Saturday, January 24, 2015

WEEK 1 NorthFace

NorthFace 100 Picture from Visit Blue Mountains

A New year and a new challenge . After the holiday break and travels , it is back to work and  the start of training . I had a bout of flu so it was a slow start.

Week 1 . 12 January 2015 .Lesson 1 start slow and steady . On Monday I was still pretty weak from the flu and so it was a no activity day.

Tuesday 13 January . A bike ride to cross fit and as it was hot it was a 30 minute cross fit session for me and then a ride back home , easy spin. I found it pretty taxing and the HR and breathing was a little harder. But I was glad I was able to make a start. The legs were feeling sore the next morning.

Wednesday 14 January 2015. It was an early very slow run to work from home about 11km. Managed it in 1.20 going at about 7minute pace and walking the intersections.

Thursday 15 January 2015. Another ride to Cross fit and a harder session of about 40 minutes and then rode home again spinning back .

Thursday's WOD
Friday 16 January 2014 . Felt really sore and did a short 30 minute run and just under 5km.

Saturday 17 January 2015 .No cycling just cross fit session for 45minutes on a hot humid Perth day.

Saturday's Hot WOD
Sunday 18 January 2014. The first long training session for Northface with the hydration pack .Got to Kings Park for a 7am start and basically trying to do as much altitude as possible in 2 hours. Walked and jogged only 7km in 1.40 minutes but managed about 700m going up the Kokoda trail 10 times and the DNA tower about 7 times .It was pretty humid and I did not drink as much as I should have. Just glad to have got through the session.Sore quads and calf's from the combination of climbing the trail and the Cross fit session.

The week was about 10 hours of activity . A nice slow start.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A new Journey

 “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
M. Scott Peck

Forever Young sung by Norah Jones

It is a new beginning and with it new challenges , a new year and lots of plans journeys and goals to fulfill .

The great part of being in triathlons and a club , community  and training with like minded people aside from the great friendships and diversity of friends I meet outside my work , there is the goal oriented pursuit and as each race/adventure is completed  a new plan is hatched .

Amidst these plans and training our lives are much the same , we work , we  have families and commitments and bills to pay,  lives to juggle. With life comes all the human frailty and happiness and sadness and all emotions between . Our lives are like the torn bits of cloth caught in the barbwire that is our destiny .If I have learnt anything in this sport it is that the sweetest of victories has not been winning but finishing when the journey was the hardest. Similarly in Life , it is the bumps in that road of life , that barbwire that we occasionally touch that test us out . It is that frailty that I see every time a friend , an acquaintance or someone just outside my circle dies or is injured or is ill.

How do I react ,how do I comfort , how would I take the news myself. I face this dilemma and there is no easy answers .You want to empathise and say all the right things but sometimes there really isn't anything that can be said. Life is tough, unfair , good people die and sometimes die way too early. There is no " he had a good life" because life is living and there really is no fair measure of how well someone lived their life as a prize for it being taken away so soon. I certainly won't wish to compare the nun who prays and does good works to my friends who have families and love their children and wives and husbands and go to work each day and ride their bikes and try to be good people.

When you face the end whether you believe in the afterlife or not what really is the measure of a good life or a life well traveled. We spend much of our lives aspiring to be happy and seeking happiness , for many it is recognition and wealth and comfort and real tangible assets. I am no different , I seek comfort and security and safety. In the end as I try and face these questions of life and death , it isn't really anything more than contentment and gratitude .But discovering and being are not easy in this media driven world . Deciphering the message from the chatter of this world is the art . Be it religion or philosophy , if only we can strive for that perfect mental equilibrium in life. It is that realisation that is so hard ,it does not make it any easier I think to face death as Christopher Hitchens commented on below:

"My chief consolation in this year of living dyingly has been the presence of friends," Hitchens wrote in the magazine earlier this year.
Last year he wrote: "Cancer victimhood contains a permanent temptation to be self-centred and even solipsistic."

 Here and elsewhere, Hitchens does not allow himself the intellectual indulgence or sloppiness of self-pity or grandiosity. (He says, for instance, after his diagnosis, “to the dumb question ‘why me?’ the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: ‘why not?’ ” )

Christopher Hitchens’ Mortality: A rare honest book about death by

That line between life and death isn't about good or bad, it exist and we will all cross it someday .I hope I handle it with the dignity and quiet fortitude I see in my friend.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Musings about Training for an Ironman

Musings about Training for an Ironman

A number of friends are preparing for Ironman Lanzarote in May 2015 and I have been asked to add my thoughts on training and preparing for an Ironman .

I searched my race report and blog leading up to the race and have listed some facts I think are relevant and some articles from better equipped individuals on training for such a race.

Including a piece by Brad Culp :

These are some of my thoughts on my race preparation for Lanzarote :
  1. My race preparation was good. Research and read about the course .
  2. I was rested
  3. Make sure the bike and all your gear is working find and use them before leaving for lanzarote. Be prepared for minor hiccups like punctures etc so bring extra tires and tubulars as it is an island and there are only so many mechanics around with 2000 triathletes
  4. I had friends at the race and that always makes it more fun.
  5. Familiarise yourself with the course preferably drive the course before the race Please don't ride 90 kms a few days before the race .That's not tapering. 
  6. I swam well and the water was very comfortable for me.Try and get as much swim practice as possible in open water conditions . Whilst not the most important part of the race it is necessary to come out of the water comfortable.
  7. The hotel accommodation was good and close to the race start.So book close to the start line 
  8. I had no injuries and training well i s much about that fine balance of not over doing it and suffering injuries.
  9. Try to get to race weight as best as possible the better the weight to power ration in a hilly course the better the results and running off the bike
  10. I was mentally ready for the race. Don't underestimate the power of preparation. Preparation and doing the hard yards makes racing a lot easier and comfortable. It hurts but training builds confidence .
  11. substituted and took on the electrolyte and nutrition on the course when my Gatorade was finished . Train with the nutrition u are using
  12. Run off the bike as much as possible anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour.
  13.  As Lanzarote is about 8000 ft of climbing it would be worthwhile to do as much hills as possible .  I had not done enough hill work and whilst my biking had improved it was ill directed(I was much stronger on the flats as shown by my Spore 70.3 bike split )  But when it came to hills I did not have the strength.
  14. I miscalculated my calorie intake for the ride and did not bring sufficient gatorade on the trip  I had to use the power electrolyte drink and coke on the course.I dropped my power bars and had to get some from the aid station much further than I wanted.  
  15. I was not consistent on the ride
  16. Done hill repeats for the whole training period
  17. Not so good core strength. Hence gym work is important.

A timely reminder of some of the Dos and Don't s in Triathlon training.( another piece I did on my blog a while back which I g=have adapted )

I have been getting weekly massages and the masseur has been reminding me to stretch every week as all my muscles are really tight . It is a slow and long road of trying to unravel some of the important but often forgotten habits needed to remain fit , injury free and performing at my optimum level.

Like rest we tend to not rate eating well , stretching and resting with the same importance as training. I continue to play catch up but I am trying my best to change a few bad habits .

In a past post I did find a short piece about Meredith Kessler  and how she took 7 years to change and adapt her training habits into the champion she is now.

And recently on firstoffthebike Blog there was a good piece on the Dos and Don't of training .I break lots of the rules but I think if I can get a few of these habits right I will improve.


Take a cue from Meredith Kessler and turn her experience into your competitive edge.
Create a long-term vision: A long-term plan opens the door of progression, which leads to constant evolution and improvement.
Be patient: It is easy to build a long-term vision, but much tougher to execute it daily and always maintain the vision throughout multiple seasons. Stick with it, and you’ll be rewarded.
Build a plan custom-tailored to you: It is Meredith’s willingness and ability to think outside the box and develop an approach that suits her that has delivered results. Do all the stated truths in triathlon training really apply to you? Are they truths, or simply unchallenged norms?
Think beyond endurance: Swimming, biking and running is the most specific training you can do. But to truly evolve your performance, you also need to focus on the supporting elements of nutrition, recovery, functional strength, psychology, skills and equipment.
Be consistent: Performance evolution is a result of many days, weeks, months and years of consistent training load. In fact, the reason we focus so much on specificity in training, as well as recovery, is to achieve training consistency.
Stay balanced: Without a tremendous amount of resilience and emotional balance, Meredith could not have succeeded. The triathlon lifestyle doesn’t promote life balance, but if you make it a priority and dedicated focus, you can achieve it.
Work hard: This sport isn’t easy. Meredith could not have evolved to her level without massive amounts of grit, determination, sacrifice and hard work. There is no easy way, but there sure is a smart way.


Dos and Don'ts of Triathlon from First off the bike
by Jen Brown on the,’s website.