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Saturday, 31 March 2007

Friday and Saturday relaxed before race

Swim on Friday, 1000m sharpener with my 'swim coach' . Good little session, 21 minutes, which is far from fast but good for me, and I'm stroking a lot better and more efficient in the water.
Saturday, 3 mile at easy pace, around 25 minutes. Legs feel good. I'm not biking today, didn't ride yesterday. While I'm doing these short sprint tris, I'm saving my legs for a big effort, at time trial intensity tomorrow.
After tomorrow's race I will be concentrating on endurance, longer distance rides and runs and longer swims. Building for Half Ironman UK now. Once April is gone then total focus will be on that event.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Thursday training

Good to get back to cycling to work, even if short and not much of a workout, but will be good to turn my legs over for Sunday. Legs felt good today, refreshed, which was pleasing after Wednesday's session.
Came home and got off bike, changed into run gear and went out at a quick pace for 30 minutes, around 7 minute mile pace after 10 minutes warm up. Felt strong, legs good. Will do a short swim tomorrow and short bike/run on Saturday. Fresh for Sunday. In fact, I may even miss Saturday out. See how I feel tomorrow.
I want to be strong for Sunday. Short sprint tri, and I feel confident of producing a good time, with a good level of effort. 400m swim (8 minutes goal time) , 14.5 mile bike (40 minutes goal time), 4.5 mile run (32 minutes goal time). 1 hour 20 for the lot. Will have to push on the run, but I'm confident of putting in very good bike time.

Wednesday Training

Good day yesterday, legs in good shape again, nicely recovered from duathlon.
swam 1 mile in the pool, drafting in behind my 'swim coach for two thirds of it, and then just fell away slightly. 34 minutes. Not a bad time, very pleased with my efforts. Felt good after, back, shoulders and arms got a good workout.
And at last in the early evening I went for a training ride with some of the guys from Zoom Tri Club, albeit there were only 4 of us! Took me 45 mins to ride there, met up and did 2 laps of a 7 mile loop from Boscombe to Hengistbury Head, was lovely evening. Had to head off before the 3rd lap as I did not have lights so had to get back home before it went dark. Just about managed it. All in all it was a good steady ride. 2 and a half hours of riding all together, and legs are good today after another massage last night.
Riding into work again now, getting ready for Sunday's tri!

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Morning swim

After a day of recovery yesterday, and sore calves, and an hour recovery on turbo, I was back in the pool this morning. 100m and 200m sets and a 400m swim. On target time for Sunday. 8 minutes 17 secs for 400m, and that was me being tired and taking it steady. I'll go under that on Sunday. My projected time is 8 minutes for the swim. Yes, did feel a little tired in the pool and legs still recovering from exertions on Sunday, so another rest day. Will bike tomorrow, with a lunchtime swim, a run on Thursday, swim and bike Friday, then just gentle run Saturday. Race day Sunday, Hungerford sprint triathlon.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Beaulieu Duathlon

Excellent fun, great day out. Well, great morning out!
Haven't got the official times yet, but unofficial, around 2 hours 5 minutes for the lot, which was 5 minutes off goal pace, and 10 minutes off ideal.
However, great fun nonetheless.
Was an early start and did not have great preparation last night, as the clocks went forward, my little boy decided to have a restless night and I couldn't sleep well, plus had not eaten great yesterday either. Up at 5:30, prepared drinks etc, and packed up the car. Ate shreddies, toast, gel and couple of nutrigrain bars and a banana.
Off we went for a 50 minute drive to Beaulieu. Race start at 9am. First lesson learned, must do proper warm up and get my legs moving and heartrate up. 10 minutes into the bike, into a strong and bitter headwind, calves started to cramp up, purely due to the cold. Lesson 2, should have worn leg warmers!! I have been doing in training and they are very comfy, but for some reason, decided not to do so today. There were 45 competitors, some very serious athletes on some very serious machines, and the run set off round a trail, all off road. Two 5km laps, not the most interesting of courses, but nice and undulating, and had to work hard. That said, here comes lesson number 3 - get pace right at start. Actually to be fair, my pace at the start was good and I planned to build it up, but then I got talking to a nice chap who had done Xterra triathlon in Maui last year and had done Half Ironman UK and was out today for a bit of a social, so I ran alongside until the start of the second lap, whereupon I looked at my watch to realise I was 5 minutes down on where I wanted to be! Too slow, too much chat not enough fat!!
So I bid farewell and decided to put foot to floor and make an effort to claw back some time, which I did very well. I think I was through 5km in 28 minutes, very poor, but I ended up finishing the 10k in around 49, so 21 minutes for second 5km pretty good.
Transition was reasonably quick, decided against shoes in bike and just ran to mount line with them on feet, stopped to hop on bike and then off we went, got off to a flyer, felt fantastic on the bike, and felt good the whole way round. In fact I could have gone a whole lot faster were in not for the cramp, really stopped me hammering it. Even into the wind I was passing other competitors. Went passed maybe 12-15 competitors in all and made up a lot of time. My word, the Scott Plasma is a quick bike, and I highly recommend Continental's triathlon tyres, very light and low resistance.

So two 15km laps and back into transition. Lesson number 4, do not take feet out of shoes on bike too soon. Took em out then realised there was a small climb to get up and couldn't generate a lot of speed, which probably cost me almost 2 minutes. Bike time was around 50 minutes for 30km, so very pleased with that time, as the headwind section really slowed me down, and I didn't really get into as higher gear as I should have. But on a positive not my average cadence was good , up at 89 rpm. Excellent, just need to push that cadence in a higher gear and I will be motoring, really getting my bike splits down.

Nice quick change into running shoes in transition 2, but my calves at this point were very sore, and not enjoying it at this point. First time of running off the bike that I felt really out of sorts. But that lasted maybe 5 minutes and I eventually got into my stride and kept good pace, even though legs hurting a bit. Passed by only one runner with 2km to go, and finished strong.
2 hours and 5 minutes, rough estimate as I forgot to stop my watch on the line.

Duathlons are hard. Very hard on the legs, but this will stand me in good stead for June's Ironman 70.3. I know I've got the bike endurance, as I got stronger the longer I was out there. Plus my 3rd run split was still good, around 24 minutes I think. And was good to get that run distance in my legs. Bit of sports massage this week should sort them out. Very easy week ahead into next Sundays sprint tri in Hungerford.

On the whole, was very positive day today, training has paid off, and I can see where I went wrong, where I can improve, what I need to do better for race prep and how to pace myself. I know I can afford to go a lot harder in all areas, as my aerobic fitness is excellent, recovery is very good, and I was very strong on the bike today, ripped up the one hill climb twice into a headwind without getting out of the saddle, always a nice feeling.
Also it is nice to see what you did well, and I can take a lot from this first race of the season and apply it to the rest of the year's races, and training as well.


1 power gel and 500ml of SIS electrolyte drink 15-20 minutes before race start. Power gel and water when setting off on bike. 750 ml SIS electrolyte on bike( helped with the cramp), 750 ml SIS Energy drink. 1 power gel towards end of bike. Water from drinks table in transition, 250 ml SIS electrolyte. Nothing through to the finish. 1 cup of tea!! ( and I don't drink it, but it was good!) and then 750 ml SIS Recovery drink, water when home. Just about got the nutrition right, but will look at alternative to the power gels, very sticky, sweet and sit not great on stomach. Alright in training, but when at full race pace, not the best for me to take on board. I am trying Torq energy and electrolyte drink in training at the moment, pleasant taste and not at all sweet, will try their bars as well.

Official results

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Race day tomorrow!

Very excited about racing tomorrow, first of the season!
50 minutes gentle bike ride today, legs feeling very good, and 20 minute gentle run at 9 min mile pace.
So all prepared now. Bike chain cleaned and lubed, rear cassette cleaned and lubed, whole bike in tip top shape. Tyre pressures checked and tyres checked for debris.
Bag is being packed, sorting out what nutrition and drinks I'm taking, will post a kit list when I have everything in my kit bag.
Carb loading at the moment, all good stuff. That's the great thing about triathlon, you can eat and eat as much as you like, and it still gets burned off!

Friday, 23 March 2007

lunchtime swim

Was in the pool for a long time today, but man, the temperature was far too warm, not at all comfortable for swimming. That said, I did a very gentle swim for 50 minutes, concentrating on technique, balance and rotation and driving myself through the water in the smallest space possible. Coming together nicely, and the more time I'm in the water, the better I feel.
'Swim Coach'( you know who you are!) came along and did 1km, I was keeping up great for first 150m, and then a slower swimmer got in my way, wouldn't move and I had to stop, completely lost my stroke and got left behind. Well, I put my foot down and caught up within 100m, but the energy expended then left me with little to keep up and I drifted back for the rest of the swim. That said, I know I can really push harder when swimming, and from next week onwards I shall work at building my swimming strength.
Really feel in good nick for Sunday, can't wait for race day. Getting myself prepared tomorrow and will do a gentle bike and run. Start time is 9am. Will aim to get there for 8 at latest. Will take turbo trainer to warm up for half hour, then get bike into transition, get myself sorted. Race briefing 15 minutes before start. 10 minutes gentle jog to keep muscles warm and stay flexible.
It is an off-road 10km run and 5km run, either side of an on-road bike. Should be interesting, as I haven't got off-road shoes, but I think it's more of a trail rather than over anything particularly harsh underfoot.
Will post results, photos and post-race breakdown later on Sunday. Fingers-crossed I get there without any hiccups!!!

Taper week

Tapering is oh so painful! I'm feeling great, apart from a bit of a sniffly nose and sinuses a little bunged up. The idea being to reduce intensity of workouts and time/distance to feel fresh come race day. It's really a case of mind over body. Body feels like going for it, mind has to hold it back!

So Monday was a day of rest, Tuesday I went out for a gentle hour on the bike along Blackpool sea front, incredibly windy. My word, thought it was windy down here!! Wednesday I went out and did an hour's running up and down Blackpool promenade and along the beach, which was fantastic in the early morning sun! And then Thursday by contrast I took the bike out in misty rain for an hour of turning my legs over, just to keep me fresh but not to work the legs hard. Will have a gentle lunchtime swim today, and then tomorrow a very short bike and run just as a sharpener for race on Sunday.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Run bike run!

Duathlon time is upon us. Well, upon me anyway!! Before the blurb, here's the stats.
2 mile run, 20.1 mile bike, 2 mile run. Total time 1 hr 29 mins 37 seconds, including transitions.
Time splits for run were 14 mins and 15 mins. Bike split 58 mins 59 secs.

Bike stats:
Ave hr 156, max hr 169
distance 20.1 miles(32.4 km)
ave speed 20.4 mph (32.83 kph)
max speed 32.9 mph (52.9 kph)
ave cadence 87, max 107
kcal 981

I did this at what Tom Holland calls 'JARP', just under race pace. And felt very strong.
But my word, what a headwind on the bike and crosswind, could only get up to 22 mph when on a downhill section pedalling into headwind!! Only a tailwind on last 3 miles, and even then it was blustery and not in a steady direction. Couple of times had to fight to keep Plasma under control. But was a good ride. Would have liked to have run longer, but I'm not overdoing things, as I now will taper nicely for next week's race. Easy bikes and runs this week, practice transition, getting my feet in the bike shoes quicker, while on the bike.
Feeling good for next Sunday, really looking forward to getting out and enjoying the race atmosphere. Should be a great buzz. I'm going to be wrapped up in cotton wool this week, I ain't missing this one!!

Friday, 16 March 2007

two swim sessions

Early morning swim down at Wareham leisure centre. Was going great on 750m when my finger embedded itself in someone's head, coming in the opposite direction. Very wide lanes set out and no reason for the other swimmer to drift over. But I now have a very sore bruised tip of middle finger on my right hand. Didn't wait around to ask how their head was!! So it kind of put me off.
Couple more lengths and out I came.
So decided to swim at lunchtime as well. Did a good hard swim, only 16 minutes and was going great, keeping right up with my 'swim coach' and then I thought he stopped so I did, only to realise it was someone else! And I couldn't get my rythmn back, so I swam gentle for a couple of lengths and then realised I had a meeting to get to at work so had to come out. How dare work get in the way of my training!!
But enjoying being in the water again, and stroking well, and building my strength, lots quicker today.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Running in the sunshine

At last, some sunny weather to run in. Ideal conditions, warm Springlike day with a gentle cool breeze. Did 13 km, 1 hour 3 minutes. Nice easy paced run. Didn't really feel like going but was good to get out in the fresh air at lunchtime. 2 miles to go and I was starting to get hungry and then passed a fish and chip shop! Arrrghhh!!! Smelled so good, but I resisted, thank god I didn't have my wallet!
Rest day tomorrow, except for a gentle swim at lunchtime. Long bike on Saturday and brick session Sunday.
Note to self: practice transition from bike to run to bike, fo next weekend's duathlon, 25th March.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

short sharp swim

In the water for not so long today, but did a good 1000m swim in 21 minutes. Worked hard and stayed up with my 'swim coach' for most of the way.
Good workout, felt smooth in the water, and put a bit more effort into the stroke. Longer swims will start next week, mixed with shorter harder effort ones, and will try and structure the workouts a bit more. But I'm just starting to get back to enjoying swimming, so I'm not going to 'kill it' by getting all serious!

Early morning run

What a glorious morning! Lovely sunshine, but very cold, with a layer of frost over the fields.
Out I went for a run, and what a good run it was. 54 minutes for 7.5 miles. I do like running early in the morning, nothing in the stomach other than a PowerBar Gel and some water and a bit of energy drink. Since I lost a bit more weight I feel much lighter on my feet, and I feel that I can go a lot faster. But that will come when I start putting the work in. This season is all about distance, endurance and strength training. Performance and pace work will come next year, as I prepare for going long and take on full Ironman distance.
Will be swimming later today and having a rest off the bike today.

Training so far is going very well, feeling strong, and looking at the times for last week's duathlon in the New Forest I was up with the pace. 10k - 40k - 5k, winning time 2 hours and 2 minutes. I'd be around 2 hours 10-15. The duathlon on 25th March is 10k - 30k - 5k. Looking at 45mins for 10k run, 50 mins at worst for 30k bike, and 25mins for 5k run. Those are lowest comfortable times. If I push hard I can go better. 2 hours total. Anything under would be a bonus. I am using this race as a guide to my fitness levels and to see where I'm at after the last 4 months of winter training.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Lunchtime swim

30 minute session, again, just about getting in the water, not doing any particularly hard workout, although I did work up a good sweat.
I do feel a bit slow in the water, although my body posiion feels better and rotation is ok. Need some more strengthening me thinks. Well, I should be back with my 'swim coach' tomorrow and I can follow him in the pool, and use him as a guide for pace. Hopefully I can keep up!

Cycled to and from work today, nice and easy, still going quick. Looking at entering a time trial on Sunday, 24 mile course near Wimborne. Will be a good sharpener for the 25th March. Plasma came back from Bikelab yesterday, riding nice now, and I got some extra bar tape put on aero wings and clip on bars, very comfortable ride now. All I need to do is get the slicks on there when the weather warms up and it's going to fly!! Hopefully with both wheels firmly on the ground!

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Sunday leisurely bike ride

What a glorious day today, lovely sun and warm. However still a cold wind, died down a little from yesterday. Was out for 2 and a half hours. Mostly easy riding today, spinning, but felt really good. Met a young cyclist out who was asking me where to go for a good endurance ride. He then decided he was off to Weymouth, round trip of 60-70 miles. I thought about tagging along but I kept to my schedule and don't want to overdo it.
That said I know at the moment, I could easily ride 2-3 hours, 5 days a week, on top of my running and swimming. Bike fitness is excellent at the moment, legs feeling very strong, not at all tired after yesterday, which did surprise me a little as I hadn't run for 2 weeks. So all in all a successful weekend all round!
No stats from today's ride. I was reading a book about Lance Armstrong last night - Lance Armstrong's War. Excellent read, I highly recommend it, an insight into his preparation and riding of his 6th Tour de France victory. There was a section about Basque rider Iban Mayo, how he trained without any bike computer and heart rate monitor, so it inspired me just to go out and ride today. Nice to find a different approach and I actually found myself enjoying riding without looking at my bike computer every 5 minutes!!!

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Saturday afternoon brick

Well, I thought I would take the bull by the horns and put in some hard work today, and see what came out. And glad I did it.
Bike Stats:
Distance 61km (38 miles)
time 1 hour 58 minutes
ave speed 31.4 kph (19.5 mph)
max speed 58.5 kph (36.4 mph)
Ave hr 157 bpm
Max hr 186 bpm

Particularly satisfying ride, over a hilly out route and flat back. But in very blustery conditions. Dry and sunny, air temperature warm but wind still cold.
Good strength to finish the ride, averaging 40 kph for the last 20km. No tail wind either!

Nutrition : 2 x 750ml SIS Electrolyte. 1 500ml water.
2 Power Bar gel sachets, 1 of them caffeinated. I SIS sports cereal bar(not again - good nutrition but too chewy!!)

So landed back home and changed into run gear.
Did just over four miles at gentle 9 minute mile pace - 36 minutes and 32 seconds. Felt ok, legs a little tired if anything, but had good stamina to feel strong a the finish.

All in all a very positive session. And looking good at the minute for the duathlon on the 25th March. Bike handling confidence coming back, the more I'm out on it.

Note to self: clean bikes tomorrow, and Plasma in for a service on Monday!

Friday, 9 March 2007

Friday morning swim and bke

Another pool session, not bad, felt ok, but nowhere near effort I need to be at. 25 minutes of lengths, in 100m and 200m blocks. Focus on technique. Once back in shape next week, will get in the pool for some endurance swims.
Biked to and from work today, and to and from the pool. Bike is good, legs a little tired today, but I need to get back to it. Lost a bit of focus this week, inevitable after my accident. But will be going along to Zoom tri club sessions next week, so hopefully that might up my motivational levels.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Mid week training

Bike to and from work, nice and easy today.
40 minutes of solid swimming at lunchtime. Didn't push too hard, just concentrating on stroke and body position/rotation in the water. Felt good again. From next week, will try and up the effort and get some workouts established.
I have now joined Zoom Tri Club, but I have not yet had chance to get to any of their sessions. Will start next week with a swim session and a mid-week bike session, and the following weekend join up for their Saturday morning swim and bike session. Once into next week I will start with some brick sessions in prep for the duathlon on 25th March.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Long bike home

Took the scenic( well it would have been had it not been dark!!) route home tonight. All 25 miles of it. Feel really strong on the bike at the moment. Think it's down to weight loss and yet my leg strength has improved. Therefore power to weight ratio is better, and I'm able to move the bike along a lot quicker. Feel that I could do a 3 or 4 hour ride with no problems. Save that for the weekend.
Also aware that I need to get out for a run this week as well. Possibly tomorrow for a gentle 10 km.

back back in the pool

At last, got back in the poole for a swim. And what a pleasant surprise, I was stroking well, good feel for the water and was sitting a lot higher in the water and felt nicely balanced. Wasn't going particularly fast but that wasn't my intention. Just need a week of steady swimming to ease me back into it, before I start increasing the intensity of workouts. Was in the water for 30 minutes. Back in again tomorrow for short lunchtime swim.

Monday, 5 March 2007

bike riding

Back to cycling to work now. Feels good to ride, and now getting up a good head of speed, riding lots faster than 3 months ago, with the same level of intensity, up around 5-6kmh quicker. All good stuff. Helps having lost weight. But the ride to work is just not far enough now. I just about get warmed up and I'm there!! 17 and a half minutes to do 7.5 miles, and that includes traffic lights etc. And that's not all out effort. I'd say that was at 70-75%. So looking good for bike riding in the warmer weather and when I put in more longer distance rides. Back in the pool early doors tomorrow for a swim and will do a longer bike ride into work.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Saturday Morning on the bike

Well, there we go , I was back out, and my god, how my confidence has taken a knock. Pedalling well, smooth, strong, good cruising speed, up around 37-38 kmh. But on the corners, very unsure, as though I'd hardly ridden a bike. But I guess that will come with time. Just need to get back a feel for the road and the bike.
Had an hour and a half cycle down to Sandbanks in the morning sun, was very nice to be out. Legs felt good, but average heartrate up a little, to be expected really. But was good to get 40km in my legs. did have a 5 minute stop halfway and coasted round Sandbanks peninsular just to take on some liquid.
So, back to proper cycling next week me thinks. Return to hospital in the week for follow up after op. All healing well, and then back to swimming and running, and get myself up for the 25th March.
Been a long old 4 weeks, and I have really noticed having this last week off, a definite dip in my overall aerobic fitness, but should not take too long to get that back to where it should be.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Back on my bike!

I picked up my bike today from Bikelab and brought it home. As I was resting this afternoon I couldn't help going out to look at it, and thought, I better take it out and see if it all works ok. It felt great! And what's more my legs felt great. Was only on it for 30 minutes and did not go very far, but felt good all the same. With nice new Campagnolo base layer and Northwave top to replace those that were cut off me after the accident.
Tonight I was back on the turbo trainer and did a great workout, feel very good. My philosophy is 'well, if Lance Armstrong can get back on a bike after 2 weeks, having suffered a broken neck, then no jaw/cheekbone fracture is gonna stop me getting back to it. Felt really good to do an hour and 20 mins, with a few strong time trial intervals of 4 minutes hard efforts thrown in for good measure. This turbo training has definitely improved my pedal technique and continues to improve.
1 hour 18 minutes
Ave h/r 143 bpm
max h/r 180 bpm
kcal 1152
ave cadence 72
max cadence 105

Was working in bigger gears tonight, lower cadence. Strengthening work needed to help me build up speed.
I 750 ml SIS electrolyte. Good stuff.
More gentle bike tomorrow.
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