What's it all about?

I decided to write a blog following my training and triathlon season. For me, I have always participated in sports for as along as I can remember, whether it was being one of the only girls playing football with the boys, playing hockey at numerous clubs or running around cross country circuits in the pouring rain. This year I plan to work hard on my swimming, cycling and running in an effort to qualify for the World Championships in Triathlon and represent my age group. I hope that you enjoy my blog or rather my ramblings and feel free to comment.

Kerry X

Friday, 21 December 2012

2012 done and dusted, what will 2013 bring?

What a few weeks!
With Christmas fast approaching I have been conscious more than ever with my training to concentrate on consistency and being strong and motivated to get out running even when i felt like staying home. I have managed to do a consistent 6-8 hours training each week for the past 5 weeks (on week 6 now) culminating in 21 miles ran last week.
This week has been a bit more difficult with a slight calf strain meaning that I did my 1st run this week, and have left a few days to recover the pull in my leg. Today will be a run instead and then my long run on Sunday of hopefully around 16km. I have been supplementing my running with core work and gym/weights in order to improve my flexibility and strength as well as overall  body conditioning.
So with 2012 coming to a close, it is probably right for me to reflect on my year and also my year of writing a blog! I cannot believe that it has been almost a year that I first started this blog. I had no intention of doing it this time last year, in January it really was a spur of the moment thing when I wanted to start running again after my injuries.
2012 has had some real ups and some low points but also has helped me learn and progress as an athlete.
Under Will's guidance and training program for starting to run again, I developed some confidence in my abilities and was able to increase my training and speed through the hard work I put in, which meant that I qualified for not only 2013 Europeans, but also the 2012 World Championships in NZ. It has been a great year in terms of my performance, and I would like to add that I think it was my best triathlon season ever, and really it wasn't that great in terms of times, so I know that I can get faster and better even more so!
I think one of the lowest points for me has to be the continued poor weather for a majority of the races that I competed in. It really made things quite difficult and I have learnt from this that being over prepared and training in all weathers is SO beneficial to you as an athlete, and it can make all the difference in where you end up finishing in a race. Mental strength is also crucial here, as I have raced in some pretty miserable conditions this year, and having the mental capacity to believe in yourself and get to the end and finish strongly has been tough.

So what are my 2013 goals then???
With London marathon coming up in around 4 months time, I want to continue my good work with my training running 3 times a week (possibly 4) each and ever week, week in week out. I want to get to the start line injury free. I have stopped thinking in terms of race fit, as i know that by that point I will be pretty tired from the full on training, so I must take the taper very seriously. I just want to get there without a serious injury so that I am able to run the race. I won't be going for a specific time, but in my preparation for the race, I am doing Silverstone Half marathon so I want to make it sub 2 hours at that race.

After this point it will be back to the bike and working on my bike strength heading out in the lighter evenings 4 times per week and spending time in the gym to prepare for a few triathlons ending with my A race- The Vitruvian on the 31st August. I know that this will be a huge step up and I need to get back into the pool. I feel as if I have been lazy with my training lately, but I think that it is just to do with the fact that I am either running or in the gym. I miss the bike and swimming, so by getting back on it after the London Marathon, I know that I will be highly motivated by that point! My goal at the Vitruvian is to complete the race and just enjoy it. I probably will readjust my goals throughout the year, but for now I have to concentrate on the marathon training and getting to London.

So for now, happy training and all the best for 2013 whatever your goals may be!

(PS enjoy Christmas, remember that you can have that extra mince pie, so long as you have a tough session to help work it off!!!)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Marathon Training off to a great start!

Another Monday, another week of training DONE! I am now onto week 4 of marathon training with 3/3 long runs successfully completed over the past 3 weeks. I have been trying to be consistent with my running, completing 3 each week (as well as a hockey match!) all as part of my 24 week plan. This last week was a bit more unsuccessful with other parts of my training (hockey match cancelled, and a night away from home) but I still got my three runs completed, culminating in a 14.5km run yesterday in the bright sunshine and icy roads! This time of year is particularly tricky for cycling and running (not  so much swimming!) as the roads and weather certainly play the largest consideration for what you decide to do. Earlier this year I had to go off on the MTB (see Feb post) as the snow and temperatures dictated that going out on the road bike would have been suicidal.
Will has been turboing an awful lot more than he ever has, which is great as he is still getting those miles in, and his back seems better now so is back running again (see his blog http://meinlycra.wordpress.com/) for regular updates on how he is getting along.
Anyway back to me and my training!
I have been aiming to complete around 7/8 hours training each week and building up the running miles slowly with Body Balance classes and weights and core training each week to help build up my strength and conditioning. I am missing the cycling, and I actually thought I would be able to fit it in somewhere, but with the dark nights and icy roads, I really do not want to compromise my running training, and have had to find it within myself to accept that this winter running HAS to be my priority and if there comes a night where I could get on the turbo, I would actually rather get in the pool for some low impact training. I am missing the saddle, and come April time after the marathon, I have got quite a few triathlons in mind to sharpen the speed and get ready for the all important middle distance event at the end of August.
It is quite weird and different to have running as my primary focus, but I am really relishing the change and enjoying it. I have the aim now of going out for a run and enjoying it, trying to keep a constant pace and just really keep going. I have been incredibly lucky with the weather, and also with the company I have enjoyed whilst doing these long runs.
My Sunday runs have looked like this:-

  • Sunday 18th November : 9.5km around Hambleton Peninsular- a fairly flat start and then the second half is rather undulating. I was lucky enough to tag behind my friend Andrea for this run as my first one to break me in slowly.

  • Sunday 25th November : 11.5km from Normanton Car Park over the Dam to Whitwell and back. A challenging run not least because the wind was howling an absolute gale, but luckily I had another friend Tim with me to shelter me from the wind somewhat on the Dam!

  • Sunday 2nd December : A lovely sunny day greeted me, rather than the hangover from Stamford Tri Club Xmas party! The run was to be 14km and I was to set off from home. Taking a look at a couple of running websites where people share their routes, I was pleased to find one of the right length. I took Will's Garmin with me and managed to record the actual time and distance rather accurately. I completed 14.43km in just under 1 hour 24 minutes (1:23:55) recording an average pace of 5:49 per km.
Looking at the data from yesterday's run I was really pleased and this has boosted my confidence massively about my ability to run this marathon. Although the pace was fairly slow, I was really pleased that I managed to get around and felt like I would be able to run further should I need to. I also found that my pace generally got a bit quicker as I was more warmed up.
Hopefully this is a good sign of things to come, and taking it steady and surely is the right way forward considering how I was injured last year.
This week is a fairly intense week with an hours bike session for a research study I am taking part in (VO2 max test was a month ago) and finishing the week off with a 16km run on Sunday. Here's hoping for more good weather this Sunday! 
Happy Training!