Follow our SwimRun Training preparation for our attempt on the Isles of Scilly World Series event in 2019! We logged our training each and every week, as we started our training 20 weeks out from the event itself.
IF YOU are looking for how to set up a SwimRun Training plan for yourself, go to THIS PAGE.
BUT here's a word of advice - if you are looking at getting into SwimRun seriously, it's not enough to be a good road runner - we have done a number of marathons between us. But there's NO substitute for training on steep and rocky trails - in your wetsuit!
Believe me, the resistance and stress caused by running in a wetsuit has to be experienced to be believed. AND you have to do it on steep, rocky trails to develop the endurance needed to last for a full long-distance event ( ie. 5 hours + ). AND you have to remember that your wetsuit will be heavy with accumulated water from the first swim onwards. It is TOUGH.
Follow our journey to our 4th and longest SwimRun.
We start with the most recent week first. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page to start at Week 1! Click HERE to jump to the Bottom.
Week 24 started on Tuesday May 28th, and marked the start of our TAPER, where we start to rapidly reduce the distances covered in each session as we approach Race Day.
Tuesday we practiced running in full swimrun wetsuit gear, up a steep trail and down to the shore to practice running across the large rocks that are similar to those we will experience in the race. The sea was too rough to do any swimming, and so after 30 minutes of rock practice we headed home again, to give a total time of 1 hour 15 minutes and a distance of 3.7 miles.
Wednesday 29th the sea was still quite rough, so we ran 2 km to a sheltered bay, managed a 750 meter swim, and ran back home, for a total time of one hour.
Thursday 30th May is a trail run day, and we did the shortest route close to us, a 5.5 mile loop, which we did in 1 hour flat.
Friday 31st May we did a home gym session for 30 minutes, followed by a stretching routine.
Saturday June 1st is our LAST Long swimrun session, and we want to cut back to around 50% of what we did last week. We did total of 11.5 km, made up of 8 km running and 3.5 km swimming, in just under 2 1/2 hours. This went well, and we are enjoying the shorter sessions in our final taper down to Race Day.
Sunday June 2nd was a Full Rest Day.
Monday we just did a straight 1 km run to the shore, a 2 km swim around the Bay, and a 2 km run home, for a short 1 hour session. This felt quite short after our longer routines from a week or 2 ago!
Week done - and our training is almost complete! We take another Full Rest Day on Tuesday June 4th, and then finish our training with an easy 10km trail run on Wednesday 5th, just to keep our legs turning over.
Thursday 6th June we flew to the United Kingdom and then to the Isles of Scilly for the Race.
We hope you have enjoyed following our training schedule for this 7 to 8 hour race!
Week 23 started on Tuesday May 21. Just 3 weeks left to Race Day.
Tuesday was a trail run day, and we ran our usual 10 km (6 miles) trail route, plus a few extra loops along the way to make the total distance up to 11.53 km.
Wednesday May 22 is a SwimRun day, and we wanted to get close to 2 hours for each of our mid-week swimrun sessions. We kicked off with a 1km run to the shore, a 500 meter swim, then a 2km run followed by a 700 meter swim. We followed this up with another 2 km run, a 500 meter swim, and finally a 4.8 km run back home. This added up to 11 km in total, and a time of 1 hour 52 minutes.
Thursday May 23 we did another SwimRun, again starting with a 1km run, but then straight in to a 2km swim, followed by a 2km run and another 2km swim followed by a 1km run back home. This was a total of 8 km, of which 4 km was swimming, so our total time of 2 hours was fine.
Friday 24th is a gym day, and we went through our core strength routine followed by a 10 minute Joe Wicks video and some extra arm strength exercises.
Saturday was a Full Rest day.
Sunday May 26 was our final LONG SwimRun session before the race, and we wanted to get over 5 hours of constant activity under our belts. The route was long and complicated, and involved a couple of 1500 meter swims and a LOT of running in full wetsuit gear. At the end, we had spent 5 1/2 hours out there, and covered 30 km (19 miles). We were very pleased with this!
It was interesting that at around 2 hours my legs felt like lead, and I had to walk for a few short periods, BUT as we got near the 5 hour mark I seemed to discover a new source of energy, and we ran the last few running sections at our standard marathon pace. This was remarkable after 5 hours of exertion in a heavy, wet wetsuit. It reminded me of the quote from the William James article "The Energies of Men" -
"beyond the extremes of exhaustion and fatigue, we may find reserves of power and ease which we never dreamed ourselves to own".
I certainly experienced a sense of power in the second half of the session that I had not dreamed of owning at the 2 hour mark!
Monday was a Full Rest Day! - Week done!
Week 22 started on Tuesday May 14th. ONLY 4 WEEKS TO GO TO RACE DAY!
We started out on May 14 with a 9km SwimRun session, made up of 1.6km of swimming and 7.4km of running. We divided this up into 4 runs and 3 swims, giving us 6 transitions in and out of the water. This took us 1 hour and 38 minutes.
Wednesday 15th May we did our 30 minute home gym session for core strength, followed by 10 minutes of arm strength exercises.
Thursday 16th May was another SwimRun day, but weighted more towards running. The total distance was 11km, made up of 1.2km swimming and 9.8km of running. Total time was again 1 hour 38 minutes, but this felt much harder work than on Tuesday. Running in a wet wetsuit is like carrying an extra 5kg!
Friday 17th May we did a trail run on a rough path, completing 9.1km in just over an hour. This felt like a relatively fast run - for us!
Saturday was a complete rest day.
Sunday was our BIG swimrun day. We were aiming at staying out there for 4 hours. We started out with a 4km run, and went straight into a 2km swim. Then we ran 7km in our heavy, wet wetsuits. Then it was back into a 700 meter swim, then 2km run, then another 500 meter swim, followed by another 7km run to finish up.
This gave us a total run distance of 20km and a total swim distance of 3.2km.
Monday was a full rest day, to recover from the exertion.
Next week we are doing our final LONG SwimRun, aiming to go over 5 hours, even up to 5.5 hours if we can ! Check back next week to see if we made it!
WEEK 21 started on Tuesday May 7th, with a 10km SwimRun session. We did 1.5 km swimming and 8.5km running, all in full swimrun gear. We split this up over short distances, so we had 6 transitions, to practise our water entries and exits. We fumbled around a lot at each transition, but we are starting to get a rythm together. Total time today was 1 hour 40 minutes.
Wednesday May 8th we did a short swimrun of 6km total, made up of a straight 2km swim followed by 4km running. Total time was 1 hour 20 minutes, in calm and sunny conditions.
Thursday May 9th was another gym session at home, (30 minutes) followed by a 12 minute Joe Wicks abdominals video session, making a total time of 60 minutes.
Friday May 10th was our big SwimRun session for the week in our build-up to the BIG EVENT; We aimed for 3 hours in total, and ended up with 3 hours 12 minutes. This was made up of 3km of swimming and 13km of running, making a total of 16km. This went quite well, and although we felt tired towards the end, we both felt that we could have gone further and longer if needed. A good sign!
Saturday May 11th was a total rest day! Phew!
Sunday May 12th was a local open water swim race over 2km. Conditions were sunny but with a significant swell coming in off the sea. Richard managed to finish 2nd in his age group (60+) in a time of 40 minutes flat, which was good enough for 64th overall out of 250 competitors. Mogsy finished 8th out of 15 in her very competitive age group, and was very pleased to battle her way through the waves on her own. This event felt a little odd, as we were swimming in triathlon wetsuits only - no paddles, floats nor tow rope! But a good training session in its own right.
Monday May 13th we had aching arms from the previous day's swim, and elected to do a 10km trail run to get our legs moving! This took us just under an hour on a rocky trail, in hot conditions.
Tuesday May 14th we did another (short) swimrun plan, for a total of 9km, made up of 1.6km swimming (3 x 500m), plus 7.4km running over 4 sections. Total time was 1 hour 38 mins. This went well, but we are finding that we need to carry water with us in a collapsible bottle, as we both get dry/salty mouths after each swim leg.
And so ends the week!
WEEK 20 of our SwimRun Training.
This kicked off on Wednesday May 1st - and we did a 5.5km road run. We mixed it up a little by doing kilometers 2 and 4 at a fast pace. This was to get a little speed into our legs, and get used to changing pace if needed.
Thursday May 2nd was quite rough and stormy along the coast, so we contented ourselves with a short 2km run in full SwimRun gear along a rocky coastal trail.
Friday May 3rd we did an indoor gym session of 30 minutes, plus a 10 minute abdominals workout. I'm hoping to see my six-pack becoming visible soon!
Saturday 4th May we did our BIG SwimRun session for the week. This was a total of 12km, made up of 2km swimming and 10km running. It felt tough, and took us 2 1/2 hours. We went back to our new pink tow rope for this session, from Swimrun Shop, and we both preferred it. We also noticed that it was better to hook our paddles through the karabiner at the back of our swimrun belts with the paddles flat to our backsides. They flop around a lot less when running!
Sunday May 5th we both felt really tired, and just did another 30 minute gym session at home. At our ages (56 and 62) we notice that it definitely takes longer to recover from an endurance training session.
Monday May 6th we felt better, and hammered a 10km trail run in hot conditions, followed by a 12 minute Joe Wicks abdominals work-out, and 10 minutes of arm strength exercises with a rubber resistance band.
Welcome back, to Week 19 of our SwimRun training blog!
The sea near us was too wild for us to do any swimming on Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th April, and Mogsy's "marathon injury" toe has been a continuing problem. So on those days we did a 45-minute gym session at home - basically core strength exercises - followed by a 10-minute Joe Wicks abdominals session.
Then we followed up with "super-sets", involving 5 minutes intense cycling on the turbo trainer followed by 5 minutes of arm strength exercises using resistance bands and free hand weights. We switched activity every 5 minutes, and completed 3 circuits, resulting in a total of 30 minutes activity. We did this on both days, the 24th and 25th April.
Finally, Friday 26th April dawned calm enough to allow us back into the sea. We have an open water race (2km) in 2 week's time, as part of our preparation, so we elected to swim the race route, in our triathlon wetsuits, and then run back home. This went well. We were not in full SwimRun gear, as we wanted to practice in swim race trim, but Richard did tow a small plastic bag to increase resistance, and give his arms a good workout!
Running back (we DID wear our SwimRun shoes for the swim) we were reminded of how good a dedicated SwimRun wetsuit is for running, when it comes to longer distances. The triathlon wetsuits fit much more snugly, which restricts our movements slightly when running; Also the long legs means that the neoprene tends to wrinkle behind the knees, resulting in irritation.
Still, it was only a 2.5km run home, so no problems. It felt good to get back into the water again!
On Saturday 27th April we both felt quite tired after the previous 3 days exertions, so we limited our activity to practising hill sprints. We did this on a rough running trail, to simulate the running terrain of the SwimRun event. We ran as hard as we could uphill for 30 seconds, then jogged on level ground for 30seconds, before running back down to the start area. We also want to practise running downhill on trails! Including the warm up run to the start and the cool-down run back home, we were out for 45 minutes.
Sunday 28 April we were attempting a swim route that we had never done before - swimming directly out from the beach, along under a cliff coastline (nowhere to get out) and round a small headland to a bay where we could practise SwimRun entries and exits on a rocky beach.
We had a 1 mile run from home to the swim entry area - slightly longer than usual, as Richard forgot the tow rope, and had to run back home (uphill!) to get it.
The swim was a little daunting for us, as we were quite far out from the beach, but the conditions were flat and calm, and there were some pleasure boats nearby, in case we needed assistance. We also towed a large safety float for visibility, which also carried a small water bottle.
The swim out went well, although we came into a head current rounding the headland into the bay, and we had to increase our stroke rate to make it into calmer water. Eventually we made it to the rocky cove, and scrambled out. Distance was 1.8km, and it took us 45 minutes in total, including stops for equipment checks and taking photographs.
Once getting over the rocky exit area, we run up a steep trail for about 700 meters, and then back down again. Then it was back into the water over the rocks, and off for the swim back. We managed the return leg in 32 minutes, as a result of the current now being behind us. So total swim distance was 3.6km, done in 77 minutes. This gives us a long-distance swim speed of just under 2 minutes per 100 meters. We will need to maintain this in the Isles of Scilly SwimRun to beat the cut-off times!
The total time for this session was just under 2 1/2 hours, including all the stops. We were quite exhausted the next day, and settled for a short gym session for core strength and some stretching.
Tuesday 30th April was another SwimRun day, but we wanted to do more running in our wetsuits than swimming. We had a 1 1/2 mile run to start out, then a short 500meter swim in quite rough surf. Then it was back onto the road for another 4 miles, attracting the usual strange looks from passers-by on the sea promenade!
We both agreed that was enough for today.
Week 18 was a bit of a wash-out from a training point of view. We had planned to try a sea swim on Monday 15th April, but the weather was poor, and Mogsy's toe was still very painful. Tuesday 16th we had a 3-hour drive to spend 6 days down the coast dealing with some business in Mojacar, Andalucia. Unfortunately the weather turned foul, with rain and high winds. We ended up taking the next few days off, AGAIN!
On Saturday 20th April, we met up (in the rain) with the local running club, El Bandidos, for a 5km (3-mile) run along the seafront. The other runners were very amused as we appeared in our full swim run wetsuits and gear! We finished the run, then went into the sea for a short swim session.
On Sunday 21st we followed this up with a 6-mile run in our wetsuits. The sea was too rough to attempt any swimming. Unfortunately our training over the weekend set off Mogsy's toe again. Finally we saw a doctor, and got a prescription for some antibiotics!
But this means another week of disrupted training, so it's back to the bike on the turbo trainer and into the gym for strength work. Hopefully we can get back into the sea and do some swimrun sessions this coming weekend 26th - 28th April, as we only have 6 weeks left before the Big Day.......
Week 17 was a recovery week after the Marathon, and we took 3 days off to rest our tired legs. Mogsy also suffered a small "marathon injury" to her right big toenail. It was very swollen and red, with the nail looking like it would be shed very soon. This a bit of a worry, as it is going to interfere with our training for up to 2 weeks - and there's only 9 weeks left to Race Day!
Thursday 11th April we managed a moderate gym session of 30 minutes core strength training, followed by a 12 minute Joe Wicks abdominals session. Mogsy's toe is still very sore.
Friday 12th April was swimming day, so we were back in the pool, but we both still felt rather weak and drained after the marathon, and Mogsy's toenail was proving to be uncomfortable, so we cut the swim session at 1800 meters.
Saturday we decided to give ourselves another total rest day.
Sunday 14th April we were supposed to be doing a 2-hour swimrun session in full gear, but Mogsy's toe is still painful, although getting better. Time to improvize! We set up a bike on the turbo trainer, and arranged a 1-hour session to minimize any further trauma to the toenail. This started with a 15 minute gym session followed by a 12 minutes Joe Wicks abdominals video. Then we set up a small circuit-training routine, where Mogsy spent 5 minutes on the turbo trainer while I used some elastic resistance bands to practice swimming strokes. After 5 minutes, we swapped over, and repeated this 5 times, making 25 minutes of circuit training in total.
Monday 15th is sea swimming, hopefully with some running in full gear, if Mogsy's toe can take it. See you back here for an update!
Week 16 was countdown to Milan Marathon week!
We did an easy 3mile run on Tuesday 2nd April, followed by 2 miles on Wednesday 3rd. And that was it for the week. We had a complete rest day on Thursday, and flew to Milan on Friday April 5th.
Sunday April 7th was Marathon Day, and we completed the 26 mile course through the streets of Milan on an overcast and sometimes rainy day. Job done!
You can read our Milan Marathon race review HERE, as we believe that marathon training is an important way to build endurance for the longer SwimRun events - anything over 5 hours.
Now we are concentrating solely on SwimRun training for the next 9 weeks, in the final build-up to our first Ötillö World Series race!
See you back here next week for our next progress report!
Week 15 commenced on Wednesday 27th March, after a Rest Day following the long run. This was a 5 mile run with the middle 3 miles at pace, followed by a 7-minute Joe Wicks abdominal session. The run went OK, although we both feltour legs were still tired from the 12 mile Long Run.
Thursday 28th saw us doing some hill repetition sprints on a trail, but this week only 6 repeats of 30 seconds sprinting.
On Friday 29th March we had to consider the tapering (ie. reduced) running required due to the impending marathon event, balanced against the need to keep up our SwimRun training, especially swimming. So we headed to the pool again, and worked our way through a 3000 meter session, which took about 90 minutes in total, including all the stops and breaks between the repeat sprints etc. This was the longest either of us has ever done in a pool in recent years!
Saturday 30th March was just 8 days from the marathon, so we elected to do our final Long Run 2 days early,to allow more time to recover, and also rain was forecast for the following day! So we headed out on Saturday morning, just 5 days after the previous Long Run, and this time it was just 8 miles easy running on a local road, in the gear we plan to wear on the big day in Milan. All went well, and we're starting to feel "marathon ready"!
Sunday 31st March rained as forecast, so it was officially a rest day for us, BUT we did go out in the morning to cheer on some friends who were running in a local 10 miles race.
Week Done! Only a 3-mile and a 2-mile run to do next week, in final preparation for the Marathon in Milan. After that, we will be concentrating on pure swimrun training, hopefully benefiting from the sheer endurance that the marathon preparation has given us.
WEEK 14 started on Wednesday 20th March with bad weather outside, so we stayed indoors and spent an hour doing core strengthening routines followed by another 10 minute Joe Wicks abdominals session.
This week sees the start of our TAPER for the marathon in Milan, Italy, so we will now start to reduce the distances that we cover in our running.
Thursday 21st March saw us back out running, this time a slightly shorter 5.5 mile run with the middle 3 miles at pace. Time taken was 50 minutes, and we followed this up at home with yet another Joe Wicks session, this time 7 minutes long.
We are really starting to feel fatigued from the volume of miles we have been covering, and we are looking forward to the reduced miles of the marathon taper over the next 2 weeks!
Friday 22nd was back in the pool, and although we are starting to reduce the road miles in our running program, we are still winding up the swimming distance each week in order to get the endurance we will need for the monster swim legs at the Isles of Scilly SwimRun race. So back into the pool for 90 minutes, where Mogsy managed 2600 meters and Richard covered 2900 meters. Again, we did this with an interval program, rather than a straight non-stop swim.
Saturday 23rd March saw us back out on the trails near home, to practice the trail running involved in SwimRun. We covered 6 miles in just over an hour, and were happy with our SwimRun/trail shoes.
Sunday 24th March we stayed indoors again and concentrated on the gym exercise session followed by a 7 minute Joe Wicks routine. We wanted to keep a little energy in reserve for the Long Run tomorrow!
Monday 25th March was marathon Long Run day again, but with a reduced distance thanks to the taper leading up to the race itself. This meant we had a 12 mile run, but we included several hills, and it was HOT here on the Costa Blanca in Spain! Our legs were not recovered from last week's 20 miler, and it felt like a tougher run than 12 miles should be! BUT we are confident that we have done the major mileage required for the marathon itself, only 2 weeks away, and that the rapidly reducing distances over the next 7 days of training will allow our legs to recover fully.
Of course, the day after the Long Run was another rest day!
Week 13 started on Wednesday 13th March. We are now following our marathon training plan more closely, as it's only 18 days away!!
We started with a 7 mile flat run, where we did the first and last 1.5 miles at an easy pace, but the "middle" 4 miles at a faster pace, with effort. This went quite well, and took us just over an hour. We are now fixed on our choice of shoes for the marathon itself, and Mogsy is wearing her Kenyan shoes from Enda, while Richard has fallen in love with his latest pair of CloudFlow shoes from Swiss company OnRunning.
We followed the run with a 10 minute abdominal exercise routine from Joe Wicks.
Thursday 14th was another run, this time over trails wearing our trail shoes that we intend to use for the SwimRun in 8 weeks time. Again, this went quite well, as the training schedule called for an easy pace.
Friday 15th was time to get back in the water, so we headed back to the pool to try a longer session than before. We used an interval style of program given to us by a triathlon coach. Mogsy completed 2400 meters, while Richard clocked up 2700 meters. Richard was testing his new Aquasphere goggles, which are very comfortable but unfortunately kept misting up. Total time in the water was 1 hour 15 minutes.
We followed this up afterwards at home with the basic gym strengthening routine designed by Mogsy's osteopath.
Saturday 16th was a SLOW 3.5 mile run, with 4 x 60 second sprints thrown into the middle. We were both starting to feel quite tired by the end of this session!
The following (Sunday) day we both felt as if we were coming down with a cold, plus a bad day for hay fever, so we decided to take the day off and recover, to make sure we would be able to do our Long Run the day after.
Sure enough, Monday 17th we felt recovered enough to set out on the FINAL long run before our marathon - this was a hilly 20 mile run, and it was TOUGH! But we took our time, stopped several times for water, and spent a total of 4 hours on our feet. We were very happy to get that one under our belts, and we made sure to have our protein shake afterwards, followed by lots of slow stretching and then a spell in the jacuzzi for our tired legs with a couple of beers of course!
Tuesday 19th we took a rest day.
Week 12 kicked off on Wednesday 6th March. We started out with a 6 mile training run at an easy pace, on a footpath.
Next day, Thursday 7th saw us doing hill sprints on a trail, in normal running clothes. This called for a 1 mile warm-up, followed by 8 sprints of 30 seconds each, uphill on a stony trail. We did this to help get used to trail running for the SwimRun event in June. Each uphill sprint was followed by a 2 minute 30 second easy jog, and then a fast run back down the trail to our original starting position. Total distance covered was 3 miles.
Friday March 8th was a full-on SwimRun session, in our full SwimRun gear. We did an initial run of about 1 mile, followed by a 750 meter swim, then another 1 mile run, followed again by a 750 meter swim; this was followed by another 1 mile run, another 750 meter swim and finally the 1 mile run back home. This totaled 4 run sections and 3 swims, with a total time out there of 1 hour 30 minutes.
CHECK OUT OUR VIDEO HERE! Entering the sea for our first swim section!
CHECK OUT OUR VIDEO HERE! Running along the Playa in our wetsuits!!
Saturday 9th March involved a gym session for core strength, then a Joe Wicks abdominal muscle session (9 minutes), followed by a 10km trail run, on a BMX race trail. PHEW!
On Sunday we wanted to take it a bit easy, as we had an 18 mile long run planned for the following day. We concentrated on a one hour gym session plus our favorite Joe Wicks 9 minute abs workout.
As mentioned, on Monday March 11 we had a long run scheduled, of 18 miles. This turned out to be very tough, as we had tired legs, and were recovering from a busy weekend with friends from the U.K. staying with us! But we made the distance on a hilly course, taking 4 hours (including water stops and bathroom breaks).
Needless to say, we took the following day (Tuesday 12th) as a TOTAL Rest Day! We just put our feet up and had a rest, as we both felt very fatigued and tired.
WEEK 12 DONE!
WEEK 11 started Wednesday 27th February. Again, this was a Rest Day, and we both needed it! We were feeling quite exhausted and fatigued.
THURSDAY 28th was scheduled to be hill sprints. We elected to do these on a trail path, to help our SwimRun training! We ran just over a mile to warm up, then we did 8 repeats of 30 seconds sprinting uphill followed by 2 1/2 minutes jogging back downhill.
Total distance covered was 3 miles.
Friday 1st March was a BIG SWIM day. We put on ALL our SwimRun gear, including towrope and paddles, and we did a straight 2km swim in the sea. This took us 45 minutes, including stops to straighten our swimcaps and clear our goggles. Then we ran up the stony beach and ran 2.5km back, in our wetsuits. Hard work!
Saturday 2nd March we did a 6 mile easy run on a trail path - actually a mountain bike race course! This was a nice run through woods.
On Sunday we were feeling fatigued again, and so did a 10 minute Joe Wicks workout followed by the core strengthening session (30 minutes) designed for Mogsy's slipped disc.
Monday 3rd March was our Long Run Day, but this week was a cut-back week on our marathon training plan, and so the Plan called for a 10 mile run, which we completed in bright sunshine.
Tuesday was a scheduled Rest Day, and we took the chance to rest up! We are now definitely feeling the effects of the marathon training plan.
And so ends Week 11 !
WEEK 10 started on Wednesday 20th February. This was a Rest Day, after our 16 mile run the day before!
Thursday 21st saw us doing some speed work, which involved running a 1 mile warm-up, followed by 10 sprints of 30 seconds each, with a 2 minute easy jog between each sprint. The total distance covered was 4 miles.
Friday 22nd was a swimming day, and we headed to the pool for a 2000 meter swim. We did this as one big long swim, without any repetitions or interval training.
Saturday 23rd was a running day, and we followed a local route over trails which had been a BMX race course. Total distance 6 miles (10 km) in just over an hour.
Sunday 24th was a sea-swim day. There were some moderate waves / swell going on, but we managed 1500m in the sea, in our full swimrun kit, including our new pull-buoys and Mogsy's new swim paddles. We had some equipment issues, such as my new Aquasphere Kayenne goggles leaking and then misting up, and the new pull buoys seeming to lose position. All we need is more practice! And more endurance!
Monday 25th February was a Long Run again from our Marathon schedule - this week it was up to 18 miles, so quite a tough one. Fortunately the weather was sunny but not too hot. We had to take various diversions and switchbacks to get the full 18 miles, but we did it.
Tuesday 26th we went to the gym to do Mogsy's back exercise routine, followed by arm exercises to strengthen our swimming muscles. And then we retired to the bar!
Wednesday February 13th was the start of week 9. We did another 6 mile easy run, with 6 sprints of 30 seconds each thrown in at various points.
Thursday 14th we had a Rest Day, as we drove down the coast to Mogsy's apartment in Mojacar.
Friday 15th saw another Rest Day, as we both had come down with colds after our trip to England! We both felt tired and fatigued, and so just put our feet up and rested.
Saturday 16th we felt a bit better, and did a gentle 4 mile run, although we both found it quite hard work.
Sunday 17th was a 10km race nearby, in Turré. We met up with some friends, and took the race quite seriously. About 75% of the race is off-road, which is good for our swimrun training, as swimrun running sections are mostly off-road.
Monday 18th was yet another Rest Day, as we both had sore legs from the race!
Tuesday 19th we had a Long Run scheduled in our Marathon training plan; this meant doing a 16 mile (26km) run. We managed to complete the run in under 3 hours, with water stops and rest-room stops. This was a tough run, and we both found it very hard as our legs were still tired from the race the previous Sunday. But we did it!
Week done! (A tough one)
Week 8 of our SwimRun Training started on Wednesday 6th February. We traveled from Spain to England for this week, which was a "step-back" week. This means all distances are reduced, but we still have to do "something" on 6 days.
First, we did an easy 4 mile run. This was much cooler in England than we are used to on the Costa Blanca in Spain! But it went well.
Thursday 7th February was a cross-training day, but we had to take Mogsy's daughter's dog out for a run, so we ended up doing a 2 mile run with the dog, followed by a 30 minute core strength session in the lounge. We used a program drawn up by Mogsy's osteopath, to help prevent aggravating her slipped disk.
Friday 8th was a rest day, looking after Mogsy's grandson.
Saturday 9th February was our Long Run Day, and we managed our 10 miles in cold, windy conditions, although thankfully it didn't rain!
Sunday 10th was another Rest Day.
Monday 11th was scheduled to be a swim training day. Swimming in the sea off Bude, in Cornwall, U.K. was out of the question a this time of year, so we headed to the local pool for a one hour session of 1500m. Swim done!
On Tuesday 12th we flew back to Spain, and so it ended up being a Rest Day.
Week 7 of the big plan started on Wednesday 30th January.
This was an easy 4 mile run, to loosen up our legs after the long run from 2 days before. Then we dropped into our local gym for a consultation with an osteopath and personal trainer, to make sure Mogsy is doing the correct exercises to protect her spine after her slipped disc 18 months ago. We received a very thorough examination, and a tailor-made training plan to improve core strength. We did the first session straight away.
Thursday 31st we went out trail-running, following a route that had been laid out for a mountain bike race the following day. This was interesting, trying to follow the marked route without any marshals to guide us. After a navigation error, we realised that we were actually running the route in the reverse direction! Total distance was 6.35 miles.
Friday February 1st was Mogsy's birthday! We completed a 30 minute sea swim in a moderate swell. Again, I towed a shopping bag on the end of my tow-rope, to generate some drag and resistance, and give my arms a good work-out. Tough!
On Saturday February 2nd, we had a "hill rep" session, where we run one mile to warm up, then we did 8 sets of 30 seconds sprinting flat-out uphill, followed by 2 1/2 minutes of easy jogging. After the 8th sprint uphill, we had just over a mile run home to cool down.
Sunday we went back to the gym, and completed the second session of our plan. This involved several floor exercises, (some with a swiss ball), light weights, and finishing up with some weight training.
Monday 4th February was Long Run day, and this week called for 14 miles. We both felt quite tired and sore after our gym session, and the 14 miles (22.5 km) proved to be quite challenging. But we made it! We followed our standard Marathon procedure, having porridge and a banana for breakfast, and then taking a carbohydrate gel every 5 miles during the run.
We were both really tired after this, and we sat in the hot tub for 30 minutes to relax our legs, and then put on our compression socks to help recovery for a few hours.
Tuesday 5th is a Rest Day, and we flew to England, to visit family. This coming week is a "step-down" week, so distances are reduced, to help allow our bodies to recover from our exertions, and re-build muscle fiber.
Week 6 of our training plan started on Wednesday January 23rd.
Again, we kicked off the week with a 25 minute HITS session from The Body Coach, to build core strength.
Thursday 24th was a Running day, involving hill sprint repetitions. First, we warmed up by running 1 mile at an easy pace. Then we found a hill, and sprinted up for 30 seconds at maximum effort. Then we jogged slowly back down the hill, taking 2 minutes to recover, then repeated the sprint uphill. We did this 6 times, then cooled off by slowly running another mile home. Total distance was 3.5 miles.
Friday January 25th was a Swimming day, and as the sea was looking quite rough, we decided to head to the indoor pool! After 500 meters warming up at an easy pace, we carried on with a "ladder" session. This involves swimming 25 meters, resting 20 seconds, then swimming 50 meters, resting 20 seconds, then swimming 75 meters, and so on; adding 25 meters each time until we had done 150 meters.
Then the program called for 10 sprints of 50 meters each.
After that we worked our way back down the ladder, starting with 150 meters, then swimming 25 meters less each time (always with a 20 second rest between each swim), until we were back down to 25 meters. The session finishes with a 250 meter cool-down, to make a total of 2,500 meters. Total time in the pool was just over an hour.
Saturday January 26th (Australia Day) was back to running, and our marathon training plan called for a 6 mile run with the 4th mile at 80% effort. We chose a route that goes gently uphill to the turnaround, then gently back downhill. Our "fast" mile was accomplished in 8 minutes flat - which is quite fast for us!
Sunday January 27th was listed as a cross-training day, and we did an easy run-walk excursion up to the local lighthouse, completing just under 4 miles.
Monday 28th we both felt a little jaded and tired from the previous days exertions, but this day was planned to be the Long Run day on our marathon plan, so we put on our running gear, loaded up our carbohydrate gels and water bottles, and headed out. This felt like hard work, with both of us complaining about tired legs, but that's what training is supposed to be like! Our legs had not fully recovered from the Half Marathon race the previous week.
We ran from home to the local holiday resort of Benidorm, and all the way along the seafront promenade (dodging the wandering pedestrians) to the turnaround point at 5.5 miles. We had our gels and some water, and turned around to retrace our steps along the promenade, back up the hill to the main road, and then a bit more uphill to get home. Total distance was 11 miles, and time taken was 2 hours.
We were both quite tired afterwards, so after stretching and having a recovery protein shake, we headed to the jacuzzi for 20 minutes of relaxation. Nice!
Tuesday 29th is a total rest day - and we did NOTHING! Our bodies certainly needed a bit of recovery time after the last 6 days exertions. No joking, at our age (55 and 62) we notice that we really need a bit more time to recover than we used to 5 years ago.
Week 5 of or training plan commenced on Wednesday 16 January, the day after our 9 mile Long Run from the Marathon schedule. This was to be a "cross-training" day, so we did a 30-minute session from YouTube channel Joe Wicks - The Body Coach. This is aimed at building core muscle strength.
Next day was an easy 4 mile run, lasting about 44 minutes.
After that, on the 18th January, we had a 4.5 mile run, with 6 sprints of 30 second duration built in. This like a Fartlek session that may runners use to build their speed and endurance.
Saturday January 19 was a "proper" SwimRun session; we put on our SwimRun wetsuits and shoes, ran 15 minutes to the beach and then did a straight 30 minute swim in the sea parallel to the beach; then we got out and ran back along the beach and back up the hill to home. Total time was 1 hour.
Then we drove an hour down the coast to check into our hotel for the night before the Santa Pola Half Marathon.
Sunday January 20 dawned cool and overcast, but at least it was dry! We took advantage of the hotel cooked breakfast - scrambled eggs, grilled vegetables, and coffee. We made our way to the start, and found our way to the back of the starting pens. This was intended to be a training run - under race conditions - but not a race that we were trying to set a good time in! We followed the main pack throughout the race, and finished in just over 2 hours. We made sure to practice "race" conditions, by taking our water and carbohydrate gels on the run, without stopping for photos, chats or drinks.
It's always good to practice race conditions!
Monday January 21st was a Rest Day, and we made sure to put our feet up and take it easy, to recover from the race.
Finally, this week's training ended on Tuesday January 22nd, with an easy-pace 5 mile run, to give our tired legs a bit of a shake-down.
The 4th week of our swimrun training started on Tuesday January 8th, with a Long Run planned on our Marathon plan. We completed the 12 mile (19.2 km) in just under 2 hours, at an easy pace.
Unsurprisingly, we took a Rest Day the following day!
On Thursday January 10th we had a 5 mile run, up a hill to our nearest town center. This was meant to be an easy "recovery" run, but the hill turned out to be steeper than we remembered!
On Friday January 11th we decided to give our legs a rest and schedule a proper training session in an indoor pool. We managed to snag a training lane each, and followed an old plan of ours that adds up to 2,000 meters in total. It went better than we thought it might, given that we have not done much swimming recently. We both felt that we could have gone on to do 2,500 meters, but elected to stop at 2,000 meters, as this was a good distance at our stage of swimrun training.
On Saturday January 12th we did a 5.5 mile run which included 2 "effort" intervals of 0.5 miles each. After a day's rest for our legs, this session went quite well. We had to keep monitoring our GPS watches, in order to slow down enough on the main sections of the run!
Sunday 13th January was another short run day - again, 5.5 miles, but this time with 8 sprints of 30 seconds each, spread through the duration of the run. After the long run, the pool session, and the 5.5 mile run the previous day, we were starting to feel a little tired, and this run was definitely hard work!
Monday 14th we had a little treat, with a free introductory session at a local osteopath. We had our posture and spines checked out very thoroughly by David Sheriff in Albir, and we seem to be in reasonable shape for our ages! (55 and 62).
Our final session for this training period was another Long Run from the Marathon plan, although this is a "step back" week, before our Half Marathon in Santa Pola next weekend. It was "only" a 9 mile run, which went quite well along the seafront. We finished up with a hot jacuzzi to relax our tired legs! End of Week 4!
Our 3rd week of swimrun training started on January 2nd, 2019.
This was a Wednesday, and we had an easy 5 mile run scheduled as part of our marathon plan. This turned out to be a nice run on a sunny day!
The next day was another 5 mile run, but with a twist - we had to include 2 sections of half a mile each, run at a hard pace. We got quite out of breath doing that, but the idea is to introduce a bit of speedwork.
Friday 4th was a pure swimrun training day. We put on all of our swimrun gear, except for floats and paddles, and ran down to the beach near where we live then we did a straight 40 minute swim in water about 14 degrees Celcius. We managed about a mile and a half in that time, and then we climbed out and ran back along the sea front promenade to home. As usual, we got a few strange looks, running along the pedestrian walkway in our wet suits!
Richard tried a small training experiment. He tied a plastic bag to the end of his tow-rope, to create a bit of drag, and give him a bit more of a workout! It worked quite well - almost too well, as he got quite tired towards the end of the 40 minute session. But that's what training is all about. Here are the photos:
Saturday 5th January we took a rest day, as we both felt quite tired after the previous day.
Sunday 6th saw another 5 mile run, this time with 6 sprints of 30 seconds each mixed in, again to build on our speedwork.
Monday 7th January was another swimming session in the sea, in swimrun wet suits and gear. We did 40 minutes again, and then ran back the same distance we had swam, about one and a half miles each way.
Our second week of swimrun training started on December 27th, 2018.
The 27th was a Rest Day on our schedule, so we observed the Rules and had a day off. We have found that observing rest days on the training plan is very important. It allows your body to recover from previous exercise, and build new muscle fiber. We have read that elite runners in Kenya go to the extreme of barely moving out of their beds on a rest day! It's that important.
On the 28th we had a 4 mile run, with six intervals of maximum effort for 15 seconds mixed in. In Scandinavia this is also called "fartlek", which can be translated as "speed play". This took us 40 minutes.
On December 29th we both felt as if we were coming down with a cold, so we stayed indoors and did a 30 minute core and cardio session from the Bodycoach Facebook page with Joe Wicks. We always notice that our arms and shoulders ache for a day or 2 after these sessions - an indication that we need to get back into the gym each week to build up our upper body strength!
The 30th December involved a "Santa Run"; this is usually a run of 2 to3 miles with an element of fancy dress to celebrate Christmas. Our event was a short 20 minute drive away in Benidorm. It was a 4km race, which we completed in just over 20 minutes. Mogsy won 3rd place in her age group, and so received a small trophy!
Monday 31st December
was our last run of 2018, and we had a long run scheduled in our
marathon training plan. We duly did our 11 miles (17.6 km) on tired legs
after our fast 2.5 miles the day before. (At least, fast for us!). We
managed just under 2 hours, on a hilly route.
Tuesday 1st January 2019 - a rest day.
Our first week of training, starting 20th December 2018!
Day 1; We kicked off with a 30 minute sea swim. The water temperature here in the western Mediterranean is around 14 degrees Celcius at the moment. It feels very cold on our faces and hands for the first 2 minutes, but after that it's not so bad.
Mogsy is in her triathlon (ie. full length) wet suit, while Richard is wearing his Head SwimRun "Race" wetsuit, with legs cut off above the knee. He is testing neoprene calves with short Gococo socks, to see if they keep his calves warm during the swim. They work quite well, but tend to roll down as we exit the water.
Day 2; We do a 5 mile run with short speed bursts. This is part of out marathon training, as we are doing the Milan Marathon on April as part of our swimrun build-up.
Day 3; This involved a 30-minute core strength session, with YouTube channel "The Bodycoach", by Joe Wicks. It's similar to Crossfit, but a shorter session at this stage in our training!
Day 4; This our marathon training Long Run Day. We complete an easy 7 miles on a beautiful sunny day, on a step-back week. (Last week's Long Run was 9 miles.)
Day 5; Christmas Day! We have a slightly crazy plan to swim out to a local island, with some Christmas treats in our safety float. On the day, it went well, even though it was a hazy day by Costa Blanca standards. We completed the swim out of 900 meters in just over 25 minutes. After a 20 minute break to enjoy the view, build a sand "snowman", and have a snack, we swam the 900 meters back in slightly less time.
Richard tried his neoprene calves again, this time OVER his long Gococo socks, but still had the same problem with the neoprene folding down. He needs a new plan!
Day6; This was supposed to be an easy 4 mile run from our marathon plan, but we got slightly lost, and ended up doing almost 4 1/2 miles!
Day 7; A swimming session in the local heated indoor pool was planned for today, but we both felt quite tired and "under the weather", so we took a Rest Day.
That's it for our first week! Here are a couple of photos from our Christmas Day swim;
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