Sunday, 28 April 2013

Speedo Keep Going Swim After Swim Challenge

I recently received an email that stated thus

Speedo® wants you to take the Keep Going Swim After Swim Challenge and test our long lasting Endurance®+ swimwear!

Well as I'm doing plenty of swimming a the moment, I thought I'd give this a bash. So, I said yes and waited with baited breath for my package.

Following on from receiving my package from Speedo, I've been swimming exclusively in my new Endurance+ jammers. I believe I've racked up about 12 hours of swimming in that time.

The challenge posed a series of points that need addressing, the first point is

Endurance+ fabric is longer lasting with 20 times more fade resistance than conventional elastane swimwear, with improved snag resistance. Did you find the swimwear to be more resilient?

Over the challenge the shorts have been in out of the pool, chucked in the spin drier, crumpled up in my kit bag and put through the wash. Over the period the shorts have kept their shape and form with no loss of the elastic around the waist and legs, and neither has the material snagged in any way over the test.

Endurance+ fabric is 100% chlorine resistant and contains no elastane, so it will not degrade in chlorinated water. Did you find the fabric retained its colour / quality compared to your normal swimwear?

These shorts have not lost any colour over the challenge, the striking blue colour is as vibrant now as it was when I received them.

Endurance+ fabric is quick drying as it has a lower level of moisture absorption. Did your Speedo Endurance+ swimsuit dry quicker than your normal swimsuit?  

As the gym I use has a spin drier, the length of drying time really isn't identifiable. But the Speedo shorts expel more moisture during the spin and are noticeably drier when I unpack my kit at the end of the day.

All said and done, I really like these shorts, they hold their shape and are very comfortable. At the end of the swim, the shorts have neither risen up my legs not rolled down on my waist. 

Yes these are a great pair of shorts, if I could sneak in a subtle outboard motor they'd be perfect

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Week 10

This is the final week of the base phase, one third of the training plan has been ticked off. Or, to look at it the other way, two thirds left.

Monday's rest day was a bit of anti-climax following on from the great time we had on the weekend. but at least it's a short week as we're going away on rugby tour this weekend. Yes, under 7s rugby tour; it's gonna be all about overdosing on Ribena.

The scenes from the Boston Marathon are horrific, my thoughts and wishes go to all those that have been affected. It's a sad day, a sad day indeed. At the time of writing there have been 3 reported deaths. No-one should ever leave their house in the morning to go to a race and not come back.

Tuesday's swim felt good, the main set was 1 x 300m, 3 x 200m, 1 x 300m. I felt strong through the set, I'd even go as far as saying I enjoyed it.

It was great to run in the sun on Tuesday evening, I'm really happy in the way my running is progressing; running at sub 5 minute kilometres on this 60 minute lumpy run.

Wednesday morning was back to the gym with a row followed by a strength and core session. All felt good, particularly in the leg work, which seems to be making some gains.

Despite it being an easy Z1 spin, I really didn't feel the love for Wednesday's turbo session. It really seemed to drag, I was so please when it was all done and dusted and i could get off my bike.

I did a 2,500m swim time trail on Thursday morning, the time was 53:25. This is 21 seconds down on my last time trial; whilst I accept this is a marginal difference, I'm disappointed that the perceived gains do not appear to be materialising.

The disappointment of this morning's swim was wiped away with the pace achieved on the post turbo run. 45 minutes on the turbo was followed by 30 minutes of hilly running.

The weekend started on Friday, as I'd taken the day off in readiness for the rugby tour. But that didn't mean my training would be interrupted.

I packed the boys off to school and went for a great 13km 66 minute run. Then it was back home to pack the car, pick up the boys and head west.

The great thing about West Wales, when I say great I mean unfortunate. But the terrain was perfect preparation for the hills at Ironman Wales. The ride on Saturday consisted of 1,244m of climbing over 72.5km. Despite the ride having 8 category 4 climbs, I didn't find it arduous; even with the additional hydration on Friday night.

I fair quantity of re-hydration followed the ride and the evening consisted of fancy dress (obligatory photo shown below)

An all day session meant that I was not looking forward to getting up for Sunday's 90 minute run. But i was determined to be back for the rugby on the beach. So I was up and out by 8am, and once again climbing those damn hills. 

A good hard session, but the injury to my calf re-occurred. I am convinced that it is now time I invested in some calf guards.

Of course the rest of the day involved a beer or two, this was a rugby tour after all.

Summary of Week 10
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 1:54 2:00 -0:06 15%
Bike 5:26 5:00 +0.26 43%
Run 4:06 4:00 +0:06 33%
Other 1:06 0:45 +0:21 9%
Total 12:32 11:45 +0:47

A very good week's training, capped off with a great ride in a beautiful part of the country.

Cumulative Summary
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 21:30 20:00 +1:30 22%
Bike 35:14 34:15 +0.59 36%
Run 30:50 30:45 +0:05 31%
Other 10:38 7:30 +3:08 11%
Total 98:12 92:30 +5:42

Base training is now finished, and job done. I feel ready to take it up a level 

Monday, 15 April 2013

Week 9

My ever so beautiful wife is celebrating a landmark birthday this week, and we'll be having a birthday party for her. I won't be so crass as to mention her age, that would only be rude of me

I took full advantage of Monday's rest day. I could still feel the tightness in my calf, but at least I was moving freely. how it responds over the next day or so will determine my training for the rest of the week.

Tuesday's swim was a bit of a long one again (3,000m) with the main set of 4 x 125m; 4 x 175m; 4 x 125m. I cramped a bit towards the end, which may possibly be due to the calf strain.

I ummed and ahhed all day whether I should risk causing damage to my calf by running (or training at all on Tuesday evening); my final decision was to run in Z1 along the prom. It was a great night for a run and I had no ill effects after the run, in fact it felt a little better than before.

A row followed by a strength and core session was the order of the day for Wednesday morning, with the proviso of omitting calf raises. Despite there being no after effects from the training this week I felt that this exercise could cause some damage.

The recovery of my calf goes from strength to strength, the Z1 spin on the turbo on Wednesday evening went without any repercussions.

Thursday's swim consisted of a main set of 16 x 25m, 1 x 400m, 16 x 25m. It's amazing what thoughts go through your mind when you spend an hour looking at little blue tiles. Thankfully for everyone reading this I'll keep those thoughts to myself.

Thursday's brick session was the first Z2 effort since I'd tweaked my calf, bike element went without a hitch. I could still feel the area whilst running but I would not classify it as pain. Pleasingly, there was not a deterioration in pace.

Back on course for Friday's Z2 run, however, just to be safe I strapped up my calf. Ran at my usual pace of approximately 5:10kms.

I brought Saturday's long ride forward to Friday night, so that involved 2 hours and 45 minutes on the turbo. This meant that today was a heavy load, but at least I'll be free for all of Saturday's festivities.

Ang had a great day on her birthday, not having to get out there and do a training session meant that I wasn't dictating any of the proceedings.

Despite having a late night, James still played rugby on Sunday morning, and played well scoring two tries and the boys winning their last game of the season. 

My plan was to run home from the rugby ground at Hendy. I estimated it to be about 8 miles, I was about 2 miles out as I ended up running over 16km.

Despite the run being a bit longer than expected, it was nice and flat. This meant that I ticked along nicely despite running into a head wind for most of the way

Summary of Week 9
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 2:23 2:00 +0:23 20%
Bike 4:30 4:30 +0.00 38%
Run 3:43 3:30 +0:13 32%
Other 1:08 0:45 +0:23 10%
Total 11:44 10:45 +0:59

Despite starting the week tentatively due to my calf strain, it was all fine and dandy by the time I got to the end of the week

Cumulative Summary
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 19:36 18:00 +1:36 23%
Bike 29:48 29:15 +0.33 35%
Run 26:44 26:45 -0:01 31%
Other 9:32 6:45 +2:47 11%
Total 85:40 80:45 +4:55

Monday, 8 April 2013

Week 8

As this is the last recovery week in the base stage, this will be the easiest (in terms of volume and intensity) week's training I'll have for a while.

As usual Monday is a rest day, but the added bonus of it being a Bank Holiday means I get the chance just to lounge about and watch a film with Ang and the boys.

Tuesday's swim set was a 2,500m time trial; I posted a time of 53:04 which is a bit slower than last time. Understandably, with the progress I felt I'd made recently with my swims, I'm a bit disappointed by this.

Summer is on its way! I actually ran in shorts on Tuesday night; a 60 minute Z2 session which ticked along nicely.

Back in the gym Wednesday morning for a row and a strength and core session.

Tough brick on Wednesday evening, it was hot in the conservatory on the turbo, and the run after was far from comfortable. 

Thursday's swim felt like I'm still making progress, the main set was 12 x 100m.

Easy Z1 spin on the turbo on Thursday night, the only disappointing thing was that I couldn't hear Game of Thrones coz the turbo was too loud.

Do you get the feeling that it's never going to get warm? It was so cold out on my run on Friday morning; it must have taken nearly 30 minutes for my hands to warm up.

Took the opportunity that some friends were camping at Port Eynon, to encompass my Saturday ride that it ended up at the camp site.

I went out for the ride later than usual, and enjoyed the fact that the ride didn't end up with a climb up Mortgage Mountain

Very pleasing to average out at 25kmh, and even took time out to take this lovely shot of Worms Head (with some filtering help from Instagram)

Another later session for my run on Sunday, 60 minutes at Z2. I felt that I was going at a good pace and at sub 5 minute kilometres I clearly was. However, I paid the price, as a tightness felt in my calf at 45 minutes was quite sore for the rest of the evening and required some attention on the foam roller

Summary of Week 8
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 1:56 2:00 -0:04 19%
Bike 3:47 3:45 +0.02 37%
Run 3:15 3:15 +0:00 32%
Other 1:12 0:45 +0:27 12%
Total 10:10 9:45 +0:25

Another good week's training, but I am slightly concerned about the soreness in my calf. 

Cumulative Summary
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 17:13 16:00 +1:13 23%
Bike 25:18 24:45 +0.33 34%
Run 23:01 23:15 -0:14 31%
Other 8:24 6:00 +2:24 11%
Total 73:56 70:00 +3:56

Monday, 1 April 2013

Week 7

Another week another rest day, and another feeling of satisfaction in knowing I've put a good week behind me.

I hit the pool on Tuesday morning with the expectation that I'd continue with the progress made last week; and I wasn't disappointed. The main set was 16 x 25m, 1 x 400m, 16 x 25m; and it felt quite effortless throughout.

Another good 60 minute Z2 run on Tuesday evening; but I just can't wait for the weather to improve, these cold evening runs just aren't fun.

Wednesday morning was rowing, followed by a strength and core session.

A nice 60 minutes Z1 on the turbo; this is how all Wednesday evenings should be spent.

Thursday's swim set was 1 x 300m, 3 x 200m, 1 x 300m - felt good again. 

The brick session was another 45/15 set on the turbo and running the streets, thankfully it was just cold this week compared to cold, wet and windy last week.

Good Friday, which means I can treat myself to a lie in, so why on Earth did I get up at 7:30? Got out running nice and early for this 75 minute run and it was another rewarding Z2 session.

Another cold morning another early session, went out for a 2:30 ride with Jason Cuthbert who was back on home soil for a visit. 

It was a very productive ride with all variety of terrain. We had short sharp climbs, long steady drags; all very relevant to the route in Pembrokeshire.

My legs were heavy on Sunday's 75 minutes Z2 run, carrying the after effects of the run and ride of the last two days, the route I chose was the reverse of Friday's run.

Summary of Week 7
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 2:12 2:00 +0:12 19%
Bike 4:24 4:15 +0.09 38%
Run 3:46 3:45 +0:01 32%
Other 1:14 0:45 +0:29 11%
Total 11:36 10:45 +0:51

A tough, but rewarding week 

Cumulative Summary
Activity Actual Time Planned Time Variance +/- Percentage
Swim 15:17 14:00 +1:17 24%
Bike 21:31 21:00 +0.31 34%
Run 19:46 20:00 -0:14 31%
Other 7:12 5:15 +1:57 11%
Total 63:46 60:15 +3:31