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I'm a massive caffeine drinker under normal circumstances. I cut down in the week before a big race then have a nice strong coffee on race morning plus some Pro Plus (I used to have caffeinated Lucozade but they stopped making it for some reason, shame as I liked the taste!), then near the end of the marathon I'll have a caffeinated gel for a last boost. I think it only works if you have a lot of caffeine in your normal life though, otherwise you might not stomach it too well.
I'm a Swansea supporter AW so fingers crossed they will do the business at Wembley but could make my Monday run a bit more difficult if they do!
A very interesting day at the fitness assessment today. I also got a nice surprise when I got home, a delivery waiting for me which turned out to be my prize for finishing 2nd in the 10k at Dorney! A very nice set of Scott sunglasses, very exciting getting my first running prize!
I wont put everyone to sleep with all the results of the fitness assessment, but I'll summarise the outcome.
I have actually had a fitness test done before in September so it will be a good chance to see what progress there has been. Today's test was conducted on a bike and was sub maximal, so they only took me to 85% of my max and then from that they work out the V02 max etc. The previous test I had was on a treadmill and was a test to failure, so it was an interesting comparison for me.
They did some body composition first, my body fat was 6.4%, last time I had this done it was 10.5% so good progress there. My Vo2 max came out at 54.3 mL/kg/min, in the previous test it was 60.01. From what I was told I think this was slightly lower as the test was conducted on a bike where as when I had it done before it was on a treadmill. I was told this was a very good level to have reached and the doctor that was with us hadn't seen any one get a reading that high so can't be too bad!?
I will get a more detailed report through in a few days, but I did get a basic idea of a few other areas of the test. My lung function is well above average, normal is about 80% and mine came in at 112%. And my efficiency at delivering oxygen is also well above average, meaning I hold a lower heart rate while working hard.
The one disappointing thing was that in the matabolic efficiency test, I started to burn carbs quite quickly as the intensity increased. However I was told that this was more than likely because I don't ever use a bike and I'm using my muscles differently to when I run so if it were a treadmill test I would probably find I burn more fat for longer before I start to use carbs.
It will be interesting to get the full report so I can compare the two tests properly, and hopefully be able to see what progression there has been.
test sounds good as does the conclusions - clearly you are in great condition.
well done on winning the prize.
I thought the body burned carbs in preference to fat? Hence the whole 'wall' thing when you run out of carbs and switch to fat burning. Have I got it wrong?
Been away with work so first chance to check in for a few days.
Glad to see its going well AW. Wouldn't mind doing one of those Bupa assessments myself.
Running wise I've had a crap week. 2 runs and 12 miles total (50m planned). Had a massage last night but it appears I've got a tight lower right hamstring (hopefully not a tear) resulting in stiffness behind the knee. Not terrible but annoying especially as I didn't race full on last weekend. I'm able to run but have not been able to push the pace or tackle hills at all.
Re Caffeine: Realising I was addicted this summer (8+ cups a day anyone?) I've now weened myself off and get by with one or two max a day. I now drink caffeine free tea and coffee and hardly notice the difference. Getting to the point...when I now take a caffeine gel I get an awesome hit. I'm only going to take one at Brighton this year but will use it at a timely moment.
Look after that hamstring AndyV, I'm sure it will be fine and like you say just a bit of tightness. Hopefully the massage will help sort it out. The fitness assessment was really interesting, I think you get the best out of them if you have them fairly consistently, say every 6 months or something. That way you can compare and see differences.
Hi CC2, as the effort gets harder the body relies more heavily on carbohydrates as they are converted to energy quicker than fat. I think when you hit the wall its because there is no more carbs for the body to draw on so it switches to the fats which are the next quickest for it to use. I think generally you use a combination of both for exercise and at lower intensity you use a higher proportion of fats, what I found disappointed was at a relatively low intensity my body started burning a higher proportion of carbs than fats. Apparently its all to do with how efficiently your muscles use fats for energy, as I'm not used to cycling my muscles are not that efficient during this so they started burning more carbs quite quickly!!!
It was my first proper hills session today in a long long time! It was actually not as bad as I was expecting it to be!
I followed Steve's suggestion as to how to structure the session, so had a 1.5 mile warm up and then 4 x 200 metre efforts gradually increasing the pace with each one.
I then went in to the main part of the session and completed 8 x 400 metre efforts with jog recoveries down the hill. I was pretty happy with this part of the session, I did consider doing 10 reps but my mileage was already on about 7 miles with a cool down still to do! As I was only meant to be doing 6 miles I thought I better finish or risk a telling off!
Finished off with 4 x 20 second blasts on the steepest part of the hill with walk recoveries and then 1.5 miles cool down to home!
Stats from today -
9 miles total run in 1.16.36
4 x 200m efforts - 47's (6.33m/m), 44s (6.26m/m), 43's (6.20m/m), 41's (5.50m/m)
8 x 400m efforts - 1.28, 1.30, 1.28, 1.30, 1.28, 1.27, 1.29, 1.29 (all about 6m/m - 10k pace) The ascent was about 40ft.
That looks a good session - You maintained the pace well on the long reps and accelerated well on the shorter ones at the start.
After a modest hilly parkrun, I did the same as you with a club group but obviously much slower, though it was a 80 feet ascent in the 400m so a bit steeper and slower than 8:00 pace up the hill but felt was running better than normal, certainly compared to an awful track session Tuesday and knee niggle I picked up at last week's cross-country seemed ok..
After a morning jog in fresh snow it was the National XC for me this afternoon. Kinda muddy (understatement) but easier to run on than the course at the Midlands a couple of weeks ago. I didn't really race it (saving myself for a 10k next weekend) but put in enough effort for a workout. Just scraped inside the top 100, which sounds a bit rubbish when I'm used to finishing top 15 in the North Mids league. Two hills, done twice, so it sort of counts as a hill session!
Tomorrow's 18 may be a struggle as the pavements are all slushy and horrible, and it's going to freeze overnight. Multiple laps of the business park in Sunderland that served as the park n ride for the race today might be in order. The paths there had been cleared.
I saw your result SG - top 100 in national is much better than top15 in a regional league!
Cold and windy here but no snow, slush or ice yet, and if knees ok, 20 mile plus tomorrow planned.
Really? That's OK then! What sort of position should I be looking at for the Inter Counties in two weeks?
It snowed again overnight, making it possible, but hard going, to run 18 miles on snow covered frozen slush. And that was a cutback week. Pah!
I can't remember how many weeks Paris is before London. What week are you on now AW?
Paris is two weeks before London. I think the Inter Counties will be slightly higher standard than National as it is more central than Sunderland and also is world xc trial. Certainly your National was lot lot better than your 58th in Midland.
I felt awful at first this morning on long run and first three miles were 10:18 and 9:14 and 8:22 which didn't help average pace - then averaged roughtly sub 8s from 4 to 14 and then 7:30s and felt ok up to 23 and managed one more mile sub 8 to do 24 to average 7:59 and apart from last mile felt better than normally do in long runs and reasonably pleasing after parkrun/hill session day before
CC2 - As Steve said its two weeks before London so I've just finished week 10 now. Sounds like you had a good run at Nationals, well done, sounds like it was tough. A nice 18 to follow it up today also!
Nice run Steve, must be nice to get 24 under your belt, and after feeling bad for the first few it must be pleasing to get through that amount of miles?!
Sounds like a nice run too KR, good to find a place where you can have it to your self. Hope you 20 miler goes well today, how many 20+ runs are you planning on getting in? I'm using For Goodness Shakes recovery drinks post hard sessions - its a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein, it tastes great too which is a big plus.
I had a really good run today, and its filled me with loads of confidence for the task ahead. Probably my best long run of this campaign, and I did the whole run with no water or gels. I did try out the carb load day yesterday so was well fueled and had a good breakfast, I plan to replicate the last 36 hours as closely as possible food and drink wise as it seems to have worked well.
My total run was 22 miles in the end, I ran the first 17 miles with my club this averaged a nice comfortable 8.10 pace, and then went on to do a 5 mile blast at the end at marathon pace. The pleasing thing was how relatively comfortable the marathon pace section at the end felt.
Its good to feel like this at the end of a fairly hard weeks training and following a pretty tough hills session yesterday.
Splits from today -
yes very encouraging run to bang out faster than marathon miles with ease, close on three hours into a long run after the week's training AW. I was content with my 7:30s and no way could I have finished as strongly as you and I am long way in advance of my sub-three fitness from last year so you are also well ahead of where you need to be at this time.
Next weeks training looks like this!
Mon Feb 25th: rest or 5M easyFeb 26th: 16 x 400 in 80-85 starting every 2mins (8M in total)Feb 27: 11M steady in 7:30sFeb 28: 9M build up run - starting at 8s and down to 6sMar 1: 5M easy or restMar 2: session at Birmingham - total 6MMar 3: 20M in 2:15 plus 2M wu/wdweek total: 61M
Excellent long run AW!
Steve - the least said about the Midlands XC the better!
Wow, great running AW. Quality finish to the 22m. Looking at your schedule i see you are down for either 'Rest' or '5m' tomorrow. With a session like today what do you expect to do tomorrow? I personally find I always need a day off or light cross training only the day after a long LSR (+18m). This said everyone is different and I'm some way off your pre-marathon training base.
While still nursing a tight hamstring my week's tally improved to 40.5m (50m planned) with an general aerobic (8mm+ pace) 8m yesterday and a slow 20.5m today. I suspect I've got another week of saunas, swimiming and stretching ahead with Silverstone Half on Sunday. I planned to race this flat out but suspect I might have to lower my expectations as at the moment even mara pace feels like abit of a gamble.
Good 22 mile run AW, you must hve felt you were really holding back with the brakes on for most of that! I@ve not treid that Goodness Shakes drink, I tend to use the SIS recovery drink adn make it up before i go and keep it in the fridge.
20 miles todya for me in 2.34.19 with a negative split of about 4/5 minutes. Tired to keep it easy paced first half, then got down to low 7.30's and then 3 miles at 7.10 pace. Please to have got the first 20 miler out of the way. I'm the same with recovery runs, I like doing them on a Monday at an easy pace.
Not a bad mileage total for the week Andy (good to get the 20 miler in), although I guess you'd be happier with 50 miles. Take it easier on Sunday at Silverstone with the hamstring, a marathon paced run would be just as good an effort as a full on run and damaging it more?
Crikey Steve, 24 miles is an impressive mileage for a long run esp after the uncertain first 3 miles. I think a lot of people would have cut the run shorter.
Andy if the tight hamstring persists get someone to look at your lower back, this is usually the cause of tights hamstrings and sooner rather than later so you don't get soft tissue changes accumulating.
Awesome 22 miler AW after a full on week of training. You are in great shape on both speed and endurance.
E'burgh is 7 weeks after Paris so last week was only wk 3 for me but given I have 3 duathlons in the build up I wanted to get a really solid endurance week in and whilst speed work suffered as tired from biking I was really pleased overall to get in about 11 hours of cycling along with about 65 miles of running including a 22 miler. Found on the long run my legs/buttocks got cold towards the end and I couldn't imagine cranking it up as you did. Well done again!
Denis Duret wrote (see)
Ruth, I am using Torq recovery which has 22g of protein and 61g of carbohydrate per serving. So it would make sense to have my lunch a bit later (or have half recovery drink). Thanks for your help.
A.W wrote (see)
A very interesting day at the fitness assessment today. I also got a nice surprise when I got home, a delivery waiting for me which turned out to be my prize for finishing 2nd in the 10k at Dorney! A very nice set of Scott sunglasses, very exciting getting my first running prize! I wont put everyone to sleep with all the results of the fitness assessment, but I'll summarise the outcome. I have actually had a fitness test done before in September so it will be a good chance to see what progress there has been. Today's test was conducted on a bike and was sub maximal, so they only took me to 85% of my max and then from that they work out the V02 max etc. The previous test I had was on a treadmill and was a test to failure, so it was an interesting comparison for me. They did some body composition first, my body fat was 6.4%, last time I had this done it was 10.5% so good progress there. My Vo2 max came out at 54.3 mL/kg/min, in the previous test it was 60.01. From what I was told I think this was slightly lower as the test was conducted on a bike where as when I had it done before it was on a treadmill. I was told this was a very good level to have reached and the doctor that was with us hadn't seen any one get a reading that high so can't be too bad!? I will get a more detailed report through in a few days, but I did get a basic idea of a few other areas of the test. My lung function is well above average, normal is about 80% and mine came in at 112%. And my efficiency at delivering oxygen is also well above average, meaning I hold a lower heart rate while working hard. The one disappointing thing was that in the matabolic efficiency test, I started to burn carbs quite quickly as the intensity increased. However I was told that this was more than likely because I don't ever use a bike and I'm using my muscles differently to when I run so if it were a treadmill test I would probably find I burn more fat for longer before I start to use carbs. It will be interesting to get the full report so I can compare the two tests properly, and hopefully be able to see what progression there has been.
You can not compare a VO2 on bike versus treadmill so don't read too much into this - not only are you trained in one over the other one is also weight supported (bike) and one is not, so very different sports and muscle groups and one was to sub max and one was to failure. In biking you will nearly always hit the wall before running (or as cyclists call it "bonking" ). You are using less muscles group in cycling so often the thigh muscles are depleted (your thighs can not take carbs stored in your arms & use them so once carbs depleted in thighs you are going to start fatiguing). I also agree with your efficiently on the bike may be quite poor compared to running hence energy use. So all in all these are really good results.
There is some thought but not main stream that fatigue is caused via the brain not by carb depletion but I think research will show that central fatigue will of course play a role but fuel depletion will always be there as the main contender (thought
thought I would throw that into the mix!).
Denis Duret- that is a real endurance recovery drink so you could actually wait up to 2 hours until lunch but no longer.
Nice 20 KR, good progression for the second half and a strong finish.
That's a fair few hours your putting in Nutterman, you must be doing around the 20 hour mark with the running and cycling combined?! You certainly should have a good solid base of endurance from those hours.
Thanks Ruth, it seems strange to me that they don't make the tests specific to what you do. Surely it cant be that much of a problem to have a treadmill and a bike and just use whichever is more suitable? I'm guessing that if I were to do a treadmill test my VO2 would probably be higher than the last time I did a treadmill test back in September.
Nothing special to report from today's run, legs were feeling ok and not overly aching like my calves were after last weeks long run. I actually found it a bit easier to run a bit faster, it seemed like more effort to run slower for some reason!?
I ran a little bit over distance today, mostly because I had to go somewhere and it was easier to run there. 7 miles in total for today at around 7.30 a mile.
117 is impressive Choisty!
well done on the 7 yesterday AW - I managed just one mile and a hour's cycling