What a difference a week makes

Last Bank holiday Monday the brick session was aborted due to a temperature with wind chill of -2 centigrade.  Yesterday, Sunday only 6 days later it was 25 centigrade at 18.00 hours and likely to have been higher through the middle part of the day.  That’s a good news bad news story.  It is excellent training conditions for what is likely to be a hot Austria in July but it did mean the session was hard due to the heat and humidity.  The session was completed by Zac and me and we planned to do a 1 hour swim, 5 hour bike ride and 2 hour run.  We did actually complete the timings planned but I would have liked to do more mileage.  I clocked up our distances at 2.1 mile swim, 86 mile ride and 13.1 mile run.  Quite a bit too slow to achieve my Austria target but there are many variables.

The swim went pretty much according to plan.  I used my new wetsuit for the first time and the lake was mirror calm. 
Austria is likely to be choppy due to the other 2,500 people in the water at the same time and that’s without the intervention of weather which may affect the water conditions.

The cycle leg went OK but our average speed was slower than we hoped for.  One of the things which will make a huge difference to me achieving my target time in Austria is the road surface.  Here in the UK there are many poor road surfaces for cycling.  You probably don’t even notice in your car but on a bike with no suspension, very thin tyres which are inflated to 110psi (a car would be about 32psi) and a saddle with no padding you tend to notice every bump and crevice.  More importantly, all this bumping around slows the bike down a lot.  So I am still hoping that Sunday’s average speed of just over 17mph translates in to the required average speed for the 112 miles in Austria of 20mph as they have much smoother road surfaces and there’ll be no need to stop at junctions etc.  So, whilst it’s not a certainty I am hoping to achieve my bike leg time.

The run was another story.  Both Zac and I found it quite tough and our pace was way off my target time.  It didn’t help that we ran through some grass meadows which were slightly flooded and so we got very wet feet and I also think it was probably the most humid part of the day.  I need to be doing a 3 hours 50 minute marathon in Austria and our pace for the half we ran on Sunday equates to a marathon finish time of just over 4 hours.

All in all Sunday’s session was excellent training and the closest thing we have had to race weather conditions to date.  Only time will tell how the race goes and I must admit after the session on Sunday I started to get a bit twitchy. There’s nothing unusual there, in fact nerves can be a good thing and its about now that I would expect to start to feel slight pangs.

I’ll share some stats with you about Sunday’s session:

Calories burnt:

Swim – 500 kcal [estimated] (240kcal per mile)

Bike – 4,319 kcal (50 kcal per mile, 864 kcal per hour)

Run – 1,488 kcal (113 kcal per mile, 726 kcal per hour)

TOTAL – 6,307

Calories consumed during exercise 1,807

Liquid drunk (not counting the lake water ingested during the swim) 4.5 litres

It’s nice to burn off calories to the tune of nearly 2lbs of fat, and it doesn’t matter how much I try, I just can’t consume that much on a hard training day.  Although by the end of the 8 hours of exercise I get fed up with drinking water and taking in chemical flavoured carbohydrate preparations and even though I also take on the bike bread pudding, date and honey bars, fig biscuits and malt loaf.  Much of which Leigh bakes, once I have finished the training session I just want some ordinary savoury food, but can’t actually eat much.  The body is a funny old thing eh!

Today is a rest day but the rest of the week holds in store two sessions per day except for Friday which has only one.  Next weekend consists of a brick of a 70 mile ride and a 30 minute run on one day and the other is a 90 minute run.  Then there are three weeks of taper.  As of today there are 27 days before the event and I am sure they will fly by.  I’ll need to watch my weight gain isn’t too horrendous when I taper as I don’t want to carry “excess baggage” around the Austria course.

All for now, I’ll update you again soon.




4 responses to “What a difference a week makes

  1. Hi Nick,

    Sorry I have not left a message lately, but you know how busy it’s been in the world of Salubrity.
    Plus I need to stay awake, and reading up on all the training you have been doing make me feel exhausted. I don’t know how you do it! No wonder you have been suffering (?) with excess acid in your legs!
    It will all be worth it in the end I imagine. I recon you will well exceed your targets in Austria.
    Do you know a good way of burning kcals just by sitting at a desk, in front of the computer?
    I must burn a few 100 a day just by sending emails chasing our solicitor!
    I really want to start stepping up my exercise regime(putting one in place would be a fantastic start!) to get rid of my baby belly, hips, legs, bum, well all my excess fat. My midwife & health visitor said I should take things easy at the moment as Luke is still only 4 weeks old.
    Can you recommend something simple & easy to start with? My aim is to do at least 10minutes a day.
    As you know I am being Salubrtised at the moment (I am now a salubritarian! Fantastic word isn’t it!) So I am looking to get rid of the fat for the moment (to help my weight loss) and work on toning up a bit later.

    Many thanks
    Sarah :0)

  2. Hi Sarah

    There are a couple of things to realise about burning extra calories, and despite much hype it is possible to burn calories whilst watching TV, or whilst sitting at your PC. Unfortunately, one of these requires exercise but the second doesn’t.

    How to burn calories whilst watching TV – part 1
    To burn additional calories whilst watching TV or as Leigh calls it, being a ‘PC-potato’, first put your exercise kit on and go do some working out. How will this help to burn calories whilst watching TV? As you exercise you start to affect your metabolic rate. That is the rate at which your body consumes energy and for some time after you stop exercising you will have a slightly raised metabolic rate. In other words, your body will consume calories quicker than it otherwise would. This isn’t long lasting and the amount your metabolic rate alters depends upon how long and how hard you exercised.
    Nevertheless you will be consuming additional calories whilst couch potato-ing.

    How to burn calories whilst watching TV – part 2
    Another way, which I hasten to add could annoy your partner and/or work colleagues, is to fidget. All movement requires energy and this energy comes from burning calories. So if you learn to constantly tap your feet or fidget in some other way you will consume more calories than you otherwise would have. Although, you must consider other people and the fact that someone constantly fidgeting can be distracting and annoying. Other ways for people who work in large offices is to change from sending e-mails to people the other side of the office/building and instead walk over to their desk or go up the stairs to their floor. Every time you go to meet someone you will burn some calories. However, you must avoid the trap of eating any of the birthday cake selection found en-route at various department coffee areas as all your good work will be undone :o)

    The one guaranteed way of burning calories, raising your metabolic rate and generally making you feel like you have more energy is to follow a proper exercise plan/routine. For someone in your position it needs to start very gently and steadily and gradually build up. Don’t attempt anything too strenuous, just stick to walking. Maybe you have to post letters or pay bills etc. locally. Take the opportunity to walk there. If needed, start off with a 5 minute walk and gradually, and as you start to feel more comfortable add a minute to the walk and build it up to say 20 minutes.
    This may take weeks but don’t rush it. Any form of exercise is best built from a solid base that isn’t rushed.

    If you don’t feel comfortable walking outside you could try going up and down stairs for a few minutes and count the number of trips you have taken in a given time. Then, as time passes, see if you can add to the number of ‘climbs’ and/or do them in a shorter time. Key here again though, is not to build too quickly. You should also consider that this will put slightly more stress on your joints, muscles etc. than just walking.

    If the thought of pure exercise doesn’t set you on fire maybe you could do a couple of housework stints per day. Vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the oven, sweeping the back yard, cutting the lawn etc. will all burn more calories than vegging-out and raise your metabolism slightly. These also have the added bonus that you feel like you have achieved something other than burning calories.

    As your weight reduces and you start to feel like you want to move towards a more traditional style of exercise, we can look at swimming, cycling, running, roller-blading, rowing or any other number of sports which can benefit you.

    Having explored the burning calories routes I’ll add one more thing.
    Losing, maintaining or gaining weight can be boiled down to the very simple equation of the ‘in versus out’ calculation.
    Exercising is an excellent way to burn calories and create a fitter stronger cardiovascular and muscular-skeletal system but remember it must be done in conjunction with eating healthy and fresh food and in the appropriate quantities. Too much ‘in’ and not enough ‘out’ will result in the scales not behaving how you want them to!

    I hope that this helps, let me know how you get on.



  3. Thank you..

    I think I might stick to sending the emails, I dont fancy walking to Northamptonshire or Lancaster from Tunbridge wells.
    Although i would lose a few stone, on the way.

    Will let you know how i get on. :0)

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