Getting 2014 off to a start

Today was race day (well sort of).

Today was the Maxifuel half marathon at Dorney Lakes. My first event of the 2014 season. I was well up for it even though I was under strict instructions from Mark. Today was all about pacing. His instructions were clear – run at my ironman marathon pace for at least half the run and only if I felt OK could I increase for lap three and again increase for lap 4 IF I felt OK.

These were more challenging instructions then saying ‘try and get a PB’. My running is always the same, I go off too fast and hang on to the end. This time had to be different.

I was up before the alarm, 3 crumpets and Jam for brekkie, my bag was already packed from the night before (but I obviously repacked it!). And off I set. I got to Dorney Lakes in plenty of time and was ready for the off. A quick gel before the gun and off I went. Although it didn’t really feel like I was really going that fast. I defaulted to my usual speed of 10 kmph and realised and slowed to 9 kmph, still too fast but I felt comfortable and thought I would run at this pace for a K or two while the crowds dissipated.

Lap one was longer at 6.5K in total – and I did it all at around 9 – 9.5 kmph and I felt good, very easy pace, very comfortable. I did lap two (4.8K) at the same pace. All was easy and comfortable. Even the breeze off the lake, the rain shower and the hail stones didn’t alter the pace. Lap three (also 4.8K) was hard to stay at the same pace. I was so comfortable, finding this pace so easy, I wanted to pick it up. I took another gel after 45 mins and had water every lap. It seemed those around me were slowing down and flagging. Lap three was still at the same pace and I started Lap 4 (after another gel). And I upped the pace, I didn’t rely on the Garmin I just run it on feel. I picked up the pace and finished the last lap very strong. The last lap I must have gone past about 20 other runners and I completed it one and a half minutes faster then lap 3.

This was the first run I have ever finished so strong. In hindsight I could have gone harder earlier. But today wasn’t about the time it was about learning more about pacing. Starting easy and building, not ‘blowing my doors off’ at the start and hanging on to the finish. 2hrs and 7 mins was my finish time. 6 mins off my PB, but my second fastest half marathon time. But crucially it was very very easy. It was faster then I was supposed to run, but because for the entire run I felt very very comfortable.

This is great progress (if I do say so myself). Hopefully next Sunday’s 112K sportive will be as comfortable! But this is a good foundation to take to Egypt for two weeks of bootcamp.

Thanks for reading.

Turned out nice again.

Another good two weeks training under my belt since the last blog.

In the past two weeks I have ticked off 10 hours of cycling, just under 3 hrs of swimming and 2 hours of running. Fourteen and a half hours of training in total.

I am feeling really good and have done some good sessions. Today was a 50 minute run followed by a 1 hr 40 mins bike ride, all at an easy pace. And the weather just makes it so much nicer to train in. Today’s ride was a nice trot along to Box Hill. A really nice session.

Yesterday was a 75 mins bike session and a 25 mins run off the bike. So getting some good brick sessions under my belt as well.

I have also picked up a couple of training partners. I have done a few runs and a ride with my step-daughter Leigh and last weeks bike ride was with my brother, Richard.

Next weekend is my first event of the year with a half marathon at Dorney Lakes. I am looking forward to this but it will be really hard for me. Not because I am not ready or because I am going for a PB or anything like that, quite the reverse, I am going to try and run it slowly to pace myself. And that is something I am not good at. I need to get better at running slow, as in at my half ironman or ironman marathon pace. The speed I will be running the marathon stage of the Ironman. So next week isn’t about time or ‘effort’ it is about having my own plan for my own agenda. If everyone goes flying past me next week, than that is fine. They may not be training for an ironman and learning to pace themselves. I am! That will be my mantra next week.

So everything is going very well. Although I don’t expect anything else being a pupil of Mark.

Thanks for reading.


“I love it when a plan comes together”

I have been a bit …. well … crap … ¬†at doing my blogs lately so apologies and here is an overdue update.

All is going very well. True to the plan February was a solid month of training. I didn’t do the Kenley 10K or the Ball Buster as one would have been a distraction and the other would have been too much.

February was four weeks of training as 5 hrs 20 mins for week one, same for week two, 6 hrs 30 mins for week three and last week was 5 hrs 20 mins. This was key to get into a routine and start to string some weeks together after the off, on, off training over Xmas and January.

Last week included a 90 mins bike ride and that was really nice, getting out of the shed and off the turbo and get some proper bike miles in the legs. I am currently coming to the end of a big bike block with a turbo session Friday evening, a ride outside on Saturday, a turbo Sunday, another turbo Monday evening and I am due to do a turbo again tomorrow (just done a 1 hr swim this evening).

So training is going good.

So much so I am looking at events and have agreed with Mark to do the half marathon at Dorney Lakes on the 22nd March. I am looking forward to that. No PB’s this year though, it’s all about pacing for the Ironman.

I have also pencilled in a cycling sportive for the week after of 115K if all goes well at the Half Marathon. That’s all I have planned pre boot camp Egypt. We fly out to Sharm on the 13th April for a little over two weeks and that will be a real boot camp situation. A couple of weeks after we get back will be the Marshman Half Ironman on the 11th May – the day my wife and step daughter are due to do the East Grinstead Super Sprint Tri! And I have also seen a 3.8K swim in Reading which will be good race practice, swimming that distance with others around me.

I feel a lot happier now events, dates and a plan is coming together (without sounding like Hannibal off the A Team).

On Sunday we went to the TCR Show at Sandown Park. We caught up with Mark and his lovely wife Clare and also Lee and Sam from Tri Topia. Just being around Mark gets you motivated and enthused. He’s like a motivational drug.

I treated myself to some new running tights and some funky, bright orange, Compress Calf guards as well as stocking up on Torq bars and Energy 5 Gels. Mark has a new book out as well which was bought ready for the flight to Egypt.

Finally a big shout out to my step daughter Leigh. She has signed up for an over night 100K bike ride in June. With very little riding experience and no bike, this seemed like madness. But Mark has helped me put a training program together and she has been knocking out the sessions set as much as she can. Her 10 month old son has been ill the past week so, understandably, she has missed some sessions, but she was up at 6.30 this morning to go for a run as she couldn’t train this evening. We have sorted out a spare bike and she will start getting some bike miles under her belt this weekend, weather permitting. And I get a training partner.

Thanks for reading.