Sunday, 30 December 2012

Heart Rates and Headwinds

The broken Suunto
I haven't trained to heart rate for ages, for the sole reason that the rubber strap on my Suunto T3d snapped and I couldn't wear it. I scoured the internet for a replacement and after no success, rang Suunto who told me that my watch colour was apparently the only single one that was discontinued and no longer available anywhere. I had chosen awesome green specifically, I didn't want berry red or boring black or the silly "women's" version that's exactly the same but in light grey with a baby pink stripe. After considering my options, I decided I couldn't cope with putting a different strap on my watch and being uncoordinated. The only option was to buy a new watch. The new watch was a Garmin 405cx and the HR strap that's supplied is definitely not designed for anyone who a) has a small frame, b) has to wear a sports bra and c) cares about any sort of comfort. So there is a slightly longer than intended story for you about why I gave up on heart rate. Now, back to the matter in hand...

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

What To Do When You Don't Finish

It was mental torment. From mile 4 my knee was niggling with the odd sharp twinge. My throat was still sore from a dirty virus that's been sitting in it and I just wasn't feeling my normal energetic self. Despite doing my best to ignore all of that, my mind was playing games; I couldn't decide if I was being a total wuss and needed to give myself a good talking to or if I should just stop before I make any of it any worse.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Advice for Marathons

I've received many words of advice this week for the upcoming marathon. The vast majority of them have been along the lines of "don't do anything, anything at all", with some just a little less extreme "if you really want to, you can go for a teeny, tiny run the day before, but other than that, don't do anything". Doing nothing has come easy this week as taper flu has been hitting me from every angle. My movements have pretty much not deviated from being either laid in bed, sat on the recliner, sat at my desk, sat in the car or wandering with zero haste between any of the above.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Attack of the Taper Flu

Norovirus is rife at the moment and winter colds are floating about infecting the general public as everybody huddles inside away from the sub-zero temperatures. Air conditioning systems blasting out hot air are sharing the germs generously around and wine flu is also particularly virulent as the Christmas Party season is in full swing.

There is however, something much worse lurking in the background. A sneaky, unpleasant disease that lays dormant until your taper for your next big event begins. Taper Flu is tricky to diagnose as it can take so many different forms; it can get into your respiratory system and mimic a chest or throat infection; it can affect your brain so you start doubting your ability to complete your upcoming challenge and it can even get into your muscles, playing havoc with old injuries or throwing up new ones. This list is not exhaustive. In bad cases it can take over your whole body and you can be affected by all of the ailments above.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Running on Rubbish

I think there must be something about marathon training that gives you a bigger than normal appetite. Anything over a two hour run - in my mind - is pretty massive in running terms and on every long run day I've felt the need to "ensure adequate nutrition" (read: eat a lot) both before, during and after the session. For recovery, of course.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Icy Isle of Wight

A cool, fresh, clear blue sky awaited us as we headed towards the Isle of Wight on the early morning ferry for a 60 mile sportive. Ruth and I had found somebody else we knew who had done it before and she had freaked us out a bit by telling us how big and steep the hills were. I was riding the cyclocross as the roadie is out of action at the moment, and as the gears on the CX are much less forgiving, I had visions of humiliating walks up hills whilst Ruth pootled away in front on her triple. Nonetheless, we started out comfortably and had no intention of riding the 60 miles very hard, so if walking was necessary, so be it.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

A Not Quite 20 Mile Run

Today's long run was more like a comedy of errors than a training session. I'd plotted a route following mystery tracks and by-ways and had uploaded it onto the garmin so I could go out without getting lost. A few snacks went into my little bag and I was gloved, hatted and ready to battle the cold.