Showing posts from December, 2007

A New Chapter

Well it's finally the end of the year. Even though the change from one year to the next is an arbitrary thing, it still does hold some personal significance. Gone are the days when I would head out looking for a massive New Year's party (usually to be disappointed). Usually I now spend the night with just some good friends. Tonight however, I may not even be awake through midnight as I have an early start at work tomorrow.

I am not in a habit of making specific resolutions. I like to think I can keep my goals in check throughout the rest of the year. New Year resolutions tend be made just so you have an answer when someone asks you what your resolutions are. Instead I take a quick moment to reflect on 2007. Unfortunately it wasn't what I had hoped. With some family members suffering significant health problems. My wife and I experienced a miscarriage at the start of the year, followed by the stillbirth of our daughter later in July. This year has forced me to take stock o…

The Name Says It All

I like trying out new training routes. I tend to find at least one variation per week. Something I picked up on a recent run. If a road has "hill" in it's name, then there is probably a good reason for it. I got to thinking about this while on Hillmartin Road, when I was reduced to a walk just to complete the long steep climb.

The Ton

It is now 100 days out from Ironman Australia. It isn't really that much time to get things right. In fact, I'm starting to get a bit stressed by it. Wondering if I actually have time to make the gains I need to. I think the combination of way too much food and a good few doses of alcohol over Christmas have me feeling a bit unfit too.

The solution is to take a quick look at what I need to do over the next hundred days without getting too involved in the detail. Then do it. So here it is:

Ensure I complete my key workouts which include:
Long ride (150-240km)Long run (2:45-3:30)Long swim (3000-6000m)SBR Combo (6-8 hours)To complete these I need to be on top of the other tasks of life, including: house work, garden, shopping, cooking, bike maintenance. To be on top of these I have to do some each day (and not leave it until the last minute). This means thinking ahead. Doing things like planning my meals for when I'm on shift at work and making sure I have food in the cupboards …

Silly Season

It is that time of year. The silly season, where people spread the good cheer of getting narcy in shopping centre carparks, stressed because they can't find the present they want at 11pm on Christmas Eve, drive way too fast around the streets because they don't have time and expose themselves to the family arguments that have been kept at bay for a year.

Of course there is also all the good bits of spending time with friends and family that you want to. Enjoying way too much good food and a few too many drinks. Plus doing very little training for a few days, and feeling good about it at the same time.

Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy the Silly Season.

All About The Bike

As I have mentioned before, cycling is where I am going to focus most of my energy. I did give the general outline, but there were a few specifics I didn't get into. So how will I focus on the bike?

Firstly I still believe in the principles I outline in Cycling For The Ironman last October. These principles I summarise as:
Develop central endurance and fat metabolism with long rides (4-8 hours) at 55-75% VO2max (approx 60-80% HRmax)Keep general pedal cadence moderate and gradually progress my comfortable rangeKeep the long rides steady (minimise freewheeling)Ensure good core conditioning and flexibilityTrain in race positionNow to get a little more specific to Ironman Australia. The race course is 180km divided into three laps. The majority of the course is undulating with a relatively short but steep hill on each lap. There are hardly any flat areas at all. The course profile can be viewed here. This creates some interesting points in regard to race strategy. The main challenge is …

You Look Tired

I have had so many people tell me how tired I look over the last few days. Funny thing is I don't feel too bad. I am a bit tired at the moment, but being on night shift that is to be expected. I'll see how training goes over the next few days and take stock of things.

Taking Responsibility

There are times when it feels easier to shift responsibility away from yourself. It is easy to take the credit when things are going well, but spreading the blame when things don't go as planned can be such an easy thing to do. I am writing this for one main reason. To give myself a kick up the backside, since I noticed myself not taking responsibility.

First I'll get into where I come from on this topic. I strongly believe that the increasing lack of personal responsibility is a blight on our society. There are many people who always have an excuse, it is always someone else's fault. There are many examples. As a paramedic I get to deal with this style of thinking often. From the lady who drives her car through a stop sign causing a crash resulting in significant injuries to other people who stated, "It wasn't my fault, the other car must have been going too fast." To the teenager, too young to hold a license who claimed he "wasn't doing anything stu…

Bigger and Steeper

The motivation just wasn't there for yesterday's ride. Maybe it was because I was still feeling the lagging effects of night shift. Maybe it was because I had a few other commitments for the day. Maybe it was simply that the planned route wasn't capturing my attention.

I headed out anyway. Sometimes these feeling disappear and the motivation reappears. Half an hour in I was working at the appropriate level, but for some reason I just wasn't keen about heading down to the Warburton highway. Why I don't know, but I had a simple solution. Change my route.

Once out of the Christmas Hills I decided to turn left at Yarra Glen instead of right. This was the best decision I could have made. The weather was perfect. High 20's, a nice breeze, hardly a cloud in the sky. It was exactly the sort of day you should enjoy riding along the Yarra Valley, before taking in the sites from up on Kinglake. Suddenly my motivation was back and I began enjoying my ride.

Now this did c…

Feels Like It Should

With the first week down, I am starting to remember what it feels like to train for the Ironman. When training specifically for any type of sporting event, brings on certain sensations that specific to each event. Short course racing has moments of intense but short lived pain combined with moments of uncoordinated movements as I try to run faster than my body is capable of. 10,000m running is about the deep, strong burn that turns your legs into heavy stumps that somehow still give a feeling of being fast right towards the end of a race. Many of these aspects cross over between events, but I find Ironman is unique. This is one reason I enjoy it so much.

The main focus of training at the moment is to develop the ability to just keep going. At the moment speed takes a back seat. Being able to set an upper limit on the intensity in order to be able to sustain an effort for hours is a skill. This skill is practiced a few days a week. Therefore training sessions that last for a few hours a…

The Gorge

For work I am currently stationed away from my normal branch. This is a recent roster change that I am not too happy about due to a number of reasons that I won't go into here. The good thing is that it gives me different roads to ride on when commuting. Nothing like a bit of variety to break things up.

One particular bit of terrain that I now get to cover is known as the Gorge. It is exactly as the name suggests. The road that takes you into the Gorge is simple. One side is a very wide bend, that could almost be thought of as a straight road. The other side involves a couple of reasonable bends, which wouldn't normally be an issue, but can be when hitting speeds of 60km/hr on the descent. I want to make it clear that the Gorge is far from the toughest of climbs, while quite steep on both sides it is relatively short.

So what is it about the Gorge. For me it has provided a good bench mark for my cycling fitness. Back when I first started on the bike it took all my effo…

To Get To The Other Side

Focus, focus, focus. Full concentration on form, pulling back across the bottom of the pedal stroke, keep the cadence in the set range, stay aero, keep outside thoughts away. That's how we ride those long rides. No room for anything else if we want to get faster. How else can we brag about being so focused on our goal and during training?

That's not exactly how my last long ride went. For the most part I would have to say I was thinking about anything that was not related to cycling. In fact, it was almost a surreal experience. I wasn't even one hour in when I realised I was singing Cold Chisel's "Bow River" out load. On the return home I noticed the prompt was that I had passed a property titled "Bow River".

Rolling over the country roads, well out the suburbs. So far out of the 'burbs, that there were plenty of paddocks with cows, sheep or crops. So why were there so many items of clothing along the edge of the road. An inventory taken over …

Coburg Lake Classic

With going over my plan for Ironman training, I forgot to report on Sunday's race. A few days before hand Big Daz asked my to join him for a 10km race. Originally I hadn't planned on it, but hey, seems like a good way to kick off the next 18 weeks. So the usual happened. I got to the race venue very early and Daz arrived close to start time.

After a light two-part warm up. This was 10 minutes of very easy running plus about 7 min of dynamic mobility exercises started 40 minutes before race start. Then a break. 15 minutes out I then ran steady, progressing towards race pace for 10 minutes. This had me feeling very race ready.

Looking around I recognised some of the usual subjects. There were two guys I knew who were likely to be out in front. My challenge was to see how close I could stick with them. Then we were off.

This is a race I always enjoy. Small numbers, very friendly competitors and organisers, and just plain well organised. The course starts and finishes on the …

It's Ironman (training) Time

Now it's time for the real deal. Not just preparing my body to handle training. Not just for shorter races. Not just whatever I feel like. It is now time to do what it takes to go fast at Port Macquarie next April. Time to start Ironman training.

Here's the plan.

I have 18 weeks. These weeks will be broken up into three phases:
IM I (8 weeks)IM II (6 weeks)Taper (4 weeks)IM I
The main goal of IM I is pretty simple.Build up my endurance to cover the distance.Therefore the key sessions will be the long days. These will generally be performed at heart rate ranges of 60-80% HRmax. Initially most of the work will be at the lower end of the scale. The challenge is just to be out there covering those kilometres (with good form of course). The challenge is not in the intensity.During these 8 weeks the distances will progress as follows:Swim: 3000-5600mBike: 120-180kmRun: 3-3.5 hoursSBR Combo 6-8 hoursTo help ensure appropriate recovery these key sessions will fit into 8-9 day cycles. (No …