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Tuesday, 4 December 2007

latest

Well, recovery week was good after half marathon. No running. Ran today for 40 minutes at a nice easy pace, just to see how legs are. Covered a little over 4 miles, and felt good. Legs in good shape.
Done a good amount of cycling last week and at the weekend, not too hard, nice and steady. Couple of sessions on the rollers, getting better balanced on there now, done 2 good workouts, concentrating on pedal technique and spinning at high cadence - 110 - 120rpm.
Swimming is on the go too, 4 sessions in the week, 2 this week already, back in tomorrow. Was videoed on Monday night at Zoom tri session. Front of stroke is lovely, with good shoulder rotation and angle of entry, good reach and smooth long stroke. That's the good bit. Bad are my legs!! All over the place. SO at least now I know what to work at for the next few weeks. Get my core strengthened and get that kick nice and narrow.
Reliability ride on Sunday, Jubilee Wheelers event, 100k, should be a good ride, if the weather is any good! Feeling good to train hard at the moment, but resisting going hard, and just really keeping my fitness up, but building the bike slowly. Focus on swim technique. slow and steady. And will start to build run endurance with long slow runs.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

New Half Marathon PB!!

Downton Half Marathon today, first time out for this distance without it being part of a Half Ironman Triathlon, and what a great race. Really well organised, great fun, very tough and challenging course, lovely sunny weather, just a strong cold headwind around a lot of the course.
I went through 8 miles in 59 minutes, and picked up the pace after that to finish in 1hr 36 mins 21 secs. The firsthalf of the course was hilliest, but I was strong up all the climbs, really strong on those, but had to go wearily on the downhills, as my knee was a little sore and my shoes were a bit slippy where there was surface water. But that aside I finished strongly, just a little tight in the calves with 200m to go. Delighted to go under 1hr 40 at my first attempt at a proper half. I will definitely be doing some more. Just need to remember that I will need to increase the recovery time after doing them!!
I came 29th out of a large field of over 300. For me that result is excellent, as I consider my running to be my weakest discipline, but for some reason at the moment, I am improving in leaps and bounds, with my last 3 outings at 5k, 10k and Half marathon resulting in good PB times. Lets keep it going. Will rest for a week, no running, minimal cycling to let my legs recover!! Will still keep up the light swimming sessions.

Friday, 23 November 2007

November 07 update

This month has been a good one. Lots of rest and recovery and some good running.
After 10k pb, I had an easy week and took the family to Lanzarote for a week in the sun. Lovely weather, just the job to rest tired limbs. That said, I di a fair bit of running there, as my muscles and joints were nice and loose in the warm air. Lovely running by the sea in the late afternoon. Did 5 runs, from 40 minutes up to an hour. Also did a lot of swimming, all working on stroke and turns. Easy to do as the pools at the hotel were empty as noone would go in. They were not heated!!
Returned to UK on 15th. Ran on the 16th, 8 miles. Felt good. And ran on the Sunday, about 6 miles, very slow and didn't feel great, legs a bit stiff, very cold wind in Bedford. Back to riding to work this week. Nice and easy does it, some good swim sessions, all stroke work still, stroke count coming down. Got it down to 22 in a 33m pool. Very pleased with that. Ran 50 minutes Wed 21st, ran 30 minutes today, but stopped as bitterly cold and hungry!! Downton half marathon on Sunday so prepping for that.
Bike speed slow at the moment buts that's ok, just working on techniques and building endurance. Starting training on rollers, and will add turbo workouts in December.
Running is much improved now, feel I have the strength to go under 40 minutes for 10k at the start of next season and definitely the ability to go under 20 mins for 5k. I can now tumble turn, and am not far off being able to do it at the end of every length I do, but will take some time to develop the strength and fitness to turn every length and swim at race tempo. That will come for the start of next season. 6:30 is my goal time for 400m pool swim. Under 28 for 1500m. Looking good for that at the moment, I' m on track. I reckon I can go sub 2' 10" for an Olympic distance, that's a 20 minute improvement over this year. But I've got 6 months training before I attempt that distance again, so confident of doing well and hitting my goals!

Sunday, 4 November 2007

New 10k PB

Well, after an easy week, with little training, I topped it off with a crazy 10k performance, on the back of very little running, just been biking to work everyday, and longish bike Saturday, with 3 light swim sessions thrown in. Didn't feel great this morning, just the tail end of a cold on it's way out. But I turned out on a lovely sunny morning to do the AECC Dash Back 10k. Started at Boscombe pier, finished at the Chiropractic College. Great event.
Set off and kept around the 170bpm mark for heart rate and my pace throughout was very even. Just under 21 minutes at the 5k mark, and thought I might push on to get under 40 minutes. However, I lagged a bit from 6 - 8km, didn't feel brilliant but then managed to kick on within the last 2k. Felt very good when I finished, quick recovery, legs in good shape, IT band a little tight, but nothing to worry about. So all in all a great morning's work!! Time 42' 51". Well pleased. Official time will be a few seconds quicker, as I didn't stop my watch right on the finish line, but no matter.
Good race which sees me into a nice rest period when I holiday in Lanzarote!!! Lots of swimming out there and sun on the beach!!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

update of progress/rest

Well, 22nd October and season is now and truly over, and I am trying to rest, but finding it hard not to train. But I haven't gone at it hard at all and have done no running, in order to rest my legs.
Since Avon Tyrrel:
Monday 15th Oct - rest day.
Tuesday 16th - evening swim session, working at mostly tumble turns.
Wednesday 17th - bike to and from work.
Thursday 18th - early swim session - bike to work - slow lunchtime run of 3 miles. Very easy pace. H/r at 140bpm.
Friday 19th - morning swim - bike to and from work
Saturday 20th - rest
Sunday 21st- bike ride. 65km, 2 hours 10 minutes, good loop, hard ride on very little nutrition, legs felt good. Then straight into run. Stopped after 2.5 miles, no energy!!! Bonked!! Walk/jog home.
Monday 22nd - bike to and from work - slow.
Tuesday 23rd- early morning swim - easy. slow bike to work.
Wednesday 24th - bike to work - lunchtime run 4 miles, slow pace.
Thursday 25th - bike to swim, swim, bike to/from work. easy
Friday 26th- Early swim.
Saturday 27th- rest.
Sunday 28th- swim.

No running now until we go on holiday on 8th November. My left IT band is still sore when I run. Not unbearable but enough to notice it. So complete rest from running, very little biking either, as I'll also be off the bike on holiday, and plenty of swimming, but all technique work. Body to return from holiday on 16th November fully rested to resume training on Monday 19th!

Monday, 15 October 2007

Avon Tyrrell Short Duathlon

Was not at all in the best shape for this race. On the back of a chest infection and then a cold. Had 2 weeks of very little biking and no running, except a very short 25 minute run last week.
Been swimming though, so aerobically not too bad, but I wasn't really up for it.
Lovely setting at Avon Tyrrell Outward Bound camp in the New FOrest and thee were a lot of competitors out. Duathlons don't normally attract big fields as they are a little tougher than triathlons, especially on the legs as the swim is replaced with a run leg to start.
Warmed up for 25 minutes on my turbo trainer and then stretching and 10 minutes jogging. We all assembled at the start and were off at 8:30am. GOt myself up at the front, but everyone went off at a hell of a quick pace. Managed to hang in and after the steep hill at the end of the first 5k lap I was back in 24th spot, which I was very pleased with. Quick through T1 and onto bike and powered my way through the field to get into the top 10, but I was not going quick enough and I knew that if I didn't go faster I wouldn't be able to challenge the top 5. I got off my bike in contentiopn for a top 10 finish but got a nasty attack of the cramps in my calves and was forced to slow down and then stop and strectch them off, which lost me time and momentum. Got going again, and managed to hang on to 18th place. Vey pleased with the result, in view of my lack of preparation and recovering from injury as well. Leg held up well and IT band is not at all sore today, which is great news going into winter training.
Well done to Lee Piercy, who finished first. He's off to the long distance World Duathlon Championships next week, and hopefully he will be coming back with at least a bronze medal. Go Lee!!
Here are the results:
http://www.tri247.com/results_3758.html

No photos of this one. But if Will Newbery is reading this at all, then please destroy the ones you took of me running up that hill, I was not looking my best!!!
Rest day today and then back to swimming tomorrow. Will get back to running later in the week, have a long bike at the weekend, and start bike training proper at the end of the month.

Monday, 8 October 2007

2007 Season

As the season draws to a close I have been reflecting on my performances.
Without going into too much detail, I performed well early season and was really enthusiastic. I think I overdid the racing a bit and will probably drop 2 races next season, although then I will be fitter and stronger and it may be ok to do them.
Also I had a bad start to the year with my bike accident and a lot of other stuff going on, so not ideal preparation. However, stuck it out well. Had a bit of a dip with Half Ironman UK which really hit me hard in terms of not performing, knocked my confidence. But after a couple of ok Olympic distances that made me fell better I then pulled out a stormer at Littledown tri and carried that into New Forest middle distance tri! Just a shame I was ill with a chest infection and had a sore knee while doing this race, because I think I could have gone a lot better. But those last 2 races have really given me a load of confidence and I know I have the strength and abilituy to do well, with the right training and discipline.
Next season looks good and I will be looking after my body and getting it well prepared in the off season. I have a duathlon on Sunday and a couple of road races in November and December which will help me focus on my running.
All positive stuff and more importantly than anything, I am loving it all!!!!

Latest training updates

Well, after 2 weeks of a nasty chest infection I am slowly getting back to work.
I am starting Monday evening swim sessions with Zoom Tri Club, in a bid to really consolidate on my improved swimming and to set up some good base work for next season with better technique and increased stroke rate. And will be working at being able to tumble turn.
I have a sore left IT band at the moment, which is on the mend, but I still need to take it easy for 2 weeks, especially with the running. Cycling will consist of to work and back and on the rollers of an evening. Just light spinning for the next 2 weeks. Need to be right to then begin my training for End-to-End ride next April!!
And then there's my running. On hold a bit at the moment. I am trying to lose a bit more weight which will help. Not easy when injured, but the chocolate is out, and hardly any cheese, and more wholegrain bread, and less sugars. Feeling a bit lighter, but hopefully, after a lot of swimming my weight will fall, and especially after doing long slow bike rides over the winter. Looking forward to winter training, as it will give me a solid base to build from early next year.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

time for a rest

2 weeks off. Need it mentally and physically. Been a fantastic start to my journey into triathlon, my first full season and I will certainly be carrying on with my efforts.
I now have a bit of a chest infection, had some time off work and have been on antibiotics. Feeling tired and a bit under the weather. Will have the rest of this week completely off and then re-assess where I am going, goals for 2008, winter training, road races and swim coaching. Plenty for me to look at, and also have my lovely new Assos cycle wear to ride in , when it gets a bit cooler!!
I shall be keeping the blog going and will be updating on a regular basis and keeping all readers and myself informed of progress.
See you all soon!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

New Forest Middle Distance Triathlon

Race of the year!! Fantastic race, great organisation, brilliant atmosphere, really friendly, tough racing, great athletes, everything that triathlon is about.
And I was feeling bloody rotten! Days before I felt lousy, cold coming on and I had a niggly couhg. On the Friday I went for a 4 mile jog and I stopped after 1 mile with a sore knee. IT band in left leg tight and sore at the point where it runs over the outside of my left knee.
Urgent ice and gel on it when I got back in. Saturday before the race I felt dreadful, and really I should not have done it. But like a real trooper I turned up on site at 5:30am in the pitch black to assemble my bike in the car park!
Once my wetsuit was on I was surprisingly well focussed and I got into the water with 321 others feeling ok. Off we went at 7:12 ish! The swim was lovely and for once I was actually passing people! I drafted a bit on a few and then when I was feeling strong and pushed harder to move passed to find the next set of feet to draft on! I exited the water and felt really wobbly, but ran hard into transition with my watch on 32 minutes! I couldn't believe it! Previous best at that distance was just under 40 minutes. I suddenly felt better and was spurred on by Tracey, Henry and my mum cheering me on. I flew through T2 being shouted at by someone to 'slow down it's a long race', but I was 'in the zone' and hopped on my bike and sped off. Got feet into shoes without a hitch, thank the lord for toe covers! Slightly damp on the road surface but first stretch was ok and I soon settled into a good rhythmn, picking off riders steadily. However, got to 7 miles and bang, my knee started hurting. It felt like someone had stuck a knife in me. What the hell was I going to do. Stopping was not an option as I was mentally up for the race. So I decided to push as hard as I could and try and post a fast bike time and then just stop and not run. But as I continued it just occured to me I couldn't go as hard as I wanted to, and I would just have to spin round. So that's what I did. Average cadence for the whole ride was over 100rpm, I had to spin up every incline, even the smaller ones, sitting high up with hands on the arm rests of my tri bars, sat as far back as possible to stretch out my legs.
Before lap 2 of the bike I did shout to my wife that I would not be doing the run. But shortly after I seemed to find a second wind - funnily enough that was just as I found myself buffeted back by a strong headwind! But I dug deep and powered through it. Made up a lot of time into that wind - helps being a big lad!
The end of the first lap was great, going passed the cheering crowds, really gave me a lift and I could not stop now. Raised the tempo on the second shorter loop and eventually was cheered back into T2 having ridden 2hrs 51 mins for just over 90k. Considering my health I was damn pleased and was confident that if I could go around 1hr 40 for the run I would get near to 5 hours. However, first hill saw my knee run away in fear! And then it decided to hurt, which was then followed by my legs at 8 miles, very sore indeed. mile 8 to mile 10 was dark for me. But I reached mile 10 with a smile on my face because I knew I would smash my time at Half Ironman UK by a considerable margin. In the end it was beaten by 45 minutes!!
I had a rotten run of 2 hrs 8 mins, but I did run for all that time, no walking, except for a wee stop! And picked up my son Henry to run over the finish in 5 hours 34 minutes and 21 seconds!!
I was delighted, on a real high!
Many thanks to the organisers Richard and Jo Iles, for putting on such a fantastic race, superb marshalls and great to be part of such a special race. Will be there next year!!!
Well done to James Gilfillan again for a well earned first place! 4 hrs 22, awesome!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Training this week so far

Nice easy week this week after efforts at Littledown and in preparation for New Forest Middle Distance triathlon on Sunday.
Still on a high from Sunday, a real confidence booster going into the next race.
Had Monday completely off, went for a gentle swim yesterday and swam 1500m after a warm up, nice and easy and swam my quickest time 27' 42" . For some reason my swimming just seems to be coming together nicely at the moment. In fact it all does. My biking is very strong and my running is improving everytime I'm going out. Not just in terms of time, but in my efficiency and level of effort. Fitness is really good at the moment.
But I will say with all honesty I am looking forward to having a rest next week. I'm having the full week off and will only swim a couple of times and do a short run late on in the week, all gentle pace and maybe a bike at the weekend, just going out to turn my legs over.
I have a duathlon on 14th October, and possibly one on 21st. But I'm going to see how I feel next week as to what I do. If I don't do the duathlon on the 21st I will have the last 2 weeks completely off in October, absolutely nothing, and just plan my schedule for next season, look at my goals and see where to go from there.
Goals for 2008 are:
5km run under 20 minutes
10km run under 40 minutes
1500m swim under 25 minutes
Half Ironman UK, under 5 hours 30.
Qualify for Florida 70.3 World Championships at my age group level.
Compete in all the Fast Twitch series of triathlons and to win my age group.
Learn to tumble turn.
Ride Land's End to John o'Groats.
Ride a 10 mile time trial under 23 minutes.
Ride a 25 mile time trial and beat my PB of 59' 24".

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Littledown Fast Twitch Triathlon

Did not sleep well the night before, legs felt tired. I got myself ready the night before, and packed it all up at 5:30 this morning. I set off at 6 on my bike with the morning still dark. 14 mile ride to get to Littledown leisure centre from our house and it was certainly very cold this morning. By the time I got to the centre my legs felt good and I racked my bike I headed off to register and get marked up. All good so far, ran very smoothly.
So to begin the swim. 400m pool swim, and I was in a lane with just me and another triathlete, which made life a lot easier. I was off second and I set off swimming smoothly and soon started pushing hard. Unfortunately even though I did catch the swimmer infront of me after 8 lengths I didn't pull away and I know my stroke wasn't as smooth as it should be and ,my legs were all over the place and I wasn't moving through eh water well. But I exited the swim in 7:13, the fastest pool-based 400m swim in a race I have done so far. over 2 minutes quicker than I was this time last year. I have now been swimming freestyle for 12 months, so I 'm reasonably pleased with my progress so far. I've rapidly improved over the last 6 weeks so not too bad really.
Onto the bike. T1 was good, no problems there and shoes were on the bike. I jumped on a rode off, got to a smooth stretch of road to get my feet in the shoes. This I had practised yesterday and it paid off. I was quickly into my high cadence and powering along. I was riding incredibly strongly, I've not felt that good on a bike ever! And it showed in my time, the quickest on the day, 44' 23" for 18 miles. I flew into T2 and was quickly into my running stride, feeling very confident and strong. And again it showed in my time. 26' 28" for 4 miles. Ok, this wasn't the fastest of run times and most othe top 20 finishers were quicker, but for me, that is a huge improvement and I really pushed hard. That said I feel I have much more speed in my legs, and I know I'm nowhere near what I am capable of, and that's the same for the swimming.
But on the whole today's race was fantastic. The result? I was 3rd overall and 1st in my age group. FIRST!!!!! I couldn't believe it!! What a performance, particularly the bike. My biking was on song today. I had no nutrition, only half a gel after 1 mile of the run and I think that was really a mental thing, I didn't really need it.
1 hour 18 minutes and 4 seconds for the lot!!
A big thank you to James Gilfillan who gave me some invaluable racing tips last week and really stuck in my head today when my legs hurt on the bike. I just kept pushing harder on the bike, I was flying, even when the conditions were blustery. Today's race all came together and it was nice to finish the sprint season on a high note, a real positive one to take into the off season.

Littledown Triathlon results.

http://www.conceptsport.co.uk/resources/uploaded/littri07.res%20web.htm

A week in triathlon

Great day today at the end of an easy training week. More of that later on the next post.
First, where am I ? Oh yes...
Tuesday - early morning swim, bike to work easy, easy lunchtime run of 9 miles. bike home.
Wednesday - bike to work, bike home - bit of a rest day.
Thursday - morning swim, bike to work, lunchtime easy 4.5 miles run, bike home.
Friday, bike to work, bike home.
Saturday - day of rest, clean bike and prepare for Littledown tri.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Southern Sportive

Great Cyclo Sportive ride over the South Downs on a beautiful sunny day in early September.
Set off at 8am to ride 155k over some hard hills and undulating roads. What I did find is the route wasn't always clear, a great many riders got lost! I actually rode 158km. The GPS route I downloaded from the web and uploaded to my Garmin 305 wasn't exactly right either! When done 156km I found out I'd taken a wrong turn to the finish, me and many other riders!! They ran out of water on the last aid station and I had to wait 15 minutes before they turned up with more, and then I found myself at the back of the queue! I am far too polite! The only problem with their timing checkpoints is that once you 'tag in' the clock keeps running, so when you are refilling your water bottles and picking up some food for on the go your time is ticking away! The second aid station came at the wrong time, as I was flying like an express train after 83km, just found my legs and was pulling along a group of riders who were all hanging on at 26mph into a headwind on a (one of hardly any)flat section. I felt like I could have ridden like that for hours! Then the break came and when I got on my bike I'd really lost my momentum and it took me a few km to get back into a rhythm.
But got my nutrition for the day spot on, and it was a lot. 3 bottles psp22, 6 bottles Go electrolyte(weak solution). 2 power bar Ride, 2 caffeine power bars. 5 pieces flapjack, 1 banana. 2 caffeine power bar gels in a small bottle mixed with a bit of water.
The last 10 miles I remembered about the power gel mix as I was worried I had nothing left for the ride in! It really made a big difference and I powered home averaging 38kph for the last 10 miles.
Overall time 5 hours 31. Distance 158km. Ave speed 28.6 kph
Great fun, met some really nice people along the ride, and burned off 7431 calories. Legs were tired after 6118 feet of climbing!! But like I said to Tracey afterwards I could have gone for a run!
Legs ok today, gentle ride into work, could not ride with any power at all and just spun in. Recovery swim at lunch which was great, as new stroke is feeling better and I swam one of my quickest 400m yet and I was not swimming with any effort at all! Looking good!
Biked home and having a rest. Up for swimming tomorrow early and have just signed up for Littledown triathlon on Sunday. It's a sprint tri, one of the Fast Twitch ones, run by concept sport. 400m swim, 16 mile bike and 4 mile run. I will be putting my foot down in an all out effort to see how hard I can go, to really push through the mental barrier that is stopping me from exerting myself!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Thursday training

Early morning swim - good session, got some good coaching advice, got me reaching further with my hand entry and not driving my arms and shoulders down into the water, and helped to keep head higher in the water. Made a big difference, and will work at it. Feel quicker through the water, much more efficient.
Bike to work, slow and tired legs, punctured again - 4 in 3 days!! Changed tyres, hopefully will be better!
Lunchtime run - 15 minute warm up, then 5km in 21' 51" . Best time for 5k I think so far, but legs felt heavy and it was very hot and sunny today, no breeze. I think if I got myself prepared properly and worked up to it I could get under 20 minutes for 5km. That's my goal for the end of the year. But at the moment, focus is on the longer stuff, so slower endurance runs.
Bike home, legs felt ok, biked hard, but only 22 minutes for 12k. Need to get in some longer rides now, and longer at race pace if I'm going to do a good bike time in the new Forest on 23rd September.
Tired, early to bed for plenty of rest.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

This week's training so far.

Monday:
Bike to work at nice steady cadence of 88. Good spinning to keep legs fresh.
Lunchtime swim - 1600m in 32 minutes - nice and steady swim focus on slow stroke.
Got picked up as feeling sick with dodgy stomach, slept when home ad woke feeling much better.

Tuesday
Early morning swim - good 50 minute session broken into small sections - 100m, 200m, 400m 200m, 100m etc. Best 200m was 3 mins 40 secs. Very pleased as not going all out, working on stroke and smoothness and low stroke count per 25m.
Bike to work slow and steady pace, high cadence.
Lunchtime run - warm up 2 miles. Just over 7 miles in 54 minutes. Good steady pace, legs strong.
Bike home - steady.

Wednesday
bike to work
lunchtime swim - broke 50 minute session down into smaller chunks of time, swimming at 8 minutes and then rest for 30 secs then off again. More of a recovery session than hard effort.
bike home.

To come this week - swim session, brick session, run session, turbo/roller session and then South Downs cyclo-sportive on Sunday - 155km.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Training Update

It's been a while since my last post of any significance, so this is just to update all on my progress so far.
Holidays and a nasty bout of tonsillitis intervened midway through August.
After last post, I have done 2 rides in the Lake District, both around 50km, plenty of climbing!! And both got me soaking wet as the rain was relentless.
Up to Scotland and unfortunately only one ride of any note, again about 40k. Also borrowed my dad's mountain bike and went for a spin off-road which was good fun!
One swim in a pool in Aviemore, but not a proper training swim, but still nice to get in the pool and help freshen up after tonsillitis.
Back home and then I have been riding to work every day. Put in some good runs and swim sessions. Yesterday I was back to full on training with a hard brick session. 3 hours on the bike, not too hard a pace, covering 88km, and then 1 hour 25 mins run straight after, throughout which I got stronger as it went on, just over 10 miles. Looking good for 23rd September and the New Forest Middle Distance tri. I just want to break 1 hour 50 for the run and I'll be happy. I realise now that I hadn't done enough brick sessions really for Half Ironman UK and my run legs were not conditioned enough. This time I'll be better prepared.
I have now got a set of rollers for the bike to improve my techniques, balance and efficiency. I'm focussing now on really building a solid base for next season. Bike fitness is very good and will get stronger naturally. I will be focussing on swim speed and run speed, as they are my two limiters. I need to get near to 40 minute 10k. I know I can do it, I just have to run faster and be prepared to hurt more. The same with the swim. My stroke rate over 25m is now down to 19, and that's still swimming at the same speed, with less effort, so if I can now concentrate on pushing through the water more, keeping the stroke rate the same but just making it quicker then should be able to speed up. I want to get as near to 6 mins for 400m next season as possible, and be around 26 minutes for 1500m.

Pictures from Swanage Tri

Was a good race for me, apart from a very poor swim and disappointing bike. Very good run over a difficult run course. And the last run pic is just to show James Gilfillan that I'm not always smiling and going round the course without putting in some hard effort!
If you read this James let me know how you did in Monaco!!

Monday, 13 August 2007

Swanage Classic Triathlon

Sunday 12th August. 7:25am start.

For me this was going to be a good race. The bike course is part of my training route, so I was confident of putting in a good ride. I have swum regularly in the sea at Swanage and my swimming has been improving over the last few weeks. But I was worried about the run because of the steep off-road sections.
So I rode down there feeling good, reasonably fresh and looking forward to the race. Got set up in transition quickly, forgot to get marked up and went for a warm up swim, which was not long enough really, barely 5 minutes. Wanted to warm up for at least 20 minutes, as it takes me ages to get going. But nonetheless I went over to the swim start and when the name checks were done, I managed to get my number marked on me at least. Then to the off. I was at the back and I couldn't get passed some slower swimmers and got boxed in near a line of small buoys and got caught up in rope, then got banged about before the first turn. I couldn't get into a stroke for a good 200m. And by that time I was well back. I am going to have to be more aggressive in open water swims, get my head down and just go for it. I'm too polite, let people go and swim too easy. I can regularly swim under 30 minutes for 1500m in the pool. My time yesterday? - 35 minutes. I was really disappointed in how slow that was. It wasn't until the last 500m of the swim that I at last started motoring a bit and putting in the effort and stroking well. Before that I kept bumping and stopping an checking where I was. I need some more open water swims. I enjoy swimming in open water, I just don't like the starts. I think I'm going to try a keep well out of the way strategy next time, and not get caught up behind any slow swimmers.
So I exited and then onto my bike. I don't know why but I've not been leaving my shoes clipped in. I don't know why, I should do because it would save me a lot of time in transition. And so I got on my bike, and took me a few seconds to get my right shoe in the pedal. I felt really breathless and as I set off I just couldn't get my breath and my legs felt dead. For 2 miles it was uphill but I should not have had any problems getting up to speed, but somehow just could not get going at all. Not until I got to Corfe Castle did I start motoring, and even then I wasn't as fast as I know I can ride, anything like. I was passing people steadily and up around 27mph on the flatter sections, but just not quick enough. And that showed in my bike time. 1 hour 9 minutes for 40km. Very disappointing, even though it was a fairly hilly course. Was held up a bit by a van going slowly, but that said I just didn't go hard enough and it showed. But I had a good T2, and flew out on the run. I was determined to really push myself on the run, and I did. I found the uphill hard going, but I stuck at it and focussed on my breathing and just though 'what goes up must come down'. It really was proper fell running for 1 section of the course, but it wasn't long before descending, quite steep in places, and I got myself into a good rhythm. It was uphill again out of Studland for half a mile or so which was hard going again, but then the last 2.5 miles were down into Swanage and I really made up some time. I did my best 10km run of the year - 47 mins 22 secs. Very pleased with my effort, especially on that course. I was 2 minutes quicker than at Bournemouth and that was pancake flat.
So final time of 2 hours 33 mins, finished 103 out of 280 or so. Very enjoyable race. It's only now at post-race analysis that I'm very disappointed with my swimming and disappointed with my bike. But generally my bike time was ok, not far off the better bikes, and in the top 25 so I'll settle for that. But my swimming needs work, and a lot of it!!
Well done to James Gilfillan yet again, who cam first in a time of 1 hour 56 minutes.
No stopping him at the moment. He's out to do Monaco 70.3 next week, best of luck James if you are reading this, and to add the win yesterday must have been down to that ride on Saturday!!!
Pictures to follow

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Thursday a good training day

Right back on it today. Good hour swim session this morning. Had a chat with Harry Wiltshire, last year's world student triathlon champion, who was very impressed with James Gilfillan's result at Half Ironman UK. Watched him swim. Very quick through the water. Wouldn't class him as an elegant swimmer, but what the heck, it's damn effective!! Got some tips from one of the swim coaches down at Wareham, who very kindly said he would look at my stroke next week. Also had an interesting view on head position which I'm going to try tomorrow morning.
The last 3 weeks has seen a big improvement in my swim fitness and I feel stronger in the water. I'll be keen to see how I get on with my swim time this Sunday at Swanage. 1500m sea swim.
Cycled easily into work in the lovely morning sun, 12km, the shortest possible route. Legs feeling fresh.
Lunchtime I set off down to Sandbanks for an easy paced run. 13.3km in 1 hour 11 mins.
Was very warm in the midday sun, and not much of a breeze to keep me cool, but felt good to run, just focussing on smooth strides and not trying to go too fast. Was about 9 minute mile pace, felt good to do a reasonably long slow run. With the running I'm really now focussing on next season and just building a good strong base, so that I can improve on speed for the shorter tris, and go strong over Half Ironman distance.
Cycled home from work at a nice easy pace and thus completed a good day's training.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Yoga bear!

After a cold cycle to work this morning and a 25 minute lunchtime run at a good pace in very warm weather, I ambled off to a Yoga class! And boy oh boy, I though I was fit! nope! My flexibility is not great, although my core strength is pretty good - triathlon will give you good core strength. Yoga will extend it further. I have to do some more and I'm going to one class a week and will practice some more in between as I have a yoga dvd for some sports specific exercises. £2.90 for an hour class, what great value. Not all that intense, but very good for relaxing my muscles, relaxing my spine and working at my inner core and hip flexors. Meditation bit was good at the end, but when she said to start coming round I was just about getting into meditative state. As with everything it takes a long time for me to get going! Or in this case, takes me a while to switch off.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Monday, Tuesday

Cycling to work everyday now with a heart rate monitor, just to make sure my level of effort is not too great. Keeping my hr below 120bpm on the ride to work, spinning legs well. Monday lunch was a 35 minute effort for 6km, very slow going in warm weather, but legs felt tired. In fact, I had forgotten that I have ridden my bike every day for 8 days, including 2 hard weekend rides, and a lunchtime ride last week, and a bit more inbetween. Tuesday morning, in the pool at Wareham for a good 40 minute swim session. Again though, it took me a good 20 minutes to get properly wamred up before I felt I was really able to swim strong and maintain a hard effort.
Generally as my fitness improves it's taking me longer to warm up. No bad thing, but means that my training time will increase for me to keep making improvements.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Weekend Training

Friday: Cycled down to Swanage from work, about 20 miles. Went for a swim in the sea when down there, it was lovely, no wetsuit, water was lovely temperature, nice and cold, but not freezing, great for refreshing tired legs.
Saturday: biked 30 miles at 19.4mph, followed by a run of 55 minutes. Felt good, run was in hot weather. Well hydrated, ran strong.
Sunday: Swam for 30 minutes, wetsuit,as practice for next weekend. Wetsuit is very restrictive across back and arms, will need a new one but will wait til end of season and sales! Good strong stroke today and reaching well, long body in the water. Followed by bike of 25 miles in 1 hour 9 minutes, steady pace, which followed the route of next week's Swanage triathlon. Was going to run after bike, but when I got back my legs were tired so I just went back in for a swim to ease my legs. Good job too. Now I am tired, so I have drunk lots of water, eaten well and am off to bed for an early night.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Thursday swimming

Good morning session of 2000m of various drills and workouts. 200m, 100m, 400m. Really concentrating on balance and feel for the water. Speed not improving, but level of effort not as much to go at the same speed, which will mean when at race effort will be able to go quicker, expending less energy. Well, that's the theory anyway!
After an hour of swimming I got home and changed to bike to work, only to find I was running late and had to really pedal hard. Was averaging 38kph for 8 miles, pretty quick considering it's in and out of traffic and stops for traffic lights. Strong on the bike at the minute, but that's over shorter distances. Need some mileage in legs, which I will get this weekend.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

5km

Well, you can't have a good day everyday. And today was one of those days. Felt lousy, legs like lead. Tired, needed the loo, and could not run any faster. Felt like running through a vat of syrup! 22' 45" for 5k. Weather was hot, little breeze, I don't like it warm.
However, I got out and stuck with it when I felt like packing after 500m.
Cycled to and from work today, and what a difference a clean chain makes, and a fresh set of wheels. Got my old Krsyiums back on with Michelin pro race light 2 tyres on. Felt good, and rolling quick; softer ride than the Real Design wheels. I'm going to sell those wheels as I don't really need them, especially now I've got my Eastons.
And I'm going back to my Fizik Arione saddle after trying to get used to a Specialized Toupe. Even though fitted for my bones, not the most comfortable seat and I think of all the ones I have tried the Arione is best. I'll just have to ride it solidly and wear it in some more!

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

early morning swim

Was in the pool for 7:15 this morning and did 37 minutes. Good solid effort, swam over 2000m at a fairly good rate, felt very strong in the water and was balancing better, keeping head still and trying to keep my body in a long line, higher in the water.
Will up the swimming from now on and also concentrate on running. Biking will take care of itself, although I need to get some more miles in my legs!

Monday, 30 July 2007

Training

Had most of the weekend off, except for a 5 mile run on Saturday in the hills near Sheffield. Was good fun, and a nice 40 minute run, only marred by having to find a nature stop and not carrying loo roll!!
Was back to biking to work today, and managed to get in a run at lunchtime. My usual 8 or so miles down to Sandbanks and back. Very warm this lunchtime with not much of a breeze. Felt very good running, legs in good shape, in spite of getting very little sleep over the weekend, having to sleep on an air bed! Visiting relatives. And eating far too much food. Managed to stay off the beer though, so not all bad!!
This week and next and from now until September will find me training really hard. I have 10 days holiday in the middle of August but that will be doing some running up in the Cairngorms of Scotland, as well as a bit of mountain biking with Tracey and some swimming if I can find a pool.
But off to pool at 7am tomorrow and then bike to work. Playing 5 as side football at lunch and then bike home. Wednesday I will have a long ride into work, and then run at lunch, possibly swim in the evening. Thursday more swimming in the morning and bike into work, run at lunch. Friday just a long bike at some point in the day. Possible swim session. Saturday, long bike and run. Sunday, run and bike and sea swim.
I am not tapering for Swanage the following Sunday, I'm training through it. I'm also pulling out of South Coast tri on the 2nd September, to focus on some longer training sessions in preparation for New Forest middle distance tri on 23rd September. That's now my focus for the rest of the season and then duathlons after that. Really want to improve my running off the bike. Duathlons will help.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

early morning swim

went to Wareham this morning for a good swim session. Lane only swimming for people who want to train. Was good, only 6 people in the whole pool and had a wide lane to myself. Took fins and front mounted snorkel. Snorkel was total rubbish, kept slipping round and I kept sucking up water. When it did work I can definitely see a good use for it as it was helping me keep my head straight and focus on my body rotation but just no good. I'll have o fiddle with it to see if I can tighten up the fixing for the breathing tube. If not then I'll send it back.
Training fins were very good, and used these to help kick while lying on my side to balance through the water better. Made me work my legs and when I took them off I could feel how they had worked to make me kick from my hips more. Much better and will help me to work at balance in the water. As well as technique I need to do some more endurance swims. My swim fitness is slacking off a bit, and I still need to get in a couple of sessions a week just swimming 1500-2000m. It can't all be technique drills all the time, else I'll never improve my fitness.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

lunchtime run

Cycled in to work today via Primera Sports in Charminster, good to get my legs moving well again after a lot of biking at the weekend, feel lots better now, more refreshed.
Replacement bike computer should be back with me today so can get recording all my training data again.
Went for a gentle run at lunchtime. Ran for 30 minutes at very easy tempo. Really lousy weather and light but driving rain. Was good to get out and get some fresh air and stretch my legs. Not much of a workout, and I'd be surprised if my heart rate got much above 120bpm. But it's good to do these gentle runs in between harder training sessions, just keeps my body ticking over and helps to strengthen my running base.
I have an eye on next season already and am using the rest of the year to really focus on my training, especially my limiters, ie. swimming and running. As well as upping the mileage on the bike.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Two rest days

Felt a bit under the weather the last two days so I eased off from the training. I just rode into work Monday and Tuesday. Was going to have 2 swim sessions as well, but I decided to rest instead. Will do a longer ride on Wednesday and a lunchtime run of about 5 or 6 miles, no longer than that. Easy week, while my body recovers and I start feeling better. no biking this weekend as off to visit the in-laws in Sheffield. Best take my wetsuit!!
But will get a couple of runs in and maybe a trip to local swimming baths.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Long time in the saddle

Inspired by the Tour de France and my decision to do Land's End to John O'Groats next year, I set off to do a long ride today, focus on endurance and not speed. So getting back home at 11am this morning, I lay in the back garden, totally spent! 4hrs 27 mins and 15 secs of cycling, 85 miles, at an average speed of 19mph. Good strong ride, the last 40 miles being into a strong headwind. And my god when I set off this morning at 6.30am it was damn cold. In fact I have ridden in February and felt warmer! I was layered up with leg warmers and arm warmers but my finger ends were frozen. Oh, how I do love the British summer. My route: Holton Heath - Poole - Bournemouth - Boscombe - Christchurch - New Milton - Lymmington - Beaulieu - short loop round part of the New Forest and then back the same way I came. Shame I didn't have a bike computer on. Had heart rate monitor on though, and averaged 140 bpm.
Nutrition - 1 bottle PSP22, 1 bottle water, 1 power bar, 1 banana, 3 power gels.
Was short by 1 bottle PSP22 and 1 gel/solid food. But still had good strength left in my legs towards the end, even if they were getting a little sore.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

brick session

Feels a long time since I did a good brick session. In fact it has to be well over 8 weeks since I did one. And it was a good session. 1 hour and 50 minutes on my bike. I had no bike computer, just my stopwatch, so no stats. Took 45 mins for my legs to start moving. That's the minimum time for me to get warmed up properly, before I can really get going. In that 45 minutes i went up 2 climbs, the first was hard work as I went up out of the saddle and really pushed hard and got out of breath, feeling very unfit. The second in the saddle, bit slower, and I got up with no bother. Rode back home fairly strong. I do need to get out and do more training rides, my bike riding doesn't seem firing on all cylinders at the moment. Last Sunday's TT was really positive, but I want to focus on the longer rides now, and being able to go fast over distance.
Back home, changed straight into run shoes and off out, running with a heart rate monitor for once. Heart rate for the first 2 miles was around 160, but then it came down to 152 after that. Another 3 miles saw me push harder and my heart rate hovered around 155bpm, and I actually felt very good running. Finished it there, and good to finish feeling strong and not too tired, as though I could have run a lot more.
More brick sessions like this are now needed and I will make sure I get in at least 1 a week, preferably 2.
Long bike tomorrow, cycling over to the New Forest to ride a set route of 30 miles and then back. Will see me cycle around 80 miles in the morning, from 7 to 11am. Again, no bike computer as I had to send it back to the shop for a replacement, faulty USB connector, unable to upload training data to computer.
Back on with cycling everyday to work next week, lots of swimming and a couple of steady runs thrown in to the mix. Also hope to go road racing on Thursday but will see what happens with that later in the week. And looking for a date for my next Time Trial effort.

Friday, 20 July 2007

lunchtime swim

After 3 days of feeling under the weather and positively ill on Wednesday, I returned to work today, still feeling below par, and ventured out for a swim. Turns out it was just the ticket and did me the world of good. I'm concentrating really hard on body rotation and driving myself froward through the water instead of pulling with my arms. It seems to be working and I am swimming better, certainly more efficiently without losing time. Once my technique starts improving I can then work on speed. But for now and the rest of the year, it's all going to be about technique. Swam for 20 minutes and then did 3 sets of 133m(4 lengths of Poole dolphin pool) at full effort, my best of the 3 being 2mins 29 for 133m. Puts my 400m time at around 7m 27s. Now that is far from fast but 8 months ago I swam 400m in 9 minutes. So I'm moving in the right direction. I know improvement in the next 8 months won't be quite as much but I'm hoping to get to under 7 minutes for 400m by the end of the year, and with an improvement in my technique it should be possible.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

lunchtime run

After a few days off the running I went out today, and to be honest I wasn;t looking forward to it, and almost immediately I was straight into a ferocious headwind. Oh the British summer!! I warmed up for 10 minutes and then set off to do roughly 10km, just over that. Ran in a good time of 45' 18". Run got easier as I went on, but I just feel so slow. I think I have to get more into the mindset that I do on the bike. I'm very confident on the bike, and can push my legs hard and not get out of breath. But running, every time I just push a little harder I feel as though I am using much more energy. That said, my running is improving, it will just take a lot longer for my times to improve. They are getting better, if I look at my run times over the last 12 months. So I'm happy enough for now. It's something I can work on over the winter, with some long slow endurance runs and some shorter 'sprints'.

Monday, 16 July 2007

lunchtime swim

Very good recovery swim today. Swam for about 40 minutes, nice and easy up and down, minmal ue of legs, focussing on body rotation to propel me forward and on my breathing. Long solid breaths out to try and help build a rythmn for my stroke. Good positive recovery session, feel a lot fresher after it.

time trial results

Highly delighted with my first foray into the world of the Time Trial. Here is a link to the results.

http://www.southdc.org.uk/archive/res2007/070715.htm



Sunday, 15 July 2007

Time trialling

Well, today I had my first taste of an official cycling time trial. 25 miles of aero positioning, go as fast as you can riding!!
And what a thrill. Great fun, and what pain! I just about paced myself alright, and finished with not much left to spare. Not bad for my first effort. The woman serving the tea back at race HQ said I looked exhausted and that was 20 minutes after I finished!! She was not wrong. I did 25 miles in 59 mins 24 secs. I was delighted to get under the hour for a '25' at my first attempt. It was quite blustery out there on the course, and even though relatively flat there were a couple of hard sections just because of the wind. I got up to speed very well, and went off like a rocket, as I was a bit over-enthusiastic, speeding along at over 30 mph on the flat. But after 2 minutes I was aware that I was well over my aerobic threshold and would soon be in oxygen debt if I carried on at that level of effort, so I eased back slightly and settled in to a good rhythm, and slowly built it up on each of the 3 laps. I finished strongly and only then, when I was gasping for air did I realise how much energy I had expended.
Such a good feeling when I finished and then to get back to race HQ and find I had gone under the hour, I was really ecstatic. I shall definitely be doing some more TTs. Great fun. The new skinsuit I had on was excellent, very comfortable, and I got my nutrition right before the race. Porage and a banana 2 hours before start of race. 2 caffeine gels right before the off, and 600ml PSP22 energy drink. Just about right. No time to take liquid on the bike as only going hard for an hour and need to stay focused.
So I cycled home with a spring in my pedals. And then at 9am I met with a friend of mine for a ride down to Swanage and over Studland and on the Sandbanks ferry back home. About a 35 mile round trip. It was good fun, nice to spin along slowly, and work the lactic acid out of my legs. Though when I eventually got back home, I was tired, and still am now, and I have a feeling my legs will be quite sore in the morning.

Friday, 13 July 2007

more swimming

Biked into work this morning, the long way round via Swanage, in totally miserable weather. Soaked to the skin by light drizzle in a strong headwind. That said, I did enjoy the ride, and I am really loving cycling at the moment. did about 2o miles, via the Sandbanks ferry to work.
Swam at lunchtime, working on my stroke./ Watched a dvd last night, Shaw method of swimming, very good, and talks a lot about good body position and rotation and shows excellent ways of working on those areas of technique. So I broke my stroke down today and am trying to balance better with my right side down in the water and head to the left. Still sinking and it will take a long time to put tright, but my stroke will be better for it, and eventually I should see my swim times improving.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Swimming

Went for lunchtime swim today, in there for about 35 minutes. My god, my swimming is slow. I felt like lead in the water. I don't seem to be improving, and I'm worried that I'm just re-enforcing bad technique every time I swim. I must find a coach and quick. More drill work needed. I will set aside two nights a week to go and work at technique and swim distance twice a week as well, and do a sea swim at the weekend. From now on I need to focus on this. I have a front-mounted snorkel on order and some fins, and a couple of dvds. This should help me improve my technique. I need to really work at zipping through the water. It's down to my poor body position.
I will succeed!!

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Training in the first half of the week

Had a good two days of rest after Sunday's race, followed by a gentle swim on Tuesday evening, working at my balance. I have now worked out exactly what I am doing wrong with my stroke. I sink when I rotate to the left. And that creates drag which in turn slows down any propulsion I had from leading with my right arm. I then can't bring my left arm over with enough body rotation to propel me forward because I am too low in the water. My technique needs looking at, and I seriously need some coaching to work out how I can improve, now I know what's going wrong.
That said I had a good 45 minutes in the pool working on some drills and trying to get my balance better in the water. This is going to take some time to do, and I will focus on this over the winter months.
Today I did 8.2 miles in 1 hour 2 mins and 11 secs. Good run, although I set off a bit quick. My first 5km time was under 20 minutes. Too fast and I paid for it a bit later, as it was very warm as well as there being a headwind, which although cooling me down, it was hard work running into.
To be honest I didn't enjoy the run, but I'm pleased to at least run at 7.5 min mile pace over 8 miles. Gives me something to build on. Definitely need more brick sessions and will start doing 2 a week. In fact when I do my longer rides, I'm going to run straight off the bike. And make that a must do exercise. I'm finding that I'm not getting anywhere near the run pace I can do in a race at the moment. Brick sessions are the way to go.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Piccies from Bournemouth Tri





All images taken by Tracey Birtwistle, edited by myself in Photoshop CS2. Tracey uses a Canon 20D with assorted lenses, excellent camera for sports photos. 99% of the pictures on this blog site have been taken by her. If anyone is interested in her photography then please leave me a message on the site.

Provisional Results for Bournemouth Tri

Official time of 2 hrs 28 mins 22 secs. Position 157 out of 408 finishers.

Extremely delighted with that overall time. Swim was not as bad as I thought at 32 minutes, although I know I can go under 30. But very slow 10k run, after such a quick bike. My bike time put me in the top 20 bike times, and had it not been for traffic hold ups would have been a lot quicker. But my first time at Olympic distance and much more learned, so I will go away from here very happy.
I love the 25 mile bike distance, and I think I am strong over that distance, able to maintain a real hard effort over an hour of cycling. Looks good for Sunday's TT.

http://www.conceptsport.co.uk/resources/uploaded/BournemouthTriathlonResults2007.htm

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Bournemouth International Triathlon

Well, what a superb weekend of glorious weather. Lovely sunshine, and clear skies, but not too hot. Excellent racing conditions this morning down on Bournemouth sea front.
Was well prepared for this one, and looking forward to a sea swim in very calm water. It was supposed to be a 1500m swim but it did seem further than that, and this time I managed to stay right on course!! 35-39 age group was the last swim wave to go off at 8 o'clock. I was nicely warmed up having run for 15 minutes and got in the sea warm up area for 10 minutes getting used to the conditions.
So off we all went in another mad dash for the water! Didn't get bumped around much this time and I picked a good line which took me close into the first turnaround buoy and then after that was a long straight to the next one. I managed to stay on course, I always had someone to my right, which is the side I breather on and the turns were all left ones, so it did help. But again, I didn't really work hard enough, I just went through my paces and stroked nice and easy without really breaking much of a sweat. I must try going harder in a race at some point, and keep telling myself it's not a training session!! So I finally got out of the water with 33 minutes gone, a good 4 minutes slower than where I expected to be. And after a short run on very soft sand, it was into transition. I was not as quick as I should have been through here, but got away ok, only to then be held up by a marshall who was letting a bus turn into a stop. Got going again, only to get to Richmond Hill after 50 yards, to be held up behind traffic and a slow van, who were not overtaking riders up ahead. This was most annoying as it was uphill and I was ready to fly up it, feeling very strong and wanted to get off to a good start and get up to speed quickly on the bike. At the top of the short hill I then got stuck behind the same van, and had to hold back because I didn't want to get a 2 minute penalty for drafting. I reckon I lost at least 2 minutes in the first half a mile because of all this. At last I got clear road and hammered it! Out to Ringwood I was up averaging 28 mph, really feeling excellent. Got to the turnaround and started back. NOw I was expecting this return to be easier but there was a slight headwind and my average speed dropped to 23 mph, and a couple of inclines that got the legs working a bit harder than I anticipated. Then came the next hold up, pedestrian crossing. Now Stratford Triathlon took off 30 seconds for anyone held up by lights. Not today. Very frustrating. Then , the bike dismount came up quick, unexpected, and no time to get my feet out of my shoes, so unclipped shoes and ran in to T2 with shoes on, not good, as downhill!! But 40k(25 miles) in around 1 hour 3mins, pretty pleased with that.
Quick in T2 and set off on 10k run.
And again like the swim I just went through the motions and didn't push. I didn't work until the last 2 km when I finally gave myself a good talking to. I don't know what my first 5k time was, but my 2nd 5 k was a lot quicker at 21 mins. Finished with a big smile on my face and had a really enjoyable race. Finish time around 2 hr 30. Slow swim, fast bike, slow run. I have 4 weeks til next Olympic distance, to really work harder at my swimming and running.
See next post for some pics!

Friday, 6 July 2007

bike

Rode into work Thurs and Friday. This morning was a nice 30k spin via Sandbanks Ferry/Studland. Extremely windy, leaning at almost 45 degrees at one point just to stay on the bike!!
Feeling good for Sunday, Bournemouth International Triathlon. Hope the wind drops and then there might be a sea swim. However, well prepared for the duathlon if they cancel the swim. will be 5k 40k 5k, run, bike, run.
Remember to register James Gilfillan tomorrow!! He's hoping to win this thing!! And I'm tasked with registering him and having his helmet checked. DO NOT FORGET!!!!! Lucky so and so has gone up to London to watch the Tour de France prologue!
That's my Internet usage at work going up over the next 3 weeks!!

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

There is no better stress relief than riding......a bike!

Wednesday evening, got home from work, wanted to ride, but did not feel like going out at all. But I dragged my carcass out and did 25 miles at just under race effort in 1 hour and 7 minutes, including a stop behind a van at a junction and a warm up for the first 2 miles. Extremely blustery conditions, fighting to control bike on some sections.
Followed most of one of the CTT Time Trial routes in the area. Seems like a fairly quick course. Bovington - Wool - Wareham - Nordon and retrace to finish not far off where it starts. I slightly chnaged it so that I rode back home, and fortunately it was exact same distance. Well, actually 24.9 miles on the clock. Rode well within myself but feeling very strong aerobically. Will work at leg strength and pedaling a higher gear early next year, to improve speed. That said I feel I am capable of going well under the hour for a '25'. I am actually doing a TT next weekend , 15th on a very flat course. I hope the wind drops. It's the first one I've done but feeling confident I can do a good time as TTs are all about maximum effort 100% of the time, going hard and finishing completely spent. But judging effort right so as not to blow early on.
Stats:
Distance 24.9 miles
Time 1 hr 7 mins
Ave speed - 22.3 mph
Max speed 34.8 mph
Ave cadence - 89 rpm
max cadence - 114 rpm
(very pleased with high cadence)

No nutrition - only caffeinated power gel with water before ride.

more swimming

Swam last night at Wareham for a good 40 minutes of drills and workouts, a good session.
Swam today at lunch just for a bit of a de-stress after a busy morning at work. Focussing more on rotating the hips and driving from the hips up the body to the back and shoulders, keeping everything aligned. Feels better, but will take a while to get this going well, keeping my body position nice and straight.
Bike tonight, taking Plasma out for a spin as it's not been ridden for a while. Looking forward to Sunday's race, I should be raring to go!!

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Sandbanks run on a wet and windy lunchtime

Down to Sandbanks from Civic Centre and back, 8.2 miles in1 hr 2m 15secs.
Set off in sunshine, hit the wind after 3 miles and downpour on 5 miles to the end where sun came out again!!
Great run, legs feeling better, slight twinge around knee but that settled down after good stretch and cool down run of 10 minutes after. Another positive session and whilst running Iwas thinking about racing and how I should be going a lot harder in a race. I'm finishing my races far too fresh, not using enough effort. Like my school report, must tri harder!!!

Swim on a Monday lunchtime

Have decided that swimming on a Monday is a damn fine idea and soothes the stress on the morning, makes the afternoon fly by. 35 minutes of good swimming, broken in the middle by a bried chat with one of the UK's top triathletes, James Gilfillan. His swimming is effortless and his speed through the water is something to behold. He goes nearly as quick as me when he just uses a kickboard and I'm using my whole stroke! That said, I am improving all the time and feel as though I am faster through the water with less effort. Probably not the case, but at least I feel better about it!

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Macmillan Charity Ride

Well, the weather has been dreadful the past few days and it wasn't looking good for today's ride.
But, the gods were kind to us and the rain stayed away and we even saw some blue sky. Myself, Si, Tony and Paul set off on a 25 mile sociable ride around the lanes of leafy Dorset. It was still wet on the road and after only 6 miles I punctured! And that was after changing to wet weather tyres! Gatorskins no less, supposed to be more resistant to punctures! Oh well. We made the first checkpoint for some 'hand-baked' muffins courtesy of Madame Le Tesco and got our cards stamped and headed off on the rest of our journey. This route would make a great training ride, and great for a 'hilly' 25 mile Time Trial course. There are a couple of climbs that make you work but on the whole it's rolling roads again, which lend themselves well to train on. A lot of debris had flushed itself down and onto the roads making a couple of downhill sections nothing short of treacherous. But eventually everything dried out and the leg warmers, arm warmers and overshoes came off and it held fine to the end, where we were greeted with malt loaf! Yum!! And then I had a 10 minute massage, a free service on offer, excellent stuff. Sorted my calves out which have been a little sore since HI UK.
I cycled to and from the ride, covering 15 miles in total , so a nice easy bike session today of 40 miles, including a pub stop at the end of the main ride! Good fun and must organise another one soon.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Easy day

Gentle spin to work in the rain, 30 minute swim at lunch, was very good, and a gentle spin home. Job done! Rest day tomorrow.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

bike to work and lunctime swim

Took the scenic route to work this morning, via Swanage and Studland and the Sandbanks Ferry, lovely morning. 38km ride, averaging 31kph, nice riding, feeling very strong at the moment, well recovered from exertions of Half Ironman UK.
Swam at lunch, 32 mins 20 secs for 1600m. Not breaking any records, but for me I'm really pleased with the way I am swimming. Reaching further with arms and keeping my body higher in the water, and my kick is definitely improving, which is saving me energy by getting better propulsion through the water than just relying on my arms. Then allows me to not go so hard with my arms and shoulders in the water, thereby saving energy.
All good stuff, should be nice and prepared for Bournemouth International tri on 8th. 1500m swim which I hope to do in 30 minutes. 40km bike , nice and flat course which I'm hoping for around the hour, as I shall be really hammering it. And for the 10k run I'll be happy to get under 45 mins. Under 2 hours 20 mins for the lot and I will be really pleased, it will be a nice one to bounce back after the disappointment of my Half Ironman UK performance.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Wednesday evening run

Another positive run session tonight. 59 minutes of good running over 7.5 miles.
I'm trying to work at 'negative splits' , ie. running the second half of my run quicker than the first half. I'm trying to work that in to most run sessions, because I believe it will help me finish triathlons stronger. Certainly picked up the pace well as the run went on, going through 9 min mile pace to start for a mile and then 8 minute miles for 3 miles up to 7 minute til the finish, gradually increasing the pace as I went along.
Was due to do bike session today, but was late in after work and road was very slippery after huge downpour. Will bike to work the long way round tomorrow, 2 hours riding before I get in.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

tuesday evening swim

Swim this evening, a good 50 minute workout, broken up into 100m, 200m and 400m sections.
Certainly feeling better in the water I need to be swimming more often. That was my first swim since last Wednesday and I need to be in the pool at least every other day, just so I can build up my technique and swim fitness. But so far so good, feeling very strong at the moment, and am feeling like going a lot harder when working out, as though what I'm doing isn't quite enough.
Long bike tomorrow evening, followed by swim and run on Thursday, swim on Friday and long bike/run on Saturday.
I'm doing a charity bike ride on Sunday with some mates, just a gentle 25 miles around the lanes on Dorset, should be good fun, as will take in a couple of ale houses! No drink for me though, I'll ride out to meet them, do the ride and then ride back, should be a good session.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Monday evening run

Good solid run. Got in from work, needed to get out and unwind. 3.8 miles in 28 mins 32 secs. Good steady pace, and very good recovery. My target of a 5km under 20 minutes in November is getting closer. That's a major medium term goal for this year.
Obviously would love to run that off the bike, so will see if that's possible by October's two duathlons I have lined up, both involving 2 lots of 5km runs.
Really looking forward to Bournemouth tri on the 8th July, nice 1500m sea swim, hopefully the weather will improve by then! wet and windy at the moment, typical now that Wimbledon is upon us!!

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Saturday long bike ride

Felt good to go out and ride today, and what a mixed bag of a ride it was. Got caught in a torrential downpour, in which I had to stop as it was hurting my eyes! I stopped twice to retrieve a dropped bottle, and had two punctures, the second of which I rode home on as the hole in the inner tube was trapped between rim and tyre, which miraculously I rode 40km home on.
Sun came out with a strong wind later on but still managed 91km in 3 hours and 5 minutes. Similar amount of climbing compared to Half Ironman, and yet I rode so much better, not feeling anywhere near as good as I did last week. Oh well, c'est la vie.
Stats:
Distance - 91.12km
Time - 3 hrs 3 mins 8 secs
Ave speed - 29.9 kph
max speed - 57.3 kph
ave h/r - 141 bpm
max h/r - 173 bpm
Ave cadence - 75 rpm
Total climbing - 884m
Calories - 4173

Nutrition - 2 x 750ml SIS Go Electroyte
2 x Go Gel
1 power bar Ride
1 nutrigrain bar
1 brunch bar

Was not enough liquid. Short by one bottle, as it fell off and a van drove over it!
Strong on the climbs but lost focus in the middle of ride and did not go as hard as I should have really. Could have gone harder on the long climb out of Weymouth. On the whole a positive ride and good to get the miles in my legs. Rest day Sunday, swimming Monday. Will run Tuesday, and bike long on Wednesday.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Back to training

Well, I had 3 good days of solid rest, and felt like getting back in the pool on Thursday for a swim.
Really feel like I am swimming well at the moment. I know I'm no speed merchant but my technique is definitely improving and will keep getting better over time. Have cycled twice in to work, legs feeling ok. And I did a 3.5 mile run tonight after getting home off the bike, 26 minues 30 secs, good solid run, feeling strong.
Will bike Saturday, 90km loop, just to prove to myself I can go under 3 hours, a confidence booster after the disappointment of last Sunday's race performance. And then a long run on Sunday.
Back to more swimming next week, and some miles on the bike. Will work at short distances on the run to improve speed and strength, in preparation for Bournemouth International triathlon on the 8th July.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Ironman UK 70.3




Well, I did it! I crossed the line in 6 hours, 19 minutes and 40 seconds. What a race, what a fantastic experience, incredible. Great fun, brilliant atmosphere and very well organised.

After my swim, which was very good, apart from swimming a good 400m more than I had to, I decided to just take it easy all the way round. I just could not get 'up for it' even though I was in really good physical condition and had loads of energy. Mentally I was just not there, and couldn't drive myself on. I had plenty in the legs on the bike, but just did not have it on the day. That said, it was a tough course, and by the 2nd lap of the run my legs were starting to tire and on lap 3 on came the cramp! 100 yards from the finish, my legs seized up and I hobbled towards the line, only able to run the last 10 yards!
But what a thrill to finish. Just all feels a bit empty now. But I am looking forward to the next race - Bournemouth International and will be putting in a solid performance in that one, just to make up for this one.
Results can be found at http://half.ironmanuk.com
I finished in the top half. Well done to James Gilfillan who came 2nd, on his first time at this distance, what a fantastic result. And well done to Kevin Harding, a fellow triathlete from Southampton Tri Club who I have been beating in a few shorter tris this year, and who had a storming race at Wimbleball and finished in the top 150! I'll be getting him back later this season!!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

2 days and 8 hours to go

Ok, I'm now getting a little anxious, but on the whole I'm fairly relaxed. But above all I am raring to go, I feel very good, and can feel myself getting stronger. I've now got to get myself mentally prepared. My kit is packed already, kitlist checked and triple checked, and I'm now just getting the logistics of the whole weekend sorted.
I've been eating well and drinking plenty of water, important to keep my glycogen levels up and stay well hydrated. Feeling flexible as well, no stiff muscles. The only slight stiffness is still in my gluteus maximus, ie, right in my butt muscles, it's still a little stiff. But that should ease as I stretch them out and stay relaxed over the next 2 days.
I did no exercise today, was going to swim, but didn't feel like it. No bad thing, as I will swim a little tomorrow and then on Saturday I will do half hour on the turbo trainer followed by 15 minutes running and that will be it. All systems go.
This is my last post before the race. Let's hope it's a good 'un!

See you all after it! Wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Not long now!

3 days, 10 hours and 52 minutes to Half Ironman UK!

Out on bike today for 40 minutes riding, legs are in great shape, and will be fresh and ready for action on Sunday. Got new SRAM chain fitted and it does ride a lot smoother.
Will swim tomorrow and that's it then. Friday off, and just a gentle bike/run on Saturday.
Been very busy today which has helped take my mind off the race, and I'm not worrying about it. Will sleep solid tonight and have a lie in as no work tomorrow! Will spend the day checking kit and bike cleaning and generally making sure I have everything I need.
So far so good!!

4 days to go!!

I will be able to do 2 more days of blogging as I leave for Wimbleball on Friday and won't be able to post til Monday.
Going to get new chain for Scott S30 this morning. Getting an SRAM 10 speed to fit the SRAM cassette that was put on my Easton wheels. I have no idea why they didn't fit a Shimano Ultegra cassette to fit the chain already on there, but no worries, I will now have a nice new chain and cassette, which all helps.
Out on my bike later today for a gentle spin, stretch the legs out and trying to relax a bit. Now I'm off work I'm starting to really feel the build up to the race!

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Tuesday evening run

Went out for 38 minute run this evening in the warm evening air, was lovely. Ran at a very gentle pace and felt very strong, barely breaking a sweat until I did 5 minutes n the middle at race pace. Feeling very strong, and legs in good shape. Breathing good, very efficient, able to breathe long and deep. Stretched off afterwards, had bath, ate well, and now relaxing, printing off my kit checklist which consists of the following :

Ironman 70.3 UK

17th June 2007, Wimbleball

Kit checklist

Swim

  1. Wetsuit - Aqua Sphere
  2. Goggles – Zoggs
  3. Swim mask – Aqua sphere
  4. Goggles – Aqua sphere - spares
  5. Swim cap
  6. Swim shorts

Bike

  1. Helmet
  2. Glasses – plus lenses
  3. Cycling gloves
  4. Arm warmers
  5. Leg warmers
  6. Gilet
  7. Cycling shoes - Specialized
  8. Cycling socks( in case of cold weather)
  9. Bike – Scott S30
  10. Wheels – Easton
  11. Track pump
  12. CO2 cartridges
  13. CO2 inflator
  14. Spare tubular tyre
  15. tub cement
  16. rim tape
  17. multi tool
  18. toolkit
  19. saddle bag
  20. Bike computer – Garmin – fully charged
  21. heart rate strap
  22. bike lube
  23. cloths and rags
  24. Spare wheels – real design – plus spare inner tubes
  25. wheel bags
  26. bike rack for car
  27. overshoes
  28. Tube box - Ironman

Run

  1. Race shoes - Brooks
  2. running shoes – Asics
  3. Spare running shoes – Brooks, for general wear.
  4. socks – Thorlos x 4 pairs
  5. running cap – Orca

Other

  1. Race belt
  2. spare race belt
  3. Rucksack – ironman
  4. rucksack – Berghaus
  5. Kit bag – umbro
  6. Bodyglide
  7. Anti-chafe cream
  8. muscle rub
  9. safety pin
  10. elastic bands
  11. tape
  12. medical kit
  13. savlon
  14. hay fever tablets
  15. vitamins
  16. Paracetemol
  17. Sun cream
  18. moisturiser
  19. after sun


Clothing

  1. Tri top - Orca
  2. Tri shorts - Orca
  3. Tri suit – spare – Camaro Speed one.
  4. Tri suit – spare – Sugoi
  5. Sweat top
  6. T-shirts/running tops x 3
  7. Skins leggings
  8. track pants – reebok
  9. Ironman oversuit
  10. umbrella
  11. Endura event jacket
  12. Gloves
  13. warm hat – ron hill
  14. Towels – kona, plus 3 white ones
  15. Spare cycling top
  16. Quick Step cycling top
  17. Base layer - campagnola

Nutrition

  1. SIS Electrolyte
  2. SIS Energy
  3. SIS Recovery
  4. PowerBar gels box
  5. SIS gels box
  6. Power Bars
  7. bottles x 8
  8. Evian water x 6 bottles
  9. Red Bull x 4 cans

So as you can see it's a lot of stuff for one race!

Big thank you to all my sponsors so far!!

Many thanks to all of you who have taken the time to sponsor me and support Rotary Charities.
I'm on target to do a good race and I am really excited about taking part in my first Half Ironman Distance Triathlon.

Keep watching my blog site for more updates, and a full race report with pics.
The race is also being covered by Channel 4, although how much airtime it will be given I'm not sure, probably only a 2 minute slot on the news, but you never know, you might spot me!!

5 days to go!!!!

Back in the pool this lunchtime for 25 minutes easy swimming with 200m hard effort in the middle of it. Feeling good. Body is feeling rested and getting stronger. Yet at the same time I feel unfit and like I need a right good workout to feel fit. But this is the Taper! My body is now re-adjusting to not putting in the hard efforts and the heavy training sessions.
I'll be raring to go come Sunday, and hopefully if I can manage some decent sleep then I'll be in great shape.
Will have 20 minute run this evening. Bike ride tomorrow, swim on Thursday, Friday off and then very short bike and run on Saturday.
Not to self: check gear tonight. Go to get chain fitted at Primera Sports tomorrow, after I take car in to get alternator fitted.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Sunday run

Well, if the weather is like this next Sunday, heaven help me. Lovely, very nice summer weather, but at 8 this morning, the temperature was already 20 degrees C. 8 mile run. Had to stop at Wareham leisure centre half way for a nature call. Was done at a nice easy pace and after 1 hour and 8 minutes(including unscheduled stop) I felt good and full of running, certainly more than enough for another 5 miles. Ran in my race kit today, bit of a trial run for next Sunday. Orca 226 tri top and tri shorts, extremely lightweight and very comfortable. Orca baseball style cap, white. Brooks Race shoes, bright yellow!! And Thorlos running socks. Feel very comfortable in that gear and makes me enjoy running more. Plus it looks alright too, which is always a bonus!! But main thing is that it feels great on and will give me confidence.

less than 7 days to go!!!

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Saturday training ride

Feeling in great shape. Lovely warm weather this morning, not too bright, and a slight breeze to keep things cool. Set off for 90 minutes or thereabouts of a training ride, mostly at even pace with 40 minutes race pace effort thrown in. Legs are in good shape, and are definitely improving. But again, it takes me a good 50 minutes of cycling before I am properly warmed up and can feel them working efficiently. Must take turbo trainer with me to Half Ironman UK, to get legs moving. Unfortunately it will mean taking 2 bikes, so not sure if I want to do that. I'll have a think about it. The only other option is just to rely on the swim leg to get me warmed up for the bike, using my legs a lot more for the last 400m, which will help to get them moving.
Here's today's stats:
Time - 1 hour 21 minutes and 22 seconds.
Distance 42.6 km
Ave speed - 31.4 kph, max 52.7 kph
Ave h/r 148 bpm, max h/r 169 bpm
Ave cadence 81 rpm
1917 cal used.
Done over an undulating course, down to Swanage via Studland and back on the A352 through Corfe Castle. Would have been quicker on the way back but for heavy traffic caused by roadworks. But very pleasing ride nonetheless.
Certainly feel I'm getting back to my old self on the bike, and my speed is improving, pedal action good, and very strong. I will be working on my cycling over the winter months this year with a view to time trialling next season, and doing some longer rides and cyclo-sportives and a bit of road racing.
Have loads of confidence about next Sunday's bike leg, and about the whole race in general. I know it's a mental thing with me, if I am feeling good and strong on the bike I will feel good about the whole race and will do well on the run. I am preparing well, and tapering nicely. Feeling stronger as each day goes by and to be honest I'm not even tempted to go out and do extra, just enjoying the feelgood factor of building up to the race!!!

8 Days to go!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, 8 June 2007

Bustin my ass on the Bike


Little did I know at this stage of the Stratford triathlon bike leg that one of my rear brake blocks was jammed against my rear wheel.
No wonder I'm grimacing at how much effort it was, just to turn the pedals over!!