Monday, 8 March 2010


The above photo is of Evie on the trampoline having generated some serious static following a bouncing session. The bright sunshine allowed for some fun in the garden and the static electricity that we got from bouncing made for some giggly girls and a fun afternoon.

What a difference a bit of sunshine makes. Although it is still bitterly cold in the morning to see the sun makes such a difference. It really does feel like spring is just around the corner. I'm giving my daffodils two more weeks before they burst into life. Sarah is not a big fan of the simple daf ,but for me the bright yellow heads at the end of my garden are a beautiful sight.

My training diary has got a big smile on its face also. I have had four really good weeks. Consistently making my long bike rides, swimming every week, weights and core work and although not as much as I'd like, running seems to be in a good place. In the last four weeks I have had just 2 days where I haven't done some exercise. Whilst most days I have 'trained', some days the term 'exercise' is probably more appropriate, with a steady ride to work or a short weights session being done, it all counts though.

I have been working hard on the bike trying to make riding more like swimming. What do I mean. Well in the pool most people plan a their session, warm-up, drills, main set with a specific focus. Out on the bike it is easy to just get out and ride. Worthwhile as this maybe, ride after ride after ride becomes just that, a ride. Usually steady state, bit of work on a few hills, or into the wind with the last part of the ride reflecting how good your nutrition and fluid has been as to whether you finished feeling ok or smoked. Riding the bike at steady state is perfect for Ironman Triathlon training, it's all about the miles, but this year with the focus on middle distance it is time to shake the bottle a bit and mix the flavours. Riding in the morning I have done a couple of 1 min hard, 1 min easy repeat sessions until I have travelled the 30 minutes to work. On my long Thurdsday afternoon rides I have warmed up and scheduled in some 5 min intervals at and around 160bpm (probably just below middle distance pace) This week I rode for 3 hours and in each hour I put in a 15 minute effort where I went hard but controlled. I am feeling strong on the bike and cannot wait for the warmer weather to arrive and for the time trial season to really get going.

I did race two Sunday's ago. A cold 10 mile tt on the A64 near Tadcaster. I had said to Sarah that a 24 min something time would be pleasing for this time of year. Prior to the race the same conversation with Tom he said a 23 something, I responded saying "if I ride a 23 I will do a few miles naked" I worked my socks off during the race, a 23 would have yielded a huge smile and a great photo for the blog....But 24:35 it was. First race of the season, bike felt good, legs felt strong, heart rate was a bit low but to be expected at this time of the year. I was happy and know if I get a few things sorted with my position and my training I will be on for some fast times this year. Tom surprised everybody (especially himself) with a 23:45 (I think that's right) After taking it easy on him in the Dales, holding back in our rides he showed his speed is still there. No more letting him sit in! the next show down is on 21st March, will he take a 2 - 0 lead? of course not, I will get him. It was great to meet Philip Graves, who rode a 20:10. What other sport can you line up and race the same race with a pro athlete, and then afterwards share a coffee as we share experiences and discuss race plans. He is racing Abu Dhabi Long course Triathlon on Sunday, everyone will be watching to see what he does over 200k on the bike!!!

Summarising my week I have put together 14 hours. One good swim. A couple of runs culminating in a strong hour yesterday where I ran out for 30 mins keeping my heart rate at 150 or less for approximately 8 min/ mile pace and then on the return working to the low 160's (or less) for approximately 7 min/ mile pace. I rode on 6 days and clocked up 10 hours of riding, including a couple of intervals sessions. One weights/ core session. Seven days of training for 14 hours. My last four weeks have been 10 hours, 16 hours, 10 hours and 14 hours.

I am trying to be good with my eating at the moment. I have pretty much cut out carbohydrates from the form of pasta, rice and bread from my lunch, having protein (chicken, tuna, fish, cheese, quiche) and then a nice large helping of salad, followed by fruit. The exception being school bread and butter pudding and rice pudding, be rude not to!!! (it's usually every couple of weeks) Sarah and I are now trying hard to eat before she starts work or if it's after her music teaching then it will be a smaller meal like chicken fajitas, roasted veg and Chicken Kiev. I am just trying not to reach for the bread and the toaster, (but I do love it) late in the evening.... I have been reading the literature on supplementing with fish oils and green tea extract to aid fat metabolism, (fish oils also to aid joint health, so am keen to see if my post run knee pain is helped). I must admit that although it's been less that two weeks I do feel and look leaner, so I will keep that going. Supplementing with fish oils was a method that Bradley Wiggins used during his change to his body composition in the 18 months leading up to the tour.

I am really proud of Sarah at the moment. Apart from her usual music teaching, she is planning on a come back to her own performing. She is planning to get a set of jazz and chilled out tunes played on her saxophone together for some lunch time and then hopefully evening sessions at our local Italian Restaurant who are keen to provide diners with some atmospheric live music. She has a meeting this week with the manager to run some ideas his way, exciting stuff.

Sarah and I are firmly into Season 4 of 24. We really enjoy the concept and although similar to previous seasons the plot is exciting and we like Keifer Sutherland.

Dad has blogged again so he is firmly in the blogasphere., check out the Ramblings of my Dad if you have a moment.

I have a busy week ahead with a couple of Rugby 7's tournaments culminating at the weekend with a weekend in Fylde with the 1st team.

Enjoy the sun, and enjoy your training....