Sunday, 25 September 2011

Ride Around London race report

Just completed the Ride Around London today on the ElliptiGO. It started at Herne Hill Verodrome (south london) with a 6:30 am start meaning being up for 4am! Ouch. It went south out to dorking way and over Box Hill and looped around North West though the home counties along nice country roads before heading East into Essex and finishing at the Olympic water park in Lee Valley.

It was 115 miles in total. I took it fairly steady and was riding with my friend Idai and fellow ElliptiGO owner. It was a good workout (the ElliptiGO always is!) and we completed it in 9.5 hours. Took the first 100 miles very easy and blasted the last 15. That included a few good sharp climbs which got the quads burning including Box hill. Not sure what all the fuss is about with that this hill though as it is neither steep or long, unlike the North Downs Way trail which ascends straight up the face. The road just winds its way up fairly undramatically.

All in all though a very good workout and perfect long run training for snowdonia marathon in 1 month time.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

15 mile training run....

Today was long fast run number 4 on the Leighton Tough 10 course over successive weekends. 15 miles in total over this undulating course, and I was hoping to go slightly better than last week and run an average pace of 7mpm . This was the first outside outing of my new Brooks Ravenna 2's which I exchanged at Sweatshop for the ill-fitting Adidas Adistar Ride 3s.

Sweatshop's exchange policy is very good. I'm not sure there are any other running retailers that will take back a pair of running shoes having been obviously worn outside. They didn't make a fuss either but were extra keen to ensure they sent me away this time with a pair of shoes that did fit and suited my gait. It was a different assistant to last time and her words were that I should never have been sold a cushioned non-stability shoe after watching me run up and down the shop floor. My right foot slightly overpronates (which I knew) and the Adidas were doing me no favours apparently. She recommended the Brooks Ravennas 2 which are a mild support shoe perfect for me. I tried it on and immediately knew that these were the shoes for me. So comfortable and just enough support. Sold!

Now back to the run itself... The weather was perfect. Sun out but not hot. And not so windy as it has been in recent weeks. The course profile (first 10 miles of today's run is below). It's a great course and I can highly recommend anyone in the local area or indeed those that don't mind to travel to come and run this race which is happening on 2nd October. Details on our LBAC club website here. As you can see it is undulating but for a road course very scenic too!

I went out relaxed and got into my stride. Mile 1 is straight as an arrow and allows one to get into the groove. I was actually surprised when my mile 1 split read 7:12. A slow start (by the standard set in previous weeks) which urged me to pick up the pace ever so slightly. As the hills came and went I felt strong and the subsequent mile splits reflected this. From mile 2 onwards only miles 7 and 11 were over 7mpm pace. Mile 7 split of 7:14 prompted me again to pick up the pace as I was determined not to let my avg pace slip.

I continued to feel strong especially on the hills, and unlike last week where at mile 11-12 I really started to flag a little, today I pushed on the pace and got quicker not slower. I was buzzing with effort I was putting in. My average pace at this point was 6:53 and I was determined to keep it there in the remaining miles. Hydration and nutrution wise I was working well too. Today was the GU 'Love Expresso' flavoured gel . They pack in the calories for such a small pouch and unlike most gels are actually extremely tasty!

As my garmin beeped at the 15th mile I stopped the clock and smiled. 6:50 avg pace in a time of 1:42.44. Awesome stuff. Garmin Connect details of the run are below.

Next up is an 115 mile ElliptiGO ride around London next Sunday. Should be fun :-)

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Leighton Tough 15!

Ouch that hurt! After two weeks of setting PBs over the 10 mile distance I upped the distance to 15 miles Saturday morning on the same hilly road course. The plan over the next few weeks is to get up to 20 miles but essentially maintain the speed.

Today though was 15 and I planned to try and maintain a 7 mpm pace over the whole distance. And it worked out well although it was a pain fest towards the end especially as I had to make up the distance to get to 15 miles by going up and down the steepest hill of the course 3 times! Oh and my garmin also decided at 13.31 miles that the memory was full so I couldn't capture the final 1.7 miles. Slightly annoying but hey the main thing is the training not the numbers! My run courtesy Garmin Connect is below.

This was my toughest fast run to date, and I don't think I've pushed myself this hard for a while, which is exactly what I need if I'm gonna perform in the Snowdonia marathon (SNOD). The course profile for SNOD is below!

I was also trying out my new Adidas Ride 3 road shoes for the first time. They provide good support for a cushioned shoe but the right shoe rubbed on the back of my heel soon into the run, so I'm not sure whether to take back to Sweatshop straight away of put it down to 'new shoe syndrome' and give them time to break in. If I do that though its doubtful I could take them back.