Return to single-speed cycling

Back to normal things this week!

Sunday: My first time on the Single Speed bike since Easter. I was reluctant initially to go out on it as it had been a while and I knew I would find it hard work. But I had forgotten how much fun it is to ride and how simple just to pedal, not to have to worry about gears and to know I couldn’t wimp out and change down to a granny gear on the hills. It was tiring and my back was very sore on the outward leg – probably because the set-up is not quite the same as on my summer bike. I had to stop three times to stretch my back but it was fine on the return journey. It was just Alan and myself and I hid behind him, out of what was quite a strong gusty wind, for the whole trip. Because my back was sore we made an unscheduled stop for coffee at the Angel Cafe in Diss and then, with my back all nicely stretched out, did the 10 miles to Goodies for their all-day breakfast.

There was toast as well!

There was toast as well!

Very tasty it was too. The trip back from Goodies is less than 20 miles and we had the wind behind us the whole way so it was a swift return which was just as well considering my legs were tired and the breakfast was sitting rather heavily in my stomach!
(54.8 miles at an ave speed of 16.4 mph, ave HR 139bpm.)

Monday: Norwich Road Runners session – hills (or “pimples” as Wendy calls them) with Wendy.  This was just what I needed as I knew I couldn’t get to the efforts session on Tuesday.  We jogged along to the roundabout on Woodcock Road and then did 1 minute efforts up the hill, with 2 minute recovery jogs back down.  The idea was that your sixth effort is as good as your first, so you have to remember where you got to on the first one and aim for that point on the next five efforts.  Obviously it would be easy to cheat and make very little effort on the first so that the subsequent ones wouldn’t be challenging but I don’t think any of us did that.  We’d only be cheating ourselves after all!  These effort sessions are always strangely fun – hard work but you feel really good when you have done them and hills are something I need to focus on as I can’t keep registering only for races that are flat as a pancake. 
(3.6 miles at ave 10:49 min/mile, ave HR 131 bpm – forgot to use the lap button again to get more meaningful pace and HR data – silly me!)

Tuesday: rest day

Wednesday: 3 mile jog from home in the evening.  Did my usual nice flat route.
(3 miles at ave 10:10 min/mile, ave HR 138 bpm)

Thursday: Norwich Road Runners Evening run.  It was a nice evening for a run and still remarkably warm for the time of year.  I ran with Linda, Sophie and a new lady, Rachel and we decided to do the short route.  We chatted the whole way round and other than the final hill up to Club, I was feeling pretty good.  It would probably be a good idea for me to try and do the 6 mile option from time to time.
(4.4 miles at  ave 9:51 min/mile, ave HR 144 bpm.)

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: Rest day

Weekly Mileage
Cycling: 80.2 miles
Running: 11 miles

Training and Events (14-20 September 2014)


5k East Anglian Air Ambulance Runway Run in the morning.  This felt hard.  I’m not sure why that was – the long run with Linda on Thursday, a rough course over grass with a few inclines and some wind – or whether I was unfairly comparing my time/effort with some of my better Parkruns which are on much easier terrain.  Anyway, my chip time was 26:24 which was a minute inside the bronze standard time that I was aiming for – so job done.  And it was a nice event too with a fabulous goodie bag.

40 miles on the bike with the Dandy Horse guys in the evening.  This was a fun ride and it was good to be able to get out after missing the VCN Club Ride in the morning.  My legs were tired and they complained a bit on the hills but I’m glad I went and I’d probably go again on another occasion if I was unable to get out for the morning ride.  It’s good that there are more and more possibilities for people to get out and ride with a group.


Rest day.


NRR efforts on the field.  The efforts sessions are always worth going to and provide an effective and fun workout whilst taking up very little of the evening.  This week we had the annual club photo so we were a bit later getting out on the field.  The session was run by Richard High and was a pyramid session.  I am never exactly sure how hard to push myself for the effort bits but I suppose 5k PB pace is probably ideal ie 8 minute/miles.  But really I have to go by feel as I can’t be peeping at my watch whilst running around the field and very soon it will be too dark to see my watch anyway.


Rest day.


Long run with Linda and Mark in the evening – 12 miles this week.  I hadn’t been feeling very up for it all day, the weather was warm and I felt a bit slumpy.  Linda said the same.  Once I got started I felt better but this was a hard run.  Mark was good at keeping us to pace (10’30 min/mile) but by 9 miles we were tiring and walked up a few hills in the last mile or so.  But we did do it.  I felt a bit weird though later in the evening  – got up to unload the dishwasher and felt very faint so had to slump back on the sofa.  I don’t think I am great at these distance efforts even when I run them at a nice easy pace.  Next week we are doing 14 miles but are doing the Marriotts Way so at least that will cut out the hills.  After that I think we taper.  I hope so anyway.


Rest day.  And I needed it!


Rest day


It is hard to balance the time spent on cycling and running without worrying that fitness in one is compromising that in another.  At the moment I am focusing on running because of the half-marathon (now less than a month away!) and last week I turned down the opportunity for a nice brisk evening ride with Jess because I didn’t want my legs to be too tired to do the long run.  I did cycle on the Brompton Monday-Friday (59 miles in total) but that was it for cycling other than the Dandy Horse ride on Sunday.

Total mileage

Running 17.8 miles

Cycling 100 miles

Aims for next week

To make sure I get plenty of rest before the long run at the end of the week

Concentrate on running rather than cycling

Worstead Festival 5 Miler

A very hot evening for a run but it was a wonderful event, down country lanes, where villagers had come out of their homes and sat on garden chairs with glasses of wine, to cheer us on.  And it was good to do an event that wasn’t just a run.  This 5 miler was part of the Worstead Festival  and so there were crowds of people milling about on the field and music playing and . . . what had really attracted me to the event . . . A BEER TENT with a great selection of Woodforde’s Brewery ales.  As always, there was a big turn-out from my club, Norwich Road Runners (more than 50 of us there I believe) and Roly and Kieron from the cycling club were also taking part.


Raring to go!

Raring to go!


My aim for the run itself was to get the Norwich Road Runners Club standard bronze time for a 5 mile event.  The bronze club standard time for my age group is sub-50 minutes for 5 miles so I knew that as long as I kept within 10 minute miles I would be fine.  The run went well: I ran the first couple of miles with another lady from my club who was aiming to run sub-54 minutes, but just before the 2 mile mark she wanted to ease off a bit as we were going somewhat faster than she needed to go, so I made off and found I could increase the pace a bit when I wasn’t chatting!

Near the start

In fact, I ran faster each mile that went by so that shows that I could probably push the pace a bit more if I needed to.  But it was good to start slowly and actually overtake people the whole way and have a bit of energy to say hello to spectators, high-5 small children, thank the marshalls and smile at them and chat to a few people from my club,  rather than just huff and puff, pull nasty grimacing faces and swear to myself as I run which is what I usually seem to do in a race.


Near the finish

Near the finish


The official results are not available yet, but the time on my watch was 43:14 so easily inside the bronze time and actually just inside the silver club time too, although I am not bothered about that at the moment as I want to get my bronze medallion first and then go for the silver next year.  So I have now got 3 of the 6 bronze club standard times that I need – the 5 mile, 10k and 10 mile.  Next on my list is the half marathon distance, then I will have to find a 5k to do and then finally (and I shudder at the thought) is the Wymondham 20 Miler in the spring.  I cannot imagine running 20 miles but I don’t have to think about that now!  That’s a long way off.



Nice medal

A nice medal too!



In fact, I only had a single beer after the race and didn’t stay long to chat as I came over a bit weird – faint and feeling a bit sick.  I’m not sure if that was the heat followed by a beer, or whether I am still recovering from last weekend’s lurgy.  Probably a combination of the two as I have been felling a bit light-headed off and on all week.


But this is definitely a race I will do again – great atmosphere, good course, well-organised, pretty medal – and the beer tent of course.