Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday - AM Session

This morning was a brick with a twist. (Swim/Computrainer)

The 3.5km swim set prior is

3 x 300m w/u breathing every 3 with 20 sec btwn each 300
12 x 25m with first 12.5m hard and second 12.5 easy 5 sec rec
6 x 300m on 5.00, 5.15 or 5.30
500m pull w/d

Session Reflections:
  • Really enjoying the water part of the triathlon at the moment, feeling strong and finding quite comfortable with my stroke and in that my kick is making a difference.
  • Completed the 3 x 300m without much energy expended.
  • Did the 3 x 300m on a 5.15min cycle and was able to hold a 5:00min pace over the 6 reps.
  • Shoulders did ache throughout however pushed through this to complete a session I was particularly pleased with.

The Computrainer Session consisted of a warm up and then a 30km TT over the Port HIM course.

  • The time for the 1hr 1min
  • Tough workout...a lot tougher then riding the actual course.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Super Sunday.....

Today was another 5hr ride this time with a bit of coaching thrown in...looking forward to the morning.

One of the routines that I rather enjoyed was to get up very early (3am) and go for a long ride. I find it so is a good time to reflect on the IM campaign when you are riding through the darkness and the only thing to distract you is the flashing of your bike lights on the street signs.

At this time in the morning the conditions are wind...little traffic...apart from taxis.

This morning I went a little later 4am. The nutrition was all planned this morning and work out just fine throughout the 5hr ride (which included 3 hours with the squad)

The thing with the riding at the moment is to really concentrate on smooth pedal strokes, full circles (thanks for the reminder Paul)

The hours ticked by and before I new it the 5hrs were complete...130km...felt really happy with the ride.

However, in saying that, later on in the day...I was sooo tired.

One of the things that I am still struggling with is getting a good nights is averaging about 5-6 over the past week and this probably hasn't helped my frame of mind or physical ability. It is finding that still is a little lopped sided at the moment!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Recovery and Maintenance

Saturday evening was a focus on recovery and maintenance....a massage and some time in the spa (hot water)

The feedback from the massage was....did I have 6hr of time for a hour was not going to be long enough. The massage was focused on the quads, gluts, hamstrings and hip flexors.

After the massage I spent about 20min in a heated spa for some further muscle relief.

When you get it ALL wrong!

Today was a BIG Brick....45min Ocean Swim...3hr ride and 60min run....

The outcome was not pretty!!

It was a frustrating morning of training.... I was more annoyed at myself...for whatever reason my organisation of my nutrition was all out!

To further explain:
  • Friday night went to get everything ready and realised that I had NO problems I would supplement these with bananas....not the best thing...they are good to have as a PART of your nutrition but not ALL of your nutrition.
  • To go with that I failed to regularly eat throughout the 3hr ride....only eating 3/4 of a banana for the 3hr other food! Just sports drink!
  • To go with this was a failure to have anything for breakfast.....big mistake...something I am always OCD about.
  • The OCD was not there for me this morning.
  • Therefore the run after the cylce was an ABSOLUTE right off....started off ok...but ended up disastrously (Stomach cramps....argh!).....didn't finish the run.
  • At one stage along the board walk I'm sure it would have been humorous...there was that mental argument with the arch enemy....was it really a stomach cramp/nutritional stuff up or was it the arch enemy (the little voice in my head). I stopped running....then started again...turned around...stopped...started walking again back towards the start...then had a mental argument with myself....turned around again...started running...stopped running...turned around...had a drink of water...started running again....stopped....then made the decision to shuffle back and call it quits!
  • Oh learn from these stuff ups!

I think what it did bring home to me is that there is nothing wrong with being organised....may I am sometimes a bit over the top...but oh well!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Race Report - Geelong 70.3 (2009)

The Geelong 70.3 is probably my favourite race. This is the second year I have travelled down to Geelong to compete and have really enjoyed myself both times.

Saturday morning start a little later then usual. We had arranged to meet everybody from the squad who was doing the race at 8.00am for a spin around some of the bike course. The conditions at this time were very pleasant and there was little indication that it was going to reach the 44degree high which was predicted for the day. The spin went off without a drama.

Then it was back to the apartment to change and then off for some breakfast. We were at a place that was looking out onto the bay which we will be swimming in the next day. The weather conditions change within 30min....before breakfast it was a very pleasant temperature and then throughout a time in the cafe things quickly changed.....we saw the winds pick up and the swell in the bay began to become quite big (about half to 1m). Then we walked outside OMG it was as though we had walked into a convection over the temperature had doubled...well close to it. It was we believed that it may reach the top of 44 degrees. We went back to the apartment for a bit of a midday sleep and prepared our bikes for transition a little later in the afternoon

At around 2.00pm we walked our bike down to the transition area. WELL!!! It was now HOT...WINDY and a little uncomfortable. I'm glad we didn't decide to ride down because it would have been an interesting experience...particularly in an aero helmet and deep rim wheels. Walking was difficult enough! A walk was only about 2km but by the time we had reached the transition precinct the bike computer had reached a top of 52 degrees.....NICE!!!

Went through registration and the into transitions to rack the bike. The Geelong organisation is very good, this doesn't take very long at all to do. The racks are marked with your bike location. Plenty of room between bikes and a grassed surface.

Back to the apartment for a bit of relief for a while before we were out for dinner....of course it was to be a bit of a pasta feast. By the time we went to dinner the temperature had come done quite considerably and was quite comfortable. However, the was a rumour that they measured the water temperature on the Saturday and that it was at 24.7 degrees....well...that meant no wetsuit. There were some people within our party who weren't (you could say...) particular happy with this news....You do have to wonder that if you take the temperature of the water on a day when it reaches in excess of 44degrees it will be rather 'bath waterish'. It was forcast to drop to 11 degrees Saturday night and have a top of 22-23 degree for Race Day. They were going to take it again in the morning....good idea really...more realistic reading I would have to think. :-)

Back to the apartment, put the final OCD preparations on putting my gear together the off to bed about 9-9-30 for a 4.00am start in the morning.

It was time...the beeping of 2 alarms were alerting me to the fact that it was time for my assault on the Snap Geelong 70.3...and I was feeling quietly confident about my day...but it was only early.

Tri gear on...lub up the parts that need some protection, timing chip on...

Breakfast.....pancake with maple syrup, banana and a bottle of sports drink.

5.00am made our way down to transitions on foot and with 3 bags of gear.....BTW...this race was going to be gadget free (...Garmin free and no heart rate monitor) just a stopwatch and my bike computers...and to tell you the truth...I was handling it very well.

5.30am into transitions to organisation the bike and the associated area.....tyres pumped up...3 bottle on...areo bottle on and filled (except for the water compartment)....snack bag on....gels taped to cross bar....helmet and glasses on the bars....towel on the shoes prepared and shoes prepared and positioned...sock prepared and for run in place....all ready!!!!

Bit of pre race visualisation happening above.....

6.45am made our way down to the swim start. Feeling rather nervous.....this very often means that it could be a good race!

7.05am BANG the gun goes off

The Swim

As usual it is a bit of a struggle to really get in a rhythm early with your swim with so many people all starting at once. By this stage of my triathlon career there are no real issues with getting in amongst it and mixing with the other in the good old ruckus of a swim start...particularly at a IM or HIM race. Its something you just have to get conditioned to. It was last year in this very race I ruptured my ear drum in the swim after coping a hand/arm to the side of the is about building a bridge and getting over it...can't worry about the argy bargy of a swim start...just need to get in and join in!

About half way down the 1st leg it spread out a little and I started to pick up the pace a bit and began to get into that really comfortable rhythm....I was feeling very good!....then the next challenge was to negotiate the 1st buoy....not much swimming here....everybody wanted there bit of water going round the buoy and people were literally climbing over each other to get round the buoy...good fun! Rounded the buoy and then after about 100m I was able to get back into the rhythm...headed to the next buoy then round the last and head for the swim exit....left the water feeling really good....looked down at my watch and to my surprise I left the water in about was wrapped....ah...but hang on I still had 2 legs to go.....time to refocus...race face ON! (Sorry guys... :p )

Ah...the wetsuit....really does have issues with coming off!
Socks shoes on....glasses on...helmet on...bananas in back pockets...grab bike....out to the mount line....nice...under 3 min...bit of record for gadgets...maybe that had something to do with it.

The Bike:

No flying mounts....onto the leg after the next. The cycle legs consists of 3 x 30km out and back loops over an undulating course. Straight out of transitions its up a hill. For the 1st 15min I stayed in the small chain ring to get my legs turning over, take in some liquids and food (gel) then stepped it up into the big chain ring....the legs were feeling good as I turned out onto the highway and headed out for the first turn.

The focus was on ensuring the correct hydration and food intake, ensuring good bike form...reduce the amount of 'turtle' action that occurs, work on a cadence of between 85 and 95rpm.

I was going out in this race to do exactly that was about giving my all...with no HR monitor on me I was working to perceived other words...listening to the body....being a Tim Whisper really. This work fabulously throughout the cycle leg.

I completed the 1st lap in about 49min...out for the second and at the began to rain and this rain continued for the rest of the cycle. With the rain came a nice headwind coming back towards transitions...oh well...that's racing for you...I just knuckled down and worked through it....Just to add to this return trip the course has a very long slight climb from the turn for about was a great challenge on the 2nd lap and even more of one on the 3rd when things (you could say) didn't get any better.
Needless to say...when there are wet roads and white lines there are some carnage.
I rode into dismount line to stop my watch at 2hr 32min.

Out of the shoes before the dismount line.
Off the bike...straight to my racking position.
Running shoes on...hat on....gels in back pocket....pick up banana.
The banana is a new thing that I experimented with for this race. I ate the banana straight out of transitions whilst running. The idea was to make sure that I started the run relatively well fueled after the bike.

The Run:

The run is a 3 x 7km loop course which is undulating and the surface varies from concrete, bitumen and gravel.
The strategy for the run is to firstly not walk, drink cola and water most of the way round and use the power of positive thought.

The three laps we run with relative comfort, the slight inclines were at time a challenge but nothing a bit of positive thinking would.

The cola and water worked really well and I didn't use the gels I took with me at all throughout the run.

I also believe the banana at the start of the run set a good nutritional platform for the run.

Run Time: 1hr43min

It was apparent to me that I had had a good race on the last lap of the race and was feeling rather 'up-beat' about the achievement.

The total time break downs were:

Lead-up to 2009 Snap Geelong

Lead-up to Race Day

The week leading up to Geelong was a relatively normal week.

The program for the week was as follows:

Monday: AM - Rest, PM - Core Strength
Tuesday: AM - Track Session (Run Drills), PM - Swim Session
Wednesday: AM - Ride: 3hrs in big ring @ easy - moderate pace along undulating hills (Dayboro Loop, PM - Swim Session
Thursday: AM - Run: Mt. Cootha trail run. 90 mins- 2hrs. Ignore hr on hills but keep easy on flat. PM - Swim Session
Friday: AM - Rest, PM - Rest
Saturday: AM - Swim/bike/run: 15 mins of each easy, PM - Rest
Sunday: AM - Race: Geelong 70.3, PM - Rest

Reflections of Training this week:
  • The Tuesday AM session was worthwhile. Conditions were challenging, rained throughout the session. Good conditioning....races are not going to be necessarily a dry one!
  • Swim session that even was again very worthwhile. 3km set and felt good throughout.
  • Wednesday morning ride was the Dayboro loop and then into work. Bit of rain throughout the ride. Very mist rain from just outside Dayboro through to Petrie. This was a good 2hr 30min ride with a 30min ride home after work.
  • The Wednesday evening swim was again one that was enjoyable. the swim is something that I am really enjoying at the moment I believe that I have made some real progress. I have been focusing on just 1 or 2 things. They are my body roll/reach with the arm just as I am about to breath, trying to get the most advantage out of the pull without over extending my reach. The second is to use the glide of the stroke a little more to my advantage and then the third is to really work on the pull in the first part of my stroke.
  • Wednesday evening began to feel a little bit of a head cold coming on and decided to dose up on the cold and flu tablets.
  • Thursday morning - met up with Rich for run around Mt Cootha we both had 90min to 2hr on our programs and both we feeling a little off our game so an 90min had to do for the run. The head cold was not getting any better in fact the throat was really quite sore. Not particular something that I want to worry about with the race this weekend.
  • Decided to give Thursday even swim a miss, trying to get on top of the flu thing.
  • Friday was a rest morning and PM session. I flew down to Melbourne at 4.00pm that afternoon. Cost me a mere $40.00 in excess baggage not to bad compared to my last trip down to Geelong. Was able to catch up on a bit of sleep on the plane trip about 90min worth of 'shut eye'
  • Picked up the hire car and drove an hour into Geelong. Met up with Rich and spent some time putting the bike back together as the plan was to be out about 8am in the morning for a ride over part of the bike course.