Early morning run this morning. Bright sun when I left the house that turned into a downpour of rain at the start of the run.
However I’m in the frame of mind at the moment where a little bit of rain won’t dampen my spirits to get the run done.
This was a very strong run, it was an increase in interval distance and overall duration however the legs felt good, aerobically I feel I have strengthened and the distances for the intervals and the shorter duration of rest relative to that interval was challenging but not difficult.
I’m very pleased with the progress in the running, mainly confidence building and I am actually enjoying getting outside to run in the morning.
It is no longer a chore and I no longer procrastinate on it. In my opinion running outside regularly and consistently is the only way to build your running performance and fitness. I’m in the zone!
Out early again for a run this morning As part of the training plan. This was another interval session to build run fitness and to get the commitment to training back as a regular feature of my working week. 5km total.
It felt good this morning. Compared to weeks before this was a confident run with all the metrics feeling that they are moving in the right direction.
The sun wasn’t shining until after the run and it was a little windy but we got it done and another milestone towards run fitness and triathlon training ticked off. Getting there!
When you wake up early in the morning and you don’t look for excuses and you don’t over think about how much of a struggle your run is going to be you know things are going in the right direction. Of course it does help that it was nice and sunny and not freezing cold but my mindset has changed recently (with some help) so when I got up this morning at 5 am to do an interval set leading to total distance of 5km I was pleased with my approach mentally.
As you would’ve seen from my previous posts we are incrementally building the running back into the training plan and taking things easy and slowly raising the distance in the interval frequency. Today was a strong run, took a little while for me to get warmed up once I was born I took the post moderate for eight x two minute intervals. When I consider three weeks ago running one lamppost and walking on lamppost and feeling completely devastated by the end of the session I realise how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time.
My fitness is heading in the right direction, I’ve change my diet slightly and overall I’m pleased with progress so far. There is a fair way to go until some races late in the summer but I am gradually building towards those. I’ve noticed great improvement in my fitness on the bike, out on the run and in the swim sessions. One key change I have made is to do all my runs outside and not on a treadmill. This is meant that every run is preparation towards racing and in particular it doesn’t feel like I am starting from scratch every time I infrequently go out for a run outside following numerous runs on the treadmill. I feel this is really important.
Two 5K runs in a week. That’s progress. We build from here. Have a good day everybody.
Out early for the usual Tuesday morning run. Week three of the training plan for triathlons in the Summer. This morning was run two lampposts, walk 1 lamppost for 8 mins x 2 and ten mins warm up and warm down (jogging). We started this running fitness journey three weeks ago and in that time we have gone from finding the short run walk sessions to be devastating in terms of realisation that the four months I took off from running I lost so much fitness to this morning where everything felt okay.
I am, by no means, even close to being where I want to be at but this morning‘s run was extremely encouraging. It was yet again another run walk session however it was longer and we managed 5K. The intervals felt less traumatic and all the indications are that my form felt better and my heart rate stayed lower and the pace at which I ran those intervals was more comfortable.
Consistency is the key and starting from a base level of almost starting from scratch has helped.
The data is not important, however using it to benchmark against past running has demonstrated that there is improvement. Running is my least favourite of the three disciplines but I have not felt in trepidation from going out early and running the sessions over the last three weeks. I’ve actually (shhh don’t tell anyone) enjoyed these runs. We go again on Thursday, gradually building these runs up every week and incrementally increasing the distance and times of the intervals.
I’ve been on this current fitness journey since 2017. At the point of getting a personal trainer and joining a gym. I had no idea how much of a change I would be making to my lifestyle. I was overweight, I was eating all the wrong sorts of foods, I wasn’t exercising enough and I had been struggling for many years with confidence in my appearance.
Since then, despite a number of struggles recently to maintain an interest in training and a lack of commitment or focus on fitness objectives I have learnt so much about myself. I know what works, I know what doesn’t work, I like to shout about achievements (no matter how small they are) but I recognise my limitations and understand how important it is to focus on myself and my objectives and not those of others.
Yesterday I deleted Strava. Over the last 12 months I’ve ignored it and it doesn’t serve a useful purpose for me. This week I have run twice and not looked at the watch knowing it is not important. I have come a long way in not being focused on trying to be someone else and as a result I recognise that I will do what I need to do not what others expect me to do. Don’t get me wrong, I have an interest in other peoples achievements and I think the fitness communities on social media are amazing. People are so supportive and always willing to offer advice.
When I look back over the last five years of this journey I realise just how far I’ve come in understanding the importance of prioritising my objectives and not suffering from imposter syndrome that I have been guilty of before.
My fitness objectives this year are:
Make training fun and each session an experience to reflect positives from.
Get better at running – look at positives not negatives of running so that the mental side of my running doesn’t affect my efforts. I’ll do this by running regularly and consistently and gradually building.
Get my motivation and consistency of training back. Training cycling, running and swimming consistently after 5 months of inconsistency.
Take part in some races – 5km swim (for charity), aquabike mid distance and triathlons (sprint or Olympic).
It’s been the first week of training this week and I’ve enjoyed getting back into it. Getting up early, getting the kit on and out the door has been a good achievement. No excuses, taking each section of the run as it comes and not looking at data has helped.
2020 has been… well interesting. It’s not been great and we all had such great hopes for it at the end of 2019. All plans soon came crashing down when it became apparent that we all needed to really take this strange virus serious. Covid-19 came into our world in March 2020 and like a guest you don’t want to stay with you it just doesn’t seem to want to go! Like Brexit, it’s been the news article we have all really wanted to avoid listening to. A lot of people have been so badly affected by the pandemic and tragically a lot of people have lost their lives. Mental health has been a subject that we all recognise as a consequence of the pandemic but the true cost of the pandemic will be the affect it has had on people’s mental health. I have experienced it in my own family and in the future it will have wrecked lives of my friends. I just hope we are on our way out of this, it doesn’t feel like it but we can all hope!
So, what did I achieve in 2020 despite of it all. Here is my summary:
Having lost the use of a gym and swimming pool, I did home out workouts (a lot) and swam in a lake twice a week. I found not being able to swim affected me more than I thought it would.
I worked from home all the time, spending 20+ hours a week in conference / video calls on average. I don’t think that working from home and being on conference calls all the time is very healthy and the recent lock down really has impacted my ability to sleep properly. I only went to the office once or twice a week but I realise that small amount of time out of the house is so so important.
I trained hard, got a new triathlon coach who is brilliant and I have progressed (I think so anyway) so much under her coaching.
I started a Masters in Applied Exercise Physiology in September, I passed my first module in November. The Masters has answered so many questions for me about my training and how to get the best out of myself and others physiologically. This is a good grounding for a future in coaching. I look forward to the rest of the course.
Not being able to take part in any races during 2020 was tough, nothing really in comparison to what some people have had to endure but it was hard. I did take part in some virtual events but they weren’t the same as actually being in transition waiting to put on the wetsuit.
Some things we will all no doubt remember about 2020:
Video calls, so many video calls!
Shaking hands became odd (I was never a fan anyway);
Face coverings became a routine (for most);
Queueing for the supermarket became a thing, shortage of toilet rolls and pasta was a thing too;
U-turns by HM Government become a weekly event;
Staying at home, eating out to help out/ then not!
Tiers became a defining factor of regions;
Home work outs;
Video call quizzes.
So what are my goals for 2021:
Above all, I hope we get through this pandemic and the vaccine gets rolled out quickly to avoid any more serious hospitalisations or worse. I hope we can return to normality and be able to see friends and family in person. I miss people!
Finish my first year on a two year masters course.
5km outside run PB;
Brighton Half Marathon;
2 x Standard Triathlons (1.5km swim, 40/45km bike, 10km run);
Ironman 70.3 (1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21km run;
Aquabike (1.9km swim and 60km bike).
Starting my Youtube channel linking my studies to the training I do for triathlon.
I wish you all the very best for 2021 and let’s put 2020 firmly behind us. I very much am very grateful to everyone that has joined in my experiences during 2020 and before and the community and help I have received from those I have met through my social media. I hope we can share our experiences further in the future.
Let’s talk about swimming pool etiquette or the distinct lack of it. I swim on average three to four times a week and average about 7 – 9km of swimming a week. I enjoy my swimming, its something I look forward to, although that is changing.
Over the years I have experienced a distinct lack of respect in the pool from swimmers who frankly don’t care about other swimmers or those around them trying to swim.
There are those that choose to swim in the fast lane when (and this is said with respect) they have no intention to swim fast. They idle along with a backstroke or a breast stroke at a pace that makes it very difficult for those wanting to swim fast to actually do anything more than 2 lengths before having to stop and wait for the person to get far enough away to do a couple more lengths. It’s actually dangerous especially when you are joined by another swimmer and you take the risk to pass the slow swimmer only to find that you have to stop or crash into the oncoming traffic.
I have taken the approach in recent times to tell the person that they need to be in the other lane but often there is either the shrug of the shoulders or I am told to get lost or that they have as much right to be in the lane as I have. Not true – the rules are on the wall and they are designed not to disenfranchise someone from the far lane but for health and safety of those swimming. I have collided with swimmers a few times over the recent months and I always get the look as if I am in the wrong. Not true, I don’t collide with other faster swimmers, it’s those taking care of their log impressions.
It is also not ok to walk in a swimming pool fast lane when others are swimming. Yes, I have experienced this too recently, the person that decides to stop. swimming and walk out the rest of his lengths. Good apparently for those recovering from injury, great in fact but do it in the slow lane when others aren’t trying to swim!
I have also recently experienced those that have decided it is a great place to piggy back the girlfriend whilst walking up the middle of the fast lane. This makes no sense to me, it can only be something that the person feels will upset the swimmers in the pool and done deliberately!
I’ve had to put up with this for years of swimming and complaints do no good. I even told the person on a recent swim she was disrupting people swimming and suggested politely to move to another lane. She shrugged her shoulders and continued to swim on her back slowly! It’s frustrating and tarnishing the sport I love. Shorter sets are OK but the longer sets don’t work with these people in the pool!
July was a big month in terms of training. Most significantly I changed my approach to running by not paying a lot of attention to pace and concentrating on feel. I ramped up my running during July and then for the total distance for two years. Running felt good but it has been difficult to change mindset but I can see the benefit.
More recently I am now concentrating on heart rate training and one week in I’m finding it beneficial. Having concentrated on open water swimming queue to the lockdown, it has been good this month to be able to get back into the pool. Really enjoying the swimming and getting back into some of the more aerobic interval session. I recorded a new FTP from cycling during last month, the interval sessions really paying off. Really looking forward to training during August and hopefully doing a few events at the end of the season in September. Exciting times!
It would’ve been easy to have not run this morning given the rain and high winds at 7.30am. I ran 7km without looking at my Garmin and just running to feel. This is my second time of doing this and its helping me cope with getting back into running outside where I have had issues with run confidence having spent most of my time in lockdown running on a treadmill.
First half of the first 5K was horrible, wet and a terrible headwind and was slow. Following the turn it felt like my legs were released from shackles and I was able to step up the pace a little bit despite the rain. Then we turned again to finish off the last 2km back into the headwind and up the hill for what would be my slowest kilometre of the run. I finished the run, the kilometres are in the bag and I’m glad I got it done outside and not just retreated to the treadmill again.
I spent most of lockdown running on the treadmill and rebuilding my run confident outside and I have been convincing myself that the pace is not important to me. I’m starting from the beginning again and hopefully will get back to where I was a year ago by getting consistent runs outside in all weathers.
I’m guilty of overthinking my runs, thinking about what people think of my running on Strava but I’m learning to ignore and just put in the miles and the performance will increase. I felt strong in the last two runs and I will get better and my endurance is there, I just need to build my running legs and pace from scratch.
I finished the run today with a hill rep up a steep hill to prove to myself I had more in the legs.