Training Diary – Day 805

What a lovely hot evening it was tonight – plenty of sunshine and blue sky to make the training session more enjoyable. The decision was about where to train – inside the gym or another trip around the local roads… It was down to my training buddy #Derek – as our #HIITs Class was cancelled and we would be left to our own devices today.


It was a short 5km run tonight – not feeling the positivity that I usually have. A #BadDay that wasn’t going to get any better with my training – I have been feeling quite annoyed all day so the frustration was really pent up.

Next it was an hour of weights circuit training – using a range of the different machines to focus on upper body & ABS muscle groups. It was more about heavy weights (for me) rather than high reps. I thought that I had done enough when I finished until I got into my car to drive home again. But for some reason I just felt that I needed to go and do some more training.


I had this mad impulsive idea of going for a bike ride – maybe about 20km to finish off any frustrations I still had. After sorting out my change of clothes and getting my energy drink ready, I then set off – in that direction …..   basically a #RideForestRide mode.


I just rode and rode until I realised I was at the half way point of my middle distance route – a lot further than I had thought about doing – 17.20km. I was full of energy and feeling the need to improve my time for the return journey – and I was going to do it.


This is the route, plus a little extra around the local road to complete the 35km distance. But more importantly I was impressed with my time – 81mins02secs for the distance, knocking off over 4mins+ from my previous fastest time.


Apart from the feeling of being shattered again, the smile in this photo is a genuine one – one of being pleased with my efforts. I will now refocus on setting newer target times to beat over the next few weeks.


Training Diary – Day 804

A bit of a rough/disturbed night last night, legs felt sore & achy more than usual – that is another side effect of a ‘rest Day’ that I don’t like. Some stretching and bending before leaping out of bed made the transition to getting up a little easier.


Tonight it was a road run with a training buddy #Derek, which is a fairly comfortable pace for me, as he isn’t a lover of running – more of a ‘got to do it so I will’ type of runner.


We did the above route, plus an extra lap around the gym (an extra 750m) to be just short of 6km tonight – in #sub40mins. This isn’t a bad pace for #Derek and he was trying out a proper pair of running trainers he had bought, (I used it as a recovery/easy run to ease out the stiffness in my quad/calf muscle groups.)


Afterwards, I felt it only fair that I do a little extra than #Derek and went out on my bike to do a short 14km (ish) mainly flat ride, around the cycle paths ways and back. The time wasn’t special (about 27mins) – just a blow the cobwebs off from today. Tomorrow will be back to some proper training and increased challenges.

Training Diary – Day 803

A double entry for today as I was too shattered yesterday to update the blog.

Monday – Part One


Monday was a Bank holiday and I had agreed to help yet another New Training Buddy #VickyF with her long run. (I wasn’t running with her, as I’d run the day before, so I was going to use my bike and ride her route with her.) Due to it being her long run from her Marathon training plan, we arranged to meet up at a local railway station – at 05.00am for a really early start. The picture makes it look light already but I can assure you it was still dark.

After a few miles, the sunrise was clearly visible over the farmer’s fields – it make you think you where in the middle of nowhere; the sound of the birds breaking the silence and the empty roads made it very pleasant to run/ride along.

We passed several of the local beauty sites and places of culture during the first 10miles or so – too many to mention but these photos are just a small taste. The ‘Lighthouse’ was really visible along the coastline and we followed it to the ‘Car’ – being puzzled how it had managed to get to its resting place, nowhere near a road or suitable route to drive to…

The return journey back along the coastal path was more of a challenge for both of us, Vicky with her running and now heavy legs kicking in, and my riding along the trail that wasn’t really suitable for my road bike. But all credit to Vicky, she fought her demons, she battled her aches & pains and she even moaned ‘politely’ when I insisted doing a slight additional distance to her route.

I knew she was working hard for the last 2-3miles of her route, she kept on talking about how heavy her legs were feeling – especially going up small inclines that she had smashed at the beginning of the run. The final mile or so, even though flat (ish) was the biggest battle for her – she was definitely fighting any demons to complete the distance and a big #Welldone to her for doing it. (I know it was hard for Vicky because I also found it hard just riding her route – heavy legs and energy levels are barriers that I also had to overcome.)


The route & distance completed and the compulsory ‘Selfie’ photo had to be taken. But don’t be fooled by our smiles … they are just as much a struggle as it was for the last mile. The endurance of running/riding for around 3.5hrs was definitely a challenge.

I was so impressed with #VickyF and all I did was to be her #Official Photographer, Bodyguard, Psychologist, Venting board, Cheerleader, Map reader, Route planner, extra mileage adder, joker, entertainer and maybe a few others that I have forgot – oh even shouted encouragement/ motivation for the last few miles …

Monday – Part Two


After the run/ride – #VickyF went home to her family and I went straight to Liverpool to do the #DragonBoatChallenge – a charity event involving a number of teams in long boats. This was going to be my 2nd year at doing the event and loveld every minute of it last year.


Our gym had registered 2 teams this year and we also renewed our rivalry with a group of local builders we knew. (Last year the builders beat us in the final.) As expected, the banter, the slating, the competitiveness came out again – all in good fun and we did actually support each other’s teams/boats when racing again the other crews in the event.

At the end of our races, which we all worked so hard to do our best – our boat came 4th in the Final, which was no easy achievement considering we hadn’t been in a boat together before this event. The builders came 2nd over all and they did brilliant too.

The day for me had been a very long & tiring one – with lots of energy being used up for me to complete the 2 activities. I was officially shattered and needed to get home for a much deserved rest.


Today, was the complete opposite for me. I had heeded to the ‘Train Smarter’ advice given to me by the #Physio – deciding to have a complete rest day from all exercise and relaxing my aching muscles/body.


I booked an appointment for some treatment on my quad/knee muscles after yesterday’s effort. Luckily for me I was able to get an hour appointment with #Marcus and he sorted out some swelling of my quad/knee and then a massage of my legs to help get rid of the stiffness and heavy feeling in them. I was also reminded of my ‘Train Smarter’ advice he gave me a few weeks ago – which I have been following too. All being well and if I follow the advice given, he thinks I should be fine to continue my training for the Liverpool R&R HM in 3 weeks time – this was all I wanted to hear.


On a different note – the Public Ballot opened for next year’s London Marathon – so everyone I know was applying to do it ….  just had to be done – so I applied but am not expecting to get a place …..   but at least I applied.


Training Diary – Day 801


We set up a FB group of like-minded sports enthusiasts and today we have designed our own training top – with the above picture across the back. The front will have our own name and one of the symbols to which we are enthused about doing. Only a small group of about 40+ members at the moment but it is growing too.  (That was just some exciting news to do with our training.)

Today’s session was a 10miles+ run with a few hill climbs added in – the longest being about 3km right at the start. My training/running buddy was #PaulB and we did the same route as last week and were looking for an improvement in our times. (To be truthful, I knew I was going to struggle today because of the heavy sessions I have done all week. But that was not going to be my excuse.)

#PaulB has come on really well over the past 12months, increasing both his speed & distances to get New PBs quite regularly. For me again, it was just about getting some miles in my legs – longer runs in preparation for the #LiverpoolR&R HM in 4 weeks.


As usual we checked the conditions and made our plans – the sun was shining and it was going to be a warm one. The forecast was to get a bit windy in the afternoon, making it harder to do this route, the wind tunnel effect comes to mind.

Sadly the forecast was a little wrong regarding the wind. As soon as we hit the main road the wind was significantly blowing straight at us, running into a head wind is difficult at the best of times but this was 2 steps forward, one step backwards. Without realising, we had increased our pace from 9mins30sec pace per mile to sub9mins mile and that was hurting. By the time we had reached the 3miles mark I was struggling with the pace, the wind and had heavy legs – my quad was starting to tighten up too. Luckily for me we met up with 3 other runners from the Running Club – #JohnP, #MarinaM & #JanS, they had gone out much earlier for their long run today. After a quick chat and the problems with the wind, we set off again on our different runs.


Because the ‘Dream Monument’ is on top of the hill, great view of the countryside though, #PaulB was able to go ahead of me along a slightly longer path, whilst I took the shorter but steeper route to the top. This was the halfway point and I needed to do a few stretches whilst sat having my energy drink – and of course the compulsory ‘Selfie’ to prove we reached the top. The distance for me today was 8.1km and my time was 46mins34secs – #Paul obviously did slightly long in a similar time.

The return route is pretty much easier for the majority of it – mainly down hill and some stretches of flat to recover on. Or so you would have thought!! Yeah right … the wind had now changed direction and was a head wind again – straight into our faces with what seemed like more force. The temperature had risen too and we had the swirling dust/bits getting into our eyes and causing another problem for us. It wasn’t as pleasurable as we had expected.


This photo doesn’t actually demonstrate how hot it was at the end of this run – and our ‘Smiles’ in the selfie are more forced than you think. I have to admit I struggled today and was so relieved when it was over – as was #PaulB I assume too. The total distance for the run – according to my Garmine was 16.21km in a time of 92mins52secs – a pace of #Sub9mins30secs per mile. (#PaulB’s distance would have been slightly longer because of his mustering.) This time puts us on track for #sub2hrs2mins for the HM – slightly faster than last week’s pace so not too bad a run as we thought.

Training Diary – Day 800



#LazyGitSleptIn – missed parkrun this morning because I didn’t hear the alarm going off. Oh well – no official time but didn’t stop me doing my local 5km road route in 26.18secs.


Pleased with that as my speed is starting to improve again – due to the bike work, and I am getting back to my pre-injury 5km times again.

Trouble for me today was getting called a ‘Lazy Git’ because I missed the parkrun. That was like a major challenge being thrown down to me – which I duly accepted and posted a shout out to anyone wanting to do a long bike ride with me.

A training buddy from a while back took up my challenge – #TonyRange, we used to do a fair bit of running/training together until he got injured and then I got injured – messed our training opportunities up big time.


Anyway #Tony is a big bike fan and has done it for many years – he’s quite good at it really but pretends he is just ‘alright.’  After getting my hair cut yesterday and then going for the bike ride, I had a very sore head because of the helmet rubbing – left a red mark on my forehead. (That wasn’t going to happen today because I bought myself a red buff to wear.)


Despite being tired from this mornings run, I was hoping #Tony was going to push the pace a bit for me – making my challenge just that little bit harder. We did really well on the hill climb sections for the first half of the route – finding our comfort zone/pace whilst still having a bit of a chat about the route.


The return journey wasn’t as windy as we anticipated and we cruised along the ‘wind tunnel’ without too much of a problem. We didn’t have much luck with the traffic lights though, probably got caught by most of them – which slowed us down or stopped us. The final distance was 34.86km for the route and we completed it in a time of 84mins12secs – a fair time and one that showed we both worked hard to do it.

For the rest of tonight it will be chill time and preparing for tomorrow’s long run with another training buddy #Paul. We are aiming for 10miles+ tomorrow as a build up to the Liverpool R&R HM in 4 weeks time. (Just aiming to get as close to the #2Hour mark for the HM over then next few weeks.


Training Diary – Day 799



Today involved taking one of the Running Club Ladies out on to the roads for her first long bike ride – #LainLain. She was extremely worried about being on the roads and felt it would prevent her from doing longer distances. I agreed to take her out and do some roads & pathways – but didn’t say how far we would be going.


The usual ‘Before’ selfie at our meeting point – by the Bridge, showing her apprehension about going on the roads. The first challenge was to cross the main bridge and getting to the pathways – approximately 3km or so away. Simple instructions of follow me and stay close to the curbside of the road was the order of the day – speed/time wasn’t important if she was frightened to ride on the roads.


The route was a shortened version of my usual one, but long enough to give #LainLain a lot of confidence on the roads. (At times I was more scared than she was – Road Sense needed to be reinforced, especially when she was trying to ride head-on into oncoming traffic along the dual carriage way ….   Oblivious to the dangers came to my mind.)

At the halfway point I did a little changing of her bike seat setting – she looked really low on the frame, so I raised her seat by about 10cm. Whilst riding back she said her thighs didn’t hurt as much now, so I think it must have helped. Although we didn’t do an official timing for the ride, her return journey was more than 4 minutes quicker than the outward journey.


The only negative part of the ride tonight was the #RideRage I was involved with – when 2 fellas decided to deliberately block the pathway on us. One was ‘Brave’ mouthing it off at me when we passed them – but soon changed when I got off the bike to confront him ….

Training Diary – Day 798



First stop tonight was #Alison’s class at the gym – as always she includes multi-levels of difficulty for us to work through. I was quite pleased with her exercise routine because she focused more on the #Core #ABS which I had been looking at myself.

During the class #Ali introduce a few new exercises to me – and after a little bit of apprehension, I found that I enjoyed them more that I expected – so much so that I will look to add them to my own routines too. The session was a good work out as usual and all of us participating found a great deal of benefit out it. (I judge my effort by 2 standards – one is how much I laugh & the other is how quiet I am in the session.) I was laughing a lot tonight – because that is my way of showing that I was hurting – laughing it off.


The 2nd part of tonight’s training was a short bike ride along a flat route – just to ensure that I didn’t get too cold in the chilly wind. Just over 13km in 23mins wasn’t too bad because I hadn’t really planned on going out on my bike – I got home a little earlier than I thought, so just added a little bit extra for the #Fun of it.