Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Xterra Malaysia 2014 - Oops!

 "Raced" Xterra a couple of weeks ago. Wasn't expecting much as I just haven't trained for more than 6 months now. (Can't get my head around it). I've been doing a reasonable amount of MTBing though, I describe myself as an enthusiastic beginner but some ppl have even said I've become moderately competent haha.

Anyway back to the race. Started off really well and had a great swim. Came out with the women pros and spectators were telling me what an amazing swimmer I was - never had that before. Speed suit off, goggles off, helmet on and heading out of T1. I knew it was good as almost all the bikes were still there. I had a quick look at my watch...WTF! 15 minutes for a 1.5k swim and transition haha I don't think so.

Guess it was a two lap swim whahahahahahahahahaha - turned round, racked bike, found goggles dived back in pretty much in dead last place. Oh well ay! All said and done I enjoyed the swim anyway, chuckled all the way round the second lap and was soon out on the bike.
I love my MTBing these days and have ridden this course a lot. I managed to call a few ppl back who were heading off course, they were very appreciative so at least I got a bit of a feel good factor out of that. I was progressing well and pulling past rider after rider. It was glorious and intense stuff.
I got up the big climb albeit noticed I was struggling a bit on the uphill technical stuff, a clear sign I was over extending myself physically. Never mind, I pushed on and dealt with the slightly technical descent without a problem.
Then a new bit of the course I'd only ridden twice but feeling confident I careered down a heavily rutted trail at 40+kph, until that is, the right hand rut ran out and I tried to drift over the long wet overgrown grass to the left rut. The Shadow (my bike) didn't like that idea and kept going straight. My body was already committed to going left and that's where The Shadow and I  parted company. Fortunately my head (and thank goodness my helmet) took most of the impact. Always best to use the densest part of the body in a fall haha. Computer mount smashed, head hurting, dizzy as a dizzy thing I got back to it, albeit with a lot less enthusiasm.

All the power seemed to have gone out of my legs and I was feeling very dehydrated. It was a very hot day, mid and high 30s. Probably got my nutrition very wrong. Really racing like a beginner today.

A little voice suggested on several occasions not to do the run but somehow I headed out in the blazing sun without much enthusiasm. I managed to run for the first couple of K until I blew up spectacularly and the walks kicked in. Soon it was much more walking than running all the way to the finish.
I HAD NOTHING and that's what you get when you don't train. It was humbling, embarrassing and quite depressing but too be frank. I knew it would be and that is the main reason I forced myself on to the run. I knew I needed to hit a real LOW low to get myself motivated to get back to where I was and to at least get back to 10hr Ironman pace. I've got three months before Ironman Switzerland so prepare for a transformation or take the pee out of me all you like, l'll deserve it.

One or two ppl have sheepishly taken the mickey out of me about my rookie swim screw up. I think it was hilarious, so please don't be shy take the pee all you want, it was very funny.

Malaysian road rules

(SC I didn't write this but I wish I had, very funny and painfully close to the truth - Enjoy)

A guide for expatriate drivers in Malaysia

Since arriving in Malaysia in 1994, I have tried on many occasions to buy a copy of the Malaysian road rules, but have come to the conclusion that no such publication exists (or if it does, it has been out of print for years). Therefore after carefully observing the driving habits of Malaysian drivers, I believe I have at last worked out the rules of the road in Malaysia. For the benefit of other expatriates living in Malaysia, and the 50% of local drivers who acquired their driving licences without taking a driving test, I am pleased to share my knowledge below:

Q: What is the most important rule of the road in Malaysia?

A: The most important rule is that you must arrive at your destination ahead of the car in front of you. This is the sacrosanct rule of driving in Malaysia. All other rules are subservient to this rule.

Q: What side of the road should you drive on in Malaysia?

A: 99.7% of cars drive on the left hand side, 0.2% on the right hand side, and 0.1% drive in reverse (be on the look out for drivers reversing at high speed in the left hand lane of freeways, having just missed their exit). Therefore on the basis of 'majority rules', it is recommended that you drive on the left. However, be aware that only 90% of motorcyclists travel on the left hand side - the other 10% ride in the opposite direction or on the sidewalk. Fortunately, motorcyclists traveling in reverse are rarely seen.

Q: What are the white lines on the roads?

A: These are known as lane markers and were used by the British in the colonial days to help them drive straight after consuming their gin and tonics. Today their purpose is mainly decorative, although a double white line is used to indicate a place that is popular to overtake.

Q: When can I use the emergency lane?

A: You can use the emergency lane for any emergency, e.g. you are late for work, you left the toaster plugged in at home, you are bursting to go to the toilet, you have a toothache or you have just dropped a hot latte in your lap. As it is an emergency, you may drive at twice the speed of the other cars on the road.

Q: Do traffic lights have the same meaning as in other countries?

A: Not quite. Green is the same – that means “Go”, but amber and red are different. Amber means “Go like hell” and red means “Stop if there is traffic coming in the other direction or if there is a policeman on the corner”. Otherwise red means the same as green. Note that for buses, red lights do not take effect until five seconds after the light has changed.

Q: What does the sign “Jalan Sehala” mean?

A: This means “One Way Street” and indicates a street where the traffic is required to travel in one direction. The arrow on the sign indicates the preferred direction of the traffic flow, but is not compulsory. If the traffic is not flowing in the direction in which you wish to travel, then reversing in that direction is the best option.

Q: What does the sign “Berhenti” mean?

A: This means “Stop”, and is used to indicate a junction where there is a possibility that you may have to stop if you cannot fool the cars on the road that you are entering into thinking that you are not going to stop.

Q: What does the sign “Beri Laluan” mean?

A: This means “Give Way”, and is used to indicate a junction where the cars on the road that you are entering will give way to you provided you avoid all eye contact with them and you can fool them into thinking that you have not seen them.

Q: What does the sign “Dilarang Masuk” mean?

A: This means “No Entry”. However, when used on exit ramps in multi-storey car parks, it has an alternative meaning which is: “Short cut to the next level up”.

Q: What does the sign “Pandu Cermat” mean?

A: This means “Drive Smartly”, and is placed along highways to remind drivers that they should never leave more than one car length between them and the car in front, irrespective of what speed they are driving. This is to ensure that other cars cannot cut in front of you and thus prevent you from achieving the primary objective of driving in Malaysia, and that is to arrive ahead of the car in front of you. If you can see the rear number plate of the car in front of you, then you are not driving close enough.

Q: What is the speed limit in Malaysia?

A: The concept of a speed limit is unknown in Malaysia.

Q: So what are the round signs on the highways with the numbers, 60, 80 and 110?

A: This is the amount of the ‘on-the-spot’ fine (in ringgits - the local currency) that you have to pay to the police if you are stopped on that stretch of the highway. Note that for expatriates or locals driving Mercedes or BMWs, the on-the-spot fine is double the amount shown on the sign.

Q: Where do you pay the ‘on-the-spot’ fine?

A: As the name suggests, you pay it ‘on-the-spot’ to the policeman who has stopped you. You will be asked to place your driving licence on the policeman's notebook that he will hand to you through the window of your car. You will note that there is a spot on the cover of the notebook. Neatly fold the amount of your fine into four, place the fine on the spot, and then cover it with your driving licence so that it cannot be seen. Pass it carefully to the policeman. Then, with a David Copperfield movement of his hands, he will make your money disappear. It is not necessary to applaud.

Q: But isn’t this a bribe?

A: Oh pleeease, go and wash your mouth out. What do you want? A traffic ticket? Yes, you can request one of those instead, but it will cost you twice the price, forms to fill out, cheques to write, envelopes to mail, and then three months later when you are advised that your fine was never received, more forms to fill out, a trip to the police station, a trip to the bank, a trip back to the police station, and maybe then you will wish you had paid ‘on-the-spot’.

Q: But what if I haven’t broken any road rules?

A: It is not common practice in Malaysia to stop motorists for breaking road rules (because nobody is really sure what they are). The most common reasons for being stopped are: (a) the policeman is hungry and would like you to buy him lunch; (b) the policeman has run out of petrol and needs some money to get back to the station; (c) you look like a generous person who would like to make a donation to the police welfare fund; or (d) you are driving an expensive car which means you can afford to make a donation to the police welfare fund.

Q: Does my car require a roadworthy certificate before I can drive it in Malaysia?

A: No, roadworthy certificates are not required in Malaysia. However there are certain other statutory requirements that must be fulfilled before your car can be driven in Malaysia. Firstly, you must ensure that your windscreen is at least 50% obscured with English football club decals, golf club membership stickers or condo parking permits. Secondly, you must place a tissue box (preferably in a white lace cover) on the back shelf of your car under the rear window. Thirdly, you must hang as many CDs or plastic ornaments from your rear vision mirror as it will support. Finally, you must place a Garfield doll with suction caps on one of your windows. Your car will then be ready to drive on Malaysian roads.

Q: What does a single yellow line along the edge of a road mean?

A: This means parking is permitted.

Q: What does a double yellow line along the edge of a road mean?

A: This means double parking is permitted.

Q: What does a yellow box with a diagonal grid of yellow lines painted on the road at a junction mean?

A: Contrary to the understanding of some local drivers, this does not mean that diagonal parking is permitted. It indicates a junction that is grid-locked at peak hours.

Q: Can I use my mobile phone whilst driving in Malaysia?

A: No problem at all, but it should be noted that if you wish to use the rear-vision mirror to put on your lipstick or trim your eyebrows at the same time as you are using a mobile phone in the other hand, you should ensure that you keep an elbow free to steer the car. Alternatively, you may place a toddler on your lap and have the child steer the car whilst you are carrying out these other essential tasks.

Q: Is it necessary to use indicator lights in Malaysia?

A: These blinking orange lights are commonly used by newly arrived expatriate drivers to indicate they are about to change lanes. This provides a useful signal to local drivers to close up any gaps to prevent the expatriate driver from changing lanes. Therefore it is recommended that expatriate drivers adopt the local practice of avoiding all use of indicator lights. However, it is sometimes useful to turn on your left hand indicator if you want to merge right, because this confuses other drivers enabling you to take advantage of an unprotected gap in the traffic.

Q: Why do some local drivers turn on their left hand indicator and then turn right, or turn on their right hand indicator and then turn left?
A: This is one of the unsolved mysteries of driving in Malaysia.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Friday, November 08, 2013

Seb on the Ukulele

Seb's only been learning the Ukulele for a few weeks so I'm blown away by this. No t from my genes for sure.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Seb & Sid get a mention for the Singapore Triathlon

Seb and Sid got a mention in the school online newspaper for their exploits in the recent Singapore International Triathlon. Whoever said being a parent was difficult? They are awesomely awesome.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Inter-schools Cross Country - Sid and Seb in action

Sid and Seb made me incredibly proud again last weekend. They both took part in the annual inter-schools cross country race over 1.5km. They were racing against 7, 8 and 9 year olds (they're 7) so we didn't expect too much and especially as we hadn't trained for it and it was their first ever standalone running race.

The gun went off and 148 kids bolted down the field, Sid and Seb on the other hand were in another world and didn't move until they almost got knocked over. Focus wasn't their strong point at the start of the race haha.

They were soon into their stride though and soon enough I saw them come whizzing past albeit in the middle of the field, oh well I thought, it's all good experience and we genuinely didn't expect too much.

I made my way over to the finishing chute and before long the front runners were appearing around the corner, boy they were moving, I very much doubt that I could have beaten them. Needless to say they were all the older kids, my boys weren't there but I was so excited about seeing these awesome athletes. There was a wicked sprint battle going on for fourth and fifth miles down the ground, wow, it even looked a bit like Sid from a distance, although he was way too far back to be this high up in the field...OMG...IT WAS SID!...how he picked up so many places just blows my mind.

As it happened he finished 5th and the highest placed boy in his year - what a massive result.

Seb was having his own amazing battle (check out the "look"), coming through the field and although was disappointed not to feature in the top ten medal placings he ran a very credible race especially as running is not his strongest discipline (yet).

Their school won the event last year by just one point, this year they smashed it with a margin of 50 points - OUTSTANDING!

Well done Alice Smith! Well done Sid and Seb.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Scary? It would be if you were there!

(Courtesy of Ezer)

The best thing I've ever seen on the Internet other than "The Death Star Canteen" - Brilliant!

Why You Should Fill Your Company With 'Athletes'

(Courtesy of Forbes.com)

At our company, we work to fill our roster with “athletes.” I don’t mean this necessarily in the physical sense, although it turns out that quite a few of our members are literal athletes – we have a national-class triathlete, I have a personal interest in competitive and recreational bodybuilding, and there are multiple marathoners, bikers, soccer, and basketball players, CrossFit enthusiasts, etc. on staff. We also have a companywide interest in health and fitness, which we call “Fishbowl FIT.” But when I advise people to seek and hire athletes, what I am really referring to is the athlete traits (akin to leadership traits) that make any individual an exceptional hire.

The traits of athletes we desire are as follows:

1. They have the drive to practice a task rigorously, relentlessly, and even in the midst of failure until they succeed. Athletes are tenacious—they seldom or never give up. They also have a strong work ethic and the ability to respect and deal with the inevitable issues of temporary pain (along with the intuition to know when the cause of the pain is an issue too serious to safely ignore.)

3. Athletes develop new skills. Even though an athlete is highly specialized at certain skills, such as speed, blocking, or hand-eye coordination, they are also good at adapting to scenarios that call for cross-functional skills.

4. Athletes are exceptional entrepreneurs. As you consider new hires, you will likely discover that business athletes are often former (or current) entrepreneurs. Whereas people from large corporate environments may tend to be specialized in their skills and single-minded in their objectives, a business athlete is equipped to see the bigger vision of all that goes into making a company thrive. They can think strategically and are tuned in to the “big picture” and the long-term goals. They also know how to put the strategy into action.

5. Athletes strive for balance. Too much junk food and too little sleep will not contribute to a healthy company or a winning performance. Their bodies must be strong and in good condition, so athletes understand that they can’t cheat the system for long and expect positive results. A true business athlete will respect the laws of balance in energy, health, sleep, and nutrition (as well as the business corollaries) that will allow them to succeed and to do so not only in the present but for the long term as well.

6. Athletes work well with partners and in teams. Athletes know how to leverage the unique and complementary strengths of each member of their team. They know that cutting down a teammate or disrespecting a partner will only contribute to an organization’s demise. In fact, an athlete will typically put the needs of the team or a partner on equal par or even ahead of their own needs. How do you find and hire these athletes? Consider the questions you ask in interviews about outside projects, other interests, community service, the ability to focus on pet tasks, and the concepts of teamwork. And, as always, be keen to the ways you can recognize and hire for propensity instead of for current demonstrable traits. Many of my own strongest players have never previously excelled at a physical sport. They never knew they were athletes. That’s an important aspect of hiring athletes: The world’s best athletes are not necessarily discovered; they are trained.

How are you finding, fostering, and training the champion athletes on your own business team?  Everyone deserves the opportunity to discover the “athlete” within themselves.

Friday, October 04, 2013

40, The New 20

Mark Allen's three components for getting faster after age 40.

(Courtesy of Terry, extracted from Lavamagazine.com, written by AnnaBuckley )
My last year as a competitive swimmer was when I was 22 years old. When my final result was posted and the goggles were tossed into the back of my closet, I thought my days as a true athlete were done. Finished. I was retired for life. It was all downhill from there. You see, I had no role models to demonstrate what “older” athletes are capable of. I had no idea that nine years later I would be winning an Ironman world title or that 15 years later I would win my sixth Kona title at age 37.

We are seeing the limits of older age fall like leaves in the athletic world. Nowadays, 20 years old means you’re just getting started, not a year or two from your athletic grave. Thirty means you’re just hitting your stride, and being a world-class athlete at 40 is no longer an anomaly. We’d better start watching out for the 50-somethings. In a few years we may be seeing world records being set by those with ages that previous generations thought were heart attack territory.

The record books have been sprinkled with athletes bucking age barriers for some time. U.K.-born marathoner Priscilla Welch didn’t even jog until she was 35, yet she won the New York City Marathon at age 42. Rob Barel, one of our sport’s pioneers from Holland, was the oldest triathlete in the Sydney Olympics also at age 42. And don’t forget Dave Scott, who at 40 came within 12 seconds of overtaking eventual champion Greg Welch on the marathon in the 1994 Ironman Hawaii. Perhaps the most impressive example of excellence at an “old” athletic age is six-time Hawaii champion Natascha Badmann, who won Ironman South Africa in 2012 at age 45.

So what’s going on here? Why is this generation of athletes making 40 truly seem like just a number on a page while their machines are still humming along at world-class speeds? Clearly there has not been a significant genetic mutation in the human genome over the last 20 years that has suddenly made such performances possible. The genetics needed to do so have been around for thousands of years, but it’s only coming out now.

One could argue that the ability to make a living as a professional athlete is what is propelling the age standard to new heights. Certainly this is one part of the puzzle. Training, especially for an endurance event, is often a closed equation. There is only so much of the personal energy pie to spread around, and if someone is putting in 40–50 hours in the office, there is little chance that they will be logging another 30–40 a week into their training logs. But, if the results keep rolling in and sponsors continue to cut the checks, then suddenly that part of performance is taken care of and the freedom to continue to train and race full time is no longer limited by financial concerns.

But this doesn’t really explain the whole picture. When I retired from swimming there may not have been any professional swimmers who were supported financially to keep going as long as they could, but there were sports were that did happen. Golf was one of them, and certainly there were some older golfers with scores close to their ages. But in general, even in the sports that had outright professionalism, we saw few who aged up very gracefully. So what has made the shift now?

One of the biggest deterrents to consistent long-term top performance is poor planning in the recovery department. Poor recovery leads at a minimum to big-time burnout and in the extreme to a career-ending injury. Regardless of whether you are trying to be a world champion or just cross the finish line, if you don’t execute your recovery very consistently your body will start to break down. Then your racing starts to suffer, which leaves you with a zapped body as well as the frustration of knowing that all that training was for nothing. Problems caused by inadequate recovery were rampant in the early days of most endurance sports and certainly triathlon.

These days the scene looks much more tidy. We have more advanced exercise science, gadgets to measure your every heartbeat and breath, coaches who really know what they are doing, and the critical dos and don’ts that could only be built through years of trial and error by other athletes. Now all of these combine and the masses are finally tapping into a vast reservoir of knowledge about how to train smart. Recovery has gained stature and is factored into an athlete’s training way more than even 10 or 20 years ago. Suddenly careers are lasting longer that ever thought possible simply because fewer athletes are burning out before their genetics need to wind it down.

In our sport people are no longer throwing training theories against the wall to see what works and then paying the price for those harebrained plans that don’t. They can pretty much map out their years, then sit back and just do what is laid out with less apprehension about whether their training will do them right or do them in.

Throughout my career I thought I had the formula down, especially from 1989–1993, when the Ironman trophies started to add up. Race results speak volumes, but unfortunately they don’t always reveal the underlying weaknesses that are building up from training that is not matched with enough recovery—at least until the time bomb goes off, which happened to me after my fifth Kona title in ’93.

I was exhausted. After almost five years of inadequate recovery, the guillotine dropped. The short version of the story is that it took me a season and a half of pretending I was still a top triathlete before I went on a severely limited training schedule and finally started to revive the hope of putting in one more bid to win Hawaii. Others thought it was my age creeping up, but the problem was that 13 seasons into my triathlon career I had made rookie mistake number one: I hadn’t been recovering nearly enough. I was 36 and was coming back to win Kona at 37, something that had never been done before at the time.

We now know that this and more is possible. In 2010, at age 37, Macca used the field as a punching bag in his second Hawaii victory after cutting back his training load from previous seasons. Last season a 38-year-old Craig Alexander executed a perfectly planned season of racing and recovery to become the oldest male champion in the history of the race.

The final component
Opportunity and recovery are close to the complete answer of why we are seeing today’s 40-somethings still on top, but not quite all of it. The final component required to be “old and on top” starts with a thought. It’s either “I know I can,” or something like, “I think I might be able to and I just want to see if I can.” You just need a part of you to believe that your best days aren’t behind you.
My view of the world when I finished swimming—that all athletics were over—was limited. Probably many pro triathletes in the ’80’s had already seen themselves joining the age-group ranks sometime in their early thirties until they saw Dave Scott and me still at the top of our games at age 40.

Nowadays the belief is there for the “old-timers.” And maybe it’s not even about being a champ. Ken Glah has logged a finish in Kona every year since 1984 [Ed note: This year will mark his 30th time on the starting line]. He believes he can, so why not? Has age clipped a dream short for you before you even gave it a fighting chance? Maybe this is the year to tell yourself, “I know I can,” or at the very least, “I don’t know if I can but I know I can give it a try.”

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

How Green?

(Photo courtesy of Siti Hay)
Now this is what I call greener than green.
On a three family trek to Le Monal, The Crosses, The Waymans and the Hays - I got us all lost so everyone except Sid and Seb abandoned me and went for hot chocolate.
An hour later the boys and I eventually found our destination - me boys are harder than nails!

2 Waymans and 2 Crosses - It makes me very proud...ah hmmm!!!

Photo - Courtesy of Chris Wayman
Pretty girl with happy smile - Courtesy of India Wayman
Aloof, kind of cool looking guy - Courtesy of KofiWayman
Two Numpties...they are the TriTwins! Oh dear! haha

Peter Kay - Misheard Lyrics - Hilarious!

(Courtesy of Stephen Dennison)

Friday, July 19, 2013

How good is this?

Click on this link if you just want to see the Brownlee Brothers blowing everyone away. Their swimming is just poetry in motion. So good it's mental. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8_aZ80O9ig#t=04m20s

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Trek Speed Concept 2.0 - Sssshhhhhush, don't tell Gladys


Check out the video of the new Trek Speed Concept 2.0 HERE.
I'm not sure she's as pretty as Gladys but there's a lot to be said for loose and faster over pretty (and fast).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Latest training update for Ironman Switzerland - Phase 2 Week 6 (w/e 14/07/13)

Here's my training weeks leading up to Ironman Switzerland. I'll update them weekly and slot in the most recent at the top each week.

I'm self coached now and the basic plan is to go back to my 2009/2010 training plan and adding some of the lessons I've learned since. I don't have the same mileage in my legs and I'm 10kg+ heavier, therefore the main emphasis is to get the weight down, build some mileage and everything else is secondary. Getting the weight down will be critical. I'll worry about a more scientific approach for my next Ironman. I've given up booze totally and not eating dinner most days.

The plan will consist of two "Prep" weeks to try to get myself into a routine of training again and also to nurse my injured right arm. (MTB accident, in a sling, basically I can't use it for now). Then 4 weeks "Phase One" loading the miles, then 6 weeks of "Phase Two" full-on Ironman mileage and finally 2 weeks "Taper".

The stats leading up to the start (things had really gone to the dogs as you can see): -
Average weekly training hours since Jan 1st until start of Prep Week 1 - 6hr53
Average Weekly Swim Distance since Jan 1st until start of Prep Week 1 - 2.7km
Average Weekly Bike Distance since Jan 1st until start of Prep Week 1 - 1.04km
Average Weekly Run Distance since Jan 1st until start of Prep Week 1 - 16km
Weight 84.7kg

Phase 2 Week 6 (w/e 14/07/13)
Weight 71kg

Swim 22km - Bike 367km - Run 46km - Gym 3hr20

(Long Bike/Run Brick 184k/12.5k, Long Run 21k)


Comments: -
Hmm! Mixed feeling about this week. After last weekend's races  and next week the beginning of my taper I was highly motivated to make this the last big week without any missed sessions. I was happy to accept a sluggish start to the week but I guess the big loading over the last few weeks, considerable weight loss, low glycogen reserves, two races and an "over-reaching" training plan, all took their toll. The thing that really suffered was my running, I was just too mentally and physically exhausted to do it all.

I put in a decent run after my long ride on Saturday but come Sunday I had my last 32k scheduled, I was in pieces from the off and considered getting a taxi back at 11k. I reminded myself I was going to feel worse than this in a couple of weeks at IMZurich so even if this wasn't doing me any physical good it was certainly great mental training. I slugged it out back to the car with the help of my all girl body guard squadron (thanks again girls) and called it a day at 21k.

Oh well ay! I did what I could do, the whole idea is to push the limits to breaking point without making excuses but without actually breaking either. I found that limit this week and other than my little bout of food poisoning I haven't been laid of sick, training has been pretty darn consistent and I'm still mentally very motivated.

It's taper time now although the taper doesn't look much like a taper, not this week anyway haha. Race day less than 14days away - getting excited! Yay.

Phase 2 Week 5 (w/e 07/07/13)
Weight 72kg

Swim 12km - Bike 102km - Run 18km - Gym 0hr

(Port Dickson Sprint Tri - 1:07:59 - 1st 40-49 Age-group)
(Port Dickson Challenge [1.5km/1km/43km/9.5km] - 2:12:07 -
1st 40-49 Age-group, 2nd overall)


Comments: -
This week was always going to be a light effort week culminating in a Sprint tri on Saturday and a slightly longer than Olympic distance tri on Sunday. As it happens I didn't intend to back off as much as I did but hey ho, as I said last week I have been loading big volume and was reaching my mental and physical limit. What I didn't expect though was coming down with chronic food poisoning on Thursday evening. Despite the resulting excellent outcome at the weekend, Thursday night and all day Friday was just a miserable cascade of vomit and diarrhoea, mostly the latter. By Friday night I could eat again and Emer, one of my running buddies and also a doctor, recommended I take as many Oral Rehydration Salt sachets as I could manage - I managed 10 Friday, 2 Saturday morning and 2 Sunday morning.

My stomach started cramping again during the run on Saturday's tri but being a sprint it was over before it got too bad and on Sunday it was a really difficult to digest anything during the race. Both days I had no power on the bike but the run was fine, strangely. All in all a dodged bullet and an awesome outcome.

I was just 1min39secs from winning the whole thing, something I've never dreamed of at my advancing years let alone after food poisoning. As I keep telling those who care to listen (and those that don't) I am Benjamin Button. Haha.

The plan is to load the volume big time again next week to the maximum before a 2 week taper. Let's see how that works.

Phase 2 Week 4 (w/e 30/06/13)
Weight 72kg

Swim 15km - Bike 350km - Run 63km - Gym 2hr

(Long Bike 184k, Long Run 32k)


Comments: -
Horrific Haze came down big time Monday and Tuesday, no way would it have been safe to swim although should have done the indoor sessions, sadly it threw my routine and thus my resolve so I ended up doing nothing for these two days. Air quality improved enough to get back into it on Wednesday and then I was just trying to play catch up doing 30hrs in 5 days...it didn't happen.

Still an OK week, di dlong run on Saturday and flew, long ride on Sunday and had nothing much to give and missed the brick run afterwards tch tch.

Clearly reaching my limit, good to recognise it, so won't beat myself up too much. Sprint Tri next Saturday and Olympic Distance Tri on Sunday won my AG in both last time I did them so would like to do well and will back off a bit next week.

I may not be there yet but I'm closer than I was last week.

Phase 2 Week 3 (w/e 23/06/13)
Weight 73kg

Swim 21km - Bike 400km - Run 82km - Gym 3hr20

(Long Bike/Run Brick 184k/8.8k, Long Run 32k)


Comments: -
Wobbled a bit at the beginning of the week missing my 18k dreadmill interval session. Did it on Friday instead though, this meant 5 days in a row running from Wednesday through Sunday, this meant the end of the week was seriously loaded and I was totally whacked. Did everything except 2 optional easy bike sessions, so a total win but boy oh boy, tired or what?!!!

Big problem now is the haze, it is now super thick, twice as bad as it was over the weekend for my long ride and run and it was super bad then. The other guys on the long ride stopped and got taxi's home it was so bad. Just hoping for major rain storms but looks like most stuff this week at least will have to be done indoors. The swim is going to be an issue!

Somehow got to keep on track.

Phase 2 Week 2 (w/e 16/06/13)
Weight 74kg

Swim 21km - Bike 440km - Run 81km - Gym 2hr40

(Long Bike/Run Brick 187k/8.8k, Long Run 32k)


Comments: -
A very satisfying week, 20 sessions and only missed one optional gym session and one optional easy turbo. I'm managing the loading, body and mind adapting reasonably well to it all. There are sessions where I have nothing to give, no power, high lactic acid and can't get my heart rate anywhere near where it should be. These sessions are effectively the recovery time and I expected them but they're tough pills to swallow.

Sleep has been pretty good which is incredibly important with such high volume and no built in recovery days. I'm eating top quality food albeit still very minimal to drop the weight but starting to find myself snacking a little now, nuts, fruit etc. I guess the level that I was eating at is unsustainable so not too worried about it.

No signs of injury or illness yet although I'm starting to get some choice comments from various quarters just waiting for it to happen, ha! Managed my first brick run after a long ride on Saturday. Didn't have much in the legs for either ride or run but got them done. Sunday morning's long run was the real breakthrough, my legs were positively spritely and the speed reflected it - fitter, stronger and most importantly lighter - ONWARDS!

Phase 2 Week 1 (w/e 09/06/13)
Weight 75kg

Swim 21km - Bike 401km - Run 62km - Gym 3hr20

(Long Bike 189k, Long Run 32k)


Comments: -
A good week really, had a blip on Wednesday, was supposed to do my mid week brick workout but it just didn't happen, I did do it on Thursday though but that meant pushing Thursday's run to Friday. Doable but after my swim and gym I made the mistake of having planned a game of golf in the 40C heat. Won't do that again as I missed an important run and a more important max effort turbo session. Won some money at golf though haha. Saturday's long ride was a super hilly one, low power and low heart rate (unable to push it up) were problems again. By the time I got home temp was through the roof and the brick run didn't happen. Sunday's long run was pretty good and progressively faster than previous weeks. Did a turbo session in the evening as a recovery ride and to push the bike mileage over the 400k per week target. Running again was a real let down this week although improved on last week. Long way off my 80km weekly target. Must focus more on this and force myself to at least do the all important brick runs. Weight continues to disappear which is helping all aspects of training, this is still the key factor and will eventually make the running more bearable as the loads reduce week on week.

Phase 1 Week 4 (w/e 02/06/13)
Weight 76kg

Swim 25km - Bike 321km - Run 45km - Gym 2hr40

(Long Bike 194k, Long Run 32k)


Comments: -
Solid week although running let me down a bit, I was just too whacked to do all the scheduled runs. Boys off from school so didn't have to do the school run and consequently my days all started later so I kept running out of time. By the time the weekend came around I was a mess, no power in my legs and sweating profusely before it even got hot. Couldn't get heart rate up either so clearly haven't adapted to volume yet. Missing runs was probably good and necessary. Long ride on Saturday was a massive struggle just to keep going. long run on Sunday not much better but got both of those important sessions in with a modicum of quality. Next week I move to full Ironman riding and running volumes in Phase 2. Uh-Ho! All good so far though.

Phase 1 Week 3 (w/e 26/05/13)
Weight 77kg

Swim 18km - Bike 304km - Run 66km - Gym 3hr40

(Long Bike 190k, Long Run 32k)


Comments: -
Great week except Friday, it was a holiday for the boys so no school run and it threw my routine, ended up sleeping most of the day. Felt awful about it but not going to beat myself up, I clearly needed it. Saturday long ride saw increased distance, lower heart rate and higher power than last week. Didn't manage a brick run though, too hot and need to HTFU. Sunday's long run was a huge confidence boost, kept up with the group (albeit they were taking it easy) but then last 11k alone was a solid run rather than an Ironman shuffle. Had planned to catch up on missed swimming and ride in the afternoon but didn't happen. Still struggling to come to terms with the volume but getting there.
Phase 1 Week 2 (w/e 19/05/13)
Weight 78kg

Swim 17km - Bike 300km - Run 46km - Gym 2hr30

(Long Bike 184k, Long Run 25k)


Comments: -
Felt great until Thursday afternoon, probably pushed too hard on Wednesday ride/run brick and got dehydrated. Just didn't have anything Thursday afternoon and by the time I turned up at the pool Friday morning I felt the beginnings of a cold/fever or worse. Didn't swim, went home and straight to bed for the day. Woke up Saturday for the long ride not feeling much better but well rested at least. Long ride was great and long run on Sunday a struggle but 25k in the bag.

Phase 1 Week 1 (w/e 12/05/13)
Weight 80kg

Swim 21km - Bike 164km - Run 55km - Gym 2hr25

(Long Bike 0k, Long Run 22k)


Comments: -
Started using my right arm swimming now carefully. Fantastic week's training until the weekend arrived. Sid and Seb had the Nexus Triathlon so couldn't ride in the morning. Super hot so ran in the evening, 22km only felt awful. Party Saturday night which ended at 2:30. Did nothing on Sunday - very poor, completely drained though.

Prep Week 2 (w/e 05/05/13)
Weight 82kg

Swim 20km - Bike 302km - Run 42.2km - Gym 1hr30


Comments: -
Right arm slowly improving but still excruciatingly painful so all swimming still left arm and kicking only but letting right arm move through water now. Not eating dinner at all which is tough but the weight comes down super quick if you can tough it out.

Prep Week 1 (w/e 28/04/13)
Weight 85kg

Swim 20.24km - Bike 271km - Run 21km - Gym 20mins


Comments: -
Right arm in a sling with badly damaged shoulder so all swimming was left arm and kicking only. The first day the doctor allowed out on the road bike I got rear-ended by a car but thankfully landed on my good side and the bike wasn't too badly damaged. Road rash will heal! ha!