Looking for motivation

In the last few weeks I’ve run a 5k race and a sprint duathlon. While the 5k was an opportunity that popped up because we were in Chicago the weekend of the race. And it fit my training schedule for the du. But now that I’m done the du, I’m at a bit of a loss. I haven’t run or biked since the race, and I’m having a hard to time “finding the time” to get moving again.  The lethargy is even in creeping into my writing; it took me almost a week to finish the BTN Big 10k recap, and I haven’t even started the National Captial Duathlon recap yet. Hopefully I will find the “time” / motivation to get going again; maybe I have to sign up for another race.

What tips do you have for getting back to running/exercise after your goal race?

Duathlon Training Update #4

Week 5 July 13 — July 19 (week 8 of BHF.org.uk Duathlon training plan for beginners)

Day Planned Activity What I Really Did Thoughts/Comments
Monday Rest Rest

Swim: 600m in 17:30

Still worried about my foot — lots of foot massage and stretches to help loosen it. I did manage over 11K steps today.

Nice, easy swim at the end of a very hot day felt great.

Tuesday Run/walk : 30 minutes

Stretch:10 min

Bike: 8.9 km in 22:23 (20:55 moving time)

Bike: 8.8 km in 19:42 (19:02 moving time)

Bike ride getting a bit faster as the days go on, and I’m adding a bit more distance. Birthday dinner took precedence over my run. Pacer app says I walked more than 2.7 km over the course of the day so I will take that.
Wednesday Run/Walk: 10

Bike: 10

Run/Walk: 10

Stretch:10 min

Bike: 8.9 km in 18:22 (18:18 moving time)

Bike: 8.9 km in 22:47 (22:19 moving time)

Run: 3.1 km in 19:20

Yoga: 10 mins

Although the morning ride was pretty fast, the afternoon ride presented me with a pretty strong headwind (approx. 19 km/hr) so I didn’t make great time. Focused on consistent and strong pedalling form. After my run, spent 10 minutes using Yoga app to stretch out. MUST remember to do this everyday! Finished it all with a quick swim.
Thursday Bike: 60 minutes

Stretch:10 min

The day was a complete right-off. I didn’t bike, run, or anything. I didn’t even reach 10k steps. I didn’t even eat particularly well. Argh!
Friday Run: 30 minutes or

Swim or Yoga/Pilates class

Walk: approx 1 hr. Bike was in the shop, daughter had field hockey, and we went out for dinner.  running was not going to happen.
Saturday Rest

Stretch:10 min

Rest

Stretch: 10 mins

House work and moving boxes counts as stretching, right?
Sunday Bike: 40

Run: 30 minutes

Stretch:10 min

Walking and painting Some days, even though you have a good plan and everybody knows it, it just doesn’t happen.  I did, however, spend a great day with my family and we got some things done around the house that were essential.

Duathlon Training Update #3

Week 4 July 6 — July 12 (week 7 of BHF.org.uk Duathlon training plan for beginners)

Day Planned Activity What I Really Did Thoughts/Comments
Monday Rest Stretch:10 min Rest

Walking: 7300 steps

Stretch: 10 mins

Read an interesting article about the difference between Rest and Active Recovery that will help me through training.
Tuesday Run/walk : 30 minutes Stretch:10 min Steps: 12509

Bike: 8.5 km in 22:01 (20:56 moving time)

Bike: 8.7 km in 19:39 (19:36 moving time)

Swim: 550m in 14 mins

Pacer app indicates 136 min active time approx 3.2 km. Too bloody hot for a run today 28C but feels like 35C with the humidity. The swim was a much better way to get exercise and stretch..
Wednesday Run/walk: 10 Bike: 60 minutes Stretch:10 min Bike: 8.5 km in 20:00 (19:01 moving time)

Run: 2 km in 10:32

Ride: 20.3 km in 1:01:18 (52:23 moving time)

Walk: 3 km in 44 mins

Stretch: 10 minutes

First long ride of the year; lots of traffic stops. Will clearly need more time in the saddle at long distances to be ready for duathlon. Also had a nice 3k walk after dinner with my beloved. I finished the day with a quick swim to cool off. Pacer app counted 15214 steps.
Thursday Run/walk : 30 minutes Stretch:10 min Bike: 8.5 km in 22:00 (20:41 moving time)

Bike: 2.8 km in 8:04 (7:11 moving time)

Bike: 8.8 km in 19:35 (18:48 moving time)

Run: 4.8 km in 28:30

I thought the ride was a bit faster; need to work on pedalling consistency.

Two rides in the afternoon b/c of quick trip to doctors.  first time running after a ride so I’m happy to have been on 5k pace under 30 mins. Should have run the extra 200m but my wife called. Family comes first.

Friday Bike: 30 minutes or swim or Yoga/Pilates class Bike: 8.5 km in 20:25 (17:49 moving time)

Bike: 8.8 km in 20:41 (20:41 moving time)

Ride home was not as fast as I hoped but I pedalled the entire time, no stopping.

Also had a couple of swims after work & dinner.  My wife taught our daughter how to flip turn, and used me as the exemplar. I was surprised it came back to me so quickly.

Saturday Rest Stretch:10 min REST & STRETCH I took it easy like I’m supposed to. the metatarsal bruising in my foot seems to be back so the break is good for me. So are the stretches and foot massages.
Sunday Bike: 90 minutes Stretch:10 min Stretch

Swim: 100 m in 2:38

Walk: 1.3 km in 15 minutes

Family commitments kept me from following the plan today.  I did go for a nice walk with the dog, and there was some light housework to do, but I didn’t get anywhere near my bike.  This is good because my foot is still bothering me a bit and I want to be ready for race day.

Keeping my focus

Bianchi World Champion Sticker put on ALL their bikes in 1987

I made the mistake this week of looking at the results of other athletes who have recently completed duathlons in the Somersault Events so far this year — okay I looked at some of last year’s results too.  I only looked so that I would get a sense of how much time it should expect to be moving.  Of course all I really did was discover how fast other athletes, who probably have more multisport experience than me, were actually able to cover the Sprint Duathlon distances.  This didn’t really need to be part of my fact finding research since I know how long it takes me to run 2 km (about 12 minutes), bike 20 km (about 45 mins), and run 5 km (about 30 minutes).  I know I’m not going to be the fastest athlete in the field, not matter how small it is, and I know I AM going to finish.  I really just want to finish.

Instead of looking at other athletes’ finish times, today I looked up tips for transitions, food and nutrition, and strength training. This information will keep me focused and be way more beneficial than knowing that somebody else finished in a time that was right for him on that particular day.

Duathlon Training Update #2

Duathlon Training Summary Week #3 continued

For the week June 28 (end of week 5) to July 5 (week 6)

Week 3 June 28 — July 5 (week 6 of BHF.org.uk Duathlon training plan for beginners)

Day Planned Activity What I Really Did Thoughts/Comments
Sunday Run/Walk: 15

Bike: 30
Run/Walk: 15.

Stretch: 10 min

Run: 6 km in 36:19 time

6:01/km AVG pace

Just glad to be running again! Went out hard.
Monday Rest Run: 5km in 30:19 time

6:02 AVG pace

Took it easier than yesterday, but still happy with progress.
Tuesday Run/walk : 30 minutes.

Stretch: 10 min

Bike: 8.5 km in 21:47 (21:16 moving time)

Bike:8.5 km in 21;10 (20:42 moving time)

10 minutes swimming approx 200 m

1st ride to summer school site.  17 km return ride should be good training
Wednesday Run/Walk 30

Bike 30 minute

Stretch: 10 min

NOTHING! Canada Day celebrations with family took precedence over training
Thursday Run/Walk: 30 minutes

Stretch: 10 min

Walk: 1.2 km dog walk

Summer School walking: approx 9000 steps — way more than 30 mins

Leg stretches to help heel

Had planned to bike, but had to change that plan at the last minute
Friday Bike: 30 minutes or swim or yoga/Pilates class Bike: 8.1 km in 21:14 (17:33 moving time)

Bike: 8.8 km in 21:14 (19:56 moving time)

Swim: 10 minutes approx 250m free & breast

Added new bike computer that syncs with Strava iPhone app so I have more accurate data. Still finding the best/safest route home — looks like I’ve got it. Nice refreshing swim when I got home.
Saturday Rest. Stretch:10 min gardening and a trip to the shopping mall

10000 steps according to Pacer app

Sunday Run/Walk: 10

Bike: 60

Run/Walk: 10 Stretch: 10 min

Run: 5 km in 29:15

Walk: 1.3 km in 12 mins

Swim: 20 mins

Walk: 3 km in 43:00

Didn’t get on the bike today, but I did manage a 5k PB. Also had a nice 3k walk with my beloved after dinner.

Duathlon Training Update #1

A little over two weeks ago my ever enthusiastic and encouraging brother-in-law signed me up for the National Capital Duathlon organized by Somersault Events. While this is yet another vote of confidence of my athletic ability, it has forced my hand (or maybe my feet) to exercise and train for something. So with 7 weeks to go before the race I’ve been forced to research training plans for duathlons, a sport I know very little about. Yes I can run. Yes I have a bike that I used ride regularly. No I’ve never used them both on the same day with ANY organization or plan. When I did cycle, I was NOT a runner. My wife doesn’t think I need to practice the cycling component at all since I rode all the time when we were first together.  Ah love.  It does truly mask some things.  Sure I rode all the time when we first together — 23 years ago! Yes this will require some training and work.

It turns out the last two weeks have completely derailed any training plan I may have had. These were, as they are every year, two of the busiest weeks at work. Add to that a nagging heal injury that I was desperate not to make worse. Suffice it to say I haven’t done any planned exercise. I’ve been so busy my son has walked the dog more than I have these last two weeks. The only good thing is that I’ve had a little time to get my bike ready to ride again.  I bought this bike in 1987; it was a top of the line bike at the time equipped with Shimano 600 group of components.  Moving from my old CCM bike to this Italian made Bianchi speedster was significant.  During the summer I bought the bike, and the years that followed, I pedaled many kilometers each week exploring Ottawa’s neighbourhoods, the Gatinieau hills, and parts of the Quebec’s Eastern Townships.

Bianchi

circa 1987 Bianchi Limited Edition — Ready to ride once again!

As often happens, life got in the way — okay I got married and had a family so it wasn’t a poor trade — and I didn’t ride much at all.  Finding myself a few weeks way from a 20 km ride is actually quite daunting.  Do I still have the legs? Can I manged the distance in a time that doesn’t seem ridiculous?  Can I remember how to get out of clipless pedals without falling over?

With just five weeks to go before race day I actually managed to get out for a run. I try to take advantage of my daughter’s field hockey schedule to get my runs in, and Sunday was one of those days. On an unusually cool late June day (14C) I hit the trails behind Minto Field and pounded out a 6 km run with a 6:01 pace. I went out hard and managed to keep it up fairly well the entire time. It also meant I had a nice 1/2 km walk back to the field as my cool down. Monday was another field hockey night so I managed to hit the trails for another 5k run.  I was a little slower on this run, but according to Strava I’m trending up for the route I took as I continue to get a little bit faster the more I run.

I did finally get out on my bike. I had to go to a meeting so instead of taking the car I chose to ride.  The distance wasn’t too great, just 8.5 km, so it was a good test to see if I have any cycling legs. I completed the ride to the meeting in 21 minutes, and the return was just under that time. Given the fact I haven’t ridden anywhere I feel these are pretty good times. I do hope to finish the race in under 90 minutes, but that is going to be a challenge given how little I’ve actually trained and prepared for the demands of a duathlon.

Duathlon Training Summary Weeks 1 & 2

The countdown is on with just 7 weeks to go before race day.  In the first two weeks of training I did exactly no training. Nothing. I did, however, find a 10 week Beginners Duathlon training plan on the British Heart Foundation website that is manageable for me (Training plan). Of course I’m not going to have the benefit of all 10 weeks, but since I have been running, I’m going to jump in at week 4.

Duathlon Training Summary Week 3

Okay so now I’ve actually started running and riding again and I’m jumping ahead to week 6 of the BHF training plan. Except that I’ve already made some adjustments because of my plans for the week. I have covered the required activities for the first few days of the week, but in my own order.  Monday was supposed to be a rest day, but I ran 5 km.  Tuesday was supposed to be a 30 minute run day, but I biked 40+ minutes instead.  And Wednesday is supposed to be a bike and run day, but since it’s Canada Day, and we have guests coming over, I’m unlikely to do anything.  I will just have to adjust the rest of the week.

What Have I Got Myself Into?

My brother-in-law has done it again.  After suggesting, encouraging, and goading me into signing up for a duathlon this summer, I received this email:

That’s right, he signed me up for the event. I guess he knew I would keep putting him off or avoiding his suggestions/encouragement.   For those of you who are unaware, the Sprint Duathlon is a 2k run, followed by a 20k bike ride, finished off with a 5k run.  Sure, why wouldn’t I try this?  Ummm … because I’m basically lazy!  Alright, that’s not really a good description of me, although not far off the truth.   It really is a compliment from my brother-in-law since he does have faith I can actually complete a Sprint Duathlon.  Besides, he was right about my ability to run my first 5k and my one and only half marathon.

I think I really did myself in when I told him how much I had been running lately.  What he missed, however, was the little point about me having not been on my bike yet this year.  Oh sure I’ve had grand plans, but so far the bike is still in the basement on the trainer stand I DIDN’T use all winter.  I really be testing the old adage about not forgetting how to ride a bike.  I’ve got a few weeks to remember, but I think there’s more to this than just getting back on the saddle.

Do you have any tips for training for a duathlon? Have you ever entered an event you might not be ready for?