Sunday, 30 March 2014

Upping the Auntie :-)

New Training Plan

With the development and some constant fiddling about with my new training plan for the next few months I have finally settled into some more serious bike and run training. Since last entry I am pleased to say that all is going well and I am very happy with how things are progressing. It will be strange this year as it looks like I will not be doing any triathlons at all any distance, but the strange thing is that I feel that these last few weeks I am feeling as fit and strong as I ever had been.


Traditionally if you are training for either a biking event or a running event you would leave the long sessions for the weekend, however I'm having to compromise on both. Essentially the plan looks now like a long runs during the week and back to back bike sessions at the weekend for the next few weeks until tapering for Belfast Marathon and then both the Long way home and the following week Mourne Way Marathon (U).

Trail Running

Up until the last week I have been trying to ticking off some outstanding stuff re trying out some trail running.

Iv been wanting to do some training as mentioned before on trail routes to help prepare me for Mourne marathon. I knew of three different places I wanted to do - Barnett's demesne, Stormont , Cavehill and hopefully a bonus route if I had the chance of somewhere in the Mournes. I knew Stormont and Barnett's should be pretty straightforward but I had to read up about Cavehill a bit as I wasn’t too familiar with the route up there. Anyhow's, I finally got round one weekend to doing Cavehill (15 miles, 3.20 time/13MM) .
Cavehill isn't really that long in circumference and if you wanted to make up significant mileage you either had to do a number of laps or do what I did recently which was to do two or three routes mixed in with basically purposely getting lost in what only can be described as a spiders web of minor trail routes within the main exterior route until you clock up your required mileage.

The Cavehill run went pretty well apart from being quite breezy on the day and the hail stone session at the very top without any shelter for several minutes - you should have heard me f ing and blinding out loud :-) 

As for running - or should I say walk / running in the Mournes I plotted a route which was a mixture of hill climb up to Donard / Commadagh saddle wall, then across to Hare's Gap then onto to Tollymore Forest before leading back to Newcastle.



 The run in the Mournes was a great experience. The weather was good and only the odd shower and the rain jacket I had was only needed for short parts to shelter me from the wind and the odd shower.
I managed to do 12 miles in just over 4 hrs; (21MM) taking into account a good few stops to check map and take video etc.



Cregagh Glen - Belfast

The other short steep run I came across near where I live in a park/trail route called 'Cregagh Glen' ( ) the steep 1.5 mile river trail basically goes up a hill in the middle on a forest leading to an opening on top of the Castlereagh hills which have an outstanding view right around Belfast. I ran up and down this to make up a short 5 mile hill rep run which was enjoyable. It is being developed by the National Trust and I think I will be back for some hill reps some time.
Top of Cregagh Glen opens up to fantastic views -
And a wee run in Belmont Park too...

A wee funny -


Swimathon 2014

The Swimathon this year went well. Despite the fact that as usual I haven't done any significant training the longest I was in the pool leading up to it was a single half hour slot.
I haven't got the results yet but the volunteers helping on the day reckon it was about 2.15  - about 5/10 minutes slower than last year.
Thankfully we managed to raise £75 for Marie Care charity. Big thanks to all the sponsors and family that were very supportive on the day.

Back to back training / Training on tired legs

As well as getting into back to back long bike rides I'm also trying back to back long runs. Doing back to back training is one way of getting used to training on tired legs with the body in a fatigued state. This week for example was a particularly heavy week which I managed to 'running on tired' state for both running and cycling.
On Wednesday I ran 24 mile followed on Thursday with a 10 miler. On Saturday and Sunday I did on both days 50 miles on the bike. This week my legs are starting to feel a new type of pain - instead of just the muscle pain which you get from exertion , I'm also starting to get a slight pain which almost feels like its coming from the core of the muscles - as if it’s the bone aching a bit. Nothing too discomforting, but just a new type of ache which I haven't really felt too much before. Hopefully my muscle memory will start to adjust and the nature of running on tired legs will start to become more the 'norm' to help me prepare for upcoming events.


Two very long runs - 40 seconds difference. These last couple weeks I have done two 24 mile runs and managed 40 second only difference between the two. On neither run was I checking my pace etc on the monitor to see if I was on track with last run. I just collect data on my Garmin and merely check it when I get back to the house.

Also, with regard to long bike rides, today and yesterday did back to back 50 milers and the difference between the two was only 28 seconds between the two - so close! The bonus part too about the biking is that I finally managed to hold a 15 mph average on both rides. Since getting back on the bike this last couple of months I have been really giving it my all on each run with first have usually a 80% effort level on the first half with the later part a 100 % perceived effort hoping to do well overall.

Even so, I have worked hard to average a 14mph but this weekends results really pleased me. I suppose also the fact that on Friday I got a bike fit done and also the weather was pleasant enough this weekend helped, but even so, to go out on the second day (which I wasn’t expecting to maintain the average) I'm really pleased with myself and now continue my plan with confidence going into this years cycle sportive charity event, the Long Way Home.
New Kit - Ultimate Direction Anton Krupicka Race Vest

Yesterday I received arrival of my new Ultimate Direction Anton Krupicka Race Vest 2.0.
I hope to use this primarily in the Mourne Marathon but might use it later on the Titanic run too. The hand held camelbak bottles are very good ( I now have 2 - the 2nd one I use / collect in car after say 12 miles into my long run) . Although they are very good I think it would be good to have my hands free and with the camelbaks I notice I tend to prefer only using the right hand. Unfortunately my fingers tend over longer runs to get slightly painful with the elastic wrap that goes round your hand eventually causing slight discomfort.
To be honest you can alleviate it a bit by switching hands for 5 minutes or so, but I think if I can avoid this problem altogether I would prefer to go down that route. Also this year on the odd trail run I have got into I have really enjoyed it so I might make more use of these type of hydration packs in the future. I have used both belts around waist which tend to aggravate any tummy problems that I may have.
The typical type hydration packs with reservoirs and tubing are not great for me as with them you cannot really visualise (like you could see from a bottle) exactly how much you have drunk as you go along (which is important to be mindful of when out for a long time). The normal hydration packs are better suited for trail walking / hiking etc. Hopefully in next blog I have a review of the Ultimate Direction Race Vest. Bearing in mind it was pretty dear and that Anton himself helped in the design input, it should be pretty good.

Other stuff

One thing I haven't got round to talking about trying to balance work, home life and fitting in a workout is pretty difficult. Because now more of my sessions are longer I realise that this effects how much I'm pottering about in the house with the missus and the little rascal and heading out with them if they are going to the local coffee shop / park or shopping centre for a wee outing for a couple of hours. Bearing this in mind I try my utmost to make the most of my rest days and even after my sessions I make the most of the rest of the day and have some quality time at home with the family.
Sometimes I wish there was more time in the day to do more of everything, but bearing in mind that wont ever happen I have to say now that thankfully I have a very understanding wife that puts up with me and we try to manage our time together as best we can. Hopefully when the little one gets a bit older she will be out with her Daddy running /cycling or else daddy might be taxiing her to her sports class at the weekend :-) We will just have to wait and see...
Couple of wee funnies to end off this blog post

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