On a normal Monday I’d be in the gym before 8am – but with the lockdown-lockout at the gym and two runs over the weekend it felt more like a turbo trainer day, after some gardening.
I pushed the turbo session out to 1 hour and managed 29.9km (18.6 miles). I guess the turbo will be getting more use now to replace one or both of the weekly gym sessions. That won’t be an entirely bad thing as the first challenge of 2021 is (scheduled to be) the sportive in April – and I’ve neglected the cycling for too long.
Soggy circuits round the old hill fort on Tuesday – 8.44km (5.2 miles). I’ve noticed that running in the morning is a bit harder after a tough early evening turbo session the previous day – who’d have thought it?
One thing that occurs to me is that when I use the turbo it is relentlessly tough. Either I get over the 30kph average for 45 minutes or very close to it if I go for longer. I don’t want to associate the turbo (exclusively) with extremely hard exercise performed in pools of sweat or I’m going to be looking for reasons to avoid it – so I got on for a gentle spin on Tuesday evening.
Unfortunately, my legs didn’t get the ‘take it easier’ message. I did limit it to 30 minutes but at 32.14kph (19.97mph) – and still finished in a pool of sweat.
I managed to fix both of the bikes that I’d been allocated for the pop-up shop on Wednesday – mainly a question of brake adjustment and getting the gears working properly. Happily, one went from 4 to 21 and the other from 10 to 21.
Last week’s run across London got me thinking that perhaps one run each week should be a bit longer than I’ve been doing recently, so I did 13.4km (8.3 miles) on Thursday. Good running weather and at better than 6 minute kms. We then made a bad choice of route for Friday’s run – sodden, slippery and slow which made for a hard 6.5km (4miles).
Saturday was cool, grey, wet and windy. My right Achilles had been niggling for a few days but seemed to have improved overnight, so it was an easy decision to give it a bit more rest and not run. Instead, I did an afternoon turbo session watching the first half of the women’s rugby (England v France). The way women’s rugby has progressed is great to see, with high levels of skills and fitness.
I took a bravery pill and decided to incorporate some sprints into the session on an entirely random basis – 15 seconds for each point scored. They were fairly kind to me in the first half (10-10). At half time I listened to Italy v Scotland and sprinted for Italy’s 3 points.
I pushed on for the hour watching the women’s second half but immediately after I finished, England scored a converted try (7 points) and I felt duty bound to sprint for that too. The same happened again – just after I finished, England scored another converted try so I did the sprint for that as well. In all, 1 hour 4 minutes for 31.77km (19.74 miles).
It was raining heavily on Sunday and looked like it was set in for the day. However, as I sat down with a coffee and the puzzles from the newspaper, the rain stopped. I took advantage of clear blue skies (although it was still cool and breezy) and ran for a little over 10km (6.3 miles) at 5:37/km.
Seven sets of exercise in the week – one day doubled up and one rest day – in all, 6h 30m. In effect, I replaced the usual two gym sessions with two on the turbo and a run. All that and I’m still too far away from any of next year’s challenges to actually be training for anything. It’s a bit frustrating.
Lockdown continues much as before – we have had to cancel some drinks, suppers and lunches but we can still exercise and shop for essentials, so we are still among the luckiest ones. The most disappointing thing is not seeing our sons.
Take care out there.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: It is not from my mouth that people will learn that the king’s mother is a witch.
2. BBC News website: Popular app T&Cs ‘longer than Harry Potter’
The combined terms and conditions of 13 top apps including TikTok, WhatsApp and Zoom would take 17 hours and five minutes to read.
The documents contain a joint total of 128,415 words – longer than any one of the first three Harry Potter novels. The longest was Microsoft Teams at 18,282 words – or two-and-a-half hours of reading time for many people.
They must all know that when we tick the box to confirm that we have read and agree to the Ts & Cs, we are not entirely telling the truth. On that basis, I wonder how enforceable they really are?
3. BBC News website: Roblox gamers must pay to die with an ‘oof’
The “oof” sound that famously (not to me it isn’t) accompanies the death of characters in the hugely popular Roblox game will temporarily be removed, following a copyright dispute.
When it is reinstated, gamers will have to buy it, paying around around $1 (£0.76) or 100 in-game currency Robux. The developer who originally created the sound for a game released 20 years ago, will get compensation.
Suddenly, my lack of knowledge about any of this makes me feel very old.
4. Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on his 7th F1 world championship. Record holder for pole positions, race wins and now equal best with Michael Schumacher for titles.