I know things have been a bit quiet on my blogging front recently.  I’ve had a bit of a low key few months on the running and blogging front following the completion of my year-long challenge for Maggie’s Centres.  With my final pledges filing in it looks like I’m going to have raised £2,000 which will be doubled by my employer which is an awesome achievement.  I’m chuffed to bits – thank you to everyone who have donated, supported and kept me going, including the guys and girls at Maggie’s who really do appreciate the fundraising.

So although I’m taking a break from the fundraising I’ve still out on the roads.  My next challenge is a personal one – to tackle the Oxford half marathon in October.  It’ll be the first half marathon I’ve taken on since the 2006 Great North Run and it’ll be the first one I’ve taken on as a “serious” runner.  The aim is to finish in under 2 hours – how much I beat 120 minutes will depend on how the next thirteen and a half weeks go!

Tonight was gym night with The Wife.  I’ve set myself an interval based cardio programme using the bike and the cross trainer to compliment my road running sessions.  Mainly because I get bored witless on the black carpet of doom aka the treadmill.

I took inspiration from the supreme British athletes taking part in this Tour de France, especially Team Sky’s Mark Cavendish, Chris Froome and current yellow jersey holder, Bradley Wiggins.  They not only have fantastic fitness and extreme endurance but they seem to be beyond the pain barrier.  If you’ve never watched a stage check out the daily highlights programme on ITV4.  The distances they cover day after day are one thing, the gradients they climb are ridiculous and when they crash they’ll do everything they can to get back on the bike and continue riding – there are supermen who are riding on after dislocating shoulders and breaking wrists.  It’s puts the roll-on-the-floor-after-the-faintest-of-touches millionaires of my favourite sport, football, to shame.

On the rest intervals of my cycle session I imagined I was cruising in the peloton before hitting the climbs on the hard intervals.  In truth, I was nowhere near the efforts the pro’s are putting in.  I saw a tweet from Cavendish today, on a rest day that he hit 227 rpm on a training ride today.  I couldn’t help but be tempted to see how I would fair.  On the lowest resistance level.  On the exercise bike.  Turns out 153 rpm was all my little legs could manage!

Oh well, not a bad thing – it helped me on to personal best sessions on the bike and then I managed to carry my form onto the cross trainer too.  It was a great session.  I knew that not from the personal bests but from the jellylegs I’d picked up along the way!


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