What Next Then?

Long Term Thinking

Despite the first question following ‘How did that Ironman thing you did go?’ being ‘And whens your next one?’, I don’t intend to return to Ironman distance ‘racing’ again in the near future. Long term I’d like to. But due to my inexperience on the bike the day quickly became a day of survival, rather than competing against the clock.

Towards the end of the training I was getting bored of long distance steady training and itching for some faster stuff. So thats where my next focus goes.

Alongside the long-term aim of another Ironman, I’m also going to look to significantly try and reduce my marathon time. My fastest marathon time was set last year and Edinburgh and I stuck to my goal time aims. With hindsight I think I could have gone quite a bit faster, and my half marathon and 10 mile times later in the year certainly appear to indicate this.

So for the next 12-18 months I’m going to return to shorter distance stuff. Focusing primarily on 5k and 10k times in the next 9-12 months, before then gauging some new time targets for my half marathon races based on any improvements. I’ll then review the progress made and decide on my next steps.

The Very Next Steps

I’ve got a shiny new training plan. Focusing primarily on running and then slotting in some cycling and swimming around it to keep the triathlon stuff ticking over. I’m also looking to incorporate plenty of speedwork on the bike as well.

Key Dates

An ideal race is the Standalone 10k to measure progress. Sadly this clashes with a re-arranged Sprint Triathlon that was cancelled in May, so I may be on the hunt for another one. My local 5k will be used to monitor progress but its not the friendliest of 5k courses for getting good times – I think a visit to St Albans Park Run might be in order in October to really set a good time.

Date Race
4/8 First Saturday of Month 5k
1/9 First Saturday of Month 5k
16/9 (Potentially) Great North Run
7/10 Bedford Sprint Triathlon


2 weeks of training coming up then, and then a blast at a 5k to use as a starting point for all future training sessions.

Looking forward to it.


Seaford Sprint Triathlon Training Plan

So after much deliberation and think after rethink after rethink, I think I’ve actually managed to come up with a training plan that might actually work. One big downside is I haven’t managed to work in a rest day, but with Sundays long ride being in the morning on Sunday, and the Triathlon club swim session being Monday evening there is a good 36 hour break in there.

I’d appreciate any feedback from anyone who is more knowledgable than myself in these areas. The key elements are the long run due to Liverpool Marathon in October, and long bike rides due to a number of sportives I’m taking part in.

Oh and finally, apologises for the colour scheme. Believe me when I say this was the best of a bad lot.

End of February (well almost)

Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who has donated to The Challenge. It means a lot, so thank you very much.

Blogging has been a little bit few and fair between. For that I apologise (or receive your thanks!). I think the daily blogging with Janathon took more than I expected from my blogging enthusiasm. I’ll endeavour to resume my weekly blogging from now on.

So since its been a month since my last update on running / cycling / swimming activites, this month review might be quite lengthy.

February’s Plan Reviewed


Planned running mileage for February was to be around 138 miles, however a work related conference in London put pay to a couple of runs. However I also needed to alter my schedule slightly, forcing me to bring forward an 18 mile run into this months mileage. With no more running in February to come this months mileage was 130 miles – for the 2nd time this year I’ve set a new record for the number of miles I’ve run in a month. That takes me to 256 miles for 2011.


Its my swimming progress that I’ve been most impressed with in the last month. I’ve continued to have my swimming lessons, and one lesson gave a little mental breakthrough about breathing, which has really helped me with endurance. Yesterday I went to the pool determined to hammer out some 100m sessions with no breaks between lengths. The 2 100m times that I recorded came in around the 2 min marker. Looking at the triathlon results for the last year most people seemed to finish the swim section in 14-15 mins, so that would bring me close to that if I can increase the distance I can swim for over the next 5.5 months.


With all good things, come the bad things. I’ve realised what a mistake its been to ignore my cycling so much. Swimming was by far my weakest discipline but now I think cycling might be taking that place.

To combat that I tried commuting into work, but I think the roads are too busy and dangerous for this to be a regular option. I also managed to fall off for the first time my with clipless pedals – much to the amusement of people around me. I’ve also started using the exercise bikes at the gym during lunchtimes – hammering out 8 miles in about 30 mins – with it selecting various hill routes for me.

I’ve also been out with Watton Wheelers again. I went with the faster group last week, and did 34 miles in total – a really good ride. Unfortunately I was far too slow for that group, so think I need to head out with the other group for a while whilst I get use to cycling.

Plan for March

28/2 Swim Exercise Bike

10M Run with 5M at HM Pace


4M Recovery Run

Exercise Bike

11M Run

Swim Lesson Rest Berkhamstead Half Marathon
6/3 Swim Exercise Bike

7M Recovery Run plus Strides


Med-Long Run 12M

Exercise Bike

Swim Lesson

10M with 6M at Half Marathon Pace

20M Run Watton Wheelers Cycling Club
13/3 Swim Exercise Bike

6M Recovery Run


Med-Long Run 14M

Exercise Bike

6M Recovery Run

Swim Lesson

16M plus 12M @ HM Pace Watton Wheelers Cycling Club
20/3 Swim Exercise Bike

8M GA Run


VO2 Max Run – 8 Miles with 5x800m reps at 5k Pace

Exercise Bike

5M Recovery Run

Swim Lesson 14M Run Watton Wheelers Cycling Club
27/3 Swim Exercise Bike

7M Recovery Run with Strides


11M LT Run (7M @ HM Pace)

Exercise Bike Swim

Med-Long Run 12 Miles

20M Run Watton Wheelers Cycling Club


Planned Running Mileage in March: 182 Miles

Race Updates

Only other things to note this month is that I’ve entered Sandy 10 Miler as my race for April. I also managed to successfully get into Great North Run in September, although I’m struggling for accommodation at the moment – if anyone can recommend some campsites nearby that would be appreciated. Smile


Phew – thats it. More regular updates from now!

Training Plan–February

So, Janathon over. Time to resume some kind of normality, and think about the training plan, rather than just get out there and do something everyday.

The Plan

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
31/1 Swim (done) 11 Mile GA Run (done) Swim (done) + 4 Mile Recovery Run (done) Rest Swimming Lesson (done) 9 Mile (Long-Run / Recovery) Watford Half Marathon
7/2 Swim 8 Mile GA Run with Strides Swim + 5 Mile Recovery Run 15 Mile (Long Run) (Cycle Commute?)

Swimming Lesson

14/2 Swim 9 Mile (LT) Run with 5M @ HM Pace Swim + 5 Mile Recovery Run 10 Mile GA Run (Cycle Commute?)

Swimming Lesson

16 Mile Run with 10 Miles at MP Cycle Club Ride
(Rec Week)
Swim 8 Mile GA Run (with strides) Swim + 5 Mile Recovery Run 8 Mile GA Run (Cycle Commute?)

Swimming Lesson

12 Mile Med-Long Run Cycle Club


Total Running Mileage planned:  138 Miles
Running Sessions Done: 2/15

Other News

Took a couple of rest days this week due to having what I think is plantar fasciitis. I’ve had it briefly before, strangely about this time last year. I’ve also got next weekend off, so I’m planning to run on it for now, and then maybe alter the schedule a little next weekend to allow more time for recovery if necessary.

For my triathlon training I’m worried about not getting out on my bike enough – hence the question of cycling to work on a Friday – I get an early finish on a Friday so might be able to get home in daylight now the evenings are getting lighter.

I’ve also been using the Slendertone System+, and should complete the 1st week a little later tonight. I’ll do a separate review of this over the weekend at some point. I’ve also been continuing with MyFitnessPal app which has been pretty good up to now.

Finally, I weigh myself every Friday after my swimming lesson. Rather annoying I forgot this week. Have to see if I can remember to go on Monday.

Race Entries

Sandy 10 Mile has been picked out as the race for April, and I’ve entered this evening. I’m also looking at Liverpool Tunnel 10k in June, which should be good practice for the Liverpool Marathon in October.

Janathon Day 1 and January 2011 Plan

First up – Happy New Year to everyone. Also good luck to everyone taking part in the Janathon challenge or Jantastic from Marathon Talk. All the best of 2011!

Janathlon – Day 1 Down, 30 to go!

There are 3 days in January that are going to be difficult for me to run on (well, that I already know about, I’m sure as the month progresses everyday will become hard!). Today was one of those days. Most New Years Days involve me lying in bed vowing never to drink again, unable to eat. Curbing my drink slightly last night made sure I got up this morning without too many issues. I did read last month somewhere that you can’t sweat alcohol – after my run this morning I may donate my body to medical science!

The Details:

2.3 Miles – aimed to keep the final 1.3 miles at a Heart Rate below 160. Have to say I’m really struggling with this heart rate training – my heart rates when I’m running comfortably seems very high. Today felt like a recovery run, but my recovery range should be around 145?! Another to point out is that I was just doing a 2 mile run, but then Foo Fighter – My Hero came on the stereo, which forced me to alter my route slightly to listen to it, hence the extra 0.3 miles!

Other runners seen: 1

Due to not being at home at the minute, I haven’t got the Garmin software on this laptop (or the dongle to connect to my 405) so I’m afraid this little map will have to do for the run:

I was trying to think of an area to run round with my mobile phone to take some nice pictures, but just getting out today was good enough! Now… plenty of water, but first a bacon sarnie!

This Months Plan – January 2011

I always stick to plans a bit better if I have one laid out in front of me. I’ve got pretty good at doing a weekly plan, and I plan to continue this in 2011. However I’m also planning to outline the upcoming month as well this year to help focus.

This month sees my training for Edinburgh Marathon start. Its an 18 week plan, but unfortunately the first weekend coincides with a stag do, so I’m starting a week early (11th Jan). In the meantime I’m just going to get some mileage into my legs so I’m ready for it to start – these runs won’t be sessions.

Apologises for my horrible colour scheme – I’m not the most artistic of people! The blue coloured sessions highlight key marathon sessions for me.