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Showing posts from November, 2007

Time To Start

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Now that I'm recovered from Shepparton HIM, it is now time to begin real Ironman training. Over the last year my I have taken a slightly different approach to my triathlon training. I have learnt a few new things about how my body responds to training. Combining this with my previous history I have developed what I believe will be a very solid, productive and doable program. I believe I will be capable of achieving a significant personal best at Ironman Australia next April.

My approach during the year has been to develop a strong base across many fitness elements. I aimed to work on developing a strong efficient body that is capable of completing the training and racing requirements of the Ironman. I believe I have achieved a good balance of aerobic endurance, threshold efficiency, maximal oxygen uptake, anaerobic capacity, general musculoskeletal strength and basic workload resilience. I now have the base to handle the training for Ironman.

There is just over 18 weeks to the Ironm…

Royale With Cheese

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After my disappointment at the Shepparton HIM a week away from my usual world was exactly what the doctor ordered. Kristy and I packed our gear and off we headed to the Gold Coast for some relaxation on the beach. Of course we stayed away from Surfer's Paradise as it was Schoolies week also.

Each day consisted of roughly the same. No alarm to wake me, but since I wasn't working or training too hard, I was still waking up early, but the real difference was I was feeling refreshed and ready for the day. I would head out and run along the beach or in the National park. No heart rate monitor, no watch, no plan. I loved it. The rest of the day consisted of sleeping on the beach, drinking, eating, swimming, catching up with friends or relatives and whatever else we felt like doing.

Today back home I headed for a long run. During this run I started thinking about the little difference I noticed when out running on the Gold Coast compared to home.


The Gold Coast (GC) is predominantly fl…

Relaxed, Rested and Ready

Just arrived back in Melbourne after a week of sun, surf, sand, drinking, eating, sleeping and basically anything relaxing or fun. The break was great and I'm now ready get back to reality.

Relaxation Time

I appreciate all the support from everyone. I'm now feeling better, in fact I'm actually feeling pretty good. My body obviously didn't take the pounding it normally would during the race, so looks like recovery may be a bit faster. Anyway I'm off north looking to find some relaxation on some beaches. I'll be back in week ready and hopefully ready for Ironman training.

Shepparton Half Ironman - Race Report

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If I wanted to sum this day up in one word it would have to be: - unexpected. I think it is best to start from the beginning.
The Day Before
After a cruisy morning we headed out for the 2 hour drive to Shepparton. Air-conditioner running, the trip soon passed. We arrived at registration early and got the necessities out of the way before the crowd arrived. I had been checking the weather forecast for the last three days and they all said race day was going to be a hot one at 36 degrees Celsius. Now that I was at the race venue, rumours were spreading saying the latest was an expected top of 39!
Bike checked in, some food down the hatch, nothing left to do but get my nutritionals together and relax before dinner. The last supper involved a simple pasta at an overpriced restaurant. Soon enough I was back at the motel with my wife and sister-in-law ready to put the head down.
Race Day0430After a broken sleep (as usual pre-race) my alarm sounded. It's amazing how much more energy I have on…

Nutrition For Shepp

Here's a quick post of my nutrition plan for this weekend's HIM. I've had to rethink the hydration side of things. I have been expecting it be hot, but not like the weather forecast now suggests. Yep, it's going to be a bit tougher than expected at 36 degrees!

So here's my plan:

Wednesday
2.5 hours of swim/bike/run at just below race pace, with a few short efforts at just above race pace to deplete muscle glycogen stores.
Consume a high carbohydrate (CHO), low fat, moderate protein diet for the rest of the day.
Should give me about 500g CHO for the day.

Thursday
Rest day.
CHO loading, 500-600g per day, 100g protein, 50g fat

Friday & Saturday
Easy and short sessions of all discplines just to loosen up.
Keep CHO loading as above, but focus on low fibre foods.

Sunday

Pre-race:
Bowl of corn-flakes, small amount of low-fat milk + sports drink
Giving me 150-200g CHO to restock the hepatic glycogen.

Race Time!

Swim: Kialla Lake water (I'll try to minimise how much of the lake a…

Race Strategy

After a week of test sessions followed by a sprint distance triathlon, I should now be in a position to plan my race strategy for the Shepparton HIM next Sunday. For a review of the week's test sessions check out A Testing Week.


What was the main thing I learnt during this? Unfortunately I am slower than I want to be in the swim and on the bike. As for the run I'm exactly where I'd like to be. Guess that's what happens when you take a year off swimming and cycling, then spend a few months playing catch up. I have the data, now it's time to get down to the nuts and bolts of the plan.


Swim


One and a half laps in Kialla Lake will give 1.9km. From my training I know I can hammer out a hard 2000m in the pool. I can also swim significantly faster over shorter distances with the pace feeling fairly easy until I suddenly tire. So I need to make sure I keep the first half manageable and not spend myself early resulting in survival swimming to the end. However, I have trained f…

First Tri Down

Yesterday was the first triathlon for my season. It was the Hahn Super Dry Sprint, down at Mordialloc. The race was billed at 500/20/5, but yet again the distances were questionable, with the run approaching a full kilometre short. Anyway, it was my first tri in over a year. Yes my last swim, bike and run event was my DNF back at the Port Macquarie IM in 2006. So the basic goal was just to have a good, fast hit out and remember how to actually race these things.



The weather was perfect. Warm and sunny, a light wind and the bay was nice and still. I felt relaxed during the morning preparations. The little things of setting up transition, walking/running through the entries and exits, tire pressures, race briefing and even getting into the wetsuit all felt second nature.



The Washing Machine



I lined up behind the first row at the race start. I know my swimming is still well down on what it used to be. Then it was on. Down the sand and into the water. It was a very short wade, only two dolph…

T4

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New racing flats. Unfortunately the glitter doesn't show up in the photo. The Brooks T4 Racer look fast, so therefore they must be fast.

Bring On Summer

Sunny, mid 20s, mild winds... perfect weather for training and BBQ's. Summer must be getting closer.

Ideal Fatigue

Thanks for the questions Hamburglar. The main goal of this week's training is to determine at what intensity I'll be racing at during Shepparton Half Ironman (HIM). Once I have the weeks data all together, I'll get stuck into the details.

During the bike leg, yes I plan on watching the heart rate. In fact I will basically use heart rate along with monitoring how I feel as my guide for the middle leg. You asked why I don't plan on using a cadence meter. This is a personal thing and I appreciate that many other people find it very helpful to watch their cadence while racing. For me however, I find it has the tendency to slow me down. From experience I have found that by settling into a comfortable or natural cadence not only feels better during the ride, but seems to result in less heaviness on the run when compared to trying to sustain an arbitrary rpm. I don't have science behind me on this one. It simply feels better. Just keep in mind that I don't ha…

A Testing Week

The rain was falling as a steady downpour this morning. It wasn't too cold, but safety on the roads was a concern. This meant my morning ride was back on the turbo-trainer. Time to put a lot of effort into staying in the one spot. The main course was six VO2 intervals of three minutes, followed by 90 seconds of recovery. Entree was a 20 minute warm up.

I am planning on racing using only a combination of heart rate and feel. No power meter, no cadence meter, no speedometer, just sticking to the basics of swimming, cycling and running. Because of this, today I ignored all data from my monitor except for the beeps that told me when to start and end the hard efforts. I am hoping this will help enhance the feel for how my body is handling the pacing. An important skill for race day.

The result? Looks like I know my body quite well. The end heart rate of each interval started at 88% progressing to 92% of HRmax by the last repeat. Cadence average was 88rpm +/- 4rpm. All exactl…

Acclimation

Here's my approach to heat acclimation in the lead up to the Shepparton HIM. There is a lot of science behind heat acclimatisation or acclimation, to read more on this check out The Science of Sport Blog.

I started three weeks out from the HIM as it is generally accepted it takes about 14 days for the body to make the appropriate adjustments. Based on the long term weather outlook, it looks like I can't rely on Mother Nature to provide the best conditions. Instead I'll have to generate the conditions myself. While I don't have to perform every session in the heat, it is best if I include a moderately hard effort most days. The basic prescription is at an intensity greater than 70%VO2 for a minimum of 40min which will see an appropriate shift in blood volume and electrolyte management, but preferably at over 90-120min to see changes in substrate metabolism.

To achieve this I will perform my runs with an extra layer, head gear and gloves. The bike will see me wearing…

Not Enough, But Plenty

I'm now on my second extra night shift in a week. As a result I've had to cut a few training sessions. Three weeks out from the half ironman is not the time to start burning the candle at both ends. With the reduction in volume, I've had to change the format of training. Instead of the continuing on with over distance work on the bike and run combined with threshold workouts, I've taken to moderate distance race pace efforts combined with some VO2max intervals. In short I am aiming to be efficient at race pace, while ensuring my body still gets some high end work that doesn't leave me too fatigued.

The training days feel almost too easy. Hopefully this feeling transfers to race day.