Midweek update – Week 5

So it’s been eventful if not very successful so far this week!
On Monday, I did my hilly intervals, they were ok, nothing special. I did a bit of upper body and core stuff too. I think I am going to change up this intervals set next week, maybe 2x5km at half marathon pace, or about 4:05/km.
On Tuesday I got home and thought I would go swimming, but couldn’t find my goggles. I searched the entire flat but couldn’t find them, after 45 minutes I was pissed off, so decided to cycle to the swimming pool 11km away in Mombach, hoping to buy a new pair there. Well for some unknown reason they don’t sell or lend out goggles, so I ended up leaving un-worked out and not in a good mood. I figured that I probably left my goggles in Nieder-Olm swimming pool on Friday last week, so I emailed them. They had some matching the description, so I decided on Wednesday to cycle to Nieder-Olm in the snow and wind, to get my goggles back. It seemed stupid to cycle to a pool and now swim so I would swim too. Well the cycle there wasn’t very pleasant! It was freezing and against a headwind all the way. I got my goggles and swam badly for 1500m before starting to feel a cramp coming, so I cycled home, nice and easy with the wind, the only problem was navigation.

Now I don’t usually count cycling to and from places as training, because it is more like commuting. I mean, I cycle 15-20 minutes twice a day to and from work, but it isn’t a workout. So I decided that Tuesday’s 22km ride didn’t count. Then yesterday I did another 21km to and from the pool, and screw it, I am counting it. I can’t let a total of 43km on my mountain bike not count for anything! That’s like 60km on my road bike! So the 43km are being counted in my total and as 1 workout for Jantastic. I think when the weather is better (it can’t get much worse) the cycle to Nieder-Olm pool will be quite nice. I could extend the ride back too so that it is a 30-40km total, making it a nice little brick session.

So I plan to run my intervals this evening, 7x1km as always! I would like to tag on a few extra K if there isn’t a queue at the treadmills. Jochen has hurt his foot, so didn’t fancy doing outdoor intervals yesterday. Tomorrow I will definitely run, and maybe swim too. 1.5km isn’t exactly a full weeks swim training, so I will either fit in another swim on Friday or Sunday.
Saturday will be an early long run, followed by the weekly coffee and bagel in town, then I’ll be watching Mainz beat Paderborn. 30km+ should be fine, no need to go mental with 35km+ routes yet.
Sunday could be the group ride, but might not be. The current forecast is for -4 degrees. If it is that cold it will be difficult, but I will probably go for the previously mentioned Nieder-Olm swimming pool loop, though thinking about it, that would mean I would swim 2 days in a row, as I have a training session on Monday, maybe Friday would be better after all…

Just as general notes, the diet is going well but I am not sleeping well. I keep waking up at 4am and dosing until the alarm goes off (or not as was the case on Monday!). I’m going to try to reduce my caffeine intake late at night, I can hope for a sleep in on Sunday too 🙂

Start of week 5

The week ahead.
I said I would do intervals with Jochen on Wednesday, that kind of screws up my plans a bit, but should be ok. We will do 7x1km probably at around 3:45 pace.
I will do my hilly intervals tomorrow so that I fit in the key run workouts. On Tuesday I think I will go swimming and maybe run home after (I always say I will and never do!) That will leave a cycle on Thursday and either a swim or run on Friday.
I want to do another good long run on Saturday, before another 10k race the weekend after. 32km+ would be good. Hills seem to be my friends nowadays, so I will probably head south again through the Weinberge.
On Sunday it looks like there might be a little chaingang going on. Our Cologne Bike and Run team is planning a ride, even though it might be 0 degrees out. It’ll be good to get a decent length ride in and hopefully they don’t want too many explosives on the climbs, I don’t think I am quite ready for that yet!

End of week 4

With no midweek update this week, it'll be a bit more about the workouts this week.
Monday was a rest day, it was partially planned as this week was an easy week, but work went late and my MTB was at the train station, so I didn't get home until 7pm, so I just took a rest day.
Tuesday I did a 15.6km run outdoors. It was a base run, with my HR somewhere in the 130s and the pace at 5:20 per KM. It was nice though.
Wednesday I did some upper body work in the gym, followed by a boring 1h on the bikes in the gym. They are obviously better than nothing, but I can't say I look forward to them. I might start to do some midweek rides outside in the dark. I have bright lights, it should be ok.
Thursday was my one intervals session of the week. 7x1km on the treadmill (1% incline) at 15.6km with 250m rest at 8km/h. I was a little apprehensive as it was the 0.6km/h faster than normal, but it was pretty easy to be honest. The last one was a little more difficult, but there was always some left in the tank.

Friday I had Swim training session 3 with Max at Nieder-Olm swimming pool. Me and Jochen decided to get some private swim coaching as we are both a bit rubbish. We had the first 2 sessions in December, but due to illnesses and holidays we haven't managed to get the last 3 arranged until now. Max is still ill so sat on the edge of the pool to watch our techniques. Apparently my technique is quite good, I turn my head too much to breathe and my kick gets a bit wonky, but otherwise it's not bad. We had quite a lot of fast intervals in this session, the hardest part being 5x50m races between me and Jochen. I managed to win them all, but they were close for the first 25-35m then I moved clear. I think the gym upper body work might be helping out there. Anyway, it was a hard session but it gives me hope of doing a decent swim split in a half later this year, and surviving the full distance swim!

Yesterday was snowy, cold and windy, but it was long run day, so I did a long run. Running against the wind was horrible as the snow went in my eyes about every 0.3 seconds, but after the first few km it was almost always a cross wind or tail wind. I tried out a new route to Klein Wintersheim – Nieder-Olm – Zornheim – Ebersheim – Home. It was going to be too short, so I went for a loop in the industrial park in Hechtsheim to get it over 30km. It ended up being 31.4km at 4:57/km. A decent pace but my HR was only high 140s average. I was still feeling pretty tired at the end though.
Today was still cold, but dry and not too much wind, so I decided against dying of boredom in the gym doing a 2h session, and went out for a ride. It was surprisingly good! Only 63km in 2:20, but its a start. I felt like I could keep pushing a little even at the end. 250km is still a long ways away, but I have time on my side.


Weight 78.2kg (+0.3kg)
Running 58km (220km YTD)
Cycling 91km (272km YTD)
Swimming 2.2km (9.15km YTD)

I am not surprised that my weight is up, it was a good week for my diet, it's just that last weeks weight seemed like a low blip. This weeks weight still puts me down 0.8kg in the last 2 week, so I am still pretty happy with how it's going.

Things I might buy for Köln226

I can’t really do a midweek update, as that would just be a review of one easy run so far, so I will write about what has been on my mind.

In order to get the best time possible, I will need a few things before doing Köln226 in September. I will put them in groups: “Essential”, “Would be nice” and “a luxury”:

So number 1, essential, a Trisuit. Luckily I have already ordered one from TCEC, it should get here in spring. It will be especially helpful for the shorter races, but I need one for the long distance too.

Number 2: A Triathlon Bike. I have my 2 road bikes, and they could be used if necessary, but Köln is a flat course and the angles of the bikes aren’t optimal to let me run after the 180km cycle. A tri-bike is essential, but which one? Well a Cervelo seems to be the obvious choice.

Something like that would be ideal. The problem is that it costs 2900€ new. I will sell my other road bike, I have no space for 3, but that will only get me 500€. I don’t think I can justify 2500€ on a triathlon bike. I will keep my eyes open for a good second hand one, otherwise I will have to settle for something else.

Number 3: An aero-helmet, that is between “essential” and “would be nice”. They aren’t crazy expensive, I have seen a decent looking lid, the Casco SPEEDster, for 150€, or a Bell Javelin like this one
I will almost certainly get one before Köln, I just have to decide which one.

Number 4: Aero-wheels. Zipps seem like they will be too expensive. RS81 C50s look like a good option for 700€ or so.

I will keep my eyes open for PlanetX offers, or I might go for a Chinese set of wheels for about 500€. Aero-wheels would definitely be “nice to have”

Number 5: A power-meter. Stages would do, the new 4iii would also be good.

I could imagine getting a Powertap too, but that could interfere with my aero-wheel selection. One idea would be to get a powertap and a carbon clip-on disc for the rear wheel. I think a power meter would be a luxury for me, it’d be great to know that I am not over-biking, as I am sure that the marathon will be hard enough anyway, but with all of the above to buy, I don’t know if I will manage it.

The dream is to find an eBay triathlon bike with aerowheels for just over a grand, then I could get a crank based power meter like a stages power meter and a decent aero lid and I will be good to go. Importantly, I don’t really need any of this stuff until Köln. I would want some training time with it, and it would be nice to have for a middle distance, but for Wiesbaden it isn’t so important with it being hilly.

As long as I have a trisuit and a triathlon bike, it will be ok. Maybe the rest is all just to look more professional than I really am… I guess it would cost thousands to save maybe 5 minutes.. hmmm

Start of week 4

I think I did too much quality in week 3, so I plan to run 1 interval session this week, instead of 2. I should get 2 swims in, especially with coached training being some time during the week. I need to keep plugging away with cycling, I expect my form will come at about the time as the weather improves, then it’ll be all good.
Regarding my weight, I was 79kg yesterday, but somehow 77.9kg today. I think I might be a bit dehydrated, so maybe my weight will go up in the next week, but hopefully not 😉

I think I need to increase the speed of my 1km intervals now that my 10k time has changed a bit. I ran 3:51.5/km yesterday, that’s 15.55km/h. So I will set the treadmill to 15.6km/h for the 7x1km next time I do them.

I have just noticed that this coming week is week 4, I will generally try to do 3 weeks harder followed by one week easy, so that is another reason to only do 1 set of intervals this week, and to cycle more! I need to get to bed nice and early from the get go this week, last week Monday-Wednesday were pretty much write offs because I was so tired.

End of Week 3

I’ve already written quite a lot this week, so this will be a short run down of the week and a plan for next week. On Thursday I ran my hilly treadmill run, it went well, quite easy actually. On Friday swim training was cancelled, so I swam at TBB, only 1850m, but I started to feel a bit of cramp, so I left it at that.

Last night after the 10k race, I did some upper body and core work at the gym, and as I had to wait for Katja, I ran at just over 10km/h for 45 minutes or so.
Today I cycled for 2 hours, it wasn’t great to be honest, about 55km cold, a bit windy and I just didn’t enjoy it much. I need to get into my cycling, but a few degrees extra would make that a bit easier!

Weight – 77.9kg (-1.1kg)
Running – 39km (162km for the year)
Cycling – 83km (181km for the year)
Swimming – 1.85km (6.95km for the year)

Lindensee 10k

First race of the year, a 10k race in Rüsselsheim. I managed to rope Jochen into racing with me, he hasn’t run too much in the last few weeks but claims good form for his first 10k race ever!

After getting warmed up and 'emptied' I was ready to go. The start was a bit fast, a first look at the watch showed 3:30/km and Jochen was still ahead of me! After about 1km the pace settled and I moved past him and through the field. I seemed to be having to push a bit to keep my 3:50 pace up and my HR was up around 178… too high.

After about 4km there was a sharp turn where I could see that the footsteps behind me weren't Jochen, because he had fallen about 30m behind.  I pushed on in a small group, 2 of whom then passed me, one a bit too quick, the other perfect to follow. After 6km I saw 23mins on the watch, only 16mins or so left, that's why 10ks are good!
The last few k clicked down without too much excitement. I passed someone like he had a flat tyre with 1km left, the guy I had followed for ages didn't seem to want me to pass, and I don't think he was in my age group, so I didn't fight too much (it turned out he was in my age group and it was a fight for 2nd!). The end was starting to hurt, but a quick look at the watch showed 38:36, a 70 second PB!!


Jochen managed a 40:25 or so, he was very disappointed. It's the first time I have beaten him, and hopefully not the last 🙂

I'm not planning anymore races until Frankfurt half marathon in 6 weeks. Today's time predicts a 1:25:10 half, the first goal of the season is within reach.

Midweek update

It’s Thursday morning so I thought I should give a little midweek update.

Last week I flew out of the gates with 4 workouts on Monday and Tuesday, ending up with 9 workouts for the week. This week, not so much!
The long run on Sunday apparently took more out of me than I knew, or lack of sleep caught up with me, or both. I took Monday as a rest day, only doing a bit of strength work. On Tuesday even though I wasn’t up for it at all, I went and did my 7x1km intervals, and actually they went really well, no issues and a lower HR than last week.

Last night I still couldn’t much be bothered, but I went and cycled about 90minutes on the MTB outside. I went with my big headlamp and set off in the direction of Nierstein. I wanted to climb the little hills, whilst avoiding any traffic. All went well until I decided to loop back home on an unknown route, instead of just doing a 180. The path went on for a while, until it ended, so I went off road. Then the track ended too, so I turned back to get back to the track, except that the wet track was so muddy that my tyres just span out without going forward! I walked back to the path, then looked around for a way home. After a few dead ends I was getting worried, aware that my light won’t last forever, when I found a path leading back towards Lorzweiler. By the time I got back to Hechtsheim my ultra-bright headtorch was more like a glow stick, I was happy to get home! I don’t know how great training it is, but it is certainly more fun to MTB than go on the rollers. I think I will just do what I can be bothered to! I see a sufferfest video in my near future too.

So that is where I am, only 1 run and 1 cycle in 3 days. The plan for the rest of the week is: tonight hilly treadmill with some leg/core strength. Tomorrow swim training no. 3 with Max (might squeeze a short run in beforehand). Saturday I want to do the Rüsselsheim Lindensee 10km and go under 39 minutes, then slow jog the 18km or so home. Sunday I will cycle, where and how long is weather dependent.

In other news, I have been eating like a pig for the last 2 evenings. Granted, yesterday I ate very little during the day, but Pizza, porridge and 500g Quark is way too much! I will try to get that back under control today. I am trying to get to bed earlier, so I can get 8-9h of sleep, but I am not sleeping very well. I will keep trying though.

Week 3

So week 2 was a good one, so the plan won’t drastically change this week.

Run at least 4 times
Cycle: 2 times but I need to get a real longer ride done. I’m not talking 150km here, I’ll be taking baby steps, but 4 hours would be a decent start.
Swim: I might as well keep on with the 100m more each workout routine. so I expect 2 workouts of 1.9km and 2km.

I think I will try some TCEC things this week too. The ones that fit best are running on Tuesday and Swimming on Wednesday. Depending on what we do on Tuesday, I’ll either do my 7x1km or the hilly treadmill run on Thursday. Saturday long ride and Sunday long run seems fair enough. That leaves Monday and Friday, one will be a swim, the other an easy outdoor run. I might tag on an easy 5km run after the gym cycle again as that seemed to work.

These obviously aren’t set in stone, I could try to cycle on Wednesday, then go to swimming and take a day off! Let’s see how I feel and, nearly literally, where the wind takes me!

End of week 2 – A kick start to the season

Right, where were we? I'd knocked out 4 workouts on Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday went as planned, 11.6km outside run in the cold and dark. It felt really easy, as evidenced by my HR average of 136, but the average pace was a decent 5:18 so that will do for my easy run.

On Thursday I was at the gym again. I did some strength work on the legs and the triceps, before getting on with my hilly treadmill run. I failed on this run last week, so I was happy to have fairly cruised through it this time. There was one very brief stop, but that was only because my shoelace came undone. It was still a hard effort, but I think and hope I can do this exact workout a few times more, before trying to increase the pace a little.

On Friday I went to Taubertsbergbad straight after work. I'm under no allusions about my swimming, it is pretty rubbish, but I am trying to build into it instead of knocking out 3k now and never wanting to swim again, I started with 1.6km last week, then 1.7 and this time 1.8km. I was experimenting with holding my breath for longer underwater, instead of immediately exhaling. Having the air in my lungs should keep me more buoyant, which in turn should improve my body position. I felt like there was something to this, but I wasn't feeling comfortable with it. I will keep trying. I did 100m sets, almost all around the 1:52 mark, the fastest was a 1:47. I turn like a boat, so I don't think I am faster in a 25m pool than a 50m one!

Yesterday should have been long cycle day, but it was blowing an absolute gale, so I ended up doing 90 minutes on the trainer whilst watching 'Remember the Titans'. It wasn't exciting, but a decent workout too. I am getting worried at the prospect of 250km early in April, I need to get some long outdoor rides in in the next few weeks.

Today I ran a bumpy 30km route. Pretty much everything that made last weeks long run bad, didn't happen this week! No toilet breaks and no chafing, I also didn't really fatigue too badly. It was really windy, and at times I wanted to head home and settle on 25km or so, but when it looked like my route was going to get me back after 28km, I decided to both go further and speed up! I plan to add something to my long runs, i.e. 1 fast km, 1 slow km and sustained efforts at marathon pace, but today's one was a good one, especially considering it wasn't flat at all!


Weight: 79.0kg (down 0.9kg to a record low for me since I was about 17 years old!)
Running: 65km (123km for the year)
Cycling: 70km (98km for the year)
Swimming: 3.5km (5.1km for the year)