January 19th, 2009

Getting back into training

I guess it won't come as a surprise to those who know me that I've resolved to try and get fitter during the coming year. Which I've pretty much resolved every year for the past six or seven, with varying success. To recap, last year I managed to participate in the London Triathlon (3:16) and the Run-To-The-Beat Half-Marathon (2:08). I failed to get to the London Duathlon but managed to avoid injuring myself enough to need several months' worth of physio. I entered the London Marathon for 2009, but didn't get through the lottery stage. I did some commuting to work on the bike, but not regularly, and certainly not back to the 5-days-a-week I could do once; I failed to do anything else on the bike apart from occasional circular rides around London (boring) and the one trip up to my parents'.

So far this year I'm going for the Reading Half-Marathon (March) and the London Triathlon again (August). I'm not sure about later in the year--- the Barcelona Triathlon is in August, and while that would be nice (never been there at all) I suspect I'm going to have to watch the finances carefully this year (moving house and all). It would be nice to do something a bit special, maybe fly out to do a foreign race as a combined holiday. There's an Amsterdam Marathon in October, so that's a possibility. And it'll be flat, right? Although I'd prefer somewhere I've not been before... The Berlin Marathon is in September, and that's one of the big races (and also flat iirc). Hmm. Recommendations accepted.

It's hard to be enthusiastic about going out running in the winter, though. Although I did go out last Saturday when it was still -2 degrees: that actually wasn't as bad as I thought, although it was the first time I'd gone out with long-sleeved top, long tights, body warmer *and* gloves and not overheated! Fortunately it seems like that's in the past now, although the image of me in tights will linger with you all forever. I've been going to the gym instead, doing the occasional treadmill session (yuck) but doing more on the rowing machine; I think I've finally put my boatie-induced aversion behind me. I've managed to do 10,000m in 38:58 and 5,000m in 18:17; I'm not sure if these are actually good ergo times, but they're certainly a hell of a lot faster than I can run! I'm reusing the same training schedule I used for the half-mara last October; it almost did the job, hopefully I can push the envelope a bit this time round. And remember to take my Forerunner or at least a stopwatch on race day so I can know if I'm on schedule or not!

Once I've moved house, I should be a lot closer to work, so cycling in will be considerably less daunting in distance terms; although it's likely to be even more on road with the traffic than before, so I'll see how it goes. I might even be able to run to and from work some days! It's a little worrying how exciting that seems to me, although I'd also say that the option of being able to walk home after going out is alluring too :)