Thursday, 18 September 2008

Back in the Saddle

Alright, I took Monday off as I thought it would be a bit crazy to train after Sunday's tri. However, I didn't feel bad or stiff or anything. Just normal. Could it be that I either didn't work hard enough on Sunday or that my training had paid off. I'm going with the latter.
So, with that in mind, I started to plan my training weeks. As I haven't anything solid in the calendar other than the Wales trip with the Ferrets (Bike, Climb, Drink over a weekend) and a possible duathlon (off road, 2.5k run, 13k bike, 2.5k run) I thought I would try to set a base level and build from there. So...
I have added 2 gym sessions for strenght, 3 run sessions, 2 LSD (long, slow distance) and 1 sprint session on the bike. Somethings missing right? I have decided to join the Tonbridge Triathlon club and get in 2 pool sessions (with a coach!). Now, don't think its too much. The gym is a 15 minute, 2 set core workout hitting large muscles. The run sessions will only be at Zone 2-3 (HR at 130/140BPM) and the cycle will be mostly trainer sessions with the sprint session done to a Carmicheal DVD. I'm going for periodisation on this, so will look at increasing intensity only on week 3 of the 4 week cycle.
So, what's next? Strange how when you achieve one goal, you immediately look for another. I'm thinking about 7oaks Sprint in the Spring, Windsor in June, and 7oaks in the Autumn. But, we have friends in Guernsey and there is an event called the Granite Man. Maybe one for WW, its a middle distance tri? 1.5k swim, 90k bike, and 21k run. Sounds like a long day. Maybe I could watch from the Beach Cafe?
See you soon. Oh, I read a great quote the other day, which I wish I had during the last climb up to the finish on Sunday. 'When you find yourself in hell, keep walking'

Monday, 15 September 2008

You line up here...

So, I am officially a finisher in my first triathlon. But, you ask how did I get on?
I spent most of Saturday night getting my kit ready. My wife knew that I was in a mood as I went through our collections of sports bags trying to find just the right one. Then I asked where was the plastic box that boy used to use. She looked at me like I had really lost it, but just smiled and told me to use one in the shed. 'Oh, and don't forget talc.' What a woman!
Bed for 9.30p and up the next morning at 5a. Breakfast was already laid out, and it was just tea and bagels. In the car, and at the site for just before 6a. The parking area was a bit of a mess, and people were all over the place getting sorted. I went in to registration, got signed up and racked my bike along with all of my kit. No turning back now.
Off to the pool, and for some crazy reason I still had my keys in my hand. Now, I am all ready and here I am with keys and energy gel poolside. I ran up to T1 with the keys and placed them in my box, of course forgetting that I had the gel. Anyway, they made us line up then took us to our lane and said, '1 minute in the water'. Then, the whistle blew and we were off.
I blasted through the first couple of laps and then it hit me. I'd gone too fast and my arms were starting to hurt. My breathing was all over the place, and I started to panic. How many had I done, what about my form? I shouldn't have worried. I beat my time by over 8 minutes, but thats not saying much. I'm not a good swimmer.
Out of the pool, with the gel, and I'm off to the bike. 2.21in T1 and I'm on the bike and spinning a nice gear out of town. A monster hill greats me, and I sit and spin up. Then, the fun part. A good .75 mile downhill and I am hammering it. My heart rate has steadied, and now its down to cadence and tempo. I make up a lot of time during this section and really feel good. The gel goes down at 12 miles and next thing I know I'm coming up on T2.
A beautiful dismount, quick shoe change, and I'm out. 1.06 transition, and I'm starting the run. Now, for those that haven't understood the Blog name, Dip (swim), Clip (clip in your pedals), and Skip (run) is what should happen. However, if you are tired, it can be TRIP. I shuffled. Out onto the run and into a beautiful downhill, then an uphill, then a uphill, but all along still running. About halfway, I got my stride and started to feel good. People who were starting were watching me running the other way! I was finishing, and thanks to my name on my race bib, I was getting congratulated by strangers! Now, I remember why I love this!
Up the killer hill, that was a downhill earlier and I am into the parking lot. Then, the finishing inflatable thing! I'd done it. Quick look at the watch, and it was only 2 hours since I started the whole thing. Excellent.
Now, I finished 183 out of over 300 and while it isn't the fastest, I'm pleased. There are ways to get faster (learn to swim would help!), but I know I am hooked. So, a few thank you's are in order for friends who have helped.
Ki-for being so supportive and the 'golden tickets', Clarabelle-for not thinking me daft, Hazel and Richard-for taking an interest in another mad idea, Bull-for making me do it, Ferrets-for pushing me on the locals, WW-you're an ispiration Ironman! Only 299 more days, City University-for letting me train, when I should have been working, Kids-because I want you to be proud, M/D-For spurring me on in the States, boy and girlies-for calling me Sportacus, and lastly to God-its all in Your glory.
Anyone else that I may have missed, you know...
Now, which way to Windsor?

Here's the result:
Swim-14.21 (254st place!)
Bike-55.55 (151st)
Run-47.10 (164)
Overall-2.01.11 (183rd)

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Got it! It's Tri fever!

This is the third time I have tried to post, and its just not worth trying again, as SKY will most likely fail again.

I finished, better than I had hoped, and will give all the details tomorrow.

As the title says, I'm hooked. I've got Tri fever.


Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Its go time

They say that you need to taper prior to a race. In the old days, I didn't train for a specific race as most of the season it was a race every weekend or fortnight. Now however, this tri has been the only thing I have been working towards. So, with that in mind I've dropped down on the time and intensity to get ready for the event.
Yesterday, I taught a Spin class. Unlike some instructors, when I come out of retirement to teach, I run a cycle specific session working on technique and using Heart Rate or percieved exertion. But, I forgot that when your spending you time speaking and spinning your rate goes up. I tried to push the class toward Anaerobic Threshold on the out of the saddle climb (For those about to Rock was the track), but couldn't resist doing it myself. Still think I'm ok for Sunday.
Today, I sneaked in a swim at the pool. Only 30 mins, but worked on being long and fluid. I really felt comfortable in the water and enjoyed just doing a few laps without a specific workout in mind. I can now say that I really wish I had gotten into swimming earlier. Not only is it a great workout, but there is something about the sensation in the pool. Hopefully, after this Sunday I will keep it going, and spend time on learning technique and really getting a proper stroke. While its too early to think about it, I kinda want to get into the Open Water.
So, anyway just a few more days till the tri.

Friday, 5 September 2008

It makes you stronger

So, a friend happened to say that my blog really only talks about training and never about me, family or anything else. He's right. Mainly its a personal thing, my family is the most important thing to me aside from my faith. Luckily, God puts the two together in just about everything. Even training. The support of my wife and the 'free passes' she gives me to hit the pool, the road or the trails are golden and I thank God that she is cool with these mad things.

It hit me a few days ago that I have grown up. My boy is now in school, and my girls (I've got twin princesses) are able to string together sentences and shout 'No, Daddy' at the top of their voice. The students at my work call me Mr. instead of Dude, and just a few minutes ago one of the Duty Managers in our Sports Centre asked if I had ever heard of 'Pearl Jam'.

When I was younger, my world revolved around bikes, beer and babes. Now, its bikes, babies, and the occasional dinner party. Roger Daltry said, 'Hope I die before I get old' and now he's in his mid sixties. And yet, here I am getting a 6.30a start time for my triathlon, trying to get some friends together for a 'Ferrets Weekend' (my bike club) in Coed y Brenin and Betws y Coed, and have even been thinking of doing a solo or pair 24 hour endurance race.

Is this a mid life crisis? Or am I trying to remind myself that I once was fast, fit and fearless?

Deep enough for ya?

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


Its been a funny few weeks. My training has been going well, with the odd hiccup every now and then (not enough time, injury) but I have been feeling pretty good about things. The one thing is that I haven't concentrated much on the cycling aspect. Mainly due to the fact that I ride regularly, and am comfortable on the bike up or down. So, with that in mind I have been using the bike for bricks. Especially now that I have got the trainer set up in the shed. So tonight I tried a run/cycle session. It was also the first with Mabel.

So, a 20 minute run later (I need to be careful with her as she is only 12 weeks) I got on the bike, flipped on The Collective on the TV and set the tempo at a static Zone 2. Time just seemed to waltz by, I focused on Bearclaw and company and next thing I knew it was time to cool down. Now that's the way to train. Quick shower, followed by CSI Miami and I am done.

So with only 13 days left till the race I'm feeling good. Then, WildWill mentions something in his blog about a push up challenge ( My arms are still killing me. Cheers, Will.