Running, cycling, in the gym, mowing cow pats and watching (poor) football


Little Coxwell part of a lovely route I’m likely to see a lot of in the next few months

I kept to my decision not to exercise on Wednesday. I’d done 15 out of 16 days and although no individual day was excessive the cumulative effect was beginning to tell.

Instead, I mowed. It was suitably hard work – with longer grass than usual and the contents of several trees strewn on top. The grass collection system constantly blocked up and I was strangely reluctant to stick my hand in it to clear it out (even after turning off the engine).

Could that be something to do with the fact that I’d hoped the ‘calling cards’ left by the invading cows last month would dry and become easier to remove – but they hadn’t dried and hadn’t been removed. Cow pats do not mow well.

The legs benefitted from the rest but, to give them a longer break from the running, on Thursday I drove to the gym (with my usual gym companion) for about an hour on the weights but also including the rowing machine and a gentle km on the treadmill – just to test the tendons.

Back on the turbo trainer on Friday after a morning picking up (another) six wheelbarrow loads of fallen apples. The turbo was a particularly tough session – 45 minutes with 4 x 5 minute hard intervals (clicking up two gears and trying to maintain the cadence). In all, 22.69km at an average of 30.25kph (14.1miles @ 18.8mph).

I can’t help thinking that this particular workout is much tougher than running 5 miles, which would have taken a similar time. Something like this may be able to replace any runs I’m not up to in the coming weeks.

The turbo on Saturday morning was slightly gentler – 30 minutes with two 5 minute intervals – this time keeping the same gear but holding a higher speed for the intervals – I don’t know why, just for something different I suppose. Another hard 15.28km (9.5miles).

It never ceases to surprise me how doing intervals makes a ride of the same distance at the same average speed so much harder.

My cross-training is coming on well but I can’t help thinking that it’s supposed to be in addition to, and not instead of, running.

Our younger son (Alex, who will be running the Rotterdam Marathon with me) came home for the weekend and we went to watch Swindon Town – our local football team. They are on a terrible run of form and replaced their manager in the week. There is often a positive bounce in those circumstances as the players try to impress the new boss. Sadly, there was no evidence of that on Saturday as they lost 4-0 and were fairly dismal, now standing 86th out of 92 league teams. Despite that, a really enjoyable trip out together.

With improving tendons, we ran together this morning (Sunday) – my first run for 8 days. A fairly gentle 6.9km @5:51 per km (4.3 miles @ 9:22 per mile) – left leg pretty good, right leg a bit so-so.

Good fun and encouraging, subject to the reaction of the tendons tomorrow …….




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