Tuesday, 18 August 2009

To do two or not to (do) ((2)) ?

July 1st this year I logged on early to get a space for IM Germany. This was going to be my A race for next year. I was still toying with the idea of doing IM Lanza for the third time but decided that maybe a family holiday at easter would be better way to spend a week in Lanza and the date this year for some reason is no longer in synch with the school summer half terms (but this may not be insurmountable).

Then I raced IM Switzerland and found a course I liked, unlike TomW, particularly the run which is heavily shaded and has plenty to keep the mind alert. Even better they changed the date to the 1st August bang in the middle of school hols.

So now the dilemma. I feel I have done well racing back to back IMs with a 6/7 week gap but I am less confident about the 4 weeks. With 6 weeks I have managed to put in some top sessions in weeks 4/5 and have felt this has really boosted my second IM (especially the hard 100 milers) but I am less sure about the 4 weeks.

I know some such as Russ have done very well but I think this has been off a much bigger background training volume than I can achieve. I dont know yet whether I "train on" after my first IM race, to steal a phrase from horse racing, and if so whether this will work across a shorter distance. Ah well, I guess there is an easy way to find out!! Hotel booked for Frankfurt, hotel booked for Zurich, looks like IM 6 and IM 7 are on the way.

Back to the training. Needless to say running has been hampered by calf strain. rested up for the Dextro race at weekend and felt it go as I ran towards T1 out of the swim (new Oly p.b. of 24.06) had a good bike but not that fast (1.07-I have done very little by way of training since July14th) and managed about 800m of run before I packed it in.

So now a period of rehab, slow running... and then a little matter of the 26.2 miles on sept 12th. I know its probably not sensible but sometimes I just cant help myself... promise to self, take a taxi cab number and remember to run slowly.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Owls and stuff

Been back from hols for 7 days and it is clear I need more of them. My daughters and I had a fantastic time camping in France. The highlight was on a campsite in the Il de Re near La Rochelle. After a hard day of lying on the beach, eating oysters and steak, and lying on the beach again I found sleeping a real pleasure. On the second night there we were awoken by the blood curdling screech of a psychotic axe murderer, or a small owl depending on whether you were inside or outside the tent. Said owl was sat in the tree above our tent emitting its blood curdling noise to which there was a reply by his mate from the other side of the campsite... after a while it was no longer funny as we all stood outside our tent beneath the tree where the owl was doing its thing.

I shone our biggest torch on full beam and gave the owl a full on disco strobe effect. The owl started to jig from side to side "doing a Micheal Jackson" as my youngest put it, bobbing and weaving its head from side to side... but still giving it large with the terrible noise. It was one of the funniest things my daughters and I had ever seen. Each time we flashed the owl with the light it did some more bobbing.
Eventually when we stopped laughing and as the owl still showed no sign of going I threw a tent peg at it...well in the vicinity, the screeching stopped but there was aloud clanking as the peg fell onto the roof of the caravan next door! Back inside the tent we hid and giggled awaiting the shouts of an angry man from the caravan.. It never happened and eventually we giggled back to sleep.
Suffice to say that training was not a priority across the week although I did manage a beautiful 16km run around a lake with my 22 year old nephew ( he went out fast but blew at about 12 km- who says I am competitive) and a fantastic ride around the lake the day after on my MTB.
Back home and I have decided to try and swim every day in the build up to the dextro tri this weekend. Last week saw me put in 7 swims in 8 days (some kind of record I am sure) recording nearly 20KM. i wonder how the swim will go? As posted last time I am trying to mix and match my run training... so after the 4x 400m speed set and tried a tempo run friday and had to stop due to cramp in a hamstring! Sunday run had to be aborted as said strain had not ye settled.

Sadly the bike to has been somewhat neglected.. even the turbo session I tried did not seem to work since when I tried to push my willing was not there and I climbed of disconsolate. But hey you cant have it all and if the running and biking have to slide for a bit then so be it.. frankly I would much rather another week of screeching owls and french campsites.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Faster and Longer and Shorter and Slower or Something

So there goes another season of Ironmannery. I guess I should review the season's progress and stuff like that but I can do that another day. For now I plan to focus on my goals for the next few months which are essentially running.

Around this time last year I tried a bit of running (50 mins or more) for every day of september, as part of a planned build up to Luton Mara. I managed 29 runs in september and on the 30th ignored my body which was telling me I had had enough and followed the macho voice in my brain which said go for the last run to complete the goal. Result was me pulling up after 20 mins of running on stumps with a trashed calf muscle and my running suffered for most of this year as a consequence. So I learnt, yet again, to listen to my body and not the little voice in my head.

This year I want to learn to run faster. I plan to try and do some 10km style training while also building towards Luton Marathon. Goals are very simple, a sub 40 10km and a sub 3.15 mara. The first stages towards this include some fast work in the next 13 days before I do the London Dextro energy Tri. Can I start getting some fast twitch fibres back on line in that time? I will find out.

Once that is done I will start on some regular short interval work coupled with weight training and some plyometric type stuff. Obviously I will need to keep some long runs to keep me on track for a marathon and will enhance this by mixing in some hill sessions. The plan is to keep the running mixed and challenging whilst of course listening to my body and not the little voice in my head saying I could just do a bit more. Swimming will be done for recovery, bike will be maintained but running will be the focus. I will try and put up some planned sessions over the next few weeks and would welcome any advice on top sessions to improve my 10km speed (and no I am not doing a Maffetone- I want to feel fast rather than believe that at some far of point in the future I might be fast).
So thats clear then!