Training log

Daily training details

Sunday 30th June: RACE DAY

Read the main page of the blog for the race report!
Statistics below:

Swim: 3.97km, 1:13:37, avg moving pace 18:01 / km, burned 1,299 kCalories.
T1: 14:57, burned 47 kCalories
Bike: 180km, 6:12:26, avg. speed 28.7 km/hr, elevation gain 2123m, max speed 63.6 km/hr, avg. heart rate 147 bpm, max heart rate 172 bpm, burned 5,136 kCalories
T2: 10:11, avg heart rate 131 bpm, burned 27 kCalories
Run: 42.2km, 4:39:26, elevation gain 628m, avg. heart rate 135 bpm, burned 2,477 kCalories

So, a total of 8,986 kCalories burned… no wonder I'm hungry!

Tuesday 25th June:

Our last swim session before IM Austria. Easy 1900m tonight (1/2 distance we'll do on Sunday) and really just concentrating on technique and 'staying loose'. Ended up swimming quite well, which is a bonus, and it looks like the weather in Austria has cooled so I may be able to get away with the wetsuit swim after all. Lovely to see the rest of the ATHelite team  tonight - they are all excited for us for our race on Sunday, just as we're looking forward to Mark and John completing the Outlaw next weekend and David and Gareth finishing IM UK in 5 weeks time. Not bad for a small tri club *very proud* :-)
Swim: 1900m, 37:40, avg speed 1:59/100m, avg SWOLF 41, burned 471kCalories.

Monday 24th June: rest day

Sunday 23rd June:

Well, that's about it… the last 'long' session before IM Austria. How did that happen? It seems like just a few weeks ago that I started training for this event, but looking at the length of this page alone I'm guessing it's been a little longer. Next week I'm down for all of 5 hours training before Sunday's race… What am I going to do with all this time on my hands?
Run: 9.17km, 1:10:01, avg heart rate 122 bpm, burned 889 kCalories.

Saturday 22nd June:

Spent the morning getting my new wheels ready - taping the tubulars onto the rims and putting the cassette on the rear wheel. The bike looks awesome - I can't wait to ride it but it needs a little bit of tweaking (brakes and gears) to ensure everything is smoothly set up.
Last long brick session of the training plan in the evening, 2 hours on the bike and a 30 minute run. Can't believe that training is almost done!
Bike: 2:00:02, 47.8km, avg speed 23.9km/hr, avg heart rate 125 bpm, avg power 166W, max power 215W, avg cadence 82rpm, burned 1,194 kCalories.
Run: 4.67km, 40:37 (including cool-down and stretches), avg heart rate 119bpm, burned 545 kCalories.

Friday 21st June:

Great start to the day with a gentle Z1-2 steady run on the treadmill. The knee is holding up well and I seem to remember how to do it. Good day at work running the pub quiz for 2 sets of students in the 'mix and match' day. Straight of to the pool after work and put in another long steady swim. Even though it felt difficult (especially given I was low on fuel) I managed another 3.8km, so my confidence is now back up. Handy, given the water temperature may mean there are no wetsuits allowed…
Run: 5km, 58:08 (including cool-down and stretches), avg heart rate 132 bpm, burned 729 kCalories.
Swim: 3.8km, 1:21:07, avg pace 2:08/100m, avg SWOLF 45, burned 943 kCalories.

Thursday 20th June:

Another late start to my training tonight after taking the dogs for a walk down by the Clyde and buying half of Sainsbury's. Focused on high cadence (well, for me at least) on the TT bike set on the turbo trainer, followed by some simple leg and back stretches, a protein shake, shower, massive pizza and a Gu American cheesecake - YUM.
TT bike: 45:00, 18.21 km, avg speed 23.9 km/hr, avg heart rate 132 mom, avg power 170W, max power 210W, burned 459 kCalories.

Wednesday 19th June:

Up early for my first run in several weeks. Thankfully I remembered how to do it… left, right, left, right… after a while it all felt natural again! Kept it sensible and put in 30 minutes on the treadmill at 5.5 mph at 3% gradient, followed by some leg stretches.
Evening brick session - decided to try the erg mode on the turbo trainer - this keeps the power output constant; the faster you peal the lighter the load, the slower you travel the heavier the load (Power = Force x Speed). Set the limit at 200W and kept on pedalling for 30 mins until jumping off for a quick change and onto the treadmill for 15 mins, followed by a few stretches as always.
Run: 4.75 km, 48:52 (incudes 18:52 stretches), avg heart rate 119 bpm, burned 607 kCalories.
Bike: 9.69km, 31:02, avg speed 18.7 km/hr, avg power 194W, max power 229W, avg heart rate 140 bpm, burned 360 kCalories
Run: 2.74km, 29:58 (includes 14:58 stretches), avg heart rate 121 bpm, burned 324 kCalories.

Tuesday 18th June:

Another early start and onto the Runner's World leg exercises and stretches again. A great way to start the day. 
Decided to skip the coached session in the pool tonight and just concentrate on completing the swim distance for IM to boost the confidence back up after Friday's disastrous swimming session. Unfortunately my better half seems to be suffering from a sickness bug which is leaving her feeling dizzy - not ideal when you're trying to swim, it may had had something to do with the tidal wave I was creating! Managed to squeeze in the full distance before getting kicked out of the pool so feeling rather pleased :-)
Stretches: 1:04:48, avg heart rate 103 bpm, burned 33 kCalories(!) - I think not!!!
Swim: 3800m, 1:18:53, avg pace 2:04/100m, avg. SWOLF 44, burned 943 kCalories.

Monday 17th June: rest day

Sunday 16th June:

Out with Dr Young from ATHelite today for an 'easy' 4 hour ride. Trying to keep up with John on his TT bike was not quite in my z1-z2 heart rate range, so the first couple of hours was probably off plan… but it was fun :-)  Left John after a couple of hours and continued on my journey, all going well until I was attacked by 2 dogs, shortly after almost being wiped out by an OAP who could barely see over her steering wheel as she cut straight across a junction. Perhaps wearing Harry Potter's invisibility cloak when riding isn't a good idea…
Ride: 4:28:27, 119.37 km, avg speed 26.7 km/hr, elevation gain 1,565m, avg heart rate 144 bpm, avg cadence 74 rpm, max speed 59.5km/hr, burned 3,656 kCalories, followed by leg stretches, a protein shake, shower and 2 croissants from the COOP - YUM!!!

Saturday 15th June:

Good stretching session in the morning. I'm beginning to feel a difference in my core stability already… definitely need to keep this going. Upped the difficulty of the plyometric jumps - the step is now about 30cm high… doesn't sound high, but it takes focus to do 3 sets of 30 jumps I tell you!
Off tho the gym in the afternoon to do my elliptical session (still no running I'm afraid)… Kept the resistance low and really just worked the machine as a low-impact running machine. Managed to keep my stride rate high and 'sprinted' the last 1 min, so much so that my Garmin log didn't believe the 224 spm I achieved.
Stretches: 1:09:55, avg. heart rate 85 bpm, burned 318 kCalories.
Elliptical: 57:15, 9km, avg heart rate 131 bpm, max heart rate 167 bpm, avg cadence 150 spm, burned 827 kCalories, followed by stretches.

Friday 14th June:

It is supposed to be summer isn't it? Off to Loch Lomond for our open water swim and no sooner had we entered the water and the heavens opened and the surfaced of the Loch looking like a boiling cauldron. Unfortunately, the temperature was the exact opposite - absolutely freezing! After going in, coming back out, facing the demons again and going into the Loch for a second time, we soon realised that this session was folly. Even with neoprene boots on my feet were like blocks of ice and my hands were rapidly going numb. Time to call it a day and warm up with Fish and Chips instead.
Swim: 4:23 (min:sec!!), 70m(!), burned 44 kCalories and dropped several degrees C!

Thursday 13th June:

No early stretches today after getting home late from the Prom, although I did squeeze in the usual 50 press-ups before getting ready. Back from work and out with the dogs, then onto the turbo trainer for a high cadence session before going for another (agonising) sports massage!
Bike: 38:43, 3.69km, avg heart rate 112 bpm, avg. cadence 94 rpm, avg. power 165W, burned 296 kCalories.

Wednesday 12th June:

Early morning leg stretches to start off what was going to be a busy day. Took my S4 Sports Science class along to visit the Sports Science Lab at The University of the West of Scotland in Hamilton. Dr Chris Easton gave a great introduction on VO2 max testing and blood analysis and I performed the bike test in front of my students. I think they enjoyed seeing how wrecked I looked after 20 minutes of hard graft! I managed to keep on going with some verbal encouragement (see video on main page) all the way to my max heart rate of 180 bpm - not much left in the tank at that stage!
Home from this and onto the turbo trainer for an hour before a shower and on with the Dinner Suit for the S6 Prom. Like I said, a busy day!
Stretches: 1:07:09, avg. heart rate 108 bpm, burned 253 kCalories.
VO2 Max test: 25:21, avg heart rate 116 bpm, max heart rate 180 bpm, burned 273 kCalories.
Bike: 1:01:00, 26.42km, avg. heart rate 139 bpm, avg. power 202W, max power 278W, avg. cadence 74 rpm, burned 736 kCalories.

Tuesday 11th June:

Back up early doors for another bash at the Runner's World leg exercises and stretches. Off to the pool tonight for a great swim session with ATHelite. Working on catch drills and the dreaded ankle bands. I managed to swim 1200m tonight with the bands on (and a couple of buoys!) so a bit of an improvement over last time where my legs were acting like a dredger on the bottom of the pool. We finished off the session with a 750m time trail - 15:07, not great but not too shabby after the exertions of the previous 1950m.
Stretches: 1:09:52, no heart rate strap today, so no idea how many calories I burned!
Swim: 1:02:50, 2,725m, burned 676 kCalories.

Monday 10th June: rest day

Sunday 9th June:

Still no running, so it was off to the gym to use the elliptical machines… I get bored at the best of times on these, but given the sun was shining and I really wanted to be running, I wasn't looking forward to my marathon session. On with the iPod, drink bottles and gels sorted and away I go… 3hours later and it's time to do some stretches and find a shower!
Elliptical: 3:11:25, 27km, burned 1,790 kCalories.

Saturday 8th June:

Sun splitting the sky again today, 22C and pretty much no wind - perfect cycling weather. Got everything ready well in advance but decided to check tyres before heading out, arrrrgghhh rear tub was soft. Tried pumping it up but the valve inside the tubular tyre had closed itself off meaning I couldn't get it to the correct pressure. I headed off in search of the rest of the ATHelite gang only to find they'd cycled down to meet me, ahhhh - thanks guys!!
Off round South Lanarkshire's finest roads when inevitably I hit a pothole and lost more air in the rear. I stopped and wrestled with the tub (difficult two remove from wheel when there is still air in it) until I managed to get the tyre off. Made the mistake of putting the wheel on the ground and the tub tape picked up lots of cut grass - sweet. I reopened the valve, replaced the tyre and used a compressed CO2 cartridge to pump up the tyre very quickly (well, once I'd figured out how to use the CO2 pump). Lots of learning experiences here - hopefully not ones I'll need to use come race day. Tyre pressure back up to normal, I cycled off with the rest of the club for another hour or so, before waving good bye to John and Ian and completing another couple of hours solo.
I'm really getting used to the aero position now and it is feeling much more comfortable… hopefully be able to hold this position for the majority of the race on the closed roads in Austria where I won't need to worry about cars passing too close, too quickly..
Back to the house - drank my protein shake, downed several cold glasses of water and spent 10 mins or so stretching out the legs before heading out on a dog walk!
Bike: 5:00:37, 132.33km, avg. speed 26.4km/hr, elevation gain 1,741m, max speed 59.1 km/hr, avg heart rate 144 bpm, avg cadence 72 rpm, burned 4,212 kCalories.

Friday 7th June:

Decided to have a lie-in until 6:45 a.m. this morning. Bliss! Given school finishes early on a Friday it made more sense to do my stretches after work rather than before. Home, lunch eaten, stretches completed, dogs walked and then off to Loch Lomond for the first open-water swim of the season. Nervous….
Fantastic day, sun was splitting the sky and the view towards Loch Lomond and the hills coming over the top of the Erskine Bridge was spectacular. Met up with 5 other ATHelite guys and into the water… showing a balmy 16 degrees C.
I probably started off too quickly (keeping up with John is wayyyy too quick!) and I felt like I struggled a little for the next couple of sections in the Loch. However, i regained my composure and got into my rhythm again and the swimming started to come together. Despite now being fairly reasonable in the pool, swimming is still my weakest event and I still gets bit nervous before venturing out into open water. The only thing that will likely cure this is…. more sessions in open-water ;-)  I felt like I was getting there in the end, and after getting out and changed back on dry land, we stopped off for fish and chips - yum!
Stretches: 1:02:58, burned 299 kCalories.
Swim: 1.83km, 37:34, moving time 28:13, avg. moving pace 15:27 / km - average speed of 2.9km/hr (which would give a 3.8km time of 1:18 if I could hold it for that pace consistently - I'd be delighted with that!!!), burned 577 kCalories.

Thursday 6th June:

Another good stretching session early doors. Out for tea tonight at our D.H.T.'s leaving do and then back home for a turbo session - there really is no rest for the wicked!
Stretches: 1:11:07, watch reckoned I only burned 15 kCalories - very unlikely!
Bike: 22km, 1:00:01, max speed 36.5 km/hr, avg heart rate 123 bpm, max hr 157 bpm, avg. power 142W, max power 429W! Burned 512 kCalories.
Stretches: 10 mins leg stretches.

Wednesday 5th June:

Back up again at the crack of dawn for more stretches. The legs are feeling pretty good and I'm desperate to try them out for a run but I'm biding my time until I get the all clear. Another good stretching session - I'm already noticing increased stability in the balancing exercises which are using the smaller muscles to stabilise major muscle groups.
Managed to get an appointment with my G.P. and he is writing a letter to the surgeon who performed my successful knee surgery a couple of years ago to check over my knee before the race. Hopefully get in to see him in the next week or so to get the nod to start running again.
Had a sports massage on my back and shoulders - plenty of knots to remove! I'm planning on a session once a week until the race. Back and shoulders are now feeling great, but my gluteus muscles are still sore!!!
Managed to fit in a late night cycle on the turbo - concentrating on power. Beat my p.b. for maximum 20min average power - now sitting at 236W. Bacon sandwiches for tea - at 10:30 p.m.
Stretches: 1:07:35, burned 227 kCalories.
Bike: 23.42km, 55:10, avg. speed 25.5 km/hr, avg. hr 130 bpm, max hr 163 bpm, avg. power 195W, max power 300W, max avg. power 20 min, 236W, burned 643 kCalories.
followed by 15 minutes stretching.

Tuesday 4th June:

Well, I decide that I've been a bit lazy recently, so the alarm clock was dialled back to 5:30 a.m. and I got up this morning to do some specific leg and core exercises in an attempt to strengthen up my running muscles and, hopefully, help to cure my bursa problem. I found a goo link on Runner's World for some specific leg / core strengthening exercises and my intention is to repeat this workout every morning (on training days) up to the race… Fingers crossed it works!
Stretches: 57:19, avg heart rate 72 bpm, burned 161 kCalories.
Off to swimming soon - will update later!
Good swimming session tonight (as always with the ATHelite crew) although I felt really tired for the first 1km or so… after that I think my body remembered how to swim and I felt stronger.
Did some hand / thumb and trailing finger drills, followed by sets of slow / fast 50 m sets and then 7 200m sets, with the last 3 sets concentrating on negative splits for last 100m of each 200.
Swim: 2800m, 1:01:52, avg. pace 2:11/100m, avg. SWOLF 45, best pace 1:37/100m, best SWOLF 35, burned 695 kCalories.

Monday 3rd June: rest day

Sunday 2nd June:

Big ride on the TT bike today. Weather was pretty much perfect - i.e. dry, warm and relatively still. I headed South and kept on pedalling! Ended up doing over 100 miles in just over 6 hours - the new TT position is considerably more comfortable than before and I'm now feeling much happier with the (black and white!) tubular tyres!. I pushed myself quite hard - very difficult at times to gauge your exertion levels when you cycle alone… I suspect I'll 'come off the gas' a little during IM Austria.
Bike: 6:02:14, 163.31km, elevation gain 1,989m, avg. speed 27.1 km/hr, max speed 53.3 km/hr, avg. heart rate 145 bpm, burned 4,414 kCalories! Followed by 18 minutes of stretches and foam roller, burned 113 kCalories.

Saturday 1st June:

So, no running for me until my bursa gets better. However, kids at tennis provides me with an opportunity to try out the elliptical machine. I used to hate this with a passion when it was part of my gym routine many years ago, but given it is a low impact cardio exercise that will hopefully keep my fitness levels up, now I'm all for it!
Elliptical: 51:49, 3km, avg heart rate 128 bpm, burned 587 kCalories. Back home for 26 minutes of stretches and release tension in  muscles with the foam roller… burned another 91 kCalories.

Friday 31st May: rest day

Thursday 30th May:

No running again this evening, so back onto the turbo trainer. Forgot to set watch to bike mode so missed the first 12:32, but burned 124 kCalories.  Correctly set watch and continued on until I'd done a gentle 1 hour in zone 1/2 with a reasonable cadence.
Bike: 1 hour, 23km, avg. power 155W, max power 182W, avg. cadence 85 rpm, burned 424 kCalories.
Stretches: 34:30 avg heart rate 87 bpm, burned 120 kCalories, same pain as yesterday - double ouch!

Wednesday 29th May:

Steady 1 hour session on the turbo trainer, followed by 34 minutes of stretching and the dreaded 'foam roller' on the I.T. band and rest of the legs. Muscles certainly felt limber after that pummelling - hopefully it is doing the trick!
Bike: 1:00:29, 24.84km, avg. heart rate 131 bpm, avg. power 179W, max power 205W,burned 646 kCalories.
Stretches: 34:03, avg. heart rate 107 bpm, extensive stretching on IT band, hamstring, gluteus, calves and quadriceps - ouch!

Tuesday 28th May:

Quick cycle on the road bike on the turbo prior to seeing Grant at The Treatment Hub for some (very painful) sports massage / physiotherapy. Felt pretty decent, so even if I'm struggling with my running I can keep my fitness up on the bike.
Bike: 30 mins, 13 km, avg. speed 26, avg. heart rate 142 bpm, avg power 197W, max power 227W, avg. cadence 85 rpm, burned 356 kCalories. Spent 15 minutes on stretches prior to a quick shower and out to the physio!

Monday 27th May: rest day

Spent time with the foam roller on the I.T. band… How can something as innocent sounding as a foam roller cause sooooo much pain is beyond me - but hopefully this will fall into the no pain-no gain category. Time will tell.
Took my TT bike to Velocity 44 in Stirling for an update on my RETUL fit. Changed a few things in my seating position (moving seat back and up), shortening stem to bring my knee forward of pedal back to around 75mm rather than the uber-aggressive 96mm (normal range os 50-100mm) setting it had been originally set at. The bars have also been moved up slightly and I'm changing them for a much more comfortable J-bend set up… pictures to follow.

Sunday 26th May:

A 2 hour 30 minute run planned but after 54 minutes my I.T. band decided that enough was enough and stopped me dead in my tracks, about as far away from home as possible - typical. Walked for 1 and a half hours home.
Run/walk: 2:27:03, 19.8 km, avg. pace 7:24 min/km, elevation gain 364m, burned 1,362 kCalories.

Saturday 25th May: rest day - L and A's Wedding!!!

Friday 24th May:

Pretty decent ride today. I even managed to get the bottom of both calves sunburned (or is it wind-burned?) on what was almost a 'summer' day. Managed to get lost in Lanarkshire, but kept on pedalling until I ended up back home, 5 hours and 19 minutes later and another 138km in the bag. Went for a quick run off the bike but my knee (I.T. band - see main blog) was hurting so I cut the session short and stretched out thoroughly.
Bike: 5:19:25, 138.2km, avg. speed 26 km/hr, elevation gain 1,834m, max speed 60.1, avg heart rate 143 bpm, avg. cadence 72 rpm, burned 3,746 kCalories.
Run: 1.5km, 25:25, burned 73 kCalories - followed by leg, back, shoulder and hip-flexor stretches.

Thursday 23rd May:

Performed my shoulder stretches and knee exercises this morning. My legs have been great recently, so I've pretty much neglected my patellar tendon stretches. Given my legs felt a little sore following the Etape and long runs last week, I think repeating these exercises daily will help to reduce any niggles and get me 100% fit once again. That's the plan!

Wednesday 22nd May: health check at Nuffield Health and Wellness Centre

Thorough health check at the Nuffield centre in Glasgow. Seems I'm in pretty good shape. Need to work on flexibility, but everything else came in well above average so the training must be working.

Tuesday 21st May:

Great fun in the pool tonight learning some open water skills whilst wearing the trusty wetsuit. Managed to practise sighting (i.e. trying to swim in a straight line), turning around buoys and deep water starts. After this session I concentrated on the feedback Jack gave me on my video session (posted previously), so a shorter distance this week but very productive.
Swim: 1800m, 1:00:38, burned 447 kCalories.
Got back home and onto the treadmill. Decided to try and squeeze in the interval session  which was supposed to be 10 min warm up in zone 2 followed by 8 x 3minutes in zone 4 with 1 minute jog recovery between sets. It was quickly apparent that I wasn't going to be able to complete the session after the swim and I toned down the intervals. However, after 30 minutes or so my knee started twinging, so I decided to call it a day and spend some more time stretching out instead.
Run: 5.63km, 50:00, avg heart rate 125 bpm, burned 504 kCalories.

Monday 20th May: rest day

Sunday 19th May:

Felt a little unusual going out on my bike on a Sunday morning, but after a lot of faffing about I managed to get the TT bike ready and headed out on my new speed weapon! Again, I felt pretty lethargic at first but after an hour or so of pedalling I bumped into another ATHelite member, Johnny Kerr, and having other cyclists to chase helped wake me up. 
Wow! This thing is fast in a straight line and after a while I'm getting the hang of making it go round corners too! Hopefully not too many of those in Austria :-) 
After a couple of hours of exploring hitherto unknown farm tracks I ended up in Blackwood. I felt the front tyre was a little soft - the front of the bike was wallowing up and down over the road surface and my speed had dropped. I spent a fruitless few minutes trying to re-inflate the tubular tyre, with no success. I thought I'd probably just about make it home but trying to turn the next corner the bike had different plans… The tyre flexed on the wheel rim and tried its utmost to hurl me across the road. Luckily I caught the crash before I became too familiar with the road surface, slamming the brakes on and unclipped my shoes from the pedals. Now, tubular tyres are different from normal 'clincher' tyres in the fact that they combine the inner tube and tyre in one-piece… that and the fact that they are glued onto the wheel. I heaved away at the tyre for a few minutes, eventually freeing it from the sticky grip of the mastic. I replaced the tyre quickly with the new (black and white stripy!) tubular, gave it a pump up and was again on my way. I've learned a few lessons here… more care with the tubs will hopefully save me time rather than cost me time on race day.
Bike: 93.4km, 3:25:48, avg. speed 27.2km/hr, elevation gain 1,139m, max speed 54.1km/hr, avg heart rate 142 bpm, avg. cadence 75 rpm, burned 2,445 kCalories. Followed by lots of stretching and a dog walk!

Saturday 18th May:

I had planned on cycling today to meet up with other members of the ATHelite club to support Michael Martin in his epic 30 hour London to Glasgow cycle. Unfortunately my better half was out all day on a triathlon coaching course (should come in handy!) so I was stuck at home instead. Michael and his tea-mates managed to battle through some horrendous weather (sleet at the top of the M6 at Shap!) to reach Glasgow, cold, tired but elated - well done boys!
I took my two to their tennis lessons and settled in for an easy 45 minute spin on the spin bike to get my legs working after a good session on the treadmill last night.
Bike: 18km, 45:00, avg. heart rate 108 bpm, avg. cadence 92 rpm, burned 401 kCalories. Followed up with 15 minutes of neck, shoulder, arm, back and leg stretches.
I dropped the kids off at Badminton and headed out for a run. I felt pretty tired today and struggled to get going but plugged away and managed a respectable 27.86km (17+ miles) in 2 hours, 30 minutes and 40 seconds. I'd worn calf guards on today's run and they really made a difference. They are essentially very tight compression socks that go from your achilles tendon (near the heel) to just under the knee. Ok, so they're not the last word in fashionable clothing - but my legs felt much better than my previous long run - result!  After analysing the data, my run was about 24 seconds per kilometre down on a couple of weeks ago… Possibly still feeling the effects of the food poisoning + heavy truing ride last weekend, possibly listening to music and not concentrating on form…Who knows? At least I few a few more opportunities to work out what the cause, and remedy could be!
Run: 27.86km, 2:30:40, avg pace 5:24 min/km, elevation gain 330m, avg. heart rate 145 bpm, max heart rate 182 bpm, burned 2,153 kCalories. Followed by extensive leg stretches and a jacuzzi!

Friday 17th May:

Decent, if slightly unspectacular swim session today. Managed another 4000m (160 lengths) in 1:23:58, about 2 and a half minutes outside my best time from a couple of weeks ago. Felt a bit tired in the pool but I kept on plugging away, so have to be happy with racking up another full IM swim distance in training. The lifeguard seemed impressed though and I was passing the other swimmer in the 'fast' lane, so maybe I'm doing myself a dis-service!
Swim: 1:23:58, 4km, avg. pace 2:05/100m, avg. SWOLF 44, best pace 1:$7/100m, burned 993 kCalories.
Headed back to the gym and hit the treadmill as my daughter joined her swimming lesson. Looked at my watch and realised that although I'd put my heart rate strap on I'd forgotten to attach the heart rate monitor - doh! I decided to copy my workout from a couple of weeks ago which seemed to get me in the right zones. 45 minutes at 9.5 km/hour at 5% incline, 10 minutes at 12.5 km/hr at 5%, followed by last 5 minutes at 9.5 km/hr at 5% before the 2 minute cool down session.
Run: 10.2 km, 1:00:01, avg. pace 6:04 / km, elevation gain 500m, burned 935 kCalories.
Nice 10 minute high cadence session on a spin bike to loosen off the legs and then leg and back stretches prior to driving home, protein shake, pancake a shower and tea!
Bike: 10 mins, 5 km, avg. cadence 90 rpm, burned 50 kCalories.

Thursday 16th May:

TT bike on turbo for an interval session - 40 minutes steady zone 2 followed by 15 minutes in zone4, 5 minutes cool down in zone 2 and leg / back stretches. First 40 minutes was pretty easy (I'd actually done 50 mins as I'd re-calibrated WAHOO KIckr after downloading a new utility programme). The next 15 minutes were brutal! Up into the higher gears and standing on the pedals to get them to keep on turning. The sweat was dripping out of me seemingly faster than I could get fluids in - not a pretty sight :-) Managed to get the heart rate up into the correct zone and was pushing decent power - up to 291W which is pretty good for me.
Bike: 25.34km, 1:00:01, avg. heart rate 134 bpm, max heart rate 166 bpm, avg. cadence 76 rpm, avg power 196W, avg. power 20 min 235W (a new record!), burned 704 kCalories, followed by leg and back stretches.

Wednesday 15th May:

Took the TT bike out for its maiden voyage. Boy, is this thing different to a road bike - it feels like its sole purpose in life is to go fast (very fast) in a straight line and to try and throw you off going round corners. It's like riding a wild boar whilst holding on to it's wee tusks, scary and exhilarating. The wind was getting up and the 100mm rear wheel was catching the wind like a sail, but felt a bit more stable than the 52mm wheels I have on my road bike. No doubt due to the much more clever aerodynamics of the cigar shaped wheel rather than the v-section of the cheaper clincher wheels. Still needed my wits about me to keep the bike on line and not drift out towards the traffic on the back roads. The bike must be quick as it seems I am now King of the Mountain for a local Strava segment - and I wasn't even pushing that hard. I managed to get the bike up to about 48.3 km/hr approaching the house - almost breaking the 30 mph speed limit - sorry officer!
Changing gear is something I'm going to have to get used to - the levers are at the end of the extension bars, so you really have to be thinking ahead to be in the right gear for the conditions. Once you're in gear and down on the bars it is fairly comfortable and considerably more aero than the road bike so more of your power is converted into speed and less fighting air resistance.
TT bike: 5.33km, 11:44, avg. speed 27.3 km/hr, max speed 48.3 km/hr, avg. cadence 69 rpm, burned 187 kCalories. 
With the wheels swapped off and back onto the turbo trainer a 45 minute bike / 15 minute run brick session was on the cards. Managed to hold an average power of 211W and a max avg. power over 20 minutes of 215W with a peak power of 235W.
Bike: 45:01, 22.46km, avg. speed 29.9 km/hr, avg. cadence 81 rpm, burned 569 kCalories.
Run: 29:01, 2.4km, avg. heart rate 117 bpm, burned 314 kCalories, 15 minute run followed by leg, back and shoulder stretches.

Tuesday 14th May:

Took my wetsuit along to the pool tonight to get familiar with swimming in neoprene again! Made the mistake of completing a couple of laps of the pool, then getting into my wetsuit wet - not the best idea! It's a bit more difficult than putting it on over dry skin - will remember than in future. Jumped in the pool and felt like I was turbocharged! I completed 200m in 3 minutes - essentially 1 minute faster then when I don't wear a wetsuit. It felt like I was using a pull buoy - the buoyancy in the legs is incredible and gets rid of the sinking leg sensation I have to fight all the time, allowing me to just pull through the water as if I could actually swim… If I could swim that fast in the race I'd be able to break an hour for the swim - that's unlikely to happen, but it's a lovely thought none the less.
After the 250m warm up, 8x25m uncor drills, 100m swim, 8x 25m easy, 25m tempo, 25m fast 15 sec rest, 4x100m easy 15s rest, 4 x100m tempo 20 s rest, 4 x 100m fast 30 sec rest! Felt pretty strong tonight - thoroughly enjoyed the session.
Swim: 52:51, 2350m, burned 577 kCalories.

Monday 13th May: rest day!

Sunday 12th May:

An Epic ride today - or at least my 311 Strava Score (plus 134 points in the red zone) would attest to! Managed to ride from Dunkeld to Pitlochry, compete in The Caledonian Etape, cycle back to the hotel then immediately don the running shoes and head out for a 10 minute run… I'm ready for some food and an early night!
I managed to come 72nd overall for the sprint and 691st in the King of the mountains categories. Ended up with 4 hours 19 minutes and 18 seconds putting me in 984th place out of 4,265 entrants… taking 1 hour and 12 minutes off last year's time - pretty pleased with that!
Ride: 175km, 6:13:42m elevation gain 2,563m, avg. moving speed 28.2 km/hr, avg. heart rate 148 bpm, max heart rate 180 bpm, max speed 62 km/hr, burned 5.091 kCalories!!!
Run: 2.02km, 10:45, avg. pace 5:19 min/km, elevation gain 56m, avg. heart rate 140 bpm, max heart rate 151 bpm, burned 180 kCalories.

Monday 6th May - Saturday 11th May: Ill

Struggled all week with food poisoning. The only running I managed was back and forth to the loo!

Sunday 5th May: rest day

Saturday 4th May:

An epic bike ride today through South Lanarkshire hanging on to the coat tails of some of the club's multiple Ironmen, Gareth and Graeme. Looks like my tortuous turbo training sessions are working as I held on (for grim death at times!) in the windy conditions for all of the 105km. Feeling great and no doubt buzzing from the natural endorphins awash in my system, I headed upstairs onto the treadmill for a quick 15 minute run. The run became 30 minutes, then 45 and then 60 as I flowed along, pretty effortlessly. I was thinking about pushing on to the 2 hour mark which would essentially have me completed the distance for a 1/2 Ironman (minus the swim of course) but I decided a bit of family time needed to take priority. Instead, I took the kids to badminton and started to refuel prior to going out with my brother-in-law and future brother-in-law for a meal to celebrate his up-coming marriage in a few weeks time. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday! 
This has probably been one of the first days when I've really felt  like "I can do this". I've been trusting in the plan and putting in the training sessions but being able to ride over 65 miles and then go for a run and for it to feel easy have been a great mental boost. Happy days :-)
Bike: 105.5km, 4:03:52, avg. moving speed 26 km/hr, max speed 61 km/hr, elevation gain 1,287m, avg heart rate 142 bpm, max heart rate 176 bpm, burned 2,941 kCalories.
Run: 9.33km, 1:13:06, 9.3 km/hr at 3% incline, avg. heart rate 130 bpm, burned 938 kCalories, followed by leg and back stretches.

Friday 3rd May:

Into the pool for a long, steady swim. No stopping this week at 1 km intervals, just kept on ploughing up and down the pool for 160 lengths. Really trying to concentrate on keeping the stroke long, extending out on each side, pulling towards the centre of my chest and down through to the hips, using fore-arm as a paddle, keeping my head looking down, one goggle in the water during breathing, hand entry between shoulder and centre line, high elbows, breathing…. No time to get bored - so much to think about! When I do get it I'm sure swimming will be soooooo much more relaxing!!! I'm pretty sure I just set new 3.8km and 4km personal bests, so I'm pretty chuffed!
Swim: 4000m, 1:21:15, avg. pace 2:02/100m, avg. SWOLF 43, burned 993 kCalories.
Back in the house, protein shake and bagel scoffed and 30 minutes later I'm out the door… to the gym again! Taking the youngest to her swimming lesson so it's time for another 60 minutes steady run on the treadmill. 
Run: 10km, 1:20:14, 500m climbed, avg. heart rate 136 bpm, 9.5km/hr at 5% incline, burned 1004 kCalories, 18 minutes of leg and back stretches.
Feeling Great! I love being this fit! Now time to replenish the 2000 kCalories I've burned today… the pizza has been demolished and I'm about to open the beer fridge! Purely to replace lost carbs, of course ;-)

Thursday 2nd May:

Another early morning session skive - well this week is supposed to be an easy week. Home late after an away game for my S1 football team, so by the time I'm settling down to do an hour on the turbo trainer it's already 9:30 p.m. Working on high cadence on the bike, so slip the gears into the low cog and get pedalling. I've got pretty strong legs these days but boy, were they complaining about pedalling a light load quickly! Set up for a pyramid cadence session: 4 mins at 90 rpm, 3 mins at 100 rpm, 2 mins at 110 rpm, 1 min at 120 rpm, 2 mins at 110 rpm, 3 mins at 100 rpm and 4 mins at 90 rpm - repeat x3. I really struggled to spin fast enough - probably maxing out at 115 rpm. Enjoyed the session though - the time flew by as I struggled to watch 'Thunderball' on the TV (slowly working through my Bond 50 Blu-ray set!).
Bike: 24.44km, 1:00:01, avg heart rate 116 bpm, max heart rate 150 bpm, avg cadence 97 rpm, max cadence 119 rpm, burned 449 kCalories. Followed by leg and back stretches.

Wednesday 1st May:

After actually getting out of bed at 5:30 a.m., going to the loo and starting to get ready, I thought "what am I doing?", so I went back to bed for an hour! No point killing myself purely to get more hours of training logged. This is supposed to be about training smarter, not harder. My body was grateful for the rest and I felt much stronger on the bike tonight as a result. Tonight's session was another 'brick session'; a bike session followed by a quick change to a run session. The legs felt strong and I was able to maintain over 200W for the full 45 minute session, jump off the bike, on with the trainers and hold a steady pace on the treadmill for 15 minutes. Result.
Bike: 22.72km, 45:17, avg. speed 30.1km/hr, avg. heart rate 141 bpm, max heart rate 154 bpm, avg. power 214W, max power 244W, avg. cadence 77 rpm, burned 581 kCalories.
Run: 2.74 km, 29:20 (include 9:20 of stretches), elevation gain 136m, avg. heart rate 115 bpm, burned 282 kCalories.

Tuesday 30th April:

Given I was up until way after midnight marking Higher prelim papers I decided that an early start for a treadmill session was not on the cards… I can do that session after swimming! That was the plan anyway…
Tonight's swimming session was being video taped, so at some point in the none-too-distant-future I'll (maybe) post my swimming technique (or lack thereof) for your critique. Needless to say, as soon as I was being taped I managed to forget how to swim and my 100m became an exercise in not drowning on camera! Had a good session tonight: 300m warm up, followed by a couple of 200m + drills sets, and  then 5 x 400m pyramid session (300m slow, 100 fast, 200m slow, 200m fast, 100m slow, 200m fast, 200m slow, 200m fast, 300m slow 100m fast) bringing me in around 2600m for the session.
Swim: 50:00, 2600m, avg pace 1:55/100m, avg. efficiency / SWOLF: 40, burned 645 kCalories.
The dogs needed to go for a walk and I needed to squeeze in a run, so I decided to combine the two. Had a great run down the Castle trail all the way down to Uddingston Grammar school and back. Pretty much a trail run and some dodgy surfaces under foot which make themselves felt through my minimalist Skechers Go trainers. My calves will be aching tomorrow - but I squeezed in an extra session and my dogs are very, very happy!
Run: 40:53, 8.16km, avg. pace 5:05/km, elevation gain 138m, avg. heart rate 153 bpm, max heart rate 170 bpm, burned 708 kCalories.
Followed up with lots of leg, hip flexor, back and shoulder stretches and the use of a 'calf roller' - a medieval instrument of torture which is supposed to stop your muscles seizing up…. I'll find out tomorrow if the pain tonight has worked!

Monday 29th April: rest day

Sunday 28th April:

Onto the TT bike fairly early to complete the session without taking up the entire day. I'm working through by 50th Anniversary of James Bond on Blu-Ray, having watched Dr No earlier in the week, I finished off 'From Russia with Love' and started on 'Goldfinger'. The TT bike is feeling less comfortable since I put it on the Wahoo KICKR - possibly down to a drop in angle… I may need to adjust my seat to get comfy again or, if that doesn't work' think about changing to the new handlebars which are sitting in a box on the floor of the gym.
Bike: 42.81km, 1:30:01, avg. speed 28.5 km/hr, avg. heart rate 138 bpm, avg. power 185W, max power 234W, avg. cadence 82 rpm, burned 998 kCalories.
A quick change from my ridiculously sweaty bike gear into a dry t-shirt and running shorts and onto the treadmill for a long steady run.
Run: 13.38km, 1:46:15, (elevation gain 680m, avg. heart rate 133 bpm, burned 1,111 kCalories. 
Followed by 16:15 of leg, hip, back, shoulder and hip flexor stretches… and a shower… and FOOOOOOOOOD!!!!

Saturday 27th April:

My son's 14th birthday today and the sun is shining, blue sky and not a breath of wind. Great weather for cycling - but perfect for Laser Tag at Combat City instead! So after an adrenaline fuelled party and enough pizza and hot dogs to to feed a small army it was time to take the dogs out and hit the turbo trainer. Managed to squeeze in a 90 minute session before jumping in the shower and heading out for dinner. Not quite as good as the 4 hours 42 minutes last weekend but should be enough to keep the legs going… I'll dream up a more difficult session for tomorrow. Stupidly I recorded the data on the running setting on my watch instead of the bike setting, losing all of the power data in the process. Doh! Thankfully, my iPhone (used to control the turbo trainer) had recorded this so at least I have the 'vital stats'.
Bike: 47.4km, 1:32:05, avg. speed 30.9km/hr, max 35 km/hr, avg. heart rate 133 bpm, max heart rate 160 bpm, average power 200W, max power 312W, burned 1,150 kCalories

Friday 26th April:

My better half is off for her sister's hen party this weekend, so I get the task of ensuring the kids get to and from school on time. That means training has been planned with almost military precision! Out of work on time for a change and a very quick lunch of tomato soup and a protein bar (yum!) and I'm off to Virgin Active for a swim. Unusually for this time of day there are a few people in the pool (drat!) so after a couple of laps in the 'slow' lane, I change into the fast lane to avoid those folks who think swimming is an exercise in not getting their hair wet ;-)
Disaster strikes, however, when I realise that I've been swimming for some time and hadn't restarted my watch following the lane change - doh! I ploughed up and down the pool until about 2:40 p.m. then a quick shower and off to pick up my kids - perfect timing!
Swim: 2800m, 56:00, 2:00/100m, burned 496 kCalories (probably more like 650 kC).
Now it's time for a dog walk (probably why it has started to rain) and then an interval session on the treadmill whilst my daughter is in her swimming lessons.
Treadmill session was great, nice and steady for the first 45 minutes at 9.5 km/hr on a 5% incline, then 10 minutes busting a gut running at 12.5 km/hr up 5%. This was a repeat of the previous Friday's session and to be honest it did feel a little easier even though I was running slightly faster. This was backed up with the heart rate data - I only managed to hit 170 bpm… must try harder :-) Followed off with 15 minutes of good leg and back stretches and, thankfully, a shower.
Run: 10km, 1:00:00, elevation gain 500m, avg. heart rate 133 bpm, burned 933 kCalories

Thursday 25th April:

Up reasonably early again and despite feeling a bit on the tired side, I got up and running on the treadmill. Same story as per usual - set the speed at 5.5 mph and the incline at 5% and hit the start key. Even though I felt tired (my relative perceived exertion, or RPE was high) my heart rate was good - staying below ~140 bpm for the majority of the run. Sometimes you mind plays tricks on you and tells you that training is harder than it actually is!
Run: 7.24 km, 1:01:20, avg. heart rate 126 bpm, burned 714 kCalories.
Late onto the bike tonight - too busy setting up my son's new computer (his birthday pressie), walking dogs and eating tea… funny how life gets in the way of work and training sometimes ;-) Settled down on the TT bike and my new turbo trainer to watch a couple of episodes of The Big Bang Theory… It's about the only time I get to watch TV - and here I thought men weren't supposed to be able to multi-task! Quite a tough interval session; 10 minutes warm up, then 7 minutes in zone 4 followed by 4 minutes easy spin repeated 4 times. The zone 4 efforts were me standing up out of the saddle pushing as hard as my legs would let me. Much sweatiness ensued!
Bike: 24.76 km, 1:00:01, avg. heart rate 126 bpm, avg. power 170W, max power 256W, burned 610 kCalories (felt like a lot more!) followed by 15 minutes of leg and back stretches.

Wednesday 24th April:

Right, no slacking - get on with it! Up early today and onto the bike for a high cadence recovery ride - seems to have worked - my legs now feel normal again. Pretty low power output of around 136W, but more interested in the avg. cadence of 92 rpm. Let's see what the later session holds in store!
I keep on forgetting that the 40 minute dog walk I'm doing is also good training - especially up and down the Clyde pathway - some pretty steep hills there. That and the fact I'm doing 50 press-ups when waking up and before going to bed, together with leg and back stretches - all this hidden training is adding up nicely.
Bike: 19km, 45:01, avg. speed 25.3 km/hr, max power 205W, burned 362 kCalories.
9:20 p.m. when I eventually managed to get up to the gym. One of those sessions where you really could be doing something else but head won over heart and I got stuck in. I'm pleased I did - feeling good now and another session completed!
45 minutes zone 2 on the bike - heart rate around 135 bpm - I find it pretty difficult to get the heart rate much higher indoors. Outside, its a different matter… especially when battling a headwind or climbing a hill.
Bike: 19.33km, 45:07, avg. speed 25.7 km/hour, avg. heart rate 136 bpm, avg. power 170W, Max power 205W, avg. cadence 94 rpm, burned 458 kCalories.
Quick change out of the cycling shoes and into the trainers for a short 'brick session'; onto the treadmill for a steady 15 minute run.
Run: 2.41 km, 27:31, including leg and back stretches, avg. heart rate 115 bpm, burned 225 kCalories.

Tuesday 23rd April:

Decided to drop the morning run session - too difficult an interval session for 5:30 a.m. especially given I'd got to bed after midnight (marking prelim papers and writing S2 reports). That and the fact that my calves were STILL aching after Sunday!!
Great swim session with the club in the evening at the local pool; 300m warm up; 2x (25m catch up, 25m swim, 25m left arm, 25 m right arm), 100m finger drag, 100m swim, pull buoys (300m paddle, 300m swim, 20s, 200m paddle, 200m swim 20s, 100m paddle, 100m swim), 7 x 100m swim in 2 mins, 25m cool down. Felt really strong this evening and I was really working on the technique - funny how 2.5 - 3km now seems easy - I'd have laughed if you'd told me a year ago that this would be possible. I could barely string 50m together then without bursting a lung.
Swim: 2625m, 53:00, burned 651 kCalories.

Monday 22nd April: rest day

Just as well as my calves were letting me know they'd been used yesterday!!!

Sunday 21st April:

Steady zone 2 run - not sure how I was going to fare after the 70 mile ride the day before. The sun was shining and I decided I could get away with just a long sleeve running top. 30 minutes into the run and the heavens opened - my sunglasses doing a sterling job of keeping the rain out of my eyes! I kept my cadence high and concentrated on 'quiet' steps and feeling light on my feet. It felt great to be running outside again after so many indoor sessions, although the road surfaces left a lot to be desired so I was concentrating hard on not falling down the multiple pot-holes en route. I felt really good and was just concentrating on steady running without really pushing it - only as I approached around 12 miles I realised I was running easy AND pretty fast (for me!). It worked out that I smashed my 1/2 marathon personal best on a pretty hilly, windy, wet and cool route… I think this treadmill stuff must be working. New p.b. for the 1/2 is 1:45:29 - taking 2:01 off my previous best (Glasgow half marathon from September last year). It will be interesting to see what my race pace will be ;-)
Run: 25.72km, 2:08:47, avg pace 5:00 min/km, elevation gain 297m, avg. heart rate 148 bpm, burned 2,132 kCalories.

Saturday 20th April:

Up early to take advantage of a dry morning and out on the bike. Managed to get out at around 8 a.m. and headed out onto some fairly quiet roads. Little did I know that it was going to be one windy day - and riding with 52mm carbon wheels is not ideal! Cycled for about half an hour and the breeze picked up - so much so that after battling headwinds all the way up climbs I couldn't get the advantage of speeding down the hills - the crosswinds were so strong that they were lifting the bike up out of the air and setting me down half a metre away from where I started. Nothing worse than having to brake all the way down the hills :-(
I kept on plugging away through some fabulous scenery: Hamilton - Motherwell - Wishaw - Carluke - Carnwath - Biggar - Lanark - Stonehouse - Strathaven - Glassford - Quarter and back to Hamilton… eventually doing 113km in 4hours and 42 minutes.
Bike: 113.2km, 4:42:44, elevation gain 1,541m, avg. speed 24.1 km/hr, max speed, avg heart rate 137 bpm, burned 3,473 kCalories!

Friday 19th April:

Great to hit the second alarm and sleep in until 6:35 a.m. knowing that I can squeeze in both training sessions later in the day. First up, the swim. Headed down to Virgin Active and had the lane to myself for the entire hour. Focusing on really keeping the length of the swimming stroke and rotating through the hips. Seems to be working, set decent times for the first 2 km splits although the last km I was a little tired and I came in just over the hour mark - by 20 seconds! Doh!. I'll break that barrier soon - probably doesn't help that I'm not doing tumble turns as this would speed me up considerably, however, I won't be able to do this in the race, so touching the end of the pool is better training in the long run.
Swim: 3km, 1:00:20, avg pace 2:00/100m, burned 744 kCalories.
Dogs walked, kids fed, and then taking junior off to her lessons… late as it happens! Handy if I'd been told the lessons were at 5:45 p.m. - at least I'll know for next week!
Up onto the treadmill for an interval session: steady 45 mins in zone 2 (hear rate around 140 bpm, 9.5 km/hr at 5% incline) then 10 minutes zone 4 (~170 bpm, 12.5 km/hr at 5% incline)… Just as I was halfway through the zone 4 Mrs. Paterson and Misss Tollan came by to say hello. It was difficult breathing let alone talking! 
After analysing my results I'm hoping my heart rate strap was misbehaving - otherwise my maximum heart rate is now 254 bpm and I'll have been under-training all this time ;-)
Run: 10km, 1:00:11, elevation gain 470m, burned 813 kCalories. Followed by leg and back stretches.

Thursday 18th April: 

Tired this morning, really tired! Run felt really difficult and it took me a while to get into the zone but I got there in the end. Crazy heart rate spikes so strap is playing up - these things are great but they don't appear to have a particularly long usable life before they start throwing out spurious data. Heart rate spiked up to 173 bpm whereas in reality it would have been pretty stable at ~130-135 bpm.
Run: 5.95 km, 52:08, burned 676 kCalories.
Evening bike session. Trie to get iMobileintervals app to work with the KICKR. Got the intervals all programmed in but couldn't get the software to talk to the hardware. I think it may be because other Bluetooth devices are connected and only one can share the air with the turbo trainer. I'll get it sorted at dome stage but for tonight I kept things 'manual'… i.e. I just changed up and down the gears to increase / decrease resistance for desired interval session.
Spent 10 minutes warming up, followed by 8x (4 mins in zone 4 - i.e. really hard work! then 2 mins easy spin). What a session! I may need to drop the resistance of the device and try and keep my cadence up in order to work my cardio system more… My max heart rate was ~155 bpm, I suspect it should have been considerably more but I just couldn't get my legs to push any harder!
Bike: 23.5km, 1:00:01, avg. heart rate 136 bpm, max 170 bpm, avg power 193W, max power 293W, avg cadence 70 rpm, burned 693 kCalories.
Stretches: leg and back stretches, 15:42, burned 42 kCalories

Wednesday 17th April:

Early start again and I've decided that squeezing in another bike session rather than a generic weights session will probably do me good. Now I'm training with the KICKR power meter it is easier to gauge progress - simply checking out the Watts I'm generating and comparing with my heart rate data. Decided to do a basic interval session this morning; quick warm up followed by 5 mins hard (i.e. high gear, standing on pedals), 5 mins easy (low gear, higher cadence much lower resistance, sitting down).
Bike: 55:38, 17.62km, avg speed 19km/hr, avg heart rate 113 bpm, avg. power 141W, max power 256W, burned 460 kCalories.
Second bike ride of the day in the evening - a brick session, so this one was immediately followed by 15 mins on the treadmill and leg / back stretches. Seems sooo much easier in the evenings than at 6 a.m. for some bizarre reason ;-)
Bike: 17.75 km, 45:00, avg speed 23.7 km/hr, avg heart rate 137 bpm, avg power 196W, max power 236W, burned 528kCalories.
Run: 2.74km, 29:12, avg. heart rate 120 bpm, burned 209 kCalories.

Tuesday 16th April:

Ahhhh, the moment I had been dreading… The first 5:30 a.m. alarm call of the new working week. I confess to hitting the snooze button a couple of times but I eventually stirred and got ready to hit the treadmill. I popped on the heart rate strap and went downstairs to get my watch and a bottle of water. I sat for a few moments reading the terrible news on the Boston Marathon and must confess my heart sank thinking of how such a wonderful day turned into a nightmare for many athletes and spectators. My trials and tribulations do not compare…
Onto the treadmill for a interval session - perfect at 6 a.m. If I wasn't awake now I certainly would be in an hour!!! 
10 minutes at a steady pace, followed by 4.5 minutes in zone 4 (i.e. as fast as possible), 1.5 minutes recovery jog, repeated 4 times… Finished off with a steady zone 2 run (5.5 mph at 5% incline) then leg and back stretches! Shower time!!! Found out that I'd not pushed as hard as I should have done - my heart rate should have been between 165-170 bpm on the intervals… note to self, must try harder!
Run: 58:06, 7.64km, avg. heart rate 136 bpm, max heart rate 165 bpm, burned 851 kCalories.
Off to swimming this evening with the ATHelite gang. Really enjoyable session - I was moved up a lane (probably because Nicola wasn't here today, rather than I've suddenly become an awesome swimmer) so got to chase my wife up and down the pool! I was really concentrating on the points we'd picked up on the Robin Brew camp… and it seemed to be working. My SWOLF (an efficiency metric) has improved to 41 so I'm maximising the length of my stroke whilst swimming quicker - yay!
Swim: 2950m, 56:26, avg. pace 1:55/100m, burned 726 kCalories.

I think the training is working… resting heart rate this morning: 

Monday 15th April: rest day

Sunday 14th April:

My better half left the house at 7 a.m. this morning to partake in a sportive in Peebles. I decided that I'd get up and get started on the day early too, given the alarm will be going off early again from tomorrow. Back. To. School. :-0
The plan called for a 1 hour 30 minute run today in zone 1 - zone 2. My heart rate strap was playing up for the first few minutes, but, after a judicious application of saliva, decided to start recording my actual heart rate. I was running pretty comfortably so decided to keep on plodding along to the 2 hour mark. I'd hoped to go outside today but would have had to wait until the missus returned. She did, much sooner than planned after her Sportive was effectively abandoned due to horrendous weather conditions. I avoided the opportunity to say "I told you so"… no one likes a gloater!
The weather has thankfully broken - from a miserable, dreich, grey today to a blustery day blowing cotton-wool style clouds along at cracking rate…. So, after a shower and some lunch it will be time to take the dogs down to the Castle (sneaky additional training that I'm not counting!).
Run: 17.7km, 2:14:47, 5.5 mph at 3.5% gradient, avg. heart rate 129 bpm, burned 1,660 kCalories.

Saturday 13th April:

For once, I was reasonably well prepared for my Saturday ride. The cloud was out in full force and the ground was damp from yesterday's rain but the roads were quiet as I headed out to meet the rest of the ATHelite crew. Great ride over the roads of South Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire today… after a few hours the grey clouds even parted to reveal blue sky and a strange glowing orb appeared! Thankfully, I'd grown accustomed to this in Lanzarote so it didn't worry me too much and I kept on pedalling, not worrying that the end of the world was in sight. The legs felt pretty good today - still letting me know that my quads had been working this week but I reckon all the Lanza training helped me with the hills today. I was able to attack them with much more gusto than a few weeks ago and carry the momentum up and over the brow. Result.
Did exactly what Mr Fink (my training plan) said to do: 4 hours, keeping most of it in zone 2. Felt pretty strong even towards the end of the ride and I had to fight the urge to go for a run on the treadmill, instead opting to upload data to Garmin Connect and Strava and polish off last night's Lasagne from Rosso - YUM!
Bike: 92.53km, 4:01:12, avg. speed 23km/hr, elevation gain 1,354m, avg. heart rate 134 bpm, burned 2,778 kCalories.

Friday 12th April:

Gentle run on the treadmill this morning… quads are *still* complaining, but less so than yesterday. Once I got going the body kicked into auto and I relaxed into the rhythm: pop, pop, pop, pop, pop! 180 strides per minute, focusing on keeping tall and light/quiet on the feet. Got off feeling good - quads are feeling better, maybe a swim later will help to further speed their recovery. Followed up with leg and back stretches and 50 press ups.
Run: 4.83km, 48:27, avg heart rate 122 bpm, burned 555 kCalories.
Missed out on my swimming today as the youngest was feeling poorly and was confined to the sofa with an ice-pack on her head, a fluffy blanket and full access to a gazillion cartoon channels on SKY. I managed an indoor run on the treadmill as the better half ventured out into the real world for her run… we both finished up at about the same time, but I won the much sweatiness contest. Despite the quads complaining at first I got into a decent rhythm and added another hour to the running bank, followed up by leg and back stretches. I've also started stretching out my chest and shoulders by hanging off the chin up bar on the door frame. Surprising how painful hanging there for a minute or two is… although on the plus side, I'll be able to scratch my ankles as I walk soon :-)
Run: 9km, 1:16:58, avg heart rate 126 bpm, burned 967 kCalories. Heart rate stayed pretty stable; starting off at about 132 bpm and rising to around 142 bpm after an hour or so… perfect aerobic pacing for IM run!!!

Thursday 11th April:

Quick 15 minutes gentle cycle on the KICR turbo trainer this morning, just to loosen off some very sore quadriceps and to calibrate the power readings.
Bike: 13:41, 5.34km, avg. power 320W, avg. speed 26.7km/hr.
Quads were still burning as I climbed on board the TT bike tonight. I set the KICKR to resistance level at 3 and started pedalling… In the past, I've struggled to get my heart rate properly into zone 2 on the bike - no issues tonight! Struggle was to keep the heart rate below 144 bpm (my lactate threshold) - my average came in at 143 bpm, although I was only pushing 190W - far short of my 218W from testing a couple of months back. I'lll put that down to the fact that my legs are still trashed following Wednesday's weights session! I look forward to repeating this on fresher legs…
Bike: 1:00:01, 23.3km, avg heart rate 143 bpm, max heart rate 152 bpm, avg. power 190W, max power 206W, avg cadence 84 rpm, burned 683 kCalories.
Followed up with another calibration session just to check numbers - yep, they were correct, more work to be done to get those figures up where they should be! Next up were some leg and back stretches - I'm now stretching out back and shoulders by hanging off the pull up bar on the top of the door frame. One of the things Robin noticed on the training camp was my shoulder area was pretty tight, preventing me from stretching out my full stroke in the pool. There's always something to improve upon :-)
Stretches: 8:25, leg and back stretches, burned 18 kCalories.

Wednesday 10th April:

Weights session this morning. Struggling to get up - even with a long lie-in of a 7 a.m. alarm call… next week will be interesting when the alarm goes back to 5:30 a.m. and I have a full working day… I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
Session included: 3 sets (15 stability ball press ups, 15 s.b. squats, 15 s.b. single leg squats, 25 cable rows each arm, 15 knee ups, 15 back raises, 15 inclined squats (knee exercise), 15 calf raises, 15 narrow grip push ups, 15 little bigs, 15 reverse lunges each leg, 15 forward lunges each leg, 30 step ups with bar, 100 star jumps), followed by shoulder, arm, back stretches and leg stretches!!! No wonder as I type this my hamstrings are burning!
Weights: 1:05:03, burned 388 kCalories.
Followed up in the evening on the first ride on my new turbo trainer - more on this on the blog front page. 45 minutes of quad-burning fun followed by 15 minutes of running and then (much needed) leg stretches.
Bike: 29.7km, 45:01, avg. heart rate 122 bpm, burned 1,570 kCalories.
Run: 2.82 km, 30:03 (includes stretches), avg. heart rate 108 bpm, burned 255 kCalories

Tuesday 9th April:

Back to the normal regime. Up early this morning and after much searching found my heart rate monitor and onto the treadmill. Again, feeling a little tired and I'd stupidly left the windows closed so the gym got progressively warmer as my body heat escaped! Heart rate started off nice and low then was edging up to my upping zone 2 limits but managed to fit in the full hour without dissolving into a puddle!
Run: 9.01km, 1:11:43, avg. heart rate 136 bpm, burned 1,055 kCalories.
Steady 3km swim at Virgin Active - nice and quiet and the pool water quality has improved… I can actually see now  ;-)
Swim: 3km, 1:01:35, avg pace 2:02/100m, burned 781 kCalories.

Monday 8th April: rest day

Sunday 7th April: travelling home

Saturday 6th April:

The last ride of the training camp and it was going to be a big one! Another windy day but thankfully my legs had decided to turn up. Still struggling to keep up with the troops on the flat… maybe I'm not developing enough leg power, too much wind resistance or a less than ideal bike set up (or a combination of all 3). However, I managed to haul myself up all the hills and enjoyed the fast descents - although only reaching 67km/hr today - short of the 70.7km/hr of yesterday! Still fast enough when the wind is lifting the bike up off the ground at times - eeeeek!
Another day of climbing - this time the Haria and Mirador and again, more coffee and cake stops!
Bike: 114.1km, 5:00:34, avg. speed 22.8 km/hr, elevation gain 2,203m(!!!), avg. heart rate 134 bpm, burned 4,080 kCalories (!!!!).
Off the bike, changed into my trainers and set off around the gloriously soft athletics track to record another mile - this time in 7:01 - knocking a second off yesterday's time. Consistent!
Run: 1.64km, 7:11, avg. pace 4:23/km, avg. heart rate 151 bpm, burned 133 kCalories.
Now, after all of that exertion, off for a sports massage!

Friday 5th April:

Morning cycle again but this time with fewer people - some had left on Thursday so our hardcore group headed out into the strong winds to discover the South of Lanzarote. I found myself being dropped on most of the straights - my upper body catching the head wind like a big sail effectively putting the brakes on my every move. Not helped by the fact that my legs felt like they were working on half power - aren't rest days supposed to make you feel fresher??!! A lot of grimacing on the bike and shouting at my stupid legs to keep on pushing and I eventually made it home.
Bike: 81.36km, 3:21:09, avg. speed 24.3km/hr, elevation gain 1,390m, maximum speed of 70.7km/hour!!!, avg. heart rate 144 bpm, burned 2,698 kCalories.
After such a poor effort on the bike I decided to run around the track to get the legs working again. Managed a mile in 7:02, not too bad following 200 minutes of cycling!
Run: 2.07km, 12:54, best pace 3:30/km, avg. heart rate 140 bpm, burned 202 kCalories.

Not content with a bike and a run we headed off to the pool for a swim session… only 1800m focusing mainly on technique and consistent pacing.
Swim: 1800m, 42:26, avg. pace 1:57/100m, burned 468 kCalories.

Thursday 4th April: rest day

Wednesday 3rd April:

Bike was cancelled due to excessive winds - so we decided to go for a run instead. We'd asked about run routes but missed the turning from the roundabout and just headed (forever) uphill to Tinajo - about 7km from La Santa. The first half of the run took 45 minutes climbing up the 239m above sea level but the way back down was considerably (well 11 minutes!) faster. At times, I had to run leaning 20 degrees to my left to counteract the strong winds but it felt great to be battering down the hill past bemused cyclists who were braving the elements grinding forever upwards!
Run: 14km, 1:19:35, avg pace 5:40/km, elevation gain 239m, avg. heart rate 135 bpm, burned 1,157 kCalories.
Swim session in the afternoon - can't believe what a difference a 50m pool make - so much easier to get into a rhythm. Various different drills and some great coaching from Robin - this swimming malarky is beginning to make a bit more sense!
Swim: 2km, 43:39, avg. pace 2:01/100m, burned 520 kCalories.

Tuesday 2nd April:

Another morning cycle with the 'quick' group… Actually the quick guys rapidly disappeared out of sight after the first 10km and we struggled along with the intermediates on an incredibly windy ride. Slightly cooler today at 19C but the main weather feature was an unrelenting headwind which was so windy at times the bike skipped off course, especially on the fast descents. We knew there was a climb today - and, big, what a climb it was. An 11km constant climb up 590m in elevation. Thankfully we were greeted with coffee and cake (can you spot a pattern here?) and excellent views from the top of Mt. Tabayesco were worth the long slog up the hill.
Bike: 83.66km, 3:31:03, avg. speed 23.8, elevation gain 1,769m, avg. heart rate 138 bpm, burned 2,705 kCalories.
Quick run in the afternoon off the bike just to loosen off the legs.
Run: 3.05km, 13:58, avg pace 4:35/km, avg. heart rate 155 bpm, burned 238 kCalories.

Monday 1st April:

And now the training really begins! Meeting up on Monday morning with another 15 or so cyclists, the group quickly splits in two as we climb the first hill (a common theme when leaving La Santa - EVERYTHING is uphill!!!). We find ourselves clinging on to the 'fast' group as they speed off towards Timanfaya National Park. It does have its benefits' we end up sitting in the sun having coffee and cake watching the turquoise waves crash against the volcanic black rocks at El Golfo. Not a bad way to start the day.
Bike: 71km, 2:43:24, avg. speed 26.1 km/hr, elevation gain 1,170m, avg. heart rate 144 bpm, burned 2,515 kCalories.
We decided to go for the optional run in the afternoon around the lagoon, good training in 23C and fairly light winds.
Run: 8.97km, 49:04, avg. pace 5:27/km, avg heart rate 148 bpm, burned 953 kCalories.

Sunday 31st March:

Holiday! Up really early - especially as the clocks had sprung forward to announce the start of British Summertime… pity the weather hadn't heard this was the case. Drove to the airport at 4:30 a.m. and the temperature outside was reading a chilly -2.5C. After a 4 hour long flight we arrived in Lanzarote where a much more civilised +22C greeted us.
After getting unpacked and checking out Club La Santa we decided to say 'hello' to the rest of the Robin Brew Training Camp at the olympic distance (50m) pool.
I'd not bothered putting on suntan lotion as I didn't think I'd be out of the apartment long, but we ended up doing the full swimming session and my neck and shoulders got a little bit frazzled - a good reminder to take extra care in the sun for the rest of the week.
Swim: 1800m, 54:56, burned 469 kCalories. Lots of focus on technique and I even managed a 50m sprint in 39 seconds - I've never swum that quickly before!!!

Saturday 30th March:

Rest day - getting everything ready for holiday tomorrow morning…

Friday 29th March:

First day of the holidays and I'm attacking all the small jobs around the house that I've been meaning to do for ages. Found out that the mutts needed their booster vaccinations - a lucky catch giving they are going into kennels soon! Once all this was done I headed off to the gym for a swim. I was aiming for an hour but I was feeling good so I decided to push on and complete the full Ironman distance, 3800m or 152 lengths of a 25m pool. 
Swim: 3.8km, 1 hour 20 minutes, average pace 2:06 / 100m, best pace 1:41 /100m, burned 989 kCalories
Home, protein shake and a couple of cinnamon and raisin bagels later and I'm up on the treadmill for an hour. 5% gradient and 5.5 mph for 45 minutes then up to 8 mph at 3% to raise heart rate into zone 4 for 10 minutes, followed off with cool down and leg stretches.
Run: 10km, 1:12, avg. pace 7:19/km, avg. heart rate 139 bpm, max heart rate 168 bpm, burned 1,161 kCalories.
Another protein shake, curry, rice, nan bread, mango chutney and a couple of bottles of Schiehallion! That's the benefit of Ironman training - putting the calories back in after you've burned them off!!!

Thursday 28th March:

Yeehaaa!! Feel pretty normal again today. Term has finished and I'm now officially on holiday. Signed up agreement for new car which should arrive in June so decided to use some of this excitement to fuel a bike / run brick session.
Felt great 0 bike felt lovely and smooth and getting off and onto the treadmill felt perfectly natural. It is so good to be back training again!
Bike: 25.32km, 45:01, avg. speed 3.7 km/hr, avg. cadence 90 rpm, burned 770 kCalories.
Run: 2.4km, 23:24, avg. heart rate 121 bpm, burned 248 kCalories.

Wednesday 27th March:

Had planned a S1 football match tonight but it was cancelled due to more snow. A year ago this week I took part in the Staff versus Students football match at Carluke - it was over 20C. What a difference a day makes? More like what a difference a year makes. Felt pretty tired today - it has been a long term and my chesty cough is making a final statement… possibly due to me freezing my backside off on Monday night for S1 footy training - doh!

Tuesday 26th March:

Decided to lay off on the early morning sessions as I'm still not feeling back to normal after this chest infection. It's on its way out so I'm taking it a little easier this week to wish it bon voyage and hope I never see it again!
Good swim session tonight with ATHelite, Coaching from Jack was good - yet more things to think about with the stroke. If nothing else, good to be thrashing up and down the pool again.
Swim: 2025m, 45:@6, burned 527 kCalories.

Monday 25th March: rest day

Sunday 24th March:

Eventually got to see Looper after having watched the first half on the plane going over to the US at New Year, only for them to turn the movie off as we were making our approach to land! Typical. Really enjoyed it - so much so that I was only supposed to run for 90 minutes but ended up doing just over 2 hours so I could watch the entire movie.
Felt pretty good, still not 100% but felt reasonably strong for first 90 minutes, held on well for last 30!
Run: 17.7km, 2:13:01, elevation gain 890m, avg. heart rate 133 bpm, burned 1,865 kCalories.

Saturday 23rd March:

Hurry up Spring - this weather is atrocious! Another Saturday bike cancelled due to snow, sub-zero temperature and howling winds - no point braving the elements, especially since I'm supposed to be doing an IM in the warmth of the Austrian summer. SO upstairs to the gym to use the turbo trainer. Got confirmation today that my new turbo trainer (Wahoo Kickr) is on its way from the USA… First in Europe?! Looking forward to getting a shot on that when it arrives. Still not feeling 100% after this chest cold so keeping it reasonably easy.
Bike: 54.08km, 2:10:23, avg. speed 29.5km/hr, avg heart rate 122 bpm, avg. cadence 84 rpm, burned 1,424 kCalories, followed by leg stretches.

Friday 22nd March:

Running around like a headless chicken today. Finalising selling my car and sending off various parcels so ended up getting to the gym a little later than hoped so only squeezed in a 30 minute swim before jumping out and picking up my son from school. Felt pretty good and it was such a luxury to be the only person swimming in the pool - bliss!
Swim: 1500m, 30:00, burned 390 kCalories.
Back out after picking up kids from school to take the youngest to her final swimming session of the block. Ran upstairs to the gym and jumped on the treadmill. Had a fleeting visit from Jen and Gillian who were off to spin class!
Run: 9.6km, 1:03:29, elevation gain of 467m, avg. heart rate of 146 bpm, burned 1,143 kCalories.

Thursday 21st March:

Whoops! Hit snooze a couple of time too many this morning, so instead of 45-60 mins on the treadmill I managed 30 mins and then followed up with leg and back stretches. Feeling good again! Have I finally defeated the chest infection?!
Run: 4.83km, 44:44, 9:14 min/km, avg heart rate 119 bpm, max heart rate 140 bpm, burned 561 kCalories.

Wednesday 20th March:

Pushing the treadmill a little more today - managed 45 mins and then followed up with leg and back stretches. Feeling good!
Run: 6.92km, 43:12, 8:20 min/km, avg heart rate 127 bpm, max heart rate 146 bpm, burned 825 kCalories.

Tuesday 19th March:

Yes! Back on the treadmill this morning, just a gentle 30 minute zone 2 run at 5.5 mph and 5% incline. Felt pretty difficult at first, as if my body was trying to forget how much fun exercising at 5:30 a.m. could be… but I got into a decent rhythm and my heart rate was a good 5 beats per minute lower than normal. Perhaps the enforces rest has done me good ;-)
Run: 4.83km, 44:44, avg heart rate 118 bpm, max heart rate 139 bpm, burned 540 kCalories.

Thursday 14th - Monday 18th: Nothing, nada, nowt!

Enforced rest - rotten chest infection has been driving me mad by stopping me from exercising for the last 4 days - feels like forever. I'm hopeful that I'll be back onto the treadmill tomorrow and back into the swing of training next week before I forget how to swim run and ride a bike!!!

Wednesday 13th March:

Tired again this morning - maybe my body is trying to tell me something?! I was almost, almost contemplating getting back into bed even though I'd pulled on my workout gear but I fought the urges and got on with the weights session. Ended up doing almost an hour of body-weights; 3 sets of (15 stability ball [s.b.] press ups, 15 s.b. squats, 15 s.b. single leg squats, 25 cable rows each arm, 15 knee ups, 15 back raises, 15 inclined squats (knee exercise), 15 calf raises, 15 narrow grip push ups, 15 little bigs, 15 reverse lunges each leg, 100 star jumps), followed by planks, hip flexor stretches, back stretches and leg stretches!!! At that time in the morning it takes me almost as long to do the exercises as it does to remember which exercises I should be doing ;-)
Weights: 58:34, avg. heart rate 98 bpm, burned 383 kCalories.
Decided against the evening session… some rotten scoundrel has given me a chest cold.. I can feel it wheezing and I suspect that a 45 minute session on the bike followed by a 15 minute run is probably not what this Doctor has ordered… I'm going to pick a beer / ice cream / sit down in the living room (none of which I have down for many, many days). Perhaps an early night followed by a sensible time on the alarm clock - Oh the luxury!!!

Tuesday 12th March:

Getting up this morning was trickier than normal - I think my body was trying to tell me something! However, I found myself standing on the treadmill at 5:45 a.m. with my iPod on and I was ready to go. Steady runs are one thing, but interval training before 6 a.m. is a little brutal. At 10 minutes in I had to do 2x 6minute zone 4 intervals (almost max heart rate) with a 2 minute rest, then run out the remaining hour. I'd love to say it was easy… but I'd be lying. I did manage it though, with a maximum heart rate of 174 bpm and I'm hear to tell the tale - what doesn't kill you truly makes you stronger! Finished off with leg stretches, a shower, and downstairs for breakfast to recoup the 1,94 kCalories I'd just burned!
Run: 1:10:36, 10.3 km, avg. pace 6:49 min/km, avg heart rate 140 bpm, followed by leg stretches, burned 1094 kCalories.
I seem to be fighting off a chesty cough, so was debating whether swimming would be a good idea this evening. I voted yes and thoroughly enjoyed the session again… I'm sure the Chlorine will help to clear out the sinuses and keep the lungs clear ;-) Some really good drills - especially focusing on the legs. Not something triathletes particularly use when swimming (they only provide about 10-15% forward propulsion anyway and we tend to save the legs for the bike and the run). However, poor leg kicks can create excessive drag and slow you down… Something I suffer from. I now know what I should be doing - I just need my body to do as it is told! I could certainly feel stronger / smoother / faster in the water when the feet were pointed out along the leg as much as possible but I've a lot of stretching to do before that feels natural (and my feet don't cramp up!).
Swim: 2,350m, 51:56, burned 579 kCalories.

Monday 11th March: rest day

Sunday 10th March:

Feeling stronger today so onto the TT bike. Not only am I getting used to the aero position of the bike but I'm trying out the PowerBar energy snacks that will be handed out on the Ironman race. Wise to try and get used to these in advance of the race as some of these can really upset your stomach if you're not used to them. 12 hours of flatulence would not be good for me or any fellow competitors ;-)
Thankfully the berry blast is pretty tasty and the cookies and cream is not too shabby either. We've got a cupboard full of them in the house so I'm expecting to take in a good few calories this way, enough to fuel long sessions on the bike.
Tried a new Rapha base layer today - with a RAF roundel a worn by Wiggo himself. Great top, although after 2 hours on the bike it could not have been any wetter had I worn it in  a swimming pool.
Long steady session, watching X-Men First Class, kept the heart rate bang in zone 2 and the cadence spot on for 2 hours straight, then a quick change out of my (soaking) cycling gear and onto the treadmill for 90 minutes, watching The Woman in Black.
Bike: 2:00:02, 77km, avg. speed 38.5 km/hr, avg heart rate 135 bpm, avg. cadence 92 rpm, burned 1,652 kCalories. Quick change and onto the treadmill…
Run: 1:42:45, 13.68km, avg. pace 7:30 min/km = 8.9km/hr at 3% incline, avg. heart rate 131 bpm, followed by leg stretches, burned 1,104 kCalories.
Note: wouldn't get too carried away with speed on the TT bike - this does not really replicate real world conditions, so I don't think I'll be travelling that fast in Austria (but one can only dream!), however, it gives a good baseline to see how each internal session compares so I can track progress. Likewise, the run speed takes into account the leg stretches afterwards and given I'm running everything uphill on the treadmill I'm not too worried by this pace either. I know I'm faster in the real world!

Saturday 9th March:

I was due to go out with the ATHelite gang this morning but I've been feeling pretty tired this week. I decided against the cold / high winds / sleet / hail / snow forecast and set about the (slightly warmer) turbo trainer. The windows in the gym were open to allow a breeze through to help keep me cool but looking at the electronic fan showing 10C it was already pretty chilly in there (though toasty warm compared with the elements outside). Meant to be a 3.5 hour zone 2 workout today but after starting a little later and with the prospect of hours of schoolwork ahead I stayed in the saddle for just 2 paltry hours :-( Left with a 5 minute flourish at the end, dropped the bike into the big gears and pedalled like fury (up to 117 rpm cadence) and the heart rate rose accordingly. I'll hopefully catch up on the lost time tomorrow.
Out for a walk with the dogs, ferried kids to and from badminton lessons,haircut, family film night and then bed! No wonder the weekends disappear so quickly!
Bike: 72.91km, 2:00:20, avg. speed 36.2 km/hr, avg. heart rate 126 bpm, avg. cadence 85 rpm, followed by simple leg and back stretches, burned 1,414 kCalories

Friday 8th March:

No early session today, busy at school all morning so needed to get in earlier than normal and get lessons arranged for my star cover teachers! Picked the kids up from school then headed off to the gym to get some swimming in. Bumped into John from ATHelite and managed to hang onto his wake for a couple of lengths so my first few laps were considerably faster than normal. I've heard that swimming very close behind or just to the side of someone in the pools saves about 20-25% energy (given they are doing the hard job of 'breaking up' the water in front of you). As they move through the water they churn it up, introducing more air molecules which results in a lower density fluid to swim through = considerably easier swimming. The only issue is air bubbles quickly rise to the surface so this effect only appears very close to the swimmer… So if you're quick enough to stay with them you benefit from their effort (this is called drafting) but too slow and it's gone and you're on your own!!!
It was busy again in the pool today but thankfully most of the swimmers understood pool etiquette and were stopping at the ends allowing faster swimmers to overtake.
Swim: 2000m, 41:01, avg pace 2:03/100m, burned 523 kCalories.
Back home for all of 30 minutes and then I took my daughter to the gym for her swimming lesson and headed upstairs to the treadmill. Dry land is certainly my preferred option - I find running sooooo much easier than swimming!
One hour zone 2 run with a 7.5 minute zone 4 interval thrown in at 40 minutes just for good measure. I managed to get up to 14 km/hr at a 5% incline for the last couple of minutes and still had a little left in the tank but was happy when I could drop the speed back down to 9 km/hr for the last few minutes!
Run: 9.4km, 1:03:39, avg heart rate 144 bpm, max heart rate 170 bpm, avg. pace 6:44 min/km all at 5% gradient, burned 1,083 kCalories.

Thursday 7th March:

Up early again (Don't worry, I'll lie in on the 1st July!!) and onto the treadmill. Felt a little more tired than usual this morning, probably down to the brick session last night.  Heart rate was a little higher than usual for same conditions but kept it within the correct zone. 
Run: 7.08km, 1:00:05, avg. heart rate 131 bpm, 5% incline 5.5 mph (8.9 km/hr), burned 877 kCalories.
Decided to take the evening off and concentrate on some school work instead of another session… early to bed for me (well, just before 11 p.m. anyway).

Wednesday 6th March:

Good mind training again this morning… the grey lump was telling me to stay in bed but I resisted and got on with a body-weight session instead. 3 sets of (15 stability ball press ups, 15 s.b. lunges, single leg s.b. lunges, 25 cable rows each side, 15 knee ups, 15 back raises, 15 narrow grip push ups, 15 reverse lunges, 15 sit ups, 15 knee strengthening exercises and 100 star jumps), followed by hip flexor, plank, side plank, and back stretches!
Weights: 57:25, avg. heart rate 96 bpm, burned 362 kCalories.
A quick change 'brick session' on the bike then treadmill tonight. Brother-in-law came round and gave me a fab present for my birthday which relieved the boredom of spinning the pedals on the turbo trainer. Quickly jumped off bike after 45 minutes, put on running shorts and shoes and jumped on the treadmill. Felt great - could have run for much more than the 15 minutes detailed in the plan but schoolwork, shower, tea and bed are vying for my time instead...
TT bike: 45:01, avg heart rate 134 bpm, avg cadence 90 rpm, burned 738 kCalories.
Run: 22:41, 2.1km, avg heart rate 124 bpm, burned 262 kCalories, followed by leg stretches.

Tuesday 5th March:

Quite chuffed with myself today - managed to get up and onto the treadmill by 5:35 a.m. A nice interval session today: 1 hour zone 2 run (which for me is 5% gradient and 5.5 mph) but at 10 minutes in I had 2 sets of 4 and a half minutes in zone 4 (i.e. really getting the heart pumping - up to 172 bpm in my case!) with 1 and a half minutes recovery between sets. Once this was out of the way I set the treadmill back to default zone 2 and plodded along for the remainder of the session. Boy those 4.5 minute intervals seem to drag! 
Run: 9.66 km, 1:11:09, avg pace 7:24 min/km, avg heart rate 139 bpm, max heart rate 172 bpm, followed by leg and back stretches, burned 1,127 kCalories - not too bad before breakfast!
Swim session tonight - managed to get there on time for a change and put in a full 300m warm up. Interesting sets tonight where we observed each other's swimming, helping to refine entry into water and hand position at the start of the catch. This was followed by a 100m, 200m and 300m effort at 75% with a 20 second rest and then BOOM! That's when Nic dropped the bombshell - a 750m time-trial!!! Now, a few months ago, doing 750m was  a trial in itself… and here I am thinking I now have to swim this as fast as I can! Well, I managed my main goal (not to drown) and the secondary goal of beating the 15 minute barrier by coming in with 14:40 on the clock.. only 10 seconds behind my wife who is at least 1/8th mermaid as far as I can tell. Finished off with 300m cool down set.
Swim session 1: 1200m, 23:17, avg pace 1:56 /100m, burned 312 kCalories.
Swim session 2: (time trial): 1050 m, 21:00, avg pace 2:00/100m, burned 273 kCalories.

Monday 4th March: rest day

Sunday 3rd March:

With the best of intentions I got up at some ridiculous hour (well, certainly before 8 a.m. anyway) and planned to jump on the treadmill. But breakfast and a few other things cropped up and somebody had wound the clock round to 12 pm - how did that happen? My better half was still out on a massive bike ride so I headed upstairs to the treadmill and watched the third Liam Neeson film of the weekend - Taken! This kept me perfectly occupied as I plodded along on the treadmill for a full 90 minutes. No sooner had the missus returned from a  58 mile cycle and she was out for a 2 mile run… we have a daily competition in our house for maddest training session… I'll concede defeat in this case!
Run: 13.36km, 1:44:16, av. pace 7:48 min/km, avg. heart rate 131 bpm, burned 1,443 kCalories, followed by leg exercises and stretches.

Saturday 2nd March:

Out with the ATHelite team today (Nicola, Michael, Alan and Alan) for a perfect Spring morning ride in South Lanarkshire. We were fortunate enough to have a balmy 6C and a sunny morning sky so expecting smooth tarmac and sensible car drivers was probably too much to ask for. 
Note to any car drivers out there… Why do cyclists ride two abreast? It's so we can be sociable AND you're more likely to spot us. 
Why do we ride so far out from the verge? It's because the potholes kerbside make it dangerous to cycle there and again, rather than just squeezing your 1500kg of metal past us within 15 cm at 60 mph you may have to wait 30 seconds (shock horror) to overtake us when it's safe to do so…
Anyway, great cycle this morning despite some muppets that would do well to read the info above!
Bike: 79.58km, 3:28:04, avg. speed 22.9 km/hr, elevation gain of 829m, avg. heart rate 128 bpm, burned 2,240 kCalories.
Finished off the day with a good hour walk with my lovely wife and the mad mutts along the River Clyde as it meanders it's way to Bothwell Castle. Hello Spring - we've missed you!

Friday 1st March:

Out of work 3 hours late today - too busy doing S5 and S6 reports! Rushed home and after a quick bowl of cereal and a protein shake headed out to the pool. Managed to get in 100 lengths (2500m) and then headed upstairs to the gym to get on the treadmill. It wasn't supposed to be  brick session but given the timing that's what it turned out to be. Managed to squeeze in 45 mins on the treadmill before running downstairs to collect the wee one from her swimming lesson. Quick dash round Sainsbury's (with a basket - otherwise in my ravenous state I would have bought half the shop) and a cinnamon and raising bagel later and I'm starting to feel human again. Got home to see the Rosso delivery van in the drive, so after eating Bruschetta, a couple of bits of the kids pizza and an ENTIRE sticky toffee pudding I think I've just about replenished the calories for the day!!
Swim: 51:28, 2.5 km, avg. pace 2:03/100m, burned 651 kCalories.
Run: 48:42, 7.7km, avg heart rate 142 bpm, max heart rate 170 bpm, burned 812 kCalories. 5% incline at 10 km/hr then at 30 minutes inserted a zone 4 5 minute run: 14km/hr at 5% before reducing back down to 10 km/hr for remainder of run.

Thursday 28th February:

Alarm playing tricks again today! Missed the 5:30 a.m. cockadoodledoo and managed to get up and running on the treadmill by 6:18 a.m. Same old 5mph at 5.5% incline but it's starting to feel easier… maybe I've cracked this Chi running style or the general fitness levels are steadily improving. Managed to keep the heart rate under 140 bpm for the entire run - not bad for this time in the morning!
Run: 4.51km, 40:12, avg. heart rate 125 bpm, burned 534 kCalories.
Tough cycle tonight - 1 hour zone 2 then 5 mins in zone 4 with 3 minute easy spins, repeat three times from 10 minutes in. By the end of the hour session I looked (and probably smelled) like a drowned rat. Walking up to the second floor tomorrow will be interesting! Trying to get the heart rate up on the turbo is hard work - my legs give out way before my cardio vascular system does, but I still managed to push it up to about 157 (about 87% of max).
Bike: 1:11:21, 34.31 km, avg heart rate 123 bpm, avg speed 33.8 km/hr, max speed 48.6 km/hr, burned 823 kCalories.

Wednesday 27th February:

Decided to lie in until 6:30 a.m. this morning! Well, it was my birthday after all ;-)
Onto the TT bike pretty quickly after arriving in from work - I think this is the only way I'm going to be able to maintain training whilst holding up the semblance of a normal family life. I think the kids have given up on both of us as slightly mad but hopefully they'll be proud of us at the end of June… and if not, well, we'll be on another good holiday!
Bike: 45:06, zone 2 steady ride, avg cadence 91 rpm, avg heart rate 130 bpm, burned 637 kCalories… then quickly jumped off bike and onto treadmill…
Run: 15 minutes zone 2, avg heart rate 130 bpm, 5 mph at 5.5% (felt easy after the bike), followed by leg and back stretches, burned 261 kCalories.
Powered by birthday cake today!!!

Tuesday 26th February:

Disaster strikes! Alarm didn't go off at 5:30 a.m. (well it probably did but the volume was way down low) so I only woke up at 6:10 a.m. This shortened my planned session and I only squeezed in 30 minutes instead of the 45-60 mins I'd hoped for. Interesting session though - steady run for 10 minutes then 3 minutes fast (zone 4), 1 minute rest and repeat x3!
Run: 39:48, 5.31 km, avg pace 7:30 min/km, avg. heart rate 135 bpm, max 167 bpm, burned 583 kCalories, followed by leg stretches and a shower!
ATHelite swim session in the evening - again, well attended which was great. Managed to mess up my timings… may just hit start and finish next week rather than trying to mess about with the watch during the sets! 300m warm up, 2x 100m (single arm side kick, single arm pull, repeat both sides), 2x (12.5m scull, 12.5m doggy paddle, 25m swim), 2 sets (100m, 20 sec rest, 200m 20 sec rest, 300m 20 sec rest), 4 x 50m (25m steady, 25m fast).
Swim: 2000m, ~50 mins, avg. pace 1:58 /100m, burned 448 kCalories (felt like a lot more!)

Monday 25th February: rest day

Sunday 24th February:

Well the alarm went off at 7:30 a.m. and my better half was up and getting ready for a bike ride this morning. Could this be the same woman that only a few weeks ago would be dead to the world on the weekend and usually only truly awake sometime after midday?! If I ever needed truth of alien abductions, this was it. Who are you and what have you done with my wife?!?!?!!!
As she disappeared out of the door I climbed back up the stairs and instead of heading for a warm, comfortable bed , I went into a cool gym and started up the treadmill. 2 hours later (watching the final two episodes of Wonders of the Solar System) and I'm done, stretched out, showered and ready for the rest of the day… Higher Physics marking here I come - yeee haaa!  ;-)
Run: 2:19:05, 19.31 km, avg. heart rate 124 bpm, 6 mph at 3% incline (reduced to 2.5% incline for second hour), burned 1,589 kCalories.

Saturday 23rd February:

Waiting for parts to arrive for my road bike (new cassette for rear wheel and spare inner tubes) so decided to wuss out of the road bike ride with the ATHelite members today and headed on upstairs to the turbo trainer. Looked like a beautiful day - pretty much no wind, but a few flakes of snow for the first couple of hours then plenty of blue sky - at least that was the view I had out of the window! A very sweaty 3 hours later and I've watched most of "The Wonders of the Solar System" with Prof. Brian Cox - I'm guessing this counts as training and CPD (the teacher's out there will get it).
Bike: 3:04:19, 107.2km, avg. speed 34.9 km/hr, avg. heart rate 127 bpm, avg. cadence 88 rpm, burned 2,023 kCalories. Followed by 10 minutes of stretching and a warm shower - such luxury after training in wet gear for 3 hours...

Friday 22nd February:

Afternoon run today - I'd rushed into school earlier than normal to get ready for a meeting… which was rescheduled! 1 hour zone 2 run with a 5 minute zone 4 effort at 45 mins. Zone 2 at 5mph at 5% incline, zone 4 at 9mph at 2% incline.
Run: 1:07:29, avg heart rate 136 bpm, avg pace 6:40 min/km, burned 1017 kCalories.
Off to swim in the evening and yet again Virgin Active are unable to find their way out of  paper bag. Told 2 weeks ago that new sessions would start at 5:30 p.m. and that there would be one lane free for lap swimming. Half way through my session and notice lots of swimmers entering pool… turns out they'd moved the 6:30 p.m. block to 6 p.m. and not told anyone. Surprise, surprise they'd not split the session as they'd promised and that was it - the game was a bogey. Grrrrrrrrrr. Rant over.
Swim: 34:56, 1650m, avg. pace 2:07/100m, burned 416 kCalories.

Thursday 21st February:

Early morning treadmill  - up and running at 5:45 a.m. Wakey, wakey!!! 30 minutes in zone 2 = 5% incline at 5.5 mph. A good way to start the day.
Run: 49:28, 4.83km, avg. heart rate 125 bpm, burned 612 kCalories.
TT bike in the evening much later than hoped but I'd been taking S1 football training this evening rather than on my normal Monday night slot. Started off well enough but then I noticed the pace was getting easier and my heart rate was dropping… turned out to be a flat rear tyre on the turbo. After much hunting round the house and garage I managed to find a spare inner tube (Mark are you reading this!!!  ;-) and got back on the bike. 1 hour zone 2 ride with a 5 minute zone 4 effort thrown in for good measure at 45 mins and back down to zone 2 for remainder of session.
Bike: 1:00:01, 36.04km, avg. heart rate 128 bpm, avg cadence 88 rpm, burned 813 kCalories. Followed by 15 minutes of stretches (although I forgot to start my watch for this - doh!).

Wednesday 20th February:

Body-weights session to start the day. 3 sets of; 15 stability ball press ups, 15 stability ball lunges, 15 stability ball single leg lunges, 25 cable rows each arm, 15 forward / 15 reverse squats, 15 knee-ups, 15 back raises, 15 ab crunches, 100 star jumps! Followed by 2min plank, side plank, hip flexor stretches, back stretches and a shower!
Weights: 1:01:48, avg. heart rate 98 bpm, burned 393 kCalories.
Brick session later in the evening (too late, bout that's another story). 45 minutes in zone 2 on the bike followed by 15 minutes on the treadmill.
Bike: 45:01, 30.31km, avg. speed 40.4km/hr, avg. heart rate 131 bpm, avg.  cadence 89 rpm, burned 640 kCalories.
Run: 26:00, 2.99km, avg. heart rate 116 bpm, burned 254 kCalories (includes stretches).

Tuesday 19th February:

New alarm time of 5:30 a.m. worked all too well! Up on the treadmill for a 45 minute zone 2 session; at 10 minutes in inserted a 5 minute pick up into zone 4 (160-169 bpm) by running at 2% incline and 9 mph, back down to 5.5mph and 5% to get the heart rate back into steady zone 2. Followed by leg stretches
Run: 1:00:01, 7.72 km, avg. pace 7:48 min/km, avg heart rate 133 bpm, max heart rate 168 bpm, burned 843 kCalories.
Off to ATHelite swim session - excellent turn out tonight! 300m warm up, 200m (paddles, buoy and bands), 200m (paddles and buoy), 200m (buoy), 5x 200m at 70% with 30 secs rest, 4 x100m at 80% in 2:15, 200m cool down. EPICFAIL.COM - I cannot do the ankle bands - my legs are obviously made of lead and have no - I repeat, NO natural buoyancy. After 50 m I may as well have been walking down the pool, so I ripped off the ankle bands in disgust and got on with the rest of the session! Thoroughly enjoyed it though and I know these sessions are helping my swimming massively.
Swim: 2500m, 56:35, avg pace 2:07 min/100m, burned 650 kCalories (felt like more!)

Monday 18th February: rest day

Felt absolutely wasted all day - didn't think the 13 hours of the previous week had taken it out of me but it obviously had!

Sunday 17th February:

1 hour 15 minute recovery run in zones 1-2, followed by stretches. Legs felt a little heavy after yesterday's bike ride but that may also have been due to me not stopping since getting up (washing cars, walking dogs etc. etc.). Heart rate strap slipped 1 hour into the run so some spiky data on the Garmin. Followed by leg exercises and stretches.
Run: 1:31:55, avg pace 7:19/km, avg heart rate 124 bpm, 5.5mph at 4.5%, burned 1,037 kCalories.

Saturday 16th February:

Up at 7:30 a.m. which proved a little too late for comfort. I discovered I needed to change both tyres on my road bike, put the pedals back on and add the bottle cages… Not ideal when you are supposed to be meeting folks in 10 minutes when they're 15 minutes away! I rushed around like a headless chicken and eventually managed to get everything pulled together and get out of the door, meeting up with the rest of the ATHelite team only a few minutes late! Going running is soooooo much easier: shorts. check. top. check. socks. check. shoes. check. run.
As it happened one of our party had punctured at the top of the hill so my mad dash out of the house had been in vain. Mark then gave a masterclass on how (not) to sort a puncture!!! Even though I had no watch function displayed on my Garmin I could tell by the changing shadows we had been there some time, but, no sooner had I blown the dust off my sun dial to check we were in the same month it was time to go  ;-)
We headed out onto the back roads of South Lanarkshire, some of which even had a rarely seen surface called tarmac. Most however, stuck true to form and were an appealing mix of stones, wet leaves, holes and the odd spattering of cow (or is that horse?) manure. Interesting when you are descending slopes at 38.8 mph on a tyre 23mm wide…
Mark, bless him, decided to test our knowledge of the puncture repair seminar he had laid on that morning by sneaking in another puncture. 27 inner tubes and enough CO2 canisters to turn Scotland into the newest Caribbean nation and we were off again. Now I've learned about time dilation at University but never did I think I would live to be part of the experiment. Our 3 hour 40 minute bike ride actually lasted 5 hours and 17 minutes - the ramifications for the rest of the Milky Way are yet unknown…
The weather held out and it was great to be outside with friends, and assuming my calculations are correct our combined efforts helped to accelerate the Earth's rotation just a bit… but please don't tell NASA.
Bike: 3:39, 79 km, avg. speed 21.5 km/hr, avg heart rate 129 bpm, max heart rate 166 bpm, elevation gain 1193m, burned 2,366 kCalories.

Friday 15th February:

Nice lie in this morning in preparation for the VO2 max test later in the day. Didn't enjoy the fast session for 3 hours before the test though and almost a disaster when I left the house without my fruit for break! Eeeek! Thankfully the canteen came to the rescue and I had something to sustain me until the test started at 2 pm. Test was good fun, although the lack of a front on the treadmill whilst you are belting along as fast as possible on the 4th floor of a building is a little disconcerting. I wasn't sure if I was going to burst out of the window or go shooting off the back of the treadmill taking the expensive gas analysis kit with me! Details on the test on the main page of the blog.
Run: 25:00, avg. heart rate 128 bpm, max heart rate 180 bpm, burned 285 kCalories.
Steady run on the treadmill at home later in the day; 1 hour in total then at 45 minutes doing 1 minute pick ups at a higher pace to raise heart rate into Zone 4, followed by 4 minute recovery pace back in zone 2 and repeat.
Run: 1:15:37, avg. heart rate 134, max heart rate 179, 8.05km, burned 908 kCalories.

Thursday 14th February:

The alarm went off at the obscene time of 5:30 a.m. and every fibre of my being was trying to convince my mind not to get up… but I'm pretty stubborn so after my mind had shouted "get up" several times (silently in my head) I swung my legs out of bed and got going. It does never fail to amaze me that after a couple of minutes of walking about I'm ready to exercise, so on went the cycling shoes and onto the bike for another turbo session. Another hour in zone 2 but this time around after 15 minutes there was a 'pick up' for 1 minute where I basically pedalled as fast as possible for a minute, 4 minutes back down at 90 rpm (keeping heart rate stable) and then repeat. This was a really good session - the 1 minute intervals really helping to break up the monotony of the constant effort from previous sessions.
Bike: 1 hour, 39.34km, avg. heart rate 135 bpm, max heart rate 161 bpm, max speed 54.1 km/hr (I can but dream), avg. cadence 90 rpm, max cadence 116 rpm, burned 754 kCalories. 
Stretches: quick leg stretches: 7:50, burned 17 kCalories.
Swim session at Virgin Lanarkshire tonight, pool was really quiet which made a refreshing change. Water quality better than the last few weeks too so you could see more than 2 metres. Didn't stop me crashing into a guy in my lane - not sure why he picked the only lane in the pool with someone swimming in it - bizarre!
Swim: 1:05:59, 3km, avg pace 2:12/100m, burned 787 kCalories.

Wednesday 13th February:

An in-service day today so off to school minus a shirt and tie - always feels a little strange! Fought the (strong) urge to stay in bed and within a couple of minutes I was ready for a body-weight workout: 3 sets of reps: 15 stability ball push ups, 15 stability ball lunges, 15 stability ball single leg lunges, 25 cable rows per side, 15 knee-ups, 15 back raises 100 star jumps; plus 2x 2min 'plank', side plank, back stretches, hip flexor stretches, knee exercises and leg stretches
Weights: 59:33, avg. heart rate 87 bpm, burned 244 kCalories.
Evening session is the first brick session so far with the new plan: This session is great to get your legs used to running after the cycle. First part on the bike was pretty hard going - needed to push the gears to get my heart rate up and keep it in zone 2 for 45 minutes before jumping off for a 'quick change' onto the treadmill. Started off at 5% and 5.5 mph but found this a little slow so I reduced gradient down to 0% and increased speed (keeping heart rate as stable as possible) up to 9.0 mph.
TT bike: 46:13 (45 mins bike, 73 seconds change over), 34.36 km, avg. speed 44.6 km/hr, avg. heart rate 140 bpm, avg. cadence 89 rpm, burned 683 kCalories.
Treadmill + stretches: 15 mins + 12:14, avg. pace 9:23 min/km, avg. heart rate 121 bpm, burned 253 kCalories.

Tuesday 12th February:

Up reasonably early given it was a holiday and onto the treadmill. Another steady 1 hour run in zone 2 (~145 bpm) followed by leg exercises and stretches.
Run + stretches: 1:16:14, 9.33km, avg. pace 8:13 min/km, avg.  heart rate 135 bpm, burned 985 kCalories - not bad before breakfast!!
In the afternoon popped along to UWS to get my VO2 max (on the bike) measured. The data from this session will help to ensure that my bike training stays in exactly the right zones to ensure maximum gain for the work I put in. I'll post more on this test and the data provided once I have my grubby paws on it!
Bike (VO2 max): 21:05, avg. heart rate 127 bpm, maximum heart rate 180 bpm, burned 227 kCalories.

Monday 11th February: rest day

Sunday 10th February:

Another monster session on the TT bike today. The plan called for 3 hours (eek)… so I did what I was told (not often that happens) and pedalled away to JFK on AppleTV. Must admit, missed out on a fair amount of dialogue but got the general just of it… it will be interesting to see what happens when the US Government finally release the files that have been locked away for 75 years. Anyway, pleased with that session although I must admit thinking that to double that (after a 90 minute swim) and then do a full marathon will be somewhat challenging. Still, I've got 140 days to go and if I keep following the plan I have confidence I'll be as ready as I can be!
TT bike: 3 hours, 114km, avg. speed 38.1km/hr, avg. heart rate 131 bpm, avg. cadence 89 rpm., burned 1,820 kCalories.
Stretches: 9:18, leg stretches, avg. heart rate 96 bpm, burned 19 kCalories.

Saturday 9th February:

Chi running course with Nick Constantine at Pollok Park. Great refresh of the first training session in 2012, definitely a day well spent. Pretty chilly day so I spent as much of it as possible running up and down the trails practising the new techniques!
Run: 8km, 4.5 hours, burned 1,378 kCalories.

Friday 8th February:

Youngest back off to swimclub this evening - I decided to squeeze in a decent run instead of a poor swim, following the previous couple of Friday swims. Turned out that half of the swim club had not turned up (probably due tot he school in-service days) and thus there had been a lane free for swimmers - doh!!! Still, I managed a really good 50 minute run getting the heart rate up to my max Zone 2 efforts (approximately 152 bpm).
New heart rate strap working well and my heart rate stabilised around the 148-150 bpm - easier to do on a treadmill than outdoors!
Run: 50:00, 7.8km, avg heart rate 145 bpm, burned 784 kCalories.
Not much time for stretching - straight down to pick up the wee one… But I did stretch out properly at home - I promise!

Thursday 7th February:

Back on track today and checking out the plan from Don Fink's "Be Iron fit". 1 hour and 15 minutes cycling at over 100 rpm whilst keeping the heart rate in Zone 1 (<132 bpm). Sweaty work!
Bike: 1:16:47, 44km, avg heart rate 126 bpm, avg pace 34.4km/hr, burned 810 kCalories.
Stretches: 16:01, burned 40 kCalories.

Wednesday 6th February:

Enforced rest day :-(
Had the worst nose-bleed I've ever had - lasted over 30 minutes! Decided that exercising my not be the best idea so slobbed out on the sofa (for a change)…

Tuesday 5th February:

Head cold messing with my training - normally swim session on a Tuesday but decided that not being able to breathe whilst immersed in water would probably be a bad idea. Decided instead to have a run on the treadmill.
Run: 1 hour, 9.17km, 5% incline at 7:19/km, avg heart rate 140 bpm - slight 'creep' from 135 to 145 over the hour (no doubt due to the cold), burned 894 kCalories.
Stretches: knee exercises and leg stretches, 8:48, burned 32 kCalories.

Monday 4th February: rest day

Sunday 3rd February:

Woke up a few times during the night with a bit of a head cold - didn't help that the bedroom window was shut and the room felt like an oven! Long session on the bike today - 2 hours and 45 minute session planned, so I picked a long movie (Gladiator) and settled down into the saddle equipped with 2 large bottles of water and a couple of very tasty banana flavoured energy bars! Yum. Not sure that I can draw too much from the speed data but I'd be oh so happy if I could replicate that during the Ironman race
Looking forward to a complete rest day tomorrow.
Bike: 2 hours 50 minutes, 110.67 km, avg speed 35.5km/hr, avg cadence 92 rpm, burned 1,590 kCalories (Is that all??!?!!!).
Stretches: 11:08, leg and core stretches, burned 28 kCalories.

Saturday 2nd February:

Got ready for the gym in the house, so once I'd dropped the youngest off at tennis I headed straight up to the gym. Every single treadmill was in use given the cardio session had just started so I jumped onto a spin bike to get my legs moving. Luckily a treadmill became free and I jumped on it - and then spent the next 90 minutes there!
Run: 90 minutes, 13.5km, 5% gradient, 9.0 km/hr, avg heart rate 141 bpm, burned 1,347 kCalories.

Friday 1st February:

When the alarm went off this morning my  brain was kicking in, trying to tempt me with an additional hour in bed, seducing me with the idea that I could squeeze my run in later between picking up the kids from school and taking the youngest swimming. Thankfully I fought off those urges and got out of bed and onto the treadmill - turned out my afternoon was busier than planned so I'd have missed a session if I'd hit that snooze button.
Run + stretches: 57:22, 5.79km, avg heart rate 122 bpm, 2 mins warm up, 35 mins steady zone 1 run, 5 mins cool down followed by leg stretches, core exercises and 42 push-ups, burned 622 kCalories.
Swim - pool water quality was slightly clearer tonight but I suspect the Chlorine levels have been raised as my skin feels as tight as a drum. Slightly less busy too, which was good but I have obviously mastered the art of invisibility! Many pool users seemed oblivious to the fact that I was tearing up and down, non-stop, along the lane marker and  thought that walking out or floating out in front of me would be a good idea. Maybe I should sell this cloaking technology to the highest bidder and retire to the Caribbean???!!!
Swim: 56:21, 2650, avg pace 2:08/100m, burned 682 kCalories.

Thursday 31st January:

Warrior Body 1 tri-ripped workout in the morning: 3 sets: 15 stability ball push ups, squats, single leg squats, 25x arm rows, 15x knee ups, back ups, 100x star jumps… and repeat. Plank, side plank, hip flexor exercises and leg stretches. Felt a little tired this morning and was a little pushed for time so just did the 3 sets followed by core stretches.
Moving onto the 'Be Iron Fit' plan by Fink and the first cycle training was interesting! 1 hour at a cadence of over 100 rpm, heart rate up to approximately 130 bpm and sweating like it was going out of fashion!!!
Weights: 46:38, avg heart rate 89 bpm, burned 209 kCalories
Bike: 160 mins, avg speed 25.4 km/hr, avg heart rate 126 bpm, avg cadence 104 rpm, burned 668 kCalories.
Stretches: 22:44, knee exercises and leg stretches, burned 68 kCalories.

Wednesday 30th January:

Back on the TT bike this morning. Struggling to get much above 90 rpm even on the lower gears. Settled for 35 mins at 85-90 rpm with heart rate around 120 bpm. Garmin said the session was a 'maintaining' training effect… the sweat on the floor says different!
Busy day at school today with S3 Parents' evening, so back in the house after 7 p.m. quickly scoffed some toast (got to love those carbs!) and took the kids to tae kwon do. Managed a very windy run and beat my 10 km p.b. for the second week in a row - this time taking another 30 seconds off my best time! Rather pleased with that :-)
TT bike: 40 min, 18.53 km, avg speed 27.7 km/hr, avg heart rate 120 bpm, avg cadence 88 rpm, burned 389 kCalories.
Stretches: leg stretches, 5:48, burned 13 kCalories.
Run: 11.01km, 51:21, avg pace 4:39/km, avg heart rate 157 bpm, max heart rate 169 bpm, burned 855 kCalories.
Stretches: knee exercises and leg stretches, 18:16, burned 94 kCalories.

Tuesday 29th January:

Back 'up and at them' this morning on the treadmill. I felt sooooo lazy yesterday not exercising but I know that a proper rest day is vital for long term health and fitness. The body needs to recover and build up the muscles again after the extensive exercise so by resting you actually get stronger and fitter in the long term… I guess I just missed the endorphins. Must admit, after waking up at 3:30 a.m. for some unknown reason when my alarm did eventually go off at 5:45 a.m. I was a little reluctant to get out of bed. However, after a drink of water, putting some music on the iPod and getting on my running shoes I was ready to go. Decent 35 min run followed by leg stretches. Plan is to increase this over the next couple of weeks to 45 mins in the morning.

Run: 5.79km, 50:59, avg pace 8:49 min/km, avg heart rate 127 bpm, burned 563 kCalories.Swim session: 300m warm up, 2 sets of (25m catch up, 25m swim, 25m fist, 25 swim), 400m pool buoy + paddles, 400m swim, rest 20s, 400m pool buoy + paddles 400m, 1min rest, swim 6 x 100m swim in 2:20 - i.e. swim 2 mins get 20 secs rest, followed by 4 x 25m cool down lengths (last one fastest of the night!!!).Swim: 57:46, 2800m, avg pace 2:02 min/km, burned 729 kCalories.

Monday 28th January: rest day

Sunday 27th January:

A longer run today - indoor, given the good lady was out running with one of her friends. Managed 45 minutes on the treadmill (heart rate in Zone 1) then jumped off and quickly took the youngest to a drama workshop she is involved with. After a quick drive there and back I jumped back on the treadmill for another 45 minute session. Plan had been to down protein shake (check), drive into town and shop (check) and then come back and do a bike session but time ran away from me and sense prevailed (for once).
Run: 1:35:03, 13.7 km (8.5 miles in old money), avg pace 6:59 min/km, 5% incline for first 45 mins, 4.5% incline for second 45 min session, avg heart rate 140 bpm, burned 1,291 kCalories!
Stretches: 9 mins, leg stretches, burned 30 kCalories.

Saturday 26th January:

Back to the gym today. 35 minute spin bike strength session, not sure if that bike had a saddle as most of the workout was either a standing climb or running on pedals! Onto the treadmill for a 45 minute zone 1 workout - 5% incline at 9.0 km/hr, followed by leg weights and stretches. No swimming today - waiting for pool clarity to improve before venturing back in to practise technique and build stamina.
Bike: 35:40, 16 km, avg heart rate 132 bpm, burned 442 kCalories.
Run + Weights: 1:03:55, elevation gain 238m, avg heart rate 127 bpm, 7.2km, burned 653 kCalories.

Friday 25th January:

Left school at a decent time this afternoon and after having a chat with pals, meeting up with a chap to fix our gate and picking up the eldest from school, I dashed upstairs and hit the treadmill. Nice gentle 30 minutes at 5% and 5.5mph. Heart rate was spiking at 150-160 but I could tell from my RPE (Rate of perceived exertion) that the data was wrong. I licked the strap (to improve is electrical conductance) and lo and behold, the heart rate dropped back down to 140 bpm where it remained for the rest of the run. Followed up with stretches, including a couple of 2 minute planks, 1 minute side planks and hip flexor exercises before jumping in the shower. Not content with a measly run I took the youngest off to swim club and I battled with the  pool chemistry and the 'floater's (for want of a better phrase) until her lesson finished.
Run: 5.18 km, 35:19, avg pace 6:49 min/km, 5% incline, avg heart rate 138 bpm, burned 466 kCalories.
Stretches: 34:08, avg heart rate 86 bpm, burned 125 kCalories.
Swim: 41min, 2000m, avg pace 2:02 min/100m, burned 520 kCalories.

Thursday 24th January:

Decided to listen to my body this morning and hit the snooze button several times, getting out of bed at a very decadent 6:45 a.m. instead of 5:45 a.m. What a slacker!
Made up for it this evening though by getting on the bike for a (relatively) easy spin session - high cadence, low resistance.
TT bike: 1:30:50, 40.01km, avg speed 26.4 km/hr, avg heart rate 112 bpm, avg cadence 87 rpm, burned 688 kCalories.
Stretches: 16:16, avg heart rate 82 bpm, knee exercises and leg stretches, burned 36 kCalories.

Wednesday 23rd January:

Good steady ride on the TT bike this morning, holding the aero position for the entire ride. I'd hate to say that it was 'comfortable' but it's certainly not as bad as it used to be!
Bike: 32min, 14.71 km, 27.6 km/hr, avg heart rate 129 bpm, avg cadence 87 rpm, burned 346 kCalories.
Stretches: core exercises and leg stretches, 7:46, burned 24 kCalories.
Out for a run as the kids were at Tae Kwon Do. Wasn't really expecting much, especially after the battery on my iPod decided to give up the ghost after the first 1km… Still, this enabled me to listen more carefully to my foot-strike - the quieter the better. I kept up a high cadence and really focused on the Chi running technique. Eventually finished the 10.89km route in 51:27, setting a new personal best (by 2 mins 21 seconds) for the 10km along the way!
Run: 51:27, 10.89km, avg pace 4:43 min/km, elevation gain 221m, avg heart rate 156 bpm, burned 779 kCalories.
Stretches: 18:00, burned 96 kCalories.

Tuesday 22nd January:

'Warrior Body' body weight workout 1; 4 sets: 15 stability ball press ups, 15 squats, 25 cable rows, 15 single leg squats (each side), 15 knee ups, 15 back lifts, 100 star jumps. Followed by plank, hip flexors and leg stretches.
Weights: 47:31, burned 258 kCalories.
ATHelite swim training session; 100m warm up 100m trailing fingers drill 3 x 300m 20 sec rest, 1min rest after set 4 x 200m 15 sec rest, 1 min rest after set 5 x 100m 10 sec rest, 1 min rest after set 6 x 75 m (25m slow, 25m tempo, 25m fast).
Swim: 52:27 (including rest periods), 2.55km, average pace 2:03/100m, burned 660 kCalories.

Monday 21st January:

Oooops - meant to be a rest day, so this is going to have to be a gentle session! Treadmill run at 6 a.m. followed by leg / hip flexor / back exercises, the dreaded plank and leg stretches.
Run: 52:58, 5.15km, 5% incline at 5.5mph, burned 485 kCalories.

Sunday 20th January:

Swimming lesson: High bum! Should have a 'draft' on bum cheeks and middles of shoulders. Reduce kick depth and possibly move from 6 to 4 beat kick. Avoid crossover (especially on lhs) entry should be between width of shoulder and nose High elbows during catch - initiate bend in arm sooner.
Swim: 40:29, 400m, burned 104 kCalories.
Zone 1 endurance session on bike followed by knee exercises and leg stretches.
Bike: 1:32:11, 43.38km, average pace 28.2 km/hr, max pace 36.9km/hr, burned 848 kCalories.
Stretches: 12:44, burned 33 kCalories.

Saturday 19th January:

Along to the gym with both kids today! Youngest in for her tennis lesson and the eldest joined me in the gym for an hour before going down for his tennis lesson. Used the better-half's heart rate strap to avoid the crazy heart rate readings I've been experiencing latterly… I'll get round to sending the old one back to Wiggle in the next few days.
Good strength session on the spin bike, followed by leg weights on machines and then a fairly brisk uphill run on the treadmill, leg stretches and a shower!
Bike: 35 minutes, 18 km, average heart rate 142 bpm, followed by 16 mins of weights, burned 429 kCalories.
Run: 44:52, 2 mins warmup, 30 mins at 5% and 11 km/hr (heart rate stable at 160 bpm), 10 mins 1% incline at 11 km/hr (heart rate stable at 144 bpm), followed by leg stretches, burned 578 kCalories.

Friday 18th January:

Doh! Cracked this morning - hit the snooze button, oh the shame of it! Late to bed on Thursday and it caught up with me, still I did get off my backside later in the day for a swim. Water in the pool was atrocious, barley see 3m in front of me :-( Still, good training for open water swimming, where all you generally see is inky blackness… Cue "Jaws" theme in the background…
Swim: 2500m, 54:04, average pace 2:09/100m, burned 650 kCalories.

Thursday 17th January:

I almost cracked this morning and hit the snooze button… how did an extra hour in bed sound? Wonderful… and then my conscience kicked in and I swung my legs out of bed. It took a few more minutes for me to wake up, put my training gear on and then jump on the treadmill but once I had I was awake and (ssssshhhh, don't tell anyone) actually enjoying it!
Unfortunately my heart rate strap seems to be throwing a wobbly - it turns out this is fairly common with extended use and it's almost 10 months old. I contacted Wiggle and they have asked me to send it back and will issue a replacement strap if they find it faulty (which they will)…. either that or my new maximum heart rate is 208 bpm and I've been slacking on my training all this time!
Run: 30 minutes, 5% at 5.5 mph, burned 468 kCalories.

Evening - after marking all my S3 Physics tests, S1 light and sight tests and updating results spreadsheets, I got on the TT bike followed by some stretches…
Bike: 12.48 km, 30 min, hill session (2 min intervals easy 90 rpm, hard 55-70 rpm), average moving speed 25 km/hr, max 35.4 km/hr, average heart rate 119 bpm, burned 277 kCalories.
Stretches: simple leg stretches: 5 mins, burned 11 kCalories.

Wednesday 16th January:

Busy day today - lots of sessions! I suspect there is something up with my heart rate monitor!!!

TT bike: 15 km, 30:41, average speed 29.4 km/hour, average cadence 87 rpm, average heart rate 129 bpm, burned 340 kCalories.
Stretches (incorporating plank and hip flexor strengthening): 13:37, burned 30 kCalories.
Run: a very chilly Uddingston 11km route, 10.92 km, 55:24, average pace 5:04/km, elevation gain 168m, average heart rate 168 bpm, maximum heart rate 208 bpm(!!!), burned 910 kCalories.
Stretches: 23:38, burned 78 kCalories.

Tuesday 15th January:

Back up and at them! Good 'warrior body' tri-ripped workout (I still cringe when I write that down - but that's what my plan is called!) this morning, incorporating some hip flexor stretches and plank / side plank.
Stretches: 46:34, burned 253 kCalories, average heart rate 148 bpm - max heart rate 242 bpm… hmmmmmmm, I suspect not! I reckon the heart rate strap was having a bit of a meltdown.
Swim: First ATHelite swim session of the year: 300m warm up, using pool buoy 3x 100m with 10 sec rest, 3 sets of (300m at 70% 20 sec rest, 200m 75% 15 sec rest, 100m 80%, 1 min rest and repeat) then 1x 100m 20 sec rest, 1 x 50m 10 sec rest, 2 x 25m 5 sec rest. (I missed 50m after miscounting - and not starting my watch - doh!!!), 2550m, average pace 1:58 / 100m, burned 599 kCalories.

Monday 14th January:

Ahhhh the joys of a 5:45 a.m. alarm call, especially when it is still dark outside. I can't lie - I did want to stay in bed, but I got up and got going… And to be honest after a few minutes I felt great!
The calves felt a bit sore this morning following yesterday's trail running.. thankfully my calves aren't that big so they can't hurt that much :-) A gentle spin on the TT bike was exactly what the Doctor (well this one anyway) ordered.
Bike: 31:05, 10.94km, average speed 21.1 km/hr, average heart rate 122 bpm, burned 296 kCalories.
Stretches: including the dreaded plank, hip flexor stretches, 42 pushups and back stretches: 22:36, burned 30 kCalories
No training tonight - Monday is still a 'rest' day and I've got lots of Physics homework to do!!

Sunday 13th January:

Out to Chatelherault to meet up with Calum and Derek from ATHelite Tri Club in Hamilton. Derek is training for the Marathon des Sables (MdS for short) which makes the Ironman look like a day out! You can catch up with Derek's excellent blog here.  Whilst Calum and I ran along keeping Derek company he was carrying a 5kg rucksack on his back! Respect! Lovely double loop, just over 15km in total through Chatelherault Country Park.
Run: 1:35:07, 15.27 km, average pace 6:15 min/km, elevation gain of 388m (it's hilly out there!), average heart rate of 148 bpm and max of 172 bpm, burned 1,338 kCalories.

Saturday 11th January:

Back down to Virgin Active Lanarkshire today so that Z and L could go to their tennis lessons. I have never seen the car park so busy! I thought it may have been the rush in January where everyone's New Year resolution is to get fit, but it turned out that there was an under-12 Girls Tennis Championship being held in the club.
Once up in the gym the place was as expected and I got in a decent 30 minute run followed by leg weight exercises, stretches then down to the pool for a swim.
Run: 5.5km, 30 minutes, average heart rate ~155 bpm, max heart rate 174 bpm: running at 15 km/hr at 2% incline, followed by leg weights, burned 563 kCalories.
Swim: 1500m, 32:21, average pace 2:09/100m, burned 390 kCalories.

Friday 10th January:

Decided that  a lie-in would be beneficial this morning given I've not had a rest day for almost a week… lying in until 6:50 a.m. felt so luxurious!!! About to go swimming for the first time in a few weeks - hopefully I can still remember how to do it - I'll report back later!

I'm back, therefore I survived! Pool was unbelievably busy tonight - full of New Years resolutions no doubt… I suspect it will be a little quieter in a few months time.
The young one has just started swim club - great to see so many youngsters tearing up and down the pool - certainly a lot faster than me. Unfortunately I was battling it out with more leisurely users of the pool outside the swim lanes. If nothing else it will give me more practise for the mass open water start in Austria!
Swim: 55:57, 2500m (100 lengths), average pace 2:14 / 100m, burned 650 kCalories.

Thursday 10th January:

Four days in a row! Onto the treadmill this morning but hip-flexors were complaining somewhat!  Decided to drop the incline to keep my heart rate stable, better to slightly under train than over train and cause injury.
Run: 41:08, 4.43km, average heart rate 122 bpm, burned 420 kCalories.
Evening session - started a bit later than hoped… too much procrastination and web surfing going on!  Need to get more focused and get sessions underway (and therefore finished earlier) so that I can get to bed on time!! Back on the 'Tri-ripped' plan so following specific workouts rather than concentrating on base level endurance fitness. This one was meant to develop leg strength… and it felt like it! Warm up followed by 4 minute intervals high intensity at low cadence (55-70 rpm) - 'grinding' the big gears! Followed by 2-3 minute recovery spin (higher cadence but lower intensity - i.e. lower gears). This was repeated 8 times and then followed by some leg stretches a shower, protein milk-shake and off to bed!
Bike: 1:10:25, average speed 24 km/hr, average heart rate 131 bpm, average cadence 67 rpm, burned 752 kCalories.
Stretches: 10 mins, burned 21 kCalories.

Wednesday 9th January:

Back up again at 5:50 a.m. 3rd day in a row! Hopefully the start of a good habit. Warrior body workout 1: 4 sets: 15 press ups, squats, single squats, knee ups, inclined raise, 25 single arm rows, 100 star jumps, followed by plank, side plank, hip flexors, knee exercises and leg stretches! Just like yesterday morning. Idea is to try and shift some of the additional mass I gained over Christmas holidays and improve my core muscle strength - vital for all three disciplines. Can't believe how such a simple exercise as the 'plank' can leave my a convulsing wreck after only a couple of minutes! 
Weights: avg. heart rate 96 mom, burned 296 kCalories.
Evening run around Uddingston loop. First time running in my old trainers and they feel so heavy and 'dead' compared to my Skechers GoRun (minimalist) trainers… I've ordered another pair (on special offer at £42!) so I can have an indoor and an outdoor set! Trying to keep heart rate <145 bpm. Managed it just about but then upped the pace at the end of the run so the heart rate rose a little higher…
Run: 59:25, 11.01 km, avg. pace 5:24 min/km, avg. heart rate 146 bpm, max heart rate 165 bpm, burned 897 kCalories.
Stretches: 15:21, avg. heart rate 98 bpm, burned 92 kCalories.

Tuesday 8th January:

Another early morning session: back on the 'Tri-ripped' training plan. 
Weights4 sets: 15 press ups, squats, single squats, knee ups, inclined raise, 25 single arm rows, 100 star jumps, followed by plank, side plank, hip flexors, knee exercises and leg stretches! burned 305 kCalories.
Back on the TT bike for another Tri-ripped session: this time Muscular endurance: keeping heart rate in zone 1 (<144bpm). Starting off with 20 minutes warm up <128 bpm then 20 minute sessions (on aero bars) up to 144 bpm, 4 mins at <128 bpm, then another 20 minutes on aero bars at <144 bpm followed by 10 mins cool down.
Bike: 1:15:07 h:m:s, avg. speed 24.2 km/hr, avg. heart rate 129 bpm, burned 802 kCalories.
Followed by stretches: 9mins 18 sec, burned 19 kCalories!

Monday 7th January:

Early morning session… A new year a new me (well I'll settle for slightly changed for the better)… I've decided to get up a little earlier and do a session before getting to work. The alarm went off at 5:50 a.m. and after a pretty restless sleep I slowly got out of bed and jumped on the TT bike. Felt like hard work but there again it was 6 am. Trying to keep in zone 1 (<140 bpm) which proved difficult. I've not been on the bike for a couple of weeks but it feels like starting all over again!
Bike: 30 mins, avg. speed 25.4 km/hr, avg. heart rate 135 bpm, burned 402 kCalories.
Followed by stretches: 13 min 42 secs, burned 43 kCalories.

Sunday 6th January:

Back on the treadmill again today, a little later than planned - but better late than never ;-)
Run: 5 minute warm up followed by 30 mins at 5% and an average of 5.5 mph, followed by 5 mins cool down and some core exercises, push ups, back exercises and stretches. Average heart rate 117 bpm (kept reasonable constant at 140 bpm during run), burned 551 kCalories.

Saturday 5th January:

Good dog walk with the mutts down the Castle / River Clyde walk. Rosie continues to outrun me by a factor of 20 but she does have four legs, so I reckon she's only running 10X as far as I do ;-)
Good run back on my treadmill, again aiming for <144 bpm for run. Managed to keep gradient at 5% and speed up to 5.7 mph - an improvement over pre-Christmas runs where my speed was down at 5 mph; I'll put this down to feeling healthier - giving this chest cold the heave-ho.
Run: 5 mins warmup, 30 mins at 5%, speeds 5.4-5.7 mph, 5 mins cool-down, followed by core exercises (plank, side planks, pushups, back stretches - yikes), knee exercises and leg stretches, 1 hour in total, burned 568 kCalories.

Friday 4th January: rest day! (What, again?!)

Thursday 3rd January: jet lag!

Wednesday 2nd January

Back on the wagon! (Well treadmill). Thought a quick run would be a good idea before flying home today. Another 30 minutes keeping heart rate below 140 bpm. Looking forward to mixing up the training a bit more (i.e. bike / weights / swimming) when I get home!
Run: 30 mins, 4-5% gradient, 4-5 mph, 396 kCalories burned.

Saturday 29th December - Tuesday 1st January: rest days / sore back

Struggling with my back which is annoying, I've been really lucky with injuries recently (i.e. not having any!) so I can't complain too much. Looking forward to getting back into a routine - this 'good living' does not equal healthy living… too many snacks, cakes and beers… oh soooooo good but I'll be paying for it later I suspect ;-)

Friday 28th December: my daughter's 10th birthday!

This time I managed to get the fan on the treadmill going and ran topless - not a pretty sight but I felt much better for it. My back has been playing up since the 7 hour plane journey so this helped to loosen the muscles up a bit and following my run I crunched them back into place - bliss!
Run: 30 mins, 4-5% gradient, 4-5 mph, 437 kCalories burned.

Thursday 27th December: 

Up early(ish) given it was a holiday and on to a treadmill - maybe my body was still on GMT, 5 hours ahead of local Boston time, maybe it was because I'd not found the fan setting…. but boy, that was hot and really hard work! 
Run: 30 mins, 4-5% gradient, 4-5 mph, 441 kCalories burned.

Wednesday 26th December: rest day (travelling)

Tuesday 25th December: Happy Christmas!

Well, after opening some fab presents and eating Star Wars pancakes for breakfast, visiting family and eating / drinking too much (before the main Christmas dinner!) I decided to run off some calories before the festivities really started.
Run: 30 mins, 5% incline at 5 mph, followed by knee exercises and stretches, burned 484 kCalories… easily added later on that evening!

Monday 24th December:

Avoiding Christmas TV as much as possible! Spent an hour on the TT bike watching the last bit of Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers and started on Lord of the Rings: Return of The King! I watch so little TV these days I like to use my viewing time wisely!
The bike felt pretty tough today - I'm obviously still under the weather, but now the session is over I feel great. Was going to jump on the treadmill but the better half was exercising too so decided to have a go at the 'warrior body' (I know, name is somewhat suspect) workout. This comprises mainly body weight exercises and stretches and use of a large swiss ball to help balance and strengthen the core muscles. Followed by my knee exercises and stretches.
Bike: 60 mins, 26.32 km, average heart rate 127 b.p.m., average cadence 91 r.p.m., burned 666 kCalories - a beast of a session!!!
Weights: 37 mins 42 seconds, average heart rate 95 r.p.m., burned 118 kCalories.

Sunday 23rd December:

Feeling more alive today but still not 100% so an easy session on the treadmill. A nice gentle 5 m.p.h. at 5% - heart rate as flat as a pancake at around 135 b.p.m. Result. Followed by stretches as always.
Run: 4.18 km, 32 mins, average heart rate 120 b.p.m., burned 439 kCalories.

Saturday 22nd December:

Feeling the effects of a chest cold… lungs hurting as I breathe in so I decided that it was probably more sensible to give exercising a miss today. I've struggled on with it over the last few days but it's persistent, so I'll give it a rest and let my body give this cold what it deserves!

Friday 21st December:

Quick run before going out to the Christmas party. Managed to squeeze in 20 mins and a few minutes of stretches before jumping in the shower and getting the glad rags on.
Heart rate started spiking after about 5 mins but I think this was more of a sensor issue than a real measurement. I've started to use a gel (a bit like they use when conducting an ultrasound) which helps the electrodes in the straps pick up the electrical impulses from my heart.  Generally works well but sometimes if the strap slips (due to sweat!) then the readings go a little crazy. You can see from the detailed Garmin logs that it stabilised pretty quickly after I adjusted it. Given I'm trying to train in a particular range (up to say 145 b.p.m.) it's important the readings are stable and accurate.
Run: 20 mins at 4% incline and 5.4 m.p.h., average heart rate 121 b.p.m. (140 b.p.m. when running), burned 306 kCalories.

Thursday 20th December:

Another early start - the body was shouting "nooooooooo" when the alarm went off at 6 a.m., but I still got up and had my early morning run on the treadmill. Caught up with me later as I fell asleep watching a video with the kids at 7 p.m.!!! Decided that even though my body wanted to go to be early that I could squeeze in a quick 1 hour cycle on the TT bike followed by some stretches!
Run: 4.43km, 43:52 min:sec, average heart rate 125 b.p.m., burned 472 kCalories.
Bike: 27.67 km, 1:00:01, average speed 27.7 km/hour, average heart rate 122 b.p.m., average cadence 88 r.p.m., burned 573 kCalories.
Weights: knee exercises and keg stretches: 18:14 min:sec, burned an additional 50 kCalories.

Wednesday 19th December:

Another early start on the treadmill today, followed by push-ups and stretches. Last week at school and a few of the pupils have decided on an early holiday! On with the running shoes again this evening and another hour under my belt in Zone 1. Pleased with how stable my heart rate is - settled at 140 b.p.m. for the entire hour with very little drift (gentle rid in heart rate over session).
Run: 4.43km, 44:29 min:sec, burned 486 kCalories.
Run: 9.0km, 1:12:53 hr:min:sec, average heart rate 132 b.p.m., burned 868 kCalories.

Tuesday 18th December:

The rest day worked! I felt rested and when the alarm started buzzing I hauled myself out of bed, into the gym and onto the treadmill. I walked for a couple of minutes just to get my heart rate to rise gradually then set the incline at 5% and speed at 6 m.p.h. Kept a constant watch on my heart rate to keep in the aerobic zone 1 - for me, less than about 144 b.p.m. when running. Adjusted incline and speed to ensure I kept in the endurance training zone. Followed by leg stretches a shower and off to work! Great start to the day.
ATHelite swim session this evening - last of the year, so Nicola put us through our paces!
Started off with single arm / pull / kick drills like last week, then moved on to swimming 50m fast, 50 m slow then fast and then 50m fast then slow which helps not only improve stamina but gauging your race / endurance pace. Followed by 5 x 100m sets at 75% keeping all to the same time (for me approx. 2 mins / 100m). Ended the session with some fun relay races - another good workout… I can justify several mince pies this evening :-)
Run: 2.75 miles, 30 minutes, average speed 5.5. m.p.h., burned 409 kCalories.
Swim: 2000m, average pace 2:10 / 100m, burned 450 kCalories - seems like it should be a lot more than the running!!!!

Monday 17th December: rest day

Sunday 16th December:

Another weekend flew by and before I knew it, time was marching on and I hadn't been able to squeeze in my exercise session before mid-day as planned. The Christmas tree and various lights were put up, dogs walked, kids to birthday parties, etc. etc. 
Ended up starting at 5 p.m. for a monster turbo training session, run, weights and stretches! Managed to watch the entire Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (directors cut!) all the way through to the end credits… like I say - MONSTER sessions!!! By 9 p.m. I'd built up a substantial appetite and anything resembling food was scoffed!
Bike: TT bike, 2 hours, 56.7km, average speed 28.3 km/hour, average heart rate 124 b.p.m., average cadence 89 r.p.m., burned 1,123 kCalories! Followed by a…
Run: 30 minutes (+5 minutes cool down), 4.7 km, average heart rate ~138 b.p.m., burned 409 kCalories… followed by…
Weights: knee exercises and leg stretches: 17 mins 30 seconds.

Saturday 15th December:

Ended up as a rest day since my kids were doing their Tae Kwon Do grading at Wishaw Sports Centre - both passed, I'm very proud of them both!

Friday 14th  December:

Good swim session down at Virgin Active… although losing a clear plastic ear plug (to stop me leaving with a head full of pool water) in a fairly dark pool whilst wearing tinted googles is not a recipe for success. Needless to say, I suspect it is somewhere in the filter system now. I did have a spare pair in my bag but that would have meant getting out of the pool and the temptation would have been to stay out… so I soldiered on - what a trooper eh?!
Trying to focus on my technique, so did 15 x 100m sets, really thinking about my arm's entry into the water and the catch.
Swim: 1500m, 26:47, average 1:47 / 100m., burned 390 kCalories.

Thursday 13th December:

Got back later than usual due to S5/6 Parents' Evening at school. By the time I'd brought in Christmas decorations, fed kids and dogs, marked homework and scoffed my tea it was about 9:30 p.m. so I decided to listen to my body for a change (it was screaming "I'm tired!") so I skived my bike workout and chilled out for the remainder of the evening. Oh the luxury of sitting down in front of the TV without having to pedal at the same time!!!

Wednesday 12th December:

One of those nights where you hope you pick the right option. Kids off to Tae-kwon Do and the choice was run indoors on the treadmill for 30 mins or so or man up and get out in the cold and run the Uddingston loop. I opted for the latter and was pleased I did. Once outside even the -2 degree Celsius couldn't wipe the grin off my face. The dark night air was still and clear and the paths were dusted with a layer of twinkling white frost which crackled under each soft foot fall. I'd forgotten my iPod so just had the sound of my breathing and the occasional passing car to focus on. Every now and again (roughly 8 mins and 30 seconds) my watch would beep to let me know I'd run another mile and all I needed to think about was to keep my landing soft, lean forwards and to keep running. Given my mind is normally churning over work done, work still to do or a million other thoughts it was great just to 'switch off' for an hour.
Run: 60 mins, 10.93 km, average 5:29 / km, average heart rate 142 b.p.m., burned 890 kCalories, followed by knee exercises and stretches, burning another 65 kCalories.

Tuesday 11th December:

Back to swimming! Only missed a week - but it feels like a lot more! Nicola back from Club La Santa and she's brought some crazy training drills for us! 
300m warm up
2x100m (12.5m kicking with one arm out in front, breathing whilst looking at wall - so we're swimming at 90 degrees to bottom of pool, followed by 12.5m single arm pulls and kicking again done at 90 degrees), 
2x100m (12.5m single arm pull + kick at 90 deg, 12.5m swim - ensuring breathing at 90 deg - i.e. looking at walls)
3x100m 15 sec rest
2x200m 20 sec rest
1x400m 30 sec rest
2x200m 20 sec rest
1x100m 15 sec rest
All done at the same pace (or at least I tried to keep them at the same pace)
Managed to miss some of the swim off my Garmin as I was concentrating on not drowning rather than pushing start/stop button! Doh!
Swim: 41 mins (or so), 2200m (or thereabouts) burned 461 kCalories (minimum).

Monday 10th December: rest day

Fighting off a cold at present, so decided to give the 'warrior body(!)' weights session a miss and develop Analogue electronics presentation material for my Higher Physics Class! So, rather than ending up hot and sweaty, looking at op-amps brought me out in a cold-sweat ;-)

Sunday 9th December:

TT bike for 90 mins - most of which were spent in aero position!
Bike: 90 mins, 42.07 km, avg. speed 28 km/hr, avg. heart rate 125 b.p.m., avg. cadence 91 r.p.m., burned 859 kCalories, knee exercises and stretches for another 17 mins burning 45 kCalories.

Saturday 8th December:

Spin bike for an hour, followed by treadmill in zone 1, leg weights session and a few stretches! Not too bad given I was t the West of Scotland Lighthouse Club Ball 2012 until well after 1 a.m.
Bike: 62 mins, 38.0, avg. cadecne 90 r.p.m., avg. heart rate 126 b.p.m., burned 653 kCalories. Run 20 mins on treadmill at 5% incline, 9.0 km/hr, avg. heart rate 140 b.p.m., followed by leg exercises and stretches for further 24 mins, burned 300 kCalories.

Friday 7th November:

Back in the pool after missing Tuesday's session. Felt tired before I got in, but once I got going my energy levels rose and I felt pretty good. 10 x 100m then 2 x 500m sets.
Swim: 2000m, 38 mins 50 seconds, average pace 1:56 per 100m, burned 520 kCalories.

Thursday 6th November:

Back on the TT bike - had planned on spending 90 minutes or so but too much homework meant I started later than planned. Certainly starting to get used to the new position, not 'comfy' yet, but getting there.
Bike: 60 mins, 28.4km/hr, avg. heart rate 127 b.p.m., avg. cadence 90 r.p.m., burned 653 kCalories. Followed by 16 mins of stretches burning another 40 kCalories.

Wednesday 5th December:

3 days in a row - snooze button wins - shocking effort! New shoes arrived today - Skechers Go Run trainers - so light they're barely there! The missus scoffed the mini pack of Haribos that came with them! Heartrate strap was playing up at first, so a 7 minute 'warmup' then back on track for 30 minutes running up a 5% incline at 5.5-6.0 km/hr trying to keep the heart rate down… New trainers felt slightly odd - landing directly in centre of foot provides 'feedback' to let you know you're form is good, however, within a few minutes they felt entirely natural. I'd like to try them outside, but given the minus 4 degrees C tonight and ice over the pavements and roads it was much more sensible to stick with the treadmill.
Run: 30 mins, average heart rate123 b.p.m., followed by knee exercises and stretches… another 632 kCalories burned. 

Tuesday 4th December:

The alarm was quickly snoozed again this morning - what a light-weight. Off on a radioactivity course all day; back home, picked up eldest from a friend's house, off to supermarket, made tea for me and the little ones (only 2 different meals tonight since my better-half was off to a posh dinner)… then it was back on to homework duties and lesson planning before getting onto the turbo trainer at about 9 p.m.  Managed to put in an hour on the TT bike, watched the end of 'Unknown' with Liam Neeson (recommended), the news and then followed up with knee exercises and stretches.
Bike: 60 minutes, 29.04km (29 km/hour!), average cadence 90 r.p.m., average heart rate 135 b.p.m. (right in Zone 1 again), burned 750 kCalories, followed by 17 minutes knee exercises and stretches burning 42 kCalories. Showered, back downstairs 350ml protein milkshake some toast and an Innis and Gunn blonde ale whilst I type up this blog… I reckon I deserve it  :-)

Monday 3rd December: rest day

I'd had good intentions about getting up early and doing a session on the treadmill but I'd tweaked my right hamstring (or adductor muscle.. who knows!) so when the alarm went off at 6 a.m. common sense got the better of me (doesn't happen that often) and I hit the snooze button… several times.  An evening session was on the cards but marking 5DH Higher Physics homework and Ink Exercises took over and it was quickly past midnight and into Tuesday 4th… we'll call this a 'rest' day - although why am I still tired?

Sunday 2nd December:

First session on TT bike since RETUL fit. Managed to stay in TT position for virtually all of the 60 minutes - a significant improvement over the previous position where 5 minutes was about as much as I could hold without reverting to sitting up. A few aches and pains in the knees and hamstrings, so I'm obviously using different muscle groups to spin the pedals… Will be interesting to see how quickly these toughen up!
Bike: 60 minutes, 26.8km (26.8 km/hour!), average cadence 89 r.p.m., average heart rate 131 b.p.m. (right in Zone 1 where it should be), burned 680 kCalories, followed by 15 minutes knee exercises and stretches (but guess who forgot to start the watch?).

Saturday 1st December:

Good start to a new month! Back long to the gym to take the young 'uns to tennis.
Bike: 45 minutes, zone 1: average heart rate 126 bpm, burned 501 kCalories.
Run + weights: 30 mins on treadmill at 5% incline, speed at 8.8-9.0 km/hr to keep heart rate in zone 1 (really steady at 140 b.p.m. apart from some 'spikes' which I guess were interference or heart rate belt not sitting properly), then 1 min at 15 km/hr at 5% just to get feet to 'turn over' quickly, cool down then leg exercises and stretches, burned 477 kCalories.

Friday 30th November:

Good session in the pool tonight. Still focusing on form, so doing lots of interval training: 100m and 50 m repeats. Feels like technique is coming on and that is being reflected in times, which have dropped from 2:10 / 100m down to 1: 47 / 100m over the last month or two! Result. All I need to do now is improve the technique and stamina to do this sort of pace over 3800m… in one go  ;-)
Swim: 1850m, average pace 1:47 / 100m, burned 461 kCalories.

Thursday 29th November: rest day

Wednesday 28th November:

Run (6 a.m. again - 3 days on the trot!): 30 minutes at 5% gradient 5.2-6.0 m.p.h. keeping heart rate in zone 1 (which for me is less than 144 b.p.m.), burned 483 kCalories. Followed by stretches and a shower!  Heart rate stabilised really quickly this morning.. last couple of mornings peaking at 173 b.p.m. for 5-8 mins before settling down - looks like my body is getting used to the shock of exercising this early Out for a proper road run later this evening when the kids are at TKD!

Tuesday 27th November:

Run (6 a.m. again!!!): 30 minutes at 5% gradient 5.8-6.0 m.p.h. keeping heart rate in zone 1 (which for me is less than 144 b.p.m.), burned 497 kCalories.  Followed by stretches and a shower!

Swim session with ATHelite. Great session but boy was I pleased to crawl out of the water! Started off with a 300 m warm up then 3x (25m left arm only, 25 swim, 25 right arm only, 25 swim) with 30 seconds between sets, 3x (25 UNCO left arm only (similar to single arm drills except non-pulling arm is placed beside body rather than outstretched), 50m swim, 25 UNCO right arm only) 30 seconds between sets, 8x (25m x3 strokes breathing, x3 strokes breathing, x5 strokes breathing, x7 stroke breathing) 20 seconds between sets 3x (25m x 3 strokes breathing, 5 strokes breathing, 7 strokes breathing, 9 strokes breathing!) 20 seconds between sets, followed by 6x (25m slow, 25m tempo pace, 25m fast) 20 seconds between sets!!! What a session… thought my lungs were going to burst doing 9 strokes between each breath!!!
Swim: 2350m, 54 mins 55 seconds, average pace of 2:20 per 200m (includes rest between sets), burned (only!!) 586 kCalories.

Monday 26th November:

And the training plan starts again! Back onto the tri-ripped plan that we started a few months back but realised would 'peak' our fitness in March - 3 months before the event - not ideal!
Decided that there are really not enough hours in the day at present, especially with schoolwork taking up significant time in the evenings and weekends. So the alarm was set for 6 a.m. and I fought the desire to stay in my warm comfortable bed for another 30-40 minutes and instead pulled on my shorts, heart rate monitor, t-shirt and shoes and headed to the gym… 
Run (6 a.m.!!!): 30 minutes at 5% gradient 6 m.p.h. keeping heart rate in zone 1. Took a good 7 minutes or so for my heart rate to settle down then kept at a nice steady 140 b.p.m. for rest of run; burned 489 kCalories.  Followed by stretches and a shower!
Weights: 'Warrior body' (!!!) workout: 4 sets of: 15 Pushups, 15 Body Weight Squats, 15 Narrow Grip Pushups, 25 Standing Cable Rows, 15 Reverse Lunges per side, 15 Little Bigs (killers!), 50 Jumping Jacks; burned 286 kCalories.

Sunday 25th November: rest day

Saturday 24th November: RETUL fit - see main blog

Friday 23rd November:

Right, no more excuses! Back in the pool tonight and though tired, I feel great. I've missed exercising over the last few days… the endorphins are flowing again!
Swim: 60 lengths, 1500m as 5 x 100m sets (avg. pace 1:41 / 100m), 1 x 500 m (2:04 / 100m) and 5 x 10 m (1:54 / 100m). 28 mins and 29 seconds, 775 strokes(!) and 390 kCalories burned.

Thursday 22nd November:

Again, too much marking at present - and I haven't even started with the S4 Standard Grade Prelim papers yet! Feeling pretty tired at present, so maybe not a bad idea to have a few more rest days this week. Sometimes it's better to listen to your body than your mind ;-)

Wednesday 21st November:

Late back from work after watching my S1 football team compete in the North Lanarkshire Schools Cup. They played very well (for only their 2nd game) but lost out to St. Maurice's of Cumbernauld - we wish them well for the next round… Our time will come!
Too much marking to do tonight, so missed out on my run session :-(

Tuesday 20th November:

Swim session with ATHelite. 300m warm up, 2x (200m catch up, 200m swim) with 30 secs recovery, 2x (300m paddles, 300m swim) 1min recovery, 5 x 100m swim same pace with 30 secs recovery. 2800m total in roughly 50 minutes… guess who left his trusty Garmin 910XT at home - doh!

Monday 19th November: rest day!

Sunday 18th November:

Another busy weekend! Sorted out pool chemistry, walked dogs, fed kids, washed and dried dogs (they get very mucky running through the first near the Clyde!) and then onto the TT bike. Watched American Pie reunion for a bit of light relief from the pedalling. Back of 8 p.m. now - time for tea and then settle down to some schoolwork! The fun never stops...
Bike: 2 hours, 51km, average heart rate 129 b.p.m., average cadence 93 r.p.m., average speed 25.4 km/hr, burned 1202 kCalories. Knee exercises + stretches: 15 mins, another 51 kCalories.

Saturday 17th November:

Off to the gym this morning taking youngest to her tennis lesson. Spent an hour on the spin bike, followed by 20 minutes running, leg exercises (abductor / adductor / leg raise (working quads) / leg curl (working gluteus and hamstrings) / leg lift (working everything!) and calf raises (I'm still hopeful)) followed by leg stretches and a dash downstairs to pick up the eldest who had just finished his tennis lesson. Quick drive home to see if I could catch garage before they closed to no avail… My Cayenne will have to sit on the drive with it's flat tyre for a few days until I get he time to sort it out :-(
Bike: 39.9km, 1 hour, average heart rate 126 b.p.m., average cadence 94 r.p.m., burned 617 kCalories.
Running + Weights: 46 mins and 36 seconds: 22 mins running at 10.0 km/hr up an incline of 4% - focusing on technique, followed by weights and stretches. Average heart rate 117 b.p.m., burned 374 kCalories.

Friday 16th November:

Friday night swim as the youngest is in her swimming lesson - she makes it look so easy! I wished I'd learned how to swim properly when I was her age… but you're never too old to learn!
Swim: 1750m in 32mins and 6 seconds, average pace of 1:50 per 100m, burned 455 kCalories. About to redress that balance with a couple of Steak burgers for tea - yum, yum!

Thursday 15th November:

Didn't manage to leave school until after 7 p.m. given it was a S1 Parents' evening… Then found out my car was blocked in by a nice silver X5 which was parked on double yellow lines. Sweet. After a 37-point turn in my space, I managed to get enough of a steering lock to escape (by the skin of my teeth) without scratching my alloys or the offending vehicle. Rapid drive home in the dark across some nice winding country roads - found my better half had made a great chilli, so not too bad an evening after all!
Remembered that there is no such thing as a bad training session - apart from the ones you don't do. So, with that in mind, I got ready and got back on the saddle of the TT bike.
Bike: 30 mins, 14.92 km, average speed 29.6, max speed 50.5 km/hr, average heart rate 128 b.p.m., average cadence 93 r.p.m., burned 358 kCalories. Followed by 20 minutes knee exercises and leg stretches, burning a further 47 kCalories.

Wednesday 14th November:

Normal Wednesday night 10km loop around Uddingston. Trying very hard to put Chi running technique into action. Felt like I was getting it at times, but difficult (at this stage) to sustain good form over 10km... still, if it was easy to do, it probably wouldn't be worth doing!  I can certainly feel my hamstrings now, so I'm guessing my form has changed enough that new muscle groups are coming in to play!
Run: 11.07km, 58 mins 37 seconds, average cadence of 180 stride per minute (working off metronome buzzing away in pocket!), average heart rate 146 b.p.m. with a maximum heart rate of 157 b.p.m. (down from 175 for similar time speed a week ago), burned 878 kCalories. Followed by regular knee exercises and stretches for 15 minutes.

Tuesday 13th November:

ATHelite Swim session: 300m warm up (25m fist, 25m swim, 25m catch up, 25m swim) x2 with 20 secs rest (200m paddles + pull buoy, 200m swim) x2 with 30 secs rest 4x 100m tempo with 20 secs rest 3x(25m slow, 25m tempo, 25m all out).
Swim: 45mins for 2200m, average pace 2:00min / 100m, burned 573 kCalories.
Great fun - you'd never push yourself to do this unless you're in a  group! I bet the arms will be tired tomorrow.

Monday 12th November: rest day

Sunday 11th November:

Bike: another 90 minutes on the TT bike trying to get used to the position. Raised my seat up another 15mm so that height is equivalent to road bike (786mm)… seems to have helped… time will tell!  Quite slow as I'm just concentrating on the aero position, keeping cadence high and getting used to the seat! 90 minutes, 37km, average heart rate 128 b.p.m., average cadence 93 r.p.m., burned 909 kCalories. 
Quick change, dried off, into running gear and off to try new running style. Certainly not mastered the technique (only another 9,999.5 hours to go) but could feel when I was running correctly. Managed to zip round the Castle Avenue run in a respectable time, especially given I'd just got off a 90 minute turbo trainer session…
Run: 5.46 km, 25 mins 17 secs, average heart rate 165 b.p.m., burned 349 kCalories.

Saturday 10th November:

Exellent Chi running course at Pollok Park, run by Nick Constantine of soulinmotion. Highly recommended!!!

Friday 9th November:

Good swimming session at Esporta whilst the youngest was getting her swimming lesson. Shared the lane with a couple of other swimmers thrashing up and down the pool, albeit a few seconds per length faster than me. Focusing purely on technique for the next few days / weeks / months… I reckon if I get that sorted (or as close as I can get) then the swimming fitness will follow. Far better to improve technique now and build endurance as I go, than simply swimming up and down the pool to chalk of a distance each session. I'm starting to feel the benefits of the ATHelite sessions and my times for 100m repeats are going in the right direction!
Swim: 15 x 100m repeats with 30 seconds rest between sets. Main focus on technique: high elbow, pulling through (not pushing down on) water. Average speed 1:48 per 100m, total swimming time: 26 mins and 59 seconds, 390 kCalories burned.

Thursday 8th November:

Plan to watch Newcastle in the Europa League thwarted by my lack of ESPN… again… grrrr. Decided to hunker down and get on with training in front of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2, which, despite being the umpteenth time I've watched it, was still good value for keeping my interest and helping me forget that I was merrily pedalling away in the TT position for 90 minutes. It will be interesting to see if I can walk upright tomorrow ;-)
Bike: 90 minutes, covered 38km, average heart rate of 117 b.p.m. (zone 1 as intended), average speed of 25.5 km/hour, average cadence of 89 r.p.m. and burned 769 kCalories. Followed by the usual knee exercises and stretches (15 minutes and a further 38 kCalories burned).

Wednesday 7th November:

Kids off to Tae Kwon Do as usual and I endured a rather damp, drizzly and dark 10km run around Uddingston. We've been reading a lot recently on training techniques and one common theme is coming through. The majority of our training needs to be in the lowest heart rate zone (zone 1 for me is 108-144 b.p.m.). This is the best zone to train your aerobic system for endurance events, teaching your body to use your fat supplies as the energy source. I just about managed it, doing a 1 hour run covering 10.4 km, average pace of 5:50 / km, burning 730 kCalories and keeping the average heart rate at 138 b.p.m. Must admit, I found it really difficult to run that slowly, but all the advice says to stick with it and even though your speed will increase your heart rate will remain in this low zone - essential for the Ironman race when I'm likely to be moving non-stop for at least half a day!!!

Tuesday 6th November:

Another great swim session with ATHelite down at Hamilton College. Only 4 of us there tonight but no let up on the work! I think Nicola is in cahoots with my better half and now all those increased life insurance premiums are starting to make sense! Good drills on keeping one eye in the water and the other eye looking at the side of the pool when breathing - helps to stop you lifting head out of the water too far which unsettles your rhythm. 150m drills with 50m easy, 50 m steady, 50m race pace were enlightening… Once I'd analysed the data I found my 'easy' pace is actually quicker than my 'steady' pace and not a great deal slower than my 'race' pace! What does this mean? More focus on technique is going to pay dividends for me long term.  Pushing too hard and trying to swim faster for me just means wasted energy with little gain. The smoother I swim with more concentration on getting the correct catch (or pull through the water) the faster I actually go and the easier it feels… Sounds good to me!

Monday 5th November:

Rest day. Decided to reverse seat post on TT bike to bring my seat further forwards. This will help me to achieve closer to 90 degree angle for lower arms through elbow to upper arms and upper arm through shoulder to back. Moving further forward also helps you to push down and backwards on the pedals so that the crank acts as a lever and you get more of a mechanical advantage whilst pedalling. What does this all mean in non-cycling speak? You get more efficient - more speed for the same amount of energy put in.   We'll see….

Sunday 4th November:

Back onto TT bike - still not convinced I'm in the correct position yet but I'm getting closer and a little more accustomed to the new seating arrangements. The adamo seat is still 'interesting' at this stage but I'm told it will fit like a comfy old sofa after a few hundred miles or so  ;-)
Bike: 1 hour 45 minutes, average heart rate 127, average speed 23.7 km/hr, burned 1041 kCalories. Followed by 15 minutes of knee exercises and stretches - another 48 kCalories burned. Net calorie deficit sorted with a chilli tikka masala, boiled rice and nan bread ;-)

Saturday 3rd November:

Back in the groove! 35 minutes on the spin bike keeping cadence higher than 90 r.p.m., followed by 45 minutes on treadmill at just 11km/hr in order to keep heart rate in zones 1 or 2. Followed up with leg exercises and stretches.

Friday 2nd November:

Bit of a wasted session tonight - I'd forgotten that the try-athlon at Virgin Lanarkshire (formerly Esporta) was on so the pool was taken over by folks doing the reverse triathlon (run, then bike then swim). Managed to do 1x100m set (in 1 min 36!) before having to jump out of the lane. So, a lazy session instead, practicing high elbow lift and good catch technique and then sitting in the sauna for 5 mins!

Thursday 1st November:

Adjusted the ISM Adamo Prologue saddle on my new Air TT bike - now it's properly level, but whether it's at the right height or fore/aft position is still debatable. My S1 classes onwards will no doubt heard me talking about fair testing. This means when we do an experiment we only change one variable at a time so that we can see what effect it has on the outcome. I'm currently changing both bike position AND saddle type, so I suspect it's going to take a while to find the Goldilocks zone - i.e. where the fit is 'just right'. Until then I'll keep on tweaking and pedalling away! Really easy session tonight...
Bike: 60 minutes (starting at 9:20 p.m.!), average speed 24 km/hr, distance 24 km, Average heart rate 101 b.p.m., average cadence 88 r.p.m., burned 368 kCalories. Followed by knee exercises and stretches.

Wednesday 31st October:

Training later than usual (started on treadmill at 9:20 p.m. this evening)… combination of taking kids out for Halloween, cooking tea, marking S4 homework, life in general…
Run: 60 minutes on treadmill, 10.19km, average speed 6:23 min/km, average heart rate 130 b.p.m, followed by 5 mins cool-down, then 15 minutes of knee exercises and stretches, burning 754 kCalories.

Statistics for the month of October:
58 workouts / activities
452.76 km travelled
32 hours, 32 minutes and 33 seconds training
average heart rate 127 b.p.m.
average speed 16.1 km/hour
burned 21,485 kCalories

Tuesday 30th October:

Swim training with ATHelite. 
300 m warm up… still makes me laugh, 1 year ago I'd have been well chuffed swimming that far in a week!
Drills: 100m of 'fists; - a drill where you do not use your hand to pull through the water, instead you use a clenched fist and pull forearm through. Shows how much propulsion is delivered using a decent 'catch'. Followed by 100m swim, 100m fist and 100 swim - entire set repeated twice. 4 x 100m swim repeats, 30 seconds rest between each 100m at 75% of max pace. 1 minute rest between each 4x100m set. Repeated 3 times. Then last, but by no means least… 6 x 25m repeats in 30 seconds (or less)… The faster you swim 25m the longer rest you get before doing it again… Whilst the rest of the team were swinging in hammocks drinking mojitos between each length, I was just about getting to the end to hear them say 3..2…1… go! Almost did it but just missed out: 150 m in 3 minutes and 5 seconds. drat. I'd have gotten away with it had it not been for those pesky kids (actually more a combination of tiredness and lack of technique!).  Great session but feeling it now!
Swim: 2400m, 43 mins 30 sec, average pace <2 min/100m, 611 kCalories burned 

Monday 29th October: rest day

Spent instead at a Whole School meeting and marking 5DH Higher Physics homework - so a workout for the brain if not the cardio system

Sunday 28th October:

First session on new TT bike. Very sweaty. Not exactly what you'd call 'comfortable'. Yet.
Still a bit of tweaking to be done to bike set up; lots of variables have changed - new aerodynamic TT position to get used to and a new style of saddle. I think the idea of getting the bike now and training over the winter on it is the best idea - there would be NO WAY you could train all Winter on a road bike and then turn up and expect to do 112 miles in a TT position…
Bike: 60 minutes, average speed 24.9 km/hour, burned 675 kCalories, average heart rate 125 b.p.m., average cadence 85 r.p.m. Followed by 15 minutes of knee exercises and leg stretches. And a shower!!!

Saturday 27th October:

Great to go to the gym with my son - a warm up session for him before he goes and plays tennis. Hopefully he'll actually think all of this exercise is 'normal' and he'll maintain it throughout his life.
An easy 20 minutes on the spin bike keeping cadence high and heart rate low, followed by leg exercises on weights machines and a session in the pool. Lots to do today and the focus is on driving across to Peebles to pick up the new bikes ;-)
Bike: 10km in 20 mins, burned 209 kCalories, 20 mins on weights / stretching, burned 110 kCalories, Swim: 1500m in 29:03, burned 390 kCalories.

Friday 26th October:

I've been reading the excellent Swim Smooth book in an effort to improve my swimming technique. I've found a couple of great tips which I've been trying out to help my position in the water (helping to raise my legs and hips thereby reducing drag). This allows you to work 'with' the water rather than working against it. The result is you feel like you are gliding through the water than trying to claw through a wall ;-)

Working on 'the catch' tonight - how you pull through the water with your arms (front crawl)… I'd been keeping my arms pretty straight as I puled back, meaning I was actually pushing down on the water. If good old Sir Isaac Newton had been at the side of the pool he would have reminded me that 'every action has an equal and opposite reaction' and I would have figured out that if I was pushing down on the water then the water would be pushing me up… Not what I'm after! However, by pulling back with my arms (by bringing my hand back towards my hips and keeping my elbows higher in the water) then the water will help to propel me forwards… Meaning you can swim a lot faster with less effort.

Still need lots more practice, but tonight's session was good. Swam another 2km (80 lengths) broken down into 10 x 100m, 2 x 250 m and 1 x 500m sets, really trying in the first 1500m to concentrate on this catch. Did it work? I normally swim around 2:07 or 2:08 minutes per 100m, I managed to despatch my first 1000m in 1:48 this evening, next 500m in 1:58 and the last 500m in 2:05. Result.  

Swim: 2000m, 38 mins and 34 seconds, burned 520 kCalories, average pace (1:48 / 1:58 / 2:05)

Thursday 25th October:

An 'easy' 90 minutes on the bike tonight pedalling away watching the Europa League, unfortunately having to watch the Liverpool game as the Newcastle Game was only on ESPN - about the only channel we don't subscribe to. Felt pretty tough at first and I was struggling to get my cadence up above the magical 90 r.p.m., dropped the resistance on the trainer and lowered the gearing until I was pedalling in the right zone. After about an hour or so the legs loosened up and it started to feel easy - better late than never!
Bike: 37.6km, 92 minutes, average heart rate 121 b.p.m, average speed 24.4, burned 823 kCalories. Followed by 15 minutes of knee exercises and stretches… and 30 press-ups, back stretches and core exercises before going to bed… every night… (not going to bed every night, although I do this too - but the press-ups, stretches and core strength exercises… oh, and I do these every morning too!).

Wednesday 24th October:

Eldest feeling a touch off colour - not drinking enough after P.E. I reckon, so kids missed Tae Kwon Do tonight :-( Sorry Kirsty! Decided that after coming home late from S4 Parents' Evening it was easier to run on the treadmill. May have been a better choice to run outside since it was dry and cold - ended up roasting and trying mind control on the countdown clock to speed it up (nope, that didn't work). 
Run: 10.06km in 58 mins (including 5 min cool down), average heart rate (remarkably steady) at 135 bpm, 753 kCalories burned.

Tuesday 23rd October:

Swim training with ATHelite. I've been reading a bit of an excellent new book called Swim Smooth and was looking to see if any of the tips I'd read would help to counteract my sinking legs… 
Drills: 100m of 'chicken legs' - a drill where you touch your armpit with your thumb as you raise your arm out of water for each new stroke, followed by 100m swim, 100m where you try and touch the arm of your outstretched hand with the hand you have just brought into water (I'm getting that sinking feeling again!), followed by another 100m swim. And repeat. Now onto pool buoys and paddles. 400m pool buoy and paddles, followed by 400m swim. And repeat. And just when you think it's all over… 4 x 50 m swim in under 1 min, faster you swim the longer your recovery. Gubbed!
Swim: 2400m, 48 mins 19 sec, average pace 2:01 min/100m, 631 kCalories burned (felt like a LOT more!!!)

Monday 22nd October: rest day

Sunday 21st October

Less time training today than I'd planned. Spent a good hour or two gardening, sorting out pool chemicals and then cooking the kid's lunch before sitting on the turbo trainer to watch the Toon Army take on the Mackems. Good game, although questionable decisions (as always) from the ref and our 10 men almost pulled off a well deserved victory only for the ball to cannon off big Demba's face and give them an equaliser with 5 minuets remaining :-(  However, another hour on the bike followed by 15-20 mins of knee exercises and stretches (note to self, turn on watch at this point for more accurate record).
Bike: 60 minutes, average heart rate 138 b.p.m., average speed 23.5 km/hr, burned 811 kCalories.
Dogs walked, then off to the golf club for tea where I ended up scoffing 2 puddings since the little one decided she didn't want what I'd ordered for her and fancied a hot chocolate fudge cake and ice cream like her big brother. Not being one to see good food thrown away, I ate it. Feeling very stuffed now  ;-)
Total training time for the week: 9 hours, 5 minutes and 32 seconds!

Saturday 20th October

Later than normal session at the gym for a Saturday given the kids' tennis lessons had finished last week. Bumped into John and Pam from ATHelite at Esporta - on their second training session of the day!
Run: Easy 45 minute run on the treadmill, 8.8km, average heart rate 143 b.p.m., burned 637 kCalories.
Weights: adductor / abductor / leg press / calf raises / knee lift / hamstring curl; 3 sets of 10, followed by leg stretches. 20 minutes.
Swim: Another 100 lengths = 2.5 km. Focused on really breathing out and not 'gulping' air quite so much… theory is by making the chest less buoyant the legs will naturally rise up to the surface more (since you are pivoting about your hips in the water). Seemed to work as the first km felt pretty easy… More practice required!

Friday 19th October

Rest day :-)

Thursday18th October

Another sweaty bike session! The only time I get to watch TV these days is sitting on my bike and pedalling… I should maybe link the bike to the TV to use my kinetic energy to power the screen... that would no doubt reduce our (excessive) energy bills!
Decided on an interval session, so whilst watching an episode of Supernatural I pedalled with a cadence of 90 r.p.m. and low gear, switching to my top gear and low cadence (50-70 r.p.m.) when the adverts were on. I've always hated (most) adverts… I hate them even more now ;-)
Bike: 26.5km in 1 hour, average heart rate 126 b.p.m., 679 kCalories burned, followed by stretches:  15 mins, 72 kCalories burned.

Wednesday 17th October

Weather was pretty bleak today, the kind of grey skies that we have seen all too often this year with fairly persistent rain and heavy downpours. Decided that a dog walk down by the River Clyde was not an option so the mutts will have to get an extra long walk tomorrow to make up for it. However, when training there is no such thing as 'bad weather'… only bad clothing… Dropped the kids off at Tae Kwon Do and did the undulating 10km route through Uddingston. Rain jacket did well to keep me dry until about 9km and I'd avoided most of the puddles until then - running with heavy wet socks and cold trainers is not ideal! 
Ran: 10.25km in 53 mins, average heart rate 151 b.p.m., max heart rate 175 b.p.m., burned 697 kCalories. Followed by 15 minutes of knee exercises and stretches - a further 67 kCalories burned. Thirst quenched by 2 pints of delicious blueberry protein shake made by my lovely wife :-)

Tuesday 16th October

Spent most of today marking S1 - S4 homework… ahhh the joys of being on holiday. Dogs walked for an hour down by the River Clyde (they LOVE this), then hosed down with cold water in the back yard (they do NOT love this). ATHelite swim session is off this week due to school holidays but I trundled along to Esporta (or Virgin Active Lanarkshire to give it it's new title) for a thrash up and down the pool. Found myself in the 'fast' lane of the pool which is amusing given 12 months ago I could barely string 2 lengths of the pool together. Spent most of the evening trying to keep out of the way of real swimmers… pool etiquette is very important! 

Swim: 10 x 100m repeats with minimal rest between sets averaging 1:50 - 1:55 per 100m. 2000m in sub 40 mins and ended up with 100 lengths = 2500m in 50 mins and 47 seconds (average pace of 2:01 min / 100m)… I'm happy with that! 651 kCalories burned.

Monday 15th October

After much procrastination, I eventually dragged my lazy bones upstairs to the gym where I managed to find a sudden burst of energy and settled down in front of Avatar on the turbo trainer. 2 litre bottles of water and a very tasty uncoated banana Zipvit bar kept me going whilst I aimed for the Guiness book of records' "How much can one person sweat in 2 hours" record… If I haven't won, I must be near a podium finish.
Bike: 2 hours, 67.76km, average speed 33.9 km/hr, avg. heart rate 132 bpm, avg. cadence 92 rpm, burned 1385 kCalories.
I jumped off the bike, changed into running shorts, grabbed more water (really?!) and Ran 1.5 miles in 13 minutes, then followed up with knee exercises and stretches, burning a further 184 kCalories.
Luckily copious amounts of cake were at hand, left over from the Mum-in-law's birthday party and then a protein shake, steak and salad were devoured to balance up the calorie intake ;-)

Sunday 14th October

A rare rest day!

Saturday 13th October

Good session this morning in the gym. Run: 5km in 25 minutes 1.5% gradient, 3 mins cool down, followed by Leg Exercises on weights machines and stretches then down to the pool for a swim. Bike / Weights: 42 mins 48 seconds, 474 kCalories burned. Swim: 2050 metres in 44 mins 30 seconds, slow but steady, burned 520 kCalories.

Friday 12th October

Discovered rear tyre was as flat as a pancake… may well have explained how yesterday's session was so hard! Much better cycle tonight whilst watching England take on the might of San Marino in the World Cup Qualifiers. After a slow start things got better (with football as well as turbo trainer).. Bike: 1 hour 30 minutes, 43.71 km, average speed of 29.1km/hour, burned 1,077 kCalories, sweated several buckets.

Thursday 11th October

Really tough bike session on the turbo trainer - felt very low on energy (down to the fact that I'd not eaten prior to training) and heart rate was high for the time / distance / speed of the session. Bike: 32.13 km in 75 mins, 750 kCalories burned.

Wednesday 10th October

'Easy' 10km run around Uddingston as the kids did their Tae Kwon Do. Given they'll be black belts soon my only chances of escape are if I can run faster than them… hence the continued training.
Run: 10km in 54 mins 45 seconds, 791 kCalories burned.
Followed by knee exercises and stretches - especially more poor calves which are still complaining about my last 25m sprint in the pool

Tuesday 9th October

Swim training with ATHelite down in Hamilton. Warm up of 150 m, followed by drills; (25m left arm only, 25m right arm only, 25m left arm only, 25m right arm only, 50m swim, 50m 'doggy paddle' - i.e. not breaking water with arm stroke) x 2 sets…
Followed by the tyre of doom: elastic band wrapped around ankles, using pool buoys between legs to provide (minimal!) lift and concentrating on arm pulls; (200m with paddles + buoys + band, 200m with buoys + band) x 2 sets, followed by 2 sets of 400m with minimal rest. Last but not least, a 25m relay sprint with everyone involved… a great way to get calf cramp - ouch!!!
Swim: ~2.2km in 45 mins
Swim goggles £18, Swim shorts £30, Ear plugs £3, managing not to down whilst large elastic band wrapped around ankles, priceless.

Monday 8th October

Rest day!

Sunday 7th October

Sunday afternoon turbo training session: Bike: 60km in 2 hours and 7 minutes, followed by knee exercises and stretches. Burned 2,368 kCalories. Stuffed face with chilli chicken tikka masala, rice and nan bread, followed by a pot of chocolate ice cream from Equis... I'd better get back on the turbo trainer.
Heart rate monitor went a bit crazy 80 minutes into cycle, either the battery is on the way out or the extreme sweating is dissolving the contacts! Another bizarre glitch showed I'd climbed 10,388m tonight, now the session felt hard but if I'd climbed Mount Everest in 2 hours then I'm guessing I should really look at changing career.

Saturday 6th October

Saturday morning 'brick session'; spin bike, treadmill, weights, stretches and then swim.
Bike: high cadence 10 km in 18 mins, Treadmill: very hilly 3.4 km in 17 mins, Weights: 20 minutes of leg exercises and stretches, Swim: 1500m in 30 mins 37 seconds. 947 kCalories burned… That will help to pay for the bacon sandwiches  scoffed afterwards!   ;-)

Friday 5th October

End of the working week and to be honest I felt like lying down for a snooze on the sofa rather than going for a swim… but the training won out:
Swim: 2100m (84 lengths), 44 mins 49 seconds, average pace of 2:08 / 100m, burned 547 kCalories
Goal is to get sub 2:00 min per 100m consistently by end of the year.

Thursday 4th October

Feeling pretty tired today - note to self, more sleep required. 
Walked the dogs down by the river Clyde, fed kids, fed me and marked my S1 cells and reproduction test papers… scores on the doors in tomorrow's lesson.

Managed to actually watch some television today - whilst cycling away on my turbo trainer! Managed to hang on and keep pedalling to see the Toon (Newcastle United for those not in the know) despatch Bordeaux 3-0 in the Europa League

Now cycling on a turbo trainer is a poor relation to cycling on the roads, however, given the dark nights, horrendous weather and shocking state of the tarmac it is a much safer option. It is advisable to open all the windows and chill the room as much as possible as you WILL, in local dialect, 'sweat buckets'!! (perspire)  I looked like I'd been caught in an internal thunderstorm by the time I finished tonight. Feels a bit strange cycling with a towel on the top of the bike - but it's the best way to prevent the components (gears / chain etc.) from rusting up (oxidising) and keeps your hands / grips dry!

Anyhow, managed to pedal away for 50 minutes: a mixture of high cadence (80-90 r.p.m) at low resistance followed by lower cadence (50-65 r.p.m.) grinding out the higher gears. This helps to build strength in the legs - a must when tackling climbs on the bike.

Followed off with 15 minutes of knee exercises and stretches as per usual.
Bike: 23.4 km, 50 minutes, 542 kCalories

Wednesday 3rd October

Late getting back from work tonight, followed by 45 minute dog walk with the mad mutts. Managed to scoff a small bowl of Cheerios as making tea then running was not going to be an option. Took the kids down to Tae Kwon Do and then headed out on the 'undulating' 10km route through Uddingston and Bothwell. 

Despite feeling pretty tired and not being particularly well fuelled, I managed to get round the 10km loop in 49 mins and 33 seconds (a new personal best for outdoor running)... I've beaten this time a few times on a treadmill but that is very different from coping with rain, wind, darkness, leaves, uneven paths, cars / pedestrians who won't stop / don't notice you are there… So all in all, pretty pleased by that.
Followed by knee exercises, quad, calf and hamstring stretches for 15 mins once home.

Run: 10km in 49 mins, 33 seconds, elevation gain of 120m, average heart rate of 157 b.p.m., max heart rate 171 b.p.m., burned 820 kCalories

Downside is eating tea (2 steak burgers and a salad - yum!!!) at 10:15 p.m. and having to start marking before going to bed  :-(
C'est la vie.

Tuesday 2nd October

Swim session with ATHelite - what a killer!! ;-)Technical Drills: 100m trailing knuckles; 100m trailing fingers; 100m no contact repeat for 2 sets
Done to ensure good elbow lift from the water on each stroke.
8 x 100 m swimming at 85% - building speed endurance
100m then 30 secs rest; 100m then 20 secs rest; 100m then 10 secs rest repeat for 2 sets - speed endurance with minimal recovery

Certainly makes a massive difference training with others, you tend to push much harder than when you train alone… Hopefully a few more months of this and the swim won't seem so daunting.

Sunday 30th September 2012: Cycling around the Isle of Arran

And the alarm goes off at 6:20 a.m... I leap out of bed like a sloth and stumble towards the shower. The weather outside is tropical, and not in a good way. The rain is lashing down with winds of around 20 m.p.h. - this is going to be an interesting day.

Breakfast of yoghurt, orange juice, toast and a bowl of granola help to kick me into life and after loading the bikes on the car we're off to Ardrossan to catch the ferry to the Isle of Arran.

More caffeine on the ferry and I'm looking forward to the challenge, although secretly hoping the weather will give us a break and let us enjoy the scenery, which I have been told is amazing.

After dis-embarking, we are met by the knowing smiles of rain drenched tourists who, without a word, pass judgment on the band of 30+ lycra clad pedal pushers about to brave the elements as they board the warm, dry ferry back to the mainland.

After an obligatory group photo (possibly used for search and rescue if numbers don't match up later!) we leave the port, for a clockwise loop of the island.

Within minutes, I'm soaked to the skin, despite wearing more Gore-tex than you can shake a stick at… Not from the rain more the sweat of pedalling straight up a wonderful hill.  Moments later and we have the first nervous moment as the wet roads, winds and leaves demand a good pull on the brakes which I think may still be on the boat.  EEEEK. Narrowly avoiding the cyclist in front (luckily my better-half) my wheels and brake blocks have warmed up and dried off and decide that they will indeed help slow my progress when called upon.

After 20 minutes of unrelenting rain, the clouds blew over to the mainland and left a stunning blue vista.

Unfortunately my sunglasses had decided to snap in protest (not quite sure at what in particular) so I was left trying to avoid road spray, grit and the odd wasp sans eye protection.

Whilst the real road cyclists ripped up the tarmac and headed off toward the horizon, I concentrated on keeping my pedalling cadence as close as possible to 90 r.p.m. In this zone, you are working your cardio-vascular system (heart and lungs) as much as your leg muscles… this helps to reduce fatigue so that you can keep pedalling longer. However, you are left with no option when hitting the hills, your gears will simply not go low enough for you to keep this cadence, so you end up 'grinding' the gears between 50 and 65 r.p.m. just to ensure forward motion… This is a real leg burner and your quadriceps in particular will make you very aware of their existence.

At about 22 miles or so we met up with the Tour of Arran elite squad at a great looking coffee shop - although only long enough to stare at the gorgeous cakes and smell the coffee en-route to their loos. My good lady had bought me a caramel slice (she's nice like that!) and I took a couple of bites of this (purely to keep my energy levels up you understand) prior to getting back on two wheels.  Then disaster struck! About 200 metres down the road I hit a large pothole and the remnants of my caramel slice jumped out of my food holder never to be seen again. Curse you broken tarmac, curse you.

After a series of wonderful gentle rollers and a pedal along the side of the shore breathing in hearty lungfuls of sea-water scented air we came across the big climb of the day, on the North of the Isle just past the village of Catacol. The road snaked up the side of the hillside, tricking each unwary cyclist with a false summit time and time again, the smooth tarmac being it's only redeeming feature. After what seemed like an eternity (actually only 20 minutes of cycling to climb 202 metres) I eventually reached the top:

 looking pleased to have made the summit!

As good old Sir Isaac Newton would no doubt remind us, what goes up must surely go down. A newly surfaced ribbon of smooth black road invited us to pedal as fast as possible. Tucking down onto 'the drops' - the most aerodynamic position (reducing my air resistance) I flew down the hill - reaching close to 42 m.p.h. or 67 km/hr before the winds became so strong I could feel the bike acting as a sail and being blown off course… Time to judiciously apply the brakes… How these Tour de France fellas (go Wiggo, go!!) can hurtle down mountains at over 60 m.p.h. (100 km/hr) in close proximity to other riders is beyond me!

Last few miles were through beautiful coastal villages with amazing views back to the Scottish mainland, although we were by this stage battling a constant headwind which, together with tired legs, was making for slow progress. Eventually after exactly 4 hours and 89 km (55.7 miles) we were back where we started at Brodick ferry terminal.

A quick change out of wet cycling gear and into dry clothes (ahhh, the luxury), a rushed cup of coffee and a bowl of leek and potato soup and we were boarding the ferry homewards.

A truly brilliant day, as Arnold Schwarzenegger would say, "I'll be back".

Well done and thanks to all the other members of ATHelite Triathlon club in Hamilton for their good humour, company and support and the East Kilbride Cycling Club who acted as pace-setters for the day.

Good luck to Colin and Genevieve who are leaving these sun-baked shores for Toronto! 

Saturday 29th September 2012

Same start to the day as usual; 30 press ups followed by as-long-as-I-can-hold in the 'half-bridge' position - helps strengthen core, lower back muscles and glutes, then back stretches and into the shower!

Off down to the gym today at 10 a.m.: 15 mins on the spin bike, keeping cadence (pedal revolutions) above 90 r.p.m. and increasing resistance to keep heart rate between 140-150 beats per minute (b.p.m) - equivalent to about 6.3 miles.

15 minutes on the treadmill, starting at 13.0 km/hour working up to 15 km/hour for the last couple of minutes, keeping heart rate between 150-165 b.p.m. - distance equivalent to 3.4km. Tend to keep the treadmill at an incline of 1 degree, this helps to mimic running outside. 2-3 minute cool-down on the treadmill (reduce speed down to 4.5km/hour and incline set to zero) to get heart rate back down below 100 b.p.m.

15 minutes doing strength training on legs: adductor and abductor exercises (3 sets of 15 at 35kg), knee lifts (3 sets of 10 at 30kg), 3 sets of 10 leg presses and 15 calf raises at 120kg. Followed by quadricep stretches, calf stretches and hamstring stretches.

Then down into the pool… I've been struggling a bit with my swimming recently - this is not my strongest discipline - but I'm plugging away to improve my swim stamina. Swam 2000m (80 lengths) in 43:53 (average pace of 2:11 per 100 metres). Need to get a couple of swimming lessons organised to improve technique and make my freestyle more efficient.

All in, not too bad a session; 1080 kCalories, 15.4km, 97 minutes.  Time to eat some carbohydrates and recharge the protein supplies!

Oh yes, almost forgot… another 30 press ups, core strengthening exercises and back stretches before crawling into bed.

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