Saturday, 25 February 2012

All going according to plan

Hi Folks,

On the running front thankfully no injuries, the odd ache and minor niggles probably due to high volume of running mileage per week but hopefully nothing disastrous happens before any events this year. I’m really trying to stick to my run training schedule although it can be hard. The odd day over last couple of weeks I haven’t quite done the mileage stated for that day, although I try to change things a little by either doing a second short run later that day or adding a few miles the next day. The fitting in time wise can be difficult as anyone else would know that has followed a plan. I have to say though that I do believe that the body enjoys the routine and I especially love the endorphin rush – the body’s natural drug.

Today just done another long run but didn’t go great. Had to make a couple of ‘pit stops.’ Thankfully I managed these ok, but I think I regret drinking half a pint of apple juice last night – think it upset the stomach this morning.

Here are a few pictures I took recently of the 'Old Belfast Road', a quiet back country road near where I live in Carryduff

The other picture is of my best buddies......I mean guddies :-)

Will hopefully do another blog next week. Next week I have my biggest milage total to do. After that I will start to taper before the Causeway Crossing at the end of March. If all goes well at this I will then probably reduce running and start to get back to swimming longer and do the odd bike ride as I need to prepare for the swimathon in april and the Dublin Maracycle later in the year.

Until later…..Phil

Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

The Good

From a training perspective I am very pleased with how things are going. I am going to ATP Personal Training Bootcamp sessions twice a week which are good fun. Don’t be fooled by the term ‘Bootcamp,’ it’s mostly dominated by women having a bit of a laugh at the big rugby guy trainers. I imagined there would be no women and it would be really intense – army style. Thankfully the guys that run it are really decent bunch and you can push yourself as easy or hard during the varied sessions if you please so I would highly recommend. The voucher deal I got only lasts a few weeks but hopefully I can learn a few cross training ideas to do at home.

On the running front, I am increasing the weekly mileage. I was really pleased with how this weekend’s two long runs went. Did a 20 mile yesterday followed by 11 mile today. Trying to plan each run a bit better. I am making sure I get good nights sleep, then when I wake get some food in me first thing -  a banana and crunchy nut cornflakes  / peanut butter and jam sarnie. During the run I take with me some caffeine tablets and gels and having left an energy drink at a roughly 7 mile point, I take some fluids at this stage. After the run I go for a 10 minute session in pool as cool down then as a reward to myself 5 minutes in sauna to finish off the session. This routine seems to be working well. During my cool down session today tried aqua jogging which seemed nice (PS – during same I tried running backwards in aqua jogging – impossible!)

The Bad 

Couple of weeks ago I had to used my bike to get to work as my car was getting some work done to it. Normally when I commute to work I do it from the Queens PEC to Bangor which is about 1 hr but in this case my commute (from home in Carryduff) would take double that – both ways, thus to say I wasn’t keen to do. Unfortunately the weather too dampened my spirits as it was pretty cold (around zero) and regular showers. Anyhow I decided to go a slightly quicker route direct to Bangor via Ballygowan, Comber, Newtownards back country roads instead of Saintfield, Ormeau, Sydenham route. I got about 7 miles when my chain appeared to lock up. As a novice bike mechanic I played about with it for about 10 minutes in freezing cold and darkness (apart from my bike light) before deciding to return home to Carryduff. I ended up walking in pouring down rain for about 2 mile along the roads in my bike cleats (yes – bikers you know bike shoes aren’t meant for walking in!) until thank God, a good Samaritan stopped and gave me and my bike a lift home. To cut a long story short eventually I made it to work using my trusty mountain bike I used when I was a teenager although that night I slept like a baby after approx 4 hrs biking on top of a days work!

The Ugly

Thought I had the long runs well planned – but forgot to prepare for nipple rashes!