Sunday, 6 October 2013

Getting back into training after long rest

Its been a while since last blog entry, but to be honest not much been happening lately.

I have started running after a few weeks off and but only doing average 4 miles each time.

The swimming going well as I’m starting to enjoy it more. Feeling that it’s pretty important to relax and not to worry about counting laps or if others are overtaking me.  I’m enjoying doing the weekday 10 mins freestyle and 5 mins drills (backstroke, one arm drills and a couple of breaststrokes’) I am trying to get back to basics and enjoy the swimming as opposed to feeling like it’s a necessity to do.
A few times when I have been coming out of the swim pool to my car I get the shock of my life when I see a car like mine (before I see my own one) and for an instant I think someone has damaged it.

Over last couple of weeks I have been getting back on the bike since the Ironman event. I have done a couple of commutes to work and really enjoying these and even a some weekend cycles. I'm feeling like on the long bike rides I’m trying to push myself a bit harder than the earlier part of the year when I was regularly churning out the long rides.  Although I feel like my speed is increasing and my time should be lower than previous times , I’m finding that now I’m actually slower. Not by a great deal but it’s probably a combination of weight gain, smoking before the ironman event and total lack of training last couple of months. Thankfully with help of the patches I have stopped the smoking and if I continue with the training I should improve.
In other news....I got myself branded

Minimalist Running

Tried the minimalist running recently. The theory is that yonks’ ago we all ran about naturally on bare feet with our feet naturally adjusting to the ground contours.

The recent trend of thick soles takes away the bio kinetic ability of our foot muscles to adjust, strengthen and increases the likelihood of injury than forefoot/barefoot/midfoot running.

If you re-adjust to mid or forefoot landing of foot you should end up with a springlike finish and start of each strike landing and send off.
Over the last couple of years I have been hearing more and more about different running styles and I think the jury is still out on the barefoot style. The book ‘Born to run’ is one of the main reasons the last few years people are debating whether they should adjust footwear of running style. Even the major running shoe companies that for years have pumped out the thick soled trainers are seeing new sales opportunities by developing more partial minimalist running trainers.

I have a couple pair of thick soled Asics which have done me fine over last few years.
Last year I bought the Saucony mirage 2 which are 8 mm thickness (I think my Asics are 12 mm) . I remember the guy in shop advised me not to go drastically down to the likes of Five-fingers minimalist shoes and the Saucony mirage trainers are a step down or compromise trainer. To be honest I like the Saucony’s and didn’t really notice a great deal of difference although I think they are a bit lighter. So although I will prefer more minimalist for shorter runs, obviously on marathon type distances your form is going to get lasy and it is in those cases you would want the extra cushion to protect your feet I think. 

I recently tried to a run whereby at parts I would start to consciously run on my forefoot. This was a bit awkward as if trying to unlearn my natural style, but after a while I got into it. At times my forefoot got sore, so I lapsed back into landing on my heels but I was more conscious of another thing I learnt about that if you land of your heel this results in a stiff shock going from heel up your straight leg resulting in lack of spring in mid/forefoot strike . see another video commentary 40 seconds in -
I didn’t really check my results to see if mid/forefoot running was quicker for me but I did get a little pain in forefoot area, probably because I had not done it before. About a week later I tried the next level of barefoot. I have a pair of surf shoes which are probably the closest thing to barefoot shoes.

Very little depth to them so I only tried a mile run which went ok, but I think the jury is still out on whether I should change my style. I cant realistically see myself in the future doing a marathon forefoot style with a pair of Newtons or those crazy Five Fingers minimalist trainers.  

Stevo Mourne Olympic Triathlon - 31st August 2013
For the second time this year Stephen my brother did an Olympic triathlon. This one was in the beautiful Mourne area around Castlewellan. I had hoped to do it with him but because I got a tattoo recently I wasn’t keen on getting it dirty in the lake.
Stevo arrived calm as a cucumber and set off in the lake for the swim. Thankfully the water was reasonable around 15 degrees so not too cold.


After the swim he came out mid pack and quickly got ready for the long bike ride in the windy weather conditions.

He later reported that thankfully this race he didn’t loose his pro-plus tablets for that mid section pickup to help keep you going or like last time get his laces tangled up in the chain ring.
I knew from riding with Stephen a few months back that biking was his strong part and it was good to see him later set off with a good steady pace for the run.

Whilst my parents and Stephens little supporters waited at the finish line for him I went down to the lake circuit and got a chance to cheer fellow competitors on and see Stephen each lap he did.
Now that I have been doing this sport a few years it was strange to be on the spectating side of things, but I did enjoy trying to work out different things to motivate runners at they ran past. At times I reverted to cheering club names and I got a couple of thanks from some weary runners and saw quite a few fellow triathletes that I know through races I have taken part on or are facebook friends.  Towards the end of the second lap I could see he was still running strong so I made my way up the hill to the finish area to capture him finishing.

After Stephen finished he was pretty pleased and thankfully later got the correct recovery cold bath just above legs (not up to chest and neck like last time eh Bro!)

Have to say, im very proud of Stephen. Not only did he complete the difficult Olympic triathlon, but he managed to raise almost £700 for North Uganda Outreach Project . Well done Stephen !

Other stuff happening, let me thinks……

Insanity workout – tried few days of these. I think there is a total of about 60 days workout scheme. Pretty much like a bootcamp free weights circuit type thing. Last about 40 mins with some parts just stretching, but boy do they make ya sweat!

Peanut butter smoothies – only discovered these after trying one in local shopping centre. Yummy. Bananas, milk, coconut, peanut butter, honey chocolate powder and if you want some canned fruit. The great thing about smoothies is you can play about with the ingredients and they are good for you as long as you don’t put too much sugar stuff in them. Better still if you make green smoothies with veg in them.

Well that’s about it until next time. Hope you like the blog entry and feel free to let me know what you think either on the blog post or my facebook. Cheers