Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

EveryMayDay 10k challenge

Sunday, May 31st, 2020 | Sport

Every day this month, a team of runners (including myself) have been running 10km each day to raise money for the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. We are aiming to reach £10,000 and, at time of writing, are already over £9,000.

Click here to support us on JustGiving.

It’s been a tough month. I don’t run anywhere near 70km a week, so it was a big uplift. Typically, they say do not increase your mileage by more than 10%. But if anyone actually did that, how would ultramarathons get done? I did take it easy at the start: most limiting myself to 10km and some days were super slow. Every run involved some running, but some “recovery dates” were mostly walking.

Towards the end, I picked up the distance a bit as I wanted to reach 400 km total for the month (I am also clocking up mileage for the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee). So, the final week was made up of a lot of 15 km runs and reaching 401 km by today meant I have averaged just under 13 km per day. Not bad, although nothing compared to the superhumans I was running with, several of whom knocked out marathons today.

My body has mostly held up. I’ve been done strength and stretching exercises every day. My left ankle is not happy but it does not feel serious. I can still run on it once I warm up. Calf muscles are fine. Mostly, I am just tired. I think I have been eating enough and I have gone through several cases of energy drinks, but I still find I am lacking energy. I haven’t lost any weight, either.

Well done to everyone who completed the challenge and thanks for your support. It has been a pleasure running with you all.

Hadrian’s Wall virtual ultramarathon

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 | Sport

On Monday, I finished the Hadrian’s Wall virtual ultramarathon. 144.8 km in 11 days. But, before I brag too much, there are a couple of caveats.

It was a virtual event, so it’s not like running a real ultra: you get to sleep in your own bed each night and have plenty of recovery time between runs.

Second, I’m already running the Great Virtual Race Across Tennesse. Both events explicitly say you can run in two virtual races at the same time, so I decided to join this one in case I fail to finish GVRAT, which has a strict cut-off and much longer distance.

Full disclosure over, I’m looking forward to my medal turning up.

Ironman VR8

Monday, May 25th, 2020 | Sport

Another virtual duathlon in the bag. I was already doing a 23 km road race on Zwift as part of Hyde Park HArrier Triathlon’s Zwift race series, so I just kept peddling fnr another 17 km after finishing to complete the bike section.

I knocked the runs out back-to-back with a 14 km run up the canal and around Kirkstall Forge. I’ve always wondered what the path from the towpath to the forge, and running 10 km every day has given me the nudge to explore it, so I did. It’s not that exciting but a least now I know.

Ironman VR7

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 | Sport

Another weekend, another virtual race. This time it was only a sprint distance, so all I had to do was to find room for a 20km bike ride and I was away. I’m running better off the bike than I am on regular days now. My usual runs are anywhere from 55-70 minutes, but off the bike, I’m constantly running 50 minute 10ks. I think my body is just so old and tired now that it needs a full you to warm up.

Ironman VR6

Monday, May 11th, 2020 | Sport

I did all four of the first Ironman VR events. However, having accidentally done a middle distance for Ironman VR4, I did not fancy doing two middle distances on back-to-back weekends, especially as #EverymayDay 10k had started by this point, so I decided to skip Ironman VR5.

Ironman VR6 was back down to standard distance, though, and already running 10km every day meant that all I had to do was squeeze in a 40 km bike ride.

I decided to put the 40 km bike and 10 km run into a brick session. It was a slow bike ride, taking me nearly two hours to totter around North Leeds for 43 km, but the run afterwards I was on fire: 48:06.

Nutrition, Exercise and Sports

Thursday, May 7th, 2020 | Life, Sport

As well as the courses on macronutrients and micronutrients, I’ve also been doing a course on sport nutrition with Wageningen University. I’ve finished the course and am on track for a final grade of 92%, but even though I’ve submitted everything, the grades do not get finalised until the summer.

Meanwood Valley Trail

Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 | Sport

It’s day six of #EveryMayDay 10k for the COVID-19 relief fund. Today, I headed up to Woodhouse Ridge. I lived in Woodhouse for two years but I never knew it was there. In my defence, I wasn’t running much at the time. Since then, I’ve only made one trip as it’s not right outside my house (and the canal is). Having to get plenty of running in, I decided it was time for a proper explore.

The ridge itself is nice, with plenty of trees that you can immerse yourself in. As you follow the Meanwood Valley Trail up follow some dirt paths, ginnels and streets until you arrive at Meanwood Valley Park. I got as far as the top before turning around.

Ironman VR4

Sunday, May 3rd, 2020 | Sport

As I mentioned last week, I accidentally did a Half Ironman.

Easy mistake to make. Ironman Virtual Club’s original schedule had it rotating around middle, standard, sprint. I didn’t double-check the distance when I signed up for VR4, so went out to do my 5km run and 90km bike before collapsing on the sofa to watch the pro race. I then saw they were only cycling 40km.

By this point, I was too invested to drop my run down to a 10km, so I did the full 21.1. Alas, now Ironman VR5 has been upgraded to a middle distance race, and I can’t be bothered to do it all again this weekend.

May races

Friday, May 1st, 2020 | Sport

Tomorrow would have been Tour de Yorkshire. Instead, we’ve got an email confirming at World Triathlon Leeds has been upgraded from postponed to cancel. But not all is lost.

Everymayday 10k

As a fundraiser for the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Relief Fund, we’re running 10km every day throughout May. That adds up to 310km in total, which is 7.3 marathons. I don’t feel super-prepared as it’s a higher weekly mileage than I usually do. But might be doable with plenty of easy runs and some run-walks, or just plain walks.

Find out more on the JustGiving page.

The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee

From the mind of Gary Cantrell, creator of the Barkley Marathons, comes this virtual race. 1,021 kilometres from one corner of Tennessee to the other. Still, you have four months to complete it, which means you need to average 8.3km per day.

My original target was to do half of the distance. I think 500km is still a good crack at it. But, if I get through the #everymayday challenge, who knows. The important thing is that you get the t-shirt just for starting.

You still have time to sign up if you fancy the challenge.

How to fix missing activities in Ironman Virtual Club

Sunday, April 26th, 2020 | Sport, Tech

If you’ve been doing the Ironman Virtual Club races, you may have run into the problem where some of your activities have not registered, and you’re stuck on 33% or 67%. Worse, it doesn’t tell you what was missing, so you have no idea what went wrong.

One of the most likely causes is that your activity was too long. For example, if you run 20km for a 10km race, Ironman Virtual Club will not count it. I ran into this when I ran 1.7km for the 1.5km run 1 of Ironman VR3. And things got worse for Ironman VR4. Last week, they announced on Facebook it would be a middle-distance event:

It didn’t occur to me to double-check the details when signing up, so I went out and did a 5km run and 90km bike ride, only to flip down in front of the TV to watch the VR4 Pro Challenge and realise they were only cycling 40km! By this point, I was in for the full thing, so I finished off with a 21km run on Sunday. But none of my activities had registered with Ironman Virtual Club, even though I had completed the distance (and then done it again).

If you are using Garmin Connect, here is how to fix it:

Download the FIT file from Garmin Connect, then go to Fit File Tools. Remove the section of the workout beyond your required distance. In this case, I deleted the last 50km my bike ride and then downloaded the modified FIT file. To allow me to re-upload it to Garmin Connect, I then used the time stamp modifier to make it look like a new activity.

If you have Strava connected to Ironman Virtual Club, you could also upload the modified versions direct to Strava from the Fit File Tools website.

If you’re using something other than Garmin Connect that doesn’t produce FIT files, you can download the GPX file and use a GPX editor, like WTracks, to make similar edits. You can trim the start and end with WTracks, but I’m not sure how to modify the timestamp.