Showing posts from March, 2007

Walking Sideways Through Doorways

I quit my local gym the other day. I like to enjoy my workouts, but the lack of etiquette, safety and hygiene in this place has been getting to me for some time. I like a place where equipment isn't left in walkways and people wipe their sweat off equipment when they finish using it. As part of working out my training budget, I realised that for what I spend on gym fees in a year I could purchase all the equipment I needed for home. So that's what I did. The equipment arrived yesterday and I can't wait to get into using it next week when I start my new program.

"The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you're in control of your life. If you don't, life controls you." - Anthony Robbins

The Training Plan - Part 4

This is the final part in my Training Plan posts. Here I present the overview of the year's training and racing plan:

1. Develop and maintain a body capable of handling and adapting to the training load
Includes strength training, dynamic mobility and flexibility work, and supporting immune function and workload tolerance. None of these areas requires massive sessions, but needs to be addressed consistently, almost daily.

2. Progressively develop a sound, but not overdone aerobic base
If you can't cover the distance, then you can't race the distance. Sounds simple, and the Ironman is the ultimate in aerobic endurance, but having learnt from my previous mistakes, I am no longer a fan of volume just for the sake of it. Excessive long slow sessions significantly impairs my body's ability to recover and plays havoc with my immune system. There is no point in hammering out a long ride or run if it leaves you incapable of performing the rest of your training.

3. Increase VO2max t…

The Training Plan - Part 3

A few years ago I read what I consider the single best article on Ironman training. It was written by Bill Davoren, titled "Ironman 101". In this article he outlines 5 key rules to guide your training.

Keep it SimpleThere is no one-way to prepare for an IronmanMake sure you are doing it for the right reasonsCheck your Ego "IN" when you sign onIt is "PART" of your life, not your "WHOLE" lifeIt is definitely worth a read, as he gives some very practical advice on applying these rules and the reasons why. I like to refer to this article regularly as a kind of reality check. I also enjoyed Peter Brees style in developing his guidelines for training.Now I'm going to use the term "Guidelines" as I think this is more appropriate than rules, or protocols. It probably comes from my job, but I like the concept of working within a certain framework, and accept these guidelines will apply to most situations, but not all. That is, if required, a…

The Training Plan - Part 2

Where am I physically?

My general fitness is very good. I have a strong, functional and consistent strength foundation. General flexibility is reasonable, but as mentioned last time, my back-hamstring flexibility requires work.

I have only been in the pool about 5 times over the last year, and didn't have much of a swim base before that. Swimming has always been the discipline I drop first. Technique had been reasonable in the past, but I know I don't have the specific strength-endurance to maintain it for any sort of distance.

I haven't touched the bike in a year. Hmmm, that is an issue, which is the main reason I am giving myself a year to prepare. This doesn't mean full on Ironman training for the whole time, but I will require at least 6 months to get my cycling up to a good standard to do the training I believe is required for the big event. While my cardiovascular system it in great condition from the running, my cycling specific strength and neuromuscular efficienc…

The Training Plan - Part 1

Here I go, I'm now starting to put together my training plan for IMOz 2008. This is the first in a planned series of posts explaining the process I go through to develop the plan. It should be noted that I have a strong background in exercise physiology, coaching and lots of stuff to do with the human body, so it is very easy for me to ramble on about hormone levels, muscle fibre types, energy pathways and like. But, this will come later. First of all I need take stock of my strengths and weaknesses in all areas of life so I can develop a realistic overview of how training will fit into my life.

I'll use the following categories:

I'm an Ambulance Paramedic. This involves rotating shift work and often includes long night shifts (14 hours straight if I finish on time). Roster cycles are for periods of 4 weeks and usually are available 6 weeks out, which provides a good time frame for planning the specific sessions. The roster pattern varies. I will be starting on a 3 on/3…

A Lazy Ten

As part of my last preparation for the R4tK next Sunday, I aimed to do a low-key 10K race today. I chose the Sri Chinmoy event at the Yarra Boulevard. The post race pancakes was definitely my motivation. Giggles was working, and I didn't bother asking anyone else to come. I wasn't expecting a particularly fast race since I had a very heavy week of running leading into it. So I was surprised to be greeted by BigD when I arrived.

It turned out to be a perfect day for a race. Nice crisp, clear and sunny morning, a well organised event, and I ended up pulling out my best 10K time in over a year (38:37). Looks like I'm on track to go under 60min next Sunday.

Also managed to catch up with a few people I haven't seen in a while. This was BigD's first race this year, and of course he is more than pleased with the happy snap I got of him hurting over the last few 100 metres. Smile!

"Eating a vegetarian diet, walking (exercising) everyday, and meditating is considered radi…

History With The Big Dance

This is for Miners and anyone else who may care. My history with the Ironman is:

2001 Completed my first IMOZ in Forster. Went in very, very fit but young and inexperienced. Completed the first 90km of the bike 10min faster than my HIM times. I paid for this later. Never felt so much pain for so long, but it was worth it. Nothing like hearing "You are an Ironman!"
2002 Forster again, not as fit, but good, solid race.
2003 Forster. Discovered that if you really don't train, it becomes a very slow, long and hard day.
2004 IMWA in Busselton. Loved being part of the inaugural race. Went out way too hard (again) and blew up majorly. Managed to redeem myself over the last 11km of the run, after recovering somewhat and ran stupidly fast to break 12hours. My slowest race, but one of the most rewarding.
2006 IMOZ in Port Macquarie. DNF. Got pummeled in the swim start, ouch. Exited the swim and vomited. Got on the bike and vomited. Drank some water and vomited. Didn't drink water a…

The Decision Is Made

I'm doing the Ironman. Training will start after R4tK. Better start working out a training plan, clean and service the bike, and check if there's mold growing on the swim gear. Hope I can find all my training bits and pieces. "A winner is someone who sets their goals, commits themselves to those goals and then pursues their goals with all the ability that is given to them. That requires someone who believes in themselves, who will make self sacrifices, work hard, and maintain the determination to perform at the best of their ability." - C. Leeman Bennett

Should I Have A Heart Beat?

My heart rate monitor (HRM) has just been returned from having the battery changed. This prompted me to think how I have trained over the last week without it. On the first couple of runs I felt naked, and realised how much I am ruled by my heart rate. So I was forced to run on feel (which is how I ran as a teenager). I've been doing this run thing for so many years I should know how it feels to run at certain paces, but at first it didn't feel right without the HRM.

So I got over that and decided to dumb down the runs. It was a great system, Easy, Solid and Fast were my only guidelines. I found my runs felt better overall, fast was fast, and easy felt easy even though I noticed I was running quicker than usual. I enjoyed the runs more.

Now I have my HRM back, I'm making it a goal this year not to be ruled by it. I'll spend the next couple of weeks wearing it, but will keep the heart rate display covered. It will be interesting to see how everything measures out…


In order to help with my decision about doing the Ironman, I'm writing a budget on the expected cost of everything associated with this endeavour. This is the first time I have done this. In the past my money hasn't been as tied up, and I didn't really think too far ahead, so I've never truly had an idea how much triathlon costs me.

The budget will cover about a year and will include: entry fees to all races (running, orienteering, duathlons, triathlons); travel; accommodation; equipment; maintenance; pool/gym fees; nutrionals; and anything else that is specifically for training and racing.
I'll have to say it has been an eye opener. I can't really drink that much Gatorade, oh no I don't, I actually drink more. I'll put that in by the container, looks better than in litres. Surely someone will sponsor me. Socks? But I really do need all of that, really. Maybe I'll just stick to orienteering, you can't go wrong with less than $5 per race.My or…

How About the Ironman Again?

As I continued doing the ironman thing, I noticed I was gradually getting slower overall. My first thought was it must be all the accumulated fatigue and long slow kilometres I'm putting in. Sounds obvious, and for a while I put it to the side, but I don't like getting slow. Eventually I decided to have a better look at my training, and compare this to my racing performances over the years. I wasn't getting slow because of the all the hours of training, it was because I was becoming less consistent with training and most importantly, I was skimping on the faster, high intensity sets.

So why was I training like this? One reason is that what I thought I was doing and what I really was doing were two different things. I wasn't keeping a proper log book, which I have learnt is one of the best ways to keep you honest. I was still doing long solid sessions, but these were sporadic and I was performing them in such a way that I needed too much recovery afterwards. Whic…

Here I Go

Yet another blog of someone training for something. Writing a whole lot of rubbish that no one cares about. Well quite possibly. So why I am I starting a blog? Basically I find if I put something in writing, then I find I am more accountable to myself. If I write my goals down somewhere they can't be lost, then I will be reminded of them when it counts. Based on my previous history in sport, I need to be accountable. I have let training and racing become the main focus in my life in the past. For some reason, this single-minded pursuit of one goal is something I find easy. Many people have told me I must have good determination and am very dedicated, but these people usually don't have to deal with me every single day. This single-mindedness can lead to neglect in other areas of my life. So now that I'm older, have other interests and many other commitments, I have decided to put my thoughts on balancing all this down, if not just for myself, then hopefully for the enjoyme…