The Week in Review

I have not posted a ‘week in review’ for ages, so I guess that now is as good a time as any to start again.

This week I…

  • Embraced YouTube and will be producing content regularly
  • Discovered Relive
  • Revamped my diet again, including fasting schedules

Performance

This was a fairly relaxed week really, mainly because I cannot really run due to the monstrous blisters I gained whilst completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks. I have one covering each heel, the left in particular being very tender indeed. I completed two runs this week, each of which was too early in my recovery and ended up being curtailed as it was just too painful to run at all. Strava summary below. I have taken advantage of clement weather and cycled where possible.

Data

Relive

Relive is a superb app I discovered recently. It reads your workouts from whichever app you use record them – in my case Strava or Garmin – and uses the data to generate a 3D flyover-style video. I will definitely being making use of this in future.

Nutrition

I am still fasting, however I am trying to push my time without food. Right now I have the willpower to fast for a whole day, however when I go past approximately sixteen hours without food I get an absolutely paint-stripping headache. This may sound bad, however it is a positive because that limit used to be fifteen hours. I have been slowly pushing this interval longer and longer. It is frustrating to be in a ‘spirit is willing but the flesh is weak’ position but I clearly need to train my body to accept longer periods without food. Right now the headaches are absolutely unbearable. I suffer migraine attacks and they are equally as debilitating, which means I am essentially incapacitated by the things. I am slowly winning the battle however, so I only need to keep modifying my diet slowly and hopefully I will be able to start doing day-long fasts without side effects.

Pushing Ahead

Right now my priority is to work as hard as I can. I can only wait for my feet to heal so that I can push my running distances again. In the meantime I am working hard on my nutrition. This week I felt the nip of autumn in the air so I am going to make the most of good weather whilst it lasts and push hard as soon as I can run again.

Week in Review, Plus First Running Readings from Vivoactive HR

After the bizarre readings I took the first time I clocked a swim with my Garmin Vivoactive HR watch I am relieved to have gotten accurate, good quality data when running with it for the first time. It will be interesting to see what happens when I swim again. Hopefully it is just a teething issue but let’s wait and see. My cycling is hovering around the 6 mile mark at 12 minute miles, and to be honest I could cycle 25 miles tomorrow easily so right now my focus is on my weaker sports. I have also maintained my 16/8 fasting routine whilst trying various new recipes, all of which are posted here and on my Instagram.

This week I have pushed my swimming up to 100 metre interval drills, hitting the 700 metre mark. My run below is the longest yet, having added roughly 33% in distance to the last one. The one caveat here is that I ran during storm Clara and thus had to stop a couple of times to avoid torrential rain soaking me wet through.

Garmin Connect Data

Garmin Connect Data Summary
Garmin Connect Data Summary
Garmin Connect Data Summary
Garmin Connect Data Summary

Data Breakdown

Detailed Data Breakdown
Detailed Data Breakdown

Split Times

Split Times
Split Times

Graphs for Heart Rate, Cadence, Heart Rate Zones and So Forth

Cadence, Elevation and Heart Rate Zones

Cadence, Elevation and Heart Rate Zones

Pace and Heart Rate
Pace and Heart Rate

Strava Data

Strava Data
Strava Data

View on Strava and follow me here to get a follow back.

Week in Review & Pushing Forward

Sports

Last week I couldn’t hike as the weather stank. I ran and swam, and when running I hit that feeling when you suddenly start enjoying it. It happened during my previous run that was spuriously recorded as 3.99 miles when it was actually closer to 1.5. This is not the first time my Garmin Vivoactive has done this and my tweeting Garmin about it was ignored. I have remedied the situation, however, by upgrading to a Garmin Vivoactive HR. It arrived in the mail today so hopefully that will be a step forward that solves this. It’s an obviously better watch with or without the heart rate monitor, but more data can only be a good thing so I look forward to seeing my readings on that front.

Swimming

I am pushing this hard as I enjoy swimming enormously. My latest progress is below, including times, interval splits and frankly more data than I am ever going to need, but here it is anyway.

Summary

Interval Splits and More

Pace, Strokes & Swolf

Cycling

Holding at just over 12mph average. That will change with the weather

Running

Positive growth but I am not going to post spurious GPS data. That would be pointless. Suffice to say my new watch should do better.

Week in Review

Last week I picked up my schedule for the first time in 2020 after a pretty awful 2019. I got Twitter and Instagram accounts, and in addition to easing back into the outdoors I started to further expand my nutritional horizons. I love cooking and it’s a great way to express one’s creativity. I remain on a 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule and I am more than ever committed to a vegan diet that contains little to no sugar and is not processed wherever possible.

I cycled twice but only over short distances. I don’t pay too much attention to statistics and data for rides under five miles as cycling in Lancashire is so roly-poly, hilly and stop-start that it is difficult to build up a decent cadence and pick up a good cruising speed for any meaningful length of time. I was hoping to post some swimming data but I have been held up by the supplier of a replacement strap for my Garmin Vivoactive watch, which has yet to arrive and is now six days late. Thanks useless eBay parts supplier.

Today’s Cycle
Today’s Cycle

I have cycled today already, again just a short town ride on an errand, the virtue of which I extolled last week. My focus this week is to begin to add swimming to my cycling again. I hope to strengthen my lower back after hurting it quite badly last year, such was the sedentary nature of caring for my crocked little boy.

Small beginnings yield massive outcomes. Let’s destroy 2020.

Week in Review

Another week of incremental gains passes. Today was to be the day we climb Cat Bells fell in Cumbria but personal circumstances have put paid to that. Thankfully we got a beast of a hike in yesterday, ascending Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales. Once the kids are older we are going to try to move over there. It’s such a beautiful place.

Losses and Gains

My swimming and running performance saw steady gains. One thing I will say is that I can definitely feel my age in the pool. This has become that little bit harder and I feel the work I have to do for sure. That being said, the gains are tangible. Yesterday I went through my wardrobe and set aside several pieces, sports jackets and blazers mainly, which I will donate to charity. I’ve gained so much muscle in the last fortnight that I can no longer get them over my shoulders. It has been noted by my good lady that I have changed substantially. She can hardly get her arms around my shoulders now. Add to that the fact that my swimming shorts are falling down rather easily whilst swimming – usually during tumble turns or when I push off from the side – and it’s clear that I’m getting somewhere.

Targets

I’m hoping to push my running into the four mile bracket and hit 1800 metres in the pool in order to prepare for an assault on the 2000 metre mark in the following week.

At some point I will have to decide whether to keep swimming relatively short intervals or to push for longer endurance swims. Previously I have always plumped for the latter, with limited weight loss success. Maybe I can do both. One distance swim and one interval soon would make for an interesting experiment.

What I’d love to do one day is open water swimming. Perhaps that’s something I can treat as a summit to be reached. I have always preferred being outside to indoor exercise. How on earth people have the patience for exercising in a gym is beyond me. I’ve tried it several times and it drives me crazy to be cooped up like that. If you enjoy that sort of thing them have at it. Enjoy your exercise and reward, I’m sure it does you good but I don’t really envy you at all.

Next week I also aim to get Cat Bells fell in the bag. As soon as the days are long enough we are looking to ascend Skiddaw. We live two hours away from Cumbria so the days are too short as yet for a seven hour climb. That’s why our early season hikes are in the Dales. It’s only an hour away with no monstrous peaks. Once the days are long them not only can we tackle the giants, we can also go for weekend camping trips to get the best of the late nights and early starts.

Week in Review

Summary

Last week I moved from 600 to 1000 metres in the pool, from 2 to 3 miles running and I completed a rigorous 8.4 miles family hike over Whernside in the Yorkshire Dales. This was a good week with which to start a long summer of outdoor activities.

Coming Next

This year I want to break out of the Dales and conquer more of the Lake District. The big targets are Skiddaw and Blencathra, each of which are approximately 900 metre climbs so they are ones to work up to. I take the kids hiking so it wouldn’t be a problem for adults to climb those two but the sprogs need to work up to climbs like that. Luckily there is the gorgeous Cat Bells fell, around a 500 metre elevation.

I can’t wait to ascend this fell over the weekend and get some photographs of the stunning Lake District views. In addition to that I want to push up to 4 miles running and 1500 metres swimming. That leaves me with one hike to plan for the weekend. Time to research…

The Week in Review

This week has been a great one for pushing distances and endurance but I have learnt something too, namely that the long weekend run is not going to be realistic. I have missed it three weeks in a row now, simply because I am exhausted on Sundays. It is sensible to learn from this and adapt rather than force a routine that isn’t going to be optimal. Add to that the fact that the weather is warming now (today was six degrees) and I will now be able to cycle to university and back on Mondays and it is clear that I HAVE to rest on Sundays. That means that I am only going to be running twice weekly, swimming thrice weekly and cycling long distance once. So, as a result I now have the opportunity to stretch the distances on my runs, safe in the knowledge that I don’t have to hammer through one at the weekend. This appears to be the routine I have fallen into naturally, and right now my swimming is in the ascendancy so it seems logical to follow the path of least resistance to fitness and health.

Another thing that is becoming prohibitive is that living in a small town is making it increasingly difficult to devise longer courses on which to run. I am going to have to utilise my ingenuity here because I really don’t want to start doing laps of the same course. That fills me with the dread of tedium. I used to run laps around a local waterway but I could only ever achieve four, some 7 miles or so because it simply bored the bejesus out of me. Running long distance has cured that and I really don’t want to go back.

All in all it has been a very productive week. I am only a fortnight back into my swimming routine and I am hitting 3000 metres regularly, which is not far from Iron Man distance swimming, albeit drills and lap swimming for now, rather than open water. I am seriously considering shooting for an Iron Man triathlon. I had in mind to do it a few years ago during my degree studies but I was unlucky enough to be in three car accidents in two years and that was that. Right now I am quietly homing in on the possibility, but I doubt it will come this year. My target for 2016 is to shed my excess body weight. As an adult I have suffered an illness that required me to take medication that caused weight gain. I am now off it and I am determined to get my body back. It is something that is so frustrating to me because I wish that, if I was going to be overweight then I would at least have enjoyed the excess. To be betrayed by fate like that seem so unfair. I got the consequences without the fun bit of the deal.

No more. This is the year I return to the state in which I entered the world, and I am getting closer and closer. I calculate that I have around a stone to go to get back to single digit body fat percentages.

The Week in Review

This week has been one that petered off. I haven’t been able to do my long weekend run due to chucking down rain and also being unwell in the night doing the Aztec Two Step (Google at your own risk).

I have settled down finally into my running/swimming rhythm, however, so hopefully that will stick now. I’ve pushed up to swimming over a mile and I have been able to run ten miles with relative ease. My Apple Watch turns out to have been a good purchase for use in conjunction with exercise, despite the minor irritation of accidentally activating the crown with my sleeve. As soon I am able to wear either a long sleeve running top without a jacket or just short sleeves that should be fine.

So there we are. Not that great a review, but the truth. I am hoping that the horrible rain passes soon and I can finally break the half marathon barrier.

The Week in Review

Summary

This week has been an interesting one. I have pushed my morning run over the eight miles mark, I returned to the swimming pool (an event which itself spawned a post about irritating people at the pool), and I managed to sabotage a promising shot at a half-marathon distance run by ingesting fart fuel.

This week I have learned a lot about myself and the limitations of my body (i.e. I do not seem to be anywhere near reaching them yet) and the farting incident in particular has taught me a lot, especially in terms of planning my diet and timing meals well in relation to runs.

I have also hit a couple more personal milestones. The first is the fact that this is the first full week I have completed my running regimen whilst wearing proper running trousers, running gloves and running shoes. This turns out to have been far more important than I ever imagined in terms of keeping warm, comfortable and remaining injury free. Of course, I have no doubt that at some point I will pick up a strain or muscle tear but it is all about reducing the risk and likelihood of doing so. In addition to this I have purchased an Apple Watch. Whilst I confess to being an Apple devotee I will say that this watch was purchased with running in mind. I hate wearing my phone in an armband and I get annoyed when I have to stop to skip a podcast/song or check on my exercise statistics. Now it is all there in the Runtastic app on my watch; easily accessible with a mere flick of the wrist.

Unfortunately a tough night with the kids means I missed my cycle ride to university and I was not able to take the kids and dogs walking or hiking due to the fact that it has rained heavily more or less all weekend. I fear that the torrential rain that is predicted tomorrow is going to stop me from cycling again, but I will try my best. I am happy in wet conditions but I do take a few busy roads en route which I would not like to take on in a torrential downpour, purely from the point of view relating to safety concerns. Fingers crossed on that front.

I am pushing hard to be a real distance runner by summer, regularly putting in runs of double figures and I would love to be able to run the 21.5 miles home from university at least once this semester. Whether or not I will be able to stretch myself that far without doing myself some damage is a matter of fine margins, but I can try my best nonetheless.

This Week’s Media

Video: BBC Question Time, Redmen TV

Podcasts: BBC Any Questions, Real Time with Bill Maher, The Rubin Report.

See you on the road.

The Week in Review

So, this has been my first full week as a sports blogger and it has largely been good fun. I hope that I can keep it up. I have mostly discussed my activities rather than equipment, food or some other aspect of fitness and the outdoors. Right now I am mostly enjoying being able to consistently do the sports I love. The last ten years have mostly been devoted to the hard work of raising young children, but now that my youngest has reached the age of five (this seems to be the cut off point from absolute dependency and them being able to function for at least an hour or so without harassing their parents) I have more free time to devote to myself. Well, some free time at all actually. Kids are time consuming and demanding little creatures but thankfully they do gain their own space over the years. I do miss the littlest years when they slept all the time, allowing me to bung them in a papoose and go hiking, but at the same time there is a lot to be said for simply having the time and space to be oneself. You have no idea how much you will miss that until it is thrust upon you.

Roundup

This week was all about getting my running chops back. I have covered 26.82 miles over four runs, which is not exactly a stellar amount but I reiterate that I am only just getting back into this and it is winter which limits opportunity somewhat. I am currently using the school run as a serious window for exercise. I walk the kids two miles to school (purely to tire them out)and then run home. I take the scenic route and have stretched the distance from 3.2 miles initially up to 5+ miles. Very often if I have an errand to do I will combine it into the run. I have no doubt that wandering into the bank in running gear raises an eyebrow or two, but who cares? I certainly don’t. I only cycled one way to university this week due to me having an absolutely paint stripping headache during the day. It would have been dangerous to cycle home so I took the train, which turned out to be wise as I was very unwell when I arrived back. All in all a good week, with a learning curve in there about resting between hard runs/rides (this caused my headache). I hope to push through the 30 mile barrier when running this week. As summer comes I will also throw some long bike rides in there too.

Recommended Listening

I am a machine for devouring music, films, TV shows, podcasts and audiobooks so I am going to post my listening for the week – all of which was consumed during exercise, but not whilst cycling of course. Note that video I just listen to rather than watch.

Music: Dream Theater, The Astonishing

Podcasts: Real Time with Bill Maher, BBC Any Questions

Video: BBC Question Time

See you on the road.