Posted by: lepages | May 31, 2011

A month of racing and training….

6 weeks since I’ve blogged on the multisport front. Lots been happening on the sporting front, and lots happening on the work front with church too – several preaches to post in due course!

What has become apparent is that whilst my swimming and running have improved on last year, my biking form is a good bit down on where I was at at this time last year.

First thing of significance in the last 6 weeks was on Easter Monday. My first 10k run (as a standalone event) in several years (and the last one was an off road trail run) – so I suppose strictly speaking my first 10k road race run. Beautiful day on a good rolling course – Stanwick 10k

As usual I set off fast – able to run faster for short periods courtesy of interval and pyramid sessions at the gym. Trouble is I can’t hold it and tend to blow after a while. Ran first 2-3k in just over 4min k’s – passed the 5k post at 22mins (a new PB for 5k! – previous best 22:29 in below zero temperatures!!) Gave an average speed to this point of 13.6kph.

Between 6&7 k I started to struggle and lost time quickly. At 8k I realised I was 30secs off my target time for a 45min finish. Managed to pick up pace and almost back on target at 9k marker, but then died again soon after. 200m to go marker – all downhill, so powered it out – can I get to the 45? Clocked 45:09 – disappointed not to have broken 45, but pleased with position 70th out of 298 finishers, 17th out of 62 in the Veterans 40 Male category.

Shattered at the end – staggered through the funnel to collect medal and water and sat on a chair to recover. Delighted to hear friends had finished okay with Sarah having come 2nd in the under 16’s (not bad at 13!) Good to renew friendship with some folk I hadn’t seen in a while who I didn’t know were competing.

Lovely afternoon spent exploring Stanwick Lakes – beautiful.

The next day, Tuesday 26th April, I did my first bike TT of the year – a new course organised by Icknield Road Club. A tough technical course – 3 circuits of a 4.1mile circuit – 12.3miles total. Cycled down to Ampthill, then over to the course. First section, slightly rough road, upward incline, then tight fast descent through a narrow lane, junction with a main road at base for left turn, and good road back to start. Strong windy evening. Times – lap 1 11:53 lap 2 12:10 lap 3 11:56 & finish 35:59. Av. speed just over 33kph (20.5mph). Must try and get back and beat that sometime! Cycle back to Bedford in the dark, against the wind, not particularly pleasant!

Friday 29th April out to Box End and 2 circuits of the lake in 32mins and a bit – pleasing in choppy conditions with a northerly breeze. Followed by a good group ride (including a wander through farm tracks of rough gravel, stones and grass as a result of misunderstood directions!) 86.64k Time 3:09 Av. 27.4kph

Saturday 30th April – Harrold Pit-Run A great largely flat run of mixed terrain – closed (v. temporarily!) road, hard gravel paths, and grass fields round Harold Country Park gravel pit lakes. Great to do an event with Julie my wife. Distance is 4.8k. Well chuffed with my result. Time 20:11 (which would equate if extended by 200m to 5k to 21:01 – taking a minute off my time from the beginning of the week.) Av. speed 14.2kph – yay! First time over 14 for an event of this sort of distance. Came 33rd out of 192. Julie was really pleased with her time too, doing better than she expected clocking 30:43, finishing 156th – not last as she feared!!

Sunday 1st May I went out for a run with a young friend of 18 years old. His first run in over 2 years. We ran 9.5k in 47mins – frightening to be able to run at that sort of pace, for that sort of distance with no training!! He could be a very good runner if he chose to pursue it!!

Monday 2nd May – out to Box End for usual 2 laps – consistent 32mins ish – bit choppy – strong NE wind made keeping line, seeing buoys difficult at times. Thinking about other things reduced stroke form at times, so pleased to have maintained my season time. Home and prepare for out on bike. 11 of us met at Athletics track and then ‘easy’ warm up out to Great Barford…. found that hard going!! 12 mile circuit from there with a 3 mile short cut if you got dropped – I got dropped – hard going!! Second lap, group speed more controlled – able to tag on and do my part. Much faster circuit and yet so much easier!! Drafting most of time in progression line. 3rd circuit before we picked up speed – disaster! One of our guys went down, along with 4 others of us who ploughed in. First guy down had broken clavicle, scapula and ribs…. 😦 No physical damage for me, but bike gear changer/front brake lever broken, wheels out of true, saddle broken and handlebar tape ripped – fortunately insurers paid up, other than excess. Time till accident 1:54 Dist 56.26k Av 29.5kph. Glad to say my friend is recovering remarkably well and was seen swimming one armed yesterday!!

Next period really pressurised on the work front so training fell by the side for a bit. One short swim session in Kempston pool – managed to throw an easy run there and back either side of the session. Thursday 12th May got out for my fave 11k tempo run round the Priory Park big loop. Time 52:44 Av 12.5kph. Fri 13th got a bike in from Queens Park and round the Bedford Classic course Time 1:19 Dist 42.46k Av. speed 32kph (33.4 to Caldecote, 33 to Cardington Road)

Monday 16th May I had a pleasing swim session at Kempston pool. Warm up 100m FC 100m PB 100m KB 100mFC Drills 50m x8 breathing on 5th stroke Av. time 50-55secs. Main 100m x10 – odds hard, eves easy. Hard sessions 1:51/1:53/1:47/1:52/1:55 Easy ones circa 2:15 – which was pleasing in itself as it would still be faster than my 400m time 3 years ago!.

Tuesday 17th May Bedford 6mile road race on route 51 round the Willington loop. Tried not to go off so hard, but still found myself going past the 1 mile marker at 6:33…. mile 2 at 13:15, mile 3 at 20:45, needless to say found myself dropping off between 3 and 4 miles. Mile 4 28:30. Tried to track a chap who came past me just after the 4 mile marker. Did so and got my running back on track for half mile or so, then dropped off again. In last half mile a lady passed me with a very rapid cadence – realised my cadence was low and I was off form, tried to match her form and that picked my speed up – recaught several folk who had gone past me – sprinted out in the last straight, but blew before the line and trundled over. Official time 43:09 – not quite as fast as hoped. Was aiming for 42ish. 117th out of 307 finishers 18thM45 out of 35. Av speed 13.42kph 8.34mph Av time 7:11 per mile.

Thursday 19th May did my first Beds Road CC 10mile TT Clocked a time of 28:20 Av 34.4kph/21.2mph – well down on last year.

Well, next big thing was putting in the miles!
Long ride to visit a friend in Amesbury, Wiltshire with another friend. Tuesday 24th May Sunny, mild weather with strong SW wind. Hard ride down (not hard as in pushing hard – just hard going!!) Got sun burnt en route. Dist. 190k Cycling time 8:01 (Journey time approx 11hours with stops – most pleasant one overlooking fields and watching Red Kites circling at various distances, seeing and hearing Sky Larks rising and falling, along with the unexpected presence of a pair of Lapwings too, then the sight of a Kite being mobbed by a few crows!) Av. speed 23.7kph. (Last year it was 25kph… and over a tougher route!!) Return journey on Wednesday 25th. Breeze largely following now. 🙂 Cycling time 7:07 (approx 9 1/2 hours with stops) Dist 187.5k Av speed 26.3kph (last year 26.4kph) My mate Andy pushed hard for last bit back, On route had a problem with left elbow hurting (actually lots of me hurt!! – particularly right knee where I think I twinged a muscle). Hadn’t had this for some time. Realised reason was because I wasn’t using tri bars as I do so much of the time now. Decided I’d drop back from Andy and go down on them – so much better. Reflecting on it, as its only my left arm that’s affected I wonder whether it’s to do with my playing of my piano accordion and muscles used to being used in different ways at different angles and so on?

Well that’s about it. The Beds Road CC 10 mile TT didn’t happen last Thursday courtesy of a vehicle in a ditch awaiting recovery.

Yesterday I cycled out to Box End for a swim – decided to do 3 circuits for the first time this year. Could I maintain form for 3 laps? Answer – thought I was doing quite well, but clearly not as well as I thought by the drop off in pace on last lap. Lap 1 16:10, Lap 2 32:27 Lap 3 and finish 50:20. Shame I lost so much on last lap, but still a good 3mins faster than best of last year! 🙂

Countdown now to Dambuster Triathlon on 18th June!

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