Showing posts from January, 2011

Filling The Routine

To my surprise it's been a bit over a week since my last post. The reason hasn't been a lack of training. Instead, the days have been filled to the brim. There have been plenty of extras over the last week. Each item wasn't a stand out time commitment, but everything adds up and it means some of the less important stuff (like blogging) had to be put to the side.

These are the times when the training plan is put to a test. When the competing interestes for my time and energy converge it is good to see the the program stands up to the challenge. Over the last week, none of the optional extras in training have been completed. Plus I have missed a swim session. This is fine as I still can see a some level of improvement over the previous week in my training.

Being more specific about what training is to be completed on each day ahead of time takes out the thinking energy. I can completely tune out from training when needed and focus on the rest of life. This beats trying to thin…


Often it doesn't matter if the context is known or not. It may be better if the context isn't known. Training gets me outside. With that I get to enjoy all the usual, the outdoors, the trees, animals, sunrise, fresh air, time by myself, etc. etc... Something else I enjoy is catching parts of interactions, conversations between people or just the random stuff individual do. Maybe not the most talked about element of training, but it can keep me amused on a long run.
These little snippets are less than single serves. Maybe I add to the stories, but it keeps my mind working on some degree. Some examples:
"...she had an affair with the fireman from the first aid course..."
the lady who drove into her driveway a bit quick and smashed the car already there
an enthusiastic walk/run group encouraging the one of their walkers, until she told them she wasn't part of their group
5am, about zero degrees, and guy running in a shorts and singlet only, mumbling "it's not co…


One of the training tools used by Seb Coe and his coach and father Peter, was termed the therapeutic run. I first read about this in the book Better Training For Distance Runners. In short it is a run designed to have you feeling good.

It is a session that doesn't feature in the written plans of my training. It is also something I don't tend to think about too often. When it is needed, it just finds it's way into the training day. Usually I don't consciously pick the run course for this reason, or even pick the intensity based on it. Somehow I still manage these things to deliver a therapeutic. It is part way into the run that I realise this.

Today was one of those times. I was still feeling a little flat. According to the plan I was meant to head to the pool, but infections and the water often don't go well for me when combined. Leading into a night shift I also didn't want to hammer myself yet. As a result I was naturally drawn towards running. For some reason…


Usually I just let my body do it's job and fix itself. Naturally a bit of help, such as not training hard, resting and eating well can aid it. Every now and then I need the extra level of help. This time it has called for some antibiotics. They appear to be doing their job. I definitely needed that extra round of attack, since my own defences were starting to lose the battle. The other part was to let my body rest and repair.

This meant three days completely without training and a couple of naps thrown in. Some improvement and I've been at work, but have removed myself from any real training. Instead I've just been commuting by either foot or bike at very easy paces. There is a general level of weakness through all my muscles still. Until that leaves me, doing any training close to my normal level is likely to be detrimental.

It's been six days so far, and it will take as long as it takes. When I feel better, I will ease back into training, starting with covering the dis…


Not in my plans. I been holding an upper respiratory tract at bay for a while, but combining that with the assorted shots from the rest the family it probably was only a matte of time. That bit of irritation took hold yesterday and spread through the rest of my head. My sinuses are no longer my friends. I tend to enjoy the pains in my muscles from training, but the myalgia of infection is a different story. So there has and will be some training missed.

Another item that didn't work for me was my entry into my first triathlon in some time. Unfortunately I left it a bit too late and Portarlington filled it's limit before I attempted to enter. Times have changed. Need to look at my other race options.

Forced Commute

We are now a one car family. At least temporarily. Exactly how long this will be I'm not sure yet. The good side of this (apart from saving money) is I am pretty much now obligated to commute by bike. No just going soft and taking the car when the weather turns nasty. The distance to my various work locations isn't very far. So it shouldn't really interfere with anything timewise. Instead it means I am getting in a lot more incidental activity.

Hopefully all the extra short stints on the bike accumulate to better performance. At least I am feeling more comfortable on the carbon machine. I've definitely lost some feel for the bike over the last few years, maybe I can regain that. Currently the weather is good and I am in the novelty phase, so I am enjoying the riding. The plan is to make it a habit to stick to. Hopping on the bike for a lazy 8km had my legs feeling better than they were after a 20km run before work. Not a bad way to cool down and refresh for a long shift…

Blue Tooth

I had to go to a shopping centre on the other side of the Gorge today. While I often cross over when cycling, it is different when interacting with the locals. It seemed I was a bit out of place at the shops. Being one of the very few people who wasn't wearing a blue tooth ear piece for my mobile phone, it was clear I wasn't in with the latest. One guy was ordering a coffee, and the girl serving him was never sure if he was talking to her or someone else in his ear piece. To get an ear piece, you definitely need one with a little flashing blue light, just in case it is too dark for others to notice you're wearing one.
So many gadgets. So much technology. More knowledge. More data. More blogs. Over load of forums. Every nutritional product or supplement able to be conceived available. With all that, you would think everyone would be traveling faster in races. There are some faster amateur times across endurance sports, but for the most part we aren't really traveling qui…

High Definition

My training structure needs more definition. My week is eight days, mainly dictated by my work roster. Moving away from just fitting a collection of sessions into a group of days, I am making the training plan more concrete. Here is my day-by-day weekly plan:

NOTES (to add that little extra): Only work shifts and training is listed here. Other considerations not specifically listed are in the area of you can't go for a 4-5hour bike ride, when you are meant to look after 2 young kids. The times for my work shifts, are the rostered hours. It is more than common the shifts can go way beyond this. In the sort-of 4 days off work, I am likely to do an extra shift, or have a day devoted to family. The majority of training sessions will fit around the kids sleeping. Either performed early in the morning, or into the evening after they go to bed.

DAY 1:Work: 0630-1630

Running: To & from work. Strap on the back pack and make the most of a commute by foot. No heart rate monitor, or stop wat…


Ticking over another 365 day mark leads to many cliches. One cliche may actually be trying to avoid cliches. So I will simply refrain from doing a 2010 in review or a what 2011 will bring or even a new year = new me. Whatever people think about the change on the calendar, it is still an excuse to take a look at yourself.

Onto training. I have tried to set up some guidelines to develop consistency from week to week. Within that I have tried to accomodate for the natural randomness that comes from kids and rotating shift work, that has plenty of unplanned over time. In short, I am still not happy with how things have gone. There has still been some good training, but the problem are the gaps. These gaps aren't just sessions missed, but they are also training sessions that probably don't hit the desired goals. There have been a couple of bike interval sessions, where I just went too hard, and ripped my legs too early into the session.

As a result of finding what works, or more accu…