Posted by: lepages | August 6, 2010

My day with Hollie!

Well, last post on the exercise front was about my Big Ride. Been a busy time since then. In a week when I had a day away for training with Hollie Avil (won it in a Taut email competition) I managed to still do a 48 hour working week – how weird is that!

Didn’t get a lot of exercise between the Big Ride and the training day, but did manage to clock the following:-

Saturday 24th July – 7am swim at Box End – usual 2x round (circa 1600m) in 34mins – quick shower and change and off to prayer time at church

Monday 26th July – bike ride early evening with Mark – steady spin to start with, then started picking up the pace a bit and pushing each other – session interrupted by puncture for Mark. Once sorted, headed home as evening getting on. Distance 36.12k Av. speed 30kph Mx 55.6kph Time cycling 1:12

Tuesday 27th July – gym session – intervals on treadmill – gym very quiet so extended the session on the treadmill to do 10k in intervals – pleasing to complete in 48mins at an av. speed of 12.5kph. Followed by weights session.

Wednesday 28th July – no exercise beyond cycle commute around town and drive up to Loughborough – sadly my left foot started to hurt on the drive up – when I found the hotel and got booked in found foot had swollen again – sadly didn’t have any antiinflammatories with me having not used any and having had no discomfort for several days… 😦 Was uncomfortable even lying in bed. 😦

Thursday 29th July – the BIG day!
Up to Loughborough University pool for the meet and greet at 8.30am. Amazed to see reserved parking spaces for the British swimming squad. In awe watching some of them training as I chatted with Mark (the Taut chap who organised the day – top guy!) and Richard (Hollie’s manager – also a top guy). Went to change into my biking gear as Hollie arrived. Nice to see her car being sponsored by a good Bedford company in Autoglass! Nice bike, courtesy of Boardman’s.

Mark got a pic in before we set off.

We went for an easy spin through some of the lanes around Loughborough for an hour or so. Plenty of opportunity to chat and get to know each other a bit, and pick Hollie’s brain re training patterns and so on.

I’d already shared re my foot situation, advising that I might not be up to hard running on our return. It was suggested that we might do some drill sessions instead. Into these on our return. Quite different to what I was anticipating! Set up some hurdles next to each other in the Loughborough athletics training hall – fantastic building with facility for indoor training for most athletics – and some brilliant athletes at work training – amazing speed! Well the drill sessions were basically walking over the hurdles from lots of different angles, in lots of different ways – surprising how that can really work the muscles in unexpected ways!! Twas the only time in the day when there was a cheer from the onlookers Mark & Richard as I grimaced in pain as my quads protested!! (Brought back memories of the big hills on the big ride!) Pictures below don’t really do justice, but are there for your bemusement!

Well, after our drill session it was off to lunch – not often I’m beaten by a jacket potato, but these were giant ones, and I ended up leaving a bit behind! Just as well, given what lay ahead!

Conversation over lunch was great. Lots more re training, and also re faith, my call to Christian ministry, and my testimony to God’s healing following my accident of over 4 years ago now. Some interesting stories of others’ experiences of church in the past!

The afternoon session was a swim coach session. Hard work mentally as much as physically! Trying to work out the commands and suggestions – but definitely seemed to help. After about 20mins we did a timed 50m – did it in 45secs – don’t think I’ve ever been under 50 before – shame I can’t keep swimming at that pace! Tried it again twice more with different breathing patterns and each time did it in 46secs. Why can I power out over short distances but not maintain it over longer distances??!! Was encouraged to work on endurance by doing 1min 50m sets and see how long I can keep it going for – seems good idea, just like the treadmill programmes have improved my running speed and endurance. So… maybe its back to pool swimming… but open water is so much more interesting!!

Had an hours work and then Hollie was meeting with her team mates for their own swimming training session. Exhausting work watching them, especially when I timed their 50m as part of continuous swimming, usually 45secs or less….. Waited till she finished to say goodbye and thank her for a valuable and useful day.

So what’s happened since then on the training front?

Saturday 31st July
Off for the usual 2x round Box End lake before prayer time at church. Gave a lot of thought to my stroke following Thursday – problem with doing that was I forgot my sighting at times as I tried to concentrate on my entry position, catch and speed of stroke – went well off track several times – coming back on track meant I ran into the same bloke twice! Did feel a prat! Delighted though that in spite of this my time for 2x round was 33mins for the first time. If I can keep up the pattern and remember to sight properly then maybe it’ll reduce further – I hope!!

Monday 2nd August
Decided to go and do the Bedford Classic bike route course Great route with largely nice smooth roads. 40k route (25miles), though my bike computer clocked 41.13k. Anyway, was great conditions with very little wind. Clocked a time of 1:09:13 with an average speed of 35.6kph Mx 52.6kph. Well chuffed with that, considering my best 25mile TT when I raced back in my teens was 1:11 something! Doubt very much I’ll achieve same in the triathlon after having swum 1500m in Bedford River! But very pleased to feel I’m coming in to form as I come towards the event.

Tuesday 3rd August
Late pm off to the gym for a quick session. Gym quiet so straight on treadmill and did my 30min pyramid run. 11.5kph – 5/12kph – 7.30/12.5kph – 10/13kph -12:30/13.5kph -15/14kph -17:30/13.5kph – 20/13kph – 22:30/12.5kph – 25/11.5kph – 30
Pleased to do it, but it did feel hard going compared with recently when I’ve done it comfortably – was definitely on edge a bit this time! Followed up with weights and core strength stuff

Wednesday 4th August
Mid pm brain was getting a bit brain dead so decided to down tools and go and clear my head with a run. Worked out 10k from home including a more or less double loop of the Classic run route – finished before the top of the Slipe just behind our home. Determined I would concentrate on maintaining a high pace rate, but try and stay in control of breathing heart rate etc. Had a rough idea of km marker points, looked like I was going well – knew when I was coming back on to run up river that I was, lifted pace a bit for final half kilometre or so. Stopped my stop watch at my 10k point and delighted with time of 47:30 giving an average speed of 12.63kph which is pretty much a PB for the distance. Yippee! Hope I can kick out like that after the bike ride when it comes to the tri!

Thursday 5th August
The final Beds Road evening league event of the year – delighted it was the 11.3mile event as really wanted to get a new PB on that – felt I should given my ride on Monday. Conditions not so good though – strong westerly breeze. Went and tested bits of course in warm up, realised I would have to go out fast where the breeze would be cross/following. Managed to maintain 40kph + till straight leading to Hillfoot, kept up to 19+ up the hill, going down towards junction for Old Warden managed to go over 50kph, slowed at junction and forgot to change down gears, difficult to pick up as started pulling away – soon up to high 40’s going into Old Warden when overtaken by a car who then decided having overtaken me to turn right at the junction and slow right down in front of me – so annoying – gears out of synch, had to work hard to pick rhythm up up the slope through the village. Soon spinning again. Pushed hard up the slope out of village towards turn to Ickwell, going down hill into Ickwell bit scary with lots of gravel in road on bends. Kept going well through Ickwell, dropping off a bit as approaching Northill. Turn at Northill and suddenly hard work into the breeze. Battle of the mind. Is it worth pushing hard – not likely to get a PB battling home into this. Spin it out. Dropped the gears, stayed on the tribars and spun as fast and easy as I could up the long slow slope of Moxhill – kept at 20+kph – hoping for fast descent to Cople – but breeze strong and difficult getting into high 40’s going down hill – surprised to struggle along flat at bottom and find speed dropping back to low 30’s. Turn at Cople and thought, what the heck, last go of the season, lets blast it out into the breeze back to Cardington. Wound it up to 37, forced the gears higher and pushed hard so it hurt and was getting 38+ on the last stretch. Definitely my most done in as I crossed the line – glanced at my watch as I crossed over the line – under 31mins – couldn’t believe it new PB! Pleased to find when results came up in the clubhouse that I’d taken another 18secs off my PB 30:51 Av. speed 21.98mph (rats, if only I’d pushed a bit harder somewhere I might have made 22mph!) Converting to kph gives av. speed of 35.37kph – slower than my ride over 25miles on Monday, but put that down to weather – I hate wind!! But bodes well for next season – should be able to take more time off and I’m sure I did break 36kph on the 10, so ought to be able to do that on the 11.3 which is generally a faster course.

A pleasing week.

Today, Friday 6th August, didn’t know what, if anything I was going to do. Had been working hard on my preach for Sunday and really feeling the Holy Spirit’s help in my preparation, but by 3.30pm my head was getting a bit thick – okay, up to the gym. Gym programme had me down for a 5k run at 12kph on 1.5% incline. Gym quiet so extended the distance a bit, but didn’t go for 10k to give time to do some weights/core work. Did 7k at av. 12.3kph having raised the speed to 12.5 after 5mins or so and then dropped it back to 11.5 for last kilometre.

Now its time to ease off a bit during the next week in prep for the triathlon a week on Sunday. Feeling good and sure I can take time off the time I did in the Dambuster Bring it on! Can’t wait! (Well, except for swimming in Bedford river….)



  1. Sounds like an awesome day with Hollie, you lucky thing! I wouldn’t mind some run tips off her myself!! You’ll be pleased you wrote it in such detail in months to come when you are trying to remember what she taught you!!

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