Monday, December 17, 2007

It's Better to Burn Out...

... Than to Fade Away...

So... I've been a lucky lad when it comes to seeing the bands and artistes I've always admired. Managed, over the years, to see Elton John, Queen, Springsteen, Bowie, The Rolling Stones, The Buzzcocks and many, many more. Hell, I even saw Pink Floyd put up their wall for the very first time at Earls Court in 1980. But I've been waiting to catch Neil Young for as long as I can remember. Found out on Saturday he's playing five nights in London, two in Birmingham and one in Edinburgh next year. Managed to snag tickets for the Saturday night show - all now sold out, of course.

So the motto is... all good things come to those who wait.

Speaking of waiting... I've been waiting for this damned calf to heal and it seems as if I've finally turned the corner. I'm running with some regularity now but am under strict instructions from coach Mark to keep it to 50 mins or under until after xmas. The return to running has had a knock on effect on my back and lower legs as the impact is something my body needs to get used to.

I've had back and shoulder problems which have restricted cycling and swimming but hopefully I've turned the corner. These issues, combined with being ferociously busy on the work front have meant that I've struggled with training recently. But, as I've now delayed my full training return until the beginning of the new year, I'm happy just cracking on as best I can.

Longest bike has been 36 miles with plenty of turbo sessions. Today I did a 20 mile bike and 5 mile run back to back so feel like I'm returning to fitness. Swimming re-commences tomorrow.

I'm reading my friends Tom and Helen's blog (look for the link on this page) and doing my best to come to terms with the fact that these guys are elite athletes now and I shouldn't be trying to compete with them... merely enjoying the ride with them. Well done guys. Keep it up and don't burn out.

Congratulations also on your engagement. Happy days.

Congratulations also to my friend Jason Bulley, who has secured his place in The Marathon des Sables 2010. There was some talk of me joining him but I have to be honest and say that it wasn't 'calling' me in the way that IronMan has.

What is calling me? Well, again I have to be honest and tell you that there's the seed of something growing inside me.

Part of me would like to explore the possibility of swimming the Channel.

There... I've said it.

Bloody hell.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Important Things...

Last week was good.

Damn good.

Training is back underway in a proper fashion (although this week will be a little lighter due to work commitments) and, although I'm not running yet, swim and bike continue to go well.

I trained for a total of ten and a half hours this week which is more like the old days. This broke down into 4 x 45 minutes of swimming - each time doing 2km based on various different reps - 3 x 1 hour turbo sessions on the bike, a half hour turbo bike session and a long, relaxed but bloody cold 60 mile, 4 hour bike on the Saturday.

Went out with Dave and Coach Kleanthous or MarkyMark to his mates on Saturday. Mark tells me I'm back training from December 1st. Under his guidance once again, I shall soar to the dizzy heights of IronMan superfitness.

Although to start running would be good.

Anyway... my photo this week is of my youngest daughter, Alice. After tons of prep work and practice, we heard on Friday that she'd passed her eleven plus exam. Like training, you get what you work for.

Well done, Alice. I love you.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Reality Sets In

Second week back in serious training and have begun to gradually up my bike mileage on the long ride. And it's become obvious that it's gonna be a long winter as I grind out the training that will allow me to hit my IMA bike target in July. Still we're up and riding and my trusty Specialized Allez Comp - an example of which is pictured - (3,000 miles in a year of ownership) is going well.

I'm still not running and have no plans to this month. My calf shows no signs of problems, but then again it never has until I go out and run on the bloody thing. Must get another massage from Dave and book in for an MOT with Will now I've started out 'real' training again.

So it's been swimming and biking again this week. Swam 8,000 metres in total in four morning sessions. I've been breaking the sessions up and, instead of swimming 5 x 400m have been doing 10 x 200m of varying paces... breathing left, breathing right, with and without pool buoy etc. It's going well.

Biking is good too. Had two one hour sessions at Monday and Wednesday and knocked off around 18 miles in each of them. Saturday saw a 60 mile ride which got touch towards the end, coming back home against the wind. I'll have my cycling legs back in no time though.

Busy couple of weeks coming up but am keen to keep focussed and stay in training.

Monday, November 12, 2007

If only it could help me with my training...

Yes... succumbed to the hype and bought myself an i phone on Friday. In my defence I must say that I run Macs and have done for some time. That said I already have a perfectly good mobile phone and... yes... I'm a tart for gadgets.

Anyway. I reached a line in the sand last Saturday night. Figuratively speaking of course. There I was at the bonfire party, guzzling beer, eating food and... in an instant... I knew it couldn't go on. Now was the time to get back training.

Strange how you know. I remember studying 'the point of elasticity' principle in physics as a kid. You know the thing. When an object goes past the point to which it can return by its own devices (I paraphrase of course). That's me. Any more beer or pies without serious training and it'll be seriously tough to get back to full fitness.

So... off I went. The following Sunday I rode 38 miles. Monday saw a 1.5km swim and setting up of the turbo for winter (quite a bloody faff !! - is it the same for everyone?). Tuesday was an hour on the turbo (ten minutes tempo, 5 minutes hard, four times) plus a trip to Anfield to see the mighty reds beat Besiktas 8-0! Wednesday saw a 2km swim and 35 minutes turbo, Thursday another 2km swim and 45 minutes turbo. Friday... yes you guessed it, a 2km swim and an hour on the turbo. Saturday was a 50 mile bike ride with Dave (my mate who also completed IMA 2007) and Sunday was just an hour on the bike taking it easy with an 18 mile ride.

A good week and I feel back in business.

Focussed and sharper. Strong on the bike. Must keep working on this. I will. Dave - who's also a sports physio - gave me a good couple of massages on my troublesome left calf. I'm not going to run at all until December. So biking only until then. Also... no, I haven't changed from Will - just worked out easier with Dave on this occasion. I'll be back to see Will soon to start my injury prevention regime for IMA 2008!! (If I can get a booking!)

More soon.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Back to Reality and thoughts of Klagenfurt

Okay. England lost. What are you going to do. But what a ride it's been. So - enough of that already and back to the reality that is IronMan training. Specifically I've been thinking long and hard about my goals for Austria 2008 and have come up with what, for me, is be a pretty tough target.

At IronMan Austria in 2008 I want to complete the course in sub 11 hours. Yep, that's right. Sub 11. Starting with a 10. Now, quite whether a 15 stone 45 year old (46 at the time of the race) ex rugby player with no cartilage in his right knee has what it takes for this... I'll leave you to judge and post accordingly.

I think I have.

I think you can do anything in life if you will it to be.

So I'll be starting training in earnest from tomorrow. I've been ticking over so far and, unfortunately, still have this damned calf injury which pinged again on Sunday. So I can't run for at least another month. But I'm going to swim and I'm going to cycle.

Which explains today's picture.

The bike is, I figure, what it's all about. I swam 63 minutes in my IronMan this year so know I can do that. I ran 3 hours 22 mins in the Amsterdam Marathon a year ago. So I know I can do that. If I can get my bike legs into some kind of working order and build on my first year of cycling I'm convinced I can hit my target. I'll be working hard on the bike this winter. Mucho turbo as they might say in Spain. I'm also going to work hard on bike nutrition. Ensuring I can get off the bike fit enough to run a decent marathon.

So - I've set myself some goals for the component parts of IMA. Here they are, along with the approximate percentage improvement required to improve on them from last IMA's times.

Swim - 60 minutes (5% improvement on this year)
T1 - 5 minutes (100% improvement on this year)
Bike - 5 hours 30 mins (10% improvement on this year)
T2 - 5 minutes (100% improvement on this year)
Run - 4 hours 15 mins (10% improvement on this year)

Total time - 10 hours 55 mins

Finally a BIG UP to my friend Tom Williams (see link to the right to Tom and Helen's IronMan blog) who ran the Dublin Marathon in 2 hours 58 minutes. A fantastic achievement and a great end to a wonderful season. We're going to see big things from him (and H) next year. Keep it up Tom but enjoy a rest, eh... make the rest of us feel human for at least a few weeks.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fingers Crossed

Okay... usually I'm a good trainer. Diligent. Focussed.

Not this week.

This week I've been making plans for the weekend when I once again will be sat in a stadium watching England attempt to win a Rugby World Cup. I have my lucky hat and shirt from Sydney 2003 and so can do no more... all I will say is keep your fingers crossed and we'll see.

Been ticking over actually on training. My coach Mark K doesn't want me doing a huge amount of stuff before I start to run again and even then he's a great believer in a six month training programme for IronMan. So I'll be gradually building up distances again over winter and doing other, fun stuff like ciruit training, long walks etc.

Mark and I did a 45 mile bike on Saturday morning which was great. Felt very good. I've also been keeping the swimming going, doing several 2km sessions down the pool. But really and truly... how can you concentrate on anything at the moment with all that's going on in the rugby world...

For Harry and St. George...

(and by the way... no... I have no spare tickets)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Lost Weekend

Forgive me friends for I have sinned. I have forsaken training to follow my heart and chase The Holy Grail of a second successive World Cup.

I was in France from Thursday to Monday morning playing a little golf but (mostly) drinking and, of course, watching the amazing rugby matches that took place. We watched England v. Australia and France v. New Zealand in a sports bar in Le Touquet before heading off to Paris where we had tickets for the Argentina v. Scotland match.

An amazing weekend and thoughts of IronMan were far from my mind. I have only now (Thursday 11th October) been able to recover and think about training so will get back on the bike today and swim a little tomorrow.

Kind of hard though when your weekend training was lifting pints and body surfing down Le Touquet High Street supported by a hundred Frenchmen.

I did manage to reduce my 10 mile TT to 26'13" before I went but that's pretty much it!

I've had to decline the offer of a ticket for the semi final as I value my marriage too much but do have permission to go out once more to the final (repeating my epic pilgrimage to Sydney) if we get through as a ticket awaits me. Fingers crossed and happy training.

Monday, October 01, 2007

A Little Perspective

My best friend and running mate's father died this week. Cyril Harper wasn't a young man and he wasn't (we had recently learned) a particularly well man. But the speed of the departure due to a sudden heart attack left us all stunned. He will be missed.

It was Keith who got me on the running trail some two and a half years ago now, by announcing he was going to run the Stratford (Shakespeare) marathon. Enthused by his dedication and curious to my capabilities, I signed up. Since that time we have run together many times and he has followed me on my IronMan journey(s) with pride.

His dad's passing has thrown some perspective on why I do this. Fitness is one thing, yes. But really, deep down, it's to live life to the full. To set challenges and follow through on them. For frankly... who knows when we, or those close to us, may not be here any more.

And one cliched saying I've always believed is that "life isn't a dress rehearsal".

Training was tough this week with work commitments but I managed to get in three swim sessions totaling 7.5km and three bike sessions of my usual 10 mile TT into a ferocious wind (no PB this time!), a 32km ride over an hour and a longer 80km ride on Saturday to get the distance back into my legs.

I may well go out and try some light running this week. It's been two week since my calf last 'pinged'. But the lay off from running is very frustrating.

I'm due to meet with Mark K my coach on Wednesday to outline the work for the year ahead in preparation for IronMan Austria. Thursday will see me travel to France for a golf day on the friday followed by a trip to Paris for the Argentina v. Scotland Rugby World Cup quarter final on the sunday night. Suspect any training this week will need to be early on !

This week's photo is from my first marathon, with Keith. A great day. A life changing day.

Have a good week everyone.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Light training continues

Short post today. Last week continued to go well. I swam 9km over four sessions and cycled 60km over two sessions. One of these was the 10 mile Time Trial that a group of us have started doing. I knocked over 40 secs off my PB set the week before, reducing it to 26'23". We do it individually, not as a group, so there's no drafting and the conditions are pretty tough - lorries, wind etc.

No running still as I'm having treatment on my pulled left calf. The lack of running is a drag but I have to accept a few weeks away from it. My running has really suffered over the last year and I'm determined to bring it back up to scratch when injuries allow.

Highlight of my week though was taking my youngest daughter, Alice, to Anfield to see Liverpool make a complete hash of trying to beat Birmingham City. Terrible game but a great day that we both enjoyed.

Photo is of my coach Mark K with just some of his medals. Mark will be doing his 30th Ironman this year and I'll be doing my second. Kind of says it all, doesn't it !!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tom comes a callin'

My good friend Tom came a calling today. His message was polite alright... along the lines of "Hey, Jevon... not heard from you for a while... are you back in training?" But when a sub 10 hour IronMan (soon to be sub 9.15 by my reckoning) asks you that kind of question in those kind of tones... then you just know that you'd better get back in the saddle... and quick !!!

I've been waiting for my coach, Mark Kleanthous to return from holiday and, if I'm honest, I've been enjoying a little too much beer in the meantime. However, I'm pleased to report that I've finally knuckled down and got back to training. My sessions as supervised by Mark will start in a couple of weeks but I started work last week and swam five sessions totalling 11km, plus a 10 mile Time Trial on the bike and a couple of other hour and a half rides.

I've pulled a calf muscle so have been avoiding running. I don't think it's anything serious, just the shock on my legs of getting back to road running. I'll leave it another week and give it a go.

But it feels good to be back.

Well done to Tom and Helen (check out their blog from my list of links) on The Vitruvian - great racing guys. I'm looking forward to organising a weekend here when you can visit us and we can do some training together followed by a relaxing beer and feet up watching a movie (just so long as it isn't highlights of IMCH or IMA 2007).

To all other blog watchers... sorry it's been so long but your support is key so keep it going.

I've followed in Tom and Helen's footsteps and will include a photo each major posting. Today's is an hour after the finish of IronMan Austria 2007 with my support team, Sean my brother and Michael my father - both of whom will be out in Austria to watch me (and help me) in 2008. In fact we're going out mob handed. Fiona and my two girls, Erin and Alice and Kath (Sean's wife) and their two girls Kitty and Brogan will be joining Sadie, my mother and my other brother Conal to celebrate not only (hopefully) another IronMan but also my dad's 70th birthday which is the day after the race.

Bring it on !!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Blog Lives

Been away on holiday. Great time, swimming, biking, canoeing, rafting, canyoning, high ropes... absolutely awesome.
Anyway, back now and ticking over. Knee is a bit stiff from doing all the above but will be getting through August to mid Sept before embarking on training for IMA 2008. Coach Mark K. wants me to keep fit but without structure till then. Sounds good to me.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Will - 23rd July 07

Hi Will
coming in today. Sore glute after swim session Sunday, 1 hr 20 off road run on Sunday and 1600m swim this morning. Suggest digging around in the glute, examine knee and full massage.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

IronMan Austria Race Report

Austria IronMan 2007 Race Report

The Background

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (July 06) I took a look at the exploits of a father of one of my daughter’s friends (Colin Bradley TT’r take a bow) and thought... I could do that. The ‘that’ was, of course, an IronMan triathlon and as he’d done Austria it seemed a good place to start. I stayed up late, entered on line and thought very little of it until coming back from a long summer holiday in August. After all, I’d run a couple of marathons. I’d be okay... wouldn’t I?

Actually, I realised in late August that I had two options. One was to be standing in a lake in July thinking “I’m glad I trained”. The other was to be standing in a lake thinking, “I wish I’d trained”. The other was too awful to contemplate so I set about my preparation.

Coach Mark Kleanthous – a (then) veteran of 28 IronMen competitions was hired, despite initial incredulity about this 44 year old bloke with no triathlon experience telling him he was going to do an IronMan in July. A bike was bought and bits of gear were gradually amassed. I even did a triathlon – a sprint event at Roade, Bedford – which I enjoyed.

Time to knuckle down to some serious training.

The Training

I ran the Amsterdam Marathon in October and knew I had my running legs as I’d turned in a decent PB of 3:22. Swimming and biking were a different matter, though. I’d never swum (swam?) more than 20 lengths before and couldn’t breathe underwater. Likewise I’d never cycled. But, with the fear of option 2 (remember - lake, no training, cold sweats) banging in my brain like a repeater firework I set about practice, practice, practice.

My first timed swim was 34 mins for 1500m... not exactly covering myself in glory, but a start nontheless. The bike was a little easier to get into and I began to enjoy the longer trips, working up to 35 miles quite quickly.

Training continued through winter and I was noticing improvements in time and distance. I’d earmarked two triathlons in Spring/Summer which would be my only tri prep pre IMA. New Forest (near) Olympic was a near washout and Shropshire was a carbon-fest, full of long muscled ten stone fitness machines. But I completed them and enjoyed the experience. Especially as I’d bought a wetsuit at the end of April and was getting into the Open Water Swimming thing.

Before you could say ‘mine’s a powerbar gel’ I was boarding the plane operated by the licensed bandits that are Ryanair and heading to Klagenfurt in the land of Austria, world of Pain.

Pre Race

I was there with my dad and my brother who were acting as support team, staying at Hafnersee, some 12km from Iron City. ShaunW, fellow TT’r, was also staying there and it was great to put a face to an online presence after so long. Likewise it was great to meet Helen, Smiler666, XML, RTYD, Sam, Lizzie, Redbeer and all the other TT’rs at the pre-organised swim on the Friday morning. TT had played a big part in my build up, giving me a sense that I wasn’t alone and ... you know what... suddenly I truly wasn’t.

I could have taken or left the pasta party. The highlight was my dad pinching a bread roll from the table next to us, only to find ten minutes later that it belonged to the second favourite male pro as he was called to the stage. Alas, he didn’t make the top three of IMA... due, no doubt, to a lack of carbs !!

I did, however, love the race briefing. I felt the Canadian presenter made us all feel special and peppered the informative briefing with some really funny moments – notably telling us to watch out for Austrians going to church on the supposedly closed roads – “make sure it’s them that go to meet their maker... not you”!

The Race

I always say that time is like a concertina... you can stretch it so things seem sooooo far away or you can compact it so they’re practically on top of each other. In the blink of an eye, August 06 had crashed into July 07 – where the interim had disappeared to I have no idea. I only know that I was stood by that lake and I was glad that I’d done my training.

The Swim

The swim was going to be my weakest event. That I knew. It wasn’t helped by the weird start (enough of that elsewhere) and the fact that there were only two buoys instead of three. I positioned myself on the far right, figuring I could let the fast swimmers go first and find some clear water behind them. As it happened I just started swimming and got into some kind of groove. Yes, I was interrupted by elbows and feet and occasional breast strokers (what’s that all about?!) but I figured it was the same for everyone. Bottom line is I was comfortable and relaxed and, once in the canal, pulled for home. In fact, the only time I swung an elbow in earnest was at some bloke behind me on the ramp who was trying to push past me. He came round to my way of thinking and, in true British style, formed an orderly queue. Couldn’t believe my watch when it told me I’d done the swim in 63 mins. A PB by some considerable margin.


Okay. I’m going to level with you. Transitions aren’t my strong point. Having done only two Olympics I’m not used to ripping off wetsuits and dressing and flying right out the door. I’m more of a ‘get my breath back kind of guy’. So don’t laugh, but T1 took 9 mins 30”. Okay, you can laugh.

The Bike

I’d targeted an average of 18.4 mph which would have given me a bike split of 6 hours. Thought that would have been fine with my ‘strongest event’ (note the ironic inverted commas) still to come. Tom, HelenT’s other half, had given me valuable advice not to go balls out on the first lap, so I took it easy and enjoyed myself remembering to drink well and eat those awful PowerBars. I found Rupertiberg hard going, but at 6’2” and the thick end of 15 stones I’m not built for hills and just grit my teeth and get on with it so applied the same technique to the big Austrian. First lap was completed in 2 hours 55 mins... job done.

The wind had got up on the second lap, though and I noticed it the moment it turned. I began to work really hard to keep my average speed up and whilst I was still keeping my liquids up, my food intake (with hindsight) was negligible. I also had the dreaded Rupertiberg on my mind and could hear the Schwarzenegger soundalike DJ from 20 miles away, exhorting “IRONMEN” and “IRONLADIES” to get up the hill. Finally, I saw the writing on the floor and, with the thump thump thump of the music driving nails into my brain, I began to climb. How I made it I don’t know... I think I was at that point where I simply couldn’t stop or I would have toppled over. My thighs were popping, sweat was streaming into my eyes and my hands were slipping from the bars. Crank... crank... crank... up and up I went on. If I looked up (which I didn’t like to do) I could see a line of cycling ants inching slowly up their hill. Nobody passed me, so I guess everyone was feeling the same... but man, it was hard. I remember seeing that someone – instead of writing a name on the road – had drawn an ejaculating male member and I remember cursing them as I started to laugh and broke my breathing routine.

It was easier going all the way to Klagenfurt and I hopped off the bike in 6 hours 05 mins. Fine... nicely on schedule.


Don’t laugh... you know what’s coming. Oh, okay... giggle away. 9’55” !! What the hell was I doing in there? I remember trying to get a twin skin running sock on and couldn’t as the inside layer kept getting caught up in my foot. But I felt good.

The Run

Feeling good, I jog out onto the course with an American bloke from Texas Tri. I chat with him, exchanging pleasantries about how I expect to run a 4 hour marathon. I have my Garmin on which tells me I’m running 8’30” miles. Perfect. Relaxed, comfortable. I wave to my father and brother in the crowd. I head off on the first loop. Ironman Schmironman !

Then, at 1.5km... kebang. Smack. Pow. Wallop. I’m punched in the face by the Mike Tyson god of distance running. Everything stops. Everything. Nothing left. Head spinning, legs buckling, double vision. I collapse to the floor. Bemused. Giddy. Confused. Can’t think straight. What to do? What to do? What to do? How can I possibly run a full marathon? I can’t. That’s obvious.

Truth is... nothing was obvious and the important thing was realising that I wasn’t thinking properly, wasn’t playing with a full deck of cards. I figured that was what I had to fix first... only then could I evaluate and make decisions on the future. I lay by the side of the path and elevated my legs in a tree, letting the blood flow back to my head as much as possible. Seems like I was there for half an hour but it was probably ten minutes. I realised it was nothing to do with fitness, it was fuel. I’d obviously under fuelled grotesquely on the second leg of the bike and well... this was payback. I concocted a plan to somehow make it to the next aid station, suck down a couple of gels a cup of water and a cup of Powerbar drink and begin to jog to the next station where I would repeat the process.

So that’s what I did. For the first 10k it was agonisingly slow and confusing as my body and brain screamed at me to stop. After around the 10k mark I began to find some kind of rhythm, eventually dropping into just over 9 minute mile pace. I was determined not to be greedy and try to claw back time... I figured that would leave me in even more of a mess.

I continued in my rhythm through the end of the marathon, finishing in 4:44 which, considering my self-inflicted disastrous start, wasn’t the nightmare it could have been.

I ran down the finishing straight, back buckling, arms raised as high as I could get them (hands roughly at ear level) and I had become an IRONMAN in 12 hours 10 minutes and 44 seconds.

Come on!!!

The Aftermath

It wasn’t until I’d had my marathon experience that I realised why I’d done an IronMan. It was to challenge myself, to find out new things about me relatively later in life. Did I do that? Absolutely. Was I surprised by what I saw? Yes, I was. Would I do another one? Absolutely not.

Did I sign up for Austria 08 the next morning? Of course I did!

Well done everyone. A word often used but rarely in the right context. This time I think it’s appropriate.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Thursday 5th July

Ready for the off. Just a 3 mile run before breakfast and then over to Stansted ready to queue for five hours because some Asian gentlemen want to blow us up.
Am I ready?
As ready as I'll ever be.
Bring it on !!!

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Final Countdown

As I write this I realise that in one week I'll have (hopefully) completed my first IronMan. Will it be my last? Who knows...
Anyway, last week the taper began in earnest. Here's the tale of the week:

Monday June 25th - 45 mins swim (1500m), 45 mins run (10k)
Tuesday June 26th - 20 mins run (5k)
Weds June 27th - 45 mins swim (2km)
Thurs June 28th - 1 hour bike (28km)
Fri June 29th - day off
Sat June 30th - 30 mins swim (1500m), 1 hr 10 mins run (14.5 km)
Sun July 1st - 90 mins bike (46 km)

Totals for week:

Swim - 2 hours
Bike - 2 hours 30 mins
Run - 2 hours 15 mins

Total for week - 6 hours 45 mins

All is looking good for departure. Had an hour and a half's full body massage today with Will. Top job... feel great. Been running through nutrition plan in my mind.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Training Monday 18th June - Sunday 24th June. Taper definitely starts next week !!!

Just couldn't bring myself to drop off the exercise as much as I needed to. Had a good week and felt really comfortable with my training. Am going to taper in earnest from today.

Monday 18th June - 45 mins swim (1.5k drills), 45 mins run (10k)
Tuesday 19th June - 45 mins swim (1.5km), 1 hr 50 mins bike (33 miles)
Weds 20th - 1 hr 25 mins swim (4km)
Thurs 21st - 45 mins run (10km), 1 hr 30 mins bike (25.5 miles)
Fri 22nd - day off
Sat 23rd - 1 hour swim (3km), 2 hrs 15 mins bike (38.5 miles)
Sun 24th - 45 mins run (10km)

Totals for week

Swim - 3 hrs 55 mins (10km)
Bike - 4 hrs 35 mins (97 miles)
Run - 2 hrs 15 mins (30km)

Total training this week - 10 hrs 45 mins

Friday, June 22, 2007

Morning Will

All fine... knee feels a little "loose" and 'clunky' but otherwise clean bill of health.
Suggest you take a look at the knee and make sure you're happy with it and then we can do some leg stuff - calves again, IT, glute as well as the back and shoulders/neck.
That should keep us busy !!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Feeling good

Got to say that I'm feeling good at the moment. Strong and fit. Not doing that much tapering though!! Did a 160 length non stop pool swim yesterday... slightly more than IronMan distance (4km).
The tri-talk website -
has loads of tips for IM which is helping focus my mind.
Top on my list of priorities (now I know I'm fit enough) is nutrition (especially on the bike) and avoiding sun burn with ten hours on the bike and run (maybe more! :-( )

Monday, June 18, 2007

Notes for Will

Hi Will
All good this morning. Much running and hip still improving. Suggest we continue on the glutes and IT band and maybe do a massage too.

Training Monday 11th June - Sunday 17th June

Can't believe that this is the last week of full training. From here it's the start of my taper. Still much to do of course, but it's good to be at this point. Anyway, a funny week this week due to being busy... but capped off with a good weekend's work.

Monday 11th June - 45 mins open water swim
Tuesday 12th June - 45 mins pool swim (2km), 65 mins run (approx 14.5km)
Weds 13th June - 45 mins swim (2km)
Thurs 14th June - Day off
Fri 15th June - No training
Sat 16th June - Back to Back session: 35m 2km open water swim, 3 hrs 50 mile bike ride, 40 mins run 10k
Sunday 17th June, 45 mins run 10k

Weekly totals

Swim 2 hrs 50 mins
Bike 3 hrs
Run 2 hrs 30 mins

Total training time this week: 8 hrs 20 mins

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Shropshire Olympic Triathlon - Sun June 10th

My first full Olympic distance tri and really enjoyed it although I found it hard work due to the extensive training the week before. Still, it's important to remember I have only one 'A' race this year and that this was a 'B' race.

1.5k swim 28' 56"(bumpy swim with opponents' elbows, only got into rhythm later on - not a fast swim time)
40k bike 71'44" (bike felt good)
10k run 44'41" (slow run due to returning to running after 5 week lay off and v. hilly course... plus tired from previous week's hard training)

Total time 2 hrs 25 mins 20 secs (satisfactory +)

Some serious athletes there. I felt really tired on the run but feel more and more that I'll be able to cope with the longer distances better than these shorter events.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Training Monday June 4th - Sunday June 10th

Good week, back in the swing of things:

Monday June 4th - 45 mins swim (2km), 30 mins run (5km)
Tuesday June 5th - 45 mins swim (2km), 45 mins run (10km)
Weds June 6th - 45 mins swim (2km), 1 hr 20 mins bike (42km), 50 mins run (10km)
Thurs June 7th - Day off
Fri June 8th - 30 mins swim (1.5km), 1 hour 5 mins (13.6 km)
Sat June 9th - 3hrs 22 mins bike (88 kms), 22 mins run (5km)
Sun June 10th - 2 hrs 26 mins Olympic triathlon ( 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run)


Swim - 9 km
Bike - 170 km
Run - 53.6 km

Total time training this week: 13 hours 03 mins

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Team O'Neill

Team O'Neill as it stands at the moment (in alphabetical order):

Colin Bradley - friend who introduced me to triathlon. Doesn't know it but provides a huge base of knowledge and experience from which I draw.
Martin Jones - GP and marathon runner (he definitely has an IronMan in him!)
Mark Kleanthous - coach, trainer, motivational guru (28 IronMan competitons completed)
Fiona O'Neill - wife, muse, understanding partner in crime
Sean O'Neill - All important IronMan point man in Austria, with me for the full four days
Michael O'Neill - As Sean O'Neill, ex Army cyclist and Time Trialist and bike expert
Will Tullett - Sports Injury specialist who has been performing miracles for a year in keeping me on the road.

Dr Jones says...

"no" to cortisone injections. Unless I want a hip operation in the near future. Which I don't.
So he's put me on anti-inflamatory tablets until the pain goes away. I've also got some antibiotics for the chest infection.
Dr Jones doesn't know it yet but he's just become part of Team O'Neill.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Olympic training

Put in an Olympic session this morning for training as back to back events.
Early 2km swim followed by 43km bike followed by 10km run.
Felt good.
Felt good to be running.
Bloody good.

Hip news...

I've decided to reclaim the physical high ground from my hip.

I'm not ready to let this small joint dictate what the rest of a supremely fit body can do.

So, last night, I disappeared into my changing room and made myself a DIY orthotic, cutting up an old insole. It gently pushes my foot inwards to correct what I feel was happening with my right foot. I went for a 5k run and focussed on foot striking cleanly and balanced, not letting my hip roll or my foot start to pronate (if that's the right one).

I also went back to my old running style. Harder impact, longer strides.

I finished with optimism. There was pain in the glute but no problem in the IT band and only a faint hip pain. Last night in bed there was a bit more hip pain but this morning it was not too bad.

Today I did an Olympic triathlon as training. 2km swim, 43km bike ride and 10km run. On the run I worked on the same disciplines. The pain was much more manageable. There IS pain in the hip but I feel I'm beginning to contain it by regulating my gait and am thinking this might be half the problem.

I feel more in control and pro active rather than reactive.

As I speak I have good mobility (I'm icing and cold bathing after each run) and some pain in the hip. But even in my walking I'm focussing on keeping a straight leg and balanced foot.

So, we're going to keep on with IT band and glutes manipulation with Will (especially glutes) and we'll see what the Doc comes up with tomorrow in terms of cortisone injections.

This approach is much more 'me'... there can be only one winner in this situation !!! The hip is going to have to run and that's the end of it. It's just a case of how it runs !!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Note for Will in advance of our session 4th June

No better, mate, I'm afraid. Had a gentle run of 5km on Saturday and resulted in the hip problem again. Think we need to switch tactics. Am going to pen a note to my GP explaining the situation, in advance of a 9.10 appointment I have with him on Wednesday this week.

Training Monday May 21st to Sunday June 3rd

A two week training history to catch up on. Let's call them week 1 and week 2.

Week 1 (from memory)

Was feeling very weak and flu-ey and tired. Managed several sessions of swimming and a couple of bike sessions for an hour or so but did manage a 50 mile ride just before going on holiday to Portugal.

Week 2

On holiday in Portugal. Swam every day for at least half an hour, sometimes in the sea, somtimes in the pool with swimming rope. Did some running in the pool too.
On saturday returned home and did a 5km run - bad news is my hip injury is no better at all. Think we need to switch to Plan B and instigate alternative treatments.
On Sunday 3rd did an easy 36 mile bike ride. Still getting the sharp pain around my right patella but figure this is just an occupational hazard of riding so much.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hip Injury update

No running last week and no reaction to anything I've been doing (swim or bike). Which I guess is good. Frustrating not running though.

Training Monday May 14th - Sunday May 20th

Monday May 14th - Recovery from New Forest Tri Hip injury
Tuesday May 15th - 45 mins swim (2km) 1 hour bike (Turbo trainer)
Weds May 16th - 45 mins swim (2km) 1 hour bike (Turbo trainer)
Thurs May 17th - 45 mins swim (2km), 4 hours 22 mins bike (80 miles)
Fri May 18th - 45 mins swim (2km)
Sat May 19th - Trip to Holland no training
Sun May 20th - Trip to Holland no training

totals this week

Swim - 3 hours
Bike - 6 hours 22 mins
run - 0 mins

Total training this week 9 hours 22 mins

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hip Problem update - trochanteric bursitis

Well, that's the diagnosis from Will, my sports injury guru. It's not particularly good seven weeks before an IronMan but I've faced bigger challenges than this.

Check it out here:

So: NO RUNNING for at least 2/3 weeks. Looks like I'll be caneing the bike and swim !!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hip/Glute problem

We have a serious problem here. The pain when I'm running is huge. I only keep going as I know it's not a pulled muscle. The problem seems to be coming from my hip joint and radiating out to the glute muscles. It's much much worse going up an incline and eases coming down hill. I can only describe it as feeling like an acute pulled muscle and 'inflamed' pain in the hip. Lord alone knows what it is but it's a real problem, turning what should be my strongest discipline into one I can barely get through.

New Forest Triathlon

So... my first real triathlon (excluding a spring last year). Really enjoyed it despite filthy weather and a tough course. Here are plus and minus points:


Slower than I thought but felt comfortable throughout (1.1k). Coped well with the mass start and wasn't phased by jostling etc.

Transition 1

Took this slow but still forgot to put on my Garmin !! Will need to speed this up for shorter tri's but for IronMan the kind of time I took will be okay.


Very positive. The strongest part of my day. Felt fast and in control. Comfortable throughout. Used the tri bars more than ever before - get more comfortable on them day by day. Used gears well and passed many more than passed me. Visibility very difficult in my glassess which were steaming up and covered in rain. Coped okay though.

Transition 2

The easiest transition. No real problems but could do with elastic laces in my running shoes.


Suffered on this due to my glute/hip problem - see separate post. Without this problem I felt comfortable and in control of my run. Cruising really and could go faster but wanted to keep it at Iron Man pace.


Comfortable Tri experience with many positives.

Most positive experience - strength on the bike
Most negative experience - recurring problem in hip/glute
Thing I need to work on most - taking on nutrition on the bike. This is a weak point that needs my attention. I become carried away in working the bike and neglect nutrition. Okay in an olympic distance but could be disastrous in IronMan.

Training Monday May 7th - Sunday May 13th

Monday May 7th - 45 mins O/w swim
Tuesday May 8th - 45 mins swim, 60 mins bike
Weds May 9th - 60 mins bike
Thurs May 10th - Day Off
Fri May 11th - 1 hour 20 mins run
Sat May 12th - 1 hour bike
Sun May 13th - 2 hours 10 mins Triathlon


1 hr 30 mins swim
3 hours bike
1 hour 20 run
2 hours 10 mins triathlon

Total this week 8 hours

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Training Monday April 30th - Sunday May 6th

Monday April 30th - 1 hr 15 mins open water swim (4km)
Tuesday May 1st - 45 mins 10k run
Weds May 2nd - Injured and cold
Thurs May 3rd - Injured and cold
Friday May 4th - Injured and cold
Saturday May 5th - 6 hour bike ride ( 102 miles), 15 minute run
Sunday May 6th - 30 minute run

Open water swimming gave me a bad cold this week. Am going to see if a nose clip will help.

Good bike ride though on the saturday.

Totals for the week

swim - 1 hr 15 mins
Bike - 6 hours
Run - 90 mins

total for week 8 hours 45 mins

Monday, April 30, 2007

Training Monday April 23rd - Sunday April 29th

Monday April 23rd - 1 hour open water swim
Tuesday April 24th - 45 mins pool swim, 45 mins run
Weds April 25th - Day off
Thursday April 26th - 1 hour 20 mins bike (constantly in 12th gear), 25 mins weights and core
Friday April 27th - 45 mins swim
Saturday April 28th - Golf
Sunday April 29th - Golf


Swim - 2 hrs 30 mins
Bike - 1 hr 20 mins
Run - 45 mins
Weights/Core - 25 mins

Total this week - 4 hours 55 mins

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Training Monday 16th - Sunday 22nd April

Watched it this week due to upcoming London Marathon...

Monday 16th April - 45 mins swim (open water 2km), 65 mins bike
Tuesday 17th April - 45 mins run, 60 mins bike
Weds 18th April - 90 mins bike, 45 mins weights and core
Thurs 19th April - Day off
Fri 20th April - 30 mins swim (pool)
Sat 21st April - 75 mins bike
Sun 22nd April - 4 hours run


Swim - 1 hour 15 mins
Bike - 5 hours
Run - 4 hours 45
Weights/Core - 45 mins

Total for this week - 11 hours 45 mins

London Marathon

The race went well. Managed to slow it right down and run a first half marathon in 1:52 and increase the pace in the second half for a 1:46 half marathon.
So, that's a negative split achieved and also a decent time in the roasting conditions of the London Marathon.
Was back the next day with a 3km lake swim. Remember after Amsterdam Marathon being totally exhausted for a week.
Pleased I was able to stick to my plan when every muscle in my body was screaming at me to run faster.
Great feeling in the last 10k, hammering past thousands of runners !!!

Marathon time 3:38 mins

Thursday, April 19, 2007

London Marathon this Sunday

So, my coach has given me a carb loading diet for 3 days that I'm on now. Seems fine so far.

Also - he's told me to run 3:45 which means I should be able to enjoy the marathon. I think I'm going to take the opportunity to try and run a negative split so I'll run the first half in 1:53 and the second in 1:52 or faster if I'm able to stretch my legs a bit.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Training Monday 9th - Sunday 15th April

Monday 9th April - Easter Monday - no training
Tuesday 10th April - 1 hr 40 mins off road run
Weds 11th April - 40 mins bike, 45 mins run (Brick)
Thurs 12th April - 65 mins run, 30 mins swim
Fri 13th April - Day Off
Sat 14th April - 6 hours bike ride (100 miles), 20 minutes run (3 miles)
Sunday 15th April - 30 mins recovery swim


Swim - 1 hour
Bike - 6 hours 40 mins
Run - 3 hours 50 mins

Total training for week - 11 hours 20 mins

Friday, April 13, 2007

Open Water Swimming


I've seen the light. I have been converted. Went open water swimming for the first time last night at a quarry in Pitstone.


I loved it. Swam strong and well and the wetsuit I'd picked up the other day (my SNUGG, made to measure) felt perfect.

It's an amazing feeling of bouyancy in the wetsuit and one tends to skim across the water with greater ease than in a pool.

We're aiming to go every monday evening (never open water swim alone) which should be a hoot.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Injuries update

Still recovering from the bike incident.
Unable to swim until now as cuts have been healing but am open water swimming for the first time tonight.
Back to running and I'm optimistic about making London Marathon in decent shape.
Ran 19k on Monday and 9.5k last night with only stiffening.
Fingers crossed I'm through the worst of the lay off and can launch into the final couple of months with renewed vigour and focus.

Training Monday April 2nd - Sunday April 8th

Late with this as it's been easter and I've not been doing too much training!!!

Anyway, for what it's worth

Monday April 2nd - Working in london, no training
Tuesday April 3rd - 1 hour core/ weights, 1 hour bike (TT)
Weds April 4th - 1 hour core/weights, 1 hour bike (TT)
Thurs April 5th - 2 hrs 30 mins bike, 20 mins jogging
Fri April 6th - day off
Sat April 7th - 2 hrs bike
Sun April 8th - no training

Weekly totals

Swim - 0 hours
Bike - 6 hrs 30 mins
Run - 20 mins
Core/Weights - 2 hours

Total for the weeek

8 hours 50 mins

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Training Monday March 26th - Sunday April 1st

Truncated by being knocked off my bike on Tuesday !

Mon Mar 26th - 45 mins swim, 45 mins run
Tues Mar 27th - 45 mins swim, 45 mins bike
Weds Mar 28th - injured
Thurs Mar 29th - injured/day off
Fri Mar 30th - 1 hour core and weights
Sat Mar 31st - 2 hours 25 mins, 40 miles
Sun Apr 1st - 1 hour 10 mins run, 8 miles off road

Totals this week

Swim - 1 hr 30 mins
Bike - 3 hrs 10 mins
Run - 1 hr 55 mins
Core/Weights - 1 hour

Total training this week - 7 hrs 35 mins

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hit and Run

Well... it happened and I lived to tell the tale.

Tuesday 27th March - I was out on my bike in Little Gaddesden and was deliberately hit and knocked over by a car from behind. A witness said they saw them readying to push me over then the car swung to the left and side swiped me as it passed.

I crashed inwards, into the road and fortunately the car behind was able to stop. Injuries are a badly gashed elbow, and various contusions and swellings on my right leg and knee.

Could have been a gonner.

What can you say about someone who does that (they speeded off into the distance, cheering). Nothing really. Just thank goodness your alive, okay and hope to resume IM training at the earliest opportunity.

Bike is in Phil Corley cycles in intensive care. Will report back on its condition.

Hey ho...

Training Monday March 19th - Sunday March 25th

Monday 19th - 45 mins swim (1.8k), 1 hr 21 mins run
Tues 20th - 45 mins swim (2.4k), 35 mins bike (turbo trainer) 25 mins run
Weds 21st - 45 mins swim (2.4k)
Thurs 22nd - Day Off
Fri 23rd - 30 mins swim (1.5k), 1 hour bike (turbo trainer), 1 hour run (training session with Mark K)
Sat 24th - 3 hrs 30 mins bike (60 miles), 45 mins run (6 miles)
Sun 25th - 1 hr run gentle jog

Totals this week

swim 2 hrs 45 mins
bike 5 hrs 05 mins
run 4 hrs 31 mins

total training 12 hrs 21 mins

Monday, March 19, 2007

112 mile bike ride

Set out on Saturday morning at 0630 with the aim of completing 100 miles in the saddle - my previous long distance was 85 miles.

Despite windy conditions and the loneliness of the long distance cyclist, I got through 100 miles in 5 hrs and 39 mins (including all stops, traffic lights, junctions etc) which I was really pleased with. Rounded it off to 112 miles (IronMan distance) in 6 hrs 19 mins.

Very satisfied. Felt good but a bloody long time to be in the saddle !

Got my nutrition pretty much right on. Got through a power bar every hour plus around 450 ml of fluid. Will almost certainly need slightly more than that on race day but it's given me a good indication of what I need to achieve !

Think I'll be faster in summer, in a race environment on roads closed to traffic and (hopefully) wind free.

We shall see !!!

Training Monday 12th March - Sunday 18th March

Monday 12th - 45(9. mins swim (1.8k)
Tuesday 13th - 45 mins swim (2.1k)
Weds 14th - 45 mins swim (2.4k), 2 hrs 15 mins bike (37 miles), 1 hrs 21 mins run (9.16 miles)
Thurs 15th - Day Off
Fri 16th - 45 mins swim (2.4 km)
Sat 17th - 6 hrs 19 mins bike (121 miles)
Sun 18th - Day Off

3 hrs swim (8.7km)
8 hrs 34 mins bike (158 miles)
1 hr 21 mins run (9.16 miles)

Total Training - 12 hrs 55 mins

Friday, March 16, 2007

Wetsuit a comin'

Got measured up for my Snugg custom fit wetsuit yesterday at TriSports in Letchworth. Great shop, great service - can't recommmend highly enough. See them in the links section.

Should be four weeks until it's ready. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Info on Back Pain for Will and Kathryn

this appears in this month's 220 Triathlon Magazine and I'm pretty sure it describes exactly my back problem:

" Lower back pain in both swimmers and triathletes is caused by repetitive stress, particularly if you fail to roll your body as a whole unit while swimming. This failiure to roll correctly creates torsional strain at the point where the lumbar spine meets your pelvis. Poor body roll may mean that you arch your back to clear your head from the water, leading to stress on the facet joints at the back of your spine.
If you've developed excessively tight hip flexor muscles, you may have reduced your ability to fully extend your hip during kicking. This tends to tilt your pelvis in a way that over-arches the small of your back. Again, this can overload the facet joints, causing pain...
Poor core stability and weak gluteal muscles are also contributing factors, and it's important to consider making stability exercises, or pilates-based exercises, a part of your regular training "

Will maybe we can discuss this when I see you on the 19th. I'm thinking I'll need a massage then and we can maybe do some exercises to loosen off my right hip? Maybe you could point Kathryn in the direction of this article when she returns?

Since seeing her I felt completely cured, then started doing more swimming and the problem has returned. At least we seem to be narrowing it down !!



Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Increased Swim Reps

I'm increasing my swim reps to 300m. So am aiming to go from 10 x 200m reps, four times a week to at least 8 x 300m reps which would increase my weekly distance to nearly 10,000 metres per week.

Training Monday 5th March - Sunday 11th March

Suffering early in the week from a sore left achilles tendon (from the long bike ride). Seems okay now though.

Monday 5th March - 45 mins swim, 47 mins run (recovery - 5.7 miles))
Tuesday 6th March - 45 mins swim, 1 hr 25 mins bike (gentle recovery - 23 miles)
Weds 7th March - 45 mins swim, (no run due to aching achilles)
Thurs 8th March - Day off
Fri 9th March - 40 mins swim
Sat 10th March - 2 hrs 30 mins bike (43.5 miles)
Sun 11th March - 2 hrs 40 mins run (20.12 miles - including water stops)

Total Swim - 2 hrs 55 mins
Total Bike - 3 hrs 55 mins
Total Run - 3 hrs 27 mins

Total training - 10 hrs 17 mins

Less time on the bike this week due to long bike ride previous weekend. Also needed to get a long run in to prepare for imminent London Marathon.

Touched by the hand of Kathryn Volker



until next time...

Monday, March 05, 2007

Training Mon Feb 26th - Sun March 4th

Mon Feb 26th - 45 mins swim (2km), 45 mins run
Tues Feb 27th - 45 mins swim (2km), 45 mins bike
Weds Feb 28th - 30 mins swim (1.6km) 80 mins run
Thurs March 1st - Day Off ( 2 hours sleep in afternoon !!)
Fri March 2nd - BACK2BACK - 45 mins swim (2.4km), 90 mins bike (42km), 45 mins run (10km)
Sat March 3rd - 1 hr 45 mins off road run (Dunstable Downs etc) approx 16 km
Sun March 4th - 3 hrs 33 mins bike (100 km +)

Swim - 2 hrs 45 mins
Bike - 6 hrs 08 mins
Run - 4 hours 35 mins

Total training time - 13 hours 28 mins

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Back Injury Update

Back injury seems to be on the decline after a "laying on of hands" by my chiropractor Dr Kathryn Volker... two sessions this week and another next week. Hopefully I'll get it under control.

Will - make sure Kathryn gives you that hip rotation exercise for our sessions.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cycling revelation...

Went out on Saturday last for a 2 hour bike ride in the worst weather. Windy, rainy, hills etc. But I found myself in a strangely peaceful place. I was in the small wheel and my wheels were spinning. It was all so very effortless and pleasant as I maintained a 22mph speed.
I've realised it's much better to cycle like that - which I feel I could do forever - than forever be grinding round on a big gear, having my legs scream for mercy.

Training Mon 19th Feb - Sunday 25th Feb

Slack week this week due to filming commitments...

Mon 19th Feb - 45 mins swim
Tues 20th Feb - nothing (filming)
Weds 21st Feb - 45 mins swim
Thurs 22nd Feb - 45 mins run
Fri 23rd Feb - 45 mins swim (editing in London, 1 hour bike (turbo trainer)
Sat 24th Feb - 2 hour bike ride
Sun 25th Feb - nada !

So that's only 6 hours training.

Feeling guilty.

Training Mon 19th Feb - Sunday 25th Feb

Slack week this week due to filming commitments...

Mon 19th Feb - 45 mins swim
Tues 20th Feb - nothing (filming)
Weds 21st Feb - 45 mins swim
Thurs 22nd Feb - 45 mins run
Fri 23rd Feb - 45 mins swim (editing in London, 1 hour bike (turbo trainer)
Sat 24th Feb - 2 hour bike ride
Sun 25th Feb - nada !

So that's only 6 hours training.

Feeling guilty.

Back update

Visited Kathryn, my chiropractor, today. She's optimistic we can fix the back problem in a couple of weeks.

Fingers crossed.

Very crossed.

Criss crossed.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Back injury

Doesn't seem to be getting any better. Think I'll need a visit to the chiropractor.

Training Monday Feb 12th - Sunday Feb 18th

Slow getting back into the swing of things this week due to my lax week previously but picked up speed and made good progress.

Mon Feb 12th - 45 mins swim
Tues Feb 13th - 45 mins run
Weds Feb 14th - 80 mins run
Thurs Feb 15th - Day off
Fri Feb 16th - 45 mins swim (2 km), 95 mins bike, 45 mins run (bike and run BACK2BACK)
Sat Feb 17th - 3 hours 30 min bike
Sun Feb 18th - 2 hours run

Totals for week

Swim - 90 mins
Bike - 5 hours 05 mins
Run - 4 hours 05 mins

Total time training: 10 hours 40 mins

Monday, February 12, 2007

Naughty Boy - Training Mon 5th Feb - Sun 11th Feb

Mon 5th Feb - 45 mins swim (2km), 75 mins bike
Tues 6th Feb - 45 mins swim (2km), 80 mins run
Weds 7th Feb - 45 mins swim (2km), 80 mins run

And that... I 'm sorry to say, was it !! Took Thursday off. Friday was busy working, Saturday at my parents and Sunday continued to rest. Felt the rest has done me good... but maybe I'm just a very, very, naughty boy...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Swim Splits - 6th February 2007

Not done these little fellas for a while - too much like hard work... if you remember it's repeat reps of 100m, 150m and 200m, taking a quarter of the time taken to swim as a rest in between each. Interested to see if my swimming has improved. Here's the times with the original split times from 26th October (first time I swam the reps) in brackets.

First 100m - 1'48" (1'46")
First 150m - 2'41" (3'00")
First 200m - 3'46" (4'08")

Second 100m - 1'44" (1'56")
Second 150m - 2'43" (3'01")
Second 200m - 3'41" (4'12")

Third 100m - 1'48" (1'55")
Third 150m - 2'49" (3'09")
Third 200m - 3'48" (4'16")

Fourth 100m - 1'43" (1'58")
Fourth 150m - 2'49" (3'11")
Fourth 200m - 3'36" (4'20")

plus 200m warm up and down. Total 2km.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Watford Half Marathon

Was in two minds whether to run this race due to niggly injuries but decided to do it the night before and set myself the target of running steadily and trying to improve my PB by a minute or so. That way, I figured I'd know if my fitness was improving as I've been doing very little running and the course is very hilly and not the fastest.

All went well and I came home in a PB (by 2 mins) of 94'41" (by my watch). I tried to run steady miles which came in around 7'12" (some faster, some slower, depending on the hills). But I felt calm and comfortable and came in reasonably fresh.

Positioned 352 out of 1947 - top 20%.

Enjoyed the run.

Tri Bars ON !!!!

Okay... had these babies a while but never got round to fixing them. Put them on Saturday morning and tried to get used to them. Dont' think there'll be a problem, just the (I guess) usual issues of:

1. Finding the correct position for them (I need to lengthen them)
2. Getting used to the 'hair trigger' steering issue (wheel turns very easily)
3. Losing the front grip position on the handlebars (I kind of liked that position)

Training Monday 29th Jan - Sunday 4th Feb

Decent week. Swimming feels really good at the moment. No long bike ride on Saturday due to half marathon on Sunday but split long bike up into 3 x 1.5 hour sessions. Running still off until Watford half... sore knee, sore hamstring, sore calf, sore achilles !!!! (Apart from that, fine).


Mon Jan 29th - 45 mins swim (2km), 75 mins run off road (9 mile approx)
Tues Jan 30th - 45 mins swim (2km), 95 mins bike (no idea of distance)
Weds Jan 31st - 45 mins swim (2km)
Thurs Feb 1st - Day Off
Fri Feb 2nd - 45 mins swim (2km), 95 mins bike ride (no distance recorded)
Sat Feb 3rd - 90 mins bike (no distance)
Sun Feb 4th - 94 mins run (half marathon)


Swim - 180 mins (8km)
Bike - 280 mins
Run - 169 mins (22 miles)

Total time training 10hrs 29 mins

Monday, January 29, 2007

Hill climbing cycling tips please

I need simple, easy to digest tips on how to approach hill climbing. I have the stamina and the will power - just don't have the technique yet. So... Mark K., Daddy, Colin B., Andy F. and Richard M... plus anyone who's reading this... please leave me some pointers and I'll go about implementing them. I'm thinking particularly of gearing and pedalling... standing up vs. sitting down... go on, throw it at me... I've got a big brain.

Instructions for posting are on the left side of the blog.

HHH - The Harp Hilly Hundred

Did my first group bike ride yesterday. A very hilly course of just over 100 kms around Bucks and Herts. Learnt a lot on how to ride in a pack and also how I need to work on my hill climbing. But really enjoyed the ride - finished in 4 hrs 15 mins and never stopped on any of the hills, so the willpower is there! Also my nutrition was much better than the previous week. Had porridge and isotonic drinks prior to setting off and sipped water and ate two power bars en route.
Legs feel tired but strong today.

Training Monday 22nd Jan - Sunday28th Jan

Monday 22nd Jan - 60 mins swim (2.3km), 45 mins run ( 10km)
Tuesday 23rd Jan - 60 mins bike (TT, 20 miles)
Weds 24th Jan - 45 mins swim (1.8 km)
Thurs 25th Jan - Day Off
Fri 26th Jan - 45 mins swim (2 km)
Sat 27th Jan - 2 hrs Run (14 miles off road)
Sun 28th Jan - 4 hrs 15 Cycle (65 miles)

2 hrs 30 mins swim - 6.1 kms
5 hrs 15 bike - 136 kms
2 hrs 45 mins run - 32.4 kms

10 hrs 30 mins total training

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Slightly Glum

Just a bit fed up of having this back pain and achilles nagging. Feel like I'm battling all the time. Am going to religiously incorporate stretching into my deily regime, along with the core work (both of which have long been recommended by Will but I've managed to avoid doing). I want to shake off this physical malaise which is curtailing my training. Light week this week due to this.

Monday, January 22, 2007

80 mile bike ride

Okay, here's my first impressions of my longest bike ride yet - 80 miles - which I did on Saturday.

Learned a lot about hydration and nutrition on this ride... I underestimated what I needed and consequently came up short... here's how it went:

Set off aiming to do at least 50 but pretty soon decided I wanted to go for 70. Kept on country roads in an area I knew for the first 25 miles and sipped from water bottle. At 35 miles I took a short break and ate my banana and finished off my second water bottle.

Much of the next 20 miles was brutal... on 'A' roads, cycling uphill with wind in my face. But I was determined to go on even though I turned off onto a quieter 'B' road at one time (bloody road brought me back to the 'A' road again though!). Sometimes I was cycling at 11 miles an hour and was nearly in tears. Anyway, got through that and turned to Aylesbury from Bicester. Noticed I was beginning to feel light headed and dizzy and took it steady, taking in as much oxygen as I could. I was aiming to stop in Waddesden and JUST made it, having to stop on the hill and recover (I think I officially "bonked"). Had a rest though at the local shop, consuming a double mars bar and two bottles of lucozade sport and was on my way again. This happened at 56 miles.

Felt fine for the next 24 miles as I came on home.

Followed up by an immediate run (5k), trying to run at IronMan pace (9 min miles) but first mile was under 8 mins, last two were slower, probably 8 minute 20 secs. Not too worried about run pace at the moment though, just to get used to running after cycling.

Lots to report about the ride itself. Back and neck were very stiff which worked its way to my arms. Eased slightly as I stretched on the ride. Fingers were tingling at times as I was in the crouch position for a long time, down in the drops... I figured that was due to my hands clenching round the bars and gravity working against my blood flow, so I changed postion on the bars and that helped.

Saddle positon very uncomfortable... need much more saddle time to get used to this. No chaffing but just very sore after 45 miles or so... relieved it by standing but again, I guess I'll get used to this.

Mood was fine throughout the ride... apart from the grim 'wind in my face' part - but otherwise I was upbeat and focussed. I enjoyed the ride so that's good. The experience was invaluable and I'm looking forward to attacking a similar distance with better nutrition and preparation.

Afterwards I felt pretty good... recovered with a hot bath and plenty of food. Very tired in the evening which meant I couldn't sleep as well as I'd like (same as when I run marathons). Sunday was fine. Minimal stiffness and slept well that night. Monday has brought a sore back and general mental fatigue so I'm thinking of taking a day off... may do some kind of recovery swim.

What did I learn? Well, I learned I can almost certainly cycle for 112 miles. But not on a litre of water and a banana!!!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Training Monday 15th Jan - Sunday 21st Jan

Monday 15th Jan - 60 mins swim (2 km), 60 mins run (10 k approx)
Tuesday 16th Jan - 60 mins bike (TT - approx 32km)
Weds 17th Jan - 45 mins swim (2 km), 65 mins run (15k approx)
Thurs 18th Jan - day off
Friday 19th Jan - nothing today... working too hard...
Saturday 20th Jan - 5 hour, 80 mile bike ride, 24 minute, 3 mile run (5 km)
Sunday 21st Jan - easy 9k run - 45 mins

Pleased with the amount of training given how hard the work week was. Also got the experience of the long bike ride... and what an experience !!!


635 mins or 10 hours 35 mins total training time

Swim - 105 mins, 4 km
Bike - 360 mins, 160 km (approx)
Run - 194 mins, 39 km (approx

Achilles injury update

Hey Will
Good news. I felt I should run after a week off so on monday I did one hour run around the village green... just nice and gentle... feeling out the injury. It was stiff and sore at first but the discomfort got now worse so I carried on. It seemed to ease. I iced it afterwards and the next day there were no ill effects... a little stiff but certainly nowhere near as chronic as previously.
On wednesday I went out on road and did a 65 minute marathon pace run of 15k or so. I concentrated on my foot feeling balanced and flat as it hit the floor (to counter any possible pronation). Good result again...
Looks like the boy could be back in the game.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Transport to Austria IM...

Okay... flights booked (Ryanair from Stansted) travelling 5th July and returning 10th July. Hotel is booked

Even booked my bike on a service out to Austria and back with Simon Proctor's service.

Simon seems a cool guy and it's a weight off my mind to have the bike taken over and back by a qualified mechanic... it will also be good to hook up with someone in Austria.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Turbo Trainer up and Running... or rather, cycling...

Got the Turbo fixed at Phil Corley Cycles... link on the left, below... thanks guys... great service. It's now working fine and is great. Has opened up the possibility of cycle training any time of the day or night. Oh joy.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Training Monday 8th Jan - Sunday 14th Jan

Can't run at the moment due to achilles injury. Sporadic bike due to weather and lack of turbo trainer!

Mon Jan 8th - 60 mins swim (2.4 km)
Tues Jan 9th - 60 mins swim (1.8 km)
Weds Jan 10th - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUMMY XXXX - 60 mins swim (2 km), 60 mins bike (TT)
Thurs Jan 11th - 60 mins swim (2 km), 60 mins bike (TT)
Fri Jan 12th - Day Off
Sat Jan 13th - 2 hrs 40 mins bike (67.2km), 20 mins run - BACK2BACK
Sun Jan 14th - 45 mins bike (16km) , 70 mins swim (3km)

Swim - 5 hrs 10 mins swim, 11.2 km)
Bike - 5 hrs 25 mins bike, (73.2 km plus 2 hrs turbo at approx 32km ph = 137 km)
Run - 20 mins (approx 5k)

Run v. gentle due to ongoing achilles injury

10 hrs 55 mins total training

Bike Turbo Trainer

Picked up my Tacx turbo trainer for the bike which allows me to cycle inside through winter. Plus a spare wheel, block for the front wheel, yadda yadda yadda - wouldn't be Triathlon would it if things were cheap!!
Anyway. needless to say it's not working properly. I need my spare back wheel altering. I think once I'm up and running that it will be a great gizmo.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Acute Achilles Injury

Picked up a recurrance of an old achilles injury yesterday on the run. Achilles tendon on my left leg flared up and is extremely painful. Went to see Will (sports injuries) Tullet today and also swam and biked, so injury seems to be limited to running. No running for a while. Watch this space.