Monday, July 26, 2010

and so it begins

i have had my little rest.  it was strangely difficult to not do something.  no swimming for nine days, no bike or running for six days.  i did my last upper weight session on monday and then nudder for four days.  i was lost.

prior to me and garmin meeting i used another high tech tool to track my training.  it did get neglected and hasnt been updated for well over 18 months.  also handy for remembering the name of your hairdresser. 

i overcame the technical difficulties and here is the ride from last week.  i did this again yesterday and just a fantastic beautiful winters day - i know i shouldnt complain.  the ride was easier with the main obstacles being horse poo, kamikaze magpies and goannas.  they do warn you about snakes lying on the warm track.  i hate snakes. 

this weekend i will be gettting back on the road bike before heading down to dwellingup in two weeks.  i have missed the road.  i watched most of the tour de france and just loved every moment.  it had it all.  the scenery and the course, the riders and the teams.  the history and culture behind the tour.  i am trying to decide whether i am attracted to the riders (seriously - is there padding in there somewhere ?) or want to scream out for someone to give them a big fat burger to eat.  i am no fan of contador but i would of kept going too.  and lance is just a fucking legend in my book. 

this is the beginning of following a specific training program.  and it will start something like this -

monday - rest day
tuesday - tabata intervals bike a.m.  this is meant to be brutal but time efficient.  warm up 10 mins then increase gear ratio and sprint for twenty seconds then stop and rest 10 seconds.  you do this eight times and if you hold nothing back then you will be rooted.  you can do these for running as well but you recover 90 - 120 seconds in between.  swim 2.5k p.m.
wednesday - running.  1.5k warm up. 4.5 tempo pace 1.5k cooldown.
thursday - tabata intervals a.m. swim 2.5k p.m.
friday - running.  10-20 warm up. 10 x 400 w/1.30 rest. 10 min cooldown. pace 1.51. 
saturday - swim a.m. 3.5k long run p.m. 10k.
sunday - road bike ride a.m. 75k.  pilates/weights p.m.

stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

adventure girl maybe

sunday was my first kinda mountain-ish bike ride.  and it was slightly more challenging than i had imagined.  i guess the word mountain in the name of the bike should have been a clue.  i did take garmin along for the ride but due to technical difficulties i cannot upload the wonderful google map.  so i will be re-doing the ride and bringing this to you at a later date.

this was a huge amount of fun.  and there were quite a few things i had not expected.  i packed my backpack with the essentials and most importantly a repair kit.  i, myself, had changed the tyres on the mtb from the road slicks to nobblies.  the trail is a beginners dream and only about 30 minutes from home - who knew !  i cannot believe people stay home making like a vegetable when we have such a wonderful world out there.  so at the late start time of 9am i found myself here -   

this is the beginning of the railway heritage trail ride that is a 40k loop.  one of the positive things is that while you feel you are going bush you are actually never far from help.  and i am very envious of the folks who actually live in the neighbourhood.  what beautiful homes.   takes me back to my surfie chickie babe hippie days. 

the track is great and i didnt take too long to adjust to the gravel.  bit nervous at first going down hill but you get confident and change the way you ride.  apply the basic rule of not applying the brakes while going downhill and it is fun.  the hard part was slowly climbing 20k into the hills of perth.  nothing big but it was a gradual climb up 300m in elevation. it took awhile to realise because it appears and seems like you are on a flat road.  my first pit stop was an area where they do some absailing.  obviously another ugly winters day.

the trail was easy to follow and some interesting things along the way.

i was happy to get to mt helena. suddenly the ride got easier and  you could apply some speed.  there are sign posts telling you how far you have travelled and how much further to the next location.  most of the time i was on my own and so it was very funny that when i finally decided to stop for a pee a guy rode past and yelled out hello.  more like hello butt cheeks.  and while on the topic of bodily functions i have become a champion at the bushmans hanky.  strange fact is that this sport of triathlon has a way of making the body become so basic in its functions. 

any good west aussie kid will know what this is.  the cy o'connor pipeline.  the dude who built this and the mundaring weir (not far from where this pic was taken) rode out into the bush and shot himself (took his teeth out first apparently).  it was a pipeline that took water uphill and miles away to kalgoorlie. 

beautiful wattle trees and a dream home.  this was the start of the slight downhill run.  i was probably riding around 25k per hour and glad to be cruising as the legs were tired.

black boys and wattle trees.

the trail from here until i was just about back to the start was incredibly rocky and a test on my new nobbly tyres.  what was surprising were the people that i came across.  nice to see someone running the trail but seriously why would you attempt to ride it on a road bike with your three year old and his bike.  poor dude was pushing both.  and obviously this was a beginner trail as i only rode past 4 other mtb riders the whole morning. 

it was a great morning out and more of a workout than i had planned.  i rode the 40k which is the same distance as the race i signed up for.  but it is not as hilly.  i think the classic has an elevation of 1000m (i dont know where i read this but it is wrong - see  so you can guess where i will be heading for a trial run very soon.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

have i mentioned ...

i have been a bad blogger. 

have i mentioned that i really hate friggin winter.  although in the grand scheme of things i really have nothing to complain about.  perth has shitty weather for maybe three months max and even then i can probably get a ride in every weekend and run most days.  but it has been extremely cold - it was 1 degree the other morning forf#*&sake !!!!   and now it is really wet and i just dont like it.  and my electricity bill was humungous.

i rode my trainer for the 90 minutes last sunday.  i knew it was going to be extremely boring but i wasnt prepared for just how much harder it is than the open road.  for the next few weeks i plan to ride the trainer three days per week and i am taking the mountain bike on a trail ride sunday - i will post pics.  i am struggling to find consistency with my training while winter is here.

i am sad today because cadel's race is over.  now that lance is done with the tour i hope he takes up triathlon.  that is something i want to see. 

i miss racing. 

my strength personal training sessions are just about over.  i have one leg session tonight and the last upper body monday.  it has made a difference and i have gained some great workouts that i can do at home. i will be glad to go back to having monday as a rest day and running on friday. 

i have discovered these great breakfast cookies that i make every week.  when i do i cannot stop eating them.  my boss says they look like big dog turds.

i have decided that i am having five days off from all training and a weekend of casual outdoor activities (starting next tuesday) before starting a program that will lead me into the triathlon season of 2010/2011.

have i mentioned that i hate winter.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

my swimming world

i love swimming.  i think you either love it or you dont.  i love the peace, the time to think, the feel of it and most of all the challenge.  swimming is not easy.  i am not a naturally talented swimmer.  i have a decent stroke. i am an intermediate swimmer. 

i learnt to swim early in life.  i think when i was about three.  i remember my sister and i would go across the road to the swimming pool while mum was sleeping.  excellent parental control.  we would tell the person at the gate that mum would arrive shortly and pay for us.  i had a blow up blue shark.  we had swimming lessons - at school and during school holidays.  i completed up to life saving certificate.  but i could only put my head under water when i held my nose.  i think this still has an impact today.   my dad hated it when i did it.  we would go to leightons beach with our foam surfboards and dad would hold us until a massive wave came and then let us go - screaming down the face of it until we either got dumped or made it to shore.  we had no fear of the ocean until jaws came along.  i made it worse by reading the book.  we swam in the shark cage in broome - even with a massive hole in it.  i was more worried about sea snakes.  at school carnivals i would volunteer for lower division events and then dive in (holding the nose) and swim 25 metres, take a breath and swim to the wall.  i won a few.

i left school and went travelling.  i had always played sport but this was a remote area.  there was a pool so to keep the party kilos off i decided i needed to teach myself how to breathe and swim.  i swam off and on over time and mostly it was one lap free one lap breastroke and  never more than a kilometre.  i was a true wall hugging lap swimmer.  i breathed just to my right and started with four strokes then air but smoking took care of that.  i think the swimming helped when smoking didnt.

it changed when i moved to perth.  i started swimming at least four or five times per week.  i managed to get up to a mile or 32 laps.  i would swim 500m freestyle without a rest.  i imagined this was huge.  i was still playing hockey at a decent level.  i loved what swimming did for the body image.  i had little baby guns.  no matter how bad i felt  swimming 20 or 30 laps always left me feeling refeshed and alive.  best cure for a hangover ever.  i remember certain swims.  i had a friend who was the maintenance guy at a private school and i would go up and swim in the outdoor 50m all on my own.  the whole pool to myself.  another time i remember swimming on a perfect summer morning - it was new years day and the water was crystal clear and like silk.  swimming is popular and competitive in perth.  i guess when your local race is 19.7k long it is bound to be the case.  check it out.  if you finish it solo you get your own number plates.

then i started working as an accountant and life got serious and the swimming slowed and then halted to nothing. what changed ? well state swim opened up five minutes from home.  they are a group of pools and swimming schools that specialise in teaching people how to swim.  i have pretty much swam three days a week for just over two years - about 37,000 laps.  after three months back swimming i started bilateral breathing.  i was introduced to interval training.  i swam my first 1500m.  i have learnt how to swim in the open water.   my whole attitude, experience and know how is so far removed from my early days.  and i still love swimming.  i swim with the sun coming up and being cold at the moment the steam rising off the water.  you feel great to be alive. 

i have also learnt that what works for some people may not work for others.  people have their opinions.  i dont like the idea of the total immersion promise.  to master swimming over a weekend workshop.  if that was the case then why are people still struggling with technique etc.  but what really pissed me off was the stupid comment on page 13.  it reads 'my total immersion workshops began concentrating on something no other swim coach in america had ever done ; teaching swimming technique instead of giving workouts'.  if this was the case how the fuck did the usa ever win a race at olympic level.  

i have my own plan and i take it from what i believe works for me.  each week i will do a technique/drill focus session, an interval session and an endurance session.  during the week i only get an hour in the evening with the squad training so i try to do at least 2.2 - 2.5 k of technique and intervals.  saturday morning i get 90 minutes so i try for 3.5k of endurance.  this works well as your core isnt warm first thing and that is better for endurance training.   i started doing lung busters over a year ago.  you swim underwater with fins.  i was useless and only made it maybe half way.  i do the 25m easily now and that feels great.  a good way to track your progress is by stroke count and rate.  i use a wetronome.  i did this drill with swim smooth about a year ago (time to do it again).  it tests your balance.  i swam 7 x 50 laps with different stroke rates while the coach counted my strokes.  the results were -

stroke rate              stroke count                time
48                          50                               1.02.4
51                          50                               57.9
54                          49                               55.6
57                          48                               51
60                          49                               49.9
64                          48                               47.2
70                          49                               45.6

what made me very happy and surprised the coach was that my stroke count didnt change.  it meant that just by increasing my stroke rate my times got faster.   they say that at the beginning of a training season the focus is to build your stroke count and then work at the rate.  there is more involved to achieve this but a good indicator of progress.  i try and work  a threshold session into the endurance plan  which is a stroke rate of 62. 

i had a fantastic swim yesterday.  i swam 5 x 400m as the main set.  it took about 44 minutes with a minute rest in between each.  not bad for an intermediate swimmer.

anyway i love swimming.