Monday, November 29, 2010


It is now Full taper week leading up to the Race. I had a rest day today but did a short 1 hour run . I have started to catch up with my Internet friends and activities. Lots to read and to be inspired about.

It was a hot day today and on Facebook , there is the commentary on the possibility of how hot Sundays race could be but at the same time there is the long term forecast of cooler temperatures and rain. So I am packing my wet gear in case.

I also have attached a link to Coach Jeff and the interview he gave to Lifestyle Podcast.He is a triathlon coach , whom I first met with his lovely wife Debbie at Ironman Japan  2008 .He is a character but loads of fun and embodies the true spirit of triathlons and just having a go.

Well worth a listen from someone who has been involved in Triathlons for 27 years .

LIFESTYLE Podcast -interview with Coach Jeff

The Triathlon Podcast

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Do the Rest

It is a week to Busselton Ironman .I am excited but again Iam not. It will be my 4th Busselton race and familiarity breeds well familiarity. But never underestimate the race.Its flat but that throws up its own challenges.

I have had a very light week and overall it has been a very light programme that has suited me rather well.I have been sick a lot more this year .But there may be a number of variables that bring that about. The forced rest has been good.

Monday , I did a short 45 minute run in the arvo and then a straight 45 min swim .I managed a 2km swim and felt very comfortable .I did not go hard and the weather was great on Monday.

Tuesday , last hard ride but we did not do an hour on in Nedlands.Everyone did a draft friendly ride to the turnaround hard and than tapped back to start again . We managed 3 and I had my zipps on to test and hung onto Jamie ad Jason most of the 3 sprints. I averaged between 40 and 43kph for each of the sprints .It was short and sharp and there was no stress on the legs.

After the ride it was breakfast at Tiger Tiger. Wednesday was swimming with drills and sets .Did 2.5km and then at lunch time I ran a 1hour run at Yokine with 4 x 2min efforts.

Thursday was a 1.5hour easy ride and I rode to Nedlands and followed the Exceed  Tri club round the river. My chain came off at point Walter Road in Freo and I had to catch the group .fortunately Rod had gone off to drop his bag at his office  by the river and he found me and dragged me back . I was on my training bike and it was hard going . Once we grouped up it was a slow ride back to the city .

By Thursday evening I was getting a sore throat and on Friday I was down with another  bout of flu or cold.So I skipped my training and had a rest day.On Saturday I was feeling better and did my 2 hour ride down the wasn't fast but I felt alot better at the end of the ride. Did hit the sand on the side of the path as I was busy looking at my garmin. Could have been a crash but managed to stay upright. Had to climb over a tree that had come down across the cycle path at mt Henry as well. But it was a rather normal gusty freeway ride .

I met up with the rest of the guys and Ross at Tigers . Michele , Alistair and myself got a special Rossco briefing for Ironman . Nice to get the dos and don't of race day retold. makes me revisit everything . I started my checklist and getting my gear together.

I will write a new nutrition plan as well . I will rehearse everything I have to do in Transition . (especially as I will be racing with my Garmin for the first time )

Cottesloe ..a lot busier this morning

On Sunday , felt alot better after the long nights rest and codral.The advantage is that with each bout of cold/flu the period of being ill has become shorter. I went down with Tony for a swim with Keith , Les and Trevor. Swam to Blue duck cafe from goggles were leaking so I got left behind but managed to catch up with Trevor.we then all tried to draft behind Keith but he was just too strong and everyone got dropped. I tried to stay on his feet but just could not .I was happy with my swim as I was able to stay on Tony's feet and feel very comfortable for all the period before I decided to try and jump onto Keiths feet as he pulled away. It was a short swim of 30 minutes but was good to be out for the last time in the Ocean  before race day.

Finally , a piece from Chuckie V I was reading and found very useful about resting but again in another of Chuckie V's enlightened piece he writes about the taper. it is more art than science and you have to have something to taper. I think I have got it right and this week I did :

swim 2.5hrs
run 2 hrs
ride 5.5 hrs
total 10 hrs

Do the Rest by Chuckie V

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Preparation for an Ironman

Nothing prepares you for race day.Everyone is nervous and so many factors can determine the outcome. But despite all that ,  I don't worry . What I can do is to :

  1. Prepare as best I can
  2. Do not panic
  3. Test and run though everything and anything I plan to do or use on the day
  4. Never try something new on race day
  5. Have a goal and or several goals
  6. ask or seek advice well before the day and
  7. Never listen to advice and suggestions in the week leading up to Ironman  or you will be breaking rule 4
  8. make lists and get everything ready a week in advance
  9. Have a nutrition plan for the whole race and keep to it
  10. Enjoy the atmosphere , your fellow triathletes and the race
  11. Be thankful ...for the experience , the training , the ability to do so , the support of friends and family
Those are my thoughts and below are some of the comments from Rossco each year.Not everything but the more important pointers.


You’re fit.

You’re ready.

You have done the right training.

It is time to race.


Rule 1 - At certain stages throughout the race it will hurt.
Rule 2 - If you are not or have not hurt it will at some stage to come.
Rule 3 - The pain and hurt will go away.
Rule 4 - It hurts more if you stop.
Rule 5 – Never give up. No matter how bad it gets. The best victories are the ones hardest earned.


Positive Thoughts leads to

Positive Actions leads to

Positive Results.

Day before stay out of the sun.

Be mentally prepared for the journey.

Enjoy it. It is actually fun.

Be smooth and quick through transition. Know what you want, get it and go. No use wasting 20 minutes at both transitions.
Keep it simple.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sweet Dreams

The week has been a little tame after the harder sessions previously but I am not complaining. I managed to get to swim training on Friday morning and had a reasonable was pretty crowded and I did a warm up with the pull buoy and skipped the medley. we then did a 100m easy, fast, medium , fast ,firm fast followed by a 50m set with the same format and then repeated with 100m fast,easy,fast ,firm and then a 50m set of fast , easy,fast medium ,fast and firm and then a cool down.I  did about 2.5km and I managed to stay behind Lockie for the whole set.

Managed to attend all 3 swim sessions this week. It was a relaxing week despite some hard sessions. The water was nice and cool with the temperature for Friday 19 November climbing rapidly to 38 by noon.I had breakfast after the swim and then at 12.30 i did my easy run.i ran for under an hour around Kings Park.It was 38 degrees and there was just one other runner about. It was hot but managed to keep a reasonable pace just above 5.30 min per km.

Ran just under 10 km .I must have lost a  bucket of sweat. There were no taps around so it was pretty hard going towards the end .

Saturday 20 November.....Last of the longish rides just 3 hours at sub threshold.I got my Zipps ready and the bike had been serviced and thought I will try  the bike out .Got to the Narrows by 5.45 am and started my ride .The wind wasn't bad and there were only a few cyclist about . I managed to get into a nice rhythm although the gears were not working at 100%.  The speedo was also causing some trouble .I had put my garmin on my bike bars using the garmin attachment so that was working well.

The weather was overcast and muggy but the wind was behaving itself . I got to the 50km mark after Safety Bay Road in about 1.25 and then had a quick stopover and thought the ride back would be tougher with the wind  but I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to keep up my pace and did the 100km in  2.53. I ran off the bike for a short 10 minutes and felt pretty good. As I arrived back at my car under the Narrows bridge ,  a cyclist rolled   in and was greeted by I presume his girlfriend who was waiting for him ...looked like it was a long ride by the welcome he got from her . They were still in a tight embrace as I drove  off.

The Cottesloe groyne where a shark was spotted last week

No wetsuit swim

On Sunday Morning had the usual swim but we decided to have a short dip as the sky was pretty dark with clouds although it was not raining. The water was absolutely still and the only thing missing was the Jaws soundtrack.

We spent more time at the John street Cafe . Just 14 days to race day .Sweet Dreams are made of this.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Losing My Religion

My week started off with a lie in . No swimming on Monday morning .I did do my run at lunch time and did a relatively fast 1.02 for 12.5 km .the first 5 km was at under 4.30 pace and then I slowed down to about a 5 min pace which i managed to hold . I felt pretty good especially after the ride and swim on the weekend. No fatigue in the legs but I did have alot of rest.

I swam in the evening and did about 55 mins and covered about 2.7 km . Again felt relatively good and did not push myself hard.

Tuesday ...Had to get up early for the Nedlands ride . But not as early as last week so i got to sleep till 4.50am . The small luxuries of life? I got out to the city and rode to nedlands .It was pretty nice day and we had a large group of atleast 15-18 cyclist.

We all started off in groups of 3 to 4.I was with Tarnia, Michelle and Juliana. Rode down birwood and after the short climb I managed to pull away from the rest , purely unintentional , as I saw the group in front and just had to catch them. Rod flew pass me and I got on to the back of his wheel and then got to the turnaround when we caught up with the front group  but I decided to wait for my group to catch up but it didn't happen and then Jamie , Jaason and Alistair came past so I jumped onto their back wheel and followed them back to the start of the loop and then waited and rejoined my group. Did 2 more laps and a short bit and felt comfortable .Averaged 33.8 on my speedo with my ride out to Nedlands which had my average speed at 28.2 so it was a fast ride today .Over the 37 km in the hour I averaged over 35kph.

Some of the guys were above 40kph . It was the final hard ride on a Tuesday for a while at least.

Wednesday 17 November 2010
Did my swim in the morning . it was just nice weather wise. Started off with a 500m warm-up.Lots of swimmers in the lanes today .we had about 8 in our lane. After the warmup we did 4 x 500 sets of medley , 100m easy,medium,firm and fast . It was a good set and I kept up with Lockie one of the swimmers in my lane but we were dropped fairly quickly by the otherf swimmers.Followed that we a cooldown of 200m .All up did 2.6 km.

In the arvo I had a meeting so I did my run at 4.15 and ran round Kings Park with 5 x 4minutes at pace..Did not have my garmin and ran on feel .it was nice and warm and I was the only one running around Kings park at half past 4.

Thursday was just a ride .i rode from the city to Nedlands and followed the Exceed group as they did a brick session riding round Mosman and running off the bike at 3 spots.i just rode loops till they got back on the bike.It was a high cadence ride and just kept pedalling in the small chain ring .It was hard work especially on the hills .

It was a fairly easy day . Feeling a little sluggish today.

Ironman Busselton is now only 2 weeks away and looking forward to the race. Getting my gear ready for the race and will start my preparation next week.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's Taper Time

White pointer skull at the WA Museum ... the only place I have seen one

Sunday was and is my rest day . But as I have done for the last few weeks I have swum at Cott on Sunday morning. This morning was a great day to be out on the ocean It was flat and the sky was clear. We did a rather short swim past Blue Duck cafe and back.I took 38 minutes and lots of zig-zaging .I should have just stuck onto the feet of one of the swimmers.I even collided with a swimmer coming in the opposite direction . Big ocean but collisions will happen . The water was cold but it was good for the body. Feeling good after the ride yesterday and ready for the week ahead.

The final 3 weeks before the race and the taper starts. It is time for the body to recover .A short piece from Runners World on Tapering :,7120,s6-238-244-255-5958-0,00.html 
Countdown to an Ironman: Dave Scott's 21-day Tapering Plan from

The taper starts from Monday but there are still some longish rides and hard sessions . I have never completely dropped off my training although in 09 I was pretty tired at the start of the half as I did my full training session without a break and then went into the race with a days rest. Did quite well with my PB for the half distance at 5.16 so there is no real rhyme or reason for how it all pulls together for the race.

But overall I can't complain about how the training has unfolded. I would liked to have had more running and hill work but there are just so many hours in the day. definitely less colds and the flu next year.

Total workload for the week:
Swim : 2.5 hrs 6.7km
Bike : 9hrs or  280km
run: 5 hrs or 49km
total : 16.5hrs

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Done and Dusted

The weeks are rolling on by quickly.It was only yesterday I was starting my Half Ironman training.

Well the last long hard week is over .It wasn't particularly hard in the end.

Wednesday , I did my swim in the morning and that was a hard session.We did a 800m warm up and 300 m drills and then 8 x 100 m easy and fast .I kept up with the group which was a bonus but I was tired by the end of the swim.I then did a 400 cool down. In the evening I got home pretty late and ran in the evening doing my intervals with 5 x 4min at threshold. I ran pretty comfortably and finished the run feeling  good.not fast but kept the pace at sub 5.30 per km .

On Thursday , I had a 2hour high cadence ride and rode from home at 5.30am .i got to Nedlands and decided to just ride around and do laps .Jeremy was out there and joined me.the rest of Exceed was doing a speed session to between the narrows and UWA .Did not see them at all. I saw Tony riding at Birwood so joined him and then rode into town and had breakfast at Tiger Lily's .The gang  were not there so I suspect they went off to another cafe.It started raining and fortunately I had done my ride.

Friday , I was feeling quite tired in the legs and I decided to skip my swim and just do my run in the evening .Could have just been lazy. But I was glad I had the extra rest in the morning . The run was an easy 1.15 and I ran to Light street reserve from the pool and then back and around Yokine reserve.

Saturday .My last long ride . I was pretty comfortable in bed and when the alarm went off at 4.30am I quickly shut it down and lay there and dozed off .I eventually got up at 5.15 and got myself ready.I was out and at the Narrows bridge by 5.40am as there was little traffic. Got everything ready and set up .My bike was serviced this week so it was feeling good.My gears were out of kilter but Phil had adjusted them.

I had with me 2litres of water. A bidon of Gatorade concentrate and a Kellogg's bar, hammer bar , 1 banana ,lots of dates and  4 gels in a flask.

All up I had about  330 -350g of carbohydrates , with 1800mg of salt and  some protein in the bars. I also picked up another 1.2 l of water on the way back.

the wind was blowing around the cycle path from the start but it was nothing out of the norm .It was always blowy . Just knuckled down and tried to stay focused . I did have some technical issues with the Garmin as it was showing a HR of 200 bpm which was not possible.So for the whole ride I just had to go on feel. I did 4 efforts of 30 min trying my best to keep at perceived threshold.

I managed to get to the end of the bike path in 2.17 hr and then rode pass Pinjarra Road across the river for a further 1.5 km and then turned back towards Perth to give me a 150km ride.The wind was tough at points along the way but managed to get my pace up. Had the usual magpie attack atLlakelands and about Baldivis I was passed by a younger rider training for Busso on a Look .I could not keep up and he was about 500m ahead of me. I passed him a few km later as he helped 2 girls with a flat. I stopped just before Safety Bay Road to get water from a guy whose son was doing Busso.He was selling drinks to the cyclist along the freeway bike path with his granddaughter. Had a quick chat with him and then back on the ride. The Look cyclist caught up with me and this time I managed to stay with him and hung behind his wheel and then drifted back to the regulation distance and then tried to catch up and repeat the whole exercise just to see if I could crank it up. I stayed with him till Murdoch and then passed him and headed back to the Narrows as quickly as I could. Did the ride in 4.38 and averaged 32.2kph so i was happy with that.

Got back to the car and did a quick change ,packed the gear .that took 3 minutes and then went for a run.I did approx 6km but again the Garmin was off with my HR . Averaged 5.25kph which was comfortable.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Homeward Bound

The last hard week and I am feeling Good. Pretty new feeling as I am usually exhausted but as i have commented this time round I have not stressed too much and I have kept to the programme and not overdone it.

Tuesday was the last long hard hour and half session. There was just Michelle and me.Alistair I think had already started his session.As I climbed up the hill onto Birwood I saw Michelle slumped on her tribars probably hoping I wouldn't show . I later learnt she had another accident with her sister Katy now out of the Busso Ironman with a second broken collarbone in 3 months when a car pulled out on them. Really bad luck .Michelle had some bruising but otherwise was fine.I didn't know this as I started my session with her. There is no small talk as we both know what the session is.It is 5 laps or 50km plus of hard work. I felt good but a little tired with 5 and a half hours of sleep .

The weather was good and it was nice and bright a far cry from the start of 6am sessions in the dark. It was light at 5am . Rode comfortably. Michelle and I took turns and by 6am we had done 2 laps and I tried to catch the groups but after the third lap and half the fourth lap we caught up with Tarnia and Meredith's group .It was hard going with only 2 of us and I manage to lead for much longer tracks of the ride . By the 5th lap I felt pretty good and in the last 3 km caught another cyclist and we changed the lead for the rest of the ride before she turned off birwood.I had averaged 34.3kph with my ride to Nedlands. The legs were fine as I did not have the build up of lactic I usually get. Although with the number of climbs there were moments when I was about to hit the wall. But according to Jocelyn Wong's blog ( the TBB Asian Pro Triathlete ) the
piece she wrote on How to be a Gun Biker in 5 Easy Steps"" included this advice:

If you don’t feel like you are about to vomit or cry while biking, then you aren’t going hard enough.

Well I didn't feel like I was about to vomit so I wasn't working hard enough but I have had Tuesday sessions when I came pretty close to chucking . I went hard and after five laps felt pretty good . That is probably all I can wish for.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday at the Beach

Cottesloe beach Sunday Morning
John Cafe after the swim

Sunday is a rest day and I usually just do a short swim of 35 mins .I wanted to do a slightly longer swim but everyone was pretty tired from their long Saturday ride. It was the tenth anniversary of ken crew's death at Cottesloe so there was a 2 page article in the west Australian.

As we approached the beach , the sky was overcast and the sea whilst quite calm with just a slight swell did not look inviting.It was typical shark weather. But we soldiered on. We swam a straight 16 minutes to the 2nd buoy after the Blue Duck cafe and then headed back .i managed to just pip Trevor for line honours , a first for me given that they were pretty tired from their bike ride of 170km and I had an easy week.

I was feeling very strong and did not feel uncomfortable in the water throughout. although it was a short swim.Ended up doing approx 1.6km although it was hard to tell as the Garmin isn't accurate.

<iframe width='465' height='548' frameborder='0' src=''>iframe>

On Monday morning it was the start of the last hard week before the taper begins .I had a long run but split the run into 2 hour long sessions ,one at lunch time in the heat of the day and the second in the afternoon at 5pm . Did 20km with the first 10.7km  a  little faster and the second 9.5km at 6min pace keeping my heart rate as low as I could .

Then did an hour swim , managing 2.7 km . It was a slow swim compared to my swim at the Cott but again felt good and did not push hard throughout especially as my legs were tired from the run.  

The rest  of the week will be hard but generally it has been less strenuous then previous campaigns. I am conscious that I do not overdo anything as it is easy to get an injury at this point. Will start testing out the equipment and getting the bike ready.

I am also planning on doing some fundraising .Details to follow and I hope as many people will give their support.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Whats so easy about easy week

Its about 4 weeks to Ironman Busselton and its my easy week before the taper begins although I still have a 150km ride next Saturday .

This week was relaxing. Wednesday was pretty hot and I did my run at 5pm and the temperature was over 35C I did an hour with 4 x 2 min efforts .Clocked about 11.88 km .

Then did my swim session of 2.4km Thursday I didn't ride but just did an easy run .

On Friday I rode to swim training and then to work .It was a good session but i got lapped . We did a 1000m , 600m and 400m set and a warm up and cool down.A total of 2.5km . Rode home in the evening but it was a short ride of 30km .

Saturday , I had a 3 hour easy ride so i left late and rode up the coast to the Northern suburbs .my old tramping grounds.Stopped by at MacDonald's Joondalup for coffee where all the NCTC members gather after their ride. I then rode back .It was a nice cool day but the wind along Marmion was quite strong at times . Rode back home in an hour to complete my 3 hour easy ride . did just over 88km .

Training time:

Run : 3 hrs or 32km
swim: 2 hrs or 5km
bike: 6hrs or 180km

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Perfect Race

I was glad this week is over and I am looking forward to a more relaxing week. I finïshed off the week with a swim at Cottesloe. The talk today was about the shark attack at Garden Island yesterday. A guide was bitten by what may be a whale shark or a white pointer .As we drove towards Cottesloe we could see the Island in the distance. The Swim WA open water swim at Rockingham was cancelled and there were  only a few swimmers in the water as we got suited up for our Sunday swim.

It was cold but otherwise the sea was flat and calm.Great for swimming .It wasn't murky as we got further away from the Tea House and we made good time to the Blue Duck cafe. There were only a few stingers around.We swam back and did the swim in 33 minutes. It felt good and I could have gone further but it was nice just to be able to relax .

After the swim at Tony's place the Subiaco local rag had a front page piece on the death of Ken Crew 10 years ago on 4 November 2000 at Cottesloe Beach. I didn't think much about it , it was a nice day and I probably would have a higher probability of being hit by a car then eaten by a shark.

Had breakfast at the usual spot ....John Street Cafe.

I had no swimming on Monday and so I ran in the evening .It was a short run and very slow but it did say easy run. Did about 8km in 50 minutes .I had the NCTC meeting on Monday night and did not finish till 10.30pm. Was a Long day and  had to get up early for the Tuesday ride.Thankfully this is an easy week.

Despite the less than optimal hours of sleep I got out to Nedlands early and it was nie to have an easy ride. ross suggested we just spin around behind the groups .I managed to catch one of the groups and rode with them for 2 and half laps .Felt very comfortable and it was the nicest ride for a long time .No discomfort as I took my turn at the front and I was not pushing hard. There were 7 of us so it was a large group but we managed to stay together till the end.

The perfect race ....there isn't one . Training to race is preparation for all the possible issues that could come up in a race. Being prepared and hopefully practice over the last few months would have been sufficient for all that can happen.It is a cliche but training is a journey of experiences and memories which hopefully prepares the body for the day. I feel strong and comfortable. My swim and bike are definitely better . My run is about where I was last year but I have had no injuries and I have definitely been able to hold a harder pace in intervals.

Mark Allen said in a piece in TRIATHLETE:
"The Perfect Race

I tell people all the time that there is no such thing as a perfect race, but you can run a race perfectly. What this means is that things happen in racing that are, at the very least, unwelcome and, at worst, unexpected. It’s how you handle each of them that can make every race “perfect.” You always try to visualize what your perfect race will look like and how you will deal with situations that are challenging. But the reality of racing is that usually you will encounter situations that you hoped you would not have to deal with and situations that can seem off-the-charts tough.

Racing perfectly means that you deal with difficult situations calmly. If you get a flat, don’t freak out, just change the tire. If you get kicked during the swim, just keep swimming. If you miss a water stop on the run, pick up some extra at the next one. Whatever it is, just deal with it calmly and move on. That is what having the perfect race is all about.

No Bad Races

There is really no such thing as a bad race. Certainly there are expectations that far exceed reality, and there are days where absolutely everything imaginable goes wrong. But there is really never a bad race—with one exception. That is the race where nothing is learned that will help you out in the future. Each moment in your race day is a chance to note something that will help you in the future. It might be a stark reality that tells you how to train better for the next race. It could be personal insight into a weakness that you become inspired to transform into a strength. The toughest races are often the ones that give you the pot of gold for the future. But this only happens if you reflect on them and learn something that betters you as a person and gives you insight that helps you race better the next time.

As for the ultimate race of your life? Well, it is only after the finish line has been crossed and enough time has passed to reflect back on the day that you will really be able to see how great of a race you just had. In the moment of having the race of your life, it will hurt, you might doubt your preparation and you could ask yourself a thousand times why you are even there. But between those moments of questioning and doubt, there can be magical miles where your mind is quiet and your body is working at its top efficiency, where you ignore the moment before that was tough or the next instant that is unknown. The best race of your life exists in the quiet beating of your feet on the pavement and the breath of air that is sustaining your efforts. That is the mindset that will take you from being a novice in the sport to having the best experiences you can.

Mark Allen is the six-time winner of the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. Based in Santa Cruz, Calif., Mark has a state of the art online triathlon training program at