Lapping Away…

Today’s swim:

Set four is long due to a goggles malfunction and sadly I encountered the scourge of lap swimmers up and down the country: dreaded fat girl who won’t get out of the fast lane. I really don’t get it. I’m in the one lane set aside for lap swimming and always some epic ham beast gets in and bobs up and down the length of the pool like a lump of whale blubber, doing an approximate ratio of one lap to my ten. They have the entire pool to go at and they always get in my way.

That aside today was progress. As I push into longer intervals the last two laps are always the weariest and hardest, however the last two laps of each set today were nowhere near as difficult as the ones I previously experienced at the end of shorter sets so that means I’m getting stronger and my cardiovascular capacity is increasing.

Cardiovascular Statistics

A nurse friend of mine recently calculated my resting pulse at a strong, rhythmic and regular 54 bpm. The lowest I’ve ever clocked is 44. I think I can hit that again. I’m hoping to finally shed the stone I’ve carried since being hit by cars four times in one year whilst cycling. That had a massive effect on my body. Now that the kids are older and I have more free time I can get into a proper regimen rather than the guerrilla approach young children necessitate.

Keep buggering on…


Week in Review


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…

Improving Distance, Picking up Pace

After a restful Sunday due to a poorly child – hence no hike – today I broke three miles and at least some of the time I ran consciously to increase speed, thankfully hitting the disgracefully low bar of sub ten minute miles.

Garmin Data

You can see that I’m something of a trudger really. I no doubt have the ability to run a lot faster and I have achieved sub nine minute miles before, however my problem is that simply running regularly is enough of a discipline as it is. I find pointless repetition in any aspect of life to be difficult so maintaining slow, sustained improvement is enough for me. My ideal exercise is outdoors, doing something productive. I love exploring and if I run I like trail running best. My worst nightmare is the gym. Picking up things and putting them down? Snore.

Anyway. Swimming tomorrow and hopefully this week I’ll push to four miles running and 1200 metres in the pool.

Whernside Redux: Electric Boogaloo

I am slightly concerned about my Garmin Vivoactive sports watch. Granted it is not cutting edge technology any more, it’s an old model of sports watch, however either it or the Apple Health app is calculating things badly. My money is on Garmin doing it wrong which is unfortunate. Here is my reasoning:

Garmin stats

Apple Health Stats

According to the Yorkshire Dales website climbing Whernside is 8.4 miles of hiking. Given that Apple Health clocks all of my steps during the day it seems sensible to believe that I hiked the 8.4 miles and the rest is normal everyday wandering about.

Garmin Vivoactive clocked me at 6.41 miles which seems very low. I have no idea why it does this but I think it vastly underestimates the distance I hiked.

That being said, despite the notoriety of Whernside for bad weather today’s hike was great. I even took photos.

Ingleborough from the descent

Tadpole Hunting

Millie, our dog, Pulling a Pint

Here, finally, is the map

Whatever is going on with my tracking equipment I can attest to the joy found in ascending this peak. Even though I have done it many times before it is beautiful to see the view from the summit. We definitely earned our pint in the country pub at the end.

Summit Panorama

Progress Delayed

Yesterday’s swim happened today. My local pool and it’s useless staff admitted me to swim yesterday and then kindly closed the pool five minutes later. Thanks a lot goons.

Today I pushed up to 600 metres via six sets of 100 metres (4 laps per set).

I was only swimming for 10 minutes or so but I definitely pushed myself into the shaky muscles zone. That isn’t a technical term obviously. I think the correct term is lactic acidosis. I could be wrong on that, I’m no expert but it’s where I get the endorphins and I know to stop before I strain something.

At my best I’ve pushed up to 5000 metres so I have a long way to go yet.

Pushing On

I am in the habit of starting small and building quickly. That’s what I have done in the past and I am doing it again now. Yesterday I swam and today I pushed myself further on the road.


I started yesterday with what I thought was ten sets of 50 metre intervals. I either miscounted or I forgot to record one of my sets with my swim watch so I’m posting a 450 metre swim rather than 500. Whatever, it’s a start. I’ll soon be pushing up to swimming an hour nonstop as I did previously.


Today I added half a mile to my previous 2 mile run on Monday. My time is abysmal here, over 10 minute miles, but hey, distance is distance and I’ve never been a particular fast runner.

My struggle is often what to do once I get to high distances when it comes to running and swimming. When cycling I would always commute so it was easy to be consistent. I guess we’ll see how I motivate myself with leisure exercise. Stats below.

Weather permitting this weekend will be two mountain hikes in the Yorkshire Dales.

Back on the Trail

It’s nigh on a year since I blogged here. It’s been a long year with a lot of illness and a ton of work that has kept me from training effectively, however I’m now making a push to improve myself again and so today I started with a gentle two miles.

  • 2 miles
  • 335 calories
  • 19:53
  • 24 feet elevation gain

God I’ve missed this. Luckily I’m feeling good, having gotten a serious endorphin hit from today’s run, and it’s hiking season so I’m looking forward to ramping that up. The kids are a year older and thus able to go further for longer. We’ve already covered Malham Cove last weekend and we are aiming to climb Skiddaw very soon, plus covering some of the oldies, starting with a new route over Ingleborough this weekend. I’m going to start swimming again and hopefully push hard to run better and faster.

Whernside: Conquered!

Last weekend we conquered Whernside, the only one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks left for us to do. Our next challenge is to complete the three in a day, however that will not be for a while as it is asking a lot of three under-tens. I have also been locked out of my Garmin account so I can only provide a JPEG image of the map rather than my usual GPX file so I have some nice photographs too, including the beautiful Ribblehead viaduct which pretty much points at Whernside itself as one approaches it from the car parking area.

Enjoy the photographs if that’s your bag. We have pretty much covered the Yorkshire Dales and so we are now moving on to our summer plans to start Wainwright’s first  book of Lakeland Maps, The Eastern Fells.

Cautley Spout: Conquered!

After a weekend or so without hiking we got out today, and I think that the season is winding down now as we lost the light awfully quickly towards the end of the walk. We visited a waterfall walk in the Yorkshire Dales called Cautley Spout which is located in Sedbergh. It is beautiful to look at and challenging to hike. Fortunately, after we found ourselves on the wrong path for the descent we turned it into a straightforward up and down climb, however had we been on a circular that had taken us out of sight of where we started then the dark conditions would have left us in serious danger of getting lost in the night, a terrible position to be in. As it is you can tell from the GPS track exactly where we got lost and had to double back on ourselves to make it down. In the process of climbing we reached the summit of Calf Fell before descending more or less the way we came. A good day of hiking.

Map, Data and Photos

  • 5.59 miles
  • 3:37:29
  • 1769 feet climbed
  • 567 calories burned

Night Running: Challenging. Garmin Vivoactive: Enlightening and Superb

Goodbye Apple Watch/Runtastic: hello Garmin Vivoactive and Garmin Connect! The difference in performance and between these two products is staggering. Apple Watch: buggy, annoying to use, crap battery etc. Garmin: solid, dependable, perfect to use. Yesterday I also learned that running in pitch black night slows me down! I was unsure of myself for many stretches of the course so I ran cautiously, clocking in at over nine minute miles, which is annoying, but there we are. Beats an injury from a nasty fall.


  • 3.01 miles
  • 28:18 minutes
  • 9.25 minute miles
  • 502 calories burned