Friday, January 28, 2011

Who ate the pies??

The pizzas, the sausage rolls, the donuts, the kfc, the maccas, the whole chicken, the fried food, the desserts, the m&m's, the mars bars, the snickers, the hamburgers, the hot chips, the potato cakes, the pasta and whatever

else I could get my hands on?

This fat .............. (insert own word here!!)

The reason for this post is due to the fact that I was scrolling through some older photos (within the last 4-5 years) and realised that I was 1 BIG UNIT. Some say now that at 93odd kgs I am still a big guy, but at 125kgs, 93 is nothing. The above footy shot was 2006 when I came out of retirement and gave footy one last shot. For someone of my size and fitness, I actually had a good year.

From there my goal was to lose some weight to aid & extend my football career, so I started to run, which my legs could not handle, so I then decided that swimming would help. Bought myself a bike and 4 years on, I am off to Kona.

My first race I was somewhere in the realm of the below 2 photos (say 105kgs) but still carrying a lot of weight!

When I look back at these pics, I realise that losing 30odd kgs has not only made my triathlon career more successful than I ever imagined, but also made my life enjoyable. The weight that I was carrying is mind blowing when I look back on it, especially compared to now, but also when I remember the type and quantity of food that I was smashing at the time, I am really lucky not to have had a heart attack or two in those times.

My standard day was consist of a somewhat reasonably healthy breakfast: Maccas, then mid morning snacks would involve fried dim sims or sausage rolls (yes many of) or something of the like in a good quantity. For lunch, there was a convenient chicken shop across the road and whilst I would wait for my whole chicken and chips, I would snack on a few more dim sims (4 or 5). The only real saving grace for me was the fact that the shop closed at 2pm ish so there was no afternoon snack.

Dinner would either be a $20 odd dollar feed from KFC or a lazy 2 large pizzas. This may sound ridiculous, but by my photos, I was just that!! Throw in drinking a large quantity of alcohol on a regular basis (still haven't changed that part!!) it was a recipe for disaster! I always remember the 2 pizzas that I would eat regularly on a Saturday or Sunday at work after a big night the night previously. My mates would laugh in astonishment/embarrassment in my eating/drinking ability and wondered how/why I could keep doing it.

The biggest turning point for me was being with a mate one day (Watto) and saw myself side on in the mirror. I actually did not believe that the person looking back at me was in fact, me!! I am really glad that I made that observation as I can say that I am achieving something with my life. By being the way I was, I now know how to live a balanced life, perhaps extreme at times, but as the saying goes.....sleep all day, play all night.....No no not that one (that was my previous life) Now it goes like, train hard, play hard.

Keeping this balance keeps my mind in check and also my perspective on life realistic. There are of course times where you put your head down and get stuck into the job at hand and put aside distractions and other negative influences. But for most part, this sport keeps me fit, healthy and happy, why would I want to change anything??

Long long way from 4 years ago!!

For now...


PS. I can also say that it is so much easy putting it on, than taking it off....Photos are motivating!!

For the record, my dad and I had a pizza eating competition, I managed 24 slices of a large and Dad devoured 27 slices of a large (crusts had to be eaten) before he went to have some dessert!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Slowly slowly

As the old saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. For me this has been my approach to training, slow and steady. (Throw in ugly and you get the picture) I am not saying that by me taking this approach I will win my next two races, however I know that I will be in great shape when it comes time to pick up training.

My training is slowly increasing week by week and my body is taking the extra load on board without any discomfort or displeasure. All three aspects are building a little base ready for my next phase of training commencing in the next few weeks or so. I know that I am going to have to prepare my body for a increased load and have already sought treatment to keep the body as fresh as possible.

I have not taken training seriously at this stage and have sought training with anyone that I can find. The last thing I need right now is to wear out training partners, so I have been conscious by spreading the to speak....The conversations have been fresh and full of entertainment and training has been really enjoyable with the variety of training partners making it this way. I know that once the work load increases, the training partner numbers will decrease due to different race plans and timing of races by us all.

In saying this though, I have enough in the network not to struggle finding someone. As we all know when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. So come those cold winter mornings that we are going to encounter come mid year, all those fair weather trainers that you see on the road at the moment will be non existent and only the tough will stay strong. With this in mind I refuse to put myself through any "tough" sessions at the moment, it is all about getting out there to enjoy the sun, the company and the laughs.

I am still riding the high of my time with Craig Alexander last week and some regular words still go through my mind during training sessions and general approach to life. Talking to fellow Ironman and training partner, Greg Farrell, who was lucky enough to attend 3Fest over the weekend with Craig Alexander amongst other World Class Ironmen, I know that he got the same motivation and enthusiasm from the event. Due to prior commitments I could not attend, however next year I will be there with bells on.

My weight is still headed in the right direction and I am confident that I will be establishing a new race weight in the coming months. If I continue to do everything right, without taking shortcuts or undertaking radical diets, I that my weight will take care of itself.

For now...


Friday, January 21, 2011

You can't pay for knowledge or advice like that!!

Craig Alexander is an amazing human being!

Myself and a few others from the tri group last night were fortunate enough to spend some time with the 2 time Ironman World Champion (It rolled off his tongue so fluently last night!). Through a lucky set of circumstances and a few phone calls I spent 1 hour running with Craig asking him questions and advice about the Hawaiian Ironman. Now this guy has some credentials.

When we first arrived to run with him, I made it sure that I had many a question to ask regarding training advice, race day advice and a few other things. Firstly, this guy is one of the most down to earth people that I have ever come across, not only on a sporting sense, but also in every day life. Throw in the fact that he has won the toughest race of all, not once, but twice would give this guy some reason to think that his shit doesn't stink.

He has a balance in his life, but he sure knows when to flick the switch. NO weighing food, no crazy diets, nothing bizarre or unusual about what he does, he just gets the job done. He was so accommodating with the questions that I had for him relating to training, race day and even Hawaii. I thought that he would get sick of the questioning, however he not only answered the direct question that I asked him, but then went on to give advice and unbeknown to him, answer the follow 5 questions that I had in my arsenal.

Just to listen to him speak was something that I really enjoyed, some of the inner sanctum stuff that he told us about different races. He even asked a few specific things about what I did and gave me advice relating to this. Now I am pretty happy with my setup and race day plan, but after talking to him last night, I am happier that he has contributed to make things a little easier (if that could be possible at Hawaii) and less stressful come race day. The only regret that I had from last night was that I could not record everything that he said, so once I got home, I madly wrote down as much of the advice as possible to remember for future. I thought that I was struggling to remember, but after 2 full pages of notes I think that I have it covered.

Some of the things that were said, you cant read in books, you cannot pay for, this stuff was straight from the horse's mouth and things that I can use to my advantage to give me a more accomplished race/training regime.

After spending the hour with him, I had one final question.....A bit of a funny one, but one that I am glad that I asked!! "Can I please have your visor?" I think this startled him for a second because his response was more shock, "This one??" "Yes please." "No problem" So just like that I have added a souvenir to my collection and the reminder that I had quality time with an All time champion!!

A few photos below show how accommodating Craig is as he was happy to get some photos done before we ran.

I have to put this one first as Billy was the instigator of getting me down there last night. An absolute champion of a guy.

I think that I was still in shock standing next to the 2 time World Champion!

Benny was smiling from ear to ear (as was I) from this moment until we got home.

I thought that I would include this one, as Mark Renshaw is the best lead out man in the world and one of the fastest. His calf muscles would make any triathletes quads look small.
For now...
ps. I am going to jot down the advice and use it as a motivation tool/training reference that I received last night so that I can test it out come Kona time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

All going in the right direction!!

So, my weight has started to get back to a level in which my body can get the most out of training. 95kgs, that's a drop of 5kgs in two weeks, am really happy with that. My goal at this early stage is to lower it to 92.5kgs (old race weight) whilst still functioning well.

Along with the weight lose, my swimming has showed little signs of improvement, I haven't really lost any speed, just lots of endurance. I am really noticing that after 1-2 efforts in the pool regardless of length, I am starting to battle. Talking to Paul (swim coach) last night we are just going to get some long slow technique sessions under the belt and worry about speed once May/June comes around. This will still allow me 4 months of solid swimming once I am up to speed. I am in no real hurry to peak at the moment, as I have nothing to peak for. We have discussed some alternate options to improve my swimming once I am back up to a good level.

My riding has not really lost anything at this stage (or I don't feel that is has) and am happy with the addition of the fixed wheel to my stable as I have noticed that it has already made my pedal stroke smoother and more efficient. Along with these benefits, riding the fixie is enjoyable and to date have not had any mishaps!!

Running is running and at a few kgs overweight, it of course is taking a little bit of time to find my feet again (pardon the pun!!). However I have been enjoying getting out in my on-running shoes and getting some quality k's back in the legs.

Although that I feel like my training is coming along slowly, I have still managed to clock up 11hours in my first week back and 13hours in the second week back. I suppose compared to doing 20+ hour weeks in my Ironman lead up it does feel small, however I am still happy that I am getting these numbers up early in the piece.

Everything is still a long way off, but for now I am happy to be back into the swing of things and am loving training right now. Just hoping to get some really consistent nice days and will be as happy as pig in you know what.

For now...


Sunday, January 9, 2011

1st week of training back completed!!

I survived!!

After 4 weeks of drinking and eating whatever and how much that I felt like and seeing the scales hit 100kgs (7.5kgs in 4 weeks!!, if only it was easy to lose it that quick!) I have completed my first week back of training.

Nothing was fast, nothing was pretty, however it was all done. My body feels really good for getting it done and my mind is ready to get into next week. The big test will be getting back into swim squad. This will be the point to see if I am really ready to go. I have decided to ease back into the swimming as it is the first discipline to always gets to me. So, just ticking the arms over, getting the technique fine tuned will be the goal before I really up the ante and get into a "Swim Squad" as opposed to the triathlon swim squad that I am in.

This will be a few weeks away as like the other two disciplines, I am going to gradually increase my efforts as my body will allow, for now it is easy training on the body and mind.

After looking back at my Garmin file for 1/1/2010 to 31/12/2010, my data is as follows:

Swim time/distance: 112hrs 51mins for 316.53kms

Ride time/distance: 364hrs 50mins for 10,296.44kms & 205,007cals

Run time/distance: 181hrs 01mins for 2,227.71km & 165,821cals

This gives me an average of 12.67 per week for the entire year. This figure is no indication of my actual Ironman training as my average training for those weeks would be around the 20hours per week.

My weight peaked at 100kgs at the start of the new year and is now down to 97kgs. Still heavy, but at least heading in the right direction.

Tomorrow is a new week and n ext Sunday will be my first race for the season, a small sprint distance one. That could actually destroy me as I am a self proclaimed diesel train and the small stuff really hurts!! Anyway, another easy week in front of me might at least help drop a few more kgs and make the week as enjoyable as the one I have just completed.

For now...


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lose weight, go faster..But how much is too much??

So, after having time off between IMWA & the New Year and enjoying a copious amount of beer and good food, the scales did not do me any favours (just nudging 100kgs), just told me it was time. Time to get myself into gear and get back into the training side of things.

With this, myself and a few others it was also time to look at our eating patterns and lose those unwanted kgs, and maybe a few more. This year going to Kona, I cannot afford to have any extra kgs whilst racing. Upon asking many a weight question about where people from the outside could see me getting down to without losing power or getting sick, the main consensus was to drop below 90kgs. My favourite response was along the lines of this: Grab onto your private bits, jump up and down and if it wobbles it can go......hmmmm interesting suggestion, but makes sense.

Another one of my mates, who I used to cycle with as a junior is still a measly 83kgs (and yes we are the same height), so it that a possibility?? For me, prob not as I have a bigger frame than him, but in saying that it still gives me confidence to find a new race weight in Kona. And if I want to do the "undie run" I cannot afford the wobbly bits!!

With reference to racing, more so running, I found the below table which shows some interesting numbers in relation to weight vs speed. I look at it as "free speed" like transition, everyone has to do it and it doesn't take much to get these benefits!

This table, based on changes in maximal aerobic capacity, provides a rough estimate of how much your race times will improve if you lose weight, as long as you have it to lose. If your BMI drops below 18.5, you're at risk of becoming weaker and slower.


1 kg-------------13.2 secs-- 26.4 secs----- 53.8 secs------------- 1:48

2.5 kgs----------- 33 secs---- 1:06--------2:20------------------ 4:40

5 kgs------------- 1:06----- 2:12--------- 4:40-------------------9:20

10 kgs------------ 2:12----- 4:24--------- 9:20----------------- 18:40

With me looking for easy time gains, like most of us do, I can relate this table back to my most recent race, IMWA. Racing at 92.5kgs gave me my best result yet, but with taking on board suggestions from others getting below 90kgs, this would have potentially saved me 4.40min in the run and gave me a 3hr 15min run.

Yep, I like the sound of that. However as we know, triathlon is a three disciplined sport. By starting the race at 90kgs, would I have lost too much weight by the time the run had come around and not been able to run a 3hr 20min anyway? We will never know, but one thing for sure, I am keen to gain as much "free speed" as possible and I will be exploring this option in 2011.

At 92.5kgs, my BMI is 24.83....some say way too high, I don't think that I am far off. Getting down to 90kgs would reduce it to 24.16. This keeps me in the normal weight range(20.7 - 26.4), but I would rather be down at the lower end of this. 88kgs get me to 23.6bmi....might be the goal!!

Cycling is the same when climbing, and as Kona has some climbs, not mountains, but as I start to train in the hills the "free speed" calculator will be in reference often.

I refuse to do any crazy diets or anything, just be conscience of what I eat and how much I eat.

For now...


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Part 2

So, after sitting with Andrew and discussing my goals for 2010, which were:

1. Qualify for Kona Achieved

2. Break 9hrs 10min at WA Achieved 9hr 6min

3. Win A/G at WA 4th

4. Run sub 85min @ 1/2 Ironman 86min @ G.C 1/2 including T1 & T2

5. Run low 80min 1/2 Maration N/A Did not run one

6. Break 4hrs 15min Shep 2010....Top 3 in A/G Achieved 4hr 11min......7th

7. Swim sub 27min @ 1/2 Ironman 27min 48sec

8. Swim sub 55min @ Ironman 56min 31min

9. Continue to Race "A" Grade @ FCC N/A no racing this season

10. Sub 9hrs 25min @ NZ 2011 N/A decided not to race this

We decided which ones were achievable and which ones might not be. My program was then designed around the main goals.... Goal 1 & 2!!

The general talk about no.3 was that you just never know who might turn up and let's not worry about that one, just focus on no.1!

So, with that in mind, I set off in a new direction and started the new program. The entire program was new to me at it entailed a different approach, which I was a little hesitant to begin with, however once it got going I became more and more confident that I made the correct choice in & Andrew.

My first real gauge of how I was travelling with the new program was at Yeppoon 1/2 Ironman in August, some 3 months after starting the program.

My race report can be found here:

in which I did an 8min pb, with a 2nd in my age group and was hardly disgraced being beaten by Bradley Bullock (who won 2010 WA 30-34 in 8hrs 55mins) by 3min. Charles Rodgers finished 3rd in his lead up to Kona (9hrs 14min Kona 2010). A great start to my year.

After this race, and being very happy with how everything was going I was really looking forward to my next race at Gold Coast in October. In the mean time, training had started to pick up and my volume for the running was heading towards 70k per week. (Not a great amount for a smaller runner, but took its toll on this 92k+ frame) I knew that I was training, unlike previous years.

Heading up to Gold Coast in October got me excited, not only for another good performance but to get away from the Melbourne Winter also. Little did I know that the weather was terrible there also!! The race was held in torrential downpour and safety was the order of the day.

My race report:

This race produced my first Win in my age group and a massive run pb being 86min for the run. Once again I was very happy with how things were going and the direction we were headed to achieve my goals. In saying this the big thing that I had noticed was that I had only been doing 1/2 the amount of cycling to previous years, but still riding the same!!

From here, I had only one more test before IMWA. Shepparton 1/2 Ironman. I had always used this as a gauge of how I am tracking leading into Ironman. And this year was no different, I wanted to have a good ol' fashioned crack at Shep to see if I could break 4hrs 15min. With the conditions being perfect for race day, I produced a 4hr 11min although not my most comfortable race.

See here:

My confidence was sky high after this race and with only a few weeks to go, I was looking forward to this Ironman like none before!!

My only hiccup was my back, hurting it only 2 weeks out. Getting expert advice and treatment as soon as I could enabled me to race IMWA with full confidence of achieving my goal.

We all know my busso result and reaching my goals.....but just in case you missed it ;-), here is is again:

To top off my most successful season to date, I came out on top of the Australian 1/2 Ironman series in my age group.

This is going to be 1 year that I will remember for some time to come, however, I am very determined to make 2011 a more successful year than 2010.

Stay tuned.

For now...


PS. The shoes are going great guns and am really happy that I have been given the opportunity to race in these. If you are looking for a great shoe, feel free to contact me for advice.