Sunday, 8 January 2012

A brief hiatus from the running, should help to keep the interest up

Since the new year's eve 10km race, I’ve not run.  The day after I took as a rest day as the legs were sore from the race, same as last year and understandable, but for some reason I’ve not felt like running since.
Maybe it’s the 640-odd miles in the year before that, maybe it’s just listening to my body and the feedback, maybe it’s just trying to keep things interesting.  Whatever it is, since new year I’ve done three sessions on the erg, one yoga class and one session on the turbo trainer.

Up to now I’ve been struggling with the erg in terms of managing the HR to the Maffetone limits I’ve set myself, but this week I seem to have had a breakthrough even if I’ve not necessarily cracked it.  Only a repeat performance could demonstrate that.

The three erg sessions were all 40 minutes in length, I’m not up to regular hours on that yet, though I might start to push it more as I get more accustomed to it again.

The sessions were


1) 2305 / 2:10.1 / 20 / A131 

2) 2244 / 2:13.6 / 18 / A 148  

3) 2206 / 2:15.9 / 18 / A150 

4) 2182 / 2:17.4 / 18 / A151

total) 40:00 / 8936 / 2:14.2 / 18 / A145 / M153


1) 2251 / 2:13.2 / 18 / A135 / M147  

2) 2217 / 1:15.3 / 18 / A 147 /M150  

3) 2212 / 2:15.6 / 20 / A148 / M152

4) 2271 / 2:18.1 / 21 / A149 / M152   

tot) 8850 / 2:15.5 / 19 / A145 / M152

Wednesday – none as I had a day trip to London.


Total 8996m / 2:13.3 / 20 / A140 / M150

1) 2256 / 2:12.9 / 21 / A 127 / M137

2) 2255 / 2:13.0 / 21 / A 140 / M145

3) 2247 / 2:13.5 / 21 / A 144 / M149

4) 2240 / 2:13.9 / 20 / A 147 / M150

As you can see, the HR was much better behaved on Friday, but at a significantly faster pace than either of the other two sessions.  The only thing I can really put it down to is the slightly higher rate which effectively lightens the stroke.  So it seems that that slightly higher rate gives a lower HR even though the recovery time per stroke is effectively shorter, but still around 11m per stroke.

Thursday was the first yoga session of the new year and I got the impression that our guru was going light on us.  More meditation before and afterwards, and no admonishment for being non-vegetarians.  I reckon he let us off on the asanas as well as it took at least half an hour rather than the usual 15 minutes before I was sweating copiously onto my mat and I had nowhere near the usual level of feedback the next day.

Tonight was back to the turbo trainer for my first session under my new metric regime.  Not knowing how fast I was going was quite interesting (I have no real concept of km/h) and I concentrated on the watts and HR.  I think the performance is beginning to move in the right direction, but like with the running I think the real demonstration of success or failure is not going to come until the first race of the season.

My wife, Rekha went off to the USA today for a week, so I’m at home looking after the kids and working at home during the day, so I can envisage the bulk of this week’s training being on the erg or turbo trainer.  I am however very excited at a new running challenge that’s come my way and is a perfect fit with my new metrification.  There are a bunch of pretty good runners that contribute to the Concept 2 forum as they are also either mainly, or at least regular ergers.  Anyway, they’ve started a running 5km monthly league, either in a race or timed by GPS.  There’s a straight ranking and then a handicapped version by BMI which is throwing up some interesting results.   My plan is to have a bash at it at least once this week during a lunchtime, should be great fun. 

I also had a first today in that I tried an un-sulphured dried apricot i.e. one that is not preserved with sulphur dioxide (spelt sulfur for those Leftpondians reading).  I was amazed at the difference and wondering why I’d never tried them before.  Although they look less appealing, the flavour is so much more rounded and richer.  That’s me sold, they’ll be in my shopping basket from now on.

It also seems that I have a bit of weight management to do over the coming weeks.  I’ve managed to put on about 1.5kg over Christmas with an extended amount of socialising with family and friends and the accompanying excesses of beer, wine, cocktails etc and the rich and empty calories stuffed with fats and refined sugars that accompany them.  I will admit though that I’m a sucker for Christmas pudding and went and bought two massive ones at a fraction of the pre-Christmas price, they don’t go off after all.   So, although I don’t believe in diets, the next few weeks are going to need to see a bit of moderation in both eating and drinking, cutting out the sugar, reducing the wheat intake and giving my liver a bit of a rest.  I also think I need to pay more attention to my sleeping patterns.  I’ve been falling into a pattern of getting up early to run while I’m away and to have breakfast in peace with the news when I’m at home.  The only trouble is I’ve also been extending the bedtime way too late either working in my hotel room or watching mindless drivel on the TV. I need to deal with this.

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