Saturday, February 21, 2015

Back on track...

This week, in this part of Sweden it's been "sportlov" which has meant time off with the family for fun and sport activities and also provided an increased opportunity to train. The winter holiday in Sweden has it's origins in the so-called "kokslov" introduced in 1940 in order to save on heating of schools. The winter holiday lasts for a week during February or March, usually between weeks 7 and 12 with the Swedish municipalities allocating winter vacation over a three week period. It's been a really fun and varied week after a frustrating couple of weeks laying low with a cold. The children have enjoyed the outdoor activities as well as an opportunity to play with their lego and other toys which they rarely get the chance to when they're at school & dagis.

Alpine skiing, running, indoor rowing, indoor cycling, treadmill, bowling & swimming have all been on the agenda and I'm finishing off this week feeling really great!

Managed 3 good outdoor runs (including Sunday from last week) of increasing volume. 10km on Sunday, 15km on Tuesday and finished off today with 20km at a nice and steady pace. Makes a total of 49km for the week (should have run 1km more today!)

On Wednesday, Jon and myself took ourselves to Form as the weather sucked and did a mini-brick workout. This involved a 20min row (5km), a 30min indoor-cycle (~15km) and finished with a 20min treadmill run (4km). It was something different and really fun to break up what was just over an hour of training into 3 different sections to keep both the mind and the body fresh and interested. We'll revisit this arrangement and up the intensity somewhat to put the body under more stress.

The outdoor runs this week allowed me to explore the local area and by the end of the week allowed me to run on ice and snow free roads in my proper running shoes! I had to get a bit creative today to start adding extra loops and kms before I finally arrived home. For those of you who know either Jon or myself, you'll understand we both suffer a bit from OCD, there's just no way you can end a workout on 19,7km or 14,4km, you have to round it up :) It's always fun to start calculating distances in your head whilst running and I'm now armed with lots of useless facts on how far it is from one place to another...not overly useful in everyday life :)

I've also been trying out something new in the way of nutrition this week... BEET-IT Sport. This is a 70ml shot with a blend of concentrated beetroot juice (98%) cut with concentrated lemon juice (2%). The SPORT shot was developed specifically for the elite and sub-elite sporting world, and is currently being used by many athletes (including international rugby, premier league football and UCI Pro Tour cycling teams, as well as the GB, Australian, Canadian, US, Dutch and New Zealand Olympic teams).

The SPORT shot contains 0.4g natural dietary nitrate per shot which is equivalent to around 400ml of single strength beetroot juice, and provides the maximum intake of nitrate in the smallest volume of liquid possible. The SPORT shot is cut with lemon juice, which is designed to reduce the taste of beetroot making it more palatable for those that do not favour the taste.

I'm always up for trying something new and without first sampling the product I went ahead and bought 15 of them. My first encounter with the product was not pleasant and to be honest, the taste was something quite awful, however, subsequent shots have been much better (there was a leakage in the package and I suspect the first one I tried had been slightly opened and the taste damaged by air). It's certainly an unusual taste, beetroot juice is not normally something you drink I guess! so it takes a bit of getting used to. I'm going to be drinking these on the run up to CPC 2015 and see where it takes me. I won't go into the health and performance benefits here as I'm in no way qualified :) but if you're interested in the science and the reviews take a look on the Beet-It website or here.

Train fun & train smart!

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