Monday, July 29, 2013

Rod Marton ...Buns of Steel

Rod Marton needs no introduction in the Exceed family .He has been one of the key members and organizers in the club. I first sort of met Rod in the early days at North Coast Tri club ( 2006/7) on Saturday rides from Bikeforce Woodvale (although he may not recall as I was way at the back of the ride) where the lead riders would hammer it from the turnaround at Guildford and come down Reid Highway back to Woodvale.Even then Rod was in the lead group.He has impressively become faster .The results speak for themselves . Application and consistency despite some injury the hallmark of getting to Kona 3 times .
Picking Up the Kona slot at Ironman 70.3 Auckland 2013

1.     Full name: Rod Marton
2.     Age Group: 45-49
3.     Profession: Marine Education
4.     Years in profession: 9
5.     Brief background :Did you grow up in Perth and were you into sports when you were younger?  Perth through and through, I  played the normal sports in junior clubs. Football for 17 seasons (including country league), A grade baseball and plenty of golf.
6.     Triathlon experience: A brief outline
7.     Started in 2007. Did a fun tri, sprint, Olympic, 70.3 then IM in the first year one after the other. Every single triathlon that year I did not feel I would finish when I stood at the start line.
8.     Walk us through your active lifestyle.  What is an average day when you are training for an ironman? Heaviest loading is 6 days a week (always Sunday off to spend with my wife). At least 2 sessions a day, sometimes 3. Massage once a week. Longest sessions bike 650km p/w, run 80km p/w, swim 15km p/w
9.     Why the Ironman triathlon? What started you on that? I put the “virus” to bed after 2007 and did not wish to complete another IM. In 2010 I had a good result at the Busso 70.3 and it showed me I could have decent results in longer distances. I set broad goals for my first IM back (which was in Houston) and went beyond them. The rest is history (or stupidity).
10.  When taking on such an event , how do you maintain your balance of work, life and family? It took 3 years to get it right. I could not start a program without the full support of my wife, it would be stupid to do so. She knows the times I now need to train and the times I can do things socially. The biggest positive to our lifestyle is the travel and my wife loves that! I have a flexible work where I can timetable a lot of my appointments which makes things possible. Thinking outside the square to find times and places to do training is the key.
11.  How does an active physical lifestyle tie in to your work ? See above
12.  How many years did you train/participate in triathlon  before you qualified for Kona? 4 years however I was really lucky to qualify on my first real attempt.
13.  Tell us about the one or a few inspirational moments of your Triathlon career.Are there any standout moments or memories or accomplishments you are most proud of? 2010 IM 70.3 Busselton I still rate as my best race from start to finish. I think I made the fewest errors in that race than any other.
14.  What do you enjoy the most about our sport    The coffee and the breakfast – seriously! My best time of the day is breakfast after an early training session. Being in good physical shape is also important to me.
15.  What is your favourite race and why? Kona, It is the Hollywood of triathlon. The downside is you start to believe you are better than you probably are J
16.  Who or what in Triathlon inspires you? New people taking on an IM. I love it and get really excited for them to have a go. It inspires me so much when people who did not believe they could even finish, surprise themselves with a great result.
17.  Do you have a favourite workout and if you do what is it? It is the best and the worst. The hour of power on the bike where we basically go all out for 60minutes. The feeling of accomplishment following that session is next to nothing.
18.  What’s your favorite triathlon discipline to compete at? Probably the bike although I am learning to enjoy the run (or telling myself to enjoy the run at least)
19.   What music keeps you motivated during training? (if any) Got to have music for the long training sessions. I couldn’t get by without it. Anything from the music library is fine but LOUD.
20.   What’s something people might be surprised to find out about you? I am really not that good at IM
21.   When you are not training or competing, people can find you ...(fill in the blank)  Taking educational programs (camps) in the middle of the wilderness in places like Shark Bay
22.   What’s one race you haven’t done yet that you like to do someday? Spectate – Tour de France, compete – Race across America

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Getting to the Start

Cross fit training with Boris

Saturday's weather meant a 2 hr wind-trainer session with Molly
It is the end of July and the past week has been one of wet  and cold weather. Racing and training admittedly has not been a top priority .

If anything I have been doing a lot less than I wanted and have done for the past 6 years since I jumped on this merry go round called Triathlon .But it has been good to get back to basics and doing workouts with no specific plan and  no programme . It has been  a great break from any structure and the only real disciplined effort has been trying to get to cross fit sessions regularly and watching the calories . One of the toughest session I did do was last week called Fight Gone bad. It was short with only about 18 minutes but it was as close as I got to throwing up .

I must say change in itself is not necessary a good thing but as I get older and with the time constraints getting bigger , knocking out the hours I did do in training was making me and did make me go backwards . There are those who can manage life with training 15-25 hours and do really well and Cross fit has its critics. Brian Mackenzies controversial approach to Marathon Training . Outside Magazine Christopher Solomon 

It may not be everyone's answer and I am a work in progress but even if it doesn't make me fast , I do know I will be able to at least do a few pull ups ( something I could not do a few months ago )  and  at least I will feel stronger .  Reconnecting with life has been refreshing .

Saturdays session which I could not complete .

But in all journeys there has to be a map and a route to follow. If anything even a loose plan that is followed 70% of the time is better than none. That preparation starts now.

It is 130 days or approximately 18 weeks to Busselton. In the midst of winter it is time to start preparing and building the discipline and routine needed. There will be the usual inconveniences of life interfering with training ,  sickness and mental fatigue. What matters is to stay the course and take the punches. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Winter Cold

Saturday's cross fit workout

The weather is just as cold and wet but I have got over the worse of the virus .The guts have taken a beating and I have only got back with a few short runs and 2 sessions of cross fit . I was still feeling tired and unwell on Saturday so rested and did cross fit in the afternoon. It was Michele's birthday so we did a lot of  45 repeats in a series of pretty tough exercises.Never a dull moment in cross fit. I am amazed how little upper body strength I have despite the swimming (not recently anyway) I have done  for the past few years.

It has been a journey of discovery. Little steps. I am now planning for the start of training and more structure with the hope I can manage to put together a few months of proper training . At the moment the cold dark mornings are not terribly inviting .

Reviewing last years plans seems to have thrown up the same issues although I was just recovering from my fall. I had the same concerns regarding the state of my cycling and running . Unfortunately , on Tuesday another Exceeder came off his bike on the way to Training .I am very fearful of riding in the wet at the moment as I can't afford any major injuries .

This week has been good with a good cross fit session on Tuesday by candlelight as there was a power failure. Managed 45 pull-ups with a band and 45 x 40kg of Dead lifts and then 150 Thrusters and 150 push ups. Did about 9km of slow running as well.

If there are sceptics as to the benefits of strength training just read :

5 Big Myths about Strength Training & the Mistakes You Might be Making

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Making the Most of Every Opportunity

Geralton Marathon Presentation 7July 2013

Part 2

What do you enjoy the most about our sport? 

The people you meet, the places you see, and there is no greater 
feeling in the world than achieving a hard earned and fought 
after goal. Forget Disney Land, the finish chute of an IM is the 
happiest place on earth!

What is your favourite race and why?

Busso - home crowd, flat and fast.

Who or what in Triathlon inspires you? 

My inner desire/curiosity to find out what my body is capable 
of doing. I want to know where the limit is and I'll keep pushing 
that boundary until I find it. 

 Do you have a favourite workout and if you do what is it? 

I love a long run on my own, just cruising to the iPod. But
also really enjoy the satisfaction after a 90min hurt fest on the 
bike with some of the strong ladies at the Exceed Club. 

What’s one unique thing we might see if we peeked inside your 
training bag?  

Um, nothing too out of the ordinary there. Lip gloss maybe.

What’s your favorite pre-race or mid-race fuel?

Pre race is some honey on toast with a cup of tea, followed by 
a long macchiato topped up with skim milk. Mid race -  
pro-mite sandwich (love that salty stuff!).

Do you have any rituals or good luck routines you do before 

My pre-race coffee is a ritual now, I also like to find a quiet 
spot, away from transition and other athletes to listen to music 
while doing a light stretch. I use that time to get into 'race mode' 
using meditation and visualization techniques.
What’s your favorite triathlon discipline to compete at? 
 RUN - when that run starts, I'm home safe. No mechanical risks 
 (flats) once I'm off that bike.
What music keeps you motivated during training?
Last lap Pic K Duffield
I have a huge variety on my iPod. From Metallica, Beyonce, ZZ Top, Genesis, Ginspoon, top 40 hits, and even a bit of country.
What’s something people might be surprised to find out about you?
I'm not a committed church goer, but I do say a prayer before bed each night (so much to be thankful for!). 
When you are not training or competing, people can find you:
dining out with friends, cutting up the dance floor at a good club, on the couch, camping or fishing.
What’s one race you haven’t done yet that you like to do someday? 

After spectating IM Melbourne this year, I would love to go back 
as a competitor. That, or IM Roth - I've hear great things!

(bonus question)  What question did you hope that I’d ask you, but haven’t?  And what is the answer to that question

"Favorite quote?"

A "When I stand before God at the end of my lift, I want to be able to say 'I used everything you gave me'". I.e. Making the most of every opportunity to the best of your ability. I live by it every day.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Happiest Place ON Earth

M Duffield after IM Port Mac Pic by Katy Duffield

The second of the Interview series ...Michelle Duffied. To the many at Exceed she does not need any introduction . She is on her way to Kona in October ( her second time) with Katy her sister and she has just won the Geralton marathon on the weekend. If there is one trait/thread that is common to all champions it is consistency and doing. When it is 2 or 3 degrees it does get tough .

In a short piece in the Aussie Triathlon Magazine is a section on Psychology and a piece by sports psychologist Matt Ahberg .
He states: " If you are competing in Triathlon , you have signed up for pain .Like it or not , it is the nature of the beast .So when your mind and body are telling you how much pain they are in , how do you respond? To be successful , you must respond by doing."

Full Name : Michelle Duffield

Age Group : 25-29/open

Profession: Riverpark Operations Officer at the Swan River Trust

Years in Profession: 2 Months

Brief Background: I'm from the 'hills' (sawyers valley).  I grew up in Sawyers Valley until I was 18, when the family moved to Victoria Park.
I started athletics when I was six and competed in middle distance events for 12 years. I also competed in equestrian, and participated in ballet, basketball and netball until my later high school years. 

When did you realize you’d been bitten by the triathlon bug?
After my first one. It was the first time in many years I had competed in sport, finished towards the back of the field, and loved every minute of it. After so many years in athletics, I'd learnt to put pressure on myself and expect to do well. It was refreshing to have no pressure, no win, but still have so much fun - something I'd lost from athletics a few years earlier.

picking her up her Kona Ticket at IM Port Macquarie 2013.Pic by Katy Duffield

Triathlon experience :

  1. 2004 - first triathlon. Womens only enticer. I spent a couple of seasons racing enticers and sprint before eventually trying Olympic distance in 2006.
  2. 2007 - first half ironman
  3. 2009 - World Sprint Age Group champion
  4. 2010 - first Ironman
  5. 2011 - Kona (20th in age group)
  6. 2013 - Port Macquarie (and Kona to come)  
Walk us through your active lifestyle.  What is an average day when you are training for an ironman
  1. 4:30am wake up
  2. 4:45am training (Mon & Fri - 1 hour run. Tues, Thurs - 2 hour bike. Wed - 1.25hr windtrainer)
  3. 7am work
  4. 3:30pm finish work
  5. 4pm training (Mon, Wed Fri - gym and swim squad. Tues and Thurs - run). Most nights I'm home around 7:30pm - just in time to wash, eat, pack for the next day and get to bed by 8:30pm.
  6. Sat is a 3:30am wake up. Long ride (5-7 hours) and a run off the bike (45min - 1hour).
  7. Sunday is rest day. amen!  

When taking on such an event , how do you maintain 
your balance of work, life and family? 

That's a tough one, and my boyfriend would probably say I 
don't do a very good job of it. It involves a lot of support from 
your family and friends who suffer too. Social events become 
very few and far between, and 'quality time' is usually reduced
to a 10 - 15 minute conversation while dinner is being prepared 
and eaten (not very 'quality'). Time management and planning 
is critical though. Half of my rest day is spent preparing for the 
next week (pre-making meals, laying out clothes for each session) 
and the other half is dedicated to 'catching up' with friend/family

How does an active physical lifestyle tie in to your work ?
I usually go straight from training to work and straight from work 
to training. I shower at work before I start, and I change into my 
sports gear before I leave. 

How many years did you train before you qualified for Kona? 

Well I was training for triathlon for 7 years, but my dedicated 
IM program was for 6 months, which secured me my kona ticket 
at my first attempt. 

Tell us about the one or a few inspirational moments of your 
Triathlon career.Are there any standout moments or memories or accomplishments you are most proud of? 

To be honest, it was watching Katy (my sister) racing IM Melbourne. 
I could not hold back the tears watching her come down that finish 
chute in 9hours 5 minutes to win her hard earned ticket to Kona. 
She deserved that more than anyone that day!

( Part 2 --Next Blog)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sick As a Dog

Last week was a slow build to returning to a more fuller training week but no real programe yet just a build.
All was well and I had done 3 short runs  of 17km and my cross fit session on Tuesday and Saturday . I missed Thursday with heavy traffic in the city .

On Wednesday I did a night bike ride with Tim .It was 2 hrs of mainly climbing and then a fast descent in the dark .No one about and just our bike lights to lead the way. Tim being familiar with the route was at least 500meters ahead and so at times the night would just swallow me up and I could be miles from anywhere .

It was a good ride with dinner at Alfred's Kitchen in Guildford .On Friday again I  rode to work then to the office Lunch for the EOFY and then home a good 2 plus hr ride . On Saturday it was just the cross fit session which wasn't too bad as I had the King of the Mountain Run on Sunday 30 June.

Unfortunately by Saturday night I was feeling tired and feverish. I went to bed with layers of clothes and for the next week had all the worst symptoms of flu. I couldn't keep anything in and just could not eat . Then by Thursday it was a hacking smokers cough and runny nose and by Friday my voice was gone.The whole week was just one of getting sick and then recovering.

Another twist in training. But common sense prevailed , there was little point in battling through the symptoms and training especially with the really cold weather in Perth. It was a week of just being sick.

Molly enjoying the rush of Blood to her head

If there is a silver lining , I am feeling better and I have dropped a bit of weight rapidly, my dog Molly ever loyal was by my side and even lying by the bath room waiting patiently .It makes the term "Sick as a dog " illogical. Their unwavering happy attitude make them the comforters and friends of the animal kingdom .

Here is one meaning for the often quoted phrase from Yahoo Answers:
There are several expressions of the form sick as a ..., that date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Sick as a dog is actually the oldest of them, recorded from 1705; it is probably no more than an attempt to give force to a strongly worded statement of physical unhappiness. It was attached to a dog, I would guess, because dogs often seem to have been linked to things considered unpleasant or undesirable; down the years they have had an incredibly bad press, linguistically speaking (think of dog tired, dog in the manger, dog’s breakfast, go to the dogs, dog Latin — big dictionaries have long entries about all the ways that dog has been used in a negative sense).…