Turbo, mechanic, ride, run (x5). Start of ultra training – and a triathlon entry

Perhaps the best thing about Saturday’s run

I decided not to run on Monday, still feeling a bit stiff-legged from Saturday’s 25km (15.5m). Instead, it was on the turbo trainer in the early evening – 45 minutes @ 28.4kph (17.6 mph).

Monday was the first day of my 16 week ultra marathon training programme. Happily, it started with a rest day so I found myself well up to date with its gruelling schedule.

Tuesday was the first of the training plan runs, I did 9.1km (5.6 miles, against a target of 5m). It was done at 5:59/km but felt much harder – I don’t know why. A bit faster for the 10.3km (6.4miles, target 4m) run on Wednesday.

Happy St Patrick’s Day to everyone.

Thursday was supposed to be a running day but our son and I did a session in the bike shop in the morning and we got out for a quick spin on a mountain bikes in the afternoon – 25km exercising and doing a couple of chores on the way.

Friday would have been a rest day but I swapped it with Thursday and ran in the morning (9.3km – 5.7 miles against a target of 5 miles) before I drove my wife to get her first Covid jab (the Astra Zenica jab). I voted to stay in the EU but, my word, the bloc has been a shambles over its vaccination programmes. The day finished with a few hours on a fine bonfire.

That put me up to 28.7km (17.8 miles) of running for the week with 21.4km (13.3 miles) to go to hit the plan’s 31 mile target. The plan had a shorter run on Saturday and a longer one on Sunday.

I decided to take credit for the extra mileage so far in the week and go for the 31 miles in total, rather than run the weekend’s prescribed 6 and 11 milers. Back to back weekend runs are a key part of getting used to running on tired legs (as if I don’t do that pretty much all the time already).

I (sort of) fell into line and ran 15.3km (9.5 miles) on Saturday, further than I expected and it felt hard although only at 5:57/km. Another 7.1km (4.4 miles), a little faster, on Sunday to get (just) beyond the week’s plan target.

This rather demonstrates my intended approach to the training plan which is ‘approximate adherence’ with maximum flexibility. I expect I’m older than the people the plan is designed for and I doubt I’ll be able to keep up with the mileage. I’ll do what I can and that will have to be enough.

Target Actual
Week 1: Miles (Km) 31 (50) 31.6 (51)
Week 1, Ultra Marathon training (with rounding)

Foolishness of the week

One other development this week – a friend got in touch saying he’d seen a triathlon advertised for September, and would I be interested in keeping him company. We entered the ballot and both got places. Its a sprint (750m swim, 19.8km ride and 5.4km run) so not too far … but the swim is open water in the lake at Blenheim Palace.

To be honest, I’d be more than happy to triple the ride and the run if I could halve the swim. The gyms had better open soon so I can get into the pool – and I’m going to need some open water swimming lesson.

Interesting stuff this week

1. African wise words: Better little than too little

2. BBC News website: Calculating the cost of living

The UK inflation rate is calculated by monitoring the prices of a basket of more than 700 items. The make-up of the basket is reviewed regularly and high demand for items such as hand sanitiser and loungewear mean they have now been added.

Hand weights (for stuck-at-home-gym-goers), smartwatches, hybrid and electric cars and WiFi lightbulbs have also been added to the basket but white chocolate, ground coffee and sandwiches bought at work, are out.

We have sanitiser but ‘loungewear’ fills me with dread and I have no smartwatch, electric or hybrid car, my hand weights are 40 years old and I don’t even understand the concept of the WiFi lightbulb. However I am, single handedly, prepared to eat enough white chocolate to restore it to the basket.

3. BBC News website: Scam and nuisance calls

A 2018 report estimated that 85 billion auto-dialled calls (robocalls) were made world-wide with Spain, UK, Italy, France, Argentina and the US the top 6 recipient countries, in order.

Last week a caller, who claimed to be from Microsoft’s technical department, was asked “Take me off the list,” – “Give me £1,000 and I will,” she replied.

Quick thinking on her part, no doubt, but I’m not sure I’d trust her …

4. BBC News website: Dutch general election

The Dutch went to the polls this week for a general election with 37 candidate parties. Being the Dutch, there were ‘ride through’ polling stations for cyclists.

5. BBC News website: Tanzania’s President John Magufuli dies

As mentioned in my last post, the President had not been seen in public since 27 February amid rumours that he was in hospital with Covid. On Monday, 4 people were arrested on suspicion of spreading rumours on social media that the president was ill. His death was announced on Wednesday from ‘heart complications’.

6. Not such interesting stuff this week: A question

I have several pairs of black sports socks – essentially identical, other than for a maker’s logo. When one is holed, I keep the good one and, eventually, pair it up with the good one from another pair, even if that is from a different manufacturer. Is that weird?

16 thoughts on “Turbo, mechanic, ride, run (x5). Start of ultra training – and a triathlon entry

  1. olderrunner2

    I like your approach to the training plan. I tend to do the same. Life happens, so you can’t be too strict with these things. You are doing great.

    I’m surprised that loungewear buying went up enough to warrant being in the basket.

    I wonder if the Tanzania authorities released those they had arrested for “spreading rumors?”

    As for the sock thing, no, you aren’t weird. You’re frugal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Omil Post author

      Thank you. I like the irony of jogging bottoms that will never see a jog, tracksuits that will never see a track and sweatshirts that will never see a sweat. Good point on the Tanzania arrests – the prosecution would make interesting reading.
      I’m happy to settle for frugal.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. unironedman

    Open water swimming; I think a lot of us tend to over-think it. It’s just swimming. The thought that we are off track after three strokes makes us pop up for a look. This means we have no rhythm and it takes for ever. Look at the old hands; they keep the head down. If you have a decent enough stroke, why would you wander off track that much? Better to keep swimming and correct less often. And there’s always back stroke 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bgddyjim

    Yes, pairing up different black socks from different makers is weird. Very weird. Don’t ever do it again. The blacks don’t match and when you put the socks on your feet, the weave pattern likely doesn’t match up, either. Now, if you happen to be exceedingly poor, hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. On the other hand, you asked. I don’t ever plan on being that poor. If I am, I just might not wear socks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Omil Post author

      … and there I was hoping for ‘frugal’ at worst or ‘saving the planet by avoiding unnecessary consumption and wastage’ at best. I will have a long hard look at myself ..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bgddyjim

        Cotton is biodegradable, as is wool. If we must save the planet through socks, one or the other is quite acceptable and will degrade in a matter of months in a landfill (which produces greenhouse gasses that can be harnessed to create energy, thus saving the planet even more!).

        Truthfully, my friend, I didn’t look at it that way and I suppose it’s a noble thought. I would suggest we don’t quite have to go that far, though. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The Omil Post author

      Yes, my first – a toe in the water at 50km. I’ll be 66 at the time so ‘complete’ will be fine for me. Rather more ‘domestic’ than yours – mine is along the Ridgeway from Wantage to Avebury (Oxfordshire, and Wiltshire). With well-stocked food stations every 10km I’m assuming I don’t need to carry much beyond the mandatory gear – and there’s not a lot of that.
      I have a 16 week plan I found on ‘Runultra’.
      Sadly, you’ll learn nothing of value from me – but I have known two people who have done the Marathon de Sables. Now, that’s a proper challenge.
      Very best of luck with it – I’m looking forward to following your journey.


  4. TimeToTriHarder.blog

    Well, thats 8km longer than I have ever run, so I am impressed and will be very interested to hear how it goes. Actually I may end up being stuck in UK for a few months longer than I expected, so maybe I should take a look at doing something similar. Think the UK does the Ultra distances very well..

    And yeah, MDS…. I’m so glad I have got this extra year, otherwise would have been about to start a 7 day nightmare walk/hobble

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Omil Post author

      It sounds like a good idea to have a look at an ultra later in the year. The people organising my race are Threshold Sports but I guess, with last years’ races postponed, there may be a build-up of demand for places this year. I’m just doing the second day of an event which can be done as 100km over two days, 100km in one go or as either of the two days of 50km. It is in July so fingers crossed that it happens.



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