Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weekend Accomplished!!

So, what strength building last week was.

After feeling the ups & downs of the yo-yo affect I really bounced back well over the latter stages on the week and well into the weekend. And what a weekend it was.

Disturbingly enough, a weekend that I really enjoyed getting through (once I did!) and one that continually helped build my mental and physical toughness.

After getting through Saturday's AM ride feeling very ordinary, the short 30 min run seemed to wake the body up and once I was confident of ticking off the whole weekend. After consuming a bucket load of food to help recover from the morning's session and also prepare for the afternoon session (45min worth of eating) I then set upon kicking back on the coach to get some r&r.

My body was feeling a little sore due to the volume that I had undertaken during the week and wanted to have some shut eye to read the script for the afternoon session, however my mind was convinced that I should stay awake. I can wake up very ordinary after an afternoon nanna nap.

So, at 3pm I once again mounted my trusty stead and put in another 3 hr stint on her which was backing up from my 4 hr stint in the morning. For some strange reason my legs felt good and I just got into a groove and legs my legs dictate the intensity that I would ride at.

Knowing that my last session for the day was another run and the yo-yo week that I just had, I was aware of how I felt the whole ride and made sure that nothing was going to go wrong. The ride was going really well and with the mind wandering a bit I decided to take a few happy snaps from my phone along the way:

Once home, I convinced Nath (younger brother) to jump on the bike to ride with me whilst I got my final session in for the day. In the interim I had a pizza & garlic bread in the oven ready for as soon as I got home. Run done, pizza smashed and very happy that I got through the day feeling better at the end than what I did at the start.

Enter Sunday....Woke with legs feeling really good, however as we all know in the endurance game, this can change very quickly.

I had to decide on where to run so that I was close to a computer come 1 pm to enter IM Melb. 2hrs 50min of running could have easily been cut short, however I was determined to get the weekend completed 100% to set myself a new level of punishment. 36k's later, the run was done and now it was time to enter (or try to) IM Melb. Little did I know that the race was going to sell out in 5min and being a little drained I was close to missing out...Pushing refresh on the page a few times I didn't see the registration details come up until about the 3rd time.

"Thank you for registering. You are confirmed for 2012 Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne."

Was the email I received not long after entering and thus just confirmed a very busy 12months of racing in front of me.

So, after this I headed down to Beach Rd to do my afternoon ride....2 1/2 hours with Tom & Greg. A bit of banter has already started b/t Greg & Myself, all in good fun!! I really look forward to doing a full prep with Greg for the same race, as we are helping each other currently on different Race lead ups, so I can only imagine the assistance we will both gain in the lead up to the same event.

For the record, Greg is the favourite to win the Dual b/t us. (according to the people's say, and I am happy to go in as the underdog!!)

Getting this ride over and done with came with a massive sense of achievement, punching out just on 300k's riding for the weekend and 50k's running.

Yesterday was a day that forward to since Friday, just an easy day....Throw in a swim with no intensity and the day came and went without any hassles. Today sees the next chapter begin with my final program on Australian soil being delivered tonight.

Exciting, but challenging times ahead. I haven't even started to think about the race as I have so much to tick off before I even head across, let alone get to race day. For now it is about controlling what I am able to with nutrition, recovery, treatment and staying injury free.

For now...


Friday, August 26, 2011

The week I needed....

Let's call it my yo-yo week.

After a cracking weekend consisting of a great ride with Jas & Brad and then backing that up with another great Sunday running the Bellarine Trail run with Scott, Adrian and Peter Whyte. This all seemed fantastic, however with Monday's swim, things turned (or the yo-yo fell). I really struggled to get through 3k....managed just 3.3k!

Monday night massage seemed all good and then by the time Tuesday rolled around, I was done. Stuffed, exhausted even after a recovery day. My mind wanted to, my body told me that I was kidding myself for trying. 3 consecutive nights in bed before 8pm, sleeping right through until 7am is unlike me....Something was not right.

As much as I wanted to train Tuesday, I just couldn't. So I took the day off training, hoping to recover from feeling so tired. After consecutive weeks of 20+hrs training, this was bound to happen...or was it?

When I look back at my weekend, and review my sessions compared to my program, I know why this happened. My Saturday was perfect, however my Sunday wasn't. My session was supposed to be an easy run which I intended it to be. Running with a few lads at 5min per k was ideal, perfect for what I have planned. 22k into the 34k run, I was feeling good and decided to have a bit of a dip. Why? Because I had my athlete hat on and as as athletes we like to have a dip every so often. Putting my coach's hat on....Silly Silly move.

So back to the athlete version. Feeling good, let's see how I am feeling. So for the remaining 12k, I was running 4min k pace for the first 2 of that and then ran the final 10k in 38.50min. Legs felt great, thinking all was great.

Come Tuesday I knew this is where things went wrong.

Enter Wednesday and my body was heading the right direction adn was able to put in some good training. Even managed a pb over a 1k TT in the pool....13min 20sec. Things back on track. Throw in a ride and some good running and I was confident that the yo-yo was on the way back up.

Yesterday proved that correct with all sessions going according to plan and the body feeling close to where I expect it to be. Ticking off the sessions was satisfying to say the least. Today is another easy day before a MONSTER weekend in front of me. One that I am really looking forward to for probably all the wrong reasons!!

Heading out for a 4hr ride in the morning with a race effort for 2hrs of that, followed by a run, then backing up for another 3hr ride in the afternoon with another run will just be the start of it.
Once I get through that, I will be greeted with a 2hr 50min hill run Sunday, followed by a 2hr 30min ride than capped of nicely with a recovery swim. How else would I rather spend the weekend now the weather has turned for the better??

In amongst that I cannot forget to enter IM Melbourne. An Ironman in my backyard....GOLD!! It will make my busy race schedule even busier, but I am sure that with continuing with the great coaching from Andrew, I will be able to punch out a solid performance.

Anyway, the sun is shining and the pool is calling.

For now...


PS. The lesson learnt from this week has made me a more complete athlete, as at times we as athletes think we know better, however keep your trust in the coach as they take the emotion out of writing the program and write it logically for each person.

Friday, August 19, 2011

And.....the easy week is done!!

So, my recovery week has come and gone and what and interesting week it has been.

Coming back to Melbourne after being away in the sun for a good weekend has been hard as the weather has not really been good for solid training. So I am glad that I had an easy week. Just getting back into was the plan, nothing hard just consistency. Box checked.

Enter this weekend and the following 6 weeks.

Tomorrow morning sees myself, Brad, Jas and newcomer to the training group Tim V head out for a 6 hour journey around the state which should see us cover up around the 180+k for the session. This is closely followed by a short run.

Tomorrow afternoon (if I can still walk after the mornings session) sees me head to a porn show.... BIKE PORN that is...The annual bike expo in Melbourne with a few mates to salivate over the new bikes that we cannot afford, but wish we had.

I am really looking forward to Sundays run, a scenic 34km run down at Queenscliff, once again with some great mates and training partners. This run will be a first for me and I will be trialling my nutrition plan over a longer run and know that I will succeed at this also. Trial and error right now before the big dance.

Follow this up with an easy ride/swim and a 3y.o party in the afternoon and the routine just kicks back in. Training then really takes the next step, which I can't wait for. I have been pushing the body with success and without exhaustion or injury now and just love trying to push it that little bit further.

The program will really test my physical capabilities and push my mental ability to the limit as I learn more about where the line of no return really is.

After many conversations with Andrew, we both agree on the direction and commitment that I have and require for the result that I am seeking at Kona, and not just at Kona, at the following 3 Ironman races in 6 months!

The only downfall with this is that something has to give. For me it is my social life, something that I pride myself on.....The ability to train, work and party hard! I can promise that I will come back to that lifestyle soon people. And will be the pest that I am renowned for! Throw in a great race calendar for the next 12 months and I am like Big Kev "excited". A good mate of mine, Adrian Byrt from Sportsnet Holidays is going to assist me greatly in organising some of the races planned within the upcoming year. If you are after a bucket list fulfilled, contact AB, he will sure help out!

Anyway time for me to sign off, get me gear ready for the morning and prepare myself for another monster weekend of training.

For now...


Ps..... The count is down to 7 weeks til race day....Where has time gone??

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Content but not complacent!

So with this year being my 4th trip to Yeppoon for the race, I have always been a little unsure about my form due to it being the first race of my season. This year was no different in that regard. The only difference with the race this year was not only was it my first race, but also it was my lead up race.

With this also in mind, Andrew didn't give me any taper whatsoever. I was feeling more nerves and some anxiousness on Saturday evening due to not having any taper. As soon as I landed in Yeppoon, I had a run to do which was 75min. Not really a lot, however running in the sun for the first time in a long time for me definitely made me sweat. This was followed by 5 hours of riding of the next 2 days leading into the race. The Saturdays ride saw me do 100k. The weather was absolutely magnificent over the weekend also.
The crew that we had stay with in the house also made the weekend fantastic with my sponsor Scott from XOSize, Ol' mate Benny, Killer, Joel, Tom (an athlete I coach), Monique & Brad (Prob my biggest rival over the last 12months). The house was always filled with laughter and fun, although when it came down to the serious business, things quickly became business.

On race morning, after a very lengthy chat about the best way to get to the transitions and the time between transition closing and race start and then even wave start. The pro's were off at 8am and my wave was off at 8.40am. This is sometimes difficult to get nutrition and hydration right for.

Once we saw the start, it was time to get ready for the race. The pre-race nerves had come and gone and it was game time. Due to quality of swimming with Greg that I had been doing I was confident of a front row start. I put on my Rocket Science Suit (which is the best wetty I have swum in) and I found my position next to Brad and just waited for the horn to sound. The conditions for this year were favourable, however the ocean was not calm and was very choppy.

Once the horn sounded, and with the beach start the frantic start was a mad rush to the first buoy. Joel went flying across in front of me (Bondi rescue eat your heart out!!) and I just tried to position myself to get around the buoy in one piece. With the waves slapping in your face this was not easy. Once around the buoy, I settled into a good rhythm. I could see Brad and another guy up in front of me and my goal was to try and stay reasonably close to them. I sucked along another guy who constantly reminded me he was there by tapping my toes. This works well for me as it helps maintain my concentration and prevents me from getting too comfortable and slowing down.

The only mishap for me was swimming into the rope on the last buoy which knocked off my goggles. A quick stop to fix and I was on the way into shore. Standing to look at my watch in under 25mutes was a great feeling and seeing Brad not too far in front of me, meant that I had a great swim. (Being only 2min behind the main pro's was also a tick to the swimming that I have been doing).

T1 was the same as always, in, wetsuit off, helmet & shoes on, bike un-racked....outta there!!

The bike being a 5 lap course always gives you a chance to see where you are at with a few people. I had a rabbit up the road (that person didn't know it) and just wanted to catch them by the race end. So trying to stay consistent with my lap times without blowing myself apart (knowing that I had no taper) I even had time for a smile this race on the bike (for those that know me, I never smile during my race until I finish). My nutrition plan was working well and my lap times were really close.

So after 2hrs 15min I was back into T2. I had made up significant time on my rabbit and was confident of running them down.

I went to rack my and for the first time ever, I couldn't find my position. Ross was watching trying to help locate it, however I must have wasted a good 30-40 sec in the process. I thought that at one stage I found it however when I bent down to put my shoes on......They were not mine!! So after finding my gear, I got out onto the run. The 20bpm race suit had been so comfortable up until this stage.

The run at Yeppoon is a different one to others as it is a loop course, so you never get to see your competitors at turn around points or get time checks. For me this is ok as it makes me run harder (running scared!). When I started out on the run, I saw Benny coming in off the bike and he yelled, "How about you start running!" Obviously I didn't look like I was running sub 4min k pace at the time, but my body knew it was!

Getting further into the run, I was holding a good pace....(4min per k) and was happy with this as it was my goal run pace. I knew at some stage my legs would get heavy due to the volume of training and lack of taper, however I had a goal time and was going to achieve this.

After passing people that I knew (including my rabbit on the last lap) I knew I could hold my pace up until the end. As my previous comment, you never really know exactly where you are on this course so I just had to keep going.

Getting across the line in 4hrs 8mins was a really pleasing feeling, my position was irrelevant at that stage as I knew after running a 1hr 25min for the half that I had created a PB across all 3 disciplines on the one day on a slower course then normal (apart from the swim this year). The 20bpm race suit kept me cool for the entire run and had no chaffing what so ever.

I waited for Brad to cross the line and congratulated him and we both then jumped into the icy cold pool.

Tom was next to cross, and seeing him spent and after giving his all was a pleasing sight as he also did a PB which was just as satisfying for me as my race was.

After the remaining boys crossed the line, we al had our post race de-brief and Scott then informed us of how we finished. I had won my a/g and 8th overall (1st time in top 10 for me), Brad had finished 3rd and 10th overall, Tom was 16th in a pb time.

Brad and I both agreed that the result was pleasing, however we both have bigger fish to fry. We agreed that we have to be content with the result but not get complacent as we still have another 8 weeks before Kona.

Below is the podium for the 30-34 mens a/g with Myself, Hayden Armstrong (who is also going to Kona) and Brad.

Overall the weekend was fantastic and I do want to thank the whole crew who stayed for the fun times. And thank Joel and Andrew for the surprises that they left me!! Good times boys.

With 8 weeks to go and only 4 until I leave, training is going to be great fun. I am enjoying an easier week before chaos breaks loose!

For now...


The 20bpm Rocket suit is easily the best tri suit that I have worn, kept me cool and was very comfortable... I can't wait to get it on at Kona!

Full results can be found here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Not my normal race week preparation!!!

But, it is all good!

This week is different to normal, different because the training this week is so much more than any other race week lead in. No rest days, just training right up until race day Sunday.

It is great though as my mind is definitely on Kona. In saying that I do have goals that I am going to tick off this weekend even though they are tough. My body feels great, my mind is a little tired from the travel, the weather (although it is perfect).

The house is full of great people and I am loving the crew this year, getting the training done, relaxing and just general chit chat is the general theme. Nothing like last year where Ben & myself wrote ourselves off on this night last year. ThIs year it is different, the feel is awesome!

Brad and I had a good ride earlier and still both agree that the road surface being so course prob equates to an undulating course to some degree. We even ventured off to another road and found some nice little rollers. He is in great shape and will be the one to beat in my a/g again. If I can get within a similar time to him from last year I will be happy.

Sunday will roll around fast and a solid result will be what I am after!

For now, dinner time soon.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Playing the mental game...

And winning!!!

I write this one as I had a massive victory today with training. Today would have been such an easy day to pass on due to having to do my training this evening indoors. I decided to up the ante on myself and test my body in tougher conditions to what I am usually training in.

As the line goes in the Bon Jovi song It's my life, "It's now or never", I decided that it is now.

With the heater on and the room temp getting up to 25% and b/t 85-90% humidity, I had a 2 1/2 hr Mag Trainer session including 3 x 20min efforts. Following this a 1hr 15min jog on the treadmill.

Now for me, purely getting one of these sessions done on its own without the added heat conditions is a win, however punching out both with the added bonus of the heat/humidity gave me a massive boost. I am mentally stronger than ever before. This is carrying over into my fitness as my sessions are easier to get started and easier to complete.

My mental strength has really improved over the last 12 months or so, previously I did take short cuts in training to get it done or leave off just a little bit as I couldn't wrap my head around it. Not this time. On the weekend, I could have cut my ride as I rode past the starting point to do an extra hour. For me, passing the starting point is always hard, I find it easier to go a little bit further out and finish where I began.

As with my swim yesterday, Greg was running late and I was ready to get out after 2.2k's. He arrived then and we got through the remaining 2.8k in the session.

So, doing an indoor session for 4hours and ticking it off exactly as program raises that mental bar just a little bit higher for me, knowing that no matter how boring/tough the session is, I am mentally capable of getting through it.

One thing that I am sooooo happy about tonight Mag Trainer session is that the next time I ride my bike, it should be in perfect conditions in Yeppoon.

I have looked over the field and am looking forward to the battle that lies in front of me. Being the researcher of competitors that I am, I am well aware that it is going to be a cracking race on Sunday. I will do a brief report later on as I will have plenty of time up my sleave when I get there.

One thing that I know for sure about this year compared to last is that Benny and myself WILL NOT be going out 2 nights before the race for a monster session on the beers. It is the pointy end of my preparation and I am willing to sacrifice a few cold frothies in the perfect conditions at this time.

For now....it is dinner and relaxation time


PS. I started my session at 88kgs and finished at 87.2kgs...Thinking that I might be getting my nutrition/hydration plan working well.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Some great sessions

I thought that I would also include a few recent sessions. Great Times, Great Sessions!

Yesterdays Ride

This mornings run - controlled and picked it up late in the run.

Last weekends ride, Great Ocean Road is a magic place to ride

Keep dishing up the sessions!!

For Now...


Just keep dishing it up like that!!

Before I start this blog, I have no idea where I get some the headings from....Sometimes they surprise me with how bad they are...but you'll have to bear with me, that's the best I have!!

Another week done and dusted, another week closer and best of all, another really positive and successful week for me.

Another 23hours in the training bank, another great ride in the hills yesterday with ol' mate Jas, followed by a cracking run this morning with swims both days!

My riding legs are back, well and truly, I am climbing better than before (it is the new nutrition?) and the speed and strength is back where I like it.

The running is still going left leg, right leg and so on and the swimming is still making improvements. Although every time that I hit the pool, I feel like I have a new toy to try out. Today it was fins. After chatting to a great swim coach yesterday and explaining my training, he suggested doing some fin work to aid with my kicking and also to help with staying with the stronger swimmers that I am training with.

That was evident today with getting pounded from 50 to 50 by James Kuyper. I don't put much into the times that I swim with the fins on so that is irrelevant, however this kid can swim. It was not a long session but 15 x 100m later it was done. Quality and with a few great tips from James it was a really beneficial session.

With choosing to swim with Greg & James, I just know that my form and speed and on the improve and I look forward to the results next weekend.

Running is just going great. I am loving every kilometre of it and with the great company that I am enjoying, it is absolutely no hassle at all, as a matter of fact, it is the discipline that I am most enjoying right now. (Did I really just type that? Might be really tired from a monster weekend, surely that's not true) After all Kona is a runners course!!

The last 14months mainly focusing on my run is certainly working nicely and with the big weight loss (5kgs lighter than my last Ironman) it is so much easier. The body is recovering really well from it also.

Next weekend will be a great race for me (in seeing how I am going) and with the field in my a/g having no less than 5 Hawaii Qualifiers along with a few 1/2 Ironman specialist it is going to be a awesome trip. I will post more on that over the next few days.

For now, it is feet up and rest!


PS..My weight is down to a skinny 87kgs!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

If I am not deep in it now, I never will be.

After a monster weekend of training, I know now that i am well and truly deep in my ironman preparation. I have never been this structured previously nor this disciplined. Some would say that i have officially "changed". After only consuming a total of 4 beers for the entire month of July, I have really noticed the difference with my training and recovery. My socializing have been restricted to spending time with my training partners whilst training and not much more. Previously, I would not restrict myself to this strict lifestyle as I love life and spending time with people close to me.

The weekend entailed a 5 hour ride, which we headed down the Great Ocean Rd to Lorne and return, followed by 2 runs for the day. The ride was fantastic spent in great company. The weather wasn't ideal riding weather, however was great my what I wanted, a bit of wind. The 2 runs for the day served a purpose which I go through completing task at hand.

Sunday started with a solid 2 1/2 hour hill run, which by the end of it, my legs knew that the had been in the hills for over 7 hours for the weekend. An easy hour ride on the mountain bike spinning the legs also reminded me that I had worked hard, and achieved big gains by doing this.

An easy recovery swim in the afternoon completed the weeks training at a total of 23hrs in the bank.

Today was a leg rest day, don't be mistaken, leg rest means that the arms work. After organizing a swim with Greg, he then sent through the swim set for the day. 5k in total, giddy up, count me in on that baby. What followed didn't quite excite me that much, a long set of pain.

The session went like this:

1.7k warm up (1.32min per 100)

4 x 800 m at threshold (11.20 min for the first three leaving on 13min)

The last 800m started the same as the first 3, uncomfortably comfortable, then bang, 600m in, my arms decided that they were done. I still managed to come in on an even 12min which I was happy with.

100m c/d.

For me, getting through a very solid 4.7k before I was done pleased me no end. The good news is the direction my swimming is going, the bad news is Greg telling me we are going to do 2 of these per week.....Ouch, the really bad news is that James is going to join me on 1 swim per week. Now James is to Greg what Greg is to me, a distance shadow in the water. Interesting times ahead. The only benefit of swimming with far superior swimmers is that at most you can only ever be 50m away from them, unlike riding or running!

For me, I have one more monster week before a slightly easier one (still around 20hrs) leading into Yeppoon, then 3more weeks before I jet set across to the big island for my final 3 weeks.

Am I ready now? Not quite.

Will I be ready in 10 weeks? You had better believe it!

For now...


Ps, I have also been working on a new nutrition plan which is working wonders, a few tweaks and it should be gold!!