Monday, January 28, 2008

A Pain in the Neck...

The training weeks fly by and another good strong base session is under my belt. I'm beginning to understand more and more about the training regime that Mark has me on. We're currently working on getting used to fat burning as a way of fueling during long rides and runs. I'm finding running and riding at 65 - 75% of heart rate enormously difficult as it's way slower (in pace terms) than I'm used to but I'm getting there. Coach K explains it thus:

"You are currently in endurance Phase, then Pre-competition Phase, then IM Build up.

Going HARD uses up easily available energy rather than your limitless energy
reserves. Going hard has its limitations. Going steady & long is limitless.

The Best IM Guys and Girls are good at going Long but are so aerobically fit
they go faster.

You need to get much better at burning fat for fuel as this is your main
source of stored energy because you can only take in 300+ calories an hour
but will burn up 800+.

If you do not practice this most important part you will struggle to go sub
11 this year.

Your main goal this year is IM Austria NOT the Easter EGG race!

You are much bigger than me so need to be better at using stored fat.

The best IM athletes can also eat less during the Ironman because they have
developed using fat for fuel."
So there you have it. Anyway, now I know there's method in his madness, here's what last week held for me.

Monday - started with 45 minutes core and stretching and weights, prior to heading into London for a full day.

Tuesday - 50 minutes bike turbo working in pyramids between 65% and 85% of Heart Rate. 60 minutes of running incorpoating a 40 minute middle tempo section at marathon pace of 7'30 per mile.

Weds - 75 minute slow run with Tring Running Club. 9 miles approx.

Thurs - 2km return to swimming after lay off. 5 x 400m sets. Relaxed. 1 hour bike session on the turbo running through big ring pyramids working heart rate up to 85%. 45 minute running session including timed middle sections at marathon pace (7'40"), half marathon pace (7'00") and 10k pace (6'30").

Friday - day off recovery.

Saturday - 3 hr 15 mins v. slow bike ride. Approx 50 miles at 65% Heart Rate. 20 minute run after at IM pace.

Sunday - 45 minute run including timed middle sections at IM pace, Marathon pace and 10k pace.

So... over ten hours clocked and going well. The only drawback is that I came off the bike again and landed on my hip. I also slept terribly last night and cricked my neck . Do you think my body is trying to tell me something?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Keep up the good work...

So... a busy week and a little late posting on the blog. Sorry 'bout that. Even though my total training time was way down this week at 8 and a half hours, I'm still delighted with the way things are going.

Let me tell you why.

In addition to being injured since coming off the bike last weekend, I've been extremely busy with work. I've been up and down the country and staying away from home. But I've still managed to train on the road and on the bike turbo and made a pretty good fist of running and cycling this week. Plus, due to Mark K's training regime, I at last have a training schedule where every minute counts so I'm packing real quality into shorter available time. So I'm pretty happy with the way things are going.

There's been no swimming due to the shoulder injury (from coming off the bike) and I'm back on the anti-inflams for my hip which is still painful from the fall but hopefully I'm on the road to recovery.

I've taken the advice of an IronMan friend (you know who you are) and get serious with my turbo, rigging up my spare laptop to watch dvd's when I'm in the garage. Last week saw me follow Lance Armstrong through is seven Tour de France victories and watch Superman Returns whilst out on my long 2 hour plus turbo ride.

Lance was inspirational. Superman was crap.

Anyway... must rush. I have an edit to go to.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Let's Be Careful Out There...

Good news, not so good news this week.

The Good news is that I've started my IronMan training plan with coach Mark Kleanthous after having what seems like an age 'ticking over'. Frankly, I'm glad I did 'tick over' as I'm already discovering a level of base fitness much higher than last year at the equivalent time.

I've asked Mark to tailor my training this year to sub 11 hour IronMan which means we need to move things on from last year. 2007 was my first year in triathlon, I'd never cycled or swam in any way but recreationaly before - so I was on a steep learning curve. My training was designed to take me from zero to Ironman in nine months and was primarily time and distance based.

This year we're working differently and the first stage of my training is fitness based, working in heart rate zones so Mark can analyse strengths and weaknesses before we move into strength work later in the year. So far, I'm pleased to say, the variation within each session is giving me a challenge that I'm enjoying and adds a new dimension to the training.

I completed twelve and a half hours last week, including two and a half hours swimming made up of drills and pyramid sessions; five and a half hours cycling including a couple of turbo heart rate sessions and a long three hour ride on Saturday and over three hours running - again comprising heartrate pyramids and fartleks and a long slow 10 mile run in the middle of the week. I've also added in a core/stability/light weights session which I think is going to be really beneficial.

I'm also looking at (well, glancing at) my nutrition... aiming to eat more sensibly and healthily (is 'healthily' a word?!) To that end I'm keeping a nutrition diary which makes interesting reading and allows me to link performance with what I'm eating.

Weighed in at 95kgs after my first week training so shed a couple of kgs in the first week.

The only downside to all this is that I came off the bike on Saturday on a patch of black ice, landing heavily on my right hip and shoulder - the same hip that gave me so many problems last year after being knocked off the bike by Starsky and Hutch. I'm hoping these problems won't recur but it's going to have to be a quiet week this week - I tried to swim yesterday morning and it was 'no can do'.

So maybe some turbo and running to keep the body moving, with plenty of stretching an icing.

That said I'd be hard pushed to train much this week. I'm shooting and editing three jobs, with two other directors working for me so there's mucho traveling and long days. And, until I turn pro... triathlon doesn't pay the bills. :-)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Start of Something Big...

Me that is... but not for long.

So, my fellow bloggers, a happy new year to you. I hope your christmas time was full of festive cheer and naughty things. I ticked over nicely, running four consecutive 10kms with brother Sean over xmas in Holland, book ended by a few 30 mile bike rides and a 3km swim just prior to heading off to the lowlands. All in all it was a time for 'ticking over' before the commencement of new year.

As usual over xmas my weight went up (think Ricky Hatton but bigger and not as wealthy) to 97 kgs. My target by Ironman is to get down to 86kgs which will be some 4.5 kgs lighter than the 90.5 kgs that I weighed when competing at last year's IronMan. I figure it's got to help and my object is to lose the poundage gradually through consistent exercise and sensible diet. That said, I know from experience that January, with my commencement of training and no alcohol regime will result in a large weight loss in the first few weeks. After that it's the hard yards.

I've started my IronMan training regime but more of that next week.

Hello to Truck in New Zealand... keep me posted on your ultra running. Don't be shy... leave a comment.

To all of you, a happy and prosperous new year and may all your goals and dreams be attained.