Demand was high and the Race Timing Systems website didn’t seem to cope very well (the secure checkout page hung for quite a few minutes before I had to stop it and try again).
But I am in!
This will be my fourth time: 2x have been good but once I was poorly so I just pulled people out of the water at the end.
Hurray I am in!
I had a go at doing a 5 Mile MAF test. Based on the formula, my HR target is 142bpm. I did 5 x (4 x 400m) around the local track after a warm up:
Mile 1 145 07:56.0
Mile 2 144 08:17.5
Mile 3 144 08:23.4
Mile 4 145 08:20.7
Mile 5 144 08:21.7
I was planning to do 142bpm +/- 2bpm. As I was keen, I aimed high!
I don’t think that these numbers mean too much by themselves. The key is to see how I do in the future and compare it to these numbers.
I had a go at seeing how far I could swim in 30 minutes in a pool today and managed 1,835m. The pace was relatively even at 13:00 for the first 800m and 13:10 for the next 800m. I think that’s pretty good. In fact, I am quite chuffed.
I’ve never done a T30 test before so I have nothing to compare it to. But I have looked back at my notes and can see that I did 1,600m in 26:39 – so 29 seconds quicker this time. But that was part of a longer swim, 4.2k – so it is not possible to compare the two. But I am still chuffed.
I did feel very strong in the first few hundred metres. It would be great to be able to get that feeling to last longer!
That was hard. I did it in 1:31:52, so 90 seconds slower than two years ago. To be honest, I was disappointed but I did my best. How could I improve:
- Don’t leave my running shoes at work
- Use my HR monitor to keep the hills under control
- Practice more
This is what I wrote in my training log:
The weather was overcast, bit of a S wind, probably about 10 degrees. In other words, pretty near perfect.
The start was delayed by 10 mins and it did get a bit cold on the start line, even with a bin bag on.
I’d set my GPS to do it in 1:30 and so all I had to do was stay with the real man with the flag and I could double check the runner on my gps. What could go wrong?
Within 20m of the start I had gone ahead of the pace maker. I probably scooted through some gaps so I carried on. Then I looked at my gps and I was already 20m behind. I’d better just carry on at the pace that I thought was right. So, I did. Scooting through the gaps, wondering why some people had started so close to the front when they were going less than half of everyone else’s speed.
At about a mile I was 50m behind the gps with no sign of the pacemaker so I carried on, trying to get a little quicker to catch up those 50m (dividing it by 4, about 12s). Then the pacemaker came screaming past me. I tried to stay with him but he went way quicker than me. I knew he was trying to make up time so I decided not to stay with him, especially as we were going up hill.
After 3 miles I stayed 10m or so behind him and his merry band of followers. At the first aid station at about 4 miles in I was just behind him and then fell back a little to around 10m or so again. By this stage I was ahead of the GPS and this lead grew to around 160m (40s) by the 10k mark (but I have no idea how accurate the gps is).
I thought the pacer was going quick so I looked at my watch at the 10k and it said 41:45. Some times I maths goes wrong on the fly but I thought that’s 45s quicker than I wanted to be. I decided that I didn’t mind a bit bigger gap in front and he seemed to slow down a little up the hill between mile 7 and 8. I got to 10m of him and then at the top of the hill my legs began to start to fail me.
I was 130m ahead of my gps but then it got lower and lower. Almost exactly at the mile 10 marker, I was down to 2m ahead. Between mile 8 and 10 people started going steadily past me. I was slowing big time. I don’t think it was my heart/breathing causing me to slow but my legs (surprise!) Looking at my pace between 70 mins and 85 mins, it had fallen to 4:35 per km compared with the 4:13 I was aiming for.
There was a bit just before mile 10 that I decided to try to stay with a someone who had just overtaken me and so I increased my pace and it felt ok. At that stage, I was back to (slowly) overtaking people but after a few minutes I seemed to have eased off because people were overtaking me again.
About 1km from the end, you go up a uphill bit to get you towards the stadium, I decided to push from there and stayed with a woman who had just overtaken me. But after a short bit, I felt a stitch and just could not push. My HR dipped in the last two minutes which is the wrong way around!
Not sure of my actual finish time yet, I think it is just over 1:32 but I didn’t press the right button on my watch.
Nutrition wise, I was probably a little dehydrated this morning. I had a mouth full of water (about 7 miles in) and a mouthful of sports drink (about 5 miles in) and a gel at about mile 9. So, I don’t think the stitch thing is to do with eating. I didn’t sleep well (Sparkie barked to go out at 2:50am and it took an hour to get to sleep).
I left my red shoes in the office so wore the blue inov8′s. These were probably a bit loose at the front of my foot as I can feel the start of blisters on the outside of the front left of my left foot.
Average HR=166bpm, max=175bpm (actual max is probably higher than that but just couldn’t push at the end because of the stitch).
A beautiful day, my TT bike and a 2.5 hour ride. Lovely. I felt very fast at times. Tri bikes are great for that. There was little wind and a lot of sunshine. First time this year without longs. My feet did get cold but I didn’t mind. My neck was fine, although it did feel a bit creaky afterwards. Power was better than I though, especially at the end. In fact it was almost exactly as it was on the same route two years ago. So, I am chuffed. Tomorrow is the half-marathon. After that the volume will go up.
My right leg/foot is feeling a bit better. It seems fine on the bike but every now and then I get a twinge when just doing normal stuff. I did a 10 minute run on Friday and it felt fine. This afternoon I’ll go out on my tri bike for a couple of hours just to remind myself how to ride it.
Tomorrow’s half-marathon is going to be interesting. The plan is pretty much going to be to run near to the guy with the 1:30 flag and then have a go at pipping him to the line! To be honest, I am not confident that I will beat him! But, if my leg holds up, I will get very close.
This time of year, I start enjoying the weather. It’s light at just after 6am now and I have driven home in the light. This morning it was sunny (albeit with a hard white frost) but that cleared up as soon as the sun got out. This evening, I plan on going to see the moon rise. By all accounts, it should look pretty huge.
I remember at some stage before going to the pool yesterday morning that I felt a twinge on my right foot, but thought nothing of it. Then in the pool the bottom of my right leg hurt a bit on the push offs. After 3 x400m I stopped for a few minutes to try to work out what was wrong, did 50m and then stopped. So not much swimming! But one was drafting someone in 6:17 so not bad.
The pain is a sharp-ish pain when my toes point down. It feels like it hurts a couple of inches above my ankles. Not sure what that is yet.
I called off my lunch time run and just did an hour on the bike in the evening. This morning it still hurts. Not good.
Hopefully, it will disappear before the weekend but I am not confident. Especially as its the Reading half-marathon and lots of people from work are doing it. I will be embarrassed to have to pull out. I’d be stupid to make it worse though…
The Henley Swim guys are planning a “Bridge to Bridge” swim. From Henley to Marlow. 14km.
Yes, that’s not a typo. 14k!
It’s with the stream and so it may not quite be that far really. Well it is, but, well, it will probably feel less. Actually, it will feel a long, long way. But you know what I mean.
With a wetsuit and walking around the locks and weirs it will probably take well over four hours.
That could be quite tough!
The thing I am really wondering about is whether you end up looking forward to walking barefoot around the locks or do you get to hate that by the time you get to the end?
Can’t wait for entries to open!
I was chatting to my daughter in the car this morning and we agreed a challenge:
- be 11 stone or under by the end of April
- stay 11 stone or under for the whole of May (measured weekly, but I am allowed to be over once).
If she wins, she gets facebook on her birthday. And her brother gets an X-Box game – but not COD.
I did a negative split run this morning, 21.6k in 1:54. This is exactly the same as I did two years ago. The route was slightly different but not hugely so. So, I am on track. Good.
I do need to make sure that I keep up the run frequency though, that’s gone down over the last couple of weeks though.
The bike is not good though. Still not getting any volume out which is pretty poor.