Monday, 15 June 2009
Monday, 8 June 2009
I finally finished marking the 275 pieces of A Level Coursework, a job I do for the exam board each year. It is a small piece of work that should demonstrate the students ability to write 6 short essays chosen from a variety of topics from the 2 year Sport and PE Course. The standard of work from some students is incredibly low, it makes you wonder why they are doing A Levels. Why are they doing A Levels? Well it's a complex issue but I think the pressure from society, teachers and parents to study beyond 16 years is immense. There is also so little else to do. Apprenticeship positions have all but dried up and practical courses still have a stigma attached to them and many students don't fancy that option. So what happens, students stay at school or go to college and study subjects they were fairly successful at GCSE's (not really a true reflection of their intellect) Some subjects, Maths and Science modules can be taken over and over again, and many other subjects have turned to multiple choice style questioning or short answer style questions. Students then stay on at school and find themselves hugely out of their depth, unable to cope with the style of questioning and extended writing required for most A level subjects. They of course will get plenty of opportunities to retake the modular exams they fail to perform in and eventually at the age of 18 will most likely progress to a University (Universities now need to put bums on seats, so anybody will do) to study a degree course that probably won't lead into a related job, and then what???? I think employee's have already started to look at the path taken to get there as well as the end grade. I suppose in some cases it might show perseverance and determination but I still question whether it is the correct route for these students to be taking. It's not all doom and gloom, I have also come across some very clear, concise, accurate pieces of work at very high levels.
I have started training this week. I have ridden to work each day, thoroughly enjoying the weather and the steady no pressure riding. I have laid down the foundations for my 'get strong' weights campaign. Feeling the effects of a Chest session for a couple of days and an over enthusiastic weighted abbs session for a number of days. In also went swimming, an activity I have in the past simply forgotten about after completing my Ironman race. This year however things are going to be different. I intend to continue swimming, working on my technique and putting together some interesting pool sessions, building my swim speed and endurance. It's been a very enjoyable week of training (maybe exercising is a more accurate term)
I have plotted some rough plans for the rest of the season starting on Sunday with a 10 mile TT on the V212 course. This is the stretch of road where Tom, Helen and I have done multiple loops in our mega brick sessions, so I know it well. I hope to get my heart rate sky high and see what the clock stops on. I will then build on this adding in some serious intensity into my training. I am really motivated to take my fitness forward and enjoy some more races this summer and into the autumn.
Dad continues to make good progress and is now on the road to recovery. He has driven the car, ridden his mountain bike down the road a short distance and completed plenty of short daily walks. The specialist doctor doesn't think it is Labyrinthitis, but more likely a small blood vessel in the middle ear that has been affected by a lack of oxygen. The great news is that he should make a full recovery, he must walk, ride, practice balancing and start doing everything that requires balance and locomotion. In other words his progress is in his own hands, which is just where he wants it to be.
Great to see you this weekend Uncle Max and Auntie Rachael . Brilliant to see you having so much fun with Ellie and Evie, they had a wicked weekend with you guys. Fabulous Birthday Cake Rachael (I have eaten so much of it the last couple of days!)
Have a great week, I hope next week to report on a fast 10 mile TT.......
Monday, 1 June 2009
I don't intend to write much this week, I think I will let the photos do the talking. Following my Ironman experience on the 'Island from Hell' as my good friend Steven Hobson (10 times Ironman Canada finisher) calls it, I have enjoyed kicking back and spending mucho time with the girls. An added bonus was landing at Leeds Bradford on Thursday to be greeted by blue skies and warm weather, this continued throughout the weekend. Making the most of the brilliant weather I started my day at 6am in the garden and didn't really leave it until 9pm, excellente. 8 days of total recovery (apart from walking, pushchair pushing and messing around in the pool with Ellie) was just what the doctor ordered. Anybody out there who struggles to properly recover from an Ironman, and is lost without the training just needs some wee little ones. Perfect for forced recovery :)
Top of Mirador del Rio climb
Lunch at a great restaurant in La Santa
Breakfast in my Garden
This week I am riding to work, swimming (yep I intend to keep it going from now on) and starting my 'get strong again' weights campaign, the following week I might slot in a few runs. I intend to enter a few 10 and 25 mile TT's, and aid Tom with some time in the 'hurt box' as he ramps up some interval intensity on the bike before Ironman Switzerland.
HUGE congratulations to my best buddy Ben who race Hawaii 70.3 on Saturday. He had a really great race finishing 3rd in his age group, also earning a Kona Ironman Slot. The World Championships will be his 10th Ironman and 3rd visit to Kona, inspirational stuff as always mate, wish you were still here in England so we could train together.