Monday, August 30, 2010

Lists time

Less than a week to fly, lots of things to finalize and lots of lists to make:
-Triathlon gear list
-travel stuff list
-Contacts list for people in Budapest and in the UK
-List of thing that may be a problem for my boss @ work
-list of documents, copies and emails confirming bookings here and there

I also checked the list of the competition, we're a field of about 120 people, which is pretty interesting heading into the first turn on the swim.

And among all the prepping, there is also some serious training still to be done. Today was a killer swim and another superset where we reached the mile in the 5xruns. I cracked a season PB of 2.29 for 200m in the first of 4 all out sprints. Coach told me to back off a bit and I am not sure I would have held that time for the 4 repeats. The evening set was long and tiring, here's what my polar tells me for the run laps (the first 2 are 1200m, the following 3 are 1550m).
1: HRAv 78% HRMx 84%
2: HRAv 87% HRMx 89%
3: HRAv 88% HrMx 92%
4: HRAv 90% HRMx 93%
5: HRAv 90% HRMx 92%
In between each of them there was about 3.15min of excercise where the HR got down to about 75%.
Tomorrow we have the last blast on the bike. We do indoor training with a guy that rode two olympic games and knows a fair bit about training peaks. He reckons tomorrow and Wed are the key days for some serious VO2 session. I am not looking forward to that : )

Hope your training is going well as well,

stay tuned, the best is still to come,

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The spirit of triathlon

Another three days gone!,
it is really amazing how time flies when you're having fun. And I have had lots lately, mostly from the triathlon world.
Thursday marked the end of the retreat in the last phase of my training, Friday would mark the start of the last charge. We had a Superset in the midday that knocked me out for good. I was in bed by half eight and Saturday I was a new man.
Another brick session on the Sat. Being the final weekend to go and do things I didn't have a lot of time for a powernap. We also got invited to a good friend and triathlete's wedding. He's a regular appearance in all sorts of distances and I also found he is an accomplished sportsman in many other disciplines. The sad part of this is that I had to stick to a diet coke regime and was unable to take Nat to the dance floor in order to save my legs for today's last TT, whic didn't bring me any brownie points.

This Sunday we weren't blessed by the weather and coach decided to cance the TT due to wetter than normal conditions. The alternative was not an easy one. We did bike/run repeats for over 2 hours!, my HR monitor gave me readings I didn't know I was able to sustain over such a period of time, and it hurts.
8 workouts more between now and my fly to Europe. None of them will be easy, but all of them count and should confirm things are good.
While doing the bike/run reps today my mind started drifting towards tactics for race day. I've already spoken about the swim and how we're planning to do it. Once I'm out I expect to be in a pretty high HR band and to fly through transition with a higher HR. After I've mounted the bike the innevitable will happen. I'll be among the 10 to 20 athletes in the race, and we'll be all in a big group trying to ride off the gross of the field.
The spirit of triathlon is of individual achievement and racing solo, even on the bike. Rules ban drafting and I've seen and been penalized for breaches to these rules.
In the real world my experience is that the bigger the race, the more chances are to be cought in a drafting situation. It is up to the individual to try and not to break the rules because there's never enough marshalls to police the entire lenght of a bike leg.
In my opinion one must never race below their potential to comply with a rule. However, many times I've seen that as soon as I ride next to someone, that someone starts accelerating not to let me pass or to hang on to me.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that drafting in standard distance and sprint triathlon is a reality, specially in popular races where you've got over 600 riders over 10km of road. One can always do so much, then is a matter of luck.

So, after thinking about it over the bike repeats I've made clear that there have at least 2 plans for race day (bike):

Plan A: be a good boy, obbey the rules, do not draft and tell people off when I see them drafting. Conserve energy as much as I can and go hard.

Plan B: be a bad boy, go hard and take advantage of any drafting situation that is beyond my control. Take care of the draftbusters and see what happens.

what shall I do?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

and three days later

I'm still enjoying the rest week and making sure all plans keep ticking.

I can't believe that in 10 days I'll be flying out of her to warmer, dryer weather.

here's an update I sent my coach. That's all I have to report so far.

----- Original Message -----

From: Valentino Luna Hernandez
Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 1:08 PM
Subject: Update

Hi coach,

I thought I'd give you an update on how things are coming along.
've seem to be stuck on the 1.20 pace and I'm not 100% happy about it, but there's little I can do now, so all good. The last 3 weeks things have worked out OK and I'm comfortable at a higher pace.
All the base work has certainly paid off as I am recovering from TT's fairly well. I managed to back up any workout after TT's, which I see as a good sign. Secondary to that I would have loved being able to hold a higher average speed on the TT's. But what I have for race day would certainly benefit me in the likelyhood of a buch situation.

theTT bike made me realize how much I need a TT setup. Hopefully I'll work out the finances fine.

I'm feeling pretty strong on the run. The superset is paying off well. I feel shit running after those excercises, but running after running a 3.30km tired, running fresher feels like a breeze. The injury appeared to have healed OK. I didn't feel any niggles for two full weeks now (since pukekohe) and I'm keeping my excercises and stretching on schedule. Yesterday's coopers was the best it could have been and the HRMax was way lower than many of my previous CT's so I'm over the moon with the result.

Other bits and pieces:

Race day is in 18 days and I'm quite focussed, yet not nervous. I've sorted out most of my uni stuff so I have no other priority.

I'm working on my recovery as best as I can. Even without taking days off I manage to scoop some good powernaps on the weekdays and weekends.

Nutrition hasn't been an issue and I've got so many things in my plate at the moment that I am never bored, which sometimes leads to more eating.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Spesh for a day

According to the cheap HR Max calculator, today my HR Max has gone one beat slower. It's a real shame that by being one year older I probably jeopardized my goals in the world champs race. LOL

Same as last year, I kind of celebrated and kind of not. Last night was not a really late one. We had to finish our essays for uni, update blogs and diaries and then get ready for today. We skipped the swim in the morning (birthday treat= lay in) and off to work a couple of hours later. To be fair, I'd like to have a big feed, a decent couple of glasses of red and go to bed late. But I can't afford any of the above at this time of training so it will all wait for a month. And comes Sept 23rd we'll all pretend it is still August.

Work has been indredibly busy, so I've been sitting my arse in front of the computer for most of the day. I managed to do a make up swim at midday and that's pretty much it.

we've got just over two weeks of training left. The next 5 days are an "easy week" today's swim was cruizy and I treated myself with 3 tries to get a 50m PB on the pool. Back in the day in the pre triathlon era I did a 29secs. That's over 3 years ago and it still persists as my 50m pb. Even though I was "spesh for a day" I failed in my endeavours. the first try was a decent 33, the second was a 35 and the last one a 31. No doubut I'm older and slower.

I redeemed myself in tonight's coopers' test. Cooper's tests are good on an easy week because it's a lot of hard work, but it's done and dusted in 12 minutes. Today I tried the red bull shots again and I'm not 100% sure to give the energy drink a credit. But I got a big time PB. My advances in Cooper's tests are usually in the 10 to 20 metres field. Today I got 50m over my best ever PB. I'm over the moon!. Unfortunately I didn't have my good mate Reado to push each other, otherwise I'm sure we'd broken the 3700m mark.

Over and out, it's time for cake and three wishes

Date: 23 Aug
Sport: Swimming/Running
Time: 45min/55min (12min)
Dist: 2km/8.5km (3685m)
Comment: for the 12 min: HR Av. 89% HR Max 95%. There's still room for improvement!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Negative splits... and a new weapon

 Negative splits are usually hard to achieve for some. and I am one of them. Been able to do the second half of a swim, a bike or a run leg or race faster than the first half is something I am not quite bright at. And it is not for lack of trying. When doing workouts at a given HR band, going for a negative split usually means that I jump over the limits and I've been told off several times to do it again.
The typical negative split workout is on a 400m or a 1500m TT. I am good at starting and can do a decent first half, but I naturally tend to have a low period between 1/2 and 3/4 of the swim that affects my chances of negative splitting. I've tried to start slower and speed up, but the slow part is again to slow and I negative split with an overall slower time, so not great.
On the bike
Same as above, however I dont have low periods, I consistently keep good average, but lack the strength/endurance at the end to push a bigger gear.
On the run
I have a bit more of control in this front, but only on shorter workouts. I can negative split on a 5km or on a single km, but comes a 10km or a half marathon and I am fried.

There must be some kind of talent that I don't have. And talent cannot be learned, so I must adapt. Probably one year of neg. split training could bring the success I'm after. What I have observed is that IM athletes are more prone to negative split their races and workouts. But I haven't seem many IM guys doing 3min k's on the track. I'd say is probably more important for them that it's for a standard tri kind of guy. I'm just only digressing here, please take no offence you all in the IM world.

Anyway, I had it on my head for the last few days and more thoughts came my way but they've vanished. However an interesting development has shaken my beliefs:
A good friend who can beat me on any distance but sprint triathlons made me a very generous offer that I had no option but to take. He's a bit of a grown up boy with toys, and he lend me his lil' speed machine for my race in Budapest. To say the bike is in perfect nic is very shy. It has all the features that you expect of someone that cares about his gear. Tape in al the contact points, greased bolts on the right places. Shiny blue and black carbon everywhere and a setup that fits me very well.

So, after some basic fitting I took my friend's baby for a ride for today's 25km TT workout. I received all good comments from mates and coach so it could be said I was a proud triathlete in a miserable Sunday morning. The TT went OK for the conditions, but still 1min off my best time. The real bomb was that I negative splitted the whole thing!. The circuit is 2 big and 2 small laps. I did the second big lap (9km) 20secs faster than the first one and the second small lap 15secs faster than the first one. Without any previous plan or concious effort. I blame it on my improved ridinig position and the lack of numbnuts issues. I was happy OK after I checked my splits and I wonder how much better it could be if I had the bike for longer time. All in all a happy Sunday,
Thanks to my mate the frenchman and his generosity

Date: 22 Aug
Sport: Cycling/Running
Time: 150min (42.20)/12.30min
Dist: 75km(25.3km)/3km
Comment: another rainy TT, bring on the sun!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

checking in

WOW... It was busy allright.
Due to the trip to Europe I had to bring forward a couple of deadlines at uni and it all coincided with a hard week of training and here I am. Three days where there was little time to do anything, even logging my progress on the road to Budapest.
I hadn't planned it to be like this, but life changes.. and there's little help in feeling bad about things.

So Wednesday was a double dip, thursday there was cycling and Friday another double dip. Today we topped it up with a moderate/hard brick and I just got up from a 90min nap.

I feel good.
Physically tired, but mentally all there in the day of the race. 

Today's brick was a bit of an experiment in the nutrition front. To get my body used to it, I'm woke up a couple of hours before the workout, downed two gels before my cuppa and two pieces of toasts with almond butter and honey and sliced ALL GOOD banana.  That's the champion's brekkie I'll have on race day and the same I had in the last 4 races. It takes a bit getting use to, but I haven't had an upset stomach in any of those races, so I trust It'll work. But as I said, we went "experimental" coach brought us some red bulls shots to try and drink on the bike. I drank the shot 5min into the 35min bike session and I felt a bit of a kick at the business end of the bike and certainly a bit of a burp at for half the run. All in all it seems OK but I still doubt the energy drinks. 

I've been trying to write down some thoughts about negative splits but I'll probably leave for next post.

18 Aug - Swim/Run - 60min/60min - 3.3km/16km - two swim 1kmTT (1min rest) 14.36/15.15
19 Aug - cycing/running - 75min/15min - n/a/3km - indoor hard set and T run
20 Aug - swimming/running - 60min/60min - 3km/n/a - SUPERSET (3'25'' kms)
21 Aug - Swim/Bike/Run - 25min/35min/18min / 1.5km/n/a/5km - I hate blisters!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Banana deal

As I said on my previous post. I’m eating ALL GOOD BANANAS at all times now, I’ve forgotten about the rest and managed to get my local supermarket to bring them in.

There are many benefits from eating bananas, but the most important one is that the ALL GOOD BANANAS are great tasting, environmentally responsible and socially just, giving back a lot more than your ordinary banana.

So, as they are such a good bunch, I decided they would surely want to make a deal with me and we got to the following:

ALL GOOD BANANAS is making a donation to the Kids Can (stand tall) foundation. In exchange I’ll make sure they are in my photo finish in Budapest, and I’ll spread the message.

I’m name printing my uniform in the next week and I believe they are sooooo nice that they will be displayed prominently in my uniform and other gear.

So, help me, help others and be good by giving them a try. And let me know how you go!,

They’re really good

Monday, August 16, 2010

The superset

I'm a lazy trainer. Contrary to the traithlon tradition of Type-A guys that break their nuts in each training session and keep overachieving I have a more relaxed approach to training and so far I have no regrets. It doesn't mean that I don't like training, but I prefer to have some perspective, and perspective is something that most type-A guys can't afford. Overall the results will eventually come my way and in the meantime I'm enjoying the jurney.

Anyway, it all comes to introduce the subject of this post, the superset is a hard set. Is not the type of set that I would go for if I was self coaching. But as I am not self coached, I am not longer the boss and the options narrowed to one.

The idea behind it is to increase performance under extreme fatigue. And by extreme fatigue it is not only the Everests of the heart rate zones but also soreness of all kinds from toes to chin. And a lot of sweat. Add the odd shower and a temperature of about 1OºC and you have your Auckland version of hell. In a productive way. It is four of us doing it and eventually I know most of the squad getting ready for big races will have to endure it. The total duration of the set is between 12 and 25min depending on the distance of the runs.

It breaks down to the following: 1 run at level 4 (5km race pace) - 4 sets of excercises (chin ups, squats, pressups, abs crunchies, burpies, dips, you name it) of about a minute each then another run at the same intensity, then another 5 excercises and then another run. Twice. We're starting with 1/4 of a mile run each series, and the week prior we reach the mile (at about 5.40 pace). The first day was a bit confusing trying to pin together the amout of reps for each exercise and other stuff, the second was a decent try and now we're kind of used to it.

I can say that it does live to its expectation as the runs are the shittiest ones I had in some time. And the soreness carries on from one superset to the other (3 or 4 days). Fatigue is everywhere, ha ha ha.

As this is experimental I'm not sure what all is going to end up with, but If I was a betting man I'd bet it will be suprisingly good. The proof is in the pudding and I won't have any until the 12th of next month.

Monday started with serious swimming and to top it up we had another Cooper's test on the plan. However, given that we are in a hard week coach decided to whip it up with a superset (900m runs) instead. The photo the TACT worlds squad getting ready for their session. the sunset and the marina are incidental, we hadn't notice them in the dark months prior : )
Date:16 August
Sport: swimming / Running
Time: 60min / 60min (30min set)
Dist: 3.3km / 8km
Comment: need bed. bye

Sunday, August 15, 2010

3 intense weeks

That's what's left.
On the way we've made some progress, though.
Endurance: from April to now I've done roughly two months of base training and another month of strenght/endurance training. It's all there, the legs feel better that this time last year. The miles are the same but a bit easier to go for. Coopper's test results confirm is all on track. VO2 has gone to the upper 60's, whith still room for improvement (not a lot, though). I am losing some endurance in the swim, thanks to shorter sessions, hopefully I'm OK for 1500metres in the 20min mark.

Strength: Here is where I think I'm a few seasons behind schedule. I need to device the way to be a better rider against the wind and a better time triallist on ondulating terrain. But I've given a good shot and I'm satisfied some improvement has occurred. Swimming wise I've plateau-ed in a just above average cell. I'd probably do better with some more shoulder strength. Again, this is stuff for next season

Speed: I trust my coach can make good and fast runners. I'm well on track besides a little hiccup and a few seasons of year-round swimming helped me to maintain a bit of an edge in speed. The bike is not the brightest but it has not gone backwards.

Nutrition: is all being practiced and tested. should come up together nicely on the day.

Gear: I am still accepting TT bike donations, racing flats and racing sunnies. I could also do with a transition backpack.

Logistics: this was a fun weekend organizing tickets, apartment and other stuff. It is all confirmed and paid for. Mates that we made in our stay in Alaska are coming to see the race. Mates from training will be there and we even managed to through a one day trip to Paris on the cheap. The only downer is that my hungarian hasn't come up to speed : ).

On the training front there's been a lot of stuff done, the main point would be the introduction of the SUPERSETS, that I will speak of in tomorrow's post.

hope you all had a great Wkeend!

13 Aug - Swim/Run - 60min/60min - 3.3km/Superset - Friday 13th with no suprises!
14 Aug - Swim/Bike/Run - 20min-35min-20min - 1.5km/n-a/4.5km - the hottest more humid brick ever
15 Aug - Bike/Run - 150min (70min)/16min - 85km(41TT)/3.5km - I almos got a DQ for cutting corners on the TT.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Product review - All good bananas

Nat and I try to be as good consumers as we can to reduce the environmental impact of our choices and trying, where possible to give a hand as much as we can. None of us is a fundamentalist in the field, but where possible, we make the fairer choice.
A couple of months ago we discovered All good bananas in our local supermarket. Being marketed as NZ's only straight bananas, we bought to give them a try.
These guys have a pretty good concept, sell bananas and ensure the profits reach the producers in equal shares as they reach the middlemen. They took some time to set up the chain, but now it works OK for the producers, for the people that sells them in NZ and I'd say for us as consumers as well.
Contrary to other fairtrade products (coffee and chocolate, for example) these bananas are same or better than the regular philipines or ecuador bananas we buy in our supermarket (fairtrade cofee or chocolate sometimes is not as great tasting) and even better, they are free of agrochemicals.
In terms of pricing, they are not that far off the mainstream bananas ($3.50 for half a dozen vs. $3 for half a dozen) and most of the bunches I've seen don't bring the noughty black banana hidden in the middle.
The arch of the banana seems to be according to the standards provided by the international mathematical union in terms of the progression of the angles. The yellowness complies with NZ standards and the smoothies taste good according to me, so all in all it's a good product.
I'm rating these babies 5/5 and I'll buy them again and again and again. Hope the ones of you that live in NZ do the same, everyone counts to make a bit for a better world.
In training news, we've received the last bit of programme leading to Budapest. It looks tiring enough and has a few new additions (supersets and motor vehicle pacing) which will be fun to watch. Wed. was the usual swim and run. I tried new gear arrived from the states. I'm so surprised with the quality of the fabric of the free yourself tee that I may use it on top of my race suit, he he he. 
Today and tomorrow I'm running behind schedule at the office, so may not appear on the web for some time. 
keep training hard and racing harder, 

Date: 11 Aug /// 12 Aug
Sport: Swim/Run /// Bike/Run
Time: 60min/72min /// 70min/11min
Dist: 3.3km/16km /// n/a / 2.5km
Comment: I'm training tired and I can feel it. It is a good sign.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


On Monday morning we finished our swim squad session with a race agains kids.
We train in a private school's pool and take 3 out of 6 lanes, the other lanes are used by the school's swim squad. It's about a dozen boys and girls aged about 12. They are there at 6 when we start, and keep swimming after our finish time of 7.30. I guess they are a "development" squad because of their age and the amount of drillwork they do.
The "race" was a relay 350m, each team had 7 members doing 50m each. The triathletes were all aged over 30 and quite a competitive bunch ( 2 9.30 ironman, 3 sub 35 10k'ers, etc.), however we got a trashing by this kids. At any point in the race we were on top, one of the girls even swam breaststroke on her turn.
That goes to show that no matter what you do, there's always the chance of not winning. However I wouldn't say we were defeated. The kids and us are quite different type of athletes and they're obviously good sprinters in the swim, I had good fun and I'm pretty sure they were a proud bunch right after, knowing they can kick the old boy's bottoms.
Fortunately, though, the race in Budapest is against 30-34 year old guys that may be not as good sprinters on the swim, so we're safe.
So... Defeat.. a big word that doesn't have a place in the amateur athlete's diccionary. Having so many things in one's plate (work, family, uni... you name it), the fact of just going out and training is a huge commitment. And racing is such an indulgence... I woulnd't know where to look for defeat.

Date: 10 August
Sport: Cycling/Running
Time: 75min/15min
Dist: n/a / 3km
Comment: coldest run of the year, lucky it was short!

Monday, August 9, 2010


For the second time the club has managed to secure the car race track at Pukekohe and we've orgainzed a duathlon and a bike TT. This is a low key, interclub race and organizing it is not as easy as one would expect. But we got it done thanks to the expertise of the more senior members of the club.

The raceway is short of 3km long and with a pretty basic shape (two straights, two chicanes), insidide there is a horse racing track and inside that one, there's a training track. We used them for the run. The day was supossed to be nice after an early morning shower. But it wasn't, there was intermitent showers all over the day. An hour before the race started, in the thick of registration and warm ups and so on, a bleak sky covered us and it just poured. Race started at 11am on clear skies, there was about 100 people doing it, many training mates and other clubs representatives. The race starts on the tarmac, same as the car races, then we made them run 1km to the entrance to the smaller tracks and out to pits to transition. I was marshalling on the run track and the first guys took short of 3min to get to me, the were flying.

Out on the bike another storm rained the athletes and marshalls in uncovered areas. By the second run (this time 2.5km), everybody was pretty dirtly like an off road race. The winners of the 5km-20km-2.5km race took short of 55min to do it.

I loved the atmosphere of the event, I heard no one complaining about the conditions or any other shortage on the race. Everybody was there for a good time and I think everybody got a good time.

After a wet BBQ break it was time for me to do the 25km TT event, and even though my performance was pretty average, I'm happy to have another one under the belt. Time trialling is a different game, and the more I do the better I get. On my prep to Budapest I've already done over a dozen TT's (more than half haven't been on the road, though) and each of them has been a pain, in the nice way.

Date: 8 august /// 9 August
Sport: Cycling /// Simming / Running
Time: 42.57min /// 60min / 60min
Dist: 25.4km // 3.2km / n/a.. it was a SUPERSET
Comment: there should be a race track we could use more often, that was too much fun!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

New Toys and getting ready

This is a mixture of the week that was with product review and some thoughts about the race. As you may have guessed, the week had been busier than I thought and blogging was somewhere down the list, just after Rest and Recovery.
But I made it, and it surely won't repeat until post race. I had quite a bit on my plate with work being surprisingly busy for winter months, plus a practical to do at uni and house chores to be done. August started with an easy week at training, but I didn't find it easy allright. After Monday's swim PB and steady run I was happy for both my PB and my recovered leg. Tuesday was a normal gym and bike day with plenty of time to recover, Wed swim was not easy at all, coach has decided to start trialling some core conditioning excercises in the middle of hard swim sets; it was fun and tiring, so all good in that department.
Which brings us to Friday. As I said, we had a coversation with coach and we will vary the traditional speed sets. They will be about the same lengh in time (30 to 45min), but the rest intervals will be active in the form of some killer excercises (thrust squats, lunges, power ab crunches, and more). Friday was the test set and I can say I feel it today.
Saturday is the end of the hard week, there was no bike ride on the brick session and the swim was steady but not hard. Tomorrow we start straight on another couple of hard weeks. This is the time were the weight loss kicks in. I'm in big need of some weight loss. Not that I am over it, but it comes handy for the race. I am always pretty steady on 72kg and I should have a more integral approach to nutrition, matter is that I never got around to include it. So, in the next couple of weeks, no matter how much I eat, I still end up a bit more ripped than before, and that's something I am looking forward.
I also got my new toys. A friend sent an email with very cheap prices for shoes on an online store, I got in there and left 200 dollars poorer and 2 pair of trainers happier.

The first one to review is the Adidas Response Stability shoes. As the name indicates, the shoes are all about having a stable foot stroke. They offer support on the heel, arch and forefoot and great cushioning. They look like quite heavy tractors, suprisingly, though, they are not. They are buky, but they don't weight a lot. On the presentation side, the colours are the typical dull combination of reds, silvery greys and whites, I'd rate them very conservative on that department. I was afraid the first runs would be hard on the lateral musles of te lower leg and I was right. I overpronate and tend to wear shoes on the inside quite fast, so this should only take a couple of more runs. The soles are nothing fancy and you can wear them outside the tarmac, but I wouldn't go go use them off road as a default, they are not as agile. I still haven't found a brand of shoes that can grip my feet as Adidas so my final say is 4/5 due to the poor looks and boring sole.
Tomorrow is race day, so I'll be late and tired, hopefully, though, I'll bring a happy report
Happy training everyone!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I did the easy bits

Even though is an easy week, I'm tired and wanting to go to bed.
I thought about the last three months and compared them to the same time last year. Workouts have certainly become more sofisticated this time around, and my commitment in time has increased.
There is also more personalized stuff and more interaction with the coach.
I think next year I will probably skip worlds, so training in the winter will be all about the long runs, bikes and swims and speed will be a thing of the future.
Which brings me to the topic of today.
In the past 12 or 13 weeks I did the easy bits. It was tiring, and demanding and many sundays I would have chosen a different thing other than a bike ride, but it was easy and enjoyable (most times). In the next 4 weeks (this one doesn't count because it is an easy week from last Sunday till next Saturday) the time commitment for workouts and recovery will be bigger, and priority #1 after Nat.
It becomes difficult not only for the "dig it up" attitude needed on a daily basis, but also for the need to keep walking in tha line that borders burnout, injury and peaking before time. This is the time when having a coach comes very handy, and keeping to the right numbers in the heart rate is the key task.
One of the easy things was to get fitter on the bike; the long rides and the tour and club racing helped me built a pretty good base and I am happy I can hold myself among a strong group of riders. The difficult thing is to gather all I can from that fitness pool and use it to develop better time trialling skills.
Other easy thing was to get decent speed in the running tests and sprints. The difficult thing is to keep that speed consistent for the whole of the run leg in a triathlon. Or at least to know it is there
Training is easy, racing is a different game. I'm getting there, though.

Date: 3 August
Sport: Cycling
Time: 60min
Distance: n/a
Comment: windtrainer session with no run after.

Monday, August 2, 2010

the weekend that was

It has been pretty hard to make room for blogging over the past weekend, between my student life, my working life, my triathlon life and a bit of social life thanks to a visit from a dear friend from ARG.
With just over a month to go the workouts are becoming more and more intense, more intervals (swim, bike and run), more bricks (swim-bike-run and bike-run), more resting periods, and more time trials. All of them demand a big deal of rest and recover. And sitting in front of  the computer does not count as rest and recover.
In addition the working life is getting busier that it was planned, which is a real bummer.
But it's all ticking well,
Friday was swimming in the morning and sprints in the afternoon (200m run sprints is a workout that I never learnt to enjoy).
Saturday was a proper indoor brick session in hot and humid community gymnasyum (i probably lost 3litres of water during the 40min bike workout. It was over by 10 and coffee was due, we found a lil' new place that makes great muffins, photos coming soon. There was some study and sightseing in the afternoon.
Sunday was TT time, we run a course around the Auckland Airport, a popular spot among cyclist (the aiport loop seems to be a constant in many Auckland triathletes). Our course has a variety of features (flat, undulating, rough chip, smooth new seal, roundabouts, tight busy corners) and can accomodate any distance between 5 and 70km (I wouldn't recomend the 70km because it may get boring). It was overcast with rain clouds approaching and a solid head wind during 60% of the laps.
Sunday pm was time to catch up and study about the atmosphere moist in the air. I also had a tri club meeting. We are hosting the second edition of a duathlon event. We hire a car race-track, that has a horse race-track inside. there's a duathlon in the morning and a bike TT (individuals and teams) after the lunch break.  The first edition last year was a success and we'll be certainly building from that. Being a month of worlds, many athletes have the chance to do a minor race, and practice transitions.
Monday morning I had to do my swim at a different venue at a different time, I did shorter session and got a season PB for 200m (2.32). And now I am sitting in front of the computer again after a hard run session.

Hope you weekend rocked as well