Alex Thompson Blog: Kicking Things Off In 2013

  • By Alex Thompson
  • Published January 15, 2013

So far so good, I got through the Christmas break, planning two medium weeks as recovery was a smart move and my training is heading in the right direction. My running VDOT has crept over 60 which I’m very happy with especially as I am now very much at my winter weight at 5-6kgs over race weight!

I haven’t focussed on my run training; my basic week has been a few 30-45 minute runs a week and a long run of 1’45” all at a steady heart rate. However this has paid off, I’m running just over 5min/km which while not fast, but is good when taking into account the low heart rate, and my weight, I’m hoping to run close to 4”30s/km for the iron marathon next year so I’m well on the way to achieving that.

Swimming is never good over the Christmas period so I made sure I was sick of the smell of chlorine before I entered the holidays. A notable session was with my house mate Jo Carritt. We cranked out 10×200 off 3.30. She was leaving ten seconds after me and swam like crazy to catch me, every rep she caught me at around 100m at which point I sped up with her drafting behind. I was coming in between 3.05 and 3.10. I was lucky that if my eyes did pop out at least they wouldn’t go that far as I had my goggles on.

Weight training was fun over the holiday period, the gym I frequent in Luton is run by Muslims who make a point of being open on through the holidays. This gym is where the hardcore go. The main part of the gym is a huge cellar, walking in you hear the sound of heavy barbells being racked and a lot of shouting. Old iron plates, bare brick walls with pictures of body builders and huge floor fans. Despite the rawness of the place, there is no attitude, everyone has an understanding that everyone session is important to them. No posing, no designer clothes, and for the most part no haircuts. There is nothing which makes you feel more like a skinny endurance athlete than when working out there. I went there four times during the holiday break and at any one point there was at least one guy benching over 100kg, and also one guy dead lifting over 200kg! One of the guys I talk to there was dead lifting 280kg for sets of 5, no knee wraps no lifting straps, just a belt! I would have loved to have gone more than I did, also partaking in the endurance corner big steel challenge made it harder to resist but I managed. I did get a bit carried away. Squatting 10×100@100kg should have been enough but I ended up fitting in 5×35 leg press @ 90kgs. The lunge/step up supersets at the end, after that were tough I can tell you.

For someone who loves cycling, I’m not as good as you’d think. Now I have the legs of a cyclist, doing the miles will hopefully get me a lot better at it. Fitness and endurance doesn’t do anything without big legs! Unfortunately my power meter wasn’t working at the moment so I’ve had to do go moderately old school, looking at the time in each heart rate zone and calculating the TSS that way. As it turns out it doesn’t have much of an effect on training, as for me I know my heart rate zones and the watts I push at it are the watts I push. While I can’t see how quickly I am progressing I am doing what I need to do, which is what’s important at the end of the day. When I see those numbers I can share them with you. My last week of data show a VDOT of 54, which is good for me this time of year, and as far as I’m concerned it can’t go up high enough or quick enough. Now my Power meter is fixed I’ll be back next week with some numbers stay tuned.

You can get more information about Alex on his Facebook page or on Twitter: XIronmanAlexX

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