Saturday, 25 September 2010


As far as training goes, the week's been a bit of a washout as will become obvious in a moment. I suppose, trying to give it a positive spin I have been able to do some preparation for the forthcoming weeks ahead. Not preparation in the physical, 'let's lay a base foundation of fitness' but preparing stuff. Early on in the week, I took my long neglected Trek off the turbo and spent a few hours giving it a thorough overhaul; new chain and sprockets, brake blocks, tyres, bar tape (still had the original tape on which was over 4 years old; euugh!!) mudguards on, gears and brakes adjusted. This was all ready for me to use it over the winter to get me to work and back as well as training on. While everything was set up really nicely and working well, my quads had a bit of a shock now with only 16 gears on a double set up, instead of the Euros's 20 gears on a compact. I guess that it will all be good for my cycling muscular endurance over the winter period. I have learnt that when commuting by bike, the world can be divided into those drivers who will happily move over to let you through (and receive a cheery, 'thank you' wave from me in return) and those who are so insensed that a man in lycra and flourescent yellow is going faster than their Japanese 'supercar' decide that making someone else's journey slighty easier is way beyond them. I even had one person on Friday, quite deliberately move their car across to the centre of the lane so that I could not get past his car and a traffic island. Petty, doesn't even come close to describing actions like that. :-(

Training has not happened this week, except for a couple of 30 minute runs, basically because my mother's been taken ill. She's currently in hospital after fracturing her tib and fib in a fall on Tuesday , which has required surgery and some metal work which the late, great Barry Sheene would have been proud of. There's also other issues which need resolving, so tri stuff is not really at the front of my mind.

But, next week, Ironman training WILL start.......

Sunday, 19 September 2010

A cunning plan

This week and the next week or so has been about planning for the next nine months or so in the lead up to my chosen long course event next summer. I have even been busy colour coding the various periods within the training cycle. Heck, I might even write the odd macro or two. ;-) All this is in the pursuit of what I would define as my 'perfect' race, which I know I am a very long way from. After the Little Woody I felt tired and needed a bit of a break, but I have kept ticking over and I have really enjoyed commuting to work on my Van Nic, absolutely spanking it past the stationary queues of traffic. I have ordered some goodies from Wiggle which I am going to use to give my old Trek a bit of an overhaul in preparation for what the worst of winter will throw at it while the Van Nic gets bolted to the turbo for the winter.

I am unfortunately a bit crocked again. I tried to go for a long run last week but had to cut it short to one hour when my left achilles flared up quite badly, which obviously is hardly good news for a serious sub-3 attempt at the Luton Marathon. Disappointing, but if there's one thing I've learnt then it's worth re-adjusting goals rather than just throwing them out the window. A marathon pb is still very much possible but I am going to have to work really hard on my rehab in order to be able to run for 3 hours plus.
I've had a great weekend up in Loughborough for a 20 year Uni reunion with friends visiting old haunts and playing the odd round of golf. I had not been back in 15 years or so and it was odd seeing the places after such a long time and I felt quite old :-( Quite sad to see that my favourite pub no longer exists and is now an estate agents' office. Bah!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

First Post (kind of)

I suppose that this should be some sort of introduction and explaination, so let's get the niceties out of the way first.
I am a middle of pack (mop to the uninitiated) triathlete. My first triathlon was a sprint event way back in 1989 after I had been getting bored with running, which had always been my main sport. (again, MOP, sometimes a bit higher if a strung some training together). Every five or ten years I would half-heartedly get back into running or even give triathlon another go, lose a stone or so and then stop and put the weight back on. It was a constant yo-yo with no real ambition, aim or point to what I was doing other than the vague aim to 'get fit'. And then about six years ago a colleague at work passed away following a sudden illness and that same week I saw a photograph of myself that had been taken at a family party, that showed me with big rosy cheeks and one more chin than I should have had. These events were the wake up call that told me I needed to get some semblence of fitness back in my life and the next week I had joined my local tri club and was drowning, in only a semi-controlled way in the slow lane at the club swim session.

So where does the paddling and Devizes to Westminster race come into it then? Well, until last year it did not feature at all. The DW was a race that I had heard of but I had no real knowledge of. However, last year was spent with me dealing (badly!) with an injury which completely wiped out my triathlon season so as I had been asked by Jamie to take part in the DW with him, it seemed like a good challenge to give me something to do. It turned out to be one of the hardest, but yet most enjoyable physical challenges that I have ever done and I really wanted to have another go to inprove on our performance from 2010. It also introduced me to a sport that I have got a lot out of; core strength, upper body conditioning, mental toughness, but most importantly it allowed me spend a lot of time with my bro. One of life's good guys who I had slowly been losing touch with.

This year has seen an improvement in my triathlon performance (I completed three races compared to none last year; always a good start). As I am now in the 40-45 age category I have suddenly found mysely moving up in the age group races, which has been a pleasant surprise. I have also discovered the joys of bike time trialling this year in a desperate effort to get my skinny little legs turning the pedals over faster. So all in all, this year, quite unexpectedly, has been a good year. :-)

Blogging is truly self-indulgent and I have written a couple of other blogs, most notably on tritalk, where I have been fortunate to get a lot of advice from people a lot more knowledgable than I about how to train and compete. Then Jamie and I started training for the DW and we started a blog on the canoe and kayak website to log our exploits and get advice on training that would hopefully keep us out of harm's way. Two blogs, quite frankly, seemed ridiculous and quite hard work (I was meant to be training, not tapping away at a computer). So, it seemed like a good idea to combine the two and just have the one place where I posted my inane drivel.

My aim next year, is to compete in my first long course triathlon. With four Half-Ironman events to my name over the last three years and a host of other events, this ambition is long overdue and I hope to give it a really good go next summer. This blog is my way of keeping a tally on what I am doing. If anyone is reading this, then that's great but like most blogs, is about me, me, me, so please don't expect much else. I also have a really annoying habit of changing my plans constantly. (This beacme very apparent the other night when I was looking back at my old blog; the changes in direction were truly staggering.

Anyway, when I've worked out what the next six months might entail, I'll stick it down here.