Showing posts from July, 2008

Street O: Greythorn

It's amazing how the number of cars on the road seem to triple when it is raining. Due to traffic I didn't get to street orienteering as early as I liked. Still just enough time to register and a bit over five minute warm up. "Seven o'clock... go!"

This time I really was going to hold back on my pace. No surges to catch when I thought I really knew where I was heading. Just a nice steady clip that wasn't too hard for my brain. A quick overview of the map had me choose a clockwise route. This would give a few different choices for the second half of controls, that I could work out later.

Punching through the first three controls everything seemed to be falling into place. I picked the shortest pathway to the fourth control, but with hindsight I should have picked the slightly further one. Need to take into account those contour lines.

Holding back felt like it was working. There was still that voice bouncing around in my skull calling me slack and demanding I run…


The mornings are really cold at the moment, down around zero. I guess that's what you would expect in the middle of winter. The problem for me is it is limiting my outdoor cycling. My Raynauds has been at it's worst over the last couple of weeks, despite trying to manage it better. Street orienteering last week had three fingers on each hand go completely white. They hadn't fully recovered by the time I got to bed and even now there is that skin damage at the tips that I only get when it is bad.

Otherwise the weather looks very inviting. Bright blue skies, with fluffy white clouds, minimal or no wind. No hint of rain. Looks like the perfect morning for a ride. Unfortunately it is 2 degrees. At that temperature even with thermals and triple gloving my hands won't be handle it. The comibination of a very cold ambient temperature, the vibration on the hands from the handlebars and windchill from cycling is the perfect trigger for Raynauds. So I'll up end my plans today…

Cold, cold steel

Sunday was taken as recovery following my the previous day's long run. 31km is tough on the legs even when I am doing them regularly, as opposed to my lower mileage training currently. This morning I hit the garage to test some single repetition maximums. Following the crossfit total guidelines, I found out what my current maximum lifts are for the squat (81.5kg), overhead press (43kg) and deadlift (88kg). I'm happy with the results. Obviously I'm not a powerlifter, but what do you expect from an endurance athlete.


What better way to celebrate turning 31 years old than running 31km?

So far its been a great day. A relaxing morning with an easy breakfast followed by an antenatal class with my wife that focussed on relaxation, breathing techniques and massage. I became very relaxed even though I was the one giving the massage.

The afternoon was my own time. So I headed out and covered one kilometre for each year I've been alive. A mostly relaxed run saw my cover the distance in exactly three hours. Now time to enjoy some thai food, good wine and of course birthday cake.

One Year On

Today is a day for remembering Alpha on the first anniversary of both her birth and death.

Street O: Maroondah Triangle

After last week's dismal performance, I had to improve on things this week. I arrived with plenty of time before the start. Had a good look at the unmarked map and eventually came up with a couple of possible routes, then headed off for a nice long warm up. It was a cold night.

Maps handed out. "go, Go, GO" was the call. This time, instead of sprinting off in a predetermined direction I studied my map for nearly half a minute. In that time I planned the route I would take. There were a few quirks in the control placement I definitely hadn't predicted, but that added to the brain work. Then I was off.

Struggling with the concept I was behind I lifted the pace from the start. That was my mistake tonight. There seems to be a threshold of intensity where my mind switches off. It was during this initial effort that I ran straight past my planned second control. Adding to this I think I had covered it on my map with my thumb during the run. The next problem was I hadn't …

Sri Chinmoy Princes Park 10km

Now for a race that doesn't involve following a difficult map. No such thing as route choices. It is simply a matter of running as fast as I can maintain over the course. My training has been very solid and consistent over the couple of weeks. In fact, this week I really started to notice the accumulation of sore bits. So taking Friday and Saturday as recovery and regeneration was exactly what my body needed leading into the race.

Saturday night I didn't exactly do the smartest thing for race preparation. I had a relatively late night, resulting in only five hours worth of sleep. Not to worry. Race morning I pushed myself through the initial sleep haze and by the time I had driven halfway to Princes Park my head had well and truly kicked into race mode. No more thoughts of being tired. I could already feel my heart rate rising. Even the rain seemed to be a good thing.

Registration was quick and easy. Before too long the rain had stopped and I was out for an extended warm up. The…


I first covered some of my initial thoughts on Parkour in Etre fort pour ĂȘtre utile. In particular I still believe in the definition:

Parkour is navigating any environment quickly, confidently, and efficiently with only the capabilities of your body.

What do I get out of parkour?

In short I believe I am getting a lot out of it. Exactly what that is seems to be hard to define in one or two sentences. I'll attempt to answer by giving a brief overview of my approach to parkour.

First, parkour is only an extension of the rest of my training. I am not spending hours each day on developing the skills. I have no desire to attempt jumps or drops from ridiculous heights. My primary focus is not on becoming an exceptional traceur. It is a vehicle for variety, enjoyment and development of skills that I would otherwise be unlikely to develop.

Currently I am only working on the basics. In fact, I think I will only be working on the basics for quite some time. These include the run-of-the-mill vault…

Street O: Montmorency

It's official, I have currently lost the ability to think while running. Even around familiar streets I took a couple of wrong turns, plus even ran straight past two controls. One I was able to double back and get, losing a bit over one minute, but the other I didn't realise I'd missed it until I had run out time.

I started off confidently. I pulled back my running speed a little to give me a chance to formulate a plan. It looked good. This time I had a fair amount of company through the first few controls. Fifteen minutes down, four controls clicked off and I soon found myself on a unique course. This included a wrong turn where I think I just missed a side street in the dark. From this point there was no longer any chance finishing with the top guys.

Still, that is orienteering. If it was only about how fast you can run, then it may as well be laps around the athletics track. Gives me a few things to think about when picking my route next week.

One Turn Of The Earth

Inspired by the line, "this story takes place in one turn of the Earth," from the Hilltop Hood's song, Cursed From Birth. Here I decided to post whatever presented to me in the same time frame.

It all starts on Saturday night after getting home from work.

22:00 Saturday night.

After a 12 hour shift I'm tired, but need a bit of time wind down. I open the fridge to start preparing my food for the next day and am very happy to find my wife has been a few steps ahead of me. Just about everything I need is done. Left with setting up the coffee and cereal for the morning I am happy. A quick rummage through the drawers and I have my uniform ready, plus my training gear. Already for the next day.

I vegetate my brain by watching some mind numbing tv with my wife, before falling asleep at some time after 23:00.

Waking to an assortment of crashing noises. I am not happy. Immediately I know what has woken me. Checking the clock, 04:12. Way too early... stupid, f&cking cat. …

Street O: Gardiners Bend

Wednesday night I was finally back for some street orienteering. Unfortunately it is almost impossible to commit to a weekly event due to shift work, but I plan on getting to as many as I can.

It is run as a score event, which means that each control is worth a certain number of points, and you have to collect as many points as possible. I raced the A course, which means you have 60 minutes to collect as many points as possible. There are a total of 20 controls split to being worth 2, 3, 4 or 5 points. If you are quick, and good enough at your navigation, you may be able to collect all twenty.

This wasn't the case for me. I've definitely lost some of my ability to think while running. In the end I missed control number 9, worth 3 points. This put me in 8th place. The seven ahead of me managed to gather all 20. Though not too bad for my first race back in a while. With a bit of hindsight, a couple of smarter navigational decisions would have allowed me to collect that last contro…


W is for weightlifting. I choose to use it in the single word form as it reflects the sport of weightlifting, rather than lifting weights from the bodybuilding world. Why is this important? For me it creates a certain mindset. It suggests that the training should be for performance. It should be for function. The lifts should be big. They should work the whole body. Aesthetics is not the primary reason.

Through weightlifting I aim to develop:

Maximal strength
Strength endurance
These attributes are not simply limited to the muscles themselves. To fully develop the whole body needs be trained, including:

Connective tissues: tendons, ligaments, fascia
Neuromuscular recruitment
Kinetic chain integration
Skeletal strength and structural integrity
Neuroendocrine response
Isolation exercises such as bicep curls or hamstring curls do not develop all these. The following main exercises and their variations all work to do so:

Pull Ups
All these exercise…

22 Days

It's funny how your enthusiasm for cycling suddenly increases when le Tour de France begins. Exactly the burst of motivation and imagination I need. Bring on the spectacle, the suffering, crashes, the supreme efforts and most of all...

... the mountains.

Metabolic Conditioning

The term Metabolic Conditioning has been borrowed from the Crossfit literature. I don't particularly like it. It kind of sounds scientific, but doesn't actually seem to mean something specific. Unfortunately I can't think of something else to use in it's place. I have taken the concept of the template from the article A Theoretical Template For Crossfit Programming, and modified it for my own uses. As a result I still use the letter M to signify this as a focus for the day's training.
Crossfit has defined Metabolic Conditioning as developing the oxidative pathway, glycolytic pathway and phosphagen pathway through the use of single modal exercises such as running, cycling, swimming or rowing. Within my own programming, I use it signify a place to include at least swimming, cycling or running. These will be the main focus. Exactly how these modes of exercise are utilised will depend on many factors including: Upcoming racesPrevious and upcoming trainingCurrent strength…

Not Enough Running

I agree with Ewen's impression of my training template that it looks like "there's not enough running /event specific training to race sub-80 for the half marathon." On face value it certainly looks that way. It may well be the case. Time will tell for sure. On re-reading Template, there are definitely some aspects of my plan which are far from clear. Time to explain a few things.

The sessions that I listed are the main focus for the day. The descriptions did not include what is involved in warm ups, cool downs and supplementary work. There is more aerobic training than appears in the description. The deficits in training will be made up with aerobic conditioning work performed in the pool, on the bike or with running. For example, I may perform 45 minutes of weightlifting, but the cool down/supplementary portion may be an aerobic 40 minute run.

My current prediction of weekly running kilometres should give me 40-50km/week.

The Long Run

To maintain and develop endurance …

No Half

Some changes to my work schedule this week means I won't be racing the half marathon next Sunday. Pity, I enjoy the Como Landing. Looks like I'll put my energy more towards getting my first 10km marked down in a few weeks.