Showing posts from August, 2008


I'm now into my second cycle (my version of a week) of low intensity base training. While I am a lot slower than I would like, I am now starting to feel more comfortable with the concept. Part of that may be that I now also feel more comfortable running and cycling at the lower heart rates. Based on my experience as an athlete, a coach and through study I know that this approach works. This is where my confidence in the approach comes from.

Now that I'm feeling better about the base training, I have been thinking about where it is going to lead. Knowing myself, I need to have some goals. At this stage I am going to stick with improving my running. In the longer term I will likely aim for the Police & Emergency Services Games at the end of March next year, and possibly look towards a marathon later in 2009. These aren't set in stone, but at least give me a rough focus and timeline to guide what I am doing now.

Right now I really need to get back to my base. Most important…

Go Hard: Winter Training 2008

A sample of my training over winter this year. I was seeking to expand my abilities beyond just endurance.

15:10, 15:30

"While asleep the body releases growth hormone to repair damage from the day's training stresses and to shore up any physiology systems weakened by training. Without adequate sleep, fitness is lost regardless of how intense or long the workouts are. "

- Joe Friel, Gordon Byrn "Going Long: Training for Ironman Distance Triathlons"

The times in the title are not race or training times. They are not how long it took me run any distance. They are simply the length of my last two night shifts (hours:minutes). Not only were they long, but they were busy. These are times when I realise just how important sleep really is. I'm looking forward to the days off to recharge.

How Hard Is To Go Slow?

The first base run (60-75% HRmax) has been covered. It was actually quite hard to keep a lid on the intensity. It just didn't feel right to be moving so slow, and slow it was. 6:45/km was the average pace. I knew that would be the case at the start. I expect to see a consistent and steady improvement in speed at the same heart rate over the next few weeks as my body redevelops its aerobic conditioning. Yet it is the way that I know works.

As for racing, I'm not competing for the first three weeks as my body goes through the initial adjustment period. After that I'll wait and see what appeals to me. For street orienteering I won't be racing the Spring series, but this is because of my work roster. There's only a couple of races available when I'm not rostered on shift and these one are the furthest away from me. Rotating shift work does make it almost impossible to commit to a weekly event. My roster just worked out well for half of the Winter series.

Overall I th…

Back To Base

It's now time to go back to what I know works.
Build the aerobic engineSupport with a steady strength progressionBe consistent with the key sessionsBe judicious with high intensityTraining will now be set at 8-9 day training cycles (my version of week that keeps in line with my rotating shift work). Priority will be given to following key sessions:Long runLong bike rideModerate runHigher intensity run2 x Strength/Body control sessionsRecovery dayThe other training will be easy aerobic work of running, but also keeping in touch with cycling and swimming as time permits.The new program begins tomorrow (Thursday). For the first three cycles I will focus on correcting the imbalance between anaerobic and aerobic power production. To do this most of my training will be performed at low intensity (60-75% of HRmax). The higher intensity run will be limited to about 80% of HRmax and there will be absolutely no lactate tolerance style work.As for racing, at this stage I do not have any key r…

The Last Few Months

Since the Australian Ironman last April I have completely changed my training around. There were a few reasons for this. The most important being my new venture into fatherhood which should begin in September. Naturally I will have to put a cap on the hours I spend training so I can actually be around.

Other reasons included were I was sick of just going long and slow. I missed the speed and head to head racing of the shorter distances. I also enjoy experimenting with training. As Commander John Collins said, "We are all an experiment of one." So I wanted to see how I responded to different stimulus plus increase different attributes such as speed, power, strength, and body control.

The approach I took can be found in these posts:

Elements of Crossfit15 x 6 Day CycleHow Does It Look?Template

The Results:

My strength and power have definitely improved. Not just in lifting weights, but across most areas such as vertical or broad jumps, cycling and of course running. My agility is b…

Race Report: Sandy Point Half Marathon

In one word cold. Thermals, extra thermal layer, double gloving, thermal headband, beanie and yet I was still cold pre-race. The coffee vendor wasn't even ready before the race so no help there. At least it didn't rain during the event. It took a long time to warm up for the race and I competed with an extra top and gloves.

My sinuses were much better, so the rest seemed to have done its job. There was a chance that the start was going to feel too easy, better take that into account. The coldness seemed to put a dampener on the excitement and without fanfare the race started.

Today I wasn't wearing my heart rate monitor. No point after a week off. The numbers wouldn't mean much today. Plus the straps battery is flat and I've delayed getting it replaced. I'll just run a solid, but comfortable pace and see what happens.

The course was good, nice, moderate rolling hills. Nothing steep enough to break your rhythm, but enough of a change to keep things interesting. For…


Nearly a week off trying to get rid of this sinus infection has seen me down 2kg in weight. Yet, I feel like I've put on fat. Funny how my legs have been hurting despite not doing anything. Guess I'm just so used to training day in, day out for years, that my body doesn't feel right when stops. I'll front up tomorrow morning for the Sandy Half and see what I can pull out. Today I have no idea how I'll run.

The down time from training has had me again rethinking my training approach. I've decided I'm not happy with a number of aspects of my current approach. More on than that as I work out what changes I will actually make.

Exapanding Polyfiller

Sinus infections suck. So far four days off, no orienteering last night. I'm just hoping to recover for the Sandy Point Half this weekend. Chances are I'll run a good time with the forced taper.

The lack of posts hasn't been because of this, it's been because I've been having trouble with my internet access. My provider changed me over to their new faster network, but failed to provide the phone line filters that actually allow me to use it. It took 2 hours worth of time on the phone last night, dealing with the offshore customer disservice centre whose English skills were too poor to help. Even though that is there job. Then they hung up on me because a question I asked was too hard. Eventually, after going through different people to escalate my complaint I got to speak with someone who had English as his first language. He was so kind and even offered to send out the filters at no charge, which I thought was such great service since I was meant to receive them at…

Everyone's An Expert

After scanning the internet for assorted training information I've decided most of it is critical crap. A good portion of articles begin with some sort of statement about what people do wrong with their training. Something along the lines of "most athletes waste their time in workouts by doing..." "the problem with most training programs is..." After reading just a few articles on one topic it becomes clear that there is a very wide variety of advice, much of it contradictory.

Training for an Ironman triathlon is a perfect example. A brief summary of articles I read in the space of an hour include:
train everyday, even if it is only somethingmake sure you take one day off every weeknever exceed your upper aerobic heart rate everyou must include high intensity intervals to make Ironman pace feel easythe more mileage the better, every mile is a deposit in the bankdo the minimum you can get away withstrength and weight training is a necessity to go the distanceelimi…

Competitive Outlets

Yesterday I witnessed some terrible behaviour. I dropped into a store where they had nappies extra cheap. Might as well stock up on some. Being as cheap as they were there was a bit of a crowd. A few of these people were completely obnoxious, some women were pushing each other out of the way, there was a yelling match and one rammed her trolley into another so she could get there first. They were so caught up in fighting and having to get it before anyone else they actually missed all the extra stock in piles next to the main stand.

Sometimes competition brings out the worst in people. While I enjoy competition, I prefer to keep it to appropriate outlets such as racing, or even just against myself. Used correctly it can bring out the best in you.

After being disgusted by the behaviour of some people I headed over to the athletics track to work on my own competitive nature. The session I performed I've nicknamed the Tegla. It is based on a workout I have read that Tegla Loroupe regul…

Street O: Wheelers Hill

A straightforward race. Arrived in reasonable time, had a good warm up, then it was race time. I picked an okay route, but realised with hindsight I could have cut a couple of minutes off my time with a better selection through the first few controls. For the rest I managed to work out a pathway early on and never saw a reason to change it. This made it feel almost like a normal running race instead of orienteering. Soon enough I handed in my card with a few minutes to spare, but there were also quite a few finished before me.

Started my cool down I realised by left Achilles tendon was stinging. Checking it revealed a nice cut and blister bleeding into my shoe. Nothing too bad. It just will cause a bit of grief over a couple of days I think. Funny how I never seem to notice these things during the race itself.

Instant Gratification

It takes time to achieve something worthwhile. You can't have it all now. It you could, then you'd probably just want more. After having just taken notice of some advertising from various sources today. I was thinking that one common theme is you can have whatever you want now and without effort. I'm unconvinced. The things that have given me the most enjoyment and pride have been those that have taken a lot of time and effort.

Not Included

Official results are out from Saturday's orienteering... 2nd place, not 1st as I was hoping, but I am more than happy with my effort. Think I may be getting the hang of this orienteering thing after all.

Sunday was taken up with an antenatal class in the morning followed by quite a few beverages at the Lower in the arvo. I used the fact that it was my birthday about a week ago as an excuse. Anyway that didn't leave much opportunity for training. So I got up early and put in a short but very hard set prior to the antenatal class. After a warm up I completed a weights and metabolic conditioning combination consisting of 3 rounds of Snatch 20kgx15, Thruster 20kgx15, Deadlift 20kgx15 and 400 run. While the weight wasn't exactly heavy, going non-stop on the exercises soon has the legs, glutes, back, shoulders and arms burning and screaming back at me. Completed in a time of 17:04, and I decided I liked this workout. It will likely make some semi-regular appearances. I'm thin…

Orienteering: Eltham Parklands

A couple of novel concepts were introduced to me for today's race. One was an orienteering event held in daylight, and the other was a race on a weekend that didn't start at or before sunrise. Both a bit different to my experiences this year. I was really looking forward to the course taking the variable terrain of some off road sections. That's just not possible in the Wednesday, night time, street orienteering I have been competing in.

The sky was a mix of bright blue and dark grey clouds. It kept trying to rain on us, but somehow the sun held its ground and we had perfect conditions. From the unmarked map (a map of the area to be used, without the controls posted), it looked like the best options were likely to be a circular route around the borders with some offshoots into the middle controls. There was also going to be a fair mix of hills and some moderately rough terrain. Just my type of event.

Soon enough we were off and running it what I could only describe as kind o…


Twin pump, twin thermoblock, programmable temperature and pour settings. All good, but most importantly the ability to make great espresso. I now have a new toy...