Tuesday, March 31, 2015

North Face 100 WEEK 11

A 360 degree view from DNA Tower at the end of Friday's session
Its now 7 weeks to the Race and just a solid 5 more weeks of training before we start to taper for the North Face 100. My first ultra marathon and so it will be interesting and a huge learning experience.

Pity Molly can't come  but I don't think she would be pleased to go for a 100km walk in the Blue Mountains somehow.

Molly after Monday evening's run
Backing up Monday wasn't too difficult with a 15 km run and I ran 7.5km on the treadmill at lunchtime and the other 7.5km in the evening with Molly.She was pretty tired at the end. The first bit I did in 45minutes and the rest in under an hour just going pretty slow. I was suppose to run with the pack but didn't .

Tuesday . I again opted for just a spin session on the wind trainer with a 70 minutes session following some videos and then following mainly the CGN video above. I managed about 28 km doing various  climbs.

Wednesday . Did a longish run with a 10 minute walk/march and then 7 minutes easy , 7 minutes fast , 7 minutes easy followed by 3 minutes of recovery walking and then 2 x 7 minutes hard , then easy and then hard with the 3 minutes recovery walk between . I then walked about 10 minutes back. I think it was about 1.20 and I ran/walked  about 13 km.

Extreme Fat Burning Workout - 50 Minute Indoor Cycling Class

In the evening , I did a short wind trainer session of 40 minutes with a CGN video and managed about 15 km. A lot of getting out the seat and riding which was good for the tired legs . I had a new wind-trainer with the electronic control box that was showing the wattage and the resistance . Still trying to work out the optimum levels and it was a little harder working with the resistance I had set it at . Still tinkering with the optimum levels when working on the trainer.

Thursday . Rode to cross fit and it was an overcast evening with some drizzle. We had a good session of exercises and a 50 minute cut off. I arrived a few minutes late and did only about 40 minutes but it was enough. I rode home just spinning but riding in the big crank and it was pretty dark and wet by the time I got home.

On Friday morning I rode to work a short 11km ride and in the evening , I has a 5 minute warm up and then for the next 1.05 I ran up and down the DNA Tower and 50m sprints for every one climb up the tower. It did raise the Heart rate a fair bit . I covered about 4.25 km and with 30 climbs up DNA Tower managed 450m.

At the end at the DNA Tower

Saturday's WOD

Saturday , A bit of a recovery day I got a massage from Adele at  and then cross fit in the afternoon.Today was cross fit games 15.5 with the scaled version being 27, 21 , 15, 9 thrusters and the same in rowing calories for time. I finished in 15.33 and that was  hard with a 30kg bar.The next day I was pretty sore in the quads.

Astrid's Birthday Cake at the end of the Run
Coffee break at Guildford Cafe on Sunday afternoon's ride

Crossing the old Guildford Bridge

On Sunday morning we met at Kings Park at 6am a late start compared to the previous 10 weeks and ran/walked for 3 hours down to Claremont and back along Birwood and the river to the start in King's Park. We ran /walked about 21km .The legs were stiff and sore after Friday's and Saturday's workout.

After the run , we all relaxed at the park with Astrid's birthday .just a bit of a change from the usual end of run session. In the afternoon despite the stiffness I managed to ride the mountain bike with JJ round the river to Guildford , a relaxing 18km ride . Monday is supposed to be an easy run but I have decided to just let the legs rest .

A much easier week .
Run:  7.15 or 53.5 km altitude 450-550 m
Bike: 105km or 4.50 hr
Cross fit : 1 hr
Total : 13 hrs

And it isn't all about the training. Northface like Ironman training is a paradigm of life. It is a  challenge and what you make of it. The good thing is it isn't life or death but the approach we have to the challenge. Sometimes through that pain and discomfort we find the joy of life. It is really enjoying and appreciating the simplicity of life . I don't remember much of my work but I remember lots of moments and they are mainly with family , friends and people who have touched my life. I have attached a short piece on 10 Life lessons from a Navy Seal .

Monday, March 23, 2015

North Face Week 10

At the End of Mount Street Sunday 22 March 2015

Saturday at the Park with Training Partner
After Monday's Easy Run

Monday: Again after the hard Sunday session backing it up with a run was hard on the legs but I am getting use to the routine. I again split the run into a lunchtime session of 7km @about 6.5 minutes per km and did not go hard .The quads were sore but I had no issues. In the evening I ran another 10kms at a slower pace about 7 minutes per km. Did the whole run in about 2 hrs. total about 17.5 km

Tuesday ; I missed cross fit as I finished work late so I ended up doing a wind trainer session for 70 minutes. Again the mornings were a hard ask getting up to train as I was just so tired from the 2 big runs the previous 2 days so I did the wind trainer session in the evening.Managed 35kms following the video above from you Tube.( group of cyclist riding around Melbourne). lots of short sprint work outs and Molly kept me company.

Wednesday. I ran at lunch time .It was a 15 minute march and then 3 x 15 minutes at close to 5.5 min pace  with 3 minute recovery between and then finishing with a 15 minute march. I ended up running the 3 x 15 minute sessions and walking the rest but just did not manage to do the 30 minutes of walking/ marching . Did an hour with 9.5km and the runs were all at about 5.5 pace or less.In the evening I walked for a full 30 minutes with Molly. Total about 12km .

Thursday : Rode to cross fit and felt more comfortable on the bike .We did a 45 minute session of Cardio work and then I rode back .Biking 35km slowly 1.25 hr and cross fit 45minutes. The legs were pretty good today . As it is getting dark earlier I rode back through the various bike paths trying to stay off the road .

Friday: Rode to work an easy 30 minute ride. Looked easy but was a hard session at Kings Park. Just doing 4 runs up DNA Tower and then 8 hill repeats on the hill sloping down next to the Tower .I ran 2 minutes down and 2 minutes up so each hill repeat was about 4 minutes , the 8 taking about 32 minutes and the DNA climbs another 5-6 minutes and did 2 rounds in 1.15 and started with a 10 minute warm up . The legs were hurting by then. Ran 10.5km in that time with 15 repeats of the hill and 10 DNA Tower .With a gradient of between 6-8% on the hill it would have been about 150 to 250 m on the hill and 150m on the Tower so total climb on Friday was about 300 to 400m .

Saturday: Had a sort of rest day with no cycling .The legs were still recovering from yesterday. In the afternoon a short but hard cross fit session trying the scaled version of 15.4 which was 40 kg Push press and  52 kg Cleans x 0 AMRAP in 8 minutes . I managed nearly 2 rounds with 5 cleans needed to complete Round 2. I was a really hard work out and the cleans were hard as it was only 5 kg below my maximum PB for a clean .

Mount Street after 45 repeats

Sunday Morning at Kings Park
Sunday: Same place and same time , 5am at Kings Park has been a regular Sunday morning session for the past 10 weeks . This morning we had 2000m and so decided on Mount Street . In the end after 5 hours I did 45 repeats of Mount Street (I checked the lap times on my Garmin) It was a lot and at the end I had done 26 kms and approximately 2025 metres. But whose counting. It was more mental than a physical challenge and not so taxing on the quads and calf as Kokoda is but after the Saturday session of 15.4 , I did wake up on Sunday feeling sore in the quads and legs.
The legs held up well this week.It was a big week in terms of mileage .

Run: 66km or 10 hours and 2325- 2425m
Bike: 80km or 3hrs
Cross fit :1 hour
Total: 14 hours

The end of the Training week ...a long train ride to Mandurah

Monday, March 16, 2015

NorthFace Week 9

Panoramic from DNA Tower Kings Park
The Fox watching us on Kokoda on Sunday .Pic by Jason Armstrong

Monday. I had a long slow run to back up the Sunday session of 5 hours. it was 17km easy and I chose to run 7 km at lunchtime on the treadmill and the remaining 10km in the evening . I did the 7km in 43 minutes at about 6.2 min pace and then the evening run for the first 8km at about 7.5 minutes per km and the last 2 km were with Molly so they were a bit erratic . She was pretty tired after that and so was I but the legs were OK, I just had some soreness in the left knee. Total done 17km in 2 hours.

Tuesday was meant to be cross fit and cycling but felt tired and a little giddy possibly dehydrated so had a rest day.

DNA Tower Wednesday Evening
Wednesday Evening's ride around King's Park
Wednesday. I ran in the arvo .It was suppose to be a 2km warm up followed by 35 m at 6min pace and 6.16 pace with 3 minutes rest and then a 1 hike at the end. But i just did a straight 35 minute run and 3 minutes walking then 30 minutes running followed by a 15 minute walk .I ended running at about 5.30 pace and did about 12.5km in 1.15hr. in the evening it was an easy cycle round Kings park with 4 climbs on the Tommasini.

Thursday. Pretty warm day and rode to Cross fit .We did a short session because of the heat and some warm up exercises and skipping. The session was 5 x push ups, cleans , squats , squat thrusters , and dead lifts  x 7 rounds for time .Finished it in 15 minutes using a 30kg Bar. Then rode home .total distance just 30 km and about 80 minutes and session was about 30-40 minutes. The legs are recovering and the weight has now dropped to between 73 and 74.5kg.

Heading up to the DNA Tower

Pictures from Friday Evening's run at King's Park

Friday . Did 1.5 hrs at the DNA Tower in Kings park . The sky was cloudy with storm clouds so it was a late start and grew dark quickly.George was there and I did a 10 minute warm up then 25 minutes of stairs followed by a 3 minute break and  another 20 minute session of stairs and hen George had to go so I did a final session of just over 25 minutes . Total distance covered was only 3km and 600m altitude. Noone around at the end .I tried my rain jacket but there was no rain and it was just humid and hot.
Saturday's WOD 

Saturday's wind-trainer session with Molly

Screen Grab of the spin session on You Tube...who needs sufferfest

Saturday. With the weather forecast for rain I stayed in and did a 1 hr wind trainer session with a mix of you tube videos on spinning and some road scenes of  cyclist in Majorca and in the afternoon I did the cross fit 15.3 games (scaled version)  session of 50 wall balls and 200 skips AMRAP in 14 minutes. I managed 2 rounds and 11 wallballs (I think ) in the 14 minutes with a 9kg ball . It was a hard session despite the short session and some warm up.
Kokoda trail , King's Park

The last 30 minutes

Sunday . Longest session . Started at 5 am .It had been raining through the night but we just had a drizzle here and there but it was muggy. Tried out the lights and they were great .Pretty strong although after the sun came up I switched them off but will test how long the battery last in preparation as I need them for the night and have a spare battery as well. We started with Kokoda and I did 15 climbs before we moved to Mount Street and I walked another 12 climbs of Mount Street ( which is about 42 m) .I had a toilet break and ran from Fraser's to Mount Street and everyone else ran from the bottom of Kokoda to Mount Street. After that we ran round King's Park to the DNA tower about a 4km loop. I managed 10 climbs on the DNA Tower before we headed to Kokoda again and I did 2 climbs before we stopped at about 15 minutes to the end of the 5  hours.I ran 21 km with elevation of:

Kokoda 1105m
Mount Street : 500m
DNA Tower : 150m
Total elevation for Sunday: 1705m 

Hopefully building a reasonable base for the NorthFace. This week was another reasonable effort .

Run: 53.5km or 9.75hr and 2300m
Bike: 85km or 3.5hrs
Cross Fit: 1 hr
Total: 14.25 hrs

Ending the week with Molly and JJ at Sculpture's By The Sea

and a swim at the Beach

Monday, March 9, 2015

NorthFace 100 Week 8

    The NorthFace Transgranaria was run this weekend 6-8 March 2015. Winners Nuria Picas and Gediminas Grinius


Monday was a public holiday .Labour day in WA and so I got to sleep in late and then ran 12kms late morning .Did 6 kms with the dog and Jonathan on the bike but it was quite warm and did not want to overheat Molly so I ran the rest of the way by myself . It was slow with the legs feeling tired.In the evening I ran another 5 km slowly to make it 17 km in 2.08 hr. Legs were feeling a little sore but otherwise all was fine also just some tenderness in the left knee from the pounding on concrete .

Tuesday: I rode in the evening for 45 minutes around King's Park .The legs felt better and I wasn't tiring as much on the climbs .Managed only 18.5km and then went to cross fit for a short 30 minute session where we did stretches and that was helpful. i had a massage booked with Adele Richards.Really sore legs but wasn't as bad as when I first started and survived . I definitely needed it though as the legs have had 7 weeks of pretty much a lot of climbing .

The grassed area in front of the DNA Tower where I did my Wednesday session.

Wednesday : The great thing about training is that I have been sleeping a lot and a lot better. The wonders of being tired at the end of the day. Today I decided to just run and nothing else. I had a 1.20session of running up a hill about 4-5% at the DNA Tower in Kings Park .I did 6 by 5 mins uphill and 5mins down with 2 minutes running flat . Managed to do 6 runs up and down the hill and then a 10 minute cool down. Covered 11.5kmand about 250 m.

Thursday : Had a rest day as I had a puncture on the bike so did not make it to Cross fit.

Pic from DNA Tower at the end of the session
Nice and Hot

Friday : I had a 1 hour session as I had a dinner to go to .So Did a short warm up and then just walked up the DNA Tower for an 1hour managing 35 climbs  or about 525 m. Not a lot of people about , there was a group of runners who started off at the Tower and finished back there just as I finished my session and a bridal party taking pictures around the Tower and the front grassed area for 1/2 an hour .Ran about 2.5km.
At the park with Molly and her "mini me"
Saturday's WOD

Saturday's session

Saturday : I decided to rest and not ride .In the arvo did the new 15.1 and 15.1a WODs .Just 15 minutes but was hard enough. I could not use the standard Rx weights for my age so I did the scaled session with 37.5kgs and managed 3 rounds of 15 toes to bar , 10 deadlifts and 5 snatches. then did a Clean and jerk with 45kg, 50 kg , 55 and 57.5 kg a new PB for me.

View from the top of the Kokoda Trail at Kings Park

Sunday : Another early start with 5 hours of running , walking and climbing .We started by running round Kings Park and did about 6km and then I did 10 Kokoda climbs before running another round of about 4 km and did 10 DNA climbs and then went back to Kokoda for 7 climbs before doing a last round . Michelle and I walked the last 2.5km finishing the session in 5 hours. I covered 24.5km and managed about 1300m in climbing if we count the 3 runs up to the DNA  .

Run:  55km or 9.5 hrs and  2075m
Bike: 18.5km or 45mins
Cross fit : 1 hr
Total: 11.25hrs

Monday, March 2, 2015

NorthFace WEEK 7

The Silver Buckle ..what you get if you finish NorthFace 100
under 14 hours and  the Bronze Buckle if under 20 hrs.

Monday. I again had to back the relatively long run on Sunday with a 15km easy run on Monday. I managed to split the run and ran 8km on a thread mill at lunch time averaging 6min/km and then 7km at an easy pace of about 7 min/km in the evening .Did the 15km in about 1.45

Tuesday.Muggy and  hot .I rode to  cross fit in the evening .We then did an hour of stretching and technique which was helpful. I then rode back .Distance rode 40km in about 1.45 . Was a good work out especially cycling back in the dark after cross fit .The legs were pretty tired and had a really sore hip and back from the stretches .

Wednesday.Fortunately not a long session but hard.I did it on the treadmill.Not ideal but better than not doing the work out at all. I ran for 6 minutes warm up and then 5 minutes at 6% @ 7.5kph and then 2 minutes @9kph flat .I repeated that again then moved up to 6.5 % for the next 4 and followed by a cool down of 6 minutes and ran about 7km. I would have climbed about 400m.

Thursday's session
Thursday: Rode to cross fit and as there was just the 3 of us we did a short but hard session with 4 exercises (see picture ) I found the bench press pretty tough with a 40kg weight . Then rode home .All in a  2.5 hr session.

George at the Bottom of the DNA Tower

The Frenchman at the end of 1 hr of DNA Tower

At the top

View from the Tower
Friday: Rode to work which was just a 1/2 hour cycle into the city and then in the evening a tough session of 1hr 20 min with a 5 minute warm up and then 30 minutes of climbing the DNA Tower (15m altitude) and then another run down to the Kokoda trail and back about 1.5km and then another 30 minutes of climbing . In the end I managed just under an hour of climbing and 40 x  DNAs@15m so about 600m plus Kokoda another 65 m .I ran into George and so he did the same workout although he pushed me hard and I was 1 climb behind him in the end. That workout did hurt the legs. After all that I had only done about 5kms .

Saturday's WOD

Saturday. Had a sleep in as yesterdays work out was tiring . I did ride in the arvo with a 30km ride before cross fit but going easy and spinning in the small chain ring. At cross fit we did wall balls and pull-ups  , just lots of them and then stretches. Rode home for a 40km ride with cross fit.

Breakfast after the hike at King's park
Ending a training week with a walk at the Dog Beach
Sunday . I got up at 4am and got to Kings Park for the main session of the week starting at 5 am 3 cars in the car park and a police patrol . The 4 of us , Lisa, Michele ,Nimal and myself stated out at Jacob's ladder .We did an hour of walking up and down Jacob's I managed 12 and 2/3's as Michelle powered ahead of all of us.We then walked to Kokoda and did an hour with 10 climbs and then to the DNA tower where we ran and then did a few climbs up the Tower I managed 15 climbs and 2 runs of about 10 minutes duration .We finished the session after 3.5 hrs . The quads were pretty tired but possibly from the sessions on Friday and the ride on Saturday as well. Happy with the effort . I also tested tailwind nutrition. Had 350 calories worth and had no issues. It was good to start early as it was getting pretty warm by 8am .For the 3.5 hours I managed only 13 kms and about :
Jacobs Ladder : 43 x 12.6 = 541m
Kokoda : 10 x 65 = 650m
DNA Tower : 15 x 15 = 225m
Total: 1416m

The total for the week would be about 2300 to 2400m.

Total Training schedule:
Run: 40 km or 7.35hrs & 25
Bike: 128km  or 5.15
cross fit : 2.25 hrs
Total :15.15 hrs