Sunday, August 29, 2010

City to Surf 2010

The week began well .I ran a 1.5hr easy run on Monday evening at a comfortable pace and did about 15.5 km .It was slow but I was always comfortable.I did try to catch a few runners towards the end and I had my garmin which was showing my pace every km which is a good thing in one sense. I did feel slow with the weight I was carrying .

Tuesday morning I was a little tired but got to Nedlands and there is now a much larger group of riders .I got into my froup of 5 and I just hung on for the whole 1 hour session .I managed to take my turn a few times but just could not keep up with jamie and James who were really pushing the group .i ended up with an average just under 33kph including my slow ride to was a hard session.

On wednesday I manages a run in the afternoon and did my morning swim.I managed a 3km set for the first time .It was pretty nice in the pool with the heater fixed. I did a 800m warm up and then we did a 1000m followed by a 500m and then 200 and then 2 x 150m set and then a cool down of 200m.

Unfortunately on Thursday i rode to work and then home but did not wear anything warm in the morning.It was very cold with the wind and by friday I had a sore throat and just feeling unwell.By Saturday morning I had a cold and  I was just having all the symptoms of flu.A runny nose and feeling cold and shivering etc. Had to miss my long ride which was important . But I knew I had to rest for the run on sunday.

By Sunday I was feeling better although still had the runny nose and a slight cough .

The City to surf half marathon started at 9am .I got to tony's house and then we took the train in and walked to the assembly area.I was feeling weak but knew I could manage to finish the just wasn't going to be a PB. The weather was great and the course was a little hilly. I managed a consistent pace between 5.30 and 6 min a km. I did it in 1.54.15 .Not a PB and just a little faster than my Busselton Half time . But Iwas happy with the time in the circumstances and felt better having run the race .It has been a bad winter for me with the number of times I have picked the flu. possibly the amount of work and training and the fact i did not get my flu jab this year has probably taken its toll.

The legs held up well and finished the last km in about 4.30. I have finally sorted out my Garmin as well and hopefully I will have no further technical glitches . i will start to post some of the data up.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Rest Day Swim

John Street Cafe

Cott on Sunday 22 August after the swim

Sunday was a rest day but I decided I needed to get out and have a swim .

I headed out to the Cott with Tony at 7.30am .It was cold and windy . There was a slight swell.We decided to just swim in front of the Tea rooms as it was overcast and the storm clouds looked as though they will be heading from out in the ocean inland soon.It was perfect shark weather and after the death of a surfer at Gracetown it was fresh in everyone's thoughts. There wasn't too many people out in the sea  and we saw a few swimmers jump in and out fairly quickly.

I was still a little tired from my ride the day before and the cold sea water should help the sore muscles. The ocean was cold and despite the wet suits , the limbs and head hurt . We only swam for about 25 -30 minutes and came in.I got dumped by a wave and swallowed a bit of sand. It is so different swimming in the sea again and just had to get comfortable with the roll of the sea . Hopefully as the weather improves , I will be able to start swimming more regularly at the Cott.I do need the practice. Fortunately there was no sharks although after we got out , a few swimmers complained of stingers but I felt nothing .Probably because it was cold and we had wetsuits on.

After the swim it was coffee and muffins at the John Street Cafe . The simple pleasures are enhanced by the trauma of cold sea waterr in the gut.

Monday. I skipped my morning swim session as I slept late and had a long run in the evening .I managed to atleast get the run in . Did a slow easy run at 6min pace and tried to keep the heart rate down .But it wavered at between 71 to 80% of max HR (atleast according to age) It was a cool evening and I ran round Kings Park along Thomas road to the University and then to Matilda bay and back along the river into the City .I managed to run over 15km .I did chase down a runner who passed me but then let him run off into the dark as I tried to get my HR down . I had a tender spot in my foot and that was causing a bit of irritation but other than that I felt very comfortable and did not overstretch myself . Again kept trying to remind myself on my form and my arm action and trying to keep my leg stride up.

I went down to the Runners Centre and saw Cody who showed me the functions of the Garmin and hopefull I will soon be able to post my routes and date on the blog.

In addition I continually visit the Swim Smooth website which is full of practical tips for swimming better:

Mindset Tips for Intermediate level swimmers

could you improve your mental game?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Election Ride and Moving Forward

After friday's swim session with Ross
 Moving Forward at the Election Booth

The week has unfolded much as expected . I had a tough day on Wednesday with a swim in the evening as I just could not get up early.I did do my run at lunch time along the river in Fremantle which made for a welcome change .It was warm but not hot and there was no one about . I ran about 8km and was averaging over 6min pace. The swim session was good and cold as the heater was broken.I did about 2.4km all up . Focused on my arms.we did a few drills and then the main set . I was pretty tired after the swim.

I rode on Thursday but it was a short ride to work and then back . I think I just need a lot more rest . I saw Rod on the way into the city coming back from the interval sessions Exceed was doing at Nedlands on Thursday. Friday , I made it to swimming in the morning which would be a better schedule for me. Was a good session .did a 1km warm up and then 6 x 100m and different paces , 6x 50m and 8 x 25m .Followed by a 200m cruise freestyle , 100m  kick x 2  and a final 100m swim.All up 2.5km swim. Despite the water temperature which was cool , it was a good workout.

I did my easy run in the afternoon in kings park .It was nice and cool and there was a slight drizzle.No one around at 2 pm in the afternoon so it was a good time to run. I was hungry as I had skipped lunch to do the run.

My long Saturday ride was a late start .I seem to really sleep well on Friday nights. It was also the Australian Election day.I eventually got out of the house and headed to Fremantle as the Exceed group were not riding today but having a try out triathlon at Hillary's. I had 3 efforts at threshold . It was an easy start and then from Reid Hwy I started my first effort although there were a few climbs which made the HR go up anyway. I got to Cottlesloe where the Bikeforce Freo group came by and I followed them into Fremantle.I then rode with John Domican , Roger and Alistair back to Trigg. From there I rode to Hillary's and then back home via Marmion and Reid Hwy. I managed to get up to 31.5kph (average pace ) up to City Beach but it fell to 29.5 kph by the time I got home. I ran off the bike for 12 mins and my legs were feeling tired.I had one bidon of Ribena and I fruit and nut bar . Will need to start  up my nutrition next week as I start my 4 hr rides.

Training is much like an election especially when the opposition leader is an Ironman . You have to keep at it , start strong but staying the distance and finishing strong is critical. Riding back with John was a good example of plugging away through winter .I can only keep up with these strong riders as they had just done an extra 30-40kms . I vegetated in the afternoon listening to the non-stop commentary on the elections by all the experts at all the TV channels. That takes endurance ...I just fell asleep.

Bike : 6.15hrs
Run: 3.15 hrs
Swim: 3hrs

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Week 3 towards Busselton and slowly shaking the cough which has lingered .

Had a 75 min easy run and did about 12.5km at just over 6 min pace , thanks to my Garmin 310. Lots of improvement ahead. I ran in the evening just before swimming so I was feeling quite fatigued .  I have lots to improve in my running but have focused on just keeping my form as good as possible. Started my swim session a little early and did a longer warm up of 800 m .Then had 4 x 500m but I did 3 with one cruising with a Pull buoy . Felt heaps better in the water and hope that continues. I was probably managing a 2 min per 100m pace .

Usual ride out at Nedlands...only on this occasion I had a pair of 2 left cycling shoes so I had to ride with my runners in the group. I started out with Julianna and Michelle. Got dropped at the first lap as I just could not keep up especially on any short climb. Eventually got into another group in the second lap and managed to stick it out . My average with the ride out was 32kph and about the same as last week although I did stick onto a group of cyclist for the last km to Nedlands so my average overall would have been faster. Did learn how hard it was to ride with runners and not cleats . Some guy cycling and hanging off our group intelligently told me I was cycling without cleats . Not a good I know but even worse demonstration of the intelligent cyclist. I did not come off and I did cause any accidents. I did not try to overstretch myself as I knew how little grip I had.Legs were pretty sore in the end.

After our cycling session , some rules were laid down :


Love your sport

Helmet, lights, bottle & road worthy bike

Be on time

All Road rules apply

Check your ego & Be prepared to work

Be respectful of the coach & fellow athletes

Follow the session,

Keep to left hand side of road

Point out and verbalise obstacles

Ride to YOUR ability

Ride defensively

Enjoy your training and have fun

I hope I did all of these.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Another Week Rolls By

I have had a good week.

The training is slowly shaping up as I lose the cough.Wednesday ,I ran in the evening before my swim doing a 1 hour session with 4 two minute efforts at thresshold. It felt good and although the weight issue was ever present , I felt comfortable and was not wheezing as much. Not the ideal training day as I did my swim session in the evening instead of the morning. We did a hard 2.6km session with a 800, 700 and 600 m block.My longest session for several months.Again I was feeling alot better and not having too many issues with my breathing.

Thursday turned out to be a rest day as I just couldn't manage to get out in the rain. But I have learnt to rest when I feel tired.Very simple but hard for most including myself to follow. Friday was a swim session in the morning , my first again for many months.Again it was a good session although I was at the back of the queue ,I wasn't too far behind the lead group.did about 2.3km and we did a 600m block of 100s and 50s twice . I rode to work and fortunately it wasn't raining.I ran at lunch time for 55 mins and then rode home to make up for the 2 hour easy ride I missed on Thursday eventhough it wasn't 2 hours but 1.15 hr. I also got myself a Garmin 310xt which Iam still getting accustomed too. It at least will allow me to be more accurate about my pacing.Still had some issues loading the software onto the computer. Hopefully I will be able to upload some more accurate data and maps of my runs and rides.

I was pretty tired on Friday evening and went to bed fairly early.Got up at 5am and got out at 5.45am to Subiaco for the CRT ride. There was a drizzle and it was wet on the roads as I tried to make sure I didn't go down .The exceed Triathlon group was there as was Ross who had a cold.I headed out after the firts groupand for 20 mins I was on my own before group two passed me at Claremont.I then stayed with them as we passed Justin who waited for us to catch up.I took my turn in the front and JL shouted good effort as he passed me in the front . I was powering at 43kph and really feeling it especially as I had not had breakfast and was on 1 bidon of Ribena .I managed to stay with the group as we went round the river.At Applecross I was a bit slower as I tried to climb up a hill on my big gear but caught up with the group again at Canning Bridge.Headed for Shelly as we then did another hard session to the end of the shelley section .The group then headed for Manning road and then onto Curtin and Bentley.One of the cyclist , Anthony , had a puncture and I stopped to help as the others whizzed by.Rode back with Anthony and did a fast section on the way into the city and on Stirling Hwy. I managed to educate him on ironman racing in the space of 45 mins whether he wanted to know or not . His wife had just had a baby and he was on his first ride out in a month. I was just glad to break up the ride and I had done my two hard efforts so I was not in any hurry .I had not had anything other than the ribena so my legs were feeling pretty sore by that stage.

I got back to Subiaco and rang Tony who was in Kings Park doing hill repeats .I cycled out to kings Park after a quick coffee but he rang to say he was heading back to the cafe.Turned round and saw Tarnia running back from King's Park to the cafe.Had a chat at the cafe before heading home. 4.00 hrs but only 3 hrs of riding. I had managed just above 30kph but up to Manning Road it would have been faster. Feeling to improvement slowly.

Total time this week:
Run : 3 hrs
swim : 2 hrs
Bike: 6.5 hrs

Sunday was a rest day and I slept through the night without any difficulty for a solid 9 hours.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rest Day and then Some

Freemantle Sunday afternoon

 Sunday was a rest day and I took full advantage of the day deciding to do nothing else but spend the day with the Family .Went to fremantle partly to collect my water bottles from Jono who had them after the Painathon.

Spent the afternoon at the Parks and fremantle art centre and then into the city for a short walk around the Mall and Borders. 

Monday was a busy day with the NCTC  Committee meeting and back to week 2 of the Programme.I skipped my morning swim as I had a late night and decided against agravating my cough . But did venture out in the evening before the meeting to do my easy 70 min run.As I ran round the bridges , Michelle D was running in the opposite direction so I ran pass her twice . She was doing her run from her programme from the same coach.How funny. especially as she was riding 3 hours on Saturday and she will be at Birwood on Tuesday morning.

Fortunately the meeting ended at 9pm and got home and to bed as quickly as possible although I didn't fall asleep till 12 midnight .So I had a very short 4.45 hr sleep before the alarm went off.It was a cold 4C and I made sure I had my thick cycling jacket.

Did not feel at all up to riding hard this morning after the long absence . As I rode down the cyclepath along Stirling Hwy , I came up to Michelle again and rode with her to Birwood. Ross was sick so he was in his car as we set off in small groups.I was with Jonny H , Rod and a new eider . We soon got into a comfortable rhythmn but I was struggling on the short inclines . I got dropped at the first turn around and struggled to catch up but caught up with Paully and we started working together , with paully doing the longer stretches ahead.coughing a fair bit but we managed to catch up with my group which had disintegrated. Managed 3 laps before 7am and did an average of 32kph including my ride out which was a good start. Rode back to the city and did about 50km 

Coughed a lot on the ride but managed to keep up with Paully who was dropped by the fast group he was with. It is these hard sessions that have helped alot but they are hard.I hope the cough settles soon and the weather gets warmer .My running is still the concern and Yesterdays run was esy and felt alot more comfortable with my run.I concentrated on my arms and stride without being too worried about my cadence .

The Painathon results were posted by Jono:
Painathon results

SOLO Course (1): 19 KP 166.7 km ^

Rank Name Race no Result Challenges
1 Josh Randall Solo 17 8:38:14 10/10
2 Michael Carroll Solo 12 8:53:45 10/10
3 Josh Whitehead Solo 21 8:56:15 10/10
4 David Kennedy Solo 09 9:02:52 10/10
5 Marek Klimczyk Solo 24 9:04:34 10/10
6 Daniel Taborsky Solo 05 9:17:20 10/10
7 Brett Johnson Solo 13 9:18:35 10/10
8 Norm Black Solo 29 10:00:50 10/10
9 Colin Francis Solo 07 10:02:43 10/10
10 Todd Panietz Solo 15 10:09:10 10/10
11 Matthew Oldakowski Solo 18 10:20:02 10/10
12 Michael Parrotte Solo 02 10:41:22 10/10
13 Peter Gill Solo 06 10:45:00 9.8/10
14 Andy Jones Solo 08 10:45:00 9.5/10
15 Rob Adams Solo 11 10:45:00 9.4/10
16 Heath Rabey Solo 22 10:41:30 8/10
17 John Cooke Solo 26 10:45:00 8/10
18 Dave Koopu Solo 28 10:45:00 8/10
19 Joe Cleasby Solo 19   7/10
20 Joe Mcdowell Solo 03   6/10
21 Rhys James Solo 14   6/10
21 Mark Oakshott Solo 04   6/10
23 Paul Falconer Solo 16 8:44:02 5/10

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A beautiful week

Week One of training is over and my soreness from the Painathon as well .But  the heavy legs and tiredness is still lingering .Partially as I still get over the flu and the general fatigue.

Otherwise it was a good week overall. I had an easy hour run on Friday at Lunch time .It was nice and warm and ran round Kings Park for just under an hour. The legs were feeling it at the end as I tried to keep up the form . After attending John Toomey's run coaching session ( every Saturday afternoon ) I try and remember all the helpful hints provided .To keep the legs and stride up and shoulders relaxed and arms moving naturally at the side for momentum.It is hard to break old habits .The cadence of the run will come as I try to keep up the form .Ultimately I need to put in as much volume of running as I can manage.

Summary of his  first session:

Session 1:

  • Relax shoulders
  • Arms forward / backward
  • Thumb/palm to clip hips / belt line
  • Eyes looking 20m or so ahead
  • Even weight distribution when standing!
  • Tuck bum under when stretching quads, standing or kneeling
  • ITB standing stretch, rotate 'injured side' hip forward, lean away from it, good leg is across in front
  • Think 'exaggeration' for a improvement in stride length
  • Develop as much awareness as you can of pelvic stability and glutes working
The drills we did, which are a subset of many out there, included:
  • bum kicks - a good active quad stretch too.
  • high knees - maintainance of forward body lean important.
  • grape vine - great loosener of ITB and associated fascia, adductors, abductors involved.
  • backwards running - focus on heel lift-reach-drive. Use the arms.
  • Knee drives - low and high. Alignment and pelvis control on landing.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Level 2 Orienteering Coach
Level 1 Triathlon Coach

It was then onto swimming in the evening and was a good session of fast 50m sprints? between 100m firms and cruise. Managed to be consistent with a 45s 50m consistently , but I did use a pull buoy as my legs were tired. Did a 2.3 km session all in and did feel a little more comfortable back in the water than on wednesday. Must be the heaviness in the chest clearing up.
Saturday was the first ride with the Exceed group who ride with CRT from Subiaco.I had an easy 3 hour ride but everyone just took off and I was not sure which group was which so I just jumped on the group with most of the Exceed Triathletes and off we went down Railway Pde towards Fremantle.It was the 2nd group and they were putting on a bit of pace but I just hung onto the back. Unfortunately at the lights at fremantle before the turn onto the bridge across the swan , the lights turned red and I got caught with about 10 others and that split the group.

As we crossed the bridge and started the climb up Point Preston Road I managed to pass the other riders and tried to catch up with the front group.But unfortunately I was not able to catch up with them and the back group eventually caught up with me stuck in the middle.For an easy ride ,I was averaging above 32kph and overall with the ride down to the city I was at 30kph . The group went hard at the Railway Pde Road , point walter road and  3 of us continued to Shelley where we took turns at the front.Michelle who is doing IMWA was pushing hard and she had an easy 3 hour ride on the programme too.  Got back to the city before 8.20 am and I had coffee and a muffin at Tiger Lily's then rode home with Jamie and Michael via the East perth cycle Path. Got home just past 10.20 and overall was a good week of training despite the flu. 

Run : 2 hours
Bike : 8 hours
Swim : 2 hours

The rest of the week was just relaxing and attending the Triathlon Association AGM and then  dinner at the Cinnamon Club , an Indian restaurant in leederville in the evening.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Week One

leaving Challenge 1 Painathon 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Painathon - Do Not Try This At Home

My life changed generally for the better when I fell into the sport of triathlon .With that came a whole new dimension of fitness and a whole new world of ....endurance sports .It is a lifestyle and possible an endrenaline rush for the fitness junkie.

On 1 August 2010 , I met a whole different subset of endurance sports junkies. I was introduced to a whole new level of pain as well. There were 70 entrants to the painathon . 23 doing the full race of trying to finish as many of the 10 challenges between 7am and 5.45pm . I decided to give the Painathon a go again as I managed 8 challenges last year and stopped at the Quadcruncher a 4.4 km run on a horrible rut of a track at the back of Bickley Reservoir .


The race commenced at 7am at City Beach with 3 laps on the beach of about 380m and then on it went.The first 5 challenges were all in the City suburbs .It was a beautiful day to race and the weather was fine all day . I was coughing a bit from the cold air and whilst I felt well the flu had made me really weak and just deconditioned .But I decided to give it a go as I had a number of sponsors for the event and it was all going to a good cause , the Variety Club for kids. At Challenge 2  which was 2 laps of Reabold Hill , I was coughing lots and having a really hard time on the run up.I have not mastered the art of running and coughing at the same time. Trevor a friend was at the top reminding me how dumb it was to be racing when I had the flu. Well  noone said you had to be smart to do a Painathon. I think the prerequsite was actually the opposite and an ability to feel pain.

By the time I had got through Challenge 2 I had lots of mucus and fluids all over my racing bib .it was a good look but I felt better . On to Challenge 3 and 4 at Kings Park .The run to the DNA Tower was relatively easy 1.4km run and then back down on a gradual gradient. The run up Mount Street was familiar territory as I run around Kings Park and it is a short sharp run up 200 m (approx) x 3 .I had to walk a short part as I was just getting too wheezy with my breathing. 

I was mentally ticking of the challenges and hoping I was making good time . Challenge 5 was a 10km run between the Causeway and the narrows bridge in the city and I did the run in 56 minutes . My slowest and I had done the 5 challenges in 3 hours. On paper I had 7 hours to do the remaining 5 challenges. By now I was one of a handful left doing the full Painathon.I headed out on Great Eastern Highway alone to ride the 34 km to the Swan Valley for Challenge 6 the Beast . It is a 8.5 km run up and down two hills with amazing views of the city 30 kms away. It was warm by now and I made very slow progress .Passed one rider who was cramping and that was the only fellow competitor I saw all the way there.As I arrived , Norman Black and Michael Parotte were finishing the Beast and I was now an hour behind. 

I was struggling and started a walk and run regime to keep moving .It was simply trying to get to the top.Everytime I made it to the top of a hill there was another climb round the corner .Running down was no joy as my quads were beginning to hurt and I knew I had to conserve what energy I had for the other challenges. I was trying to pace myself with the risk I would not finish all 10 challenges in the alloted time. I was eating and taking in a lot of fluids and electrolytes with salt tablets but I was cramping on the bike .It was really a reflection of the lack of conditioning rather than my electrolyte intake. As I ascended the first hill a couple of young Kangaroos bounded out of the bush and across the road. As I ran up I saw 4-5 runners coming down and everyone was walking the uphill sections. Cheered them on as they also offered what simple words of encouragement .There is sympathy in moments of shared pain and possibly stupidity. 

I made it down and had a short break before riding down Campesic Road to the Ziz Zag run in kalamunda. It was a convoluted ride through the hills and across great eastern Highway which was busy on a Sunday afternoon .It was past 1pm and I was running out of time .Challenge 6 had taken 2.5 hours of riding and running. Zig -zag was a 7km run on a fairly gradual gradient and we could cut across the bush on the way down .The short cuts were good but I had to walk stretches because they were pretty slippery . I was now running 4 minutes and walking a minute. It was hot , lonely and mentally just hard.I was cramping and getting worried about the time .

The marshalls along the way were great and very supportive and after Zig Zag I managed to get more water and fill up the now empty bidons and just plod on. Took another 45 minutes to get to Bickley , fortunately I did not lose  my way and I was the last person to finish the Quadcruncher. I only managed to walk the course as it was just too steep for me and by this stage my quads were just hurting. I got to the top and punched my card and walked down with the Marshalls . Slipped and fell on the way down but fortunately I was fine accept for all my legs cramping. 

Once I got back down I was told that I had to get back to Kings Park as I would not have enough time to do the Canning Bridge run. I rode back the only route I knew which was to Canning Bridge and then on to Kings Park . It was hard as there was lots more traffic and the sun was low and visiblity was a problem with the sun setting. I got to the finish line at 5.39 pm . I had been riding and running  (sort of) for 10 hrs 39 min .  No major triumphs or failures.I had managed to finish all the bike legs but fell short of finishing all the challenges. On hindsight I should have given the race a miss but it was an experience in trying to overcome all negatives and just pushing through mentally.. It was good practice for just staying focus on each challenge. I owed it to all those who had sponsored the challenge and it was a nice day to go out for a ride and  run.

I expect the pictures and results to be out on the painathon website in the next few days. Many thanks to everyone who donated to Variety and to Jono Hague who organised and came up with this race. 
It has my respect.