Thursday, 20 August 2009

Running - do you remember how legs?

It seems like an age since I went out for a training run. But it's Burnsall Classic at the weekend, and although I'm mainly focused on cycling training at the moment, Burnsall Classic comes but once a year. It's also a classic. I wonder how many years of being just a race Burnsall had to get under its belt before it could justifiably call itself a classic. Surely Lantern Pike could now be called Lantern Pike Classic, as that's been going for more than 30 years (I think).

Anyway, back to the reason I post things on this blog. Unless it falls under the category of 'random other stuff', it's about training. I did 4.2 miles and 1000 feet of ascent. There were two people out walking with a spaniel, which was doing that very pleasing heather bounding. I wasn't very focused but it was good to remind my body that I'm mainly a runner.

Swimming - technique clicks but not speed or breathing

I'm not sure how I can have got better from last week. Perhaps I became totally immersed in Monday's TI class despite not receiving any tuition (not that I begrudge that - it was busy). But today, my stroke length increased.

It's funny, I think there's too much to think about if you try to think about each joint and muscle. Today I found a better way - pretend to be Superman for each stroke. This way I twist my body more and adopt a pose that seems ideal for the long gliding bit of the stroke. Of course I know it as the classic one-arm-forward Superman flying style, but it seems to work, so great.

I just need a childhood-memory-based skill technique that allows me to master relaxed breathing and going more quickly.

Mrs Noel does Eccles Pike

Mrs Noel did this last year, and as I'm supposed to be cycling training at the moment, it seemed fair for her to do it again. It's nice and short and steep (3 miles, 817 feet of ascent). Mrs Noel has been nursing sore feet for a few weeks and seeing a physioterrorist, so wasn't sure how she would do in her comeback race. She needn't have worried - as usual she did pretty well and finished 3rd lady. She was waving her bottle of wine and voucher about very proudly when she got back.

This is her training for Burnsall Classic at the weekend. I'll have to see how good cycling is as training for short fast fell races. I suspect it's not very good - Mrs Noel may end up beating me.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Cycled to work

It's certainly easier than cycling home, due to the height drop. I did it in 1 hour 25 minutes today. This is faster than cycling home last night despite not trying very hard today. It was also nice and sunny, so I could go more quickly down the hills. Last time I cycled in, it was very wet, so I had to be a bit careful on the hill corners. I've a busy day today at work, so that's all for now.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Cycling home - hillier than cycling in

I cycled in last Wednesday and left my bike there. Today I cycled home which means I'm forced to cycle in tomorrow as my car is still at work. It's 20 miles each way, so it's like doing 40 miles in a day (only I have a big sleep between legs).

Cycling back from work is harder than cycling in as I work in Knutsford, which is on the Cheshire plain, but live at about 1000 feet in the Peak District. I was thinking the big hill up the A54 was much harder than I expected, but then realised I was still on the big front cog. I suspect Lance Armstrong makes similar mistakes all the time.

I was trying to 'give it some pasty' on the way home and was pleased to do it in about an hour and a half. Tomorrow I'll have to go a bit more slowly as I don't want to be too sweaty for my colleagues. I have a change of clothes at work but no showering facilities. If anyone has any tips on all-over washing using those tiny sinks you get in the toilets, I'd be keen to learn them.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Total immersion swimming class too busy

I had decided that I needed a few more tips on what I was doing wrong before I reinforced my mistakes through more practice. So I turned up to my local TI swimming class to get a few pointers from the excellent instructor. Unfortunately, it was very busy and there were a few first-timers. So I didn't get any tuition.

I'll have to go again next week - watch this space.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Cycling plus 1 again

After our trip down the Manifold Valley a few weeks ago, I was keen to up the mileage when we hired bikes (plus tag-alongs) in the Forest of Dean. We hired them from PedalBikeAway: and they seemed pretty good for our needs. I think we did about 20 miles, including some hills. Mrs Noel was pretty broken by the end so it must have had some training value.

I should have worn my Garmin if only to see how easy it is to get lost in on Forestry tracks. Mrs Noel at one point wouldn't let me have the last bite of my sandwich in case we were "lost in a forest, miles from the nearest road." Luckily, we also had a large chocolate bar, so didn't have to start hunting the wild boar! ...and we found where we were after another 300 yards.

Cross-training - canadian canoeing

I'm not sure what canadian canoeing might be cross-training for - swimming perhaps? Anyway, Mrs Noel, the kids and I kayaked down the River Wye for about 4 hours on Thursday. It was largely enjoyable except for when my youngest decided to change sides and we nearly capsized.