One percent improvement a day leads to 37 times better over 1 year!

Have you ever read something written by a behaviour change expert that is really good at first glance but after a moment’s thought you say: “Hang on that sounds like BS!”. I had that reaction today when I read a James Clear blog on Continuous Improvement. Now, I really admire James’ writing and he has built up an impressive following. But when I read that if you improve 1% a day, then you will be 37 times better after one year. You can read his blog here with the simple chart that shows the math. So, it seems good and the math holds up but what can you really improve 1% a day?

Well, coincidently I had just today also tried out my first plank after reading how a friend on FaceBook was recording his improvements in holding planks. I watch a video called How To Do A Plank Exercise on YouTube here.  I held the plank for 30 seconds.

So, I wonder whether I can apply the 1% improvement a day approach and try it out with planks. Day 1 done so only 354 days to go!

Here’s my system to help me get started. A trusty (and well used) whiteboard:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So if Day 1 is holding a plank for 30 seconds, then after one year I’ll be able to hold a plank for 18 minutes and 30 seconds. Which seems an awfully long time! So I just checked the world record and was happy to see that it’s 8 hours and 1 minute held by Mao Weidong of China set in 2016 in Beijing! So well within human capacity. Let’s see how it goes. I wonder what other skills can be improved by 1% a day. Any thoughts?

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Are you addicted to food?

I have been on a 200 day quest this year called ‘No sugar, no wheat’. This is my attempt to cut out all refined sugars and refined white wheat flour from my diet for 200 days. This includes many of my favourite foods including bread, pastries, pizza, chocolate, biscuits, and desserts. Having gone through almost 100 days, I’ve found it easier than previous years where I had a different approach.

Previously, I used a ‘cheat day’ every week which allowed me to eat whatever I liked for that day. The reason for doing that was twofold. Firstly, its a psychological release that made it easier to attempt the radical diet change in the first place. Secondly, I researched that my flushing through an abundance of food (including carbs and sugar) would prevent the body from going into a starvation mode where it holds onto calories rather than adjust to a new regime. This is often behind the experience of many people’s dieting. Restriction of calories lead to the body holding onto calories to avoid weight loss which leads to disillusionment with the diet and a return to the previous way of eating.

I agree that many foods can be addictive and an article explains just how addictive it can be – on par with drug and alcohol addiction. It was concerning to read that addiction takes a single moment, just like a smoker taking a single puff.  The key is to avoid trigger foods and manage where you eat. It’s a good read by Kris Gunnars, find it here. 

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Change your perspective. Change the problem

A good way to look at something differently is to change your perspective. Here is a cool 1977 video called “Powers of Ten” which is both mind expanding and mind blowing. It will take you to the edge of the universe and to the centre of your core in 9 short minutes.

Here is the link on YouTube. 

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A format for better critical thinking: Trivium

In a confusing world of alternative facts and shout-down-rhetoric, we all need a method to better think through an issue. I came across the Trivium a few years back and rediscovered this page with resources. Worth a look for tools and a framework to get to the heart of a matter through systematic thinking that filters out bias and fallacies that are so commonly used in debate.

Check it out here. 

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No sugar, no wheat

200 day challenge nears the 75 day mark. What has happened so far:

  • I lost weight. I’m about 2 kgs lighter than I’ve ever been. (around 68kg)
  • I am leaner. The wheat belly has flattened out.
  • I feel lighter.
  • I’ve not had too many sugar cravings.
  • I’m very consistent in low impact exercise

Here’s what I learned:

  • The ‘no cheat’ day has made a big improvement. I’m the kind of person who has a ‘on/off’ switch and I react much better than there are no ‘get out of jail’ cards
  • The big challenge is important. I struggled getting to 100 days last year but now it feels easier.
  • I need to watch out on how I increase intensity in my exercise. My lower back strain knocked out a week and was really painful. An accumulated increase in intensity across swimming, medicine ball, running and cycling (as well as work commitments) – while not enough individually to cause an injury – added together put too much stress on my body. Answer: Another reminder to build in more rest days. Ahh. It’s hard. But you need to do this!
  • Talk about your challenge more often makes it seems a part of who I am. Makes it more real.
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12km race in BinJiang Forest Park

Multisports day with a 12km run in BinJiang Forest Park. Lovely day and a nice environment. Did around 60mins at a reasonable pace. Then 1.3km swim in JinShan open water with a 5km run after.

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Race report from Challenge Philippines 70.3 on 21 Feb 2015

Preparation. I’d been working on getting back into training since Nov 2014. Mostly with the indoor trainer, occasionally runs in the gym and even fewer swims. My overall level of fitness was good but I had not completed a long ride with the except of one 100km ride in Chongming for a long long time. My main purpose for this race was to help build some endurance through a test early in the season so that I would benefit later in key races.

After entering, I only later realised how tough the course was on the bike with hundreds of meters of climbing AND on the run with an undulating course. Been based in Shanghai I have no experience or ability to train and this was a limiting factor. I wasn’t worried about the heat too much as I’ve become acclimatised to heat over the years of summer racing in Asia.

We got to Subic Bay about a week before for a vacation and my main target was not to put on weight with all the good food. I did some light exercise and mainly rested, built up my electrolyte levels and prepared for my first race in 15 months.

Swim. This was a lovely swim in the sea. Mostly clear, calm and at parts very shallow. I found clear water early and also managed to tag a few similar paced swimmers to swim with. Was comfortable the whole time and enjoyed the whole time.

Bike. So given the extreme hills and technical course – both up and down, I was hoping to just hold a steady pace, not crash, not blow up and to conserve something for the run. I had prepared enough salt tablets and with the aid stations every 15km, it was easy enough to stay hydrated. The down hills were especially exhilarating – although I had my stomach in my chest a few times. Even when the corners were not too sharp, it was possible to build up too much speed and only by the third corner did you realise that you should have slowed down two corners ago! It was a lot of fun and I only saw a few flats and maybe one crash. The final third was really tough as the heat and wind kicked up and my lack of endurance on the bike showed. I slowed down noticeably and the final two climbs while not feeling too tough were slow. The final descent was great and I was really happy to be off the bike without any incident.

Run. It was hot now and while the run was all in the jungle – it was actually in and out with large stretches unprotected from the sun. I should have worn my neck scarf by had taken it off after the bike. Mistake as I got burned. The hills were a real challenge but I just tried to run steady between the aid stations and keep the km times to something with a 6/7min.  It was a struggle on the uphills so my heart rates was jacking up. After a couple of aid stations I was asking for ice only (with a bit of water and pocari). I was sticking ice under my hat and on my back and chest and even in a calf guard to cool down. Holding ice helps with the cooling process. Finally around half way I was slowing down and only by pacing off a female athlete who was going around 9.5kmh did I find a second wind and picked up well through 12-18 km. I knew the end was in sight and went past a few more runners. I was especially happy to finally get past a runner who was walking up the hills – I would shuffle past him – and then run past me on the down. After this yo-yoing for a few hills, he decided to run up one of them with me and when I went past him never saw him again. I finished strong and was happy to be finished with the race. This was a very very tough race and course-wise the hardest and most technical run and bike. The time was slow – probably about 15 mins outside my final prediction but I’m happy to get through it.

Result: Overall race time was 6hrs 44min 27secs.  Position was 13th in age group from 76 starters. Overall position was 125th from 444 starters individual race. Gender finish was 107th from 383 starters.

Swim was 35mins 46 secs for 1.9km. 5th in my age group!

Bike was 3hrs 35mins 56 sec for 90kms.

Run was 2hrs 15mins 57 secs for 21km run.

vista subic bay phil5 phil1 phil2 phil3

 

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Race Week: Challenge Philippines 70.3

Here is the race web site. 

Leaving the cold and smoggy Shanghai winter into blazingly hot, blue skies and white clouds of Subic Bay in the Philippines is a major transition for the body to make. Luckily I have a week plus before the race.  How can you make the transition:

Weather – heat. Stay hydrated, salt tablets and judging electrolytes needed for race. Spending time outside at the same time of day as your race time. Limit it as this can be a really hot time of day. Don’t get sunburnt. Make sure you have a way to cover up during the race. This may be thinking about type of tri suit or Under-armour heat top or calf compression guards.

Food – Seems that fried chicken is the national dish. All the supermarkets have mostly packaged and processed food. Find the fruit stalls, try out the bananas to test for use in race. As I’m going through a lower carbohydrate diet and increasing healthy fats, I found a place to buy coconut cream. Still aware to keep carbohydrate stores topped off and to test race food strategy.

Race – did a recce of the bike course. This is going to be a major challenge as the hills are steep, long and continuous. I’m going to have to adjust my expectations for the race.  Previously was looking at around 3hrs on the bike but now it may be closer to 3:30 given that I haven’t ridden long distances at all for a long time. Run also has a lot of elevation although it seems like it’s mostly covered in jungle.

Training – keep the exercise ticking over. Found a 50m pool at WOW World in Subic Bay which was good, outside and not too busy for 220 pesos. Don’t overdo it and remember to rest your body with lots of sleep and keeping off your feet in the days before.

Briefing – Write down where and when to bike check, register and attend briefings. When the carbo parties are and the post race awards.  Write down the shuttle bus schedule so you know when / where to be. For example in this race, there is only one bus leaving at 0400 near my hotel to the race venue!

Looking forward to this race although it will likely be the toughest race I’ve ever done. I haven’t raced for 15 months and would like to test out a low fat approach to the race which means less gels and more real food like protein bars and bananas.

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One year break from racing is over: 2015 Races on the calendar!!

After taking a break from all triathlon racing in 2014, I learned a few things:

1. I need the target of races to maintain discipline.

2. Without discipline, my diet and nutrition lapses greatly.

3. I have no motivation to train without a race target.

4. Air pollution is still a major obstacle.

 

For 2015, I’ve registered for Feb 22 race in Subic Bay – an early season 70.3 which set me up well for a good season in 2012. Then a full calendar of OD races in China and possibly UK. To finish the season the Laguna Phuket Tri – an extended OD.

Looking forward to it. Been off all alcohol for three weeks plus, diet has tightened up and training has increased. The power of a target.

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Winter break

Taking a break from training.

No races planned for 2014.

Keep up with some health maintenance ; swim and jog.

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One weeks until Laguna Phuket Triathlon

Focus:  Ear infection. Not a great time of year. High air pollution. Cold weather coming. Fighting allergies. Stopped training to recover from ear infection.

Thursday: Afternoon swim 30mins 1500m. Easy paced.

Sat: Morning swim 30mins 1500m. Easy paced.

Sun: Morning swim 30mins 1500m. Easy paced.

Total: 3 sessions (1.5 hours) ; Swim (3 sessions, 1.5 hrs);

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Three weeks until Laguna Phuket Triathlon

Focus:  Took last week off to fight allergic reactions to high pollution and busy with getting my visa! Really tough few weeks health wise. Cold like symptoms without the cold. Sudden rise in AQI 3 weeks ago seemed to be the trigger.

Monday: Sauna.

Wed: Afternoon swim 30mins 1500m. Easy paced.

Thursday: Afternoon swim 30mins 1500m. Easy paced.

Friday: Afternoon swim 30mins 1500m. Easy paced.

Sat: Swim meet. Representing JingAn district in the Shanghai . Two 5th places. Very competitive races with former pros.

Sun: Rest day

Total: 4 sessions (2 hours) ; Swim (4 sessions, 2 hrs);

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Race Week: Anting Sprint Triathlon

Focus:  Race week build up. Get over cold.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Too much pollution early morning. Still down with a small cold.

Wed: Evening small group ride. Flatted after about 20km.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Swim 30mins plus a run through the park / back.

Sat: No training, still fighting cold.

Sun: Race day. Beautiful weather and pollution was down. 1st place. Third win in a row. But wasn’t easy. Swim went well although I could see several competitors go off ahead of me. More or less took a straight line. Two of the buoys were deflated which made sighting more challenging. Transition was smooth. On the bike got into a rhythm. There were some winds but mostly manageable. The road surface quality was full of rubble and there were sudden potholes and poorly resurfaced sections. Keep it steady on the bike for around 34mins. Quick transition onto the run. The heart rate was way too high. For the whole race really. First km was good around 4:30 pace but was finding it difficult to breathe and my second km slipped to 4:50 which is when I saw Zennon and the third place runner coming on the other side of the road. I thought I would get caught. I focused on finding a high cadence and just getting through it one km at a time. 3km, 4km, and then I passed the final water station I knew that I was in a good chance for the win. No one was in sight and I slowed down a bit to give some lungs some rest. Crossed the line in a slower time but happy with the victory. Official results are here.

Total: 6 sessions (2 hours) Bike (2 sessions, 1hrs); Run (2 sessions, 40mins); Swim (2 sessions, 40mins);

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2 weeks until Anting Sprint Triathlon

Focus:  Sustained sessions. More bike/running.

Monday: Afternoon bike ride around 25km. Run to / back from gym. Swim 1km.

Tuesday: Early morning group ride with FHL around Century Park. 25km.

Wed: Evening small group ride. 40km. Steady focused on HR around 140bpm.

Thursday: Early morning high intensity group ride, fasted. 25km

Friday: No training

Sat: Early morning group bike, medium to fast. 111km. 4-5hrs. All small chain ring.

Sun: Morning group ride easy paced. 60km. 3hours.

Total: 6 sessions (12 hours) Bike (6 sessions, 11 hrs); Run (1 sessions, 30mins); Swim (1 sessions, 30mins);

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3 weeks until Anting Sprint Triathlon

Focus:  Combos. More bike/running.

Monday: Typhoon weather knocks out bike riding. Morning swim around 1500m with 5x100m to finish : 1min 38-1min 41 range for each 100m.

Tuesday: No training. Rained all day.

Wed: End of rain. Late morning bike. Had a big breakfast two hours before. 25km with 3 laps to power. 180-200W average. Cadence dropped under 80rpm as gear went up. Max. P 20mins = 198W. Afternoon run and swim. Evening group bike ride.

Thursday: Rest day

Friday: Workshop in day.

Sat: Working day

Sun: Short swim and sauna.

Total: 6 sessions (4.5 hours) Bike (2 sessions, 2.5 hrs); Run (1 sessions, 20mins); Swim (3 sessions, 90mins);

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4 weeks until Anting Sprint Triathlon

Focus: Manage diet and get back into combining sports. Focus on speed  for Sprint race.

Monday: No training

Tuesday: No training

Wed: Swim easy around 30mins. Evening bike around 30km. 60mins

Thursday: Morning bike ride, perfect conditions. Rode to power. Trying to keep within a band of power for each lap. More or less held it. Average power 155W. 25km, around 53mins.

Friday: Morning bike ride to power. Very windy which made it challenge. HR average = 137bpm – a little high perhaps because riding on empty stomach. Av. P=148W. 20km, 42mins.

Sat: Morning bike ride to power. HR average = 140bpmh. Av. P=152W. 30km, 62mins. Afternoon run in gym. 20mins at 10kmh. Average HR = 138bpm

Sun: Rest day

Total: 6 sessions (5 hours) Bike (4 sessions, 4 hrs); Run (1 sessions, 20mins); Swim (1 sessions, 30mins);

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Swim meet to end a busy work week

Focus: Run and swim more.

Monday: Morning swim around 1500m: 500m breaststroke, 500m freestyle, 500m mix 25m sprints freestyle, 25m active recover breaststroke. On 100% empty stomach aside from a little water. Felt a little drained.

Tuesday: Morning swim easy around 1100m, 25mins with quick sauna. 15 mins run through park on the way back.

Wed: Swim in hotel

Thursday: Swim in hotel

Friday: Swim in hotel

Sat: Early competition; 50m freestyle and 100m breaststroke. Freestyle 2nd place 32:59 and Breaststroke 1st place 1min 30secs.

Sun: Rest day

Total: 7 sessions (3.0+ hours) Run (1 sessions, 15)mins; Swim (6 sessions, 3hrs);

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Getting ready for a swim meet

Focus: Run and swim more.

Monday: 5km row session around 30mins. Easy HR average 117bpm.

Tuesday: Swim in morning around 30mins. 1200m

Wed: Swim in morning around 30mins. 1300m. Short evening bike ride around 40mins. Full moon. No group showed up.

Thursday: Walk in park and brief swim although too many people a problem.

Friday: Swim around 1800m. Steady swim.

Sat: Rest day

Sun: Morning swim around 1500m: 500m breaststroke, 500m freestyle, 500m mix 25m sprints freestyle, 25m active recover breaststroke.

Total: 7 sessions (3.5+ hours) Run (0 sessions, 0hrs ); Swim (5 sessions, 2.5hrs); Bike (1 sessions, 40mins); Row (1 session, 30mins)

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Settling back into a Shanghai routine

Focus: Keep things ticking over. Focus on better nutrition, 1000-1800 feeding window.

Monday:Easy run in the gym with stretching around 30mins.

Tuesday-Wed: In workshops all day on feet, pretty tired in evening. Managed a short walk on Tue. Rain on Wed even put pay to the bike session.

Thursday: Easy swim around 20mins with 10mins sauna in afternoon.

Saturday: Tour de Bund 55km bike race. Rode with the first group and finished at 1015. Nice brunch on the 11F overlooking the Bund on the Peninsula.

Total: 3 sessions (3 hours) Run (1 sessions, 0.5hrs ); Swim (1 sessions, 20mins); Bike (1 sessions, 2hrs ).

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Recovery week

Focus: Recover from race and start doing some more swim sessions.

Monday: Short bike ride with Mike and group, around 40km. Swim in afternoon.

Tuesday: Short bike and run off the bike with Mike  in Singapore.

Wed: Short morning bike ride. Flight back to Shanghai

Thursday: Rest day

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: Bike recce for Tour de Bund with SISU group. 40+km easy pace although raining and bike got gritted up. Nice coffee and pastries in Peninsula hotel after the ride.

Sunday: Easy morning bike ride. Afternoon row session.

Total: 8 sessions (7 hours) Run (1 sessions, 0.5hrs ); Swim (1 sessions, 0.5 hrs); Bike (5 sessions, 6hrs ); Row (15mins).

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Race week for Bintan 70.3

Focus: Rest and hydrate. Do a couple of short sessions. Have an enjoyable race day.

Monday: Travel to HK. Easy swim in the evening in outdoor hotel pool. Nice at sunset

Tuesday: Workshops and travel. No training. Back very late.

Wed: Evening ride with cycle club. 90mins. Red eye flight to Singapore.

Thursday: Arrive in Singapore and head to Bintan. Afternoon swim on course.

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: Race day and head back to Singapore. Photos from the race. Race time for Metaman 70.3 around 5hrs 39mins. 7th in age group. Tough day racing. Lovely water, hilly bike which never got easy and a grind it out run in the heat and humidity.

Sunday: Recovery ride with Mike and group in Singapore. 55km.

Total: 7 sessions (10.5 hours) Race(3 sessions, 5.5hrs ); Swim (2 sessions, 1 hr); Bike (2 sessions, 4hrs );

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Final 2 weeks before Bintan 70.3

Focus: Build up for 70.3 race. More bike, keep running and swimming ticking over.

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Afternoon run to gym, then 30mins at 10kmh on treadmill with a very quick swim and jog back.

Wed: Evening bike. Fast and hard ride with speeds up to 46kmh. Lovely evening with a heavy head wind through the Expo site. Around 35km. 90mins with stops.

Thursday: Evening swim session at Jingan with Yi Wei. Doing some sprints for swim meet trails in November.

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: Long bike 125 km with FHL in Puxi. 5 hours. Good pacing around 30-33kmh. Very hot at end but not too terrible.

Sunday: 12km run around Century Park with STC. Steady pace. Keeping heart race in 140s. Hot and very humid day.

Total: 6 sessions (11 hours) Run (2 sessions, 2.5hrs ); Swim (2 sessions, 2 hrs); Bike (2 sessions, 6.5hrs );

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3 weeks until 70.3 in Bintan, Indonesia

Focus: Transition back to China and keep up training and get a couple of long rides in.

Monday:  Easy swim around 15mins. Easy row 2000m in around 12 mins. Easy bike around 15mins. Post race recovery.

Tuesday: Visit to Hotel sauna and steam room. 20mins

Wed: Hotel in Beijing. Row 5000m under 30mins. Bike around 30mins. Stretching and core / gluts work. Swim around 15mins. Sauna 10mins.

Thursday: Rest day. First full rest day for a few weeks. Was tired after two days on my feet in workshops.

Friday: Another rest day with travel from Beijing and a business meeting. Getting ready for long bike day tomorrow.

Saturday: Long bike 125 km with FHL in Puxi. 5 hours. Good pacing around 30-33kmh. Very hot at end but not too terrible.

Sunday: Group bike ride with SISU in Pudong. Around 55km at moderate pace with a few bursts. 2 hours. Clear day. Not too hot. Breakfast afterwards at Viscaya.

Total: 10 sessions (9 1/4hours) Run (0 sessions, ); Swim (2 sessions, 30mins); Bike (4 sessions, 7.5hrs ); Rowing (2 sessions, 45mins ) ; Sauna 2 sessions, 30mins)

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Infographic comparing food and supplements

Supplements vs Food

Supplements vs Food [Infographic] by the team at Supplement Centre

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Race Week: People’s Triathlon in Shopshire UK

Focus: Race week. More swimming and cycling.

Monday:  Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. Swim around 2km mix breaststroke, hand paddles and freestyle. 45mins.

Tuesday: Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. Bike 30mins. Rowing 2000m 9mins 42sec. Swim around 1500m mix breaststroke, and freestyle. 30mins.

Wed: Run to pool and back around 25 mins. Bike 45mins high cadence. Row 2000m 9mins 13sec. Swim warm up breaststroke then 1500m freestyle around 9m per 500m. Total 45mins.

Thursday:Bike to Running School and back around 30mins. 60mins session at Running School. Intense high intensity interval training on technique. Run to pool and back. 30mins. Swim around 1000m. 20mins. Sauna and steam for 20mins.

Friday: Run to pool and back around 25 mins. Easy swim 30mins. Steam room 10 mins.

Saturday: Easy swim. 20mins.

Sunday: Race day.  4th in age group. Results are here. 28th overall. http://www.uktriathlon.co.uk/peoples/2013/oly_male.pdf

Total: 19 sessions (9 hours)Run (6 sessions, 3.5hrs); Swim (6 sessions, 3+hrs); Bike (3 sessions, 1.5hrs ); Rowing (2 sessions, 20mins ) ; Sauna 2 sessions, 30mins)

DSC00126 DSC00152 DSC00143

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Build week: Focus on run, more bike and some strength conditioning

Focus: Race week. More swimming and cycling.

Monday:  Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. Swim 1500m breaststroke warm up and freestyle.Bike 30mins high cadence. Evening run with Ealing Eagles, steady run around 12km. 90mins including warm up and down.

Tuesday: Easy swim 15-30mins mix breaststroke and freestyle. Rowing 5000m under 30mins.  No HR data.

Wed: Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. Swim 1300m breaststroke and freestyle. Bike 15mins high cadence.

Thursday:Bike to Running School and back around 30mins. 60mins session at Running School. Intense high intensity interval training on technique. Run to pool and back. 30mins. Rowing session 5000m 24min 32 sec. Sauna and steam for 25mins.

Friday: Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. Pool was closed so didn’t have a swim.

Saturday: Long run with middle 5k time trial. 14 km total. Time trial around 24mins, slower than last week perhaps because body feels a little fatigued. Steady run.

Sunday: Race

Total: 18 sessions (11.5 hours)

Run (8 sessions, 6.5hrs); Swim (3 sessions, 1.5hrs); Bike (3 sessions, 1.5hrs ); Rowing (2 sessions, 1 hr) ; Sauna 2 sessions, 1 hrs)

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Recover and build week

Focus: Recover from race and maintain good diet plan.

Monday:  Easy swim and sauna. 15 mins swim and 30mins steam/sauna.

Tuesday: Recovery. Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. Bike 15mins high cadence. Row 15mins easy. Swim 500m breaststroke. Steam room 10mins

Wed: Big day. Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. Swim around 2km mix breaststroke and freestyle intervals around 1:45-1:50/100m. Bike 30mins high cadence at 100rpm. Bike to Running School and back around 30mins. 60mins session at Running School. Intense high intensity interval training on technique.

Thursday: Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. Swim 30mins. Bike 20mins at high cadence on minimum effort. Felt tired after 3hrs yesterday. Plan to eat well and rest for time trial on Sat.

Friday: Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. Sauna / steam room around 30mins

Saturday: Long run with middle 5k time trial. 14 km total. Time trial under 23mins. Went out very fast had a bad second 2km and then recovered to finish strong with final km in 4:15.

Sunday: Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. Very easy recovery swim. 15mins. Bike 30mins.

Total: 20 sessions (10 hours)

Run (7 sessions, 5hrs); Swim (5 sessions, 1.5hrs); Bike (5 sessions, 2hrs ); Rowing (1 sessions, 15mins) ; Sauna 2 sessions, 1 hrs)

 

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Race Week: Maldon Tri Olypmic distance

Focus: Working some rest into training. Continue with running technique and rowing. Start intermittent fasting (8 hour eating window starting 1000-1800)

Monday:  Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. 1500m swim, 30mins. Rowing 2000m around 10mins. Some stretching. 20mins

Tuesday: Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. 1500m swim, 30mins.

Wed: Easy day. Went to pool for a sauna but closed in afternoon. Did 500m breaststroke instead stretching out.

Thursday: Slow run to pool and back. Around 30 mins. 1500m easy swim, 30mins.

Friday: Rest day. Had a steam room and sauna.

Saturday: Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. 1250m mix of breaststroke and freestyle. Easy. 30mins. 10min steam room.

Sunday: Race day. Tough day. Good swim came out 11th overall. Head winds on the 45km bike course and lost a couple of minutes on a dropped chain and an attritional run. 2hr 45 mins. 11th in age group. Swim 28:19. T1 1:02. Bike 1:24:00. T2 00:39. Run 51:32. Total time is 2:45:35.

Total: 11 sessions (11 hours)

Run (4 sessions, 2hrs); Swim (5 sessions, 2.5hrs); Bike (0 sessions ); Rowing (1 sessions, 10mins) ; Race (3hrs)

 

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2 weeks before Maldon Olympic Triathlon in Essex

Focus: Working some rest into training. Continue with running technique and rowing.

Monday:  Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. 1500m swim, 30mins. Some stretching. 20mins

Tuesday: Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. . Rowing machine 30mins , 5000m. Stretching, 20mins.

Wed: Rest day. Long drive to Halifax 400miles round trip plus late night. Not a great recovery day!

Thursday: The Running School. 60 mins session. Strength and high intensity intervals. Cycle 50 mins 15 km t0 and from the school.

Friday: Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. Rowing machine 30mins , 5000m. Stretching, 20mins.

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. Swim 1500m. About 30mins.

Total: 10 sessions (6 hours)

Run (5 sessions, 3hrs); Swim (2 sessions, 1hrs); Bike (1 sessions 45mins); Rowing (2 sessions, 60mins) ;

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Back to the UK : Running technique

Focus: Going to The running school to improve technique and speed. Gym sessions for swim, row and resistance training.

Monday:  Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. 1500m swim. Rowing machine 2000m, some stretching. Cycle to The Running School around 45mins. One hour session on technique.

Tuesday: Run to pool and back. Around 25mins. 1000m swim. Rowing machine 10mins almost 2000m, mostly stretching.

Wed: Rest day.

Thursday: Morning swim. 1500m. Run there and back. The Running School. High intensity sessions. 30secs on with technique/30secs off. Bike there and back.

Friday: Swim 1500m. 28mins . Rowing 1000m. Run to/back from pool.

Saturday: Quick swim, full pool. 500m. Rowing 10mins. Cross trainer 10mins. Stretches. Run to/back from pool.

Sunday: Rest day.

Total: 16 sessions (8.5 hours)

Run (6 sessions, 3.5hrs); Swim (5 sessions, 2hrs); Bike (2 sessions 90mins); Rowing (4 sessions, 40mins)

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Back to combo sessions

Focus: Increase frequency and combination sessions as head to UK

Monday:  Early morning swim. 1000m 20mins.

Tuesday: Swim 1500. 30mins. Weights 50mins. High reps.

Wed: Run  in park around 45 mins. Cooler than usual. Easy run around 6.5km. Average HR=135bpm. 360cal.

Sun: Induction into new gym. Run to gym and back. 2000m row in 9mins. Swim 1500m.

Total: 6 sessions (3 hours)

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Maintaining through busy work week

Focus: Get a few sessions in when possible

Tuesday:  Weights low reps heavier weights 2×10 around 30 mins.

 Friday: Weights medium reps, 2×25 around 40 mins. Run around 15mins.

Saturday: Sheshan hill running. Around 60mins, 8.5kmh with group. Hot and humid.

Total: 4 sessions (2.5 hours)

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Bringing some intensity to running sessions

Focus: String some combination sessions together

Mon: Run 45 mins alteratively from 10kmh to 12kmh every 15 mins. Fixed weights around 30mins.

Tuesday:  Run 20mins @ 10kmh. Weights around 15-20mins.

 Thursday: Weights low intensity around 30mins

Sunday: Weights 60mins. High reps 4×20.

Total: 5 sessions (3.5 hours)

 

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Recovery week

Focus: Get back into some easy sessions.

Wed: 40mins jog around the park. Air quality better. Around 6km. Nice workout. Humid day so got a nice sweat up.

Thursday: 30min swim. 1500m. Stready

 Sunday: Swim. 1500m. 27mins. Weights 30mins. Run 30mins. 5km.

Total: 5 sessions (3hours)

Swim 2 sessions (60 mins);  Bike 0 sessions (mins); Run 2 sessions (70 mins); Strength 1 sessions (30 mins).

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Race Week: Shanghai Anting Sprint Triathlon

Focus: Busy work week with 4 days of workshops and half day  coaching. Will see what I can fit in in the evenings.

Wednesday: Bike on rollers. 45mins. HR=125bpm. 113W average. 64rpm. The Powertap was blinking on and off so not sure how accurate these numbers are.

Friday: Morning swim. 1500m 30mins

Saturday: Day off

Sunday: Race day. First place in Sprint Triathlon in Anting, Shanghai. Race results here.

 

 

 

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13 days to Shanghai Anting Sprint Triathlon

Focus: Recover from the race and get some speed work in.

Monday:  Morning swim. 1500m 30mins

Tuesday: Morning swim. 1500m 30mins

Wednesday: Swim 1500m around course 30mins. Tried some weights but had a couple of twinges in both shoulders. Run 20mins high intensity. 5mins@10kmph. 5 mins@12.5kmph. 5mins@14kmph. 5mins@10kmph. Felt good.

Friday: Morning swim. 1500m 30mins

Saturday: Day off

Sunday: Sauna.

 

Total: 6 sessions (2.5 hours)

Swim 4 sessions (120 mins);  Bike 0 sessions (mins); Run 1 sessions (20mins); Strength 1 sessions (15 mins).

 

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Race Week: Bintan Triathlon

Focus: Get ready for the race.

Monday:  Morning swim. 6×200 at a fairly leisurely pace. Felt heavy after heavy training days. 25 mins. Afternoon bike on rollers fun again. 125bpm. 81rpm. 157W. 40mins. Around 15km. Seems really hard work on the rollers compared to road (I hope). Finding it hard to sustain past 40mins. Need to pack in a few more sessions before the taper.

Thursday: Cycle course around 30mins.

Friday: Swim 1500m around course 30mins.

Saturday: Race day. 2hr 32mins 43secs. Swim 1500m 27:30. Bike 40km 1hr 11min 01 sec. Run 10km 52:31. Age group 24th. Overall 101st. Very tough hilly course on bike and run. Humid. Lucky that the day stayed cloudy. Really felt the lack of training. Need to adjust my expecatations given the much lower volume of training I’ve been able to do so far this year. Will be a big challenge to come back in August for the 70.3. May not have been a good idea to ride the course and swim the day before. The rest may have been the better choice. Also the late race start meant I didn’t have a usual meal preparation. Missed my protein shake two hours before. Overall, not a bad start to the season and will see how I can lift my speed for the Shanghai Anting Sprint in two weeks. Race pictures here.

Sunday: Big breakfast and splash around the the pool.

 

 

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1 week until first OD race of the season: Bintan, Indonesia

Focus: Keep high intensity of sessions until Wed/Thursday, then ease back and get ready for pre-race hydration loading and tapering down.

Monday:  Morning swim. 6×200 at a fairly leisurely pace. Felt heavy after heavy training days. 25 mins. Afternoon bike on rollers fun again. 125bpm. 81rpm. 157W. 40mins. Around 15km. Seems really hard work on the rollers compared to road (I hope). Finding it hard to sustain past 40mins. Need to pack in a few more sessions before the taper.

Tuesday: Bike 20km around 50mins including a couple of interruptions (phone call, falling off roller!). 130bpm, 74rpm, 137W. Second 5km was around my target (over 80rpm/150W) but feeling a little tired from 10 continuous days of physical exercise. Will need to rest / taper before the race next week.

Thursday: Swim 1275m around 30mins.

Saturday: Led a group training around the park for 30km bike and 7km run.

Sunday: Run 30ins. HR average 135bpm.296cal.

Total: 7 sessions (4+hours)

Swim 2 sessions (55 mins);  Bike 3 sessions (150 mins); Run 2 sessions (60 mins);

 

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2 weeks until first OD race of the season: Bintan, Indonesia

Focus: Putting some consistent sessions together. Get back on bike.

Monday: 30 min run around 9.0kmh. 130bpm. 245cal. Hot day sweating. 30 mins Strength session. 15 mins easy swim to cool down.

Tuesday: Day off. But as was moving out of our recently sold house – got a lot of exercise packing up boxes and throwing them around a little.

Wednesday: Back on the bike! Short high intensity session on the roller. 15 mins. HR 132bpm. P=121W. Cadence 87rpm.106 cal. Need to fit in a daily session like this to get ready for race in 2 weeks!  Run in gym. 35mins. HR=128bpm. Speed around 9kmh.  Swim 20mins. Easy 2x500m.

Thursday: Bike 20mins high intensity on roller. HR=133bmp. P=146W. Cadence 92rpm. 173cal. Jog to pool and back. 30min swim 1500m. Easy paced.

Friday: Early morning swim. 30 mins. 1400m 7x200m. Faster through the sets. Afternoon bike session. 10km. 20mins. High Intensity on roller.

Saturday: Jog in park with fun run crowd. About 3km. 179cal. Bike roller session. 15km. 35mins. P=163W. HR=141bpm. 337cal. 80rpm. Run at gym 45mins. 329cal. HR=130bpm.

Sunday: 60min run in gym around 9km. HR=131bpm. 402cal. Strength session. high reps around 45mins. Afternoon on roller bike session. Around 45min. 17.25km. 380cal. 147W.129bpm.74bpm.

Total: 16 sessions (8  hours)

Swim 4 sessions (95mins);  Bike 5 sessions (135mins); Run 5 sessions (190mins); Strength 2 sessions (75mins).

 

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3 weeks until first OD race of the season: Bintan, Indonesia

Focus: Very hectic work schedule. Tried to fit in a few run and light weight sessions.

Monday: Run 35 minutes easy pace. Some light weights.

Tuesday: Easy run 30 mins.

Sunday: 2km swim. 40mins

Total: 3sessions (2 hours)

 

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4 weeks until first OD race of the season: Bintan, Indonesia

Focus: Very hectic work and travel schedule. Tried to fit in a few run and light weight sessions

Monday: Run 35 minutes easy pace. Strength session – body weight and high reps. 45 mins.

Thursday: Easy run 30 mins.

Friday: Easy run 40mins

Saturday: Easy run 40mins

Total: 4 sessions (3 hours)

Run :4 (3hr);

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5 weeks until first OD race of the season: Bintan, Indonesia

Focus: Keep training ticking over through busy work week / month ahead. Weight check = 70kg.

Monday: Run 45 mins. HR=123bpm. Swim 1500m around 09:40m / 500m.

Wednesday: Easy jog. 30min. Under 130bpm. Just to get a session in. Busy week with delivering workshops.

Friday: Light run 30mins. A few sets of high reps.

Saturday: Long strength training with machines, free weights and core training.

Sunday: Run around 35mins.

Total: 6 sessions (4 hours)

Run :4 (2hr 20min); Swim 1 (30min) ; Strength 1 (45mins); Bike 0 (/mins)

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6 weeks until first OD race of the season: Bintan, Indonesia

Focus: Consistent sessions. Interval training. Getting leaner, faster, stronger. More swimming.

Monday: Calves a little sore after weekend’s sessions. CSS test day. 400m time trial. 200m time trial. 400m time trial 6m 29sec/ 200m 3min 3 sec. CSS = 1:43 which is slower than my previous CSS of 1:41 even though both my swim times are faster. I can only guess its because one of the times got faster percentage wise than the other, but I’m not entirely sure. Doesn’t seem to make sense if your 400m and 200m times get faster how CSS can go up. I’m less confident about this as a way to train.

Wednesday: Easy swim and quick sauna. Spent yesterday recovering from food poisoning. Full 24hrs laid low. Not good. Long sleep helped.

Thursday: Light run 30mins. HR=120bpm. Strength session, high reps, 9 sets of x50 machine and free exercises. Not sure on time 45mins. Quick sauna.

Saturday: Long run at easy pace. 60 mins. HR average = 122bpm. Around 9.0kmh. Followed by core training; mainly body weight; sit ups, press ups and hindu squats. Quick sauna.

Sunday: Run around 45mins. Swim 1500m around 30mins.

Total: 6 sessions (4 hours)

Run :3 (2hr 15min); Swim 1 (30min) ; Strength 2 (60mins); Bike 0 (/mins)

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7 weeks until first OD race of the season: Bintan, Indonesia

Focus: Consistent sessions. Interval training. Getting leaner, faster, stronger.

Monday: Run 40 mins with 30mins (6 x 5mins with 4 mins @8.0kmh and 1 min 13.0kmh). Strength session with free weights around 20 mins. Indoor bike on rollers. 30mins HR=131 bpm, focus was to hold over 80rpm cadence and 150W power. Average was 88 rpm and power = 158W. Will need to test power numbers outside but for now focus is on getting in more bike sessions at a high cadence.

Wednesday: Bike. 30mins. Target 80rpm/150W. Getting more comfortable on the rollers. Really have to focus and concentrate all the time. Average HR=132bpm. 248cal. Run. 30mins. 5min intervals with 4 mins at 8kmh and 1min at 13kmh. HR124bpm average. 217cal.  Strength. 30mins. Machine weights with medium reps.

Thursday: Easy day with swim session. 35 min. 1800m, 9x200m (Three sets of 200m at CSS+7; CSS+5; CSS)

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday: Away day with STC. Shanghu lake in Changhsu. 40km bike. 10km run.

Sunday: Run with STC in Park. 12km; one lap jog and one lap hard. Good work out.

Total: 10 sessions (6.5hours)

Run :4 (190mins); Swim 1 (35min) ; Strength 2 (50mins); Bike 3 (120mins)

Move to next week: CSS test day. 400m time trial. 200m time trial. Finish with 1km time trial.

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Getting ready for the new season – 8 weeks until first OD race

Focus: Consistent sessions. Start some high intensity bike rides.

Monday: Run 40 mins with 30mins (6 x 5mins with 4 mins @8.0kmh and 1 min 13.0kmh). Strength session around 45mins. First one in a month, had some tough moments but mostly at / around the same strength as last month. Swim 20mins easy 1km.

Tuesday: Another multiple session day. Dusted off the turbo trainer and pumped out 20 mins of high cadence work. Learned about exercise to calculate maximum RPM and why high cadence bike work is a useful part of building up a stronger bike. Run for 40 mins similar to yesterday. HR much lower average 119bpm versus 135 bpm yesterday. Strength around 15-20mins a few free weight exercises and abdominal focused machine weights. Swim 40 mins, 200m warm up and 100m cool down. 9 x 200m with three sets descending CSS+7; CSS+5; CSS. Which worked out to 3:35; 3:30 and 3:20mins. Managed to hit the times spot on. Time for new CSS test and 1km time trial.

Sunday: Short bike session around 20mins. Min. cadence 80rpm focus. Results in average HR 137, 83 rpm and 152W and 204cal. Long run 60mins around 9km, 127bpm and 45ccal. Was focusing on keeping HR under 130bpm. Strength session around 20 mins with focus on low weight and high reps. Went for about 50-60% of usual weight and attempt to do a straight 50 reps. Most exercises went well. Swim 1km in around 20mins.

Total: 10 sessions (5.5 hours)

Run :3 (140mins) ; Swim 3 (80mins); Strength 2 (65mins); Bike 2 (40mins).

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Heading to New Zealand for a couple of weeks

Focus: Busy client work week. Heading to New Zealand. Swim and Run race.

Kept up with exercise; swimming pools, couple of long runs, ocean and lake swim. Some hiking. Of course diet went a little on the junk food side but didn’t loose it too much!

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Base Training: Start to string more sessions together

Focus: Base training continues. Keep things ticking over during gym week off. Add some high intensity interval training (HIIT).

Monday: Double session. 60mins strength session going through free weights and machines. 45 mins swim. 20x100m with CSS+4 (1:39-1:144)/100m. Cold and rain on the way. Stopped all outdoor training due to poor air quality.

Tuesday: Swim around 60mins. Warm up then 10x200m from 3:38-3:18 with times getting quicker through the sets. Pool congested and feeling a little sluggish after eating a pizza about an hour before training! RPE=6-7.

Wednesday: Double session. 45 mins run on treadmill. Warm up/Warm down 15mins each at 8.5kmh. 15 mins with 30secs sprint at 12kmh/9.0kmh. RPE=6 HR average = 137bpm. 343cal. Swim 1500 m 200m warm up/cool down. 5 x 200m at RPE=7-8. Time 3:15sec. Felt good and light. Happy with this time and looking forward to this month’s CSS test. 27 strokes per min average.

Thursday: Strength training. 60mins machine weights mostly. Easy swim 30mins 1600m. RPE=4. Busy gym.

Friday: Day off

Saturday/Sunday: Zen Meditation Retreat. Lots of hiking up a steep mountain. Fresh air.

Total: 6 sessions ( 5.5  hours)

Swim: 3 sessions (2.5hrs); Run 1 sessions ( 60 mins); Strength 2 session (2hr)

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Chinese New Year of the Snake week

Focus: Base training continues. Keep things ticking over during gym week off. Add some high intensity interval training (HIIT).

Monday: Day off.

Tuesday: Run in park (AQI=80 moderate). 10.69km, 504 cal, 154bpm. HR too high for this pace. Perhaps the three days off or light breakfast was a factor.

Wednesday: Run. Jog to gym and back. Treadmill. HIIT. 8.5kmh/14.0kmh. 30sec/30sec. With some steady jogging. 30minutes. HR average 133bpm. Some heavy weight reps sets of 8/5. Abs, chest and shoulders. Easy recovery swim 500m. Pool was packed as first day back after CNY holidays.

Thursday: 60 mins strength session. Free weights and machines. 1km swim easy around 09:10-09:16/500m. Quick sauna.

Friday: Swim 60mins. Warm up 500m. 20x100m off CSS (1:40) with 20 seconds rest between each set. Average 1:37/100m. Try with less rest next time. Good steady effort.

Saturday: Day off

Sunday: Day off. Went for a sauna but it was out of order.

Total: 6 sessions ( 4.5  hours)

Swim: 3 sessions (2hrs); Run 2 sessions ( 90 mins); Strength 1 session (1hr)

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Base training continues as Chinese New Year approaches

Focus: Base training continues.

Monday: Day off.

Tuesday: Strength session. Much the same as last week. 3 sets of x10x8 and x5 with low weights. About 60mins.

Wednesday: 70min run through the park (AQI=151, lightly polluted). Very slow pace again but HR was more under control. Average 7:00/km. Average HR=136bpm. Did some abdominal crunches and lat pulls before swim. 60mins, 2.8km. 4x300m..200m..100m..50..25m. 300m (5:10-5:20), 200m (3:20-3:25), 100m (1:36-1:38), 50m (0:44-0:46) and 24m (0:21-0:22). Rest time between 10-30sec, shorter distance, shorter rest. One minute rest between sets. Jog home.

Thursday: Yoga session 60 mins. Very inflexible hamstrings and lower back. Sauna afterwards around 20mins.

Friday: Same run in the park. Very cold, snowed yesterday (AQI=80 moderate). Took a long time for HR to come down to aerobic zone (cold, small breakfast?). 70 mins. Average HR=141bpm. Average 7:20/km. Some heavy weight machines for abdominals and chest. 2km swim in 37 mins. Average 1:50 / 100m.

Saturday: Still need time to absorb new strength training and yoga. No training. Chinese New Year.

Sunday: Day off

Total: 6 sessions ( 6  hours)

Swim: 2 sessions (100mins); Run 2 sessions ( 140mins); Yoga 1 sessions (1hrs); Strength 1 session (1hr)

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Base training

Focus: Base training continues.

Monday: Rest day.

Tuesday: Run through the park, sunny day. 30 min 4.29km, 203cal, 127bpm. HR seemed to get under control quicker today. Pace still very very slow. Strength training 60mins. Did a 10 min fit test on the cross trainer again, scored “average” this week, up from “poor”! Went through all the machines doing three sets x10/ x8/ x5 using low weights. Swim 10x100m sprints off CSS pace (1:40/100m). Grouped between 1:35-1:40 with 20 seconds rest between each set. Jog home.

Wednesday: Stretching with a Chi Balance class .

Thursday: Morning run through park, 60mins. Warm and sunny with blueish skies. Nice. HR very erratic and too high for this type of pace. Concerning. May need to check it out. Evening yoga session 60mins. Tough and tight in hamstrings.

Friday: Swim. 30 minutes. 1500m Swimming 5x300m from 5:18-5:28. Sauna after.

Sunday: Long sauna.

Total: 7 sessions ( 5.5 hours)

Swim: 2 sessions (1hrs); Run 2 sessions ( 90mins); Yoga 2 sessions (2hrs); Strength 1 session (1hr)

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