Monday, December 28, 2015

The Gift of the Magi

The year is almost at an end and for many 2015 is best forgotten .It is a time to be reflective but to start planning for 2016.

From a personal perspective , my Parents celebrated their 60th wedding Anniversary and it puts in perspective the life we lead in context of all around us and what is truly important. whilst my Blog is about training and Triathlons it is also about my lifestyle and what it means .

The year from a training perspective can be seen in many ways. I finished my first ultra-marathon , the North face 100 in Katomba and got a buckle. I learnt a lotin that race and whilst finishing the race realized that  I had to put in a bigger effort in terms of mileage and possibly diet to really achieve an optimum result and that equally was the same for the Ironman . I finished 2 minutes ahead of last years result and an hour behind 2013 result and nearly 2 hours behind my 2010 result. but there is the balance between work , training and family . There was the mental motivation as well.

At Christmas it is always great to reflect, Ironman and training can be very selfish pursuits and lonely ones as well and my Ironman time possibly reflects a maturing of the mind and the balancing of all that is important or just the lack of the mental strength to chase a better time. Hence the title of the Blog,  the Gift of the Magi written by O Henry otherwise known as Sydney Poitier and is one of his many short stories that reminds us of the importance of what is truly important. This was recounted at the Thanksgiving service of my parents 60th Wedding Anniversary . (The_Gift_of_the_Magi )  

Whilst pursuing a dream and being the best I can is important it has a finite limit to and connection to everything else in my life .In the end I look back at a year filled with lots of personal milestones and great memories but in the end I am thankful for each day and my health and family and friends. They more than anything make the year . Facebook like Ironman are really commercial vehicles to make money and entice us but if we choose to use them and not be consumed by them then they are great tools for life. I started the journey 10 years ago just wanting to finish a Triathlon and then a sprint event , an olympic  tri and a half and then a full Ironman . Then chasing a better time but the magic now is in in the joy of training and not missing out on everything else life has to offer. No longer chasing the consuming target of a PB .The sport has brought with it a family of triathletes around the world who share the passion , a whole world of friends who have a common interest and with the technology today it has been easy to share that love and joy.

The year has had its share of calamities , and in this age of the internet , news spreads instantaneously so it may all seem overwhelming but it possibly should makes us appreciate everything we have now as life can change in a second.

Ironman WA 2015 Race Report


Before the race Pic Jade Armstrong

Pics by Ninja Photography

Pic by Jade Armstrong

Ironman Busselton number 9 and IM 14 overall. A mix bag of results. I finished in 13:19 , 2 minutes faster than last year in slightly tougher conditions.Slowest swim in 1.41 hr and slow bike time of 6.21 hr but it is the sum total of mixed training  in that I probably did not apply or push myself as hard but did a sufficient amount of training to get through comfortably without hurting too much. Oddly , my time 2 years ago was an hour quicker and probably on about the same amount of training. But I was happy to finish and it sets up a busy 2016 year .

Looking at the positives I did not hurt on the bike or run I was just slow. I had a really good recovery and strangely this year no cramping issues. I do have to look at the nutrition as I found it hard to take in any more than 5 gels on the run when I had plans to take in 12 -15 gels. Wasn't happening but I had never taken in that many gels and even in my fastest run in 2010 I had less gels.

The cold conditions this year and the swell on the swim made for an interesting experience in a usually hot race . 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Week 16 Ironman Busselton 2015

Last week and just relaxing . Did some easy rides and short runs and will swim at Busso just to get the arms moving .

I am sure there will be a  bit of nervous tension about . I tend to see it as a long training day and have done so for a few years . The weather forecast looks good and  just getting to the start line with no injuries is a good start.

The gear is packed and training done. Just need to execute the Plan and pace the race. Whilst not really Triathlon relevant the article on Dylan Bowman an ultra runner does resonate when doing any ultra event:

Dylan Bowman Ultra running Secrets
Dylan Bowman
Nutrition Plan For IM

AM : Breakfast Toast jam coffee
          Bidon Tailwind 200calories/ 50gms carbohydrates with caffeine
          Before swim one gel shotz/ water sip throughout before the start

           Water as going thru transition
           Start nutrition regime on bike
           Bidon of concentrated tailwind 3 scoops per hour for 6 or 18 scoops = 75gms   
           carbohydrates  per hour or 300 calories per hour  Add every hour to Aero bottle and dilute 
           down with water from aid station .One bidon every aid station
           Salt 300mg per scoop so 900mg per hr should be about right . In case it is warmer have added
           salt tablets available May add 600mg to make it 1000mg per hr
           Also take on some dates and bananas for something different on the bike.

            Off Bike/Run
           Carry 2 flask of gels .About 2-3 gels per hour plus water and electrolyte on the run alternate
           aid stations  to make up about 200-300 calories per hour plus food on the aid stations to make
           up another 100 calories or 3 gels per hour. Coke at 20km point if can hold out till then .

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 15 Taper

Tapering....Just like waiting for the Bus

The Training is over and it is now 2 weeks to Ironman Busselton.The hard yards are done and whilst everyone usually feels there is more that should and could be done it really isn't  and if there is it is too late. The preparation this year has been hard in parts but overall in relation to volume I felt I had not put in the big volumes of training I have done in previous years. I have done a lot more specific workouts for speed and I think it has helped and is a start >I haven't been at my optimum weight or fitness as in 2011/12 but I also haven't out in the training I did in those seasons past. It is all about balance and being accepting about it. lots of triathletes fret about training and volume and data but when all is said and done unless it is the difference between a kona slot and not I don't think it matters. Despite a great programme I know my limitations and accept that first and foremost , I wanted a life and balance and fun.Secondly , the plan is to get to the start line injury free and I have done that . Lastly to finish and hopefully finish well. Always go in with a goal time and then plan for contingencies if and when it doesn't go to plan.

Th predictions by Ironguides are up and there are some fast age groupers. I get a mention for perseverance .  (Your iron Guides IMWA Precistions ) 

The week was great with Monday an easy ride for 1 hour along the river and then a run at lunch at easy pace .On Tuesday , I did another short run and had a break on Wednesday with a massage by Adele at Essential Sports Recovery  .Hurts alot but it is good for me. Thursday was an easy 1.5hr ride but turned up for the regular Kings park ride and we did a loop and then some sprints which hurt but only for a short period. Friday I skipped swimming and just rested. On Saturday I rode to Floreat and back home a long the coast .It was a 2 hour ride and felt pretty good even if the average speed was slow. Continually amazes me that there are triathletes doing big mileage a week out from an Ironman.

The highlight of the week was the Mandurah Inter-Club Championships a.I last raced for Eceed in 2013 , skipping it last year . Irondog came along again and whilst it was an early start to the day ...driving down to mandurah for the race , I enjoyed the hit out before Bussso. A chance to test out the gear and transitions.

This year it was a beach start and I started slow and felt really comfortable in the water and finished the swim in under 15 minutes even though my Garmin said I had done 890 m. just 140m more than required. The transition was a little slow as I raced with a Trishort and had to wear my top after the swim . I did bungle the mount on the bike as I had my shoes clipped on and one of them came off.Anyway lost a few minutes. I had a good ride and was about 4 minutes faster than last year .With the run I ran conservatively and managed a 4.50 average and finished strongly with a sprint for 23.49 about 35 seconds slower and oddly about the same time as 2013. (1.19 hr ) Pleased with that and felt good if a little stiff and sore . The Club won the Rob Pickard Trophy for the club with the most points accumulated on the day.A first for Exceed but we were second in relation to best average points for the highest average score. Break Your Limits won it. Whilst not on the training plan it was a good training session.

Prize giving at Inter-Club
With Molly the Irondog
Exceed Triathlon Club

Molly with her war paint .picture by Katey Gibb
Irondog and I .Picture by Katey Gibb

Week 14

The last push and no long rides now...Not that I had many and even the runs have not been longish for the past 5 weeks so it will be interesting to see how I go.

I have been tired and the workouts are hard .Like Cross fit they have been short but hard.

Monday .I had my ergo session and skipped the swim. It was a harder session than before.I had a 1 minute warm up then 17 x 1minute at 260plus Watts and 1 minute recovery followed by 10 minutes cool down. Found maintaining 260 for a minute pretty hard but did survive it .

Tuesday I was to tired to run in the morning so I ran at Lunch with a 50 minute run at about 6 mins per km pace .In the evening was a short cross fit session with :
A light warm up then
5 ring pulls
5 pull ups
10 wall balls
20 slamballs x 5 rounds and a short 1 km jog for a cool down.


I swam at Beatty Park for 2km straight and in the evening did a session on the windtrainer with 1.20 minutes just keeping the wattage at 150 to 180 for 10 minutes before a 5 minute recovery at a slightly lower pace for the whole period.


Legs were tired and managed the bike session at Kings Park.We rode round the outside of the Park for a warm up then did 5 climbs up Lovekin at full VO2 pace I didn't quite get there but was struggling with the air needed for the lungs and the HR was at 160 . The to the coffee shop for coffee.

In the evening did my run intervals with3km warm up and then 6 x 800m atconsistent not all out pace .Did struggle because I was coughing a bit from the cool air.I did manage to maintain a 4.47 minutes per km pace so that was pretty consistent  all at about 3minutes 50 seconds for each 800 metres. I was pretty tired and by 9pm was asleep.The legs were a little sore as well.

Friday .

Just a swim which I did on my own.

On Saturday I rode round the river with Exceed Tri Club and managed to hang on a little longer before a bunch of us got dropped but still managed to take my turn on th front and felt good on the ride. No real point in any long rides 2-3 weeks out from Busselton and there was more chance of injury/ fatigue than any benefit. Followed by Cross fit in the afternoon.

On Sunday , I did a longish swim with 2.2 km at Cottesloe. Not fast but the swims are helping with me getting into some form of rhythm . This past week I also got  another email from WTC

WTC had posted a generic statement about the legacy programme which was confusing so I got onto the Athlete's Liaison Officer and emailed her . I had received an email on 8 July 2015 and the email states as follows:

On Wed, Jul 8, 2015 at 1:26 AM, Ann Parks  wrote:
Good Afternoon!

I’ve tried calling/leaving a voicemail for you, but in case you didn’t get it, please continue to read this exciting email:

I wanted to thank you for your dedication to Ironman and to our sport. I continue to be inspired by the devotion, determination and incredible spirit displayed by you and other Ironman athletes. The Ironman Legacy Program was designed with athletes like you in mind. In return for the commitment you’ve made to Ironman, we will reward you with the opportunity to race at the Ironman World Championship. Although you were not selected for the 2015 program, I can guarantee your selection for the 2016 program if you simply maintain your eligibility by following the three steps below:

1)      You will need to complete an Ironman race in 2015
2)      You will need to register for an Ironman race in 2016
3)      You will need to re-apply to the Legacy program after it opens in October of 2015

If you have any questions about your status or the process for securing eligibility in 2016, please let me know. Thank you again for your loyalty.

Be strong and race safely,

Ann Skerkoski Parks

Manager, Athlete Services



2701 North Rocky Point Dr | Suite 1250

Tampa, FL 33607

P:  813.868.5979


She confirmed that the above remains correct in so far as I comply with the requirements .I have to finish Busselton and register for 2016 and complete the application  . So it is just staying healthy and getting through IMWA in one piece  and hopefully I get the invite next year.
I don't think Irondog can take any more Ironman training programs.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week 13 A Blur

Week 13 Its a Blur


Exceed Club Ride Saturday 14 November 2015

This week was a full on week but the long ride is now dropping off.

I have had a good week of training and other than the usual aches and pains I have come off  without any injuries and major issues. The Mandurah 70.3 was on 8 November  and whilst I have raced it in the past as a lead up race into Busso , this year and last I have skipped it.

My Monday has been the same and I did the ergo session with again 15 x 1minues at 230 plus wattage.Low for many but pretty hard for me . I swam at Beatty Park and did a 2km swim .

Tuesday , a run for 1 hour and kept at about a 6 minute per km pace and felt good. In the evening I got to cross fit late but had a session with

1min arap push press 40kg ,
1min arap squats , 1 min row ,
1min cleans ,
1 min row ,
1 min recovery repeated 3 times.

Short session but really got the HR up high.

Wednesday , I was supposed to ride and swim but took a rest day .

Thursday , The usual bike session at King's Park and Nedlands and then run session at Yokine with Katey . 3 Km warm up and then I ran 200, 400, 600 and 800 x 2 and then 200 and 400m x 2 before a cool down jog. Pace was the same as last week .

Friday , work meant I missed the swim session . Saturday last long ride of 4 hours . I rode from home and then met up with the Exceed group and rode round the River with them . the group broke up at Leighton's Beach . I did 15 minute efforts or as close as along the way . Stopped after Shelley to fill my bidons so I got dropped by the remaining group and made my way back then had a drink at the Cafe and rode for another hour to finish with 93kms.  I ran off the bike for 30 minutes .It was a hot day with the temperature at 38-39 degrees .Others were doing far longer sessions and I was glad I only had a 4.5 hr session.

In the afternoon I went for cross fit and we did a short session with the heat .I did 1 push jerk, 1 clean , 1 squat and 1 crunch , then 2 increasing till I did 7 repeats and repeated that again. Long Day of training but the last longish ride .

On Sunday , I rode to Cottesloe with the legs still sore and then swam on my own for about 40 minutes before swimming with Les and Trevor for a short session between the groynes .Finished up with a 2km swim and then after coffee at Daisies rode home .

One more week of training and then taper.

Week 11 & 12 Smooth

Smooth - Santana ...Summer is here Countdown to Busselton Ironman WA ...Looks like a hot one

Post Bike walk on Saturday

Week 11 was a good week because it was an easy week and other than the week in Singapore , is the only one in the program. It still had about 14 hours but I ended up doing 10 and skipping the swimming for the week .(Not a fan of swimming presently )

Monday a rest day so great just doing nothing for a change. Tuesday an easy run and ride just keeping it slow and easy . Wednesday I was due to just do an easy swim session but work and life just got in the way Thursday I rode alone around Kings park and Nedlands rather than in the group and in the evening had the usual interval session with 12 x 400m after the usual warm up . Hard paced and managed about 1.34 to 2.08 minutes per 400m varying in pace from easy to fast.

Cross Fit on my own
Friday another non swim day as I just did not make the swim session .Saturday I had an easy ride with the Exceed group round the river and ended up doing 90km and 4 hours . In  the arvo was cross fit which I did on my own with 50 squats, 40 sit ups, 30 push ups  , 20 triceps dip , 10 pull ups repeated 5 times . Sunday I had a rest day . Glad for the break and did unfortunately skip a number of sessions but found the rest and change of pace good. It hasn't been too hard a programme but balancing everything has been and I was glad to be able to just not get too stressed about having to keep every session.

Week12 was back to a full week of training .The week was similar with a swim session I did on my own at Beatty park swimming 2km straight and then in the evening an ergo session with 15 x 1 minutes at 230 plus watts or more.Which i managed but found pretty hard and I will just have to keep working on improving the wattage as I go along next year .

Tuesday , a run in the morning with 12km and managed to keep the pace about 5.50 minutes per km , which is about what I think I can manage on the run .Have been pretty slow in the mornings possibly as I am still recovering from the ergo session. In the evening cross fit with :
7 Cleans
7 thruster squats
7 jump bar push ups
5 rounds

Wednesday: I did another wind trainer session of 1.20 and missed the swim session. Thursday , rode with Hall Cycling at Kings park and we did roll throughs and some speed work at Kings Park . In the evening I ran on my own at Yokine and after the 15 minute warm up did a ladder set of 200, 400 , 600 ,800 and 1km and then back to 1km , 800. 600 , 400, and 200m in reverse at fast . Then a short cool down .

Friday swam in the evening and managed 2.7km with some sets in Flippers and the main set was 10 x 100m fast .

Saturday , rode to the Narrows bridge for the Exceed ride round the river and then I was going to go down the Freeway bikepath on my own.Unfortunately the group was too fast and so I got dropped at the University and ended up riding on my own round the river and then down the bike path .Unfortunately I got a bee sting again and a puncture .long day with 130kms .I ran off the bike with Molly so was a bit slow for about 17 minutes.In the afternoon Cross fit with a hard and fast session of:
30 Deadlifts 30kg
30 calories row
30 Overhead squat with 15kg bar
then 20 reps and then
30 reps again
Sorrento beach swim

Sunday , did a very slow Ocean swim at Sorrento .Wasn't choppy but still finding my rhythm  in the ocean.

It is now 4 weeks to Busselton and 2 more weeks before Taper and one last long ride. There are lots of athletes  doing lots more but I find this is about the level of training that suits me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

WEEK 9 & 10 Just Dance

                                               After a hard week ...Just Dance

Post ride rest

Another big Block of training done. The week started out with the usual hard ergo session and I have found these over the last few weeks the toughest session. I has a 1 hour block with 10 minutes warm up and then 5mins at close to 200watts as I could get with a 3 minute recovery done 5 times and at the end I was pretty much done.

Tuesday I ran in King's park for an hour at as close to race pace which at the moment is about 6.16 minutes per kilometer.  The legs were tired from the ergo session but finished comfortably. In the evening cross fit with dead lifts and push ups increasing the reps starting with 2 up to 12 reps in a 10 minute period using 40 and 60kg weight and then push press with a 35kg weight for 40 minute.

Wednesday , swimming on my own at Beatty Park , straight out swim for 2km .

Thursday , bike session at Kings Park with a ride round the outside of the Park and up mount street then practicing turns at sprint speed and then threshold efforts around the Park and repeating it .Rode for nearly 2 hours and it was a hard session.

In the evening , run training with Katey at Yokine. Warm up was 3 km and then we did 2km at threshold pace and then 2 x 1km at slightly harder pace and finally 2 x 500m all out. I managed the first 2km at 5.03 pace and then 5.20 pace and the two 1km runs were at 4.56 and 4.58 pace and the 500m were at 2.15 and 2.20 pace. We then did a cool down finishing the session running just under 10kms.

Friday , just a swim session in the evening with the following :

200m free 100m kick x 2
200m slow to fast x 4
25 fast kick 25m slow kick x 2
100m free
25fast kick 25m slow kick x 2
100x 5 slow to fast

Saturday's WOD
Claremont Jetty Saturday afternoon swim

Saturday , the legs were just tired so I skipped my long ride and did a run 2 hours with 17kms The first 30 minutes easy and then 1 hour at a harder pace , for me about 6 minute pace and then the last 25 minutes were easy . Then a swim at the swan River at Claremont on my own. I did go to cross fit and had a good work out :

7 exercise
7 pushups
7 pullups
deadlifts 50kg
thrusters 25kg
kettlebells 16kgs
knees to elbow rises on bar
 x 5 rounds

Sunday was suppose to be the long ride but I decided to just rest as the legs and body were feeling pretty sore and tired.

Irondog with the TT Bike

Week 10 Monday.Back to the ergo trainer and another really hard session . I felt a lot better with the rest on Sunday and managed the session without getting close to passing out or coughing up a lung.

Tuesday . I ran in the evening a 1 hour session keeping a good pace and managing 10km with a 6.02 minutes per km with the average Heart rate at 128 bpm. I missed cross fit .

Wednesday , I swam in the evening and did my own cross fit session in the gym :

7 rounds
10 push ups
20 squats
20 sit ups
15 triceps squats
10 thruster's with 20kg weight

Thursday ; The usual bike ride at Kings park. this time we headed out to Christchurch in Nedlands practicing rolling of the front in a group and then threshold efforts in kings park circuit and finally one climb up Mount street before heading off for coffee. Pretty hard effort of 1.40hr. In the evening ran with Katey and did a 3km warm up then 8 x 500m , all pretty consistent at 2.24 to 2.09 minutes . Then a slow cool down finishing with about 9km.

Friday . I swam at the pool with Exceed :
200m free warm up
100 x 2 with PB and band
100 free
300m fast
200 easy
2 x 150 fast
200 easy
100 x 3
50 m x 2 fast
100 recovery

 After the swim , I did a long bike ride instead of Saturday .Rode down the freeway bike path to Mandurah and then to Pinjarra Road and back to Deep water point .Finished with about 147km in 5.30 including the break at the Caltex Station for coke and water. I had about 4 bidons with 600 calories of Tailwind Nutrition , a 1.25 litre coke and several dates. Got swooped by a magpie after leaving the station and stung by a bee which causes a reaction on my arm that was still itching 4 days later. the ride out was pretty windy and I had a few mechanicals with the back wheel squeaking for all 5 plus hours .But managed the session with 5 x 20 minutes at threshold effort .Got to about 135 to 143 HR . Had a bit of cramp on the left foot but otherwise felt comfortable .I ran off the bike for 15 minutes or 2.7km.

Saturday's WOD 

Saturday , still sore and tired but ran for 1.45 with 30 minutes easy and then 1 hour at a harder pace for me about 6.09 to 6.30 minutes per km pace and then 15 minutes cool down finishing with 15 plus km. In the afternoon , cross fit with :

5 rounds of
1min box jump
1 min wall balls
1 min dumb bell rowing
1 min overhead squats
1 min KB behind the neck triceps lifts
20 secs between and 2 minute recovery between rounds

I slept pretty soundly after Friday and Saturday's session. On Sunday i had my first ocean swim with just a very slow swim in Sorrento . I had some difficulty with the first couple of minutes but the last two laps between the groyne felt a lot better . just need to get more swims in the ocean before Busselton.

Week 9 turned out to be a less than comprehensive week with 12 plus hours and week 10 was about 16.5 hours. An easy week ahead and then a final solid block before tapering for the race.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 8

Irondog Having Fun

After the easy week , it was straight back into a solid build of training for the next 8 weeks before the Ironman at Busselton. The long rides get way longer and the sessions just a  little harder.

Monday I missed the swim session but in the evening knuckled down to my wind-trainer session. Easy 10 minute warm up then 5 x 5minutes at about 200 watts with a 2 minute recovery. This was hard for me and I stayed at about 190-200 watts and nearly passed out . A short cool down and the hour was done .

Tuesday , I ran at lunch time just doing a 50 minute run with some tempo running thrown in keeping a 5.30-5.40 pace for most of the 8kms .In the evening cross fit fortunately was more core work with 10 rounds of Turkish burpees and cleans with a dumbbell .

Wednesday , A swim on my own at the Ballajura Aquatic Centre ( a 25 m pool) so lots of laps and managed to get 2kms done. then off to a massage with Adele Richards at Essential Sports Recovery which was painful but good for me.

The group at Thursday's ride

Thursday . A long day with a session at Kings park cycling with the Hall group and we did rolling in a group riding from kings park to Steve's in Nedlands and then back to Kings park where we rode in teams of 3 up Lovekin and finished off with some sprints.All up 35kms.In the evening, run training with Renee baker as Katy is away and in Kona . A 2 km warm up with some drill sand then I did a 24 minute run at about 80%  of max HR rate .I was pretty pleased and kept a fairly consistent pace of between 5.03 and 5.23 minutes per km for the 4.8kms I ran .We then did a cool down and stretches. It is always helpful having good tips and guidance at these runs from Renee . As there was only 3 of us there was lots of one to one help.Total run 9km.

Friday .
I struggled this morning and I was just tired .So I swam in the evening .I started a  little earlier and did a 200m free with 200m with paddles , then 400m in fins. The drills were 450m made up of 3 x 150m with 50m finger drag, salute and free followed by 4 x 50 m sprinting. The main set was an 800m medium pace swim and then 400m fast . I did not do a cool down .Total 2.6km

Saturday WOD

Saturday. I had a slightly late start leaving home after 6.15am and headed North for a change . I rode to two Rocks actually got pass the Gravity Centre on the Indian Ocean Road and rode a further 10km before turning around and headed back. I had a good run down but on the return I started to lose energy and despite 3 stops for coke and a sausage , I started to cramp a lot and the last 20kms were slow. I finished with 158km in 6 hours and 30 minutes of resting. Will be taking more tailwind nutrition and salt for next long ride.

In the afternoon despite the sore legs and cramping I managed the cross fit session a little slow with 2 and a bit rounds in 40 minutes of 25 deadlifts , clean n jerks , jumping squats , and sit-ups.

Sunday. the good thing about the training is I slept without waking for 7 hours straight. This morning I was suppose to do a 1.40 run with an hour at tempo pace but headed to the hills at Bickley to run on the trails.It was slow and there was a lot of hiking but I think it put the legs under a fair bit of stress and held up. Just did under 10kms .
Bickley Reservoir Sunday run in the hills
Sunday run/walk

The lessons learnt are being consistent , getting the nutrition right, following the programme  and staying positive.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Kona 2015

Picture from Oakley sunglasses webpage

It comes round again and my Facebook page is awash with friends and pros posting pictures .there is the usual banter about who will win, the many lottery winners and legacy winners and the celebrity invites .Ultimately I tend not to buy into these issues . It is about the individual experience and the friends who are racing there. The many sacrifices made to get there which I can appreciate. It isn't golf .

Also this year is the first race with the new owners of WTC , Wanda , the big Chinese Conglomerate. There was  an interesting piece by Brett Sutton ( Prediction for Kona  ) There is the campaign for equal places for men and women pros and the issue of the starts. It is the ultimate race and the race that started all others. In its simplicity of how the race came about , it has now become a juggernaut of sports business. Good or bad , the one issue that sadly has not been addressed as Brett  alludes to is how poorly the professionals are paid in prize money . There is no organized voice although the new professionals association is a reincarnation of earlier such groups. Will the new owners possibly have deeper pockets and not be so motivated to squeeze every ounce of profit out of the sport .Hopefully they will see the wisdom in a group of professionals earning a decent living in the sport and being the core of the value of Ironman racing .

Whilst the age groupers race for the challenge and the elite few for a spot , it is the professionals who are at the pointy end  , pushing the human body and mind and create those enduring visions of what we as a human race can do when we put our minds to it .It is the metaphor of how we all want to live our lives , thats what attracts me to push myself because I know I if I can do it , then  in life I know I can put my mind to anything . I missed the early years when the sport was a peripheral crazy persons activity but the core of Ironman racing was pure. It is not so clear today , there is more show and less of the turn up and race and enjoy yourself .

Whoever wins there will be great stories . As I complete another week of training , I know what I started nearly 9 years ago which was to finish an Ironman .That was the dream. Then getting a lottery spot and now a legacy spot . The desire waxes and wains after many campaigns. The body tires and there is a little of the magic that is lost in the modern day Ironman race . Yes everything is run to clockwork and the atmosphere is great .  It just misses a little of that small town atmosphere money just can't buy anymore.

Easy Week Singapore

Riding around Singapore ...Mount Faber Not much of a view with the haze
After the week with the flu , I had an easy week and a week in Singapore. Unfortunately with the haze it was an interesting week of training even though it did not have any noticeable effect on me, it was hard just not seeing the sun for a week . I arrived on the Saturday and the next morning ran .I was suppose to do a 1 hour easy run but ended running nearly 2 hours and covering about 15km.The rest of the day was just relaxing with a birthday dinner at Fort canning with friends. I had a rest day on Monday but did do a swim of 1.5km in the 25m pool and on Tuesday not quite following the plan ( I was suppose to ride and run ) I did a 30km ride with lots of traffic in the latter half of the ride and then ran off the bike for about 7km and swam as well for about 40minutes in a 25m pool covering about 1km but doing a lot of work with paddles.

On Wednesday I did a ride on the gym bike covering 22km in about 50 minutes and going at an easy pace and then swam at the lagoon in Sentosa called Tanjong Beach . managed 1.6km despite the low tide the haze and the eerie nature with again the haze just merging the horizon and making everything look like it was covered in a fog.

Thursday , I rode again for about 1.5hrs in the big chain ring and up Mount Faber .the traffic was pretty heavy as it was morning rush hour and pretty scary . Probably in hindsight not a good idea. I then did a 9km run in the afternoon .

Friday , instead of a ride I ran on a treadmill  and swam in the pool . Saturday before flying back it was a 1.5hr ride up to Mt Faber and back, there was less traffic in the morning on a Saturday so had a better ride.

It was a good relaxing week and did about 10hours of training and felt a lot better after the flu ridden week. The change of environment and the tropical hazy weather definitely made me work harder  but after a no training week the week before it was nice to be back just riding , running and swimming.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Week 4-6

Words to train by

View of the Beach after run on 20 September 2015

A bit of a hiccup in training with a slow start but in the past week no training as I came down with the flu.

Whilst I was hoping for an illness free build it has yet to happen.I won't regurgitate the training programme accept that in week 4 I had a good build with a wind trainer session , a group training ride and I did skip the long ride, 3 runs and a brick session off my long ride and 2 swim sessions. The next week I again had the same 3 bike sessions and did a long ride , 3 runs and 2 swims , the first in the morning.Began feeling more comfortable in the pool as well. I still managed the cross fit sessions as well despite being pretty tired on the Saturday. The long ride was pretty hard with a head wind and struggled at times but felt good at the end and tried the nutrition  which is Tailwind all in liquid and with caffeine . On the Sunday I ran with Nimal along the coast and every street going up a short climb on each turn in from the coast road.I ran about 13.5km in 1.45 hr . Slow but got the heart rate up .It was a cold morning and unfortunately the next day I came down with a cold and then the flu.Nothing really bad but sufficient to get me coughing and feeling week.That put an end to any training for the week.

In years past I would fret about the lack of training but fortuitously it was supposed to be my easy week but I got it switched as I was planning on taking the week of 28 to 4 October as my easy week. As it is I will try and do a bit more this week to make up for the enforced rest week .

But over the few weeks of training i have seen some slight improvement even though my pace on the bike and run are still slow, I can feel the HR not escalating as much . I just have to remain consistent and the training is getting tougher.

Today I finished the week surviving the flu with a slow 14.5km run and swim with paddles .