Showing posts from April, 2007


Amongst endurance athletes there is often debate about quantity versus quality. While I find that the exact definitions can be argued about forever, I believe the usual arguments centre around quantity generally being long slow distance, and quality to be synonymous with intense or fast training. Unfortunately I don't think subscribing to one side or the other is in an athlete's best interests.

I like to use the word quality when describing training in a different context. High intensity does not necessarily equate to quality. From a simple point of view, quality training is the training that will get you to your goal is the most appropriate manner.

The first step in achieving quality training is to understand the goals of the training. That is, knowing what you aim to achieve from the training, whether it be from an individual session, a group of sessions or over a longer period of time. These goals can be very specific or more general and can include some of the following: inc…


Ok... so I must be a bit sick, I had two colleagues at work comment about how tired I look today. Obviously I don't feel as bad as I look.


I didn't feel too great training over the last couple of days. First up I just put it down the drinking on ANZAC day, but yesterday I really felt flat. When Giggles got home last night she complained about how freezing the house was, but I had been surprised at house hot it was. Thinking I may have a fever.

According to my schedule, I was meant to run a VO2 session on the track. That definitely wasn't going to happen. I woke up feeling like my head was going to explode, which soon eased up after I cleared my nose and sinuses. Instead I opted just for an easy 8km on the local trail and this turned out to be the better option. By the end of the run I was feeling better than when I woke up. There was a large rainbow across the sky this morning, but instead of appreciating its beauty, I found myself looking at where the yellow changes to green and wondering which part of is the same colour as my snot.

I now only have two days left of my first 12 day cycle, so I'll just t…

Activate Their Own Fire Safety Plan

I've recently started using MapMyRun to map out some of my long runs. After doing a run, I then map it to get an idea of the distance, plus I think it looks cool to do a flying tour over the course on google earth. For yesterdays long run I decided to plan my run ahead of time. I wanted a very hilly run on dirt roads and trails in the bush. So I mapped out a looped course of 30km with a very nasty elevation profile. I printed out a couple of maps to take with me, as I hadn't run in most of this area before, I didn't want to make a wrong turn.

I woke up and discovered it was only 6 degrees. I grabbed my bandanna, gloves, sports drink powder, water bottle, maps and running belt. I only took one drink bottle, as there was drinking water available at about the half way point of the run. All looked good.

After the first, relatively flat 4km, the temperature had climbed to 19 degrees and I was now ready for the hills. The next few kilometres was all about climbing. All I seemed to…

Going Nowhere Fast

This morning was my first high intensity set on the turbo trainer. As Giggles was still in bed, I had to set up in the garage so I wouldn't wake her. It was only 7 degrees, so I was soon surrounded in a fog from my own breath and sweat. I thought it looked cool, but I am easily amused when I haven't woken up properly.

The hard work was only 5x1min @ predicted VO2max effort, with 2min aerobic recovery. Doesn't look like much on paper, but my legs aren't used to this sort of effort on the bike yet, so they were hurting over the last two repeats. Then it was onto my weights program. I'm loving having the set up at home. Beats travelling to the gym.

Its now a few hours later, and I feel great. Currently I'm feeling very energised after my workouts, and seem to feel faster nearly every day. I hope this continues.

"It's hard to be humble, when you're as great as I am." - Muhammad Ali

Sunday Morning

I've had to swap a few sessions around this week to fit around some other commitments, so this meant I had my threshold run this morning. It was raining, but not cold. The type of steady, light rain that you stop noticing after a few minutes of running. Being early Sunday morning and wet, there wasn't much company out on the trail. I love these runs, where you know you're working, but it doesn't feel too hard. After a good 12km I felt refreshed and energised for the day. I'm now at work, and its been a very quiet start to the shift. Maybe most people are still tucked up in bed. Here's to a lazy Sunday morning.

Its Not All About The Ironman

Well it kind of is, but I can't be completely focused on one race for an entire year. If I just concentrate on the IMOZ2008 all year then I'll burn out and lose interest as I get closer. I'll need to focus my attention on different goals along the way.

What do I mean?

While the underlying progression of training is leading towards the Ironman, I will focus on intermediate races along the way. This will work by maintaining a steady progression of the long endurance sets throughout the year while the other sessions will change in order to prepare for the next upcoming races.

Shorter races will be ideal for improving my VO2max and Threshold along with racing fitness and toughness. Plus the most important element, it will keep it all fun. While I enjoy most of my training, I absolutely love racing. So I'll include a few running races of 5-21.1km and quite possibly the Melbourne Marathon in October. I'll race a few of the duathlons over winter and then some triathlons, inc…

12 Days A Week

I've completed my initial "break-in" training and things seem to be going well. I'm starting to settle into the routine. I think I'm now managing to get my food on track. My backside is toughening up on the saddle and I'm starting to feel a bit of balance in the pool. It's now time to work into a more structured plan.

Obviously I'm at different stages in each discipline. Currently running is by far my strength, so I'll maintain a balanced approach with that. My specific strength and endurance on the bike is not yet up to a standard where I'll be capable of performing extensive anaerobic threshold (AT) or VO2max sessions without undue recovery needs and risk of injury. Instead I'll include sets targeted at developing the necessary strength across intensity levels. I'll take a conservative, but progressive approach to swimming, and just gently build on the last two weeks. Importantly I have to ensure that I can absorb all this training pr…

New Trails

Yesterday I enjoyed a perfect long run. I decided to explore some new trails. After searching through a couple of maps I planned a loop of about 25km which would take me over lots of hills on unsealed roads and horse trails. The weather was great, and the scenery on the trail even better. I enjoyed views across the Diamond Valley, Kangaroo Ground and all the way into the city. Kangaroo Ground lived up to its name as I ran around a mob of about 12 roos. I love Australia. Even though a lot of the terrain was challenging, the run felt easy and while I was tired after 2 and 1/4 hours, I felt great. Amazing how a great environment can make a run seem easier.


I'm struggling with food. Not with eating too much, mainly just not enough quality and sometimes just not enough. The problem is partly related to my work. Currently I'm working 12 hour days if I finish on time, and lately I haven't been finishing on time.

On a typical work day I'm up at 6am, get my training gear, my work gear and food for the day then head off for a training session. I'm in at work by 8:30 where I shower, change and eat breakfast with the mandatory cup of coffee. Then it's work time from 9am to 9pm, which means I have all my meals at work. This is easier said than done too. Meal breaks are a big issue in the ambulance service because they are often interrupted or we just don't get them. Not the best situation for someone trying to eat well to sustain a consistent training program.

I planned on preparing my food the night before each shift, but lately with working until 11 or 12 at night, I've been getting home very tired and have been la…

The First Brick

This morning was my first run off the bike in about a year.  It consisted of only 40min of cycling followed by 7min of steady running.  Just enough to see how my legs responded.  I was surprised at how good they felt.  In fact both the cycling and running felt almost too good.  Things appear to be going well and I'm itching to get into some harder stuff.  I'll get into the description of my next phase of training shortly.  Train safe and have fun.

Gone Fishing

I'm now back at work after three days off over Easter which I spent with Giggles and some of her relatives up in Echuca for some recovery. The fishing and BBQ worked a treat, but I'm not too sure about the amount of beers drunk. Anyway I'm feeling fresh and ready for training, but I must remember I'm still easing into the swimming and cycling. Have to let the connective tissues adapt to the new workload before I really get into it. I've got one more week before I start a more structured approach.

First Week Down (nearly)

I've just about about completed my first cycle of training. I've already mentioned that an extra night shift at work was thrown into the mix. Here's how it all went.

I woke up Monday after R4tK feeling pretty good, I had heavy legs and knew they weren't capable of running fast for a couple days. I got on the bike for an hour but missed my swim workout.

Tuesday I was buggered from the busy shift at work, but I hopped into the pool anyway and after a very short warm-up I swam 400m straight and discovered I was embarrassingly slow. I'm aiming to gradually lengthen this straight swim over each cycle as my main endurance set. I definitely have lost all my swim-specific strength and endurance, but that was to be expected. Then it was onto the bike for 40min around hills. This was all performed somehow in the daze that is post night shift and my backside was pointing out it wasn't used to spending any time on the saddle.

Wednesday I was back at work on day shift. …

Only 369 Days To Go

Yesterday was my first day (officially) of getting back into Ironman training. It was a simple plan, an easy one hour on the bike, just rolling the legs over in the morning, then a short dip in the pool. I got the bike in no problem. Funny how my legs felt like they couldn't remember what to do. I think they were saying "hey, this isn't running, what do you expect us to do on this thing?" Anyway, I enjoyed my first ride.

As I was about to leave for the pool I got called into work for a night shift. No time for the swim, and this was meant to be a day off work. At least there's fourteen hours of overtime to go towards my race fees. Day one and I already have to accept a missed workout.
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams


What a great day.  I woke to find it raining early in the morning, but it cleared to a nice clear and sunny day by the time I got to the race start.  Perfect conditions.  I arrived very early (which I usually do much to the annoyance of those who come with me) and parked my car long way from the start and enjoyed the walk past the MCG and Rod Laver Arena.  I decided on a long warm up of 40min as I expected to be standing around for a while on the start line.  The standing in one spot turned out be for half an hour due to a delayed start, but with over 26,000 people in the race, these things are expected. The gun went off and I was stuck walking for the first few metres.  I'm glad your time doesn't start until you cross under the starting arch.  The first kilometre was chaos with so many people, which was part of the enjoyment, but there is a but.  While I understand that people may overestimate their abilities, I think that if you start in the section which says you should be…