Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 1 complete...

So, a quick camp has started well....after setting up this morning, we completed a 3k swim then into a 80k ride with a 40k tt on the return trip. Suffering 2 punctures didn't help my cause, but survived all the same. The weather has been crap and tomorrow looks like it is going to be no better. This evening involved a 90min in the beautiful country side and the hills.

The day has been tough but is nothing compared to what the following days have in store. Tomorrow is a 7 hour brick fest.... 3 continuous brick sessions with the final one a max effort. Then to top it off, we have another swim in the Arctic conditions in the ocean.

The lights have been switched off and the everyone is looking forward to quality shut eye.

And remember....whilst the dogs are barking we are out training.

For now...


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fatigue vs Exhaustion - recognising the difference.

This is something that I often have conversations about with Andrew (Coach). He often tells me not to cross the line into exhaustion, yet to maintained being fatigued.

So, the question I often find myself asking is......Where is that line?? How do you know when you have crossed it?? Or, better still, how do you know when you are nearing it so then you can change your course and not go over it??

Exhaustion is something that many Ironman athletes, from all levels have encountered at one stage during the training, the smart ones just know when it is approaching and find a way to avoid it and the uneducated ones (me included in previous years) just dive head first into it without knowing and suffer the consequences there after.

This year, for me, has been a year of education from Andrew in all aspects of the triathlon caper. He has been able to obtain information from me that I didn't even realise that I was or was not doing correctly and from this info we have been able to identify aspects of the training that is or is not working. This has been a huge advantage for me compared to previous years. Sitting down with him monthly to pen a program that works for both of us and also relevant discussions on how we are going and if the direction that we both decided on is still the direction we both want to go.

Back onto the topic...

So in having these meetings and discussing the previous months training and the next months also, we can identify if I have hit exhaustion or ways to identify it and avoid it. I have been lucky enough this preparation to identify and avoid with the guidance if Andrew.

So, how can you tell??

I have been doing some reading on the topic as I am no doctor, nor do I hold a degree in either topics, but one thing I sure do know, is that I would rather be in a state of fatigue than a state of exhaustion!!

To save further reading with countless links to articles, I will throw my version/understanding with the difference:

Fatigue - is the body becoming weary from constant training, however you still the capacity to continue training day in day out even though you are tired. You can still achieve the relevant training goals.

Exhaustion - totally stuffed!! Other words, crossing that line and over training, trying to do too much, not being able to complete sessions as necessary. Failing to start a session due to tiredness.

For me, not being a rocket scientist or brain surgeon, I am able to identify when the line is approaching and being able to, under advice, alter what needs to happen to achieve the desired result.

As for my training, all is going well. I am heading down to Lorne for a training camp over the long weekend with a few others as set up by Matt at This is something that I am looking forward to and I am very confident of having a very beneficial weekend. The only downside that I can think of is the open water swimming as the weather has not been up to previous October Temperatures to date.

With only 2 1/2 weeks until my final hit out before the Ironman, I am making sure that all the boxes continue to be ticked and the excuses are left at the door.

As I stated previously, whilst the dogs are barking, we are out training.

For now...


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tick, tick, tick, tick & tick.

That's the sound of my weekly training schedule as I go through the program and tick off the boxes. Rain, hail or shine, I have been out there doing my thing whether or not with my regular training pals or podsy.

With the weather being terrible for this time of year, no doubt it has been a battle sometimes to get out in the rain. The motivation is there, sometimes realisation kicks in and I wonder if the session in the terrible conditions will do more harm than good. This is where Coach Andrew comes in and confirms, denies or changes the training schedule. Most times, it's a case of getting out in the conditions regardless to gain that extra mental edge also. "If I can train is these terrible conditions, I can train in anything" mentality.

Training has been going really well, and the body is holding up also. Benny & I discovered a few new running trails around the area which are on dirt, so that can only be another good thing for the body. Getting out with Trav, Arch, Stormy & Jas is also always good fun even if one of us gets angry cause it is not our day.....But overall, I could not ask for a better preparation at he moment and with the new program "in the mail" I look forward to the next 7 weeks (which some people find some what disturbing that I am actually looking forward to it!!).

My next race is in 4 weeks which will be my final preparation for the Ironman and after last night's discussion with Andrew, we are going to try a few new things over the next 7 weeks in the lead up.

Only a short blog this time as not much has changed. I will say one thing.....Whilst the dogs are barking, we are out training!!

For now...


Oh yeah, the new Erox Wetsuit has arrived and I am looking forward to getting into it at the training camp to give it a good test. Thanks again Florian. Will post some photos once I get some!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Season going well, but along way from being successful..

So, after a few days reflection on the weekend and the outcome of my race, I thought that I would pen a race report.

I am still in a little disbelief that I won my age group, yes that's right, had my first "W" in tri's. This follows up from my 2nd place at Yeppoon 1/2 Ironman 6 weeks prior.

The conditions did not ease up at all over the weekend and on race morning, it just continually rained and rained and rained. I was lucky with the way the transition was set up that I didn't have to worry about my gear getting wet as I was in the underground car park.

So, with the worries of the cracked frame from the previous day, good mate Ross from suggested that he bring his bike along for me in case mine was deemed unsafe to ride on. A quick dash into transition to grab my bike and get some expert advice from Jason Shortis it was decided that my bike would not crack anymore and that it would be better for me to ride my own bike instead of riding Ross's.

From there I added some tape to the frame as oer the following photos, more probably for piece of mind opposed to preventing further damage!!

So, wheeling my back into transition, I was told that I couldn't check my bike in on race morning. After convincing the Man on the gate that I had to get a safety clearance on my frame before I could race, he let me through to set up my transition area.
With the confidence from Jason Shortis and the little bit from the tape, I was pretty sure that I would get through the race with the bike in 1 piece.
With the transition area set up and having a good location for exit and entry I left to put the wetty on and get ready for the race.
My swim training had been coming along quite well and I was sure that I could find a good group to start with and hold for the entire distance. Once the horn started and with arms and legs going everywhere, I held strong and found some feet to jump on for the swim. Once around the first buoy, as per normal the swim settles down and I was able to find my rhythm. Little did I know that I wasn't in the front group, but lucky my tow took me there by the time 500-600m had passed. I had to work to stay with this group, however was comfortable enough to know that I could hold them until the end. Swim time PB for me.
So with exiting with a group of 8-10 guys, I got in and out of T1 in good time to allow myself a clean start on the bike. The rain was now pouring and vision was very minimal. Taking the corners easy was my mindset as I had no intention of laying my bike down on its side at all. Being a 2 lap bike and not quite an out and back course, it was hard to get a gauge of position. Knowing that no-one had passed me for the bike ride I was confident that I could start the run in a decent position. Bike time 2hr 24min + some. Not my fastest bike time, however was fastest in my age and due to the conditions, I was very happy with this split.
Onto the run. I found legs really early in the run and managed to get into a good comfortable stride. By watching my Garmin, I went through 10km in 39min 20sec and felt really good doing this. I knew from not having a taper that at some stage my legs would get heavy and I would have no choice but to slow. After going though 15k in under the hour mark I was really happy with how things were progressing. From 16k til 19k I hit a flat spot and my mind was arguing with my legs about trying to get back into 4min k pace. So I pumped in some HAMMER gels and my legs and body came good. Around the 18.5k mark and with only 2.5 k's to go, my mind won that battle and I was able to finish off strong. Crossing the finish line, I knew that I had a great race and I would be in contention for the top couple in my age, however did not even consider that I might have won my age group. Run time 1 hr 26min + some PB by 5min.
Total time 4hr 18min + PB by 5min also.
Once the race was done and dusted I packed up and made my way back to the hotel, where Scott from text me to inform me that I had won, not just won, but by 7mins. I was in a little disbelief, but satisfied with his message to know that I had just won my first race.
After having a great start to my season, I am satisfied at my results, however these two races only show me that things are headed in the right direction. I have one more race in my Ironman preparation before WA Ironman, where my result in the Ironman will determine if I have had a successful season.
A quick thanks to David from Hammer for helping me out with some goodies on race weekend, Ross from the running shop for the shoes and the stand by bike. But most of all Scott from Xosize for his ongoing support.
With regards to my "flying machine". Well she has been taken to the shop for an upgrade...Sorry girl but we did go out in style!!
For Now...
Also, I look forward to my new Erox Wetsuit which should arrive in time for Shepparton, cheers Florian!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Who would have thought??

Sitting here after race rego and briefing a few things have come to mind regarding this trip to the Gold Coast for the 1/2 Ironman.

1. That is is raining here on the Gold Coast, and beautiful in Melbourne.

2. That I would be watching a replay of the AFL Grand Final.

3. That on a harmless training ride this morning and brand new tyres, Trav would puncture.

4. And finally, after going through all the training and pre race checks, that I find a crack in my top tube as I affix my race number to it.

Where to go from here. Well the first 3 are either happening, been resolved or out of my control. Number 4 is the concern. I should have taken a photo of the crack for future, however it is on the seat end of the top tube ans easily over 1/2 Inch long. What am I going to do?? I simply have two options. Withdraw due to this issue or race and see what happens. Now me being the punting man and also committing time and effort for this race I am going to race and see what happens.

So, I am going to strap the bike up over the crack with the below tape for this race and deal with the issue once home. I will find out the result/effect of this once I mount my stead tomorrow and fingers crossed that it gets me through...In 1 piece.

My theory behind this that if it can hold body parts in place during a physical game of AFL, NFL or other contact sports, I am sure it can hold my frame together with a 90kgs rider pushing the power through it.....(Hope that I am not being to naive with this!!)

The rest of the afternoon is sitting back watching the AFL grand final turn into the result that I really don't want to see....So maybe I will switch it over to the World Road Racing Championships for the Women.

Any way enough for me, I can feel myself going greyer with stress over the crack.

For now...