Hours++

HoursPlusPlusI’m sat in my very empty flat now. Less than a week till the grand departure and I’m without bed, sofa or much else. Sods law that it’s now I get hit by some sort of bug and there’s no TV to snuggle up in front off or bed or sofa to laze in. Feeling pretty down as it’s a gorgeous day and I’ve missed out on a club ride out in to Kent. Also – I’d rather banked on today for my long ride having not ridden at the weekend and I’ve missed it. Selling / packing up all my belongings is proving a massive distraction from training and I really feel ill prepared for New Zealand let alone Epic Camp. I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t need to rush things for Ironman New Zealand as the important race is Kona. My aim is to make the most of the good weather (hopefully) in New Zealand and establish a good base – this will probably mean just a weeks taper for IM NZ.

The picture above is from IM Florida – Jane and Jude prepared this sign but I never saw it on the course and it’s only now that Janes as found her camera that 2 years on I get to see it ! There’s a little copyright symbol “© Jo “ – this is because Jo chalked this up my first year at Kona on Ali’i drive.

Finally got round to looking at my total hours, gym work, weight and HR over the past few years. Here are some stats.

hoursplus

HOURS

This just again highlights what I knew about this year – I’ve just not put the training hours in that I have in previous years. The big days / weeks have been there but the consistency not. The biggest day stands out but that was the Mid Wales Ultra – with the West Highland Ultra next summer I’m likely to surpass that ! It’s the consistency tthat’s really been stuffed – only about half the weeks I’ve managed over 20 hours in the previous three years I’ve been closer to 40 weeks. This is reflected in the plan – where the aim is for 40 weeks over 20 hours. The number of big weeks (>40hrs) looks a little optimistic – I will review this.

hours-2

The graph left shows the distribution of weeks over certain hours for each of the last 5 years.

You can see that 2008 has a bigger ‘tail’

 – ie I put in more monster weeks but the middle of the graph it’s well below – I just didn’t maintain a good steady underlying volume.

I think I’ll be using Eddington numbers to motivate me here. My best annual

 Eddington number was 30 weeks of 30 or more hours in 2007. I’d like to top that next year !

Lets face it, there’s nothing to astonishing here.

GYM

HoursPlusPlus1

This one I found fascinating. Before I went part time and then not working I used to go and do weights sessions regularly. The gym was on the way to and from work so it was convenient. You can see in the past 2 years I’ve done virtually no gym work. In those two years my weight has been more erratic (see later) and I would argue my performances have been. This graph shows my week to date gym hours for

  • year to Oct 06 (red)
  • year to Oct 07 (green)
  • year to Oct 08 (blue)

This more or less coincides with going part time in 06. The previous year showed lots of gym work (didn’t include as it ruined the clarity). Both 2005 and 2006 were very consistent year – I raced well everytime I stepped to the line. I really feel gym work is key for next year. The concern is with all the moving around it will be difficult. One thing I know it that I’m good at going to the gym once I have a routine. The blue “blips” above were when Jo and I briefly went to the gym together every Monday morning.

WEIGHT

Here’s the interesting one. This is a place I definitely have issues. I really believe low weight is a key to performance in endurance events. In recent years I’ve found it awesomely difficult to keep my weight in check. In 04/05 I was rarely above 168lbs whereas in recent years I’m rarely below that. In 2005 when I raced so well all the time and did all my run PBs I spent most of the year under 160lbs. The past two years there have been a mere handful of days where I’ve been under that weight. Here’s my weekly average weight for the past few years

HoursPlusPlus2

•2004 – brown

•2005 – yellow

•2006 – red

•2007 – green

•2008 – blue

Throughout 05 I ran well and middle of 06 (just where the graph dips below 160) I ran 3:07 marathon at Longest Day. All this has done is reaffirmed my belief that the key to me improving is my weight. I think the past two years I’ve been super fit but thats not been fully demonstrated due to heading into races overweight. By way of example – for Ironman New Zealand this year I was about 165lbs and had a good race at IM Germany I was 179lbs and has a bad race ! I know whats required to keep my weight down but I’m still at a loss as to how I can stick to it. Back in 05 I don’t remember having any such problems ! But back then I used to keep a little calorie counting spreadsheet on my PC at work and when I left I knew precisely how many calories I had left to consume ! I stopped doing that because I thought it wasn’t healthy to be that obsessed…. but looking back I was in control !

SLEEP

Not much to say – each year I promise to try and get more sleep – the stats show that I’ve managed it. Still not managed the target of averaging 8 hours a night.

HEART RATE

This year I was chuffed that I measured my resting HR under 30 !! This was in the run up to NZ which is probably the hardest block of training I’ve ever done. I do notice a massive correlation between HR and Weight. Weight goes up when i eat carbs and my HR spikes the morning after eating alot of carbs – frighteningly so sometime. Here’s a graph that plots HR and weight:

HoursPlusPlus3

•2005 HR – green

•2005 wt – yellow

•2008 HR – blue

•2008 wt – red

Eyeballing that there’s quite a correlation between weight and HR ! I don’t think they cause each other. No, there’s a common underlying cause of each and thats high carb diet.

Conclusions from this;

  1. Steady weekly volume. Aim to get a weekly hours Eddington number of 30 or more
  2. Get into the gym on a regular basis
  3. Get back down to low 160s weight.
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