Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Year Ahead

Well its now 3 weeks since Powerman Zofingen has been run and won which means its time for me to get back into some formalized training. Thesepast weeks have been used to give the body both a physical and more important mental break from the day to day stresses of training. I’ve also used this time wisely by looking over the last 12 months, working out what i did right, what i did wrong, what needs to change or be worked on as well as planning out the next 12 months of racing with some big and exciting changes for me moving forward. 

First of I will be racing at Ironman Melbourne. There is a couple of reasons why I’m doing this race. One is that I want to finish an ironman and when the opportunity comes up in your home town to do so I had to enter. Secondly this will be used as a training day and to gain more experience in long course racing. As an athlete wanting to specialize in long course duathlon and lack of LD duathlon in Aus there is not many chances to gain experience. The Big challenge for me is pretty straight forward, I struggle in the water so I’ll be spending plenty of time in the water in the lead up. I have no goal time for the IM, the aim is to finish. There are objectives that I want to get out of the race but by not setting a goal time allows me to spend the extra time I need in the water without putting pressure on me to fit in enough bike and run work to go “fast”.

My main race for the year will be Powerman Zofingen again. 2013 will mark the 25th year of the race so will be a big one to compete in. This race means the world to me personally and even if I went well enough in IM Melbourne to qualify for Kona I would roll it down. The races are to close together and both deserve your full focus. By doing both I don't think you would be giving ether race the respect the require. With some luck I’m hoping to get TA backing so I’ll be able to compete for Australia in the ITU section this time meaning I can race for an ITU world title. Also I’m hoping to help promote this race and get a few more Aussies to come across this time other than just me flying the flag. Not totally sure on how I’m going to do this yet but am working on a few things.

Training wise I’m going back to basics and keeping it as simple as I can. Working in 14 day cycles built around a few key sessions that are to work on some key areas I need to improve with base sessions filling in the gaps. Ended up picking the 14 day cycle over the 7 as it just allows me to speed things out a little more. I’ll post more on this in the coming weeks.

Thats all for now. at this stage my next race will be the Vic Duathlon Titles in a few weeks time, just depends on how the body’s going once it gets back into training.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Powerman Zofingen Race Report

Hey hey, its been a few days now since Powerman Zofingen has be run and won. This is less my race report and more what I’ve learned over here training, racing and observing on course over the past week.

Race morning I was ready to race legs felt good and felt that I had a solid performance in me. I didn't have the best sleep the night before thanks to a bit of pre race nerves but I wasn’t feeling the effects of it. The start rolled around and the bang off straight up the first climb. Started out on the first lap just a fraction to quickly by about 2-5sec/km. Then came a pretty big mistake. The plan was to take on 200-300ml of my own sports drink at the end of lap one trying to get a quick start on my nutrition. Straight away the stomach was not liking that idea and around the top of the climb on lap 2 the sports drink was no more. Took it easy back down to T1 and started to recover.

Out on the bike legs felt good straight away, power under control and passing people with easy. I played it what I thought safe with nutrition and waited till about 40min on the bike to start taking on cals. My stomach didn't like that idea at all and continued to dislike cals of any form until around 30km to go on the bike. I stat up on the bike on lap 2 hoping lower power and not riding aero would help but I was out of luck. The food came a little to late for me and started to bonk with 20km to go. Lucky I was getting cals down at that stage but those last 20km were painful.

Got to the start of the second run and all I can say is ouch! I pretty much spent the first 22.5km of the 30km run walking the climbs and jogging the rest from aid station to aid station as thats all my body could manage. Even walking the climbs I had to focus hard mentally on moving forward and straight. I took on 2 cups of water, 1 of coke at every aid station and a gel and every second. At the final turn around I finally seemed to get just enough sugar into my system again to manage a faster pace on the flat and the descents and a faster walk on the climbs. Then I hit the final downhill where my quads just went no more. I forced my way down that final climb the best i could to finish in just under 9hrs. I finished 3rd in my category thanks to 2 other athletes not showing up. I’ll take a bronze at a world title race although I feel my real position is 7th as thats the position I finished in my age group based off times. To long to explain in detail but each age group had 2 categories.    

Now what I’ve learned from the race:

  • Do not take on nutrition n during the first run, the amount you gain is way outweighed by the amount you could potentially lose
  • On the second run, even the pros are walking. I saw a number of pros outside the top 7 on the male side walking on the final run and still putting in competitive run times.
  • TT bike kills a road bike. The easy at which I could pass people on road bikes on the flat descents was unexpected even for me for how little power I was putting out.
  • The heavier you are the more perfect day you need to go as fast as you potential.
  • Do not ware racing flats unless you light. The rocky surface will bruise your feet if there isn’t enough cushioning in them. I would usually ware racing flats.

Planning for next session is already happening, another big challenge planned and hope to come back to Zofingen stronger, smarter, lighter and faster.