Friday, July 30, 2010

Yeppoon 1/2 is 2 weeks away.

The main reason for this post is to just update where things are at. With my first race in 2 weeks and things going along quite well, I don't really have much to post at this stage.

I am looking forward to this race and the "real" training (Ironman training) that commences afterwards.
I headed to Brisbane for a day earlier this week and one thing that I noticed was the difference in climate, and why wouldn't someone want to move there ;-). So with Melbourne being deeply embedded with winter and Brisbane still being only 20deg, I certainly noticed a big difference.
This year, ol' mate Benny and I decided to cut the trip down to 4 days instead of the previous 6. We are flying up 2 days before the race and returning only one day afterwards. A few factors behind this, that have relevance to my post, so no need to go into them!! My main question is, will having one less day before the race make much if any difference?? I wouldn't have thought so, but with the total difference in climate, maybe so.
With conditions and climate in the following photos, I cannot imagine a better place to start the season and spend a weekend away!!

This photo is a view of the beach before the carnage occurs.
With being a beach start, as you can see below is will be fast and frantic for the run into the water and to the first turning buoy. This year, with the focus on my swimming, I am hoping to position myself well heading out the first 200m before the long swim down the beach adjacent the beach.

The ride is quite a funny circuit being 5 laps of an 18k loop. What's funny about this?? The fact that in those 18k, you encounter a fast surface which you can make up a lot of time, however for the other half of the surface it is granulated and zaps a fair bit of energy out of the legs. It is a very deceiving ride. However with 2 previous races here, I am very familiar with what is required to set the bike up well and how to ride the course.

The bike usually sets up the run, 3 laps involving a road run and a trail run. And once you've completed this, the below photo is your reward!!!

Well not quite the ladies, but the cold beer that awaits post race....And of course the cold water recovery in the Resort pool, below.

So for now, I have 1 1/2 weeks of solid training, then a short taper and my 1st of the year (looking forward to it also), a 1/2 Ironman then into the real fun & games.
For Now...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Pass Mark

So, it is 4 weeks until my first race of the season and more importantly, 4 weeks to find out where I am at.

With the new coach, new focus, new direction, new training all well and truly in place by now, curiosity is starting to creep into my head about where I am at....

So, in 4 weeks I will know. Not expecting big things, just improvements. The new regime has already seen my weight get down to previous "Ironman Race weight" and at this time of year to be at that weight only suggests good things down the path.

Where is the pass mark?? What do I expect?? What will I be happy with??

I have thought about the above three questions and although my first race is 4 weeks away, this race may not be the best indicator.

The swim is very tidal, so you don't have the same conditions as previous years like other races.

The ride & run will be the same though.

The main factor is the weather, coming from a Victorian Winter into Queensland's beautiful one day, perfect the next is the biggest factor. These are not excuses, just reality!!!

So, onto the questions: A Pass mark for me will be an improvement on my swim regardless of conditions, I want to be somewhere near the front, not giving away 6-7 minutes. On the bike I expect to have lost a bit of time due to the focus on the other two disciplines, however, still within 2-3min of my PB. And on the run, I would expect to run no less than 5 min faster than last year, considering that I have run more in the last 10 weeks than what I did for the entire first half of last year, I think that this is not asking for miracles.

What do I expect?

I expect to go faster overall than the last two years and break into the Top 20 Overall(65th 2008, 35th 2009 both around 4hr 35min) and push for a Top 3 in my age group, 6th last year.

What will I be happy with?

Due to the fact that I will be 4-5 kgs lighter than the same time last year and barring no mechanical faults (bike only) breaking the 4hr 30min will be success or failure for me. The individual splits will be irrelevant if I can go 5-6min faster overall.

For now the body is in good shape, still a bit off where I want to be for the Ironman at the end of the year, but am very satisfied with the progression. Am Injury free and training the house down. Following the coach's instructions definitely goes a long way to maintaining the body injury free. Now I just have to go and harass a few mates and get my legs worked on, which is going to hurt the first few times, due to lack of massages of late. See you soon Jas!!

My training partners are still very supportive and the boys makes it so much more enjoyable being out with them, so will continue to thank you guys.

For now...


Friday, July 2, 2010

Music to my ears...

So, another program down and off to see the coach to look at my next program. For the last few programs, I have known that I will be running and running and more running, a bit of swimming and not much riding!!

The tables had to turn, so I thought. Well maybe a half circle, maybe not even that much. The good news for me is that I can dust of the TT bike, because I am going to be riding that baby a whole lot more over the next few weeks with my lead up to Yeppoon. My running is still building and my swimming has had an extra "optional" session added. "Optional" my ass, it is a session to be completed.

With Yeppoon only 6 weeks away, I feel like I am in better shape compared to this time last year with the specific training that I have been undertaking unlike previous years where it was just general fitness. Didn't feel like it at the time, however knowing the direction that I am going, it definitely was just general fitness.

By doing a little bit of maintenance of previous weeks on the bike, I feel like I am ready to get back to where I was previously with my cycling. With saying that, I know that I am not going to lose any of the running or swimming that I have been developing.

Still have a goal of getting back on the roadie for a few races to fine tune my legs, however I am constantly reminded that patience is a virtue and WA is 6 months away. Exactly my point....not even in Ironman 16 weeks yet, let me free!!

Any way, just a small update, not much exciting news at the moment, just build, build and build. The base is growing ready to have foundations installed to have bricks spread all across it.

I am off to the pool to continue my drill sessions.

For now...