Monday, May 23, 2011

Another 1 down, many more to follow!!

So, after my last blog about the volume of running that is going to commence, I have just finished another 90+ km week. The week finished with a reasonable hilly run at Brimbank park with a good sized group (although we all had our own program to do). I did find myself running mainly solo due to this reason and just found as many hills that I could. See below garmin file:

So with a run like that finishing off my week, I am also happy to have a leg rest day on the Monday. This never means an easy day though....Just off to the pool to get 4.5-5k done focusing on upper body, plenty of pull buoy, paddles, and band (oh I hate the band work).

Late last week I also went into XOsize to look at my race suit for Kona, and I was very impressed by the way the suit has been made and cannot wait to get into it to see how good it actually is!! The only little flaw in the suit is one star missing from the flag on the front of it. This will be rectified by the time Kona is upon me.

Check pics below:

So, thanks Scott for organising this for me, and I am looking forward to wearing it!!

For now...


Friday, May 20, 2011

Be careful of what you wish for!!

It just might come true. It might sound good at the start, but once you are knee deep in it, it won't be easy.

I was running with a friend during the week and mentioned how I had many weeks running in the 90-95k mark but had never reached 100k's. The response was that it was early in the Kona build and that I shouldn't look for more than what is on my program. Hey, I understood that, but doesn't everyone want to be able to say that they have had a 100k run week?? For me, it has nothing to do with training or talking myself up, just a barrier that I would like to tick off along the way.

Enter meeting with coach here.......

So, last night I had my monthly meeting with Andy and mentioned the same thing to him. So politely and genuinely he said, "Your wish is granted!!"

Planning out the next block of running, not only will I get to 100k's for 1 week, it will most likely be for the whole block and up to 115k's for a couple of weeks. WOW!! He then ask me my thoughts about it, slightly excited but also knowing how fatigued I will be I responded, "Yeah, I am looking forward to that." Looking forward to it, am I crazy?? Looking forward to having my feet and legs pounding the pavement for over 100 k's per week, why would I look forward to that??

There is one simple answer: Kona

Kona is the goal and has been the goal since day 1 in this sport and to achieve my goal at Kona, this is what is required. Going through the long hours of training with my best mates chewing the fat over some of the most ridiculous conversations about nothing. Going through the highs and lows of how the body is feeling and getting that self belief that anything is possible.

Just getting the hardest session in for the week completed, and no it isn't a 2-3hr run, nor a 5-6hr ride.....It is the recovery swim Sunday afternoon, the little simple 2-3k splash in the pool. It is hard mentally as you know it is the last session of the week, and that you might not get any improvements from this session, but it sure as hell helps you the following week.

The bike is still on the back burner with the outlook being less than 100 k's a week on her. The thought of running more than riding is very daunting to say the least, but this whole Ironman caper is all about the run. You can't run, you can't achieve your goals. I am still a fair way off being a runner, however all arrows are pointing in that direction.

The program has effectively providing me with 10 runs per week, splitting up the sessions to enable me to complete the sessions without the fear of injury. This is a mental hurdle for me and once I tick off the first week of this, I know the rest will come and go before I know it.

Anyway, I might as well go and enjoy the first of many many runs this program, albeit an easy 30min this morning.

For now...


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Am glad that week is over!!

Last week was a tough one for me. I had a few firsts in training and am glad that I was able to tick them off by the weeks end.

After running the 1/2 Marathon, I then was programmed to run every day after for the next week. Now this must be what they call a "running" block. I was able to get through the early week sessions ok, however as the week got deeper, the session got harder. The weird thing was that it wasn't necessary harder on the body, just mentally. The sessions were not long or didn't have any quality, was just hard to get my mind going to get the job done. Finishing the week with a 2hr run in the hills was just what I needed to win the mind over body debate that was going on.

I got a further 70k's in the running legs last week and totalled just under 100k's in the 9 days straight of running. With a weekly total of 16 1/2 hours.

What gets me more is that I have more running in this week than last, however it is not daunting to say the least.

This week started well with a swim session Monday. My original plan was to get 4k of long easy k's in the arms until a mate of mine Gregory rang and we decided to do the session together. His call of 20 x 200's on a 3.20 cycle seemed reasonable enough, (I was thinking 10-15sec rest between). But no, we mixed up the sets in 4 lots of 5, some with paddles, some pull buoy, some band & some normal freestyle (That was Greg's anyway). Mine was 5 with paddles, 5 normal, 5 paddles, 5 normal. After touching the wall on an average of 2.52 per 200m, I was quite satisfied with the session, especially after how I felt during the latter stages of last week.

Another thing that has sprung to mind is starting to decide my race schedule for 2012. With most Ironmans selling out within 12 hours, and still not have even raced Kona yet (149 days away) I have to look at which races to do before I miss the boat and have a year out of Ironman. My original plan is to look at attempting 4 Ironman races next year, just finding the right races is the difficult part. I am going to head back to WA 2012 as a definite, however I would like to choose an early season race also.

With the talk of a few races being added to the calendar this part of the world, it might be a good opportunity to achieve the 4 without blowing multiple holes in the finance department!

I also must make a special mention here to a guy that I know who achieved a massive achievements. The first is Matty Lewis who after you read his blog, you will realise that not only is the guy lucky to be alive (after crashing his bike a few years back) the fact that he made the extraordinary effort to complete an Ironman is one thing, but to win his age group (i must admit I never thought he was 40!!) and qualify for Kona is one achievement that makes you realise that if you really want to achieve the dream, you can!! He made no excuses about training, he just got the job done!

A massive thumbs up Matty!! (nice race suit also!)

For me, this is another bit of inspiration to keep moving forward and ticking off those boxes. On that note, the running shoes are calling my name.

For now...


Monday, May 2, 2011

Having the trust makes it happen!!

It is funny when you sit down with someone that knows that you are honest with them and how things are progressing. To have an opinion about which direction you want to go, and what is the best way to get there.

It is also funny that when that person listens to your opinion on your thoughts and direction and takes it on board when planning your program and the direction that the partnership is going to travel.

The reason why I say this, every time I meet with Andrew (TMC) to construct a program I can tell him what I would like to do, how I am feeling and a report on the previous program/discussion. Andrew then comes up with a well thought answer which satisfies my question/curiosity/or what ever the situation.

For the previous times we have sat down pre-race (whatever that race might be) he has blown me away with some of his predictions about my capabilities. Example : Yeppoon 1/2 Ironman, Andrew predicted my ride & run time within the minute of both. For him, knowing the truth about my training & lifestyle can give him the confidence of writing a program for me and also learn my boundaries.

So after our meeting most recently, we discussed my race plan for the Geelong 1/2 Marathon on the weekend. My ultimate goal was to break 80mins (see last post), when I told Andrew this, he plainly so "no". This could have shattered my confidence, however when he explained his reasoning to me and then told me that I could run under 79mins, I thought he was dreaming as breaking 80min for me was always a mental thing.

The plan was to run 3min 45sec for the first 15k then try to pick it up for the last 6k....hmmm...always going to be a tough ask in my eyes. We did discuss this in depth and my doubts vs his trust and confidence. In the end he won and I posted about breaking 80mins. I don't often post about a certain time that I want to do, but in this case Andrew gave me the confidence of breaking 79mins, I played it safe and said 80mins.

So going into the race, I organised Adrian ( a good mate of mine) to help pace me where possible as there was 800+ Runners entered. This was very beneficial towards the last 4-5k where the legs just started to hurt and he gave me the encouragement that I needed.

I must admit that I was extremly nervous (prob excitment about trying to hit the time also) pre-race and following a bit of Ironman Australia online might have contributed to this!! So with a bit of a warmup and finding a good position on the start line I was ready to go.

The horn sounded and although I had a race plan in mind I was conscious of getting a good start and out of trouble early. I found a comfortable pace for the 1st k and then settled back into a rhythm that I would be able to hold according to the plan.

You can see the data here:

Geelong 1/2 Marathon

With the above data, you will see my HR very high, as much as I wish that I could run at those levels, I think that my HR strap is on the blink!! I also failed to stop my watch as I crossed the line, however the actual race results are here:

Geelong Cross Country Club (Inc.)
Race No : 3
Athlete's Foot - Saucony
Geelong Half Marathon 2011
Venue: Barwon River

Pos Reg Runner Clock Rate Category Gender Category Place

1 1777 Jason Woolhouse 1:07:53 3:13 Open Male 1
2 1567 Stephen Smith 1:13:42 3:29 Open Male 2
3 1429 Grant Morgan 1:13:55 3:30 Open Male 3
4 1486 Adrian Phelan 1:16:26 3:37 Open Male 4
5 1631 David Venour 1:16:32 3:37 Veteran Male 1
6 1951 Watto's Warriors 1:17:15 3:39 Relay 1
7 1562 Grant Simpson 1:17:28 3:40 Veteran Male 2
8 1050 Michael Bialczak 1:17:53 3:41 Masters Male 1
9 1150 Peter Cutler 1:18:00 3:41 Open Male 5
10 1847 Xavier Coppock 1:18:17 3:42 Open Male 6
11 1521 Darren Riviere 1:18:31 3:43 Veteran Male 3
12 1199 Andrew Ferguson 1:18:54 3:44 Open Male 7
13 1606 Hugh Thyer 1:19:13 3:45 Open Male 8
14 1719 Jack Verstraten 1:19:23 3:45 Veteran Male 4
15 1068 Ray Bradbury 1:20:13 3:48 Veteran Male 5
16 1565 George Skoufis 1:20:30 3:48 Open Male 9
17 1854 Scott Nicholas 1:21:25 3:51 Open Male 10
18 1123 Brooke Condon 1:21:56 3:52 Open Female 1
19 1437 Geoff Moulday 1:22:17 3:53 Veteran Male 6
20 1737 Craig Keenan 1:22:33 3:54 Open Male 11

This is the top 20 out of the 800 finishers.

So, after the start, I managed to settle into a good tempo and hold 3.42 mpk pretty consistently until the 10k mark (36min 40sec). My legs felt good and I was leading a rather large pack, so I decided to increase the speed just slightly to see how everyone else was feeling. I lowered the pace to 3.36 - 3.37 and held onto that for a few k's and still was feeling really good. Once we got to the 12k mark I had a quick glimpse to find that I only had 1 other guy with me, so I then settled back into a 3.40 pace with some slightly faster k's in there.

The hour went by and I had just over 16.6k on the clock and was still feeling good. By the time 17.5k had passed and with some slightly undulations/little rollers, my legs were starting to feel the pinch. Adrian then kicked in and gave me some encouragement, humour & distance updates on the guy behind me. I knew that I was sitting 10th on the road (9th individual) and I was determined not to drop out of the top 10. I had worked to well to let it go!!

My pace dropped to 3.50 until the 20k mark where the course flattened right out (don't get me wrong, it is a flat track, but some little rises do take the pinch out of the legs). Once the last 1.5k were upon me I increased the pace again to finish the race off strong.

My final time was 1hr 18min 17sec which placed me 9th individual and 10th overall. A pb by a BIG number and one that I will break again at my next race.

Knowing that Andrew can pick my times, it does give me confidence and trust that if I do stick to his (to the best of my ability) I will continue to punch out good numbers.

The next 7 days all involve running and I am looking forward to everyone of them.

For now...