May Training Summary

cups and medals won in may 2016
Cups from the Continental Centurions Race and Medal from the Grand Union Canal Race

May was all about two big races – the Continental Centurions Race in Schiedam, Holland on the 14th/15th and the Grand Union Canal Race from Birmingham to London two weeks later.

Total distance from those two walks: 259 miles (416km) in 60 hours and 44 minutes.

I achieved my goals for the month – beating the New Zealand records for 100 miles and 24 hours at Schiedam, and taking less than 40 hours for the Grand Union Canal Race.

And it looks like I have come out of the month without any injury problems other than two small blisters.  In fact I think I am probably in better shape, injury wise, than at any other time this year!


fitbit sleep analysis - may 2016
Fitbit sleep analysis – May 2016

As I mentioned in my training summary last month, I have realised that I need to focus on getting more sleep than the 4 to 6 hours per night that I have been surviving on over the last few years, and have set a goal of getting 8 hours sleep at least three times a week, and trying to average 7 hours sleep per night overall.

I use my fitbit to measure my sleep and as you can see I haven’t managed to achieve my goal this month.  Only 4 nights in total with 8 hours sleep and one of those was actually a 6 hour sleep and a 2 hour afternoon nap!  Average sleep for the month, excluding the two nights where I didn’t sleep at all due to the two races, was 6 hours and 31 minutes.

But if you don’t have a goal you don’t focus on trying to achieve that goal.  If I wasn’t trying to achieve 8 hours sleep a night, I would imagine that my average sleep during May would be less than 6 hours per night.  That’s 15 hours less sleep during the month.  15 hours less recovery.

So I will keep trying to achieve 8 hours sleep per night and hopefully be able to report better results next month.


I’m now five months in to my new healthier eating plan.  It’s going well.  I’m definitely eating much better quality food for breakfast, lunch and between meals, and my dinner has always been healthy when my wife is cooking.  The problem has always been when she isn’t home, but I still haven’t had a ‘heat n eat’ meal all year.  I used to eat one at least once a week, if not twice.

But with two races of over 100 mile during May I have had the opportunity to eat a lot of chocolate and other sugary foods during May, and as I write this update I am also allowing myself a week of eating whatever I want before I resume training again after a short rest period following the Grand Union Canal Race.


In January I set myself a target of stretching for 30 minutes three times per week.  Unfortunately I went back to old habits in May and only did one stretching session all month!  And that was on the 1st of May.  Time to get back in to the stretching during June.


As well as the two big races I did a few shorter training walks in the first two weeks of the month and three very short walks in between the two races.  In total I ended up with 502km (312 miles) for the month – the first time I have ever walked further than 500km in a month.

Year To Date Mileage:

January    238 miles     383km
February    150 miles     241km
March    194 miles     312km
April    207 miles     334km
May    312 miles     502km
Year To Date 1,101 miles 1,772km


Total hours: 246

Longest walk: 145 miles (233km) – being the Grand Union Canal Race.


Plans for June:

May was a big month with two big races, and after a big month like that it is important to fully recover.  The training effect from any workout comes from the recovery after the workout, and not from the workout itself.  And the same goes for a big training month; it is imperative to fully recover before applying stress on the body again.

So the intention is to take it easy through the first half of June with absolutely no training in the first week.  I will be working in Guernsey in mid June and the fact that it is less than 40km (25 miles) to circumnavigate the island tells me that I will have to do this while I am there.   So I will probably start training again while I am in Guernsey and will put in reasonable distance over the last two weeks of June before another high’ish mileage month in July.  And then in August I have a similar month to May with the UK Centurions Race at the start of the month and the Liverpool To Leeds Canal Race (130 miles) in late August.

And why am I writing all this?

I have huge plans for 2016.  Everything is focused around the 6 jours de france (Privas 6 day race) in October, and I am breaking my preparation down in to individual months – May was month five of a 9 ½ month build-up and was all about two big races which were both mini goals in their own right.  June will be much easier in comparison but is still an important part of the 9 ½ month build-up.

And at the end of each month I will write another review and set my goals/plans for the next month.

Writing this blog post helps me to focus on what I need to do.



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