Showing posts from June, 2007

Short To Long

Tomorrow is my first multisport race since I DNF'd at Port Macquarie last year. Up until a few months ago the thought of racing in anything except for a running event didn't really cross my mind. So since I have decided to go back to the Ironman I guess I had better start with something small.

What else could be better than a sprint distance duathlon to truly mark my return to the multisport scene. It is only a short race, 5/20/3 down on the Phillip Island Moto GP circuit. I'm looking forward to the race, but for some reason I don't feel ready. Think I may be a bit worried about my abilities on the bike. There's a good chance they'll be way down from previous years. But I have to start somewhere.

So after the long drive down to the Island, there not much else to do except Go Hard!

Maybe Lose A Bit Of Weight

I had a full medical yesterday. It is paid for through my work and I am impressed with how thorough it is. After getting some blood tests last week and then going through a gamut of tests with a nurse and doctor yesterday I can say I now have a pretty good understanding of my health status.

Just about everything looked perfect. Hearing is above average, but my wife might beg to differ on that. All blood work was great. Musculoskeletal system has no issues. Lung capacity is a little lower than the doctor expected, but this is normal for me, it is not a measure of how well I can use the oxygen, just an indicator of the size of my lungs which does not limit my racing performance. There was only one problem identified.

I have borderline hypertension. My blood pressure is on the high side and after going through my whole lifestyle, nutrition and family history it was concluded that I am doing everything I should be. Looks like it is just in my genes and despite looking after myself I…

Leaps And Bounds By The Numbers

In response to Hamburglar's question regarding my impression on whether a HRM/GPS slows you down or makes you race smarter I present the statistics from last Sunday's Como Landing Half Marathon. During this run I completely ignored my heart rate and split times. To give a frame of reference I'll compare this race to the half marathon at Williamstown from 4 weeks ago where I took a lot more notice of my heart rate and splits.
During my warm up I noticed my heart rate was up high, which is often the case over the first 10 or so minutes, but it did not settle down much afterward. Maybe it was because it was cold, or maybe because of my recent sporadic training. Whatever the case I decided there was a chance it wasn't going to be a reliable indicator. Because the course was undulating, kilometre race splits were going to vary significantly depending on whether that k was mainly uphill or downhill. I don't own or use a GPS unit, and currently don't have much of inter…

Como Landing Run... Leaps And Bounds

I left a little later than I wanted for this morning's half marathon. It was -3 degrees celsius here and I had a bit of ice to get off the car, so instead of arriving ridiculously early like usual, I arrived at just about the right time. By the time I started my warm-up the temperature had just sneaked up into the positive numbers. Gloved and rugged up I was feeling nice and toasty with the sun welcoming a bright and crisp morning. Looks like good race conditions.
Because of the less than ideal week of training and given that my legs were feeling heavy for some reason I decided to ignore heart rate and splits during the race and just go on feel. The event was another Sri Chinmoy race, so as usual it was well organised and friendly. There was the traditional moment of silence to reflect on the journey ahead just before we were given our starting orders.
The course was 3 laps of 7km around the paths along the Yarra River. Undulating, great scenery and busy. Nothing like running along …

I Am Not A Handyman

If there is one thing I don't enjoy, it is renovations. I like my home to be nice and comfortable, clean and tidy to a certain degree. Giggles will argue about the clean and tidy bit, but I hate cleaning a dirt house just as much, so it is a battle over which I hate the most at the time. I don't understand how people can live for months in a house being renovated, it just doesn't work for me. With that said, I have point out that we are currently renovating our kitchen.

I love my food, and I love cooking good food. So we decided to put up with a few days of renos. Easy, just rip up the floor tiles, get someone to knock down the wall in the middle, bring in a cabinet maker for the cupboards and in no time we have the kitchen we want. Of course it wasn't that simple.

I am not a handyman. I can do some basics, but the bigger stuff is better left to the experts. So when I thought ripping up the tiles would be easy, I was wrong. The sheeting underneath was the wrong sort, the…

It's All About Fat And Sugar

A very important overriding concept of Ironman racing and training is balancing the carbohydrate and fats used to fuel performance. This is the main goal of all long training sessions. If the body is not using its fuel sources optimally, then race performance will not be the best. In order to understand and hopefully better direct training it is important to understand how fuels (substrates) are stored, utilised and regenerated.

Protein is used, but only as a minor fuel source during Ironman racing. There is not much we can do in training to influence the amount of energy protein supplies, so I will treat its contribution as negligible.

That leaves carbohydrate (CHO) and fat (lipids) as the key sources of substrates. Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is where the body obtains its energy to do work. The faster the rate of ATP generation and the greater the amount that is available, then the faster the body can go. Racing a hard Ironman typically involves exercising in the range of 60-70% of …

Is That 4 In The Morning, Or Night?

Night shift has hit me very hard. I basically slept from getting home to now having to go out and do it all again. No training today. It would be a wasted effort.

"When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package." - John Ruskin

Finishing On The Up

A good sleep in this morning, had a few drinks last night at a work function. I had left my car at the work function for two reasons. The first was so I didn't drink and drive. Never will be a bloody idiot. Second it provided a good excuse to cover a different run course. I was up and feeling great at 8:30am. Yes that is a sleep in for me. Today was scheduled for a long run, and usually I like to get this done soon after waking, but had a few too many things to get out of the way first. So my run was in the afternoon instead.

I had pulled up well from the previous day's threshold run. In fact, my legs were feeling extra good. What I like about the planned run, was the last 6km were just about all uphill. Perfect way to end a long run.

I estimated the distance to be about 30km, but now having run it, I think it was closer to 28km. The first half was predominantly very slightly downhill over one of my regular run courses. Then after the turn around at the halfway point the course …

Feels Like -1.1

It was very cold this morning at 5am. According to the weather site I check, exactly 0.4 degrees celcius. This site also takes into account elements such as wind chill, dew point and many other variables I don't understand to give you a better idea of how cold (or hot) you will feel outside. The site said, Feels Like -1.1 degrees celcius. I'm glad it wasn't raining.

Rugged up in thermal leggins, thicks sock, coolmax undershirt, windbreaker, two pairs of gloves, a banadana and beanie, I set out for a threshold run. My face hurt for the first ten minutes, and my hands were protesting about the cold, even with boths pairs of gloves on, but that soon changed. Nothing like a good solid pace to help forget about the cold. I was also impressed by the number of other runners out at the same time. I wasn't the only person out there looking silly.

Keep Riding, It Gets Easier

First week down (8 days in my world). Not too bad, but I did miss some training. Looking back over the week I'm now not too upset on not completing everything I had in writing. I missed one weights session, and the VO2 run and ride. The reasons behind this I think are legitimate, I wasn't just being lazy. My long run got pushed back a day and half due to a shift change at work and then not getting any meal breaks. I also didn't pull up from the run very well and had to take a full day recovery the next day. Running in the morning, instead of the late afternoon does make a big difference to the following day. This all pushed back the rest of my training even further. During my AT bike ride I found my legs still to be sore and tender, I still hadn't recovered enough from the long run. So yesterday again involved some active recovery in the pool to make sure I was ready for a big day today.

The morning started with a long ride. The weather was far from looking inviting. He…

Meal Breaks

A certain degree of flexibility is required when dealing with my weekly plan. Many things get in the way of a quality workout. The key is too work out what is a valid reason for modifying training and what is just an excuse to back off a bit. Not always an easy thing to do.

Yesterday I had my long run planned. The original idea was to run at a steady, but very comfortable aerobic pace for 2 hours and 40 minutes. The run was meant to start straight after waking, and therefore, performed after an overnight fast. The idea being to enhance lipolysis (the body's ability to burn fats as a fuel source) and hopefully complete the run without consuming any carbohydrate. Recently this has been working well for 2 and 1/2 hour runs. But not for this run.

The plan had to be changed because of the previous shift at work. It was a busy day, in which we didn't get our meal breaks. Yes I did take emergency supplies, but if you miss out on proper meals for a 12 hour day, then there is something m…


There are many things I love about running. Some of these include being out by myself on a bush trail with only my own thoughts, other times I enjoy running on the busy trails just observing people. I also enjoy running at a good solid pace, meeting specific goals of a training session and knowing that what I am doing will probably lead to faster racing and maybe some health benefits. A couple of days ago I had to go into to Richmond for work, so I decided to take advantage and run the trails along the Yarra river at the end of the day.

The session was a threshold run consisting of 2x20min at 80-90%HRmax, with a 3 minute jog between and naturally a warm-up and cool-down either side. One of the key factors in achieving a benefit from this run is the prolonged time at which the heart is pumping at a higher rate combined with the sustained, repeated muscle contractions. Therefore, stopping during the intervals is not really an option for me, it defeats the purpose of the run. I don&…

Base - Day 1

Today is officially my first day of real training. Yes I have been training for the last two months, and while there was meant to be some structure, I found it was broken up a bit. It is now time to stick to the plan and remain consistent. I've just been looking at the list of components (posted yesterday) I need to include in my training and decided it looks way too long. I just need to remember that often, more than one component is included in an individual session. It should be achieved on less than 14 hours of training per seven day period.

Yesterday I went for a very easy two hour ride, that left me feeling very refreshed and ready. I assembled all my gear for work, and prepared my food last night, so I wouldn't waste any time this morning. I've learnt that planning ahead is key.

At 04:40 the alarm wakes me up. I stumble out of bed, somehow put on my clothes while struggling with my contact lenses that managed to bunch themselves up under my eyelids. A quick bit…

The Point Of Base Training

Lots of long slow distance. Well, that is what most people think of when they think of base training. It forms the basis of so many training programs and has been popularised in the running community by the misinterpretation of Lydiard's training principles. I don't believe Lydiard advocated distance runs at slow paces just for the sake of volume, instead there was more structure and he used the term "best aerobic pace." Check out the article Miles Makes Champions. It is generally considered that the more low-intensity, high volume training you get behind you, then the better and bigger your peak can be after you add in some speed work.

This approach does work for many people, but for me I find it a path leading to overtaining and injury. Plus I now have to keep a limit on my total training hours due to other committments in my life. This begs the question of how do I approach my base training. In an attempt to find an answer and develop a sound approach I eventually …

Refining The Plan

It has now been nearly two months since I decided to get back into triathlon. I now have a good idea of how my body is responding to the training and I still believe my original seven point plan is the way to go. For those that missed out, or need a refresher, click on the following link.

The Training Plan - Parts 1-4

After the last few days of easier training, I've realised it is now time to refine the plan and set down a proper time frame for each section. I will still adhere to the following guidelines: Develop and maintain a body capable of handling and adapting to the training load Progressively develop a sound, but not overdone aerobic base Increase VO2max to as high as possible Increase velocity achieved at Anaerobic Threshold Increase ability to sustain Anaerobic Threshold Develop specific race skills and abilities Recover appropriately My approach is not the typical training program seen in Ironman training. It definitely includes more higher intensity work than is usually adv…