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Tri blogging from Tamworth, Staffordshire
Tri blogging from Tamworth, Staffordshire
I'm new to the sport of Triathlon coming from a running background which I originally took up in Nov '12 in order to lose weight. This is my blog and journey into the world of Triathlon. I have my first sprint under my belt and now I'm aiming for the Outlaw in 2014 !

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Pacing and starting to taper

owenslaterby owenslaterJun 17th 2013
I was in two minds as to whether to publish a blog this week as I'm tapering down to my next half marathon race on Sunday 30th June, however in the end I figured that if I merged 2 weeks training plus a race report then people just wouldn't read the blog due to it's size ! So here is my last week's training and I think I'll put the forthcoming week and Coombe Abbey race into a seperate blog :o)

Monday was a mixed bag of weather. Weather forecast saying one thing on Sunday night, phone app saying another and when I looked out of my office window it was clear the weather couldn't make its' mind up either.

Nevertheless I had to train. The previous evening I had tinkered about with my bike setup to get it to it's optimum and I had the idea of cycling with no socks so as to try out how comfortable my new shoes really were. Towards the end of my last ride my toes did feel squashed and circulation was failing them a little too. I suspected that I had simply tighten up my shoes too much, being over enthuisastic with the ratchet.

Hence at lunchtime I got changed and headed out sockless chosing to do the reverse of the route I rode on the previous Saturday - but without the detours ! As a result I rode 13.1 miles and was happy to discover that my feet felt fine without the socks and my toes were in a better place too. Better to do this experiment now rather than on a race day for the first time. Given that the shoes were a bargain basement £40 I was also relieved that the gamble had paid off and that the reviewers comments for these shoes had proved true :o)

Looking at the stats for the ride I was a little faster this time which may be explained by the fact that I've been determined to stay in higher gear for longer and really get to the end of the gear before going down. Previously I think I had been guilty of going down a gear too early just because the going was getting a little hard.

Also I had some company for the last leg in the form of another cyclist who thought it was funny to race me in short bursts. This was okay since it made me work a little harder and not cruise as my ride was coming towards the end. After a mile or so the company faded behind - no staying power !

I've decided to focus on pacing and make proper use of the various technology available to me. I've always used my Garmin to record my run and then upload it into Sportracks (http://www.zonefivesoftware.com/SportTracks/) for analysis. If you've not come across this peice of software before then here is an in-depth review of it :-

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2010/09/sport-tracks-30-upgrade-review.html

It's totally free to use and there are some great plugins to use plus a good development community. As far as I'm aware it is for Windows only.

Now I decided to make use of some of the other options my garmin has such as the virtual partner and quick exercises. I set a setup the watch for a 9min/mile easy pace and put the distance at 6 miles. Typically in my first session I got a bit carried away and tried to 'race' the little man which of course went completely against the idea of pacing !!!

So on my second run I was more disciplined and stuck to the pacing given - I need to concentrate more on this side of things.

Wednesday was such an amazing day for weather. The previous evening I had popped down to a local sports shop that had a 70% reduction sale on and bought a couple of cycling tops and a pair of shorts. Hence at lunchtime I was keen to try out my new kit and practice some nutrition intake at the same time. I had sketched out in my mind a 12-13 mile loop which I'll be able to connect to my existing 12 mile cycle route at a future time and thus make a good 25-ish mile route for the weekend.

I set off down the old Tamworth road and headed out towards the college and the villages surrounding the town. At the edge of Tamworth I turned left and followed a link road down to the edge of another village before heading in the direction of the park and then onwards towards home again.
Pacing and starting to taper
The park was understandbly busy with people fishing, biking, relaxing by the river and young families centreing on the play area by the ice-cream stall. It was the sort of day you wished you didn't have to go back to work. I paused to take a couple of snaps and then had to press on in order to be back at my desk by the end of the luch hour.
Pacing and starting to taper
Pacing and starting to taper
Pacing and starting to taper
The evening saw me swim 1,500 meters in a new record of 45mins, which is slow I know but as I'm completely rebuilding my front crawl from scratch I was pleased none the less as I knew I had swum it 'properly'.

Thursday was a total wipe out due to our 15 month son deciding to play from midnight - 3am on the Wednesday night and then me having to be up at 6am to go down to London for the day. I didn't return until 8pm that evening. So I decided to be sensible for Friday/Saturday and take a couple of days off - I was shattered !

The weekend saw a return of the rain but to be honest, running in the cold and wet is sort of my favourite running conditions so I duly did a new 14.5 mile circuit in the afternoon as I have a half marathon race on Sunday 30th at Coombe Abbey and intend to do a PB. I sort of made the run up as I went along, giving myself exit points along the way for quicker routes home. I also practised my nutrition plan on taking a gel every 30mins which I have to say seemed to work well on the run,although by the last mile and a half my legs were giving up as this was the furthest I'd ever ran.

My legs ached that evening so I consoled myself with chocolate milk !
Pacing and starting to taper
Other tasks this week were that my bike also got a small upgrade with a new sportive saddle and I applied anti-fog spray onto my existing Speedo goggles as they have started to mist up for the last couple of swims quite a lot in the pool. I have on order some new Aqua Sphere Seal 2.0 goggles (http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2013/02/04/gear-check-aqua-sphere-seal-2-0) for open water swimming but you'll hear more about that next week.

Hence as I entered my final taper week my schedule will be:-

Monday - Bike ride 20 miles (approx - I've yet to work out the route !)

Tue - Run with the club 6-7 miles

Wed - swim 1,500m

Thur - Day off

Fri - Swimfit coaching only

Sat - Day off

Sun - Race day !!!!

That's all, next week you'll get my race report from Coombe Abbey for the half marathon race (http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/events/viewevent.asp?en=73411&sp=&v=2) and how the lead up to it went. Fingers crossed for some decent training weather !


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