Training Snapshot

Here’s a little snapshot as to how my own training is going. I’m managing to run in my lunchbreak at the moment which means although my mileage is fairly low compared to lots of runners, the quality is high.

Monday: I ran what I call a “Super-Tempo” effort, this is a mile warm-up followed by 12 minutes at what I would like my current 5k pace to be. Then a mile cool down. Each week, I’ll add a minute on to the length of the effort until I’m either happy to race it or step back to a shorter quicker effort and start again. Splits in the effort were 5:57, 5:58.

Tuesday: 10k (not so) easy. I thought this was going to be a really tough run as the wind had really picked up. The first 5k was straight into it and I put in a good effort, the 5k return along the seafront was much easier and I was able to coast it all the way. I was still able to chat with a guy on a bike during the last 800m so I knew it was still a fairly relaxed effort. I was quite surprised to see my splits as: 6:22, 7:02, 6:55, 6:37, 6:32, 6:27 and finishing up at 6:34. Thats more like a solid threshold pace for me.

Wednesday: Bit of a cold & felt stiff  from the previous day so decided to get to the track 10 minutes early for an extra warm-up mile. So 2 miles warm up for me, followed by 15 minutes of drills and dynamic stretches. The main set was 9x800m on 4mins. The warm up did its magic and I felt really good throughout. Pleased to be able to pick it up in the second half of the set too. 6.8 miles in total, annoying that I couldn’t round it up to 7 but I had no time for a cool-down.

DATA

Thursday: That’s today…I’m struggling a bit with a cold and I had a terrible nights sleep but the weather is glorious so I’ll be doing an easy 5 miles along the seafront at lunchtime, that should blow the cobwebs away. Then it’s Tuff Fitty Swim night and I’ll be heading over with my Breca Team-mate Tom.

Hoping to clock 35 miles this week which I haven’t done since mid Dec and then maintain for a few weeks before targeting some more specific plans. (whatever they might be!)

Enough about me…How’s YOUR training going?

 

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TEAM PROFILE – 2 SLOW 2 WIN, 2 DUMB 2 QUIT

Have you got a drink? Put it down. These guys will probably make you spit it all over your screen.
Part of the reason for doing these profiles is so we might be able to identify each other on the day and strike up conversations easily. I must say, after this interview I’m really looking forward to meeting these guys at Breca Swimrun although I wouldn’t accept a drink off them during the race…..it might be sabotage.

Team Name: 2 Slow 2 Win 2 Dumb 2 Quit
Team Members: Manuel Campana / Dino Sarpi

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The chuckle brothers – happy with Pizza & Beer

Who are you, where are you from and how do you know each other?
Dino: My name is Dino, the result of an eclectic mix of Iranian and Italian blood resulting in what was summarised in the year book as a Terrorist Pornstar… being a terrorist is no longer cool and the pornstar days are long over or were just wishful thinking! I have known Manuel since I was 10? but didn’t talk to him for several years because he was hanging out with ass-holes.
Manuel: Just for the record, we were 13. And very good friends. Then something yet unknown to mankind happened in his brain and he stopped talking to me. Then one day he must have come to his senses and here we are, good friends again. Go figure. I’m really enjoying our friendship now though. Hopefully he won’t change his mind again.
Anyway. I’m Manuel, 100% Italian, no terrorist at all, let alone porn-star. Web developer by day and nothing by night because I have a tendency to fall asleep straight after dinner.

Italians eh?  On a scale between Ferrari and Fiat, where would you like to put yourselves? Judging by the team-name, I’m going with Lambretta?
Dino: Italy is also well known for wine, Amaretto Disaronno (feels like there’s a theme here), good food, and bunga bunga (watch out!); but if you put it that way, yes, since Manuel is part of the team we’d go with a rusty Lambretta Innocenti or an even rustier Ape Piaggio (go on, google it). With all due respect to Innocenti and Piaggio of course.
What attracted you to this race? Why Swimrun, why not a normal race/triathlon?
Manuel: Not a triathlon mainly because it would involve buying a bike or race on a Boris bike (although I’m still considering the latter). Not a normal race because I keep listening to my friend here. I should probably learn how not to.
Dino: No longer terror-porn-starring-wishful-thinking, so this was the next best thing!

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Where do you see yourselves being strongest?
Dino: Weeeeeelll…. so…. Manuel…. basically… he will try very hard. I am there to try and make sure he finishes. As for everyone else, please go faster else you may be used as a flotation device.
Manuel: What do you mean ‘try’? You WILL make sure I finish! Also you’ll make sure I finish ALIVE! Won’t you? Yes you will. I’m sure he will.
Also if I find an effective way to make him tow me without realizing it, we may even aim at a decent time. But seriously? My strength is definitely my teammate. We’ve known each other a long time and we love spending time together. The fact that I’m doing this race with him gives me a big hype. I’ll try my best not to slow him down too much but in any event I’m sure we’ll enjoy every second of it.

Are you happy with your teammate?
Dino: Manuel is probably the best team mate you could wish for. I always wanted to…
Manuel: *interrupts*  I didn’t have much choice to be honest. I’m just not sure whether or not we’ll still want to be friends after the race.
Dino: What?!?!? …drown him, so here I will have the opportunity.
Manuel: Hahaha! See? Friendship is in jeopardy already!

Any amusing stories you’d like to share with us?
Manuel: Amusing stories about Dino?
So… *coughs* …first of all I have to say that my storytelling skills are not that good and this guy here is such a character that you’d have to know him to fully understand what he is like. Me telling a story doesn’t even cut it, plus the funniest episodes are usually quite obscene in a way or another.

Having said that,  there is an episode that can be published uncensored. We were in north Wales for a double ironman (needless to say I was only supporting) and the participants had to do registration the evening before the race. So in the afternoon we were meticulously going through the mandatory kit list that needed to be approved at registration. It occurred to me that said list wasn’t very precise and left a lot to interpretation. For example they required to carry at least a certain amount of drink to avoid dehydration. But they didn’t specify in what container. A bottle? A bladder? A flask? And they didn’t even specify what kind of drink. Water? Energy drink? Orange juice? Presumably it was irrelevant. However, with Dino taking part, they should definitely have specified.

So off to registration we went. The lovely lady who checked us started going through all his stuff. First aid kit, check. Waterproof jacket, check. Whistle, check. Head torch, check. Drink….. er…. excuse me Dino, where is your mandatory drink to avoid dehydration? And he simply replied “well, your list wasn’t very precise so…. there!” pointing at his bike.

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Dino: I didn’t finish the race… seriously! Our friend Chris had to pick me up off the side of the road at midnight after 150miles of cycling.

Have you looked at the course map yet? Is there anything making you nervous?
Dino: Bring it on.
Manuel: There’s a big difference between looking at a graph on the screen with your hand scraping the bottom of a pack of crisps and actually running that graph. But the thing that makes me nervous the most are the constant reminders from Dino (e.g. Emails with subject: “You’re in the shit now!”).

What have you done in the past? Give us a brief background.
Manuel: Until last year just some sporadic climbing, some recreational skating, a lot of snowboarding, and the rest was in front of an Xbox. Then last year, probably due to a premature midlife crisis, I joined BMF (British Military Fitness) and started doing various OCRs (Spartan and whatnot), some swims, aquathlons, etc. Now I’m trying to move towards fewer but more “serious” events. Let’s see if I’ve got what it takes.
Dino: I have participated in several running, swimming and triathlons (I have a feeling this might be a modest understatement folks!)

Are you planning on any particular races in the build up?
Manuel: Nothing planned yet, but I’ve got at least a couple of swims in mind. As for running, for now I’m giving some rest to an injured ankle but normally I train on the hills of Hampstead Heath and enjoy the beautiful views that my local park has to offer.

Will you be making a weekend of it or is it a splash,dash & grab?
Manuel: My hope is to make a weekend of it. I’ve never been there and I’d love to enjoy the place and bring home some nice memories; other than just pain and suffering. Let’s see if the girlfriend will oblige.
Dino: Girlfriends decide.

Are there any questions you’d like to put to other teams/organisers/experienced swimrunners?
Manuel: Can you all pull out, please? Jokes aside, I’d love to read other interviews. It makes the race more personal. I understand it’s a race so you kinda want to demolish the other competitors (be prepared guys, I’m ruthless), but usually you just race with other people and getting to know them a bit more is something that could really make a better event.
As for the race itself my biggest question mark is the amount of stuff to carry and how. I guess experienced swimrunners might be able to help there?
Dino: The secret to a good time is proper lubrication, so how do you stop chafing from happening during a swimrum event!?!?
You mean SwimRUN right?
Man
uel: No no, that seems plausible, I’m pretty sure he meant swimRUM

Pick a famous duo you can compare yourselves with:
Dino: Tom & Jerry? Road Runner & Willy Coyote? Pinky & The Brain?
Manuel: No no no. I don’t want to be Tom nor Willy. Let alone Pinky. Pfft. I was thinking more something along the lines of Mario and Luigi. Then my girlfriend got involved and she suggested the Chuckle brothers. I had no idea who they were so I googled them. I think I want a new girlfriend.
To you, to me, to you, to me…

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Manuel & Dino with a lady who is definitely not holding a cock in a glass
Post-race Food/Drink of choice?
Dino: Can we leave a message to the RDs? Provided Manuel survives and makes it to the finish line on his legs, we would be extremely grateful if you could have a hot calzone and a fresh pint waiting for us. Thanks.
Manuel: Seriously. It would be a massive achievement for me, but asking for press and TV to celebrate the event seemed a bit too much, so I think pizza and beer is a fair compromise.

Afterparty Karaoke song of choice?
Manuel: Uh oh… this is not going to end up well… we could be on a very dangerous ground here… especially after a few tequilas. We won’t say anything for now to avoid compromising the little reputation, if any, we’ve got left.

If you’d like YOUR team to be featured on here, drop a comment below, or on twitter, or send me a message and we’ll get on the case. It would be great to get as many profiles before race day as we can. Fast, slow or just in it for a laugh, I’m fascinated to see who we’re all up against!

Have a look here for the Breca SwimRun profiles so far:
Tuff Fitty
Tri Energy Mums
ATC Triology

And for some great SwimRun tips make sure to read this interview here. Its got everything from kit-tips to videos on how to transition.

How I’ve recently become mad about socks….

My sock drawer is overflowing. 2 reasons for this:

  1. My sock drawer is actually quite small
  2. I’ve gone a bit mad with new socks

You see, I’m a runner and if I’m going to be so particular about which trainers best suit my foot, and then which trainers best suit the terrain I’ll be on. I might as well be particular about not getting blisters.

So I’ve been testing out a few different brands and I’ve come up with some favourites. I thought I’d share these on here, particularly in the context of SwimRun.

3rd Place: Bridgedale
Who Are they? British company making socks for hiking, running, cycling, ski-ing, mountaineering etc etc. Outdoorsy type stuff.

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What are they like?  I’ve got pairs of the Speed Demons & the Speed Trail and they are WARM! Probably down to the Merino Wool content. Perfect winter socks for when the tarmac or trail is freezing cold.  They hold the water a bit when they get wet but they stay warm. These have quickly become my favourite sock for the bike.

As a sidenote – Bridgedale also make this great reversible hat which is perfect for going under a helmet and its been stuck on my head all winter so far.

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2nd Place: Feetures!
Who Are They? A family run company from Charlotte, North Carolina. Designed for Runners by Runners.

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Feetures! Elite Merino+

What are they like? Fantastic. I’ve got a pair of the Elite Merino+ and two pairs of the Elite Ultra Light. The Merino ones are super warm, and the Ultra Lights really are Ultra Light. The edge these have got over any of the others I’ve tried is the compression around the foot. They feel like your foot is getting a gentle hug from the moment you put them on. They’re not touted as compression socks but that’s one of the reasons why they’ve almost hit top spot.

1st place: Gococo (Swimrunners take note!)
Who Are They? Award winning Swedish sports & compression socks, quickly becoming synonymous with SwimRun. Scandinavian functional design.

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Gococo Compression Superior

What are they like? Perfect. I’ve got almost the full Gococo range here. The sport socks do everything you want them to, they’re light, blister-free, no seams, and pretty cool making them suitable for races and hard efforts. Those are the sort of sessions where you don’t want your foot to feel heavy and warm inside your shoe.
But where they really excel is in the long compression socks.
These offer stabilization through the calf, and if you believe the compression hype they allow increased circulation throughout the muscle whilst active. Now, I don’t know about that, but I’ve raced in these up tough hills and done hard track sessions in them and my recovery has been almost instant. If that’s down to the socks then my sincerest thanks go to the brains behind the design!
They also work with “37.5 Technology” to help maintain optimum body temperature, this is something I’m sure we might see spread to more winter apparel here in the UK.

In a Nutshell
These socks dry quickly, keep your legs at optimum temperature and provide support for your calf muscles. They don’t rub and they look good. For a Swim-runner, they are like the Holy Grail in sock form. Thoroughly recommended.
What socks do you run in?
Any Swimrun sock tips?

 

 

TEAM PROFILE – ATC TRIOLOGY

Make a cup of tea, sit yourselves down and put your feet up, it’s time for our next Breca SwimRun team to take the spotlight.  This time we’ve got some strong swimmers who may be prone to getting lost….

Team Name: ATC Triology
Team Members: Michelle Scott / Dan Halladay
Team motto: Get The Map Out!

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Dan & Michelle – taking it easy at the pool

Who are you, where are you from and how do you know each other?
Michelle Scott, from a little town called Shildon (home of the railways). Met Dan through Aycliffe Tri Club when It was discussed that I would no longer be the fastest swimmer in the club!
Dan Halladay 32 from a little town just south of Durham, we both coach and train together. Once we got talking it turned out that we both went to the same swim club as kids together and probably crossed paths before. Continue reading “TEAM PROFILE – ATC TRIOLOGY”

Coaching groups is so rewarding!

When you turn up to coach a session and you’re greeted with a sight like this – Its really quite rewarding.

Tuff Fitty Triathlon Club – Me rocking the Yellow socks again

And earlier in the week ShoreFit Run Club had a new class of 0-5k runners

ShoreFit Beginners Run Club Jan 2016

If I add on to that the runners from the ShoreFit Social runclub. I’ve run with about 75 people this week. And I’ve only ran about 10 miles.

I’ve been really busy lately with study so whilst I’m not logging many miles personally, it’s hugely rewarding to run with all these people.

Do you run with others, Or are you flying solo?
Ever fancied coaching?

The Hangover 5

The second year running that I’ve done this race and it’s the perfect way to start the new year, embracing the cold, the mud and the puddles together with 500 other runners nursing hangovers or still actually pissed from last nights parties.
No such thing holding me back this year though. (Unlike last year when I was still struggling with walking when the gun went off man shouted go.) Its’s the first race in the West Sussex Fun Run League and so attracts a nice mix of competitive and funrunners.

Tuff Fitty Team pic – From Left to Right in order of most pissed.

I arrived just in time for a team photo but not quite in time for a decent warm up. In fact, by the time I arrived, the unprecedentedly large turnout meant they’d run out of numbers, mine, 535,  was handwritten on torn off notepaper! I took my jacket off and stashed it at the last possible minute and lined up on the front row. Confident? Me?  Not really, but I know how congested the climb gets and I wanted good position. If you get caught too far back it’s impossible to pass and it slows to a walk on the steepest section. Continue reading “The Hangover 5”