Showing posts from May, 2010

Sri Chinmoy Williamstown Running Festival Half Marathon 2010 - Race Report

A day that was cold when still, but almost pleasant when running. Always the threat of rain, without the follow through. Plenty of wind to to add an extra element. The Sri Chinmoy Fitness & Running Festival has been a regular on my calender for many years. It is getting bigger. A few slight changes to the course, because the athletics track was being resurfaced didn't seem to change anything.


...was by far the most important principle to guide my race today. I stuck to my pre-race plan and made sure I wasn't going too hard at the start. Mentally this was more difficult than I thought it would be. Way too many runners for me to feel comfortable ran ahead over the first section. There were running styles that I didn't like being in front of me, but seemed to have the ability to stay there if I didn't pick things up.

The first 5km passed and I have kept everything between 4:06-4:25/km. The wind was strong enough to play quite a factor. Reassessing I felt I ha…

Pre-Race Thoughts

With the change in training, and the problems with pacing my last half marathon, it is probably a good idea to have a bit of think about how I should race tomorrow.

I'm working from the following points about my fitness:
I have the ability to run around 3:50/km and it feel comfortableI don't have the ability to sustain this beyond anything over 8kmMy threshold speeds are probably still the same, but I have lost the ability to hold it for extended periodsTherefore I will try to give myself a reasonable margin for error. The resulting time could be anything.The plan:Run out comfortable at the start and find a rhythm, but keep the pace slower than 4:05/km.Check HR versus pace versus feel, between 5-10km and adjust pace gradually.Maintain this through to 15km.After 15km is anybody's guess at this stage.

Catch Up?

Procrastination + Mechanical problems = Reduced effective training time.

The result is a missed long ride. What I got in was only equivalent to an easy aerobic outing.

Before Sunday's race I'll keep everything else the same and hope I can fit in the long ride (maybe at an even lower intensity) afterwards. Otherwise it will have to count as one of the two allowed missed seasions.

Misnomer In The Beginning

On the training plan the title for today's session is 'Hard Bike.' It is very misleading at this stage. Progressing from last week the intervals went from 6x3:00 to 6x5:00. All at the same tension level on the trainer, same gearing and same cadence. This week it was even easier and my heart rate was a good 5bpm lower across all intervals to attest to that. Shows you can get improvement without always completely blasting yourself.

Front Loading

A slight modification to the structure is required this week. This is to accomodate the half marathon at the Sri Chinmoy Fitness & Running Festival next Sunday. Within the parameters of maintaining consistent training I will be training through the event. That said I'd also like to get the best out of myself on race day.

To achieve racing with minimal carry over fatigue I will load the key training sessions to the first four days of the week. Then using the half marathon in place of my long run I will then have two easy days leading into the race.

After race day two days are planned for recovery before jumping back into the training cycle.

Week One

Starting a new phase of training is not very daunting when you know all of the individual sessions for the first few weeks should be well within your capabilities. The last few months have shown I have been a bit to keen to up the intensity. The results have been covered before. Having my current goal simply being 'consistency' has taken a lot of pressure off. As a result, the first week came together like this:

Aerobic Swim: 1800m. Main 10x100 on 2:00 (1:55-1:50)
Hitting 1:55 felt ridiculously easy, surprisingly there was a very big difference in effort when taking off only 5 seconds. There isn't any problem with the engine, but the moving parts need better conditioning. Local muscular endurance is standing out as my key limiter in the water.

Easy Run: 9.75km pushing the pram. A friendly loop that has become a regular route of late. Plenty of action passing by to keep Jaya entertained. I left the heart rate monitor behind and just enjoyed a relaxing run.



I'd like to draw attention to the article Tea highlighted on race recovery.

The article is Determining Your Recovery Time.

An interesting read, but I don't think the article quite reaches where it is aiming. I like the idea of having a guide for expected recovery requirements. While giving plenty of items to take into consideration I don't believe it provides a good algorithm to work with. The problem is inherent in most attempts at reducing all the aspects that go into training and racing into a representative number. It usually just doesn't work.

Two concerns include:
Nutritional elements: firstly how do we define good versus bad, and why does bad equal prolonged recovery. For long events, a forced slow down due nutritional problems may result in less musculature stress and lessen time for recovery.Overall definitions are too arbitrary and seem to give equal influence to every element.Working from the assumption "that you are recovered from the race completely—so th…


Keeping the intensity down doesn't always translate to easy. The backing up a long run the day after a long ride does hurt. It is a style of discomfort I had almost forgotten about. It just doesn't exist I. The same way when training for single sport. I have surpassed my usual long session headache that hits a couple after training. An hour with the feet up is the minimum that is required. Even though slow and kind of a struggle with the carry over fatigue from riding at least the run was still very enjoyable.


To help make balance of the extended hours of work shifts I get time off in blocks. Currently I have four weeks away from my job. This gives plenty of time with my daughter and time for all the stuff associate with moving house. It also makes training easier.

Using the four weeks as the Base 1 phase I have attempted not to get carried away. I am still just aiming to set up a structure that allows for consistency. The enthusiasm is high and I tempted to squeeze as many hours as I can find. However, this just isn't the time for that. I need to make sure I get groundwork right. After all, a slow, low intensity 3 hour bike ride nearly kicked my ass yesterday.

Blogging Style

To help keep to my Guiding Elements, my blogging style is changing slightly. To help me switch off from training, I need to nut out and put a few things in writing. I am going to put more of this into my blog. The result will be some less polished and maybe not so thought out posts. Some quite short. On the upside it should give a clearer indication as to what my training really involves and how I am going with it. Unless I find myself having some really good down time, I am not expecting to really get into any detailed analysis of the physiology and other science behind training.

Base 2 - Routine

With moving house over also comes the end of my leave from work. A change in work location and roster provides a some new pros and cons to my training plan. Onto the training document:

PHASE: Base 2 GOAL: Improve Steady-state output CRITERIA: Complete all key sessions LIFE: Lead up to the baby TIME LINE: 16th June to about 2nd September FORMAT: 8 day cycles NOTE: Can push the key sessions if feeling good by upping the average pace.
SESSIONS: LONG RUN: 2 hours steady, progress with gradual pace increase. LONG BIKE: 3 hours with solid output, progress by moving to negative split or faster in the hills in last third AEROBIC SWIM: 10x100, 3 stroke breath, on 5-10 cycle rest cycle, +1-2x100m until 2000m. Finish with 100-300m of strength work
HARD DAY: Threshold-VO2max work on legs. Format can be intervals or sustained effort. Split or single session but must cover both bike and run
The rest of training will be whatever I can best fit in. This includes the equivalent of two strength sessions and the re…

Training Document - Page 1

First up I need to correct a mistake I've made in a couple of my posts. I have been quoting the wrong season/year for which I will be aiming to race a PB Half Ironman. I am aiming to be at my best for the 2011/2012 season, not this summer.

With that out of the way, it's time to get to the tool that I will be using to guide my training. Working off the setting from the post What's Important I have started my Training Document. This will be dynamic document, that I will change and add to as required, but essentially it is my training guidelines. There are a few parts that makes this up. The first page will set the overriding goal and elements to my training. The rest will then cover the specifics, including what and how long the current phase covers, then get down to nuts and bolts of each week. Instead of getting to far into the rambling, I'll just present the first page:


Race a Personal Best at a Half Ironman/70.3 Triathlon in the 2011/12 season.

Previous PB: 4:3…

Eye On The Sky

With a forecast of hail and thunderstorms the raincover was over the pram and I was a bit nervous for the run.

What's Important

Following my recent training review it is clear I need to consider what are the most important elements of training. Again working off the back of the article The Year Round Athlete I present what I believe to be the most highlights of the article.

• Make the most of each day, and in turn, each year.

• Break it down into sizeable chunks.

• Learn the value of consistency across the year, and the compounding benefits of continuous development.

• Rest is a relative term

• Maintain balance between family, work, health, social, sport and so on.

• They can switch "on" and "off" on demand.

• Be inspired by your own goals and dreams.

The process is progressing, bringing me closer to putting together a better training package. An extra element I need to add to the mix is accountability. The accountability is to myself and not others. Part of being true to myself and making the right things count.

The end result of this initial process will be my Training Document.

365 (+1)

Four training cycles have past quickly. Also I am coming up for some time off work (which will be for moving house), and a different roster structure when I return. Add these together and it is probably worthwhile to have a proper review on my current training program.

The original program is covered in The Triathlon Template.

The overall concepts of my training program appear to have been sound. That is working off key sessions, that are placed in each modified week depending on work roster and other commitments. Performance-wise my response to cycling and swimming has and still is variable. Plenty of sluggish, almost backward sessions with the occasional break-through day. Running has remained stagnant. All this I am reasonably happy to accept, as I would expect a lot of variation as I struggle between my current fitness level and what my body remembers it used to do across the disciplines.For the most part training has gone okay, but this is a review with the idea of finding ways to …