2012: training tallies & race roundups

2012 was not only a full year of proper training but a full year of logging the data, as I had just caught the Strava buzz at the end of 2011. I used the phone app for the first few activities, and with the demise of my £6 ebay heart-rate monitor, upgraded to a Garmin Forerunner 305. I would like to not need it, but the data is surely a way to keep interested, track progress and control workouts. I don’t feel good enough or in-tune enough to just step out the door and wing it. There were certainly times when I thought I only missed a bit, but could see a big loss in training: or the other way about when I felt I had hardly done any extra, but had actually ramped up the volume a bit too dramatically. The heart rate is also great for the long races to spot problems early…for example, my average starts to spiral downwards a good hour before bonking.

Anyway, the result of all this data is that I have plenty to look back on categorically. I guess it is not large by any standard for a serious amateur in either activity and not a touch on the pros. My discipline needs to grow with my endurance and speed, but it shows the improvement that can be achieved. 


I ran for 170 hours, covering 1652km/1026miles and 27,700m ascent, over 190 runs, giving an average speed of 10min/mile.

I cycled for 61 hours, covering 1390km/863miles and 9,455m ascent, over 38 rides, giving an average speed of 14mph (The gentle Wednesday burrito spins must bring this down, I’m normally happy to average 17mph)!

There was also at least 2400km/1500miles of just everyday riding around the place, perhaps 30-60% more?!?! Most of it on the fixed gear, accelerating constantly in traffic. We shall never know for sure as I ditched the cycle computer on the everyday bike… it never worked in winter anyway, and I wanted the bike to be a pure tool in those duties; not drawing attention to the task.

Approximately, that’s running non-stop for 1 week, and the same riding a bike. Throw in the gym and other activities, means I spent 4% of 2012 exercising. It seems small in that context. Compared to 33% sleeping, and thinking of how much it felt like at the time…this really has me pondering what I could do applying 4% of my time to other things…. what % did I waste?! A change in units can surely change perspective. In 2013, I have one event that represents approximately 10% of the distance, 15% of the time (hopefully), and 20% of the ascent that I ran in all of 2012. My longest race of 2012 represented 5%, 6%, and 9% respectively. This may give a clue to the training needed…


Reflecting on my race goals:

Mourne Way Ultra – finish, at least under 12 hours: 10:09 (14th)

Seven Sevens – finish, under 6 hours: 5:49 (this was the hardest run of the year)

Mourne Mountain Marathon – finish top half B class: 4th B class

Causeway Coast Ultra – finish, under 7.5 hours: 6:56 (17th)

Stormont night race – beat 40 minutes: 39:07


Success all around, which made up for the humble pie of the year before. Now to plan for, and around, the WHW race for 2013… a 6 year germination, and step 2 on a possible 3 year UTMB plan…one step at a time!

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