Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Carbon Free Ride

Tanjung Beach ,Sentosa
After the Swim ...3 km plus slowly

About to Start the run
Slow and steady in the heat

After the run

The past 10 days post IMWA have been very much vegetating as I got over the soreness and fatigue.A lot of sleep and mulling over the race as I try to gather up the motivation for IMNZ 2013.

It has been largely a year of survival rather than of improvement or consolidation , regrettably but an unfortunate reality for many in Triathlon I am sure.The focus will have be to gaining strength and reducing weight but that will be long term goals and IMNZ will be more just getting through the race .

The next 2 weeks is more enjoying the holiday and travel and trying to do some strength exercises.

I catch up each year with a group of triathletes in Singapore and made it to the regular Saturday swim at Tanjung Beach , Sentosa. I did a slow 3 km plus swim and a short 4.7km run .It was a little humid but the water was nice and calm .After the swim /run brick session it was a late brunch at the nearby food centre .
This session was my version of the Carbon Free ride Exceed were having today which I miss each year because I am away. The swim /bike made up for it as it was really quite nice swimming in the lagoon with the water nice and warm and flat with the many ships anchored of the island . the run was a little hot but I just kept it easy and hoping that I will be able to shed some weight by March.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ironman Western Australia 2012

Photographers know that the first and last hour of the day is always golden. But add in the warmth of a young girl comforting her father to not quit after racing for 14 hours in the West Australian Ironman Triathlon, and you get a special image that tells a special story. From The great Delly Carr's Facebook Page Pic taken by Delly Carr
Finishing ...Pic By Dennis Tan
On the run coated with sunscreen ...Pic by Dennis Tan
Before the start with Clifford Lee , Kona Finisher 2012

What a difference a Day makes particularly when it falls on 9 December 2012 .For a triathlete it is Ironman Western Australia 2012 . The weather was great one minute with mill pond water and windy and rough conditions next. Anything can happen and it does often.

It is a day that usually brings out the best in everyone.From volunteers , to competitors and the many who come  to support family and friends. It is a hard day .There isn't ever an easy Ironman race regardless of the conditions.

For me , it was a hard day with the swim setting the tone for what has been a difficult year . But as they say if it was easy everyone will be doing it. Having said that , I was hoping for a better result but they are what they are. At the end of the long day , I crossed the line at 13.10.53

HH : MM : SS
HH : MM : SS
HH : MM : SS

My slowest at Busselton yet but every race is different and in every race I learn something new possibly not profound and not Life changing.

I don't plan to provide an in depth analysis of a lack lustre race other than to say going into the race I was quite under done and lacked the preparation I needed .

I had not really got my swimming back to early 2011 levels and that is something I will have to work on. I assumed I could get by with the minimum of work and the shoulder injury demanded I rest it but I will have to work on strengthening the left shoulder . I will also need to work on swimming in all conditions I swam a few hundred meters extra which was just silly.

That really set up the rest of the race and I pretty much just did not have the strength to sustain myself on the bike and run .It was just trying to survive the rest of the race . I really had some slow times and unfortunately with the extra weight I was carrying , I really just wasn't able to maintain any reasonable pace.

The really good points were , I did not panic and had my best start ever .I stayed away from the main groups and did not have any real issues other than drinking a bit of seawater and the choppy conditions which I find hard to swim in but that just slowed me up and did not really cause me any concern as past swim legs would.

I followed my nutrition plan to the letter and ate all the time and finished my gels and had at least 6 bi don's on the bike and lots of lollies and dates . On the run , 2 gels , coke from the 5 km mark  at every aid station and electrolyte as well , lots of water 2 cups at least per aid station and lots of ice . I did not feel the heat other than my legs were just cactus. I had no intestinal issues and had only 2 pee stops on the run and one on the bike.

It was just a matter of toughing it out.The brain was screaming for me to walk and I just had to focus on getting from one aid station to the next and from one lap to the next. I walked each aid station and shuffled in between . In most races if well prepared I would usually be able to maintain my race pace up to the 20km mark on the run , at about 6km I was already struggling , but in all this , I never forget that it is a race , it is about finishing , and it isn't the end of the world if you don't. Like everyone there are goals and times and all the sacrifice etc but in the end , S@#t happens . I survived and I will move on.

What was enjoyable was the crowd support , the many volunteers I knew and the great atmosphere. I was in far too much pain to truly appreciate it all but I am thankful for the support from total strangers .As I finished my last lap , I thanked some of these total strangers and the response no worries all we did was just cheer you on.Well it was more than that , it uplifted and encouraged me and I am sure 1500 others. On the positives I raced at my heaviest weight and probably my least fit state and still made it so there is hope yet.

Despite the results , it is still an experience and whilst many had hard days , I know of many ,whom I won't mention who had a spectacular day . They not only guts it out but really had the results they deserved . Ironman Western Australia Age Group Highlights . First off the Bike

I will mention one story in thousands told on the day .My blog is about training, about triathlon and about my experience but it is not meant to be a "look at me " story  but more so the experience and wonder of this sport many love. A colleague whose sister was entered for her first Ironman ,  tore her calf muscle on the bike leg ( I don't know at what stage ) and still finished with 20 minutes or so to spare. I don't advocate killing yourself to prove you are an Ironman but  that is partly what is so inspiring about the race .Ordinary people testing themselves. There are many stories of sacrifice , tears and goals achieved and goals just slipping through or missed by miles .The true nature of the race is to be able to survive that and move on.

Entries opened today for Ironman WA 2013 . Whose up for another bout with the IronGods.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The pointy End

Busselton Jetty 

The great thing about a local race ie Ironman Western Australia is that it is just down the road.I head down to Busselton tomorrow morning and the car is packed with all the gear and much more.The accommodation booked and all the training is done. It has been a very relaxing week training wise and a hectic one at the office so there has been no time to become anxious about the race or sit and fret .

It will be interesting for the fact I have gone into this race very much under done but that may be a good thing.I will know on Sunday evening baring any mechanical failures .

The weather is shaping up to be quite qood this weekend .I have done all I can and it is just now staying focused and executing the plan. I plan to enjoy this race as much as I can.

At the inter club race last week  , the race director asked all the triathelete to do 3 things:-
  1. Smile as you cross the finish line 
  2. Thank a volunteer
  3. Cheer a fellow triathlete on
I plan. to try and do all 3 on Sunday.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chrissie Wellington

Superwomen Wellington ...with her Superman. Picture from Everyman Tri

There must be a collective sigh of relief amongst Professional male triathletes that Chrissie Wellington has announced her retirement from the sport of Ironman racing.

I say this in jest but only half jest as she has dominated the sport like no other female athlete and shows that endurance sports can be an equaling  force to the usual unequal results between men and women.

I have mixed feelings.She has been part of the Ironman landscape since I came into this sport and  she was at the 2007 Aviva 70.3 ,(only my second half) then an unknown just  after winning her first Ironman event ,IM Korea 2007  .She went on to win her first World Championships later in October 2007.  She holds the fastest time for the distance in Roth in 2010 at 8.18 h .

I read her book , A life without Limits as I lay in hospital in March this year . Memorable for all the wrong reasons.She is one of my heroes no doubt for her tenacity  and determination. On the other hand , the feelings are mixed for the fact she is retiring . She has conquered all she has seen and there is just no spark to train for another Ironman.She has more challenges that get the stomach juices flowing , Ironman and the Endurance lifestyle isn't one of them.

One of the better interviews on her retirement at
“I remember saying to Brett (Sutton, her coach from 2007 to 2008) when I first started, “I want to achieve success in five years. I don’t’ want to be in the sport for a very long time. For me it wasn’t a lifestyle choice … No disrespect to anyone who views it as such, but for me it was how good can I be at this sport and I answered that question.”

In a way I understand that . It takes a lot out of you and it surely isn't necessarily all good as she points out particularly for a obsessive triathlete chasing perfection. for the back of the pack age groupers who have jobs and families , the contrast isn't so stark , it isn't all or nothing and so it is a lifestyle choice without the commitment to making a living and winning races. 

But is makes everything seem relative. For a smart cookie like Chrissie to step away from the sport at this time must say a lot about how much it does take and the sacrifices to be on top ,both mental and physical. ( Another study points to the dangers of endurance events on the heart Endurance athletes may be harming hearts )In my own way I have felt that acutely this year , the commitment to training and balancing all life's pressures and results and outcomes suffering for it has made it difficult to sustain the commitment to training and more importantly the enjoyment.After all I am not earning a living from racing. I don't podium and people still ask why do you do it.Even this morning . there is no easy answer and ultimately distilled down to the essence , I still have not run the perfect race and I still want  to .Those emotions overwrite all the other sensible feelings of slowing down and taking a break

But as I have learnt  there is a fine balance between OCD behavior that is destructive and counter productive and the wholesome balanced life we all wish for.

Chrissie Wellington has obviously decided , that balance is a life without Ironman racing .Five years dominating the sport is sufficient and time to move on.I wish her well but I am sad to see her leave .It was fun , inspiring and she was all I would like to be.

Her parting comments on the perfect race sums up the whole ethos of endurance racing and Ironman
It was perfect in it’s imperfection. You never get a perfect race. Even something small can affect your predetermined plan. I think the only measure of perfection, in our sport, is the way you overcome the things that are thrown at you. For me I believe I did that as perfectly as I could in Kona in 2011. Could I go faster? Yes, I think I and other women can go faster. But I don’t want to internalize other people’s version of perfection – as soon as you go 8:50, then you start thinking “can I go 8:48?”
It is overcoming all that is thrown at you. that is what it is about and if you can face that and make a good fist of it , that is all anyone can expect .So as in racing , that is what its about in life.

I do wonder what happens to champions when they retire. Is there a proverbial elephant graveyard of Ironman champions . They never die they just fade away to appear each October on the beach sands of dig me beach or Kailua Bay or along Ali'i Drive in Kailua-Kona.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

WA State Inter-Club Championships 2012

Transition at 6 am Pic by Dennis Tan
North Coast Tri Club Pic by DennisTan
Before the Race At registration .Pic by Dennis Tan
Motivating the troops Al Presidente Ross Pedlow Exceed Tri Club Pic Rod Marton
Cup Cakes at The Exceed Tent Food by Rob Parry

Presidents Trophy for the Highest average points in the Race 2012


148 John Cooke  SWIM : 15:36.

 BIKE 40:54 RUN: 23:21 TIME: 1:19:52.0

The State Inter-Club Championships were run today .The first time they were held before Ironman Busselton. It was a good hit out before the main race . I was expecting it to be cold in the morning and didn't have my jumper. Exceed had it's biggest turn out in its short history.

We won the Presidents trophy again , retaining the trophy from last year . There was the usual banter between clubs and hopefully everyone took it in the right spirit .It is the only race on the calender where we triathletes race for our club and as a fairly small sporting community in the State it is good to get together and just have a fun race despite the rivalry that exist .It is the participation that counts. Mandurah Triathlon Club put on a great event and it is heartening to see all the clubs growing and the sport becoming popular. I enjoyed the hit out .Times weren't terribly important . It was hard to compare as the bike course has changed and last year I did a 1.13 on a shorter bike course but ran a slower run. This year the swim was partly a run although I was in deep water and managed to swim the whole length. I did like the bike course and managed to keep at a pace that was slower but manageable. The run was an out and back course and was happy with my effort of 4.41 pace. Next week it Busselton Ironman 2012. Looking forward to the race and just enjoying it .
State Inter Club result

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Thank You Lord ...

 Taper is in Full swing .It has been a light week by comparison.

 I had swim training on Monday evening so I slept in for Monday Morning. On Tuesday it was an hour of sitting behind whilst everyone rode hard .it was still hard keeping up with Ross and Stu but I managed for 45 minutes before easing up. Rode for 1.40 hr .In the evening had run training with 2km warm up and then 4 x 500m at threshold and 2 x 1km at threshold and 2 x 500m at threshold and a cool down of another 2km .

On Wednesday I had  another lie in and after a meeting rushed to swim training in the evening , there was a storm front heading to Perth and the winds were pretty awesome . Despite the conditions managed to complete the swim training . It was a 50 minute session and did about 2.2 km with the main set being 800m at medium pace , 400m at threshold and 200m fast and 400m medium followed by cool down.

Thursday the weather was bad so I did no training and on Friday I did a 1hr session at lunch time and a further 30 minutes in the evening running slowly at easy pace.
Saturday was a very easy ride with 2 hours on the bike at sub threshold pace and then 30 minutes off the bike. I felt a little sluggish but comfortable on the run.

As Exceed were doing a short swim /run session at City beach , we rode from there and did a river loop. Lots of cyclist were out and it was a nice but cold day.

I have started to assemble my gear and will finalise everything for the race after the Inter Club championships tomorrow . it will be a fun race which will help with the preparation for the Ironman.

Finally had a quick look at some website on the mental approach to a Race . it helps to try to focus on the positives and have a few mantras come race day . it is more mental than physical at some point in the race .  Whilst the preparation is less than ideal , I will still approach the race in the same way as I do:-
  1. I will write down my nutrition plan and go through it 
  2. I will try and prepare for the race Mentally ( read :How to Get the Winning mentality )
  3. Go through my checklist and tick off all the items I need
  4. Execute the Plan and the training i have put in
  5. Enjoy the Race.

Words to Motivate

You Can If You Think You Can!
If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will.
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But soon or late the man who wins,
Is the man who thinks he can.
~ C. W. Longenecker ~

All the work is done and nothing else left but to organise and put into practice the months of training .
When out there it always helps to remember a  few mantras to get by when the going gets tough .At some point it will happen .
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
Michael Jordan

Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything.
Vince Lombardi

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence. The extra energy required to make another effort or try another approach is the secret of winning.
Denis Waitley

There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.
Napoleon Hill

Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.
Napoleon Hill

Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.
Napoleon Hill

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.
George Edward Woodberry

Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.
Dale Carnegie

Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.
David Frost

Failure is success if we learn from it.
Malcolm Forbes
Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.
Dale Carnegie

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.
W. C. Fields

Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.
Ross Perot

Nothing recedes like success.
Walter Winchell

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.
Bill Gates

Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiam.
Winston Churchill

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
George S. Patton

A champion is someone who gets up, even when he can’t

Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.
Stephen R. Covey

The difference between a mountain and a molehill is your perspective.
Al Neuharth

The dark Art of Tapering

If triathlon wasn't confusing enough at least the science of getting the training at optimum balance for that minute improvement , the dark art of tapering is a whole new level of confusion.

I have never quite understood why and when but I have been just thankful for the drop in volume . I have been letharrgic and tired at the beginning and then by the week before the race , began to feel more lively and fresher. having said that , there are lots of great articles on tapering.

It is a necessity to freshen us up for the Big Day but as Chuckie V points out so eloquently , there must be something to taper. That is , have I put in the hard yards to justify the taper. I am not so sure but if anything i aim to enjoy this race and not sweat the fine detail of times and goals.

My personal view (which is often obscured by a murky memory and visions of grandeur, though we'll overlook that for now) on tapering is this:

1) It is more art than it is science and…
2) You better be sure you first have something to taper from.
Chuckie V on Tapering

"The primary aim of the taper should be to minimize accumulated fatigue, rather than to attain additional physiological adaptations or fitness gains." In other words, it's time to chill. 
Its Taper Time Runners World

 If I haven't already been chilling for the whole training program for Ironman Busselton 2012 , I certainly will be for the taper.

Monday, November 26, 2012

What it Takes to be a Champion

Meredith Kessler - Trizone

No one knows what they are doing when they start out in triathlon,
and the learning curve takes time, money, determination, and
effort. It took me over twenty Ironman races to realize that I was
floundering in the sport.
Meredith Kessler Ironman NZ /St George IM Champion 2012 and finisher of 40 Ironmans

It is good to be humble and to be objective.

In this sport of long course triathlon , there is no more a humbling experience then failure. It also throws out many great unassuming and humble Champions . It is one aspect of the sport I love .It is an equalizer of all who venture out to have a go . It respect's no one and every race is a lesson about to be served to anyone who does not respect the distance .Even the pro's get it badly wrong from time to time. Possibly for that reason they understand the sacrifice each triathlete at the start line has endured.

The best have had to face it .It I hope builds character? I may not have all the answers and certainly I have had more than my share of mistakes . I continue to make them and I continue to know , to improve , no stone must be left unturned but it comes at considerable price. One I am not able to pay.

There is nutrition , rest , training and mental and physical preparation ...all coming together. Having said that , the professionals may have the time but they take the leap of faith chasing races and sponsorship and the uncertain pay check . If you want it badly enough you will take the plunge.

I have read a recent article in triathlete Magazine ( the advantage of a subscription ) about Meredith Kessler , just such a Champion Professional triathlete and about  her triathlon History .It took her 20 Ironman's before she began to improve into an age group winner and eventually turning Pro. The piece is reproduced on the Triathlete Europe website and is well worth a read.

The Journey Of Meredith Kessler By Paul Moore

Another great piece is an article about Meredith's early beginnings in the sport and before she became a Pro by Matt Fitzgerald titled the Purple Patch .She had a full time job and a marriage and training and managed to make it all work.

Seeing Purple by Matt Fitzgerald triathlete Magazine November 2010

IT TOOK MEREDITH KESSLER  a long time - more than seven years - to find a purple patch in triathlon .She found it soon after she began working with coach Matt Dixon in 2007 , and since then the 32 year old San Francisco resident  has made up for lost time , riding that purple patch from her past status as a solid but unexceptional age-group Ironman racer to her current status as a top tier pro whose Ironman victory seemed all but inevitable . for those uninitiated in the ways of the purple patch is "a period of excellent performance , when everything seems to go right , work properly and is in perfect balance .Everything seems to fall into place and flows , making it seem like you can do nothing wrong.

Despite the challenges of endurance racing , there is an inevitable meaning to the whole journey culminating in the race. For some , they find their mojo in the first race but as I have learnt , there is always a roll of the dice and there is always something to be learnt and something to improve upon . It may take many years or for some , it all falls in place fairly quickly and then it is just the tweaking of the edges to sharpen the  result. Whatever it is , whether a top ten age grouper or the back of the pack triathlete , the race does dish out lessons as does those many hours of training. What we take from these lessons is what makes us as triathletes and more so the person we want to be.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


It s about two weeks to Ironman  Busselton 2012.

Whilst there are  many factors that have not made this the deal preparation for an Ironman . t never s and the trick is to be able to adapt to circumstances as they arise and cope. getting to the start line is one battle , achieving your best on the day is quite another battle some 1500 plus triathletes will be waging on 9 December 2012. Many to perform at their best and deliver a PB .

The preparation has been less than ideal but in many respects ideal in that I do not have any illusions of where I am at and how I will perform and any pressure on myself to achieve unrealistic times. We are always our worst enemies . It is good to have goals and objectives but quite another to shoot for the stars and miss by a country mile. The training tells me where I am. I am not running or biking as fast as early last year and I am quite a few Kg's heavier than race weight at Lanzarote 2011. On the plus side I am feeling stronger and recovering from my fall .

The week has passed quickly. I had no swimming this week so far and mainly did my run session on Tuesday with interval work and clocking over 12km.On Wednesday I did a treadmill session of 55 mins and a run of 50 minutes clocking over 17kms with 30minutes at Marathon pace. On Thursday , I followed the Exceed group round the river but did not join them on the efforts. It was a comfortable 42kms round the river and 1.40minutes on the bike. I had a massage on Thursday and my right hip was quite sore over the week although there was no particular incident. Possibly the massage the week before was just a little hard and the runs had just inflamed the tissue around the right Hip. I soldiered on but it was pretty sore after the Thursday run even though it was an easy 10km run. On Friday , I skipped swimming and had an OT session with another massage to try and get the hip fixed.

Saturday , another early start , at 4.30am riding from South Perth through Welshpool , Roe and the cycle path down the Freeway to Safety bay road and then back to South Perth via the bike path. I had 3 x 30 minute efforts.Everyone took a turn on the efforts and felt very comfortable . My heart rate was at about 145 when I was at the front which was at about 72% of my Maximum Effort. It felt good and admittedly when I was at the back the heart rate dropped down so it wasn't quite at threshold pace for each full 30 minute effort .But on the day with the swim and the excitement , I suspect the heart rate will be higher. It will be a critical question as to the pace on the bike and being realistic about times .

Untitled by cookejohn at Garmin Connect - Details

The run off the bike was at easy pace.Again I started off faster than I should and slowed down to do 5.5km in 30 minutes , keeping the heart rate below 140 . The legs were feeling pretty good but we did spin back leisurely for the last 45 minutes .

Untitled by cookejohn at Garmin Connect - Details

Two weeks to go and tapering and preparation for the Ironman are on.

Ross ,  my Coach  , and the IM Triathletes from Exceed  had a little get together at Yelo Cafe  to discuss preparation and nutrition. I will put  up my checklist as well as a link to tapering which I have found helpful.  As I am reminded again , it isn't rocket science but it isn't easy.

The training is done and not a lot is going to improve the performance but a lot between now and race day can destroy a PB.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Last Long Ride

The week has passed quickly and it has been busy. My last big week of training before the taper has been uneventful and not too bad.

I ran on Monday with a 2 hour run but split into a treadmill session with 30 minutes at Marathon pace and the rest a little slower . Managed to run 21 km .On Tuesday it was the last 1.5 hour session on the Birwood circuit and again it was a good effort although i felt I was slower with the legs still fatigued from the run the night before.I managed a 62km ride with the cycle from and back to the city from Nedlands. I had a massage at lunch time which did help the sore muscles and in the evening I did the  run was 4 x 1km at threshold pace and 6 x 600 at threshold pace with a warm up and cool down .Managed 12.5km.

On Wednesday , I got down to the swim session and felt tired but kept  up .It was a bigger session then normal and with the warm up and cool down , I did 2.9km .the main set was 500m at medium and threshold , 300m at medium and threshold and 3x 200m .

Thursday , I skipped the ride in the morning and did my run at lunch time it was an easy run for an hour  and in the evening I rode my bike home from work and again to swim and work on Friday morning. The swim on Friday was short but a little harder with a short fast set. we did a 50 easy , 100 fast , 50m easy and 100m fast , four times and then a cool down of 200m medley and 200m easy .I felt a lot better but I am still slow. I did manage to remain reasonably strong for the whole set and keep up with the middle group in the lane .

Saturday was the last long ride of 5 hours and a30 minute run off the bike .I started off with Johnny Hawkins and Mez at 4.30 am from South Perth doing 4 sets of threshold efforts. There was a good stiff tail wind down going out .We hit 80km and then turned around hitting the headwind although i felt it wasn't as bad a s2 weeks ago. we took turns at the front and that helped with Johnny being the strongest rider amongst us and pushing a higher speed. i ran comfortably off the bike although I did feel the heat. I had 4 bidons of water and Gatorade , my gels in a flask and dates and snakes for added carbohydrates  and 1800mg of salt in the gels. Had one pee stop on the bike and one on the run.

Sunday , the legs were feeling pretty good after the ride and run on Saturday and I had a good nights sleep. drove down to Coogee to swim with Les and Trevor.(Trevor didn't make it as he was watching rugby last night and slept in).  the winds was up and so the water was a little choppy .Made it hard in the beginning but i did manage to get a bit more comfortable after the initial spluttering and coughing and swallowing of sea water. did a short swim of 1.5km  and then coffee.

The week has rushed by but glad I managed to finish all the programme without too much difficulties..

Swim: 2.6 hrs/ 6.6 km
Run: 4. 5 hrs  / 48km
Bike : 9.1 hrs / 260 km
total: approx 16 hrs.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Last Easy Week

The purpose in life is to have a Good nights sleep

Sleep is underrated . I have discovered this year I have slept more and I have loved it .After Saturdays mammoth session I slept like a log and for most of Sunday other than a visit to AQWA , I just rested .Monday was a sleep in morning and I did my swim in the evening.It was a good session and felt pretty comfortable in the water.We did a 500 m warm up or 10 minutes then dills with PB and bands.I struggled with bands alone and just sink like a dead weight so need to practice more with the bands.that was 300m and then the main drill was 12 x 100m at threshold , with everyone having a turn in front.managed to keep up with the faster swimmers in the lane .cool down was a 200m swim for a distance of 2.2km.

Tuesday , skipped the cycle in the morning , just wanted to rest.It was an easy ride round the river. i did do the run session with 3km warm up and cool down  and 1.5km x 4 at  threshold and marathon pace .managed just over 13 km .felt pretty good.

Wednesday was just a swim session with about 2.3km .Again warm up and drills was 700m and then 500m at threshold , 500m at medium , 300m at threshold and 300m at medium and a cool down .

Thursday and Friday turned out to be busy work days and I just did not manage any training. had a bit of a cold or the hay fever as well. On Saturday , Bryce and I rode down Reid hwy and West coast before doing the river and Shelly loop. We jumped on the back of a group near Mt Henry and followed them all the way back to the City . they were pretty fast and my legs were pretty shattered after that. Rode home and did a bit of a loop around the suburb. Ran off the bike for 30 minutes very slowly. In the evening I did an easy ride with Tim in the rain to the city and back .

Sunday , I was planning on an easy ride but just rested as I still had a cold. I fell asleep by nine pm and don't remember anything till getting up the next morning at 5 and then sleeping again for a few more hours. It has been a week of more rest than activity but by the quality of sleep , it was needed .

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Double Paganoni - Not Quite

Breakfast at Noon at Metrio

It is a new tradition in exceed for those doing Ironman to do one of these at least once.You have to ride 200km and run for an hour off the bike all before 12 noon.
It is a long day especially when you have to be up at 3am.I had a six hour ride and an hour run off the bike .

Started off at South Perth and we rode through Shepparton and Whelspool Road to Roe Hwy and then on to the Freeway bike path all the way to the end.It was easy in the beginning with a group of us and just drafting off the group.After Roe Hwy it quicken with everyone doing Threshold efforts and again i just stayed in the group till about an hour from the end , I went out with bryce and then for the last 45 minutes on my own till the end of the freeway .I turned around and met the group of Mez , Johnny and Bryce and rode on thinking they would eventually catch up . they did probably when I turned off to Safety Bay Road for water . There was a good tail wind on the way down but that meant a headwind all the way back. I was struggling after the 4 hour mark and probably did not pace myself too well.Got back to South Perth for a quick transition and then an hour run.I managed 10km and stopped. I was glad that was done.Kevin Siah was riding past in South Perth with break your limits group after I later learnt was a 180km ride in the hills. So my 185 km ride wasn't that bad in comparison other than the headwind on the return trip.

It was a good learning curve and the bike felt good after the repairs and will just have to get the hydration and nutrition right for the race and not go out too hard.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Post recovery

Last week was supposed to be a week of continuing training but unfortunately my recovery was slower and work and just falling into a rut made it a week of little training. i did turn up for run training on Tuesday but had great difficulty running with my wheezing and i suspect hay fever.

I have put that behind as I must to focus on the last big week of training . It started with the usual Monday of not exactly wanting to get out early for a 2 hour run. I ended up running at lunchtime on a treadmill for 1.25 with 2 x 40minutes at Marathon pace which for me was at about 5.20 or just under.It was hard but I managed to finish the run .I ran 16kms .In the evening before swim training I ran a further  50 minutes and just over 8kms at a recovery pace . I then did my swim session which was all in about 2.3km with the usual warm up and cool down but we had to do a 400m time trial which was hard as I kept cramping and then 100m x 10 . I was swimming pretty slow but glad i made it through.

Tuesday was a long day.Had the 90 minute hard session on my own on the circuit.I did try to hand on to some of the groups riding but couldn't.After the 130minute session I found I had been riding in the small chain ring the whole time. my legs were wasted and it was hard trying to keep at a higher pace in the small chain ring.The run session was interesting.i was tired and the legs were hurting but did not have to many issues with the set.Did a 2km warm up and then 8 x 800 at threshold and a 2plus cool down.managed over 11kms .the pace for the threshold efforts were under 4minutes between 3.39 to 3.49 .

Wednesday .It was a good swim session .i got there for a start.We had a 400m warm up and then 200m of medley and the main set was 2 x 300m at medium and medium plus , followed by 200m and 150s and then 100s with a cool down at the end .I managed 2.3kms again. No training in the evening so it was a good day to rest the body.

Thursday.Another long day starting with a 2 hour plus ride with 8 x 10 minute efforts and 5 minutes recovery .at least i was riding on the big chain ring , felt a lot better . Did 62km all up. In the evening it was an hour on the thread mill at an easy pace finishing with 10 plus kms.

the only real big session is Saturday with a long ride/run.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Great Chocolate Bar

Race briefing in the Sun

Anabel Luxford after the race with me

It was a good weekend especially when I  won the official Great chocolate Bar.

Rob had booked a house for the weekend of the race which was just a few minutes from the start. We had 2 rooms so when there was a request to host a professional triathlete who needed  a bed at Mandurah ,  Rob volunteered. It turned out well as we got to chat with Anabel Luxford , a former ITU triathlete now stepping up to half Ironman racing.

The night before the race , Rob joked that the winner in the house would get the chocolate bar the owner had left on the table as a welcome to us.

Unfortunately , Rob was ill with a bug on the morning and couldn't race .Anabel got a puncture and pulled out .  I won by default .

Trizone piece on Annabel from 2011  ( Her website is down at present as it got hacked into)
Interview with Anabel Luxford

It was a better prize having the opportunity to spend some time talking about triathlons and racing with a very experienced triathlete. As we said in our sport the professionals are probably very approachable and welcoming and great fun to be with .That was a far better prize and reward for finishing the race.

Mandurah 70.3

Pictures of the Mandurah 70.3 Inaugural Half Ironman .All Pictures with permission from Dennis Tan who was roving photographer for the day .

Every race is an interesting experience. It is mixed with the expectation versus the reality of results.

Mandurah 70.3 was the inaugural event at Mandurah and I didn't really approach the race with the exact detail of preparation it deserved. Partly as it was a full training week and it was a training race. But having said that it always helps to check out the course and make sure all the equipment is working and there are no unforeseen issues arising.

The race itself was  great .I enjoyed having an easy Saturday catching up with Rob and we had the opportunity to host a Professional triathlete,  Anabel Luxford. It was enjoyable talking to her and learning about the life of a Triathlete who raced at an elite level in ITU races for aboout 10 years.

She was stepping up to the Half Ironman distance and this was her first race.

It was a fast race for the professionals with Tim Berkel winning in 3.39.59.  Berkel, Hauschidt conquer the inaugural Mandurah 70.3

In terms of preparation ,  had my training bike which was fine and got it checked in on the Saturday before the race, attended the race briefing and registered . On the day itself the swim was in the Mandurah canals. I was in the second last wave and it was a long wait. I found the swim difficult only in that I had very little open water swim time since Busselton and found it difficult . I would have mini panic attacks and have to breast stroke for a minute to get comfortable. The tightness of the wetsuit didn't help. Sighting was another problem .I eventually got comfortable and managed to finish in 36mins which was about where I am with my swim experience . It was a fast swim as there was a bit of a current to assist.

The transition was good and I took about 3 minutes.There are areas I can improve and work on. The bike leg was a little of a struggle .I had a good first leg with a split of 1.23 but faded badly in the second with a 1.30 One of my slower bike times but again reflects where I am fitness wise at the moment. I had some issues on the bike losing my straw for my aero bottle just after transition so I had to adapt and used one bottle of electrolyte from the aid station and water which I took at each aid station after taking a drink of the Gatorade concentrate in my other bottle. i did have a few stomach issues but nothing serious given I was hoping that I had enough water to dilute the concentrate as it went down my tract. I had  jelly beans and snakes as well and I think I got the nutrition about right despite the set back. I had 4 gels on the bike and 2 on the run with coke  and water. I didn't have any cramping The run was a little undulating and hot but nothing too difficult. I just had tired legs and could not maintain my Marathon pace. I finished with a 2.05 which was 15 minutes slower than my run leg in a half.

HH : MM : SS
HH : MM : SS
HH : MM : SS
Finish Time
HH : MM : SS

Over all I am satisfied with the outcome. It would have been nice to finish at about 5.20 but I just don't have the speed on the bike at the moment.It seems with 30 Kona slots up for grabs next year it will be an attractive event for many hopefuls. I just enjoyed the chance to be able to finish the race without too many issues.