Tag Archives: Rowing

Virtual Ultra Triathlon: The Final Results

The end of the year certainly didn’t quite go to plan at all.  Just goes to show that you have to take advantage of the good times because you never know what is going to happen further down the road.

Thankfully I didn’t pick up an injury, however moving house and a new job threw a major spanner in the works.  I never for moment envisaged that my new gym would not have any rowing machines available and this proved to be a problem because it is not a simple thing to improvise.

So what were my final results:

Running – Ardnamurchen Lighthouse to Lowestoft.

Success. I managed to complete this part of the challenge, 855km, back in September and I then decided to push on to reach 1000km for the year.  This took some motivation including running 30km whilst on holiday in Gran Canaria and then having to run 14km on the 31 Dec to take me over the finish line to finish on 1001km for 2016.

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Cycling – John O’Groats to Lands End.

Success. For some reason my map said I had finished before I had actually reached the distanced that I had pre-planned, which was 1550km.  As previously mentioned the move of house and jobs greatly affected my routine, however I was able to continue my cycle commute at my job.  Unfortunately the distance of my daily commute reduced from 7km to only 2km a day.  Thankfully with some additionally time on the bike in the gym I was able to reach my target.

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Rowing – The length of the Thames

Capsized. This is where it all went wrong. By the end of the year I had reached 272km which on my virtual map put me at Canary Wharf.  Like an episode from the Boat Race, the Thames water was choppy and my rowing boat started to take on water.  No matter how much bailing I did, it was time to abandon my boat, swim to shore and have a well earned pint.

It was really disappointing that I ended up being 74km short on my target.  If I had known months ago that my new gym would not have a rowing machine then I could have aimed off for it. Sadly this is the very nature of life, you can never predict what is around the next corner so you must always endeavour to do as much as you can today.

screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-10-41-43Conclusion

When I set myself this challenge a year ago I knew it was going to be tough, but then, if it were too easy where would the challenge be.  I certainly learnt where my strengths lie and that is with my running.  An injury free year meant that I not only reached this target, but kept going and broke through the 1000km for the year.  I also learnt that if it wasn’t for the fact that I cycled to and from work, I would have found that aspect of the challenge even more difficult than what it was.

The biggest lesson I learned was that I really do not like rowing!  Getting on a rowing machine every now and then is manageable, however when I had to hit a weekly target doing something that I didn’t particularly enjoy was difficult.  Finding the motivation was difficult when I would sooner get outside and go for a fun, especially during those beautiful summer days.

I am delighted that I completed two thirds of the challenge, a little disappointed about the rowing but I will get over that.  Time to move onto something new, that doesn’t involve rowing.

 

Virtual Ultra Triathlon: September Update

Wow did September fly by quickly or what?  It certainly hasn’t helped that  I am away from home at the moment on a course and the routine is quite long.  Breakfast is at 0700 and then in class pretty much all the way through until 1830.  We then have 45 minutes to shower and change for dinner at 1915.  You don’t really feel like going for a run after dinner as you still feel bloated, if you choose to miss dinner then you just eat rubbish in your room.

Having said all of that I have managed to squeeze in some sessions and I am pretty much on track for what I expected this month.

So, after nine months this is where we are at with my virtual ultra triathlon stats:

Running – Ardnamurchen Lighthouse to Lowestoft.

Completed!  I only needed to run 37km to get to my final total of 855km which was the distance from Ardnamurchen lighthouse to Lowestoft.

As I don’t want to stop running simply because I have reached this target, I now intend to push on through to 1000km for the year.  I have 141km left to go on this target.

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Cycling – John O’Groats to Lands End.

According to my tracker I managed to cycle a total of 27.13km this month.  My total distance for the year is therefore 1315km, which means I have completed about 84.84% of my challenge.  The really good news is that I only have 235km to go.  I have slowed down considerable this month mainly because I am now not cycling to and from work every day.  I can’t sustain this level if I want to reach my target by the end of the year.  Now that my running has finished I need to put in more effort to the cycling.

My virtual location is still on the A30 travelling through Cornwall, although as highlighted last month the map does seem to be slightly inaccurate.

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Rowing – The length of the Thames

According to my tracker I managed to row 15.1km this month.  My total distance for the year is therefore 259km, which means I have completed about 74.86% of my challenge. The means I now have only 87km left to go, however at the rate I went this month it means I will not reach my final target on time.  I therefore need to up the rate and complete a minimum of 30km next month.

My virtual location is currently at by Battersea Power Station and moving rapidly on through the centre of London.  It has been a quiet month for rowing so I haven’t passed by many locations, however some of not are Richmond, Kew Gardens, Chiswick, Fulham and Hammersmith.

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September was a good month in that I finished the running aspect of the challenge, however my cycling and rowing have taken a heavy hit.  If I am going to finish those disciplines then I really need to focus and dedicate some quality time.  In October I really need to complete 30km on the row if I am going to stay on track.  I do know that in November I will be back at work and therefore cycling every day.  This I would suspect will add 75km to my total, so If I can get 60km completed this month it means I only need to get an additional 50km on the indoor bike in November and December.

A difficult month with some work to do, but I am confident that I can still get there.

 

Virtual Ultra Triathlon: August Update

It is amazing that we are already in September; where has the year gone to?  I knew August was going to be a tricky month as I was on holiday for a couple of weeks and I would be finishing my current job as well.  This meant I was going to have to put in some long hours to ensure I handed my job over in a good state. Not much time left over to devote to my Virtual Ultra Triathlon challenge.

After eight months here are my virtual ultra triathlon stats:

Running – Ardnamurchen Lighthouse to Lowestoft.

Although difficult I managed to get a couple of runs completed this month totalling 42.46km.  My total distance for the year so far is therefore 818km, which means I have completed about 95.67% of my challenge.

I see no reason why I will not complete the final 37km in September, which would be 3 months ahead of schedule.  What I intend to do is push on through and try and get to 1000km before the end of the year.

My virtual location is not unsurprisingly still on the A47 having just passed Norwich and on my way to Great Yarmouth.  My final destination of Lowestoft is now within touching distance.

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Cycling – John O’Groats to Lands End.

According to my tracker I managed to cycle a total of 171km this month.  My total distance for the year is therefore 1295km, which means I have completed about 83.55% of my challenge.  The really good news is that I only have 255km to go.  At the rate I am going I should be completed in October.

My virtual location is on the A30 having just entered Cornwall.  The map seems to have gone slightly off as I have over 200km to go, yet my map says I have half of that.  I am guessing the map has taken me through a quicker route, probably along a motorway.

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Rowing – The length of the Thames

According to my tracker I managed to row 25km this month.  My total distance for the year is therefore 244km, which means I have completed about 70.52% of my challenge. The good news is that I am still approximately 13.13km ahead of schedule.

My virtual location is currently at the home of rugby, Twickenham. In the last month I passed through towns such as Chertsey, Shepperton, Walton-on-Thames, Hampton Court and my old home of Kingston upon Thames.

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August was a pretty good month considering I was away for 2 weeks.  This meant I had to work incredible hard during the remaining weeks to try and get my totals up to a respectable amount.  I am now going away on a course for 8 weeks, but there is a gym and I know some running routes so I see no reason why September will not be a good month.

With only 37km to go, I should see the finish line this month in my running challenge.  It will feel great to finally complete one of my three challenges.  The distance left in cycling is far too much to complete in a month, but hopefully I will be able to bring the total down my a healthy margin.  Sadly the rowing aspect of my challenge will go all the way through to December as I have 102km remaining in that challenge.  It seems I am averaging about 30km a month, so mid December should be the end.  If my running has come to an end, I may be able to concentrate on the rowing slightly more.  Unfortunately rowing isn’t one of my favourite activities, which means motivation to get on the rower is always a challenge.

Virtual Ultra Triathlon: July Update

The fact that it has taken me two weeks into August to write this post, tells you a little something about how July may have gone for me.  After completing my ultra in June, I slowed my running down realising I was so far ahead of schedule I could afford to have a rest.  I had one cross country event and I also started my annual holidays.  This all had an impact on my statistics.

After seven months here are my virtual ultra triathlon stats:

Running – Ardnamurchen Lighthouse to Lowestoft.

It wasn’t difficult to calculate my running total for this month as I only ran once, which was 4.57km.  My total distance for the year so far is therefore 775km, which means I have completed about 90.64% of my challenge.

Not a good month of running but I needed a break.  I am still a Ta very healthy 276km ahead of schedule after 7 months.

My virtual location is not unsurprisingly still on the A47 just passed King’s Lynn.

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Cycling – John O’Groats to Lands End.

According to my tracker I managed to cycle a total of 137km this month.  My total distance for the year  is therefore 1124km, which means I have completed about 72.52% of my challenge.  The really good news is that I am approximately 220km ahead of schedule.

My virtual location is on the A361 just passed Taunton.  Now in Devon I am rapidly approaching the finish with a very winding 400km to go.  This last month has seen me pass by places such as Stroud, Bristol, Portishead, Weston-super-Mare, Bridgwater and Taunton.

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Rowing – The length of the Thames

According to my tracker I managed to row a very respectably 38.35km this month.  My total distance for the year is therefore 219km, which means I have completed about 63.30% of my challenge. The good news is that I am approximately 17.17km ahead of schedule.

My virtual location is now approaching Chertsey having now passed through my current home town of Windsor.  During this month I have passed through some well known places such as Henley-on-Thames, Cookham, Bray, Dorney (home of the 2012 Olympic rowing), Windsor, Runnymede (home of the Magna Carta) and Egham.

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July was a very indifferent month as I basically did no running at all, however I maintained my cycling levels and escalated my rowing to try and make some descent headway into my target.  This was all planned as I also knew I would be starting my summer holidays, which would also run into August and possible impact on that month’s totals as well.  When I started this challenge I knew there would be good months and bad months, the key was identify when they were coming up and ensure the good months covered them.

August is going to be another indifferent month as I will be in the last two weeks of my summer holidays.  I do not intend on doing any of my challenge during my holidays as this is precious time with the family.  I also know I am going to be away from home during September and October on a course, plus we will be moving to our new home in Edinburgh in November. It is going to be very interesting to see how I manage the remainder of the year, but I have no doubts I will complete this challenge.

Virtual Ultra Triathlon: June Update

Well this is the halfway point of the year and I am finally over 50% of the way on each of the three disciplines.  Both my running and cycling are months ahead of schedule and I suspect I will reach my running goal by the end of July.

After six months here are my virtual ultra triathlon stats:

Running – Ardnamurchen Lighthouse to Lowestoft.

According to my tracker I managed to run a total of 190km this month.  My total distance for the year so far is therefore 771km, which means I have completed about 90.18% of my challenge.

Another really good month of running, almost reaching 200km for the month. This puts me a very healthy 343km ahead of schedule after 6 months, or another way to now look at it is that I am only 84km from the finish line!  The question for me will be do I keep on going even after I finished this part of the challenge?

My virtual location is now on the A47 just passed King’s Lynn.  This month has seen me pass through my ancestral homelands of Rotherham and Tickhill in Yorkshire and then moving through Tickhill into Lincolnshire.  I passed through a variety of places such as Winthorpe, Stragglethorpe, Sleaford, Fosdyke and Sutton Bridge.

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Cycling – John O’Groats to Lands End.

According to my tracker I managed to cycle a total of 133km this month.  My total distance for the year  is therefore 990km, which means I have completed about 63.87% of my challenge.  The really good news is that I am approximately 215km ahead of schedule.

My virtual location is near the M5 by Upton St Leonards, just south of Gloucester.  The route during the last month has seen me pass through Stafford and skirt along the Welsh border through towns such as Acton Trussell, Walsall, West Bromwich, Droitwich Spa, Worcester, Twyning and Stoke Orchard.

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Rowing – The length of the Thames

According to my tracker I managed to row a respectably 24.40km this month.  My total distance for the year is therefore 181km, which means I have completed about 52.31% of my challenge. The good news is that I am approximately 8km ahead of schedule.

My virtual location is now just passed Reading, getting closer to my current home of Windsor.  In the last month I passed through places such as Mapeldurham, Pangbourne, Moulsford, Wallingford and Dorchester.

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June turned out to be an inserting month.  I had another ultra marathon which significantly helped me towards my running target.  However I spent a week away in Snowdonia on my Mountain Leader Foundation Course, which meant my cycling and rowing were not as high as they needed to be.  I suspect I will complete, or almost complete my running challenge this month, therefore I can start to dedicate more time to my cycling and rowing over the next couple of months.

July is going to be a month of consolidation, hopefully complete my running and aim to get my cycling and rowing totals down.  I am due to go away on holiday later this month, so this will have a slight impact on my totals.

Virtual Ultra Triathlon: May Update

Yet another reasonably month with May seeing all my totals being pushed even higher.  The challenge on the 11 May didn’t quite go to plan due to the weather.  After a night of torrential rain and with high humidity on the day, that race sapped your strength far more than we expected.  We were aiming for a finish close to 2 hours, and we were on track for that after 9 miles.  Unfortunately one member of the team developed cramp in both legs and we finally finished in 2 hours 44 mins.  Considering the injury we were lucky to finish at all.  Great effort by all the team.

After five months here are the virtual ultra triathlon stats:

Running – Ardnamurchen Lighthouse to Lowestoft.

According to my tracker I managed to run a total of 102km this month.  My total distance for the year so far is therefore 581km, which means I have completed about 67.95% of my challenge.  The good news is that I am approximately 224.75km ahead of schedule.

Another good month of running breaking the 100km mark again. This puts me a very healthy 225km ahead of schedule after 5 months.  Another way of looking at it is that even if I do no more running between now and the end of August, I would still be ahead of schedule.  Looking forward to an action packed running fest this month hopefully breaking the 100 mile barrier for the month.

My virtual location is now on the A639 at Castleford and feeling good to be in Yorkshire, passing places such as Harrogate, Wetherby, Ripon, Wath and Catterick.

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Cycling – John O’Groats to Lands End.

According to my tracker I managed to cycle a total of 146km this month.  My total distance for the year  is therefore 854km, which means I have completed about 55.10% of my challenge.  The really good news is that I am approximately 208.17km ahead of schedule.

My virtual location is on the A34 just north of Stafford by Ashton-by-Stone. It feels like I am travelling down the spine of England at an increasing rate.  In the last month we have passed by such places as Stoke-on-Trent, Kidsgrove, Holmes Chapel, Knutsford and Warrington.

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Rowing – The length of the Thames

According to my tracker I managed to row a respectably 30km this month.  My total distance for the year is therefore 156km, which means I have completed about 45.09% of my challenge. The good news is that I am approximately 11.83km ahead of schedule.

My virtual location is now just passed Reading, getting closer to my current home of Windsor.  In the last month I passed through places such as Mapeldurham, Pangbourne, Moulsford, Wallingford and Dorchester.

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It was another tough month but I managed to just get over my monthly target.  This now takes me to nearly 12km ahead of schedule, which hopefully I can continue to build on and finally hit the halfway point of the challenge.  I managed to pull  muscle in my back just below my shoulder blade, whilst lifting a suitcase of all things.  Nothing would relieve the knot in my shoulder for 2 days, but after a 3km row I found that it surprisingly helped to loosen my shoulder.  Rowing has its benefits.

Overall May was another good month breaking the 100km again.  There were some good races including the 12 miles on the 11 May and a couple of Star Wars races on the 4th and 5th May.  I my 40th birthday weekend in Nice and in Monaco watching an absolutely enthralling Grand Prix.  Delighted to see Lewis Hamilton get his first victory of the season.

June is going to be an interesting month.  I am hoping to get some good distances covered before I depart on a walking holiday in Wales in the last week.

Lets see if i can really push these targets up in June.

Virtual Ultra Triathlon: April Update

April has been a tough month.  I have managed to get some good distance covered but it has been difficult.  My next challenge is on the 11 May and I have been training to run 12 miles carrying 20kg.  The aspiration is to cover the distance in under 2 hours, but going by my last run I am going to be a few minutes over.  The weather is also going to be contributing factor, if the sun is out and the temperatures are high, then that is going to slow me down.  As people tell me, train hard, race light.

Coming back to my virtual ultra triathlon, the main update is that both my run and cycle routes have now entered England.  This is always a positive boost as I am now in the country of my finish locations.  The other noticeable milestone is that I have now completed over 50% of my run.  Considering I am only in April, this means I am some distance ahead of target.  If I increased my target to 1000km for the year I would still be ahead.  If I increased my target to 1000 miles for the year then I am about 50km behind schedule.  A little too early to decide if this is achievable as i know I have some slow months ahead of me.

After four months here are the stats:

Running – Ardnamurchen Lighthouse to Lowestoft.

According to my tracker I managed to run a total of 107km this month.  My total distance so far is therefore 479km, which means I have completed about 56.02% of my challenge.  The good news is that I am approximately 194km ahead of schedule.

Another reasonable month of running which means I am almost 200km ahead of schedule, which is pretty good going after 4 months.  My mileage will eventually increase, but at the moment I have to keep it relatively low due to my training for a 12 mile race in May.  I need to practice carrying weight rather than endurance, but once I get this race over I need to focus on distance and endurance.

My virtual location is now on the A66 approaching Greta Bridge having passed over the Pennines into County Durham.  Just a couple of more kms and then I will be in the greatest county of them all, Yorkshire.

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Cycling – John O’Groats to Lands End.

According to my tracker I managed to cycle a total of 175km this month.  My total distance so far is therefore 708km, which means I have completed about 45.68% of my challenge.  The really good news is that I am approximately 191.33km ahead of schedule.

The intent was to cut down on my cycling and to run to work instead.  As ever with best laid plans, time is always against me in the morning and I end up cycling to make sure I get to work on time.  If I really want to run to and from work then I might have to accept the fact that I may need to get up a little earlier.  That is just a hard one to swallow as I already get up at 6.15am every morning.

My virtual location is just entering Lancaster on the A683.  During this month I not only entered England but I am now flying down the spine of the country through places such as Carlisle, Penrith, Shap, Kendal, Tewitfield and Bolton-le-Sands.

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Rowing – The length of the Thames

According to my tracker I managed to row a meagre 34.55km this month.  My total distance so far is therefore 126km, which means I have completed about 36.42% of my challenge. The good news is that I am approximately 10.67km ahead of schedule.

My virtual location is now just passed Cholsey and Wallingford having passed through towns such as Little Wittenham, Clifton Hampton, Abingdon and Sandford-on-Thames.

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I worked hard this month to ensure I not only hit my target for rowing, but I also tried to give that little bit extra.  I am delighted that I achieved this target and I am now a modest 10km ahead of schedule.  I am starting to realise that rowing is really not my thing.  It certainly helps my core strength and my shoulders are looking and feeling stronger, but I don’t find it particularly enjoyable.

Overall April has been a good month.  I didn’t run a 100 miles this month, but I am certainly happy with the 65 miles that I did run.  My running is getting so far ahead of schedule that I am now looking to extend the target for the year.  I think 1000km is achievable so I will see how I am doing at the end of May.

May is going to be an indifferent month due to a couple of bank holidays, my 40th birthday and a trip to watch the Monaco Grand Prix.  I do have my race on the 11 May, which should help my stats but I need to ensure I keep on track with everything else.

Looking forward to May.

Virtual Ultra Triathlon: March Update

March didn’t quite go as planned as I made one slight omission in my planning, I forgot about Easter!  As I do the majority of my exercise whilst at work or on the way to work, it meant my stats were going to take a slight hit over these two weeks.  I still managed to get out and do some running, so my running stats remain pretty good.

Some of the highlights of the month are:

  1.  On the 1 March I broke my PB for 5km, getting down to 20 mins 22 Secs.  Still aiming to get under 20 mins.
  2. On the 3 March I broke my PB for 10 miles for the second time in the space of a week.  I am now down to 1hr 12 min 25 secs for 10 miles.
  3. On the 16 March I went and broke a long standing PB, in that I broke my HM PB by 3 mins finally taking me below 100mins.  My new PB is now 1hr 39min 49 Secs.

An interesting highlight in my virtual ultra marathon is that my cycle route from John O’Groats caught up with and passed by run route from Ardnamurchen Lighthouse. The exact point is hard to say but on the 18 Mar I believe the cross over was on the A702 in the village of Crawford.

Even though I had not run as far in March, my knees have felt a little sore but nothing I am not used to.  I think this was only as a result of me pushing myself so hard on my HM when I realised at about the halfway point that I was on for a PB.  The other thing that I have noticed is that my fitness levels have really jumped a level in the last month.  This would explain the amount of PBs that I have been setting.  My comfortable running pace was always around 5 min to 5min 10 sec pace for a km.  I now find that I am comfortable running at around 4min 30 sec pace.  Last year I would find that I could run at this pace for maybe a km or two, yet now I find I can run at this new pace for 20km+.

I have also found that I am eating much more.  One night my wife looked at me in utter disgust when I cam back from the Fish and Chip shop with her small chips and a sausage, yet I had a large chips, large fish, large sausage and a curry sauce.  I could barely fit it all on my plate, not only did I eat the lot but I also ate a bag of mini eggs afterwards.  I was full after that, but didn’t feel bloated at all!

After three months here are the stats:

Running – Ardnamurchen Lighthouse to Lowestoft.

According to my tracker I managed to run a total of 127km this month.  My total distance so far is therefore 372km, which means I have completed about 43.5% of my challenge.  The good news is that I am approximately 158.25km ahead of schedule.

My mileage wasn’t too bad this month as I managed to get out for a couple of long runs during the Easter break.  My left knee has felt a little sore, but nothing that a good nights sleep doesn’t resolve.  My fitness levels continue to improve and as already mentioned above I set a number of PBs this month.  As with the cycling my mileage is sufficiently high enough that I am now over a month ahead of schedule.

My virtual location is now on the B7076 just about to approach Gretna Green. During the month I have passed through Hamilton, Crawford, Elvanfoot and Lockerbie. Being only a km short of Gretna Green now means that I am going to run into England before a cycle in.

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Cycling – John O’Groats to Lands End.

According to my tracker I managed to cycle a total of 144km this month.  My total distance so far is therefore 533km, which means I have completed about 34.39% of my challenge.  The really good news is that I am approximately 145.5km ahead of schedule.

I continue to cycle to and from work however as with the other events, cycling took a slight knock as I was off work for Easter. My milage is sufficiently high enough when I am at work that I could easily afford to have two weeks off for Easter without it affecting my totals.  In fact I am still an entire month ahead of schedule.

My virtual location is still on the A701 just approaching the town of Beattock.  During this month I passed through or by towns such as Elvanfoot, Crawford, Abington, Lesmahagow, Boghead, Hamilton, Cumbernauld, Bonnybridge, Stirling and Dunblane.  The next big target will be the town of Gretna Green when I will say goodbye to Scotland and hello to England.

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Rowing – The length of the Thames

According to my tracker I managed to row a meagre 25km this month.  My total distance so far is therefore 91.55km, which means I have completed about 26.46% of my challenge. The good news is that I am approximately 5.05km ahead of schedule.

My virtual location is now just passed Kennington and Little London having passed through historic Oxford and also through the villages of Godford and Swinford.

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Due to Easter and being away from the gym at work meant that my rowing suffered this month, only completing an unimpressive 25km.  The good news is that I am still ahead of schedule, but the lesson learnt here is that I need to work harder on my rowing when I have the opportunity.  There will be other months when I am not able to get to the gym and I must ensure I am sufficiently ahead of schedule to cover these quieter months. Both my running and cycling continue to progress at a good rate as I am over a month ahead of schedule in both.  Given the days are getting longer my aim for April is to run rather than cycle to work more often.  I would love to reach the target of running 100 miles in a month.

Bring on April and the journey through England.

Easter Training Plan: 51.25km later!

Every now and then I come up with a new concept to keep my running interesting. As it was the Easter break I wanted to try and incorporate all three disciplines of my #VirtualUltraTriathlon into one training session, so that I maintained my momentum over the break.

It occurred to me that I could run to my workplace as I had access to the gym. However the route to work is only 3.5km, which really didn’t seem challenging for me.  In order to increase the distance I would detour into The Great Park, not that I had any particular route in mind.  I would just ‘wing it’ and see how close i could get to 10km.  I quickly sketched out the plan that was formulating in my mind.

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The easy part, in my head, was that once I arrived at the gym I would do smash out a 5km row, 20km on the bike and then another 5km row before running home again. As ever with me, things like this always seem so much simpler in my head.

I set off full of energy and cut into the Great Park on my detour. Energy levels were good, body sensing told me my calf was a little tight so I would have to keep an eye on that. The weather was good and I had to keep telling myself to slow down, this was not the time to try for a PB!

As I was getting close to work I realised I had done just over 10km, eventually arriving at the front door of work having covered 10.60km in a time of 52mins 3secs. Thankfully I did slow down a bit. I had to keep telling myself this was only stage 1 of 5 stages!

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I passed the cleaner in the hallway who said I was the only one to use the gym this week; doesn’t surprise me.

With the music channel switched on, it was straight onto the rowing machine. I wanted to keep the transitions as quick as possible, to try and keep my HR high. Having never really done much rowing until this year, it is quite surprising how quickly your body adjusts and gets used to it.  I soon settled into a comfortable rhythm and zoned out watching the tv.

Whilst day dreaming on the rower it occurred to me that my run was half distance for HM. That was completely unplanned but I was
chuffed that I will have ran a HM by the time I get home.

image2The rowing was quicker than expected as I finished my 5km row in 23mins 36secs. Not bad considering my PB is only 3 mins quicker than this. Why do I always keep thinking about PBs! Need to stop this PB obsession with every activity I do.

Anyway it was off the rowing machine and onto the bike. The cleaner came by when I was just over half way on the bike. ‘You’re still here then?’ This statement makes me wonder how long the average person spends in the gym, if she thinks my 40mins is ‘still here then’!

I always get a right old sweat on when I am on the bike, thought you’d like to know that. Thing is my water bottle was empty and I still had 9km to go. My mind is now trying to process this fact and then make a decision. Do I slow down and sweat less, or, do I speed up and finish sooner? You’ve guessed it, I peddled like a man possessed! Eventually I finished my 20km cycle in 37 mins 11 secs, which again was only about 3 mins off my PB.

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It was a quick jog to the water fountain to refill the water bottle and then it was back on the rowing machine again.

I was actually feeling ok at this point and I completed my second 5km row in 23mins 51 secs, which was only 15 secs slower than my first row.  Considering I had now covered over 40km, I was quite pleased with myself.  image1Amazingly the cleaner came back to the cardio suite again, this time she brought someone with her, obviously to point out the lunatic that was still in the gym.

After finishing the row I quickly ate a Ginsters slice to get some much needed calories into the body.  Not the best thing to eat but it was in the fridge when I left the house, so why not.

Setting off on my run home I was starting to feel a little fatigued and I was certainly conscious of taking it easy. My calf was still sore but at no point did I feel like it was going to ‘go’ or cramp up.

Possibly feeling the effects of my slice kicking in, I steadily pushed out the return journey covering a total of 10.65km in 55 mins 58 secs.  Definitely slower by nearly 4 mins, but then that is to be expected. The extra .05 km came about because I ran down the drive which I didn’t do on the way out.

So what did I think of my spontaneous pyramid training programme? It was quite a lot of fun albeit tiring towards the end.  In total I ended up running a HM and covered 51.25km in total burning off over 3000 calories.  Have to admit the cleaner at work made it all the more entertaining, the look on her face the third time she came in was wonderful.  Would love to have taken a photo, but its hard to row, take a photo and chuckle to yourself all at the same time!

Would I do this programme again? Of course I would but it’s back to work in a few days time. Have to think of something else to do.

Virtual Ultra Triathlon: February Update

I am really delighted with how February has gone.  I managed to cover some real distance in running and cycling to the point that I am nearly a month ahead in both.

One thing I have noticed is that I am starting to feel slightly fatigued, but I believe this is down to nutrition rather than too much exercise.  My stats show that through exercise I burnt approximately 25,000 calories in February. This is just an approximation as I know one run I went for burnt considerable more calories than what was recorded.  Even a Garmin watch cannot take into account the boggy ground conditions and the fact you ran 12km wearing boots and carrying 16kg on your back. According to my Endomondo App I have now burnt at least 45,520 calories so far in 2016. This means I can now eat 177 Big Macs or 511 bananas, depending on how healthy I want to be. The good way of looking at this is that with all this exercise I could eat 3 Big Macs a day and it would be a zero sum outcome!

In order to maintain a healthy diet I believe I need to consume around 3,500 calories a day.  I know I am not even close to achieving this, and I suspect I am about 1,000 calories short per day.  No wonder I always feel hungry!

After two months here are the stats:

Running – Ardnamurchen Lighthouse to Lowestoft.

According to my tracker I managed to run a total of 129km this month.  My total distance so far is therefore 246km, which means I have completed about 28.77% of my challenge.  The good news is that I am approximately 103.5km ahead of schedule.

My mileage was boosted this month due to a couple of long runs.  Interestingly my feet and legs are feeling really good, which I believe is all down to the techniques I have been learning from Chi Running. My running is improving so much that I went out for a run with no distance really in mind, only to find I knocked nearly 8 mins off my 10 mile PB.  I was really quite delighted to run 10 miles in 76 mins.

My virtual location has now jumped ahead due to a good month. I have just passed through Glasgow and now following the River Clyde as it winds its way towards Motherwell.

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Cycling – John O’Groats to Lands End.

According to my tracker I managed to cycle a total of 222km this month.  My total distance so far is therefore 389km, which means I have completed about 25.1% of my challenge.  The good news is that I am approximately 130.67km ahead of schedule.

I continue to cycle to and from work, which given its dark and cold at the moment is not the most pleasant thing in the world.  It is also quite difficult to cycle home if I have done a long run that day.  But it is all contributing to my total and a couple of stints on the bike in the gym also help to push the mileage up.

My virtual location is still on the A9, however I am much further south now having passed through the Cairngorms National Park, Perth and the town of Waterloo!  Just about to arrive at the town of Aberuthven before heading south towards Stirling.

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Rowing – The length of the Thames

According to my tracker I managed to row a total of 41.2km this month.  My total distance so far is therefore 66.55km, which means I have completed about 19.23% of my challenge. The good news is that I am approximately 8.88km ahead of schedule.

My virtual location is now just approaching Bablock Hythe having passed through Chimney, Radcot, Johns Priory and Newbridge.

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I worked harder on my rowing this month as I was slightly behind schedule at the end of January.  It has taken some effort but I have managed to turn it around and now be slightly ahead of schedule.  I still need to put more work into this as I can easily see me falling behind again if I get some busy weeks in work.

Next stop March, the clocks change and I need to eat more.