Friday, April 22, 2011

An Opportunity to Reflect....9 days out!


A perfect opportunity to reflect on where I am with my 2011 campaign and where I'm going.

With 9 days to go until race start, I think I am in the best form...physically I have ever been for an Ironman Race. The campaign has not been smooth sailing but what campaign is! It's about managing these ups and downs both mentally and physically that is important.

The campaign was based round my goals and the 5 commandments that I put together to make myself accountable throughout my training.

The goals are:
  • To get as close to 10:0? as possible.
  • To get as close as possible to the qualify time for Hawaii Ironman (40-44)
The 5 commandments:
  • Thou shall not give excuses (work, diet etc.)
  • Thou shall not procrastinate
  • Thou shall be a leader in training
  • Thou shall be accountable to my peers
  • Thou shall put a great importance on completing 2 core sessions a week
My reflections..........
This campaign has seen a mixture of different strategies......the golden oldies and some new ones that reflect current trends and practices in long distance triathlon. I believe the new strategies that I have employed have enabled me to prepare in a way that I have not be able to do in the past 3 campaigns.

The new strategies that I have used are ones, that in the past, needed to play a greater part in my preparation and training and tended to be neglected for a variety of reasons. Some of the strategies that I have focused on in this campaign are hinted at in the 5 Commandments  presented above.

Nutrition and Weight!
They go hand in hand and make a HELL of a difference to ones performance in training and racing.
This campaign I made the commitment to use a sports nutritionist.....what a great move! as people always say....I should have done this before now. You ask....why do you need someone? It's a very similar argument, to that of why do people need coaches? my case it's about bringing in some accountability and to be given everyday nutritional ideas and strategies that can compliment my training and racing. It is about developing a plan to cater for the needs of the type of training that is involved with Ironman. (Long stuff)

In getting my eating under control it has enabled me to get my weight under control.....big time!
I am currently @ 79kg....the goal was to race at 80kg but I have been able to maintain around that 79kg mark for the last couple of weeks......I have been training at 82kg or less for the last 7-8 weeks and it makes such a difference on the outcomes of the training....the body can be pushed harder and survive.....well most of the time!

I have never raced IM at this weight and CAN sooo see the benefits.....which I hoping to see out of my race result.

A principle of any type of training is consistency of training....the more consistent you are out there, the more your performance improves.
This is a principle that I am very aware of, but this time, I have nailed it! Apart from the periods that I have been struggling with illness.
If it's down on the program it is there for a reason. The program completion rate throughout this campaign never fell below 85% (which means missing no more than 2 session over a fortnight)
One thing about this IM training it is about finding a balance between home, work and life. One of the things to support this is being flexible and getting smart about completing session. (whether that be riding to work as a part of a session, using the facilities at work etc.)

As triathletes it is really all about being good managers (of time, people, resources, money etc.)

This campaign I am committed to my goals and with the level of focus and determination I willing to put into achieving these the consistency is paramount and calculated sacrifices have had to be made.

The Mind
This campaign has been one where I have taken control of the mind! There has been NO 'little voice' working away in my head this time round, no negative has been positive....good has won over evil.
I have managed to stay in the positive mindset through thinking positively when it gets tough and pushing through. In fact, there have been very few excuses. It has been about establishing a good attitude and work ethic towards my training and knowing that I'm not going to achieve my goals through a negative, 'give up' attitude....when it gets tough it's time to get tougher.....there has been many a wrestle but 100% of the time I have been able to push through and achieve the training goal/outcome.

The Swim
Simple....get in the pool....and swim....the more you swim the stronger you become one with the water.
Back starting 20 weeks out, I spent 4 weeks living in the pool....this has been foundation that has stood me firm for the rest of the 16 weeks and of course the race. I am finding that my swimming has improved and feel stronger through the water. The other evening in the pool we did approx. 20-25 100's and I was able to consistently hold 1:25. Very happy!!
I think the key has been, of course, spending time in the water but all the strength work I have continued to do....pool buoy and paddles...many a session has been spent with these 2 swimming toys.

The Bike
It really the same principle as the swim here to, time in the saddle.
This campaign has seen an 'upgrade' in cycling apparatus....a new bike (2...a TT and road)....a carbon bike...the old alloy Trek is gone.......what a much easier to push around, especially with less weight on it. The road bike has been exclusively used for the hill and strength session and has been a great asset.
The bike build from Weeks 16 - 12 again set me up for a solid foundation for the 12 weeks. The regular strength work on Mt Cootha or the number (and I mean number) of time riding out to Dayboro and back from Petrie, and not to forget the 2 times I did the 200km ride to Caloundra via the Blackall range has paid off.....the improvement that I saw in the bike was amazing...I really couldn't believe it.....TT improvements.....the time to Caloundra was dramatically coming down each time I rode up was looking good!
The key here has again been the consistency and the amount of strength work in the hills throughout the campaign.

The Run
Same thing....consistency.
The strength work has again aided the development of my running this campaign.
The use of a treadmill has been worthwhile to work at running at a consistent pace throughout.
Drills, strides, hill repeats have all been an important part of this campaign and I am now a runner a triathlon context of course!

All this hard work and embracing new strategies has seemed to paid off. Times are coming down and the body is becoming stronger. Whether it be an OD Triathlon (3min PB), a 200km training ride (45min improvement). Things are looking good for May 1!

Blogs to follow:
Reflections on the affect of my illness 3 weeks out
The Race - what's planned!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Week 3 - Week of the Come Back

When you get knocked don't stay lying on the ground getting dirt kicked in your get up and continue on with the journey. This week has been very much about getting back into the training....a slow and painful approach (in terms of my patience) but if I am to get to the start line in any shape to race then I need to listen to both Coach and my body.
"Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it....." ~ Brian Tracy
This week was slow to get moving with nothing happening until Thursday evening, as per Doctors orders.

There was a little bit of stretching for 10 mins.
Made sure the sleep was happening to help in the recovery.

Not much today!

Not much here either!

Return to the pool deck....good to be back. Thanks to everyone for their concerns!
15 min stretch whilst on the pool deck.

Got out for a 30min run in the afternoon.....steady she goes!
Felt....ok?....but when I got home and stopped...not so good.
6km - 33min

Nothing in the morning...using the rest to assist in the recovery particularly now having added a little more activity.

In the afternoon I went on the same run as the previous afternoon as a comparison. To gauge if things are improving.
I was happy to report that I didn't fell as ordinary as I did after yesterday's run.....a good sign.
6km - 32min

Got back on the bike.....a successful return..the body was responding well to the re-introduction of the physical activity. The ride was flat keep the effort relatively controlled.

2h30min - 70km


Back on the bike again but going a little longer this time. Again the body was standing up to the time on the bike and my overall demeanour was improving....I could possibly be able to again realistically get close to my goals for IM Australia.

3h10m - 92km

Weekly Totals:
Swim: 0km
Bike: 160km (5h40m)
Run: 12km (65m)
Maintenance: 30min

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Week 4 - Week in Crisis!!

There are times when you need to just believe......
............................believe in the training you have done.
................................believe in the power of positive thinking.

This was certainly a focus for this week.......
I can say straight up the stats for this week are..........

Weekly Stats:

Swim: 0km (0h00m)
Bike: 0km (0h00m)
Run: 0km (0h00m)
Core Strength: 30min
Maintenance: 2hr
Weekly Total - 2h30min

That's is the full extent of training possible this week.....and until the Wednesday of next week.

The week consisted with me coming down with an abdominal complaint that landed me in hospital for close to 2 days. It was first thought that I had appendicitis but after 6.5hrs in emergency and another 30hrs in the ward they decided that it wasn't appendicitis. It was in actually a abdominal virus....hmmmm....ok?. The treatment was rest and not doing anything for 10 or so days.

Thursday I was back at home........recovery.....positive
It has been the first weekend in at least 20 weeks where I haven't run, cycled, swum or done anything else physical.

It became a very reflective weekend............
The thinking turned to the long path travelled.......
..Before this week...I am in the best condition of my Long Course (Ironman)Triathlon career.....
..............................Surely I'm not going to fall at the last hurdle..............I will be at that start line!
.........I'm a good healer............2.5 weeks is plenty of time to finish my preparation off............
............................I just need to patience is the Doctors......
I need closure on this campaign............I wasn't able to have my final hard week.......just my OCD
............what if it takes longer then Wednesday for me to get back into training.........................
........................has this affected my energy levels.............surely not............................................
..........................Am I going to be ready...............Yes....of my training...........
I have done all the hard work now.....I'm ready now...........................................................................

What a rollercoaster ride of emotions........By the end of the weekend the negative vibes had been expelled from the mind and it was about positive vibes and looking toward a great race!!

Week 5 - Week in Review

This is the second last big week......then the taper begins.....

Ironman is an individual race. It’s very easy to compare yourself to other athletes or people you train with. This is the one fundamental mistake which will bring your mental strength to a very messy end. Believe in yourself. You know you can do it. It’s just how well you handle it. Have a sense of humour. (Sarah Hulme)
A lot of the training of late has been on my own and there is a very good reason for this, it is an individual sport and you have to get use to your own company for extended periods of time, if you don't like spending time with yourself, talking to yourself, motivating yourself and battling with your own mind then maybe IM is not for you. The training on your own is all about preparing the mind for those mental battle when it gets tough...that good will prevail over evil...(the one telling you to stop or slow down)

I was on holidays for the next 2 weeks and this was to work perfectly to put in 2 more hard weeks before taper begins. This week in particular was going to be tough...Saturday and Sunday was another assault on the Blackall Range, with a 12km cross country race and return ride home thrown we go.....

The afternoon session started with a good 20min full body stretch to loosen up part that had become a little tight after the race yesterday.
Then it was straight into a run/core session. This session was based around the treadmill. It worked something like this 4min on the treadmill (1min walk then into a 5mim pace run) then straight off and complete 80 bicycle crunches in a minute. There were some variations of this every 3rd rep with a prone hold or squat hold. This whole thing was repeated 10 times.
Good session, felt good once it was all over.

It is the holy day.....the day of the long run.....
2hr Long run.....working with 10's and 1's again this week.

This week I was more prepared with the nutrition and it work well. The body had the energy to maintain a good pace throughout the full 2h09min run.

Over this time I completed 25.5km at an average pace of 5:05min/km
Legs were in great form this morning.....the running is moving me in mysterious ways.

In the evening it was into the pool for a 3.2km session. The plan this week was to have an injection of swimming to just top the base up a bit.

In the morning was an easy spin on the bike with the the rain of course. It was good just to turn the legs over.

Nothing in the evening...just to rest up.

Today I ventured out to the pool and with a cross country course handy put together a different session that involved a 10 x 100 pull buoy then running 3km cross country course and repeating this 3 times. This was a good session and the body felt good throughout.

Then in the evening was back in the pool for another 2.8km session.

The morning session was back in the pool with a 3.5km strength session.

The afternoon was time to put the feet up before a big weekend.

Time to put the body to the test.
It was up at 4.30am for 5.30am start on our 200km ride.

This was the same ride we did 8 weeks ago and it was going to be a good guide as to how the cycling is going. 
This time there is 9 of us.....some doing it for the first time...some doing it for the 4th time...but we all knew it was all about pacing......the first 2 hrs was about just turning the legs over....
Heading off out to Dayboro and then up to Mt Mee and then stopping at our first aid stop at D'agular......2.5hrs on the clock and it had been a solid ride so far....probably a little harder than I would have liked but the legs were still working well. It was now out the Landsborough....a relatively flat ride but still had some pincher's in it.

Throughout the ride I was working with my new nutritional strategy. 3 x 20min (00 - gel, 20 - solid, 40 - gel) each hour.....working on increasing my carb intake per hour throughout the ride. I have been using a banana as the solid component of the ride (on the 20min)

The other thing that was critical for me on this ride was that when I got to the aid was a very short stop......get what I need and keep don't stop in the race......

After Landsborough it was up the doesn't matter how many times you do this it never gets any easier.....but there is no letting up....when you get to the then go across the top of the range which I would class as a hilly ride on its own.

To make the climb up the range a little more challenging it was on the TT bike.....just had to suck it up.

It just keeps there an end to it.......I think the lowest speed I got to was about 7km/hr.....I was happy just to stay upright. Got to the top, the legs were fatigued but not gone......spent a number of K's spinning the legs over and they began to turn over quite comfortably....just in time to go across the top of the range.......ahhhh......

Finally reached Mapleton and began the decent into Nambour then continued on to Caloundra via Maroochydore and Mooloolaba.

The time of 6hr45min had elapsed and 194km. This was a 45min improvement on the same ride 8 weeks ago......the hard work is paying off.

Time to recover the legs with an ice bath, a feed and then into the skins......we have a 12km cross country race tomorrow.

Our big weekend continues......up at 5.30am and out the door cycling up to Buderim for a 12km cross country race....on these 'fresh' legs.

The course was 4 x 3km laps over relatively flat terrain except for one incline which went for about 300m. It was also quite boggy under foot.

The strategy...go hard until I blow up......
Lap 1 went out conservatively....nothing too mad!
Lap 2 the legs struck a rhythm and began to pick up the pace a little.
So far so good.
Lap 3 the hurt began to kick in...but so did the mental will power and the leg strength......was this too hard I was wondering...ah...what the heck....lets give it a nudge....the hill did bite a bit but I bit back!.....
Lap 4 the hurt and fatigue was present but not over powering...the will the run strong and hard was winning through.

Finished the race....I was spent! Time.......52m05s......I was wrapped.....such a strong solid run given it being on tired legs. Things are looking good!

Time to jump back on the bike and head back to Brissie. 3.5hrs and 94km later were returned to where it all started about 30hrs ago.

A very satisfying weekend and one that indicated to me that I was on track to achieve my goals for IM Australia.

Weekly Stats:
Swim: 12.5km (4h10m)
Bike: 367km (13h20m)
Run: 46.6km (3h44m)
Core Strength: 1hr
Maintenance: 1hr

Weekly Total - 21h15min

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Week 6 - Week in Review

"I learned that if you want to make it bad enough, no matter how bad it is, you can make it." - Gale Sawers
This week has been one of the most challenging to date. The motivation 'left the building' for a couple of days. The motivational trip during this IM campaign has been quite consistent until this week. In reflecting as to what has created this slight 'detour' in the the motivational journey of this IM campaign I think it has come down to 2 things:

The first is the incident I had on Sunday.....failing to stay upright on my bike. It is amazing that just a slight altercation throws the working of the body out slightly. When the normal mechanics of the body are compromised and things aren't working the way they should and you are 5 weeks out from IM there is some reason for concern and the motivation wanes a little.

I had some bruising and swelling on the right knee, lower left shin (which had no visible signs) and a bit of the right forearm. It made quite a difference to how I ran on Tuesday morning. It was the non visible injury that caused the most bit of concern. Until my massage on the Wednesday evening I was not aware of this injury. I had feared the worse....a shin splint or something along those lines. Based on this fear a trip to the physio was arranged. The Physio trip also confirmed that this was the issues was in fact that had arisen.

The week of training looked like this:

Core work as per usual.

Out on my long run again today. This is where the shin issues raised it's ugly head. About 7km is my lower shin began to ache.....kept trying to run but as I continued I began to aggravate it further and the level of pain started to increase....time to cut it short. Ended up with a 18km run in about 1h50min.

Massage in the evening...lots a squirming on the table....but it's all in the name of success.


Injury Day - Rest and recovery.

Short run in the morning just to test the leg out. Not to bad but not perfect yet.

In the afternoon, embarked on a BTS strength set. Good work out the swimming is certainly solid at the moment. 3.5km in 1h5min


Taper begins for Mooloolaba Triathlon on Sunday.
Day of rest and preparation.


This morning was a easy 3hr ride. Out at 5am for 90min spin before joining the rest of the squad. Rode with the squad for 60min with a total ride time of just over 2.5hrs.


Mooloolaba OD Race....the final hit out before IM's my thoughts and reflections after the race....

The race today, whilst not an 'A' race was going to be a good indicator as to where I am at 5 weeks out from IM.
The plan for the race was to go as hard as I can and see what happens. There were a number components of this plan.....
1. Work really hard in the swim....
2. Not go too hard/crazy on the bike leaving enough in the tank for a good run.
3. Push it hard out there on the run.

The swim conditions were good. The course was a M shape. The course felt long and it seemed I was in the water forever but getting to the timing pads on the beach the time was telling me that I had completed the 1.5km swim in 26m31s. I was happy with this and then was my way up the stairs and into T1.

Onto the bike......the first thing was to get over the hills on my way to the motorway, not the most enjoyable way to start the bike leg but at least it gets those lets working early.
Onto the motorway......a tail up to speed and the legs just began to turn over in a comfortable rhythm. Arrived at the turn and I had just under 30m on the clock.....round I went and it was like hitting a brick wall....the head wind was relentless....worked hard..trying to stay aero as much as possible and it was a relief to get off the motorway and cruise back to the esplanade...the question I was asking myself...had I spent too much energy on the return leg of the bike to have a good run.....I was about to find out.....

Bike time - 1h07m on the bike clock (1h11m with T1 and T2)

It was a swift transition onto the run leg.....the plan was just to ease into the run, at least until to the top of the hill then push it hard for the 9 remaining km. The other thing that I used to my advantage was the 2 times the run went down the northern hill. Both decents were about using the momentum of my body moving down the hill....go with the gravity....both decents were around the 3:45m pace. Once on the flat it was back into a nice rhythm around the 4:10m pace.
I had to work hard up the hills but these are good just to break the run up. I finally got to the top of the last hill and pushed it hard back into was looking like a good time and the time was getting very tight to go under 2h20m so I was working hard to get there but in the end I just ran out of legs and my final time was 2h20m56s.....but with a great run time of 43m03s...this was what I was really happy with. In fact the whole race was a good result and had shown me that the hard work had definitely paid off.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week 7 - Week in Review

The week begins on Monday March 14, 2011 with a morning of rest and reflection on the training past and the journey ahead.

"A race is an exercise in leaving others behind" -Lance Armstrong

There is a time where enough is enough........when an IM athlete decides that it's no longer about making up the numbers in the age group.....this is where I'm at!

The morning was about taking it easy.

In the PM more core and then off for a massage. I will have to say that this massage was one of the worst ones for me squirming on the table. I would think that the ride yesterday had a bit to do with that. Was a bit slack with the recovery after yesterdays ride and now suffering for it on the massage table.


The run this morning was again long....but today it was to be a commitment to the cause. The course was to be flat and working to a strategy of 10 on and 1 off for 2h30min. The average pace for the 5:09m/k.

The nutritional strategy wasn't the best. I only had a couple of gel left and I needed at least 4 for the run and only had 2 along with 4 fuel belt bottles.

Final stats for the run: 2h33min - 29.5km (5:09m/k)

Swim was 3.5km of strength. Solid session. Completed in about 1h05min.

Back to my home away from home.....Mt Cootha.
Same session...different week.
The legs are feeling good...they are eating up the hill. I am really starting to feel the benefits of my weekly strength session on the bike.

Wednesday bike stats: 72km - 3h13m

Morning of coaching then off to work.
Did a cross country session this morning 6km of strength and core work.

PM session into the pool for another 3.5km strength session. Happy with the swimming at the moment.

This morning is was over to the crit track for a 20km TT on the bike. It has been a while since I have done a bike TT and I was looking forward to the session.

The legs were feeling tired but after a good warm up they were moving okay. Once I was started things feel into place and I working into a solid rhythm. I crossed the 20km mark in a time of 30:04 this was a 45sec PB I was wrapped. The training is certainly paying off.

The body and mind lost a little of its mojo over the last 12-18 hours and the body was just tired and feeling very fatigue. So based on the session ahead tomorrow I just needed an opportunity to do nothing and enjoy a sleep in. Well earned I believe.

The PM session I managed to drag my sorry butt out of the house for a easy 60min run. A good session in the rain and it managed to get my motivation back and going again. The stats were 12km in 1h05m.

It was Sunday Session time......Long ride
It was to be an early start....and it still hadn't stopped raining. I have recognised that these ride are critical in achieving a good bike time.

It was the same session as last week. 2.5hr easy, 1hr moderate, 1hr hard, then the rest of the ride easy.
It was again the same route as last weekend relatively flat but with the rain there was caution given to the ride.
The pacing was again a little too hard early. The rain was continual but I still kept at it try to push the body. It very much about conditioning the body to be able to 'go hard' for the bike leg. It's also about getting the nutrition right. This week it was again the 20min strategy. It work well until I had miscalculate the requirements for the ride and was one 'solid' food portion short. This through the strategy out and I had to go with every 30min.
The 1 hour hard was a real challenge this week. Again I had a head wind to contend with along with the was hard work and the average for this section of the ride was lower then last week.
The ride was going well. I had survived the rain. It stopped raining about 5hrs into the ride. It was at this point where I found the bitumen, only a minor scrap but I came off at around the mid 20's. Bit of knee and forearm damage but nothing too serious, both are very swollen and bruised.
After taking a few minutes to compose myself I was back on the road with a easy ride home.

Weekly Stats:

Swim: 7km (2h15)
Bike: 291km (10h41m)
Run: 47km (4h5min)
Core Strength: 30m
Maintenance: 1hr

Total: 18hr30min

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Week 8 - Week in Review

The week in review starts on Monday March 7, 2011.

There is nothing noble in being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.

 -- Hindu proverb

The focus is on the target now! The mind, body and soul has come into alignment to achieve the goal. I have found a new level of commitment and determination to get as close to the 'energy lab' as possible. The superior being has come into ones self.

The morning was a time to rest the body.

In the PM it was into the core strength. The same routine. The same outcome......managing and strengthening the body to achieve the best possible outcome.


The long runs continue through the hills. This was an early start 4.10am out of bed and on the road at 4.30am. I can feel the leg getting stronger. This was a 26km run in about 2h26m. The average pace was 5:32m/k. I was happy with this. The hills on this course did not let up, they are so good for getting those legs burning.

The evening was into the pool. This was a chest busting session. 10 x 100m best effort reps. This was a tough evening in the pool but pushing through the fatigue there was a sense of satisfaction that it had been completed. Overall this was a 3.0km swim session.

Again an early start, 4.30am.
I spend 30min to get to Mt Cootha and then spend another 1h15m going up and down the old foe. The burn by this stage of the campaign is something that I have just condition my body to endure. It is this conditioning that will help me in a number aspects (obvious the bike leg and the run leg) of my assault of the challenge that lies ahead. The first ascent is always a bit tough but after that the legs get going and the climbing becomes second nature.
Once I have completed 5 ascent of the Cootha it then off to work. This is another 50min in the saddle. It all about getting time on the bike...conditioning the legs and working through the physical fatigue and a tiring body.

After work it is an easy cycle home. This is a 45min trip and is usually battling a head wind for much of the 18km to get home.
Once home, the runners are straight on and I'm off for an easy 45min run. It about getting the legs into a rhythm as early as possible and sitting on a easy pace...looking for about 5:30m/k pace. The session was a total of about 8km with an average pace of 5:23m/k

My morning was at the pool, coaching. A good opportunity to give the body a break from the training but the body is still up early. By Thursday, the Tuesday and Wednesday early morning begin to take a toll.

Thursday evening into the pool and knock out a 3.5km (based on the strength session) I completed this in 1h3min which in comparison to other session using the same workout was completed in approx. 7min quicker. Good signs!

The morning brings a trip into the squad wind trainer session. I was in a good frame of mind but tired. As I have learnt from the previous campaigns this is normal and just needs to be managed with good sleep and healthy eating.
The wind trainer session was a strength session with hard runs round the block. I was running well off the bike these were around the 3m/k pace. Great session.
I had an opportunity to reflect with coach during the session and there was a change of strategy and thinking with the training for the next 6 weeks. Both of us admitted I have now done 3 IM races and this time round it's not about just's about's about getting into the low 10's. For the next 6 weeks it's about pushing the limits of the body and soul. Taking it where it has never been before, exploring my limits and taking some risks in the training.

Based on this, there are a number of things that I will now be focusing on.....
  1. Refining the nutrition. There is thought within the camp that I possibly aren't getting enough carbs into the body to fuel the muscles. The target in training is to get use to taking on 75-80g of carbs per hour.
  2. Focus on a number of training rides where they are 5hrs 'hard'. Conditioning the body for that continued fatigue on the body (particularly the legs) Training the mind to ride relaxed but fast and keep everything smooth and controlled on the bike.
PM session was to be a restful afternoon but sneaked in a 30min core strength session.

It hasn't happened much lately, but with work commitments it wasn't possible to get out there on the training paddock this morning.

The PM session was spent working through a hill/strength run which included a 10min session on a long set of stairs.
The stats on the session were 12km in about 1h05min

This mornings session was the first of the hard 5 hr rides.
The ride it’s self is 2.5hrs easy, 1 hr moderate, 1hr hard 30 min easy to make 5 hrs. The 1hr hard is still aerobic but the high end where you’re right on the edge of going lactic. Overall to aim for 150km plus for the 5hrs not including any stops. Stop are to be very quick and only to refuel or a toilet stop.

The ride started at 4.30am.
After 2.5 hrs I had completed 76.0km at an average speed of 30.3km/h
After the 1 hr moderate I had completed 108km at an average of 30.7km/h
The after the hard hour I had completed 139km at an average of 30.9km/h. Throughout this effort the average speed was around the 36km/h.
After the rest of the ride (easy) I had completed 170km in 5h35min.

The legs were very fatigued but I was able to maintain a good solid effort throughout the session and it felt comfortable. I experimented with the nutrition in this ride. The strategy was to eat every 20min. On the hour (gel), the 20min mark (solid - banana etc.) and the 40min mark (gel). It worked well but it felt like I was eating all the time. I think it will work for me every 20min I will just have to get use to it.

Swim: 6.7km (2h13m)
Bike: 243km (10h05m)
Run: 54km (5h50m)
Core Strength & Flexibility: 55m

Total: 19h04min

Monday, February 14, 2011

Week 12 - Week in Review

" There is something in every human being that seeks testing. A yearning to discover just how far one can go, how much one is capable of achieving. From this desire was born the most demanding athletic endurance test ever........- the IronmanTriathlon"
- unknown (but brilliant!) author.
The beginning of 12 weeks...this is the business end of the preparation. The base sessions (swim and bike) up to this point in time have been of great quality and benefit.

Reflecting on 'where I am' at 12 weeks.....
  • There has been a real focus on achieving the weight goal for this campaign and it is getting fact I'm smashing it! At the start of 12 weeks I have I am at 82kg....this is the lightest I have ever been at this point in time during an IM campaign.
  • Is it making a difference? INDEED it is!!!.....the issues relating to the back (pain in the upper region of the hamstring) is not even coming close to what it has been like. The running has improved since the weight is off...I have literally got rid of 6 kilos of bricks off my body...of course it is going to make a difference....the lighter the better....even helping on the bike too.....that power to weight is improving.
  • Related to the this is a new LOVE for the sore strength has assisted with the management of the back injury.
  • The long runs and 5-6hr bike rides are now a weekly occurrence. Nutrition is going to be the key with these session.
  • I have returned to using a multi-vitamin product that I have used for the previous campaigns. The product is put out by Pharmanex and is a Dietary Supplement called LifePak. Along with this I take the Optimum Omega (EPA and DHA Fish Oils) this works on assisting with the cardiovascular health. The other benefits I find out of using this product, is that I have a lot more energy and  helps with the moments when things get a little tiring....I generally feel better...there could be physiological benefits here too....and the power of positive thought.
  • My general frame of mind is ready and raring to go....there is some things to be achieved from this IM campaign and I believe I have the mind set to achieve them.
  • This IM campaign I have been working closely with a sports nutritionist to get my general eating under control and it has been one of the reasons for the weight loss. One of the big things I finally got under control was my meal make such a difference when you reduce the size of your meals and add another couple of healthy snacks here and there
Training this week has been taken to the next level...the volume is there and I'm LOVING it...with nothing holding me is full steam ahead.
I know what needs to be done and there is a commitment to the task....I have feel more ready than I have ever been at this time compared to the other 3 campaigns......look out people!!!

AM Session - Rest morning

PM session - 45min core strength and conditioning then an easy 30min run on the treadmill.

Core felt good.
Easy run the legs were a little heavy and a little niggle has developed again in the left calf. Feels like a bit of tightness from the weekend.


Tuesday now is the day of the LONG RUN! Not a bad thing and the first one was 2.5 hrs through the hills.....welcome back. And a successful return it was. Throughout the run I felt strong and worked at keeping the pace between 5-5.30min pace.

Tuesday evening back in the pool for a cool 3km. I could tell that there hasn't been much time in the pool over the last 10 days, arms a little slow to get going but after about a 1km they kicked in.


Back to an old favourite.....back to Cootha.
Ride from home to Cootha then onto work, total ride time for the morning 2h30 and approximately 53km. I was able to get 4 reps in at Cootha before I had to head to work. The time on the hill was quality, work hard and hope it pays off.....starting to think it will!!

Wednesday evening, ride home (about 45min/17km) then 75min run off the bike.

Good coached session in he morning. Great numbers.

The evening was a swim, but due to work commitments couldn't get there.

Morning of was the calm before the storm.....
Mooloolaba Camp was upon me.....travelling straight from work to Mooloolaba to begin the camp with a solid run.

Felt good throughout this run...however, maybe a little too hard. 5min pace for the first session of a big weekend may have been a little excessive???? Average HR not too bad maybe again a little high given the relative flatness of the course which I ran over.

The morning began at 5.15am with a very nice 45min ocean swim at Mooloolaba beach. This swim basically cover the Tri course up and then back, swimming approximately 3km.

The it was straight onto the bike with a solid 5.5hr ride. This took us up to Boreen Pt, through Pomona and back through Bli Bli to base. This was not a flat course but was quite a challenging course at times. I thought my legs may have struggled throughout the ride, but I was riding strong, the work during the bike build seems to be paying off. Nutrition and hydration went well, I went back to what I knew works for me.

Saturday afternoon it was on the feet again, pounding the pavement.
The legs now were a little fatigued, but I made sure that I had at least a 1hr nana nap before the run. This did freshen them up, along with some help from the skins....a recovery technique, personally, that works.

After the run it was into the pool and then got back into the skins for the rest of the evening. Spent Friday and Saturday night sleeping in the skins.....makes such a difference!

Before this run we were given the task of running 42km between this session and the long run in the morning...which meant we needed to run approximately 27km Sunday morning...very achievable but recovery this evening is key and a good night's sleep.


Up again and in the water at 5.15am for an ocean swim. Again a 3km swim. And felt soooo good in the wet suit and feeling strong and confident about my swimming.

It now faced me....a 2.5hr run...last session of the camp....the question are the legs going to go......the answer......VERY surprisingly WELL.
It was important that we kept it aerobic and slower than the 5min pace we had been running in the last 2 run session....5.30min pace was the goal....and to say that we nailed it was an understatement. It was HOT out there, hydration and nutrition went well, everything cane together. The was the occasional stop to run the tap over our heads to get the core temperature down but we then forged on.
Throughout the run I focused not only on the pace, but cadence and engaging my core.
The course we ran over here was flat and enabled me to get into a steady rhythm.

Weekly Stats:

Swim: 9km (2h30min)
Bike: 225km (8h19m)

Run: 92km (8h22m)

Core & Strength: 1h15min

Maintenance: 0h

TOTAL: 20hr26min

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week 13 - The Week in Review

Life, to me, is a series of false limits and my challenge as an athlete is to explore those limits."—Lance Armstrong
Recovery Week - in more ways then one.
This week was to be a relatively light week, but Tuesday I came down with a Stomach bug and this knock me flat. I slept for a good 20 hours. I had the muscle aches and couldn't keep anything in. It was a good way to drop a bit more weight. This therefore required a number of days to recover from this.
Much of the week was regaining the energy level, specifically to be fueled enough for the 200km IM ride on the Saturday. There was a focused effort on ensuring that there was too much of an intake to increase the weight back to unacceptable levels.
200km IM Ride - 2011
2011 brings the challenge of the 200km IM ride up Mt Mee and then up and along the Blackall Range. A ride many people will shake their heads at but for the serious IM athlete it is an important part of their preparation. If you can conquer this ride then you can achieve most things in Ironman training and racing.
The morning began at 5.00am at Chermside with the pre session preparation. Moving, nutritional and hydration needs into appropriate support vehicles which were going to meet us along the way at particular check points. This is an important aspect of success in this ride...success being defined as finishing the ride upright and relatively well. Fatigue is always going to be an issue with this type of ride, but that's something you have to learn to deal with when it comes to Ironman (in both the training and racing) The art to overcoming fatigue is conditioning your body to deal with it. What better way to teach your body to deal with fatigue but to put your body through such a situation. It is this ride that is falls into this situation.
The day was going to be HOT and humid. The preparation and hydration reflected this with plenty of frozen drink bottles. The nutritional preparation was no different to any other training session.
The first part of the ride was out to Petrie and it was possible here for the group to keep together (about 15-20 of us) Once we headed out to Dayboro we all began to split up and people focused on their own riding and on what was ahead. Having done this ride twice previously it, I knew what was ahead and I wanted to pace myself in this part of the ride. In this section Rich, Kit and myself worked together to reach the turnoff to Mt Mee. It is here we began the ascent to Mt Mee. The important thing here that was the focus what rhythm. I was on the TT bike so it isn't the best for climbing but my rule is any long ride is to be on the TT, whether or not it had BIG hills in it.
Go to the top...feeling this point I had just completed 2hrs of ride time. At this stage it wasn't too hot, however, the cloud was low and there was a hint of some showers around.
The decent down to the daguilar turn off was a little slower as usual as the road was quite wet in and staying on the bike is important. The first aid stop was here and it was a matter of topping up the liquids and moving on with the minimal amount of fuss. What I did here was to put a frozen 600ml bottle water bottle in one of my back pockets for 1, to help keep the core temperature down and 2, to give me some nice cool water to drink throughout the next stage of the ride, I find it refreshing and gives the body a bit of a 'kick'.
It was then out to Woodford, Peachester, Beewah then onto Landsborough where the next aid stop was available. By this stage of the ride there was regular showers and then bursts of sunshine which, as you can imagine, made it very humid. It was now where mentally and physically I knew I had to dig deep...the climb up to Maleny was relentless, but I found some inner strength and positive energy and thoughts to push hard up the climb and be satisfied at my efforts. I think I lost a kilo going up the hill just is sweat loss. Once to the top, it was a matter of allowing the body recover for a couple of Km's and then work through the rather large undulations that are encountered across the top of the blackall range. For good measure the are a couple to 12% gradient climbs. The trip across the top was rather wet and I endured many heavy showers of rain and the occasional wind gusts.
At Montville was the 3rd aid stop, this was in terrencial rain and it followed us all the way down the range from Mapelton. Not the most pleasant decent in the wet with very uneven roads but I survived. Once down into Nambour it was a flat trip home, with the occasional headwind via Bli Bli, Maroochy, Alex and Mooloolaba. The 4th aid stop was outside Alex surf club, this was a very brief stop and there was a real urgency to get to Caloundra. I was on course for a great improvement on last years time.
The ride south from Mooloolaba through Kawana to Caloundra was a dream run...tail wind all the way, but boy, did it start to get hot.
The ride was complete, we made our way into the race precinct for the Caloundra Tri and it was complete.
The Stats:
  • Mentally I was in a better place. The hills were my friends.
  • Was a lot lighter...weight wise.
  • Nutrition strategy worked well
  • Hydration strategy worked well
  • There were a couple of spots where I felt 'flat' but through digging deep and being positive was able to get through these.
  • The back got a little sore climbing up from Landsborough, but it was not something that continued throughout the rest of the ride.
  • This was the first long ride of this nature on the new TT, the setup was good.
  • Completed the ride 45min quicker than last year and was less fatigued.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Week 14 - The Week in Review

"Nothing in life ever just happens. Calculated progression insures your strength."

The end of week 14, end of the bike build! Recovery week ahead then to in to 12 weeks of focused training. Bring it on!

This week has been a good period on the bike. It has allowed a certain focus that has been required for me to bring my bike up to scratch. Back at work this week. It has been a challenge to find that balance in work, training and life.

Another solid core strength session. Still working on the usual routine, however, this week I decided to move to higher resistant band.

This morning was a 3km run TT at squad. Ended up with a time of 11m30s which is the second best time I have done over this distance and only 15s short of my PB of 11m15s.

Pm session was back in the pool...not the best fact just didn't finish.....the voice got the better of me...and honestly I just needed to harden up.

The morning consisted a 4 hr ride on the bike....119km...starting to feel the strength return to the pedals!

Work got the better of me and there had to be a commitment to this and getting prepared for the weeks ahead.

Windtrainer session....its becoming a favourite....did I say that!
But what was a big revelation was the way I was running off the bike.....impressive...strong...but it did pain no gain! The head was back in the game!!!
Another 4hr ride (in fact 4h45m) with 123km......
Great resistance training the wind from Redcliffe back home was so incredibly strong.
Again the legs were building strength again.

Lunch was a massage.

PM was 1hr core with 30min core/run......great stuff...loving this stuff!

110min run through the hills......happy with the effort....just under 19km.

Weekly Stats:

Swim: 2.2km (50min)
Bike: 243km (10h6m)
Run: 25km (3h)
Core & Strength: 2h10min
Maintenance: 1h

TOTAL: 16hr8min

Monthly Stats:

Swim: 33km (11h37min)
Bike: 701km (30h3m)
Run: 130km (11h36m)
Core & Strength: 8h39min
Maintenance: 4h10m

TOTAL: 66hr28min

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Week 17 - The Week in Review

"Triathlon, from the outside looking in you can't understand it, and from the inside looking out you can't explain it."

How true!

Week 17, the end of 3 weeks of hard work, but fulfilling work in the pool.

With a busy Monday morning planned the unusual morning swim didn't happen and the plan was to transfer it to later on in the week. I was really disappointed to miss this swim, and I mean that sincerely.

Monday afternoon back into the core same routine and surprisingly it is slowly getting a little easier. But in the humidity it is hard work.

In the early daylight hours it was off to BTS run session. It was the normal warm up but then......
approx. 25min of fartlek on a not so flat loop course. I am sure that every time I got the recovery it was going up the hill....can't was character building. I felt good this morning the legs were moving well and I was powering through the hard parts of the fartlek. Got a little fatigued to the end but gritted the teeth and carried on, no giving up here. Some feedback from the session was that as I fatigued I began to splay out my feet a little during this time. More work on the core and greater focus on my posture, specifically hip position.

Back in the pool for the evening. A solid 3km session. The body is feeling good in the water.

Solo Brendale/Petrie/Redcliffe/Sandgate Loop.
80k just under 3hrs.
The legs were a little fatigued and did struggle at the end some of the longer gradual hills.

Wednesday PM back into the pool, for a tough upper body 3.3km workout. Great session John! Nothing like a solid pull and paddle set.

Thursday....IT'S Double swim DAY!
The morning set...the usual 100m's with 5 push ups but today it was ramped up to 25 x 100m. Really good session got through the whole session in approx. 50min and there wasn't a lot of fatigue in the arms towards the end of the session.

Evening session was a cool 4km in the pool. I was in early and got 1300m completed before the squad session. This pre workout was pull and paddle and it was feeling good....and it was with tumble turns!!!

You guessed it....back in the pool.
3.5km endurance set.....feeling so good...feeling strong....added an extra 500m for good workout 4km.
PM session back to the core...and again I am enjoying the challenge of this. Same routine. The abs and core are starting to feel it and have been working hard. This is a real focus for this campaign.

The morning was a bit of variety. Down to New Farm park for the BTS Session which composed 40min core and then a 60min aerobic run. Not too sure its was exactly aerobic but its was a great run! Thanks boys! The average pace was around the 4:45min/km covering just over 12km in the 60min. A good negative split of around 30sec. The running is feeling good and I'm feeling strong, however, in saying that I did struggle with the last 2km, but even then I was going at a 4:30min/km pace.

Off for a massage at lunch, worked on a painful spot just behind the left calf and the upper hamstring.

The afternoon session was another 60min run. Got through another 12km at a pace round the 5min/km, felt strong but knew I was a little fatigued from the run in the morning but still achieved a consistent pace. 30m05sec out and 30m10sec back. A solid day of running - 24km.

ah...yes Sunday ride...10 BTS lads set off from Kedron....rode out to Dayboro and back to Petrie.
The legs were feeling the 24km of running from the Saturday but still work as hard as I could up the hills and was satisfied with this part of the ride. It was fairly ordinary conditions on this part of the ride but this was nothing compared to what I was to encounter for the last part of the ride. Once the group got back to Petrie we had only been going for 2hrs and I had a 4hr ride. I continued on out to was from there the conditions became a lot fact crossing the bridge I would say that the conditions were 'cyclonic' a 'very nice' head wind that was gusting at times and with 60mm rims on the bike was a particularly challenge. The rain was coming down...I could only see about 5m in front of me...a great resistance workout! All the way home it was torrential rain, I got home and was so wet...was worse then GCHIM!!
Total time 4h23m and 118km

Weekly Stats:

Swim: 16.8km (5h53m)
Cycle: 198km (7h20m)
Run: 35km (3h07m)
Core: 2h25m
Maintenance: 1hr

Total: 19h45m

Monday, January 3, 2011

Week 18 - The Week in Review

Endurance training is exactly like turning a Styrofoam cup inside out. So long as you take it slowly you'll be able to do it. Try to rush things and - rip - you'll tear the cup. You are the cup. -Gordo

I had to smile this afternoon, I noticed the tan lines returning. It must mean that I must be out there in whatever sun has been about over the last 2 weeks. A good thing but a reminder to put that sunscreen on when I'm out there training.
This week was another focus on swimming. The 'forced' focus has allowed to find the love and appreciation for the pool once again. I have found that I have had real attitude shift towards improving my swimming performance. There is no other way to achieve this but to harden up, endure the hurt and push through the discomfort to achieve my goals. I know that there will be an improvement if the program and session are complete to what has been detailed.
The 5 commandments are being followed to the letter. After week 2 all sessions have been completed to some extent. Given the time a year I am very happy with this achievement.
Session Reflections:
Monday morning was a bit of a sneaky wind trainer session. The weather at the moment is not really conducive for cycling. This was an hour session 20min @ a cadence of 90-95rpm and then 10min @ a cadence of 60rpm. A nice bit of strength work and conditioning of the legs on the bike, something in the bank for the cycle build.
PM Monday core and conditioning session for 45min which consisted of 15 x 50sec (with 10sec rest) exercises using the resistance tubes. The next 15min are working through 5 x 50sec (with 10sec rest) exercises repeating them 3 times = 15min. These include; prone hold, push ups, squat, bicycle crunches, and leg raises. Then for the last 15min I repeat the 1st resistance tube set again.

Went to explore the hills on foot this morning. A solid run 1h6min/12km. Leg held up well fatigued a little toward the end of the run.

It was to the pool in the afternoon for a 3.5km strength set. It looked a Little like this:
  • 3 x 300m pull 10 sec rest btwn 300’s breathing every 4 and changing sides each 50
  • 10 x 25m front scull with pull/25m swim 5 sec res after each 50
  • 200 build into fast last 50
  • 15 x 100m pull/paddles 10 sec rest @ moderate pace
  • 400m pull w/d
A good workout with some strength coming back into the arms and shoulders. With the 15 x 100m kept a good pace of about 1m33sec for each 100m.

Out on the bike for the morning session a solid 2h50m completing about 80k. The ride was with a number of the IM athletes from the squad and at times I found it hard work. There was a number of times, particularly off the end of long gradual hills I was finding it tough. But boys, it did tell me something to get my butt back on the bike more consistently. Thanks for that reminder.

The afternoon session was one back in the pool. This time round it was an endurance set that looked like this:
  • 500m swim/500m pull/500m fins breathing every 3 strokes
  • 5 x 100m swim 10 sec rest@ easy pace
  • 5 x 100m pull 10 sec rest @ moderate pace
  • 5 x 100m fins 10 sec rest @ hard pace
  • 10 x 50m of 25m kick with fins/25m swim 10 rest btwn 50’s
Another 3.5k completed and the swimming isn't really a bad thing. This set is a good one and one that I found that I can develop and work on things like using my legs a little more with the fins. I am finding it is assisting in my kick engaging the legs a little more with my 'normal' swimming.

Thursday was a double swim, plus there was a bit extra.
The 1st swim in the morning was 20 x 100m with 5 push ups and I then also decided to ride into the pool and back.
The pushups are coming along the fatigue in the arms didn't really kick in until about the 19th and 20th 100m. After the 5 pushups it's always so nice the jump back in the pool to allow the cool water to sooth the arms.
The second session was the strength set again from early on in the week. By this stage in the week the arms were fatigued but not beyond getting in a solid session and working through the fatigue and completing the 3.5km without too much hurt. It was this session that I decided to run to and from. Round trip was 12km. The run there was about 2pm and it was a hot and humid afternoon the run home was a little cooler. It was an easy run and was good to do a couple of multiple discipline sessions.

Back in the pool in the morning for a speed set. This was a good session particularly on fatigued arms...a good test of where my swimming was at.
The session went like this:
  • 25m one arm/25m swim/25m one arm 5 sec rest x 12
  • 12 x 25m on 30 sec, with last 12.5m no breathing
  • 8 x 25m on 30 sec every second one hard
  • 6 x 50m 10 sec rest every third 50m is hard, others easy stroke count, 200m pull x 3
  • 6 x 25m on 60 sec with dive start and hard effort
  • 8 x 25m fingertip drag/25m swim
A good 3.5km workout. Arms were feeling fatigued but enjoying the challenge. I was able to keep the 50m on 50sec throughout the 6 x 50m 10 sec rest every third 50m is hard, others easy stroke count, 200m pull x 3.

Friday afternoon was to be a core workout but due to New Years Eve arrangements it didn't happen. I had now planned it for Sunday afternoon.

Nothing in the morning, an opportunity for a sleep in.

In the afternoon it was meeting up with Rich and doing a solid 75min run from Sandgate out to the end of the bridge.

This was a very satisfying run, the goal with many of these types of run in average a pace between 5 and 5m30s pace. This was one run where this was achieved and that I was able to push the pace a little harder on the way home and the legs were still feeling relatively good.

In the morning it was out on the bike with Rich. 3h12min ride, approx. 85km. A solid ride with legs feeling the run the previous afternoon.

Afternoon session was 55min core session. It was the same workout as Monday's session. Then a good 15min stretch session

Weekly Stats:

Swim: 16km (5h25m)

Cycle: 185km (8hr20m)
Run: 38km (3hr29m)
Core: 1hr40min
Maintenance: 0hr15m

Total: 19hr 10min