Tag Archives: love the rain

Change, nobody said it was easy

I was in the pool today and I overheard 2 people having a conversation about somebody who they had been out on a ride with. I didn’t catch the whole of the conversation but I got the gist of it, which was as follows; The person they were riding with was trying to follow a set session and the person that they were riding with wasn’t happy about it. They just wanted to ride as they always did. As I was leaving, I started to think about why this person was unhappy or berating the other person, and it comes down to one thing, change, or fear of change.
When you hire a coach or follow a training plan you are taking the first step towards making a change. You are committing to becoming faster, and fitter, and this can scare people as it can make them look at themselves and start asking questions.

change-management-300x200
One of the hardest things about making a change is making your environment fit that change. For example you will find it hard to eat more healthily if your cupboard is full of unhealthy food, and you will find it hard to cut back on drinking if you have a routine of going to the pub every night and drinking with your friends. You either need to replace the habit with another (better habit) or ditch the habit altogether.
The same goes for your training. If you really want to get faster and fitter then you need to follow a plan. You can’t expect to improve, by doing the same as you have always done, which brings me back to the group ride being discussed at the pool.
Group training sessions have their place, and can be incorporated into your training, especially if they are progressive and aimed at the event that you are training for. But often they are not and this is when you may need to do something different.

As far as group rides go, if you were a pure cyclist they would be a lot more useful, as you would need to ride in a group, but as a triathlete you should be aiming to sustain power without drafting, which is difficult to do in a group setting. You can try to follow a planned session but in my experience you don’t get the quality that you do when you are on your own or with someone who is a similar ability to you.

78106_dra15_wjc_007777

As I said earlier to make a change you need to change your environment and this may mean ditching some of your group sessions, especially if the group is not supportive of your training goals. Its not easy, and thats why not everyone is willing to do it. You can carry on “just getting it done” as my friend at the pool advocated or you can focus on being the best that you can be, at the end of the day its your choice.

Never try, never fail…

Training for a big event is a journey, and along the way we learn a lot about ourselves. This year I have got myself a coach, having coached myself for the past few years I felt I needed a bit of a push so that I had the best chance of achieving my goals. It has been interesting, and I have definitely been pushed harder than ever before, it has also made me aware that I don’t like to fail. I like to see progress and do sessions right. However although its great when we do those “hero workouts” and we feel like we have hit all the targets, that is only part of the story.

When training for a big event you will get tired and there will be days when you don’t hit the times, or goals that you want from that session, it doesn’t mean it was wasted. There are times when you need to recover, and times when you need to accept that you are tired and you didn’t do such a great job on that session, its ok. Part of training for something big is finding out where your limits are and pushing the boundaries, and if we do it in training it gets easier in races.

There is a great article by Siri Lindley about pushing her boundaries here. I’m not advocating no recovery or digging yourself into an overtrained hole, but being aware of the fact that you are not going to smash it every day, we are human and have stuff going on in our lives that affects our training, and as a coach I always make sure I look at the whole picture, to ensure that athletes feel positive about their training.

So sometimes we will fail in training and in races, its inevitable. There are many ways that we protect ourselves from failure, some examples are shown in this article. You may identify with some of these examples, and if you do, well done for recognising it. Recognising that you have a fear is the most important step, once you know about a fear you can do something about it. Another article here deals with strategies for coping with fear of failure, and gives advice for dealing with fears. If you can implement some of these ideas in to your life and training then you will reap the rewards!

Pembrokeshire Coast Path final stage

Day 18  Moylegrove to Poppit Sands

5.6 miles. Elevation gain 1227ft.

Strava data

The final stage seemed like a bit of a short run. The plan was, to all go up North (my mum, Patrick, the boys, and myself) and have Sunday lunch afterwards. We arrived at Moylegrove to heavy rain, but it soon cleared, and I checked out the oystercatchers in the bay. The terrain on this section was hard going, as it has been raining practically non stop, the path was very wet and slippery. My pace was the slowest so far on the first 3 miles, (there are also a lot of short but steep up and downs)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After 3 miles it started to get a bit easier underfoot with some more rock rather than field on the path, and the terrain levelled out to a lovely path where I could see Cardigan bay ahead.

2016-01-10 10.54.53

A flat bit!!

After turning the corner, the path turned to road for the last 15 minutes. As I was running down the hill to Poppit Sands I saw a familiar figure, in a hat, running uphill, it was Carwyn Phillips, who organises The Preseli Beast we stopped for a chat,  and I have just discovered that he has run the path in just over 4 days!!

I arrived at the car park and got a picture of the coast path sign, then met my family, and a friend on the beach who told me that the end was in St Dogmaels (ARGHH!) and sure enough as I returned to the car park to get changed I saw the sign one and a third miles to St Dogmaels. I decided not to run there as everyone was on the beach and I was getting changed. I may do the run the other way round some day, then I can complete the whole path!

Screenshot 2016-01-11 10.29.37

My driver.

It is great to have this path on our doorstep, and I really enjoyed running it. My mum and I had fun driving around Pembrokeshire, and she enjoyed running parts of the path too. I know there are some other people running it at the moment I hope they enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Pembrokeshire Coast Path December

Day 14  Porthgain to Pwll Deri

11 miles. Elevation gain 1634ft.

Strava data

I had no lift today, as my mum was away, so Patrick came up with the idea of leaving my bike at the end of the run and then cycling back to the car. Having checked the forecast I thought I would give it a go, only 20mph winds for today rather than the 40-50 gusts that we have been used to.

2015-11-29 20.06.09

It was actually dry on the north coast when I got there, and I left my bike attached to some wooden railings at a viewpoint. The road was a single track dead end, so I figured it would be safe; however there is always a little bit of worry when leaving your bike chained up! I then drove to Porthgain and started the run. This is another unfamiliar part of the path, I spotted geese, and a sheep with its head stuck in the fence, which I tried unsuccessfully to free. I spoke to a couple of local dog walkers further down the track to let them know and if they knew the farmer to let him know. I really enjoyed the last bit of path from Abermawr to Pwll Deri, a bit like moorland, very rugged and lots of rocks. I arrived back at my bike, and bag which had drink and snack in and then cycled back to Porthgain into the headwind, feeling a bit tired after that one!

 

Day 15 Pwll Deri to Fishguard viewpoint

11.2 miles. Elevation gain 1444ft.

Strava data

This was a long one, the path is quite twisty with lots of little ups and downs. There was nowhere really that you could stride out and get into a rhythm, and I managed quite a spectacular fall, landing superman style in the mud, but no damage done, I stopped quite a few times for photos, and saw a load of seals relaxing on the beach.

I decided to meet my mum at the viewpoint outside Fishguard so I wouldn’t have to run up it at the start of the next section, however I wished I had asked her to meet me in Goodwick when I arrived there. Often seem to have that feeling! When I arrived back we stopped off for coffee in Fishguard and we discussed the next few sections. (There are only 3 more runs left and I was hoping to get it finished before the end of the year,) but after a few calculations realised that my mum would be away on the last run. She has done most of the driving to drop me off and pick me up at various points so she was quite keen to have a little celebration at the end of the challenge! So it looks like my last run will have to be after New Year, so we can celebrate together.

Day 16 Fishguard viewpoint to Newport.

11 miles. Elevation gain 1601ft.

Strava data

I mapped this run on Map my ride the night before and it came up as 9.8 miles so I was expecting a shorter run than last week, my mistake! It was 11 miles of slippery path with a couple of ankle deep bogs thrown in. Luckily it was pretty dry and not too windy, but by the end I was longing for a path with some friction. I finished running on the welcome gravel path from the Parrog up to Newport so I got my wish eventually. After meeting my mum in the car park we went for a coffee and toast at the newly opened VicNorth cafe, which was lovely.

Screenshot 2015-12-27 08.30.22

Day 17 Newport to Moylgrove

8 miles. Elevation gain 1375ft.

Strava data

2015-12-24 09.34.04

I ran this section on Christmas eve, the weather was windy and it was quite hard going. There were some really boggy sections again, and I caught the culprits trying to look cute around a gateway. There were about 8 ponies who had been churning up the path and making it difficult to run on!  When I mapped this run I had mapped it at 7 miles so when I got to 7 miles I was at an inlet and not sure if it was Moylgrove or not. I dithered a bit then carried on as I had thought the road would be more visible, luckily my senses were correct as I found Patrick and the boys at the next inlet a mile away. Next run is the last section which I have planned for January so we can all enjoy the occasion! Looking forward to it but also will be sad to have finished.

December creativity

The last 2 posts have been about staying consistent with your training and eating habits over Christmas. To be consistent sometimes you have to be a little bit creative with how you plan things. Its easy to have a plan and follow it when you are in your usual routine, but over Christmas your usual  routine goes out of the window for a while, so we have to let go of what we expect to do. It’s totally fine to do this, remember your family are your team, and if you work together then everyone can be happy and do what they need to do. If you need to prioritise time with your family that is a valuable thing, as they will support you when you need it. In this post I will give you some ideas for getting creative with your training. They are not new ideas and I’m sure that you have done similar things in the past. These are some of the things I have done so that I can train and still keep everyone happy!

Taking the boys to rugby while Patrick surfed, then cycling home. We both got our fix that day.

Getting up early and running, sometimes in the dark with a head torch.

Cycling to a friends house for a barbecue.

Getting dropped off and running to meet my family/friends.

Taking the kids to the pool and having a bit of a swim myself.

Doing turbo while the kids and I watch a DVD together.

 

There are many other ways to be creative with your training, I’d love to hear what you do, and remember you can shorten sessions if you need to. Its better to do little and often than to try catching up. Remember your reasons for training  and keep those priorities in mind. Wishing you all Merry Christmas and a great New Year.

December flexibilty

I’m not talking about the flexibility that you get from stretching, (although that is always a useful thing to have!) I’m talking about being flexible and creative with your training.

Depending on when your priority event is, you will probably need, and want to train during the Christmas period.

 

However you will (probably!) also want to spend time with your family and friends. The trick is to get the balance right. Remember it is your Christmas holiday too and you can choose how much pressure to put yourself under, keep the day low key if you want less stress, and enjoy getting out and about when its quiet.

If you need/want to get out for a run for half an hour it doesn’t really have much impact on anyone else, so keep it consistent, its better to do a little something each day than to try and catch up on training after Christmas. You will probably be in a better mood too after your endorphin fix and have more energy for everyone around you.

The next post will be about creative training, and how to think outside the box when trying to fit training in over the holidays.

Pembrokeshire Coast Path November

Day 6 Pwllcrochan to Neyland

11.9 miles. Elevation gain 1017ft.

Strava data

I photographed the map for this section as it was through Pembroke, and I was sure I would miss some signs!

I was about to leave Pwllcrochan when a family started walking back to their car, it was a couple that we haven’t seen for about 5 years! We had a chat before I left, running through muddy fields and leafy paths, after about 10 minutes I turned my ankle over, which was pretty painful. I thought I would have to call Patrick and get picked up, but after walking fro a few minutes I lost the feeling of sickness and carried on. When I got to Hundleton I missed the first sign of the path but noticed quickly and got back on track. I missed another in Pembroke, and as I was approaching Asda I had a phone call from Patrick to let me know that they were on the roundabout.

P1030960

Meeting at Neyland was easy as there is the cycle track their for the kids to ride on, they had cycled over the bridge and I we went back over together until the coast path dropped off road on the left, and the cycle path went right. We met back at the car for soup, and welsh cakes, then sat in the sun at the cafe.

Day 7 Neyland to Sandy Haven

9.9 miles. Elevation gain 948ft.

Strava data

This was a really interesting part of the run, going past the refinery, wind turbines, and over unusual bridges before arriving back on the wild bit of coast path, I found my mum at Sandy Haven, she had enjoyed running along part of the path while waiting for me!

Day 8 Sandy Haven to West Dale

11.8 miles. Elevation gain 1063ft.

Strava data

The forecast was for 40mph winds and rain, and as we drove through Haverfordwest I was not looking forward to getting out of the car, the rain was lashing down on the windscreen, but as we approached Sandy Haven the sky cleared, and by the end of the run the sky was blue.

Screenshot 2015-11-12 18.57.42

There was lots to see along the way, the estuary, a little fort and lighthouse. I have walked the Dale headland with Patrick before, so remembered those times while running. When I arrived at West Dale the boys had done a mini beach clean and were waiting by the car.

Day 9 West Dale to St Brides bay

8.5 miles. Elevation gain 732ft.

Strava data

I had planned to run all the way to Broad Haven, but was a bit apprehensive as I had mapped it out as being more than 14 miles. As we drove towards Dale I made up my mind to just run to St Brides bay, as the weather wasn’t looking great and I was feeling quite tired, as I started running from West Dale, I was pleased that I wasn’t going all the way to Broad Haven, the wind was really strong and it was tough running. Spotted lots of mushrooms! and it was still very beautiful so I stopped to take a few snaps along the way. Met my mum in the car park at St Brides Bay, where she was pleased to tell me they had a defibrillator!

Day 10 St Brides bay to Newgale

11.5 miles. Elevation gain 1444ft.

Strava data

Weather was wild today,  but it wasn’t raining! The boys were very excited by the wind, and I left them with Patrick, in St Brides car park, climbing up a tree. I stopped to video some dramatic waves and turned around to find a lot of cows watching me, so I took their photo and moved on.

Windy out on the #coastpath today #running #Pembrokeshire #coastal

A post shared by Celia Boothman (@lovetherain76) on

I got my timings wrong again, and found Patrick at the end of Newgale beach, so I had plenty of time to stretch and get dressed before heading to a cafe.

Day 11 Newgale to St Non’s

10.1 miles. Elevation gain 1355ft.

Strava data

The weather forecast was terrible again today, but I decided to go ahead with my run. I thought I was going to stay dry, but no such luck, within 20 minutes I was soaked through and running into strong winds, I enjoyed the run though, and it made me feel alive, really I’m so lucky to be able to do this!

Day 12  St Non’s to Whitesands

7.6 miles. Elevation gain 666ft.

Strava data

Urgh, is all I can say. The night before, my mum looked after the boys so we had a rare night to ourselves! We decided to try out the new restaurant in Narberth. We had a glass of wine at the bar and then a bottle with our meal. Afterwards we went to The Eagle for a rum, and we spotted a bargain offer on Prosecco £8.95. I was inspired when I saw the table next to us with a bottle, and I also saw someone drinking a pint of guiness. We ordered the same and mixed our own black velvets 😦

black-velvet

Anyhow we had a fun time, and running was still enjoyable, the section was beautiful and interesting to see “the bitches” in full flow!

Day 13  Whitesands to Porthgain

9.5 miles. Elevation gain 1306ft.

Strava data

Lovely run today, if a bit windy. Managed to avoid getting soaked and then stopped for a cappuccino at The Sloop in Porthgain with my mum, not a bad way to spend the morning. I’m starting to feel a bit sad now I know I’m on the home straight! Maybe I should run it the other way round!!