I went for a run the other day and tried to read my watch while I was running. It took me a few seconds to focus on the numbers I was interested in as my arm was moving around a bit. Fine. Today I was doing an easy run on a treadmill with a mirror in front of me. Behind me was a TV with sub-titles that I could read backwards. I couldn’t read the words quickly because of the mirroring. But my eyes stayed focused while running at 12 kph. Evolution is a weird thing. Perhaps we evolved to run while focusing on something in the distance. Or maybe we evolved to watch TV in the gym. Who knows?
Yesterday evening I went for a run around the track. Glorious sunshine but quite cold and a bit windy. The idea was to see how fast I could run while keeping my heart rate capped at 150 bpm. I did 4 laps as a warm-up and then 20 laps properly, with a single lap at the end to ease off. So 10k in all.
In terms of effort, 150bpm is what I would describe as “moderate”. Definitely faster than “easy” but slower than my half marathon pace. It is faster than my Ironman marathon pace.
The tricky bit for me was keeping the concentration on the pace. I think I did it pretty well. Just once did I lose concentration and let my heart rate get to 155 bpm. But it was less than a minute from it going above 150, me spotting it, and then letting it get back down though. The vast majority of the run was at or below the cap though.
The graph at the top shows how I did. I was expecting to be quicker over the first mile (7:32) as my HR started low and so I could run quicker until I got to the 150 bpm. What I wasn’t expecting though was that mile 2 would be the slowest of the lot (7:57) and that the rest would be quicker (7:53, 7:43, 7:44).
I have no idea what this means in real life though. I guess the absolute times suggest I am not as quick as I would like (who is?) and that I don’t slow much (at all) over the last 4.8k suggests that I have a reasonable endurance base.
The main idea though is to see what happens to those times as the months and years progress.
I had a run at Greenham Common this morning with the dog. Apart from rolling in cow poo, he did fine. Me, I had to run even slower than I thought possible. Oh well. At least the rain cleaned Sparkie up a bit. After about 20 minutes we got caught in a torrential downpour. At one point the rain was even coming sideways!
This afternoon I went for a bike ride, 1:43 at a very easy pace. I’m just trying to get back into things but I know that I am much, much slower than I was four years ago, probably six years ago too. Oh well, that’s what the practice is for.
Eating has gone well. And I feel like I am in a good place too.
Here’s a comparison between my training for Ironman Lanzarote in 2009 and 2011. Remember I felt great for 2009. And the opposite for 2011. 2009 I trained well. 2011 I lost motivation and worked some long hours at work.
The numbers are for the six months before the race:
2009 swim: 226k (average 3.1k)
2011 swim: 124k (average 2.5k)
So I swam 82% more in 2009
Interestingly, in 2009 I did 59:37 in the race but 57:30 in 2011. Was I really quicker in 2011? No, I think it was because the tide was out! I was 7th percentile in 2009 and 10th percentile in 2011. But overall that’s not a huge difference for nearly twice the amount of swimming.
Is there a message here that I don’t need to swim as much? Or does all that swimming help my bike?
2009: 152 hours
2011: 123 hours
So I rode 24% more in 2009.
Number of rides over 3 hours:
And that includes the race!
In the actual race:
That’s 12% more in 2009.
Swim (based on 100m = 1)
Bike (based on minutes)
Run (based on minutes)
So the Eddington number for the bike has given a perverse result. 2011′s 60 sounds much better than 2009′s 55. But if you look at the total time for the longest 26 rides, it is:
2009: 94:40 (average 3:38)
2011: 69:37 (average 2:40)
A very big difference.
I ran for 30 mins today at lunch time at an easy pace. As something different, I decided to visualise the Ironman Lanzarote course. I started on the beach, did the swim, T1, bike, T2 and got on to the run after about 20 minutes (I know the course quite well) and then I noticed a small difference in the way I was running. I was running more tiredly and it felt harder. I went back to the present and it felt fine. Weird. I might play with the visualisation again on the run but make the memories happier and see (or feel) what happens. If I can associate different part of the course with happy thoughts then I might be able to distract myself on the real run. Or maybe I won’t be able to.
Next week I am going to do a long run. 50 miles.
So I thought I might as well go for a run or two to practice.
The first is a run by myself from Winchester – 29.7k in a slow 3 hours 30 mins or so with 309m of climbing. The over-riding memory of this run was the heat (26 degrees in the car on the way down) and the stinging nettles. My legs were stung more times than I could possibly imagine – sleeping was very painful.
The second was around Watership down – up and down some very steep hills – 27.8k in 2 hours 53 mins – 612m of climbing. This was with the running club and so the pace was quicker than I would have done myself and as a consequent, quite a bit tougher.
The 50 mile run has 1,700m of climbing. That’s about the equivalent of 612m in 27.8k. So its going to be quite tough…
Well not really. I spotted a bloke photographing a teddy bear in a wood. Didn’t stop to talk to him, just ran faster!
This weekend I’ve done a couple of long-ish runs and a short-ish one that totals 46.7k They were mostly off road with others. Saturday’s was a little slower than Sunday’s, with Sunday’s being quite warm in places, especially when I was running with the wind.
Highlight of the week was a 2,000m swim in 32:40 – but I was drafting so it doesn’t really count!
Last Sunday I got a train to Mortimer and then ran home along the footpaths. It took just over three hours, and there was some walking. Mostly because some of the footpaths along a 3k stretch were in an appalling condition. To be honest though, there were a few other bits of walking too. I am not as fit as I want to be.
The best bit though was I was out running. And it rained. Very hard. So hard it made my face hurt. The squall lasted about five minutes and then it eased off. I liked those five minutes. A lot.
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.
Today I planned to do the 40k Stonehenge stomp but I wasn’t as fit as I needed to be and so about about 30k in I decided to take the quicker route back. In the end, I did 32k in a smidgen over 3 hours. I got to the second checkpoint – 10k – in under 50 minutes but then slowed hugely, especially when I ended power walking up a really long, steep hill. I found the 23k – 32k bit quite tough.
I fell at about 12k. I was approaching a group of walkers on a downhill, rutted path. I moved left before a hard right turn and one of them moved left and so I had to move further left and tripped on some frozen ruts, landing on my left side. I carried on but my left wrist and quad took most of the weight.
The event was value for money. Only £2. And for that you get a well signposted course, plus drinks, sweets and biscuits at the aid station.