Sunday, 1 September 2013

August Training Update

After the excitement and strain of the Prudential Ride London I decided to have an easy few weeks, reflected below in the training summary for the month :-)

~ 04/08/13 ~ 4.2mile bike ride from Hotel to Prudential Ride London start line in
                      23mins 48secs averaging 10.6mph
                   ~ 102mile Prudential Ride London in 6 hours 23mins 25secs averaging 
                   ~ 9mile bike ride from PRL finish line back to hotel in 55mins averaging
~ 07/08/13 ~ 13.3mile bike ride around Arclid & Winterley in 45mins 56secs averaging
~ 08/08/13 ~ 1500m open water swim at Boundary water park in 39mins 32secs
~ 28/08/13 ~ 8mile bike ride from Pwllheli to Abersoch in 33mins 13secs averaging

Friday, 9 August 2013

Ride London 100 ~ Done! 6hours 15mins 7secs!!!

An early start to get to the Olympic Stadium for the start of the inaugural Prudential Ride London 100 event but well worth the 5am get up! The whole event was awesome!!!

I was utterly bowled over with the day, the exceptional organisation, marshalling and opportunity to ride on over a hundred miles of closed roads through our capital city, London... A once in a lifetime experience! I was also very proud once again to be raising funds for the Isaiah Trust!
Cycling out through London

The first 20miles or so of the ride passed in the blink of an eye! I was that busy trying to remain aware of the riders around me that I almost missed riding past the sights of the Tower of London and Harrods riding down Knightsbridge!
Quickly through the beautiful Richmond Park and then in to the lanes and rolling countryside of Surrey and a change to much hillier terrain.

It was a fast journey out of London... I didn’t drop below 19mph average on my bike computer until about 45miles where the first of the big climbs at Newlands Corner in Surrey kicked in which slowed me up a little (my best previous average event speed was 18.8mph on the Tri bars at Capesthorne Tri earlier this year over only 13miles so to maintain such a speed over 45miles was a shock!)
Summit of Box Hill!
Leith Hill was tough but doable but I'd thought the infamous Box Hill to follow was going to be even tougher so tried to pace it but it just didn't seem to have the same steeper incline sections as Leith Hill and at the summit I candidly wondered what all the fuss was about (certainly no match for Mow Cop in Cheshire!).

Cycling the closed roads in London!
I touched a breakneck speeds of 43mph though descending Leith Hill which on 22mm wide tyres is white knuckle fast! Saw a bad crash at the bottom where a few riders had clipped at I guess similar speeds... It didn't look pretty with not much lycra left on very road rashed bodies! Ouch!!! :-(

Houses of Parliament on the run in to the finish line
Other than a few seconds photo stops at the 50mile marker and top of box hill I didn’t stop until the drinks station at about 83miles to restock on drinks. A few moments off the bike on wobbly legs to get the most awful powdered drink I’ve ever tasted!

Pall Mall, Approaching the Finish Line!
The ride back in to London was great and probably about that time I really felt the benefit of drafting and wished I’d cottoned on to that tactic sooner! I tailed a group in from about 85miles in and just seemed to find new legs in their slipstream!?

The finish on Pall Mall was awesome! I felt just like Mark Cavendish on the sprint finish of the Tour de France! ;-)
And then the realisation that the ride was over and photo opportunities outside Buckingham Palace before meeting up with my family for a rest and gorgeous picnic in Green Park... What could possibly be better!... All in all it made for an unforgettable day!

With the cycle ride to and from the start line, I covered a whopping 118miles on the day!!!

At the finish outside Buckingham Palace!

For those interested you can see the full breakdown of my ride from the data uploaded from my Garmin GPS watch here ~

The most important thing of the day though was the invaluable funds raised for the continuing work of the Isaiah Trust! Over £320 in donations with around £400 from Cake Bake stalls and raffles in work! Bringing the total so far to well over £700 and counting! A massive thanks to Julie Jones at EGL for all her hard work baking and running the cake stall and raffle and huge thanks to everyone for their well wishes, donations and general support!

When sending out requests for donations I do often feel anxious and uncomfortable about pestering folks but the rewards are worth it and made worthwhile by some of the comments I got back such as "Thanks for an opportunity to retain some life perspective with the work challenges..." and "There are too few people on this planet that take time out to do things for others .My  concern with many modern charities is that the funding ends up going to pay a Chief Exec or worse indirectly funding a conflict. Yours seems very is not too much to ask that we support your efforts"... Very humbling!

The donation page will remain open until early November for any late donations... Nicky and Tim who run the charity cover all their own expenses at enormous costs to themselves so you can rest assured that EVERY penny donated goes direct to helping some of the most under privileged kids on the planet! ~


Thursday, 1 August 2013

July Training Blog, Ride London imminent!

This month the training has been all about getting extra miles in on the bike ready for Ride London 100 for the Isaiah Trust with some of the longest bike rides I've done to date!

This small registered charity was started back in 2001 by two friends I work with,  Nicky Cuthbert & Tim Broughton. The Trust work with street children and orphans in East Africa, providing homes, rehabilitation, street outreach, training and work programs.

I've been fundraising for the Trust since 2007 when they first got some places for the Great Manchester 10km Run. At the time I'd not run since shortly after leaving school and whilst I went weight training fairly regularly my aerobic fitness was rubbish!. My first runs were awful and I wondered what I'd taken on but with a good training plan I eventually worked up to running the 10km in just under 55minutes. Since then I've run it a few more times before progressing to a full blown marathon and then an Olympic distance Triathlon. What the Trust taught me is that you can put your mind to anything if you give it a go. It must have been very tough and over awing for Nicky and Tim in the early days to know where to start but the work they do and the lives they've changed has been an inspiration to keep myself fit and keep doing sponsored challenges in support.

The fundraising is hard. From raising over £2,000 in 2007 I only managed to raise £120 in 2012 but it was enough to pay tuition fees for a child which kept him in School for another year. Without that money he'd have had to leave the school. Every penny I can raise really will make that significant a difference to a kids life!

You have to be inventive with the fundraising. As well as being a bit cheeky (if you don't ask you don't get)! This year we're running raffles, a cake bake as well as sticking my chin out and asking for regular donations. Folk have been surprisingly and often overwhelmingly supportive! If I can raise enough to keep another few kids in school the aching legs at the end of the 100mile bike ride will have been a small price to pay... and in honesty I'm really looking forward to the event, if more than a bit nervous!

Ride London Cycle Shirt!
The Ride London event is being billed as the London Marathon of cycling, organised by the same team as a legacy of the London 2012 Olympics. The route follows the 2012 Olympic cycle road race where Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish etc. chased but just missed a medal. To be riding the same route on closed roads finishing on Pall Mall outside Buckingham Palace will be awesome I'm sure!

Thanks to everyone who has supported so far ~ here's the link for those interested ~ 

Here's this month's training summary...

01/07/13 ~ 8 mile bike sprint around Winterley & Sandbach in 25mins 49secs
                  averaging 18.5mph
06/07/13 ~ 84mile bike ride from Abersoch to Barmouth along the Cardigan Bay
                  coastline in 5hours 25mins averaging 15.4mph

Bike ride past Criccieth Castle
10/07/13 ~ 11.5mile bike sprint around Sandbach
                   in 39mins 4secs averaging 17.6mph
14/07/13 ~ 18.4mile Bike sprint around Hassall,
                   Winterley and Crewe in 1hour 3mins
                   averaging 17.5mph
16/07/13 ~ 5mile check out ride after bike service
                  in 17mins 3secs averaging 17.2mph
17/07/13 ~ 32mile Climb of Mow Cop and loop around
                  Winterley & Crewe in 2hours 14mins
                  averaging 14.4mph
18/07/13 ~ 8mile bike ride to Boundary Water park
                  in 27mins 53secs averaging 17.1mph
               ~ 800m open water swim at Boundary in 20mins 40secs
               ~ 10.5mile bike ride back from Boundary in 36mins 24secs averaging
21/07/13 ~ 27mile bike ride around Abersoch taking in the Pwlhelli Tri bike
                  circuit in 1hour 39mins averaging 16.2mph
28/07/13 ~ 31.2mile bike ride from Pwllheli to Porthmadog in
                  1hour 52mins averaging 16.7mph
29/07/13 ~ 13.5mile bike around the Pwllheli Tri course in 52mins 5secs
                  averaging 15.6mph

Sunday, 30 June 2013

June's Events, Fund Raising and Training Update...

Abersoch 10km finish line
After spending the last week of May in Abersoch on holiday with family and friends I discovered the Abersoch 10km run was scheduled for Sat 1st June whilst we were still down there. I haven't done much running so far this year but decided to give it a go as I'm considering doing the inaugural Abersoch Half Marathon later this year in October. The 10km is a great course with a comfortable enough number of runners for it to feel like an event without feeling hemmed in. A lovely day for it too! Finished on the beach in a fairly respectable time of 53mins 35seconds which I was quite pleased with!

The RNLI Triathlon Relay Teams
This was followed up the following weekend by the Findel Triathlon Team Relay challenge I organised as this year's RNLI fundraiser on Sunday 9th June. Helped by eleven friends and colleagues from work we managed to put together four relay teams to compete at the Capesthorne Triathlon. Due to a last minute illness, I ended up covering the cycle leg for the Findel Education team as well as the planned swim leg for the EGL team. 
The Swimmers!

The swim was pretty awful! A 750m swim ended up for some reason being just over 1,000m!? Consequently the time of 23mins 54secs a bit disappointing (I've been swimming 750m in about 17 to 18 mins).

The cycle leg though was excellent, probably my best ever performance in an event. It's not been unusual for most folk to pass me on the bike but this time I powered past a lot of folk including a couple of guys on serious looking time trial bikes! I completed the 26km course in 51mins 10secs averaging 18.8mph! :-)

Congratulations to the Findel Group team who took the honours on the day and a huge thanks to everyone who supported us with a donation! £955 raised for Abersoch RNLI so far!  The donation page will remain open until 9th September for any late donations! ~

The remainder of the month was spent with the sobering thought that I've got the Prudential Ride London 100 cycle sportif in just over a months time. I say sobering as
       a) it's a 100 mile cycle ride and the largest single ride I've managed so far has been
          45miles (even on last years Coast to Coast the longest day's cycling was 68
          miles with an hour stop for lunch), and...
       b) I now need to start fundraising for the very worthy Isaiah Trust only a few weeks
           after doing so for the RNLI...

Training and event log for June was as follows, with the back end of the month focusing on getting cycle fit...

01/06/13 ~ Abersoch 10km run ~ 53mins 35secs
06/06/13 ~ 1500m Open Water Swim at Boundary Water Park in 42mins
09/06/13 ~ Capesthorne RNLI Tri Swim stage ~  '750m' swim in 23mins 54secs
               ~ Capesthorne RNLI Tri Bike Stage ~ 26km Cycle in 51mins 10secs
                  averaging 18.8mph
13/06/13 ~ 750m Open Water Swim at Boundary Water Park in 18mins 01sec
16/06/13 ~ 43mile bike ride around Rode Heath, Winterley, Crewe, Nantwich,
                   Middlewich, Holmes Chapel back to Sandbach in 2hours 32mins averaging
19/06/13 ~ 8mile early morning weekday cycle around Hassall and Winterley in 29mins
                  23secs averaging 16.5mph
Bike ride to Harlech Castle

21/06/13 ~ 8mile bike ride to Brereton and back in 29mins
                  48secs averaging 16.4mph
24/06/13 ~ 8mile bike ride to Brereton and back in 27mins
                  09secs averaging 17.9mph
26/06/13 ~ 7.5mile bike ride around Sandbach in 26mins 18secs
                  averaging 17.1mph
29/06/13 ~ 65.5mile training ride for Ride London from Abersoch
                  to Harlech Castle in 4hours 8mins averaging

Friday, 31 May 2013

May Training Update

The weather improved a bit during May, but still unseasonably cold. Glad to finally get some Open Water swimming done but bitterly cold water, particularly the first swim at Salford Quays in 12'c water and 9'c air!

Some good cycle rides done this month including a good climb up Mow Cop getting the closest I've ever been to cycling it all... I will crack this! :-) Also had my first bike fall in over 30years this month clipping a kerb and landing heavily on elbow and knee. Fortunately no damage to the bike!

RNLI fundraising is going well for our Findel Triathlon Team Relay challenge... £250 raised so far! Donate here if the mood takes you ~

Here's the training update for May...
The folly atop of Mow Cop
~ 02/05/13 ~ 13.5mile Bike loop around Sandbach, Malkins
                      Bank and Haslington in 47mins 57secs
                      averaging 17.2mph
~ 04/05/13 ~ 750m pool swim at Total Fitness in 18mins
                      41secs  (SWOLF =53)
                   ~ 45mile Bike ride up Mow Cop and around Rode
                      Heath, Crewe, Middlewich, Holmes Chapel
                      back to Sandbach in 3hours 20mins averaging
~ 05/05/13 ~ 3mile run along Pwllheli sea front in 30mins
~ 06/05/13 ~ 20mile mountain bike ride from Pwllheli to
                      Criccieth & back in 1hour 34mins averaging
A chilly Salford Quays!

~ 16/05/13 ~ First UK open water swim of 2013 at Boundary
                     Water park. 820m in 19mins 34secs (15'c water
~ 18/05/13 ~ First open water swim at Salford Quays of 2013.
                      820m in 20mins 4secs (12'c water temp!)
~ 19/05/13 ~ 22mile bike loop around Holmes Chapel,
                      Middlewich, Crewe and Winterley in 1hour
                      18mins averaging 16.9mph
~ 23/05/13 ~ 750m Open water swim at Boundary water park in
                     16mins 25secs
~ 25/05/13 ~ 35mile bike ride around Rode Heath, Crewe,
                     Middlewich, Warmingham back to Sandbach in
                     2 hours 5mins averaging 16.6mph. Fell 4miles
                     into the ride when I clipped the kerb... Ouch!
~ 27/05/13 ~ 45mins cycle spin at Gimblet Rock Gym
~ 28/05/13 ~ 45mins cycle spin at Gimblet Rock Gym
~ 29/05/13 ~ 6mile run around Pwllheli Marina in 56mins 37secs
~ 31/05/13 ~ 9mile Mountain Bike ride around part of Pwllheli Tri Bike route

Friday, 3 May 2013

April Training Update

It seems Winter continued into April this year with temperatures remaining cold. The much anticipated start of the open water swim season being delayed until May due to the cold. A real shame as it's traditionally this time of year that it gets easier to get out and about! Looking forward to the warmer weather!

The RNLI team triathlon challenge I've been organising with colleagues from work is taking shape, 4 teams and 12 participants confirmed! Thanks all concerned for pitching in!
The event is Capesthorne sprint relay Triathlon on Sunday 9th June ~ 

Thanks also to Kevin Sharpe who agreed to let us use this stunning composite image he created from a photo of the Eastbourne Lifeboat crew. It now adorns our fundraising donation page here...

Not a full month of training but some good outings when I've been able to squeeze them in, here's the summary, aiming to pick it up a few notches in May!

~ 07/04/13 ~ 30mile bike ride around Sandbach, Crewe & Middlewich in 1hour 56mins
                      averaging 15.6mph
~ 14/04/13 ~ 30mins Weight Training at The Warren Gym in Abersoch
                  ~  6 mile run around Pwllheli Marina in 55mins 40secs
~ 15/04/13 ~ 7.6mile bike ride around Sandbach in 28mins averaging 16.3mph
~ 18/04/13 ~  3 mile run around the Wheelock rail trail in Sandbach in 28mins
~ 20/04/13 ~ 1 hour spin class at Total Fitness gym in Crewe
~ 21/04/13 ~ 13.5mile ride around Sandbach and Winterley in 51mins 11secs
                      averaging 15.9mph

Sunday, 31 March 2013

March Training Update and a plan for the year...

A bit of a struggle with motivation to get out early in the month prompted me to get my ass in to gear and get some events organised, so... is entered for Sunday 4th August. It's a 100mile cycling 'sportif' ride following much of the London 2012 Olympic road race route out from the Olympic park, through Surrey and back to finish on Pall Mall in London. I'm riding to raise much needed funds for the work of the Isaiah Trust and am sure it's going to be a blast... Can't wait!!!

I've decided on a change of tack on the fundraising front for the RNLI this year. Instead of a challenge all my own I've asked for help from friends and colleagues at work to join me. We're putting together a few relay teams across the Group to compete in the Capesthorne sprint distance Triathlon on Sunday 9th June in a team challenge... Huge thanks to everyone who's helping out by giving this a go!!

I've also got my sights set on a couple of events for myself towards the end of the season. The Salford Triathlon returns after a couple of years out on Sun 18th August and as the swim circuit is at Salford Quays where I regularly swim with Uswim probably counts as 'home ground'. At two weeks after the Ride London 100 cycling event I'm hoping my legs are in best shape for a good bike time!

Later in the year on Saturday 5th October is the inaugural Abersoch Half Marathon. Having done the Abersoch 10km a few times I thought I might give this stunning route a go!

The training has been embarrassingly sparse this month. Took a week off after Mexico to catch up with jet lag and then missed over a week at the end of the month with the worst Flu I've had in years! Here's March's very brief training summary... Must try harder!

10/03/13 ~ 3mile run around the Wheelock rail trail in 26mins 52secs
15/03/13 ~ 40mins weight training
               ~ 400m pool swim with pull buoy in 9mins 8secs (SWOLF 53)
16/03/13 ~ 1 hour spin class at Total Fitness
18/03/13 ~ 4 mile figure of 8 run around Sandbach in 38mins 45secs

On a lighter note, our new puppy Ollie is getting me out for plenty of walks! A mile and a half each night and 2 to 3 miles Sat and Sunday... We've covered about 45miles of walking this month!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

February Training Update & Mexican Holiday!

A really cold wintery month broken up by a holiday to Puerto Aventuras in Mexico where I was proud to be appointed God Father to my Great Niece Ruby!

A really fab 12 day break basking in 30'c sunshine catching up with family and friends over there.

Got the opportunity to take in a couple of days scuba diving in the clear Carribean Ocean with my wife and daughters, a fishing boat trip, a couple of days on the racing catermaran 'Raiatea' as well as some early morning training runs and swims before the sun rose!
Back down to Earth with a bump on our return to the continuing cold, wintery weather!

I still haven't sorted out any fund raising events for this year yet so really need to get my skates on and choose something! The training has been ticking over... Here's the February training summary...
~ 02/02/13 ~ 13.3mile Bike ride around Crewe and back to Sandbach in 51mins
                       averaging 15.6mph
~ 03/02/13 ~ 5mile run from Sandbach to Middlewich (5'c) in 45mins and 45secs
~ 07/02/13 ~ 1300m pool swim with pull buoy at Total Fitness in 32mins 43secs
                       (swolf = 56)
                    ~ 10km Bike machine
~ 09/02/13 ~ 1 hour Spin class at Total Fitness
                    ~ 400m pool swim with pull buoy in 9mins 40secs (swolf = 52)
~ 13/02/13 ~ 2.5mile run around Puerto Aventuras Marina in Mexico (23'c) in 24mins
~ 14/02/13 ~ 2.5mile run around Puerto Aventuras Marina (21'c) in 24mins 47secs
~ 16/02/13 ~ 670m open water pool swim at Secret Waters pool, Puerto Aventuras
                       in 17mins
~ 17/02/13 ~ 460m open water pool swim at Secret Waters pool, Puerto Aventuras in
                       13mins 52secs
~ 23/02/13 ~ 2mile run around Puerto Aventuras Marina (25'c) in 20mins 5secs

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Welcome to my 2013 Training BLOG! ~ January 2013

Happy New Year!

Welcome to my 2013 training BLOG, tracking as the title suggests this years training up's and down's for the Sports fundraising challenges I'll be taking on this year. At the time of writing this I haven't actually deicided what I'll be doing this year although I am mulling over some ideas... Watch this space!

A great start to the year on my birthday with the Abersoch RNLI New years dip for my adopted charity who came to my aid in 2007. A massive turnout of around 500people including spectators... A very very bracing start to the year! :-)

Started the year with a broken finger and ruptured tendon injury picked up in December last year which has curtailed the swimming and cycling. Along with a fair share of snow and ice there hasn't been much running either so I've been focussing on a new past time of Spin classes at the Gym which I've discovered are hard!

The splint I've had on my finger for six weeks came off on the 21st Jan but it looks like there is still some repairing to be done. It has though let me get back out on the bike which was great!

Here's the January training summary...

~ 01/01/13 ~ 11 seconds open water sea swim in Abersoch!!! :-)
~ 04/01/13 ~ 1 hour Spin class at Total Fitness
~ 06/01/13 ~ 3mile run around the Wheelock rail trail
                        in 9mins 03secs
~ 08/01/13 ~ 45mins Spin class at Total Fitness
~ 11/01/13 ~ 4mile figure of eight night time run around
                       Sandbach in 38mins 39secs.
~ 12/01/13 ~ 1 hour Spin class at Total Fitness
~ 19/01/13 ~ 1 hour Spin class at Total Fitness followed by 1km
                        treadmill run in 7mins 3 secs.
~ 20/01/13 ~ 10km bike m/c, 1km treadmill run, 40mins weight
~ 27/01/13 ~ 3mile run around the Wheelock rail trail in 27mins 26secs
                    ~ 6.6mile bike ride around Bradwall in 25mins 41secs avge 15.7mph
                    ~ 400m pool swim (with pull buoy) in 9mins 25secs (swolf 55)
~ 30/01/13 ~ 5mile night time run around Sandbach in 45mins 14secs