Monday, 10 October 2011

ATHelite Bikeless Duathlon

Sometimes I never cease to be amazed at how many people turn up to train in ridiculous weather conditions. We seem to get better turn outs to freezing open water swims and running up the wind farm in blizzards than when the weather is nice. This Sunday was no exception as we headed up to the top of the bleak A77 for the ATHelite Club Duathlon. I thought we might get a couple of lunatics showing up but there was an ever growing huddle of people hiding from the wind & rain behind Michaels van. We were concerned about the conditions on the bike leg and worried that someone might get blown into the path of an articulated lorry so Michael bravely decided to go for a test ride. The decision was pretty much made when he exited the cover of the van & couldn't get his bike down on the road to even get on it.

We decided against the bike leg & went for a straight 10k run instead taking in two loops of the hilly 5k run leg. We lost a couple of people at this point at the very thought of a 10k but the rest of us lined up facing the wind & rain for the start of the race run. 2.5k out into the wind with one particularly gruesome climb to sap the legs then 2.5k back over the same climb with a flatter wind assisted run to the start point. And repeat.

Results are below including 5k split time after lap 1. Good to see people generally held their pace for the 2nd lap apart from those who couldn't face a 2nd lap (Nicola)

                 5k           10k
Colin F     18.19      37.18
Michael     20.05      (bailed out after going over on ankle)
Gareth       22.08     44.16
Mark         21.21     42.41
Lorna        24.04     48.34
Nicola       28.40     (bailed out after not going over on ankle)
Don           28.40     54.37
Laura         27.53     54.37
Graeme      23.51     47.52
Derek S     23.51     45.02
Calum        22.27     46.49
Derek B     27.53     54.44
Colin B       25 secs for 150 metres.

Well done everyone for a good run on a tough course in challenging conditions & thanks to Genevieve for standing there freezing in the rain to do the times.
As always the ATHelite mobile Cafe was on hand to defrost & refuel the team with hot coffee, Genevieve's Banana Loaf & Nicola's Empire Biscuits - both of which were scored 9/10 on this occasion.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Lanzarote Training Camp - Nicola's Report

La Santa, Lanzarote.
September 2011 
Wasn’t quite sure what I was letting myself in for given my first novice triathlon was only in May this year, but desperate for sun and keen to progress my tri ‘career’ I googled triathlon + training camp… and BLING!, first result La Santa!

The camp was Joe Beers TriSmarter, with Dan Bullock on swim coaching. A week of training pitched at beginner’ish level, with 14-16 hours training, 7-8 hours of talks and an almost sprint triathlon on final day.  Only 13 of us on the camp so plenty of 1 on 1 coaching… although obvious down side of no place to hide despite my best efforts;)

It was a structured programme, with pre-published times, sessions etc every day which worked fantastically well. It was a full on week though, limited time in between sessions to eat and rest, but it kept us all motivated!

Hugely impressed with La Santa on arrival – amazing facility with every possible opportunity to improve your sporting ability no matter your level. Incredibly friendly staff too, easily bribed with biscuits and cake to help you out!

First few days training weren’t too bad, 2, sometimes all 3 disciplines in the day.  It was good to hear some of the theory of running and cycling - everyone who runs and cycles thinks swimming is technically hard, but as a swimmer I find cycling and running hard! 

Then we hit the 80k bike ride – pretty sure we were kept busy up to that point so we didn’t look at the bike route booklet we’d been given to see that the ride was in the “advanced” category and part of the IM route lol.  Longest hardest ride I’d ever done, legs hit the wall with about 15k to go half way up a 6/7k climb.  Muchos thanks to Joe for giving me a 5 sec push when we hit the headwind, a physical and mental support that was desperately required!  After that all sessions seemed a bit harder, legs were more tired for sure.

The almost sprint triathlon came at the time we were at our tiredest but despite given option to relay it,no-one took the offer up! My swim time was good, was pleased with my bike given it was uphill one way and headwind all the way back, same as usual however greatly disappointed with my run! Had tired legs and cramping, but it was still a minute off my last 5k so I must’ve been going faster when I wasn’t walking lol.  Was 2nd chick out of 7 so can’t complain. 1h13m for 400/15/4.9.

We totally deserved the night out at the end! See lesson learned no. 5 however.

Main lessons learned:

1)     This is a great place and type of holto do on your own – met a great bunch of people and we’re already planning to do a tri together next year. Will defdo another camp in the future.Refer to 2 however…
2)     Take multiple flavours of electrolytes (avoids gagging on millionth gallon of orange on only day 3). See 3…
3)     My nutrition sucks – am running out of fuel quicker than everyone else. If ate proper wouldn’t need to drink as much electrolytes as well! Top of my to do list to sort over the winter.
4)     Coming from a swimming background with swimming build I probably will find it hard to learn to run. Hasn’t lessened my motivation, but has removed some of the frustration I feel with running. Will just keep at it!!
5)     Jagerbombs are not clever. Neither is almost missing your flight due to throwing up in airport toilets. Remind self am athelite now;)

Yet another great tri experience to add to all my ATHelite ones!

Great Cumbria Half Marathon - Race Report

Four us headed down to Carlisle early on Sunday morning to take part in the Great Cumbria Half Marathon; Myself, Phil Marshall, Graham Ramage and Mark Saez.
Despite Grahams insistence on discussing his favourite shampoo all the way down (Tea Tree and mint if you're interested) we arrived unscathed, very early, and to better weather than we had experienced on the drive (which seemed to stop the second we left Scotland). Still a bit wet underfoot but no wind and quite humid.
We got ready slowly and were on the start line with time to spare once we had coaxed Graham though his Portaloo phobia.

The race starts under the gates of the Castle in the city centre, heading out through the pedestrianised high street then leaving the city after about 3 miles and into the countryside.  Some very nice villages en route and all with great local support. The course is not flat with more rolling hills than anything too sharp which is perfect for me. The course heads back into the city for the final 3 miles meandering round on a bit of dirt track, taking in a bit of the Brampton to Carlisle 10 mile route before joining the riverside path and down onto the running track for a stadium finish.

I have not run a Half Marathon for 3 or 4 years with my PB being 1 hr 22. As the race day approached my target time changed from a PB around 1 hr 21 down to 1 hr 25 down to being happy with a sub 1 hr 30. It was the finale to the 28 day run programme for me so I had run almost every day for a month. This did mean though that, apart from the TTC training camp, I hadn't run necessarily that fast or for more than 8 miles since Ironman in July. I had tried to run at race pace in the week but struggled to get near it but the minute the race started I instantly felt comfortable and strong. Amazing how so many people go off too hard and I spent the race picking these people off and pleasingly didn't get overtaken once in the whole race. I was surpised that I managed to hold my target pace of between 6.30 - 6.45 minute miles and finished strong in 1 hr 25. This is perfect proof to me that the 28 run programme works - if done sensibly and you listen to your body then you can build your strength & mileage without inducing the fatigue from longer runs.

This was Mark Saez's first half marathon but he and Graham both run with Calderglen Harriers so are well used to the high mileage. Mark fancied around 1 hr 31 and was not far off with a 1 hr 33 finish. An excellent result for his first time.
Graham ran this race last year and also ran the Glasgow Half last month but his 1 hr 34 today was a PB and a 4 minute improvement on last year.

Phil only started running with us in March and with a bit of consistency and some sensible training he has built his mileage up in no time at all. Phil had prepped well for this race and knew the course, the mile markers and his target pace to give him sub 2 hours. Whilst you never how it feels at the end of a half marathon till you've done one Phil hung in there and finished in a pace perfect 1.58.

We were lucky with the weather until the minute Phil finished & the rain started to hammer down as we headed the half mile back to the car. We quickly stripped off our soaking wet clothes in the middle of the car park only to put on clothes that became instantly soaking wet from the rain. We soon warmed up though with a coffee & cake stop on the way home.

I would highly recommend this event - really slickly organised, a great course and very easy to get to.

ATHelite Christmas Party

The ATHelite Christmas Party is now booked on Saturday 3rd December at Toni Macaroni's in Calderwood Square in East Kilbride.

Table is booked for 8.00pm & the evening consists of a 3 course meal (£22.95) plus a DJ later & Robbie Williams!?!?

We need a £10.00 deposit from everyone ASAP as we need to pay this in 6 days time.

Please see the Facebook Page or contact us for more details.