January 2017 seems to have slipped by in a flash. I can’t count the first few days of the year as I spluttered into the New Year catching one of the many heavy colds that were breeding in warm homes amongst the Christmas & new year festivities, handed off in hugs & kisses as we met friends and family.
My new year like many in the last decade began in Scotland for our Hogmanay holiday with friends up in Elgin. Before being struck down with the lurgy I managed to get a good few runs in the fresh Scottish air and enjoy the countryside, forests and beaches.
This New Year we enjoyed a temperature inversion and Elgin was basking in 14c while back in Calne it was minus 6c. We did have one dusting of snow but it only lasted a few hours but brightened up the dog walk in the forest that morning.
My main goals this year were to simplify my training and especially my 2017 race plan. In years gone by my thumb print and fingers have hovered over far too many ENTER HERE or BUY NOW buttons. I now just need to deactivate my Paypal, WIGGLE and Amazon accounts to stop spending on bargains – I don’t need any more kit !
How am I going so far ? – race entries confirmed for the year, I’m sure I’ll get used to less bling and I really don’t need any more t-shirts. The online purchases have been reduced to essentials only.
I had to be a little creative with one days strength training session, I was on the 5am train to Brussels returning late that night. Luckily I got a 1st class ticket in the January sales (work related purchase so allowed !) and the carriage was empty, so I took advantage and did my plank sessions in the aisle. Where there’s a will theres a way 😃
Training – since 9th January my official start to the year after the lurgy and holiday has been ticking over nicely with 8:00 hours a week so far. Physical prep and stretching are becoming a consistent part of my training too. Realising the older I get the more I need to stretch and strengthen this old body. I am also running or riding to time rather than distance at the moment. This is especially controllable on the indoor bike rides, outdoor running makes me plan my routes better so I don’t get stuck 3 miles from home.
Heart Rate – Another change is I’ve started running & riding with my HR. I have a stupidly high HR maxing out regulalry at 198 on a bike or run. So I have been trying to slow things down and a run & ride in HR zone2 each week – its tough and the slightest incline sees my heart spike. Luckily it plummets quickly too.
My resting heart rate is a good indictor when I am picking up a lurgy too. Pre asthma it was around or below 50BPM, post asthma & inhalers its high 50’s and when I’m going down with something jumps over the 60BPM mark.
Planning – I’ve been using Training Peaks with the help of my good friend Claire, club coach, PT, ironman Wales finisher and task master. She’s got me to do and enjoy the physical prep side of things and her nutrition background acts as my Food Fairy. So far TP has mostly been a green month for January.
Asthma – Generally OK, peak flow stabilising around 450 and I’ve learnt I need to take my inhalers twice daily as prescribed (not worth missing). Only had to reach for the blue inhaler a couple of times during runs which were on really chilly / foggy days. One Wheezy Wednesday forced me to have a rest day just last week. But since having my 3 month review in December and doses adjusted I’ve experienced less chest infections, less coughing and no serious breathing issues. Also the numbers on the scales are starting to head in the right direction.
Tests – to get some benchmarks in place I completed
WATT bike 20minute FPT test and was happy to see an increase in power since last years November test.
Swim 500m TT within 2,800m set. Held 1:58/100m pace throughout, this is quite away off my previous pace and reflects lack of pool time in previous months.
Run – speed has well and truly deserted me ! The focus has been building my endurance back up. Although I have been doing weekly Fartlek / hill sessions to build strength which paid off with my fastest Parkrun time for about 12 months at a staggering 30:03 !
I’ve now got 5 more weeks of steady training to take me through February before I head off on my 50th birthday holiday known as HAWAII50 😃