Saturday, 30 March 2013

Another p.b. bites the dust!

Managed to smash my personal best for the 3.8km Ironman distance swim in the pool by over 6 minutes, finishing in 1 hour and 20 minutes. Now this is by no means fast, but at  least it is now 6 minutes faster than it was.  Thanks to Gillian for her inspiring coaching - like I said elsewhere, if the teaching ever goes to pot, a career in inspirational speaking must be on the cards!!!  :-)

Actually looking back on my earlier attempt (back in June 2012) there were a number of spurious lengths in the data. Now, I'd love to swim a 25 m length in 11 seconds, but to date, that isn't possible so I can only assume my watch was 'learning' my stroke so some of the data is decidedly dodgy! However, last night every length was spot on, so now I have a true marker to measure progress moving forwards.

After polishing off a protein shake and a couple of cinnamon and raisin bagels (yum), I headed upstairs for an hour on the treadmill. Most of the session was a steady zone 2 run, so the standard 5 mph and 5.5% on the treadmill. Then at 45 mins a 10 minute zone 4 effort was inserted - raising speed to 8 mph and dropping incline to 3% to stop my heart exploding out of my chest!

Got off the treadmill feeling great, both physically and mentally. It's great to be back training again.

My pal Derek is off on Thursday to conquer the infamous Marathon des Sables - 5.5 marathons over the course of 6 days in the Sahara Desert. You can check out his blog - details are in the 'other great blogs' on the right of this home page!

So, when you're sitting there, stuffed as a proverbial Easter turkey and the scrumpled foil on the floor around your feet is evidence of several missing chocolate eggs, think of all those nutters out there pushing themselves to the max… It's never too late to join us  ;-)

Have a great Easter holiday folks!!!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Back in the saddle!

At last, this pesky chest infection seems to be losing the battle and I'm back training again.

Maybe I'm being a little hard on myself - I posted 8 and a half hours of training last week, considerably better than the 3 hours of the previous week, although not quite the 12.5 and 11.5 of the weeks preceding. I've felt pretty tired this week - it has been a long hard term and I think I'm pretty ready for the holidays, this combined with being ill and probably over-training to some extent has put a bit of a spanner in the works for my plan.

However, tonight I felt like me again - a really good brick session (45 mins on bike followed by 15 mins run) and I'm actively looking forward to my training this holiday weekend. Bring it on!

The next week is going to be full-on… more on that later!

Happy Easter to everyone out there - don't eat too many choccy eggs  ;-)

Friday, 22 March 2013

100 days to go!

It's getting real, very real!

In exactly 100 days from now, the starting gun will have gone off and 2500 MAD triathletes will be entering the W├Ârthersee to start Ironman Austria. 

I'm excited, nervous and can't wait for the start (and finish!) line of this race. I'm loving the journey so far. To be honest I didn't think I'd enjoy the training so much and having missed out on the last week of training I realise now how integral the training has become to my daily regime.

I've started fundraising for 5 fantastic charities so if you think I'm mad (and you'd be right!) you can be MAD too… My pal Derek Stewart who is running the Marathon des Sables used the phrase "MAD = Make A Difference". Hopefully you can help to make a difference for each of these charities… just click on the 'Donate now' Virgin money giving button at the top right of the page! Your support is very much appreciated :-)

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

A brilliant night!

Not long home from a brilliant evening - a fantastic mix of music and chat about the forthcoming Marathon des Sables which my pal Derek Stewart will be running in. Seriously humbling to hear first hand about in the vital work carried out by Maggies Cancer Support here in Glasgow.

If you can take a moment to find out more, please spend a few minutes to read:

Derek has raised a big bag of cash to help support the work they do. Tragically, the stats would indicate that if you or your family haven't already been affected by cancer probably will at some point.

You can follow Derek's journey here:

His training makes my Ironman training look sensible!!!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Chest cold… you have outstayed your welcome...

I've been stopped in my tracks for the last 4 days with a chest cold that has shown little sign of going. Back in the Old Wild West, I would now be shooting for State-wide spittoon champion but given this is not on my training plan I am hoping that it decides to shift so that I can get back to exercising next week.

I've been lucky to date with colds etc., only having missed about 5 days training in the last 6 months or more, but it's still annoying me that I've lost out on 4 days training and what was supposed to be a 4 hour long cycle yesterday. In the long run, this enforced rest will probably do me good. I suspect that my training regime had lowered my natural resistance to colds and working in a school where I come into contact with hundreds of people every day, the chances of coming into contact with the lurgy were pretty high!

On a positive note, I've been able to catch up on lots of schoolwork, tidy my desk and do all manner of jobs that I've not been able to do for months. I've even sat down on comfortable chairs to watch TV! It now feels like there are more than 24 hours in a day… This will change pretty quickly once I'm back exercising for 2-3 hours every day - the headless chicken time management will kick back into play.

So, not much more to report. I'l possibly try a quick run on the treadmill tomorrow if my chest is clear, otherwise stay clear of the grumpy, endorphin deprived Physics teacher until he remembers how to run / swim / cycle!!!

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and constructive week ahead!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

5000 hits!

Thanks for reading, you've just helped push this blog past 5000 hits! 
My nephew in the U. S. of A. is convinced if I'm not exercising or blogging about exercising, then I'm sitting on my computer hitting 'refresh' to boost my numbers… I can categorically say that this is not true… I did try it, but it didn't work ;-) It seems Google's Blogger is too canny for that!

Not sure what I was expecting when I first started these electronic ramblings back in September 2012 - see what you have started Mrs Forshaw!!! The primary purpose for the blog was to highlight how much training is required for a long distance triathlon for a novice like me. The professionals will probably be doing 3x the amount of training I do, which is why I am (and always will be) simply an enthusiastic competitor rather than competitive.

We're starting a Sports Science course at school, so hopefully this blog will prove useful when we're looking at fitness data and inspire some of the younger athletes to write their  own blogs and develop their own training plans.

It's really useful to reflect on the training and seeing it written down helps psychologically; knowing that I've done tough sessions in training should help if/when I'm enduring a tough time in the race. 

Skipping tonight's session has allowed me to reflect on how far I've come over the last year but also how much further I need to go to cross the finishing line. Hopefully you're enjoying the journey as much as me - stick with it, things are going to get busy over the next few months :-)

Remember, there is a comment box on the blog, click on the No comments:  link below (I know, a bit bizarre that) and let me know what you think of the blog. Thanks for reading :-)

Sunday, 10 March 2013

And another weekend bites the dust!

Wow, another weekend over already. It's 10 p.m. and I'm about to settle down for 30 minutes in front of some strange object in the living room that shows pictures… I think it's called a TV but it's been so long since I've watched one without pedalling a bike or running on a treadmill I'm not so sure…

Good day today, put in a solid 2 hours on the TT bike then quickly changed into dry clothes and ran for 90 minutes on the treadmill. Walked the dogs, marked SG Physics homework, planned out the next couple of weeks work and stuffed my face with curry to offset the 2,756 kCalories I burned today.

So I racked up a fairly respectable 12:36:23 this week in training, some 51 minutes more than my plan called for. On track and still smiling - can't ask for more than that. Have a great week people!

All the ones… 111 days to go

Well, just checking the counter and only 111 days to go until Ironman Austria 2013.

That may seem quite a lot of time but after checking I realised I've now been training for this race for the last year - my first training session was on Thursday 8th March 2012. I've moved on from around 4 hours a week training then to around 12 per week now. This will continue build over the next couple of months up to 15 hours per week… Anybody got a spare time machine they can let me borrow??!!

You may well have read the daily training blog or even perused the detailed Garmin training details (in the tabs at the top of the page) but I thought I'd show you what the training has looked like so far…

As you can see, Monday's are very lazy! 

So please forgive me if I'm a bit of a one-trick pony at present. If I'm not exercising, I'm writing about exercising. I promise I'll diversify interests (a little) more after June 30th but I suspect I'll have a decent story to tell at that point!

My good lady wife is out on her cycle-cross bike in the snow - hardcore! I'd join her but someone had to stay in to look after the kids ;-)

I've now found with so much training my body fat is now down in single figures, so when I get cold I stay cold for a while… That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it! 

Right, enough procrastinating… a bike / run 'brick' session is on the cards - I'll chat later - enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Hello Belstane!

A big shout out to my registration class, Belstane, who worked out today that I am officially mad. They'd suspected this for quite some time but on explaining the 2.4 mile (3800m) open-water swim, followed by 112 mile (180km) bike ride and 26.2 mile (42km) run that makes up an Ironman, the looks on their faces quite clearly read "Our teacher is insane". I nodded in agreement and smiled the smile of a man who should really be buttoning up his white coat at the back... Don't knock straitjackets, they're surprisingly snug when you get the buckles just right….  ;-)

My S1 boys played their first away game yesterday and did the school proud. We took on one of the local S.F.A. football Academies (Braidhurst High School in Motherwell) and were beaten 12-1. At no point however, did my guys stop trying. The didn't challenge any decisions by the ref and fought (cleanly) for every ball. They maybe have been outplayed on the day but they enjoyed themselves and celebrated like they'd won the Champions League when they scored their goal. Braidhurst very sportingly allowed us to field all 3 of our subs (so we were 14 playing 11) for the last 10-15 minutes and it was really great to see so many young people out in the open air taking part in sport.  

This is (hopefully) the legacy of the 2012 Olympics and the seeds of the future for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2012 and beyond. You don't need to be great, you don't have to win but you do need to take part - get involved. Instead of watching another dreary 30 minute soap, get your trainers on and walk / jog round the block - I guarantee you'll get more out of it!!!

On a totally random note, my brother-in-law got me this brilliant sign for my birthday - it now has pride of place on my classroom door:

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