Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Ironman Wales - Training - Weeks 5 to 9 Toughen Up


Week 5 - 9 - Toughen Up

Week 9 has arrived and gone when I write this review of my training, time is flying and I'm starting to get nervous about race day.

The past 4 weeks have been all about building that lactate threshold and I must say there has been some killer sessions in the plan already. I'm still enjoying it so something must be going right... well when I say enjoying it, one thing I haven't enjoyed was the sea swimming. My wife raced ISOMAN so she has been in the sea plenty of times and seems to smash it every time she goes in, I find myself retching with the taste of the water which is really hard to get a good rhythm on my stroke. I really need to work on this as its given my confidence a real bashing!

In this chunk of training we went on holiday to Centerparks for a week, which mean no pool swims, I did ask if I could swim in the lake and I was told no, so I packed extra run kit and bike kit do sneak an extra session in. On an early morning bike ride I managed to hit a pot hole and get a puncture, I got my tool bag only to find out my darling wife had no replace the tools she tool out, so that ride ended prematurely. You can imaging my mood, broken bike and no swims that week.

On the plus side this block, I took on Wisemans bridge and Heartbreak Hill (Saundersfoot) a few times which was satisfying, I also visited Freshwater West on a number of occasions too and took on those hills and won! All good for the confidence of race day I suppose.

The longest session on the bike was 4 hours which I forgot how much you can hate your bike!

I've made the transition to a new saddle (well back to my old one) I wasn't getting on with the wider Adamo saddle and 11 weeks out I'm not to worries,

In this chunk of training we now are hitting double day sessions, with 1 day off a week, I've noticed my metabolism is sky high and I cant eat enough some days, early morning swimming is the norm and I'm really enjoy them too, I can see some days my stroke is lazy as shoulders are tired, but my Ironmates tell me train hard, race easy! I like that idea!

I've also switched to a new trainer (Asics) which I'm unsure about, there is a little rubbing on the heel, but my last pair of Newtons didn't last and the material inside the shoe just tore and then cut my feet to bits. I'm contemplating if this Asics ones are any good, should I buy another pair and training in them too so I have a tougher, more stable pair come race day?

I did my first tri race in 2 years in this chunk on training too, only a Go tri series (sprint Triathlon / pool Swim) It was great to be back racing and really enjoyed getting back to it. I raced this race 3 years ago and back then I was 2 minutes quicker but this time it was a different run route, but I felt lets felt strong off the bike which is a great feeling as they can only get fitter.

Out of the 68 session I missed 15 from the plan, and that included 5 from holiday due to mechanicals and no pool to swim in. Then being away with my wife for ISOMAN (which she smashed!Super proud of her!) 4 missed sessions. The stats below are quite depressing after it feel like a good training block.



Next up is is endurance.. Sounds fun!

I've also got Ocean Lava Half Ironman to take on...

Totals
Sessions Hit - 53
Sessions Missed - 15

Swim Distance - 24140 Meters
Bike Distance - 290 Miles
Run Distance - 54 Miles

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Ironman Wales - Training - Weeks 1 to 4 Building A Routine



Week 1 - 4 - Building A Routine 

So the countdown to race day has started and day one has been and gone and I'm now at the end of my first block of 20 weeks training for Ironman Wales 2016. If I'm honest I've really enjoyed getting back into multi-sport, after concentrating on marathons last year its been great to get back in the pool and on the bike, and I'm full of enthusiasm currently so actually doing the sessions hasn't been a chore (I know I'm only 4 weeks in) but when marathon running some/most of the runs were done with the mentality of "Have I really got to do this, for this far".

Back to the training, week 1 was a nice gentle reminder to triathlon training. I missed no sessions and clocked in a 7/7 that week, same for week 2, zero sessions missed, week 3 I missed my 1st session and it was a bike effort and I felt so guilty, but people tell me don't force the training to catch up on what you missed, just put it to bed and move onto the next session. Its also the 1st week with double day sessions.  The mileage and intensity of the sessions has just gone up a notch and I'm really enjoying it.

This is the 1st month that I been able to give the new bike a good workout, with my race wheels too and I love it. I was really lucky to get such a god deal off my Ironmate for his Moda and I just hope it will get me round the IMW course.

As I'm working away from home at the moment I have to plan my sessions down to the details so I know what kit I have to take with me, and trying to find a local pool that is big enough to swim in also helps. I don't have an issue getting up at 5am to go training, as I've never been one for sleep, and I can get home just in time for the family breakfast.

Next months training aim, Get in the sea with some more open water swims and get out on the Ironman Wales bike course.. Even take on Wisemans..



Totals
Sessions Hit - 46
Sessions Missed - 3

Swim Distance - 16600 Meters
Bike Distance - 253 Miles
Run Distance - 38 Miles



Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Marathon Training


So its nearly Brighton marathon time, I've been really committed to my new plan for the past 24 weeks, all in the aim to hit a sub 4 hour marathon. Its been a mix of 3 runs (tempo, intervals and long run) and strength and conditioning with weights. This is the 1st time I've followed this plan and I feel in completely different shape to the previous 3 marathons.

Is this good news.. We will soon find out...

I've also starting making the transition to triathlon training by getting  out on the bike and on the Ironman Wales bike course too.

After the Brighton Marathon I get 2 weeks off from structured training, but I'm sure I'll end up doing something and then its back to committed 20 week plan for Ironman Wales. I have struggled to get 1 session in a day for the marathon plan so I haven't a clue how I'm going to plan doublers.

I MUST... I WILL!

Ive also starting changing supplies for race day from ZipVit to Powerbar so its less for me to pack on race day and getting my gut used to the Powerbar brand. To be honest some of the stuff doesn't taste that bad.. I'm sure it will in 5 months time!

Friday, 11 December 2015

Newton Distance S IV - Review



Distance S IV
Tech Specs
COLOUR - White / Orange/ Yellow / Red
WEIGHT - 204 g
HEEL-TO-TOE DROP - 2.0mm
INTENDED TESTING - Free run, sprint session, long runs
SURFACE TESTED - Treadmill, Track & Road


Thank you to the team at Newton for sending me a pair of Newton Distance S to test out and report back on how I got on.

I moved to Newton stability running trainers back in 2012 and haven't looked back, I used to have big problems with my calf muscles but Newtons have really helped with sorting this problem.

I said this in my last review but these trainers are great and they keep getting better, a better fit, better stability feel and they look great, Newton are always bringing out bright coloured trainers so you always get noticed. They are also reflective so its the little things that help you get seen at night when running in the late evenings. They are very quick to dry to so even if you wear them in the rain they will be dry for your next session, which helps as there is nothing worse than running in  wet kit!

I use them on a treadmill also indoors so my feet tend to get hot and with the lightweight material and outer mesh it helps keep your feet cool as it ventilation like system with the fabric on the shoes.


The trainers feel unbelievably light on your feet, and you expect stability shoes to be thick, chunky and even with the added support on the base you don't noticed the weight. They do feel a little funny at first when you put them on and start running in them as it feels like your running with studs on your feet but you soon forget. This extra support helps reduce the impact onto your joints, I suppose every little helps with muscle fatigue.



I plan to use my Newtons for the 2016 race season, which includes 2 marathons and 1 Ironman and I am very confident they help to get me to the finish line. I'll be purchasing a few pairs as I plan ti use them fir my training also. I find it important when you find the right pair of shoes you buy a few so you can keep continuity with your training.



I decided against using the quick fit laces in these as I haven't used them for triathlon yet, but they are light enough for me to use so i don't think I'll require a race shoe.  the tongue in the shoe is thin but it gives you enough padding to wear the shoe sock-less which is great for a quick transition and gives you less irritation in sensitive areas on the top of the foot and less chance of friction to produce sore spots. Its hard enough running never lone running with sore feet!

My feet fitted well in the shoe and it didn't slip or move about in the trainer which means less chance of blisters.


The curve in the sole of the trainer definitely helps keep your running stride fluid and with the footfall I definitely notice it aiding rolling to lift off.  The trainer feels really stable and with the cushioned sole it feels like its got a built in memory foam for your foot as it very comfortable.



If your looking to get fit in the new year or just looking to change your footwear for the new season then look no further than these (If your after a stability shoe, If your not still go to the Newton site and see what else they have to offer)

You can find them on the Newton website HERE so get buying.

Thanks again Steve...

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Race Report - Bournemouth Marathon 2015



The past 13 weeks have been leading up to this race, I had learnt a lot from Brighton and I wanted to put in practise what I had changed from April. I was really looking forward to this this race.. Until 3 days previous I got hit with a stomach virus (and to save on details) I was sat on the white porcelain phone for most of the 72 hours pre race.

Not a great start to my race day weekend, I drank lots of water to keep hydrated and went through my pre-race meals, along with some imodium to help me out, I woke up 05:00 Sunday morning as my wife was running the half marathon so it was an early start for me as my race didn't start till 10:00. I lied in bed, and nearly said I'm staying here, but I thought people run marathons with serious illnesses and I'm complaining about a stomach bug, man up and get out of bed and get into your running clothes.

 

We jumped in the car, an hours drive and we were soon parked up and walking to the start line, I waiting with my wife till the half marathon started, gave her a kiss and wished her luck. I wondered back to the bag drop, and sat down for a while to save my legs. I put my sun glasses on and zoned out for a bit, watching people walking back and fore to the toilets and getting last minute supplies from the coffee shop at the start line. 

30 minutes to go, I stripped off, sorted out my hydration belt, switched on my Garmin, dumped my bag at the drop point and made my way to the starting pen. It was really cold in the shade so I made my way there trying to say in the sun to get that extra bit of warmth. Final wee in the portaloo on my way and I was ready, and I started to feel really low. I know the 3 previous days had been hard as I was so geared up to do well and its never a nice feeling "should I pull out of this race" I was close to tears, I don't know why, I just wanted to see my supporters and get them to tell me everything was going to be fine. The 2 minute warning came out over the loudspeaker, I checked my Garmin all was set.. "I can do this" as my chin started to wobble..

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! We were off, I wore my printed running shirt so my name was very clear on the front and the 1st 200 meters a little boy shouted to me "Go on MARTYN" it gave me a reality check, I was running a marathon your going to be great, you've done done it all before and you've done the training your family are proud of you, they are waiting for you.. You best not let them down.

After the opening mile I found my stride and got into a really comfortable rhythm, I wasn't going to fast I felt good, no sign of the past 3 days illness all was forgotten.  I ran with the same group for a good 8 miles, I think we had a good pace and everyone dragged each other along. We started to break up after that and the stronger club runners kicked on and I was soon on my own but still going strong and picking people off.

I saw my wife as mile 13, a lump in my throat, she waved, shouted, and gave me all the encouragement I needed, I knew I'd see her on the way back and I shouted to her "Where are the children" she replied "On the way don't worry - I love you" Just what I wanted to hear! Out and back to the furthest peer, and a turn back into the crowds and hopefully to my family in the town centre.  I saw my wife again at mile 16.5 miles and she told me the children, mother and sister inlaw were just on the turn after 17 miles, I couldn't wait to see them. As you run onto the 2nd peer the wind hits you in the face, I stopped, I was walking, the 1st time in the race, then I saw a figure in the distance on the beach, it was my wife waving to me, I kicked on, she was there for me again! Thanks Vicki!

I was in town again and close to the point where my children were waiting, I saw them and it took my breath away, by the looks of there faces they didn't know who this sweaty man was jumping the railing to kiss them. It felt amazing and I was so pumped to see them and it made me stronger to finish the race. If only they could bottle that feeling and use it whenever you felt down...

I moved on to the killer hill of the course, I decided that I was going to power walk the hills in the race and save my legs for the flats and down hills. This tactic worked.. well I wasn't going to run the hills so it had to work. I started to notice that I had caught up with some of the group I had run the 1st 8 miles with as I noticed the club shirts and the names on the backs of them. I was feeling good again and stayed with the group. I had noticed though by now my mile pace had dropped considerably but I did really care about time it was all about completing what I had started.

I saw the sign for mile 21, I was starting to feel it on my legs, I knew I was going to have to dig deep, my stride length had shortened and it was going to be a tough remaining 5 miles. With one eye on Ironman Wales in 2016 I was going to try and split today's race into 4 x 10km-ish efforts, which worked in my head, so that's something I can take forward. As I got closer into town the crowds started to build, and more and more people called my name, which is great, I gave numerous thumbs ups and thank you's to strangers who gave me that boost. Miles 22,23,24,25 felt like took forever, I was run walking the land marks, I was telling myself run to the red holiday flat then you can walk to the yellow one and repeat. This helped me break down those final miles.... and then I saw it... The sign for mile 26 and in the distance the "end of the rainbow" the finish line.

I kicked on and made my way home, and who did I see about 200 yards away from the finish line but my loyal supporters! What a sight! I high fived my son who was on my wife's shoulders and pegged it towards the finish line, I heard the commentator call my name and it led a bunch of spectators chanting "GO MARTYN GO!" what a feeling, I high fived the finishing crew as I passed the finish line in a time of 04:49:11 not a PB, but I didn't care I had finished. I was told to keep walking to the finishers area, I had to stop and lean again the wall, I was drained physically and emotionally, it had been an experience... a pleasant one... Even though they put stairs in at the finishers area after you'd picked up your medal, that was harsh!



























What next? 2 months off a training plan so I plan to chill out, buy a new bike and get in the pool, test out some kit and report back.