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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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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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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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May Mileage

May has been a bumper month for Team Pi! Lots of varied training and activities and we’ve both been busy with work related projects.
We also attended the first ever Sports Nutrition Live event in London, which was highly informative and very interesting. We also visited the Body Power Expo 2013 at the NEC in Birmingham, which again was excellent, if a little busy! These weekends away meant we missed out on a lot of pool time this month though.

We had a successful and highly enjoyable Bristol 10k run on the 5th and have been keeping the mileage going since then.

Paul’s May Running: 35 Miles
Paul’s May Cycling: 33.1 Miles
Paul’s May Swimming: 0 Miles!

Irina’s May Running: 47.2 Miles
Irina’s May Cycling: 0 Miles

We’re off on holiday for two weeks this weekend, one week in the Glencoe area where we will summit Ben Nevis amongst others, then down to camp in the Lakes and climb Skafell Pike, followed by some camping near Snowdon and a summit of that too. Should be fun and relaxing! 😉

Paul.

 

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Obsessive Society – Health, Weight Loss, Diets….

We are obsessed with healthy eating, dieting, weight loss. But do we actually eat/live healthy? Looking at the rising obesity and diseases (such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes) rates worldwide, we definitely do not eat/live healthy! Majority of us do talk a “good game” (or procrastinate to the next more “convenient day” or always find an excuse not to do it, pulled through!) but when it actually comes to eating/living/being healthy/doing it, fail! Why? What is holding some of us back or off? Why many of us struggle with loosing weight, keeping the weight off (!), being healthy, active and ultimately happy?

Lately I get to hear very often when people look at my food and say: ‘oh that looks very healthy?’ ‘You are eating very healthy!’ ‘Oh that looks delicious’. ‘Oh that is so colourful and appetising!’ ‘Oh I wish I would have time to do my own lunches, make home-cooked meals’…..

Well for me it is natural and essential, as we all call it “healthy” eating. That is what makes me, ME. A Human Being! And to be totally honest with you, I am starting to hate this phrase “healthy eating”!

And why do I eat such “shockingly” healthy foods? Because I don’t eat and want crap which is full of sugar (artificial or not. I won’t go into the detailed science with you here), bad fats, preservatives, artificial colours/flavours and other ingredients which I cannot even pronounce. Just think, if you cannot pronounce a certain ingredient how on earth does your body deal with it? Stores as fat, messes with your neurotransmitters, hormones and and and….

I came across something very interesting the other day. “If you are reading ingredient lists on products, then you don’t eat clean/lean/natural and (ok I say it here), healthy”. It is bloody true! Absolutely, if you are in the supermarket and read label after label then you are avoiding the real food! The food which is good for you, your body, mind, and and and! And you are in the wrong aisle! (Ok enough of rant).

On some occasions I get asked: ‘Don’t you treat yourself? Have some of the yummy cakes in the kitchen’. I just wonder – why? And that is what I really don’t get! Why do I want to “treat” my body and mind with high sugar, bad fats, crap food, empty calories?! A treat for me is a nice bowl of fresh berries (you can even have a spoon of full fat crème or Greek yogurt if you like), big fresh steak of tuna or piece of nice dark chocolate (at least 70%)! That is what a treat is – and should be! Treat, that actually gives your body good nutrients, cleansing your body from free radicals, oxidation stress, nourish your mind, gives you positive energy (emphasis on POSITIVE). Not crap, highly processed food! Please….

And then people say: ‘oh that is so difficult to resist those cakes, chocolate, biscuits, sweets in the kitchen’. Really? I don’t have a problem with that. Why? Just read the ingredients list and research each ingredient (good old google will help you with that). Find out more information and then think about it (digest the information you just read). Do you really want to have it in your body? Probably not (I hope so though otherwise I really don’t understand the world anymore).

The emphasis here is on natural, real, fresh food! We are designed to move, we are designed to eat whole food, real food.

And just an end note: I am proud to say that I haven’t been to McDonald’s (or similar establishments) in 15 Years! And I am not going to change it! I am shocked to see a queue in the Drive Through every time I pass a McDonald’s. Shocked! Seeing all the families with their kids stuffing their face with who knows what is in the “foods”!

Happy & natural eating!

Irina

 
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Posted by on 23 May, 2013 in Health & Wellbeing

 

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