Saturday, December 14, 2013

Getting Back into the Swing of Things and Moving to the “Dark Side”

Its been a few months now since the events of Powerman Zofingen and my last update. Not a great deal has been going on since that race. Trainings been inconstant with back to back races thrown in for fun and experience. 

The first race of of my back to back weekends was MurrayMan long course triathlon. The plan for the race was simple, get through the swim, have a solid bike as a test for the following weekend, get through the run without to much muscle soreness and most important of all finish! I can say that I achieved all of these points. One thing I can say about the event as a whole is that its a must do race. Its a relaxed, well run event.

The following weekend it was off to Shepparton 70.3 where i was doing the bike leg in a team. the plan for this race was even simpler, ride a solid even paced 90km and dont go out like your riding a 6km prologue. I was over the moon with my ride based off, a) hitting my targets and b) riding 2:15 based of the current fitness levels. Also was able to gain experience working with other riders legally, and I mean legally. I was sitting around 15m back from the wheel in front just to be safe. This is usually something that I don't get to experience that much with how far down I’ve come out of the water in the past and my bike strength.

Looking forward few the next 6 months, my race schedule is just about locked in. My next race is Challenge Melbourne, then its followed by Southwest Sufferfest, maybe Challenge Batemans Bay finishing up with Cairns 70.3 being the goal race for the first half of the year. Each race building up to Cairns is about gaining experience and executing the goals set out.

Motivations been up and down since coming back from Zofingen for one reason or another. Today was the best session I’ve had in a few weeks after dealing with being on call. Strangely enough the motivation came from hearing about to new Powerman events in europe and watching video from this years Powerman Zofingen. I guess long course duathlon is what still really drives me the most, unfortunately I don't see myself being able to get across to europe to race anytime soon so its up to me to find new motivation points.  

Ok time to move to the big change Ive made recently in an attempt to improve my performance. My Diet as been turned upside down and I have decided to give the Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) approach to eating a serious go. Now Im not going to go into the whole argument about why everyone should or shouldn’t do this but I will explain some of the driving factors in why I have gone down this road. If you want to know more about it all, I’ve found Dr Tim Noakes is probably  one of the best sauces of info on this subject. There are plenty of podcasts out there where he goes into great detail in a non complex way about the subject.

First driving factor behind this was during exercise fueling. This never used to be an issue for me until the last big stage race I did as a cyclist. Suddenly I was struggling getting in the fuel on the bike and actually had better results from taking very little to nothing in. Now move to triathlon, its still something I’ve had issues with and now that I’m racing over 4hrs all the time it becomes important to get it right. Eating and adapting to a LCHF diet will  basically allow me to race with minimal carb intake during an event, virtually eliminating the chances for GI distress and minimizing the chances of bonking.

The other big driving factor is weight or more correctly body fat management. I have always had to high a body fat % for the level that I was competing at. the leanest I’ve ever gotten was around 15% in my cycling days, which at my body weight still meant i was lugging around 7-10kg of excess body weight thats doing nothing for me. This diet should allow me to help reduce my fat stores as my body will be primly looking to burn fat as an energy sauce.

There are a couple of cautions to this diet that I will point out that I’ve come across. Firstly its prob best to start this way of eating in the of season. It takes time to adapt, upwards of 4 weeks, so start slowly on the training load as your body will still be looking for glycogen to fuel it. Your performance will also potentially go backwoods for starters as well due to this but once adapted should the increase above previous levels in most people. This is something I’m testing, its going to take time but everything I’ve seen on it the mid to long turn gains outweigh the few short term losses.  
Until Next Time

Friday, September 13, 2013

Powerman Zofingen Race Report

Well after another 24hrs of traveling I’ve made it back to Aus. The trip back home was not a fun one at all after the results of the day before. Guttered and frustrated are a few words to describe of how I was felling with my performance.

I woke up raced day morning and felt excited and nervous. Made sure I got to transition fairly late trying to spend as much time in my hotel resting so not to waste to much nervous energy mucking around down at the race HQ. In and out of transition in under 5min then back to the hotel room for a little more feet up time. thats the advantage of having the hotel within 5min of the race HQ. After going through my final little pre race warm up It was time line up for the start.

At 9:02am the gun went of and I literally strolled of the start line. This was pretty much the plan, even if it was a little extreme. I started towards the back of the pack and was not interested in getting caught up in the normal first 1km hustle for position. The plan was to get through the First lap slowly and build from there with a +40min run split the aim. Felt sluggish the first lap which I was expecting. First 4km lap done in 20.02. Built up the pace on the second lap as the legs started to feel alive and with a quick nature break went through the second 5km lap in 23:22. With a fairly quick T1 (would have liked it a little quicker) I was out onto the bike.

The bike started well and to plan. Coming down the Bodenburg the first little issues happened. Rear cassette came loose which was a new one to me. 4min lost on that lap and another 1 or 2 lap on the next lap but not the end of the world by any means. I kept my cool and went through the first lap done in 1:33 (the aim was 1:30). At the top of the Bodenburg for the second time things went down hill fast, and it wasn't the bike. It was like someone flicked a switch. My energy was gone. I pushed on for the rest of the bike hoping that come the run I may start to feel better. It didn’t happen and found myself walking within a km of leaving T2. With my body totally spent I pulled the pin, walked back to my hotel room and slept for 13hrs.

After a post race debrief with my coach Xavier and going though a few things of what happened race day it looks like nutrition/hydration issue, or more accurately me falling to nail and execute my plan on race day after the first time up the Bodenburg. Its really frustrating for me. I went in with what I thought was a solid plan. Was it a brain fade, was it my mind drifting after my mechanical, was it the drop in body temp when the rain hit on he decent, I’ll never no. What I do no is its back to the drawing board. I have already started to pencil out a new plan, totally separating fluid intake and calorie intake even more so then a standard gel and fluid system.

With this result there is also a slight change in my race scheduling for the Aussie summer. Ironman Port Mac is now off the table. Without being able to nail down a long course race its time to go back to basics and focus on races up to half IM distance this summer. Doing this will allow me to race more often and give me more practice racing as well as get a solid base of training into the body. As for Powerman Zofingen, I don’t know when I’ll be back I will be back, although under different circumstances. I’m starting to work out particular markers that I will aim to meet before entering again.

Its now back to light training for me with a bike and swim focus at them moment.

Until next time

Friday, September 6, 2013

Powerman Zofingen: 1 Day To Go!!!!!!

Well here we are finally. Tomorrow is race day! I can not wait to toe the start line as I haven’t had real race since IM Melbourne. Its something that I’m slowly getting used to coming from racing 40-70 times a year as a cyclist to racing less than 5 as a duathlete/triathlete.

The main objective for today for me is to make tomorrow and Monday as easy and stress free as possible. Just the little things like having all my bags virtually packed so all I have to do monday morning before flying out is pack my bike. May sound a little full on but when you cant walk the next day every little bit helps. And I know I will be struggling to walk Monday, that is something I came to terms with mentally ages to go to be able to push my body closer to its physiological limits and not just to its psychological ones.

For anyone wanting to track me on race day, follow this link to the Powerman Zofingen website. The one to best follow me would be the DS live service which provides splits from out on course. I haven’t followed this race live so cant comment on how good it is although I think you get splits every half lap on the bike and every 2-3km on the final run, from memory thats where there were timing mats anyway.

As for my race plan, its simple. Control the controllable and be patient. It was the plan laid out 20 odd weeks ago by Xavier and my whole training has revolved around that idea.  

Until after the race

Pre Pre Race Day

Well its pre pre-race day here in Zofingen. This is when the nerves really start to kick in for me, although its a slightly different look on my face compared to what my training partners usually see. Normally its me with a glazed look on my face often looking out over the water  shitting myself with the fact I have to get through the swim first. Here its more a feeling of I'm ready for this. Going through my head I’m playing out the race, not the results or times but the little processes I need to nail to get the result I want. All about controlling the controllable. The nervous feeling is a good thing, it means I want to compete. If I didn't get nervous before a race I don't think I would be racing anymore as I would have lost that drive.

Yesterday saw me do my last real sessions of this taper block. A nice easy ride to the top of the first climb and back with Oscar in the morning and a 45min run in the afternoon with some stride and 2 500m tempo efforts to keep the legs open. Today sees me with a day off before a easy 30min spin and 15min run tomorrow.

Today I also start on the long list of little things I need to do before race day. Things like lacing up 2 pairs of run shoes with elastic laces, changing my brake pads, giving my bike a wipe over, making race bottles, register, shopping for pre race breaky food etc the list just goes on and on. By giving myself as much time as I can it allows me to be a little less stressed through the process and save energy.

Until next time

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Zofingen Day 3

Hey all, Its now 3 days out from race day for me here in Zofingen. The towns slowly starting to fill with athletes now, which for me more English speaking people to talk too. 

The Body is starting to feel better and better everyday now which is a positive sign that the bodies responding well to the tapering. Yesterday was a double day for me with a ride in the morning and a run in the afternoon. The ride was about an 1hr long nothing special with a few more 5min race pace efforts and 1min hard efforts thrown in to keep the legs happy. Just focused on the false flat section out of town to the first climb for this.
10m draft zone makers

the 5km mark on the bike course.

In the afternoon I just did a nice easy 40min run. nothing crazy here just rolled the legs over. Also jog/walked the first 1.5km of the first hill on the second run up to where the first and second run courses meet up just to remind myself with how steep the hills actually are. This year I’m not scared of the hills thanks to the amount of work I’ve put into my running since being with Xavier, both volume and hill work, but still do respect them as much as ever. They are unforgiving these hills and if you get it wrong early you don't lose secs/km you lose massive mins/km.

the climb just keeps on going

Where the 1st and 2nd run meet

The last 200m before the finish stadium

After the run I meet up with Columbian Oscar Mendoza for a bit of a chat and to give him a little help with understanding the course.

Today for me sees another ride and run before my final rest day tomorrow.

Until next time

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Zofingen Day 1 and 2

Well after a quick 50min train trip I arrived in the race town of Zofingen. Its a old walled town founded in 1201 with a population just short of 11,000 people. Now that's enough of a lesson for now. I’ll upload pics of the town in later post.

Not a great deal to update here today. Monday for me was a rest day and was about settling into my room. Im staying in the Hotel Engel here in town, about 500m away from race HQ and transition. Got to the hotel the 2 main staff members here that run the hotel remembered me from last year and even put me in the same room! Now thats service you don’t get every day but sure makes life a hell of a lot easier.

Tuesday was my first ‘training‘ day here in town. A 25km ride to the top of the first climb and back into town. The main focus of the session was to start opening up the legs a little. 2 5min effort at race pace, then 2 2min efforts at threshold. One thing I have learnt over the years on the bike is my legs need a little intensity during the taper after I have around 5 easy days just to loosen the up and make sure they remember what they are doing. They other focus of the session was really starting to work out benchmarks for the first part of the bike leg. By benchmarks I mean how slow i should be going in those early stages. This is done by riding at around the lower end of my HR race zone for on the bike fresh. I’ll use this number with some speed guidelines as well as my HR is usually 10bpm higher across the board on race day. Add to that a 10km run before hand , your HR could end up anywhere. My race plan relies pretty heavily on getting the early sections of the race right so this is key.

Today another ride is planned as well as a short run. Below are some pics of what the first km of this race looks like. All I can tell you is this hill starts solid and gets stepper as it goes.
top of the climb before we hit the forest paths.

Until next time

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Zurich Day 3: A Day In The Life Of

Hey everybody, as I said in the end of the last update this post is going to be a little different. I’m going to take you through a taper day for me here in Switzerland. I picked this particular day mainly as its the most interesting day, although its still pretty boring.

5am: Wake up. Thanks to go old jet lag I was wide awake. Pretty much when I’m jet lagged in europe, my body just wakes up after 8hrs sleep which I can live with. I’ll now try to replicate the 5-5:30am wake ups all week leading into the race as thats the time i need to get up race day. Being adjusted to waking up then will make race day that little easier. I have 1.5hrs to kill before breakfast so a few cups of coffee is  consumed, facebook people back home and watch some TV shows on the laptop.

A familiar sight on taper 
Come 6:30 and I make my way to to breakfast. Its a buffet here at this hotel so its get in as much as you can within reason. 2 plates of eggs and chicken meatballs, a couple of croissants with nutella and some apple strudel taken in to make my stomach happy. Then its back to my room for more Facebook and TV. I plan most of my training to be done in the afternoons mainly due to the time differences to back home. The mornings are the only real chance to communicate with home, which when you in a non english speaking country by yourself can stop you going totally mental.
Schwingen: Swiss wrestling
Around 11ish decided to pull my finger out and start to build up my bike. My rooms fairly small so left it packed up to save space. This is the time I find out Ive lost the screw that holds the cable on my front brake, easy enough to get but thanks to no sunday trading todays ride will be without a front brake. Once thats all done its a small lunch, then get ready to ride.



No Front Brake
Left for my ride just after 1pm. The session planned was just a nice super easy spin around Lake Zurich with a few little efforts thrown in to wake up the legs. Legs felt fairly good, quads were a little tight when I put the power down but its what I expected. As you can see from my Strava file the pace was very pedestrian like. Some of that was due to not wanting to take any risks with swiss traffic, which actually slow down for you and give you room. Something I’m not used to at all.

The Lindt Chocolate Factory
Once back from my ride recovery drink consumed then shower time and a quick feed. This was followed by a good 30min on the foam roller while watching GP Quest France and the Vuelta on German Eurosport. Once the Vuelta finished I head off down town for dinner. Went to this little Italian Cafe just of the Bahnhofstrasse, one of the most expensive streets in the world. I found this place last time I was in Zurich and they have the best pizza ever, better than I even had in Italy itself. The also have a pretty lethal tiramisu as well which I’m pretty sure you could blow over .05 after one.

After dinner it was back to the Hotel room. Packed my bike back up into my bike box as I’m of to Zofingen on Monday. Then its more TV and time spent on the foam roller till around 9pm when its time to sleep.

There you have it, a bit of a look into a day of tapering. As you can see pretty boring with a lot of time sitting around resting. Today I'm off to Zofingen which is 1hr train trip away.

Until next time

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Zurich Day 2

Its now the start of my second full day here in Switzerland. Body clock has now adjusted enough to the time differences. Was able to sleep till just after 5 this morning which I’m happy with as its the time I have to be up by on race day. Just little things like that can make race day that little more comfortable to manage.

Yesterday was my first session here, a nice easy run through the old town of Zurich and then around the lake on part of the Ironman Zurich run course. Clocked up 12km total with a 2km effort in there just to open up the legs and to help them remember how to run fast. This is the  longest run I will do until I toe the start line in Zofingen. Went out mid arvo which meant it was fairly warm compared to what I’ve been training in. It was around 23-24 degrees with the sun out which was ideal. Did this just to help with some of the adaptions to the slightly warmer weather here. Below are some pics of the views that I had to deal with.

Today is my last “big” day training with a nice leisurely ride around Lake Zurich on the cards with a few little efforts thrown in to keep the legs awake. For tomorrows blog I’ve got a bit of a different idea compared to my regular updates so will be interesting to see how it plans out.

Until next time

Friday, August 30, 2013

Checking In From Zurich

Well its currently 3:30am here in Zurich and I’m wide awake thanks to good old jet lag! Its Been around 2 and a half weeks since I last posted on here. A bit has happened since then. The build phase is over and the tapering has started.

The final last 2 weekends of training went well although not exactly to plan. One thing I’ve learnt  over the years and expected a whole lot better this time around is that its very very very rare that a race build goes 100% to plan. When things have popped up I haven't panic this time around, just excepted it and move on. Just because something doesn't go exactly to plan doesn't mean that you cant still tick the boxes that's required. For me this build has been less about hitting X time or Y intensity and more about how the session is executed.

That's it for now. Updates will be a bit more regular over race week. Will be posting pics and maybe some videos from training sessions over the week leading into the race. Have a nice little run planned for later on today.

Until next time

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Quick(ish) Update

Its been a while since I’ve updated here so time for a quick update. Been plenty of training done and a few test “events” thrown in for good measure.

Its now about 3 and a half weeks from Powerman Zofingen and all things are going well. Everything a slowly falling into place nicely. Trainings been nothing ground braking or radical just solid, honest and hard work. There has been plenty of great sessions, and there has been just as many bad but still meaningful sessions. Add to that a few big multi day blocks and you have my race build. Just been a matter of taking each session as it comes and get the job done as best as I can, something I let get to me mentally in the past.

I made a big commitment with myself when I first moved to being coached by Xavier to change my attitude towards training mentality and the way I would race. This change hasn’t come overnight and is still not quite 100% there in the execution but i’m getting close. It all came about with a few different chats with X about where I was and what he saw. Having that input from someone external made the choice that much easier to make the change by having the emotion taken out of it. I really feel this is starting to pay off for me.

Well still around 2 more weeks to tick off the final few boxes in this build till its taper time.

Until next time

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Disaster Racing; Mentalities of the wrong training

This is not really a conventional ‘what I’ve been up to’ post, it is more about just what a disaster race did to me mentally. It has only been in the last few months that I’ve been able to see the light and start to rebuild that damage. I have basically had to wipe the slate clean and rebuild. The post also somewhat follows up on a blog post my coach has posted on his training beliefs/methods. If you have not seen it you can check it out here, trust me it’s worth the read.

I’ll take you back to 6 weeks before Powerman Zofingen (PMZ) last year. I was on a high, I’d just run my first ever 1/2 marathon and managed to pull of a 1:24:29 on the back of 8 months running. This race was a big factor in me not going to race PMZ in the form I would have liked to. My run training was generally light on volume, around 40km a week absolute MAX!!, with ‘easy’ runs done off HR, then tempo and higher end stuff done off a mix of both HR and pace. Now this is where the issues with my training start to really show. Coming from a high level single discipline sport, cycling, I was already very aerobically fit. But through the years of training, my muscles become very efficient at doing one thing. What this pretty much meant is that I could run faster than my body could handle, or to put it in car terms: the engine was to powerful for the chassis. Neglecting this caused one big issue, that 1/2 marathon took me 2 weeks to recover from, and took so much out of me that my running never got back to that level before PMZ.    

One big factor to falling into this training trap was the training methodology in cycling at the higher levels, and just how much it differs to triathlon. Well over 50% of cyclist these days use power meters for training, for good reasons. They make your road bike a rolling lab and you can train exactly at the levels that you need to be. For example, it takes X watts to ride in the peloton, or it takes Y watts/kg to make it over the climb in contact with the contenders. If you can’t produce those numbers then you may as well not turn up to race, it’s that simple. Now in Triathlon/Duathlon, it doesn't really matter as an age grouper if you can stay with the pack or not. You’re still potentially in the race, as long as you play your cards right. It’s dangerous getting caught up in these power numbers. Now with the time I’ve been training with and thinking about them, probably the best way most age groupers can use on is either when doing wind trainer sessions, or where the athlete doesn't see the numbers while riding, and the coach is the only one paying attention to them.

Now skip forward to race day. It was a complete F up on my part. You name a thing an age grouper does wrong on race day and I could most likely put a tick next to it. One of the biggest hits to me mentally, was that these were mistakes that I had enough experience not to make. I can sum up race day pretty simple:
  • ate wrong breakfast
  • went out to hard in the first run
  • tried to take on a gel at an intensity that was untried
  • spew
  • spend the next 4hrs not being able to eat
  • still go out at goal pace on the bike even through I couldn’t eat.
  • bonk
  • walk a large part of the final run mentally shattered
Now below are my files from race day, open for everyone to see my total melt down and just how bad I was on that second run compared to my first.

First run
Second run

Then came another 2 disappointing races at Geelong and Melbourne for one reason or another. I was lucky I saw the light so to speak, about 4-5 weeks out from Melbourne and kinda got my shit together in those last few weeks, mainly through having the opportunity to train with Xavier and his athletes. That’s when I made the choice that he would be the man able to rebuild me, and help me get closer to my potential. Since then, we have been able to start undoing all the wrongs of the past, get rid of the bad habits and replace them with the right ones for me. And when I say me, I mean me. Just because they are the right ones for me doesn’t mean there exactly the right ones for you. Theres still a few little, and one big habit that we are just trying to bash out of me, but the changes are night and day for me.

Until next time


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Let The Fun Begin!!!!!!

Been a bit since Ive updated here. Theres been a few things happen since the last post. My run focus block of training has ended finishing off with a hilly 12km TT, a half marathon and a 4km TT over 3 weekends. Was happy with all performances in these, especially in the half marathon where I managed fairly even Km splits. I have also gained my first official sponsor, L.J. Hopper Photography. You can cheek him out at New training and race kit is on the way.

We are siting now just over 9 weeks out from Powerman Zofingen which means things have become serious. Trainings been ramping up now these last few weeks. Sessions are done less at  easy or hard, and more done in heart rate zones or at a particular pace, especially on the bike. This is something that I’m able to be very controlled with and defiantly have allowed me to make gains quickly. I have trained this way most of my athlete life which has positives and negatives. Some of the big negatives is that it becomes mentally draining and you can lose touch with what your body is doing, thats why this time I have reserved this method for my main build phase only. Its all part of bringing more balance to my training and life, something my coach is big on! I feel that is is working exactly as I had hoped it would work. the brains fresh and focused which means staying with these numbers mentally easier plus means I don't have to think about hitting the numbers I just go out and make it happen. I like to call it entering Peter Reid mode. For people that don’t know Peter was well known for being extremely focused and dedicated to his training, except he was this way for most of the year which ultimately lead to him being hurt mentally from the sport, thats another reason why I have done things the way I have.

Sticking to the numbers was one thing I identified as something I didn't do last year, especially on the bike. Instead of working on staying in my current zones and allowing power to increase, I rode at a power I wanted to ride at race day hoping that the duration I could hold that power would increase. Big mistake and resulted in me spending way to much time in the gray area, not getting the volume required in on the bike and impacted my ability to get in the run training needed.

I’m currently happy where most of numbers are sitting at this stage. Running wise I’m about 5% quicker for a given zone than what I was before last years race with still the really work to be done. On the bike I'm about the same if not a little lower then where I was last year, which is actually where I want to be. Last year around this time I was coming off a cycling racing block, which I think may have effected my final build for the race. This year we are building the bike and run up together which is the key and I’m confidant that we are going to get it right. Last year I peaked my run around 6 weeks out and never really reached a peak on the bike. This was a big learning experience for me, which more information was gained through my IM Melbourne build.

Last weekend was the first big weekend of training that I’ve gone through this build. 158km hilly ride on Saturday ended with me not in a great way. Poor prep with nutrition left me around 100cal an hour short, partly due to not reading labels. Amateur mistake but a wake up call that has come early enough in my build. These nutrition issues and bad habits are something I want to get nailed down asap and replace with the right ones. Was able to turn things around a little bit Sunday with a good hilly 17km run. Legs pulled up good and felt fairly comfortable on the climbs which is key.

I’ll be updating here a bit more regularly now that the fun has began,

Until next time

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Learning to Love To Run Again!

Been a few weeks now since I’ve last updated here. Pretty much since that update I’ve have been spent working largely on my run and the issues I have with that area as well as laying down a solid foundation for the work that's to come. A lot of my runs haven’t been long but there is a lot of them in a week. The bodies getting stronger and little things like form brake down.

The other big improvements with my running have come from mental changes. I’ve been able to get my hands of some information from so very high end coaches on the mental side of not only running but sports performance. This was a game changer for me as I have been able to find that ability to suffer again or I really should say not suffer. I looked into the brains role in dictating athletic performance. Its some non conventional stuff but it looks at us not as humans but as mammals which after all is what we really are. If you understand what the research is finding, I feel you can start to understand what actually makes coaches like Brett Sutton so successful.

At the same time I’ve looked at how the African runners approach there running and the little things they do. The main one is I’ve been doing a lot of running off road and its not because its a softer surface, thats just an added bonus. Running off road has a whole range of bonuses plus as PM Zofingen is 70% off road it just common sense. I’ve also looked at how they look at running from a mental side and thats allowed me to really start to get in touch with my body.

I had my first little test hit out on Saturday, a 12.3km TT around a hilly loop. Nothing special time wise but shows the work I’ve done and the program Xavier has penned out is working and we are where we want to be at this stage. Still plenty of hard work to be done, especially knowing how my body reacts to workload. Until next time


Friday, April 19, 2013


Over the last few blog posts I’ve been mentioning that I’ve been in the process of making some changes. These have turned out to be both in my personal and sporting lives. Some of these have been major, some have been minor, some are new, some are going back to whats worked before. Firstly I got engaged to my lovely Girl Friend Dani. She has been/ put up with me for just under 4 years now and has helped me greatly with the balance in my life.

Now for the sporting changes. The first one has been to start working with Xavier Coppock as my coach. I’ve known Xavier for a fair few years going back into my cycling days and feel that this is the right move for me to progress. With the change of coach comes a change in how I am planning to race. This is only a small change but its a move to making me a more rounded athlete.

The next change is diet related and shifting back towards the way I ate in the last year I focused full time on cycling. That was when my weight was at its lowest and my performance and numbers ware at there best. Now I was still a fair way off what I could have been weight wise at that stage and I really believe that I was one of the reasons why it didn’t work better than what it did. All I will say is that its far from a conventional endurance athletes diet, but its what works for my genes. I will not preach it or even really say what it is at this stage for that reason. I’ve also been doing a fair bit of research on a few different areas from hydration to how the brains involved in performance. Some interesting and good findings found from it that will go towards those little 1% gains which all add up.

As for training, the first block in the lead up for Zofingen started this week. Some changes already being felt. A fair bit of running involved which I’m actually looking forward.

Until next time

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ironman Melbourne Race Report

Well race day has come and gone. Just like most people mine was full of up and downs with mine ending in the ultimate down of sitting on the side of the road waiting for the Sag Wagon. This was thanks to me popping my 5th lumbar out in my back and my Tensor Fascia Lata tightening up. Not the way I had planned for it to go but thats racing.
Happy to be on land.

Was fairly excited on hearing news that the swim had been shortened. I had a shocker in the water just couldn't get going. I have done plenty of training in those conditions but when you add 2200 others with a lot not experienced in them it makes for one hell of a swim when your towards the back. had people swimming over the top of me all the way out to the turn buoy. The turn buoy it self was a shocker 180 degree u bolt around a single buoy mixed with all those athletes meant you were stopped and dealing with head on swimmers. A large number of athletes just turned around early. there were a couple of different options race organizers could of done to help stop this issue around the turn buoy but it is what it is and you deal with what your giving on race day.
Before things went pear shaped.

Got out of the water and made up a bit of time duck diving and running on the beach. Got though transition and on to the bike and felt good straight away. I have had a few (BIG) issues with pacing before so was pleased I was able to keep it under control in the head wind on the way out. Had about 30 people drafting me at one stage in the head wind. The tail wind section was great just cruising back down the freeway was fun, a few people tried to hang on but they didn't last long. Went though the first lap in 2;25 which was right on target and watts on target too. Got to around the 110km mark and started to have some issues with my lower back and hip on the left side of my body then a few KM later had the pains started to shoot down my leg, stopped a few times trying to stretch it out with no luck. tried to limp my way back to T2 but body wasn't going to let me and had to get a TO to help me off my bike. spent a fair bit of time crying on the side of the road while I waited 2.5hrs to get picked up by the sage wagon.

Here is a link to my SRM file on training peaks for anyone interested

I would like to give a big thanks to my Mum and Dad for being there on race day, my GF Dani for putting up with me through all the training and all the support from random supporters out on course. To all the volunteers and race officials thank you because with out you there is simply no race.

It was a shit way to finish the day was really looking to finish and get another long race in my legs before PM Zofingen this year. About the only positive to come from it is that I didn't go deep at all so will be starting my prep a lot fresher and sooner. This is not the first time I've had hip issues on the bike so may need to go back to the drawing board there. Time to move on and except what happened. Plenty of work to be done before Zofingen included starting to shift my strength to make me a more rounded athlete.

Until next time

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Time To Go Race!!!

Well the Ironman circus has hit the town. Its now 3 sleeps till race day and that means one thing, I’ve got more energy than I know what to do with thanks to taping for the last 10 or so days. The body is starting to come good and I’m as ready as I can be to step into the unknown for me.

Since Geelong Ive been able to string together a fairly solid block of training. Things haven’t always gone to plan or been the greatest block but its been honest. I’ve blown up on many occasions for a number of different reasons but every time its happened I’ve looked at why/how it happened and made changes to try stop it happen again. I have to give a big thanks Xavier Coppock, Ben Hughes, Ben Robinson, Kane Roach, Adam McCarthy, Adrian Brunato, Clayton Stairmand, Damo Harris, Jerome Peyton, Tom and anyone else who I have been able to train with in the lead up to this race. I have to give an even bigger thanks to Xavier for helping me keep on track and passing on some of his endless knowledge.

I have had a few different goals I have wanted to get through this experience. Some I will not know if I have achieved till after I cross the finish line but there are a few I have already achieved. The big one is that I’ve continued to learn and gain more experience in how I need to train and prepare for Long distance multi sport races. the first one is that I’ve been able to maintain some type of fitness and focus in my training so I’m in a good position to start my prep for Powerman Zofingen. 

Moving forward after Ironman Melbourne, theres a few different things that I’m starting to work on and plan which I’ll explain more after the dust has settled from Melbourne and things are finalized.

Finally Good luck to all the athletes racing IM Melbourne.

Until after race day

Sunday, February 17, 2013

And Where Racing

Been a while since my last update. We are now a scary 5 weeks out from IM Melbourne, which means for me about 3.5 weeks of real training before I taper. Time to start to cram like Ambrose. Since my last update works continued to be busy, and I’ve had my first race for the year, the Urban Geelong Long Course Triathlon. Which was my first Half Ironman (70.3) distance race.

Not to much to report on the results at Geelong, had a bad race but I’m blaming no body other than myself for it. I just didn't get it right, Made some mistakes in the lead up to the race and then the way I handled situations during the race which all added up. Gained plenty of useful experience and data to move forward and kick on to Melbourne. I was over the moon with my swim and actually think I lost positions on dry land which as a duathlon specialist is frustrating.

Training this week after Geelong as gone well. Have had no real issues recovering from it and was able to lodge my biggest 7 day run block ever, 62km. Still not big km’s but ones got to start somewhere. The run is something that I know there's still plenty of room for improvement. I’ve been a lot more focused on making sure my running technique is as good as I can get it and am working on improving it in every session. Not only is that a key for getting through Melbourne but also for going fast come Zofingen. I’ve also started doing some geeky testing on some marginal gains methods and equipment for me to use in Melbourne, some are working out perfectly others need some further work.

On the Zofingen, some great news. There is currently 5 other Aussies on the start list which is a load better than just me as the only one there last year. Its a great start but the more Aussies that go across the better!!!

Till next time

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Long Time No Blog!

Happy New Year everyone. Its been a while since I’ve posted on here. the last 6 or so weeks have been a bit hectic and a big change for me so I’ll bring you up to speed. I started a new job at the start of December which meant that the last 2 weeks of November and the first 3 weeks of December were a bit of write off training wise. I was able to keep some swimming up but the rest wasn't great. Wasn’t the best time to change in terms of my training but it was an opportunity to good to turn down. 

From the weekend before Christmas to now I've managed to start to train the house down again. I’ve logged around 25hrs in the 11 days with a few rest days thrown in. The body is responding well to the work load which I’m more than pleased with. I’m in a fairly critical block now building for Melbourne but more importantly I’m laying down some solid foundations for for later on in the year and for the years to come. I’m only starting year 2 in my transition from cyclist to multi-sport athlete and it takes time to build up the strength needed to race long course in the other areas of the sport.

The best news to come out of this 11 day block is that I’m mentally back with it and motivated to train again. I’m putting this down to a few things. First one is that I’ve been able to to a large portion of the training with a solid group of athletes. I have to thank Xavier Coppock for letting me tag along with his training group. Secondly there is the MX12 group on Facebook to keep me accountable.

The final reason is a big change for me, a change up in the way I train and what I look at or more importantly what I don’t look at. I have all but given up training with a powermeter and the numbers. I’ve been training without looking at the numbers on and off for the last couple of months and my training has improved. I’m going back to training on feel and listening to my body. In the past I would throw in training sessions if i couldn't hit the numbers that the session required. Now I go by feel and am getting the training done. My sessions have changed with this new style for me and am going to do a large amount of KISS training. KISS stands for Keep It Simple Stupid or Keep It Simple Sutton which comes from Brett “doc” Sutton, head coach of Team TBB. It pretty much comes down to doing the simple stuff that works and don't try to reinvent the wheel.

The plan for the next few weeks is just to keep building on these last 11 days and get my body closer to ‘race fit’