The Road to Roth – Project 2017 – Week 2

So after a good week 1, week 2 on the Road to Roth started.


A pretty normal one, cycled to swimming on the mountain bike, by way of work due to an alarm, then swam about 3k, then cycled home. I am feeling strong in the pool, even my other strokes are getting better!


Just a 1h run after work. There were 2x6m fast, a bit unorganised, but did the time. It was 13.2km, quite fast. Continue reading “The Road to Roth – Project 2017 – Week 2”

The Road to Roth – Project 2017

Oh no, what have I done!  I started this blog in 2015 for my run up to Köln226.  It’s all there for you to read, it wasn’t a lot of fun and I said that I didn’t plan to do another long distance any time soon.

Roth 2017 = Project 2017

So here we are in 2017 and I am signed up for my 2nd long distance Triathlon in Roth.  I can defend myself a little bit though. I am a better athlete than I was 2 years ago, so hopefully I won’t be as out of my depth as I was then.  I’ve also come up with a plan to avoid burning out like I did last time.  Finally Roth is a special triathlon, it sells out in seconds and should be a very different proposition to Köln226.

It is 16 weeks until Roth now. I have been training but nothing crazy.  My swimming is coming along nicely, I need to ride more, but I have been on the trainer semi-regularly and my running is ok, more than good enough for Roth. The 16 week build up is important to me, last time I basically went from January until September and blew up. I felt at my best in about June or July. This time I will do a shorter build, but try to really get some good quality and volume into that 16 weeks.

Be Iron Fit Plan

I have picked the competitor plan from Be Iron Fit, with some amendments.  I will swim with TCEC on Mondays and Thursdays as I do now. The plan calls for 3x1h of swimming, I will do 1h15 on Monday, 1h30 on Thursday and a little bit when I can on another day.

I plan to do the runs pretty much exactly as described in the plan as with the rides.  The one unknown for me is how to treat the rides to the pool and back. That takes 1h, but is an easy ride with lots of stops for traffic and traffic lights. Do I include them? On Thursdays the plan calls for 1h bike with some quality and a swim, that would be my normal Thursday minus the quality. Continue reading “The Road to Roth – Project 2017”

17. Seppel Kiefer Lauf – 10k

Since my last race I haven’t been running too much. I managed to injure my right calf, meaning I couldn’t run for a week.  I have started running again since then, but not too much and no quality, except one decent 25km run. The Seppel Kiefer Lauf fit well for me as it meant I had an extra week of recovery than if I ran Frankfurt half marathon.

Seppel Kiefer Lauf – a bit scared!

I’ve been a bit worried about my running since Groß-Gerau, because it was such a bad race for me. I feel like I am on a downward trend at the moment, fortunately that only applies to running, not cycling or swimming.  At first I’d considered doing the half marathon at the Seppel Kiefer Lauf, but given my recent lack of running, I felt that the 10k was a better idea.

I got the train to Bad Munster am Stein and planned to cycle home from Bad Kreuznach after the race.  I knew that I have no chance of winning. Christian Bock and Lukas from TCEC were doing the 10k and they are much faster than me.

Blowing a gale

It was windy but quite warm, probably 12 degrees or so. The Seppel Kiefer Lauf 10km is 2 loops, on asphalt and flat, but with lots of turns.  The last race to start was the 10k at 10:25. I had plenty of time to chat to the people I knew there and do a little warm up.

The race started with a weird ever slowing countdown, then we were off. I was in about 15th place but some had taken off at an optimistic pace!  I passed Timo from TCEC after about 700m and he asked if I was making an attack, I said no, I only run one pace!  Soon everything settled down and I was in 8th place and felt ok behind 2 guys running into a strong headwind.  After the turn one of the guys started to pull away, whereas the other fell in behind me.

My Suunto has stopped working in the last few days, so I was wearing Katja’s Garmin 220.  I wasn’t so comfortable as I couldn’t see pace and HR at the same time.  After going too hard in GG, I wanted to keep my HR under check here.  It was all going fine after 5km in about 18:45.

Winning my Age Group

I left the guy behind me and fought back against the wind. Felix, who runs lots of the Wingert’s cup races, was just about 15-30m ahead of me, but I couldn’t catch him!  I saw on the out and back that Lukas was winning the race, so I gave him a cheer as we crossed paths.  The rest was pretty uneventful, I couldn’t catch Felix but no one was coming from behind either so I crossed the line just under 38 minutes in 7th place.

It wasn’t a great race for me, but it didn’t feel nearly as bad as in GG. It turned out that I won my age group which was nice, but as I was cycling home, I couldn’t take any prizes with me, so I didn’t stay for the prize giving.  The ride home was fun, the wind was very helpful and even with slightly tired legs I could cruise the slightly hilly 40km+ at over 32km/h.

So next up race-wise is the Polderlauf. I could do the 15km or the 10km. I think I will do the 15km, but I hope my form returns a little before then!

It is 16 weeks until Roth now, so that takes priority for me. The next post will be my start of Roth training post.

Hoka One One – Clifton 3 – Shoe Review

I always thought that Hoka One Ones look a bit stupid. Actually I mean really stupid! Last year in Berlin at the Messe, I told the rep that and they didn’t really disagree with me.  I have read lots of rave reviews about them. People say that they are like running on clouds and that you can run 1500 miles in one pair. That sounds pretty positive to me.

As a present

So over recent years I have had the idea to ask for gifts of things I possibly wouldn’t buy myself, but I would like anyway. The Hokas fell into this category perfectly, so when my dad asked me what I want at Christmas, I said Hokas! Well that isn’t exactly what happened, I said Hokas! or a Scotsche Rhythm +, and I got the heart rate monitor.

So for my birthday Katja knew what I would like, and she got me a pair of Clifton 3s. The sizing is always a bit dangerous in a new brand and a new pair of shoes, but she nailed it with the 43 1/3.  They have a nice wide toe box and feel like well made shoes, even though they don’t weigh too much.

the Hoka One Ones even normal from here

Light and cushioned

Since using Skechers Go Run Ultras, I am used maximum cushioned shoes, but the road versions were pretty heavy at 310g per shoe. The Hokas at 250g could be used as a race shoe, interesting!

the weigh in - 250g

After getting over how they look, I ventured out on my first Hoka run. I was excited, would they be fast? slow? comfy? Well strangely enough, they were fairly normal. They are clearly well cushioned shoes, but I don’t notice that they are more cushioned than the NB1080v6 or the Skechers I mentioned.  They didn’t rub and were quite comfy, but I most shocked by how normal they are.

Fairly normal!

After a recent injury, I haven’t run as much as normal. I did the half marathon in Mörfelden a few days after my birthday, but I couldn’t trust new shoes for a HM. For the 10k in Groß Gerau I considered the Hokas, but went with the Brooks T7 Racers as they are my lightest shoes.  It was only this weekend that I finally got to use them for a longer run, at 25km.

the ugly sole of the Clifton 3!

They held up very well, I notice a little toe rub, but nothing that would blister. I basically forgot that I was wearing them, they could have been my NB1080s.

So the long awaited Hoka One One Clifton 3s. Well once you get past how they look, they are fairly normal well cushioned shoes.  I have to see how long they last, but if I get 1500km out of them as some claim, I would happily get more.  The big selling point for me is that they weigh 250g, would make them my go to marathon shoe. I think I will use them in Roth too. For shorter distances I think I would stick with the Zantes. My plan is to use a mix of the Hokas and the NB1080s for long runs, and to use the Hokas for HM or longer faster runs.

So that is that, I will try to update after 500km or so, so that I can really comment on the durability of the shoes. See you then!

Frühjahrslauf 2017 – What a nightmare – Pain!

Frühjahrslauf 2017

I had been looking forward to the Frühjahrslauf, last year I ran my 10k PB there. It is a fast course, and I fancied that I could go sub37 again, maybe even close to my PB.  My legs were still in pain after last week’s half marathon until about Wednesday, but I was feeling better if not 100% fit and healthy.

Jochen was racing again, so we went together to Groß-Gerau. He was hoping to break 38 minutes for the first time, I wanted to break 37.  I found out that there actually were far more facilities on site that I noticed last year.  Under the mosque there are toilets and a place to get drinks, more than just the 1 portaloo that I found last time!

The race started at 3pm. There were plenty of fast people there, my chances of winning were exactly zero, but I’d decided to wear my lightest shoes, the Brooks T7 racers for the first time in a race anyway.  Might was as well go for a fast time! Off we went, I wasn’t really feeling ‘it’ before the race, but I started and felt ok. I passed the first km sign after 3:35, decent pace but still behind Jochen!

High Heart Rate

I settled in and after 3km saw that my pace had fallen, but my heart rate was 179. I was in trouble, I can’t run a 10k with my heart rate so high. It seems that the whole little group I was with were also struggling, it was pretty much the same group as last week, socks included!

I let the group go, but they didn’t really go anywhere. A few people passed me from behind too, something that rarely happens to me.  After 5k I had 18:42 on the watch, 32 seconds slower than last year and I was in trouble.

The last 5km felt like a death march. I passed Jochen after about 6km, but he re-passed me after about 8km. Everyone ran away from me and even breaking 38 was starting to look unlikely.  needing a 3:45 last 1km to do it, I didn’t manage it. My calves were hurting from about 4km onwards, and my HR was too high and I just literally wasn’t at the races.

Not showing, but feeling the pain

Pain and disappointment

Jochen managed his sub 38, which I was happy to see, but I ran a 38:02.  It was pretty much the worst race I can remember running for a few years now. Soon after the race I started to consider if the half marathon from 6 days prior was to blame. It seems likely that I wasn’t fully recovered, so maybe that’s why I was so off form.

Jochen in picture, my in the background

My calves were agony after the race, I stupidly ran last night too, and my right calf is now officially injured, not just achy.  I will take a few days off running and get on the bike and in the pool.

Up Next

Next up looks like being a half marathon or 10k in Bad Kreuznach on the 19th of March. The TCEC powers that be want us to run there, so I will do, I mean why not?  Until then iron and rest are on the cards until I am fully fit.  I can’t have lost fitness in 1 week, so I should be good after a little recovery time, I hope!