Ironman Training Week 3 (of 52…)


In Which I Ride LOADS

Monday
Today, I began week 3 of ironman lanzarote training with a run home. The training plan I’m following called for a 45 min run, which took me 47 minutes. Quite warm.

Tuesday
I rode the normal way to work then had a shower. (After I got off the bike.) After work I rode for 45 mins aiming for 100+ rpm but as I’m too lazy to set up my bike gizmo rpm track thing, I was trying to count in my head. Think I did it. Total of 12 mile for the day.

Wednesday
I was working 6-6 today but swapped my shift to work 10-9 (see? All going on over here!) this meant I could get my run out of the way in the morning, so I ran to work. Totally misjudged the distance though as I went a different way round, and so ended up looping quite a bit through the nice (ahem!) areas of Bradford. 10km done (including lots of hills) in just over an hour.

Thursday
Rest day! Hooray! Also, it was Sarah’s granddad birthday. (Norman, who did his first ever triathlon last year at age 83. Read about it here ) We went up to his house on the evening and he told me that I could borrow his road bike that he’d bought the year before, so that I could get some proper practice in. Very nice of him! (4x) Ironman Tony said we’d go for a ride on Sunday.

Friday
Today was another hour run, so did the 10km circuit around home which takes in plenty of hills (and so plenty of downhills.)

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Later on in the day I had my first ever go on a road bike. Chuffing hell was I nervous! Only did 2 miles, due to having tired legs, but I got up to 32mph!

Saturday
Brick day. Rode to work on the road bike, too it steady due to nerves. After work I rode 30 mins home then went out straight away for a mile run. (This was after a 12 hour shift..!)

Sunday
As promised, Ironman Tony picked me up at 08:10 ready to get out for a proper go on Normans road bike. Drove down to shipley where we got ready to set off in the rain. Tonys brother Peter was gonna come, but turns out he’s scared of the rain. Think he might be from Oz. While we were getting ready, Nigel (another brother) pulled up to say hello. He was on his way north to take part in the great north swim in the Lake District (2 mile swim.)

Then, we were off. Pouring down so were soaked within the first mile. I thought we’d be the only idiots riding in this weather, but no, there were loads out on the roads.

I followed Ironman Tony and kept his pace through Saltaire, Cottingly and around Bingley. There were a lot of ups and downs (as the road went up and down) and eventually we reached Skipton where we stopped for a coffee. (Tony had tea.)

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We’d covered 15miles in little over an hour. That’s the fastest if ever gone!

Drinks drunk (drank?) we were off again and the rain stopped. More hills on the next part of the ride, but more countryside which was nice. Saw a sheep that reminded me of our cat, which isn’t something you see everyday. Unless you have a sheep and a cat and the sheep looks like your cat.

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Skirted around North Yorkshire to Bolton Abbey, saw a big horse show then a big horse shit, then joined the main rode again and headed towards… I want to say Burnley in Wharfdale? Not sure. We stopped for a pit stop though, and I took this pic.

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Right, last bit of the ride. Went up a long, steady upwards hill towards Guiesley and then turned down the big hill towards Shipley (got to 35mph.) Saw Tonys car, but asked if we could ride a little bit further to get my tomtom watch ticking over to the next number. Finally, done.

Before today my longest ever ride was 20 miles. Today we did 40 miles in just under 3hours. Chuffed!

Ironman Training Week 3
Swam: 0 miles
Cycled: 64.17 miles
Ran: 18 miles
Total time: 7h 54m 15s

In Other News
This:

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Ironman Training Week 2 (of 52…)


In Which I Keep At It
Week two done with already! Where’s the time going? 1/26th of the way finished!

Monday
Cycled to work, then cycled further home. Uneventful.

Tuesday
I didn’t start work until 10 so used the late start as a chance to get an early run done. Set off from work at 8 (just as the rain started, the bugger) and ran into Shipley then into Bradford. (Which is where I work. Which is why I went there.)

It measured just under 6 miles so ran up and down in front of work for a bit to get my tracker to click onto 6 miles. (To the amusement of Sean who I work with, and who was standing out front on his break. Think his actual words were ‘you look like a bit of a twat.’)

Handily, in our staff room at work we have a shower. (Not IN the staff room, in a separate room next to the staff room.) Unhandily, there was no hot water. I mentioned it to the maintenance bloke later on (after a cold shower) and he told me about the pull cord right next to the shower that turns on the hot water. Didn’t feel stupid at all.

Wednesday
Rest Day! Yay!

Thursday
Day off from work so went out for a steady 10km (6.2mile) run. I ran quite well and was happy to keep a 9min/mile pace and finished in 55:55! That even included hills!

Friday
Worked 12 hours (6 til 6) then ran 10km home. Quite tired and a bit achy, but managed to do it in 01:02:00. It’s only just over a year ago that that was my PB, so to be able to do it after 12 hours on my feet and having done a 10k the day before isn’t too bad!

Saturday
Used today for brick day. (Cycle followed straight away by a run.) Worked 12 hours again (what the hell, work?!) so really didn’t fancy the run bit. (Or the bike bit either.) Rode 6 miles then ran just under 2. Tiredly.

Sunday
Day off again, and the training plan called for 1 1/2 hours on the bike. Rode down to the canal then decided to aim towards Leeds for 40mins, turn around and ride back. (Knowing that I’d be slower on the way back as last 2 miles are uphill.)

It was a nice sunny afternoon so plenty of people on the canal path, most of which were too chuffing ignorant to move out of the way. When I started riding through the puddles they moved though!

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After I reached 40 mins I stopped for a drink of my water. Swallowed it wrong so just as a family rode by I choked a bit and spat water everywhere, felt a bit daft so started riding home.

Bit further along was a group of lads with a puncture who looked like they had given up so I stopped and asked if they were ok. They told me the inner tube was shredded so I did the nice thing and gave them my spare inner tube. Wasn’t til I started riding again that I realised I was about 8 miles from home with no spare inner tube so decided to be more careful around the stones. Got home safe!

Ironman Training Week 2
Swam: 0 miles
Cycled: 33 miles
Ran: 20 miles
Total time: 6h 07m 43s

#TrainHardFinishEasy

Ironman Training Week 1 (of 52…)


In Which I Proper Start My Training
After a lovely week in lanzarote, and a lovely few days off afterwards, I got my training plan for Ironman Lanzarote 2015 organised. And when I say ‘my training plan’, I mean I copied one from a book.

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That book.

In the book, as well as telling you all about time management, strength training, mental training and healthy eating, it gives you three different training plans depending on whether you want to finish strong, finish good, or just finish. Each plan is split into three 10 week schedules, base, build and peak.

All the plans are based on time, not distance, so it’s easy to plan around work.

I have exactly 52 weeks until Ironman Lanzarote, and as it happens 21 weeks until York Marathon.

That means I can follow the toughest plan for the 10 week base, then 10 week build stages, have a week taper for Yorkshire Marathon followed by a week recovery, then follow a full 30 week plan.

If I’ve coped ok with the tougher training schedule I’ll start that again from the beginning, but if I found it tough I’ll drop down to the intermediate program.

I’ve finished the first week though, and so far so good!

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My first week was set as follows (with what I actually did in brackets):

Monday – 30min run. (34min)
Tuesday – 1hr bike. (1h 4min)
Wednesday – 30min bike. (19min to work + 30min home)
Thursday – 30min run. (32min)
Friday – Rest (Rested)
Saturday – 30min bike, 15min run (17min ride to work, 27min ride home then 15min run)
Sunday – 45min run (45min run)

Total distance of 40 miles (13 run, 27 cycled.)

But! I hear you cry, But! What about swimming?!

Ah swimming! Not started training that yet, next week should be starting proper triathlon swimming lessons. So there!

Of course it’s only fair that I direct you to where you can buy your very own copy of Be Iron Fit by Don Fink and that’s here: Be Iron Fit

In Other News
Started healthy eating (haven’t had any alcohol in over a week, cut down on bread and so far lost 3lbs in my first week!) Noticed this on Ainsley Harriott couscous.

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Calm down Ainsley mate.

Holiday Hijinks


In Which I Go On Holiday

Last Thursday myself and Sarah (and lots of family and friends) flew out to Lanzarote to watch Ironman Tony and Ironman Rob compete (once again) in Ironman Lanzarote.

Our flight was two hours delayed which we spent (expensively) in the bar, staring at the departures board but before long we boarded (no longer bored-ed) and bound for Lanzarote.

The best thing about the delay was it gave a chavvy family plenty of time to get VERY drunk and annoy every single passenger, which wasn’t in the slightest bit irritating and reading this back I realise I have no way to convey sarcasm in my writing. Might try using italics next time.

Plane landed, drunk family got arrested, we picked up our bags and also a taxi (taxi from outside the airport, didn’t take our own) then got checked in. Straight out for all you can eat Chinese food, then to bed.

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Friday
HA! Look how sarcastic Friday looks! Stupid Friday.

I woke up quite early and straight away got up and dressed into my running gear before my head said “You chuffing wazzock, go back to sleep.”

Out the door of the apartment and my word was it hot! 8:30am and it was already 23 degree C! I walk down the hill to the main strip of Puerto Del Carmen and turned left to start my run. Would’ve been a better idea to have brought water though.

I set my GPS watch going and felt smug. There were LOADS of runners out and about and probably all of them had a bottle of water, so looked smugger-er than me.

Puerto Del Carmen is brilliant for runners and cyclists as there’s a cycle path which runs (pun!) the whole way along the beach side, and plenty of shops where you can stop for a bottle of water so long as you remember to bring some money out (which of course I didn’t.)

Checking my watch, I turned around after 2.5km and ran back the way I came. (Obviously.)

Before too long I looked and it said 5km (3.1mile) so stopped running but carried on sweating. Walked back to our apartment and drank about 8 litres of water, then straight in the shower. 5km time was 25:19. My second ever fastest!

Me and Sarah had frozen yoghurt.

Saturday – Ironman Day
Our Ironman Day was pretty much the same as last year, due to it being the same race and everything. Which is why I’m not doing as much of a recap as last year. Suppose I could copy and paste it, but I’m a bit lazy. Not even gonna link to it to be honest. Anyway!

We watched Tony and Rob complete the 2.4mile swim then set off on their bikes to ride 112miles.

Back at the apartment complex we had some food and mooched around for a bit and I decided to get in the pool and try some swimming. As you know (because you remember everything about me and my life) I only learnt to swim last year. It’s been about 10 months since I last swam though, and the furthest I’ve ever swum was about 8 lengths so just decided to swim til tired. I set the swim function on my watch and got going.

Sarah was sat at the poolside for a while so kept stopping for a little chat, then carried on swimming up and down, keeping an eye on the distance. I swam half a mile. HALF A MILE! Not the fastest in the world (33:25) but it’s a good base!

Ironman Rob finished Ironman Lanzarote in 12h 19m, Ironman Tony finished in 15h 05m. All very proud of them both! (Again!)

Me and Sarah had ice cream.

Sunday
After the business of the day before, it was organised as being a ‘lazy poolside day.’ I got up early again and went for another 5km run, same route as before but this time I took a bottle of water. For some reason, this slowed me down a bit (I know it wasn’t the water, it was due to the long swim!) but I still managed the 3.1mile in 27:11. Happy with that!

The afternoon was a BBQ in the pool bar, all you can eat, so made good use of THAT!

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Monday
Decided to try a bike ride today, and had a wander down to rent a bike (which is the main ingredient needed for a bike ride I hear.) A mountain bike rented for 2 hours, plus helmet and bike lock, 5 Euros! Bargain! (When I asked for a helmet he looked at me and said ‘your head… Is a large.’ Yeah, thanks Pedro.)

I decided to aim for around ten miles so set my watch going and got the bike going. Zigged and Zagged through the runners and slower cyclists and made my way towards the airport along the cycle path. On one section it narrowed slightly, and there were a group of elderly people all along the cycle lane. No problem, my bike has a bell on it for situations such as this, but as my bike was at home and I was on a cheap 5 Euro rental bike there was no bell attached.

What do I say? Had to think quick, getting closer. Do I cough? Closer still. I could just slow down and say ‘excuse me?’ Whoops, hidden dip! I’ve sped up! Quick!

“BIKE!!” I yelled, causing the oldies to part like Moses parted that sea. (Thinking on it, one looked old enough to BE Moses. Poor bloke.)

Phew. Safely by. Followed the route by the airport and noticed a large hotel in the distance which I knew to be in Arrecife. Aim for that.

Got there and pulled over to the side to have some water. (Remembered my water!) Checked my watch and it said just over 8 miles. Felt good! Few minutes to catch my breath, then headed back the way I came.

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There’s a bit of the cycle path that’s been dug up at the moment so had to go inland a little bit but there were no cars so felt confident enough. That lasted until I realised I was going up a one way street the wrong way. Also, as well as going the wrong way, due to Lanzarote being part of Spain they drive on the opposite side of the road to us, so rode on the wrong side of the street for a bit too. Was very happy to see the cycle path!

Got my legs pumping and got back to the bike shop having riden just over 16miles in just under 1h 16mins, then handed over the bike. Gave the spaniard my large helmet too. (Snigger.)

Me and Sarah had frozen yoghurt.

Tuesday
Sore legs today so took it easy most of the day. Mentioned to Nigel I was thinking about trying another swim so he decided to swim too. I wasn’t expecting too much from this swim, having swum my furthest ever two days before, but pushed it and pushed it and, in a time of a little over an hour, swam A FULL CHUFFING MILE!

Me and Sarah had a strawberry/cream/yoghurt thingy.

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Wednesday
Told Ironman Tony I was off to rent a bike again and he said he’d come along. Did the same route as before, but went further this time and turned around in the centre of Arrecife at ten miles. Came back along a VERY windy cycle track and back to the shop having completed just over 20 miles in 1h 42m. Very very glad with all the holiday training!

Sarah had an ice cream.

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Thursday
Went home. :(

After talking with both Ironmen (and Ironman Mark who owns the pool bar) I’m very VERY set on doing Ironman Lanzarote next year. I’m not a fool though (no matter what ANYONE) says so am going to assess my fitness and training in August, to see how I’m getting on.

In Other News
Hope you’re all well!

Marathon Day! (For some…)


In Which I Don’t Run A Marathon

Sometimes things don’t work out the way you think they will, but they end up working out for the best. There was a scientist once, who tried to do an experiment and his results resulted in other results than the results he expected to be… re… sulted…

In another example, I once asked for a meatball sandwich in Subway but they had no herb and cheese bread so I went for WHEAT bread and it turns out I like wheat bread so I now always ask for wheat bread (but only when there’s no herb and cheese bread) so I’m sure you see what I’m saying here.

I didn’t run manchester marathon.

On Thursday I followed my carb loading plan, and I followed it again on Friday. After work on Friday though, my head was hurting. And so were my legs. No biggie.

On Saturday morning I was full of cold, sore throat and sneezing and everything. As the day went on at work, the cold eased off a bit but my legs ached more than the previous day. Also, my head still hurt.

I remember the other two marathons I did and how tough they were, even when I was feeling a 100%, and currently felt about 65%.

Which is why I decided to not go ahead with the marathon.

Turns out that working six days in a row of ten hour shifts, with 9 hours of those spent on my feet, isn’t the best marathon prep.

For the next marathon I enter I’ll make sure I booked the days before the marathon off work too so I can rest!

Well done to all those who DID race though, especially everyone who ran Sheffield 1/2 after being told at the start line that it had been cancelled due to the water not being delivered. They ran anyway, and the people lining the route used their own money to buy water to hand out to the runners. Bless ‘em!

Birthday & Bradford 10k Recap


In Which I Age, And In Which I Run A Run

14th March 2014
Today, was my birthday. I turned 32. I realise I’ve not gotten your card yet, but there’s still time. (There’s still time.)

Amongst other presents (Honey Jack Daniels, Thor 2, Aftershave and stuff) I got my very first ever GPS watch from my lovely wife Sarah.

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Obviously, I went out and tested it the same day. It. Is. Awesome. I only ran a mile because I had birthday beer to go drink and I was pleased with how easy it is to use. It also came with a heart rate monitor and bike thingy (sorry if I got too technical there.)

Also downloaded the app to my phone, so it syncs to it as soon as I’m done running. Brilliant!

The rest of my birthday was spent with family, and with alcohol. Lots of both.

15th March 2014
Oww, my head!

16th March 2014
Ironman Tony picked me up around 8, and we then went to get Susan and Hannah and drove the 2 miles into Bradford for a hometown 10k.

We met up with ironman Rob and before long lined up for the start of the race. It was very windy where the start was, but the sun was hinting at making an appearance.

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Got my watch going, searching for satellites and it found one with a minute or so. After a speech from the Mayor, we were away.

Both Ironmen were out of sight straight away, which I’m used to by now. I kept an eye on my watch and made sure I was staying around the 8:30mi/mile. (Minutes per mile)

The course took us around the Westfield development, then up a hill into Little Germany. (Never seen a German there. Not even a little one.) The pack thinned out a little, but not much. Think everyone ran up that hill.

From Little Germany we turned right, along Canal Rd towards Shipley. 2km marker flew by, and we then turned off to the right towards Gaisby Lane. Back around to the left, then back right on Canal Rd again. The turn around point was almost in Shipley, and right at the top of the hill. Quick check of my watch showed 08:30, so all good there.

Reaching the water station I took some water, then had to slow down to a walk to drink it as it was in a cup. Splashed a bit on my face, then set off running again, back up to 08:30 pace.

Then the sun came out.

Chuffing hell did it get warm! I was glad to get back towards Bradford town centre where it was more built up so more shade. The run was going quick, probably because I knew the area so knew how far was left to go.

There was a decent crowd lining the last few hundred metres, but as soon as I turned into it the wind hit me full on. Guess the buildings were acting as a wind tunnel, but it was head on which didn’t help.

Reached the end, stopped my watch and looked at the time.

52:49. My newest PB! (And on a hometown race, too!)

Also, I’d gotten this mention on twitter:

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Met up with the others, then straight into Lloyd’s for a breakfast and a coffee. (Then beer..!)

Myself and Ironman Tony had run in our Mad Dog 10k shirts, and when in Lloyd’s someone said to us “Easily the best race shirts I’ve seen today.” Bless him.

Forgetfulness
Other day, Sarah said that she thinks a race number had arrived in the post, but addressed to someone else.

Shhhhh……….it.

Best explain: back in about January, a bloke on twitter (whose name is on the envelope) had offered entry into a race because it no longer fit into his schedule. I snapped it up, then forgot all about it.

Fast forward two months.

Envelope in hand, I opened it up and took out the contents. Sure enough, a race number. For the 6th April (three weeks away.) Manchester MARATHON.

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Yep, getting that used to running that I FORGET THAT IM ENTERED INTO A CHUFFING MARATHON IN LESS THAN A MONTH!

Let’s see how that goes!

March-ing On! (March, get it?!)


In Which I Get Faster, But Shouted At

Last Sunday I couldn’t really be bothered going out running, but had a word with myself and got up and went.

I’d planned out a roughly-1/2-marathon route a few days before, so grabbed my iPod, gels and drink and set off.

Worked my way along the pavements of eccleshill and idle, then worked my way down towards the canal which was around the 4 mile mark. It had rained a bit through the night and it killed me seeing the mud splashing on my Brooks. :(

Plenty busy down there though (down on the canal, not down on my feet) saw loads of runners and cyclists, all happy to be out and about.

Reached the turn around point at shipley (roughly 8mile) and set off back again to the start of the canal. Felt quite good all the way and got there (about 12 mile) with a mixture of running/walking. Looked at my tracker and it said 11.

Bugger.

Sucked it up then carried on for the last couple miles.

Before that run my quickest 13.1miles was 02:07. My new quickest 13.1miles is 02:01! So close to getting under 2 hours! Maybe next time.

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After work this week I decided to cycle the longer way home which works out around 7 miles, but is a bit flatter so can get some speed up.

I’d reached some traffic lights at a funny shaped junction and got in the left hand lane, for going straight ahead (or turning left, I guess.)

To go straight ahead where I wanted to head, you have to turn left a bit first then turn back to the right because it’s a stupidly shaped junction, plus then there’s a crossing island in the middle. Rush hour traffic, plus darkness and on a bike meant I took the turn slowly and steadily.

Shocked then, was I, when a car tried overtaking me on the right, right before the traffic island and he started shouting at me!

“WRONG LANE MATE!”

I was shocked at how close he’d gotten and that I was being told off so forgot to swear. Instead, I shouted “YOU WHAT?” (Brilliant comeback, me.)

I must’ve looked right angry because he looked shocked, wound his window up and sped off.

Luckily for him, it was then uphill. Otherwise I’d’ve rode him down like the Demon Bike Rider.

I was proper annoyed at him and to prove to myself that I had every reason to be annoyed, I went on Google earth. (That well known stress reliever.)

Didn’t know the name of the road, so traced my journey back to see if I could find the junction.

Found it, then zoomed in to see if there were any road markings visible to prove me right, and (due to the wonder of modern technology) there were, and I could make them out quite clearly.

So to that bloke in the car, the one who shouted at me when he said I was in the wrong lane, I say this:

“I was in the wrong lane. Sorry about that.”