Archive for February, 2019

Finally!

Just a quick update on my tri training as my watch is not logging my achievements in a fit of techno-spite.

I really think I’m on to a winner here. At last. The motorbiking into work, doing a run every day and separate bike/ run sessions is really working for me.

I’m trying not to be bitter about all the time I wasn’t doing it. I had different goals last year. And the month or so I was pushbiking then running every day was good general fitness building. But this is where it’s at.

This week I did an average of 11 hours a day for the first 3 days. So 12 or so hours with commuting. When you get home you just want to crash out. Because I’m committed to the run every day I got out and did it. Even if it was only a mile it was keeping the training going.

I did that trial-by-ordeal thing for Sufferfest.

They kept giving me target power and revs and I was smashing it. Saying put in 100 watts, I was doing over 200. For the five second sprint I did 400+ watts. And hour of tests and recovery. 5 seconds, 5 minutes, 20 minutes, and 1 minute. I went all out. I finished it, proud as Punch, then got my results.

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Look at the scale. The outside line is “exceptional”, right the way down to “modest”, I nearly killed myself and scraped into Modest in one test! Ooh, 1½ tests, I just noticed. Big whoop!

Anyway, that is the baseline for my training. Knowing those figures they can beast me to greatness.

The big one remains the running though.

It was two weeks ago I couldn’t maintain an 8.30m/m pace. Since I’ve stopped pushbiking I am battering it.

I did that 4 mile run and surprised myself by only being 20 seconds off my best ever time for the distance.

I did a three mile run the other day. I’d had a long day and couldn’t be bothered, but like I said, once you are actually forced to do it you start getting into it. I thought I’d make the last mile count so I went for it. My previous PB for a mile, when I was doing speed training, was 6.44 (I think), I ran it in 6.27!

Wow. That’s without speed training, just using the fitness or running everyday and the stamina and breathing from the turbo pushbiking. I was/ am delighted.

I did a 55 minute session on Sufferfest, the went out for the bare minimum mile. I was expecting dead legs so wasn’t going for a time. a quarter mile in I realised I was on the pace so went for it. I did that in 6.54.

Today was a run day (actually a swim day, but the pool wasn’t doing lane swims tonight) I went out to do a 10 mile run, trying to maintain a sub 7.30, I think I may be coming down with something chesty though. I was swallowing a lot which made breathing a bit tricky. I settled for a 7 mile run, so I could at least have a 10k (6.21 miles) time. Another PB. I think my previous 10K PB was 52 minutes, I did it in 44.42 (averaging 7.09 for the 7 miles).

My legs a starting to feel a bit tender now. A bunch of PB’s one after the other. I’ll do the minimum mile tomorrow and hopefully get a swim. Low impact, let them heal.

Anyway, that was it. Just a bunch of boring stats. But to me it awesome. I really think I’ve cracked it this time. If I can get the swim sorted, I am on for my 3 year sub 10 Ironman goal. And a sub 3 marathon later this year.

Real, tangible, immediate improvement, session upon session. Brilliant.

I forgot to say, Sufferfest do a holistic approach to being your best, which includes mental toughness and yoga for flexibility and strength. I didn’t think there was much they could teach me, in all modesty, about gritting your teeth and getting on with it, but it’s not like that. They focus on 4 things, goal setting, focus, review and positive thinking.  I’m going to give it a go. All the pro’s do it. Anything that helps.

Later,

Buck.

Catch up

What’s been happening?

Well, Wendy pranged the car around Manchester. I was taking her on a dry run to see if she could find her way on her own the next day (going to some church bash).

She put way too much pressure on herself, she’d made the motorway bit into a big deal in her head, then when we got around Manchester she was rushing, scared to hold anyone up. Anyway, she was flapping a bit, trying to follow the satnav, pulled out from a stop at a junction, straight into the side of a passing car.

No-one was hurt, so I just showed her how to exchange details and take pictures, then got her to drive home. The woman she hit was trying to have a fag as she ‘phoned in the details, the fag was all over the place she was shaking so bad. Wendy totally held it together (it was only a bump), drove home. All good.

The next day she got up and was shaking, couldn’t face driving the 2 miles to church, never mind Manchester. I thought that was it, her driving was over, but she woman-ed up and drove herself to work on the Monday.

I was thinking about it, I don’t know if I am just used to it, or it’s an aspect of my condition (reckless driving is a big indicator) but I just bounce down the road, pick myself and my bike up, and carry on. I don’t get shock. The last time I went into shock was when I got my tooth nutted out and a bit of a kicking whilst I was down. I was only a kid.

That was a moment. On the bright side, I was in a crash that was in absolutely no way my fault. That’s novel. And I didn’t lose my no-claims (I’m a named driver on Wendy’s policy) so that’s good.

I’m still recovering from my (motorbike) crash. I gave up and went to the doctor this morning about my shoulder. It’s nothing much, but it’s been nearly 2 months and it’s still not right. He’s arranged for me to go for a scan, see what’s up. Wendy has said in the past the reason I don’t get treated properly by the doctors is that I don’t lay it on thick. I was all ‘nah’. Heard myself telling the doctor "It’s probably nothing", today. She may have a point.

My poor bike is still not right, either. I got a replacement headlight cowl/ fairing thing.

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I sprayed it up and fitted it (huge pain in the arse!) but the sub-frame around the headlight is all bent and the  things that hold my clocks on have all snapped off.

It’s rideable, but I’m going to have to strip it down again and fit new clocks and subframe. *sigh*

At least I found some going cheap on eBay. They should be here tomorrow.

I am on the motorbike from now on in. I was riding the 19 odd mile commute (round trip) then going running every day. I looked at a proper training plan and it was ride one day, run the next, swim, rest. OK. Then I went to the gym, did a quick bike session then a run. I did a bit of a hilly run, then decided to go quick. I was dying trying to maintain 8.30 m/m. Before that bout of depression I was running 6.46 m/m. Something had to change. And quick.

I’ve done a week of riding in to work on my motorbike. I went out with no particular training and ran 4 miles at sub 7m/m. I’ve been working out on my pushbike on the turbo trainer (looks like this: )

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I went from 176 watts (power output) to 186, to 199.

It wasn’t pretty. 45 minutes training in an unheated shed in the middle of winter.

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That’s a puddle of sweat under my foot. And the camera on my ‘phone was working fine, the misty effect was the steam I was sweating fogging the shed up.

That’s one week of not cycling to work. Massive improvements. That is definitely the future.

Also someone on Twitter was saying to swap from my Zwift cycling app (a game that lets you race against other people in real time) for a dedicated cycling/ triathlon app, Sufferfest.

As the name implies, it’s all about muscle screaming effort. I’ve got a week’s free trial. To get it set up right they put you through a trial-by-ordeal baseline setting exercise. I’m doing that tomorrow. Then, once they’ve got the measure of me, they’ll demand specific goals for my training to make me improve. Wendy can’t get her head around the mentality of marketing anything by the name of Sufferfest.

Now I just have to start doing a regular 3 or 4 swim sessions a week. It’s do-able. Unfortunately, the tendons on top of my foot still haven’t healed and swimming is a lot of foot flapping about, so it causes them to flare up. Also the shoulder thing is less than ideal. I’m going to have to do it anyway.

If I can make those kind of gains in running and cycling by consistent training, in a week, I’m applying the same approach to swimming.

This new training approach also works for mental toughness. You get in from an 11 hour shift, sit down, and all you want to do it eat and crash out. It takes huge willpower to get yourself back out the door. So far (39 days) I’ve kept to my ‘run every day of 2019’ resolution. Which also helps. Once you are out of the door you might as well do a bit. 

Right, back to watching videos on how to swim and such.

Later,

Buck.

January done.

I’ve just about got back on the triathlon horse.

I’ve completed the first month of my ‘run every day of 2019’ challenge. It’s not been easy as I have been nursing injuries. Happily I’m mostly over them. The tendons on the top of my foot keep flaring up, but nothing debilitating. The pains up my shins, in my knees, and my shoulder are all but gone. Because I’m doing most of my runs straight off the pushbike after riding 9 and a bit miles back from work (and I’ve been tentative due to injuries) I’ve not done that many miles, but they all add up. 186 miles for January.

I did a trial run (a literal run) to work last weekend, to see how long it would take me. It was cold and it had been threatening rain all day. I set off in a new, long sleeve, running top. As I was about to leave the house it started spitting. I ignored it, thinking it would pass. All the way to work it rained. I was soaked, freezing and in a very dark place as I was dreading the run back. After I turned around it stopped raining for a few miles which allowed me to warm and dry a little bit. Then I was well on my way so it didn’t get me down when it started raining again. With me getting lost and such, it was a 17.5 mile run in the end. 2 hours 35. Not a great time, but the challenge was just to keep going it was so beastly. Or rather, I was stupidly unprepared. A waterproof (and windproof, it was biting) jacket would have made all the difference. Again, the fact is I did it.

As I say I’ve been commuting to work, that’s about 18.5 miles round trip (by road, the run was down the canal and such). I had a day slipping about on some ice, the back end slid out three times on one ride in. Which is scary when your feet are clipped to the pedals and you are being narrowly passed by cars. I asked for some advice and bought a set of new, fatter (28mm instead of 23mm) puncture resistant, sports tyres. They are very nice.

The product photo’ made me laugh. Everyone else who wants to advertise their product calls the modelling agency for a bunch of beautiful 20 somethings and a wise old man.

Not the Germans. Their photo’ says “Yes. These are the best tyres in the world. And if you disagree we’ll come and punch your lights out.”

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I bought them then realised I’d had the other set for nearly a year and they were as smooth as glass. Not ideal for winter. I ordered the new ones. The next day, as I was riding home, and the front tyre made a big hissing sound and went flat in a few seconds. I carry a spare tube so I checked for puncture inducing foreign objects, all clear, then replaced the dead one. A mile later the same thing happened again. I carry some kung fu slippers so I’m not clip-clopping around work with my bikes shoes on. I had to change into them then run the last two miles, in full bike kit, with my works kit in my rucksack, pushing my bike by the saddle. I saw a local running club as I was running. They had no bikes or bags or anything. Lightweights. When I got in I checked the tyre and wheel in the light. Then double checked. Nothing. So I replaced the tube. As I was pumping it up it exploded! WHAT?!

I lined the hole in the tube up with the tyre when I took it out, there was a split in the tyre sidewall, so the tube stuck out, pinched, then exploded. Ah. Nicely timed, ordering the new tyres then.

It snowed again the other day. I thought the roads would be cleared by the cars, but the edges of the road where I was riding were still deep in snow and ice. I really regretted pushbiking in that day. Still, I made it.

That the bike and the run going to plan, more or less.

Yesterday I broke my duck and finally got back to the swimming.

I watched some YouTube tutorials beforehand. They were loads more informative than my improver swim lessons. I cancelled my lessons and for the same price got anytime gym membership. I’ll learn it off YouTube and get better by doing loads of swim sessions.

I was really up for it once I’d been. I hadn’t been for a month, since I hurt my shoulder in the bike crash. As usual I’d built up a resistance to getting back to it. Building it up in my mind as being awful. It was bad, but that was just lack of fitness and technique. I was all set to watch loads of videos and try to stick in 4 swim sessions a week.

But (there’s always a “but”) when I got out of the pool my foot was bad again. Swimming is all about stress on your top of foot tendons, apparently. Lots of foot pivoting and pressure. Super.

Ho hum. I’ve just got to rest it, keep up with the ibuprofen and compression bandages. Not easy when you have to run every day.

 

In other news, the depression seems to have passed and I’ve not had another psychotic episode, which is fantastic. My thoughts started getting abstract and tangential on another run (might have been nothing, but you can’t help but flap) but this time I just centred and remained calm until it passed.  Thinking about it, if I am reporting one good thing in my training, and indeed my life, that is it.

Also I’ve been involved in a crash that was in no way my fault. That’s novel. Wendy was on a dummy run to some place she was going in Manchester, I was just there to help her with motorways and when she got lost. Because it was Manchester she put extra pressure on herself not to hold anyone up. She was trying to work out what the satnav was telling her on the hoof, pulled out and smacked another car. No biggie. I had a moment afterwards when I thought, as a named driver on her policy, I would lose my no claims bonus, but that’s safe. I got Wendy to drive it home, through Manchester then on the motorways. She was fine.

The next morning she woke up and lost it. Shaking and such. She couldn’t face driving the 2 miles to her church.

Bless.

She woman-ed up on the Monday and drove in to work.

I don’t know if it’s part of my condition or I genuinely am just used to it, but I don’t go into shock. I bounce down the road, pick myself up, then check on my bike. The only time I remember being in shock was when I got my front tooth headbutted out and took a kicking while I was on the ground. I was only a kid.

 

The other thing is my bike. I’ve got the replacement fairing, but it was unpainted. I’ve sprayed it myself. Surprisingly it’s not too terrible. It’s only for my winter hack, it’s a cheap, rusty, bike, it doesn’t have to be perfect. I finished applying the lacquer today, so tomorrow I can start trying to reassemble it. It would be a relatively simple job except the bars to which it attaches got bent in the crash. It’s going to be trial and error bending them back into shape. I’ve got two days. I’ve just got to be patient and not snap anything, or beat it into tiny pieces with a hammer, if it doesn’t fit immediately.

Well, that was all boring stuff.

I say that now, but it’s surprising how often I have to review this for dates of things. Last year I re-read the blogs about my last triathlons. I’d forgotten loads of the mistakes I made the first two races.

Right, off.

Later,

Buck.