Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Happy Christmas!

After a final long run on Tues 22nd, I settled down for a few unadulterated days of rest with my family and in-laws. My parents were over from France and my sister up from Brighton whereas the Troughtons braved some rather inclement weather to head down from up north.

I had four days off training but unfortunately it wasn't as restful an experience as I would have wished. Adam was working over the Xmas period which meant I was woken at 5am every morning and didn't sleep particularly well as Adam has quite a nasty cough. This coupled with having to play the hostess resulted in me feeling pretty tired by the time the time everyone headed back to their respective homes! I still feel I haven't totally shaken off the cold and rundown feeling that has been plaguing me over the last month.

We had a fantastic Xmas and it was wonderful to spend time with all my favourite people. The Troughtons were initiated into the Cadman Christmas ways and we all ate, drank and were merry together! I started training again on the 27th with some treadmill intervals followed by 2 days of time on the turbo which is officially my least favourite pastime at the moment. It is so uncomfortable! I have been sitting in front of a successful few days of cricket which is helping to pass the time but it seems extremely difficult. To maintain an average speed of just 22km/hr (very slow!) has my HR soaring skywards! I think (hope) I maybe have the resistance too high! I have pencilled in a few Sportives and Reliability Rides over the next few months to hopefully build up my endurance and get me ready for the RAF Triathlon Camp in Lanzarote in March.

Anyway, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Stand by for resolutions in the next blog entry!

Monday, 14 December 2009


As readers of this blog will know, Herbalife are doing a wonderful job in supporting me with their nutritional products. I was thinking over my last post and how run down I have been and think it is no surprise that I have been extremely nutritionally poor over the last fortnight. What with being so busy, feeling rubbish and Ad being on nights (meaning I can't really be bothered to cook as it is just me) I have mostly been surviving on toast, cereal, crumpets, teacakes......hmmm, spot the theme. What training I have managed to do has been such short sessions that I haven't bothered with my normal recovery strategy of Herbalife Formula 1 powder and I certainly haven't been making my 2 litres a day - well, not unless Lemsip counts!

The lack of fruit, vegetables, good protein and adequate hydration has, I'm sure, contributed to a vicious cycle of being run down and not training. Feeling so rubbish that all I want to do is curl up with the afore mentioned crumpets means I don't prioritise healthy meals and am thus missing out on crucial vitamins and minerals hence lowering the immune system further and leaving me susceptible to further cold and flu symptons.

Having had a good double run day (16miles this morning and 6 miles at lunch) with both runs followed by yummy Herbalife Formula 1 chocolate recovery mix, I feel I may just be on the road to recovery. It was certainly a timely reminder that if I am going to train at these levels it is not like previously where I have just been doing a marathon or even an Ironman. Training like this is properly moving into the realm of the professional athlete and, though I am but an amateur, I need to start behaving more professionally and supporting my body through good nutrition, hydration and recovery.

Sunday, 13 December 2009


I have continued to be up and down with training due to a linger cold which has seen me have to make cuts in training to afford myself some rest. Everytime I seem to get back up to speed with things I start feeling run down again and have to take another days rest. Whilst it is only just December and I have many months to train for the Double, I am becomingly increasingly frustrated by my inconsistent training.

The lack of training doesn't bother me so much as what a change in routine does to my mental state and motivation. If I am in a set routine I flourish and find I have no problems making my training sessions. Yes, I get tired and have 'can't be bothered' days but I always manage to find a way to drive me through - I hate haveing a blank in my schedule where a session should have been.

However, as soon as the routine gets moved around and I start missing sessions through either other commitments or through illness it is hard for me to get motivated again even on the days I feel better. It is two fold for me. If I have had to have three days off through illness, it is very hard to get back to training twice a day and until I get back into that routine I struggle to remain motivated. I am also not good at just doing a little to keep ticking over. If I have a 2hr run planned but can't manage that as I am ill, I don't see the point of just doing 20-30mins to keep me ticking over - I feel it is hardly worth it even though it definitely would be, if only to make me feel my fitness isn't disappearing at a rate of knots!

It is definitely a common theme for athletes to be massively concerned that their fitness will disappear immediately that they stop training whereas actually you may lose a bit of top speed but generally endurance remains reasonably well. After having Sat-Tues off due to illness I did manage to train Wed-Fri but I felt rubbish again yesterday so have had the weekend off. I have plugged in a double run session tomorrow though followed by a long cycle and tempo session for Tuesday. Off on Wednesday as we have a wedding and then weights on Thursday followed by Intervals on Friday. Saturday I am really going to try and get out and about on the bike because I feel I need to - fingers crossed please for a warmer and sunnier weekend next weekend please!

I'll post my christmas training plan next time but suffice to say I am really going to try and keep going at it even though, with having the whole family down at our house there will be lots of temptation to do very little!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Music is the food of life.....

So, it feels like absolutely ages since I posted an update. Work has become extremely busy in the last fortnight and we have also been up and down the country at weddings and hen dos. My fabulous friends Kath and Rich got married last Sunday in a beautiful ceremony in Bath and Adam and I then had a few days in Bristol generally relaxing which was lovely. Some of our closet friends, Chris and Christina are getting married next Wednesday and so we then headed up to Doncaster the following weekend for their respective hen and stag dos. The Hens were very restrained whereas my lovely boyfriend was somewhat worse for wear! All of this gallavanting has meant that whilst I have still managed some decent training including all my long runs, it has been slightly less consistent than usual and my outside biking has certainly suffered due to us travelling over the weekends.

I have also been feeling a little bit run down this week so had Tuesday off and dosed up on Lemsip and an early night. I nearly took Wednesday off aswell but the guilt of not training got too much as I was feeling a bit better, just a little tired, so I did my reverse brick session. I did feel better for training though a massively elevated HR in the sprint sections of the bike showed I still wasn't 100%. Another early night last night saw me falling out of bed at 0510hrs to head to the gym for a 2hr 15 run before work. Phew!

And this is where the title of the post comes in. I don't know about other people but I really can't run without music. I know loads of people say it ruins the getting in touch with yourself as you run scenario but I don't care! It definitely helps me keep going when times are tough and I am feeling fairly distressed by the precedent that appears to be being set so that IPods are banned at races - trauma!! Apparently there are two ways that people follow when getting through tough runs. I forget the exact names but one is about being introspective and really concentrating on how you are feeling and being totally aware of yourself. The other, my school of thought, is the distractionist theory which basically says distract yourself however possible so you don't think about the pain!

Anyway, the traumatic thing that happened this morning was my IPod dying with the last tough 15mins to go. As I was on the treadmill this shouldn't have been too stressful as I could have just plugged into the radio. However, I am particularly partial to a certain treadmill which is located away by itself in a corner with its own fan and a mirror directly in front for me to check form. Unfortunately this is the only one which for some reason doesn't connect to the entertainment system. So, I had to revert to the introspective theory and concentrate on how I was feeling instead. As I was getting pretty tired this wasn't a particularly attractive option so I quickly reverted to distractionist theory by counting down number sets and minutes to go etc.

All in all though a good session and I am feeling much recovered which is fantastic. The extra rest was definitely a good idea and I am pleased that I am recognising when to train and when I need a bit more rest. This will become key as the sessions ramp up over the next 18months!