Week Eleven: virtual 10K

This week I competed in a 10K race with 4349 other people, even though I was running alone, and could pick my own route and start time.  Most of my competitors weren’t even in the same country as me.  This was a new experience for me, and a good one.  Before explaining how it worked I need to introduce you to my favourite bit of running/cycling geekery: the mobile phone app Strava.  It’s not an exaggeration: this app has revolutionised my training, and has really motivated me.  The app uses the phone’s GPS to record speed and distance during my runs and cycles: while there are other apps that do this I’ve never found one that works as well as Strava.

So why is it so good?   Continue reading “Week Eleven: virtual 10K”

Week Five: Étape!

With only a week to go the Étape Caledonia race I’d not managed to get out on my new bike, Ricky.  So I headed out for a 55-miler with my friend Neill (and his newly-built bike Pinky).  It was a great ride but I discovered that Ricky’s beautiful, lean white saddle was a bit of a crippler.  Comfort had to take precedent over looks for the forthcoming 81-miler, so I swapped it for the black saddle from my old (dead) bike, Doreen.  I also needed Compeed blister plasters on my butt (nice), in addition to the usual nappy-like cycling shorts.  Oh well, good to find out these things before the event I guess. Continue reading “Week Five: Étape!”

Week Two: Getting back on the horse

Week two didn’t live up to the high ideals of the training plan. I now realise this was inevitable, but it took me a while to get my head round that. And to go a bit easier on myself about the implications of the setback.

Physically I had a lot of bruising on my legs, and my shoulders and neck had a permanent stiffness that wouldn’t go away. But I felt surprisingly OK when running and swimming, so thought I could keep these up as planned even if I didn’t have a bike to train on. My ankles felt a little tender – they must’ve got a jolt when my bike shoes were ripped out of the pedals during the crash – but they soon got back into stride. Continue reading “Week Two: Getting back on the horse”

Week One

I’m writing this at the end of week two, and, for reasons that should become apparent, week one seems a long long time ago. I embarked upon my 19 week training plan with a slight sense of dread, and a real fear that I’d bitten off more than I could chew.  My usual week tends to involve a swim and a run or two, and maybe a cycle at the weekend if I can’t find anything better to do (which I usually can).  So how was I going to fit in three runs, three swims and three cycles? Continue reading “Week One”