Tag Archives: RR10

My goals for 2015

30 Dec

I’ve spent the last couple of days discussing the races and events that I want to enter in 2015. Stuart is a firm believer of quality over quantity, whereas I want to enter everything! I quite enjoy doing cross-country running and usually do some of the local cross-country series (CC6) but Stu doesn’t want to risk injury; also he is leading Marafun training runs on Sunday mornings and these clash with the CC6s, so we have agreed to do these runs together.

I’ve also been considering my SMART goals for the year. These are goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

I have four goals:


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 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.

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 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 need to work on my training programme to support these goals. I’m not allowed to swim until the middle of January, but for the next few months, my training schedule is going to include the following:

  • Monday: Crossfit; running; swimming.
  • Tuesday: Spinning; swimming.
  • Wednesday: Rest day. (Maybe lunchtime yoga).
  • Thursday: Track running.
  • Friday: Swimming.
  • Saturday: parkrun or swimming.
  • Sunday: Long run. Bike ride.

I’ve now scheduled most of my races and events for 2015. There’s a whole range of different events that I’ve entered:

  • HRRL – this is a league of 12 races for local club runners. The events are open for any runner to enter, but only the results of local club runners are counted in the league.
  • RR10 – this is a spring/summer local off-road running league. These races are free for local club runners and are 4-5 miles long. Dates for 2015 have not yet been confirmed.
  • parkrun – this is a free, weekly, timed 5k event. I will be adding them in accoridng to my training schedule, but I suspect that I will need to prioritise swimming over running for much of 2015.
  • Eastleigh aquathlons – this is a series of races hosted by TryTri events on Thursday evenings. Entry to them is free for SUTRI members.

Stu and I are also going cycling in Japan with a friend in early April. We’re expecting to ride about 60-70 miles a day, which will be tiring, but good training.



  • 01/02/15 Marafun training run
  • 15/02/15 Marafun training run
  • 22/02/15 Heartbreak Half


  • 01/03/15 Marafun run
  • 08/03/15 Salisbury 10 mile (not yet entered)
  • 22/03/15 Winchester Duathlon (not yet entered)
  • 29/03/15 Marafun training run










  • 15/11/15 Denbies Duathlon or Gosport Half Marathon (TBC)


Off-season rest!

2015 is going to be a busy year. What have you got planned?

Some extra recovery followed by two days of intervals

25 Jun

After my long swim on Sunday, I was meant to go swimming with the Tri Club on Monday night… however, I had a fun night out planned with some former work colleagues. I tried to find a way to fit a swim in, but I would have had to get up very early to do it before work, and my lunch break was sandwiched between meetings on different campuses, so in the end it just wasn’t feasible. I know that people will say that if you want to find a way, it’s always possible to make things work, but I was feeling absolutely exhausted and thought that a little bit of extra time in bed and a chance for my arms to recover wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Yesterday, I had to spend the day in London for a work event. Luckily, the meeting didn’t finish too late, so I was able to get home in time to be able to do some of my training. I was meant to do a 45 minute bike ride, but I only had time to fit in 25 minutes before my track session. If I’d been better organised, I might have found a bit more time, but I’m not too worried about it (I cycle to and from work every day, so missing out on 20 minutes on my bike isn’t as bad as it might seem).

After cycling, it was time for my weekly track session with the local tri club. Huw was away, so the session was led by Steve, who’s also a really good coach. We were told to do the usual warm up (a one mile lap of the sports centre), but I still had to change from my bike shoes into trainers and lock my bike up, so I took a short cut. I’d assumed that I wouldn’t be able to catch the group, but I think that with a bit of effort, I would have made it.

After the warm up, we were told to do a deceptively simple pyramid session:

  • 1 minute run; 1 minute recovery
  • 2 minute run; 2 minute recovery
  • 3 minute run; 3 minute recovery
  • 4 minute run; 4 minute recovery
  • 4 minute run; 4 minute recovery
  • 3 minute run; 3 minute recovery
  • 2 minute run; 2 minute recovery
  • 1 minute run; 1 minute recovery

We were told the runs should be done at ‘steady’ pace, which was then modified to 5k pace. My best parkrun (5k) time in 2014 is 27:40, but I’m still aspiring to get a PB, so I tend to think of 5k pace as being 5:00/km. I managed an average of 4:53/km (moving pace), which means that I managed to achieved what I wanted to.

This evening, I had a choice between doing an RR10 (local off-road race) or doing a specific run as set by my coach. I didn’t finish work until after 6pm, so I decided that it would be best just to do the work out set by Coach Ant. However, I also combined it with a run with my friend, Teri. I ran to her house, and then we did a 10 minute warm up before alternating between 90 seconds at ‘race pace’ (5:00-6:00/km) with 2 minutes of jog recovery after each one. It was hard to run quickly as I’m very tired, but I managed all of the intervals at the appropriate pace.

I think I would have found it a difficult run, if I hadn’t had Teri for company. We would start discussing a topic, and then my Garmin would beep to warn me that it was almost time to run hard again, so we’d agree to pick up the narrative in our next jog break. Teri’s a much faster runner than me, so she went ahead on the intervals, but we regrouped for the jogs.

Tomorrow, I’ve got an aquathlon. Last time, I was still struggling with my arm, so I did the novice distance. This time, I think I need to tackle the sprint distance, but I’ll try to hold back a little as I’ve a triathlon on Sunday. On Friday, I’m cycling and swimming and then I’ll finally have a rest day on Saturday.

This evening, I watched an interesting video from CTC (Cyclists’ Touring Club). It’s part of a campaign to make cycling safer in the UK. I fully support it, but I’m not sure that all of the proposals will be practical:

If you’re in the UK and could like to support this campaign, please visit the website.

My coaching course, a bike fit and swimming in the lake finally improves…

27 Jun

This week has been so exciting so far, and it just keeps getting better.

At the weekend, Stu and I did the first two days of our Coach in Running Fitness course. I learned some really interesting things, but was also really frustrated by the classroom delivery. I was good to learn about new sources of information, and I want to check out Athletics 365 in more detail, as soon as possible.

On Sunday evening, I had my usual swimming lesson. It went OK and I am feeling increasingly confident, but I just don’t think my breaststroke legs are good enough, so I need to work on them. I also need to relax more and remember to keep my ear on my shoulder when breathing in front crawl.

Image of an elderly lady playing hopscotch

Running activities should be fun for people of all ages!

Monday evening’s training session was great fun. It was a circuits session, so I tried to build in some of the activities that we did at the weekend. It was focused around ABCs for runners:
– agility
– balance
– coordination
One of the first activities was to ask my athletes to line up and get themselves ready to sprint. None of my runners is so uncoordinated that they do not use opposite arm to leg when they are running, but when asked to assume the position, several people had the wrong arm forward. We also had a go at hopscotch with running arms and cariocas. Most of the group could really see that lack of agility, balance or coordination will hold them back as runners.

My swimming session on Tuesday morning was THE BEST EVER. I got up at 5:30am to give myself plenty of time to get to the lake. It felt cold when I got in, so I decided to try Ant’s tips to help me relax. First of all, I floated on my back until I felt comfortable, then I floated on my front and blew bubbles. Surprisingly, it felt easy and good, so I felt ready to go… Until two swans and half a dozen cygnets arrived. I decided to give them a head start!

Usually, it is a big challenge for me to swim as far as the first buoy, but as I was feeling more relaxed and kept reminding myself not to kick too hard, it felt much easier than usual. I kept swimming towards the buoy in the far corner, but then had to make a slight detour as the swans didn’t want us in their lake. I didn’t allow myself to use any stroke other than front crawl, and although my sighting isn’t great yet (I keep breathing and then looking, instead of the other way around), I managed to do a full lap.

My second lap was similar to the first (but without a bird-based detour!) When I got back to the start, I decided to assess my progress. I realised that I was stopping at the first buoy out of habit and that actually, there was no good reason for me to do so. I decided to do another lap to see how far I could go. I managed to successfully swim around the buoy and got around a third of the way along the back of the lake. I’m not sure why I stopped – my limbs weren’t tired and I was still breathing easily. I think it was just that it was the longest continuous swim that I have ever done.

My aim was to do four laps, so I continued and did a fourth lap. Amazingly, I had enough energy to want to swim another lap, but sadly, I had to go to work. (Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but I just wanted to swim more!!!)

On Tuesday evening, I went to Vankru for a bike fit. I am a complete novice cyclist, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but Garth Kruger put me completely at ease. It didn’t take him long to get down my measurements (and pay me a couple of compliments – he thought I look younger than I am and also thought I was flexible!) Now I just need to find the bike of my dreams. I’m wondering whether to get a Focus Cayo or maybe a Vankru. Any thoughts? My budget has increased, but I won’t go over £2k… Unless I really love what I see!

Focus Cayo 4

Focus Cayo 4 Ultegra


Vankru VK7

Last night, I battled my hay fever and ran Manor Farm RR10. It was a lovely run, and the only one in the series that I’ve never done before, as I was injured last year. I started at the back, so although I didn’t run brilliantly, it was fun to overtake lots of people throughout the race (and especially the lady from Stubbington on the final hill!)

Hmmm... these photos clearly show why I need to lose some weight!!!

Hmmm… these photos clearly show why I need to lose some weight!!!

dsc_0251 dsc_0477 dsc_0478 dsc_0479 dsc_0780 dsc_0781 dsc_0782 dsc_2113 dsc_2113(1) dsc_2113(2) dsc_2114 dsc_2114(1) dsc_2115 dsc_2115(1) dsc_2116 dsc_2116(1) dsc_2117 dsc_2117(1) dsc_2118 dsc_2118(1) dsc_2119 dsc_2119(1) dsc_2120 dsc_2120(1) dsc_2121 dsc_2121(1)

Tonight, I am going to do my first aquathlon. I’ve put elastic laces in my trainers, and am (foolishly?) going to wear them without socks. I’m doing the novice distance: 400m swim and 2.5k run. I’m going to have to run in glasses, which will be a first. I’d be tempted to insert contacts in transition, but I was bitten on my eyelid last night and my eye is too swollen to wear my lenses 😦


First RR10 of the season – Royal Victoria Country Park

25 Apr

Yesterday was the first RR10 of the season. My first race with Lordshill was the last RR10 of the 2011 season. Last year I struggled because I had so many injuries, so I’d like to do well this year.

However, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to run well for a variety of reasons, including still being tired from Paris marathon and being seriously overweight as I can’t seem to stop eating at the moment. Another excuse that I had was that although I had my trail shoes, I had left the insoles at home on the radiator, so I didn’t know how comfortable my shoes would be.

DSC_0299_8679476858_l  DSC_0302_8679477070_l DSC_0303_8679477168_lDSC_0304_8679477228_l

DSC_0305_8679477322_l DSC_0307_8678367091_l DSC_0308_8679477576_l DSC_0309_8679477656_l DSC_0310_8678367307_l

The race didn’t start too badly, so I ran the first lap (until the beach) with Alice and Becky, but I knew I would not be able to maintain their pace and my right leg was hurting again.

DSC_0037_8679310394_l DSC_0038_8678200049_l DSC_0039_8679310562_l DSC_0040_8679310644_l DSC_0045_8679310984_l DSC_0976_8679389290_l

I absolutely hate running on sandy beaches, and the combination of shale, shingle and sand on Netley beach is horrible… although I didn’t get any in my shoes which was a relief.

I slowed down considerably on my second lap and was overtaken by Lynda and Luana, but decided that I should keep fighting, especially as there was a Hedge End lady on my shoulder. Eventually, I caught up with the  Cox ladies and passed them on the lovely downhill towards the beach. I then knew I just had to keep going to the finish. Fortunately, Tom Muddiman was near the bottom of the final hill giving encouragement.

I finished in 98th place, which is not a position I’m pleased with, but at least it gives me something to beat in the next race.

After I’d finished, I did a final loop to encourage Sharon, which was much more fun than trying to race it.

DSC_0139_8679217548_lDSC_0140_8678107151_l DSC_0141_8679217748_l DSC_0142_8679217810_l DSC_0222_8679224136_l   DSC_0223_8678113787_l DSC_0224_8678113841_l DSC_0225_8679224380_l DSC_0226_8679224466_l DSC_0227_8678114059_l DSC_0228_8679224602_l

I’ve just looked at the results from last year’s race at Netley and have found that I finished in 98th position then as well… and I didn’t really push myself last year 😦 I’m going to have to work hard if I want to finish in 55th position in my next race (which was last year’s position)!