Wednesday, 30 July 2008

I Don’t Like Treadmills

I don't know how some of you guys out there can train continuously on a treadmill during the winter when snow prevents you from running outside. As it was raining yesterday evening I opted to do my 4 x 1k at 5k pace on the treadmill instead of the track - any boy did I regret it. Cranking the belt up to 16 kph (about 6 minute pace) at 1% gradient didn't feel too bad at first but by the time the 3rd rep was finished so was I - legs were like jelly and there wasn't a dry spot on me. Next week I'm heading to the track come what may. Some final thoughts on last Sunday's Tri following some of your comments:- While there were no Age category prizes (except for first vets - does M35 qualify? & first over 50) I was first M40 out of 15 with only two older ahead of me (an M45 and M50). Probably because the real M40 competition was at the Kinsale Sprint tri the day before. My overall position at each stage was Swim - 15th T1 - 19th (passed by 4 - definitely room for improvement) Cycle - 29th (passed by 10 - not too bad but this is the area where most improvement could be made, transition excepting) T2 - 31st (passed by 2) Run - 23rd (passed 8) Swim - Ewen you're right 23 minutes for 1500m is flying. I was nearly a minute slower though @ 23:52. The fastest time was a few seconds over 18 minutes. Based on previous experience I would have expected somewhere in the range of 26 minutes - I completed the 800m swim leg of a charity Tri in 2005 in about 13 minutes. However this swim was in a freshwater lake wearing swimming trunks whereas both Tris this year were in the sea wearing a wet suit, giving much more buoyancy. I read in one of those Tri books that a wet suit can improve your 1500m time by 90 seconds. In addition in 2005 I wouldn't have had the cardiovascular endurance I now have since I took up running. Also the accuracy of Sunday's course may be questionable. The Dark Side - Thomas, I don't think I will abandon running for Triathlons as there are fewer opportunities to race with little or no fixtures between September and May. However I have been hooked and will certainly keep competing (I see Ironman is on your to do list). While I have not been cross-training as preparation for my next marathon I have noticed that the squat jump exercises in "Brain Training" are easier this time around, which I have put down to cycling. Iron Man - Marc I'll have to dip my toe in the Half Iron Man first (maybe next year) and then I'll see. Going from last Sunday to Iron Man is like going from a 10k to a Marathon, no worse from a marathon to a 100 miler - serious training required. Marathon Training Last week was recovery week 4 of my 16 week Amsterdam marathon programme where the load lightened in preparation for a programmed 5k race (replaced with a triathlon - specificity is everything!). I skipped a few of the recovery runs as I was under time constraints - one was a scheduled 2 miler & I couldn't see the benefit. Tue 22nd p.m. 6.15 Miles in 50:15 (08:10 pace @ 133 HR) with 10 x 400m reps in 83 to 86 Secs Wed 23rd a.m. 5.24 Miles in 44:09 (08:25 pace @ 125 HR) p.m. unscheduled Brick with neighbour Jim - 21 Mile cycle (went looking for hills) in 01:19 approx followed by 2.05 mile run (08:32 pace @ 125 HR) Thur 24th p.m. 6.93 Miles in 54:28 (07:52 @ 144 HR) with 3 x 1 Mile 06:20/06:09/06:20 (1st and 3rd mile against an onshore wind) Sun 27th 6.2 Miles approx in 41:52 (06:44 pace) as part of Little Bo Peep Tri Marathon Week 4/16 - 26.5 Miles (I'll have to start cranking up the mileage and focus on a few running goals now that my Tris are behind me) Tue 29th p.m. 5.6 Miles approx on the treadmill with 3 x 1k @ 6:00 pace. Legs: 6/10 Sleep: 7 hrs, 7/10 Wed 30th a.m. 7.77 recovery Miles in 01:05:25 (08:25 pace @ 132 HR) - while HR was a bit high for the pace run was very comfortable considering tuesdays effort. Legs: 7/10 Sleep: 7 hrs, 7/10


  1. It's hard to run on the mill but it sure beat getting run over by a snowplow or falling on your face trying to do repeats. Good work sticking it out this time!

  2. No treadmills at any time for me - it never gets cold/wet enough to need one!

    For a runner you're a pretty good swimmer (even with a wetty)! I can see why you like triathlons. If you lived down here you could do them 6 months of the year ;)

  3. Life without a treadmill would be impossible in the Canadian north. My new one just arrived on Monday and strangely I am looking forward to the first run on it.
    On the swimming front, what kind of workouts / drills do you do?

  4. Garry, the thing is I don't have any specific workouts/drills for swimming as I had little time to prepare for the Tris and before them I was not swimming competitively. I generally swam 40 to 60 lengths, once or twice a week (a bit sporadic when marathon training) concentrating on form for the first 30 to 50 (breath every 3rd stroke), with the last 10 fast (breathing every 2nd stroke).

    In 2003/2004 I went back to basics and started from scratch using a DVD "Freestyle made easy" purchased from this site -

    I literally relearned my stroke from scratch and it helped me with breathing more efficiently and swimming more effortlessly.

  5. I actually took a two day Total Immersion course. I went from swimming like a rock to something more like a log. But I did vastly improve my stroke and I have had moments of brillance - 1:45 / 100 which is respectable. Unfortunately come race day I revert to a survival strategy in the water. I might take a look at that DVD though, since I already know the basics. Thanks for the help!

  6. Treadmill is a dirty word in my book.

    Now that you purged yourself of triathlons, its time to focus on Amsterdam!