Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Challenge is ON!!!!

After reviewing my race results over the passed 4-5 races there is one common thread, and it goes like this:

When i have a good swim for me, I am competitive, usually top 20 - 25 in my age (around 3-5 mins behind the age group winner)

With my cycling, I am in the top couple in my age, anywhere from 3rd fastest (Shep 2008 to 8th Fastest Huskisson 2009) sometimes less than a minute behind the fastest and at worst 3-4 minutes.

Now this is where the Challenge comes into it:


Well, my run, even though it has been improving from just under 5min km pace (shep 2007) to 4min 33sec km pace (shep 2008). So a significant improvement there. On the weekend at Jervis Bay, I got my run time to 4min 22sec km pace.

Yes my improvements have been great and I hope that they continue to do so, however this is where I am losing most of my time in the race. For the previous 1/2 Ironmans and WA Ironman where I have got of the bike anywhere from 2nd in my age (Ironman) to 10th in my age (Geelong 2009), things go backwards from there with massive time gaps occuring.

For example, at Jervis Bay, I ran 1hr 27min for the 20km, the best in my age was 1hr 8min.....A time difference of almost 20mins.

Likewise at Geelong and Shepparton, with 19min and 17min being the time differences respectively.

Bearing this in mind with my size and strengths, I am never going to run these times.

The challenge that I am setting myself for the winter is to drastically improve my run times.

Off the bike I want to run around 85 mins and for a normal 1/2 marathon sub 80mins.

You might say at 6'3 and 90+ kgs this will be hard, let me tell you, it will be very hard. But for me to start making inroads into the leading age groupers, this is where I have to be on the run.

I have earmarked a min 4 1/2 marathons this winter and will be spending alot of time on the track inproving my 1k time trials - currently can do 8 x 1km time trials on around 3 min 50 sec - yes i have to improve my top end speed to improve my longer runs.

This will ofcourse be a work in progress will small gains and lots of hard work, but it is what I am going to do.

By doing this also, I am going to continue my riding and road racing to maintain the speed I have in that. I am even going to join a swim squad over the winter months to close the starting gap that I am giving......The main losses are the run, lets get the run right!!

I will keep you updated along the way.

For now


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Australian Long Course Report - Jervis Bay 22nd Feb 2009

Well, after enduring 20 hours of travel within 3 days to Jervis Bay and return, I was very happy with my performance.

Komo, Princess, Gaffer and myself made the long journey Friday afternoon to Jervis Bay to compete in the Australian Long Course Triathlon Championships.

What turned out the be perfect conditions to race (besides the large amounts of jelly fish!!), awith no wind and favourable weather also.

The swim was in waves consisting of a 2km bay swim in which I was very happy with my swim after Geelong by having a clear path in front of me. This probably cost me a little bit of time as I didn't seek any advantage by following someone. I just wanted to regain some confidence by getting throu the swim.

Swim time: 31min 34 sec

The bike course consisted of three 27km laps with rolling hills and no flat section whatsoever. This type of course suits me, however with the amount of drafting that occurred some bike times were well and truley favourable compared to the riding ability. On the last lap, I saw a minimum of 6 riders get done for drafting!!!

Bike time: 2hr 08min 58sec (8th in age)

Onto the run in which I really wanted to have agood one.

This consisted of two 10km laps with two short sharp rises, only about 50m long, but they took some sting out of my legs each time.

I managed to "red line" the run and get throu with my heart rate above 180bpm for the entire run.

Run time 1hr 27min in which I was very happy with.

Overall, my time 4hr 11min (18th Age) was only 1min behind the time i wanted to go, so a good day for me.

My heart rate for the day averaged 178bpm with a max of 193bpm, so i sure had a good crack.

And I can say that the only thing that went wrong was that I was not fast enough!! Man there were some really fast athletes there, a real eye opener for me.

Also after this race, I have decided to have a real crack at running this winter to see if I can get my run times down to a competitive level as my bike is there currently.

Apart from an enjoyable race, I enjoyed the weekend with the boys and seeing how a true professional prepares for his race (Komo) which taught me a thing or two regarding prepartion. The other two boys also put in cracker races with Princess coming across the line in 4hr 9min and Komo 4 hr 16min.

From here I am heading across to the Murray Man Triathlon at the end of March to compete in a long course race, which will bring a wrap to my season and also give me an indication if I will apply for the World Long Course Championships in Perth.

For now...


Monday, February 16, 2009

The Week Ahead.....

After a rather enjoyable weekend of training and paintball (luckily no bad welts, unlike Jimmy D!!), my mind feels alot fresher and am now looking really forward to the upcoming week. Was out running with Princess this afternoon and had a good laugh and yarn about the paint ball proceedings and about the forthcoming race at Jervis Bay. Princess, Komo and Myself are racing whilst Ross is coming up for a weekend away as our official "handler" (would write bitch, but hey, they would not be nice!!).

Princess did ask the question about the course if it was hilly or flat, and myself not really up with gradients, except anything above 8% makes this diesel train battle. The ride course has a profile of:

Whilst the run is as follows:

These two profiles mean very little to myself and working out the gradient means 9 tenths of nothing, just give it to me in words: Flat, Undulating or Hilly!!!

The four of us are making the long road trip on friday and there should be many a funny story to tell. Throw in a few beers for the return trip sunday and I am set for a cracker of a weekend. I hope to be relaxed for the weekend and really enjoy it.

A short note goes out to all those who have suffered during the fires around Victoria and to my good mate Rod, who has the horrible task of removing the deceased. Thoughts are with you mate and you are during agreat job no doubt. I look forward to spinning the legs again when you return.

For now....

X man

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Where's your head at??

After being away on the Gold Coast for a work conference the last few days with minimal training on the body, my mind decided to do some training for me.

Listening to a Motivational speaker/ comedian (funny combo, but hey it was fantastic!!), a few thoughts started to run through my mind about what was being presented to me.

What stuck in my mind the most was the discussion about the brain.... The brain takes up approx 2-3% of your body weight however uses around 20% of your bodies energy, more than any other organ!!!!

Where am I going with this you ask??

Well, I am a practical joker who hasn't stressed to much about the triathlon caper to much so far. My motto has been to enjoy it, because once the enjoyment has gone, I might as well give up.

So, with MOST of my races to date taking this approach and recording a PB in just about all of them, and enjoying being racing, looking back I noticed one significant difference about the Geelong 70.3 race.

I was the only one that was stressed out of the group, and what happened?? Didn't race as well as I expected, nor did I enjoy the race as much as others!!

So, going back to my topic, "Where's you head at?". Where was my head at?

Did I place to many expectations on myself, or have I raced to much this season with 5 Olympic distance tri's or more under my belt (with 4 races remaining) so far and around 10 crits at Footscray. Or was it just the fact the I didn't sleep to well the night previous and had basically raced the race in my mind before the start line??

When I look at the other athletes that I regularly race with, they were all very relaxed this race....Komo had beer and pizza the night previous and recorded a 7min improvement from previous year (my standard pre race dinner), Crash hadn't trained much in the previous weeks due to work commitments, so had no expectations about the race 10 min improvement(no stress!!) Pistol had only been training where he could around renovations on his house, over 18 min pb (Congrates on making Clearwater!) and KP looked a lot more relaxed pre-race than I have seen him before. (Congrates also on Clearwater!)

So with looking back at this, how much energy did I waste in the top 6 inches??

With this in mind, I am going to revert to my "normal" pre race routine this weekend at the National Long Course Titles at Jervis Bay and hopefully ENJOY my race and let the result take care of itself.

Hopefully I have uncovered "Where my head was at".


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Going more aero!!

I have decided that after reviewing a few pics of my riding position and having a few comments about my road bike, that I am going to set my bikes up more aero!

Above is my current position on my bike and I am going to lower my front end by 5-7mm to help into the wind. Hoping that this will not affect my running off the bike at all. Time will tell.

I will be out on my bike on sat morn to see what difference this change will make.

Any comments would be appreciated.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Glass 1/2 Full or Glass 1/2 Empty - Geelong 70.3 Report

I write this race report with mixed feelings about my race at Geelong. The reason behind this is because I really didn't have a good race, however I was only 3 min off a PB?!?!

Swim - 28 min 25 secs PB

Ride - 2 hr 23 mins 54 secs (35th Overall - 6th Age group)

Run - 1 hr 37 mins 31 secs

Total - 4 hr 29 mins 51 secs

What a scorcher Sat was with the weather, with race registration and also the race organisers declaring that it was going to be a non-wetsuit swim. This would have suited me a treat and was happy about this fact.

Well the weather being nice and toasty on Sat night made my sleep very interrupted and therefore meaning that I was not well rested before this event.

I thought my nutrition went rather well on Saturday, however I prob had 4-5 to many beers Friday night.

Setting up my transition on Sunday morn, my pump split and had to borrow someone else's, not ideal but got the job done. The announcer said that wetsuits were going to be optional, which meant I was going to wear mine to try and swim on a level playing field as the others.

With the swim start, all the ETPA boys were going to try and use each other as an advantage in the swim as we know how each one of us swim. We were all located in a good position at the start and once the gun went off we went. The swim was definitely the roughest I have been in to date and had Princess tapping My feet to let me know he was there, which suited me as if we had got out of the swim together it would have been game on in the bike leg. I was swimming at a good pace until WHACK.........copped a nice kick to the head, don't actually know where it came from as I was arms length away from the guy in front, but geez it hurt. With this, my confidence hit rock bottom and had to pull off to the side to regain some composure. I watched as Princess swam away in to the distance and then heard Pistol yell some support in amongst his stroke. I then continued with discomfort and only managed to swim the last 1/2 in proper rhythm. I swam passed Benny Rob and Komo about 200m from the finish.

I think the swim must have been short or the current was rather strong to swim the time I did with the thump to the head.

I managed to get in and out of T1 without any hassle and mounted my bike looking to make up for lost time.

Once on my trusty rig, I saw Pistol and gave him encouragement as I passed him up the first rise. Heading out onto the course proper, I "turned on the turbos" and sat most of the first 10km sitting around 48-52km/h to try and make for lost time. Once again I was able to ride passed a lot of swimmers. On reaching the turnaround marker, the return trip was into the wind. This is where the ridiculous amount of drafting occurred. I managed to sit on 36-38km/h, with this people were drafting of me and decided to go to the front......Not just one but 5-6 who were sucking wheels harder than kids suck their dummies!! Once they hit the front, the pace dropped to the low 30's and mine to 30 trying not to be done for drafting. I continually tried to regain my tempo but the same happened over and over again. 46min 47 sec

The second lap on the bike heard my rear wheel start to rub which i later found that it was the tape covering my valve hole on my disk wheel. I repeated the above, the only difference on this lap was the different group that i managed to ride to and the torrential rain that fell for the whole lap, making conditions a lot tougher. 47min 15sec

The third lap being along the same lines as above with me riding away from the group that was drafting off me and into the group in front. 47min 42sec

I was happy with my consistent ride times and heading into transition, some muppet decided to stop 100m before the dismount area and a mate of mine Rhys Davie ran straight into him and there was a bingle. I managed to avoid this and get in and out of transition without any hiccup.

Onto the run my legs felt great and got into a good tempo for the 1st 3-4 km until my stomach decided that I hadn't punished the toilet enough before the race and had to use the facilities ( a tree) to rid of the remaining crap I had. On from this I found my run was ok for me considering my big diesel frame does not like hills to much. I ran around the same time as I did at Shepparton with the courses being nothing alike....This gave me a bit of confidence for future.

I crossed the line in just under 4hr 30min, only 3 1/2 minutes behind my Shepparton time.
With everything that went against me for the day, I am happy with the outcome.

This is the way I have assessed my race:

Preparation: 6/10

Nutrition during race: 5/10

Race performance: 7/10

Overall: 7/10

This has been the first race without a PB, something I am not used to but will put behind me and move on. From here am going to Jervis Bay for the Long Course on Feb 22nd hoping to Qualify for the World Long Course Champs.

Also: Congrates to KP & Pistol for getting a spot at Clearwater and to the other Boys who achieved a PB on the day.

For now I am going to make a few minor adjustments to my bike.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Geelong 70.3 Pre race thoughts

Following up from my last post, I am still on weather watch, knowing now that Saturday will be a lazy 43 odd degrees, will this weather carry over till sunday. Current forecast at time of writing was 23 deg with chance of rain, WHAT THE?? That's why we live in and love Melbourne!!!

Another question that has come to mind is about a non-wetsuit swim, which, to be honest would not worry me due to swimming a fair amount recently without my wetsuit in case this situation occurs.

I think I will leave my final race prep until sunday morn, be prepared for all situations with the above and questions from my last post. This, however is not my ideal preparation, but with the weather so variable, I will leave it till last minute.

My goal for the race is to PB 2 of the 3 legs. Current PB's are:

Swim: 29.06

Ride: 2hr 22min

Run: 1hr 36min.

I was originally going to look at qualifying for Florida 1/2 Ironman World Champs, however with the $$$ the way it is, I have changed my focus to the Long Course National Champs in Jervis Bay, NSW on Feb 22nd. Yes only 2 weeks after Geelong. With all things going to plan, this should hopefully enable me to compete in the Long Course World Champs in Perth, WA later in the year.

This week has been a solid week for me with training, after being dropped in the Crit at Footscray on Saturday after 35min (Where have my Crit legs gone???) I have had 3 solid rides this week and still clicked just under 300kms, thanks Ron & Stormy. Throw in swimming every day to aid with recovery and still rolling the arms over and 1 solid run early in the week and 1 tempo run Wednesday night, I feel in good shape.

My massuer, Sam, had me crawling all over the table on Tuesday night, but hey, it works wonders. The boys at SALTER CYCLES have done another great job in looking after my bike with servicing and a few alterations. Thanks Adrian.

The remaining few days gefore Geelong will entail an easy swim tomorrow morn and an easy run tomorrow night. Sat morn I will ride 1 lap of the course with Dad, who is competing in the Teams event with Ron "super fish" and Phil (Good mate of mine) before engaging in the pre race events on saturday and avoiding the heat.

For now and this week, I am signing off.

Hope to report a good race report early next week.... Good luck to all the fellow ETPA's who are also competing, look forward to seeing many a PB.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

What will the Heavens provide for Geelong 70.3??

This is the question that has been constantly on my mind over the last week or so with this freak hot weather. With Geelong being my first serious race this year, the heat factor is something we all must consider. I have many questions that are floating around my mind already in preparation for a extreme weather day.

Questions like:

Do I need more nutrition/ hydration??

How much more??

Should I change my race plan, or do I trust current plan that has worked to date??

Do I stick to my TT helmet or use my road helmet??

With constant "weather watch" this week, I think I will make my decision at late as possible.


With names like Craig Alexander, Luke Bell, Leon Griffin, Jason Shortis and many more of that calibur means that not only will the standard be high, but will also provide good spectator value also.

Throw in top age groupers like Sam Hume (27th Hawaii 2008) 30-34 , Matt Bailey (6th Overall Canberra 2008) 18-24, Luke Whitmore 25-29 and Dale Hemley 30 - 34, the racing should be hot throughout most age groups.

Myself and the boys from ETPA will be able to get a good gauge on where we sit against the BIG boys of tri's.

By midday Sunday many questions will have answers.....Hopefully all positive...