Saturday, January 30, 2010

Stepping up!!

The move into "A" grade has been a learning experience for me. The step up from "B" grade means that pure strength and fitness is not only what you need, but some race tactics and patience.

The first thing that I have noticed in the 3 races to date is that the average speed is a lot higher. Now I found "B" Grade to average around the 38 - 39 kph for the duration, usually 50 - 55 min. In "A" Grade the average speed has jumped to between 42 - 43kph for the duration 1 hr - 1hr 5 min.

This might not seem like a lot by these numbers, however when you throw in an extra 4-5 km for the race, it does make a difference. The other thing that I have found is the attacks are more frequent, go for longer and HURT a whole lot more. This means that the recovery is shorter and the heart rate is high for a lot of the race (see links below).

Now for the 3 races; The first race for me was pleasing, getting around, however got stitched up a beauty!!! I am not one to roll around in the bunch, so I thought that I would do some work and help chase a few breakaways. First mistake!!! A big attack happened after I did a solid turn and BANG, legs went. Rookie error. So from there I managed to get around with the bunch until the end.

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Crit Race "A" Grade

The second race was a lot better for me with sitting comfotable in the bunch, doing the occasional stint at the front, however having enough in the legs to be in a few early breaks. This race was cancelled with 10min to go due to the rain coming in.

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Crit Race "A" Grade - rain interrupted

The most recent race followed 5 days totalling just under 600km in the legs with 70km running, so was always going to be interesting. Goal was to just hang in there. An early break got away and I was determined to stay in the bunch and just get around as averaging 42+ kph would be enough effort for me this race without throwing in any more self imposed efforts as the bunch makes an effort every lap.

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Crit "A" Grade - Crank Broke

So, 30mins into the race, I find myself 2nd wheel. Heading into the head wind, the left side of my bike seems to become very easy pedalling.....My crank snapped and was just hanging by my shoe....WTF?!?!? A sharp pain in my left ankle, and I realised that on breaking the crank, I smashed my left ankle into the bottom bracket.

Now, I was happy with that, felt lucky really. Since I was sitting 2nd wheel and with 10-15 riders behind me, it could have been a whole lot worse. I was just lucky that it happened into the head wind, not in an attack as I am sure that I would have been eating bitumen for dinner and having bikes all over me. So I rolled casually back to the start finish. With every rider thanking me for not bringing the bunch down, I was more thankful myself that I stayed upright.

Where does this leave me? I have decided not to do Geelong 70.3 in fear of aggrevating my ankle any more, with New Zealand Ironman only 5 weeks away, I cannot afford any time off my ankle and race pace will do it no favours. I can still run on it, with a little pain, however is very managable. Ice and Voltaren are my friends currently.

Will this interfer with my training? No chance. This is not an excuse (too many people come up with them for poor performance), this will not change my performance, I will be 100% fit and recovered by New Zealand and in the best shape for a race. I know now that I am in better shape than 5 weeks out from Western Australia.

My goal is too qualify for Kona at New Zealand and no stone will be left unturned.

All the excuses will be left at the door when I go out for training every day.

For now...


Friday, January 15, 2010

Back on the Bike!!

Now, when I say that, many of you know that I have been doing BIG k's on the bike this new year.

I finally got back into the criterium racing last night and what fun I had. I eased back into "b" grade to find me legs as I have not done this kind of racing for some 6 months now. It took me around 10 minutes to find my legs and felt really good.

I even felt good enough to attack with 3 laps to go and held the bunch off until 200metres to go and got swamped by them to finish up around 9th.

I must say that it was good to get back into the saddle and have some fun whilst doing so. I will venture out again tomorrow to see if I can give the front runners a bit of a working over, depends on how the legs are feeling of course!!!

Anyway, I have to start attached my garmin file for the crit tonite, interesting viewing, especially heart rate!!

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Crit Race "B" Grade

For now...


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Ride Jas, perfect conditions, felt good

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Ride Jas, perfect conditions, felt good

This ride consisted of some good rolling hills, weather was ideal, wanted to keep going mentally, however my legs were telling me otherwise once the 100km mark was passed.

For now...


Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Ride Jas, 34deg

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Ride Jas, 34deg

This ride was tough with the temperature being around 30deg most part of the ride.

For now...


Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Wildwood Rd - Jas/Justin

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Wildwood Rd - Jas/Justin

This ride was a tough backup to the 140km's that I did on the Saturday, was just a preview for the week ahead.

For now...


2010 - A New beginning

Well, one week into the new year and have started the year training really well.

Last Saturday was my hardest ride (as expected) at 140km's, with a few more 100km+ rides during the week. From there the week has seemed to get easier with clocking up just under 1000km's in the saddle and also a few smallish runs.

Next week, my training becomes a whole more consistent with my weekly goal to be approx 450km on the bike, 80km running and over 10km in the water.

One thing that I have noticed already this week, it that I am becoming more accountable after setting up my garmin correctly. By constantly having the calender on the screen enables me to see exactly what I have or have not done. By seeing this, there is no exaggeration of km's or training sessions, just reality.

So after plugging in my weekly goals, I become accountable, not to anyone except myself.

Jas, has had the pleasure of my company on most rides this week, or is it I have had the pleasure of his?? Well, after 20hours together in the saddle both complaining about the saddle sores, I think we both enjoyed the chin wag we had along the journey. This journey has taken us over a fair chunk of the outer suburbs of Melbourne and one that we are looking to expand in the near future with a few 150km+ rides coming up.

Anyway, it is time to refuel and prepare for this afternoons session.

For now...


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Watch this space!!

A friend of mine and myself are developing a team to include Mountain Biking, Road Racing & Triathlon.

The site will be

A new concept in which a few sponsors have taken to, which will be announced at a later date. Also, all athletes involved will be released as they appear.

Definately a concept that will take off.

Watch this space..

For now...


Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 - A Year in Review

So, with a New Year beginning, I thought I would reflect on 2009. A quick reflection as the future is ahead and there is no point living in the past.

The year started with Geelong Half Ironman. This was my first race for the year after a successful WA Ironman in 2008. The day prior was the famous (for all the wrong reasons) Black Saturday here in Victoria. I was happy with my race, broke 4 hrs 30min. I had a terrible swim, solid bike and steady run. Nothing to spectacular, a solid day out.

From there I headed to Jervis Bay for the Austrlian Long Course titles. Was very happy with my race, 18th in my age group, a long way from the top age groupers!!! Gave me some perspective on where I am at and what I needed to improve, THE RUN.

Finished my season by heading across to Adelaide to compete in the Murray Man tri. Really enjoyed this race and had a good end to the season. Had a good swim, 6th fastest bike for the day and an ok run. 6th in my age.

The start of the new season was up in Yeppoon for the 1/2 Ironman there. Once again my swim was terrible, my bike good and my run solid. Was a tough day out there with most athletes going 5-10 minutes slower than the previous year. For me, I went only 1 minute slower which included a 7 minute slower swim. 35th overall, 6th in age. 9th fastest ride time, fastest in age.

Shepparton was to follow in November. This as per last year was going to be a guide on where I thought I was at leading into WA Ironman in the following 4 weeks.
With the swim being non wetsuit, I thought it would be tough for me to PB. I was very happy with my swim, had a solid bike time, (including breaking my disc, so no disc for WA!!) and my run was solid again. Was on track to break 90min, however faded towards the end to just miss out. 7th in my age here, PB by 3 min, everything on track for WA.

My final race for the year was WA Ironman. For me Ironman #2 and hoping to crack into the top 3 for a slot at Kona. Miss by 1 minute :(, was passed in the final 2 km by 2 runners. I thought I was unlucky until I realised the guy who finished 4th, missed a spot by 7 sec. Now that's shattering. I PB'd my swim, 57.03min. Had a solid ride 1st age group 16th overall. 4hr 43min 43sec. Just needed to hold steady in the run. PB'd the run, so cannot complain, but missed a spot. Finished 36th overall, 5th in age. just under 4min PB in a lot tougher conditions.

So, with 2009 under the belt, and with another year of learning and experience I am looking forward to what 2010 brings (Kona???? Please!!!). I will start the season off with Geelong again and then head to NZ for the Ironman over there in March.

For now, I will be enjoying my new gadget, the garmin. I have had this since November last year and am just now starting to enjoy the benefits from it. It is a great training tool and one that I will use as such.

I will post regular training rides (If I can work out how!!) and reports on such.

For Now...