Monthly Archives: March 2016

The best laid plans!

Sunday March 27th.  Stirling.  Scottish water Duathlon Champs.  At last the day had arrived and I headed to Stirling in  a buoyant mood.

With 20 weeks training under my belt and selection of run and bike PB’s I was quietly confident of beating last years time.  As I headed into ever darkening skies and a light rain my mood got as dark as the skies.

As I squelched across the playing fields to the start of the Standard distance race my heart start racing and my spirits lifted.  The race started under grey skies and I settled into a good pace.  Run 1 is four laps of a mainly road course but unfortunately the off road parts were muddy and churned up by the events which has gone before ours.  It was a case of slipping and sliding your way through them.  Running without my Garmin which had failed before the start I tried as much as possible to judge my pace and time for the run and thought I was at least on time but as the laps were done I could sense that my pace was going the same way as my footing….slipping!  Run 1 time 50:25 2:10 slower than last year.

I ran into transition donned my helmet and shoes and made my way to the mount point.  As I turned out of the University the wind and rain hit me for the first time.  The rain did not last long and soon the wind died down to a manageable breeze.  The bike section is a 2 lap 42K  long undulating course and one I quite like.  I got into a steady cadence pushing a big gear and at the start of the second lap reckoned I was about 5 mins ahead of last years time.  Back on the open road after the return through the university and I turned into heavy rain driven by a strong wind and although the rain stopped the wind remained and that was the case till the end of the bike leg.  Far from being 5 mins ahead I found that I was slower than last year on the bike as well.  42K 1:34:24 2:07 slower than last years time.

Bike racked, helmet off and back on the run course which was in even worse condition 2 laps 5K 26:55 2:30 slower than last year.

Not a good day at the office!


Feeling like Spring has sprung!!

There has been a few days lately know locally as “Taps aff” days.  These days occur sparingly in Scotland but can be celebrated at almost any time of the year.  There are a few events which have to be in synch for a “Taps aff” day to be declared.   First and foremost the big yellow ball has to be up in the sky, it should be still with very little wind what is there should be a Mcscirroco-warm and from the south and finally the ambient air temperature should “feel” as if its in double figures!  Fifers then declare a “Taps aff” day and a parade of wobbly, pasty and quite frightening male physiques can commence!

What else has been happening since my last post well I have now got all of the accommodation for our cycling holiday in France booked.  The most problematic part has been booking rail travel by Eurostar they just do not make it easy.  To take a cycle as a cycle you have to book your seat and then call another company to check if a space is available if not they will transport your cycle and it will meet you at journey’s end.  Aye you think so!!  I still have two internal trains to book in France but, its all over bar the shouting as they say!

On Sunday I spent a very pleasant day out on the bike at the Kelpies and Falkirk wheel the full trip account is in Scottish bike touring blog please take a look.


Winter base+Week 20

One week to go to Stirling, the reason I devised Base+.  What has the experience been like?  Good, eye opening and worthwhile.  I am still learning things about the way my body reacts to training how to tackle rest and recovery and how to pace my sessions.  The 5 week mesocycle seems to suit me with PB’s on the bike and run to prove it of course it is all about getting a PB at Stirling for that we will have to wait a week and hopefully I shall be sitting here next week telling you I made it.



Bike 100 miles in 9h 25 with 4320 ft of climbing.

Run 16.2 miles in 2h 44m with 986 ft of climbing.

Winter base+ week 19

As I have aged, disgracefully some might say, I have made changes to the way I train and as I provide training for others that too has had an impact on my training.  Even when doing ultras I never went over 100 miles a week due mainly to lifestyle rather than ambition.  Now that I have time I still have no ambition for mega mileage but rather to make miles, meals and rest count.  Two weeks out from my first A race and I am feeling more relaxed than I ever have and with a new Park run PB under my belt my confidence is growing that I will put in a solid performance at Stirling on the 27th.

The stats for this week:

Run 22 miles in 3h 42 with 853ft of climbing.

Bike 94 miles in 7h with 5100ft of climbing.

Book review:Life Cycle

Written by Gary Sutherland I don’t think there was a page where I didn’t laugh, grin or reminisce!

This is a tale of two brothers now in their forties that decided to cycle a 1000 miles around Scotland.   Full of sibling rivalry, arguments and jokes it was a pleasant and easy read.  Unlike other cycle journey titles there is no record of miles travelled, feet climbed or calories consumed.  The closest the brothers come to energy gels are a daily dose of bananas rehydrating frequently with a real ale.  They also rediscovered a boyhood favourite-butteries!

A great wee read currently retailing at £2.99!

Winter base+week 18

Stirling is drawing ever closer and with last weeks race showing that I was pretty much where I thought I should be this week was about just sharpening up skills and drills and TLC for the bike.  With no test weeks left I decided to do the park run and despite a runny nose and a windy day got a PB for the Kirkcaldy course.  I have now decided not to do Cupar 5 a local race and this week concentrate on some final tempo work before the big day.

Week 18 stats:

Bike 84 miles in 8h 8m with 3,783 ft of climb.  This included a ride of 40 miles along the John Muir Way see Scottish bike touring for full report.

Run16.8 m in 2h 57m with 807ft of climb.  This included a PB of 38 secs at the Park run!