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Category Archives: Running

Blogs about our mileage, training and events

August Mileage

August was a varied month for Team PI, Irina ran a LOT of mileage again, preparing for the Bristol Half on 15th September, and Paul had his first two swims in a wetsuit, first in the sea of South Devon and then at our local lake Triathlon Training Centre (I’ll blog about that after my next visit).

Meanwhile it is a testing time physically, mentally and emotionally with both of our jobs reaching their [very intense!] busiest time of the year in the next week or two. We’ve been trying to keep the training up (which is also a stress reliever and source of enjoyment), and been carefully managing our energy levels through sensible nutrition.

Paul also went on a two day mountain navigation course in Shropshire at the Long Mynd, with Marshall Cale of Love The Hills, which was fantastic and I’ll need to get out and practise soon to solidify those new skills! Hoping to use them to do some camping/hiking and solo hikes next year.

Paul’s August Running: 17.9 Miles
Paul’s August Cycling: 49.9 Miles
Paul’s August Swimming: 1.7 Miles
Paul’s August Hiking: 16 Miles

Irina’s August Running: 84.4 Miles!!

Irina is penciled in for the 25th Bristol Half Marathon on the 15th, unfortunately Paul has to work that day! However, Paul is hoping to find a suitable Sprint distance Triathlon to fit into the busy next month, watch this space…

Paul.

 
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Posted by on 1 September, 2013 in Mileage & Stats, Running

 

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July Mileage

July was an interesting month for us, both started new jobs and I saw the end of my old 12 hour shift pattern which included regular nights. These were definitely having a negative impact on my training goals, and since the change to good old Mon-Fri 9-5 working I have been able to significantly increase my strength and conditioning training, which I’m very happy about! 😀
I’m working on some way to collate those workouts and present data on how much both of us do aside from running, cycling and swimming (as much to keep for our own records as to share with you!).

Irina ran the very hilly and hot Frome Half Marathon this month and posted a very impressive time of 1:57! Her mileage last month with the training for that is seriously impressive!! Her dreams of running a marathon must surely be set to come true next year…

Paul’s July Running: 26.5 Miles
Paul’s July Cycling: 77.5 Miles
Paul’s July Swimming: 4 Miles

Irina’s July Running: 85.3 Miles!!
Irina’s July Cycling: 7.8 Miles

We’re off camping for a long weekend this weekend, where I hope to do some sea swimming in my new (and first ever) Triathlon wetsuit. Can’t wait to experience the major difference in swimming in a wetsuit having never done this before… I’m also doing a basic Mountain Leading Navigation Course in August, which will hopefully pave the way (pun intended! ;)) for some solo hiking/camping expeditions and more exciting hikes for TeamPI in the future.

Here’s to new jobs, more training and seeing better results! Bring on August… 8)

Paul.

 

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The Frome Half Marathon 2013

Yesterday I ran the Frome Half Marathon. It was amazing! Superb organisation, marshals, spectators, water station, water sponges (more later in the blog). And the route! What an scenic route! I loved every minute of it (apart from the hill after 11th mile! Ouchy!). Thank you Frome! I will certainly be back next year! (with better tactic for the hill after 11th mile!)

As I had to drop out of the Bath Half Marathon earlier this year due to a injury, I was desperate to find a Half Marathon close to Bristol. I came across Frome HM, which sounded well what shall I say… lovely. (I have to admit I didn’t read the full details like hilly course!). I wasn’t much concerned about the fact that we would actually have a summer and a heat wave. My main concern was torrential rain! But who would have thought that we would get a heat wave!?! Yes, it was hot! Very hot!

The organiser did a amazing job and had a real sense of duty of care! So they put up extra water stations for the Half Marathon runners. Thank you for that! We needed it, even if just pouring the water over yourself. Plus water sponges! When I saw the sign I asked myself ( a loud) what that might be? And then I saw two girls with a big pile of sponges and huge bucket full of water, I had a big smile! Yes, of course, amazing idea! It was cool and refreshing and gives you that extra push for few miles.

The spectators! What a crowd! Very supportive, very uplifting! And very generous. Some had their garden hoses out and offered a very welcome cooling down spray! Plus loads of kids with their water pistols, and spray-bottles! But my favorite was the drummer! You don’t expect to hear or see a full size drum kit in the middle of country side! But don’t mess with Frome crowd! They had it! So a Big Thank YOU!

Oh the the route! I’ve seen big mansions, farms, beautiful country houses, springs, woodlands, country cottages and so much more! I constantly was making comments (a loud). Sorry to fellow runners! I was trying to keep the spirits up! 🙂

My preparation was optimal. Training went well, I even run 12 miles on a hot-ish day, tapering was tough but I pulled it through, hydration and fuel before the event excellent. I was ready! Excited and couldn’t wait to go. I kept a close eye on the weather forecast and the temperature were getting higher. Very unusual phenomenon during British summer. So my tactic was simple, time doesn’t matter, just keep going, watch energy levels, hydration, don’t push too hard, just make sure you cross the finish line! But as many of us runners know, once you are racing, you are racing! Even if you only racing for your own PB. And I did! 1:57:16! Get in! Couldn’t ask for better time considering the heat.

I can say that I am fully recovered from my injury and can attack the 3 Half Marathons in September/October this year! Happy all I can say!

Irina

Finish Line DSCN1743 DSCN1749 DSCN1750

 

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Triathlon BRICK training, and more learning to ride a road bike

On the weekend I decided to get some more miles under me on the bike, deciding just before setting off it should be a ‘BRICK’ training session. The term is used for training two consecutive disciplines into one session for Triathlon training, namely ‘B’ike, ‘R’un, ‘ICK’ (feeling sick!). It is quite tough, but I also find it quite an interesting experience! I am yet to try proper Bricks, where you do several sets of each in turn, I think I’ll build up to that… 😉

The legs feel very heavy when starting the run, however even though I feel like I’m going slower than what I call my ‘race pace’ for running, all three times I have tried this I have been surprised to find afterwards that I am faster than my race pace! It’s an odd phenomenon!

This time I decided to run a quarter of the distance I cycle, which is roughly the distances that most triathlon split into. As I have a nice regular running loop from home of 3 miles, I chose to cycle away (along the cycle path to the Bristol-Bath cycle path) for 6 miles, turn back and then attempt a quick transition in the garage and get straight out onto the run.

As I am very much still a beginner on the road bike, I am still sticking mostly to the cycle pathways, of which I am lucky to live very near some long ones. However this does come with several obstacles such as large road crossings which I sometimes have to stop for and various pedestrians, dog walkers, children, cyclists, runners, etc etc to dodge! So overall I find it a useful exercise in becoming more accustomed to the bike, its controls, my control of it and my speed of thought/coordination at ‘speed’. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 17 July, 2013 in Cycling, Recovery, Running, Triathlon

 

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Energy versus temperature and running performance

Something we have been reading about this year, and are now keenly observing in our own performance is the relationship between the body’s temperature and its performance in running.

As we all know, the human body is a marvelous piece of [nature’s] engineering, and it is very good at maintaining a fairly constant temperature through a range of environmental conditions. The body has to gain or lose heat in order to do this (controlled by the hypothalamus in the brain). Our core temperature remains quite constant through this regulation, but the skin and underlying tissues are subject more to environmental changes.

As we exercise, we produce heat and a surprising fact we found is that a huge amount of the energy we use during exercise is actually in regulating (or losing) that heat! The body simply can’t keep up with the rate of heat creation in its effort to stabilise the temperature, be that heat created from our increased metabolism, muscle movements or external factors such as hot weather.

It is quite a complex subject so I won’t attempt to explain it in full here… Anyone interested in learning more would do well to read this article on runtheplanet.com though as it goes into great detail about this subject!

Through our own experimentation we have found the following tips to be very helpful and have shown us a markedly noticeable difference in energy levels when training and competing. Some of this is pretty obvious stuff of course, but we are surprised at the number of runners we see out there in the hot weather still slogging away wearing their long sleeves and tights!

  • Plan your runs at the cooler times of day (early morning or in the evening)
  • Wear as little as is decent!
  • Hydrate hydrate hydrate
  • Replace lost salts after your run (and hydrate some more!)
  • Acclimatize the body to the temperature if you must run in the heat, start slowly and build up to pace
  • For really long runs take some good quality energy gels/sweets which will help replace salts and carbs on the go. (Needless to say you should have water with you as well!)
  • Weigh yourself before and after your runs to understand how much water you lose. Then replace it before your next workout!

Some times it is hard to get the balance of clothing correct. I always tend to over-dress as it feels windy or chilly, but then halfway through my run I wish I was in just a vest and shorts! It takes a bit of getting used to your own body, especially as you improve and get fitter, but its worth keeping in mind that your body will perform better (and recover quicker) if it can more easily regulate heat loss…

Enjoy the summer! 🙂

Paul.

 
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Posted by on 4 July, 2013 in Health & Wellbeing, Recovery, Running

 

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June Mileage

Well June has been one hell of a month for TeamPI!! We went on holiday to Scotland and did lots of mountain walks including some quality scrambling and bouldering. On our return we both started in brand new jobs as well! Knackered doesn’t even describe how tired we were at the end of the month, lol!

Anyway, we still managed to get some mileage in around all this, and have measured and included our hikes from Scotland too (although not including lots of shorter days all spent on the feet and sightseeing).

These next weeks will be very trying, Paul is  moving from 12 hour day and night shift patterns back into a busy office / management role and Irina is taking on a LOT more management responsibility in her new position, so we have a new life/work/fitness balance to strike, which will no doubt be testing, but we are very determined to not let our great progress and fitness goals slip…

We firmly believe that excellent nutrition, good training plans, and realistic (but challenging) goals are the key to success, and that there is no real reason that a busy job or lifestyle should stop you! (People seem all to happy to make excuses or procrastinate their way out of their ideals). Not TeamPI! 😉

Paul & Irina’s Joint Hiking Mileage in June: 40.7

Paul’s June Running: 14 Miles
Paul’s June Cycling: 10.9 Miles
Paul’s June Swimming: 0.6 Miles

Irina’s June Running: 47.1 Miles
Irina’s June Cycling: 7.7 Miles

Due to financial constraints, Paul’s summer Triathlon plans have to take a back seat for now, but Irina is running the Frome Half Marathon in a few weeks, which looks like it will be a great new experience and a tough hilly run!

Time to ramp up that training…

Paul. 🙂

 

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