Monday, December 28, 2009

The End is Near... A New start beckons

I have had a very lazy week leading up to Christmas.I did aride on Tuesday morning with the group .A 20km time trial and pipped the others at the end to win ...but i just had too much of a head start for the real fast riders to catch me.Overtook Michelle and Katy who were sore from the Rockingham race as well and worked with Julianna for one lap before we were joined by Rod and Nat and worked as a group.

Still had the strength for the short rides.It was a good end to riding the Tuesday sessions and closes out the training for me till the new year.I swam on Wednesday morning in the squad and we did a short 1500 session before then ending the session with some mindless games and working in a group in each lane .My group had me to contend with as I am the slowest swimmer in the squad.Will be working to correct that next year.

I then had a break for the next few days although I was dying to go riding on Christmas day but I would have been a dead triathlete had I done that.Don't think the wife would have been too pleased if I was missing on Christmas morning.

I have learnt with some difficulty to try and go slow.It is a mindset in progress at the moment.On Saturday before flying off to Singapore I decided to ride with the North Coast Boxing day ride. It was an easy 1.5 hr ride up the coast and back and there would have been 50-70 riders .A very good turnout for the club.I did not stay for coffee or a swim after the ride as i had to get back to catch the flight. Thankfully I did not have any accidents on the bike.

It was a refreshing ride.Chatted with Dodge and Rod regarding Im training and plans for the future. Unfortunately I will not be part of the group going to China although I would like to be.Work and training to rectify the deficiencies this year will have to be the focus.

I arrived in Singapore on boxing Day and the weather was a comfortable 27 C .Did an hour run the next morning and felt comfortable .It was slow on a run trail /road and the trail was muddy and wet .The humidity was a 100%. Will try to put in a few slow runs whilst in Singapore

The plan is to start thinking of my training regime over the next 5-6 months of next year and have a plan drawn up with the half ironman in May.No long races at least till the 2nd half of 2010 and that will depend on work and benchmarks I believe i will need to set.

I will draw up my wish list of goals .

It was a pleasant surprise with the wonders of technology that this morning as I checked my facebook I got a message from the chat box and a member of the club asking about IM China . (not that I have done it) Having read and spoke to several who did I imparted what I could but given the change of dates the organisers are hopeful IM china in 2010 is not the hot hard slog it has been in the past 2 years.I would love to do IM china but it is for the best I revisit my training regime and plan for a race later but I hope I was helpful to the member of the club .

Being the first IM race for this person , we are always filled with self doubt but in the end it is like any exercise , preparation and execution are critical but the goal is so achievable. I had doubts about the task of doing my first Ironman , fortunately I was surrounded by friends and a coach who thought if you want to do it badly enough you will. Every race I have done , what I fear is the expectations I place on myself that I may not live up too .But better to try then to stay at the sideline wondering what if . For the first race the fear is what if I don't complete it...I will feel so bad and let everyone down.But oddly it is the competitor only who feels that way and it takes a far stronger person to persist through a failed attempt than one who has succeeded at his first go. That is not to say we should aim to fail ...far from it but endurance racing is more than just the sum total of a person training.Everything has to come together like one large jigsaw. But the fun is having a go.I hope I was helpful atleast to that person. Have a go what you gain far outweighs the risk.

I feel so much more a complete person for having tried...although I would like to have done a better time and beaten others in that process .But the victory is all the more sweeter after tasting failure , whatever that may be .

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wishing all Fellow Triathletes and everyone who wanders into my Blog accidentally or otherwise a very Merry Christmas.May all your tridreams come true for 2010 .

What It Takes

The week has been a relaxing week of just getting back to the root of the sport.What make me get up and get out into the cold or hot day . I have just enjoyed the freedom of riding and swimming without a plan. I did 2 spin classes which was great fun although I pushed myself for the hour .I decided not to do a longish Saturday ride and just swam on Wednesday with the group although we did just over 2.4 km and I so enjoyed the wonderful swim on Sunday at the Cott. it was a hot morning and the water was wonderful . I swam 7 laps in front of the tea house and for the last 2 ran down the beach and swam in a sort of mini aquathon.There were lots of stingers in the water and they hurt and did make me go faster every time I got stung .It was then coffee and muffins at the John Street cafe. Very civilised and my life is alot more social without the long hours . but that is what it takes .There is no escaping the simple fact ,to improve in endurance requires patience and dedication.I believe mistake will be made but over the year I have learnt so much more than in the previous year and I feel I have made some advances in understanding "what it takes".

Most of all it is not time but quality in everything I do from now. I will continue to swim and run and bike although I have no race goal for the short term other than competing Ironman WA next year and Ironman NZ for 2011 . But 4 hard races this year with 2 IM distances and no break for a year has taken its toll and my lack of sleeping properly and training non-stop has not helped me improve.

I will acknowledge that in this journey mistakes must be made but not repeated.
Its not about the bike , the run or the swim...its about the collective whole and the person who goes on that journey.I have to be self indulgent , it is that sort of a sport but not at the expense of life outside the sport.Balance is critical and I have so enjoyed the journey , the characters I have met and the wonderful sunrises I have seen .I look back at the year with disappointments in respects to time goals but these are small in comparison to the wonderful friendships and enjoyment the sport brings me and ultimately my own sense of well being .That is what it takes ... perspective

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Post Ironman Blues

Its been a quite week as I brood over results but as always it is difficult following an Ironman race to not feel some discomfort and lack of purpose.All the training be it not ideal and time is now sewned up in the past .I will need a break before looking at the next challenge.But its back to the drawing board as far as trying to improve all 3 legs.this includes refocussing on my technique and I will continue to swim regularly. I do feel I need to improve my leg strength as I definitely did not have the strength to sustain the distance and it wasn't my aerobic capacity .The heat was not a real issue just the difficulty running off the bike when my quads were hurting with every stride.

On reflection , I believe training alone is good but I may have tended to lapse into riding in my comfort zone and not really push myself as hard as I should .Again without the leg strenth and doing specific strength specific workouts I was just doing the miles .I did improve with shorter distances as my half results show. But beyond 100km I tended to be inconsistent and for that my overall result has suffered.

Now is the time to refocus and set goals and more importantly I know I can improve and learn from past errors .Probably has been a year of over training and I will try and be more specific in the goals and more importantly ride with a group to improve on my endurance.

Finally I have listed the links I have attached to my bit of the North Coast Newsletter . If I do race next year besides IMWA it will have to be a race in the 2nd half of the year unfortunately.

After IMWA I thought it would be useful to list all the Ironman distance events around the world (it seems some have caught the bug )

The 3 that vie regularly as the toughest for those wanting a new challenge are:

1 Norseman in Norway ( it is all climbing on the bike and run and a spectacular swim starting with a jump off a ferry in the dark)

2 Ironman Lanzarote

22nd May 2010
19th edition
"Your Ironman charisma is not complete without doing this race"
Paula Newby-Fraser after the 1997 race.
The normal limits don't apply

3 Embruman in France


Ironman Western Australia
By Kate Bevilaqua
The top 11 triathlon training mistakes (part 2)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pictures from IMWA 2009

On the bike along the road heading out of Busselton

Out of the water ....1.23

What a relief....

On the run , head down

Pictures from the website and will load pictures as they are sent to me by others who were on the course.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ironman Busselton 2009...A hot beautiful Day by the beach

It was Hot but not as hot as IM China was from the race reports .Having said that the race is about testing yourself against the distance and any conditions mother nature throws up.

The day started with as usual the difficult night and a little sleep .I had gone to bed early but got up at 3 am and managed a bit more before getting ready and getting to the start line at 5am .(thanks to Norm) as my wife was fast asleep.

I wasn't particularly nervous having done the race twice before and the weather was great .The ocean was pancake flat and the temperature was a balmy 19 degrees.I felt comfortable .There was a rush to get the tires pumped and the wetsuit on before TI closed at 5.45am .I ran into Russel Cook who raced in IM Japan in 08 and we had a brief chat .he did lanzarote and Japan this year and he was doing his 3rd IM.He also had a new bike the Ceepo and there were a few more Ceepos around .

All too soon , I was in the water and warming up .Did not see the pro start off at 6am .We then got into the start area .(it was a beach start ,sort off ).The start wasn't anything spectacular .Iam chatting away and the next thing the horn goes and I let everyone move forward and wait before there is some space and start off, just to avoid the wrestling and windmill arms in the water.I get into a rhythm quickly and try and draft off someone .I stuck to Free willy and fish for a very short while but lost them within 10 mins.I then just tried to keep behind a swimmer and get round in the most direct way.The water was great and I got round the jetty which was being renovated so there were just pylons sticking out of the water , in a reasonable time .At least it felt that way.The only disconcerting aspect about the swim was that I was swimming at about the pace of someone who was breastroking the whole swim leg.She was able to keep up with the swimmers at the turn around.Soon after the turnaround the team swimmers came through.

I exited the water in 1.23 a PB for me by 4 mins from last year.More importantly I was comfortable.I did have a slight cramp getting out of the water.But it did not stop me.I got to T1 and got my gear on in about 5 mins and off on the bike.

My heart rate was in the low 150s and it stayed that way for the bike leg dropping gradually to the high 140s Imanaged a fast first lap in the 3 lap course of 1.49 and then gradually slowed and my last leg would have been over 2 hrs .I managed a 5.59 overall with a long toilet break waiting for someone before I could use the loo.but it was disappointing that I could not maintain the pace .It was getting hot and I was religiously drinking and taking my gels and eating as much as I could .I had bananas at most of the aid stations as well .I definitely ate more than I normally did and that may have helped as I did not have any cramps till I got of the bike to go to the loo and had a slight cramp.Again did not hold me back.By the third lap I was slowing down quite a bit and the winds were quite strong but nothing I wasn't used to .

I got off the bike about 7.30hrs into the race and got on the run course with a quick change of my top and shoes,suncream and a cup of water .My legs were a little sore and about 8km into the run my quads were just burning and I knew it was going to be a day of attrition .I just focused on getting from aid station to aid station.I tried to run through them but that was not happening so i walked the aid stations and ran very slowly between them .My HR was still at 140s and I felt strong accept that every step just hurt so much .It did not feel as bad last year and despite the heat I felt that if I could manage the pain I would be able to run a reasonable time but unfortunately that was not going to happen .Everyone on the course Iam sure had to dig deep .I saw lots of people walking and I refused to walk between aid stations .I did find the line "Pain is temporary , but the memories last forever " line ( which was chalked on the roadway) abit irritating after a while and it sure did not feel that way when you are running a marathon after 6 hrs on the bike.I felt annoyed that I had not done a better time on the bike but that will always be the case for me.

Back to the run , it is amazing the thoughts that flow through and the toughest thing is being positive and getting through .I knew i would finish and I was nowhere as bad as Austria.It was hot but the aid stations had lots of water , Hi5 and coke and ice and I was drinking loads and pouring lots down my top as well.

The first lap was tough but the second lap was tougher .I took two ibuprofen from the aid post in the second leg but it did absolutely nothing.I tried to spray something they had at the aid post on my quads to dull the pain only to find that it was pest repellent.That wasn't going to help me. In the end I just struggled on.despite how slow I was going I did not walk accept at the aid stations .The support was great and there was lots of encouragement.I was aiming for a 12 hr finish but by the second lap that was not going to be possible .In the end I finished in 12.31 .

As I ran towards the finish line I saw my son who had missed my previous 2 finishes at Busselton and everyone at the club who were fantastic support .There was a good crowd around and I ran comfortably to the end with Pete Murray ( I think ) announcing "John ,you are an Ironman" despite the hard day and not quite so good result ,it was all worth while.I strangely did not feel much emotion other than sheer relief I had finished the race.I ran into Russel in the recovery tent and had a chat with him about races so despite the pain I did not go through the usual emotion "never again" .I must becoming immune to pain...NOT.

I am too sentimental and myopic about the sport but every race spurts me on to improve even if I may not quite approach it in a way that leads to significant improvement .It has been a long year and probably not the most ideal way to attack an Ironman race.Having said that I would not want to miss the opportunity to race even though I might have needed the break.I will be having a break reassessing my goals next year and races I would like to do .A new job may slow that down a bit.

The good news is that IMWA will be at Busselton for a further 5 years . I have lots of time to improve.There were lots of people in the club who put in stellar performances I won't mention them by name but despite the conditions a few first timers put really solid races together. At least I have lots to improve upon and I will still be putting my name in for the lottery and continuing to dream the Ironman Dream.

For the record Patrick Vernay and Gina Crawford won IMWA 2009.fastest age grouper was Brad Hoskings in 8.52.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Night Before...

Transition area on the eve of IMWA 2009

Swim Practice This morning at Busselton Jetty was a beautiful day

Carbo Party with Simon Beaumont and Pete Murray on Stage

Well the race is almost here and it is getting exciting.The weather is good and it looks like it will be a hot day tomorrow.Only concern is the nutrition and making sure I get enough carbohydrates in and hydrate well.It was a little hectic today as well .I did a short bike 40 mins and 15 min run .I then met the guys at the Jetty
and swam for 15 mins.

Then I rushed back to the chalet and got changed and back to Busselton for the race briefing .After Lunch and a swim with jonathan at the Mandalay Chalets Pool , I checked my bike and the Bike and Run bags in.Hopefully everything is in the bags.

Then had a walk around the expo which was better than last year .Had a quick coffee in town ... got the wrong coffeshop and so missed coffee with the rest of the group.Idid run into sufian outside the expo .We all wondered what the weather and temperature will be tomorrow.It looks like a hot day.

I think the swim should be fine. Hopefully I get a reasonablle swim time and can maintain my pacing on the ride and run.

Its now just 9 hours before the start and its all in the lap of the Gods...the Trigods.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

To the Start Line

"Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve"
Napoleon Hill

I am heading down to Busselton this morning and not sure I will be able to blog down there .The athletes are all congregating this week and Mitch Anderson and Jason Shortis are down at Busso.

Feeling good and will try to get in a short swim today.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Motivation and Inpiration

It is now 4 days to Ironman WA and Iam feeling relaxed and good and excited.

Its been a very light session today with a 30 min run on the threadmill and a 30 min swim . Ispent most of the evening getting my gear together and reading the IM Cozumelrace reports and enjoyed Joceyln wongs IM florida race report .She did a sub 10 and 6 years earlier had done a 13 hr IM time ...that is truly inspirational.

but it took alot of hard work with Team TBB and a good coach . I have followed the Wongstars blog off and on and she has done 3 Im races in 5 weeks and 6 this year .In cozumel she did a 10.37 .

There was lots of such inpirational stories and I have been feeding off the positve energy from these reports.

I have also read Chukie V 's blog on the science of Tapering.Too many atheletes have a 3 week taper when the question is whether they have anything to taper.Iam glad I have had a pretty reasonable program up to the last week and then a short taper .

It is now about the just putting together the race plan and executing it.The lesson learnt is that there is no shame in trying and putting it all out there on the day .

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The weekend was a very easy one...just a short ride of about 65 km and a swim on sunday at Cottesloe. Rode round the river and shelley with Tony, trevor and John from the UK .(his doing IMWA as well)

Had a brief chat with Ross at the cafe after the ride on my nutrition plan for the race.

Then coffee ( decaf) at Brew Ha in Subiaco.

On Sunday it was the last swim before the race at the Cott.It was a bit choppy and swam for about 45 mins. the off to coffee at John Street where we sat under these 2 galahs who dropped some bark and sap on our table.It was an enjoyable end to the swim and looking forward to the race .

Friday, November 27, 2009


It is not a tradition followed in Australia but I thought it was a good enough reason to reflect on what we have to be thankful for.
There were a few blogs by triathletes and Everymantri that wrote a piece on what they had to be thankful for from a triathletes perspective.

For me it encompasses everything in my life not just the sporting activity I pursue.

I am thankful for:
1 My family and wonderful wife and kids who tolerate my obsession
2 That I have a more balanced perspective to life
3 I am healthy
4 I stumbled into triathlons
5 I have met many wonderful people I otherwise would not have met.
6 I train and enjoy the company of a great group of supporting triathletes.
7 I am in a great Club
8 Great work environment and supportive colleagues .

So much to be thankful.

The week has passed quickly and I it is only 8 days to Ironman Western Australia.
I am feeling better and fresher as the workload has dropped off .it has been a relaxing week and i had a rest day yesterday after swimming on wednesday and doing my run in the evening.

Today I ran easy for 45 mins and swam for half an hour .

With a 2 hour ride tomorrow and a short run , it would have to be one of the easier weeks and then I go into a full taper. I plan to get all my gear sorted out , the bike serviced and write my nutrition plan out this weekend.

hopefully everything goes to plan and Iam hopeful that I will have a good race.

Finally from the blog of the Fat cyclist:
I am thankful for the letter “L.” Without L, it would be impossible to have a wonderful life. Instead, you’d have a wonderfu ife. Which would not only not be wonderful, it would be downright ridiculous.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Craig Alexander Sports performer of the Year 2009

Congrats to Craig Alexander sports performer of the year in Australia at least.
He is the ultimate professional and I enjoyed the short meeting at Total Triathlon before the World Long course Championships in October at Perth.

Again one of the few sports where the elite are so approachable and down to earth regular (accept when it comes to their performance ) guys and gals.

I think endurance sports does teach me alot about life , how you treat others and how you would like to be treated .There is a healthy respect for your fellow athlete and that's why I cannot reconcile some of the horrendous drafting that occurs .It really is not only cheating but a poor reflection of the character of a person despite the significant commitment of time and energy in training and disrespecting fellow competitors who put in so much. It is a sport that is largely self regulating .The marshalls are not everywhere on the course. It is about discipline and standards. There are no shorts cuts in life and there are certainly none in getting to my triathlon goals .

Craig Alexander does reflect some of the better qualities of our sport.

Life Is Good

The week is winding down .I had a very easy run on Monday .On Tuesday the usual bike ride . I had spent Monday evening getting my Zipp 404 wheels on my Specialise bike.
The bike looks good .I got up early 4.45am and got down to the city and rode from my office to Nedlands approximately 10kms . On the way I chased down a peloton of riders , about 25 , and I sat on the back of them crusing at 38kph along stirling hwy and up to Birwood and then did a short spin on the ciruit before the 6am start and met jamie on the way.

Ross wasn't riding today so Lajos sorted out the groups and off we went .I started with Rob , Teneke , Michele , and myself but by the half way point I had followed teneke and we had merged with the other group comprising Juianna , Rod , Jamie and Jason. We then rode with them till I had to stop to get my container cover which I had dropped and I rode the last 10 mins on my own. I had managed to average 36.2kph for the first 40km of the ride which I was pleased about . I felt quite comfortable taking my turn at the front .

As usual coffee at Tiger Tiger was good.My last cup till IMWA for what its worth .

On Wednesday , I swam in the morning doing only 2km ...i was feeling a little sluggish and again was real slow but I am not going to be knocking off 20 mins from my swim. In the evening it was a run with 3 x 2min efforts so it was really easy stuff and anyway there is not much I can do at this point in time.I had a brown dog running along with me for the last km before he went off when he saw another dog in the park. He kept running ahead of me and waiting for me to catch up ...a sort of dog pacer.

The week has been good .It was light and I am feeling better ,Craig Alexander was named Sports performer of the year and well deserved , Ironman Malaysia is on the date they said it was after all that confusion the world is Balanced (my tri world that is.)

From Emma's blog ...I hope she doesn't mind but it is so funny .

And finally a link to chuckie V latest comment in his blog ...The Mystery of Ironman.
If there's one thing that absolutely mystifies me about this whole Ironman "lifestyle" (if you will), it's this eternal impulse to celebrate something we can't wait to finish. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that.

Some things in life are meant to be a mystery especially when the world is in balance.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Funny World Of Triathlon

The training is done and I have been surfing this evening looking at various blogs of triathletes.
What strikes me immediately is
a) Iam not alone , strange or obsessive
b) There are heaps of people who indulge is this passion called Triathlons

I almost feel normal.

It is great to see the enthusiasm , the time and the energy people around the world put in .Clearly it brings great joy and I feel more in touch with humandkind in my sport then ever before.There is an immediate connectivity .I do not feel alone in a strange country or a place when Iam at a trievent.The is common purpose in this madness we love.

I do enjoy reading the blogs and the training everyone is doing not only the pros.
Its amazing what triathleets can blog about as well .I have attached a few interesting links which are great for a laugh.

Finally whilst surfing I came across the tritwins blog and he wrote a great piece about his rivalry with another triathlete who is returning back home after several years in Malaysia.It is heart warming to read about the friendships that come out of the sport but the desire and attitude to challenge oneself each race against another but to not let it get out of hand.

heres my hit list of stuff on triblogs and or links from triblogs:

Do Pro/Ellte Women Have A Sex Drive???

Emma Bishop

jonathan in the distance

20 Questions with . . . Graham Fraser
An excellent interview of Graham fraser and his involvement with Ironman events in North America .

There are lots of blogs that I sort of dip into from time to time but with time at a premium for training , I don't get the opportunity to surf the internet as much.

Having said that it is so much more fun to be experiencing life ...the trilife.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Swimming among the fishes

Sunday Morning was usually a rest day but for the last few weekends I have been swimming at Cottlesloe just to build up some confidence in an ocean swim start as following the black line at the bottom of a swimming pool really does not help prepare for a swim start. It is helpful in so far as maintaining my aerobic fitness.

Well this sunday was no different and in keeping with the wildlife theme for the weekend as we started off from Cottlesloe Beach , Free Willy taps me on the shoulder .I thought I had collided into him accidentally but it turned out he had just seen the biggest fish ever ,a sort of groupa or wrass.I missed it completely.The water was exceedingly calm and great for a swim with absolute clarity .There were large schools of fish around but I miss the big one.

we swam for about 50 mins and then headed for the john Street cafe with Fish and family.It was a really nice Perth day.My swim was reasonably good and managed to keep up with everyone. The amazing thing is despite the whole ocean to swim in I still collided with a swimmer on the way out and on the way back...just not the same swimmer.

The hard training is now done and I just have to get my pacing and the nutrition right.

On Monday 23 Novemeber , I skipped my morning swim and ran on the threadmill for 50 mins at an easy pace which was just over 10kph.It felt good and I did not get my heart rate up . tomorrow is the usual hard ride at nedlands.i spent the evening changing my wheels and will get the bike serviced this week.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Snakes Alive

I know its sad but when you ride week in week out on the same piece of bike path as I have , seeing a big brown snake slither across is the most exciting part of the ride.

Well it finally happened , I got to see a snake after a few false alarms and one dead snake on the SW hwy to Bunbury.It was rather thick and was already half way into the bush at the side of the road by the time I got sight of it .It was probably a brown snake which would have been poisonous and definitely a snake to avoid.

The ride was otherwise uneventful and I had a slow ride into the city before getting onto the freeway bikepath and a 45 km ride down the freeway .There was a reasonable wind and about 1.10 into the ride I was joined by a cyclist heading to Mandurah and we took turns rolling and managed a really steady pace.I stayed at sub threshold throughout and managed a steady 30kph overall with my slow start especially with all the stops at lights.It was just past 9am when I headed home .I managed to ride pass Baldivis and Safety Bay Road.The ride back wasn't too bad and the wind seemed more favourable.I managed to get home just before 11am but the ride back to Mt Henry Bridge I had averaged just over 31.2kph at the 100km mark .

On Friday I ran to the pool and did an hour swim of 2.7km and ran home . did not manage anything in the previous two days largely because I was still sore and had a sore throat.I had worked out that the general fatigue I had this week was largely from the lack of sleep.I was waking up at odd hours and not sleeping enough.But on friday evening I slept well after the 2 hour workout .

With the 120km ride today , that was the last long ride and the taper begins with shorter rides and more relaxed runs. There is a life after training....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Resting Up

After the Monday run and tuesday ride in the morning ,I was not feeling too well...with a sore throat and very tired and aching legs.It was raining this morning so I decided to skip the swimming and running today and just rest.

Tuesday mornings ride was a hard session of 1hr with a hour hour ride to nedlands and back.I got to the start late as i fell as my bike clipped the pavementbut it was at very slow speed and just had a sore knee and fortunately no damage to the bike.

I caught up with a group but soon after had a loose cage and had to stop to get it off.Then turned around to catch the group of 2 cyclist michelle and james and rode with them and Ross taking turns at the front till a cyclist joined us and I started to ride with him as we took off from the others on a slight incline and he rode off eventually and I was left on my own on the return leg of the circuit and caught up with meredith and tried to get them to hang on but to no avail and ended up cycling on my own again. I was slower than last week because I was mainly on my own but did a credible 32kph including the slow ride to the start of the session.i managed a 50k ride all in for the morning.

With the race a few weeks away ,Iam not really taking or pushing myself so this morning I just decided it was better to rest than chance getting sick .Iam listening to my body alot more and I was really very tired .

I will ride and run tomorrow and swim on friday and that will help .One last longish ride of 120km on saturday and then the taper begins.

The Club is gathering momentum to get a cheer squad down to Busselton and putting on a bit of a show especially for members racing but as the biggest club in Western australia , I think its a good showcase to the community and our international visitors it is a great club.It will certainly be welcomed by me on the run course.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Right Balance

I was asked in discussions about my level of training compared to my first programme under a different coach and that the level of hours of training has dropped but its not about the volume more the right balance especially for anyone working.
Here is my reply:

I am averaging about 15 hours with the peak periods at 20 so its not as hard as budgy .But the intensity of the riding and running is greater.Ironguides progs don't have high volume of hours but builds up to 20 hours so you don't feel tired.If you are working long hours and training long with little recovery you will just not perform.
so its not about the hours ,more the build up and being consistent and rest is the key .
ultimately if you want to ride fast you will have to ride hard for short periods and slowly allow the body to adjust to longer periods at the intensity u want to achieve and it can take a long time to build as iam finding out.Why don't you ask chris whether he should put up the training and see what his reasoning is .
Read chuckie V one of my hero coaches:

I am still doing more and not following the programme religiously but I am not beating myself up when i miss sessions and it is usually the right thing.I have just had a hard 4 days with a hard run on friday wheni sh have been doing an easy run , a long166km sat ride and run and a sunday swim when it was suppose to be a rest day .But i skip my swim on monday and just do my run.So by this morning I am tired and struggle out of bed to ride .
hope that helps
Iam only slowly learning how important rest and recovery is .I keep wanting to chase that rabbit down...

Iam still learning but improving.It may not be the optimum way of getting to my optimum level of fitness or race goal but when you set off on this journey it is partly the trip and the twist and turns we all take including coping with many external pressures and unforseen circumstances such as injuries or illness which may throw us off for a while but may often be a blessing.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Taper begins or does it

VIDEO: 13.11.09 Nine News Narrows 50th

Rode over the Narrows bridge on my way to a 166km ride on the day the Bridge turned 50

It is now 3 weeks to Busselton and the easy week last week was a lifesaver The body is feeling less fatigued and definitely fresher.The week wasn't going to be much less than my harder weeks accept for the long ride. Monday began with a long run ...2 hours with 1 at a medium pace .i ran round the river again and across the river at Burswood and back to the esplanade and to the swan brwery and back. It was a reasonably warm evening at 5pm but soon got cool after 6 and dark by quater to seven . I decided to run in the vening and did not make my swim session.

Tuesday morning was the usual ride at Claremont and as it has been really light at 5am onwards there were lots of cyclist out.The squad was practising transitions after several in the group had raced bunbury on the weekend with very good results .A few won their age groups. We now have over 10 riding on Tuesday. Whilst everyone went off to practice transitions in the Park , Rod and Julianna had an easy ride.Meredith rode with them and that left Rob P and me.Rob whilst overweight and starting back in preparation for IM NZ is still a fast rider.Eventually Ben who was late joined us and tried to keep up but would drop off and join us on the return leg of the circuit.

I rode hard and kept up with Rob taking my turn in the front .I managed to climb better but Rob was definitely stronger on the flats.Did an average of 34.2 kph with my slow ride out to Claremont .But was a harder ride with just 2 riders taking turns out front compared to the usual group.

I felt good considering my run the night before.Wednesday I did a swim in the morning .I did a 2.7-2.8km swim as I started a little earlier .In the evening , I did my interval running with 5 x 4min efforts. Thursday was supposed to be a ride but as it was a little wet I decided not to ride , having a rest day.Friday I did a straight 1 hour swim and did 2.7km with lots of crowding in the pool.In the eveening it was the annual Max grieve run ,a North Coast Tri Club event to honour one of the founding members who pased away from cancer 10 years ago .The event has been run for 10 years and is a 5km and 10 km run .I managed a 44m40 sec run and felt good with a new PB for the 10km .Legs were a little tired after the race.Brad hoskings and loretta Wesley , a double World championin the OD and long Course race this year , won the 10km race .Brad and a non Club memeber dead heated but only club members can win .I did get their finisd time but Brad would have done a 35 min run.

Saturday morning i was a litlte sore but rode down to the Narrows bridge to join john dominican and his group training for Busselton.Set off at 6am with a tailwind down the freeway .I did 2.5 hours from home which turned out to be 83km at an average of 32.8kph.I turned around before the rest and the ride back was tougher .By the time I got back to the Narrows i had done 153km averaging 30.8kph.then just did an easy ride home for 166km .Managed 3.5 bidons as it wan't too warm .had 3 gels , half a power bar and half a protein bar and 10 dates and gatorade .a total of 240gms of Carbohydrates.not quite enough so i will need to make sure I have another 100gms .
But did not feel lethargic.I ran off the bike for 15 mins had a rest in the arvo and then ran for 45 mins in the aftrenoon .

I was dead tired in the evening and had a really good nights rest .The kind where all you remember is going to bed and waking up the next morning.I had to get up early as I had to get to Tony's place at 6.45am to get to cottlesloe at 7am .We eventually got started at about 7.35am with Trevor trying his new wetsuit.the conditions were great with little swell but the waves were crashing on the beach.The water was otherwise good and felt a little warm . Trevor and Tony took off and I lagged about 100 meters behind.We swam approximatly 1.5km or a little more before turning back , a total of 3km in just over an hour. iwas feeling tired but otherwise good and it would be about the pace I would swim as my heart rate remained low.

It was overall a good training week .

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ironman florida the drafting peloton

This is a hoot. footage of drafting in an ironman race.
well Busselton will be flat and with 1500 over cyclist there are going to be packs about.I don't have the dilema cause by the time Iam out of T2 everyone is on the bike course. I just have to focus on my pacing and not blowing up overtaking constantly.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A really Easy Week

Cottlesloe Beach

Free Willy and The Fish having coffee at John Street after the swim

The weekend was a nice leisurely weekend made up of an easy 3hr ride ...not quite 3 hrs and a swim on Sunday at Cottlesloe beach. I think I needed the break as many headed down for the first race of the West Australia triathlon season for the Bunbury triathlon. A race I have not missed since I took up triathlons .It was my first Olympic Distance Race in 2006. The whole family came down with me and then promptly slept through the race. By the time I finished they had got up ,had breakfast and showed up. well it was fun.

The Saturday ride started relatively early and I headed down Reid hwy and West Coast for Freemantle .I jumped on the back of a few cyclist but decided to chase a few more and finally at Point Walter one of the cyclist in the group commented on my IM Austria cycling top. Told him I had done it in July and there were a few hills and not enough in Perth to ride up.I then found Nat and Jason riding leisurely round point Walter and tagged on ( they were racing Bunbury the next day and did top ten finish),riding back to Perth where we had coffee at Tiger Lilys .We got there before the massive influx of roadies. I then took the long way home round Bayswater and Embleton.

Sunday was a nice day at the beach swimming at 7.30am at Cottlesloe, one of the premier beaches in Perth.The weather was good but the sea was lumpy , there was a fair bit of seaweed about and the stingers were out. I was swimming with the Fish and Free Willy . We set off along the coast pass the Blue Duck Cafe and it would be about 1.25km and then back .I was zig-zagging abit but otherwise it was a reasonable swimming effort for me in 47 mins.Fish swam between the groin and the sea wall as he had a sore shoulder . We then headed for coffee. I have become a caffeine junkie since I started doing triathlons. the atmosphere at the cafe on John street just off the main road facing the beach was great with good coffee and a discussion of my favourite topic ...tris. It just rounded of the easy week and made missing bunbury bearable.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Becoming an efficient swimmer

So What Do You Want To Be…
A Fast Swimmer or a Fast Triathlete?

Simply being a fast swimmer will not make you a faster triathlete

Hazen Kent - Tri-Newbies Online

How to Use Swimming Drills to Improve Your Swim
How to implement swim drills into your current training
plan and workouts

It has been a great week as I have been relatively stress free and feel more relaxed not tense or anxious or just tired.

The body has recovered from the chest infection ( or nearly).I had a good hour run with 6 x 1min efforts on the thread mill.I ran at 11-12kph and then put it up to 14-15kph for a min each time .It was good .Did not feel tired given that I had not been doing a morning and evening session.

I swam again on Friday and we did several drills.It shows up that I am just still not an efficient swimmer .Ross stated that if I just focused on the drills and concentrated on my stroke I will get faster.Well it has only taken me 1.5 years to work that out.

The other interesting point is the subject of the article above. Trying to swim efficiently allows me to keep my heart rate lower and come out of the swim with my heart rate low enough that I will not be cycling above thres hold and possibly bonking down the track.

It is all simple in theory.But putting it into practice is the issue.In retrospect my swim times have improved and I feel more comfortable in the water.Now to just get faster ....

Finally for those who wonder into this blog Craig Alexander win the Australian Sports Performance of the Year Award
(but you have to be a resident of Australia to vote)
sorry to the many visitors to this blog from around the world including someone from Iran ...Iam intrigued now ,do they have triathlons in Iran???

Help Crowie (Craig Alexander) Win!
Craig Alexander nominated for Australian Sports Performance of the Year Award

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I have got my training programme for the last 5 weeks of training before the West Australian Ironman Race in Busselton.

I have the usual short note from Ross and the weekly programme .I have an easy week this week and I need it.
I have been coughing up the mucus and Iam glad the end is in sight.
Here is Ross's note:


Lets do the last 6 weeks right and have great day out there.

Get salts up and keep nutrition on target for entire day, be vigilant.

I expect a PB whether in time or position, I know Austria was not good for you but I also know you are heaps better than that so start being that better athlete the squad knows you are. Yes John the squad sees what you have achieved and know how much you have improved so repay them with a good result.

Keep up the diet

See you out there and enjoy the easy week


The week began well enough .I had to skip the swim session on monday morning as my son had a sleepless nite and as such I did as well. As I had a North Coast Committee meeting in the evening I ran after work for 1.20 easy and managed a reasonable pace .I met barry who swims at Bayswater pool riding round the river and had a brief chat with him .Mentioned all the tough spots I have had these past few months and I think I will need a long break after Busso.He reminded me that I had said that last year .
how true. After Busso I will probably have a break but get back to another race next year . After all I am thinking of IM China afterall.

The run went well and it was a fairly nice warm day. Monday is always a rush .With the meeting ending at 9pm I rush home and get myself ready for the next morning before I can relax.

Tuesday morning starts really early at 4.45am and I get down to the office and park my car and ride out to Nedlands about 8-9 km from my office and meet up with the rest of the training squad and Ross at 6am.We then start an hour of hard riding , doing laps.We end up doing about 35km in the hour. I rode with Julianna , Rob , Jamie , Tenike and Michelle later . It was an easy week but I said I would try and stay with them for as long as I could. Rob set the pace and it was reasonable in the first lap but i struggled in the second lap as I was coughing and spluttering through the ride so I could not take my turn in the front as often. I was much better in the third lap and hung in there till the end .I had managed to average 35.5kph .My fastest average for the whole year on a Tuesday morning ride. the tuesday ride is easily the best few hours of training for me .

The best part is always riding back into the City and to Tiger Lilys for coffee.You do not appreciate the simple pleasures of life until you have such a start to the morning .It is also the great company talking about what I enjoy ...cycling and triathlons.

Wednesday 4 November .I got up early 4.50am and got to the pool at about 5.30am and actually started swimming early .I did a 500m warmup with a PB and then 50free , 50 breast ,50 back, 50 free , 100free x 2 =900m
the we all did a 1000m time trial and I managed a 21.50 which was good for me . I then did an easy 600 and a further 300 free .A total 2.8km swim .
I was supposed to run in the evening but work got in the way so I will do my run tomorrow .Old habits are hard to break eventhough its another rest day . the week is looking good as I am feeling better .

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

more pictures from World Long Course Championships in Perth 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I thought it was worth while putting up the short clip with Robin Williams in dead poets society from Chuckie V's blog which I follow and for the fact Robin is a triathlete.

Now is as Good a Time as Any
Now is that time of year when triathletes tend to start looking ahead to next year. Though this is not entirely a bad thing, I personally feel that it's too soon for it, but who cares what I think, right? I'm not even sure I care what I think!

(The reason I think it's too soon for it is because when we look ahead all the time we tend to forget the here and now. Life isn't made up of a bunch of tomorrows; it is made up of the here now…this gift we call the present. And anyway, the future will soon be a thing of the past, so we must embrace the gift of today.)

Five weeks to Busso

After the Long Course World Championships last Sunday , I felt really tired but other wise pretty good despite the bad hay fever.I think the volume of Telfast and Claratyne was kicking in with a vengeance .I had a slight fever and was a bit delirious in the evening , mumbling myself to sleep about the world champs.

I had a bit of a cough and chest infection and eventually saw the doctor on Tuesday and got lots of antibiotics which had an immediate effect .I wasn't able to train for 4 days and went back to swimming on Friday morning and did a run along the coast on Friday evening was pretty windy and cold.

Spoke to Ross re the bad swim and the funniest comment was there was nothing wrong with my stroke per say but I was just slow. DOH as homer Simpson would say ! I will need to improve my swim which was the intention this year and there has been an improvement with my Busso half swim time but overall I will have to knuckle down to a more systemic system of improving my swim times and possibly some gym work and long ocean swims.

I do need to work out next years plans for the major races I intend to do and have a long break to improve my swim.

On Saturday I did a long ride .Left at about 5.30am and thankfully it is nice and bright .The winds wasn't too bad in the morning but after fremantle it was beginning to get stronger .I made reasonably good time to Mt Henry but with traffic stops and the rolling hills I was still averaging under 30kph. I was also trying a new Carbo source , condensed milk . After Mt Henry down the Freeway bike path it was hard going and after Baldivis the wind was gusting and at some points I was pedaling at 20kph.

At the 105km mark I turned around glad of being out of the headwind.It was about 15km short of the end .The legs were really feeling smashed but after a quick few minutes off the bike and a banana , gel and a powerbar I was feeling better.The return ride was lots better and managed to get up to 50kph but mainly at mid 30s to 40 kph .The wind did turn from time to time as the bike track meandered.I tried to keep up with some stronger riders but didn't last .one of the riders jokingly said he was hoping I would drag them along but they disappeared strongly at over 45kph.I passed a guy riding with a water bladder strapped on his back but he passed me twice , once after a pee break and at the narrows when he mumbled as I passed him not you again.The last 10km I rode with a group to Mt Henry before heading to the narrows and then home .Got home at noon averaging just under 29kph .Ran off the bike for 15 mins.

Last long ride of 180 km for the year. No cramping issues and the weather was good bar the wind.It was like a 6 hour wind trainer session . My legs felt really like jelly .I tried to do 5 x 20 km stints on aero at threshold but I think I wasn't able to get my heart rate up to threshold that often. The nose was still a problem with the hay fever.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Part of the members of North Coast Tri Club participating at the World Long Course Championship

World Long Course Race Report

What Can I say .It was a great race but very mixed feelings regarding the results.I finished in 5hrs 58 mins and 56th in my age group of 59 .
I think the results just show how poor a swimmer I am particularly when there is some chop in the water .The river was fine but the winds were strong and they were blowinghard onthe river and causing some swell headon.It was a great experience being part of the World Championships and I enjoyed the race just not the result.

I had a tough week not so much on training but noticably after Saturdays ride my output on Tuesday was surprisingly not up to par and a week of itchy eyes and sneezing and hayfever was not the ideal.The day before the race was particularly bad after a practice swim in the river . having said that I felt alot better on Sunday morning and woke early and made my way down to Transition very early .Got ready very early and it was a good chance to practise my nutrition on the bike even though it was a shorter ride.

The swim started at 8am after the sprint race for the Triathletes in Perth.There was a lot of support and lots of people I knew were volunteering on the course. My wave went off at approximately 8.25 .It was the usual mad dash I stayed at the back and managed to keep up for a 100 meters before the lead group stretched off and I was left with a few stragglers who then slowly got further away .I swam alone for the most part and think I was reasonably good at sighting. Had a few coughing episodes with the amout of river water I swallowed and for the swim out to the turnaround ,1.8km evertime I turned and moved my arm forward , my head smashed into the next wave and that continued constantly .I just could not avoid the headon wave / chop and it certainly impeded my progress .I came out of the water in 1.18 and with a wetsuit I thought I was capable of a 1.05 or maybe that was just wishful thinking.

Once out of the water my transition wasn't great but reasonably fast about 3 or 4 mins and it was just running to my bike and getting my wetsuit off, putting on my shoes and off I went.

The cycle leg was hard with the wind whipping around and it was 4 laps of 20 km partly on the freeway .I had a very bad ride averaging 30kph when I was and should have been going harder and faster.It was mentally a struggle and I knew I was going to be slow.I couldn't give a single reason other than I just could not find any strength in my legs .It may have been the hard swim or just that the hayfever and training week took alot out of me. I was getting passed alot as though I was standing still .It was only in the last lap that I began to pass cyclist and most of the athletes were on the run course.

My T2 was pretty quick .Just got my shoes on and off I went.The run was good and it was 4 laps of 5km .I did the first lap in just over 26mins and the rest consistently in 29 plus mins .My last 3 laps were just 30 secs apart in pace so I was very pleased with the consistentcy rather than the time of 1.55 .It was hot out on the course and I did not have any cramping issues which was good. I took a total of 5 gels and about 100gms of gatorade( for the run and cycle) and coke and sports drink on the run so i think I had the nutrition about right .I did get the consistentcy wrong as squirting the concentrate and mixing it with water was always not a perfect system .I had a bit of stomach pain but nothing terribly debilitating.

I finished strongly but was glad it was over. I did have a really sore throat and probably a bit of an infection in the chest and throat as it really was hard swallowing in the evening.

Overall it was always a training brick session and I am glad I did it but wished I had put on a stronger swim and bike time .I do feel I am overdone as far as training goes and I think I just need to slowdown before Busselton or I will not do too well .
As for swimmimg there aren't any short term solutions. On the positives , there was alot of support on the course and I thanked the volunteers on my last round they did a great job in hot conditions. I passed lots of runners and felt good throughout the run. Despite the slowbike time I kept to threshold of between 140 -155 bpm.

I got alot of support from the crowd who mainly thought I was a kiwi athlete because of my black trisuit and I was announced as a Swiss triathlete by Simon Beaumont at the finish line.Apologies to the Swiss Team. Most importantly despite the poor swim time I survived and wasn't last in my age group. Congratulations to Lyold Ngoh who had cramps on the run but had a good swim 1.04 and finished 3 mins ahead of me . The other Singapore competitor did a credible 5.43 but never got to meet her (Jacklyn Lim) .

I will try to get some pics posted soon .

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Learning To Cope

It has been a reasonable week training wise .I only had two swim sessions not that it was going to make my swimming any faster.It just has been a busy week and I have had a few long days so i have had to skip a few training sessions to maintain some sanity but I don't get too worked up about it.I have made some interesting discoveries about my bodies physiology during the training week.

The Monday run was tiring but I seem to be travelling OK.Tuesday was a hard ride and pleased that I managed to average in access of 32 kph (this included the slow ride out to Nedlands) so I was averaging more during the solid 1.5 hr block.There has been a definite improvement.

Wednesdays swim was a miss and I slept in and ran in the evening another 1.5 hr session round the river .I did a 10min x 2 at threshold session with 10 min recovery .Still got passed by the runners from the WAMC (marathon club) I suspect as some were wearing T-shirts that said sub 3.30 runners.It was a really boring session as there weren't many people running.

Thursday turned out to be a fizz er as I worked late and didn't get a chance to ride in the morning.I did do a brick session on Friday with a run to the swimming pool and then a swim session and a run back .Felt very comfortable despite not having eaten anything for two hours. The swim session was about 2.2km with 26 x 50 m swims .

I went to bed early as I was planning on riding at 5am .Got out the door before 5am and rode to the Narrows bridge where I waited for john and Meredith and then we started down the freeway.Managed a good speed at times in excess of 40kph and at one stretch for the first time I got up to 50kph.I did the 87km with traffic lights and all the stops in over 32kph .I was feeling quite good. It was pretty warm by the time we got to the end of the freeway which would have been about 8.15am. I was running out of water having carried only 2 bidons . We now had to ride back the 72.5km to the narrows. It started well and I had already done 2 sessions of 20 km at threshold but even when I was sitting behing john my heart rate was at 140 plus.

John started to lag behing and I did a few sessions up front and meredith did a session of 10 mins and then slowed down for john and that was the last I saw of them although I was now in serious trouble my work rate was slowing , the temperature was rising and I had drunk all my water .That also made any eating a problem and so my energy levels was dropping . It was about an hour and half and it was an absolute struggle . I passed a rider who had followed us down to the end but started off first as we waited for meredith .I caught up with her during this period but she soon passed me and I just kept eyeing her drink bottles. It was that warm.

I eventually got to cockburn station not before being passed by 2 other cyclist and warned by on coming cyclist of a snake on the bike path.When I got to the station I had at least a bidon of water and then filled my two bi dons .I then felt better . I was finding it difficult to eat anything having only taken 2 gels.(silly me).

I had enough bars on me but I just couldn't hold anything down and I began to get a few twitches but fortunately no cramps.

I realised like in Austria I had become quite dehydrated and that had a direct effect on my ability to hold down food. At the narrows I had a banana and 2 bidons of water and slowly got home .Did not meet up with john or meredith .I was pretty wasted .My average had dropped to under 30kph by the time I got to the narrows and with all the traffic and lights home , it was under 29kph .I did manage to run my 15 mins easy off the bike and felt reasonable but dead tired and quite burnt .

As the ride wasn't quite 75 km from the narrows to Pinjarra , I had only completed 174 km . I plan to do another long ride after the worlds and hopefully with more fluids and gels I will be able to get a good handle on trying to avoid dehydrating and keeping up with the nutrition levels.

The rest of the day was tiring and I took JJ to the baywater pool which meant being on my feet for the next hour so i didn't do an easy run in the evening.I was also suffering from a very high pollen count and my nose and eyes were just so sore.

Sunday was just a complete rest day .I plan to continue with the training right up to friday and have a rest day on saturday and then it is the Worlds at Perth.

Monday, October 12, 2009

World Chapionship in Hawaii

A very quick note after the greatest Race in the world ...atleast for a triathlete.
There is so much to learn from the sport it is mind boggling .
Afew notable comments in the wash up of another race and another year.

1 All the training for 1800 plus triathletes comes down to one day and so many factors .My friend rick had an amazing race but with the heat and the rough swim ...they are all new experiences despite being an experienced triathlete . What and how you react makes the person on that day as does life .

2 rebekah Keat get disqualified.It is believed she got two offical warnings for drafting . Luck plays its part and s*** happens. deal with it and move on as Iam sure she will.She is down to race the worlds long course in perth in 2 weeks as is Craig Alexander.

3 Chrissie and Craig winning the championship twice in a row. It comes down to talent and application both physical and mental.Being so well versed in the exercise of the plan but being able to adapt to the conditions
Craig Alexander at the press conference:

I certainly feel an obligation to the people in my family. You want to race well to give something back. I try to draw on that. I think this race is mental. You draw on what you can. You need to take inspiration from what you can. For me it's my family, my wife. All the things she does to support us and my career. If they didn't travel with me, I wouldn't come.

Worked a little bit with Chris Carmichael, one of the coaches who works with Chris Carmichael. I definitely outsourced – the second you think you know everything is when you get in trouble. I talked a lot with Dave (Scott) and Greg Welch.

4 Why do 1800 people spend so much time and energy to get to a race the rest of the world hardly notices.For me it is a raw desire to strive to push myself physically and mentally .To challenge that boundary . I am sure it is the case for all those who yearn for their chance to race in Kona.I realised looking at a few blogs over the last few days Iam not alone in the feelings i have expressed on my blog .lots of triathletes have been wishing they were over in kona.

I congratulate those who have lived their dream .It has inspired me for another year .

Now on to the training block and then the worlds . Just have to make sure that TAS has got me entered as I am still not on the start list .

Sunday, October 11, 2009

World Championships in Kona

It was an easy week this week and I did alot of swimming and less running and riding.The saturday ride was an easy 3 hr ride and it was a little slow.Ended up doing approximately 80 km and felt good .Did crank it up a little at times but overal was an average 29kph.

I did not manage to watch the start of the championships as I fell asleep . But got up this morning to the pros hitting the run leg and Chrissie and Lieto ahead.But I had picked craig alexander and as expected his blisterring run got him a 2nd title .Lieto wasn't on anyones radar although I read on Xtri he had done a lot of training with Ryan Hall in CA this year.

The conditions were tough. Rick Twine did a respectable 11plus IM race .Well done Rick.Did not see him finish on the live link as it was loading so slow and I went for a swim this morning .

The sea was a little rough so we all went to the boat harbour and swam laps .It was slow going but managed to try the trisuit for the worlds which arrived this week from Singapore.Looks and feels good and importantly fits.Two hard weeks begin and I will not be tapering for the worlds will just be a long brick session on the road to busselton.

The New World Champions

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The audacity of Hope

Besides work , sleeping , family and training lots of training , I have been reading Baraks Obama's book the Audacity of Hope. It is a telling insight into the President of United States perspective of politics in the US , the Democrats , the Republicans and his ideas , how to change the politics and civic life in the USA and the consequences if the United States doesn't change.

I like the title and I have just begun reading the book so I will not be providing a synopsis. What does shine through in the first chapter is the vitality and values Obama seems to have been imbued with by his mother and grandparents who cared for him.Hence I presume the title .

This week leading to Kona , I have been getting updates by Rick Twine who will be racing .I am torn between the excitement of Kona and the sadness at not being there.But it continues to be a dream and hence one must have the audacity to Hope .
How much sweeter the experience of kona for the many who are there after years of endeavouring to qualify.

I have been watching the you tube clips of Macca ridng the Queen K at 50kph and the buff triathletes on Dig me beach .

This has been an easy week for me so I have been able to fit in the more normal aspects of life .Monday was a swim and easy run for 1.15 which was in the evening along the river.The wind was as strong as ever. Swimming was fine , managing approximately 2.4km but as always I have a long way to go with my swimming.

Tuesdays ride was fun as I rode easy with Meredith and only pushed a little harder towards the end and we were not that far off from the middle pack. We welcome a new member into tuesdays ride a world triathlon sprint champion no less.Its the coffee after the ride that makes it all worth while.The tough stuff starts next week as I ride alone at 5.30am for a 1.5 hr hard session.

Wednesday swim was harder with a 600 m warm up and then 5 x400m set with each set 10 secs less.I swam with a Pullbuoy for the last set.Did a 2.6k session. The evening run was fine with only 6 x 1min sets at threshold and the rest easy. On the way back I was overtaken by a girl and managed to stay with her till I got back .saw kim Vivian on the foreshore.

What all this training achieves is i believe a slow and steady improvement.Iam sticking to the plan and not doing more or less.I do know that I have to take a long term approach.i enjoy reading Cuckie V , Gordos and Alan Couzens blogs.
I have attacehd a small part of Alans piece :What it Takes on his blog

So, what does it take?

• Persistence (irrespective of bad races)
• A lifestyle that supports 6-8 years of ‘serious’ training. What is serious training? 18-24hrs/week of aerobic training (3hrs/day, 10 sessions a week, 48 weeks a year).
• A deep love of the process

That means that, to achieve ‘your best’ in triathlon, for almost a decade, you need to be willing to put other aspects of your life in maintenance mode. It is difficult to climb the corporate ladder and the AG ranks at the same time. That doesn’t mean you need to ‘drop everything’, it just means you need the type of job (and the assertiveness) that enables you to block out time for a morning and evening training session most days for the next 6-8 yrs (see Gordo’s latest blog for more on this).
It also means, as an athlete with nothing better than an 11-13hr IM to your name, you need to have the courage or the naivety to ‘back yourself’.

This is a common decision among the majority of the guys (top age-groupers and pros) that I know who have ‘made it’. My buddy, pro triathlete, Justin Daerr comes to mind. At our last camp he recounted how, as a 12hr IM guy he planned his college class schedule around the needs of his 20+ hr training week not because of his pro ambitions, or an impending Kona goal but simply because “he enjoyed riding his bike

So there is hope of improvement .Slow and steady but possible.

Safe training

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What It Takes

At the Royal Show on the Ferris Wheel

It has been a great training week with me missing one swim session and Thursday mornings cycle but these days I don't sweat the missed sessions so much and there is more to life than counting every session religiously.

The week began with a holiday in Perth so I had my run (map posted below) Slow and steady and comfortable .Tuesday was the usual hard ride and rode with Ross and the rest (without the fast guys like Lajos ) I managed to keep up and take my turn in the front till the end but after 3 laps or 30km I lost touch in the last 5 mins of the ride .We averaged over 34kph so by far my best result for a Tuesday ride . Wednesday was swimming and did approximately 2.4km and then in the evening did a 1.15 hr run with 6 x 5 min at threshold and that was hard .Thursday I took JJ to the Royal Show so I really just did nothing and was quite tired .Friday , I skipped the swim and ran at lunch time for an hour and managed to run round to South Perth and back through the Narrows bridge in just over 54 mins .It was a windy day .

My sat started a little late with a 6.45am start and I headed to Fremantle via West Coast Hwy and averaged 30.9kph till Applecross .It was undulating but otherwise good .Raced a few riders along the way which wasn't so smart as my heart rate did hit 150s a few times especially climbing the hills in Bicton and Point Walter .

Had a brief stop at Applecross as I ran into Tim and Pixie riding round the river.I then headed to Mt Henry and then down the freeway .I tried to keep it steady doing 20km at threshold x 3 and my heart rate was steady at 144-150 but the heartrate would drift down as the mind wandered. After each session I wasn't able to relax as I was still pushing hard and so the 3 sessions merged into one large session in the end . This was especially after I passed baldivis and turned around 89km from my start ,the wind was hard on the way down.On the way back it wasn't too bad but the wind did hit me head on on occasion .I managed to keep good time and was averaging just above 30.4 kph by Mt Henry . The ride back home was slower with the traffic and the stops and starts along the way.Got back happy with he ride and ran easy for 20 mins.It was a nice day after all the rain we had .So 2 great Saturday rides in a row.The run in the arvo was more a walk and run as JJ decided he wanted to go to the park so I jogged beside him but he had to have breaks on the way so turned out to be a walk and sprint session in parts.But my legs were feeling alittle tired and Iam not sure if the sprinting bits did me any good. Atleast he was happy and after the hour long bike ride he did fall asleep earlier than normal that evening.

Sunday was a rest day but I swam with the rest of the members at North Coast that turn up for the Sunday morning swim .It was a nice morning ,and not too cold.I was a little stiff and slow but after having to change the hood I was wearing for the swim I was way behind the rest who had taken off.There were a few stingers but otherwise pretty good conditions.It was a little swelly but fine. If there was one wish it would be to be a better swimmer.

I saw Paul Newsome on the Sat ride down the freeway and I may just have to go for the video analysis.Speaking to N today at the breakfast about kona and how hard it is to qualify reinforced the view that dreams don't come easy and it will probably get harder but it doesn't stop us from dreaming.

It reinforces the fact that it tales alot of hard work and time .There is the piece from Alan Couzens blog about just how much training for an endurance athlete to achieve the times they need :

Alan Couzens says in his blog:
So, I decided to write this piece as a bit of a ‘reality check’ for those athletes who do aspire to reach their full performance potential in the sport of triathlon. This is in no way suggesting that reaching the front of the pack or the top of your age group is the only worthwhile goal. As Molina says, “take a look around, the fountain of youth doesn’t come easy”. Staying in fantastic shape and having fun are worthy goals.

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination and hard work”
- Colin Powell.

It can be discouraging or inspiring . It depends how you see it .Putting aside natural ability which I have none , it is possible with time to make some improvement .Whilst some consider me a little obsessive , I have everything in perspective . The primary purpose is to participate and it is a lifestyle choice with the emphasis on Life .The Kona dream is possibly the icing on the cake , if it happens .It is a moment in life it doesn't make or measure the person. As defined in the sport is about Endurance.To last the race , to make it to the end be there at the end. Similarly with life , will you make it to the end , achieving your full potential.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My run on Monday

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A nice day for a bike Ride...the long ride day

Saturday 26 September 2009 ...the long ride day

My training week always concludes with a long ride on saturday.Today was no different.I had to ride 150km on aero and at threshold. It was also the AFL grandfinal between St Kilda and Geelong. For the record geelong won .

I got up late for my ride so I started off at 6.30am and rode down to the city then onto the narrows and Mt Henry Bridge.It was a very nice day .It wasn't too cold. From Mt Henry Bridge I then went down the freeway .Met up with john Hawkins and Meredith who was doing a 150km ride from Joondalup. I rode with them for a km or two then went on my merry way.There was a cross wind but I was doing a pretty good speed between 32 and 39 kph but my heartrate was staying fairly low between 130-139.

I went 54 km down the freeway cycle path before turning back at the 76 km mark.At that point my average speed was 30.9kph. The return trip was hard ...the winds were headon . I was averaging 25kph at some stages and about 20 km from Mt Henry ,a group of 4 riders passed me and i jumped on the back of their wheels and hung in there but I did try to keep the regulation 7 meters some of the time. they were flying and i got up to 40kph at some stages.just prior to that my legs were feeling very heavy but once I got on the back of them it wasn't too bad and I felt much stronger.As in previous week I had very little nutrition.Two bottles of water , 12 dates , a bar and banana >I got by in the 5 hour ride on about 35 g of carbohydrates per hour .

In the end I managed to get back in 5.10 averaging 29.4kph .that was with all the lights in the city and traffic back home.Then it was a 10 min easy run.In the arvo i did a further easy run for 45 Min's.

The rest of the week I managed all the sessions bar my interval run on Wednesday. I did my swim sessions on Monday , Wednesdays and Friday in the evening.The Friday session was particularly strong ,I did a 2.7km session with 8 x 200 m at firm ,medium and fast pace.i did it with a pull buoy so I managed to keep up with the swimmers in my lane.In the end the week went well and the total stats were bike 9.5 hrs, run 4 hrs , swim 4 hrs including a swim on Sunday.

Running this week has been particularly cold and wet .But it has turned out to be a good weekend and the weather has come good.particularly on my birthday on Sunday.
The first swim in the ocean since July and it felt like a shock to the system but I managed to acclimatise to the conditions.I did about 1.5 to 2kms. We then all had coffee at hillary's.It was before the crowds arrived and the weather and ocean were perfect despite the cold.It was a great start to the day.