Training

Running away with it

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It is not something I am very good at and which is probably why I have refrained from running in the past. However this changed last week when at work there was a 10km charity team relay. Basically team of five members who ran two laps of the school field on a course which had been measured out at 1km.

As the winter approaches and the evenings become darker it isn’t as easy to get out on the bike in the week. The dark evenings also provide a suitable amount of cover for when I pull myself around the streets close to my house. If I manage to continue to keep this going it will really help with the winter training which until now has fully stopped due to the pressures of work etc. I have managed 2 runs since the weekend the first being quite frankly horrible. My breathing was out and I had to walk more than I felt I should and I managed 3.5km in a very sorry 26 minutes. At least the second run last evening was better as I managed 4km in 25 minutes so at least there has been some progress. I know these figures are hardly earth shattering (that is just the effect when my heavy body smashes into the ground), but I suppose it is a start and we all have to start somewhere.

What do I hope to achieve? I hope the end result will be less weight which will help when on the bike (and running) and improved cardiovascular ability which means I can go further for longer. This combined with the full on training programme come the spring should have me fully prepared for 2014 and the rides which I aim to complete, Ride London 100 (if I get through the ballot), either London to Brighton or Dunwich Dynamo and the possibility of the school cycle event which I will need to organise.

So there could well have been a shift in activity, along with a change in the season, but the end goal is still less weight and go longer on the bike. All through hard work and more hard work. No turning to the dark days of cycling to help me through the long dark winter which faces us.

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A clash in 2014! What should I do?

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The weekend of 12-13th July will be a busy one for cycling. On this night two night rides are due to leave London, one heading south whilst the other in a north easterly direction. The question is which one to do?

The first of these rides is the 60 mile London to Brighton night ride for The BHF. This is a ride I have completed for the past two years and has become something of an annual event. It is a well organised event and I still have unfinished business with this ride, to complete it in less then 4 hours!

The other ride is the Dunwich Dynamo, a 120 mile ride from North London to the lost city of Dunwich on the Suffolk Coast. This is a turn up and ride event and as a result has less support if things go wrong. However it has a certain appeal and would be the longest ride I would have completed in one go. Plus it is a ride which has been on my radar for a few years now.

The question is which ride to compete. Last year I should have done both as they were a weekend apart. This would have been a huge effort but possible. In 2014 this isn’t an option. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

So how should a decision be made? Take on the new, longer challenge and complete a PB on a bike, or really go for the sub 4 hours for London to Brighton, another PB. I suppose this comes down to the bigger plan for 2014. In February I will find out if I am successful in the ballot for the Ride London on 10th August. If I am then the longer more challenging 120 mile ride makes more sense. Complete this and just a month later complete 100 mile ride which includes parts of the Olympic road race course. Or take it easier and save myself by completing a 60 mile ride a month before Ride London. Both rides end up at the coast and both on a shingle beach so it will come down to the ride.

I think some serious thinking will have to be done as well as working out the correct training plan. Also a chat with a few friends who could be interested in both of the challenges. Oh well decisions. If you have any advice, I’d love to hear from you. It could be your piece of advise which helps me decide.

Go on give it a go.

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It has been a busy first week back at work after the summer break but I am now starting to get back into the swing of things. It also means I get to utilise my very expensive gym membership and use the facilities work has to offer. I think I might have just about got value for money from the £20 it costs per annum! The benefits of having a leisure centre on site really helps. It is a no brainier for staff to take up this perk in my opinion, so I did. I will certainly renew which will be the first time I can remember renewing a gym membership.

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This morning I decided to enter the said gym just to familiarise myself with the equipment again. I had actually forgot to note down the levels and speeds I use on the cardio machines, or the weights I use in a workout. Shocking I know but this will change in the new training plan. Another addition I think I will introduce will be some of the classes. The new bike for the spinning classes arrived a few months back and I really feel like giving this a go. It would be a great way to get fitter and stay in shape for the sportives planned for 2014. However the class I have tried today was a simple circuit training class. It was a good solid workout of 45 mins. This consisted of a warm up then one minute circuits on each of the eleven stations, a mix of cardio and weight workouts. Once you have completed in circuit the time reduced to 40 seconds at each station but you up the intensity thus improving your fitness. Well I certainly felt certain muscle groups being worked and got a sweat on. As the studio is air conditioned it must have been down to the workout.

It was an enjoyable session. It was with colleagues which made the social aspect very enjoyable. Everyone new each other so this helped and everyone went at their own pace. At the end of the day you attend to improve your own fitness and if you’re getting fitter after a few classes then the goal has been achieved. I will certainly be attending next week but might just have to start pushing myself a bit harder, if I can.