Thursday, 3 December 2009

Back in the saddle

I finally managed to get back on the bike last Friday for the first time since splitting my lip off the back of a car. It wasn't for want of trying, it's just that the weather hasn't been the best and I can only get out during daylight. A relatively easy 16+ miles over flat terrain was sufficient. It was evident that I had lost a lot of the gains I had made during the summer. If I want to improve my triathlon times next year the easiest gains can be made on the bike provided I get some decent continuous base training in during the winter. On the running front I am well a truly recovered from Dublin. In fact Dublin felt more like a bump in the road as opposed to an end of season type of race. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I had a lot of running down time in May/June due to injury and the triathlons during the summer prevented me from getting high mileage in. This lack of high endurance mileage in the early build for Dublin does not appear to have affected my performance, so maybe there's a lesson there. I covered 27 miles over 2 weekend runs, 16 with Eagle over a hilly route in Glounthane on Saturday and a further 11 miles on a wet Sunday morning. The coach commented on Tuesday that if I am doing 2 relatively long runs back to back that the last run should be the longest and that the first run should be a fartlek type session so that the legs are already tired heading into the second run. Tuesday's track session was a further step up in the stress ladder with the 2ks @6:20 pace being replaced by miles @ 6:00 pace. We had 3 in all to do with 3 minute recoveries and I was certainly glad when they were over. Still mile repeats at that pace are far easier to do on the track than the road and running as part of a group certainly helps to pull you along when you are flagging. After the repeats I fell in with the 6:30 pace group who were adding 2 further miles to their session. Wednesday's recovery run saw me return to the barefoot fivefingers which gave me no trouble over the slow 5 miles, despite the fact that I had not run in them for over a month. It was back to the track this evening but as the surface had iced over in places I opted for a steady run with Paul & Tony around Bishopstown covering 3.9 miles @ 6:58 pace. 12 weeks to Barcelona Fri 27th Nov 2.5 miles in 19:49 (07:56 pace - Treadmill) Sat 28th Nov 16.03 miles in 2:12:00 (08:14 pace @ 124 HR) Sun 29th Nov 11.31 miles in 1:31:55 (08:08 pace @ 130HR) Base Week 1 - 53.9 miles November (Run 195.5 miles, Bike 25.5 miles, Swim 8,500m) Tue 1st Dec 7 miles approx with 3 x 1600m in 6:04/5:58/6:04 & 2 x 1600m in 6:30 approx. Wed 2nd Dec 5.27 miles in 48:54 (09:17 pace @ 114 HR) -Recovery run Barefoot/Vibrams Thur 3rd Dec 7.89 miles in 1:03:56 (08:06 pace @ 128HR) with 3.9 miles @6:58 pace.


  1. Maybe your success in Dublin without a long build-up is a lesson especially for me to take in!

    Is it really so much easier to do mile repeats on the track? Why?

  2. Thomas, maybe not "far easier" but certainly easier perhaps because the surface is flat, smooth, illuminated (at night) and I know exactly how far I have to go without looking at the garmin. Obviously I need lap times to keep on pace which at 6 minutes is easy to remember @ 45 seconds every 200m (0:45 - 1:30 - 2:15 - 3:00 etc.) On the road/footpath there are more subtle distractions that prevent me from devoting my mind 110% to the task at handr - anticipating camber, dips, potholes, kerbs, gradient, cars, pedestrians, etc etc.

  3. hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

  4. Yes, I'd second that about the track. You can get your pace perfect at the first 200m (or even 100m).

    By the way, one mile at 6:00 pace would be a considerable M50 PB for me! Nice going Grellan.

  5. Hi Grellan

    Congrats on winning my little competition. You were only 10secs out from my official time of 7hrs 03mins 19secs.

    Could you email me you address so I can send you your prize?



  6. How do you find the Five Fingers? I have toyed around with trying these or Nike Frees for a while now.

  7. Thanks John, I didn't know there was a prize!

    Westley The five fingers are first and foremost fun - they give me a sense of freedom that runner and socks can't, particularly in wet weather where it feels great splashing through puddles without worrying about getting wet. Your feet are more in touch with the surface you're running over as the smallest indentation is felt yet they remain warm even in cold weather. On the training front they prevent you from heel striking and so you tend more towards a more natural stride training your foot muscles to take more of the shock rather than transferring it to your calves/knees/hips etc. Well that's the theory anyway.