So, I've been following this heart-rate training method for the last 4 weeks. Basically keeping my heart-rate as close to/under 70% of my max (140bpm). It has meant walking up hills and plodding at about 11 min mile pace. To be honest it's been really frustrating and fairly depressing.
But deep down I know it works, so have persevered.. and I'm really glad I have. On Saturday I did a regular 5 mile run from my house and again stuck to the heart-rate thing. Glancing at my watch I realised that my pace was much quicker at the same heart-rate and I didn't need to walk up any hills.. and by the end of the run I was a whole 7 minutes faster than 2 weeks ago for the same average heart-rate. A MASSIVE breakthrough and proof the the heart-rate training method really works!
Ok, so still not exactly fast, but certainly a huge improvement. It made me feel that maybe, just maybe, the London Marathon might not be that insane an idea after all.
Talking about the London Marathon, I have just agreed to be the official training consultant/coach for the Cardiomyopathy Association Team. So I'll be helping their team with their training and preparation for the Virgin London Marathon in April. I'm really honoured and excited to be helping them and they're a great charity. I think it will also help me focus on my own training and it'll be an interesting journey to see how we all get on over the next 6 months.
I've also been getting out on my bike and really enjoying this lovely autumnal weather. On Sunday (after my breakthrough run on Saturday) I had a fantastic bike ride with my friend Steve. 33 miles and 2500ft of climbing (we happen to live in a very hilly area) and it was brilliant! My longest ride since June 2010 (and that was 56 miles in Weymouth Half Ironman)! I was completely knackered afterwards, but in that lovely 'post exercise tired' sort of way.. rather than in an 'ill' sort of way. I'm always nervous after pushing it like that (I have to confess that my heart-rate didn't exactly stay under 140) and wonder how I'll recover, but so far, my immune system seems stronger and my tolerance to exercise seems to be improving. FINALLY !!!
I'm going to show this stupid bag who's boss here! I was robbed of my Ironman last year from being ill, but having an ileostomy isn't going to stop me getting back there now. In the words of Michael Jordan...
'Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it'.