Tag Archives: progress

Revisiting my goals for 2015

17 Dec

At the end of December 2014, I set out my goals for 2015, so I thought it was time for me to revisit them.

Goal 1:

GiveIt100

I am going to eat healthy food for 20/21 meals and assess my progress at the end of 100 days (14th April). I hope that I will lose 14lbs (6.5kg) in that time. I will record my progress on Give It 100.

I didn’t manage to achieve this goal. GiveIt100 has now closed – not that that affected my progress. I did work hard at eating healthily, but I think that this will always be a struggle for me. I have changed my goal from weightloss to fatloss this year, and had some success. When I was focused, I lost 9% body fat in as many weeks!

Goal 2:

ABPlogo

I am going to work hard on my speed between now and 26th April by attending Thursday night track sessions. I will also run on Monday evenings. My aim is to complete Southampton HM in under 1:55, with under 1:52:19 as my ultimate goal, as that would be a PB/PR.

I did attend regular track sessions with Southampton Tri Club. I really love track running and think that it’s good to incorporate speed work into your training, even if you’re training for long distance events. I also ran on most Monday evenings until April. Unfortunately, I wasn’t well when I toed the line, and had also not managed to train for three weeks before the race as I was cycling across Japan, so I was delighted to finish in 1:55:14. Not quite on my goal, but I think that’s close enough.

Goal 3:

Ironman Dublin logo

I want to achieve a PB/PR at Ironman Dublin 70.3 on 9th August. I completed Weymouth Half in 7:24. I think that a time of under 7 hours is possible if I work hard on all three disciplines. I will train for 14 weeks from 3rd May.

I smashed this goal! I finished in 6:45:38, taking over 40 minutes off my previous half iron PB!

Goal 4:

ScillySwimChallenge

I want to complete the Scilly Swim Challenge on 5th September. To do this, I will need to go open water swimming at least once a week between June and September. I will speak to my coach about how to train for an endurance swimming event such as this.

I was fished out of one leg (where most swimmers were ‘rescued’), but I did the rest of it, so that counts as a success 🙂

I’ve been a bit down on myself recently, but looking back, I can see that I did really well with some tough goals. Also, although I’ve always run a lot of races, but this year has been crazy:

  • 14 x 5ks
  • 3 x 10k
  • 2 x 10 miles
  • 3 x half marathons
  • 5 x sportives
  • 1 x duathlon
  • 2 x aquathlon
  • 2 x sprint tri
  • 2 x Olympic triathlon
  • 2 x 3km swim
  • 1 x 3.8km swim
  • 1 x 5km swim
  • 1 x paired 12 hour relay
  • 1 x team 24 hour relay
  • 17.5km swim.
  • 3 weeks cycling across Japan
  • 4 days leading a charity bike ride 400 miles from the Lake District to London.

A positive was that I won my Tri Club’s Merit Table, where points are scored by completing events, but a serious downside has been getting motivation to get back out there and train. Next year, I’m going to be more selective about the races I do!!!

How did you do this year? What are your goals for 2016?


Please, please, please could you vote for me in the Bloggers’ Lounge Awards – Health and Fitness Blogger of the Year. It should be just two clicks! Thank you 🙂

Bloggers' Lounge Awards

Bloggers’ Lounge Awards

How do you deal with the off-season slump?

30 Nov

I’ll be honest that I’ve been in a bit of a slump recently. I spent the first half of the year building up to Ironman Dublin 70.3 in August and the Scilly Swim Challenge in September and those events were immediately followed by the Tour de Y. I then realised that I was at the top of my tri club’s merit table (a competition where you get points based on the number of events you do and their distance), so I did loads of other events. Then I moved house and went on holiday and then I came home and back to reality.

Unfortunately, the reality was that I felt totally burned out.

This has had a lot of knock on consequences:

  • My training schedule has changed (planned group classes have been cancelled) and instead of dealing with it, I’ve panicked and done no training
  • The lack of training means I have felt too embarrassed about it to come back to my blog
  • This has made me feel slightly depressed, which has made me make unwise food choices

With the sum total of all of this being that my motivation has slumped.

However, I’m not a quitter and I know that my feelings are not unique. At the end of a season or training block, many athletes will be feeling the effects of both mental and physical fatigue. So, what am I going to do about it and what could you do in the same situation?

I’m going to draw on the three Ps: plan, positivity and people.

Plan

  • Focus on what you can control

I am going to go back to my training schedule and see how it can be tweaked. It’s better to do something, even if it’s not what I originally planned to do. I am also going to eat well and sleep well.

  • Keep long-term goals visible

The house move means that I now have an entire room (*a very small one) for training in. I’ve put up my medals and trophies as well as a couple of motivational pictures, but haven’t managed to get up my race number yet. I’m also hoping to put up a motivation board that will remind me of my long-term goal of completing an Ironman.

  • Set short-term goals

I’m going to work on some very short-term goals that I know I can achieve, such as attending all of my planned training sessions for a fortnight. Hopefully that will be enough to kickstart my training mojo.

 

Positivity

  • Consider the progress you’ve made

Although I’m feeling a bit down right now, when I consider what I’ve achieved this year I realise that I should be feeling proud. I achieved various running PBs this year, including a 5k PB and my first ever race win (Brutal 10); I cycled my first century and swam over 15km in one day, as well as getting PBs at most triathlon distances.

  • There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing.

Although the weather seems a little bleak, that’s not an excuse for not training. When my turbo room is ready, I’ll be able to cycle indoors every day. I’ll also consider treating myself to new seasonal kit.

 

People

  • Find friends who are pursuing the same goals as you.

I have a 10 mile race coming up in a couple of weeks, so I’m going to ask around to find out whether any of my friends are going to be doing this race and whether they want to get in a couple of training runs with me.

I am also going to go out cycling with a friend who has not done much cycling before. This will be an opportunity for me to share some of my experience without feeling that I have to push myself.

Have you experienced an off-season slump? How did you deal with it?


 

Although I’ve not been training as much as I should recently, I have managed to fit in some training. Last Monday, I managed to drag myself back to STC swimming. I think I’m swimming quite well at the moment, but the tightness in my shoulders in hindering my progress, so that’s something I need to work on this winter.

On Saturday, I went to Eastleigh parkrun for the first time in a very long time. Eastleigh parkrun is where I first started running, back in August 2010. It was my friend Teri’s 100th parkrun, so she wanted to go back to where she first started running as well. The course was very muddy, but it was great fun and I enjoyed having a social run with no pressure to run fast.

Teri's 100th parkrun

Teri’s 100th parkrun

Southampton Tri Club’s Awards night was on Saturday evening. It was really nice to be able to socialise with the people I train with, although it was strange to see people wearing smart clothes instead of lycra! My husband, Stu, was awarded a silver salver for coming 3rd in the Tri Club Merit Table and I received one for finishing top of the table 😀

Tri Club silver salver

Winner of the Tri Club Merit Table!

On Sunday I did a huge amount of gardening, which has to count as a work out and then when it got dark, I did a bit of DIY, including putting up some medla racks and a shelf for Stu and I. The top row are Stu’s and the botto row are my medals – left = running; centre = triathlon and right = duathlons, cycling and swimming. I’ve included both photos, so that you can see my favourite print… if you want one, you’ll need to track down Katherine Anteny from Red Hot Press.

IMG_6552 IMG_6554

This evening, I managed to get myself back in the pool again, but I think I’ve worked out why my swimming isn’t improving – my shoulders are so tight and inflexible that I can’t change my technique. I’d love to hear of any exercises I could do to improve my range of movement.

Finally… I’d love your vote in the Bloggers’ Lounge Health and Fitness category: http://bloggers-lounge.co.uk/bloggers-of-the-year/blogger-of-the-year-2015-voting/ You don’t need to sign up, so it just takes two clicks. Thank you 🙂

 

18 months into my 5 year challenge… what have I achieved?

23 Sep

18 months ago, I laid out my plans: http://fatgirltoironman.co.uk/2013/03/28/failure-to-plan-is-like-planning-to-fail/

A year ago, I reported back on my progress:  http://fatgirltoironman.co.uk/2013/09/10/where-am-i-now-assessing-my-progress/

So it’s now time to check up on whether I’ve made any progress in the last year. Here’s a recap of my goals.

Year Swimming Cycling Running Triathlon
2013 800m swim 42k cycletta or 82k Marathon Novice – Newbury
2014 1600m swim 63 mile sportive (IoW) Marathon Sprint
2015 2k swim 86 mile sportive Marathon Olympic
2016 3k swim 100 mile sportive Marathon Half Ironman
2017 4k swim 127 mile sportive (Chichester) Marathon Half Ironman
2018 2.4 miles/3.9k 112miles/180k 26.2 miles Ironman

Swimming – goal: 1600m – surpassed!

I feel like I’ve made significant progress over the last six weeks to two months. Back in April, I did a 400m time trial and managed to swim it in 9:30. I would love to repeat this now as I’m confident that I could beat that time. Coach Peter has timed me doing 25m in 25, which is a massive improvement and several people have commented that they think I’m getting faster. I wouldn’t say that my technique is good yet, but I’m finally getting to grips with breathing. I’ve persevered and with the help of Huw (and the stress of sea swimming), I’m now starting to believe that I might one day be able to swim 3.8k in 2:20. In June, I managed to swim 1.54 miles in 1:23 at the Big Cove swim.

Cycling – goal: 63 mile sportive – achieved!

In April, I completed the Wiggle Spring Sportive (100.74km) and at the end of August I cycled 100km in Cornwall with Stuart and Donna. When I set my goals, I had a specific sportive in mind. I did not do a 63 mile sportive on IoW, but I am confident that I can cycle the distance having done the other 100km rides, so I am going to count that as a success… especially as teh Cornish ride was at least as hilly as the IoW!

Running – goal: marathon – achieved!

In April, I ran Brighton Marathon. My time was a little disappointing (4:39:44), but I was unwell and had not trained to my full potential, so this is far better than I expected.

Triathlon – goal: sprint – surpassed!

This is the one goal that I leapt ahead on. I completed a sprint triathlon back in April (Good Fri Tri) as well as Eastleigh Open Water (sprint) Tri in June. I did two Olympic distance triathlons in Weymouth this summer (GU Classic in July and Weymouth Classic in August) and then I soared past my goal to finish Weymouth Half last week.

I think it is probably time for me to revise my original goals. Obviously, an ironman is still my ultimate goal, but I think the swimming targets are a little soft. I regularly swim over 2k in an hour and my longest swim this year was 2.67km. I am considering entering a 5km lake swim next year, although I may find it a little boring. I need to persevere with cycling, but I think that with some good mileage over winter and a new-found friend in my turbo trainer, I should be able to complete a 100 mile event next year. My running aim is the one that is most challenging. I’m not sure that I have the motivation/desire to run a marathon whilst I’m struggling so badly with my breathing. I really want to focus on my speed and achieve a 5k PB and get a great time (ideally a PB) at Southampton Half Marathon in April, so I may choose not to focus on doing a marathon next year.

The area where I still feel that I am failing is my nutrition and weightloss. I am an emotional eater and this year has been a rollercoaster for me. I am also struggling with having a huge workload, which means that by the time I’ve finished training, I’m too tired to spend a lot of time preparing food. I know that unless something changes, I will never be successful in this area, so I’m going to spend a bit of time planning ahead and preparing to try to get me back on track.

I want to do another half iron triathlon next year. I loved Challenge Weymouth, so I may enter the event again and aim for a PB, or I may do Ironman 70.3 in Dublin. As soon as I’ve made a decision, I’ll share it here!

Where am I now? Assessing my progress.

10 Sep

Just over five months ago, I came up with a basic five year strategy: https://fatgirltoironman.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/failure-to-plan-is-like-planning-to-fail/

Year Swimming Cycling Running Triathlon
2013 800m swim √ 42k cycletta or 82k Marathon Novice – Newbury
2014 1600m swim 63 mile sportive (IoW) Marathon Sprint
2015 2k swim 86 mile sportive Marathon Olympic
2016 3k swim 100 mile sportive Marathon Half Ironman
2017 4k swim 127 mile sportive (Chichester) Marathon Half Ironman
2018 2.4 miles/3.9k 112miles/180k 26.2 miles Ironman

I thought I should assess my progress so far…

Swimming

I’ve just got one swimming lesson left, and then I’m going to move on to doing swimfit (and am even considering having diving lessons, although that might be a challenge for 2014). I’ve managed to swim 1750m in the lake and in a swimfit class I managed to do 1400m in just under an hour. I successfully completed a 1200m sea swim in Fowey. I’ve also learned how to do tumble turns and am determined to perfect them by the end of the year 🙂

Cycling

On Friday I am doing the Garmin Sharp Ride Out, which is 50 miles long (80.4km). Next summer I would like to do some time trials, so that I can compare my speed with others. I’ve completed a few long (30 miles+) bike rides, but I think I really need to work on my cycling. Doing 10k to and from work every day is good, but it’s not enough.

Running

In just under a fortnight, I’ll be doing the New Forest marathon. I don’t think I’ve trained as well as I should have for it, but I believe I can complete the distance. I will allow myself a couple of weeks to recover form it and then I want to start working on my 5k and 10k times.

Triathlon

At the end of the month I will do my first triathlon at HOWSC. As usual, I’ve gone for the value for money option, so I’m doing the sprint distance instead of the novice distance. My goal is to complete it, rather than to worry about the time. I am likely to find it hard as it is so close to the marathon. I will then have a a fortnight to recover before doing Ferndown Try-a-Tri.

So, to sum up, by mid-October I’m hoping to have completed most of my goals for the year, and have build a firm base for achieving next year’s goals. I’m not complacent, but my ultimate goal is starting to seem like it may just be achievable. Now I just need to tackle my poor nutrition…