Monday, May 21, 2018

Nine, Cooler Than Two...

but still surprisingly hot as I hit my fifth run in five days. A minor miracle and I feel the better for it. Garmin says my VO2max is increasing - although I am dubious as it's still all very slow and laboured and I feel far far away from anything approaching fit.

As to today's run I finally made it into the forest. A loop past Cannop Ponds along the cycle path before heading up and back along a parallel path though the forest.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Two Hotter Than One?

I can confirm that running at two o'clock is indeed hotter than when running at one o'clock. Three hotter than two? Tune in tomorrow… just kidding - about the time not the intention to get back out there for another run.

So, as the title teases, I made it back out for another 'run'. 9k this time. No easier but I feel it's doing me 'good'. I didn't stray into the forest as per my original plan but stayed closer to home for a loop of Flaxley Wood, taking the stinger laden, tree fallen and generally pretty well overgrown lower path on the eastern flank. And in case you were wondering I didn't know it was going to be quite so stinger laden, tree fallen and as generally overgrown as it was. Still, I made it back in one piece.

More up tomorrow...

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Remind Me Why...

I thought it would be a good idea to go for a run at one o'clock in the heat of the sun? Hot, very hot is the only thing I have to say on the matter and stiles, lots and lots of stiles. Those are the only two things I have to say on the matter. Hot, stiles and gates. Three things. Those are the only three things I have to say on the matter. Hot, stiles, gates and - okay, I'll stop now. Still, I got out there and that's what matters.

I stayed local for a loop I don't think I've actually run in that variation before. Twas quite a nice, near traffic free, loop. I think I'll put it on the list as one to run again. Finished off with 15 minutes warm down on the bike so I am fully ready for tomorrow's run. Probably head into the forest for that...

Friday, May 18, 2018

Hiiting The Weekend

So I've managed to finish the working week with a flourish. A 5k pootle yesterday, a short interval session on the treadmill with bike warm down today and, best of all, I cleared my inbox - ready for it to fill back up again next week.

Up tomorrow, I'm aiming to head out for the first run of what I hope will be three days in a row this weekend. The forecast looks okay although Monday likely needs an early start to avoid getting rained on. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Finally Managed It...

A lunch time run at work. Not a long run. Not a fast run but most definitely a lunch run. It was a little out and back pootle along the Sharpness canal path. Hopefully I can keep the momentum going...

Saturday, May 12, 2018


So I decided to repeat my steps from Monday. Safe in the knowledge I couldn't go any slower, I did indeed manage to go a bit quicker. It didn't feel any easier though - it never does. Still a long way to go. And when I got home, I even had enough energy to make the much needed assault on the 'lawn'. With my new strimmer I managed to bring it under control. I reckon I might almost be able to get the mower on it now.

Monday, May 07, 2018

First Sunblock Of The Year

It had to be done. The factor 30 hit the skin for the first time this year as I headed into the forest to hunt boar - just kidding, for a 'run', in the loosest sense of the word.

It was not fast. It was not pretty. To be honest, it was barely running at all but I must persevere and things will improve - I hope. And on the up side, it was fast enough to register as running on the google fit app, so that's good enough for me.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Oh My Back...

In addition to finally getting out for a run yesterday, I spent the morning in the garden. If you didn't know, I am not the greatest gardener in the world and it has all got a bit out of control [read very out of control]...

Anyway, it was a very productive morning and I managed to get most of the garden back under control except for a few weeds and the 'lawn' - and that needs a strimmer, of which mine is broken so I need to invest in a new one. The upshot is that my back is refusing to function correctly today. Despite that I managed to get the chilies and herbs sown. A little late this year but with winter seemingly intending to last through to autumn, I held off until now.

After that I tried a few steps on the treadmill to see how the back would be and decided it was a no. Peddling my way to thirty on the bike instead with the intention of getting back out there tomorrow...

Saturday, May 05, 2018

I Can Confirm...

It's hot out there. Finally, I ventured forth...
Headed over to Flaxley wood for a loop. It was good to be back out there but by god am I rubbish. Heart rate was through the roof and I was hardly moving. There is much work to do. Still, it's a start...

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Surprising Session On The Treadmill

Okay, so me pootling on the treadmill is never going to set the world on fire but I managed the best of my sessions so far. That was a surprise as I've been a little off colour these last couple of weeks and haven't really been on focus. Ten reps of 60/60s at 14kph, 4% elevation today. Began with 30 minutes on the bike to warm up.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

More Than A Few Days

but I'm feeling much better and managed an easy session on the treadmill. Five reps of 2mins/1mins. Not the greatest but just glad to be back on it.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Bad Weekend

With the weather so lush I was planning to head back into the real world for a proper run - but I've been feeling sick. Barely ate a thing yesterday and spent the day feeling cold. Feeling better today but not totally right - then again, most say I've never been quite right... Managed a bit on the treadmill but it's not been great. Hopefully manage a bit more in the coming week.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Spot Of Sheep Un-Rustling

After the completion of another successful mission water station (the Bigsweir Bridge branch) at this years Offa's Orra, us townies tried a spot of sheep un-rustling...

An errant lamb had somehow escaped the shackles of its prison field. With the gate only a few metres from the water station we thought we'd gently usher it back into its field - but with a massive puddle in front of the gate, it wasn't having any of it...

Anyway, having ushered it past the gate twice and totally failed to get it to go in, it was on a dangerous collision course with the main road but a shout and a holla at some walkers ahead managed to get the errant lamb headed away from the road and back towards the gate. I wasn't going to let it pass the gate a third time...

As it neared the gate it looked to have worked out that that's where is was supposed to go to get back into the field - but it put its front feet in the puddle and thought, f*(% that for a game of soldiers, I ain't getting wet feet... With it looking to pass by a third time I moved in and managed to scoop it up before it legged it away - I've still got a turn of speed, me. With lamb in arms, I waded through the puddle to safely deposit the lamb back in the field before exiting stage left - and then I noticed all the mud smeared down my jeans and on my coat. Grrrrrhh.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Solid Row Reps

Six one minute all out reps on the rower tonight with the same for recovery. The rower really does not take any prisoners...

Sunday, April 08, 2018


Six reps on the rower, 30/30s, followed by six on the treadmill, again, 30/30s at 16kph,4% elevation. The thirty seconds recovery was tight but I was able to stick to it this time. I was going to finish with six reps on the bike but then I thought, 666 - maybe not, so it was a ten minute cool down instead. Definitely feeling a bit fitter.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Back On The Reps

After two days on the bike I was back to some reps on the treadmill - and a bike cool down to finish. Eight 1 minute reps off 90s recovery at 14kph/4%.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Raging Torrent...

But luckily for me I only had to cross it as I finished checking the route markers where all in place around Gilwern Hill for today's Gilwern Grunt.

I actually quite enjoyed the run, keeping an eagle eye out for the markers to make sure they were where they should be. It has to be said though, it was very went underfoot, not to mention positively snowy. Parts of the track around the hill had literally turned into a stream - all thoughts of keeping my feet dry came to a very rapid demise.

After my run I had time for a nice brew back at the car before donning the waterproofs and heading back out to marshal. It was my pleasure to have to send those poor intrepid souls up the raging torrent - most looked to be still smiling as they paddled their way up stream...

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Tight Calf

Not sure what caused by left calf muscle to feel really tight so I cranked up the treadmill elevation to 12% and ran some slower reps to help stretch it. Finished off with a steady 15 mins bike cool down and it feels a ton better now. So now I'm all set to go get cold and wet tomorrow as I check the hill section of the Gilwern Grunt and then marshal...

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Some Training

Intervals on the bike. Nine sixty second efforts in an hours session. Definitely feeling better so all looking good to get soaking wet, cold but hopefully not too miserably on Monday as I route check and then marshal at the Gilwern Grunt.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Under The Weather

Been feeling a little off colour this week. I was hoping to put in a few sessions but just getting through life at work was enough. Starting to feel more chipper today and managed a somewhat pitiful twenty minute session. Hopefully tomorrow's session will be better...

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Just A Minute

Back on the treadmill today for eight one minute reps from ninety seconds recovery. Got my heart rate right up there and best of all, I wasn't falling off the back. Did a set on the rower yesterday.

Sunday, March 18, 2018


Today's number of bike reps (30/30s). Pretty good session. Good burn.

On other matters I wasn't expecting so much of the white stuff. A surprising 5-10cm. And as the snow came down I got to looking over my maps - as one does when one's housebound. Okay, that's bollocks - the housebound bit, not the looking over my maps. I really must get back fit so I can revisit all those great places out there in the wilderness.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Back Up To Speed

I was back up on 16kph today. Eight reps at 30/45 and 4% elevation. Felt okay. I was keeping up with pace rather than battling not to slide off the back...

Friday, March 16, 2018

Fifteen Felt Easier

Fifteen reps on the treadmill today. Thirty seconds on with 45 seconds recovery. It felt much easier than the sessions a few weeks ago. Oddly easy. I need to nudge up the effort factor... Put in ten 30/30 bike reps yesterday but didn't bother to write home about it.

And now it's time to bunker down as that pesky Putin fires in another salvo. Not content with the beast from the east or the Salisbury chemical attack he's sending in the beast II - lock up your bread and milk...

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Feeling Like Igor...

As I shuffle around with a stiff neck and aching shoulders. I've not been able to HIIT it today. That's down to using the rucksack yesterday for the first time in ages. It wasn't particularly heavily loaded but I guess you move differently when you're packing. Anyway it's no good for hitting the treadmill.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Plenty Of Layers

It's a nasty job but somebody's got to do it. Today, having volunteered a while ago to marshal check point one, Tour of Torpantau fell race, it was time to make the payment. The weather was not pleasant - slight understatement - but a promise is a promise, and wearing plenty of layers I headed up to Fan y Big from the race HQ -  the forest car park.

I took a slightly wonky route across the expanse but got there in the end. Fortunately, as it turns out, the slightly wonky route meant I wasn't waiting longer than necessary, sat, as I was, at the summit in the wind and rain. Having said that, I was up there about an hour before the sweeper came through and I was relieved of duty.

After the return slog across the top I got back down to the car in good order and with all those layers I wasn't cold or even that wet - at least on the inside. I was glad to put on a fresh set of clothes though before heading home.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Ten Not Quite Of The Best

Yes, ten somewhat random reps on the treadmill this evening. I couldn't quite make up my mind just exactly what the session was meant to be. In the end I ran ten reps of between 30 and 45s with 75 to 90s recovery at a pace of 14 to 16kph and the elevation set at 4% - about the only thing that wasn't random...

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Slightly Slacking...

I've been found a bit lacking over the last few days. Managed a couple of  bike HIIT sessions including ten 30/30s reps today and five 60/60s on Sunday. Need to step things up a bit...

Saturday, March 03, 2018

A Bit Tough Going Today

Pretty standard fair today. Eight rowing intervals, 30/30 followed by just five 60/90s reps on the treadmill. It was a bit lack lustre if the truth be told.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

That Got The Heart Pumping

Eight reps 30/30s on the rower followed by five reps 30/30s on the bike. I was dying on the last couple of reps.  Feels like it's doing me good though - something that takes that much effort has to be doing me good, right?...

Saturday, February 24, 2018


A session of eight 60s reps at 15kph with two minutes recovery and the elevation kept at my now normal level of 4%. I'm slowly starting to edge the sessions out. A little longer. A little faster. A few more reps. It's going in the right direction.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Short and Sharp

Steady session to end the work week. 20 minutes on the bike with five efforts to finish followed by a sharp hiit on the treadmill. Twelve reps 30s/30s at 14kph and 4% elevation. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Breathing Deeply

I definitely feel over the wheezing. Six 30/30s rowing reps followed by six 30/30s bike reps. Didn't feel like I was going to die tonight. Still a hard workout though, just didn't need to gasp for breath come the final few reps.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

That Was Hard Work

Not a long session but long enough - and not to mention lung busting. I decided to edge up the rep duration to 60s and aimed to run ten at 16kph on a 4% elevation with 90s recovery. It ended up being a starting rep at 14kph followed by four at 16kph and a final one at 14kph for six in total with the recovery slipping out to 120s. Even then I had to step off the treadmill after completing the rep to let the speed drop before getting back on. Didn't expect the extra fifteen seconds to make it that much harder work! I finished the session with 5 reps on the bike, 30/30s and got the burn good.

When I read the session back and recall what I used to be able to run... Well, it's not worth thinking about. The here and now is all that matters for now. So anyway, although I'm not feeling completely unwheezy, I think I'm over the worst of it. Hopefully more training tomorrow...

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Training Didn't Quite Make The Earth Move

I'm still feeling a bit wheezy but after having given the training a miss yesterday I felt I needed to do some today - however poor it might turn out to be.

The session today was 10 reps of 45/75s at 14kph with 4% elevation. I wasn't sure if I'd complete as after the first couple I was really puffing, sucking in the air to recover but oddly it got easier through the session. I finished with a ten minute warm down on the bike.

It wasn't till an hour after training I read there'd been an earthquake. On checking my start time I can confirm it wasn't me that caused the earth to move - that happened a few minutes prior to my session starting.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Feeling Wheezy

Been feeling a little bit wheezy the last couple of days, hence no HIIT - until today. Didn't want to miss another day so I tried a burst on the rower followed by a burn on the treadmill. Except after really struggling on the rower - 6 reps 30/30s - I decided to HIIT the bike instead of the treadmill and subsequently struggled there too - 5 reps 30/30s. I don't feel unwell. I just almost feel like coughing but without actually coughing. Tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Trio Of Training

Five all out rowing reps, 30s/30s followed by six treadmill reps of 30s/60s at 14kph but with a further increased elevation of 10% and it all began with a solid thirty minute warm up on the bike. At the moment it's all about maximum variation. I don't want to get stuck repeating the same sets day in day out. It's got to help varying it up. So far so good.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Slightly Different Again

More HIIT. Fourteen treadmill reps, 30s on, 45s off. Slightly slower at 14kph but with an increase in elevation to 6%. Good hard work. The 45s recovery was a good compromise between 30 and 60. Finished with 6 bike reps 30s/30s all out. Might try a run in the real world tomorrow...

Friday, February 09, 2018

A Bit Of Elevation

Well I have to say I'm surprised how much tougher a 4% elevation was for today's resumption of training, I was aiming for 10 treadmill reps of 30s on, 30s off at 16kph with that 4% elevation but couldn't sustain it. After four reps I had to increase the recovery - but on a positive note, I did increase the reps to try and compensate. So in the end the session was 4 reps of 30/30s and 8 reps of 30/60s.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Well Deserved Rest Day?

After six good days, I'm flagging today so I decided a rest day is in order. And to treat myself for six good days I cooked up the ultimate filled omelette - a fish finger filled omelette - oh yeah, michelin eat your heart out...

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Rowing Reps

Another short, sharp session - but certainly not effortless. Six, thirty second all out blasts with thirty seconds recovery. Died on the last rep.

(I'll admit I was aiming for eight but after the sixth, that was that).

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Short And Sharp

So I made it to the treadmill. Ten short but sharp reps. Thirty seconds on, thirty seconds off at 16kph and I even braved a smidgen of elevation. Only 2% mind, but just enough to feel it.

The session was about right. I was just on the edge of not quite recovering before the next rep started. It's a far cry from what I could once run but I just need to keep plugging away for now and not worry about that.

Monday, February 05, 2018


Gave the treadmill a rest today but kept things going with seven 30s/30s all out bike reps. Should be back on the treadmill tomorrow - hopefully. Got a good burn and raised heart rate from the bike though, so it's all good.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Day Three Of The HIIT Parade...

So far so good. Compared to a 45 minute plod, my new 30 minute routine, encompassing 12 minutes at high intensity, feels like I'm accomplishing more.

I've honed the session to 12 treadmill reps of 45s at speeds between 14 and 16kph with a 75s recovery. Now I'm not naive enough to think that the treadmill is anywhere near the same as real life speed but it still feels bastard hard for me at the moment. I'm aiming to run all of the reps at 16kph and then start edging up the elevation.

Then it's 5 bike reps of 30s all out at high resistance off a 60s recovery. My legs burn - which is the way it's meant to be. I'll probably nudge up the number of reps over time.

I'm hoping I can remain enthused enough to complete the session at least a few times a week - I'll brave putting a figure to that after I've managed a few sessions during the working week...

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Intervals Of A Sort

I decided to try and make my legs go a bit quicker than they would if I went for a plod. It was okay. Forty five minutes, 10 reps of 3 minutes at varying not hugely fast pace but faster, at least, than I've managed during my recent runs. It felt quite good to move a bit quicker. Going to try and incorporate this as a weekly session.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Been Feeling A Bit Off Today

Didn't rise till late and been feeling tired all day. Suspect it could be an early night. Didn't manage a run, just thirty on the bike. Determined not to let the running dwindle out though.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

I'll Admit It...

I resorted to the treadmill as I couldn't face the rain. Just call me mr namby-pamby.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Pootle Past The Ponds

My knee felt better but I wasn't confident to try and push out the distance further so I plotted a 6km loop over at Soudley Ponds. Never run there before. It's part of my attempt to keep my almost enthusiasm going by rooting out new routes where I've not run before.
Anyway, to quote my new catchphrase, "it wasn't the greatest but at least I got out there". The knee started to twinge with about ten minutes to go so I was right not to attempt anything longer. I have a feeling this is going to take quite some time - I just hope my almost enthusiasm holds...

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Milling Around Again

So I didn't manage a real run today. My left knee is a bit painful. I'm suspecting jogging back from my marshalling point at Thursday's night race, wearing walking boots, probably wasn't the most sensible thing to do. I'm keen to keep the momentum going but without doing more damage so I did a kind of power walk on the treadmill with the elevation set a bit. Hopefully the knee won't be as sore tomorrow and I can get out into the forest.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

A Go On The Roads...

and my legs are hurting. Longest run so far but my legs gave up the ghost in the last few kilometres. It's another run done though.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Pootle Complete...

So I managed to keep lethargy at bay and got out to complete operation pootle. I managed - yet again - to pick a short section of unimaginable bogginess amongst what was otherwise mostly solid terra firma. (Okay, it wasn't that unimaginable but it was slippy as a Hagfish whose slime glands had cranked into overdrive).

Overall, it was the first run during the last week where I very nearly almost felt like I actually managed to run a bit here and there. Granted, the last 2-3km being slightly downhill helped a lot, but even so, it felt pretty good.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Operation Pootle... recommence tomorrow but I'm expecting it to be a chilly one. A loop in the central forest this time.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Run Of The Mill...

Okay, so not exactly out and about but a go on the treadmill is better than nothing. Hopefully soon I will have the mojo to venture forth into the dark, damp, gloom that is a winter evening. I can still feel a bit of soreness in my left itb so I'm not going to run before I can walk, so to speak. Finished with a short warm down on the exercise bike.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Soggy In Places

Still more of a walk than a run, number two complete [snigger]. There were a few very boggy sections on the route despite planning what I thought would consist reasonably firm going. Oh well, at least I stayed dry again - apart from the feet.