The Spitfire, and other training

Woops, how it I get so tardy in posting this weeks (last weeks) blog post? As we’re about to find out, I have probably just been far too busy. But, enough of the excuses, here is a round-up of all that happened last week:

Monday: we’ve joined the gym, and on Monday evening I had to have the first of two meetings with the trainers to talk through my gym programme before they even let me through the door of the gym. I like that they’re thorough, and it’s probably great for setting targets if you have weight to lose or you want to tone up or something. But I ain’t that guy. The actual gym portion of my training is likely to be sporadic at best, cos I just got so much other stuff I am doing. So Monday evening I chatted with Ewan briefly about my goals for the year – ‘run a lot’. And talked about my previous gym use. That was pretty much it. I then waited for Lyndsey to finish her gym session.

Tuesday: Swimming. I was up bright and early to hit the pool for the first attempt at my swimfit fitness training plan. This is a 32 session plan that aims to get me fit (in ways other than just pounding the pavement) but I am using it to supplement all the crazy running. This first session was pretty tough, and after a three year(ish) absence from the swimming pool other than a few dips during my honeymoon, this was a rude awakening back to the world of front crawl. I updated my set on the swimfit website, and it told me to do it again next time!!

Running. I also hit the track on Tuesday night for a fun set of crazy intervals – 7x 1km with 1min rest.

The reps were pretty consistent though, so I was pretty pleased. 4:21, 4:22, 4:24, 4:23, 4:24, 4:19, 4:13

I obviously had a little something left in the tank :-)

Wednesday: No running for me, today was all about donating bodily fluids – the red stuff, nothing funny!! :-)


Thursday: On the run again. today a nice easy run home. I say easy, but I had to make sure I was back in time to get a quick shower and changed before I was straight back out the door for Pilates. I am really enjoying the classes at New Dawn Fitness in Cranleigh, and Dawn, who leads them, is absolutely lovely. The group dynamic is very vibrant, so although we are focusing on our own Pilates session, we have a nice time with a fun group at the same time. Despite this only being my second week at Pilates evidently I had shown enough for Dawn to bump me up to Level 2, so I was attempting the slightly more advanced versions of many exercises.


Friday: Swimming. Back at the pool early doors for attempt number 2 on the swim set from Tuesday. Today the session was far more achievable, and I enjoyed it t a much greater extent. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a little tough, but I felt really good in completing it. Registering the swim on swimfit I was given the option to redo the session again, or to move on. I chose to move on to session 2!


Saturday: Running. This morning was my second appointment at the gym, and time to actually be let loose on the machines. I decided to warm up with a 7 mile run to the gym (the gym is actually about 0.5miles from my front door) where I met Lyndsey who had turned up to do a workout. I went in the gym, this time I was seeing Ewan again and we had another quick chat about targets, evidently he had forgotten most of what was discussed I told him I didn’t want to step foot on a treadmill unless absolutely necessary. He set me a couple of cardio warm up tasks on the rower and bike. Fine, I thought, I’ll just have to get used to liking the rower!! From there we move onto the weights. I’m not focused on bulking up, I’d rather not carry too much extra bulk over 100miles if I don’t have to, but I’d like to create some definition. He gave me a few reps on some machines, and a couple of free-weights exercises. It was laughable when he thought I could bicep-curl something like 12kg, haha I am such a weed!!!!


Sunday: Race Day. This was a late addition to the race calendar. I decided to run in the Surrey Spitfire, centering upon the Dunsfold aerodrome – the one where they film TopGear. It’s a 10 mile loop, completion of one loop receives the Tempest 10 award, do it again and you finish the Spitfire 20. The event is really well organised, and I think I’ll detail the whole thing in a targeted blog post in the next couple of days. In short though, I had aimed for about 9 min/mi pace bringing in a nice round 3 hours for the race. I maintained pretty strong 8:52 min/mi and felt really strong. I finished the race on a high –  no one overtook me in the final 2 miles, and I put in a decent sprint finish for 2:56:01 (yes, that .01 is very annoying!!!) However, I had made a bit of a boo-boo. My easy pace was in place to allow for a run home. I gave it my all, I then stood around for 15 minutes. When I set off to start running (jogging) back home again my legs instantly felt bad. By the time I was on the road on my own, alone with my thoughts, I was suffering. I had a dream of  topping up the run by 6.2 miles, and maybe shifting my marathon PB (unofficially at least). But I was struggling mentally and physically, so I slowed, and just got home in 5.2 miles. The whole run took me 4:03 – including the 15 mins stood around as I forgot to stop my garmin having finished the race! That means, that had I been in the right frame of mind I would have had 17 minutes to complete one final mile inside my current marathon PB – imagine what I might have done had I not stopped to stand around!! Dammit!


Anyway, until next time – bye for now! I promise I won’t leave it so long next time!


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