is about 45miles, we pushed a little harder as the wind was against us for the 20 so miles out but was with us coming back to Frankfurt, overall average of 17.2mph.

The course is incredible and I only hope that my continued training I can improve to really put in a good effort on race day.

Ill continue to update this blog with race reports as I go.

Long time Overdue

So its been many many months since I last updated this blog which obviously is`nt ideal to keep notes of training and everything else going on.

So where am I now?

Over the past months It seems like I have been more injured than not injured although that is not the case it certainly feels that way, various knee niggles have somewhat restricted training but with various physio sessions and alot of stretching I am improving day by day to get my body ready for whats around the corner.

So next Sunday will be my first proper race of the season, I completed the Berko 5 mile fun run some months back but this will be my first proper test. The out law half, Ive been looking forward to this race all year as its the first year they have ever done it and will be a great test for pace and effort for Frankfurt.

My training has been going steady although clocking in no-where near the hours that my schedule has advised I feel that with all my niggles overtraining would not have been the best bet.

So far since my plan started ive stuck in 130hours in 24 weeks including xmas and nearly 4 weeks off due to injury. that averages at 5.5 hours a week so far but with 6 weeks to go and 10-11 hours a week at the moment it will be more like 6 hours average a week for 7 months, not amazing but with all the issues Ive had im happy to be still training.

Im currently developing my run walk strategy for Frankfurt, I always believed (naively) that everyone ran the marathon all the way and pushed through the pain, im sure alot of people do that but I am for sure not one of them. Im currently testing out run 9min walk 1 min and do this consistently over training runs, I will use this in Nottingham next week to see how it actually goes and adjust accordingly.

Recce report to follow