Sunday, 31 January 2010

Week from hell

Ouch.

Firstly let me clarify, the titles use of "hell" is meant to refer to the kind of hell we all enjoy, the pain and suffering we put ourselves through, voluntary, sadistic, heart pounding pain. The good stuff.

Secondly a fact that many already know, Mark Yeoman (with whom I've been staying this week) is an absolute tank. In the WW2 sense of the word, a beast. For those who doubt, today we were out for 3 hours re coning the Windsor bike course and he was happily pushing 40kph on the flats, into the wind, with a grin on his face. Was the best ride I've been on, ever. Very hard work but gave me new confidence in my legs and a better image of the bike course for June. I know it's 5 months away but its never too early to do your homework.

This week has been t-o-u-g-h, and I've put myself through the paces as requested by the coach. My heaviest week yet, ever, especially in terms of running. Tuesday, I ran. Wednesday, I ran. Thursday, I ran. Friday, I ran. Saturday, I ran...you get the gist.

A lot of my sessions I was in the capable hands of "The Yeo" and he works hard, so was great company. That said I think if I was down here all the time I'd quickly run myself into the ground, competition in training is an awesome tool, for occasional use. So I'll definitely be back to put in more hard weeks, especially for my run up to Windsor in June and the London Triathlon in August.

If I get my way I'll be able to drag him out to the Alps for part of my summer training camp as well, then we'd be in business.

Part of what I love about this sport are the people I've met and continue to meet through it, most of my friends are now either coaches, athletes or somehow connected to triathlon. Mark and I met at Worlds a few years back and he's helped bring me along a lot, when we met I was racing my 7th sprint event, in the rain in Vancouver. I finished 4th, it was a turning point for me and since then I haven't looked back.

It's been, to quote a Scottish phrase, a "mental" 18 months and I have a feeling the next 18 will be even better, Mark is one of the best guys out there especially at making me believe so too. Once your standing on the start line its a solo effort, but every step, second and stroke until that point is a combination of work from a whole team of people.

Thanks to everyone for making the last 6 days great fun and hopefully a week I can look back on in 6 months time as one that made a difference.

Time to head back to Scotland,

Mike

Thursday, 28 January 2010

You know you're in Surrey when...

...In a 2hours 30min training ride you pass 2 houses equipped with moats and are almost run off your bike by a Lamborghini.

I finally made it through my exams and down to London on Tuesday. As I mentioned at least twice already last week I'm staying with my good friends the Yeomans. Mark and Lisa have had me to stay lots over the last 18 months after meeting at the 08 World Champs. Mark is literally a beast (think the Russian off of Rocky 4) and a great training partner, so this week we'll be swim, bike, run and gyming together with some sessions by myself thrown in as well.

Last night we hit the gym for a run set on the treadmills, at the time it was tough with my pulse getting above threshold by the end, last night it was sore and was hardly able to get up the stairs...but this morning I was back to normal and ready to hit out another hard day. This is a big change from a few months back when I started increasing my run intensity, back then I'd have a hard run set and pay for it over the next 48hours, whereas now I can just move on to the next session with a lot more ease.

So I woke up early again this morning and headed to the pool for a steady 5500. As it's my birthday coming up Mark invested in some presents for me, one of which is a super cool underwater MP3 player. So this morning in the pool, for the first time in 12 years, I had musical entertainment as I was paddling along, quite weird at first having Vampire Weekend playing while you do a set of 8x600s but definitely made the time pass quicker. For sure would recommend it to anyone just getting back into swimming who maybe finds 30-60minute swims just too boring...music makes it fly by.

Literally just through the door from a steady ride (still in my kit) and about to have a quick nap before a fast run set (again) tonight.

Will have some cool pictures of London up by the weekend, keep training hard,

Mike

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Winter eh

Hey everyone,

So this morning I sucked it up (after having pledged on Friday to actually ride outside this weekend) and put on my winter gear for 3 hours in the saddle...and outside for once.
It's been over a month since I rode my bike on the roads, a 12 day XC Skiing training camp in Canada accounted for a bit of it but mostly its down to the feet upon feet of snow Scotland has suffered over the 40 days. I was sick and fed up of sitting in front the TV watching Scrubs re runs for hours upon end, also it has warmed up around here, sitting at about 5 degrees all week. So most of the snow is gone and as long as there isn't any ice around I guess riding is safe enough once more.

This morning was a balmy 4 degrees when I headed out and it just seemed more wet than cold. Within an hour there was snow on the road and my route ended up taking me onto the B974 which the police had closed...due to snow. So suffice to say it was a chilly 3 hours and with some dodgy moments sliding around to add in a core workout just for a bit of fun.






Yesterday I was out at Raemoir House Hotel again for yet another fantastic run up the many hills. As expected by 500feet we were surrounded by snow and at the top there was over a metre in places...VERY difficult to run across. An inch of solid stuff on top then 3 feet of slush below...wet feet is an understatement!


...By the end I was pretty tired out


Ah well, comes with the job.
As a lot of you know I'm currently in the middle of my final university exams. 4 years goes far too fast.
My last is tomorrow, (Dynamics - think of machines rattling around, its about the rattling part) and then I can move on. Notes will go into storage (never know when I might need them again) and I'll pack my bags for London. 6 days staying with Mr Mark Yeoman will do me good and give me a boost after a few weeks of soul destroying exams.
Time for mega training once more,
Mike

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Examinations

Hellooo,

Currently I'm 2 down/2 to go, or in other words, only 2 more exams to complete...for the rest of my life. Forever, my last 2 exams...ever.

Now that's exciting.

Hellsyea.

I'm fitting in training around 6 hour study days as well as days with exams. The stress gets to you at times for sure. With that in mind I've booked a ticket to London for next Tuesday to stay with my good friend Mark for 6 days.

It will be a great escape from the hectic last few weeks up here and I really need it. To be able to just focus on training again for a week will be the perfect medicine. Last time I was down was for the week long run up to the Windsor Triathlon last season and it ended up providing me the lead up for one of the best races of my life. I hope next week will give me another boost heading into vital training as we are faaaast approaching the beginning of yet another season, with more work, more pain, more chances.

Mike

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Back home

Hey,
Tell you what, I leave the country for 2 weeks and "climate change" decides to happen overnight!

Hit -23 in Scotland on Friday...the South Pole was only -22.

Arrived back into the UK last night after delays in Canada, -10degrees in London with 54 of British Airways 58 flights cancelled. Luckily Aberdeen airport was open so I got back home and into my bed by 11 last night.

WIDE AWAKE however at 4am, always a nice surprise.

"crap I'm awake, should I look at the clock?

I'm going to look at the clock. I bet its after 6, it must be after 6.

4.10am..."

Up I got and was at the supermarket by 530am picking up groceries for the house, managing to wake up EVERYONE in the process of unpacking the cereal in the kitchen at 615.

Sunday is usually the day for a long ride, but considering it was -8 outside with snow everywhere and I was a little tired from the journey I just stuck to my trainer and put in a solid few hours in front of the tv...


video

The rest of the week will be focused on studying and getting in some more solid training, lets hope it warms up a bit outside.

Here are some cool pictures from the last few weeks in Canada...



Sunday, 3 January 2010

New year training camp - day 6

More relaxed day today here in Canada, took in some of the slopes and even enjoyed some apres ski on the way down...

video video