Has Something Happened?

Not really and that’s my problem. Being back home and getting on with training doesn’t leave much to write about. Not that its stopped me before. Whenever I’m told “I read your blog” my instinct is to apologise. I know it can be hard work!

Must be something like a couple of weeks since the last post, so in theory lots to say. I’m sat here with a good, strong coffee. I should be out on the bike, but I’m feeling a little tired and opted out! Based on yesterday’s ride and the weekend’s plans I think it’s probably wise.

To keep this quick and easy for everyone I’m opting for brief paragraphs again.

Recovery? Well it seems to have happened, though it doesn’t feel like it’s gone as well as last time. First few days after the race I felt great and put it down to the lower intensity. That said maybe the longer duration had it’s own toll. There are other factors with my current training that may be factors though. I am not worried yet. Will have to see how the next few weeks go.

Leaning Up (again) – this time it’s really working. The advantage of full control of my diet, a set of scales and no all you can eat buffets! It’s harsh at times. I eat a lot of salads, which is fine apart from getting bored of chewing. I like all the food I’m eating, but you have to eat a lot to get anywhere close to sufficient calories. Having weight loss as an aim means I’m not trying to be too close so hunger is another factor. The results are there though – I’m well on my way to race weight, ahead of schedule in fact.

Gym Bunny – I’ve signed up to the local council gym scheme. The gyms aren’t the greatest, but it’s cheap and there’s no contract. So far I’ve hit the weights about two or three times a week. It’s hard work, especially when you haven’t in a while. I’m enjoying it and at the least it’s a mental break from normal training. Is it having any benefit? I know weights can be contentious with coaches, but they work well for me.

In and Out at the Lake – I’m back to regular Open Water Swims over at the Blueseventy Open Water Swim Centre in Reading. Something seems to have clicked right now and I’m swimming very comfortably. Pace isn’t too bad either. It seems a bit sudden to be related to the weights, but whatever the cause I’m happy. When not in the water there I’ve been helping out to earn my swims. Last weekend I spent my time collecting money in the warm and dry rather than getting cold and wet.

14 runs in – the 30 runs of 30 minutes in 30 days challenge progresses well. Just about halfway and so far so good. Some of the runs have been longer and one was a hell of a lot harder! The hardest run yet was yesterday – 35 minutes on very sore, tired legs. Actually it’s a close call with the 30 minute 8km trail race the day before!

Racing to fitness – Wednesday night I chose to do my 30 minutes of running at The Lookout in Bracknell. It was the nineteenth running of the Bracknell Forest Five, though my first time there. The aim was to go as hard as I could and see what happens. All without the benefit of rest or taper! Doing a heavy weight session in the morning was questionable prep. Despite this when the horn sounded I went off pretty hard. What was clear was a long run and weights were in my legs and I was going to suffer. Somewhere around the 2 mile mark I ceased to be able to sustain sub-6 minute miles. Still I crossed the line in 30:44 on an undulating trail run so not too shabby! Next week a 10km trail race on Tuesday.

It’s not about the bike – certainly feels that way at the moment. I’ve yet to do any seriously long rides, though that will change shortly. Been riding OK, though nothing too special. Yesterday should be highlighted as the lamest ride ever! My legs were just trashed from the previous evenings run and about halfway in gave up the ghost. I’m feeling a bit better now, but don’t regret skipping today’s ride. My plans for the next few days are more than enough to make up.

Well some of it’s about the bike – decided to put together my TT bike this morning. An aluminium Cervelo P2SL. It was in better shape than I remembered, in fact ready to ride, but for needing new front brake blocks. I’m going to try a few sessions on it over the next few weeks and see how it goes. There’s a chance it may be used in Roth and if things work well there Ironman UK. My position on it is far more aerodynamic, so if it’s comfortable enough now no reason not to use it. Cheaper than a new bike too!

Breaking a few eggs – quickly back to the subject of diet. I’m still being pretty Paleo. Sure I do have dairy in small quantities and the evening hot chocolate, but carbs are low. Fruit and veg is very high along with a good dose of protein and fats. During long training sessions I do use carbs to help me through, but I think I still need to review the amount to get the balance right. Porridge is out for breakfast and omelettes are in. I bring this up simply to note that after a couple of weeks I’m getting pretty good at them too! Texture is spot on now.

That’s enough, next update will be sooner. Hopefully something interesting will happen during the big weekend of training!