Monthly Archives: September 2010

Rat Race 2010

This weekend I spend the Saturday night and Sunday running and cycling round the ‘mean streets’ of London in a adventure race round the capital. I was a bit apprehensive as I drive down to London as I still wasn’t feeling 100% after having had the boy’s lurgy and didn’t want a weekend activity to break me or make me ill again. In the end after the weekend apart from being a little tired I felt better than I had done for ages.

Saturday night saw the ‘mean streets’ event, a 2 1/2 hour orienteering run round central London with my two fellow team mates, also having to do complete challenges at the checkpoints to gain points. After the best part of 20 checkpoint, a failed golfing challenge and a pot of cockles, we finished and ended up coming 30th from 260ish teams. Not a bad nights work. A big carb heavy dinner and an early night saw us ready for the next challenge.

Sunday saw us start with a brief run round the north of the Thames between millennium bridge and tower beige before hitting the roads on the bikes and spending the next 7 hours cycling round London, again doing challenges such as absailing from the oval cricket ground and canoeing in the docklands before heading back to HQ at tower bridge.

The end results showed we came 33rd out of all the people who took part in both the Saturday and Sunday, coming 16th in our category (mixed teams). All in all not a bad weekend.

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Coming back from illness

Managed to get to the gym this morning. I had planned a PT session but fortunately my trainer had to cancel. I say fortunately as I did a light work out in the running machine and bike only to find still not over being ill. Managed to run for 5mins at 15 kph before I had to stop due to tiredness in my muscles and in the bike I couldn’t get over 110rpm for more than 30 seconds or so. Even the rowing machine proved too much work and in the end just sacked it off. Might try again later in the week.

Illness, blergh

So after the Leeds tri I managed to catch some form or lurgy from the little boy. This has meant a serious lack of training over the last week. Matters haven’t  been helped by forgetting my trainers this morning meaning a nice light session was out of the question. Well there is always tomorrow.

Last tri of the season

Well Sunday say the last triathlon of the 2010 season with me taking part in the Leeds Triathlon at Roundhay Park.

I went into the race knowing that a PB was not on the cards as it was a much tougher course than at Allerthorpe where I hit the seasons PB the previous race, with more hills on both the bike and the run. This race was mainly against myself, my brother who despite it being his first season was getting better and better and the rest of the NCT Tri boys.

The race got started a little late with my wave starting at just gone 9am. For the start of the race I tried to position myself to the front of the pack to keep clear of the mass of flailing arms and legs. This didn’t quite work as quite a few people managed to muscle in front of me. Once the race was under way and I managed to navigate through the mass of bodies at the start I settled into a nice swim rhythm, which felt comfortable but not massively quick. Having said that I managed to keep the pace up for the whole 1500m and when I exited the swim I was feeling quite good.

The run up to T1 was quite a run compared to some of the previous ones this season and the fact it was over rough concrete was a little tough on the feet. T1 went quite well managing to get my hat, shades, gels and helmet stowed and on with no problems, and aside from not getting my number belt showing the right way, went according to plan and as it had done the whole of the season.

The bike section was quite had work. A little side wind on the second of the three laps hurt my legs a lot, and the hills did not go as well as they have often done in training runs. Having said that the fact that the bike section was in laps meant that there was always someone within sight to catch hold of and concentrate on running them down which coupled with better concentration on the speedo meant my pace didn’t slacken too much when the riding got hard. A slight issue I did have was my race number came unattached from two of the three safety pin s holding it to my number belt meaning I had to tuck it into the pocket of my trisuit, so I spent the whole race fearing that I would get penalised by the race marshals.

Coming into T2 I had a little accident at the dismount line. Having taken my feet out of my shoes in the run to the line I was able to lap off the bike and start running towards transition. The person who was just in front of me through went he dismounted kept his shoes on and as it was on concrete slipped towards me. I took evasive action trying to get out the way but my bikes front well slipped out from under me, sending the bike sliding forward on the ground and I had to leap frog over it, landing heavily on my feet on the concrete which hurt a lot.

T2 went well once there and I managed to get my race number/number belt all sorted as I was leaving the run out route. The run stated off ok on lap one, and once I had climbed up the steepness of Hill 60 managed to settle into a nice stride. The second lap though hurt, my hamstrings began to feel the effort and I slowed a little only to be told as I reached the end of lap two I needed to do the last lap in fifteen minutes to avoid being totally beaten by my brother. I had to did deep and live with the pain on the last lap which was agonising, especially as I was checking my watch every few paces. I did manage to finish with a monster of a sprint on the down hill run to the line, using everything I had left in the tank and feeling really glad that I could stop moving.

Overall I managed to finish the race in 2:41:27 which was less than the 2:45 I had set as a target. This was not enough to beat my brother who finished in 2:37:28, but was enough to beat the other three guys.

My splits were:

Swim – 0:30:38
T1 – 0:01:27
Bike – 1:28:50
T2 – 0:00:38
Run – 0:43:39

Not a bad day out, made better by the fact it only took two minutes to get there, and was quite a nice way to finish the season. Plenty to work on for next season and good fun. Still only a few weeks to go till the Oulton Park Duathlon, where I need to get my running back in the game.

Speed kills (pt II)

Again with reading about how to improve speed for competition!

Have been working on improving my swim speed by trying some speed drills. These take the form of 150m (6 lengths) of regular speed followed by 50m (2 lengths) at full out max speed, with a minutes rest before continuing. The first day I tried this I didn’t get too far as my goggles snapped shortly into the session, and then today I only did a shorter session (3 reps) as I’m trying to keep fresh for Sundays race.

This training is killer as by the point I have done the first 150m I’m in a nice groove and it’s hard work (and tiring) to boost the speed up too my max, which to be honest isn’t that great yet! Still something to be worked on over the winter months to improve my swim for next season.

Speed kills (pt I)

It’s a dangerous thing reading tri magazines! In the latest edition of 220 there was an article about how to improve your cycling by doing cadence work. Thought I’d give this ago and my word was it hard work.

The training consisted of cycling (on a gym bike so cadence can be monitored) at a set rpm, and them every 5 mins jumping up the revolutions.

I started at 80rpm and then every 5 mins jumped up 10 rpm until I was hitting 120rpm, at which point I dropped down to 80 rpm again to ease off the legs. A brief break and then back on the bike again for another set of this. I have never sweated so much ion my life, and although I was only on the bike for about an hour in total, drank about a litre and a half of water/sports drink.

Legs didn’t feel too bad after and although it’s too soon to know of the benefits I will definitely be incorporating it it my training again.

Yoga hurts

A couple of nights ago I finally broke out my copy of ‘wheels of yoga’ by David Moreno. Yoga designed for cyclists. Having been to a yoga for sports workshop run by awesome triathlon coach Jack Maitland I realised how important flexibility is in keeping tri fit and so got a copy of the DVD as I couldn’t remember any of the yoga moves he taught us! Having been through the DVD once I was nearly crippled the next morning! My hip flexors in particular hurt. Need to keep going to increase my flexibility and stop the pain.