It’s going to be a busy weekend

I’m off to Blenheim Triathlon this weekend for a great challenge.

Myself and 4 others are trying to complete as many sprint triathlons as we can over the 2 days. As we finish each triathlon we start with the next avaliable wave.

See the following link for the full details

http://www.tri247.com/article_11592_Who%27s+the+Ultimate+Weekend+Warrior%3F.html?region_id=&category=

This is the link to sponsor us

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/weekendwarriors

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Start of the summer season

I have been having fun with my racing this year and that’s what I’m going to carry on doing.   I’ve really enjoyed all the events I have done so far and can’t wait to do what I have planned, especially the next two weekends.   This Saturday I’m doing The Rat Race Dirty weekend in Burley, it’s a 20 mile assault course with 200 obstacles www.ratracedirtyweekend.com.  Then the following Sunday I’m doing the www.votwo.co.uk Kamikaze adventure run.  They should both be great events.

I’m still thinking about trying to qualify for the World Age Group Tri but it’s looking like it’s not going to happen.   I have hardly swum or cycled this year, I will be doing a bit in the next few weeks but not enough to have a good race at the Dambuster which is my only chance as I’m not doing Deva anymore.

As well as the races I’ve already mentioned I’ve also got the following planned in the next few weeks.   Eton Sprint Tri, Thames Turbo Sprint Tri, Windsor Olympic, 100 mile Time Trial, Ironman Frankfurt & I’m running 70 miles over 2 days round the Isle of White with Lucinda.

I’ve put on hold my plan to swim round Jersey as I’ve just not had time to swim this year.   I’m just running.   This is mainly down to doing more hours at work but I’m really enjoying my running so it has helped me look at my next target.   I’m doing a 103 mile run on 24th August http://ultra-trails.com/thames-gateway-110/.  It’s a qualification event for the UTMB http://www.ultratrailmb.com/. This is a running race round Mont Blanc which is 168km long with 9600m positive altitude change.  Even after doing the events I need to qualify this event is always oversubscribed.

If I get in this will be my 2014 target, if not my options are endless.

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A New Year – A New Challenge

I have had a break from training since the A2A, I have done bits but I have had no focus. I now need to concentrate on a goal.

The 2013 ITU Standard Distance Age-Group Triathlon World Championships are coming to London in September. The last time they were in this country was in Manchester in 1993. I am going to try and qualify for my Age-Group.

This is going to be harder than any of challenges I have set myself over the past few years. This is the first time that I am going to have to race other people and actually worry about a time. Everything else has just been about finishing.

I have got 3 chances to qualify for only 25 places available in my age group. The races are Deva Tri in June, Dambuster Tri in June & a race TBC in July.

I basically need to be good enough to do an Olympic distance Triathlon in 2hrs, I have never been able to do that! But I’m up for giving it a go.

I have spent the past 2 years doing long, slow distance training. I now need to spend the next 5 months converting my base fitness into speed. I have a plan but can I stick to it and will it work?

I’m also 14st 6lbs (1st Jan 2013). This is fine for long distance swimming but it’s not great for cycling and running fast so I’m trying to lose weight. I’m simply going to eat less and healthier. I will also be running more than I have done in a while so it should work. 10 days in and I have lost 2lbs.

I also have to balance what training I’m doing as I still have to train for Ironman Frankfurt in July and swimming round Jersey in August but that’s part of the fun.

I have lots of short running races, bike races and triathlons planned which I’m really looking forward to especially the sprint triathlons.

But first I’m doing the Country to Capital 45 mile running race on Saturday with Lucinda. This will be the furthest she has ever run by a long way. It’s going to be a great day out and lots of fun. I have done this event twice so know the route and more importantly which pub to go to at the finish.

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10 weeks since the A2A – Normal life

It’s been great.   The best part has been catching up with friends and family.  I’ve been going out for drinks and dinner and not having to worry about getting up the next day for a long training session.  I’ve had lie-ins, mornings on the sofa watching rubbish TV and drinking coffee, it’s been a great change.

I have been doing some training.   I’ve done more than normal in the gym, I’ve played some waterpolo, a little bit of running and a couple of times out on the bike.   The Ballbuster was very hard and not much fun. I was happy to run 44:45 for a 10km.  I walked/jogged 32 miles on the Vanguard Way with Lucinda, we both also walked 31 miles on the Pennine way over a couple of days.   I have done a 2 day Navigation course in the Lake District which involved plenty of walking which I really enjoyed.   My first swim back is going to be tonight.

We have also managed to fit in 2 weddings and a mini holiday to Manchester.

I’m now starting to get restless and need to start doing something.   I have set myself some short term goals for the next 6 months mainly revolving around short bike & run races.   These should get me ready for July – Ironman Frankfurt & August – Swim round Jersey.    But that is it I have no medium / long term goals.

I’m aware of all the usual endurance races / events out there but I’m not sure what I want to do next.    I’m not ready to sit back and coach I need a challenge.   Since 2006 I have always been working towards the next goal so this is very strange not having one.

I have bought a book called The World’s Toughest Endurance Challenges.  I have now done 3 of them, maybe I could do them all over a life time.

Not sure, any ideas?

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Navigation Training Course

It’s only 3 weeks since I finished the Arch to Arc and I’m bored.   I knew I would be although I’m back in full training I needed something to think about.   So I booked myself on a weekend away in the Lake District to improve my map reading.

I booked on a 2 day course with www.mountainsplus.co.uk and didn’t really know what to expect.  I arrived at the car park in Elterwater early Saturday morning, I had got up at 02:30 to get there on time (it’s a 300 mile drive).  I was met by Stewart from Mountains Plus and one other client.   This course is usually for 6 people so we were both really pleased that we would get so much out of the course with just 2 of us.

We were both armed with our compass and OS map and not much idea how to use them properly.  We started with getting an idea of distance and pacing.  How far is 100m and how long does it take to walk it?  You just don’t really know until you have a map, measure it and walk it.  From there we started learning about map orientation and following where you are on the map with your thumb.  We started to pick out the small detail on an OS map that you don’t even know is there.  A wall, a quarry, wooded areas, and the list goes on.  We were repeatedly asked to show where we were on the map with pin point accuracy (I found out very quickly if you guess you are always wrong).  We found out how important it was to pay attention to your surroundings.  Up, down and 360 degrees round.

As the day progressed the navigation got harder, the land marks to find where we were got smaller and more subtle.  We moved on to route finding and setting a bearing on your compass to find your way.  This took us through to the end of the day.  The day went very quickly and we walked quite a distance in the hills.  We finished off back at our cars very satisfied by what we had learnt.

I was camping on my own that evening in the National Trust Campsite in Great Langdale and had dinner in a really nice pub called The Old Dungeon Ghyll.

The rain started about midnight and it didn’t stop!   When I woke up I found that the field I was camping in was very nearly a lake, my lightweight summer tent only just kept the rain out.

I got myself back to the meeting point to sort myself out breakfast as the campsite was just silly.  I sat in the boot of my car eating my porridge looking towards the hills and the rain was coming sideways.  When Stewart arrived we did a small amount in his van about grid references but that was our only opportunity to stay dry.   We walked down to the river we had been close to the day before with the intention to walk along the path next to it but it had already been flooded, plans changed but we were still staying out.   We headed back in to the hills and spent the rest of the day route finding with bearings, learning more about contour lines and more features on the map.  The rain was just silly and it never stopped.

We got back to the cars about 14:00 like drowned rats but really pleased with the 2 days and so much more confident about our navigation skills.

I would recommend this course to anyone interested and i’ll be soon trying to find time to go on the advanced course.

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Gatorade Sports Science Institute

The Enduroman Arch to Arc is a daunting task, so where do you start with your preparations?

I started with what are the small things that will make a difference, what I can do that doesn’t take any time and what might go wrong in the event.

The GSSI (Gatorade Sports Science Institute) where fundamental to this.   I have done lots of ultra runs and I have learnt that getting enough calories in you is a big issue and I often lost my appetite during or after a long run.

I was taking on an 87 mile run followed by a channel swim finished with a 181 mile bike ride – I needed to eat.   I wanted to get as much advice and help as I could.

On 11th May 2012 I went to the GSSI lab in Loughborough to have a full test protocol to give me and them a complete picture of my physiology.

I did tests to address the following areas:

Anthropometry

Acute Hydration

Body Composition

Aerobic Metabolism

Aerobic Performance

Cognitive Function (Reaction Time)

Motor Skills

Hand-Grip Strength

Peak Power & Anaerobic Capacity

I had to answer lots of questions on my Nutrition Habits

I had also done a 1 week food diary

The team at the lab then put together a full report for me and an eating plan for the Arch to Arc.

The figures made very interesting reading, but I’m not going to bore you with them.    What was important is that it gave the GSSI team the information to put together the food plan that would be best for me during the event.

The detail and thought that went in to the plan was better than I could have ever imagined.   I was given exactly what would be best for me to eat and drink in the build up to the event including a pre run meal.   A full break down of what and how often to eat during the event.   Also an important consideration was always what and how much to eat between the run and swim & the swim and bike.

Without all this information the end result could have been very different and I would like to thank James, Ian and Rebecca for all their help.

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Film of Arch to Arc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUFu9sNK_UQ&feature=colike

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