Soulboy

2015 fitness thread

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I cycled London to Brighton on Saturday night along with a few others including Mac & Mook and also raised nearly £600 for the British Heart Foundation

 

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Have read the swim smooth site and adjusted technique based on their blog. I do a nasty 50m interval. 2 lengths as quick as you can and you get until a full minute is up to rest once done. Repeat 8 times. Rest, repeat the sets 2 or 3 more times. Faster you swim, the more rest you get!

Will have a good look at this blog though, thanks. Not training for anything really mind you.

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I ate 3 mini-pastries yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed a Strawberry Magnum in the evening.

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MINI-pastries! Shame on you. Hope you are having full sized ones today

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The advantage of the CSS based stuff is that it's tailored to you. I was spending loads of my training at 1:53-1:55/100m thinking I was trying fairly hard. Did a CSS test of 1:47 so that puts the first set at 1:53 and while it wasn't easy managed the full 3k set just fine.

I think you do it once a week and decrease the time by 1 sec after every 2 weeks.

It encourages you to use every trick to gain any advantage too. Fast turns (I open turn, can't tumble) strong push with good streamlining and take 2-3 strokes before breathing after the turn as that's the fastest section/lap.

Think my best CSS was 1:36 but I'd never try to maintain that for 1500 as I'd need lifting out of the pool.

In truth I still like to be lazy and train around 1:47. Which is what I averaged for the 1900m swim in my last Tri.

Plus you lose the fitness twice as fast as you gain it. Which may be an issue if you have no goal.

As you can see I'm slightly above average, not hugely quick but the theory is certainly sound. You are averaging 1:51 so you are already starting from a stronger place than me.

I'm not using the trainer pro again until next month so if you want to borrow it, for a week or two, let me know and I'll post it to you (as long as you send it back +++). Downside is you have to wear a swim cap to keep it in place.

Edited by Drinks
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Lost 3st this year, now a trim and toned 12st and with a wardrobe of redundant suits.

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Lost 3st this year, now a trim and toned 12st and with a wardrobe of redundant suits .

:o But how do you power dress now...?

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I know it's probably not that interesting to most of you but since when has that stopped any of us posting anything. If you have a spare 5 mins here is my race report, it's quite long, sorry.
 
Well as you know for the last few months (okay 10 months of sacrifice and early mornings) I’ve been building up to my biggest race so far and Sunday was race day.
 
After arriving in Tenby on Thursday and eagerly watching the changing forecast with 20-30mph winds and wet weather expected, I was a little nervous.
 
Alarm went off at 3:30am, look out the window and at least it’s dry. After a breakfast and final prep including a liberal application of factor 50 (well you never know) it was time to walk into town and load up my bike with fluids and nutrition for the day ahead. You could feel the tension in transition and people were clearly feeling apprehensive myself included. Race day goes quick and it was 6am before I knew it. Wetsuit on and it was time to catch up with the family for the 10 minute walk down to the beach. Had a quick chat/hugs with them before the athletes were siphoned off, it was quite emotional leaving them to go off on what I was expecting to be the toughest day of my life. A look over to the water and it looked okay so feeling confident.
 
Wandered down the zigzag path to the beach hanging my trainer bag on the way down, realising 20 metres later that I had hung it on the wrong peg, doh. Toddled back against the flow of athletes to go fix my first error of the day. Then down onto the beach with 1 minute of warm up remaining so a quick dip in the water, it’s chilly but not too bad and then line up according to expected swim time. I’m aiming for 1hr10-1hr15 so head for that section and listen to the commentator work the crowd. Shortly after the Welsh National anthem the Pros are set off and then 5 minutes later the rest of us are unleashed. It’s a steady paced walk to the timing mat and then it’s a go…the race has started.
 
Just followed the guys in front of me into the water until it’s waist high and then push off into the water. It takes a few minutes to settle in but I’m heading towards the first yellow buoy and it’s fine, a bit busy but not too bad. It doesn’t take too long to dispatch the first buoy and then set my sights on the second yellow buoy, it’s getting rough out here now, waves are growing and I feel like I am being thrown about a metre to my left every time a big one hits. Past this buoy  and then I’m looking for the big orange one. This buoy is huge it must be 2-3 metres wide and about 8m high but I can’t see it. Keep going following the other swimmers and staying in the channel of paddle boarders but it’s getting bad out here, the waves are growing steadily and I spot the buoy infrequently but it’s getting closer. I keep plodding away and soon enough the first orange buoy arrives I take it a bit tight and get pushed slightly under it but survive the first turn. Then it’s back along the top of the triangle to the second orange buoy, it’s carnage out here now, not from other swimmers which I was expecting but from the waves which are trying to flip me over. It feels like I’m in a shipwreck movie, trying to go up and over a vertical wall of water at some points, nevertheless I know that I just need to head to the lifeboat station (why would you head anywhere else in these conditions?) to stay on course. This was handy because there was no way of seeing the orange buoy for most of this leg. I knew I was making progress so I just kept my rhythm and finally made the turn. The final leg of the swim back to the beach was a dream, waves didn’t trouble you, so happy days to the beach. Get out, quickly check my watch and I am on 35 minutes, so right on time. Feel a little bit amazed that I’ve managed to maintain my expected pace but quick run along the beach and it’s back in again for round two. Very much the same story except that before the first orange buoy I see 4 swimmers hanging onto a paddle board for dear life. I imagine that was the end of their day as they look petrified. Mrs. Drinks told me later that there were some people who called it a day after 50 metres. Seems a sad way to finish six months to a year of training.
 
Get out of the water and I am on 1 hr 15 so lost a little bit of time second lap but still on schedule and I’ve survived the most daunting part of the race. Run up the slopes to my bag and put on my trainers and then start the run through the town. This has to go down as one of the strangest things I have ever done, running through the middle of a town at 8 am wearing a wetsuit being cheered on by several thousand spectators. I don’t think I have ever had so much adrenaline coursing through my body as at that moment. Spot family Drinks on my run through and give them a little wave. I know Mrs. Drinks was fearing for my life in the run up to the event, particularly during the swim so I think she was just happy to see me in one piece :).
 
Quickly through T1, well it took 16 minutes but that did include a 1km run, fighting with a wetsuit and trying to get dressed when wet and covered in sand.
 
Then out on the bike, it’s at this point that I discover my watch is throwing a fit and won’t switch from transition to bike so stab various buttons whilst navigating out of town. Nevermind will come back to that later I have another garmin on the bike so can still pace myself according to the plan. I had ridden the bike course before so know what to expect, the roads are wet and there is a breeze but it’s partly from behind so it’s working for us. There are quite a lot of us on the roads and it’s difficult to not enter another riders draft zone particularly on the hills. I like following the rules so I do my best to pass quickly or drop back as required. See 3 people with punctures in the first few miles but they all look prepared and just get on with the job of getting back on the road asap, still makes me feel nervous but also better about splashing out on a pair of tyres before the race just in case. 
 
Try to get down on the aerobars as much as possible but taking things easy as it’s a long ride ahead and this is the easy bit. Lamphey arrives quickly and then Pembroke and the first drag of the day. People are taking it incredibly easy up here, I decide to burn a match and pass what feels like loads of people. The rest of the ride out to Angle is uneventful and over before I knew it, the first feed station was here I’d been sipping away all the way here but I didn’t need anything so just had a look at the setup for the next one. Whilst I was doing this another athlete overtook me and then cut in to stop and grab a water bottle which involved me taking evasive action but collision averted and back to the job at hand. That job was turning the pedals, remember the tailwind, well now it’s back the other way and it feels much stronger this way round. Nevertheless keep my head down and keep ticking off the miles. It’s a long descent into Pembroke before the short climb back up into the town and a quick out and back along the high street. It seems there was some issue with going round the cone at the dead turn as suddenly there were riders  going round again which I wasn’t expecting. One quick lockup of the back wheel later, I am round the cone and back up towards Lamphey and the second feed station where I grab a bottle and a banana and start what I know to be the tough bit.
 
In my mind, I have broken the bike down into sections and I just keep ticking them off and moving onto the next one. I am keeping pace with the same group of riders and we keep changing positions depending on the terrain. I tend to lose them on the flatter bits but make it up on the hills and the descents. It’s drying out now and warming up and I am wondering if my long sleeve gabba jersey was such a good idea now that I am starting to work. There is a lot of support on the course and it’s really motivating to have people cheer you on. Carew arrives soon enough and then the tough section on to Narbeth starts. This is just constant ups and downs but I have been training on this type of terrain all year so I know I can cope. There are people everywhere in Narbeth, with music playing and a great atmosphere. Another feed station so another banana and energy drink to supplement the resources I have onboard that I have been taking according to plan. Tick over 56 miles around here in 3hrs 15mins which is slightly ahead of schedule and I start to think a finish time starting with a 12 might be possible. You have a lot of time to think on the bike course and it doesn’t take me long to figure out that the first half is the easy bit, it has the flatter terrain and the fresher legs. In other words I had a quiet word with myself and decided that a 6hr 30 bike split wasn’t on the cards. 
 
Next stop Wiseman’s bridge, I know there are a few rises but also a few descents on the next section so keep plodding away, my back is starting to hurt and I am getting too hot but legs feel fine and speed is good so just keep going. After the short flat section by the beach at Wiseman’s it is the long climb out, the pirates are camped out here and they keep the riders motivated. I am grateful that I’ve been training in the North Wales hills and this is nothing that I haven’t done on every big ride. I pass lots of riders but tell myself to take things easy as this is just the first time around, the summit arrives soon enough and then it’s the fun descent into Saundersfoot and then it is St. Brides. This is the climb, it looks worse than it is in my opinion and the spectators are lining the roads Tour de France style. This is the most amazing sensation on a bicycle. Hundreds of people inches away from you, cheering you on and separating as you get nearer. It might be possible to hold yourself back but why would you want to? Time to get out of the saddle and give it a little burst of energy and the crowd rewards you, a phenomenal experience that I will remember. Breathing a bit harder now I settle back into the rhythm and spin my way up to New Hedges which is a bit of a grind but what goes up must come down and it’s mostly downhill back into Tenby to start the second loop. 
 
I am feeling hot now and I know that I am getting dehydrated but not sure what to do, I deliberately missed the feed station in New Hedges as I knew I had enough fluid to get me to Lamphey so make a concerted effort to drink as much as possible before then. Also make a decision along the way that it is time to undo the sleeves from my convertible top. Stop at Lamphey to sort myself out not entirely sure that my decision to do this in a portaloo was my best ever but if Clark Kent can use a phone box why not try. Much to my dismay I find it surprisingly difficult to remove my sleeves and get them stowed in a cycle jersey pocket in a confined space, especially when you are feeling race day pressure and the time just ticking away. Finally manage it and stumble out of the portaloo and back onto my bike.
 
Then it’s more of the same, my back is aching and any length of time on the aerobars makes it worse, mentally reprimand myself for neglecting the core sessions and try to make the best of it. I can see my average speed slowly decreasing but can’t seem to do anything about it. Decide not to try and put a huge amount more effort in and just see where I end up, after all there is still the run, my first ever marathon, to come.
 
The second lap ticks along nicely, start getting some water and energy drinks from the feed station but still feeling dehydrated but tick off Carew and then Narbeth and then it’s on to Wiseman’s there are still spectators but they are noticeably dwindling compared to the first lap. The pirates are still camped out on the rise from Wiseman’s giving you a little pep talk as you go past. Legs aren’t feeling so strong this time round but I just sit and spin and up and over the climb soon enough for the descent into Saundersfoot. Again the spectators are still out for St. Brides but I am not as enthusiastic this time round and just get up it. Find the climb up to New Hedges tough going but the support was strong and I really appreciated a chap in a onesie telling me how awesome I was. It was around this point that I discovered that I was still in the big ring at the front. No wonder I was finding it tough going. A quick flick to change gear and life was good again.
 
A quick ride into Tenby and back to transition to finish the bike in 6:55. I was aiming for sub 7 so consider that a job well done. T2 was a chance to shed the jersey that had been baking me alive for the past 4 hours and then struggle with my calf guards before putting on a fresh pair of running socks. Managed to get the L and R on the correct feet, so at least that was a lesson I learnt from the Outlaw Half.
Also press every combination of buttons on my Garmin in an attempt to get it to switch out of T1 mode. Eventually decide that it has me beaten and turn it off and on again and back into run mode.
8mins 45 secs later I am out on the run course.
 
Now run training hasn’t been going well of late. Given that my last run was over 3 weeks earlier and involved me getting run into by a car and then generally having a bad day and quitting 15 miles into the 22 mile run. Since then my ITB issue had flared up so I had decided not to risk anything and just do my ITB exercises and hope for the best come the race, knowing my longest ever run was just under 19 miles.
 
First km I know is flat, so think to myself take things easy, aim for 6 min/km and see how I feel. This seems okay then I hit Narbeth road and the steepest climb of the loop, remind myself to take it easy and just keep everything under control. It’s tough but manageable and I can see my family at the top so have a quick exchange with them which gives me a bit of a boost. Then it’s onto the feeding station at Lady Park I know I am still dehydrated so grab some water and try to drink it whilst running. This involves me throwing most of a cup of water down my front, I grab another cup of water and have a walk whilst I drink which is the technique I adopted for the rest of the race. From here it was a long slow climb up to the timing mat then it’s back downhill for a bit before heading up the shorter rise to New Hedges where there is a feed station (more water) and the lap band pick up where I grab my yellow band and then head back past the Lady Park feedstation (pretzels and pepsi) before showing my new yellow bracelet to Mrs.Drinks and getting a fist bump from Drinks junior. 
 
Then it’s back into town with an out and back to a timing mat by North beach and then the up and down back and forth run through Tenby. Running past the pubs is entertaining but it’s a long way to the next feed station and I am parched. I can really start to feel myself slowing down and I know there is still a long way to go. Nevertheless I make it through the walls and to the feed station where I have a comfort break and then a feeding frenzy of a couple of cups of water, Pepsi, Banana and Pretzels. It’s then a nice flat km out of town and I’m on the second loop.
Keep stopping and walking the aid stations and grab a pepsi and a water and maybe a couple of pretzels or a half banana, keep walking until I’ve got though whatever I have picked up and then back to running. My pace has dropped to something starting with a 7/km which I’m not happy about but I am keeping moving and just heading through my targets, timing mat>feed station>BAND 2 RED!>feed station and then it’s the long run into the North Beach timing mat and around town.
 
This is the bit that I don’t like, there is loads of support but I’m struggling, decide that I need to have a bit of a walk for just one minute and it will be fine. After 90 seconds I feel a bit refreshed and it’s back to running and the Arches feed station. That’s halfway, half marathon in 2:15 not what I was hoping for but I’ve been training on the flat so was to be expected! I’ve only got two more laps to go and then it’s done. I’m sore, I’m tired but I’m nearly there.
 
Back into the zone of just moving along to the next target I quite like the climbs out of town and the targets are plentiful a little climb and then some water and pepsi (the feeding stations are sticky now from all the spilt energy drinks, trainers make funny squelching noises for 50 metres after the station), a little climb to the timing mat, back down and then back up to pepsi and my blue band. Then a comfort break, definitely not dehydrated anymore, another feed station more pepsi/water and then back into town. Now I still don’t like this section and have a little walk but I know that the next time I am here is the last time so the sooner I start the last lap the sooner I am done.
 
I am now running further than ever before, I am into the unknown. My knee is holding up, no major niggles and it is just 10k to go, so lets get this done. Climb out of town for the last time grab some more water/pepsi, thank the volunteers, up to the timing mat then back down and round to more pepsi/water and my green band. I now have a full set and it’s mostly down hill from here. I’ve had a lot of pepsi/water by now so decide it’s probably best to have another comfort stop and then downhill to the next feed station where I had a final top up of pepsi and water. Okay it’s 4km to go I know I can run 4km my legs are fine, they are sore but they’ll make it. I steadily build my pace and am passing lots of other athletes. I like the bit through town this time round, high fiving the spectators, thanking the marshalls and soaking up the amazing atmosphere before heading through the wall and turning left instead of right.
 
This time I am heading to the finish and not out for more laps, it’s onto the esplanade for a short section and then onto the red carpet and a High Five whilst announcing “Andrew you are an IRONMAN!!!”
 
That’s it, a 4:43 Marathon and a total time of 13:19:47 not too shabby for my first attempt! ;)
 
Yours

 

Iron Drinks
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Legend. Always fancied an Ironman. Job well done mate, nice work. The swim and bike not too day nting in my mind, but my god I'd not fancy the run. Completed a few marathons fresh and they were bad enough but I'm 92kg at the mo so would finish 2/3 inches shorter!

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It's the training that's the tough bit. The different disciplines mix it up a bit but you are still out early and or late everyday with one rest day a week for months.

The race is actually surprisingly "easy" in that it's all about reaping the reward.

I did just get round the marathon course, I was never out of breath or exerting myself. I think if I was going for a time then it would be a whole different experience.

Edited by Drinks

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My mate is training for one in Spain next month and he reports the training is tough.

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I'm thinking of doing something a bit mad for me. The Thames Path - Source to Thames Barrier.  Walk from source to Oxford and then cycle from Oxford to London. Probably in Sept / Oct and think it'll take about a week to complete.

It's something I've thought about doing for a while now and think it's about time I got it done. Any tips or advice would be welcome. +++

 

Well after saying it, I have finally done it.

 

Started last Thursday from Oxford, got the train to Kemble, near the source of the Thames, walked from there back to Oxford a total of 60 miles over 4 days, overnighting in Cricklade, Lechlade and Bablock Hythe.

 

Then on Monday cycled from Oxford to the Thames Barrier, which is approx 128 miles over 3 days, staying overnight in Reading and Hampton Court. The weather on Monday and Tuesday made things a bit wet and muddy but overall it was an enjoyable experience and I don't ache anything like I thought I might have done.

 

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You could have swum a bit of it ...

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Yeah or kayaked it, but there was no sign of any water for the first 5 miles.

I could have got a boat down stream from Lechlade too

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I have mentioned a few times before on here though it's never been a huge deal, that I'm an alcoholic, it's something that I am always willing to be open about and discuss with people, even help if I can. Have always had an unhealthy, (very), relationship with alcohol and when I was 24 in 2005 I put down drink for good.

2016 has been an extremely rough year, and the result of which, though I have absolutely no one to blame but myself, I had a relapse, after 11 years of sobriety :(. For around 6 months I have been in utter turmoil and it has put strain on my life and marriage like I couldn't believe. Is also why I have been barely present on these forums.

As such ~6 weeks ago I said enough is enough and stopped again. on the 23rd October. I took a picture of myself that day as I wanted to turn everything around. I have gymed all my life so a lot of base muscle is there. But below is my 6 week transformation, this has been utter focus and determination, my diet has also been immaculate. The gym and fitness helps my discipline in every other avenue in my life which is why it is so important to me that I continue. I have also taken up yoga (don't laugh), and have learnt Mooks joy of Obstacle course racing! done 2 15km ones just in the past few weeks.

I can get a lot better than this, but for 6 weeks I'm very pleased with the results and delighted to be back starting the right path again. Not too shabby for nearly 36.

 

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Edited by Torino101
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That is a great transformation in 6 weeks. 

I thought I was on my body building forum for a second. 

Fitness is great for keeping the mind busy and stopping the demon thoughts from creeping in. I find weighing food and sticking to pre planned meals a great antidote for drinking. All that hard work in the kitchen and gym gives you a stronger reason to put the glass down. 

Well done overcoming your problems and for having the awareness and balls to share. 

What's  your plan now?

Small diet break or crack on?  Another couple of BF% off and you will look in great nick. You already look good and better than 95% of 36 year olds but you are on the cusp of looking really decent.

 

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Top work Torino +++

There's a history of addiction in our family.  Alcohol gripped my dad for a long, long time until 20 years ago when he stopped completely. Sadly my brother still can't shake it.  Why I'm saying this is that I completely understand what it's like to live with.  I almost got caught up in it about 15 years ago, then got hooked on fitness, training and racing in 2006.  Yes, I do get wasted a few times a year, but I have a huge fear of what alcohol can do after seeing what it's done to my family.

Dislocated shoulder (during a race) took me out of proper training for the best part of this year, especially after the second shoulder op on my left shoulder.  I got properly back into training about 7 weeks ago and it feels great.

There's nothing like the endorphin rush :grin:

Keep going mate and stick with it +++

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2 hours ago, billy2shots said:

What's  your plan now?

Small diet break or crack on?  Another couple of BF% off and you will look in great nick. You already look good and better than 95% of 36 year olds but you are on the cusp of looking really decent.

 

Obviously December is hard to maintain dieting, however my aim is to push on. At a pure guess I think I'm about 13% or 14% body fat atm, possibly a little higher. My target is 10%, anything lower is not massively maintainable. My upper body especially Chest and Shoulders are good, but my legs and abs require a LOT of work. Would be nice to slowly work towards the end of January as a target for this. My weight before I started was 82kg I'm now 86kg, would be nice to either stick at 86% or increase slightly further.

 

And obviously to not drink.......

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Great post Torino. Looking good and a brave post.

I bet a lot of us know exactly where your coming from...as Mook says.

I have also been out of training for a good few months with boxing injuries (rotator cuff both shoulders / right achilles and torn calf muscle / wrist and elbow joints) a combination which makes most exercise impossible.

In the meantime I have been enjoying food and beers too much. And I feel rubbish. My gym reopens on 15th Dec and I am going to see what I can do and bomb it!

I may just try and work through all the injuries - as particularly the rotator cuff - seems to improve when you punish it. Just not sure of effects longer term......but resting isn't improving anything.....apart from my waistline and insomnia.

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4 hours ago, Soulboy said:

I may just try and work through all the injuries - as particularly the rotator cuff - seems to improve when you punish it. Just not sure of effects longer term......but resting isn't improving anything.....apart from my waistline and insomnia.

Don't, just don't push this.  Having been plagued with shoulder injuries for a while, pushing through the problem after my first op and trying to speed up the recovery was the worst thing I could have done, which is why after I dislocated the same shoulder and needed surgery in February this year I'm only really properly getting back to training now.

If you can, see a good physio and heed their advice.  If you feck it up, you risk long term damage and it's an absolute bitch to get back to normal movement and strength again.

HTH +++

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The Rotator Cuff is a massive issue. Any pressing movement can damage it further. So no chest or shoulder work and certainly no punching as that is the very movement the rotator cuff uses. 

I would go for total rest as it could end up being a life long issue you need to manage. When you do get back into things, pressing movements on a decline bench will help keep a lot of the strain off your shoulders. 

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