Monday, 20 September 2010

Apollo Bay Training Camp

A late addition to the plan ended up being a tough weekend. Luckily I toned down my training on Thursday and Friday of last week to try and give myself a chance to be a bit fresher for the challenges that were to lie ahead. All I knew was the format was expecting to be something like 150km ride + 20 km run each day.

Things I actually learnt were as follows:

1.     The Otway ‘rainforest’ is called that for a very good reason
2.     It’s not just magpies that attack cyclists
3.     The wind is not my friend

For anyone not living or from Australia I need to clarify point 2, some of you will think “attacked by a little bird, don’t be soft” – please refer to link below and see what we have to put up with. This is one of those things that when you see someone else getting hit, side splittingly funny, when it is you, not so much!!

However, the little bugger that decided to attack me did it after 20km into a roaring headwind and by all accounts from those behind me I did not even flinch, such was my pain and suffering due to hatred of the headwind!!

Anyway; a brief summary of each day:

Tried to start easy but felt rubbish, first hill was ok, slow but nothing too bad, long headwind section nearly destroyed me, was in an unhappy place at the time! Thankfully the Coke doctor was able to help me out and I managed to get through the long undulating climb through Forest and enjoyed the descent into Skenes creek.

Here’s a map of the ride, wind was from the southwest so no surprise that the second half was tough

A quick change into some clean and dry clothes and then out for a run, it felt very easy for the first few k’s until I remembered that I had a massive tail wind behind me, reality struck on the way back but I got through it ok, was back in town with 18.5km on the clock and decided that was enough.

Then legs in ocean, and an hour laying down before destroying a parma in the pub for dinner and then into bed by about 9.30.

More of the same, although this time up the first climb I felt a little fresher caught everyone in front of me to the top of the second climb, Lavers Hill. Nice work by Ollie riding the whole day in the big chain ring, I think my knees would have exploded! Unsure of the turnaround point, Ollie and I decided to call it after 69km at the top of yet another hill! The weather for the ride back to Lavers Hill was miserable and everytime I thought I was nearly at the top, another hill popped up. The Pepsi doctor was in surgery today and he brought his friend Mr Snickers to help re-fuel at the top before a cold but fast descent and just one more hill until Apollo Bay.

We also took on Wild Dog Creek Road, sections at the top nearly 20% in gradients were tough but the views were stunning, had to stop when the road ran out.  Here’s the profile of the ride:

Another change and out for the final run, felt terrible this time but just tried to tick off each km, was in my own little world and managed to get through it, another 18km done.

Another trip into the ocean to cool the legs then a hot shower and a red-bull fuelled drive home.

Totals for the weekend were 320km of riding including 5,100m of vertical climbing (12 hours 30 mins) and 36km running (3 hours 5 mins). Fair to say that I slept pretty well last night, not too sore today but have had a day off completely to help the recovery. I’m pleased with the way that I ran off the bike, getting that Ironman marathon time down under the 4 hour mark doesn’t seem quite such a long way away now, just need to make sure I deal with the heat well come race time, because this weekend gave me no practice with that!

Friday, 17 September 2010

And the winner is....

So clearly some of you are stalking me or actually put a bit of thought into it, Lynne wins the prize for being within 1km of the correct bike distance and closest to the overall total!!
Actual totals are:
Swim – 204km
Bike – 5,999km
Run – 1,463km
Total – 7,666km
Miranda was closest with swim and run but clearly I talk up my biking a lot more (or you were looking at your own stats!!) which meant that in total Lynne was the closest. Voucher will be winging its way to you soon (possibly via Kev so make sure he doesn’t steal it)!
Training this past week has been tough, a big weekend with a 165km ride and a 31km run and I’ve backed that up with 49km of running in the last 3 days. Marathon prep is coming together, had a nasty set of 15 x 1km to get through on Tuesday at just quicker than goal marathon pace (with 1 min rest in between each) and actually managed it a lot easier than I thought I would, thanks to the nice wind blowing me home!
As Erika decided to go back to the UK for a week to attend her nan’s funeral I thought I’d tag along to the Tri-Alliance training camp in Apollo Bay this weekend, sounds like the plan is for a ride of 130-150k in the hills each day followed by a 20km run off the bike, I think I will eat and sleep well on Sunday after that! Should be a good chance to practice race day nutrition and pacing and remembering what it is like running on very tired legs, hopefully the weather hold up ok.
Following the camp I’ll have a couple of easy days and then hopefully hit my last really big week of running in prep for the marathon before having a bit of a taper. The goal is to run 4.25-4.30/km pace which would give me a 3.06-3.10 marathon, am actually really looking forward to it as hopefully I will get to start the race feeling fresh (more on this another time), somewhat different to most of my training runs and my 2 previous marathons where I have had a 7 hour swim/bike warm up and 30 degrees plus to contend with for the start of the run!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Team XOSIZE + free money!

I'm pretty excited to announce that I am now a member of team XOSIZE. This is a cool initiative started up by the XOSIZE guys to make everyone feel like a pro (even me!). Athletes involved with team XOSIZE will receive VIP treatment and access to the latest and greatest products / services from leading brands at VIP prices.

Check out full details here, and make sure you join the facebook group:!/group.php?gid=31535915009&v=wall&ref=ts

The XOSIZE shop in Bentleigh has everything that a triathlete could need so check it out next time you are in the area, in order to work out if anyone actually reads this blog, I've got a $50 voucher that I'll give away to the person who can get closest the answering the following question:

In total, how many km of Swim/Bike/Run have I completed between 1 January 2010 and 31 August 2010.

Prize will be awarded once I have a few guesses, just add a comment at the bottom of this post! Probably only makes sense to give out to Melbourne based people but for others feel free to guess. If no one reads it and responds then I'll just have to spend the money myself!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Laying the foundations

This month has been a tough one with work being very busy. That has meant the majority of my training has been done early in the morning, you do get used to it but the 5am alarm call is still rarely a happy moment of each day.

Despite work being hectic, I've managed to keep the training fairly consistent and in the last few weeks have really been focussing on the long ride on Saturdays and the long run on Sundays, particularly given that the Melbourne marathon is now only 5 weeks away. I'm still not able to run as often as I would like for a proper marathon build up but feel like I will be in decent shape come race day.

Swim - 23.4km (8.07)
Bike - 721.15km (24.45)
Run - 233.95km (18.39)

If I look back to the early build up to Port Macquarie, I entered that race with only 12 weeks to go until race day and prior to that we had the move to Australia and plenty of other things going on so whilst my fitness was ok it was not great. The benefit I have had this time is a longer period of consistent training. I compared the hours training from 30 weeks out until 14 weeks out (i.e. where I am currently) for both races and came up with the following:

That shows fairly clearly that I’m in a better position now than I was 14 weeks out from Port Macquarie. The big dip at week 12 on the blue line was due to a skiing holiday in New Zealand where I was still pretty active!

The challenging part will be matching the final 14 weeks of training where for Port Macquarie I had a great period of consistent training, averaging nearly 16 hours per week.

I’m sure work will try its hardest to make this difficult for me but we’ll see where we get to!