Friday, December 7, 2018

A Plan. Week 20 Full Taper

The last week before Ironman WA 2018 . The priority is to rest , swim a little more and 
1 have a plan for the day
2 A checklist. 
3 A nutrition Plan 
4 Be Mentally ready for the day The desire and the mental strength to race and win is critical.But having said that it is good to be prepared and to know what is doable and to enjoy the journey which I have .After 20 months of no racing it is great to be at the start line reasonably healthy and fit ..
The final piece is to get the nutrition and mental frame sorted.

A few mantras help as well:

This is mine:

Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose
         Star Wars YODA

What is great about such races is the challenge .There is no doubt about that . What makes it interesting is to be able to test the plan and hopefully pull it off on race day. The article by Matt Cooper called the The mental side of Running is a good start. It is important not as he says when everything is going well but when it is not . When it all doesn't go to plan . The negative thoughts pile in and its easier to give up then go on.As Chris McCormack says in Ironman racing we have to Embrace the Suck because at some stage everything will hurt and thats when you have to find your happy place. (see my blog piece My Happy Place )

Chrissie Wellington provided some advice in a piece called 10 tips from the Worlds Top Female triathlete She said :
It amazes me how little time people spend on mental training. 30K into a marathon on race day is too late to figure out that you need to train your brain. There are many different tools you can use. Have a bank of positive images and songs. It doesn’t have to be related to sport at all. That way, when the going gets tough—and it will get tough—you can draw on those images and have peace of mind.”

She suggested having a mantra or two. Finding a happy place and not allowing the mind to wander or to be filled with negativity .That is the slippery slide to the DNF . Our mind is our most powerful tool and can be used to overcome all difficulties and equally is the most vulnerable link in bringing the whole game down. Chrissie Wellington used  Rudyard Kipling’s If.  
It encapsulates everything you need to do to be a good athlete, especially the mental side of the game. ‘If you can keep your head when all about you/Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;/If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,/But make allowance for their doubting too…’
There are many more great words/thoughts or visions to race by and to use as a mantra/a focus when times get hard . Just think of that Happy Place.

These are from my previous blog in preparation for a race but it was comforting hearing the same thoughts being repeated first by Craig Alexander , Terrence Bozzone and Anja Beranek at the 2XU talk in kona on5 October 2016 and again by Julie Moss and Dave Scott at the legacy reception. Its knowing that it is going to be tough and being prepared for the challenge ,not shying away and keeping to the plan as best as possible and breaking it up into segments. If Ironman teaches you anything  , it is their motto Anything is possible and you eat an Elephant one bite at a time.

The Nutrition Plan For Ironman is:

AM : Breakfast Toast jam coffee
          Bidon Tailwind 200calories/ 50gms carbohydrates .
          Before swim a cliff bar and  water sip throughout before the start

           Water as going thru transition
           Start nutrition regime on bike
           Bidon of concentrated tailwind 2 scoops per hour for 6 or 12 scoops = 200 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 600mg per hr plus extra salt  (half a 600mg salt tablet )to make about
          1200mg  per  hr should  be    about right . In case it is warmer have added more
           salt tablets available May add 600mg to make it up to 1000mg per hr
           Also take on bananas or cliff bars and whatever is on Aid station for something different
           on race day .  (I have eaten everything on the aid stations before )
           Aiming for at least 1000mg salt
                                           41g carbs per hour
                                           933ml of water per hour
           Off Bike/Run
           Will be taking a cup of endura and water at every aid station and coke  
           taking bars on the run course (cliff) and  electrolyte (endura ) plus water at
           aid stations  to make up about 200-300 calories per hour plus food on the aid stations to make
           up another 100 calories .I usually alternate electrolytes and water but given the heat will be
           drinking a lot more . Finally if I can mange it only taking Coke at 20km point if  I can hold
           out till then. Salt intake will be 1 tablets an hour (about 600mg /hr )  plus the endura , water
           at least 640ml or  more if needed  .

The key points are:
Get to transition early and have enough time to get the wetsuit in and warm-up.
Make sure the wet suit put on properly as the tightness around the shoulders will fatigue the shoulders.I have had that happen to me and I will try and get help to get into the wetsuit.
Don't is better to slow down and always breathe .Sounds basic but I have done that to.
Try and catch a swimmer and stay on his legs or side but don't impede his stroke as it will slow him and you down.
Try to keep straight .my biggest problem . Paul Newsome did state in his blog that swimming straight tends to be easiest when someone is strong at bilateral breathing. I have had a relapse and tend to be strong breathing on my left
( see his helpful hints : Racing Tips for Ironman )

  1. get the nutrition right and do the maths as to how much you need to eat on the bike before hand.
  2. Eat and eat
  3. drink at least a bidon an hour or a litre if it is hot.
  4. keep the pace as constant as possible for each lap.
  5. (everyone tends to slow down on the last lap) If you can keep a constant pace there should not be a huge difference in lap times.
  6. Its OK to go hard but know when to pull back so you do not suffer on the run.It is a triathlon .No prizes for the fastest bike time ...well there is but I am not in the running and I would rather have a new PB for my Ironman than a PB for the bike leg and bonk on the run.
  7. Stretch every hour by getting up off the saddle.
  8. Be aware that the draft zone is 12 metres
  9. Again have a few mantras or happy thoughts when your mind begins to drift as it will on a 180km bike ride.

  1. It is the last leg .don't go out fast
  2. Drink at all the aid stations
  3. try and take in some nutrition preferably gels
  4. again keep the pace steady.
  5. Have a plan and a pace in mind
  6. Have a Plan B
  7. Run all the way , if you can't walk the aid stations , if that hurts follow a walk and run regime.
  8. But if it hurts walking or running than its better to just run
  9. Absorb the atmosphere and the energy from the supporters.
  10. Have shorter goals or break the race up into bite size portions. Have various milestones along the way to achieve.
  1. Always visualize the transition and go through as many times as you can what needs to be done.
  2. Get in and out as quickly as you can.
  3. Don't rush just go through everything that needs to be done preferably like a checklist you have practiced  before.
  4. Keep your sunglasses and anything else for the run in a zip lock bad which you can take out and use as you get on the run course.just one bag to carry and then distribute the items once on the course.
  5. Use sunscreen
Finally the 25 most common mistakes in an ironman Ironstruck article: Common Ironman Mistakes

Most of all Smile and enjoy the day.


In addition I have worked off a checklist from the Internet and for those super keen , there are even better super list. my-ultimate-triathlon-and-ironman-checklist

body glide (for back of neck)
triathlon jersey
cycling/triathlon shorts
goggles x 2
swim cap
Garmin Watch

tire pump (pump tires up day before, adding a few psi to compensate for overnight pressure loss)
chain lube (apply day before)
Profile Aerodrink bottle
2 water bottles
Sweets and dates

cycling shoes
seat pack with tubular, tire irons, multi-tool, and CO2 inflation system

running shoes
race belt 

small flask i fI want to carry a some gels in flask
salt tablets in a tictac container
a change of run top (in case)

Photo ID
Salt Tablets

Sunday, November 25, 2018

WEEK 19 November 19 -25 Taper


"Unless you test yourself, you stagnate. Unless you try to go way beyond what you've been able to do before, you won't develop and grow. When you go for it 100%, when you don't have the fear of "what if I fail," that's when you learn. That's when you're really living." --Mark Allen 6 time Ironman Champion

The work has been done and now the last 2 weeks before the race .Still lots to cover and I tend to work through the tried and tested preparation for Ironman .

My preparation remains the same in reducing the volume of training and the intensities have dropped .This year had planned on more swims in the ocean just to get the comfort level and confidence up but I haven't swum as much as I would wish .Speed will be slow . 
The links to checklist and preparation and I also write out my nutrition plan following my sweat test that reinforces what I need to do regarding my nutrition and sodium intake.


Open water swim at Hillaries at 6am .A few swimmers out and I did it on my own .The Garmin wasn't working but think I would have swam 1500 to 1600m

Run in the afternoon 7km easy


Zwift session for 36km with 50 minutes in a C grade easy ride but trying to maintain over 2 watts per kg pace and at times the group was riding in excess of 3 watts per kg pace,

then ran for 4km easy off the session


I was suppose to swim but rested in the morning as I felt the fatigue in the legs .I did a thread mill session of 7km with 5 x 800m at 5min per km pace and 200m walking .In the evening an easy Zwift ride for 22km then ran a short 3km of the session.


A run  at easy pace for 7km and in the evening an easy Zwift session of 22km

A short easy run of 5 km and rested the rest of the day


Ride round the river with CRT for 65km and then ran a short 2km of the bike.

Sunday Inter-Club Championships 

Pics by Graham, Ryan


I did the inter-club championships , racing for Exceed. Got a chance to practice the transitions and at least a swim.I finished in 1.24hr. A slow 20min swim including the transition and then 37min for the ride and transition ,one of my faster bike splits and finished with a 25 min run for 5kms about 1.5 minutes slower then 2013. Overall I am pleased with the hit out and expected a slow swim. Last week before the Ironman and a full taper.

Total 11.5hrs

Bike 165km
Run 41km
swim 2,5km

Week 18 Final hard week

 Hall of Fame

Last hard week before a 2 week taper .

There is no real rest day this week . I had a short run of 7km and then a much needed massage .Everything is sore but not carrying any injuries and choosing to rest when ill or just tired has helped me pace myself well this time round.Not ever at 100% but that would mean a concerted consistent 20 week program which at present is down to motivation.


Another 7km run in the afternoon. A Zwift race of 11mins warmup and then 55 minutes racing with a 3km run off the bike.


Ocean swim at Hillaries with about 1600m in the morning and in the afternoon a Thread mill session with 7km , 7 x 600m at 5min per km and 200m walking .

in the evening a massage which helped with the recovery.


Morning Zwift session of an hour but not going hard.Run at lunchtime for 6km and in the evening another Zwift sesson race just under an hour .The temperature was in the 30s today so a very hot training day .


I slept in although I was suppose to be swimming.The hard day yesterday with the heat left me sore   . Ran at lunch time just 6km and an easy Zwift ride of 45minutes in the evening .


Last long ride of 121km . Again started early at 5.30am .It was suppose to be hot but it wasn't but was very humid. lost alot of fluids on this ride.We got a coke at the servo but still did not have enough water. # bidons of 750ml and  2100mg of salt .Needed atleast 3500mg .No cramping but felt the ride especially with the headwing coming back.

We all ran 3km off the bike . In the afternoon I rode for 50minutes on Zwift


A swim at Hillaries. The Garmin was not recording but I think I swam about 2km in the 50 minutes.

No run and so just rested the rest of the day.


Run 39km
Bike : 265km
Swim :3.5km

Time : 14.5hrs

Final week before the taper 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Week 16 & 17 Ocotber 29 to Nov 11,2018


Last few weeks of training before the taper .

Started as a hard week but tapered into a rest weekend as I had a cold .But correct decision to rest as I needed it .

Monday 29 October 2018
I ran 6km easy and then in the evening a 35km zwift session of  1.07hr.


8Km run a little harder and then 32km on zwift in 1.16 hr.


6km run easy and then a massage in the evening.


37km zwift session and then 5km on the treadmill with some sprints


zwift 24km in the am and 3.6km run off the bike

swam in the arvo with 1500m in the pool

Then in the evening 38 km on zwift as well


Skipped the long ride down the bike path and rested .

Skipped training but did do a short session on the bike of 75 minutes which I found hard as the body was just tired with the cold.

Swimming remains the main area where I have not  put in the training needed particularly with swimming in the ocean .

Week 18

Monday rest day as still felt tired and rundown.


Back to training.Being Melbourne Cup day .The office stopped to watch the race and after that I ran 10kms along Leighton's Beach.Lovely day and no traffic around as everyone was enjoying post cup celebrations .

In the evening did a Zwift race 80 minutes and then 4 kms off the bike .


A zwift session easy in the morning with 45 minutes and then a run in the afternoon (8.5km ) and then a further zwift session of 45 minutes  .


Swam at Beatty Park .Just a 2.350 swim to try and get as comfortable as possible in the water.In the evening a 90 minute zwift ride .


Another pool swim of 2km at Beatty Park and then a short run of 4km easy.


A straight down the Freeway bike path of 121km .No break at the servo . A good average of 31.3 although we had some favorable winds . Happy with the ride and did not feel too stretched .

Did a 4.5 km run off the bike then in the afternoon another 50 minutes on the wind trainer on Zwift


The ocean was quite choppy but went in and swam for 30 minutes struggled and had a bit of anxiety but at least got it done. After numerous Halfs and full Ironmans lots of ocean swims , still have issues with rough water swimming and the fact that my last full ocean swim bar the practice I had recently was in Hawaii at Kona with little swim training in the past 20 months .

Then ran for 8km with a negative split averaging 6 minutes per km .That was comfortable and lots of people on the pavement pounding a leisurely run along the coast on a beautiful Perth Sunday .


run: 39.2km
Bike: 270km
swim : 5km

Total:15.5 hrs