rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
2010-05-12 11:25 pm

Carb-loading feels like overeating

I have been mostly "resting" since the 20-mile nearly 2 weeks ago - just my normal-life walking around plus a lot of leafletting for the election. A few timed fast walks have had me come in at

23:15, 23:20, 23:30 for 1.65 miles => 14 - 14.2 min/mile

so that fitness is still up. Things are looking good, and I am almost over the grumpiness of the 20 mile walk enough to look forward a bit to Saturday night.

For a change, some diet notes:

I have been gently calorie-restricting throughout this training, mostly to stop the exercise leading to weight gain through increased appetite, which is what happened during half-marathon training last summer. Mostly I've eaten 0-250 kcals below maintenance, and this has led to gentle weight loss. It's not hurt the training, and has cut back about half what I gained last summer.

For the last few weeks I've been paying attention to the composition: the percentage of calories from carbs, protein and fat. My default had become about 50/10/40, and I decided to shift to a low-fat diet of 60/20/20, which seems to suit me quite well, even if it takes more time to plan. I have been amused to discover (again) that low-fat food really does fill you up more because it's less energy-dense. Or at least it takes longer to eat.

Today I stuck to the usual 250-below-maintenance calorie level, but shifted to 70% carbs (I don't care how the other 30% distributes itself really) and it's actually been hard to eat it all. My plan is to do 70% carbs on my maintenance calorie level for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so I've at least 72 hours of carb-loading before Saturday night. I'm just not sure how I'm going to manage to eat it all!

On Sunday I will eat whatever I like, or more realistically, whatever I can get down. After the 20-miler, I had an uncharacteristically low appetite for about 24 hours, when I was expecting the opposite. Some strange reaction to excess exertion I guess, just like my body really doesn't seem to like hydrating during and immediately after walks over 8 miles or so.

On Monday, back to the 60/20/20 plan, for the next nine months at least. But that's the topic of another post.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
2010-05-02 07:38 pm
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2 weeks to go

We spent 10 days on holiday in France, where I didn't keep up my usual schedule of timed, measured walks. But I did make sure of going out walking the dogs most days: 2 young Jack Russels and a young Labrador/mixture cross, they kept me working hard. On our return I kept up the walking with some election leaflet delivery.

Today was the last big preparation walk: 20 miles. The training guide says "if you do this, you will be sure of completing the MoonWalk". Well, I did it, so that's a good sign. I think this is the point where I am supposed to be cheery about how great endorphins are and the rush of success, but it wasn't really like that. I hated the last 5-6 miles and greeted the end not with triumph but rather grumpy relief at being able to finally stop. My legs started aching somewhere about 12 miles, and from about 15 miles it was pure slog and grim determination keeping me going. I've stretched thoroughly but everything still aches unpleasantly. I hope the MoonWalk itself goes a bit better.

Anyway, the vital statistics:
19.8 miles in 311:20 => 15.7 min/mile

Which is not dreadful, but not as fast as I was hoping either. I set a fairly deliberate pace of about 15 min/mile at first, but slowed rather on the third loop and the last 3.8 miles were just grim (around 17 min/mile).

16 min/mile implies a finishing time of about 7 hours and 15.7 min/mile implies around 6h52min. So that gives me some idea of what to expect, though the event is not a race and the only person timing me will be me. I will probably try to set a slower pace of 15.5 min/mile and see if that's more sustainable than 15 min/mile for 10 miles and then catastrophic slowdown.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
2010-04-17 11:48 pm
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4 weeks to go

Today was supposed to be 16 miles. And it went very well, right up until 6.2 miles where I tripped and fell very hard, thumping and scraping one knee and badly bruising both hands. I briefly considered carrying on, but discretion won and I limped home (only about 10 minutes away) and cleaned up, and gave the knee a good long soak and plenty of rest. It seems to be getting better but I did resort to painkillers earlier.

I find myself feeling annoyed and cheated of my long walk, and will have to do more training on my holiday once I'm sure the knee is up to it.

I am sufficiently timing-obsessed that I stopped my stopwatch as soon as I'd finished falling and I've just mapped my walk as far as the fall site.

So: 6.2 miles in 90:15 => 14.6 min/mile Not bad, wish I knew if it would have held over the whole distance (probably not).
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
2010-04-11 09:49 pm
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5 weeks to go

Shorter walk this weekend, to work on speed a bit more.

8.5 miles in 123:23 => 14.5 min/mile

Jolly satisfying over that distance. I was able to eat a sensible meal shortly after finishing too. Going to work on eating plenty of carbs this week as I've another 16-mile to do next Saturday. I am so pleased that 8 miles is now something I can do without much difficulty. I think that longer-term (After The Marathon) I'd like to keep up a habit of doing 8-10 miles at least once a week.

Very few timed sprint walks last week, with one thing and another. Just one that I remembered to note, which was 23:15 => 14.2 min/mile. Satisfactory but nothing to shout about.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
2010-04-03 05:51 pm
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6 weeks to go

Last weekend should have been 8 miles and 5 miles, but I was in the middle of a week-long migraine and had visiting relatives. So it wasn't, and between the migraine and the childminder's holiday I've not kept up the usual daily training.

But anyway today was

16 miles in 246:55 => 15.4 min/mile

I think that's the furthest I've ever walked in one go in my life. I did an Oxfam sponsored walk in 1998 or 1999 where I did 14 miles but I can't think of anything else comparable. Today also neatly slays the half-marathon ghost. I did a little happy dance in my head when I reckoned I was safely past 13.2 miles.

I walk a loop of 5.35 miles - the first two were ok, the last was much harder. The first two loops were done averaging more like 15.0 min/mile each, and the last loop rather slower. I begin to see why people talk about long-distance events as being won in the mind.

I'm trying the same approach to rehydration as last time ... so far it seems to be working.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
2010-03-21 08:13 am
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8 weeks to go

12.2 miles in 180:45 => 14.9 min/mile
Fractionally slower than last time, not bad for the extra distance.

I handled the aftermath a lot better this time: didn't rush to eat or drink anything until after I'd stretched and showered and then just eased my way in by putting drinks and a sensible snack to hand while getting on with something else - sure enough my body took over and took drinks as it needed, and then food.

I procrastinated getting started yesterday; I felt a bit headachy and worried I had a migraine, which would mean not going. Eventually I figured out I was nervous about feeling ill again afterwards. Then I managed to talk myself up into going (if I did have a migraine I was going to feel ill anyway, so I might as well get some training in while I was at it) and of course it went much better.

Weekday walks:
Mon 23:55 => 14.6 min/mile
Tue 25:30 (carrying a charity bag, couldn't powerwalk) => 15:5 min/mile
Wed 22:48 => 13.9 min/mile
Thu 22:43 => 13.9 min/mile
Fri 22:46 => 13.9 min/mile

I'm still delighted about breaking 14 min/mile, and continuing to do so consistently for the rest of the week.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
2010-03-14 07:41 pm
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9 weeks to go

10.7 miles in 157:41 => 14.7 min/mile

Which is utterly brilliant, especially as the last two times I powerwalked 10 miles (the half-marathon and the earlier training walk), I came in at 15.7 min/mile both times.

Less happy about the aftermath, where I felt shivery and sick for a couple of hours. My feeble googling suggests this is most likely a combination of overhydrating when I finished, and being unfit.

Daily walks (only 3 this week due to migraine):
Mon: 24:24 => 14.9 min/mile
Tue: 23:19 => 14.2 min/mile
Wed: 24:10 => 14.7 min/mile
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
2010-03-06 03:15 pm
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10 weeks to go

2.71 miles today, powerwalked (mostly) with 16kg of child on my back, who claimed to enjoy it. I was rather hot. We ran/walked the last half mile or so home together, which was good education for both of us, and he joined in stretching with enthusiasm.

Time: 41:51 => 15:4 min/mile which is not great, but not bad considering the handicap. I plan an 8 mile walk tomorrow, this time without passenger.

Recent weeks have been the proverbial plan meets reality failure, however I will try to post at least weekly now. I am still walking roughly 5 miles a day weekdays, and notching up at least 10,000 steps on the pedometer, often more.

Daily 1.64 mile sprint walks (spot the days on which I powerwalked!):

Mon 1/3: 24:35 =>15.0 min/mile
Tue 2/3: 23:40 => 14.4 min/mile
Wed 3/3: 23:30 => 14.3 min/mile
Thu 4/3: 23:10 => 14.1 min/mile <--- best time yet, I think!
Fri 5/3: 24:31 => 14.9 min/mile

Going back in time:
Read more... )
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
2010-02-07 03:08 pm
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Another walk!

5.34 miles in 79:45 => 14.9 min/mile which is quite satisfying.

I've been failing to fit into the delivered training regime of 3-4 walks per week, but on the other hand my daily walking has been improving in speed and consistency. My normal weekday has me walk at least 5 miles:

0.9 miles to work
1.64 miles to the childminder (timed, and generally power-walked these days)
1.7 miles home

plus any diversions we might run on the way home.

So, I have a goal of doing 26 miles in 14 weeks time, which means being able to do 20 miles in 12 weeks time, and trying to squeeze extra walking in on weekdays is not going very well at the moment. So I'm going to look at weekends, and make sure I do at least 5 miles on each of those days too, and powerwalk on at least one of them, and start ramping up the powerwalk a bit at a time, to go from 5 miles now to 20 miles.

I need to plan the specific targets, but for now I got nearly 5 miles in yesterday, I've done a 5 mile power-walk today and I'm feeling pretty good.

Timed daily walks this week:
Mon: 23:28 => 14.3 min/mile (best yet!)
Tue: 23:41 => 14.4 min/mile
Wed: 23:44 => 14.5 min/mile
Fri: 27:50 (Worst time in ages. I had a bad headache and just couldn't face powerwalking it. Useful for the contrast it displays though - actively trying to powerwalk really does make a time difference. The headache seemed a bit eased by the fresh air and the endorphin rush.)

Previous weeks this year have been 24-25ish mins, apart from when there is snow and I don't try to go at speed. I'm going to regard the timed daily walks as "sprint" training where I go as fast as I can, as opposed to the long weekend walks which will be about extending my stamina. I'm also going to try to post weekly to summarise my times and distances.

Just note for future reference:
15 min/mile is 24:36
14 min/mile is 23:06
13 min/mile is 21:19 (I will be very surprised, if delighted, if I break this any time soon.)
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
2010-01-03 06:02 pm
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Training again!

My last post, 2.5 months ago, bemoaned how I hadn't been training much because of colds. Well, that didn't improve much and then I had flu and then I had post-viral fatigue. HOWEVER I have finally kicked the post-viral fatigue and I went out today and did:

3.2 miles in 47:30 => 14.8 min/mile

Which is pretty much up there with my fitness before all the illness, so I am pretty chuffed, and the endorphins were good too.

I have a place on the London MoonWalk on the night of 15th May, so I am sitting down with my training plan and planning the next couple of weeks - I think I have 19 weeks to go and a training plan for 12 weeks. However, repeating the last few weeks of training a couple of times won't hurt, and it does give me some contingency if I have more badly-timed colds.