Sunday, January 20, 2008

London to Paris 2008 Calpe training camp cont.

London to Paris training camp in Calpe so far has been fantastic. Only a 2 and half hour flight from a wet and cold London to 20 degrees C and wonderful sun! Of late, I of have been focussing on base training with long runs under a 150 bpm however, last night I really felt the difference of the additional 10C on my heart rate. Went out for a liesurely, 12K run and keeping my heart rate below 150 bpm had me slow down significantly. Interestingly, was it the flight or the heat or even the terrain, as at home I run predominately around the flat coast line between Sandwich and Deal. However, this morning's run I felt much better and 16 K in 1 hr 15 min, I was able to complete with an average heart rate of 150 bpm. So last night I'll but down to may be the heat and the flight. Alterantively within 12 hours I've been able to physiologically adapt to the weather, possibly a mixture of the two. Off to check out the mountains now.

Friday, January 18, 2008

London to Paris 2008: Training Camp?

Cycling London to Paris over the 3-4 days covering some 300 miles I don't think is going to be a problem. However, I'm participating in a number of triathlons around the time the bike ride and this has become a concern to me, as one of my major goals this year is to complete the London Triathlon within 2 hours and 20 mins.

Currently, I'm in my base training stage and running at least 5 days a week with mileage around 40 miles/week. Cycling, I'm on my Tacx iMagic which I love; the DVDs are great I enjoy are the Alpine Classics, Mount Ventoux and for Christmas I received the Ergo Video DVD of Roth, Germany triathlon cycle route following the Rabobank team around the course. The Roth DVD is pretty tough and I struggle to keep up with the wattage particularly on the hills, but a great work out.

In attempt to escape the UK wet and cold winter, we have decided to visit Dominique's mum in Calpe Spain; a great place for a winter's training camp and I've planned a number of runs, may attempt to swim in the sea however, this time unfortunately I'm not taking my bike. A pity as there are some great climbs around the area of Calpe. In fact Quickstep often use Calpe as a base for their winter training sessions. There is a great loop which includes a Cat 1 climb and tons of hairpins and mountain views which are breath taking (see map).

Looking forward to 20oC and running and may be a dip in Calpe and more importantly Dominique's mum looking after us.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

London to Paris 2008 : May try this more competitive race next year

As I've been looking at different London to Paris races/events that people participate; I contemplated to doing this London to Paris (London to Paris Cycle Tour 2008) cycle event however, I chickened-out thinking that I would be dropped off the back before the peloton reached the outskirts of London.  Secondly, I'm keen to be in Paris when the Tour de France arrive.  It was this event the London-Paris Cycle Tour that inspired me to do such an event.

The London-Paris Cycle Tour attracts riders from all over the world, indeed, last years winner was a follow Aussie.  The event sounds great and is known for its friendly, sociable atmosphere, hard riding and great spirit!   The London-Paris Cycle Tour is advertised as an unique 3 day “Tour de France” style endurance event for amateur and cyclosportive riders. It is a "professional event for amateurs" and is the closest an amateur will feel like a "pro" having full support, rolling road closures and covering 600km in three days.

Pretty exciting however something I may consider doing next year, let's see how I go this summer as June and July is getting busy and I am concerned how I'm going to feel physically come early August. June it all starts with the Blenheim Sprint Tri, a mate at work wants to get all our families together to go up to Northampton to do the Beaver Tri (2k swim, 80k, bike and 20 k run) in July, then I'm riding London to Paris finishing end of July then the next weekend I'm doing the London Tri were my target is 2:20 min. 

Friday, January 4, 2008

London to Paris: Now these guys are amazing or just plan stupid

Over the past few weeks I've been looking at different ways to travel from London to Paris, of course there is the obvious modes of transport, planes, trains, automobiles, ferries and even some of rowed (see earlier post). However, I have came across a feat of pure endurance. I come across a book during the summer of 2007 describing the Arch to Arc by Steve Haywood and was gob-smacked, I just sat back in amazement, but then quickly continued on with my day. However, as you dig deeper into the feat of athletic endurance, this individual race is astounding. The the London to Paris Triathlon or Arch to Arc (ie Marble Arch, London to the Arc de Triomphe, Paris) has to be one of the world's toughest endurance races and consequently few people have completed it. The race consists of a 87 mile run from London's Marble Arch to Dover, followed by a swim, 21 miles, across the English channel and finally bike 180 miles, from Calais to the Arc de Triomphe. A Run, swim, bike triathlon totalling some 288 miles from London to Paris.

Let's break this down: 1. Run 87 miles, that's equivalent to running more than 3 consecutive marathons. 2. Following the ultra-marathon you lather yourself up in lard to prevent hypothermia or alternative you can wear a wetsuit however, official Channel swim crossings are not recorded if a wetsuit is employed. Then you jump in the English Channel, wetsuit or not and attempt to swim across to Calais; that's 21 miles of swimming that's equivalent to swimming the Ironman swim distance of 2.4 miles 8.75 times or 1344 laps of a 25 m pool, but added obstacle being in open water swimming across the busiest shipping lanes in the world against at times relentless tides. Following this feat, which by the way has only been completed less than 1000 times since the first recorded successful unassisted swim across the Dover Strait by Captain Matthew Webb in 1875 who took 21 hrs and 45 min. Since then the fastest recorded swim was by Petar Stoychev on 24 August 2007 who completed the crossing in an amazing 6 hrs 57 min (what a time!!). Once you have removed the lard which was preventing hypothermia you have a chance to regain for land legs, allow blood to return to head then you commence the third and final leg of the race cycling from Calais to Paris some 180 miles equivalent to only 1.6 Ironman bike leg.

According the Enduroman website, only 5 men have attempted the triathlon with 4 of them completing; Eddie Ette in the World Record time of 81 hrs 5 min, And Mouncey, Julian Crabtree and Steve Haywood. Seven further people have booked their places to attempt this amazing endurance event over the coming 18 months. All the best to those contemplating this astounding feat of endurance however, the question that most people must be asking is why and I'll explore this in a future post.