Start of week 9

I wish I could say that this week will be a return to unbroken training, but I need to go back to England for my Nana’s funeral. I fly on Friday evening and come back a week on Wednesday.

I will try to front load the week to get everything in. Tomorrow run before work, Swim in the evening. Tuesday 7x1km, maybe outdoors, it’d be good to do them with others. Wednesday, run before work and cycle after work. Thursday I need to get my long run done, I put 35km for Jantastic, so I will do 35km! I will see on Friday how everything goes, I have lots of work to do, but might be able to get out for a rare lunch break run.

Saturday: if I manage anything I’ll be happy, a swim on Saturday or Sunday should be doable, with a run on the other day.

It won’t be impressive but I am ticking over. My running volume isn’t high enough, but the key workouts are all there. Frankfurt half is fast approaching and I’ll be amazed if I don’t PB, I expect sub 1:24 really.

I will try to get in a midweek update as most of my stuff will be in the first half of the week.

Have a good one!!

End of week 8

8 weeks have passed already, damn where did the time go?! I was travelling most of the week this week and had some serious problems getting in my workouts. All things included it ended up ok, but not great.

So Monday I tried some new intervals in the gym in Berlin, 5x2km at marathon pace. They aren’t difficult intervals and outside I think I would cruise them, but on the treadmill they are mentally quite tough.
Tuesday was packed as it was our one full day in Dresden, so I didn’t work out. I also ate too much but hey, lets call it a full rest day!!
Wednesday in Leipzig I did some leg strength work and my beloved 7x1km intervals. I think the treadmill was a tick easier than normal, but I did the same as always, with the last km at 16km/h.

On Thursday I desperately searched for a swimming pool that was: open, bigger than 12m and allowing adults to swim! The one I found wasn’t where google maps said it was, so I took rest day 2 of the week, not good.

After a hectic week away exploring the former east Germany, I was a bit over wandering through cities, visiting museums and churches and eating badly, so when it was decision time as to whether we should go home a day early, or spend a day in Jena, we decided to head home.

That certainly made my weekend a lot more productive. I ran a quasi-tempo 11.5km run on Friday evening, the first half was 4:45 pace and the second 4:15 pace, but my bad diet of the last few days was playing havoc with me…

On Saturday I did my 2500m swim at mombach 50m pool. I tried to do the 1:40 100m repeats off 20 seconds rest, but it didn’t seem to be happening after the first few. The metres soon passed and I finished my longest swim of the year so far. It’s a bit embarrassing really, I should be doing at least 2500m three times a week, but I struggle with cramps too much, I will keep on increasing the work outs and hopefully it will improve. There was over an hour on the mtb too, it doesn’t count as a training session, but I count the KMs in my total.

Saturday just before sunset was a 15.5km slow run, slow being 5:06/km. It was very pleasant.

Today I followed the Ebersheim RTF (like a sportive) route. It was 113km plus a few km to and from the start line. Awesomely I followed it in the wrong direction so my GPS told me about turns just after I made them! I started go tire at the end but still had something left in the legs. It was 122km at a tick under 27km/h with 1200hm, not a bad days work for winter.

I’ve decided to start doing some press ups, 30 a day to start with, building over time. I hope it will marginally help my swimming and avoid me embarrassment when someone calls for press ups at training!

Running 46km (405.3km YTD)
Cycling 134km (694km YTD)
Swimming 2.5km (20.25km YTD)

all bare minimums really.

My weight was 78.2kg the day after my holiday, I will check it during the week to see where it settles. Since I got back I have pretty much just eaten vegetables, sprouts in mashed potatoes with red cabbage being my personal favourite!

Start of week 8

I’m still on holiday this week so it is going to tough to keep on schedule. As I am writing this on Monday afternoon, I can accurately say that I will do 5x2km at 14.1km on the treadmill on Monday.

I plan to do my 2.5km swim tomorrow and on Sunday I will do a long ride, the days between will be whatever happens to happen! Intervals once more and 2 easier runs, maybe one outdoors if I can persuade Katja that it isn’t too cold. It should technically be an easier week, but as I will mainly be in the gym, it’ll be hard to keep the quality down without dying of boredom.

End of week 7

Organisation has never been my strong point, but this week I messed up my plans quite a bit. As I wrote last week, I was going to play poker on Tuesday, so on Tuesday I ran at 6am for 11.7km so I could play on Tuesday evening, long run Wednesday evening, swim training on Thursday, jobs a goodun. All went to plan until at 5pm on Tuesday I realised that poker was on Wednesday… so no time for a long run. I ran again before work on Wednesday, the same route but abut faster at 4:48/km and decided I would do my long run on Thursday morning. I needed to leave the house for Berlin by 9:40am and a 32km run takes 2:40 or so, so a 6am start should be fine.

With my now free Tuesday I did a 75min mtb ride, it wasn’t ridden hard but better than nothing.

On Thursday evening I cycled to Nieder-olm for my last swim training session. Though it was pretty good, I didn’t get as many tips as I was hoping for. Ine good thing was that as I was doing sub1:40 100m repeats, he recommended that a good session would be 100m in 1:40 with a 20 second rest, 18-20 times! That sounds hard but its worth a go. Including rests that would be my half ironman pace from last year…

So to Friday. Luckily I woke up at 4am, so ate a little and drank some water. The alarm went at 6am and I felt ready to go. It was damn cold, probably a few degrees under zero, against the wind my fingers really hurt, even though I was wearing thin gloves! After an hour it was feeling like a slog but the ks clicked down and I was on the route home soon enough. I’ve had better gastrointestinal days! But the run itself was fine, I could have gone harder and/or faster, next time I think I will push it a bit more. An average HR of 140 showed a not too high effort level quite well! 

Anyway, Jantastic was almost done for the week, I just needed a single run to finish it off, so I did my 7x1km in the hot clever fit in Berlin. Job done!  On Sunday I did a strength session at the gym, but no endurance stuff.

Running 65.8km (359.3km YTD)
Cycling 43km (560km YTD)
Swimming 2km (17.75km YTD)

Start of week 7

On to week 7 then, and it is looking busy, not great for training. On Tuesday I have poker in the evening, Thursday is swim training and Friday I travel to Berlin, Saturday is my birthday in Berlin and Sunday I am still in Berlin…

For Jantastic I need to get a 32km run in, ideally that will be on an evening this week. I think I will try the long run tomorrow, Tuesday swimming before poker, Wednesday 7x1km intervals, Thursday swimming followed by cycle. Friday pre-breakfast easy run, Saturday either nothing or gym intervals or swimming in Berlin. Sunday could be an outdoor run or the gym, hard to say.

I am away for 9 days total, I want to keep it ticking over in that time though. Next week will be an easier week anyway. Not much more to report, lets see how it goes!

End of week 6

So week 6 comes to an end, and it was a good one.
On Thursday I did what ended up being a quite fast 11km run in the cold and wind.  I had to work late and couldn't really bring myself to do a longer run, especially not when it hurt to run against the icy wind. The last few km were at marathon pace or faster, so the end pace was 4:40.
On Friday I went to the gym and did some general strength work and a tediously slow 30min 5.5km treadmill run. Saturday was race day, look to the last post for details but it was a big PB in a 10km race. With warm-up and warm down I'll claim 12.5km for the day. Afterwards me and Jochen went swimming. I did a few different sets to keep it interesting, my fastest 100m being 1:39… nice! I swam, as usual, until I got cramp. 1.6km at the end.
Today I did my dreaded 125km cycle. Luckily it was not snowy, as had been predicted. I cycled to Oberdiebach, which is a 360m climb over 6km. I took it easy on the climb and the first few km were ok. Soon though there were a few slushy patches to be avoided, then the whole road was covered and the slushy bits were the best bits. A few hundred metres later I was spinning my back wheel out on the snow, and couldn't go on any further, so did a 180 and slowly descended the first part. That left me a few km short of the required 125, so by the time I got back home, I had 15km still to go, so I looped around a bit until the kms eventually ticked down and I could go home. It felt hard, mainly because I just haven't done any long rides, but the strong northerly wind wasn't too pleasant either.  Anyway it's in the bank now.

Running: 38.5km (293.5km YTD)
Cycling: 175km (517km YTD)
Swimming: 5.1km (15.75km YTD)
A good week for swimming, a good winter cycling week too. Running was successful but it's a bit light on Km, something to keep an eye on.
Weight-wise, like I said I was 76.4kg on Wednesday and Thursday, but was 78kg today, so I expect to be peeing lots tomorrow!

Rodgau 10km Race Report – Year goal number 1 completed!

Race day = Race report!

Build up was just a normal day, slept well, ate omelette and porridge (not together) for breakfast, then went into town for a bagel and Kona coffee (cue jokes about that being the closest I will ever get to Kona) before meeting Jochen to go to Rodgau.  Judith kindly came with us today as support.  I knew that there are lots of fast runners who do Rodgau 10km, so my PB wouldn't get me near the top 20, but that meant there would always be people to run with, which is a good thing.

It was really cold, so I put off getting ready until 25 mins before the start, then 'prepared myself' for the race adequately, and warmed up.  We were quite a few people back from the start line, the usual idiots were pushing to the front, even though they will quickly fall to the back.  That made the first 400m a bit annoying as I tried to overtake the rolling roadblocks.  After 600m or so I was pretty much free, with Jochen behind me I couldn't see how he had negotiated the traffic.  The course seemed to have occasional slight downhills, but never any uphills, I know that is impossible but that is how it was!

The first 4km felt pretty easy, I didn't have HR and ave pace showing on my watch, as it was all in a forest, so I expected that to be wrong anyway.  Looking at the time and the KM markers, I saw that I was at about 3:50/km pace, which is faster than PB pace, but slower than 38min pace.  In Rüsselsheim, I felt like it would be hard to keep my pace up after 4km, in Rodgau it felt easy.  After 5km my time was exactly 19 mins, and I mean exactly! I had noticed though that the slight breeze had been against us in the first half, and should, thus, be behind us in the second half, bonus!

I continued passing people, whilst not once being overtaken myself.  The next km was in 3:46, wow, that means I am faster than 38 min pace by quite a bit, and still feeling good!  the same happened in the next km and the next, all of a sudden 37:30 seemed on the cards, if a stretch. After 8km I saw 30:04 on my watch, I could run almost 4min/km for the last 2 and still break 38!  At this point I was aware that there were some gastro-intestinal issues on the horizon, but I had seriously decided that with my black running tights on, I wasn't going to miss my PB for anything, and I mean anything! Luckily it didn't come to that, but it was a serious fear for a few minutes there!

Finally in the last km I caught a small group of guys and a girl ahead of them.  It crossed my mind that I could just follow them for the last few hundred metres and be happy with my time, but memories of missing 3rd in my age group in Rüsselsheim spurred me on, so I sprinted on by.  With 100m to go I passed the woman in front of them, maybe she was the first woman I thought, that would be good, not to be chicked in a good field.  I sprinted in and stopped my watch at 37:22, unbelievable!  A 3:30 last km and my first goal of the year not only reached, but destroyed! I gasped for air but got it together enough to watch Jochen run in a 38:45, a good run and a big PB for him (it's only his 2nd 10km and the first went far worse than it should have).

The one slight disappointment was when the results came out.  I had seen that they had little silver running shoes as prizes in the age groups, after my race I had thought I had a chance of one of the 5 in my age group, but I soon saw that I was 9th and would have needed a 34:48 to get 5th!
I was 48th overall, but bugger it, I can't help others being dead fast!  I saw that the woman I passed at the end was the 2nd woman, only 20 seconds behind the 1st woman, so close.

A 50cent honey waffle and coffee were perfect after-race nourishment before heading back to Mainz for a swim.

With no more 10km races on the horizon, this PB might stand for a while.  The next planned race is Frankfurt half in 4 weeks, sub-1:25 looks very likely now along with ticking goal 2 off the list 🙂

Midweek update

It’s Thursday and I have a little bit of free time in lab, so here is a midweek update!
On Monday I cycled to Mombach and had the 4th swimming lesson with Max. I don’t think I learned so much, but the drills were good. We had 5x50m races again, I won them all but we had to do press ups between each race. The first 50m was in 40s, but that quickly fell to 50s for the last set. Embarrassingly, I struggled to do the 5 sets of press ups, something to work on me thinks.
One good new thing I learned was how to breaststroke properly, I have been pushing back, when I should be bringing my hands inwards.
So to and from the pool was 20km on the mtb and I reckon I swam 2km or so.

Tuesday is 7x1km intervals day, so I did 7x1km intervals! It went pretty well, I am feeling healthy again, I was running the last km at 16km/h when with 350m to go all of the treadmills turned off at the same time! Apparently the circuit breaker was tripped. I ran another km or so at mid tempo and called it a day. I did some leg strength stuff beforehand but saved the upper body so that I could swim again on Wednesday.
On Wednesday I cycled an extended route to Nieder-Olm through Hahnheim making it a 1 hour ride, and more importantly, it counts as a ride rather than a commute! Swimming was going as badly as last week in Nieder-Olm, when I decided to do some backstroke. What a difference that made! I felt like my arms were free and I started swimming 10s/100m faster! I did lots of sets of 25m crawl, 25m back or breast, then 50m crawl. Unfortunately I started cramping again after 1.7km so I called it a night. 90mins of mtb cycling for 31km and 1.7km swimming for the day.

Ok, to the good news, my weight was 76.7kg this morning. After Sunday where I was 79kg, I must have peed about 20 times on Monday. On Tuesday and this morning I have been under 77kg, so that counts as more than a blip :-).

The rest of the week is in limbo a bit, tonight I will run a middle distance run, ie 15-20km, I am thinking of throwing in a Mona Fartlek in the middle. Tomorrow I need to run, but just a slow recovery run, swimming isn’t out of the question either. Saturday is either race day if Jochen is doing it too (thus giving me a lift to Hanau), or a long run with some marathon pace mixed in. For Jantastic I said I would do a long cycle of 125km this week, I now see that that was foolhardy! It’s going to be zero degrees with possible snow on Sunday. I am going to have to do my man-suit up very tight and get out and do it.  Should be fun!

Next up will either be the 10km race report or my end of week post. For the record, if I race, I will be happy with a PB, but I have a feeling a that sub 38 might just be possible!

Start of week 6

So with more sleep and less illness, lets hope for a better week ahead!

Tomorrow at least swimming with Max, maybe cycling or running beforehand.
Tuesday 7x1km intervals,
Wednesday easy run or cycle.
Thursday outdoor 15-20km run.
Friday swim.
Saturday 10km race in Rodgau and
Sunday long cycle.

Looking back at last month, I think running has gone well, cycling pretty badly, but it is the middle of winter, and swimming was quite bad too. I need to regularly swim twice a week and every now and again swim 3 times a week.  I can't see it happening at the moment, but I need to combine swims with runs and cycles so I can fit them in easier.

End of week 5

It hasn’t been good, oh no, it hasn’t been good.  I’ve been feeling under the weather for a few days now and not sleeping well. On Thursday even though I felt like crap, i did my 7x1km intervals, they were ok but the last 2 felt hard. Followed by another bad nights sleep Friday wasn’t great.
I wanted to go swimming but my muscles still ached from Tuesday (!!) So I thought an easy run would do, but after getting ready I chose against it after a big head-rush when getting up to go, and feeling a twinge in my leg, so I stayed at home and ate lots, hoping it would give me energy for Saturday.
On Saturday I woke up and went for my long run, but felt crappy so did the 10,7km loop instead and bailed out.
Today heavy snow stopped our group ride, so I did a not hard hour on the bikes at the gym, some core and leg strength work, and an easy 5km run.
I have the feeling that I am over the hump of this illness, today hasn’t been so bad and I slept a good 10h last night.
That brings me to my weight. On Friday I was 77.0kg amazing! Yesterday 78.5kg and today 79.0kg. Its obviously water weight but I have almost no idea what my real weight is now! I think between 77-78kg is right, I feel skinny but 77.0 might be a bit much.

Running 35km (255 YTD)
Cycling 70km (342YTD)
Swimming 1.5km (10.65km YTD)

All bad! I did manage my running workouts at least and did my Jantastic so it could have been worse!