Sunday, March 30, 2008

First World Cup of the year!

For those of you that were watching the live coverage on http://www.triathlon.org./ I am ok.

I haven't crashed in a race in years and yesterday was an unlucky day. I am not exactly sure how it happened but it happened fast. I was in the air and then ended up in the barriers on a tight corner and had someone and their bike slam into my back. I got up, grapped my water bottles and the adrenaline was pumping so all I was thinking about was getting back onto the front pack. However, when I went to jump back on my bike my front wheel snapped off and rolled to the side of the road. Hmmmmmmmmmmm! I guess my bike forks are broken and I can't ride anymore. I later found that I also had a flat tire in the rear.

As for me, I am well covered in road rash on the left side, and well bruised on the right side and my back. I got cleaned up in the med tent and found that I may have a scaphoid fracture but hopefully just a bad sprain. Xrays won't show anything for seven days................uh that would be New Plymouth World Cup race day.......SO....I will wait a few days and if it starts to feel better and swelling goes down then it should be a sprain and I can deal with that. I am still able to run (did a 50min run with 10min tempo after being mended) and will get the bike fixed tomorrow and try swimming lightly. If swimming lighly is possible.........I will let you know.

I will include some carnage photos in the next day or two.

I will be back on the horse in no time and getting my Olympic selection done!

Friday, March 28, 2008

End of TRAINING start of RACING

Well, my three week training camp in Noosa is now over……………which means I get to race tomorrow. It has been a really good intensity training block here in Noosa coming off of Maui’s big base block.

I started off the camp with a fun “Splash and Dash” only three days after getting off the plane. I wasn’t so sure this was a great idea but coach Lance wanted me to go have a good effort. I was prepared for a range of results considering I hadn’t done any speed running for four months and I still felt sluggish from the plane. The race was a 600m swim 3km run twice through. They made it more interesting by making it a Male Female chase where the women got a 3:30min lead for the just over 30min race. So needless to say I had competition from both the men and the women. I got out the water second and quickly caught the larger “swimmer” and proceeded to put my head down to reel in the women. I chased hard and took 1:30min out heading back into the water so I had some work to do. I worked as hard as I could with my legs dragging in the water in the second swim. It wasn’t until 400m to go on the last run that I was within striking distance of the heels of the lead two girls. I started my sprint earlier then I wanted to only to beat Lisa Norden to the line by only 5 seconds. It felt really good to go out and have a hard effort and actually run fast. With this positive effort I was ready for my Noosa training camp.

I quickly got my run legs back as a result of the race and was running faster and stronger then the same time last year. My cycling had been feeling very strong after almost a 1000km in Maui so it only took a couple of Saturday morning Noosa Triathlete shootout rides to get my speed going. With the likes of Andrew Johns, Greg Bennet, Olivier Marceau, Luke Mackenzie and other Ironman athletes and cyclists having a go at these rides, there was no lack of someone going hard. Swimming has been building well with two speed sets, one strength and one threshold open water swim a week I should be good to go. Swimming with the local squad and live in international triathletes lead by legendary coach Maxi was a great change of training routine. Max has always been so accommodating with the triathletes staying longer after his own practices and holding extra workouts just for us. Many thanks go to Max.

With all the training done and a rest week well absorbed I am feeling more than ready to race. After months of training it always feels good to actually put that work to use. I am eager to test my fitness against the other athletes and see what gains I have made since last year.

Here we go! Race number one of the season – Mooloolaba, Australia World Cup March 30, 2008

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Epic 7hr Bike Run Workout Photos

So here are some photos from the epic 7hr workout. Look how neat and tidy the group is pre workout. Not the same at the end, sweatier, dirtier from 6:30hrs of road dust and gels carbo drink, rain and all stores of everything depleted. It was not a pretty sight at the end.

I always ride with a helmet as it is so important for safety while training. However I made an exception to my rule as we were on a quiet road climbing in 32'C weather travelling at maximum 18km/hr. We suited up with helmets, gloves and more clothing for the decent down the volcano.

Maui Training

So this year seems to be setting a few records. Earlier in the year I set a record training hours as well as record swim miles. So I guess it would make sense (if you are a twisted pro triathlete) to try and set records in the other disciplines as well. So while at the Maui camp I managed to ride almost 1000km in 12 days and did my longest workout every at 7hrs as well as single longest ride.

The 7hr workout was a longer version of a workout I did a couple of years ago to build bike strength with some transition running. This year the workout was stepped up a couple of hours. The prescribed workout was a 5:30hr ride with the last 2:30hr climbing up Haleakala Volcano with a 30min run off the bike continuing up the volcano further. There was then the option to ride (fair bit of coasting through corners) back down the 32kms to sealevel.

The ride consisted in total, of more than 10,000feet of climbing with about 6000ft all in the last 2:30hrs of riding up to 7500ft. On the way down from 7500ft we road through a nice rain storm and some rather chilly weather only to finish at 32 degree celcius at sea level with armwarmers and vest on!

This was a fun workout and my cycling has taken a jump as a result of the last two weeks of high mileage with climbing and timetrialing components.

We also had a really fun ride run transition workout where we road 3:30hrs down past Hana and then finished back at the State Park where the Bamboo forest is. We then ran up to the forest and the huge water fall that feeds the numerous pools all along the trail. Chris Lieto had both his digital video and still cameras so we were able to capture a lot of the fun and some entertainment. I will post the video on youtube for all to enjoy!

There was plenty of open water swimming done including a couple of hard 15x2min all out with 1min rest in the choppy water. I had a couple of fun pool sets of 30x100yds on 1:15,1:10, and 1:05 and another workout longcourse 50m of 1500m pull/paddles descend by 500 for a 17:50 total followed by 15x100 on 1:20 averaging 1:10 and 11's.

My calve injury that I have been struggling with since Pan Am Games in July of last year has finally settled and I was able to build frequency and length of runs to 6 runs and a 1:25hr base run in one week.

So all in all, swimming is strong, cycling is up, and running is back again. This next three week block here in Noosa is now dedicated to strong fast swimming and speed on the run with some anaerobic cycling and power climbing.

My Travel Outline

So this is what an epic World Cup ciruit journey looks like from a travel point of view. Firstly it consists of numerous hours of planning and plotting training and racing plans with coach Lance Watson at Lifesport. That is then followed by roughly twice as much time booking plane tickets with Robb Brockman at Carlson Wagonlit Travel in Kelowna. Thanks the two of you by the way for the numerous dedicated hours.

Once you have a plan for the air travel you then need to make countless changes and alterations to somehow get the ticket to cost less then 10,000 dollars requiring a small loan. Once tweaked and adjusted you arrive at a final itinerary that boggles the mind and only runs up a $5200 credit card charge. Only half the loan needed now :) This is what epic travel looks like:


Next comes the accomodation and ground transportation in each and everyone of the 7 places I am travelling too. Thankfully I have awesome friends and support that make this much easier. Aaron Altura is the man for Maui as I have a special spot on the floor with a mattress pad with my name on it. He then has a car available for Chris Lieto and I to bomb around in and scrub the wheel wells off on the way home from Hana. (another story for another time) He also knows and ends up taking us out to all the best places in Maui to eat and shop. Not so much shopping this time.
Once in Noosa, legend friend Neil Larkin steps up with my bedroom with queen bed and fresh sheets for me to flop down on after 26hrs of travel. In addition to having a room and big screen tv, computer, jumbo fridge he has a resident Massage therapist and school trained chef that also lives with him. Hmmm....would this not be the perfect place to live and train.......yep it is! Oh yeah, he also has a scooter and a truck that I can choose from to use.

So the first parts of my trip (training camps) work out very well and are pretty well set up. The hard part of the job is the training and travelling to the races. Four races in five weekends all across Australasia is a lot of flying and racing in a short amount of time. Once I arrive home it will be for a nice long period of recovery and then building for the next block of races.
I have the best friends that are so helpful and caring! You guys rock!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Season Underway

Although I am still not racing for another month my season has officially started. The reason I consider it started is that when I left Victoria two weeks ago now, I wouldn't be returning until April 28th after doing four world cups and two training camps.



This epic two and half month trip includes the past two week training camp with coach Lance Watson and fellow Lifesport Pro athletes: Chris Lieto, Linsey Corbin and Kim Loefler and my local legendary friend Aaron Altura in Maui.

Next is the three week training camp in Noosa, Australia to prepare for the first World Cup of the season in Mooloolaba, Australia.

Following the Australia camp and Mooloolaba race on March 30th, I head to New Plymouth, New Zealand for WC #2 on April 6th. Then travel to Ishigaki, Japan to race WC #3 and third in a row on April 13th. I then have the luxury a weekend off before completing the epic journey with WC #4 in Tongyeong, South Korea on April 26th.

So the journey has begun and I am feeling fit already and will be eager to race in another three weeks.