Wednesday, 30 January 2013

150 days to go!

Only 150 days training left until the big day!

Might sound like a lot but it seems no time at all since I posted that I had 200 days to go - time flies when you're having fun.

Managed another great run tonight - taking another 30 seconds off my 10 km personal best: now standing at 46:45. Again, not super speedy by most standards but it's a decent improvement for me in quite a short time. Given I'm training for endurance, the increase in speed is a nice side-effect… hopefully mean I can keep my pace up for the marathon and get to the finish line sooner than expected.

Booked up again with Nick Constantine of soulinmotion for another Chi running course in 2 weeks time. 6 people on the course and 5 of them are from ATHelite!  Looking forward to the technique refresher - hopefully I've managed to get the basics right and start working on the next areas of focus.

Anyway, the alarm is due to go off in 6 and a half hours time and the training starts again, so as the say in the cartoon, That's all folks !!! For today at least :-)

Monday, 28 January 2013

A change of plan...

Well, another steady week of training under the proverbial belt. Clocked up 11 hours, 23 minutes and 20 seconds, covering 117km and burning 6,899 kCalories. Must say, I'm feeling good for it and I'm itching to exercise again - today is a strict rest day.

Looking at the training plan I've been on to date has left me wondering whether it is the best plan for me. Whilst I have come through the base training unscathed there are a couple of questionable training days coming up where the volume ramps up incredibly quickly.

Now, I'm not averse to hard work (as you've probably gathered if you've been reading the training blog) but sometimes you have to stop and take stock of where you are and see whether this will help or hinder you on your way to your end goal.

I've decided to follow a more well known (and respected plan) by Fink that a few of the other members in the club are currently following. I don't think there are drastic changes between this and my previous plan but I feel more confident that the increase in training volume has been more carefully tailored for someone at my level.

With this in mind my new training plan looks something like this:

morning sessions

evening sessions

Monday: rest day

Tuesday: run (45 mins + stretches); swimming (1 hour) drills

Wednesday: bike (45 mins + stretches); run (1 hour) + stretches

Thursday: body weights / conditioning (1 hour); bike (1+ hour) + stretches

Fridayrun (45 mins) + stretches; swimming (1+ hour) endurance

Saturday: long run (2 hours) + stretches 

Sunday: long bike (2.5+ hours) + stretches

This should give me approximately 12.5 hours training per week as I build through the plan. As summer comes and the days grow longer, the Saturday and Sunday sessions will get bigger too - probably up to 15 hours a week. I think I'll put the social life on hold for a few months!!!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The calm before the storm

Good sessions in the gym today: strength training on the spin bike followed by a longer endurance run on the treadmill, leg weights and stretches. That's another 1100 kCalories burned… just as well as I'm out to meet pals for curry and a couple of beers later this evening!

Tomorrow the training plan kicks in with a vengeance… I'm due for a 2 hour endurance session on the bike followed by a 90 minute run. I won't make the same mistake I did last time though when I did these sessions back to back… it was pretty tough. Still, in a few months time I'll be looking to do a 4 hour run off the back of a 6 hour cycle, so I'd better man up and get on with it  ;-)

Good Luck to my pal Derek Stewart who is training for the Marathon des Sables. Today he is running the Great Glen - all 79 miles of it!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Congratulations 5DH

Just a quick shout out to my 5DH Higher Physics class. They all passed their Unit 2 NAB today with flying colours, so now we have a few revision lessons before their prelim exams. Keep up the hard work folks - it will pay dividends in the long run!

10km record smashed!

Well, I doubt Mo Farah will be too worried when I say I smashed the 10km record and I suspect I won't need to start booking tickets for Rio 2016 just yet... but I set a new P.B. last night! 

I managed to take 2 minutes and 21 seconds off my 10km p.b. set last October, bringing my time down to 47:12… and that was during an 11km run. Really chuffed with this given most of my training has been on cardio endurance (distance) rather than cardio strength (speed) for the last few months. Just goes to prove, like building a house, if you have solid fitness 'foundations' then you can build up your fitness levels to new heights. I'm fitter now at 42 than I was at 21.

My iPod battery gave up the ghost after a kilometre or so but I'm guessing this was a blessing in disguise. This allowed me to concentrate on the sound of my feet - the quieter the better - indicating a light foot-fall. I'm really enjoying the Chi running technique and whilst I am nowhere near to mastering it, it has completely revolutionised my running style and efficiency. The first 8km last night felt easy despite it being 1-3 degrees C, dark, slippy, broken pavements and an 'undulating' course. I'm looking forward to seeing Nick again in early Feb and this time my better half and other members of ATHelite Triathlon Club will be coming along too.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Team Gall back in the pool!

Well, delighted to say my better half was well enough to join me at the ATHelite swim session tonight, although the fact that she beat me after not having swum for the last couple of months is a little annoying!!! Great session in the pool tonight - 2,550 or 102 lengths. The arms will be feeling it tomorrow! 

Trying to work on the tips I got from Steven Struthers on my swimming. One is to think about pushing my butt higher in the water to aid my body position, shallower kick (and move to a slower kick if possible to save legs for bike / run), avoid 'crossover' (i.e. ensure my arms enter water in front of me between my nose and shoulder blade) and lastly, to ensure my arm bends more quickly on the catch. So, not too much wrong with my technique then ;-)

I think the key to improving the technique will be to focus on one area at a time and tonight's session was not the time to do this. Still, posted some reasonable times and my 300m / 200 m / 100m splits were pretty consistent which I'm pleased with.

I was told off by the guys for training on Monday morning!  It seems a rest day is really supposed to be a TOTAL rest day and not a 'I'll sneak in a gentle run session as I am addicted to endorphins and will get grumpy if I don't do it'. Sheesh! Who'd have thought it?!  I'll take it easy next week guys, honest ;-)

Friday, 18 January 2013

3000 and counting!

The blog has now had over 3000 hits! in the four months since I started my electronic scribblings. Thanks for reading - and don't be shy… there's a comment box on the bottom of the page, feel free to let me know what you like or would be interested in reading!

Decent session in the pool tonight, although the water quality was rubbish… barely see 3m in front of me… more pool chemistry required methinks! 

Rushed home form my swim session and to our Tri-club's Annual General Meeting. Too late for the promised pizza (doh!), so I wolfed down some tea once I got home tonight. It was great to see so many people involved, at such a grass roots level, to help run the club and support one another. Hopefully more people will have been inspired by the Olympics and by the upcoming Commonwealth games to go out and try new sports, reacquaint themselves with old ones or simply to get off the sofa. Come along and join us!

Missed my early morning session today and it told - didn't feel as energised as I have done every other day this week but the allure of the snooze button was too strong given I went to bed too late last night… I must be getting old.

I've arranged a swimming lesson on Sunday. As per my older posts, I'm enjoying my swimming but know my technique can be improved - hopefully leading to a more efficient / faster swim… watch this space!

Looking forward to a great weekend with the family, a lie-in until almost 8 a.m., walk with the dogs and a few good training sessions. Hopefully my S5/6 Higher pupils will all have passed their Unit 2 NAB so I can give them some good news on Tuesday.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

I survived!!!

Reasons to be thankful….

Survived Zombie apocalypse at Carluke High School and the first ATHelite swim session of the year! Result!

The Biology department and special Zombie expert from Glasgow Uni enjoying lunch!

Don't let them fool you - they dress like that every day...

ATHelite swim session was almost pale in comparison but Nic put us through our paces and after 48 mins I'd covered about 2550m in an average pace of 1:58 min/100m… about 11 seconds faster per 100m than last weeks solo sessions. Just goes to prove you push yourself much harder and have more fun training with others!

If I don't go to bed early tonight I suspect people will think I've arrived for the Zombie day 24 hours late ;-)

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Great finish to the week - bring on the next one!

Well Sunday afternoon is here already and I'm felling pretty pleased with my training this week.

I've managed to squeeze in 11 hours, 18 minutes and 46 seconds, covering 111km and burning 6,990 kCalories. Not too shabby at all and a decent start to training in 2013.

Inspired by my pal Derek Stewart who is competing in the Marathon des Sables this year - (listed by Yahoo as number 1 of 7 of the toughest outdoor challenges) I've set my alarm earlier and got a training session in before work most days this week. Not only has this increased my training volume, but I'm feeling more awake and ready for each day.

I ran with Derek and Calum today around Chatelherault Country Park - a couple of loops through the trails, totalling just over 15 km. We kept up a fairly steady pace of 6 mins 15 seconds per km, not bad - and even more impressive when you're carrying a 5kg rucksack!!!  Big kudos to Derek! 

Right, time for food shopping, dog walking and marking Higher Physics homework… the fun never stops!

Saturday, 12 January 2013


Got to the gym this morning and the car park was totally mobbed! I thought it was all down down to new members and their New Year resolutions but in the end it turned out to be a girls under 12 tennis championship.

I've always laughed when I see members driving round and round the car park trying to get a car park space close to the entrance… What are you doing???  You're going into the gym to exercise - surely walking an extra minute from the back of the car park isn't going to kill you?!!!

Managed a decent run on the treadmill, some leg weights (leg press, calf raise, leg extension, adductor, abductor, leg curl) followed by stretches and a 1500 m swim. I've said it before and I'll say it again… I really need to work on my swimming technique but at least my swim fitness hasn't totally abandoned me. I'll be back to swim training on Tuesday night where Nicola will no doubt be trying to cash in my life insurance premium - bring it on! I'm (almost) ready for it!

Back home, polished off a vanilla flavoured protein shake and then started tucking into a massive salami and rocquito pepper pizza but soon discovered that my eyes were (thankfully) bigger than my belly… I'll keep the other half for later - possibly after the monster dog walk we have planned whilst L and Z are at badminton. I like busy Saturdays :-)

Friday, 11 January 2013

Happy Belated Christmas!

This dropped through my letter box today:

A little bit late for Christmas - but I appreciate the sentiment! We're looking forward to taking part in the 15th Ironman Klagenfurt Austria only 24 weeks to go.

Training is, dare I say it, going pretty well. I've discovered that I can train in the mornings before school which is helping to significantly increase the volume of training without killing my evenings. I took this morning off - the luxury of a lie-in until 6:45 a.m. cannot be overstated!

Off to swimming now - the first time in a few weeks… hopefully it's like riding a bike in that you don't forget how to do it - I'll report later.
...(wait two hours!)

I'm back! 
Thankfully I remembered how to swim, unfortunately not how to swim as fast as I'd like, but I'll take not drowning as a good start.

Took my youngest to swim club for the first time this evening after she moved up from her previous swim class - great to see so many young-uns thrashing up and down the pool, most (if not all) considerably faster and more stylishly than me.
I was bumped out from the swimming lanes into the other section of the pool where I had to contend with people walking about, swimming across my path and generally paying no attention whatsoever… All good practise for the mass swim start in Austria I guess.

Reminder: updated training logs showing all my training sessions available in the tab above!

Even if I don't update my home page with ramblings every day I generally updated what training I'm up to in the training (b)log page… If you're really keen you can look at the Garming training logs page and click on the link to see all the data in all it's glory; heart rate, speed, cadence, maps of where I've run, elevation etc.

Go on - I dare you to click on it  ;-)

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Get up - get active!

Beep! Beep!

Alarm set for 5:50 a.m. all week and I've been dragging my carcass out of bed and exercising before work. Must admit my head tells me to hit the snooze button but I've been getting up anyway and so far, so good. Helping to up the hours for all my training sessions and get me back on track following a great festive season.

Sweaty work!

Decided to figure out how mush sweat I lose on a turbo training session on Tuesday… Normal swimming was cancelled, probably just as well since I haven't swum for a couple of weeks and I'd like to get into the pool before one of the more challenging club sessions! Decided to substitute with a bike session since most of my training has been running on the treadmill. Turned on Lord of the rings: Return of the King on Apple TV and set about a muscular endurance workout. I weighed myself before and after the session and found out that in just 1 hour 15 minutes I lost 1.5 kg of sweat! I would have been drier in the swimming session!!! Re-hydration will be the order of the day in Austria, especially if the temperature is as warm as last year…

Sweaty work this turbo training!!! 

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Monthly / Yearly totals...

December 2012 Statistics:

35 Activities

Run / Swam / Biked: 391.76 km

Total time spent exercising: 26:08:00 h:m:s

Average speed 17.1 km/hour

Average heart rate 123 bpm

Average bike cadence 90 rpm

burned 15,744 kCalories 

Lower than I'd hoped for this month but not too surprising given the Christmas holidays. Too much good living has seen my mass increase by 3kg back up to 85kg!!  Time to drop the chocolates, put away the mince pies, Christmas puds and get back on the treadmill, turbo trainer and into the pool... not all at once, for obvious reasons!

2012 Full Statistics (March - December):

338 Activities

Run / Swam / Biked: 3,725.4 km

Total time spent exercising: 262:32:38 h:m:s

Average speed 15.7 km/hour

Average heart rate 127 bpm

Average bike cadence 80 rpm

burned 152,834 kCalories - the equivalent of 587 Mars Bars!!!

Been quite a busy year - even though I didn't actually start logging my exercise until the 8th March. I suspect these numbers will be smashed in the next 6 months… check back at the end of June 2013!!!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

24 hours...

Saw this in a shop on holiday… 

It reads:

This bright, new day
complete with 24 hours of opportunities, choices and attitudes. 
A perfectly matched set of 1440 minutes. 
This unique gift, this one day, cannot be exchanged, replaced or refunded. 
Handle with care. 
Make the most of it. 
There is only 1 to a customer.

Not a bad sentiment to start 2013 :-)

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