Thursday, December 29, 2011

What I never thought I'd know 12 months ago!

Inspired by Tri Fuel's "So you wanna be a Triathlete", which I blogged about some time ago, here is my personal list of what I never thought I'd know 12 months ago. I hope it'll teach you something, make you laugh or inspire you to reflect on your past 12 months, as another year comes to a close and the New Year begins.

What I never thought I'd know 12 months ago:
  1. Triathlons are EXTREMELY ADDICTIVE;
  2. You will plan your weekends around your swim, bike and run;
  3. You will spend your wage on new gear, race entries, training camps and pain and suffering instead of new dresses and alcohol;
  4. You will hate swimming more than you like it for the first year; 
  5. A quick release does not need to be fully removed to access the tyre (who would of thought?!); 
  6. You will learn new words such as A-race, brick and double-knick;
  7. You will set your alarm starting with the number 4 - all because you want to fit in a longer ride before work; 
  8. Triathletes clean their bikes weekly, not annually (whoops!!); 
  9. You can ride in the freezing cold and survive the headwind of the year - it just makes you stronger and those less than ideal race conditions seem relatively easy!;
  10. It will take you a full 12 months, but you will finally find swimming meditative;
  11. No matter how much you don't want to, when your Coach tells you to take a gel to get you home, you will take a gel to get you home;
  12. You will be passed and dropped on the bike many times - but it doesn't matter unless you make it matter;
  13. You will never be the fastest runner, but as soon as you stop competing with others, you can compete with yourself.......and more often than not, you will win!; 
  14. You will learn the meaning of and love nothing more than a post-training LLD*;
  15. You will start using acronyms!;
  16. You will look forward to your swim sessions;
  17. Some old friends will drift away and your tri-friends will become like family;
  18. You will find happiness in the simple camaraderie that is a tri-squad;
  19. You will voluntarily take part in "Hell Week";
  20. Triathlon will change your life.

* the infamous Tri Alliance "Little Lie Down".

Has triathlon changed your life? I'd love to hear your comments...x

And one more thing..

The importance of mental training..

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hell Week Report!

"Hell Week" (adj): the annual, much anticipated Tri Alliance (TA) event that is about completing as much as you can during the week between Christmas and New Year.

Day 1 started well (& very early!!), which you can read about here.  I then arrived in Townsville for Christmas with the family so I set out on my own, for the inaugural FNQ Hell Week. Bike-less and squad-less, mine was certainly different from my Melbourne counterparts, but here is what I learnt:

  • Hell Week without your bike only happens once (talk about learning the hard way!);
  • It is almost impossible to run in Townsville in December between the hours of 6am and 6pm;
  • My new definition of "Hell Week" is: running in Townsville in December between the hours of 6am and 6pm;
    *Possible slight exaggeration
  • Castle Hill is relatively easy to walk up, to run up - not so much. For those of you unfamiliar with Castle Hill, the incline is something like this:
  • I can run 50+km in a week, but I don't want to do it again for some time;
  • Thank god for the foam roller!!

Swim: 10km
Bike: 110km
Run: 52km
Foam Roller: LOTS!!

A big thank you to TA for your inspiration, as always (& to Roofie for the pic, top right).

It's now time for a slightly lighter training (read running) schedule & a massage! I have the Amy Gillett 120km ride in 4 days and then a 3 day TA Training Camp. Happy days!!

 Hell Week Summary:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7

* estimation of indoor bike distance

Hell Week Day 7!

Being the final day, I thought I'd better give it my best shot to finish on a high note. 3 sessions.... high note: check!

#1: 2km swim

#2: Brick Session at the gym
Run: 2km WU
Bike-Run: [10min progressive hill climb + 1km run] x3
Run: 1km WD
+ gym circuit

#3: 6.5km Castle Hill run

Time to recap and reflect on the week that was!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hell Week Day 6!

Determined to beat the heat, I got up at 5.30am today to run. Not that 5.30am in unusual for me... but I am on holidays!! I'm a bit of a slow starter in the morning & I do love a caffeine hit & piece of toast before I hit the road.. so by the time I did, it was a little after 6am. I also chose to run by the beach today, in another vain attempt to keep cool. 6am... 2kms in... struggletown. I completed 8km, in the format below, but boy was I hot! I just keep telling myself how easy it's going to feel when I get back to Melbourne at the end of the week!

AM: Run
2km WU
4 x (300m "sprint" + 200m run through)
4 x (300m + 200m "sprint")
Di & I
2km CD
TOTAL: 8km

This afternoon I caught up with my one of my favourite people, Di, for a Castle Hill hit-out. Infamous to Townsville, it's a nice 6km round trip and we walked, so it was good to flush the legs out.

I still had energy to burn, so I went back to the Strand for just one lap this time, so a nice 4km to finish the day.

PM: Run
Splits: 5:59 6:07 6:02 6:08 (a little slower than I would of liked, but the legs are pretty tired from Hell Week!!)
TOTAL: 4km

6 down, 1 to go!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Hell Week Day 5!

A nice lazy start today, hanging out with my sis and her 2 pups. A slight food hangover perhaps?? - thank god Christmas is quite low key & involves just one meal in the Lowe household!

So my day started with Breakfast #1, a 4km walk with the dogs, Breakfast #2, then off the the gym for what I hoped would be a massive brick (& Christmas calorie burning) session... And it was!

Bike: 10min WU
Bike-Run: [10min progressive hill climb + 1km run] x3; [5min spin building to100+rpm for the final 90s + 500m run] x3
Bike: 5min WD
I'm really happy with my intervals today, having completed the 1kms at sub 5:30min/km pace and the 500ms at 4.35min/km pace. Happy days! I even finished the session with a nice quick gym circuit and stretch. Seems the carb loading yesterday has paid off!!

Lunch - nap - then time for a swim! A nice 1.5km recovery to finish Day 5. More food... and I'm almost ready for bed! Today really has been eat-train-sleep-repeat! LOVE.

Hell Week Day 4!

Christmas Day, so just one session today. I opted for a short run as, if you'd read my previous posts, it's bloody hot here!!! (I'm currently on holidays in sunny Townsville and missing the official Tri Alliance Hell Week in Melbourne).

6.30am.......and it's still boiling hot. 6km in 34:10 though - much better than yesterday!!
Splits: 5:53 5:47 5:38 5:37 5:37 5:36 + a 1km CD (Total: 7km).

So an average pace of 5:41km/hr is pretty consistent for me - not quite race pace (5.20km/hr), but it certainly felt like it considering the conditions in FNQ!
Av HR: 162
Max HR: 183

And I'm feeling it. Smashed the foam roller post run and a good Pilates session, but I was walking around (and napping!) like I'd run a marathon yesterday. I'm obviously a little worn out from a big year and the body is winding down now I'm back home with the parentals. Today (Boxing Day), the legs are still a little sore but I've taken the morning off to relax a little and my sis & I are just about to go for a walk with her dogs. Listening to the body is the key, which you may or may not know, is one of my current goals. I'll think about training (indoors) a little later on today (perhaps a nice brick at the gym is in order?). After all, I am on holidays.............

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dear Santa.......x

Hell Week Day 3!

Yesterday was tough. I knew it was going to be hot, but at 7.30am I thought I could sneak in a quick run before the infamous NQ humidity set in. Oh how wrong I was! I was fine until about 3.5km in... taking my time and running (jogging) at a relatively slow 7min/km pace. My originally plan was to run 15km, so I set out quiet conservatively seeing as a) my longest runs have been 10km for some time now, b) I live and train in a not so sunny Melbourne and c) I always aim for a negative split :)

I won't go into too much detail as I'm about to run again (it's an hour earlier so I'm hoping a quick 5km will suffice), but let's just say I ended up walking the hills, adding in a few walking (30s) intervals and then shuffling the rest of the way home when I knew I just had 1.5km more to get through. Mental training... FAIL. I have so much more work to do before long course, but it was a good learning experience to say the least!

The things I will do differently are: a) bring my fuel belt! I know you're going to say it was very silly attempting a 15km run without fuel, but I am trying to get better at utilising fat... (well that's my excuse anyway - besides the fact I didn't bring any gels with me...), b) vito a sleep in so I run as early as possible when hopefully the weather is a little more bearable... and c) next year I'm bringing my bike!!!

I also swam 2km in the afternoon, which was a lovely reprieve from the heat. I can honestly say I have no idea how I survived 18+ Summers in this place!!

Day 4 begins........ Merry Christmas everyone xxo

Friday, December 23, 2011

Loving my holiday read - so inspiring!

Hell week!

Yesterday marked the first day of the annual Tri Alliance Hell Week. What's Hell Week I hear you ask? Basically, 7 days of hell :) Long rides, runs off the bike (or longer runs in the afternoon) and a swim every day, with the length dependant on whether you're a Sprint, Olympic, half IM or IM athlete.

Day 1: AM - 50km ride + 5km run off the bike; PM - 1.5km open water swim. Off to a good start!

Unfortunately (or fortunately), I miss the rest of the Melbourne based Hell Week as I am now in QLD with the family, but I've made the executive decision to do my own modified version, without my bike, so I can still get a nice training spike in while the extra time (& nap time!) I have allows for it!

Day 2: 3km swim set
As I flew in today it was a little tricky to get in a double session, but also perfect to rest the legs before a long run tomorrow morning. I'll be honest, it's not going to be easy being bike-less and I may have to resort to the gym some days as it's bloody hot here, but I know I will certainly gain some fantastic fitness benefits over the next 5 days!

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What I (re)learned tonight....

..... to make exercise an expression of who you are, gives you freedom.... and a way to be in the world.

Sometimes, it is really nice just to move, without the pressure of times, speeds or comparison to others. Sometimes, we need to take a step back and connect with our mortality. Will people remember you when you're gone because you ran sub 5min/km? Because you were the fastest swimmer? Or because you were a positive, inspiring and beautiful soul?

Thanks Bruce Davis for the reminder - so perfectly timed...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Love a good long ride!

It's been a while since I've been out on a TA Sunday long ride. Races, spectating a half IM, pace running, sleep ins... & looking back, it's actually 6 weeks! No wonder my bum was sore!!

The ride
Elwood-Port Melbourne-Mordi, I stayed with the squad. There's nothing quite like riding up the front of the pack with the boys!
Mordi, I got dropped :( Not to worry though, they were averaging 40km/hr!!
Made it to Frankston, where those that chose not to tackle Oliver's Hill were waiting. A quick re-fuel and re-group with those coming back from the climb and we were off! The main squad were hammering home... but I opted for a nice cruisy ride back with one of the guys from the squad (thanks Paddy!). I look forward to the day when I can keep up with the main group.

The stats
Distance: 95kms
Duration: 3:46 (Moving Time: 3:38)
Avg Moving Speed: 26.1 km/h
Max Speed: 44.9 km/h
Avg Bike Cadence: 76 rpm
Max Bike Cadence: 112 rpm
Avg HR: 141 bpm
Max HR: 175 bpm

1. An average of 30km/hr.
2. Consistent 90 rpms.
3. Keeping the HR under 180 - which I was very happy to see today!

....... smashed! But such a great way to start the day!!

Monday morning inspiration xx

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gatorade Race 2 - Elwood

The lead up
If you've read my previous post, you know how my lead up had been. Not ideal... but well timed to come good the day before race day!
In the hurt locker...

Race Day
Another duathlon - 1.4/20/5 in tough conditions with a very wet and windy lead up. The rain cleared by morning, which just left us with the headwind from hell on the way back up from Port Melbourne on the bike. I ws hurting by the second lap and looking forward to T2 but never really found my legs again for the run. Lucky they held up for me though! 5kms in 26:28 is quick for me and 30s faster than Race 1, so I've gotta be happy with that.. I just wasn't enjoying it at the time and can't believe I'm going to be doing double in less than 8 weeks!!

Official time -1:18:14.0
Splits - 6:23  1:06  42:51  1:30  26:28

A big thank you to Tri Alliance as always and to Simon from Lakeside Sports Medicine for my pre-race massage. Now for some more glute work to stop my damn TFLs blowing up on me!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

'Twas the day before Race 2..

I've been a little slack on the posts lately, but mainly because I've been pulling myself back together after a mini melt-down at training last Saturday. Without boring you with the details, I went out for a 10km run with TA and couldn't push above 6:20min/km..... & I had no idea why.
Tired? No - I had a raging Friday night & was in bed by 9.30pm.
Tight? No - I've been on the foam roller religiously & am always stretching.
Nutrition? Maybe - time to go Paleo??......................
The legs were so heavy & for some reason it really upset me - mainly because I've been putting in the hard yards & know I can run at least 5:40min/km in training... Anyway, I canned the rest of the session and opted for a nice long swim instead. Just what the legs needed.

Since Sat, I've pretty much had my head in taper mode. Even though Race 2 is only SD, I figured there was no better time than now to have a relatively easier week. So here's the week that was:
Mon: 5km run (27.08 - & I was quite impressed considering); 2km squad swim
Tues: 60min WT session; strength circuit with a client
Wed: 2.5km swim set
Thurs: TA combo session- WT + 3x500m runs off the bike; more WT; ocean swim
Fri: Elwood-Black Rock ride (~25km)
Today: TA pre-race session - 1km WU; 3x(transition practice - ride into run [2x500m;1x1km]); entries & exits + 2x300m swim. Leg soak!
Drum roll................. and I'm feeling good! So I'm excited for tomorrow's race (now) - fingers crossed we actually get a triathlon unlike Race 1! Only in Melbourne.........

Enough said!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pace running is so much fun!

Yesterday, I paced the ladies at the Sussan Women's Fun Run. 5km; 35 mins... so not much more than a trot for me, but it was so lovely to give back and inspire others. I ran with one lady who has just come back from knee surgery and another who never thought she could run the whole way. I even had one lady come and thank me post-race with tears in her eyes, who had cut 4mins of her 2010 time. So warm & fuzzy!!

Quote of the day!

"On days you don't feel like running at all, tell yourself you are just going to jog around the block. Then go do it. Nine times out of 10, those few minutes of movement will be enough to kick you into gear, and you will want to keep going. And that one time out of 10? Hey, at least you've run one block. Which is one block more than most folks will run that day."
- Mark Remy, The Runner's Rule Book

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New swim set!

So I've spent the last 8 weeks refining my swim technique - now it's time for power! This morning's session was the first in a very long time with paddles & the difference is amazing!!

WU: 400m flip
6x50m (30 strokes polo, rest swim- I need to build this up to 25m polo, 25m free)
6x50m (w 30s recovery)
200m easy
6x100m paddles (w 30s recovery)
3x100m free (w 30s recovery)
WD: 300m flip
TOTAL: 2.4km

SO my aim is to build on this each Wednesday, increasing:
a) the length of the polo efforts;
b) the number of polo repeats;
c) the number of sprints;
d) total distance!

Oh, and I finally get what the coach means re pressure on the water - LIGHTBULB!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm here to win!

I'm currently reading Chris McCormack's autobiography, "I'm Here to WIN".  I strongly suggest you do too.

My absolute favourite quote (p.212):

"You don't play triathlon. You play soccer; it's fun. You play baseball. Triathlon is work that can leave you crumpled in a heap, puking by the roadside. It's the physical brutality of climbing Mount Everest without the great view from the top of the world. What kind of person keeps coming back for more of that?"

GOLD. Love your work Macca!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I love Thursdays!

What a day!

Awesome 10km run along the beach this morning (57:22), followed by a massive Tri-Alliance brick session down at Elwood Beach this evening.

WU: WT 5mins
MS: 2x (3min race pace + 3min run off the bike)
2x 500m ocean swim (11.11; 11.50)
WT 5mins
2x (1min race pace; 1 min rec; 1min out of the saddle; 1min rec; 1min race pace + 1km off the bike)
WD: WT 5mins

SMASHED! I think walking may prove difficult tomorrow...  :)

10km negative split = HURT LOCKER!

..... but what a beautiful morning for it!

Natural Nutrition!

It's always better the go natural :)

Check out my website for more great ideas!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gettin' my mojo back!

I've felt a little fatigued and under the weather (did someone say man-flu??) the last few days, so I've dialed the training back a notch or two. While I'd rather be feeling my usual energetic self, it's certainly been nice to lie-in until 7am!!

I swam this morning and, unlike Monday, felt like I was swimming forwards :)

WU: 2x(50 kick, 50 pull, 100 free)
400 easy (flip)
200 pull
200 fast (flip)
2x100 sprint (av 2:15)
4x50 sprint (av 1:02- so close!!)
WD: 400 flip
TOTAL 2.0km

SO I'm back to needing to build 200m/week but that's the aim now that Sandy feels like it's closer than ever! I also can't wait to CONSISTENTLY crack 1:00/50m! Stay tuned......

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gatorade Race 1- St Kilda

The lead up
The lead up to Race 1 was less than ideal with a mysterious foot injury, 2 flats and 2 broken cleats.. but a week of no running, physio, massage and some serious bike maintenance all paid off in the end!

Race Day
Race 1 unfortunately (or fortunately) turned into a duathlon (2/20/5). +10mm of rain means the storm drains are opened and the pollution prevents the swim from going ahead. EPA guidelines are obviously there for a reason - the smell was horrendous!!
Cooling down post-race

Official time - 1:20:08.4
Splits - 9:11  1:09  40:35  2:01  27:11

I'm absolutely wrapped. My run splits were through the roof (4.45 & 4.39 min/km in the first leg!), my transitions were the tidiest yet AND I cut 4 minutes off my goal bike time. Bring on Race 2 at Elwood in 3 weeks!

A big thank you to Tri Alliance for everything that you do, Lakeside Sports Medicine for my magical* pre-race massage and to Taryn and Andrew for coming down to support me.
My best race yet!

(* I'm now injury-free!!)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Quote of the day!

 "It is not happiness that makes us grateful. It is gratitude that makes us happy."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Goals #2!

I'll combine November and December as the race & silly seasons begin.

1. To enjoy my races, inspire others and learn more about myself at each one;
2. To become even better at listening to my body. I will sleep more, rest more, eat well and think strong;
3. To train well for my first OD in February;
4. To attend my first TA training camp;
5. To stay healthy, happy & injury free :)

It's such a great time of year!

Goals - Reflection

In September, my aim was to set a minimum of 5 training related goals each month. I seem to have skipped publishing October's, but it's interesting looking back just two months ago.

September's goals were too:
1. Organise my event schedule for the 11/12 season: check.
2. Join a tri squad: check!
3. Have some one-on-one swim coaching; CHECK.
4. Swim twice/wk; CHECK!! (I've actually been doing up to 4!)
5. Smash my first ever duathlon (8/20/5) on the 18th! Not quite, but I learned a lot!!

So a lot has happened in the last few months and Sunday is the big test. I've made the executive decision to not put any (more) pressure on myself and just enjoy Race 1. Who knows, I might surprise myself........... :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Today's TA combo session turned into a 20 minute warm-up run (almost on 5min/km pace), followed by an intense Fartlek session. Going to be feeling that tomorrow!!

MS: 2x3min with 1min recovery; 2 min recovery; 4x2min with 1 min recovery; 2min recovery; 4x1min with 30s recovery. Recovery lap of oval. Smashed!
Ocean Swim: 750m.

Now I'm off for my Swim Technique course @ MSAC, week #3. What a massive day!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A little reminder...

"Relish the bad training runs. Without them it's difficult to recognise, much less appreciate, the good ones".
~ Pat Teske

This morning's run was tough. The legs just did not want to cooperate with the head OR heart, so.... I turned it into a recovery run. 10km, staying around 140bpm and a good mental test.  I still struggle with not letting such sessions negatively affect my mood (any tips are most appreciated!!), but the important thing is that I learn from them. I still have a bit of work to do on the nutrition/sleep/training balance front. Stay tuned....

Quote of the day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

When the coach tells you your stroke is looking good - happy days!!

I've decided to take on an extra coached swim session in the lead up to Feb and my first OD tri. Monday morning - 6.15AM... oh how the times have changed!! 

I swam ~1.9km with the squad (lots of T5, kicking & polo- tough!) and another 1.3km on my own (pool buoy and flippers). 

TOTAL: 3.2km - BOOM! 

My first century!

HomeElwoodPort MelbourneStation StreetReturn by stephjlowe at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What a perfect day!

An 8km run
Coffee & a walk with the beautiful Deb
A little work
TA combo session
Pizza followed by chocolate for dessert!
Life is good!

The TA Combo session was my best one yet.
WU: 5min WT
3x (2mins @100rpm; 2mins @90rpm- race gear; 500m run; 3min recovery spin)
3 x (1min heavy gear; 1min top gear- out of the saddle; 500m run; 3min recovery spin)
WD: 5min spin
Open Water: entries & exits; 2x150m swim
Loved every minute of it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tough session in the pool this morning!

Today was tough! After Monday's great session in the pool, I had set out to do a big swim with hope of working my way closer to the TA OD program - but it wasn't to be. Even after 10 hours sleep last night, the body really just didn't want to cooperate. I'm sure I'm just feeling it from yesterday (well I hope that's all it is!) - not the wisest move to rush home from training, barely stretch and then stand around the pub in high heels for a few hours.... Lesson learned!

WU: 2x(150 free; 50 back)
6x50 (1:00; flippers)
200m flip
6x50 (1:30; no flippers)
200m free
100 scull, 100 free
100 kick; 100 free
WD: 2x(50 back; 50free)
TOTAL: 2.0km

I did however run into my inspiring IM buddy Richard Sekesan, who is always good for some tricks of the trade. He's suggested the VIC Swim Squad sessions at MSAC (M/W/F @ 7am), as the coaches are great with technique, personal attention and correction. Perfect for when I finish the Learn to Swim/Technique Correction course with TA. Gotta love divine timing....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

First Frankston round trip!

Melbourne Cup Day Frankston Round Trip by stephjlowe at Garmin Connect - Details

What a ride! 3+hrs; 2000+cals... and I am smashed. It certainly didn't help that I wore heels to the pub and had to stand for hours watching the Cup, but a nice soak in the bay and stroll along the beach tonight should help! Bed time....

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thanks Chrissie!

I read this awhile ago & have been thinking about it a lot in training of late. A good reminder: 

“It’s important to hurt in training and to learn to suffer a bit. Embrace fatigue and pain—welcome it and develop strategies to embrace it. If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not working hard enough. You’re not always going to have easy days in training—you’re going to be frustrated and have a bad day and it’s important to learn to endure those in training. When you experience it in a race, you’ve already encountered it and can have that peace of mind.”
~ Chrissie Wellington

Lap swimming is my meditation.

Today was essentially a recovery swim after a big weekend of training, but I surprised myself in the pool this morning!

WU: 500m flip (~10:00)
250m buoy- focus on catch & pull
5x50m (hard- current fastest 1:08)
250m buoy- focus on catch, pull, head roll & kick
5x50m (easy- average 1:14)
WD: 500m flip
Total: 3.0km

That's the first time I've swum 3.0km. Obviously the flippers helped, but what a great way to start the week! :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Headwind of the year! Tri-Alliance Long Ride. by stephjlowe at Garmin Connect - Details

Headwind of the year! Tri-Alliance Long Ride. by stephjlowe at Garmin Connect - Details

This morning's ride was my toughest yet. Aside from the rain, the way down was lots of fun - a cruisy pace chatting with the boys and a quick stop at Station St for re-fuelling. The way back - HURTLOCKER! Sideways rain, wind, more wind and THE headwind of the year.....
It was all about mental toughness out there on Beach Road this morning!

A big thank you to Coach Daz and Mark Jenkins for their support... oh, and Shotz Sports Nutrtion - I don't think I would've made it home without one of Daz's Lemon Lime Gels!!

This time next year I will have just raced Noosa, so I can't wait to see the gains I'll make over the next 12 months! Stay tuned....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tri-Alliance Duathlon Day! by stephjlowe at Garmin Connect - Details

Tri-Alliance Duathlon Day! by stephjlowe at Garmin Connect - Details

Average pace of 5.41min/km, best pace of 4.17!! (Running data shown only).

Sub 5min/km on the Garmin! Happy days!!!!!!!!

Today's TA combo session was my best yet. No aquathlon's due to Melbourne lovely weather display, but here's the drill:

WU: 6.5km, averaging 5.45/km- A WARM UP??!

MS: Duathlon Day! (Run/Ride/Run)-  2x (1.5km/5(?)/1km).... and for the first time ever, I saw sub 5min/km on the Garmin! I actually got to 4.17 at one stage!! Whilst I couldn't maintain it for long and my HR peaked at 181, it was bloody awesome to see.

WD: 10min leg soak, a cruisy ride home and a big stretch and foam roller session.
Dead legs!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

More swim technique!

I can't get enough!

Catch And Pull In The Freestyle Stroke (

"At full reach and without dropping your elbow, feel like you are tipping your finger-tips over the front of a barrel.... visualise a smiley face drawn on the palm of your hand. As you start the catch, tip your finger tips down and show that smiley face on your palm to the wall you just left. This is like locking your hand in place, effectively feeling-the-water."

It sounds like I'm on track with my catch & pull however this gives me a good focus for tomorrow's swim. Especially seeing as I'll be solo, with the coach (& everyone else!!) in Noosa.

Now it's time for bed before an early TA combo session in the morning. It's aquathlon & duathlon day tomorrow!

Recovery Day!

A much needed recovery day today... Time for Pilates!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


AM 8km run + PM TA combo session... thank god tomorrow is all about recovery!

The great thing about this morning was that I got down to 5.26/km! It wasn't pretty, my HR peaked at 169 and I almost lost my breakfast.. but it felt awesome! 7km in 41mins = an average of 5.85/km, so things are looking good. Now to make it look a little more glamorous......

3x (10min builds + 1km run off the bike). Coach Daz kindly cranked up the WT tonight and my legs are smashed. (So much for recovery week!).
300m ocean swim + entry and exit practice.

Let's hope the freakin' cold water and foam roller hit out post-training helped a little... Tomorrow should be interesting!

Training = Happiness

Black or White?

Decisions decisions.......... I'm thinking white!

Embarrassing Lessons from the Pros

Hilarious! Triathlon is certainly not a glamorous sport... but reassuring to know that I'm not going through the ups and downs alone.

Now, to learn how to change a flat.......

So you wanna be a Triathlete?

Nick Clark's blog on made my day!

"Check your ego at the door because chances are someone fifty pounds heavier than you will lap you in the pool. Not to mention she will be ten or fifteen years older than you."

You will hate swimming more times than you like it for the first year.
You will hate swimming for the first year.

So there you go, it took me 12 months exactly! Right on schedule! :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

It's official! I finally find swimming meditative.

The TA Swim Technique has changed my life. Swimming with flippers is now almost too easy and I finally feel like I've graduated from the slow lane. 12 months in the making!!

Life is good :)

Homemade Energy Snacks!

Quinoa, Coconut & Date Energy Snacks!

I can't handle the artificialness (new word!) of most of the gels/bars out there, so I made my own! Quinoa, cococut, dates, honey, vanilla essence and a dash of salt.. what more could you want! Here's hoping it helps tomorrow on the way back from Frankston..............

Still no wetsuit.. but ocean swimming has begun!

I'm still waiting to hear from Dave @ CBD Cycles re my wetsuit, but I couldn't wait any longer to get in the water! SO Thursday night was my first ocean swim of the season.. and other than the awful slop (& smell!!) down at Elwood, it felt great! I do need to get some fog-proof googles though... I can't swim straight as it is!!

This morning, I ran 10km in about an hour and did some mighty fine 5''40'/km intervals throughout... needless to say I gave the legs a good soak in the bay post-training!! This morning was also transition practice- great to get into the groove of mounting, getting into (& out of) the shoes quick and running off the bike. More running??! Yes! The compression socks are on as we speak!

This afternoon is week 2 of a TA Swim Technique Course (which I'm loving!) and tomorrow, my first 100km on the bike. Talk about a massive weekend of training!! Loving it!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Awesome work TA!

I'm absolutely loving being back with TA! Tonight's combo session at Elwood Beach was just what I needed after my week.

Combo/Wind trainer
Warm up 10min spin @ T2 to T3
Main Set
3 x (45sec spin @ 110 rpm's @ T4 with 45sec recovery @ T3)
3 x (2min race gear @ T4 effort with 90rpm's, in TT position or drops; 1min hardest gear out of seat; 250m run off the bike @ T4), 2min recovery spin @ T2 after each set.
1 x (2min race gear @ T4 effort with 90rpm's, In TT position or drops; 1min hardest gear out of seat; 500m run off the bike @ T4), 2min recovery spin @ T2 after each set. 
Cool down 20min spin @ T2

The rest of the squad did an ocean swim (2 x 250m) while I was spinning, but once I get my wetsuit, I'll be out there too!

TGIF tomorrow!!

Such a busy week!

It's weeks like these that I truly take my hat off to all the Ironmen and women, mothers, fathers, wives and husands who manage the volume of training they do and the balance of the life they lead. The article "Are Kona bound amateur athletes tougher than the pros?" read my mind. (
I've just got myself to look after and the last few days have been challenging to say the least!

On Tuesday, I managed a 45mins spin and ~3km run "off the bike".  Yesterday, I ran another ~3km (intervals, of course!!) and trained with one of the PTs at work (a client referall thing..).  Both still better than nothing, but I need to stay on track if I'm ever going to get "fitter, faster, stronger"!

Looking forward to my first combo session down at Elwood Beach with TA tonight! Which means.. I'm definitely leaving work at 5pm!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Time for some swim coaching I think!

This morning's swim was tough! My fault for getting a little too excited about the Grand Final... so hopefully I'll be back on track tomorrow. I didn't manage to add 200m from last session, but it did confirm I really need to get some private coaching as I'm finding it hard to keep up with the work intervals and prescribed training at the moment. I did manage:

WU: 200 flip, 100 kick, 100 buoy
MS: 3x (200 flip, 100 kick/buoy, 100 free)
WD: 200 buoy
TOTAL: 1.8km

The great news is that TA has arranged a "learn to swim/technique correction course" today! Oh how I love synchronicity!! Needless to say I signed up straight away.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Shut up legs!

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch".

Tired legs, a sore head, a minor niggle from a little "cleat issue" at the lights yesterday.. and the only thing good about this morning's run was the sunshine (oh, and finishing!).

As soon as I started I realised what strife I was in, so I used it as a recovery session, which I very much needed after a big week of training (& a big day of celebrating the Cats' win yesterday!).

What a week! And that's just week 1.



What I learnt on this morning's rode ride:

- I need to buy booties & gloves!
- There's not much better than a tailwind on the way home!!
- North Road Cafe has the best breakfast.. with amazing gluten free bread!!!

50km- BOOM! Now it's time for the pub! AFL GF day!!!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Endorphin junkie!

It doesn't happen often, but I love nothing more than heading out for a run and actually wanting to keep running! Usually, I'm dying to just manage 5km of a morning.... this morning- 7.8km!! Feeling good!

I'm VERY glad it's Friday BUT quietly shitting myself (pardon my french, it's just such an accurate description..) about tomorrow morning's squad ride. It's absolutely bucketing down here in Melbourne & the forecast for the morning is much the same! Here's what the BOM predict:

Saturday 1 October

Min 10
Max 15
Morning rain then showers.
Chance of any rain: 90%
Rainfall amount: 15 to 25 mm  

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............. Time for a glass of concrete for dessert :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday= Spin Session!

My new training program is intense! Once again, I'm having to adapt the generic version.. there's no way way I'm ready for OR have time for 100mins of cycling on a "school day"! Not to worry, I had a great 60min session and covered close to 30km.

Wind trainer- Interval sets

WU: 5min spin 90rpm's @ T3; 2 x 1min 1 leg drill,  @ T3
6 x (30sec @ T4, spin 110rpm's, 30sec recovery @ T2)
3 x (60sec hard gear out of seat, 30sec recovery)
9 x (1min 110 rpm's spin @ T4 1min @ T2 spin 90rpm's)
3 x (3min hard gear, low cadence, 65rpm's @T5; 2min recovery @ T2 90rpm's)
3 x (1min @ T5, 30sec recovery @ T2)
5min spin down 100rpm's to 80rpm's
TOTAL: ~28km

Looking forward to my first road ride back with the squad on Saturday.. rain rain go away!!