Saturday, 26 March 2011

Half marathon training run up the Uetliberg with 526m of elevation gain

Hello again folks,

After 2 days of resting and letting my body recover, today was time to hit the road again.  The day started off with one hour of Pilates, and the teacher was happy with my progress.  She showed me some new exercises that apparently she wouldn't dream of doing with students until after 10 lessons minimum normally.  So far this is my 5th lesson.

Then I went back to home to get my little running doggy so we could go for our training run.  Unfortunately I hadn't charged my GPS watch beforehand so I had to make Negrita wait patiently while I charged it.  The problem is that the moment she sees me put on my running shoes she knows she is going out and starts getting excited.

GPS fully charged and out of the door we went.  I decided to run from home up to the top of the Uetliberg, and then provided I was feeling ok to run all the way back home as well.  I got to the bottom without any trouble at all and then the work started.  I was blowing pretty heavily the whole way up, but I didn't need to stop at all, except to get water whenever I saw a water trough.  I also managed to pass a couple of mountainbikers on the way up.  Only one passed me and I had overtaken him earlier which I don't think he liked very much.

The last few hundred metres to the top there were lots of wooden steps and running up those really made my heart rate rise.  I can see on Garmin Connect that my heart rate hit a maximum of 162bpm.  That may not sound so much to some of you, but I have an extremely low heart rate (resting rate is in the low 50s) and my lactate threshold is around 150bpm, so it was well above my lactate threshold.

When I got to the top I took a couple of minutes pause to catch my breath and then set off towards home.   I took a shorter route going home as the distance was clocking up, and I hadn't really planned on doing anything more than a half marathon today.  As I got within the last few km of home, both Negrita and I were suffering slightly from the run up the Uetliberg.  Total distance covered was 21km and total time taken was 2 hours 28 minutes and 3 seconds with an elevation gain of 526m.  The link to the data on Garmin connect is here (no prizes for guessing where the hill is on the elevation or heart rate graph).

I wish you all a nice Saturday and for me now I will take some rest and try to replace those 1,800 calories or so that I just burnt. Adios amigos.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Please help publicise this blog

Hello all

Tonight is an evening off from the usual training.  My legs are aching a lot and I need the rest time.  I have been training hard and I don't want to risk any injury by overtraining.  Yesterday was kind of a rest day although I did go for a lunchtime run with my colleagues.

Tonight I want to ask you to help me to publicise my blog.  The reason is simple.  I can track the number of pageviews and the more pageviews I attract the more I can use this as a selling point when seeking new corporate sponsors for my fundraising campaign.  On average I seem to get 10-20 pageviews per day.  It would be great if I could increase that number to 50 or more.  Also I would like to ask that if you follow my blog regularly you register yourself as a blog follower so I can see how many regular followers I have.  How about you post my link on your facebook status just for a day or two.  Or you mention the link to your colleagues or friends.

I realise that so far my blog is very self focussed.  However, I would like to make it more interactive and the more comments you guys leave the more I can get you involved.  For instance we could start kit discussions and share training techniques.  I am obviously still not an expert in competition sport but I am willing to try new techniques and if you have something to suggest to me then I welcome the comments. If you are a company and want to give me some kit to test then that would be great too.

My dream one day is to leave the corporate world and be able to make a living from doing the things I want to do, and having noone else to answer to.  Challenging my limits and pushing my comfort zone.  Hopefully the Vuelta Sudamericana 2011 and the Marathon des Sables 2012 will just be the start of even more interesting projects to come.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Yet another run, and sponsorship update

Tonight was the planned middle distance run of between 1 and 1.5 hours at a heart rate of between 132 and 146bpm.

According to my Garmin data I was nicely within the target training zone with an average heart rate of 139bpm and a maximum heart rate of 147bpm.  The total running time was 1 hour 12 minutes and 47 seconds and the total distance covered was 13.32km.  As you can see from the elevation gain it wasn't exactly flat with a gain of +120m.  I felt pretty good except that my legs were starting to ache towards the end.  Negrita came with me and she kept up with me fine until the last few km.  I have done yoga today and then after that I had a sports massage, so I guess it's normal my muscles are a little tender.  There is certainly no hint of pain and I would describe the feeling as "healthy aching".  Anyone who does sports on a regular basis and pushes their limits rather than staying always within their comfort zone will know what I mean.

On a separate note I am surprised that there are not many entries into the Holmes Place Zurich membership competition.  It really is a great prize.  The gym membership alone is a nice prize, but the spa membership just tops it off.  Don't forget that I have 2 memberships of 6 months to give away, and based on how many people have entered so far your odds of winning are outstanding.  All proceeds go to Mencap towards my fundraising target and what is £20 in aid of a good cause.  In Zurich that will only buy you 4 beers or 2 cocktails.  If you have friends or family in Zurich who you think may be interested please let them know about the competition.  All the details are in red on my fundraising page

So that's me done for tonight.  Time for some stretching, a hot bath, and then to wind down and get some rest.  Night folks!!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Short quick run of around 45 minutes

The original plan for tonight was to do a medium intensity run of between 1 and 1.5 hours.  However, I finished work much later than I planned and I wanted to get back and have dinner with Anny, so decided instead of a medium intensity run to do a higher intensity run of around 45 minutes.

I checked my target heart rate according to my training plan before setting off, and it was meant to be 147-150bpm for a time of between 30 and 45 minutes.  If you look at my data on the Garmin site you will see my heart rate was an average of 145bpm, so just a fraction below the target zone (2bpm to be exact) although it went up higher in some places to a maximum of 159bpm.  I am guessing this is when I saw the pedestrian crossing lights turning to red and sprinted across the road.

My calf muscles still feel slightly tender from the weekend's 33km long run from Zurich to Rapperswil but other than that I feel great.  The sports massage tomorrow will sort that out.  Although first before then I have an hour of yoga.  The last remnants of fat will soon be banished - there is no way I am eating more calories than I am burning at the moment.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

20+ mile run done and feeling just a little sore today, but no pain

The first time I ran from Zurich to Rapperswil (33km) my knee was starting to play up a little in the last 10km.  It wasn't exactly intense pain but rather twinges.  This time, 2 weeks later, there were no problems and I felt I could have gone on and on.  I managed to achieve an efficient technique that meant my feet were hardly lifting off the ground, and sometimes I didn't know whether I was fast walking or running.  The weather was not great but there was no way a bit of rain was going to stop me.

The link to my run on the Garmin site is here

Yesterday I had my plan to follow, and the aim was to keep the heart rate less than 131bpm.  It was harder to keep it in the target zone that I had imagined.  A lot of people say that your heart monitor is your best friend, because almost anyone without one tends to run too fast even on their slow-run day.  Last time for sure I was training slightly above the target zone.

My total time was 3 hours 22 minutes 55 seconds, so on race day I hope to be able to do a similar time but covering 9km more.  Is this realistic?  I am not sure yet, but what I can predict is a sub 4 hour time.  I still have 3 weeks of training left and one more 20+ mile run.  Most likely I will run from Zurich to Rapperswil again, as this way I can assess how I am feeling compared to last time.