Monday, June 29, 2009

New shoes! (and I went for a run today)

Went for a 30 minute run today. Was good, nice and easy but with good technique and fast turnover. Not too painful (in fact, the wound is less sore when running than walking, because you don't extend your leg as far when running), which is nice.

And I got some new shoes; a pair of Mizuno Wave Precision 9's. This is exciting for two reasons:
  • I've been interested in these shoes for a while, but was unaware they were even sold in New Zealand (in fact, on Friday I did some Internet searching to find the cheapest place overseas to buy them); and
  • They were $99. Yes, that's right, $99. If I like them, I'll get a second pair.

They are essentially the same as my current shoes (Mizuno Wave Riders), but lighter and with a lower profile. I was keen to try them for this very reason - I love my Riders, but I'm not a big guy, and I'm keen to try lower profile shoes.

In my (fairly uneducated opinion), most modern running shoes are overbuilt, and most podiatrists are too keen to chuck people in orthotics (and pair them up with overbuilt shoes). I think that people should wear the shoe with the least level of support they need, and unless they are a big unit, shouldn't wear massive shoes with too much cushioning. The shoes most people wear disconnect them from the ground, weaken their lower leg muscles and their feet.

The podistraist I saw in Wellington (who works with most top runners/triathletes down there) is very much in the anti-orthotic camp. If people genuinely need them (for example, if they have trouble with plantar faciitis), fine, but he likes to analyse people's running style at the track (treadmills and the short 'tracks' they have at most running shoe shops do not give an accurate indication of someone's gait, and the pressure pads are useless unless you've had about two hours to practice running over them naturally). He then experiments with small wedges in various parts of the shoe until he works out what works, and he sticks with that. He also critiques your running style. He gets excellent results.

I used to overpronate, and wore the Brooks Adrenaline, which was a great shoe. But then I learned not to pronate (somehow; apparently I'm proprioceptive, unlike the majority of people, who are mechanical), and they started making me roll outwards (and, accordingly, I learned to underpronate...). So I started wearing neutral shoes, the Brooks Glycerin (at that stage the lightest neutral trainer Brooks had in the country). I hated them - they were overbuilt (for a neutral shoes) and had a massive great big crash pad, which encouraged me to run with an exaggerated heel strike, which is all bad. I then tried the Riders, which were slightly lighter and with a lower profile, and loved them.

The Precisions aren't a racing flat (although if I weighed 15 kg more or so they'd probably serve that purpose), but a 'performance trainer', so I think I'll be able to do most of my training in them. And because I'm still building my running up (and making a real effort to have a light foot strike), I should be able to adjust to them.

And they look hot/fast, which is not unimportant (not as hot as the bright yellow version I'd have bought from Australia, but red is fast, so they'll do).

Here's hoping they work for me =)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Injury update

Quick update on the wound - it is healing, but slowly, and I still have to keep it covered.

No exercise last week, because it was still too painful. I will start going for easy mountain bike rides tonight (because road bike not fixed yet - waiting to hear from insurance company).

So I'll do some easy exercise this week, and aim to be back into it properly next week.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I am sore - WARNING, GORY PHOTO (and a weekly wrap)

Saturday was supposed to be a 90 min ride. In stead, it was a 5 minute ride.

Was going around a sharpish corner at the bottom of a hill. It was a bit wet, I must have hit the paint on the centre line, and my wheels slid out from under me, and I skidded across the road into the verge.

I badly grazed me right hand side (in particular my thigh, which had a good chunk taken out of it, and a couple of actual wounds), broke my rear derailleur hanger, damaged the saddle, right shifter, maybe the pedal (not sure yet).

And now my inner thigh is getting sore???

So probably no swimming for a while, hopefully I can get back to gentle running/cycling relatively soon.

Otherwise, it was a good week!

* Monday: nice run - 30 mins, 5.49 km, 158 AHR;
* Tuesday: another nice (easy) run and easy swim (focused on drills) - 20 min run, 3.01 km, 144 AHR; and 1 hour swim, 1700 m (shoulder getting a bit sore though);
* Wednesday: 2 x commute (felt really good on way in, amazing what a difference not riding in sub zero temperatures makes) - way back is a gradual climb, hence will usually be slower: 56.49 mins, 26.63 km, 150 AHR; 1:01, 26.68 km, 148 AHR;
* Thursday: nice run - 20 mins, 3.52 km, 160 AHR (decided to move swim to weekend to swim with Kate - but for obvious reasons didn't happen).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weekly wrap

Last week I began my training in earnest, and it went reasonably well. And I feel so much better for the regular exercise!


Was supposed to be a 30 minute run - but it was Queen's birthday, and a lovely (if cold) day, so Kate and I rode to Titirangi and back, which was a blast, and helped me get my cycling mojo back.

1:27.23, 33.05 km, AHR 145.


Supposed to be a swim and 20 minute run - but because I was driving back to Hamilton on Tuesday morning, and didn't want to force things, I just did the swim. Nice and easy, lots of drills and balance exercises/kicking, just trying to ease the shoulder back into it (shoulder is still troubling me, and I still have quite a bit of rehab work to do).

1 hour, 1650 m.


Commute by bike day. Already covered - suffice to say the morning ride was COLD.

59.21, 26.61 km, AHR 152;
1:00:46, 26.32 km, AHR (oddly enough) 152.


Again, supposed to swim and bike, but I was feeling a bit tired from the 2 hours' riding the day before, so moved the swim to Friday and did a good 20 min run (non stop!) only. Only problem with runs this short is that I'm only just starting to warm up properly after 15 mins, so moderating the HR is a bit difficult.

20:03, 3.51 km, AHR 162.


Another nice east swim after work. Shoulder a bit sore on Sunday/today, but that must have something to do with the weekend of mountain biking too.

1:00, 1700 m.


A great day of mountain biking in Rotorua. Did about 1:30 worth of fairly easy stuff, helping Kate get comfortable on the trails again (she got comfortable heaps quicker than usual).

Later that day, climbed up Hill road (about 330 metres of elevation gain), and did Split Enz, perhaps the best piece of single track (apparently) in NZ. Awesome climb (hard, but I kept a fairly controlled HR) and even better descent. Kate did a lot of the trail (only second time for her on a grade three trail) - but we had to race back down via a gravel road, and arrived at holiday home in the dark!.

1:59:13, 23.27 km, AHR 132.


MTB Skills Course - ran from 10:00 am until about 2:30 pm (scheduled to finish at four, but our group learned quickly). Then did about 45 mins of riding with Damian (Kate's sister's fiance). Probably only about 30 mins - 1 hour worth of exercise during the course.

Fantastic course - we fiddled with setup, learned how to balance properly on the bike, how to descend, go over ruts and steps, and corner. Awesome day, absolutely recommend for anyone wanting to get faster on the mountain bike.

So - all in all, a good week.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cold. So very, very cold.

I rode in this morning. All in all it was fairly pleasant. But it was cold. I'm not sure what the temperature was in Cambridge overnight, but it was -4 degrees Celsius in Hamilton, and must have been something like that in Cambridge. Add to that the wind chill, and it was cold. So cold in fact that the top of my drink bottle kept freezing over.

Once I got myself sorted, I headed out at about 6:50 (so not that long before the sun came up). About 3 minutes in, a bolt came loose on my mountain bike light, so I lost one of the lights (not a problem this morning, but possibly more of a problem for the commute home, given it will be darker).

My fingers were cold before I even took off, and didn't get much better. I was wearing polyprop gloves under windproof gloves, but even that wasn't quite warm enough - so next on my shopping list are some hardcore winter gloves. About 30 mins in (after lots of finger wriggling) I started to get a bit of feeling back. My big toes also got cold, but only after about 30 mins (I was wearing Icebreaker tramping socks with windproof booties). Not sure what I can do to make that better (another pair of socks, perhaps - but then I don't know if I'll fit into my cycling shoes!).

So cold. But I enjoyed it. Oddly enough, my torso and head got quite warm (the torso perhaps too warm - maybe I was wearing too many layers...) It took me an hour to do the 26.6 km, so not too terrible given how hard I must have been working to keep my extremities warm. I probably pushed a little too hard, but I had to be in Court at 9:00, so didn't want to be too late.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I'm now officially training

I have a plan, and I'm relatively pain free, which is all pretty choice really.

I did and 1:35 ride with Kate on Sunday, although I really wasn't feeling it. (If you want the details - 1:34.25, 36.99 km, 133 AHR). We went out and rode from Maraetai towards Kawakawa bay and back (and Kate did an additional 30 mins).

We were going to go for an off-road run on Saturday, but I couldn't find any walking trails in the Woodhill Forest. We eventually did a 20 minute run at Muriwai Beach, which was frickin' freezing, because the southerly storm hit just as we got there (hence the 20 mins).

Yesterday was a cold but gorgeous day, and we rode to Titirangi and back (1:27.23, 33.03 km, 145 AHR). Awesome ride, I absolutely loved it, and I think I've gotten a bit of cycling mojo back. You essentially climb for 16.4 km, then descend back. We stopped at Hardware Cafe in Titirangi and had some awesome brioche, and rode home.

Today I'm back swimming (so hopefully my shoulder is ok). I'm also meant to do a 20 minute run, but because of Queen's birthday was driving back from Auckland this morning, so no chance of a double workout day.

Tomorrow I'm commuting from and to Cambridge (27 km each way) which will be a good use of time and a good way to build up some bike miles. Hopefully the weather's nice to me.

All in all, I'm looking forward to starting to build up a bit of fitness again.