Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Working Week

During the Wind Trainer session

I had a slow start .But first a recap of my Second week back at training. For week 2 i have completed:

Run: 32 Km or approx 3 hours
Bike: 6 hours or  approx 200kms
Swim: 2 hrs or 5.4 kms
Core / Yoga : 2 hrs

Total : 13 hours.

with a Sunday rest day.

This week startered with a wimper as I had a sore hip and slept in for monday morning swim, but i plan to make it up later in the week .

In the evening I did a 12 plus km run at comfy pace which was still uncomfortable. It was warm but not sizzling . not a lot of runners about in Kings Park so it was rather quiet.

Tuesday was the ride starting from hillary's . I drove there and we then rode down to Rebold hill and did 3 hill repeats up reabold Hill and then back to Hillary's where we did some more hill repeats and rode a further 12 kms to make it just over 50 km for the morning.

In the evening it was hot and for run training , I did a 2 plus km warm up, a build of 10x 100m and then the main set was 10 minutes at threshold with a 2 minute active recovery x 3 . Ran just over 10km .

On Wednesday , I was sore but got down for the swim session and we did :
Warm -up 300m free
Main set : 600m x3 .5 ( did not quite get to 4 )
Cooldown : 2 x 25m fre , back , breast and free .
total : 2.6km

The afternoon I was tied up in meetings and so did not do any core work.

Thursday 23 february . It was the Brick session in the morning with 15 mins on the bike and 10 on the run x 3. About 10 of us were out on the City beach course and I felt a lot better than last week. My running was a lot smoother and I was managing just over 5 minute pace . I managed about 26 km on the bike and 6 km on the run.

In the evening it was the usual windtrainer session . Again I mamanged to hold the tempo pace better than last week. It is still a hard session to back up from the morning brick.

Just Before the Thursday Night Wind Trainer session

Friday Morning: it was back to the pool .I was feeling tired but managed to get myself down to the pool. It was a 300 m warmup with PB , then fins and freestyle for another 200m and drills for 600m The main set was 10 x 100m at various paces and then 6-8  x 50m .We did 8  and then a 200m medley cooldown. Total 2.6km.

Saturday 25 February 2012: We had a 80km ride and 8km off the bike .However brad wanted us to start the measure for 80 km from MT Henry bridge which was about 7 km from where we started. We went out as a group and once we got pass the 2 detours on the cycle path down the Freeway , the faster riders took off. I rode by myself most of the time , doing my 3 efforts of 10m each .

The ride back was even quicker . I did lose some of my food bouncing out of my bento box but it was towards the end of the ride and I also got a puncture which slowed me down getting back.Overall , pleased with the ride and the pace.

We then did 8 x 1km runs at maximum effort or 15-20 seconds faster then out usual runs off the bike. I managed to take about 25 seconds off but I was just smashed at the end of it and had my asthmatic cough as well.

In the afternoon it was 1.5hrs of yoga which was hard on the already tired body but also helped loosen up the tight muscles.

The week In summary:

Run: 3.30 hrs or approx 39km
Bike: 5 Hrs or 203.5kms
Swim: 2 hrs or 5.2km
Core: 1.5 hrs
(with a swim and  some core work tomorrow ) It will bring the total to approximately 14 hours

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Life Without limits

Chrissie Wellington - Guardian Newspapers

I like the title and I like the sentiment .It is the title of Chrissie Wellington's Book.Oddly it is the title of a book by Nick Vujich an Australian born with no arms or Legs.

How do you have Limits  when Nick is living life without Limits
 As part of her promotion of her book which has just been released , she was interviewed for the guardian newspaper. It is an insightful piece about the woman. Despite the body image issues she has a steely determination that comes with the need to obsessively overcome these demons. Hence borne from the ashes of these insecurities and fears is a World Endurance champion. I can't help but think ironically she has also inflicted on the majority of the male endurance fraternity , particularly the pros , a new set of psychological insecurities and fears in the process of dissolving hers.

Donald Mcrae the journalist who interviewed Chrissie writes:

She has won four world championships – but Wellington is even more impressive when revealing the corrosive insecurities of her past. "The times and number of victories I've managed matter less than the continual surprise I feel. It's so empowering to defy your own perceptions of what is possible and to keep on opening doors within yourself that you didn't know even existed. Looking back five years ago this month I would never have predicted anything that has since happened."

What is equally  impressive is her athletic talent .She ran as an occasional jogger a 3.01 marathon. I recall seeing her at the inaugural Singapore 70.3. My first year in triathlon and my second Ironman 70.3 . She was an unknown and in a month was to win her first of several Ironman Championships.

It is this sport , you come across many such stories and triumphs. It is a reflection i always hold about why triathlon is a special sport. It constantly test not only the body but the mind . It is a thinking sport despite the brute physical aspect of swim , bike run.

It attracts the likes of Chrissie Wellington , Craig  Alexander ,  the Holts , Sister Buder , and many others who lead very average lives with extraordinary goals . . It is reinforced by the people I meet daily  and train with daily.

For Chrissie she is having a break. All that means is she is content with her achievements for now and her energies will turn to other frontiers such as  running a 2.20 marathon and fund raising for her chosen charities.

As the title of her book suggest ...Living Without Limits is achievable. It is like everything one sets out to achieve. You start with a desire, a goal , a plan and you train your body and your mind and have the heart to reach beyond what you could hope to achieve.

That is what Triathlon teaches . You reach a little further and you surprise yourself. I will falter often but that only makes the dream all the more desirable and the journey hard . After all , I am no Chrissie Wellington ...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hard Thursday and the rest

With a restful  Wednesday , I hit Thursday with a really early ride/run session at City beach , work and a wind trainer session in the evening.

There wasn't too many people around at 5am as I started my 10 min bike and 10 min run x 4 . There was a haze hanging over Perth and after the first run , my asthma was getting worse. I was coughing a bit but just had to get through the session. The bike /run sessions are always hard .At the end I was pretty much done and coughed up a lung.

had coffee at Zekka where the Exceed  group ended up for coffee as well . In the evening it was the wind trainer session at Osborne park.

It wasn't as hot but we all sweated a bucket anyway. I had a speedo so I could at least gauge the efforts. We had 3 x 5minute sessions at maximum sustainable pace and 20 minutes at Tempo.With the warm up I managed 80 minutes and 38 kms .

It is a late finish on Thursday.Despite the hard session my legs weren't too bad. I did sleep soundly though.

Friday was just a swim .It was fortunately not too hard a session as well.I had a 300m warm up with swimming water polo style for 50m and 50m free x 2.The main set was 9x 200m and then a cool down of 200m to make it 2.5km

Saturday we did a ride out to Two Rocks. I hung on as long as i could but the first incline and i was  not able to keep up. I managed to stay with one other rider for about 20kms when I hit a rock on the roadway.had the wobbles and nearly came off my bike .That was scary.Dropped one  bidon and another containing my tubes and the cover came off . I wasn't able to catch up with the guys again .I turned around at 43km and headed back .There was a bit of wind about but it wasn't too bad.

I had 2 gels and Gatorade and that seemed to be sufficient. It wasn't hot either which helped.

Week 2 is over and I have managed to do all the sessions. still slow and carrying the weight but feeling a lot better than 2 weeks ago.

Reading one of the blogs I frequent from time to time I came across a short note titled 18 ways to inspire Everyone around you..
Some thoughts were:
1.Be authentic and true to yourself. –
2.Stick with what you love. –
3.Express your enthusiasm. –
4.Excel at what you do. – etc.
18 ways to inspire everyone around you

Another interesting post and very apt in respect to training for a 70.3 race is Chuckie V's article on Suffering.Do we need to suffer and teaching oneself to suffer.Suffering through training is a choice whereas suffering from illness or some other issue isn't. He states:
At one point Fitzgerald writes, "The capacity to tolerate suffering is trainable," to which I kind of concur. But then, just a page or two later he writes, "I laughed out loud sometimes when I compared my training plans to the training I actually did.

My contention here, of course, is that if the capacity to suffer is trainable, why didn't he just train himself to suffer through the plan he had come up with? Why the setbacks?

I think it's because he feels a necessary part of training is teaching ourselves to suffer. And this I'm not so certain of.
Naturally, the mind sets the goals in motion (and decides how much "suffering" it can handle) but it's the body (and all its capacities) that allows us (or not) to achieve our goals, both daily and over the long haul. (Today's capacities may not allow for tomorrow's goals; ergo, today's goals--and perhaps tomorrow's plans--should be crafted so that they may.)

There lies the difficult balance of training the body to improve whilst not tipping over into the over trained or injury volatile training dimension.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Week 2 Happy Valentines

It has been a gentle introduction back into training . Last year I was riding the hills and doing a fair number of hours from day 1.

This year with the mental fatigue from last year and my weight it has had to be a slower transition into training.

I survived the week and despite the soreness from the long Ride I am rested and ready for next week with a whole day off . I was going to swim but decided to stay in as the weather was overcast and the legs were a little sore.

All in the week was :

Run: 3 hours or approx 26km
Bike: 5.5 hours or approx 175km
swim : 8.6km or 3 hours
Core/ Yoga  : 1.5 hours
Total: 13 hours

The Plan is to tick the boxes and build on each week with gradual improvements and building on the strengths developed each week. My goal is to be able to drop the weight and learn to be more conscious of my pace and to be consistent in my training.

Monday was a double run of 11 km in the morning at comfy level which for me was 6min km and in the evening a short 5.5 km run at a little harder pace but again I was running just at a pace which was comfortably uncomfortable.

There was no swimming. I did 20 minutes of core work at  home in the evening.

Valentines Day on Tuesday was a heavy day with a morning bike session and an interval run session in the evening.

Whilst life goes on and training plays a not insignificant part in my day to day schedule , it is comforting to know that :

My wife doesn't expect Flowers
My undivided attention
does not nag least about my training or triathlons ANYMORE.

It is the unwritten understanding that comes from knowing without asking . Although familiarity breeds contempt , I am not an insensitive Git and certainly not an insensitive triathlete Git .

That was part of the discussion this morning after swimming. From compression socks to dinner we are normal people with just stranger habits and sometimes stranger gifts for our better half's or like the other half of the population , it is a conspiracy of commercial advertisers to stir up guilty feelings and gift buying.

Why celebrate love once a year . I celebrate it everyday and Iam sticking with that story when I return home empty handed.

But the wifey expects nothing less from the self centred triathlete GIT .

Back to the training , Tuesdays bike session had me riding from the city to Reabold hill , not far just 13-14 km away and I got into hill repeats seated .I did five instead of the four we had to do. Everyone rode from Hillary's and were staring their hill repeats as I was finishing.I rode back via Nedlands and managed to get in just under 50km.

In the evening it was intervals at Athletic stadium. I started my warm up early and then did my interval work out at my "Ï"pace which has dropped to 4.48km/min. Did 14 minutes at I pace and all up just under 10km.

Wednesday morning was swim and a rest in the afternoon. I enjoyed the swim session today .We had a 2000m easy Free , 200m with 50m kick and 50m Free and the main set was 7-8 300m sets at different paces. I was slow and 200m behind the lead swimmer but that was partially as I had to wait as they swam pass but I got a good work out and feel more comfortable in the water. It was not a high volume session and I swam 2.6km.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Week In Training

Thursday 9 February

This is one of the harder days along with Tuesday on the programme. I was up at 4.30am and down at City beach just after 5am.

Got my bike and gear ready .It was a Bike /run session of  1 hour. A bike for 10 minutes and run for 10 minutes x 3 . Sounds easy and I had a similar programme on Thursday last year but getting back into it was hard. just the extra weight I  am carrying made it hard.

I had my Garmin but it was not set up to multi sport function so the whole session was just timed as a bike ride.

I did manage the run sections at just under 5minute pace which is a start to build on. The ride is still weak.

In the evening I had my first wind trainer session in several months. It was a hot 35C day in Perth and at 6.30 in a Factory in Osborne Park in did not feel that much cooler.I had 2 bidons of water and after the session another 2 bidons . It was hot and sweaty.

A tough but good work out especially when everyone is there and you just can't slack off. My legs were jelly . Brad had his choice of music but when I was that light headed it did not matter , I was just counting down the minutes.

Friday 10 February

I had a swim session and a rest in the evening. Swim was a 1000m warm up easy and 400 m of 25 fist 25 free . The main set was then 10 x 100m at various pace and 50m x 6 and a 100 m cool down .A total session of 2.8km .

Saturday 11 February
First longish ride with a run of the bike.It was suppose to be 70km with a 6km run off the bike.I was up and out of the Door before five in the morning and headed to the meeting area.I just got the wrong spot .I waited at Point Walter before calling Brad at 10 to six and being told it was Deepwater point.I parked at the Raffles and rode as quickly to the freeway Cycle path as they were off already.i managed to meet up with them at Murdoch . Once we had got clear of the construction area we started 5 minutes of above threshold workouts with 5 minutes recovery building to a maximum effort for the last 5 minutes session. It was then a tempo ride all the way back. I struggled after the 70km mark.Either my fitness level was still not up to the mark or the lack of nutrition was a factor. I had a bidon of Gatorade and 3 Power sweets . I had another bidon of water but really suffered as I felt pretty light headed when I got back and the legs were hurting.

The wind wasn't so bad and it was a good first ride. I managed to keep my HR at a pretty steady level  and probably at about 75% MHR.

The afternoon was spent at YOGA which definitely helped the tight muscles everywhere.

The first week of training is done and 12 to go.

Friday, February 10, 2012


On Tuesday , whilst travelling back from home from run training I was listening to 7.20 AM ABC radio .It was a discussion  on training , retaining staff and the retail industry.

I am not a big fan of fast food ( I like the stuff but not the weight gain and unhealthy fat) ,but on the radio programme the radio host gave an example of walking into a McDonald's in the US and asking for a coffee and an apple pie only to be told the apple pies were not ready and would he like a muffin.He had a muffin and the coffee but was told by the 15 year old serving him that because he did not have his first request , the apple pie , the coffee was free.

The story highlights how the McDonald's philosophy and level of training they provide to their staff to make sure as best as possible no one leaves the store unhappy. The guy recounting the story said , the 15 year old was well trained to deliver the message but understood the importance of the message McDonald's was trying to relay to their customers .You are important and we will do everything we can to serve you . He said he would employ that girl anytime because product knowledge can be taught but critical in the world is people skills and good communication skills.

This brings to mind a quote :

"Win or lose you will never regret working hard, making sacrifices, being disciplined or focusing too much. Success is measured by what we have done to prepare for competition." ---John Smith

What does this have to do with triathlons ?.It is the  same discipline and attention to preparation and organised  training , good time management and positive mental attitude that we have to develop as Triathletes that easily carry over in our daily lives. We always hear the oft quoted line bring your A game. Well we can always strive to bring our A game in what ever we do.

So the challenge is each day as training sessions present , I will try to apply that same enthusiasm and will to push my training to the next level , to be organised so that I have that life balance and apply that to all other aspects of life each day be it at work and interacting with colleagues and clients and just anyone.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Week 1 Ironman 70.3 Training

Capucino from Metriole after swim training ...Pic by Meredith. with her phone camera

Monday morning was a swim session at Terry Tyzacks pool .i got there early and so started swimming 15 minutes earlier. It was cold , a change from the hot weather of the past 2 weeks.

The session comprised :
Sloe easy warm up of 200m with PB, 300m easy FS and then a further 200m FS .

The session was drills with
50m zipper , 50m free , 50m finger drag , 50m free x 2
100m free and 100m medley x 1

Main set:
400m easy to fast
200m medley
100 fast
with the 400m and 300m again

cool down 100m easy

total; 3km

In the evening , I ran 9km at a comfy pace which meant running at a pace which i felt comfortable at and could run at indefinitely. It was about a 6.30 minutes per km pace. it was nice and warm but at that pace I was able to run the 5-8 kms I had to do on the first day without much difficulty.

On Tuesday , I was up at 4.30 am and out the door by a quarter to 5 .First day of group training out at Hillaries on the coast .it was a warm up ride of about 14-15km and then 6 hill repeats on a short sharp climb of 400m on 5-6% gradient .I was riding my first bike an Al raceline pave bike with tribars as the requirement was to do the ride on a road bike and that is my only road bike .It was hard and getting the gearing right was a trial and error activity.i dropped my back light and so on the way back from the warm up loop i picked it up and got dropped from the main group and the fast guys lapped me on the hill repeats.but i had to ride to my capability.

It was windy and I felt the extra weight i was  lugging up the hill. That will be the routine for the next few weeks.

In the evening it was run training and it was hot .we did a warm up and then a 3km time trial .i ran a 14.19 which was 1.26 slower than last year in August. again lack of fitness and weight were decisive but I now have a base  to run from.

It is quite a large squad and as I said it helps to have to be somewhere at a fixed time .It motivates me to turn up and train and try my best.

Back to the pool. There was9 of us in lane 1 . i started a few minutes earlier and did 600m warm up with a pull Buoy and paddles .Then a kick board  for 100m and 100m Free style (FS) .The main set comprised  400m at threshold pace , 300m medium , 200m medium , 400m medium ,300m threshold , 200m medium and a cool down I did a kick board 100m and 100m FS.

Total was 2.8km .

Had breakfast at Metriole which i think is better than the other cafe . They make beautiful coffees with nice designs on the top.

In the evening was a rest period .But I will need to do some core work on Friday and again Yoga on Saturday.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Training Lessons

Some useful advice just as I commenced my Training programme for the Busselton Ironman 70.3.

I found this short and succinct article on firstoffthebike titled training lessons.

It is mainly commonsense stuff but a timely reminder.

In summary and much repeated advice :
  1. Consistency trumps all
  2. Set goals
  3. There is no easy way
  4. Make rules and deals with yourself
  5. Don’t think, just do
  6. Don’t travel to training for longer than you’ll be training for
  7. Don't judge other people's training

 In addition I am back  doing core work as part of the programme and I plan to mix up the core work with just general  strength work .

This piece on the Livestrong website was useful:

The 20 Best Fitness Tips of All Time

Read more:

The link to the article: 20 best fitness Tips

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rivers to Cross

Many Rivers to Cross- Harry Nilsson..a great singer who won a Grammy for the song Everybody's talking from Midnight Cowboy.

Week One commences tomorrow and I  have been reading and re reading the details for week one. It is light and hopefully will kick start the commitment and routine of the past.

I enjoyed Chuckie V last posting on nutrition a re post. I know what needs to be done but the commitment to a strict diet is a little further down the path I am taking presently.Chuckie is always right . I read his earlier piece on commitment. It is all so true and a further piece he did titled Potential Pretense

Like a dark cloud, potential hangs over the heads of countless numbers of talented athletes. Plenty of people are filled with potential. We all have potential. We are potentially capable of anything. I'm a firm believer that anyone can go sub 9:30 in an Ironman, if they only spent the time to prepare themselves accordingly. But few do. I also believe anyone (possessing enough digits) can learn to play the piano. It might not sound all that good, but I'm sure we could all play the thing if we took the time to learn.

But here's the thing. We don't.

There is the fable about the chicken and the pig:
A Pig and a Chicken are walking down the road. The Chicken says, "Hey Pig, I was thinking we should open a restaurant!". Pig replies, "Hm, maybe, what would we call it?". The Chicken responds, "How about 'ham-n-eggs'?".

The Pig thinks for a moment and says, "No thanks. I'd be committed, but you'd only be involved!"[1](WIKIPEDIA)
The two characteristics run hand in hand. Making a commitment is the first stage but we all have caveats and "get out of jail"cards which I wrote about a few days ago under the heading the fifth discipline.It is our excuse to not be committed when the going gets hard. I wax and wane with my capability primarily because of my mental capacity and commitment .I learnt that from my training last year for IMWA 2011 compared to my preparation for Lanzarote which was more committed  . The results will follow with the commitment , the knowledge and the hard work.

As Chuckie adds , we all have the potential to do a 9.30 IM time. Most don't realise that result simply for the lack of the factors above.

It is harder for an age grouper working and with a young family but its hard for everyone. Lots of people still don't understand why do it.I can't answer it other than an inner drive to want to achieve a goal. How hungry I am now at this point is what I am going to find out in the next few months.

Iam several kilograms heavier and pretty unfit. So I have a few months to turn it around but I am coming back with a few years of solid training and commitment.I 've paid the money and I have to Commit.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


The last week of a very ambulatory training sessions and a lack of direction.
I have hardly done any training to speak other than swim and a run again. Work , a lack of focus and more importantly a Plan. Nothing to panic about. It is 13 weeks to the Half.Enough time to get into gear.

Like all the ills in the World there are many lessons to be drawn from many levels in the World.

At Family , village , country and regional levels ,from the perspective of an office or company and from the eye level of a human being in each corner of the world , there are complex and even insoluble problems at first sight but there are fundamental truths and basis for all difficulties.

Get the fundamentals right and it is a start.Have a plan and have a goal. , break down the problem, and most importantly be in the right mental frame. Simply put there has to be a desire.

Most humankind greatest achievements are from individuals not necessarily with the greatest intellect, that helps but the greatest desire.

I listened to a conversation between  Thomas Friedman , an author and New York Times columnist with Orville Schell at the Asia Society ( Video of discussion) Aside form the rather significant topic of the emergence of China and the perceived decline of America, there are many lessons to be learnt.

My Take:
  1. Fundamentally without a yearning and a desire , there is no drive .
  2. Get the fundamentals right 
  3. Learn and be educated
Bigger problems need a collective desire and unified drive and Country goals and great Leadership. China is a case in point , not for the communism but the unleashing of this yearning in the Human spirit pent up for a century.China is capitalism cloaked in authoritarian rule. With all the benefit of Capitalist free market play.

The 3 simple ideas cover huge aspects of life. Take the simple line "where there is a will , there is a way" .It is simplistic but surely if there was a united view to the US deficit , unemployment , the Palestine problem/solution , the Middle east , the rise of fundamentalism , and so on then surely these insoluble issues will be resolved. But clearly in a dynamic planet of several billion people and many countries , there is no will and no united view.

Will isn't sufficient alone , there must be knowledge and the fundamentals , the petri dish with the right culture to nurture and develop. Be it a single individual , a single task or a whole economy.

With so called development of society comes a descent into a vagueness about desire , goals , fundamental values ,and skills and ultimately a lost of the edge and strengths or success. Being a caveman had its disadvantages but there was one goal, survive. To do so , learning to hunt , finding shelter and reproducing.Very fundamental and probably built in desires in early man.

At the person level , I am learning that renewing the desire to train and compete is just as critical as getting back to basics and building the fundamentals properly. All not easy ideals . to bounce back from a difficult race , a balancing act of work , family and training is the conundrum I will confront for the next 13 weeks as many others do. some more successfully .

I start the journey again with a programme from brad .There was a introduction on Tuesday night . A large group of fellow triathletes . For me it is the challenge to improve and the issue is whether there is enough desire to pull it through I am hoping with a the collective force of coach , training group and the rekindling of the desire from the environment, I will get the fundamental right and the perfect race. Sixth Discipline