Duathlon Training

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Hard Training Before Xmas Splurge

As my running on the road has been so awful lately (no problems on the treadmill)yesterday I decided to just do a 3.5km road run this morning to try and get my time down a little. My legs were a bit tired, but not too bad, but my time was still really slow!! I think the main problem is that when I've turned around and am on my way back I try and do intervals of running a bit faster, but the bits in between I really drop off my speed way below my usual average speed, so I might be better off trying to keep a fixed pace - hmmmm, dunno, need to try and get some advice on this. I think over the Xmas break I need to have a look on the net and see if I can get some tips on improving this. I was very fed up after the run and just about ready to pack it all in, it is so frustrating when you feel like you're busting a gut and then get back and find you've actually been running really slowly.
Had a good swim in the afternoon though which cheered me up, even though I did keep having to move kids out of the swimming lane. Honestly there's a whole huge pool and one tiny swimming lane and they still have to go and play in that. Bah humbug!
This morning was treadmill running with speed intervals again - blimey that came around quickly! Got through it ok, went bright red, as usual, and took about 2 hours to completely cool down, but always feel virtuous at having done it.
Tomorrow I'll have the day off (good job as I'm going out for a pre-xmas breakfast and then plan to finish my shopping) so that on Friday I can have another full runthrough. Didn't want to leave it until Saturday as there will be so much going on it's quite likely I wouldn't do it. If I am feeling ok and up to it on Saturday I'll do a cycle first thing and then it will be a couple of days off to eat, drink and watch dvd's instead of training.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Last Week Before Xmas

And I feel like I really have to get some serious training in before I relapse onto the sofa to drink too much and watch DVDs for 3 days!
Yesterday was my first run through of the full length duathlon, so I did the 3.5km run followed by 10km cycle and then the 1.5 km run. It actually wasn't too bad (despite the blazing heat). My times were fairly poor (20mins 45secs, 24 mins, 8 mins 58 seconds) but at least I did it and didn't feel too bad afterwards. The final run was nowhere near as hard as last time, running on the gym treadmill after cycling in from home has obviously helped, and mentally I was much more prepared for it.
This morning I cycled in and despite tired legs from yesterday I still managed a time of 36mins 29seconds - very respectable. I jumped on the treadmill again when I arrived at the gym and did a couple of km at a fairly brisk pace, legs still not feeling too bad.
Forecast for the rest of the week is not good and with social commitments and a haircut to fit in I don't think I'll be able to cycle in again before Xmas (especially as I'm taking Thurs and Friday off), but I'm hoping to fit in a run followed by a bike on weds provided it's not chucking it down first thing.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Last day of training this week before a day off tomorrow - boy am I ready for it too! Cycled into work today but my legs were still a bit tired, managed to do it in 37 mins which is ok I guess for the end of the week.
Didn't manage to do my abs or core work yesterday either - oops, will have to do it when I get back from swimming at lunch time (don't want to push my luck and do it before I go). Actually when I got home last night I felt absolutely wiped out, really tired, could barely drag myself out to walk the dogs. I think once Xmas is over I definately need to start paying more attention to nutrition and work out some proper training meals and schedule, hopefully that way I will have more energy when I'm training.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Tired Legs

Back in the pool yesterday lunch time. Thankfully it went a lot better than Monday's session, I actually felt like I could remember how to swim! I did 10 lengths (50m pool) alternating between breast stroke and freestyle, then two lengths on my back one using just arms one using just legs, then had a rest and a stretch before finishing with a slow breast stroke length and then a length of butterfly to finish. Apologies to anyone else who was in the pool - my butterfly is very messy and has the tendency to cause tsunamis at the other end of the pool, luckily I don't care what I look like doing it as it's a great cardio workout and I just enjoy doing it it's such a mad swimming stroke!
After work I hit the treadmill at the gym for an interval speed run. I thought it might be hard work after the swimming, but in fact it didn't seem any harder than usual and I managed 6 long intervals and 6 short intervals, which is one more short than I did last week. Glad to be finished though as this is one workout which not only leaves me looking like a tomato once I've finished, but keeps me looking red for about an hour afterwards (which is why I do it at the end of the day before going home rather than in the morning!).

This morning was a half brick day. For the uninitiated a brick is a run, bike, run - I have no idea why it's called a brick, just read about it on training schedules. Anyway I have what I call my half brick which omits the first run, so it was just a 10km cycle followed by a 1km run. The cycle was hard going as my legs were tired from last night's running, so not a great time (24mins) but ok under the circumstances. The 1km run was, once again, awful. Once I get off the bike I just can't seem to make my legs work I'm just totally knackered. So I stumbled up the road and back in a somewhat pathetic 6 minutes (plus some seconds I'm trying to forget about) and then recovered with a bit of stretching.
Just some abs and 'core training' to do later today so I can take it easy now! Roll on Saturday which is my day off training this week :-)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Cycling in the Wind

Yesterday I discovered an extreme form of resistance training - cycling into a very strong head wind for 15km! After my speedy ride into work (36mins) it then took me 50 minutes to get home! I honestly thought I wasn't going to make it, I was virtually going backwards at some points the wind was so strong. Definately not my idea of fun.
Back to the pool at lunchtime today, hopefully it will be a little easier than it was on Monday. Then this afternoon it's interval speed running - ugh.
Surprisingly, given my exertions yesterday, I don't have any sore muscles today, although something in my ankle is niggling a bit but not seriously. I popped into the chemist to pick up some cataflam/voltarin yesterday and was surprised that the guy asked me what I was taking them for - I was a little flustered and didn't like to say that I always like to keep some handy for when I've overdone it at the gym or just because at my age it's frequently needed for one thing or another. I mumbled something about a strained tendon while trying not to look to suspicious and he handed it over. Honestly it's only voltarin, the stuff they sell in the UK is more than double the strength (ahh diclofenac how I miss you!) and much easier to buy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Long Cycle and Run

Cycled into work today - 15km in 35.58 mins which is the fastest I've done it so far (was 42 minutes the first week I had the bike). When I arrived at the gym I dumped my bag and jumped on the running machine for a 1.5km run which I did in 8mins 10 secs. Actually I could have done it faster, which just goes to show how much easier treadmill running is than doing the real thing.
I'm having trouble with my running shoes at the moment though, I bought them a few weeks before the 12km run I did and they were fantastic, really comfortable. Over the past 3-4 weeks though they've started rubbing on the long tendon from my big toe (both feet). I think this is partly because my tendons are quite tight at the moment (I'm one of those odd people who run with their big toes pointing up in the air!), but my old running shoes don't rub in the same way.
I'm thinking of going back to the sports shoe shop to talk to them about it, even though I've done over 100km in the shoes I don't think they should be rubbing like this so hopefully they will have some advice for me, I'll let you know what happens!
It's so humid this morning that even after my shower I was still really hot, so now I'm sitting in my office with the fan going on full trying to cool down. I guess it's only going to get worse! Also I discovered when I got home last night that after my swimming yesterday lunchtime I got a serious amount of sun on my back, which I hadn't thought about at all. So I've bought some waterproof sun tan lotion and I will give that a go next time I hit the pool. Actually given the strength of the sun at the moment even when it's cloudy I should probably put some on before cycling too.
Thankfully the coffee machine was working this morning so I've now had my breakfast and morning coffee and can settle down and do some work (!). Tomorrow should be interval speed running on the treadmill but I'll have to see how sore my quads are after todays exertions.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Not as easy as I thought

A quick background before I launch into this blog properly. Having done various forms of exercise over the years and recently completed a couple of 'fun' runs I decided that distance running is definately not for me. I did a 12km run and that was ok but I really am not built to run any further, I may be 30 kgs lighter than I was a few years ago but I'm still 10kgs heavier than I'd like to be and my legs are just too short! To be honest I've got a great build for a rugby player, but as I can't catch and I throw like a girl I'll just have to find something else!
Anyway I bought a bike with the intention of maybe, possibly one day doing a triathlon. This was based on the fact that I used to do a lot of swimming and was quite good at it, I'm already doing the running thing, and anyone can ride a bike, can't they?
Not wanting to be over ambitious I signed up for a duathlon at the end of January. The distances were short (3.5km run, 10km cycle, 1.5km run) so I reckoned it would be a great way to start off and I would hardly need to do any training apart from the cycling.
I'm cycling to work a couple of days a week, which is 15km so gives me time to do some speed work as well as build up my endurance, and I've been getting on well with it. I've also done a couple of 10km cycles aimed solely at increasing speed. In addition I'm running at the gym on a treadmill a couple of days a week, including one session with speed intervals, and doing lots of abs and core stability work. It was all going so well. So this weekend I thought it was about time I tried my first dummy run for 'the event', rather than go all out straight away I thought I'd do a shorter version (2km run, 10km cycle and 1 km run) to see what my times were like and use that as the basis for my training for the next 6 weeks. The 2km run went well at what for me is a good pace (just over 10 minutes), I certainly felt the effects of this on the cycle, but again was able to keep up a reasonable pace (although I think my revs were just below 90 for most of it) and I finished the 10km in just over 23 mins. The problem came with the last 1km run - I was absolutely buggered by now and ended up shuffling up the road like someone twice my age, I really could barely manage it and finished in a less than impressive time of 6 mins 20 seconds! And I was really really shattered.
So much for it being a doddle! I guess I'd underestimated the effect of the cycle which took more out of me than I'd expected.
I guess the next 6 weeks are going to require some more serious training - I'm planning on cycling to the gym and then doing a couple of km on the treadmill, just to get used to that feeling of a hard cycle followed by a run. Also I think this weekend I need to do a full length version as with Xmas the following weekend that only gives me 3 more weekends before the event! Gulp.
Watch this space and I'll let you know how it's going.

On a slightly different note I went swimming today - first time I've swum seriously for years and I was totally crap. It was such a let down as I had images of getting into the pool and ploughing up and down with the same speed and ease as I used to. What in fact happened was I spent the first two laps coughing and spluttering as my goggles filled up with water and I failed to get my breathing and strokes in sync. It did get better, but speedy I was not! Just goes to show that being reasonably fit means nothing when it comes to swimming if you haven't been working in the pool for a number of years. Something else I need to work on then - sigh. And what is it about swimming that makes me want to eat chocolate? I came out of the pool with a monumental craving and had to have a chocolate biscuit with my cup of tea and a snickers bar. And while I'm whingeing I'd just like to point out that the cup of tea was a very poor substitute for the coffee I'd been planning as the coffee machine was out of order AGAIN! Gah!

Well if the weather improves a bit tomorrow (i.e. the strong winds drop off) I'll be able to cycle in so that will be the first chance to try my new long cycle, short run training, watch this space and I'll let you know how I get on.