Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Stats

Swim: 4.92km, 2.2kph avg
Bike: 205.24km, 21.6 kph avg, 2170 m elevation, HRZ 0.9. 3h25min stationary bike HRZ 1.6
Run: 9.77km, 5.8 kph avg, HRZ 1.6

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Trep Homecoming

There are a few true homes to my life - Altrincham & Sheffield. Naramata and The Orchard have been but transient homes and Cambridge and Peterborough were never really anything but a house.

On Friday I went for an interview in a little town just outside Sheffield. It went well and I left feeling happy and somewhat confident. For the drive back to Altrincham, I chose to leave the M1 early before the Woodhead turn and head for Sheffield - and potentially the notorious Snake Pass A57. Not thinking I needed a map, I navigated my way through the Sheffield suburbs and arterial roads part by intuition and part by gut and familiarity.

Turn after turn I found myself guessing but by that point, with Sheffield on the left, Manchester is pretty much always to the right and the only true decision I had to make was wether to turn into Grenoside or away from it. Turning away from it, I passed over the brow of the hill and promptly burst into tears of joy and laughter. With the spills of the peak district ahead of me, covered in snow, dark trees in contrast, the dusky post-sunset-glow and the light of the city where I was at univeristy glistening in my tears, I cied becuase I was home. Home being a random hillside in the middle of nowhere. I plunged down the hillside, pulled myself together and continued in my quest to get back to Altrincham home.

I completed the rest of the journey, the tufty grass verge of Woodhead with snow just beyond, the wiggly descent past reservoirs reflecting the dark blue night sky, past God's crag car park where I've taken special friends to go climbing and into Tameside with the vintage car garage. The slow climb that used to be a 60 limit to Hyde where my dad once chased a boy who thretened to beat us with a stick as we cycled past. On through Stockport and the M60 to mum and dadd's where I looked at my watch and pronounced I still have it - Sheffield to Manchester in 1 hour 22 minutes by Gut-nav. Eat my dirt garmin.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Avoided doing anything this morning so that spinning would be completely beneficial.


Even found myself competing with Claire though I expect she was pushing more power than me.

Continued the effort for the full hour but there were some tracks where I put so much effort in, I really needed to give myself a break.  How is it one track can end up with 3 >zone 5 peaks.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hat fail

Forgot my swim hat and goggles.  Brain confused by potential options - work out in the gym without any shoes, spend money at reception on kit I don't use, do a half hour without - swimming breast stroke.

Finally, I settled for the last option after walking for the door about three times.

It was dull.  Just going through the motions really. 

It was really busy - choppy, splashy and scratchy.  

I had energy left for a fast ride to work - a sprint for 27 minutes to the gate and climbing Brimble Hill in second gear.  I am on Red.

Rolled home full of the joys of resting.  More tomorrow

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Two rides.  A slow ride to Malborough - so some hills.  Trying out the new position on the tri bars.  No good.  Hands too close together.  Had to give up using them in the afternoon as weird things were happening to my back.  Will go to the middle ground.  Crunchy bottom bracket now.

Tried to resolve crunchy bottom bracket and ended up wrecking crank.  Will have to go through the hastle of repairing now.  Fixed the other stuff.  Felt like spending the rest of the day sulking but dragged myself out on Red with Andrew for a fast ride.  Did good around Ashton Keynes and back through Swindon.

Rested after the hour.  It shows with a drop to 12 mph and a heart rate drop off to... oh, I had a day-off the HRM.

I meant to run but my head just wasn't in it.  Shame because I am looking forwards to it.  My heart rate went very high last time I did it which is a good indicator I am getting better.  The bad news is I need to re-evaluate my maximum heart rate which is hard work.  Sniff.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Maximising Strength

This morning I moved from Transition at the gym into Maximising Strength. Finally I was lifting real weights. I felt a bit more justified in pushing 78kg on my legs instead of 45kgs. Of course it meant I couldn’t do free weights on my legs because there’s no way I can actually lift 78kg in my weak and feeble cyclist’s hands.

The problem with sitting in a nice cradle pushing weights is it isolates muscles but, I asked advice from the nice fella instructor and he showed me an alternative - a machine I can use as a free-weight that puts the weight on my shoulders - so now I am fixed for life. It demonstrates the difference between the leg press and lifting free weights. Bearing in mind I lifted 78kg 5 times already, I just struggled to lift 50kgs free weights. So now Ihave to figure out a weight I can actually sensibly lift.

After I ran home it seemed that it would take less time for me to haul on a pair of cycling shorts and shoes and go straight to work than get changed into work clothes and de-ice the vanu so I cycled to work.

A perfect day for trying out the new tri bars, I cut (wiggling slightly) through the wind along Swindon Road and Wharf Road. There’s a little adaptation to be done – the elbow pads clash with my knees and I needed to re-jig the light and Marvin the Garmin fitting. It made for an interesting ride home without a light and I was incapable of climbing overtown hill out of the saddle.

Finally though, the legs are hurting like they’re growing again

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Not recovered yet

Rpm training didn't go brilliantly. I mean I tried... but speed didn't work and power was diminished. Still, have adopted a new policy of not really taking any proper breaks in the 1 hour session meaning it more closely represents an hour of racing. Sadly, Marvin the Garmin was forgotten.

Combined with the swim, spinning resulted in a long lie in this morning.

That and the snow conspired to dissuade me from running in the afternoon.

Good intentions reserved for tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


First speed session in the pool this morning and I really enjoyed it. Looked something like this:

  1. 4 laps breast stroke warm up
  2. 2 laps sprint crawl
  3. 30s rest
  4. Repeat (2 & 3) 5 times
  5. 2 laps breast stroke rest
  6. Repeat (2 & 3) 5 times
  7. 4 laps breast stroke rest
  8. Still time to spare so 10 laps crawl
  9. 2 laps breast stroke warm down
  10. stretching.
Half an hour.

Most important it was lovely to be skimming along at speed instead of trawling through 60 laps at ever-decreasing speed.

Monday, February 08, 2010

National Cyclo-Cross Championships 2010

Sadly, no miraculous altitude-skiing-fuelled success at the nationals. It shouldn't be a surprise to me as my head wasn't in it, I left the iron tablets at home and... let's face it, it would've been a more successful event in January when I had actually done 80% of the training instead of starting to work on a triathlon and then going ski-ing for a week.

Still, I went from second-to-last to finishing with three people behind me due to my endurance holding out and a spot of very smart attacking on my part. I also nearly caught up with my old friend from uni but, on the downside, Helen Wyman lapped me after three laps and made the whole trip up to Birmingham seem like a bit of a waste of time. I was at least glad that I went to get drunk with Silver Lining on Saturday instead of being wholesome and holding out.

Once over, we stuck around to eat doughnuts and enjoy the very exciting mens' race before driving all the way back to Wiltshire.

Monday should've been a ride-to-work or a swim day to ease out the tensions - both in my muscles and in my brain but having got out of bed, I realised I'd put more effort into the national event that it felt at the time and I resorted to driving to work - but not before I installed the new tri bars onto Phoenix bike to give me something to look forwards to later in the week.

Best thing about the nationals? It being over and giving way to pastures new.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Return from Skiing

After our return from ski-ing on 30th, this week has been quiet excercise-wise.

Sunday I felt inspired to do a run. Surely, I thought, after all that ski-ing I would be ready for a long run. Sadly, my muscles did not concurr, though I did manage 11.7km - my longest recorded run. It took me an hour and 27 minutes.

On Monday I did my one session of triathlon training - a swim. I needed a swim as I didn't do any in Austria - not unless you count languishing in the spa pool and jaccuzi.

I managed the mile distance this time (finally) but it took me 45 minutes and by the end of it I felt like I was swimming up hill. Still, at least it is progress.

Tuesday night was indoor rpm / spinning training with the Swindon Road Club where I felt both strong and fast compared to previous efforts. I'm sure I'm still not matching the performance of those I aspire to but I felt much-improved.

The remainder of the week has been spent resting with a couple of rides to work including testing the smaller chainrings on Phoenix bike and a new seat post on "Lovely".

It's the national cyclo-cross championships tomorrow and I am ready for it but more than anything, I am looking forwards to being able to get back to the triathlon training next week. I've found it really difficult to concentrate on work this week. It seems that the morning training, be it swimming or weights, focuses my mind. I feel like it's looking forward. Today feels like an unfinished book, like the end to last year... and last year wasn't a good one.