Sunday, 20 March 2011

A painful return to training

Following on from last weekend half marathon training resumed on Tuesday. The week has been a rather painful one though, the effort of the HM has remained in my legs throughout the week.

Tuesday kicked off with a 0545 alarm call so I had time to do some stretches and foam rollering before work. 20 minutes of lower leg stretches and foam roller action wasn't pretty, but it did the job and I had the use of my legs again. Tuesday evening kicked off the weeks proper training, a 2500m Masters set, finally done without the aid of a pull buoy (well almost - first couple of 200's done with just to check ankle was OK). Seemed to be keeping pace OK, in fact I think a couple of weeks of just pull may have even improved my times, felt much more powerful on the front crawl max effort stuff. The only slight issue was my legs, well my hamstrings really, from about 1500m into the set they were on the verge of cramping. Somehow I dodged a bullet and got through unscathed though.

Wednesday, I set the alarm early again to get up and do some stretching, but, well, umm, I was tired and went back to sleep for 20 minutes. Of course this wasn't to go unpunished. To make up for my very poor show I did Sufferfest's "Local Hero". Eighty five minutes of pure hell. Sufferfest makes Coach Troy look like the coach of an under 12's girls team. I knew it would be hard work, anticpating this I set up two bottles of fluids, 1500ml worth. After 70 minutes I had drunk all of this, my turbo towel was so sodden it wasn't drying the sweat off me, I had to wring it out, twice. The 3x6 minute pyramid efforts were unpleasant, but just bearable, managing to get my heart rate to just under predicted lacate threshold. The 5x3 minute road race efforts were horrible. The sprints at the end, were well, whatever word is a lot worse than horrible. The high cadence stuff was not nice, maxing out at 130. needless to say getting off the turbo came as a relief. What was more shocking was the fact that I weighed less than when I got on, even having drunk 1.5 litres of fluid!

Thursday, didn't bother setting an early alarm, I was only going to snooze anyway. Standard evening Masters session for training. Lots of short stuff, mostly front crawl but some fly and medley. The short stuff wasn't too bad, although the pacing made life very tough as it meant almost no rest.

Friday was a run with some people from work. I had hoped this would be an easier run, normally they are quite short. The session turned into a bit of a fartlek style one, with some hard intervals of varying length. On the way out we had a long interval down by the new OS building, where we did 1/2 mile intervals a couple of months ago. Then on the way out to Testwood lakes we did some further 1 minute intervals. Of course all this was being done in the rain, just to make things a tad unpleasant.  When we got out to the lakes there were of course plenty of puddles. These made quite a nice other game, bounding over the puddles. It was actually quite fun when there were a few strung together. On the way back we did some more intervals, starting off with some shorter intervals then we had some intervals of unknown length. Things got quite painful in those intervals. My quads and hamstrings hadn't recovered, man they hurt like something else. I ended up losing the last couple of intervals.

Saturday was to be my epic day, kicked off with an early morning run. Fridays run was a lot further than I'd counted on, and in fact only a few K of what Saturdays run was scheduled to be, still I was going to do it. Having been labelled an 'under achiever' earlier in the week I have to prove I can hit my 33 hour target for training this month. With a stag party to go to for most of the day my long run was going to have to be an early one. Hence the 0615 wake up call, on a Saturday. An hour and a half later after feeding and watering  it was time to commence the faff involved in seeing me out the door for a run. What to wear? Sunnies? Where are my sunnies? Camelbak or waist pack? Which bottle in the waist pack? What flavour gels to take? Ankle brace? Needless to say I left a few minutes late, but thankfully dressed appropriately. The start of the run was nice and uneventful, off out to the Common, a snake around it then out up to the sports centre to take in Golf Course Road. Approaching the sports centre and there was obviously something going on as there were coaches everywhere and lots of college/uni girls, netball tournament or something like that. First gel at 5K, lucky dip moment in back pocket, Vanilla! I like vanilla, sort of makes me think of coffee though, not sure why. Everything was going well and I even managed to get up Golf Course Road in one piece, without having to walk. Then back to the Common for a loop of that to finish. Then there was the decision, left right or straight over at the cross? Which way is going to get me to 16K? Lets try right, nice downhill and time for the second gel, Green Apple. Yuk, how foul, I just wanted to be sick. It was horrible and sour, but sugary and sweet at the same time. Urgh, how to get the taste out of my mouth? Sips of water and it was better but urgh. I shall not be having any of those during IM, Vanilla and Strawberry/Banana for me. Onto the final loop and what had been a really pleasant run started to go south. Starting of with do incident number 1. Two dogs that decided to have a fight around my feet why the owner(s) just stood by and chatted idly. Needless to say I was not best pleased.A few hundred metres later and my got much better again. A nice MEDSOC runner to follow, seems my pace picked up a little too much and I inevitably had to pass, shame. Only to spoilt a few hundred metres later by dog incident number 2. This one really hacked me off. If you have a large dog that needs to wear a muzzle in public places why the hell do you let it run a round a busy park off the lead? The flipping dog jumped up at me, paws on chest and nearly pushed me over. There were a couple of dog owners sat on a park bench that found it funny, don't know if it was their dog as no one seemed to want to control the f****** animal. I they had then they would have got a rather unpleasant string of words I think. The anger fuelled me up the hill and soon I was on the way back. 17K done, with 90 minutes to get ready for the stag do. Perfect.

Today was of course long ride day. I was a good boy on the stag do, drinking softs in the pub during the rugby, a few glasses of wine in the restaurant with dinner, softs again at the next bar and only a double in the club, not that we stayed that long anyway. Having go to bed at 2am waking up a 8am wasn't unwelcome. What wasn't welcome was the pain that greeted me as I put my right foot on the floor. It had hurt all afternoon evening, but the blister on my instep had gotten impressive. A glance out of the curtains and it didn't look like it had rained. Might be a nice day for a ride after all. Usual pre ride routine followed and the obligatory what to wear? A trip to the bins confirmed it was chilly but not cold. Club jersey, vest, arm warmers and bib longs then. Of course my blister chose this opportunity to burst, such a good feeling, but really not a good thing. Oh well. Having faffed around way too much I set off at 1030. Surprisingly I sailed across town and soon I was out on Alington lane on my way to Winchester. The plan was to do the Winchester/Hillier Gardens/Upper Sombourne/Ampfield figure 8 loop, around 75K from memory, longer than the plan but perfectly doable. The ride was actually pretty uneventful. Good speed out to Winchester, not so good down in Hurlsey, managed to refuel on the move on the Sombourne loop, swapping bottles and opening Cliff Shot blocks. I'd forgotten how good they tasted. They hills weren't wonderful, my legs are obviously still a touch tired, but no cramping. What wasn't nice was the pain in my right foot every time I climbed out the saddle. A quick pause as I got into Ampfield for the second time to get a gel down. My legs felt great as I set off, almost like new. So heading back and decisions as to which way home, I opted for the route I thought would make 75K rather than the longer or shorter options. Off course all these options would take in the uphill section I hate; North Baddesley to Chilworth. Doesn't look to bad, but it just drags on then goes around a corner and kicks up a bit. I've tamed it, but it is always at a point in the ride when my legs are shot. I managed to get up it with one gear to spare, but I am running a triple so it is a pretty poor show. Just over 3 hours for 76km, not the best speed, but given the week of training a respectable effort I think.

I discovered why it hurt so much when I got out the saddle on the climbs tough, I have blistered under my blister. A trip to the shops and I am now the owner of a pack of Compeed blister plasters, so hopefully the problem will be resolved soon. Weekly roundup, Swim 2 hours (5050m), Bike 4 hours 34 min (76km + 1hr25m turbo), Run 2 hours 50 min (30km) for a total of  9hr25m training.

Mon - Rest
Tues am - 20 min stretching
Tues pm - 1 hour swim (2500m)
Wed pm - 1hr25 min turbo session
Thur pm - 1 hour swim (2550m)
Fri pm - 1hr17 min run (13km)
Sat am - 1hr33m run (17km)
Sun am - 3hr09m bike (76km)

Next week is meant to be another build week. I think with my foot midweek training sessions will be turbo based, hopefully with shift working I can get some sessions in before Masters too. Next weekend should be an 18km run and a 80km bike. Will have to see how things are, but may be able to push them a little more given my over distances this weekend.

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