Tag Archives: track

Monday Morning Motivation: Candace Hill

22 Feb

It’s a few months old now, but this video shows why Candace Hill is one to watch for the future:

Candace turned 17 just a couple of weeks ago, but in June 2015, she became the first high school aged female to break the 11 second barrier for 100 metres on the track. This result (and her great performance at 200m the following month) mean that she now holds the world youth best times for 100m and 200m. It’s also sobering to think that her time of 10.98 would have been fast enough to win the gold medal at every Olympics prior to 1984!

In December 2015, Candace turned professional with a 10 year contract with Asics, but she’s still studying hard and maintaining a 4.9 GPA (impressively high!)

Candace Hill

© Steve Strother/ MyTrackPix

Candace only started running competitively 4 years ago, which is one of the many reasons why her current form is so impressive. To read more about her story, read this article:

16-Year-Old Sprints Right Into Professional Track

My longest ever swim (and a cold dip in the lake)

30 Apr

It has been such a busy week, so far, so I think tomorrow may be a rest day.

On Monday morning, I had a cross fit session with SUTRI for the first time in a few weeks. There were only 4 of us there and Olly made it quite a relaxed session, with a lot of stretching. I was amazed by how flexible I felt, but I think it may have been down to the super-painful sports massage that I had on Saturday. We did 40 dead lifts (in 10 minutes). I started out with a relatively easy weight and finished at 55kg as I didn’t want to over-exert myself. We also did a lot of wall ball, which I’m terrible at – I think I’ve got a lot of muscle imbalances and throw in a wonky way, which makes me feel self-conscious, which makes me even worse.

I went to STC swimming at 7pm and decided to stay for a double session. A problem with my parking permit meant that I started a bit late, so I was really pleased to be able to swim 3750m. It is by far the furthest I have ever swum (I’ve only swum 2000m or more 12 times, with my longest ever pool swim being 2250m and my longest open water swim being 2.6k. I would have liked to have swum 3800m (as an iron distance swim is 3.8k), but at least I have a goal for another week.

On Tuesday evening, I went to the STC track session, but there was no coach and the others who had turned up decided that it should be a hills session. We did just over 6km with much of it up and down golf course hill, which is a particularly tough hill at the best of times. By the end of the session, I was feeling better, but my legs were tight to start off with. Thanks, Donna for choosing the session!

Lakeside

Lakeside © Try Tri

After coaching yesterday evening, tonight’s session was my first swim in the lake. Unfortunately, a series of accidents and football traffic meant that what can be a 20 minute drive at the right time turned into over an hour and three-quarters 😦 A;though I had been told that the lake was a balmy 17C, I decided to start off wearing my new bootees and orca vest. I have to say that they both worked brilliantly, but my fingers were very cold and my face was freezing. Fortunately, my breathing took much less time to calm down than last year. I did one rubbish lap (mainly doggy paddle!) and then a full lap of front crawl, but the sun was going down and I didn’t want to get colder, so decided that that would be enough for today. Hopefully, the lake will be warmer next time and it won’t take me as long to get there. Stu arrived earlier than me and managed to swim 2 miles!

One good thing about the lake is that the old changing rooms have been demolished, so there are new portacabins, which are really cosy (although the shower temperature still fluctuated between very hot and icy cold). I also felt a bit safer as my NOWCA wristband was scanned in before I started swimming and scanned again when I finished, so hopefully there won’t be any bodies drifting around in the lake!

It’s also been a week when a lot of my friends have been signing up for marathons – Paris, Bournemouth, New Forest and Brighton have been particularly popular choices. I’ll enter the ballot for London next week, but if I don’t get a place, I’m OK with that. I’ve not received any emails about my mysterious free place at Lisbon Rock’n’Roll marathon, but I don’t think it would be sensible for me to add it to my training schedule. It’s really hard being picky about what I will/won’t do. I’m really tempted to do a 5km swim at Stithians Lake in Cornwall on 19th July – it’s the day after I swim around St. Michael’s Mount, so I’ll be in Cornwall, and that seems like a good enough reason to enter!

My first triathlon of the season is on Monday: May Day Tri. Stuart is in the first wave of the day at 8am and I’m in the 4th wave at 8:30am. I’m in a lane with 3 blokes aged 30-45, which seems to be a competitive age, so I’m hoping that I’ll be OK. Some of my friends are much faster than me and they’re in later waves, so I’m not sure how the waves were allocated. In the afternoon, my niece is taking part in her first triathlon, so we’ll stay to cheer her on, which will be fun. She’s a brilliant swimmer and is in her school cross-country team, so I’m sure she’ll be able to hold her own.

What I’ve been reading this week:

Finally, following the perpetuation of unattainable physiques by Protein World, it was refreshing to see this fantastic video by my favourite female endurance sportswear brand SOAS:

We Are SOAS from SOAS_RACING on Vimeo.

If you watch closely, you might see a familiar face at 1:20!

Embrace Sports 08/10/14 Track and monument coastal run.

8 Oct

Wednesday 8th October

I was quite excited about what was planned for Wednesday morning as I enjoy track sessions. It had been raining heavily, but by the time we arrived at the track, the sun had come out and it was starting to dry up.

Neil briefed all of us about what the session was going to be.

IMG_20141008_091212

Then we did a group warm up of four laps of the track (1600m). I was a little frustrated as my legs felt really sluggish and I only managed to average 6:18/km, which I didn’t feel was a good start to the session.

IMG_6101

© Embrace Sports, 2014. I love this picture… although it’s not possible to see my pair of bottles with nuun in one and water in the other!

IMG_6104 IMG_6105 IMG_20141008_091554

IMG_20141008_091610

After we did the warm up, we were divided into ability groups for the main speedwork session. The plan was to do 400m, have a 60s recovery and then do 200m with a longer walking recovery (back to the start) – six times! I was confident that I could do the distance (how hard could it be to run 3.6km after a 1.6km warm up?) even with 1.2km of walking, but I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to pick the pace up.

As usual, I started off far too quickly. My average pace for the first 400m + 200m was 4:01/km. I think I managed the first 400m 12-15 seconds faster than any track session I’ve done recently, which I knew would make the last laps difficult.

 

IMG_6113IMG_6110

My times for each of the sets were:

1.  2:27

2. 2:38

3. 2:44

4. 2:43

5. 2:47

6. 2:43

Overall, I don’t think that’s too bad… I now just need to do lots more speed sessions in the hope that I can finally achieve a 5km PB!

When we’d finished the session, there was a chance for the obligatory group photo.

IMG_6119 IMG_6121

Then we all headed back to rehydrate.

IMG_6116

IMG_3484

It had been a tough session, but everyone seemed to be happy with how they’d done.

IMG_2476

© Embrace Sports, 2014. Both Rachels did brilliantly on the track.

When we got back to the Big Brother house Giramar apartments, the virtuous members of the group did some stretching and foam rolling.

Ruth hadn’t used a foam roller before, so Jan kindly gave her some tips…

IMG_3488

IMG_3490

Some members of the group also opted for an icebath/some volley ball, but I have no idea what Coach Alan decided to do…

IMG_3494

…he seemed to be enjoying himself!

IMG_3491

George and Ed didn’t feel that they needed wetsuits for their swim.

IMG_3492

IMG_3493

IMG_3497

© Embrace Sports, 2014. An action shot of Stu!

Afterwards, I was treated to a modelling masterclass, where Ed demonstrated his ‘blue steel‘:

IMG_3505

The first step is the smoulder…

IMG_3501

…then there’s the gaze into the distance…

IMG_3503

…before dissolving into giggles!

The evening recovery run was one that Stuart and I had done before – the monument run. However, on the previous running holiday that I did with Embrace Sports, we started at Praia de Porto de Mos and did a 10km run out to the monument and back as a main running session. This time, the plan was to run out for 12.5 minutes and then back again.

IMG_9973 IMG_9976 IMG_9977 IMG_9978 IMG_9979

IMG_0001  IMG_0003

IMG_9980 IMG_9981 IMG_9983 IMG_9984 IMG_9985 IMG_9987 IMG_9988 IMG_9989

IMG_9991 IMG_9992 IMG_9993 IMG_9994 IMG_9997 IMG_9999

I took it quite seriously on the way out, but have to admit that I got distracted by the crazy photographers on the way back. I ran until I’d got back to Sam and Lou and then I stopped for a drink!

 

IMAG2492_BURST003_1 IMAG2494_BURST002_1 IMAG2496_1 IMAG2499_BURST005_1 (1) IMAG2500_BURST012_1 IMAG2503_BURST006 IMAG2504 IMAG2506_BURST010_1 IMAG2508_BURST008 IMAG2512_BURST012 IMAG2513_BURST004 IMAG2523

After all of that hard work, the evening’s feast was a barbeque. Neil slaved in front of the hot coals and Alan had made lovely falafel burgers for the vegetarians 🙂

IMG_6123 IMG_6128 IMG_6129  IMG_6133

Save

“Have some electrolytes and eat a piece of kale…”

13 Jun

I just love the latest video from IFHT:

I’ve had a busy week. Wednesday started with a pool session. I wasn’t given session specifics, so I decided to do a pyramid. As my shoulder still isn’t quite right, I didn’t want to push it too much, so I just did 2000m (I LOVE that I can now say ‘just’ when it wasn’t long ago that this would have been a major achievement!!!) I did 100m; 200m; 300m; 400m; 400m; 300m; 200m; 100m. My intention was to have a minute’s rest after each one, but a slight oversight meant that didn’t happen. After I arrived at the pool, I realised that my prescription goggles and my favourite swimming hat were in my swim kit bag with my pull buoy, fins and hand paddles… and that bag was at home. I’m partial to my shark hat as it is comfortable and stops water from going in my ears, and without contact lenses, glasses or prescription goggles, my eyesight is very limited, which makes doing basic activities somewhat hazardous. I almost gave up on swimming, but I realised that I had a tri club swimming hat tucked in my rucksack. I rarely wear it as it’s not as comfortable as my other hat and it feels a bit pretentious to wear it when swimming in a public pool – I’d rather not draw attention to the fact that I’m desperately trying to be a triathlete, as I feel that other people have preconceived ideas about how good a swimmer I should be. (That’s probably in my head, but I don’t like attracting attention). I also realised that I have the cheap pair of goggles that I bought in Cyprus in my rucksack, so I put them on and went into the pool. I was able to read my watch, but even with squinting, I couldn’t make out any of the numbers on the giant wall clock.

My husband was just finishing his swim set as I arrived. I had seen him when I walked into the building (there’s a glass wall in the reception that shows off the pool), but with restricted vision, I had to wait until he was just a metre or so away to be sure that it was him. He had another 100m to do and agreed that when he had done that, I could borrow his goggles. They aren’t prescription ones, but they are quite expensive and more comfortable than what I had. I was really appreciative of them, although I’m not convinced that orange lenses are helpful. A plus side of not being able to see was that I think it helped my stroke. I know that I pick my head up far too high out of the water when I breathe and have narrowed this down to three problems:

1. I have a fear of inhaling water and don’t believe that I create a bow wave

2. I like to know what’s going on around me, so I try to have a look when my head is out of the water (when I couldn’t see anything, there was no point in trying this)

3. When I breathe, I relax and don’t kick, so my legs sink. I can’t believe that I’ve only just noticed this!

Tri club swim hat montage

In the evening, a lot of my friends did a cross-country race, but I went to see the sports masseur who had a look at my injured right leg. I don’t know what she did to it, but it hurt then and it’s still painful now 😦 Hopefully, tomorrow it will feel amazing!

Arriving at the Sports Centre

Arriving at the Sports Centre

Yesterday’s training started at the track at 6:30am.It was a session about cadence and pace, so we had to do multiple laps of the track at different paces (easy, 5k, 3k, 1k, all out, 1k, 3k, 5k, easy), which doesn’t sound too bad, but we had to count the number of steps each lap took. That requires tremendous concentration for before 7am!!! For me it was between 300 and 400 each lap. I’m intrigued by what my coach is going to do with the info.

Athletics track

Athletics track

We then moved on to a variety of exercises and the famous hurdles came out again. They were put in a square and we had to hop over them. Hopping forwards and sideways isn’t too bad, but hopping backwards over an obstacle that you can’t really see is challenging!

Ant demonstrating his new form of torture 2

Ant demonstrating his new form of torture

Ant hopping 1

Ant hopping

Yesterday evening, I had to do an hour on my bike, including 4 reps of a steep hill. It was meant to be a 2 minute hill climbing effort, but once again, I judged it incorrectly, so I found a hill that took about 1:45. I’m hoping that’s close enough!

Today was an optional 30 minute swim, but as I had quite a busy day at work and am feeling exhausted, I decided to take it as a rest day, so that I’m ready for tomorrow’s 70 minute run.

Does your coach get you to do any unusual drills? Who do you think wins the rap battle?

Save