End of Week 12, Start of week 13, Midweek update!

I am running late… again!

So last Thursday I already had run, and said in my midweek update that I wanted to go swimming. Well that thought didn’t stay in my head for too long, because by the time I got home, I didn’t want to swim anymore! I was a bit tired so took the evening off. On Friday I did my long run straight after work. Without the stomach problems that had plagued my last 2 long runs, I managed a 32km run with 10x 1km marathon pace/1km easier pace in the middle. There were some hard uphill intervals which I pushed through to keep marathon pace up, and one in Zornheim where a 4:15km wasn’t happening, not up a 7% hill!

I felt fine after my run, and on Saturday I wanted to cycle a bit and swim. I ordered a new cassette and chain for my road bike, so decided to put them on my bike. Now I am not the world’s best mechanic, but I was happy to get the cassette off easily and get the new one on, no problems.. Then the chain. I opened the old one, took it off, put the new one on and went to close it, except that I had to wide links facing each other. I couldn’t take another link out, because then it would be too short, so I tried to re-add links in. After a bit of a fiddle I managed to snap the chain tool, so I couldn’t ride my road bike. I was really really peed off, so ended up doing nothing all day Saturday!

On Sunday I cycled my TT bike to Undenheim to meet up with Dimi for a long ride. The weather was a bit chilly and breezy, but not bad. I was happy to be able to stop in Undenheim before he got there, as my bike was so badly set up for me it was hardly rideable! With the saddle about 4cm further back and 15degrees higher, and the back brake closed(!!) I was good to go. We cycled south over quite hilly terrain near Rockenhausen, with the wind, before turning back towards Mainz, against the wind. The last hour and a half were hard work, but sharing the work we managed it quite well. Dimi was fast on the hills again, occasionally putting me in difficulty, but by the end of the day it was pretty level, I tried to drop him on the Wolfsheim climb, but couldn’t quite manage it, damn! End result was 125km at 28.9km/h, a good ride.

Embarrassingly, I didn’t swim at all this week. I really couldn’t bring myself to do it, I need to get back into it somehow, but it was a bad week for swimming.

Running 74.8km (667.1km YTD)
Cycling 125km (1083km YTD)
Swimming 0km (24,25km YTD)

So as I am writing this on Wednesday 25.03, I am already well into the training week of week 13.
On Monday I did my 7x1km intervals on the treadmill. I felt great and my HR was lower than normal, so I increased the speed to 16km/h. I also did the last 1,5km as one interval. I was feeling very happy with myself, but then I clicked on the gradient and am now not sure if I was running at 0% or at my normal 1%. If it was 0% then it wasn’t so great, at 1% it was a great workout!

Last night I cycled to swimming! I swam 2km, all not crazy fast, but it wasn’t too bad really. I will try to get to the pool again sometime this week, though as I am going to Hamburg from Friday to Sunday for a stag-do, it could be difficult.
I am planning on doing more track intervals tonight. I haven’t decided what exactly, I think maybe the 1-2-3-2-1 pyramid that I did a couple of weeks ago. Tomorrow I might cycle, otherwise I won’t be cycling at all this week. That wouldn’t be great, but the clocks change this weekend!! WOOHOO, then I can actually ride in the evenings. I am really looking forward to it. I want to kick start my cycling season with some 250km weeks, I hardly managed any last year, so getting them in early this year would be good.

Friday I will run before going to Hamburg. Saturday I hope to be able to sneak away and either swim or go to the gym, same on Sunday, though I get back at about 5pm, so I could go when I get home.

I entered Bonn marathon, it’s only 3.5 weeks away now. I want to find a race on Easter weekend, but I can’t find anything that I can get to and from easily… If not I will try for a big cycling weekend over easter, maybe with a running time-trial to keep me ticking over. 3 hours is looking on, and last year 3h would have been 2nd best man in my age group, so I would have won 100€, that would be awesome, I’d basically be a pro!

Back on Sunday!

Midweek update – week 12 and random thoughts and plans

I have been quite busy this week so far, so I thought I would write a little midweek update 🙂
On Monday, I went to the gym did some leg strength work and did a hilly run on the treadmill for 45 minutes. As always the 6% and 7% parts are quite tough, but I think it has got a touch easier than last time I did it a month or so ago, so that was a good thing. I think I will try it at 11.5km/h next time out.

On Tuesday I ran before work, just faster than 5m/km pace and nice and easy. Not much to report.
I planned to swim straight after work, before going to the Irish pub for St Patrick’s Day, so at about 18:30 I went to Taubertsbergbad, only to find that only one double lane was open to the public. A quick glance inside revealed about 15 ‘swimmers’ in this lane, all swimming back and forth ‘breaststroke’. There was no chance I would actually be able to swim there, so I binned it.

After St Patrick was celebrated (I’m a lightweight nowadays, I only managed 3 Guinesses), I ran on Wednesday evening. I decided to go for simple 400m repeats, the first of which was in 73 seconds, then gradually slower down to about 80 seconds over the next 7 repeats. The toilet was calling and my calves were screaming, so I left after only 7 intervals and jogged out a just longer than 10km run. I need to work on my speed work in minimal shoes, my calves were not happy at all, and still aren’t now as I write!

This morning I got up at 6am and went for an easy run. I realised that that means I have run everyday this week, and I plan to do my long run tomorrow, so that will be 75km or so before the weekend, but the weekend will be very light on running, so I think that is ok. I didn’t fancy my normal loop this morning for some reason, so I cut back through the part of town where I live and did a slightly shorter 10.6km run.

Tonight I want to swim, I won’t lie, haying not been to a TCEC swimming practice for a long time, I am a bit worried about it, but I will go anyway. Then tomorrow I will run long after work. I am going to try to eat simple low fibre food until then, so hopefully I won’t have the stomach discomfort I have had during my last 2 long runs. The current plan is 5km normal to start with, 20km of 1km marathon pace, 1km easier, then 5-10km easy to end the run.

I’ve planned a long ride on Sunday, I plan to ride the Undenheim RTF route.

It’s ‘only’ 110km, but Undenheim is 17km from home, so that would be 144km total. I have posted in the TCEC facebook group to see if I can get a group to ride, no positive replies yet! Dimi is in though.

On Saturday I want to keep it relaxed. A swim and a short cycle. There is important balcony work to be done, so I won’t fill my day too much with training!

To the random stuff: profile-design-fc25-hydration-system-17

I want me one of these bad boys, it has a GPS holder, is aero and holds a load of liquid. It would be good to have before Wasserstadt.
I need to get a torque wrench. By some sort of amazing coincidence, both of my bikes have the same bottom bracket and I can use my ordered powermeter on either, when it arrives. Apparently a torque wrench is pretty necessary if I want to not break the cranks, so I will get one before the power meter arrives.

I have been reading about ‘proper Ironman training’, the general consensus seems to be that running can be reduced to very little, as long as you’re fit and can cycle like the wind. I think this summer might be a big cycling summer!

One last thing, I have been looking at when the outdoor pools (Freibäder) open. Apparently it won’t be until at least late April, which sucks, I don’t see me getting in a big load of swimming until after that happens, and even then it is unlikely! The clocks change next weekend, then it is go time for evening cycling…. 300km weeks here we come!

Oh yeah, I weighed myself once and was 77.5kg, not great but not bad. 76kg for Bonn would be good.

Start of week 12

As I am writing this on Monday evening, I can accurately predict that I will do hill intervals at the gym on the treadmill on Monday after work! I also did some leg strength work.

Tomorrow’s plan is to run before work, then swim after work at Taubertsbergbad, before celebrating St Paddies Day at the Irish Pub. On Wednesday I would like to run before work again, and cycle after work. I feel like doing some short intervals on Thursday for some reason, I might do a pyramid again but 400-600-800-1000-800-600-400, the paces would be hard to work out as I have little idea! lets say now 1:15-1:55-2:40-3:30-2:40-1:55-1:15, is that reasonable? I really don’t know but lets find out!

Friday would ideally be long run day again with a good portion at race pace, followed by a Saturday swim and cycle and Sunday long cycle.

I pre-ordered myself a powermeter today, I am both excited and nervous about it! It is a 4iiii Precision, a new crank based powermeter that promises to be like stages but cheaper and more accurate. Fortunately they will be pre-assembled on the crank arm, not DIY like they first planned!

I have never trained with power before, but I think it can only help for pacing the long distance and middle distance races I have planned this year 🙂 I have no idea when it will get here, but I am looking forward to it, I can plan some proper intervals too, it’s done wonders for my running, hopefully it’ll be the same for cycling…

5 weeks to Bonn marathon, oh yeah, I am not going to do the Tour of Flanders, too much effort, I would have to do it alone and I could better use the 4 day weekend training at home, sad but a good choice I feel.

End of week 11

Sorry, sorry, I a writing this late I know!

So last week was a good one, maybe not quite as good as I had ambitiously planned, but nonetheless good.
I had really tight calves for the first half of the week after my half marathon on Sunday. I didn't post it last week, but I picked up my TT bike last week. It's a Canyon Speedmax Al, ok I know it isn't the most expensive bike in the world, but it looks class and I am sure it will be fast when I finally get a chance to ride it!


So onto actual training. Monday I cycled on my road bike for 38km in the evening. It still gets dark pretty early in the ride, but I really enjoyed it. On Tuesday I got up before work and did my 11.6km route at 4:51/km pace, quite decent, again I started a bit slower but soon got going and even had some at marathon pace or above at the end of the run. In the evening I cycled to mombach to swim… That was the low point of the training week for me, I was slow, I got leg cramps and to be honest with you, I just couldn't be bothered with swimming. I love the feeling of being outdoors when I run or ride, I get so bored swimming back and forth. Anyway, enough of my bitching, I swam 1.5km wuhoo!

On Wednesday I decided to do my intervals on the track. I have been doing 7x1km for a long while now, but I thought I would switch it up a bit and do a little pyramid. So I did 1km: 3:35 – 2km: 7:32 – 3km: 11:48 – 2km: 7:38 – 1km: 3:42. I went off too fast and could have come back as fast, but was faster than I had planned so didn't push it. It was really good, except for all the parents who stand on the running track for no reason and seem to get a kick out of blocking runners going past!

Thursday I ran before work again, it was a bit slower, but just a nice easy 4:57/km pace. I was a bit tired on Thursday evening, so had the evening off.
Friday I tried out the after work long run. I will spare you the details, but my stomach was almost as bad as last time I did my long run after work 🙁 With a good few pauses I ran 30.7km with 10.7km at just faster than 3h marathon pace in the middle. It felt quite tough in the marathon pace part, but the route I run is far from flat. I recovered really quickly after the faster part so could easily jog it home at 5:00/km pace.

On Saturday I met up with Jochen and Dimi for a cycle. These rides are always a test as they are pretty aggressive riders! It soon became clear that Dimi had come through winter with the best legs, and that Jochen isn't quite on form yet, and I fell in the middle, but not far behind Dimi. The climb to Ebersheim after 100 cold km, was interesting, I had decided to give it some as had everyone else apparently! Dimi shot off as he does, but I started to gain back to him, unfortunately once the gap got to about 10m, it stabilized and I couldn't get on his wheel, like I said to Jochen in the ride, we'll get him later in the season! The ride ended with 111km at 28.1km/h for me, a nice ride just spoiled a bit by the cold and wind.

Sunday I ran a few km in the morning, but my stomach was still playing silly buggers, so I came home after 8.5km and called it a week. I decided that I need to look at my diet to solve this ever worsening stomach problem. 1st test is, no more sweeteners, no more multivitamin tablets, no more oranges, no more quark 🙁 and no milk in my coffee at work. Lets see what that brings.

Running: 74km (592.3km YTD)
Cycling: 161km (958km YTD)
Swimming: 1.5 unenjoyable km (24,25km YTD)

Start of week 11

I have a bit of muscle ache after yesterday’s half marathon, so that will effect my training plan for this week. It’d be nice if I could actually get all of my planned training done this week, instead of being ill, travelling or some other quasi excuse.

I think tonight I will go for a little cycle ride, maybe 50km or so, just to get the legs moving and hopefully loosen things up too. Tomorrow I want to run before work, then after work I will swim. Wednesday will be the first real run of the week, I’ll do my intervals, 7x1km as always, I’d like to do them outside if possible.
Thursday another before work run, and after work cycle would be ideal, then friday I will do a longer run with some at marathon tempo.

Saturday will be swimming and cycling, then Sunday maybe cycling and running. That would be a good week! Lets see what comes out in the wash!

End of week 10

Well it wasn't a great week, but it was a great week!
I was at home and suffering from allergies from Monday to Wednesday, that was on top of a cold, so training wise it wasn't a great week.

I ran on Tuesday, a sore lunged 10k at home. On Wednesday I ran 11.6km back in Germany, also not great, even though the lungs felt a bit better. Thursday I went to the gym after work to try my 7x1km intervals, but between the intervals I was having so strong muscle ache in my abs, that I was almost keeled over in pain. After 3 fast kms, I decided it wasn't worth it so went home. I had done some strength work before the short 5km run.

On Friday I ran nice and slow before work, still not feeling good I ran 9km.

Finally on Saturday there were signs of life, I went for a 50km bike ride as the weather was lovely (after winter lovely, not actual lovely!) I managed about 29km/h average and was giving it some on the hills, it was great fun, I was really happy when I got home.

Then today, Frankfurt half marathon day! Even after 2 bad weeks of training, it is still there. A big PB and a 2015 goal reached.

Running 56km (518.3km YTD)
Cycling 50km (797km YTD)
Swimming 0.0km oops (22,75km YTD)

Race Report – Frankfurt Half Marathon

I have been ill this week, my lungs haven't been happy and I have been getting muscle ache from normal work outs, on Thursday as I gave up on my intervals after 3 of the planned 7km repeats, I was not confident.

On race morning I was feeling much better and my PB seemed on again. My PB is 1:27:35 but my recent 10k races suggest that should be destroyed! I woke up at 6:15am ate my omelette and porridge and left the house at 7:20. Pre-race 'preparations' went well and I got to the start line a few mins early.  There was a 1:24 pace group which looked interesting to me, but after 2km in 7:50 I was still behind the 1:29 pace group!

I soon passed them and settled into a 3:55/km tempo which was fast for me, but felt comfortable and my HR was in a good zone.  After what I thought was 5km I checked the GPS and saw 7km were done, another good sign.  The ks ticked away and soon I was at 15km in 59:30, flying.  The one incline of the day followed, I had been just behind the 1:24 group almost all the way, but after the hill I decided to push on ahead of them. The overpass next to Commerzbank Arena was the last tough bit and the long run round the stadium was quickly done.

The last 50m are in the stadium I gave a little sprint and stopped my watch – 1:23:40 about a 4 minute PB and 6 minutes better than last year!

All in all, it went well. My average HR of 169 is lower than normal, and I think that fully fit I might have had a few more seconds off my time, but I'm not complaining! This run sets me up nicely for a sub3 attempt in Bonn in 6 weeks time, that would be awesome!

It is also my second goal of the season reached, I think the 5k time goal is a sitting duck now!

Week review to come, but this was easily the highlight!

Start of week 10, Frankfurt half week!

This week is all about Frankfurt half marathon for me. My hm PB is 1:27:35 but my recent 10k times suggest a 1:23:00 half could be on! 1:25 is a minimum for me, otherwise something has gone badly wrong!

On Monday I was at my Nana’s funeral, so had a day off. On Tuesday I will run slow and with sore lungs no doubt! At least 10km. I will double up 2 of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and cycle on Saturday, maybe an easy 100km

I might do a week recap and a race report on Sunday, at the moment I am just worried about being ill on Sunday, but I am rarely ill for so long, so it’s probably a non-issue, fingers crossed!

End of week 9

The week that wasn't. So the good part was that on Monday I ran my intervals, 7x1km but the last one was actually 1.5km at 16km/h, I didn't feel great before doing them, but they went well. I did a bit of strength work beforehand, which was also a good bonus..

On Tuesday I swam in the evening. I hadn't planned anything specific but managed 2.5km with some fast hundreds in the middle. I mountain biked there and back for 23km extra.

Wednesday was the best day of the week, I got up and ran an easy 11.5km before work and cycled 1:15 on the road bike in the evening. My legs felt good, maybe not super fast, but they kept ploughing on up Col der Wahlheimer hof, the best local climb.

Thursday was to be long run day. I ran 10km easy, then 10 at race pace, and 12-15 out would have been ideal. My stomach was not playing ball, so there were some 'pauses' but after my 5th stop after 22km and a really bad stomach ache, I called it a day at 25km. The marathon pace parts were hard but manageable, I ended up doing 4:13/km on a hilly loop.

On Friday I worked late and had to fly to London in the evening, so had a planned rest day.  I noticed whilst travelling that I started feeling under the weather, on Saturday when I woke after 4h sleep, I felt like I had a cold, with a sore throat, running nose, sneezing and headache, bugger.
Exhausted and with a cold, Saturday became an unplanned rest day 🙁

Now my chest is almost always bad when I visit home, due to all the animal hair. That, on top of a cold, left me feeling like death. I still went out for a possibly unadvised 10k easy run, which ended up at 5:06/km which was faster than expected on a bumpy route.  And that was it. A poor few days of training, but I just hope everything clears up in time for Frankfurt half on the 8th.  I head home on wednesday and if I'm healthy again I'll pile in some training on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, before the first big test of the year, Frankfurt half Marathon on Sunday

Running 57km (462.3km YTD)
Cycling 53km (747km YTD)
Swimming 2.5km (22,75km YTD)