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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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Swimming paddles… whats the point?!

A bugbear of mine whilst swimming at my pool is people who use hand or finger paddles! Personally I just don’t see the point of them, and the use of them by swimmers on a Sunday morning lane swimming session really annoys me…!

I understand what they are used for, swimmers can increase their (stroke) strength by using them. However I strongly feel that they are counter productive (especially for a Sunday morning swimmer, who judging by their body-type does not undertake any other form of strength or conditioning training!).

  • Firstly, you will never be able to use them during any event or race
  • The sudden added resistance could potentially cause an injury in the very complex shoulder joint
  • Your technique changes when wearing/using them, but will that really benefit your stroke when you don’t have them on? (I can see people just slipping back to their usual technique when not using them!)
  • It could mask (and even promote) a poor technique because your times are good due to the extra force they create…

Personally I feel that casual swimmers simply use them as an ego boost at the pool, and it really bugs me when lane swimming in a busy pools’ fast lane that those users don’t space themselves, insisting on banging into my feet for the few lengths (at a time) they wear these things for. It doesn’t prove anything, and for the rest of the swim I simply adjust my stroke or starting space accordingly so as not to impact on their swim (as generally I am faster than them over a sustained swimming distance).

For me it is far more important and sensible to work on several stroke techniques, one for powerful strokes to sprint or create extra lift when you need to, and one for endurance and efficiency, keeping energy in the arms whilst maintaining a decent pace over distance. To enable me to develop my power I have been supplementing my swimming with a varied strength and flexibility training program, which is seeing real positive gains in the pool/lake/sea whilst greatly restricting any injury issues…

I’m no expert, but I’m starting to dread my pool sessions because of these people… I hope they aren’t out in force tomorrow morning!

Rant over… 😉

Paul.

P.S. I would love to hear what swimmers reading this think, please leave a comment… do you use paddles? 🙂

 
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Posted by on 31 August, 2013 in Injury, Swimming, Triathlon

 

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On the road – Learning to ride a road bike

Today I took my first proper road ride since buying my Giant Defy 2. All of my training and rides whilst learning to ride it have been on a limited amount of local roads and on the very handy local cycle path which links Bristol to Bath. This has enabled me to get valuable experience in controlling the road bike having only ever rode on mountain or hybrid cycles throughout my adult life! I now feel more confident in controlling [balancing] the bike, changing and using the gears & brakes and being aware of what is going on around me (what with the fairly heavy ‘traffic’ of the cycle path with dog walkers, runners, cyclists and families all using it).

This morning I rode through my local area for 4 miles on to the A38 and then out past Thornbury, into the village and back up to the A38 up a beast of a hill out of Thornbury, which really got the lactic acid building up in the legs and the lungs burning!

Overall I rode 22 miles in around 1 hour 26 minutes, and learned a lot about the roads! Firstly, how brutal some of the drains along the side of the road can be! I’ve had to adapt to pull the front wheel up through the worst of them and then lift out of the seat slightly for the rear wheel, otherwise you get a big bang through the frame, which feels like its doing real damage to such a lightweight cycle. The same applies for some of the good old British road ‘repairs’ [bodges] that are all over our area. Secondly I got to feel how fast cars travel past on a major route, especially as it gets more rural. If nothing else it will probably slow me down as I see cyclists when I’m driving in future, as its a hell of a speed difference when you’re on two thin wheels out on those country roads! I was glad I wore my slightly tinted sunglasses too, as plenty of stones get flicked up from passing vehicles, especially the vans. Also, this morning it was quite fresh feeling outside at 8am, however even in the early morning sun once it was up I had improved my ‘t-shirt tan’. 😉

I’m still a little wary of traffic-light controlled stops and getting clipped out perfectly. The last thing I want is another fall where I can’t get my cleat out, only much more publicly on the roads… 😯

I have a long long way to go in respect of becoming a proficient road cyclist on this type of bike, but today really helped a lot. Much more mileage to follow before winter sets in…

Paul.

 
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Posted by on 31 August, 2013 in Cycling

 

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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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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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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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