Training Update and Nutrition

This week my training has gone well – everything still feels hard and I’m still the slowest in my club but I’ll keep on plugging on

My long run on Saturday was a 4 miler – S had a 14km run on his plan for the Saturday so we decided to head up to the canal path near my flat together and then he’d head off in his speedy Gonzalez way to do a 7km out and back and I’d pootle along on my 3.2km out and back.

We’d worked out our respective paces, me just getting the distance in and S aiming for a pace range and found that I should arrive home about 20 to 25 minutes before S.

Throughout my run there were (as usual) so many times I wanted to stop and walk but just the thought of S either catching up with me or even (shock horror) overtaking me was the only thing that kept me running along!

My aim was to be home, showered and changed by the time S got in. On the outside I stated that this would mean that the shower was free for S as soon as he got in, inside I simply wanted to ‘beat’ him! If you can beat someone who can cover double the distance you do in only 20 minutes longer!

I’ll take anything I can get to keep me going though.

My run, once again was hard – I’m seriously praying for the day that things ‘click’ – I’ve been told it will but for the moment running is still very hard for me.

I’m not sure if I should try to stop focusing on my pace and just run – although I’m a complete numbers person and I’m not sure I could do that.

The other thing I was thinking of doing was going out for a run for a specific period of time rather than distance – however the thing I’m not sure about with this tactic is that mentally running for time, for me at least, is very hard as going faster isn’t going to make things go quicker – I like it when, if you’re ‘done’ running, I can speed up a little bit to make the distance tick over a bit quicker and get home sooner. Obviously a timed run isn’t going to give me that.

The plus side of my run on Saturday was a strange one – basically I desperately needed to pee about two-thirds of my way into my run which only got worse as I kept going!

Like I said, I’d decided to run an out and back down the local canal path which means that public bathrooms are nonexistent on the actual route and rather thin on the ground if you come off the canal path into civilization.

My aim now was to get home. I was trucking along at my pretty steady pace of 6 minutes 30 secs per km and managed my last km at a 5 minute 20 second pace! Things were starting to get desperate by that point and I just needed to get home!

In S’s words – ‘if you can hold it for 21km your half marathon is in the bag!’ lol – I’m not sure that’s a tactic I want to employ on the day but thanks for the encouragement S!

Saturday afternoon I went to an endurance nutrition workshop held by my tri coach J

I really enjoyed it and it was incredibly informative – J is very like me and very science / numbers orientated so things were described in a very black and white sense of someone weighing this much, doing this much exercise burns x amount of carbs an hour – so to refuel effectively they need to replenish that much in that timeframe.

Because it was all based on weight and exertion I think it will be very easy for me to work out how that relates to me and therefore hopefully avoid the dreaded ‘bonk’ maybe not in the half marathon but especially in the half Ironman.

There was definitely lots to think about and try out during training sessions in the future for sure.

Saturday evening I had a bit of a snafu, would I really expect anything otherwise, S and I had decided to go out for dinner but were chilling out watching TV for a bit before heading out. When it was time to go I got up off the sofa, I didn’t fall, I didn’t wobble, I didn’t even bend particularly far – I’ve been getting off sofas for most of my life but this day my knee decided to conk out and I got a shooting pain behind my kneecap! I’m not sure what happened but it hurt enough to know that something had gone a bit wrong.

This meant that the brick session I was due to attend as part of the nutrition workshop on Sunday was probably going to be out of the question.

I got up on Sunday and got ready regardless – I really wanted to join in!

After also having some ‘I don’t have a stomach anymore’ issues on the Sunday morning and my knee still giving me bother I admitted defeat and decided to sit and watch instead.

I still learned lots though. J went through transition techniques and tips which was good to listen to even though I couldn’t get the practice in and then the brick session, set up to try out some of the nutrition techniques discussed the day before and included 4 rounds of a 10 minute hard effort bike ride followed by a 1km run every 20 minutes (i.e. 10 minutes taken up by the bike ride and then a rest period between sets dependent on how quickly you completed a 1km run)

It looked like great fun and I wish I could have taken part! Although my kilometer pace is about 6:30 so my rest times would have been pretty short so I’m sure I’d have found it tough – the people taking part all looked like they were having fun though – tired but happy.

Like I said, I was annoyed having to watch and not join in but there were some seriously nice bikes and some seriously impressive riders to watch so that dulled the blow of disappointment.

Hopefully the knee will be better in a few days, I’m foam rolling and icing like a champ here!

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