Tuesday, October 20, 2009

To get where you've never been, you've got to do what you've never done!!

For me, this is running.

Last year I thought I ran, but didn't. I mean I did the occasional run, about 2-3 times a week for a max of 2 hr 20min for the whole preparation for Ironman. I understood why this happened, as my coach then wanted to look after my larger frame. And I must say, it worked for me.

My focus last year was my ride and ride only and spent approx 75-80% of my training time in the saddle with approx 10% spent on the other two disciplines.

This approach was fantastic for last year as I was a newbie to the sport and had no idea of how my body was going to stand up.

Now I feel that I have been promoted to Rookie!!! Still no nothing and have experience of 1 whole race, even though if I could repeat that race every time I would be pleased.

Aside from this, a bloke named Lance did write a book titled: It's not all about the bike. I know after reading this book, it has nothing to do with Triathlons, however the title is relevant to the sport. Also, some other guy that I train with did mention the same thing!!

So, after churning out 7 hours in 4 days running and regular 2 hour Tuesday sessions, my running has improved a great deal. My speed has not changed much, however my endurance is building more and more every session.

The ratio of sessions is still favoured by the bike, however the run has taken a large chunk of the pie and would be up around 35-40% of training time now. The swim is still on the back burner as I see many an athlete swim like a fish but have nothing for the two main aspects of the race. A sub hour swim is all that I am after, and then make time on the other two legs.

I have also been punished on the mag trainer the previous two nights and have found this to be beneficial at this time of training. I have left it late, as I usually do, so that I don't get sick of the monotonous aspect of this training. All is on track for now, even my weight has dropped below the 92kgs mark, which means I am on track to get down to 90kgs or just below come race day. Weight is not my main priority, no special diets for me, still a few frothies also. Still have to enjoy training to want to do it.

For now...


Sunday, October 18, 2009

SIZE DOES MATTER....or does it??

This is the most relevant topic to me, due to my size......193cm or 6'3 on the old scale & 92kgs or 205lbs.

After doing a little research, and I mean a little, I have some found some evidence that being BIG does not neccessarily mean not being competitive. Ideally 5'9 and weighing between 145lbs & 165lbs would be ideal, however some of us are not meant to be that small.

After the Ironman last year where I went 9hrs 27 odd mins and a mate of mine went just under 1 min slower (both the same height) it has made me more aware of "bigger" athletes and their performances. So, at Kona I set out to photograph some athletes who fit my criteria and monitor their performance. Here is what I found:

This big unit: Ain Alar Juhanson #13 (13th overall last year, now thats not bad!!) Was well placed until the run, where he blew up. However to race as a pro at this size is some feat in itself.

Ain blew out to an 11hr + Ironman after a 1hour swim and 4hr 31min ride.

Ryan Barnett: #1341 (Big guy at the back of the 3) Was competing in his 2nd Ironman in 6 weeks after only qualifying recently, had a solid race finishing in 9hr 53min.

This guy: Doug Clark #1022, Won his age group, all of 6'7!!! Wow, the guy can move. Yes he is very lean, however at that height, he is still carrying more weight than the smaller guys.

His time of: 9hr 22min including a 3hr 15min marathon.

The above 3 who all raced at Kona is enough for me to say that Size doesn't matter, yes it helps being a little smaller, but you can only use what you are equipped with. Too many people make excuses for under performance, "lost my nutrition" "bike failure" "went to hard on the bike" etc. However, you don't hear many bigger people complain cause of their size, they just get on with the job at hand, even if it is slowly!!

If you put the work in, you can achieve what you desire.

For now...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Appreciating the Achievement.

Well, what can I say. After landing back in wet, windy & cold Melbourne with the Temperature being 10 degrees Celsius I definitely enjoyed the warmer climate over at Kona.

After reading and hearing about how tough the WORLD IRONMAN CHAMPIONSHIPS are, I don't think I had any idea about it. It is something you have to experience to appreciate, even just as a spectator. With the temperature soaring to 44 deg out on the Queen K Hwy, it is something that reading about will never give justice.

My week was magnificent watching the best apply their trade and all the age groupers strutting their stuff, and the strutting was everywhere. And not just the strutting, the bling bling was also out in full force. Many thousands of $$$$$ were on display.

Inspiration and admiration are the first two words that come to mind in thinking about race day and the competitors. Motivation is one that soon follows along with determination. I will start with inspiration first. By seeing all the "handicapped" athletes start the race all the way to finish the race was phenomenal. The following two athletes are a prime example:

The athlete left: Rudy Garcia-Tolson. He has no hamstrings or quads, the only muscles he has from his knee to hip are his gluts. Unfortunately, Rudy didn't make the bike cut off, no surprising due to this fact.

This other athlete was obviously feeling the pain, however, he finished. An amazing effort for the day.

And these two were not the only feats of amazement, the wheel chair athletes carving up the pavement was also a great site!!

Admiration is the next phase that I want to discuss. Well, the two winners, the quality of them both. One (Chrissie) loves the crowd and gives back as she receives. As soon as she got onto the bike, the race was won. She still acknowledged every single person out there and raced with her traditional smile. Her victory speech was also one to cherish.

Craig Alexanders 2nd victory was an amazing feat in itself, coming from over 12min behind at the start of the run to win. The composure of the guy; words cannot describe. Also being an Australian added a great patriotic touch to the race for me.

Both these two champions were at the finish line for the final competitors, like many other pros I must add. What a fantastic way to give back to the sport.
As for a personal aspect, seeing Carla finish her first IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP is something that I will never forget. Knowing the training that she put in leading up to this race and getting ill two weeks out, just shows the heart and determination that she has. Her time of just over 11hr 20min made me speechless, and like Chrissie, I could tell that she loved it out there. A smile was from ear to ear every time I saw her and also the photos that I have seen. An effort that has given me motivation to drive me to get there one day. The achievement is one that she will play down, unfortunately due to the fact that this race is not just about the day. It is also about the journey from qualification right up to race morning and then crossing that finish line.

Another two small mentions to be had, one for Greer Sansom, from Geelong was the only athlete that I knew who raced. Well Done Greer (below left). And to the poor soul who punctured no more then 30 metres after mounting his steed, which ended up right in front of me. He was there for a good 5-7 minutes.

Many more photos will be posted over the following weeks, especially ones that are relevant to me, the BIG FELLAS!!!

For now...


Friday, October 9, 2009

A Day in Kona!!

Well, after 11 hours travelling yesterday well into the evening I finally arrived in Kona. Was very happy to walk away from a plane knowing that I have 5 days without one.

I crashed heavily and missed the start of the undie run, which I still managed to take some good shots of (to be added at a later date). Just by being around the start/finish line area even made me nervous even though I am just spectating. The place is abuzz with excitement and anticipation.

The accommodation is right on the course so wont have to move far to get a piece of the action. Photos a plenty will be taken, starting from this evening at the carb loading party. Anyway a day of rest has been had and am very excited about the forthcoming days. Have been told that watching is always harder than racing for an athlete (if I can known as one), so hopefully this time next year I am on the preparation side of things opposed to spectator.

Once more photos are taken, they will be uploaded.

For now...


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Midway throu the travels.

Just a quick one to say that am in New Zealand, for another 3 hours before I fly onto Kona. Yep going to be here for a whole 10 hours!!!

The plane flight was good, with no hassles. During the flight I started to get excited about the fact that I am not only going to see Carla in action, also I am going to see the best of the best apply their trade in the sport I am involved in.

I will be trying to get ideas of how the pros and others leaders do what they do. Also a goal is to try and obtain photos with as many as these superhumans as I can!!

Anyway off for breakfast, then back to the airport for the next leg into Hawaii, then over to Kona. Hoping to be there at about 11pm tonight.

For now...


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Heading across to watch......this time!!

Tonite I make the journey across to Kona to watch Carla compete at Hawaii. Flying out tonite to New Zealand and then off to the "Big Dance" tomorrow. Carla has been over there for the the last week and is starting to prepare for her first crack at Kona. I know she will do well, but at this time, it becomes mental as all the fit looking people over there, some of which are not even competing.

The work has been done now for her, and it is just a matter of looking back at the work she has done. I am excited to see Carla finish and will be giving her plenty of encouragement along the way!!

Komo confirmed this last year and has given me some words of wisdom. This will give me more inspiration seeing someone so close to me going to where I want to get to.

I will keep updating my journey, starting with tonight in NZ if I can get PC access, and also will be using my trigger finger to take plenty of pics.

For now....


Monday, October 5, 2009

Never meant to be easy!!

Last was different, no expectations, no idea!!

This year is harder. Goals have been set and expectations need to be fulfilled. Training has to be done no matter what, no excuses. I have to get up at 4am to get quality in, I have to do sessions in the evening instead of relaxing. Last year, I didn't have to, so I didn't. If I was sore at all, tired or couldn't be bothered, that's all the excuses I needed no to train

However, after my performance last year at WA I have personal expectations that I want to exceed, goals I want to achieve. I am currently tired and fatigue, this just makes me want to train harder at the moment. I am preparing for what I call two hour Tuesday. This is my 2nd long run for the week consisting of a minimum of 2 hours with intervals or hills in there somewhere. 2 hour Tuesday usually follows a 3-4 hour morning ride. Legs are toasted by the end.

My training as been going well with clocking up good consistent quality k's atm with December 5th continually driving me along the way. My weight has dropped under 92kgs and is heading in the right direction. I have been given some quality nutritional advice rather than just starving myself...WTF?!?!? Advice that makes a difference in what I eat, when I eat it and how it is prepared.

The time is currently 7.30pm and today I have been on the bike, pounding the pavement and splashing in the water. Another day in which I have made gains and enjoyed the outcome. Tomorrow is a different day, one in which I am looking for the conclusion before it starts.

I have been following another blog: http://caughtontherun.blogspot.com/ about another "larger" guy (93.5kgs) who has recently qualified for Kona and will have completed 3 Ironmans in 10 weeks. He is another that gives me motivation. If h can, so can I. Who said size matters??

For now...