Download 2008

Went to Download Festival at Donnington Park yesterday – we just bought Saturday tickets… Fun day out.

Highlight of the day was Pendulum – made it into the circle for the second half of the sets… Moshed it up and have a sore neck and twisted ankle to show for my troubles. Fantastic band live and worthy of headlining! Others we saw included Biffy Clyro, Bullet For My Valentine, Testament and the Offspring.

Now sat in a mates house in Harrogate with an ice pck hoping to get my ankle back right to run on tonight.

Injuries and Training This Week

After pulling something in my left knee last week on a 50 mile ride I took a day off and then went out for a gentle ride. My knee took 8 miles to become very sore and this ruined my training for the weekend – I had planned to do the group ride on Sunday with Middletons…… I therefore stopped cycling, took sat off and then did a 14km run on sunday – which my knee was fine with.
I have made it to a couple of swims in the last week, run close to 40k and my knee is nearly fixed. I rode 15 miles last night very gently without pain, so I should be good to go as of Monday. I think moving my saddle forward brought this on so its back where it was now :-) .
Little training this weekend – Saturday is the Download Festival at Donnington Park. I will get a run in on Sunday when I get back.

HSBC “Green” Rip-Off

HSBC are making a big thing about going green – offering cashback for selecting a green service. You get £2 for stopping your statements and £5 for going the whole hog-

  • No Statements
  • No Cheque Book
  • No Paying In Book
  • No Marketing Letters
  • Emails / calls wherever possible to avoid letters

Sound good? Thats 12 statements, 2 books and a shed load of letters not posted, for a one off fiver! HSBC need to think this through – its a clever bit of marketing spin which will make them green points and also turn a tidy profit. Offering to stop unecessary markeing spam to help the enviroment – they shouldnt have been doing it in the first place!

A fairer offer would be a free Bank Account + service or inreased interest rates / yearly cash back. I’m pretty sure that more than £2 is saved each year by not sending a dozen statements – usually packed out with useless marketing.

Rant over.

Liverpool Tunnel 10k

Got into Liverpool this morning via the free trains – all travel on Merseyrail Northern and Wirral lines was free to competitors. Got in at 0850, walked over to collect my chip and found myself hanging round the start with 50 mins to spare. I ended up taking a walk round the block, finding a shop and grabbing some of the blue powerade I became near dependant on in the NZ summer. Back to the start again, I got about 50m back from the front with 20 to go and waited.

The start was a bit late but soon we were all off running. The first section was pretty wide and lots of people passed me. I kept to my pace and had room to run without jostling. The route rapidly brings you into the tunnel – you can see it within a mile and by 2km you are running through the tunnel. They closed one side off fully so we had 2 lanes to run down into the depths…

At 3km, the tunnel starts going up for over 1km – which caused people to slow and some to walk. I was running close to 5 min/km so kept on. The climb wasnt as tough as it was made out to be, but the hills I train on might have helped! Soon I was back into daylight. There’s a nasty surprise here – before the toll booths you switchback hard left and go up a short but steep climb – a sting in the tail. Next up was the water station at 5km, where I was 40 seconds away from my target of 25:00 for the 5km, so I grabbed a bottle and tried to push a little harder.

The next km or so was through the streets, which I don’t really have much to recall – I grabbed a few seconds back at 6km but not enough.

The final 3km are out down the promenade – wide, pedestrian areas with a few more people to cheer us on. I started to push harder here, and was passing people for the first time in the run – perhaps a sign of good pacing. At 7km there was the final aid station, but it was small and only on one side so I skipped it. The fire brigade had a shower to run through shortly after which refreshed me.

The final 2km hurt – I needed 25 seconds back to get my sub-50 so I tried as hard as I could. 1500m out the finish became visible and I kept on pushing. By 9km I wanted to give up! Telling myself that it would be over in 4 mins either way I kept going, perhaps finding a bit more.

As I closed on the finish, I could see the clock reading 49 – so I found a sprint finish from somewhere – I have no idea where though. I crossed the line as the clock said 49:52 – my official result was 49:26 according to the chip system. This gave me 595th out of 1836 finishers.

I collected my goody bag quickly and walked the mile or so to the train station – a nice cool down. One packed train to Liverpool Central later, I was the proud owner of a big mac ;-) .

Very happy with my result, paced well and pushed hard. The event was well run and attended – recommended event for 2009. I will be back in Liverpool for the 10km late on in the park – October I think, where I hope to take 10 mins off this – probably unlikely, but aim high!

Another week of training

Liverpool Tunnel 10k this weekend! Hoping to run sub-50, based on last weekends 23min 5k. This will be the first proper run I have tried – the sport relief one was run very slowly and the tight course and press of people meant lots of dodging and diving. The weather looks good – overcast and 12-13 deg. Spot on for running!

Monday was recovery..
I did an interval session on Tuesday on the treadmill – speed work plus 4 mins 9kmh at 7.5% and then a 1 min at 10kmh and 8.5% to HTFU. I can run 60 secs at 15kmh now, so I should be able to develop a bit more speed over 5 and 10k this year. I followed this with a 1000m swim, where I got a whole lane to myself – bliss!
Wed night I went out on the bike, planning to do 20-30ks and come back for a 2km brick on the treadmill. I actually got back 1 puncture and 50 miles later – so no running. I hit the wall to some extent at 45 miles – headwind plus no nutrition during the ride. Again my body needs to HTFU!
Thursday I took easy as my legs are not used to 50 mile rides…
Tonight will be some kind of light session – tapering towards Sunday.

No races planned until Ripon on July 12th so I can train hard without interuption from now on. The biggest issue I face right now is food – I’m so bored at home that I have fallen back into comfort eating to fight the depression. All this exercise is keeping my weight steady, but thats really not my aim. I still want to drop 22-25lbs, which would leave me at 150lbs ish (healthy for 5ft7 is 119-162). I need to find a way of keeping motivated or some kind of distraction that keeps me out of the house more. I have lost weight before, just need to do it again. Online calculators reckon on 15s per kg lost over 5km, which means 10kg is worth 2:30 to me. Thats most of the distance I have to go to a sub 20 5k! Weight will also make a HUGE impact at Wenslydale and Helvellyn – each featuring close to a mile of height gain.

Lancaster Results

Just got emailed the results:
1:19:06 – 36th out of 56 Finishers

18:11 – 43rd (previous best 22:04)
I was out of the pool by about 16:30 – transition went well with modified bike shoes and no faffing with gloves etc.

37:47 – 33rd (previous best 51:22)
The 20-30mph winds were reduced by tree cover on the 1500m closed circuit. I got less than a lap with any benefit from drafting, so pretty happy with this performance. Includes a slightly slow run transition – someone racked a bike in my slot and my trainers didn’t want to go on. Ran without socks – have a blister in my arch on left foot to show for it.

23:08 – 35th (previous best 27:29)
What? Never expected this – I have got close to 25 in training without the swimming and cycling ;-) .

I’m happy with these results – especially the run. The event was well run with a great facility. Closed track for cycling was good, no traffic so you can just get your head down and go. The run route was flat with views over the estuary.

The changes I made to transition tactics helped lots. My race number belt failed to turn up from wiggle so I had to wear one of my running vests during the bike / run, so there’s 20 or 30 seconds for free there, and my running shoes didnt want to go on in t2, losing me about 30 seconds again.

Why suck

Ordered a memory card from for my XDA last week – it took them a day to dispatch, which is OK, but then they said 3-5 days to deliver, which is not.
Its now 5 days later and no item – but will not consider a replacement or refund until 21 days have elapsed! Crazy. If they want to send without any tracking its not up to me to wait..
Typically my goods arrived a couple of hours after my post, but I will still be thinking twice about ordering again after seeing the 21 day policy.

On another note, kudos to both Chain Reaction Cycles and Wiggle for providing free delivery, almost always next day.

Tri Training

Some more progress over the last week or so:

Swam last night, recording 19mins for 750m. This included some messy lengths due to muppets in the pool and stopping long enough to check splits every 250m.
I need to learn to breathe bilaterally and work on my swim speed. My strokes still good though ;-) .

Been commuting to work sometimes and have now done a 35 mile ride. I need to work on speed and hills here – I can go a long way at 15-17mph, but I need to do 20+mph for 20km (how english is that? mixed units!).

Another 10km run on Monday – involving some hills. I actually enjoy running now. I need to work on speed here as well, but I also want to boost distance before my longer Tri’s later in the year. A plan must be made…

So there you go, in 2 words – Speed Work.

I have been thinking about my transitions as well – part of my slow swim must have been the transition – heres what I did:

  • Dry Feet
  • Put on Socks
  • Put on Bike Shoes
  • Lace up Bike Shoes
  • Velcro Strap On Bike Shoes
  • Cycle Jersey
  • Cycle Gloves
  • Shades
  • Helmet
  • Quick Drink
  • Off

What I intend to do:

  • Stand on Towel
  • Put on Bike Shoes
  • Velcro Strap On Bike Shoes
  • Race number belt
  • Shades
  • Helmet
  • Off

I think elastic and the main strap on mys shoes should be plenty, socks aint needed and neither will a jersey be. Gloves were not ideal either.

In transition 2 I swapped my jersey for a T-Shirt, which I can skip. So thats just a shoe swap and off – hopefully without the need for socks. The race number belt I have to buy – wiggle do them for a fiver. This plus the lack of hills should get me 1:30 – maybe I should aim 1:20 and just run harder….

Race Calendar 2008

This is my plan so far for cycling, running and triathlon racing this year:

March 2008
16th – Sport Relief
3 mile

May 2008
4th – Kendal Sprint Triathlon
COMPLETE – 1hr43 (full report)

25th – Lancaster Sprint Triathlon
TARGET – 1hr30

June 2008
1st – Liverpool Tunnel 10km
TARGET – sub 1hr

July 2008
10th – Wensleydale Half Cheese Triathlon
TARGET – Survive

August 2008
10th – Wensleydale Half Cheese Triathlon
TARGET – Survive

September 2008
7th – Helvellyn Triathlon
TARGET – Survive

September 2008
5th – Asics Liverpool 10k
TARGET – sub 45mins (yeah right!)