Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Week 4 / 7

This week I was again in London which meant no swimming (except for the lesson I had on Tuesday) and no biking (I don't think riding 3 hours on a Boris Bike would be a good idea).

I did my hard run (8 lots of 5 minutes at 17-16 kph) on the hotel treadmill. Luckily they let me open the door which let in a bit of a cooling breeze, otherwise it would have been intolerable. In fact, even the easy run of an hour and a half which I planned to do the next day - while watching "Tremé" on my portable - I cut short to an hour because it was getting far too hot and sweaty. I noticed from looking at my reflection in the mirror while running, that I run with my head ever so slightly tilted to the right. I think this must be to compensate for my shoulder (grade 3 ACL separation): it's no wonder that I get more blisters on one foot than another and so on. All it takes is a slight asymmetry and everything goes out of whack.

On the Friday, I managed to get in a nice 80 minute run outside. As I have said before, my favourite kind of run is a random run through the city, preferably one in which I don't live. All the distractions - shops, people, avoiding cyclists and pedestrians - keep me entertained and I enjoy discovering new places or revisiting old haunts.

On Saturday I was "supposed" to do a 3 hour bike ride but there was just no way that I was going to get straight off the plane from London and do that after not seeing my family for most of the week. Instead I went for a 3 and a half hour ride the next day with my coach, Jonathan, followed by an hour long run. He said that we could leave from his house and follow a fairly flat course; when I realized that he lived in the Sierra mountains of Madrid, I was a bit skeptical but it was, indeed, quite flat. In fact, I felt the benefit of the aero bike for the first time since I bought it at the end of lat year. There was a nice long flat stretch along which we cruised at about 35 kph. Jonathan is in the process of moving from being a very successful and fast runner to a (hopefully fast) triathlete but he still has to get some more kilometers under his belt on the bike. As you will know from reading this blog, his approach is for the majority of the training load to be performed at below the aerobic threshold, the idea being that you train your body to rely more on the fat burning metabolism, but it does mean that you have to go slow at the beginning until your body makes the necessary adaptations. On the run I expected him to find my pace too untaxing but it turned out that we were both at or slightly above our aerobic threshold in spite of the fact that, were we to run flat out, he would absolutely trounce me. Anyway, a very enjoyable outing. I didn't eat anything during the whole time and didn't feel any the worse for it until I got in the car to drive home. I felt my eyes closing against my will and had to open the windows to keep myself from nodding off. Even then, at one point I drifted into another lane and another driver "beeped" me. Next time I will keep a Red Bull handy!

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