Cake season is over…

cake

Long live Cake season.

Yes, it was my birthday on the 14th Jan and my sisters before that on the 8th. This is the monster cake my other half bought for me (yes, she has called me stinky there). So that, mixed with a cake from family gathering has meant my eating hasn’t been the best since the last blog. I am only human, who can resist a cake like that?! It was created by Ah Toots in Bristol and was delicious.

Anyway, let’s move past that and back into the reason for this here blog. Doing Duathlon and Triathlon things.

It didn’t start too well after the last post. I picked up a slight calf strain following the running session with B&W I outlined, so this meant running was not possible for about 10 days. The two bits of good news are that it seems to be better now (ran on Friday with no issues), but even better news is that it was on the leg I snapped my Achilles 2 years ago. Strange to say it is good news I realise, but I have been compensating on the other leg since, so the strain, in my odd mind at least, means I am using it more. Just hope it is not a regular occurrence.

Despite not being able to run (or cycle in the first week), I managed to give my swimming lesson on my birthday my everything. It was an hour long and mainly focussing on technique. I felt like I made massive strides during the lesson as the swimming just felt more efficient as the lesson progressed. We only spent a small amount of time on the timing of breathing at the end (which is my big issue right now), so that still has a long way to go. Despite that, I came away feeling more confident about my swimming and last week, for the first time ever, I swam a length of a 25 metre pool. Big thanks to Mark at Create Swim (@CreateSwim) for a great lesson. Next one will be early March.

Only have to be able to swim 425 metres more by end of September.

Other bits of training of note were the 50km cycle this Saturday gone (hilly and tough) and also the BOD workout I did with Paul and James on the Sunday previous which was great fun but ruined me for the following 3 days.

Also looking to dial in my eating a bit more by commencing the Gold Standard Nutrition (@GSNchicken) 30 day Challenge from 1st Feb.

Away from training, the schedule of events is pretty much complete, with 3 signed up for. No going back now.

This is how it looks:

VoTwo Eton Dorney (Super Sprint Duathlon) – 2nd April *Booked*

Ardingly Triathlon Festival (Sprint Duathlon) – 5th June

Jenson Button Trust Triathlon (Team) – 17th July

London Rat Race 10km – 13th August *Booked*

VoTwo Eton Dorney (Super Sprint Triathlon) – 25th September *Booked*

A bit fuller than the initial plan, but all of the events should be a good marker in the progression. Having done all of these I am hopeful that come the ultimate goal on 25th September, I will be ready and raring to go.

Until next time, stay classy planet Earth.

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We can be heroes….

david_bowie-620x412

A bit of an odd way to start my 2nd posting, but the untimely passing of The Thin White Duke, one of my two lifetime heroes, has made me realise how much of a mental game this is going to be.

Hearing of David Bowies passing first thing this morning and then listening to BBC Radio 6’s coverage afterward, did not put me in a very positive frame of mind to begin my training week. I couldn’t think about going to the gym for lunchtime weights or my first running session with Bristol and West Athletics club in the evening.

But, complete both I did and I feel more positive for doing so. Not only were they both productive sessions, I felt I would not let the mental aspect of things beat me quite as easily as they might have previously.

Bowie is not the sole reason for me giving this post the title. There is one other person that it refers to and it is likely a person none of you have heard of. Nor had I up until yesterday afternoon I’ll readily admit. Her name is Ruth Wilson and she most certainly deserves the mention.

Ruth-Wilson-lead-658x394I read about Ruth in Triathlon Plus magazine and was awestruck. Ruth is a 46 year old who started triathlon only 6 years ago and has already medalled at the European Championships. She is a Paratriathlete and suffers with Parkinson’s, which is steadily getting worse day by day, year by year but her motto of ‘dream, believe, achieve’ just sums up how incredible she is. She is strong enough to admit she has her ‘moments’ when she is alone but to carry on living and training with such focus and dedication, through a disease 99% of people would let themselves be defined by, is inspirational. Hence, Ruth is a hero.

Moving swiftly on from two very different but incredible people, let’s catch up on the last week, especially this evening. I did another run last week of 6km, averaging around 5:10 p/km, which given the hills around Bristol I was quite happy with. Also did an RPM/Spin session, just to get some form of biking whilst the weather has been awful. This was mixed in with various lifting sessions.

This evening saw my first running sessions with Bristol & West Athletics club. I am only there for social training, not to compete, so put myself into the beginners group. After a casual 1.2km warm up jog around the track we did a few stretches before being told the session was a pyramid of 200m, 400m, 600m, 400m, 200m with around 90secs rest in between.

First 200m, went off at around 80% and finished in 30secs. Next the 400m, which I did in 70secs. At this point I was told to join another group as left the others behind.

Moved over to the other group who had just finished warming up to find out they were doing 800m x 5, with 200m jog between each one. I started with a 3:35, followed by 3:29, 3:25 & 3:21. After all of these I was wiped out so decided to use the final 800m as a warm down as I was pretty wiped out. I had run an extra, relatively quick 600m more than anyone else so didn’t feel too guilty.

Overall, I was actually pretty chuffed with my performance for the first go with the group and really enjoyed it. Everyone was really welcoming.

Now, final sign off and I just have to say thanks to everyone who commented on Facebook & Twitter for the support. Very much appreciated.

The Official Start

As soon as I have written that title I find myself wondering just how many blogs of this ilk have started this week. And now after typing that sentence I realise I don’t care. This is for me and wouldn’t matter if it started in January or June, I’d be doing it all the same (except maybe less cold if in June).

I set the title as the official start as this whole thing is something I have toyed with but never fully committed to for a couple of years now. I am not new to exercise, I have done Crossfit on and off for a few years now but realised late last year I needed specific goals to really keep motivated. I’ve been tempted by a Duathlon for a while now but never paid the fees to get one lined up. Also, to shift some timber during this would be great. Currently at 83kg after the holiday season, would like to be nearer 70 but not the focus. If I do well in my goals, weight is almost irrelevant.

Now you wonder, why not a Triathlon, even if just a Super Sprint. Well, the biggest challenge of this journey is going to be the Swim. Not being able to swim more than 10 metres at present and not able to breathe whilst doing so is going to be the biggest challenge to me. I’ve had a fear of deep water (read, where feet can’t touch the bottom) since I was a child. I took a swimming lesson last year, realised I can kind of swim but didn’t go beyond that. Now I am starting them again, with my first lesson of this journey booked in for the 14th January. What a lovely birthday that will be.

Now for less background, more plans and first updates

Current plans for 2016 are:

Super Sprint Duathlon – Eton Dorney – April

Sprint Duathlon – TBD – June

Super Sprint Triathlon – TBD – August/September

These timeframes are not crazy in my mind, I could probably do a Super Sprint Duathlon in a couple of weeks, but I know I would suffer a lot and at this early stage would demotivate more than anything else. I would want to be able to feel that each event I do is an achievement and be proud of my performance in each.

Exercise for 04/01/16

Lunch session – gym – Weight training, heavy deadlifts and upper back exercises.

PM session – gym – Constant speed run. 11.2 km/h for 2.5k. 500m walking. 1.5km @ 12km/h, 300m @ 9.6km/h. finished with 200m@ 12.5km/h.

Walked for 5 minutes. Then did 1 minute @15.3km/h, walked for 1 minute, ran for 1 minute @10.5, 30 secs @ 15.5km/h, 30 secs at 16.5km/h. Cool Down

In the main run I wanted to do the final 2k all at 12, but felt awful, so slowed for a bit before finishing it off. I’m not too disappointed as still got some flu left over on my chest, so breathing isn’t 100%.

Anyway, long enough thread for first post. Thanks for reading