Archive for the ‘Spin’ Category

Too much (too young[old])   3 comments

Monday morning: Gym. Monday evening: Track. Bob was away so Steve was in charge which turned out to be excellent as paarlaufs were on the agenda. 500s and 300s. Six of each. I paired with Rick as he is about the same speed as me (especially on these as I am better at the short stuff). Nothing more to be said really other than I love paarlaufs.

On Tuesday I went MyRiding again. This time I decided to try and keep within the suggested RPM which meant I had to put my resistance down a bit sometimes. I am not very good at making my legs go fast (ditto whilst trying to do fast feet at track). I just about managed to stay in the right zone most of the time. Cycling to and from involves two big up hills so a good workout all told.

The first Wednesday of October meant it was back to the seafront for winter tempo runs. As there is a lot of work being done on the prom by the West Pier we took a different route to the Peace Statue and then all the way along to Carat’s Café. The run was broken up into 3 sections of approximately 2.5 miles each. This was the perfect distance to be able to keep up my effort knowing that there was a brief rest at the end as we regrouped (brief as I was near the back of the group). I was very pleased to discover that I managed the full run at a consistent 4.22(ish)mpkm. Over all this run totalled 9 miles including the jog to and from the start. The gym and LSRs are beginning to kick in I think.

Even though I had run well on Wednesday I thought I had better get out for the planned LSR on Thursday morning anyway. I managed 12.5 miles but I could definitely feel yesterday’s run and it was quite a struggle, especially as I made it too hilly. In the evening I went to the Hove Park session and put in some effort. Unfortunately regardless of effort my legs were shot so even though I felt like I was going fast I obviously wasn’t as I was right at the back. This session was hills hills hills which was excellent as Steve made us do some hills as a warm up. 21 all together. My poor legs.

I rested on Friday but one day wasn’t enough and parkrun rolled around once more to be run on tired legs. This week I decided to go by heart rate as that is after all why I bought a HR watch. I set it to buzz to keep me in the target zone of “speed” which is 80-90% effort, 166 – 187bpm. This I did with an average of 179bpm. Unfortunately this did not equate to a speedy run. 20.50 which was about the same as when I ran last time. I shall attempt to run at a higher heart rate next time though I was already nearing 90% if the technology is to be believed. Oh well, if I explode at least I shall know I tried for once.

Today was the return of the Lewes Downland 10 Mile race though this time I would not be racing it rather just using it as a training run to force myself to do some hills and off road both of which I don’t like. I trotted home a mere 9 minutes slower than last year. I didn’t enjoy any of it bar the last 400 metres downhill on grass but I’m sure it has done me some good. Although currently I just feel knackered.

I must now attempt to rest a bit in preparation for Thursday’s track 10k.

44 miles for the week.


Positivity   Leave a comment

I think I went to the gym on Monday. I definitely went to track in the evening. This week’s session was an evil concoction of Bob’s involving long reps broken down into alternate stretches of tempo and fast running. So the first was 1200 broken in to 300t, 300f, 300t, 300f. Then with 400s, then 500s, then 400s and 300s to finish. It was unpleasant and I was too slow to keep with my normal group (which adds evidence to the feeling I went to the gym in the morning).

On Tuesday I did a spin class at Withdean Gym with Rob, who turns out to be a total spinmeistergeneral, who put me to shame. However it was good for me to do something different and notwithstanding the Wiggoesque nature of Rob I still worked hard.

Having cycled on Tuesday I needed to get a LSR in on Thursday so this I duly did. It was long and slow and a run so success! Managed 13 miles on the seafront at an average pace of 8.43 which I was pleased with especially as it was rather windy and I’m still not fully back to routine long runs. In the evening I went to the Arena Hove Park intervals session that I haven’t been to for ages. I was a bit worried I might be dead after the morning but in fact I was not and put in a good session. Perhaps not particularly fast but I put in the effort which is the main thing.

On Friday I definitely did go to the gym. I really wanted to go up a notch on the leg press but due to Thursday double day I wasn’t able to. However I did all the usual stuff so that will do.

Today (Saturday) it was the Goodwood Cross Country relay which heralds the start of the cross country season. It’s always strange when this race is run in hot and summery weather but it was once again this year. This time I ran 3rd leg which I don’t think I’ve done before. It meant that I was running by myself but there were a few people within catching distance and in fact I overtook 4 people which I was pleased with. I was pleased with my run as a whole as I tried throughout and for the first time EVER felt like I actually RAN up the hill. Hoorah! All this gymming is paying off.

The leg one ladies are off! Thanks Tom for the photo.

The leg one ladies are off! Thanks Tom for the photo.

I think my time was roughly 20 seconds slower than my PB which is good as I’m still not back into full long run mode and I was not motivated by being on leg one and surrounded by people or by having been given a MASSIVE head start, meaning I was in the lead and being terrified of losing it.

A pleasing week and 27 miles in the bag.

(Almost) a week off (running)   Leave a comment

I started the week with good intentions to rest after the struggling to breathe whilst running of the preceding few weeks or so. So I didn’t go to track on Monday. A good start.

On Tuesday I decided that Core & Stretch would be ok as it is a relaxing class. Well its actually not in any way relaxing but it is stretching so not a vigorous jumping about type class so in terms of lungs should be fine. It also kills the core which is always a good thing. I’m sure there is still a lot of mince pie lard to burn off. The class was absolutely rammed again so it was single mats all round which meant when rolling the spine it was rather painful and knobbly on the floor. As always the class was good and I felt that my poor legs had at least had some good done to them.

In the evening I found myself at kettlebells before I had really thought about it. Ooops. Perils of having a routine. As I was there I decided to make the most (least?) of it by going down quite a lot in terms of weight and concentrating on form and stretching out the hamstrings and so forth. It was definitely a good idea to go down a weight or ten as I still struggled. This was due to the inability to breathe properly, I just felt rather weak and run down. I made sure I did the upper body stuff to the best of my ability as this area is otherwise neglected what with all the running. I managed around 10 proper press ups before my spaghetti arms decided enough was enough. Along with all the other stuff I think my arms got a bit of a going over which is good.

On Wednesday I had promised Matt I’d go to Break the Cycle even though he wouldn’t be there so off I went. Rest week going well…This class is a mix of spin and circuit training. We started off on the circuit which was arm based (as the spin part is obviously leg based) which was excellent as I want to show my arms what’s what after they’ve got away with not having to do much for many years. Each of the ten or so stations is only 45 seconds so just long enough for a good blast but not too long that you flag badly before the end. After going round once we hopped on the bikes for 10 minutes of spinning, then back on the circuit. Finishing off on the bikes. I really enjoyed this class and hope to add it to my repertoire. On Thursday morning various new bits of my upper body ached so I know the class was a success! I did actually manage to rest on Thursday.

On Friday I went to spin and thoroughly knackered myself, probably due to not having done any running and only having taken the classes I had done quite gently (for me). Thankfully it was an endurance session so was mainly uphills and uphill sprinting. I much prefer this to normal sprinting which I find really hard, my legs just never seem to be able to spin as fast as everyone else’s. Anyway there was hardly any of that so I was happy to concentrate on killing myself on the climbs. We finished off with a ridiculous attempt to sprint in the highest gear. Sprinting was of course unachievable but we tried to at least keep the pedals turning which in itself was virtually impossible. I enjoyed the class greatly. I can definitely tell the difference having not already run many many miles in the week.

Of course a rest week wouldn’t be a rest week without ruining it so off I swept to Lancing on Saturday afternoon for the masters xc championships. I knew I wasn’t going to be much good at this as it is a long long uphill drag over much mud, grass and flinty-chalky paths and is just generally not my kind of thing. I was mainly there for the nice long downhill finish and to turn out for the club. There were only two of us in the v35 category so I didn’t need to worry about placing for the team as we needed another person. The race panned out as I expected, I really struggled on the uphills, you get an extra one in this race as it is a mile longer than the League xc that takes place here, and was overtaken by loads of people. I managed to claw a few back on the first downhill but by the time I’d reached the summit the second time everyone was too spread out and I failed to catch anyone on the long downhill finish. Nevermind. The downhill was slightly marred by the strong and cold headwind but I still enjoyed it and managed to throw in a mightily impressive (thanks Hywel) sprint finish to know avail but I loved it anyway. On the plus side my lungs felt much better and I only felt knackered in the normal way rather than in a breathless unexplained way.

This morning I decided not to go to RunBrighton as it was 2 hours over the downs which would really not please my bum injury after yesterday’s exertions on the mud and hills. I plumped for a lone LSR on the seafront (no missed “keep away from the sea” warnings this time). I found it rather hard and dropped my pace quite significantly on the long drag back into the wind. Oh well, 14 miles in the bag.

So a not very restful (except slightly in a running sense – 18 miles) rest week completed.

New year, same old stuff   Leave a comment

As we were still in the grips of festive fever and who-knows-what-day-it-is Monday was a Wednesday route run but with track style elements. Steve set us out with various sections of lamppost fartlekking interspersed with tempo running and recovery jogs with two rergrouping points. This run was excellent. I really enjoyed doing something different on the seafront rather than the usual LSRing. With the run to and from the King Alfred this run totalled 9 miles.

Jenny had decided to hold a Core & Stretch class on Tuesday morning which was good as there hadn’t been one the week before it having been Christmas Eve. Matt was back too which was excellent as once again we were threatened with being split up due to our sniggering at our various inflexibilities. There was no kettlebell class in the evening as everyone was out living it up on New Year’s Eve (probably).

There had been a plan afoot for New Year’s Day to run Preston Park parkrun followed by Hangover 5 in Worthing but the Hangover 5 had been called off due to flooding. We then toyed with the idea of doing Tilgate parkrun followed by PrestonPark but in the end just settled on PrestonPark parkrun which started at 10.30. This turned out to be a good decision in my eyes as the weather was truly horrendous. Freezing, raining and exceedingly windy. 

On Thursday the weather was unexpectedly OK so I took the opportunity to get out for a LSR as storms were forecast for the coming week. However I had somehow managed to miss all the warnings about avoiding the seafront due to high tides and strong winds and found myself subsumed by a wave crashing over Shoreham Arm around mile two. This meant I then had 8 miles of dripping sodden salty squelch-running ahead of me. I went inland around the King Alfred as the prom was rammed with people also making the most of the unexpected good weather. Although I started off 8mm I conked out at 6 miles, dropping to around 8.30s. I still managed 10 miles over all though so it was OK.

To massively misquote Craig David I rested on Friday.

Saturday rolled round again as it is wont to do which meant parkrun again (four parkruns in 2 weeks – good times). Having thought I couldn’t be worse than Wednesday I proved myself wrong by struggling home lungless in 22.56. The weather was foul again but seriously? Oh dear.

Sunday was a double running day. RunBrighton in the morning. As I was racing at Bexhill in the afternoon I joined the 8 minute mile group at the Lagoon. Once again there was a break in the weather, sunny and calm and perfect for running. We couldn’t run on the prom as the stones from the beach had been thrown all the way across to the beach huts. Thus we ran along the pavement until the Peace Statue where we rejoined the front. Not really much to say about this run other than it was good to run along chatting at 8 minute miling with Rick, Rob and Joe. This seems to have become a Sunday morning staple and I like it. 10 miles for me this time.

Alas this Sunday I then had to drag over to Bexhill for the relocated Sussex Cross Country Championships. I only ever sign up for this as it is held at Stamner Park and has my favourite long downhill finish. However this year it had to be moved to Bexhill and I really wasn’t looking forward to it. I was so wrong! I ended up really enjoying it. Even though it was a massive mudfest and contained a lot of weaving and undulations for once my mind was willing and I actually raced it. Yes it was exceedingly muddy but I made the most of any runnable sections and downhill bits and pushed through the quagmire as best I could. I was lapped by the winner a few seconds before she finished and I headed off for the last lap but even this didn’t dampen (snigger) my enthusiasm.  Just a few examples of the running surface!

A slightly firmer section.

A slightly firmer section.

I was very pleased with my 8 minute miling given the conditions.

A solid 41 miles for the week.

Christmust run off all the mince pies…   Leave a comment

It’s Christmas!!!!! Or it was when I took myself off to Hove Park for Christmas Day parkrun. This year it was an official run that would count towards points, totals, statistics etc. Not that there is anything for me to be aiming for these days as I have passed the 100 mark (160+) and 250 is waaaaaay off. Anyhow being a massive non-christmassy person what better way was there to start the day than by parkrunning? I knew it would be tres poop as Hove Park and I have had a serious falling out and every time I go there I am progressively more awful. I arrived far too early as usual so had to stand around for a bit, alone, wondering if I had imagined there was a run on. I then found Jacko and Terry hovering under the café balcony and in due course more people appeared. I shall gloss over the run as I had a total lung failure so felt like I might expire even though I was going really slowly. Luckily Danny appeared and ran with me for most of it so that made it less of a wheezing slog. I somehow finished in an almightily awful 22.06.

Thankfully I knew Boxing Day would be much better as I was meeting Andy for a run before the Boxing day 5.5 miler in Preston Park. Danny also joined us for the pre-race part and we ran 7 or so miles out along London Road before Danny departed and Andy and I lined up for the race. As this was just to be a long run I had no intention of racing so set of steadily with the somewhat nobbled Rob. He had to abandon ship for Christmas Day part two after two laps so I had almost a full lap to myself before I was joined by Dave for the remainder. All in all it was a good run and I knocked up 14 miles (Andy, having proposed the idea of doing extra before the start only did three laps of the race – tsk). I really enjoyed this run and was glad to feel like I was finally burning off some of the 12000+ mince pie calories consumed since the first of December.

On Friday it was the annual 90 minute spin class as held by Jeff. I had to go as I was the one who suggested he do it again. I was really hoping there would be more than two people there this time and lo there were 4 of us plus Jeff! Phew. I paced myself much better this time (I died after about 20 minutes last year) and felt relatively OK throughout (as much as one ever can during a spin class). Perhaps this was helped by the fact I had the bike whose gears actually work. Thank you number 6.

Preston Park parkrun was my destination for Saturday. I had to make amends for my awful Christmas Day showing. My plan was to follow the girl and/or Joe as they are much better at pacing than me (as is everyone [except Rob]). After a mile warm up and donning a second pair of gloves we were off. Basically I did what I wished. We all sped through 1k in 3.53 but that’s fine as it is downhill and flat. The trick is not to then lose loads of time which is where I usually come a cropper. Not this time! My mile splits were 6.24, 6.28, 6.31 (ish) which is much much better than my normal which are all over the place. Although I finished in 20.07 (tantalisingly close again) I was very pleased with this run as I did as I planned and didn’t find it overly taxing (both Duncan and Rob said I looked comfortable and like I wasn’t really trying) which is promising. I hope to be back in the sub 20 club post haste.

This morning it was perfect conditions for a long run with the RunBrighton posse. I was ready to run with the 8.5 pacer – Mr Cartledge himself but Rick dragged me into the 8 minute group. This turned out to be fine and our small group of intrepid runners had an excellent time running and chatting (or listening to my incessant gibbering). Rick and I split off from the group at the Lagoon as this meant we had still run 13 miles. This was yet another good lsr and meant I ran 47 miles for the week.

I’m looking forward to getting back on the long runs, back sub 20, and back to normal after the ruin that is Christmas.

Roll on 2014!

Not so much running   Leave a comment

Last Monday’s track session was exceedingly wet. Probably because it was the Arena 80 Christmas post track eatathon/prizegiving/get together. I went with Paul again and this week our aim was to stick with Timmy and Jim (who were doing 6 x 800s) for 300 metres then kick past them for 200 x 6. Alas I managed this 0 times out of 6. However I did manage to stay relatively close to Paul throughout so a slight improvement over last week. I found this session rather hard work but that is what it is for so all was well (though massively queasy and wheezy).

I managed to drink some mulled wine and eat some carrot batons at the get together afterwards. Perfect recovery fuel I’m sure you’ll agree. I also won the Chairman’s Prize for improvement in running over the year and my help over the years organising the Hove Prom 10k.

Tuesday meant, as usual, Core & Stretch in the morning followed by kettlebells in the evening. Again a lot of bum strengthening stuff so good for me though downward dogging etc not so good as not supposed to be stretching the hamstring. I’m not supposed to be doing fast stuff either so double failure after track session. Having been too polite the previous week and ending up with useless fat-handled kettlebells I made sure I went in early and got myself the good ones. Of course this meant there was hardly anyone there but I had the right bells anyway so hoopla! This made everything so much better and I found myself doing everything with the heaviest bell I could manage.

The heavier belling made itself apparent on Wednesday at spin when I found my quads quivering early on. Much hill climbing and hovering later they were utterly battered but managed to carry me all the way until about 2  minutes before the end when they admitted defeat. Reached the end of the final hill climb using various other muscles, any that could lend a hand (leg). It was a good class and lucky that I felt shamed into going to Joe’s class as it was just me and his client that had got his PT time wrong so was forced to join us. Otherwise Joe would have been all alone. Anyway it was good and I’m glad I went even though I did render my legs useless.

I did plan to do a long run on Thursday but due to cat shelter working in the morning and grim weather in the afternoon I left it until Friday. Although it was a bit windy it was also sunny and cold so good conditions for running except the seafront was rather stony after the stormy weather had hurled many stones onto the prom from the beach. I mainly stuck to Basin Road South as that is unstony. Having not done much running I found myself averaging 8 minute miling. This average was slightly ruined when a giant poodle decided it would be good to jump all over me around mile 6. As I am a dog fearer I had to stand still until its owner removed it. Apart from this slight interruption it was an acceptable run of 10 miles.

Saturday meant an unwelcome return to Hove Park for the annual Arena Age Graded superseries race. I knew I was going to be utter bilge and lo I was.

Not quite as pitch black as last year but almost...

Not quite as pitch black as last year but almost…

The weather was almost as awful as last year however that was not to blame.

I didn’t go to RunBrighton as it was along the banks of the Adur again and it is way too slippery and unpleasant especially for stupid hamstring tendinopathy or whatever it likes to call itself. Monday’s track was called off due to a raging storm with dangerously strong winds. Today I dragged myself out for a 12 miler. It was very slow and I think my lungs have died as I couldn’t breathe properly even having inhaled and had to actually stop running a few times which hasn’t happened before. They have been wrong for a few weeks now. Perhaps I have a low level cold or something? Ho hum. Hopefully they will suddenly spring back into action soon.

Tomorrow I have Christmas Day parkrun at Hove Park and then Boxing Day races in Preston Park so I shan’t be idle.

I shall finish with a festive “treat” for all my fellow runners/readers.



A well balanced week   Leave a comment

Reignition fail! I did indeed join Paul for his 800 training but was alas so out of practice at speed endurance that I was of no use in helping him so Bob had to tag him and I on to the end of the fast group after two or so reps of the thing we were doing together to start with. Although I hadn’t succeeded in helping Paul and have a lot of improvement to make I was glad to be doing a bit of slightly different and Paul said he was glad of the company as he often has to do this training on his own. For the last few reps I tagged on to fast group too and stuck with them for 300 metres then sprinted the last 100 as per Bob’s instructions when the rest, including Paul, went round for another lap of which the last 300 was picking up speed. There was no way I could have done that and even Paul dropped off a bit on the last one. However I loved the few sprinty bits I did so although I have much work to do and I was slightly disappointed at my crapness (possibly should be expected after all the long slow stuff I’ve been doing) I enjoyed the session and am looking forward to having another go next week where hopefully I shall be a little more successful.

On Tuesday it was the usual Core & Stretch in the morning. Somehow Jenny had read my mind (or possibly this blog) and did a lot of bum clenching type exercises as I am supposed to do to help my hamstring/bum injury. I made sure I actually did the bridges this time as usually I do them halfheartedly as I find them quite difficult but now I know this is part of my problem I shall jolly well get on with them! I even attempted the single legged ones.

In the evening I went back to the gym for part two of Death by Dunn Tuesday. This time it was Matt’s turn and he didn’t disappoint. Due to my ingrained politeness I let everyone else choose their kettlebells first which meant I was left with the fat handled ones that I can’t grip properly. This totally destroys ones forearms. Cramp ahoy! Also it is a bit scary doing above the head things as my grip isn’t assured so I worry about accidental killing. I managed not to kill anyone or break anything (except forearms). I could definitely tell a massive difference this week having done a track session the day before (compared to having not last week).

This Wednesday I decided to attempt spin followed by a LSR. This was actually rather successful. Something about cycling makes running seem easier (probably because it is a form of warm up and usually I do nothing but leave the house and start running). I managed a comfortable 11 miles averaging 8.15mm which is around 30 seconds per mile faster than normal. For once the wind was in the right direction to mean coming back from the Marina didn’t involve any sort of  headwind. Good. Especially after my totally awful attempt at a long run the preceding Wednesday.

I had planned to do another long run on Thursday or Friday but in the end I didn’t feel it was necessary so I had two consecutive full days off. Crikey!

This meant I should be in good shape to attempt a sub 20 Preston Park parkrun on Saturday. Once more the weather was good and after cycling over I met Danny and Mike and did a bit of a warm up with them then continued on my own to make 2 miles (I was mainly trying to keep warm – it wasn’t so much a conscious warm up though I now see why a warm up is called a warm up). I saw that the new girl was there and knowing she was due a sub 20 I thought I’d attempt to keep her in my sights. This worked well though she did draw ahead of me at the last cone turn where I somehow managed to be so crap at cornering that she was about 20 metres ahead of me by the time I had windmilled my way round. I wasn’t worried though as I wasn’t there to race or beat her and knew I was still on for a good run. At the moment my aim is to run as well as I can and know that I have tried throughout and this I had so I was pleased with my finishing time of 20.06. Perhaps this also shows the value of actually doing a warm up (damn it).

This morning I was up bright and early (except it was pitch black – sunrise at 7.54am, what the?) ready for RunBrighton #4. This week it was a 35 minute out and back route by the Adur. Unfortunately it had been raining in the night so it was rather muddy and slippery in parts. This was not good for my bum. Rob and I managed a tiny bit of slightly faster running on the more solid paths but it wasn’t anywhere near half pace though I was breathing like an asthmatic lunatic due to non-inhalation. I have decided next time I’m doing parkrun or something shorter and speedier I should try and replicate this effort of breathing, having inhaled, as I never usually sound like that thus I feel I can’t really be trying hard enough. Ended up doing just over 8 miles in 68 minutes which was faster than I was expecting so another good bit of training in the bag to complete the week.

Still not properly light at 8am (lucky Mike's jacket is providing some illumination)

Still not properly light at 8am (lucky Mike’s jacket is providing some illumination)

Only 29 miles for the week but I feel like what I did do was pretty decent in term of quality so this is perfectly acceptable.

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