Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Training Update, Running Errands, Collecting Junk, Setting Goals

I feel that my running has taken a bit of a backseat at the moment.  I have made amazing progress in my swimming, last year I could barely swim at all.  These days I swim most lunchtimes at work and the minimum is 20 lengths (400m).  I have also been getting over some of the major lakeland passes on my bike (still need to work on the speed a bit).

As far as running goes though, well, I think I have lost my focus.  I did have a lovely little run on Saturday over Catbells.  It's always great to get out and do a fell run and I took even greater pleasure in getting out and doing a run on a pretty rotten day weatherwise (although the sun was out in the afternoon). 

I have been a little bit reluctant to wander too far into the fells since my GPS broke.  I am ok with a map, I have done some navigation training, but the GPS just gave me that bit more confidence to go out.

A major achievement in 2012 has been getting my first triathlon under my belt.  I now have done two and have a third coming up this weekend.  This is exciting and something I definitely want to develop and build on in the future.  I'm still getting to grips with open water swimming and will look to enter a triathlon or swim sportive with a lake swim at some point.

I have also been doing loads of yoga and I'm loving it.  I signed up for a my yoga online subscription and have definitely got my money's worth.

But running is what originally got me heathly, it's what changed me from this:

to this specimin of physical excellence:

The time that I have been most successful in my running has been when there has been a purpose or a clear goal.  The best experience of this so far has been marathon training.  Marathon training, following a programme, really focuses your running.  The only problem is, it kind of stops you doing other things.  I think if I signed up for another marathon, I would miss being able to feel run, go on big bike rides, epic hikes and enter triathlons.

run to Asda
I still think that my primary goal for this year is to tick off more, if not all, of the remaining Wainwrights.  Marathon training would really get in the way of this.

My recent running, apart from the fell runs, and the 5ks in the triathlons I have entered, has been of the 'just go out and run' variety.  It doesn't make you any faster but it gets you out there.  This is known in proper running circles as 'doing junk miles'.

My running has had a purpose though, other than the usual getting out for a run, clearing my head and enjoying some time alone.  This week I ran to Asda, met my wife there and did some shopping.  The freezer section in Asda is good for a post run cool down.  Nice 5k done.

run to Halfords
I also needed to buy a new chain for my bike.  I estimated that Halfords was five miles away (turns out it was eight) and that it would take me 45 minutes (make it an hour and ten) to get there.  My, ever supportive, wife met me at Halfords.  After going inside and deciding that they did not know what they were talking about and being frustrated that the chains were on the wrong tags, so that the £15 chain I selected rang up as £25 at the till, I decided not to purchase a chain but was glad to have got 8 miles under my belt.

I have an entry to The Great Lakeland Three Day Challenge for next year and, after the Penrith Triathlon this weekend, this is what I need to train for, this will be my A race.  This event has a number of challenges, it is about a marathon distance on each of the three days.  Competitors are told the start venue (somewhere in the Lake District) about a week before the start but the map is not given out until the night before the event starts.  The first challenge for me is going to be the navigation.  I have been practicing this on walks and runs but still lack a bit of confidence.  The map is the 1:40,000 Harvey type map which I think are more difficult to navigate with than the OS 1:25,000 I have been using.  I have tried practicing with the 1:40,000 map once so far, on the Dove Crag walk.  These maps have a lot less detail, some major features are not included so I need to practice using them more.

Competitors have a 50L (I think) allowance for luggage which is transported between the campsites by the marshalls.  This has to include your tent, sleeping bag as well as any nutrition, clothing etc.  This year the organisers made a mistake and published an allowance of 100L.  I would like to practice some runs with a camp out and then another run in the morning, using this allowance to see what kit is going to work.

I need to up my distance a bit for the runs.  This year, I think the first day ended up being 30 miles, the second was 27ish and the last about 18.  I did a 19 mile run a few months back which was ok but wiped me out.  This is probably the bit of training that I am least concerned about and am looking forward to getting some long days in.  Obviously, running these sorts of distances on consecutive days is another thing that I would need to practice.  I imagine I will be utilising the 'standing in the river' method of cooling the leg muscles off that I learnt on the fell running course that I did.

So there we have it, goal set.  Although a Fred Whitton round would be good, and I still need to swim across a lake...

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