Tag Archives: 1000kms

#LETJOG14… I’m in

One of my Twitter friends (I’m not actually sure we’ve met in real life), Dan has decided on a new challenge for 2014 – he’s going to run from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Or, more to the point, he’s going to run the equivalent distance (c. 1,400kms) over the course of the year. The idea is very simple, any training runs or events are counted to the running [geddit?] total, with the idea that the total distance has been completed by 31st December 2014.

So, in my own way, I’m going to join in. I’m not going to be doing much running, but I will use the same algorithm I use for the 1,000kms challenge I’ve set myself over the last few years. Quite simply I will double any swimming distance, divide by three any cycling distance and then keep any running distance the same. To complete the challenge within the year I will need to complete an average of just under 27kms per week. That’s a lot, especially as I haven’t even managed to complete the 1,000kms challenge as yet and here I am adding an extra 400kms to that total (or an extra 7kms per week). But it’s worth a go and it will help me through the early months of the year – and then the Autumn / Winter months when I don’t have an actual event to train for.

As part of the entry I will be updating my distance every Sunday – by blogging here (although not every Sunday) and posting on Twitter using the hashtag #LETJOG14. I also need to answer the following questions:

How would you describe your current attitude/approach to running?
– I’m a terrible runner, although I like the idea of it. I have previously run two marathons (in 2004), but not done much since. Instead, I’m a swimmer now, so I’ll mainly be swimming the distance.

Do you have a running career highlight? What is it?
– Running highlights are the marathons (London and Dublin), while the swimming highlight was swimming Windermere (10.5 miles in just under 8 hours) in 2012.

Why are you taking on the #LETJOG14 challenge?
– For motivation, to “meet” others, to help me through the dark winter months (the summers are easier to train in), cos it seemed like a good idea.

How long do you hope to cover the distance in? Do you have a specific date in mind?
– If I finish by December 31st 2014 I’ll be pleased.

How do you plan to cover the distance? Are there any events you’ll be running in throughout the year?
– I’ve got four swimming events that I’ve signed up for so far, I’ll also be doing a few other “training” events:
– An indoor 10km swim in Ponds Forge in March
– A SwimTrek trip in April – we’ll be doing an average of 10km swimming per day
– A channel relay event – a team of 6 of us will be crossing the English Channel
– Windermere – I’m aiming to swim the lake again in August

– – –

UPDATE

I wrote this and had in drafts for a while, convincing myself to go for it. Originally I thought the distance was 1,330kms, however last night a conversation on Twitter confirmed it to be 874 miles – or as close to 1,400kms as doesn’t matter (1,398.4 to be exact).

That’s an extra 70km than I was expecting and an additional 400 more than I have already failed to achieve in a year.

So, I’ve decided to change the algorithm I use to count my distance to be fair to myself. When I first came up with the algorithm the idea was to persuade myself to do more running (and cycling) and a bit less swimming. I didn’t want to over reward the “easy” swimming miles, so I decided to only double them. However, for 2014 I need to be almost exclusively swimming, yet I think trying to swim an average of 13-14kms every week is a bit much even for me (my training plan for Jan expects me to swim c. 8-9kms per week).

If you base the algorithm on how far I can go in each discipline in a set time, then it makes sense to make a change. In 20 minutes I can swim c. 1km, run c. 3km and cycle c. 12km.

Based on that, my new algorithm is: I will treble any swimming distance, leave runs the same and quarter any cycling distance.

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1,000kms

So as I stated when I set this blog up, one of the goals was to complete 1,000kms of training in the year. Well in 2012 I tried, but once I’d completed the big swim in September a combination of illness and lack of desire meant that I ended up about 150kms short.

This year it was never going to happen. Originally because I wanted to train for some different challenges, but then this summer all went to pot with my wife having to be away for most of it to look after her mother – which meant that I hardly did anything.

However, I don’t have those excuses any more. I know that I want to train up for some events next summer (including Windermere again), so I’m starting the challenge again this month. The goal is to complete 1,000kms in the 12 months from October ’13 to the end of September ’14.

So far in October I’ve done 15.85kms (according to my algorithm).

Wish me luck.

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Running Fail

I wasn’t planning to take part in Janathon anyway. I realised from last year’s 1,000kms challenge that I find it too hard to plan my life around my training to commit to a full month. However, the plan was to use the quiet time over the Xmas break to re-teach my body how to run without injuring itself and hopefully to re-teach me to enjoy it.

What I intended to do was to go out for a run* on nine consecutive days. *And by run I mean to take my time, to walk when necessary, to stop and stretch if required and not to worry about my pace – just be out there doing it.

I nearly made it.

After my first run I managed four more and almost got to point where I enjoyed the last one. But then it stopped. It stopped mainly because my son was ill (I had to take him to hospital on the 1st – he’s fine), it meant I got little sleep for a few days and I had to work and last week was an important week at work to prepare for the year.

And that neatly sums up where my training is – and always will be – in my list of priorities: behind family and work. Both of them can be demanding, both of them are naturally more appealing to me.

I know other people manage it – and at times so do I – but only up to a point.

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1,000kms #fail

Unfortunately it’s time to give up on the 1,000kms target for the year.

I was already “behind the curve” as they say going into November, but I was determined to give it a really good go. By the 11th I’d already done over 65kms and was 13kms over my required “run-rate”, but then it went downhill from there. I had a week in London, a week being ill and then a week in New York. None of which were conducive to exercising.

In the end I managed just under 90kms for the month – but not the 140+ I needed to keep on track. And now I’ve left myself too much to do in December (just under 200kms to hit the 1,000kms target – when I haven’t passed 100kms in any other month).

So it’s time to be realistic and call it a day. I’ll still exercise in December, but I won’t care about the kms so much as the individual goal. And I won’t set this challenge for next year either. In the end I’ll need to do some different training to achieve my challenges for next year – not all of it will be distance related, I’ll also need to do strength and speed work.

So I hit one goal for this blog a year early, but missed out on the other one.

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1,000kms update

After saying that I thought achieving my 1,000kms for the year target was looking unlikely I decided to go for it and see if I could actually achieve it.

At the time of writing that last post it looked like a ridiculous target to aim for. Of course it was possible, but as I previous said – unlikely. It looked a little like, oh I don’t know, someone telling me in early July that I’d be able to swim Windermere in September. You know, the kind of ambition that was way beyond … wait a minute. So that’s when I decided to have a real go at it.

So far I’ve done well. As of Sunday evening I had done over 65kms and was 13.88kms above the required “run-rate”. To put that into perspective, in no other month had I managed more than 100kms, yet in 11 days I am 2/3 of the way there.

But now here’s the problem – I’m currently at the start of a week in London with work and that means no gym and as my leg is injured, no running either. So this week I won’t add to my goal and by the time I wake up (at home) on Saturday morning I’ll be 14.44kms behind the required run-rate instead.

I did consider bringing my kit to London, but apart from the extra hassle of packing it and carrying it around, I couldn’t see when (yet alone where) I would go. I don’t know any gyms around here, I’m not staying in a hotel that has one and as I said, I can’t run at the moment. On top of that, I expect that I’ll actually be out every night I’m here – I’m not complaining about this bit, just stating it.

To top it off, I’ve got a week away in New York with work at the end of the month. I am taking my kit with me there and I hope they have a gym in the hotel, if not this 1,000kms goal will be a bit more than unlikely I’m afraid.

 

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1,000kms unlikely

One of my key challenges was to complete 1,000kms of activity this year. This is based around swimming, cycling and running (the triathlon disciplines) and is also based on a complex algorithm to balance them all out – actually it’s not complex – but instead of repeating it here, you can read it on this page.

Anyway, as things stand it’s looking unlikely.

At the beginning of November I was 283.22kms short of my target – which equates to about 4.64kms per day or around 140kms per month. Given that even on my best month so far I’ve not passed 100kms you can see why this is looking improbable.

Of course this situation is not my fault*. No, circumstances have conspired against me. I was doing okay for the first three months, then my workload got the better of me in April and again in June. Then after a good summer (including Windermere at the beginning of September) I was really ill in the middle of September. And then a holiday in October didn’t help. So now I’m left in this position.

*I accept that it is completely and wholly my fault.

For the rest of November and December I have to do about 30 minutes of exercise every day, or about 45 minutes per day if I do it 4 times a week. Doesn’t sound crazy, but it’s a LOT more than I’ve managed so far, so we’ll see.

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Doing it wrong

You know that thing where you do something and are really surprised by results, so you look again and realise its because you were doing it wrong? Well, that.

I’ve been struggling with the 1000kms part of this year’s challenge. I got behind in April and May, mainly because of work. But it was going to be okay because September would help get me back on track. I mean the Windermere swim would be over 30kms alone (given that I double swim distances). Unfortunately however, after my rest week immediately following the swim I was really ill for another two weeks – so rather than getting me ahead, September out me further behind.

So the other day I went tithe gym and had a really good session and when I came back to track my workout it seemed that I was getting back close to the target – until I looked again and realised that I’d entered the numbers all wrong. Bugger!

I’m not yet ready to admit defeat on the 1000kms target for this year, but I’m not far off.

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Live Tweeting … sort of

Just a quick note to say thanks if you followed the “live” tweeting I did on Saturday and apologies if it confused anyone.

What I was actually doing was tweeting as if live, 14 days after the swim. However, all the timings and thoughts were accurate from the swim although I didn’t actually tweet while swimming. I tweet a lot, but not that much!

The main reason for doing was to try and explain the scope of the swim. For many people they might have seen a tweet of mine in the morning then gone out and spent their Saturday doing whatever it is they do on a Saturday. Later in the afternoon checking Twitter again they would have realised that the idiot was still swimming!

If you want to catch up with the tweets, they are under the hashtag #1000kms, although I’m not sure how long you’ll be able to view them. And if you want to follow me on Twitter I’m @PatrickJPR.

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1,000kms update

Those of you that have bothered to look at the About page on this blog will see that I’m trying to complete 1,000kms of exercise this year (according to a weird calculation method I have invented).

As the year was half-way through a couple of weeks ago I thought I would provide an update as to where I am.

As of the end of June I have:

– Swum – 139.5kms (scored as 279kms)
– Run – 14.8kms (scored as 14.8kms)
– Cycled – 397.88kms (scored as 132.63kms)

In total, that’s 552.18kms, but as I divide the cycling kilometres by 3 (and double the swimming ones), the adjusted score is actually 426.43kms.

After six months, I’m about 74kms down on my target.

To be honest, I’m actually quite pleased about that. As you can see I’ve hardly done any running as I had a very bad, recurring calf injury which stopped me from running (I’ve only got back into running this month – and even then not much).

I’ve also had a couple of very busy periods, both professionally and personally. Late Feb / early March was a very busy time at work as there was a major conference in Barcelona and so we supported a number of clients out there – it meant long days in the build-up and a very busy week out there during the show. Then in June my wife was away for a couple of weeks (her mum was ill), so training took a back seat while I was a temporary single-parent.

Yet despite these setbacks I’m still in touching distance. I was afraid that when I added all the numbers up I would be at a “well I might as well not bother” place. Actually, I’m at a “great, a bit more effort and I’ll get there” place. Already in July I’m about 20kms ahead of target for the month and I’ve got a couple of long swims coming up, so I’m hopeful I’ll be back on track soon.

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4 1/2 miles done – still a long way to go

Last night I swam the furthest I’ve ever done – 4 1/2 miles. It was in training for the 6 mile swim I’ve got in a couple of weeks, as well as general training for Windermere. I’m glad I did it and the first few miles were nice and relaxed and I enjoyed them. The last mile or so was pretty tough though. What I did get from it however was a real sense of perspective on the whole thing.

1. It’s gonna be tough. I knew that anyway, but last night really brought it home. What I did last night was a lot less than half-way of the Windermere swim and that is an incredibly scary thought.

2. I WILL be able to do it. Before last night I thought 4 1/2 miles sounded tough – but now I’ve ticked that off and I’ll tick off other challenges as I progress. I felt like I could have done another 1/2 mile or so last night (but wanted to be able to use my arms today!), so there’s a still a bit left in the tank.

3. I need to speed up. I’ve gone on about this before, but it’s important. It’s important because there are entry criteria for first time swimmers of Windermere – you have to be able to swim 5 1/2 miles in 3 1/2 hours (I think). Last night I did 4 1/2 miles in 3 1/4 hours – so at this rate I won’t even be allowed to enter.

4. I still enjoy swimming. Despite the swim last night being hard work, overall I enjoyed it. I certainly enjoyed much more than I would have done if I’d been running – and perhaps more importantly my body felt much better today than if I’d been running for 3 1/4 hours (just to put it in perspective, when I was running I would have done 20 miles in 3 1/4 hours).

So still a very long way to go to Windermere (metaphorically and literally), but I’m on track, kind of.

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