Some Stuff About Me ......

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I live in Harrogate, North Yorkshire with my wonderful wife and soul-mate Helen. I have two incredible sons - Evan and Matthew - who are occasionally show up at home, usually when they're hungry or need money. The three of them are the best thing that ever happened to me and I love them all. I spent over 24 years in the Royal Navy, but since I packed it all in and got a proper job my life has gone from strength to strength and I've never looked back. I am a die-hard soul music fan and this remains a serious passion, but in recent years my life has been dedicated to running on the fells and trails of Northern England, it's what I was made for. Please read about my adventures and experiences ...

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A Lovely Morning .....

It seems a bit paradoxical to use such a title when outside it's snowing heavily, however it absolutely was one of my better mornings. I was up early for pre-work swim training and 0630 saw me ploughing up and down the pool at one of Harrogate Tri's coached sessions and it didn't go at all badly: my bilateral breathing is definitely getting better and I'm feeling stronger generally. Had no problem keeping up with swimming mate Emma, although she definitely has the edge when it comes to drill work - I sort of make up for the difference with brute-force and ignorance.  A swift change and off to work, it had snowed overnight and the roads were just clearing and the skies were blue and all around was that crystalline, winter clarity that makes you glad to be alive. I always find the view down into Nidderdale inspiring, if conditions are good you can see Great Whernside in the distance and Barden Fell and Rocking Hall are usually there, tempting me to go and run over them. Maybe it's the endorphins that result from a concerted hour of swimming, but I was seriously full of beans and happy to be alive, even though the next thing on the agenda was work! There are other reasons for this actually: i) I was back under my fighting weight this morning (10st 9lb) and that makes me happy, a bit more of that and I know my run performances will improve. Also, last night I got back on my gym hill-climb regime for the first time since August (ie. since my final session prior to BGR) and all in all, it wasn't bad. I didn't expect miracles, but managed the best part of 2700ft in 30 mins and the very fact that I stayed on the thing for 30 mins is proof that all is not yet lost. Training on this machine is VERY hard ..... I once did 3000ft in 29.17 so have a way to go, but this is a good start. Home for a quick change then off to pilates, I do believe that things are on the up in this regard too - I still struggle with some of the core strength routines, but given that I'd just done that hill climb session I thought that things went pretty well.

Reading the above, that might sound like a lot of training in less than 24 hours (true) - particularly if you consider that I intend to go interval training with the club tonight .... I have no doubt that I will find this very hard, but it will take me forward and that's what I need. The truth is, I had a bit of a wake-up call on Saturday at the Rombalds Stride, I had an absolutely f***ing TERRIBLE run, finishing 15 mins slower than last year. I can't explain it, conditions were great for running and all things being equal I should have been looking at a sub-4 finish (one of the guys I beat at the Tour de Helvellyn in Dec did exactly that), so what went wrong? I really don't know - I had no energy, my hip flexors hurt and the cold air was rasping in my chest. Doesn't sound good does it? I was running with Helen and mates Em and Carol, but just told them to leave me as we started the climb on the final section, I wanted to be grumpy in solitude. Ironically, I started feeling better on the steep climb up The Chevin, but the final run down into Guiseley was still painful. Common sense dictates that I shouldn't be too harsh on myself, I had only finished a course of antibiotics on the previous day and the preceding few weeks had seen me in a pretty poorly state - but that's not human nature of course and particularly mine. I was very pissed-off and it came as some surprise that I felt so good the following day - I certainly didn't feel like I'd done a tough 22-mile fell race.

Anyhow, this has all been a convoluted way of me explaining why I've been training so hard over the last 24 hrs. The time has come to stop fannying around, I have goals for 2013 and I'm not going to achieve them sitting on my backside.


John said...

Hi Martyn,

Great post and interesting comments re your gym hill-climb regime. I live in the flat south so get very little opportunity for serious hill training but I do have access to a gym with a stair climber which I guess is what you use. Any advice you can give in getting the best training effect out of the machine would be appreciated, e.g., frequency, resistance, target heart rate etc.

Best of luck with your training,

Martyn Price said...

Thank you John. It's difficult to give you a really good answer, as the machine I use is an American one called a "Jacob's Ladder" and I don't think they're that popular in British gyms. However, I would say that you need to have it set fairly high so that it emulates the effect of going steeply uphill. As for heart rate, well, I have used a HRM on this machine in the past and believe you should be aiming at just under lactate threshold, the idea is not to kill yourself but to build leg strength and endurance. Another tip - particularly if you are working against strong resistance - is to take a 15-second break every 10 minutes to have a drink and wipe sweat off, but more importantly let the lactate drain from your legs. It works! Good luck and please let me know how you get on.