Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Taper Week

At the Hillarys race ...last race before Busso

The last week before the Busselton Half has been very easy.I have had a short swim at the Cott on Monday ...about 1500m. And an easy ride round the Swan River on Tuesday morning.With work today I was not able to attend swim training but i hope to do a short run tomorrow morning and then head down to Busselton late afternoon .

It will be my fourth Busselton Half and I enjoy the race tremendously. Most of all it is a weekend with like minded atheltes and for me an opportunity to be immersed in all things tri.

As always I feel prepared in some aspects but my weight will be an issue. I feel alot stronger this year with regard to my cycling but a little underdone with my run training. Swimming is my main achilles heel but I have made a few incremental steps forward. I hope I will be able to get out of the water comfortable. The goal is to try and get under 5 Hours. Not easy as I will need to do PBs in all legs to get there. But it is always fun trying.

I probably have mor experience now and I think I will be able to improve on my times if the conditions are good and I can get my nutirtion right . I will write down my nutrition plan and ensure that I run through all contingencies.

If anything the past few races have taught me to be prepared for all contingencies. The car is packed with alll the gear and bike. Let the games begin....

Hopefully by Sunday evening my race report will be a good one.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Final Preparation

I have been tardy in not blogging regularly. The week and training has flown by quickly as I finish up this week's training heading into the Busselton Half 2010 in 6 days.

As I write this blog , IM South Africa is unfolding. These days there are lots of triathlons both the IM and non IM versions. Japan 70.3 sold out in 12 hours . Busselton which is sanctioned by WTC but organised by Triathlon WA and forms part of the Australian Half series , sold out in 3 weeks with a massive wait list.It will be an exciting day for many first timers and for myself and the many I train with the culmination of the last 4 months of training.

The week in training was:

Sunday : 19 April 2010

I swam at the Cottesloe but after the Saturday brick I felt sluggish and slow and struggled but finished the swim which was just under 2km. The most enjoyable part
of the morning is the coffee and the company . Since participating in triathlons I have drunk more coffee and sat in more cafes.It is almost a ritual . A debriefing .

I did not do anything else for the day training wise .I decided that I had done enough ...the rest of the day was just as active playing with my son.

Monday : 20 April 2010

A busy and hectic day at the office and finishing late put an end to any swim session or run.

Tuesday 21 April 2010

The usual but last hard ride on the Birwood circuit comprised a 1.15min hard session instead of the usual 1.30 session .I did 4 laps with my 3 partners in crime in our group .I averaged 36.8 kph .The fastest so far on a Tuesday . I was pretty spent but took my turn on the front and did not feel too bad other than a coughing fit .I feel pretty comfortable on the bike and that is showing through on the freeway rides as I can manage to sustain the speed for the whole 90kph.

It may be a different story coming out of a 1.9k swim.

In the evening I did a 1.30 run , by far my longest run and i was tired but my legs were able to handle the fatigue.I did not go as fast as I wanted but managed to keep my cadence at around 90spm. Iam not sure how far I went but think it would have been close to 15km or 16 km. It was a long day.

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Swimming in the morning .I had to do a blood test so I had nothing to eat overnight and through the morning. The swim session was fine , I feel more lethargic . Did about 2.5km and at least I wasn't too far behind the lead group in my lane.

In the arvo , I ran for 45 mins to kings Park and to the DNA tower where I ran up and down for 10 times . It was 100 steps up each way. Legs were a little sore.

Thursday 21 April 2010.

Rode with Tony and Keith . The mornings are beginning to get colder. I rode to tony's place in subiaco and then round to Claremont and fremantle and back through Applecross.We stopped at South Perth for coffee. It was a slow ride.I ran at lunch time around Kings Park for 40 mins and then rode home in the evening after work .Did about 66-67 km .

Friday 23 April 2010.

Swimming in the morning as there was no session in the evening .Did 2.5 all up . the normal 500 m warm up with a few alternative strokes. Then 4 x 100 followed by 50 x 4 fast 300 m free cruising and repeated again up to the 50 m set and then a cool down.

Saturday 24 April 2010.

I decided to ride down the freeway by myself but the group training with Ross were all down at the car park so by chance i rode with them again. We were doing a 60km ride followed by a 30min run .As usual it was a nice casual ride till Mt Henry and then the lead riders took off .I could not hang on and Katy caught up with me and then I managed to pass her and got behing T and eventually there were 4 of us 3 fast girls and me .well I wasn't complaining . I may ride like a girl but these are fast girls . we took our turn in the front and kept a fairly consistent pace. saw Rosco and the guys coming back so i knew we were only about 5-6 minutes behind.

I ended up averaging 36.3 kph . I managed a quick transition and dumped the bike in the car and off round to South Perth . I turned at the 15 minute mark and saw Katy and her sister behind me . they had started their run from the narrows where they were parked . The legs were feeling good and I did not feel any pain. The breathing was clearly laboured with my sport induced asthma . Finished up the run and went off to Tiger Lilys for breakfast with the rest of the guys. The end of a good week of training .

Sunday 25 April 2010.

Today is ANZAC day in Australia. A day of remembrance of all soldiers though the many wars Australia has participated in .Not to clelbrate wars but the futility . Whole communities in Australia lost a generation of young men in WW1.

Anzac Day
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, and is commemorated by both countries on 25 April every year to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I. It now more broadly commemorates all those who died and served in military operations for their countries.

Whenever I think of the first World war I remember a poet Siegfried Sasson .He was an English poet who saw action in France in the First World war and wrote many great anti war poems.

Siegfried Loraine Sassoon, CBE, MC (8 September 1886 – 1 September 1967) was an English poet and author. He became known as a writer of satirical anti-war verse during World War I. He later won acclaim for his prose work, notably his three-volume fictionalised autobiography, collectively known as the "Sherston Trilogy".

An example of Siegfried's poems:

Suicide in the Trenches (from Wikipedia)

I knew a simple soldier boy.....
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
And no one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.

Far from World War 1 and the Dawn services around the country I headed out to Tony's place then on to Cottesloe.

It was a calm beautiful day at the Cottesloe .I swam with the guys .I had a slow start with difficulty with the water .I will swim again tomorrow . I have to get my swimming to a level I am more comfortable with . I feel the water down at the Cott is not quite the same since they started dredging the harbour .It is a little more murky but i have had difficulty and had to stop as I coughed and dry retching . Not the best feeling in the water. Otherwise it was a comfortable swim. We were out by the time a big group of triathletes were heading down to swim the same stretch.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A fast Saturday

The rather wet week has culminated in a brick session this morning .The weather was perfect for such a ride .

The group met up at the Narrows and we headed off at 6.30am The brick session was a 90km ride and a 45min run. Once the group passed Mt Henry Bridge , the fast group took off and I could not keep up .I settled down to ride by myself and soon caught up with Katy who then followed me to the turn around along with a few of the girls.My computer wasn't working too well but I believe I was averaging at least 35kph. Ob the way back Katy took a turn in front twice but i managed to drag the group back and we caught up with the stragglers in the lead group which was great .My computer had the average at 34.8kph .A new PB for the freeway ride.

I did a 40 minute run straight off but I struggled a bit on the run and should have had a little more nutrition.I had consumed about 150 gms of Carbohydrates and that was probably sufficient for the ride but not quite the run.

I was happy with the workout overall.If I can come out of the swim not too tired I will be able to improve on my bike time at Busso.

The rest of the week was pretty ordinary I did the Wednesday and Friday evening swim sessions .Both were hard sessions .Friday consisted of a 500m warm up and then a1km swim , 500m swim ,200m swim and then 3 x 100m swim .I managed it within the hour . I feel more comfortable in the water at least. I ran on Thursday and Friday as I could not ride on the Thursday given the weather. But I got caught in the rain during the lunch time run.On Friday , I ran round the river and got to watch the acrobatic planes flying in formation ,part of the RedBull Airrace being staged in Perth over the weekend.

This week the total training time has been:

Bike : 5 hrs (all hard)
swim : 2 hrs
run: 3.5hrs

Busselton Half is 2 weeks away and Iam feeling reasonably comfortable with the training . Its putting it together which remains the great mystery.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Birwood Circuit

Today Like any other Tuesday for the past 2 years ( how time flies when you are under a coach) I get up really early and head to Nedlands to ride with the group.It is a hard session and today it was a 1.5 hr session going really hard .

It was cold and the road was partly wet but otherwise it was good. i rode down from the city to Nedlands .I had little sleep having been at a North Coast Committee meeting and got back at 10 pm .Got ready and packed and then off to bed. But I made it . I started off with Jason , Jamie , Michelle and Teneke .It was reasonably fine in the first lap and took my turn in front .It progressively got harder .By the third lap I was hanging on and took my turn infront less often .By the fourth and fifth lap I was really just hanging on. I did 50km in the session and with my slow ride out to Nedlands averaged 34.3kph . Short of throwing up , I was totally exhausted .

I was going to run in the evening but with the rain decided to skip it. I ran on Monday for 45- 50minutes in the rain and it was pretty gloomy in kings Park.Not alot of people about either.

The week is shaping up to be a hard week

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hillary's triathlon

At Transition setting up.

The week has gone by quickly and culminated in the last of the Trievents series at Hillary's. It was a wonderful day for racing .Everyone was down .That is from the club and Ross was there to watch .

As the temperature was 21C it was a wetsuit swim and despit my 80km bike ride yesterday I managed a 1.19:54 time comprising:

Swim : 00:15:55 cycle : 00:41:25 Run:22:32 Finish Time:01:19:54

Overall : 176
Gender : 145
Category : 14

I had a few issues in the race . I took 300 m to get comfortable and way too long in a sprint race .Then in transition I had difficulties getting into my bike shoes as the velco on the shoes stuck to my socks . Mental note for the future is to practise mounting the bike with socks. The ride was ok but not my best and I think I felt a little fatigue in the legs and I should have gone faster .My run has improved and I got out of transition fairly quickly. I did a 22.32 run and I know with more interval work I will be able to get under 20 minutes for the 5 km run .
That is the weaknest for me going into the half. My running has not been the best.

Overall , Iam pleased with the result as I went under 1.20 and I felt pretty good after the race .I comfortably ran the course again as a cooldown with J Hawkins.

I think everyone had a good race. A few spills on one of the corners and overtaking riders constantly was hard ...the price paid for coming out of the swim so far behind.

On Saturday I rode with Tony , keith , jodie , les and Hanna .we rode round the river and then onto Shelley and back to the city and Claremont before heading to Subiaco (brew Ha Ha coffeeshop) for coffee. It was roughly 80km. it was a slow ride with 3-4 hard sprints in the ride. During the week I did no training on Tuesday and missed the morning ride unfortunately as I was just too tired.I ran on Wednesday at lunch time up to Kings Park and on the sand track .it was a 50 min run . Had my swim session in the evening and did a 2.5km workout.On Thursday I rode to work and then round the river and back home in the evening a total of 70km .On Friday I had a run at Lunch time and did a 10km run in approximately 55 minutes and then a swim session in the evening .Did another 2.5 km set with a warmup and then 50m x 40 laps with a 10s rest.I had cramps midway and that slowed me up but I managed to maintain a fairly consistent rate .

I felt very comfortable doing the set and wasn't struggling as I usually do. That was the ray of sunshine for the week.

It is now approxiamtely 3 weeks to the Half ironman and Iam looking forward to the race.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Another beautiful day for a Swim

The swim on Monday morning at Cottesloe was much better than Sundays . Most of the swimmers from the squad were down as well although they started ahead of us and went off to another cafe. The water was fine although I had a few issues with my goggles at the start but managed a resonable rythmn .

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Easter Weekend Workout

My long weekend in an easy week comprised doing absolutely nothing on Good Friday as far as training was concerned .On Saturday morning I rode to Tony's place and then we did a ride round the river and Mt Henry bridge before heading back to his place.The wind was pretty strong in parts and it was a very low average ride with my computer at about 27Kph. We did hit the freeway cycle path with a wind behind us and averaged over 40kph for the 8 km stretch.

Once we got back to Tony's place we got our runners on and headed to King's park for a 50 minute run .We stopped at the DNA Tower in Kings Park and Keith did 6 runs up the Tower whilst I managed 5 .The group back together again and we headed back to Tony's place for breakfast.It was a hard run as part of the track was on sand in a gradual climbing gradient and my quads were sore from running up the tower.

The View from the DNA Tower:

The DNA Tower , King's Park , Perth

I managed to keep up with Keith although he had about a 75 meter lead when we were running through through the sand path.After breakfast I cycled home.

Total training time was 4 hours with 3.10 cycle and 50 mins run .

On Sunday , I headed down to Tony's place and then to Cottesloe for our weekly swim.The weather was not the best but in the end we all decided to have a short swim to the "needle " out in front of the TeaHouse .It was pretty rough and took me a while to get pass the surf break .The water was surprisingly warm and it was just the size of the waves.We will do a proper swim tomorrow.

Cottesloe Beach 4 April 2010

In the evening I did a 1.5 hr run and managed a good and consistent pace. The weather was really cool with overcast skies .Feeling a little better about my running after tonight.I turned back a little earlier as I was just dying to have a pee on the run which made running alot more difficult.Not my fastest run but under the circumstances it was good. I was not pushing hard and had enough reserve to go on despite not having any fluids or nutrition. I hope to step up the pace a little next week and aim for a 5 to 5.30 per km pace .

Friday, April 2, 2010


It is and has been an easy week but with lots of reflection . There are lots that has happened worth commenting on. I have a family and a job and commitments and my training as for everyone else does not take place in isolation to my life.They all revolve around me with consequences.

I have had more time to spend with my kids and have slept alot more this week.both good factors. There was just an easy 50 km ride round the river with the squad .Although it was easy I still averaged just under 30kph . I swam again on Wednesday evening but did nothing else.We did a 2.3km set with 2.5 times a 600m set with a warm up and a cool down . I felt reasonably comfortably in the water and focused on my arms and keeping my legs together and kicking , not necessarily hard.

On Thursday I wanted to run in the morning but chose to just sleep in and had a long day at work that I was not able to make it to the Club's last aquathon for the season. I did not train today and will ride tomorrow and run off the bike . Next week will be a slightly harder week.

With all the "free time " I have had an opportunity to declutter my life a bit .The difficulty about training is that I have little or no time for the bits in life that can and do get swept under the carpet. I have a long list but will not bore anyone.

What has occupied me this week has been the instances of feeling gratitude. There are just a few minor but very important examples to me. For the past few years I would regularly stop at a corner deli to get a drink or something to eat or buy groceries on the way to the gym or home or swimming . This week the owner gave me an extra curry puff when I ordered one. A simple but appreciated gesture .He was acknowledging my patronage of the deli. I am sure I was not the most important customer but it was a small gesture that made my day a little better.It is the human contact , that feeling of helping or helping others that makes us all the more human.

The second incident which was terrible was reading on the triathlon WA website about a triathlete training for the Busso Half and getting hurt when a callous person put wire across the cycle path next to the freeway.the same cyclepath I use and did use on Saturdays ride. this occurred on Sunday morning and she has hurt her arm and is now unable to compete the race, is hurt and cannot work as a swim instructor for a number of weeks. There was the usual response from other cyclist but generally an overwhelming concern for this individual. She responded with gratitude for the concern expressed in the forum and all the well wishers. Clearly not the way to find out about gratitude but generally a simple gesture can and does help.

Finally , yesterday I visited a client who is 78 and had her share of ill health and concerns for her husband .I enjoy my work for the variety of people I meet . She has taught me alot and I learnt of life in country WA in the 30s and 40s when life was incredibly hard . I take away life lessons . What I have distilled is simple, enjoy the moment but never live only for the moment. At the conclusion of our meeting on a very lovely Perth day ( she lives not far from my Thursday ride route with great views of the river at freemantle and of the ocean) she gave me an Australia Post first day stamp and coin cover of Sir Donald Bradman .A small but wonderful gesture but an even more important gesture was her comment that with my work for her concluded she said " I won't see you again" I assured her I will stop by for coffee from time to time.

The value is not the present but the gratitude .It goes a small way to lift my spirits and made the day even more pleasant.

Today is Good Friday and aside from attending Church and remembering the significance of the day with gratitude , I read a piece in the Sydney Morning herald:

Why it doesn't hurt to say thank you
April 2, 2010

Gratitude is an important ingredient in life, so be sure to count your blessings, writes Barney Zwartz.

For something so vital - in the root sense of that word too, that it enhances life - it is surprisingly hard to pin down. Is it an emotion, an attitude, a duty, a moral attribute, a virtue? It may not be commanded or summoned at will, yet in its absence people recognise that something fundamental and necessary is missing.

The Princeton philosopher Tony Coady, a Catholic, :
"The capacity for gratitude and for expressing it is an important element in a good life, and those who lack it impoverish themselves and others. In a secondary, though very important, sense, one can be grateful for life itself, or for the way one's life has gone, or for certain aspects of it, or for the environment one lives in, even where there is no person who has done you the service."

I am grateful on many levels each day . I learn not to live in regret . Look forward rather than back and once in a while a small gesture will make my day. I gather it is good for the heart.