Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday, oh so tired

At weekends Marcus and Agata at last have time to focus on some longer distance exercise.   Something more exotic and certainly different that the exercise to work norm.

Don't get me wrong, exercising your way to work is of course the premiere way to go in terms of time efficiency, however it is not the best place to put in those longer activities.

AND SO, this weekend past Marcus struggled to keep up with Agata's inventive yet punishing schedule.   Things would have been simple but

a) Sorry to say, Marcus is STILL injured from his now 2 month old accident.  He STILL cannot lie down without agonizing rib pain,  and months of sleeping in a raised position has began to cause base spine issues.

Activities are therefore being kept at a moderate level.

b) Last weekend!

Last weekend (June 07-09) was a Bank Holiday in Switzerland.    We thought we would celebrate by doing a Half Ironman distance over the vacation period. We drove to Montricher and then ran:

Here is the Run Component 

 Whilst the views were the usual stunning

And we felt good at the time

The mountain descent was too much for Marcus's legs

[Marcus runner excuse ... I ran 30Km on the previous Friday so this run just knocked me out.  Agata had no sympathy]

For the whole of this last week then my legs have been so stiff and sore that I cancelled the 2 races we had planned to attend.

Agata's Solution

Agata told Marcus to stop being such a wuss, and that we were going cycling this Saturday.

So today we managed a 100K plus ride  (Watch died at Km 93 as shown above).  We did not race.

I would like to say that it was easy, but in truth it was difficult.   High gusty winds and moderately high temperatures meant ascents were tricky.

Marcus's new bicycle can only select gears 2 thru 9 (15 year old drivetrain) so the ascent of Col du Marchairuz  was non trivial.

Overall:  We made it back successfully and headed straight for dinner!

How can you replicate this activity?

It all comes down to planning

Agata sketches out a plausible route using . We then need to discuss whether it is practical given time, weather, motivation and other factors.

We check the temperature and wind.  This determines the spare clothes we will need to carry for example.

We make sure we have enough energy Gels and fluids for the trip  (Marcus goes for pure Orange juice and Agata uses Energy powders like USN Epic Pro)

Music players are charged and made ready.  Imagine a 6 hour trip without music.  Now that would be torture!

We make sure to have a good breakfast before we leave.   I recommend Porridge.

As a team of 2 we take 2 Smartphones.   We start navigating with Agata's iPhone  (no cheap jokes please!).   You can create a Runkeeper route from  and use this as a guide

We mount the smartphone in an arm band mounted across the triathlon bar grips.   Thus you can view Google Maps directions or Runkeeper routes whilst cycling.  We also keep a backup paper Map.

Check and recheck the essentials before starting out. Including  no cuts in tyres, tyre pressures >100.  No play in wheel bearings or cranks.  Brakes work.    Lights on and charged. Toolkit and pump packed.

NB: Balancing what you take:
We are always conscious that there is a balance to what you can comfortably take on a long cycle ride.  We strive to take all we need on the bike and in its containers so that we don't carry a rucksack.  This is important as a rucksack we feel compromises your back longer term (backpain), and means you don't evaporate sweat evenly.  Consider strapping gels/ bars to your bicycle frame and/ or using storage holders

We both carry GPS watches and heart rate monitors to record the route.  It is a once off pain to fit

the Cadence and Rotational sensors but it does mean that after the ride

you can look back at the Statistics for the ride to see how easy you took it :-)

This Sunday June 15!
We replicated the above planning this Sunday to make a small run around Les Paccots (since as noted we missed the race)

More stunning views, and I am not just talking about Agata in this photograph.

Whilst we were out plodding we saw some locals learning to drive,  Swiss GT3 style :-)

With the above easy to follow guide I hope you can all get out for that longer, and different than usual, weekend based exercise activity.  You know you want to!