Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Alistair Brownlee on target again

(Courtesy of slowtwitch.com)
On race day, Brownlee came out of the water in 2nd place and mounted his bike just in front of Gomez. Gomez held within a few seconds of Brownlee on the bike, but was off form and fell back to 8th on the run. Brownlee started the run with a conservative first kilometer, but then rocketed away to a 29:30 run which was just 23 seconds slower than his Olympic gold-medal winning run at London -- and good enough for a 22 seconds margin of victory. Alistair's winning time of 1:47:16 was also 1 minute 31 seconds faster than his brother Jonathan's winning time at this race last year. Jonathan was unable to defend his 2012 San Diego title due to a still-healing ankle injury.

After the medal ceremony, Brownlee elaborated on a few issues in the media zone.

Were you surprised by your performance on the run? "I think the whole race was good. I was quite nervous before this race. It’s the first race I've done properly since the Olympics last year. I've been pretty busy and took a lot of time off from training due to the appendix surgery. In mid January, I started a bit of training. I literally didn’t know how I was going to go. Even if I had come 2nd, 3rd, or 4th today it would have been great just to do that first race. The fact that I won it and I won it like that is just brilliant."

How did you feel about the bike breakaway today? "I was in the initial group. I think there were 8 of us. I was trying to motivate the guys to work and get going. I don't understand why those guys aren't pushing me hard, because I can win the race on the run. But these guys' best chance for a good result is by working together on the bike. I don't understand why they weren't working. It doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever. If I can try and get rid of a few of these guys by attacking up the road, and maybe two or three guys have the sense to join me in a group of three or four, we can work well together and we might get away. But none of them came with me when I tried to go up the road. Every time I tried anything I was just getting pulled back. So, a very, very tactically negative race today."

Were you surprised that you did so well on the run today? "Purposely my tactics weren't to go out too hard on the run and I expected to have some people with me on the first k or so. Normally I run a very fast first kilometer but I didn't quite know what my fitness was going to be. When I got to 2k, I found myself on my own and running at a controlled pace. Which was very good."

Did it feel good when you could walk to the finish line rather than battling with Javier Gomez to the end? "Yes, it did feel good. I have had some massive battles with Gomez and Jonny in the past which left me absolutely dead at the end. Today wasn't one of those. I fully expected if Gomez was in top form it would have been one of those days."

Were you looking for Gomez during the run? "Gomez is a great one. But I could see on the bike he wasn't his normal self. He is one of those guys who would push but he just looked pale and weak. I think he was not in good shape today and I hope he gets better because he is a fantastic competitor."

And then Alistair Brownlee was taken off to doping control.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I've been a victim of bullying

Great fun at Rolf's 50th birthday party on Saturday. Although I was the victim of some fairly sustained bullying. As you can see Nora almost set her puppies on me at one point.

It was a nautical theme so I've no idea how my skipper's cap got replaced with a Malaysian Airlines pilot's hat!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Scottish bar stool for kilts - snigger

(Courtesy of CK Chew)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

OMG! JJ What have you done?

This is a buddy of mine after a skiing accident. He tore his calf and it swelled up to the size of his thigh. I saw this picture and I was horrified...have you ever seen such hairy legs...get them sorted dude! haha

Alternatively, one might say "Cool tattoo dude!" haha

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Train To Run Like The Best

(Courtesy of Terry Walsh and taken from Triathlon Europe)

Paul Huddle’s strength as a young pro in the early days of triathlon was the run, but he never realised how important the bike and swim were to a good marathon in Kona until he asked his housemate, Mark Allen, why he was so religious about making every morning swim workout. “He said if his swimming was as fit as possible, it would have minimal impact on the rest of his race,” Huddle recalls. “It didn’t get me to swim much more, but I thought about that concept as it applied to my marathon at Ironman. Since cycling was my weakness to begin with, I started to think that maybe I was focused too heavily on my strength, which was running. If I were to run a better marathon, maybe cycling was the answer. I hadn’t come close to what I felt was my potential in the marathon of an Ironman and, since I’d already been focused on running since that was what I knew, I decided to become a cyclist. I reasoned that if 180K didn’t impact me, perhaps I could maximise my running abilities. I was right.

I doubled my cycling volume and my marathon time became competitive. On top of that, my bike split also improved.”

Most top-end Ironman coaches agree that the stronger you become on the bike, the better able you’ll be to run to your potential in an Ironman. “Just because an individual athlete has shown brilliance in one or all of the disciplines at another distance or as a single-sport athlete, it’s no guarantee of success in Kona,” Huddle says. “How many sub-2:20 marathoners have come to Kona and gone five hours? I can name five off the top of my head.”

So bike more and run off the bike regularly in your training. “If you don’t have a strong running background, consider double runs as a safer way to boost running volume,” says Huddle. “One hour after a long ride is as long [a brick workout] as I’d suggest.” Long runs and higher intensity runs should be done fresh to avoid injury or necessitating a long recovery, but they are an irreplaceable component of high-level Ironman run training.

And how long should your longest run be? Running expert Bobby McGee says anything over two or two- and-a-half hours is counterproductive. What you want to focus on, he says, is quality and leg strength. McGee has his athletes do one long run every two weeks and in between an intermediate distance run with a quality finish. “Fast finish long runs or runs with strides toward the end are super ways to reduce recovery time and teach athletes to finish strong,” he says. He also advocates running workouts that build your functional strength and mechanical efficiency: springing up a steep hill for 30 to 45 seconds at a time; hill interval workouts with 10 1.5- to 3-minute repeats up a moderate hill focusing on good form; and the bread-and-butter race- pace intervals off the bike. “I’d keep them short, fresh and plentiful,” says McGee, “like 200-meter to 1-mile reps at race pace, fresh and off the bike.”

McGee also has his Ironman athletes do their long run sessions with fewer calories until they can manage more than two hours on water and electrolytes alone. Why? Reducing the need to feed reduces the mechanical stresses on the gut and makes for a higher likelihood of a clean run, especially in the heat,” he says.

He also trains his athletes to walk fast and long, build- ing them up to “some really nasty, gnarly four- to six-hour hikes. The muscle endurance and fat-burning skills gained here are hugely beneficial to the age grouper,” McGee says. “The walk/run method is a total no-brainer. We have five years of anecdotal proof that this is the way to go fast, and I’d hazard a guess that even sub-three-hour [marathon] runners could benefit from this.

Simon Says: -
I have to say that for the less talented distance runners amongst us, and I include myself in that, I think that anything up to 3 1/2 hours for the long run is beneficial and quite honestly imperative. It's about training the mind as much as the body. Also we age-groupers travel a lot slower than the pros so our 3 1/2 hours is probably their 2 1/2 hours. I certainly wouldn't manage a nonstop run in an Ironman on long runs of only 2 1/2 hours.

The main point of the article though is to train on your weakness (Paul Huddle focused on the bike as it was his weakness), I definitely intend to make myself a runner when I get back from my shoulder injury in a few weeks. My bike always takes care of itself and my swim is never going to be brilliant but I always put the time in so I see huge returns in becoming a good distance runner. Time will tell.