Weekend done, and so little done

Training wise, that was.

5 sessions coached, 90+ km on the bike, and a lot of pints.

Monday – rest day. Notwithstanding not training over the weekend, I was feeling a bit cooked and had to assess the rest of what I needed to do work wise.

Tuesday: coaching in the morning, recovery jog in the morning, then back home. Panic because I’d forgotten lunch in town with a mate. Great chat, and pounded down a burger and a (half) pint in not much time at all. Both mistakes. The burger and the pint, that is. For I was turning up for the first time at Cambridge University Hare and Hounds (Cross Country Club) interval session at 1500. The session on the board was 2*(8*75 seconds on/45 seconds off), with 3 mins rest at the end of each 8). Phil, the coach, had enough experience to recognise a fat, unfit, novice when first he saw one, and suggested that I do every second one. First one, fine, not dropped too much. Second one on 45 secs rest, OH GOD. Took the 2 mins rest as suggested. Then kept getting my arse handed to me each time, 50 + meters each time. A bit of an eye opener, really.  I was told afterwards that the two top guys are GB U23 champ in the 5k, and the quickest 1500 runner at the Varsity Match in the last few decades, but hell.

Wednesday: Didn’t quite have to walk down the stairs backwards, but I could feel the running. Rode very slowly to coaching, for a very good session indeed. A second 8, but one that worked very well together. Off for a swim. A compromised one indeed. I’d forgotten the luxury of squad swimming – not for the crowding or otherwise, but for the fact that everyone is trying to leave off the same interval, for the same session. So, approx 800 warmup of swim, drills, and pull. Not so bad. The enjoyable part was the swimming – not much faster, but a little better for perceived effort and the occasional feeling of actually being able to swim. Main set: 4*(3*150 FS with 50 back stroke). 1,3 swim, 2,4 pull. The 150s were off a goal of 2:30 send off, all at 2:10-2:15, which I was reasonably happy with. Sharing a lane with people a lot slower in the advanced lane, but both they and i were fairly patient and the session went OK.

What I was NOT happy about was the influx of schoolkids at 1000, which took up another lane, and pushed 4 lanes into 2. The speed delta was bad enough with 3 people in a lane, but 6? In a “fast” lane with people swimming over 2:00/100s and others swimming breastroke and keeping their heads dry? I left at speed. Not even worth trying to round out for 3k for the session. No weights session today, as Skyping the family.


A month gone and so little done

Going home to see my fiancee and my family was the best possible Christmas present that I could have had, but it kicked my arse in terms of doing any training. It becomes a pretty easy choice, especially when it’s stinking bloody hot, of staying in with the woman you love, or being with your family and friends, vs. training. So, I only accomplished a few swims while I was out there. No riding, no running, no erging or weights.

Coming back was a bit the same, 30 hours’ travel, then a day’s rest with a lazy 40 min run, then 18 hours on a bus to coach a rowing camp, with a week there. Managed a desultory run or so in the ice and snow, a few Wattbike sessions on one with a busted monitor, playing with a position that I think I can implement and hold when I finally get a bike, and one erg session to make sure I could still beat all the kids I coach.

Back off the bus, I needed a day of rest, so slept for two. I don’t sleep on transport, and doing a long distance flight and two long distance bus rides in ten days beat me up.

Tuesday am: erg coaching. My lads had some testing yet to be completed, so ran that for a few hours, then off for an easy 8k run. Had to consciously hold myself back as I’m desperately unfit and slow. Felt good though. Could happily have done 50% more, which is not such a bad position to be in.

Tuesday pm: rowing erg session. I’ve said I’ll race Veterans’ Boat Race (Oxford Cambridge for  graduates over 38, mainly used for bragging and drinking rights, and for the BBC to test their cameras and OB facilities), so I figured I’d better do a few erg sessions a week until April. Unlike everything else, pretty much, I’d rather do 2-3 sessions a week hard on this. 5k warmup, easy. HR was bloody high for what it was. No surprises there. Session – 1 stroke on/1 stroke off up to 20 strokes on/20 strokes off, capped at 32 SPM, with the goal of being around 1:30/500 for this. This did not go well. Sore legs from running, perhaps, or just the effects of not a huge amont of carbs. I saw sub 1:30 on about 5 strokes. Ah well, a man has to start somewhere. Then a few hours of coaching


Wed am: coaching: 15-20k easy pace, and I mean EASY on the bike. I might start doing these running, for the moment. Sat in the coffee shop admiring the bikes hanging from the ceiling, and rather enjoyed myself. Then a swim, about 1100 warmup, various drills, swim, kick, pull.  Main set of sorts, due to interruptions in the “advanced” lane, where people think it’s appropriate to push off as you’re coming in halfway through a piece and swim breastroke with their heads above the water. Wankers. It’s not like I’m that quick, but…

3*100 on 15 seconds rest, all around 1:30s. 400 pull (pull bouy, band around feet), 30 secs rest, 200 swim, 15 secs, 400 pull as 3/4/5/4/3 stroke breathing pyramid, didn’t break 6:00 for this ,but HR about 125, 30 secs rest, 200 swim, 15 secs rest, 2* 100 pull at 1:30 pace, 200 swim easy, 4*50 on 1 minute as 37.5 easy, 12.5 @ race pace, 25 easy, 25 RP, 12.5 easy, 37.5 RP, 50 RP, last one just over 40 seconds. Not hard, but 1:20s for a 3800? Not in my most fevered dreams. Yet.
No warmdown, easy ride home through the insanity of Cambridge cycling/pedestrian traffic.