Project 80 – 133rd times a charm!

So, only one week and one day later than planned, Project 80 launches today.

Project 80 is simple. I need to weight 80kg or less by the time I get to run London Marathon. Ideally, it could do with being closer to 75kg I think, but 80 is probably more realistic.

Before we get into why this is important, I am aware that some of you cannot figure out kilograms (kg) and may prefer weight measurements to be in stone and pounds (st, lbs) or just pounds (lbs). I will do my best to do the relevant conversions for you as we go though this.

How we weigh ourselves in stones in the UK. This fella is around 1 stone!

So, a long time ago I wrote a blog post explaining why weight is particularly important in running. At the time I was training for a 100 mile ultra marathon (which I never even made the start line of) but if you want to read this you can find it here. Time to Address the Elephant in the Room

The basic premise is this.

  • When you run the ground force through your joints is 2 – 2.9 times your body weight each time your foot hits the ground
  • A marathon is 42,000 metres. Assuming I travel a metre per stride, that is 42,000 foot strikes
  • If I weight 100kg (15st 10lbs, 220lbs) then this is 100 x 2.5 (if we take the average from the first point) x 42,000 which equals 10,500,000kg of force my legs have to absorb over a marathon distance.
  • If I weigh 80 kg (12st 8lbs, 176lbs) this number reduces to 8,400,000kg of force, a reduction of 2.1 million kg of force my body has to absorb
  • The largest bull elephants weigh about 6000kg, so the reduction in impact force is around 350 elephants worth. Thats quite a lot.

Then things get even more interesting. According to a podcast I listened to a long time ago (which I now cannot find to reference) athetic performance increases roughly 5% for every 10% of bodyweight you drop, assuming that you only drop fat and maintain muscle. Now bearing in mind I want to drop about 20-25% bodyweight (I currently weight more than 100kg (220lbs or 15st 10lbs) I could be looking at a performance increase of 10% or more. This would mean that my current marathon speed of around 12.5 minute miles would improve to possibly sub 11 minute miles, which would improve my marathon finish time from 5hrs 30 minutes to around 4hrs 48 minutes.

Now all of the above is just based on weight alone. It does not factor in improvements in fitness that can be made from training. It is only taking into account my current level of fitness and my current weight vs my ideal racing weight. So if I get the training right and the weight loss right I could be closing in on 4hr 30min marathon, or perhaps less.

Whilst marathon running is not all about finishing times, believe me being out there for an hour less is a good thing. Marathons are hard. Really hard. You usually feel OK up to around mile 18-20, then you face 6-8 miles of pain and suffering to get over the line. If that pain and suffering can last a bit less time that can only be a good thing.

My knees hurt!

All things considered it is a good idea to weigh less than I do when running. Quite a lot less in fact. So, for the 133rd time of trying, I am going to have to lose weight. Something that is relatively easy to do in your 20’s, trickier in your 30’s and very hard to do in your 40’s. Combined with the fact that endurance exercise is not actually that good for weight loss (I will blog about this another time) and the fact that too much training tends to break my body anyway, basically I am just going to have to eat a lot less.

I really like food though. That is how I got into this position in the first place ūüôā

Then again, if White Goodman can succeed on his weight loss journey and almost lead the Cobras to victory against Honest Joes in the American Dodgeball Association of America International Dodgeball Competition then I am sure I can do the same, and run London at a weight substantially less than I am right now.

It’s a metaphor.

So off we go. Not only do I need to train hard and rest and recover, but I will be needing to do this on a calorie deficit. Should be fun.

Next post will be about running and not about being overweight, I promise.

To track Project 80 and see how well (or not) I am getting on please use the Project 80 page

TTFN

Snooky

Next years events are starting to take shape

I am currently in limbo.  Like most of the country who have time off work between Christmas and New Year, I am totally clueless as to what day it is, what I am supposed to be doing on any particular day or how many calories I am consuming on a day to day basis.

There has been an enforced break from training lately, partially because I fell over whilst running and badly bruised some ribs and partially because I had a minor operation a couple of weeks ago and was advised not to run or really do anything for a while.

So all in all it is the end of 2016, I haven’t exercised for ages and I am now sitting on my¬†wife new computer (Xmas present) thinking about 2017, my blog, my challenges and what I am going to do about it all.

My UltraMarathon in June

As some of you will already be aware, in 2017/2018 it is my intention to run 13 marathons in 12 months.  Starting with the Brighton Marathon in April, I will run a marathon every month until the following April when I will finish this challenge at Brighton Marathon again.  Also, just for good measure, I have decided to take on a 53 mile UltraMarathon in June.

Motivation for this challenge is 3¬†fold. Firstly, I am intending on raising money again for the very deserving¬†Chestnut¬†Tree House and thought I¬†would need a fairly sizeable challenge to match up to my Ironman in 2015. ¬†Secondly, running has¬†always been my weakest link in triathlon, so why not get rid of those demons by running¬†my way through an entire year? ¬†And lastly (or thirdly if you prefer) I have realised I am the sort of man who needs a¬†challenge. ¬†Without something big to¬†aim for, I just don’t really bother to train. ¬†I still do a bit, but not as much as I should and I need major events looming over me to get my arse off the sofa and into some lycra!

It is a bit of a shame for me that I am this sort of person.  Why can I just not be internally motivated to exercise regularly?  Why do I need the threat of a major event?  Why can I not just be happy running a Parkrun on a Saturday morning and going to the gym like everybody else?

I do not know the answer to these questions, but what I do know is that trying to run a marathon every month for 13 months is a very different challenge to the Ironman, and one that should not be taken lightly.



Me at the end of Christmas

Speaking of lightly, there is one more thing that I need to conquer in 2017, and that is weight management. ¬†Even during the peak of my¬†Ironman training I never got my weight down. ¬†I have hovered around the 90kg mark (14 ish stone for those of us who still use old money) and no matter how much I run, cycle or swim it never goes down. ¬†This is cause I mostly eat what I want almost all of the time. ¬†Losing weight is 90% diet and the rest down to exercise. ¬†Usually I wouldn’t give a monkeys about weight, but it is so important in running and being as light as possible will help me hugely to stay injury free and recover fast. ¬†Ignoring weight and just carrying on regardless is accomplishing nothing.

So that is the plan for 2017/2018.  My events list has been updated on the tab above if you want to take a look at what events I will be doing when, but essentially it is run run run.

I am¬†determined to keep this blog up to date for 2017 and am also going to have a bash at a vlog or two. ¬†I know, exciting stuff isn’t it. ¬†I am sure you are all right on the edge of¬†your seat.

Anyway faithful readers, that is it for now.  I am up in the morning for a naked 5 miler with the Portsmouth Triathletes (not quite what you think) and assuming I survive will be back soon with a bit more information about next years challenge.

TTFN.

Snooky




13 in 12 – the journey continues

Hello all,

It’s been rather a long time since my last blog update. ¬†In all honesty, I’ve been busy and haven’t been competing at all so there has been little to blog about. ¬†That is until now.

Over the last few months I have been contemplating what to do for my next fundraising challenge.  The Ironman, which was now over a year ago, was a big deal.  No doubt about it, taking myself from couch potato to Ironman was one hell of a journey.  Thanks to the incredible generosity of my friends, family, and some complete strangers we managed to raise enough money to pay for a day at Chestnut Tree House, over £7,300.

This was a while ago now, so it’s time for the next challenge. ¬†“What challenge¬†have you chosen”, I can almost hear you shouting at your screens. ¬†Well as the blog title implies, I have decided to run 13 marathons in 12 months.

Starting at Brighton Marathon 2017, I will complete a marathon every month, ending at Brighton Marathon 2018.  Brighton Marathon is a big event for Chestnut, so it seemed the right place to start and end the challenge.

Beautiful Winchester Cathedral

On top of that, just to make things a little more difficult, I have decided to throw a 55 mile Ultramarathon into the mix.  This will be in June 2017.  I have chosen the Race to the King.  I will be competing in the 1 day option at this race, quite literally running 55 miles non stop.  The race takes place across the South Downs, from near Arundel to Winchester Cathedral.  It is going to be hilly.  VERY hilly.

So that’s the challenge. ¬†Simple really. ¬†12 marathons at 26.2 miles each plus a 55 mile Ultra equals 369.4 miles of¬†running if I just account for the racing. ¬†Obviously there will be miles and miles of training too, so it is likely that I will probably run around 1500 miles throughout this challenge. ¬†To put this into perspective, that is from London to Moscow.

As any of you who have regularly followed my blog will know, running is by far my weakest discipline when it comes to triathlon.  This is why I have chosen this challenge.  If I am ever going to become a better triathlete I have to get my running times down.  13 marathons in 12 months should help me to do that!

I also wanted to do something big.  Something that would inspire people to donate to the charity that I care so much about.  I feel this challenge is a fairly big one.

Over the next few months I will be altering the blog site and relevant Facebook accounts to reflect this move away from triathlon towards running.  I will still be going out on the bike, though not half as much as before.  I might even go for an occasional swim. But what I will mostly be doing is running.  A LOT of running.

It is also my plan to keep you all up to date as I book up events for this challenge.  So far I have booked the following.

April 2017 – Brighton Marathon
May 2017 – Three Forts Challenge – a 27 mile race across the South Downs taking in 3 Iron Age forts (this one is going to hurt).

Nothing else booked yet, as the Race to the King doesn’t open until the end of September. ¬†Just to get me warmed up, I am also racing at Beachy Head Marathon at the end of October (but this was pre-booked and is nothing to do with the challenge).

That is really all I have to say for myself right now.  I will sign off with a few pictures of me running in a snowman costume at the recent Chestnut Tree House Littlehampton 10k.  The two guys you can see next to me (also in fancy dress) are Mark Ward and Dave Chapman.  Both very dedicated Chestnut fundraisers in their own right, and jolly nice chaps to boot.  Both will be with me at the Brighton Marathons, and I am hoping to talk them into one or two of the others.

TTFN.

Snooky






Portsmouth Duathlon – 1 year on, am I any fitter?

It’s 6am on Sunday 15th March (Mother’s Day in the UK) and I have just woken up in a very uncomfortable position on my sofa. ¬† It must be time for the Portsmouth Duathlon.

Before anybody jumps to any conclusions, I was on the sofa simply because I fell asleep watching TV and never moved. ¬†Having a newborn means that wherever I fall asleep I tend to sleep much more soundly than usual. ¬†I am assuming this is because I am generally knackered pretty much constantly. ¬†It’s not bad sleeping on the sofa, except for the fact that it is cold not especially comfortable. ¬†Still I had racked up at least 6 hours sleep and that’s pretty good in my book!

Breaking from tradition, I had done a little bit of preparation the night before this race, so my bike was ready to go.  I quickly checked the tire pressures and then set about eating breakfast and double checking my bag.

Half way through breakfast my oldest daughter Niamh woke up so I fished her out of bed, stuck her in with my wife and gave her the rest of my porridge to keep her entertained.  Having decided on wearing my tri suit with shorts and my Grazing Saddles cycling top I put my clothes on, gave the family a goodbye kiss and was on my way.

From my house it is a very short bike ride to the start, where I grabbed my race numbers and went about the now familiar process of attaching them to my bike, my helmet and myself.  I saw Anthony (who comes to my triathlon training sessions) and had a quick chat with him and Darby from the Pompey Triathletes before racking my bike, assembling my gear and then heading out for a quick warm up.

I bumped into a few more people from triathlon club (Simon, Andrew, Emma) and had a brief chat with each of them. ¬†The overall consensus was that it seemed to be too early for the first race of the year and that people felt a little under prepared. ¬†As far as I can tell, this is entirely standard for any sort of race. ¬†Nobody gets to the morning of the race and thinks they have done enough training. ¬†Everybody seems to doubt themselves. ¬†Perhaps it is human nature. ¬†Or just that everybody actually hasn’t done enough training. ūüôā

Quick warm up completed, I joined the queue for a pre race wee with about 10 minutes left until the start, scheduled for 8.30am.  

One of the cardinal sins of competing is to do things differently on race day to what you would do in training.  Only stupid people will do this.  Things like wearing different clothes or shoes, eating or drinking differently etc.  Usually doing this will have negative effects on your performance as your body undergoes new experiences whilst at race pace.

Naturally, I had decided to ignore the above and made the decision to try a different energy gel product before this race.  I had brought  a ZipVit Nitrite Gel with me for pre race consumption.  The theory is that ingesting nitrites allows your blood vessels to open up more, getting the blood pumping round your body more easily.  The science behind this is fairly sound so I was keen to try a product that supposedly helps.  Ripping the gel open I slurped down the bright purple liquid inside.  It was the consistency of wallpaper paste and tasted like how I imaging licking a compost heap must taste.  

Having eaten my delicious nitrite gel I headed towards the start line, where I saw my friend Greg (another person I met through tri club). ¬†Greg is almost always enthusiastic and smiling, so I wandered over to start next to him and absorb his positive vibes. ¬†We had ¬†a brief chat and just as Greg was starting a very promising little story with the words “I got completely hammered on Friday night” we were off. ¬†Somehow we had missed the start. ¬†The lady in front of me was tying her shoe and had also missed the start, so I deftly avoided clattering into her and set about the business of running the first leg of the race, totalling 5 kilometres.

Normally you will run more quickly than you should at the start of a race as the euphoria of running in a group sees everybody set out quickly.  Glancing at my watch I noticed we were at about 5min/km pace as the big pack proceeded down towards Southsea Castle.  5min/km would give me a 25 minute 5k time.  My personal best 5k is 24min 56sec, so I was thinking that this pace was probably a bit ambitious for me.  Never the less I carried on and surprisingly I felt good.  Sticking at around 5min/km pace I even started to overtake a few other runners.  I have never, ever overtaken somebody running before and I must admit it did feel quite good.

Soon the kilometres clicked by and I was almost back to the start with 4km run and 1km to go. ¬†I still felt OK. ¬†I was amazed. ¬†A minor hamstring niggle was in the back of my mind, but I always have some sort of leg pain when running and have gotten used to ignoring it. ¬†At this point in the race I couldn’t help but smile. ¬†I was competing in my first event of the year. ¬†In less than 6 months I would be in an entirely different race at Challenge Weymouth and it felt fantastic to get my event season off to a start.

Rounding the final corner back into transition I glanced at my watch which said 25 minutes.  I had a run a close to PB 5k on the first leg of the Duathlon and was feeling good.  Well in all honesty I was more shocked than anything.  Perhaps my watch was wrong?  Quickly putting on my cycling shoes, helmet and grabbing my bike I was out of transition and onto the road, where I set about the business of cycling 15 kilometres.

I really like cycling and I had a game plan.  Whoever was in front of me, the plan was to catch them, overtake and then chase down the next person.  Setting about this and quickly getting up to race speed I was battling into a strong headwind but consistently catching those in front of me.  After about 5 minutes I ended up riding with two other guys and we kept overtaking each other.  The great thing about this is that it inspires you all to go faster and in the back of my mind I knew that when we would soon turn around and head back the way we came.  This would mean the wind would be on our backs and it would be time to put the hammer down.

Sure enough turning around and no longer riding into a strong headwind was amazing.  I dropped a few gears, got myself as low as possible and pushed hard.  Quickly passing 40kph (25mph) I was flying past my fellow competitors and loving it.  As we rounded the end of Southsea common it was back into the headwind for a bit, then a lap of the common again and once more into the headwind towards transition to complete the 15k.  

Just as I had got close to transition I had heard my wife call out my name and was ecstatic to see that she had gotten Niamh and Mia into the double buggy to come down and support me. ¬†Not a bad effort for a woman who had a C-Section less than 4 weeks before. ¬†I was in and out of transition quickly, saw my girls standing by the exit and ran over to give them a kiss. ¬†Niamh (my 2 year old) gave me a big smile then shouted at me “RUN”. ¬†This was all the motivation I required and I headed off into the last leg of the race with a huge smile on my face. ¬†Only a 5k run to go.

By this time the pack had thinned out a lot and I was running pretty much on my own.  Using the same method I had on the bike, I lined up the person in front of me and ran.  Usually as a race progresses you slow down a bit (or sometimes a lot), which is a real indicator of a lack of fitness.  Glancing at my watch I saw I was cruising at 5:15/km pace, only 15 seconds slower than my first 5k and pretty quick for me.  Soon I was overtaken by a much quicker runner; however I stayed about my task and slowly reeled in a few people in front of me.  I was amazed that I managed to maintain a reasonable pace and was still feeling good.  

Soon enough the 4km marker appeared and I knew I had only 1km to go. ¬†There was a young lady who had been in front of me for a while but remained stubbornly difficult to catch. ¬†I resolved to catch her and kicked hard. ¬†She had also sped up for the final push and try as I might I just couldn’t catch her. ¬†Following her over the line I checked my watch and it said 26 minutes. ¬†I had just run around 26 minutes for a 5k, having already run one 5k and cycled 15km. ¬†6 months ago I couldn’t even run 100metres. ¬†I was feeling quite pleased with myself.

L-R Greg, Emma, Me, Stella, Simon

Reunited with the family I had a quick chat with some of the triathlete guys, my friend Rachel took an excellent photo of us and then it was time to go home, very happy with my performance and glad to be injury free.  

Once the results came out it was time to have a look at how I had done and compare this to last year.

In the 2014 Duathlon I ran my first 5k in 28:16, took 32:39 on the bike and then the second 5k was 31:38.  Total time (including transition) Р1:32:35

In 2015 I ran the first 5k in 25:19, took 31:32 on the bike and then ran the second 5k in 26:01, for a total time of 01:24:54.

Although my bike was only slightly quicker than the previous year, 2014 was much better conditions and the wind was not close to as strong.  The thing I am so pleased about is the improvement in my running.  Also I was competing at around 85% of capacity as I have the marathon in April and picking up an injury would not have been a good plan.

So all in all 1 year on from my first ever multi-sport race there is no doubt I am fitter.  I also ran a sensible race, got my preparation right and am slowly inching towards some sort of competence in this sport.

Next event, Brighton Marathon on 12th April.  GULP!

TTFN

Snooky

I Fink, therefore I am

It’s all been a bit quiet on www.ironsnook.co.uk¬†of late. ¬†I haven’t updated the blog for over a month.

To be honest I have a good excuse.  On the 17th February my second child was born, a beautiful baby girl we have called Mia.  Naturally training went on hold whilst I helped my wife recover from the birth and look after our 2 year old.  I went back to work this week and my training restarted.

Don Fink – handsome isn’t he?

Challenge Weymouth is a mere 190 days away as I write this and I have started my Ironman training plan.  Well I say my plan, but I have done nothing to create it.  The honour of writing my plan goes to Mr Don Fink.

Fink wrote a book called “Be Iron Fit – Time Efficient Training Secrets for Ultimate Fitness”. ¬†The training plans held within this book are designed to get the fastest improvements on fitness possible over a 30 week period. ¬†Your fitness is designed to peak for your big race day and countless Triathletes before me have followed the plans to Ironman success.

I have had to start the plan on week 3, as week 1 and 2 were during my paternity leave and I was otherwise occupied.  You start with a mere 8 hours a week training, ramping up to over 20 hours a week by the end.  

This may sound like a lot to some of you and if I am honest it sounds like a lot to me.  That being said I am almost at the end of my first week of training and I feel great.  I have actually done a little bit more than the plan stipulates so far but am ache and injury free.  To top it all I have just got back from a swim session which was by far the most enjoyable training session I have ever had.  I felt strong and like I could have carried on swimming forever.

There are a few minor hiccups to following the Fink plan. ¬†Firstly he stipulates specific dates when you should compete in an Olympic distance and then later a Half Ironman in preparation. ¬†I have already booked an Olympic distance race and it doesn’t match the date Fink suggests. ¬†Hopefully this won’t make much difference.

Secondly I am running the Brighton Marathon for Chestnut Tree House  on Sunday 12th April so I am currently doing one long run a week ramping up for this. Fink does suggest long runs; however they are not as long as what I am currently doing at this stage of his plan.  

The marathon is likely to take it out of me and normal people take a fair bit of time off of training following a marathon as it is quite a task in itself.  Triathletes are not normal people. I am treating the Brighton Marathon as a training run and will be back to my Ironman training plan as quickly as possible afterwards (though I might have a couple of days off as reward). 

Just a very quick update for tonight as I am intending on blogging weekly for a while as there is a fair amount to discuss.

Hope you all have a good weekend.

Snooky




New Year – here we go!

So it’s the 1st January 2015, the first day of the year that I will become an Ironman. ¬†In fact, it is a mere 254 days until the race, so it is time to get organised.

It is fairly self evident that to swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles and then run a marathon you need to do a fair bit of training.  Pretty much everything I have read recommends trying to do about 10 hours training per week as a minimum.  This may sound fairly easy; however when you think about it 10 hours is more than an entire working day for most people.  It is a fair chunk of time to find and with a new baby Snook due in February it may prove tricky to fit the training in.

To combat against this as soon as I find a new job (I was made redundant on the 31st December 2014) I am going to hire myself a proper coach to help me along the way. ¬†The man for the job is already lined up, all I need now is somebody to employ me. ¬†I am open to any reasonable offers ūüôā

So that takes care of the training part.  Next onto nutrition.  


There is no doubt in my mind that all the training in the world cannot fight against a poor diet.  I have never been one for dieting, in fact you could say that I have always been rather against the idea.  Food is delicious.  I eat almost everything (not keen on rice pudding or things like spotted dick, though I imagine I could eat them if forced).  Other than that I love it all.  

My wife and I are also partial to a take-a-way or 12 and I have always prided my self on being a good cook.  Nice tasting food is often not the most healthy (even when you cook it yourself) and for those reasons I have always pretty much eaten whatever I liked.

This has seen my weight rise from a svelt 13 stone (182 lbs – 83kg) when I was a teenager, to a much more portly 16 stone (224 lbs – 102kg) at the start of 2014. ¬†Currently I weigh somewhere just over 14 stone (196lbs – 90kg), although I haven’t weighed myself post Christmas.

There is a lot of debate about what “race weight” people should compete at; however I have decided that whilst putting on my wetsuit in 254 days time I would like to weigh around 75kg (165lbs or just under 12 stone). ¬†If I am being brutally honest I haven’t weighed this much since I was about 12. ¬†That being said weight plays such a huge role in long distance triathlon that it is well worth my while to get the weight down and keep it down.

To do this, I am intending to follow a fairly simple mantra. 

Eat clean and make the right decisions 90% of the time.

“Eating clean” is a phrase that has been around in training for some time and simply refers to making sure that your diet does not have processed foods or an abundance of unhealthy fats or sugars in it.

I am also cutting out some things from my diet entirely.  This is going to be very tough for me, as the things I am cutting out are many of the things I simply love to eat/drink.  The list of these is below.

  • Alcohol
  • Take-a-way food
  • Crisps
  • Desserts
Some people might say that life without the above wouldn’t be worth living and in all honesty they may well be right. ¬†As such I am not going to entirely deny myself the good things in life. ¬†I still intend to eat an occasional bit of chocolate (especially when I have trained hard that day) and cake is a staple diet of most triathletes so will still have an odd bit of that when offered. ¬†As my mantra says, I need to eat clean and make the right decisions on food 90% of the time. ¬†If I have an occasional sausage roll or roast potato this is not going to kill me as long as I eat clean for the majority.

Other than that I will be cooking my own meals a lot more, utilising my slow cooker to make some delicious healthy stews and currys and eating a lot of porridge for breakfast.

The porridge worked well for me todayas I recorded a PB at the Queen Elizabeth Parkrun this morning.  Proof I actually attended is below (in the form of some muddy trainers)

So I think that is about it for my first blog update of the year.  I will be better at keeping this blog up to date during 2015 and will try to post on a weekly basis.

Fingers crossed I will find something interesting to talk about. I am feeling very confident about 2015 and cannot wait to get stuck into plenty of training and a few events.

Happy New Year to you and your family.  James












Everything is in place………I might just pull this off

For the first time since I undertook the challenge to complete an Ironman I am starting to feel that it might just be possible.

When I first told my loved ones of my intention to compete in an Ironman Triathlon I received the following comments:

My Mum ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† – “Are you sure James. ¬†It sounds like a lot to take on”
My Friends     РA mixture of utter astonishment and general sniggering
My Nan ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†– “Well my dentist does Triathlons dear and he is much fitter than you”
Cat (my wife) – “You’re going to die”

Now of course all of these comments were completely fair. ¬†I was out of shape. ¬†Very out of shape. ¬†I weighed over 16 stone, couldn’t run to the end of the road without stopping, hadn’t ridden a bike since I was about 10 and the last time I swam anywhere was when I swam from the side of the pool to the pool bar on honeymoon.

Over a year later and things are rather different. ¬†For the first time in forever (to quote from Frozen) I am starting to feel fit. ¬†Weight is slowly dropping off, despite my tendencies to eat entire bags of Doritos and quite a bit of chocolate. ¬†Also I have recently had a great success………..

I CAN RUN !!!!!!!!

All be it not very far (haven’t done more than 6k for a while) but I have no shin pain, the post run calf pain is starting to disappear and I am really starting to feel very positive about this whole endeavour.

Good thing too, as I have a charity place for the Brighton Marathon. ¬†Bushy and I are running for Chestnut Tree House, which is the hospice that cared for Amber and her family, towards the end of her fight with Neuroblastoma. ¬†The marathon is in April and is a great target to aim for. ¬†I can’t wait to strap on my Luna Sandals on the start line, raising some money for this incredible charity and ticking off an important milestone on my way to the Ironman in September.

Some of my regular readers may wonder how I have suddenly managed to start running injury free and why I am starting to feel a lot more fit all of a sudden. ¬†I can put this down to a few factors. ¬†The first one is my discovery of barefoot/minimalist running. ¬†To do this topic justice would require an entirely separate blog post and it is my intention to post this soon. ¬†The second reason is down to one man, Mr Trevor “Tufty” Payne.

Trevor runs two Triathlon training sessions at a gym here in Portsmouth.  The first one is a mobility class, perfect for improving my flexibility and mobility (which is something I sorely need).  The second session is a Bike/Mobility/Swim or a Bike/Run/Swim session.  Lasting 2.5 hours, this is an intense workout and is absolutely superb.

Bushy and I have been attending these sessions for over a month, with Curry joining us recently.  Trevor is an ex professional Triathlete, specialising in Iron distance races during his career.  He is a superb coach (even if he does take the piss out of Bushy and I rather a lot) and I find his sessions hugely inspirational.  He has given me exercises to do at home which I do every day, agreed to write me a training plan specific to Challenge Weymouth and is generally a huge asset to my training.  

So to wrap up this post I would like to say a thank you to Trevor for his help so far and for his excellent training sessions that I love attending. ¬†I was never really a believer in having a “coach”; however I am very glad I met Trevor and can’t wait to see just how fit he can get me ahead of Challenge Weymouth. ¬†I must also mention a special thanks to Josh Smith, who is one of the readers of my blog and was the person who put me onto Trevor in the first place. ¬†Look forward to doing some training with you when you are back in the UK Josh.

Finally to all of the readers of this blog and to those of you who have sent me nice comments about it, a huge thank you to you all. ¬†I’m really starting to love all this training and am pleased that as the winter progresses I will be able to share with you my increasing fitness and join as many of you as I can for a run/swim/bike, or perhaps just a pint!

TTFN

James

PS –¬†If any of you are looking for a Triathlon or Fitness coach please check out Trevor’s website. ¬†You won’t regret getting in touch with him.¬†http://www.zone6coaching.com/



Time to start my marathon training – this is gonna hurt!



So, the final leg of an Ironman race is a marathon. ¬†Previous to that you have to swim 2.4 miles, and then cycle 112. ¬†Never the less it is still a marathon, and a marathon is far from easy on it’s own. ¬†Due to running being my weakest discipline in any triathlon, I have signed up for the¬†Portsmouth Coastal Marathon¬†on the 21st December.

26.2 miles of non stop running.  The mens World Record for a marathon currently stands at 2:03:23 set by Wilson Kipsang from Kenya.  This is running just over 4.5 minute miles for 26.2 consecutive miles.  A fairly awesome feat I am sure you will all agree.


My fastest mile pace is around 8 minutes, and that would be just running one mile.  It is most likely that to sustain 26.2 miles of running I would be at around 10 minute/mile pace.  At that speed it would take me around 4.5 hours to complete a marathon, so that has to be my target time.


I have researched and subsequently created a training plan that will see me complete around 70 training runs in the 18 weeks that I have until the marathon.  This plan consists of 3 shorter runs during the week, and 1 long run at the weekend.  The distances slowly build towards week 16 where I will complete a 20 mile run for my long run.  This is the furthest I will run during training, and also be the furthest distance I have run in one go for over 15 years.  


All I need to now is avoid injury, run (a lot) and I should be fine. ¬†Easy………right???