Saturday, June 30, 2007

30th June 2007

Its been another week with highs and lows. The week started off well with a bit of light hearted competition thanks to my sisters little challenge (see previous post). I managed to get in a number of good running and bike sessions early on in the week. However I've been feeling like I was on the verge of getting sick for a couple of weeks now, and I think with the colder weather and increased training load it tipped me over and I started feeling run down and developed a sore throat by Thursday.

From experence I know that this is a pretty good sign that I need to ease up (given that I do a number of my bike sessions fairly late at night after the kids have gone to sleep and all the good TV programs have finished, meaning I often don't finish until 11pm(ish) and I'm not in bed until just before midnight, coupled with the kids not sleeping all that well lately - I've been quite tired. Yes I can hear the violins playing ...) So a couple of days off and 1 and a half good sleepin's and I'm feeling much better.

On a more amusing note my wife Helen and I went out for a "date night" on Tuesday. Helen was talking to a friend before we headed off and mentioned that we were going on a "date night". "Where are you going?" was the natural question .... "to the gym" (I take Helen to all the best places. To be fair we did go out for a nice dinner afterwards).

The gym class we went to was a "body balance" class which combines ti che, pilates, and yoga. This focused on core strength and flexibility both areas which I tend to neglect (I've spent some time as an exercise physiologist so I really have no excuse - I'm just being lazy).

So apart from getting sick tings are still going well and generally according to plan.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

23rd June 2007

It's been a fairly easy week this week with a couple of rest days on Tuesday and Friday. It was been good as I've been quite tired this week (partly due to my 4 year old son waking each night at around 1pm and taking some effort to settle this week).

I was up at 6.30am this morning with the kids and managed to get away just before 8am for a run. The run was a pretty good 15k hill run this which felt refreshingly easy, I was back just under an hour and a half later which was the target.

I haven't been using my heart rate monitor while running or a while, I think sometimes its good to have a break from the gizmo's and just run. One of the good things about taking a break from the monitor is that when you put it back on again you notice fitness imporvements straight away. It's one thing to for the workouts to feel easier and another to actually see the numbers.

During my run this morning my heart rate was between 5 and 10 BPM lower than what it had been previously during the climbs.

Also out of interest I had a go at getting my resting heart rate last night before going to sleep (my kids normally wake me up so checking it in the morning isn't generally going to give a true resting heart rate result - especially when you're woken up by a little hand tapping you one the eyelids and a voice saying "I've woken up daddy"). Anyway my resting heart rate is currently around 48 BPM.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Gemma's Beat the Ironman Challenge

Gemma is my little sister. She's going to come along to Taupo in March to head my support crew. Being the competitive (and motivational) person that she is I found the below challenge in my email inbox this morning at work, and in the space of less than a day (thanks to the interconnected email world) there's people from Christchurch to Wellington to Auckland taking up the challenge and it all kicks off next week.

Watch this space to see how it goes, below's the challenge:

"OK so this is how it works:

We take each ironman stage; swimming, cycling and running and for every k you do in these disciplines you get a point so:
1k of cycling = 1point
1k of running = 2 points
1k of swimming = 5 points
The primary aim of the game is to get active and feel good about yourself but the secondary objective is to get more points then the ironman (no pressure Kieran).

So the whole family can play walking is included as well. However, you must be walking for at least 30mins in order to start ticking off ks. So for example, 3 trips from the office to the local cake shop to get a pie, custard square and can of coke doesn't count. For this first round I will also allow gym entries so for every k you do on the treadmill etc you get the same points as if you were outside with the rest of us non pussys pounding the pavement.

The game starts 6am on Monday the 25th of June and ends 6am on Monday the 2nd of July, everyone should be aiming for 10 points and if you get up to 25 points then you are awesome. For those who are in it to win it and beat the ironman I guesstimate you will need to clock up around 100 points.

Dean because you are special you get special rules:
1k on the hand bike = 1.5 points
1k kayaking = 2 points
No sure if this is fair but my game my rules J

I am happy to make this game a global phenomenon so feel free to forward onto any of your sports billy friends. You can also keep abreast of the ironmans progress throughout the week and post comments on his blog:

So who's in?

Gemma Deputy Vice President of Ironman 2008 supportcrew"

Sunday, June 17, 2007

17th June 2007

Sunday gives me another chance for some solid training, with a second fairly regular window of opportunity during the mornings between 9.30ish and 12 noon. Helen normally heads into Albany for church with the kids (I go on Saturday night to make this work). Her father’s the Pastor of a church there and they hold their morning service in a school hall, which just happens to have a shower... So I normally either run in and meet the family there, it’s exactly 20k’s, and with a good number of hills thrown in usually takes me just under two hours (my record, done the week I hurt my foot is 1 hr 50 – as a side note I’m doing the North Shore City Half Marathon next month, strictly for training of course … and I’m really interested to see how it goes). I used to get a few funny looks, but I think they’re use to my sweaty dishevelledness now.

Well the plan today was to do a bike / run brick, riding for an hour and leaving my bike at the in-laws and then running for another hour to meet the family. It was a good plan and I was looking forward to it.

Unfortunately things just weren’t going to go my way, starting at 2.30am when both my son and daughter decided to wake up at the same time. Because I know that the kids can be a handful during the day for Helen I normally get up for them during the night, and first thing in the morning. So I was up at 2.30am (4 hours after going to sleep), Eve, my 2 year old daughter settled down alright, but my 4 year old boy Sam didn’t really get settled again until 4.30am, I was back up with them again at 7am, meaning I didn’t really much of that all important recovery sleep.

Sunday morning was COLD, which again left me cursing that I’d sold most of my winter riding gear two years ago, so no leg warmers, no arm warmers and for some reason I could only find one shoe cover (I did have some other gear so I was alright once I hardened up). On the bike it was straight into a stiff southerly headwind, and my legs wouldn’t work. Cycling’s my strong point and I knew that as soon as I warmed up things would come right. Unfortunately I didn’t warm up.

The ride was an energy sapping grovel. So as I was working to a schedule I cut it short by taking the direct route, meaning that just over an hour later it was into the run.

The run was interesting as for the first few k’s I couldn’t feel a couple of my toes. After a while I started warming up and my legs began to work again which was nice. I managed to get to where I needed to be in time, but certainly not the greatest work out, and I've been sore all day since.

This evening I've spend a bit of time doing a gentle session on the indoor training and a bit of stretching, so I'll come right.

Never mind, there’s always tomorrow.

16th June 2007

I got up bright and early on Saturday morning to feed and cloth the kids (or rather they got me up early …), letting my wife (Helen) have a well earned sleep in. By the time 7.30am came around you could tell it was going to be a fantastic day, cold, but fantastic.

Helen got up just after 8am (which is a pretty good sleep in at our house) to take over with the kids, and shortly after that I was out the door (I have a small window of opportunity to get out and do some training before my dear wife has to head off to start work at 10am on a Saturday).

Today was going to be my first run in 10 days following my running break due to the sore foot. The foot was feeling good, I’d just had a complete rest day on Friday so I was feeling good and revving to go. The plan was to spend around an hour running hills, which literally start with the jog up my drive. I’m a bit spoilt when it comes to hills, once I get to the end of my street the road goes up a fairly steep hill for exactly one k (I’ve measured it), then a little further on is a further climb of just over 2 k’s and then there’s some more climbing depending on which way I go.

The run was sensational, the day was cold but crystal clear, and I felt super strong. Even better my foot gave me no trouble. So 1 hour and 30 seconds later (it’s all about pacing) I was back from what worked out to be round a 12k hill run and home in time for a shower before Helen had to head off to work, and me and the kids got ready for what was sure to be a great day.

From a training point of view the run was great. With juggling family time and training time, it’s really important for me to get the most out of every workout. Today I really wanted to keep a 5 minute per k pace, to make sure that I had an even “there and back” split and that I stayed below my lactic threshold (given the first two goals this last one was just going to be a bonus due to the hills). In the end the run was so perfect that I go all the goals, and I wasn’t feeling particularly tired when I got home.

The plan seems to be working and things are on track.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

14th June 2008

I had a bit of a sore foot last week following a rather hilly 20k run that I normally do each Sunday. It felt a little sore after the run but nothing to bad, so I took it easy on Monday (Queens birthday weekend) with a gentle bike ride. Come Tuesday and I went out for a 40 minute run during my lunch break at work. Afterwards my foot was sore again, so no more running. I spent the rest of the week on the indoor bike trainer (yay).

This week I managed to get my bike into work (I work in the Auckland CBD). I had a few funny looks riding up the lift with my time trial bike, but then again it was one of the few times that people actually talked in the lift. At work I had a few people ask "you didn't seriously ride into work today did you?" (I live about 50k's away from work, the answer was "not yet" - it is winter afterall, so it'd be dark when I left, but I do plan on riding in when the days get longer, all part of the plan).

So I've had a good week of riding during my lunch breaks. One of my weaknesses when I was into road cycling was riding with to low a cadence, so I don't have a bike computer hooked up at the moment (because if I did I'd be too hung up on the speed and distance, and not concentrate on technique). Instead I'm just using my heart rate monitor and focusing on staying in my zones and keeping the cadence high. Seems to be working, I'm looking forward to putting a computer back on and seeing what it has to say.

Foots back to normal again as well.

21st May 2008

"Hmmm Ironman's pretty expensive, and I sold most of my cycling gear a couple of years ago, maybe 2009 ..."

That was pretty much the thought that was going through my mind. I really wanted to do Ironman but its not an inexpensive undertaking. And then my wife rang me up with the great news. Alpe d'Huez New Zealand, a cycle apparel company, had selected me, along with four others, to sponsor for the 2008 New Zealand Ironman.

So no more excuses, I've got a plan, and its time to put it into action ...