Posts Tagged ‘Training

30
Mar
14

jack of two trades

Longer evenings and a more temperate climate of late has meant that I could ramp up the training a little bit. The purchase of a new bike a few months back has also made me split my time between running and cycling.

Which means it would be sensible to split my planned events throughout the year into a combination of separate cycling and running events… So I have.

Last year, a cyclist friend and I found out too late about the Ellis 50 Miler so decided to schedule a long ride on the same day and aim to get to the Ellis 50 finish line as the main chunk of the field should begin to finish. Embarrassingly, a few bystanders mistook us for entrants and “clapped us home” as we were cycling towards the finish to cheer the real competitors home. There will be no such mistake this year as we got our entries in early and we can hopefully accept the spectators applause without guilt.

There is also the Dunwich Dynamo – one of my most favourite events – and Hauling My Carcass and I will once again tackle this overnight monster of a ride. Unusually, this year will be the first that either of us has had the luxury of a geared bike as all previous attempts have been on our single speeds. It will be interesting to see how the addition of gears alters the experience.

Running wise, I was disappointed to see that this year, my home race, the Hertford 10k isn’t being run. I love this race and was sniffing around for something else to do. My boss suggested that the next best thing to a home town race is a race local to your place of work so I have signed up for the Ealing Half Marathon at the end of September. I am hoping that the combination of a summer of running coupled with my cycling training will mean that I will get super skinny and super fast in time for this…?!?!

There is also the annual ridiculous European Adventure that HMC & I do every year. Regular readers will know that last year was a cycle trip to the Maas Half Marathon – this year is a little less ambitious although I suspect just as much fun as HMC, his wife and I head to Jersey to run a 5k on the Friday, a 10k Saturday and a Half Marathon on Sunday before flying home Sunday night.

And if that lot doesn’t get me motivated, I don’t know what will! It’s nice coming out of Winter and into Spring with a bunch of different events to aim for. To get me started, HMC have planned a 75km cycling jaunt across the South Downs next week which I am very much looking forward to. So it’s all go once again – exciting and a little daunting: just how I like it.

 

23
Sep
13

no internet no problem…

 

For the last 2 weeks, I have been unable to access the internet from work. Most people would immediately think that must be a bit of an inconvenience – not being able to catch up on the news at lunchtime or browse stuff on Amazon when things get quiet but it actually meant that it was almost impossible to get any work done at all. No emails. No access to online job systems means not being able to log jobs, raise Purchase Orders, close jobs down or raise invoices. I felt like I was suddenly being given work but with no means of getting it accomplished. What would normally be reasonable deadlines suddenly become very tight once you take away the luxury and speed of almost instantaneous electronic communication and the ability to send large files at the click of a mouse. The only way around it was to take to working one day at work and the next from home – ensuring that if I was at home, I could catch up on the previous days emails and jobs without too many distractions and hopefully get myself a little ahead so that the following day spent back in the technological dark ages did not inconvenience me too much.

The upside of this was the time that was normally taken up with my morning commute was instead used for a 10 – 11km run first thing. I would arrive home from my run, fire up the laptop, shower and be “at my desk” for 9am. Safe in the knowledge that the days run was complete and I was feeling focused and ready for the day . And, after almost 2 weeks of this, to go back to an hour’s commute each morning and the struggle to squeeze in a run was beginning to slowly gnaw away at me.

So on Sunday morning, I was up and out and determined to get a decent run in. It was fairly quiet out and I decided to forgo my usual route and instead head out on a route that I was using this time last year whilst training for the Berlin Marathon. An 18km mix of woodland trails and pavement that takes me out to the town I grew up in, around and back. It was the furthest that I had run in a few months and by the time I had finished I felt suitably weary but happy. So much so that I have just entered the Ware 10 Mile run which takes place in just under a month. The race is local to me and I have wanted to tackle it for a few years now but have always had to give priority to other things. This year, there was space in the diary and I am very much looking forward to it. Part of the course is very familiar to me although approximately 50% seems to be through areas that I do not know. It will be nice to discover some new routes to run whilst enjoying the fun of an organised race. I’ve the feeling I may need a few more long Sunday runs between now and then…

08
Jul
13

moving target

 

I was feeling a little paranoid last week. I can go for months and months without incident on the pushbike and then…

 

Last Saturday, I was up early for a brisk 12km run. There is something quite satisfying about arriving back home knowing that your run for the day is complete before most people have had breakfast. Sunday morning was similar except that, with the Dunwich Dynamo in just a few weeks, I decided to head out early on the bike, get about 50km done and be home in time for a cappuccino and some toast when the rest of the family decided to surface. About 20km in, I narrowly avoid being mown down by a bronze coloured 4×4 that came hurtling onto the roundabout that I was already on. A split second decision on my behalf, on whether to try and stop or just keep going as fast as I could, meant that the fast moving hunk of metal missed my back wheel by a few centimetres. About a minute later, the rush of adrenaline kicked in and I trembled my way through the next few kms. A few lovely, sweeping countryside kilometres later and I am back in town where another car narrowly misses me – this time by overtaking me and then turning immediately left in front of me.

 

I arrived home feeling a little shaken and incredibly lucky. After recounting the incidents to Mrs Eatingtrees and being told to “be careful”, I smugly enjoyed the rest of the day knowing that my exercise for the weekend was in the bag. Incredibly, the next day on the way to work, a car decided to slowly drift across the road and into the side of me whilst I was on the motorbike. Luckily, I managed to manouvre myself out of the way but not before his hubcap had worn a hole in my overtrousers. Another near miss and another upping of the paranoia quota.

 

Playing it safe, I decided that this week I would just concentrate on running – a quick 10k one evening after work and then 12km first thing Saturday before it got too hot. I was out by 8am but even then it was beginning to warm up. By the time I was nearing the end I was choosing which side of the path to run on based solely on which would offer the most shade. It seems that the weather has gone from Early Spring to High Summer in the space of a week and I find the transition from around 10 degrees to nearly 30 degrees saps my energy and turns runs into slogs. I am sure in another few weeks I will be used to running in these sorts of temperatures just as an Early Autumn sets in…

 

17
Jun
13

headwind / headache

 

As part of the planned training for the Dunwich Dynamo, Hauling My Carcass and I always undertake at least one long(ish) training ride. Looking back at the training rides that we have done, every single one has caused us some problems – the first year, HMC was struggling. Last year we got a little, ahem, mis-routed and ended up not only cycling further than we had planned (144kms) but also called it a day at one point and caught the train back. This year, we had planned a round trip to Cambridge – 120kms in total that had been whittled down from a 140km+ route that I had devised. Hauling My Carcass had been eyeing the weather forecast and there was a headwind that we would be riding into for the whole of the return leg so we erred on the side of caution.

 

And it all started so well… HMC arriving at mine just before 8am, a quick espresso and we were off – up the first hill and out of my home town. The first 10kms or so were on fairly busy roads and the world was beginning to wake up so we rode single file. As we got further off the main roads we could ride side by side and chat. A constant side wind from the left made the route tougher than expected but before long, we were arriving in Cambridge. We stopped in a park for lunch and got chatting to an old guy on a hybrid / mountain bike who stopped to ask us for directions before launching into long tales of his years of riding bikes across the UK and abroad.

 

Once we had finished lunch, we were off again and on our way back out of Cambridge. Before very long it was evident that HMC’s prediction of a strong headwind all the way home was horribly accurate. A nasty constant headwind with quite violent gusts saw us slow to a crawl and all the banter and chat of the mornings ride soon dissipated. We realised what we were up against when we found ourselves having to pedal downhill…

 

Meanwhile, what was making things worse (for me) was a creeping headache and feeling of nausea that was slowly getting worse. I began to drop behind. I felt awful and thought I was going to be sick. Another 30km and it began to rain – we discussed cutting the ride short. I was still riding slowly, taking deep breaths and trying not to throw up. It was all I could do to keep the pedals turning. HMC would ride ahead and then have to wait for me to catch up. With about 20kms still to go, the headache and nausea began to retreat just as the heavens opened and it absolutely bucketed down. Thunder was rumbling around and we were both covered in mud that was being thrown up from the track that we were cycling on. A final check of the route and we were back at mine just as the rain began to ease. Without the inclement weather and me feeling unwell it would have been a great route to cycle but the combination of headwind and sickness took all of the fun out of it.

 

And then a run on Sunday morning instigated a full blown Migraine and I suspect it was the early stages of this that had caused me to feel so wretched on the ride the day before. I resigned myself to it and went to bed.

 

So a big thank you to HMC who, even in the pissing rain, waited for me as I dragged my sorry self 60 odd kilometres back from Cambridge. And, now at least I have experienced the truly unpleasant whilst on a training ride – which hopefully is good preparation should it happen again.

 

11
Jun
13

enter the luddite

 

Friday evening, and after a horrific week at work, I decided that the only thing that would lift my spirits was to get out for a run after work. A weary 12kms was duly completed and although it was a plod, it did serve to at least forget about the week and prepare myself for the weekend.

I had hoped that the weather this weekend would resemble that of the previous weekend – bright clear morning and warm, sunny afternoons. Unfortunately, grey cloud was in evidence so when I woke up on Sunday and looked out of the window, all enthusiasm for a long bike ride evaporated.

So I decided to tackle Mrs Eatingtrees’ bike instead. Inspired by what I had seen in Holland and Belgium, I was going to fit a rack to the back of the wife’s bike, adjust the brakes, cut down the handlebars and turn it from a mountain bike into something that more suited what it was actually used for – nipping to the shops or going on a picnic. All was well until I attempted to adjust the derailleur – it had long been neglected and shifted to some of the gears although not always reliably. I had adjusted gears on my mountain bikes before… what could possibly go wrong?

3 hours later and I am stood in the back garden, a face like thunder, trying to Google information on derailleur adjustment with hands covered in a thick layer of stick and slightly gritty chain grease. Nothing I could do seemed to improve the situation and I became increasingly frustrated… how could something so seemingly simple refuse to work so stubbornly.

Eventually, I put the bike angrily back in the garage and gently seethed for the rest of the day at my inability to fix it.

After last weeks bout of gear envy, I am firmly back in the singlespeed camp as no amount of slowly grinding my way up hills can compare with the frustration of being beaten into submission by a few twisty bits of metal, some cogs and some cabling!




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