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!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A PB in the pool!

I'm so wrapped with my 2.2km in the pool today!

WU: 400 flip, 100 buoy, 100 kick
MS: 2x (300 flip, 200 buoy, 100 free)
WD: 400 flip
TOTAL: 2.2km

I must admit, I was a little freaked out my my new TA program, as the volume is a massive jump from where I'm currently at. The swim this morning, for example, was supposed to be 3.2km.. & I've only been averaging 1.5!! But after a great chat with one of my coaches, Emma, I feel confident to build over the next few weeks and catch up with the other OD athletes (who have had a big winter of high volume training that I have missed out on!). Pays to speak up... :)

A little inspiration...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Tuesdays are now interval sessions. This is the set TA program I woke up to.... sheesh!

Run 10 Fartlek
Warm up
2.5km @ T3
Main Set
8 x (1min @ T4-5, 1min @ T3)
4 x (2min @ T4-5 effort with 2min recovery @ T3).
Cool down
2.5km @ T2
Total Distance 10km

Heavily caffeinated, I actually managed to get through most of it! Although my WU and WDs were <2km, so I'm assuming I ran 8.5-9.0km. Shattered.

Right now, I'm actually contemplating a complete rest today tomorrow, but first....sleep!

Monday morning swim session!

Monday's are no longer bricks as the legs are and will be in need of a rest after a big weekend of training.
Just aiming for a quick swim as I'm feeling a little tired today.

WU: 200m flip
MS: 200m buoy; 100m free; 200m flip; 200m buoy; 100m free
WD: 200m flip
TOTAL: 1.2km

A little concerning when I look at my program from TA & my swims are supposed to be 3.2km!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

First squad session!

A cracking day in Melbourne today and no better way than to start it with a beach run!
AM: MSAC to St Kilda Marina. 10km is so much easier to run with company- a big thank you to Annie from TA for the chat.

I'm feeling so good today, I even went out for another trot this evening!
PM: 5km Road Run; ~ 28mins... & I actually felt a lot faster so all signs are positive today.

Now where are my compression socks......... :)

Happy Birthday to me!

My Garmin FR60 has arrived!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Hangovers are not conducive to training... BUT I did manage 20km on the bike including sprints and hill climbs AND a quick Pilates session- pretty impressive considering!!

First session back with TA tomorrow too, so I'm conscious to semi-rest the legs. Time for a nanna nap......

Dead legs cont...

It's been a big week.. and running on a Friday afternoon is tough. I still managed 5 or so kay of a decent trot and a strength circuit though, so I'm glad I managed to turn down the afternoon champagne flowing at the office!

WU: 1km 9.0km/hr
MS: 6x(350m @10.0km/hr; 150m @12.0km/hr); 500m @ 9.0km/hr + 2x150m @12.0km/hr (30s rest)
WD: 1km @, 500m @ 6.0km/hr
TOTAL: 6.0km/hr

3 rounds-
20x12kg kb swings
10x30kg deadlifts
20x15kg push press


Back to the pool!

It's such a good feeling to actually miss swimming. Not to mention the fact that I really need to the low impact today!

WU: 200m flip
MS: (100m buoy, 100m free, 200 flip) x3
CD: 100m breastroke
TOTAL: 1.5km

Only one swim this week but back on track now work is (hopefully) back to normal and I've re-joined Tri-Alliance (TA). Very exciting!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I probably should of actually recovered yesterday!

Dead legs today.

I attempted an interval run that ended up involving quite a bit of walking and finished with 3x300m sprints @12.0km/hr with 300m "rest" @ 10.0km/hr.
TOTAL: 6.2km
Better than nothing!

A big stretch, a smashing on the foam roller and a 30min Pilates session on the Reformer Bed & I should be right as reign tomorrow (fingers crossed)!

I'm really looking forward to my swim session in the morning- I just hope I don't die now that I'm back in Melbourne and back to the 50m pool! Stay tuned...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Recovery day!

Just a morning walk, a quick CrossFit session & a bike ride to & from work :)

Quote of the day:
What I've learned from running is that the time to push hard is when you're hurting like crazy and you want to give up. Success is often just around the corner.
~ Sir James Dyson 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Race Day!

Sometimes, the legs just don't cooperate with the heart. And today was one of those days.
Two words: hurt locker! I finished in 1:53 (TBC)... but at least I finished! It was a beautiful (and hilly!!) course and so nice to be starting a Sunday in such a way.

Thoughts of the day:
- I haven't done nearly enough hill training!
- Never again will I hibernate from road rides over winter (2 rides before a race: not enough!)
- Downhills are my saviour
- I really need to cut 5mins off my 5km
- My bike needs a serious service!
- &/or I don't know enough about my gears
- Thank you Chrissie Wellington for your inspiration: it was about the only thing that kept me going on the 4th lap of the bike course!

So let's just call that a training race :) 
Perfect to highlight the weaknesses pre tri season and prove it to myself that I can do it, even if it is painful! On the plus side, I'm injury free and can only get stronger from here!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The importance of mental training.

On the way back from FNQ I bought the latest edition of 220 Triathlon. Not my usual tri mag, as I subscribe to Triathlon & Multi Sport, but it was seriously the best $12.95 I've spent in a long time!

I now realise I've spent the last few years of my life thinking it was just me that found swimming/running/cycling (and in particular running..), hard, painful and challenging. The good news, and what I've just learnt is, that apparently even the pros feel the same! And the even better news is that it's really just all about the psychological strategies that you put into play to help you through the session or event. 

- Chrissie Wellington breaks down her marathon into "4x10km with a little bit more". She also writes her mantras on her water bottle for the ride- what a brilliant idea!
- Similarly, Miles Stuart uses markers on the course and tells himself he can stop at the next one.. only to choose the next marker before he gets there!
- Paula Radcliffe counts every footfall from 1 to 100 then starts again.
- Catriona Morrison (World Duathlon Champion 2010) counts her breathing in all sorts of patterns and catches the person in front by repeating the colour of their kit repeatedly until she does.
- Emma Snowsill runs with a small stick in each hand to relieve tension in her arms & shoulders.

The article, "Run Like a Pro", is definitely a keeper.  What's your favourite mental training tip?

I'm off to write on my water bottle for tomorrow!

Pre-race brick!

Tomorrow is the big day!

This morning's session started out as a quick run to pick up my car (yes, I had one too many drinks last night...) and ended up as the perfect confidence booster for tomorrow's race.

A beautiful Melbourne morning for a pre-race brick.
3km run/20km ride/3.75km run.

I'm feeling great and looking forward to tomorrow morning.

Now it's time for my non-training prep:
- feet up
- compression socks on
- hydration happening
- motivational reading well & truly started (see next post)
- tri laces to be threaded
- bag & car to be packed
- sleep to be had.

Should be fun! Stay tuned....

P.s I've just realised the duathlon tomorrow is actually 5/20/3 (not 8/20/5 like I first thought)- it's going to be a walk in the park! ;)

My speed work is paying off!

It's such a good feeling! My Friday morning run was just a quick one before a big day at work but the 6km including hill sprints felt great. A perfect way to start the day!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Holidays no more!

I got stuck at work today (first day back- crazy!!!), so I squeezed in a spin class so at least I did something. It's certainly made me realise how easy I've had it for the last two weeks- training on holidays is a breeze! I seriously take my hat off to those who manage a husband/wife &/or kids plus training, especially those Ironmen and Ironwomen out there. I don't know how you do it!

45min Spin
30min Pilates session

Better than nothing!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I love a good CrossFit session to change up the training schedule.

You know it's going to be tough when the first thing you hear is: " Welcome back Steph! You've walked into a monster session tonight! But you'll be fine......". Thanks Coach!

WU: 3x(10 squat thrusters, 10 push ups, 10 sit ups)

Main WOD:
5 rounds for time-
10 burpees
15 squat thrusters (20kg)
20 pull ups
600m run
= 45 mins in the hurt locker- loved it!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

7 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Long Runs!

I read a good article this morning:

But mainly I'm just looking forward to when the long runs start to become a little easier! I have run three days in a row now though, which I very rarely do, so the legs are a little tired today. Things will be different now as I'm back to Melbourne tomorrow and will have my bike and a more structured training program with help of my new tri squad. Exciting!

My long run today was 60 minutes, which is plenty for my current training goals, but now I just need to get quicker! Hopefully I'll see the results of my speed training in the next couple of weeks :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Brick Session #3!

I love Mondays! My brick sessions are feeling stronger each week and I'm looking forward to getting out of the gym and on my bike for #4. Provided Melbourne puts on the weather for me :)

Today's was in the gym as I'm still on holidays and my bike didn't come with me.

WU: 5min spin
MS: 30min mod spin (hill program on stationary bike) (15km total bike) + 6x {250m @ 11-11.0km/hr; 250m @ 10.0km/hr} (3km run)
WD: 1km easy jog (9.0km/hr) (4km total run)

I finished off the session with a short & hard strength session:
4x {25 med ball swings (10kg);  25 kettlebell deadlifts (20kg)}.

Life is good!

I never thought I'd actually say this...

I never thought I'd actually say this, but I'm beginning to find swimming quite meditative.

Today's session was all about starting to integrate the Total Immersion (TI) tips (see previous posts).

Streamline. Swimming with the body. Spearing water with hand entry. Relaxed hand prior to pull. Relaxed recovery.

It was nice not to count laps (too much) or follow a set program- just swimming in the moment. My swim was something as follows:

WU: 300m flip (spearing & relaxing hand focus)
MS: 200m free (streamline & swimming with the body focus); 300m flip (TI)
WD: 200m free (TI)
TOTAL: ~1km

The pool was closing, but I actually think it was a blessing in disguise as my technique stayed solid (Sustainablity not Velocity!) and I felt energised, not exhausted from the swim. 3 swims in one week- impressive!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I love a good beach run!

Hangover free, I just couldn't resist a morning beach run along Horseshoe Bay (Magnetic Island) to dust off the cobwebs. So much for two "forced days off"! :)

Beach running is actually really good for the whole "run tall & light" mantra I try so hard to follow on the road. So today's session was all about technique. It'll be interesting to see how the legs pull up tomorrow.

It's such a nice day here.. I'm off for an afternoon swim session! But first, it's time to refresh on the Total Immersion tips from Thursday :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Change of Plans!

Ok, so the legs aren't quite ready for 60 or 90s intervals. So I'll save the planned workout for another day :)

WU: 10min easy jog
MS: 10 x(30s hard, 30s easy); + 20min race pace
CD: 5min jog

I'm having two forced days off now (my sister is getting married!), so here's hoping that come Monday, the legs will be fresh and ready for an awesome brick session!

Now, just to avoid too much champagne over the next few days..........

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Speedwork, without the Track"

....or treadmill in my case :)

Check out this article by,7120,s6-238-244--13943-0,00.html

I'm excited about tomorrow's run!

The plan-
WU: 10min easy run
MS: 5x (30s hard, 30s easy; 60s hard, 30s easy; 90s hard, 30s easy); 10min mod pace
WD: 5min jog

Now all I need is for the legs to cooperate with the head/heart!

Swim Research

A big thank you to Terry O'Laughlin from

Watch this video if you're interested:

Points to note:

1. Resistive vs Repulsive Forces
- The only way to move forward in the water is for the propulsive forces that you produce to exceed to resistive force of the water (the drag).
- You get faster when P>>R! Sounds simple!

2. Sustainability not Velocity
i.e. maintenance of speed over chosen distance (not slowing down)

3. Stroke Length vs Stroke Reach: decrease your SPL!

4. Shaping the Vessel: think long & tall in the water

5. Taking the path of least resistance: energy conservation.
Did you know humans are only 3% efficient in the water?! (i.e. 97% of our energy is wasted!). Unless of course you're Michael Phelps ;)

6. Swim with your body and not by pulling and kicking:
- spear hand into the water & line up the body behind;
- both hands in front between stokes = lower wave drag
- streamline legs behind upper torso (legs drag behind & don't kick alot);
- drive hand to particular place in water (intention to finish stroke there);
- relax hand at end of spear (palm facing back);
- R hand: L hip & R foot drives down first
= gravity & body mass, not fatiguing upper body!
= arms & legs working together through the core
(every muscle bewteen opposite hand & leg is activated)

(..and this was all just Part 2 of the series! Enough for me to concentrate on for now don't you think?!)

Like I said, I have some work to do! But if I can be more efficient in the water, I'll be one happy girl :)

SPL= 24.

I have some work to do!

Today's session was form focused:

WU: 200m flip; 4 x25m SPL (26-28 over 25m)
MS: 4x (25m R, 25m L, 25m pull, 25m catch up, 25m kick, 25m SPL)
+ 100m flip, 100m technique, 100m flip
+ 200m breath work (flippers, up to 10 strokes per breath)
WD: 100m flip
TOTAL: 1.5km

I enjoyed the drills and know my form is a lot beter than last year, but I have a long way to go to get my SPLs down to 19.

According to Terry Laughlin: "Swim less, drill more. If you find yourself unable to reduce your SPL to a consistent 20 or fewer... your stroke inefficiencies are so stubborn that every lap you do simply makes them more permanent better. The quickest way to build new “fishlike” movement patterns is to practice skill drills rather than conventional swimming. Try doing up to 80% of your laps in stroke drills for the next month or two and see how your stroke reacts."

Stay tuned...

Today's goal: Swim efficiency

"The path to swimming improvement is not to make more energy available through training, it’s to waste less energy by improving your stroke."
~ Terry Laughlin

So apparerently if you can increase your mechanical efficiency even modestly (from even 3% to 4%), that will translate into a 33% improvement in your swimming capacity!

Sounds good to me! So today's session is all about drills, drills, drills. My strokes per lap (SPL) is going down!

(The following table is thanks to Terry Laughlin at

I'm 5'6'', so the aim is <19!

25 yards = 22.86m
(Sorry, I'm still searching for an AUS version!)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Quote of the day!

There was not much enjoyable about that run (other than the half-way stretch and finishing!). BUT we must relish them (thanks Pat Teske)...

Possible explanations:
1. Too much fructose &/or food last night (time to reign the holiday eating in..);
2. A few days without my compression socks (I've packed them, but for some reason haven't been wearing them. Rookie error.)
3. The climate. Not that I'm complaining, but suddenly FNQ has gone from overcast & windy, to 80% relative humidity & bloody hot! This Melbourne girl is going to have some interesting tan lines from this morning's session...

8.5km of pain.

Time for an ice bath!


"If you want something done, give it to a busy person".

That pretty much sums ups my training... usually.
When I'm working, the laces are tied and I'm out the door before 6.30am for a run. This week I'm on holidays and today, I'm playing the avoidance game. Time to find that motivation of mine....

Ok, ok, I'm going!

(If you want a laugh, search "motivation to run" under Google images... gold!).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


The older I get, the more structure I need in my life. Regular goals, a purposeful training schedule and upcoming events are really what keeps me on track.
How about you?

My new aim is to set a minimum of 5 training related goals each month. That might not sounds like many, but 5x12 means 60 goals/yr! Here goes...

For September, I will:
1. Organise my event schedule for the 11/12 season;
2. Join a tri squad;
3. Have some one-on-one swim coaching;
4. Swim twice/wk;
5. Smash my first ever duathlon (8/20/5) on the 18th!

Stay tuned...

There's nothing quite like the feeling of getting the kays done!

I'd never thought I'd actually say this, but I'm really beginning to enjoy swimming!
Without props, things would be VERY different, but it's nice to feel my stroke (slowly) coming together.

WU: 50m kick; 200m pool buoy; 50m kick
MS: 300 free (flippers); 3x50m with 3x50m pool buoy; 300 free (flippers); 3x100m with 30s rest; 300 free (flippers).
WD: 300 free (flippers); 100m breastroke; 100m backstroke
TOTAL: 2km

Loving life!

Monday, September 5, 2011


My Birthday present to myself!

I'm so excited for my Garmin FR60 to arrive! I actually really treated myself and bought the whole "bundle": watch, HR monitor, foot pod, cycle sensor AND bike mount. It's waterproof (to 50m) too! You can read all about it here:

Brick Session #2!

I love my Monday morning brick sessions!

I'm on holidays in QLD this week so have plenty of time to dedicate to my training. Today was a double session, with a massage in between. Life's tough!

AM session:
WU: 5min spin
MS: 15km easy-mod spin + 25min run (3km interval run + WD)
WD: 1km easy jog

PM session:
4km "recovery" run

Tomorrow- back to the pool!

Super Saturday #1!

I've had a few good runs this week but really only have time for 5km of a morning, so have decided to make Saturdays the real deal (unless I have too many Friday night wines of course).

Just a lazy 60min beach run followed by a CrossFit session ( to kick off Super Saturday #1!

I love Spring time in Melbourne!

Brick Session #1!

I'm really excited to be back focused on my tri training! I didn't even realise how much I'd missed it- winter AND an injury really did distract me for a little while!

WU: 5min spin
MS: 30min easy spin + 20min run
WD: 5min jog, 5min spin

It's sunny in Melbourne so I took to the streets for the run component. Loving life!

Back to the pool!

Winter in Melbourne is finally over so it's back to the pool! It's been a long Winter and I've been pretty slack with my swims, so today was just all about getting my sea legs back :)

WU: 300m pool buoy
MS: 3x100m; 400m pool buoy
WD: 200m breastroke
TOTAL: 1.2km

Feeling alive!

Speed Session #1

While it wasn't obvious to me at the time (??), my HM training has really slowed me down.

Good news though- I'm back to under 6min/km and the adage "you've got to slow down to speed up!" is running through my mind as I hit the treadmill for speed session #1.

Warm Up: 5mins @ 9.0km/hr; 6x30s @ 12.0km/hr w 30s rest
Main Set: 500m @ 11.0-12.0km/hr with 250m @ 9.0km/hr
Warm Down: Pyramid jog/run/jog 9.0-9.5-10.0-10.5-10.0-9.5-9.0km/hr; 1km walk
TOTAL: 8km


Sandy Point 2011- 10km

Entering the Sandy Point 10km this year was really all about testing the legs, the head and the heart... and the good news is, I passed!
10km in 57 minutes: check!

Time to ramp the training up!

Post Sandy Point I'm feeling great. My confidence is restored and my training is going great! BUT if I'm ever going to beat 5min/km and complete an OD tri, my training schedule really has to change. Time for some speed training and some serious brick sessions!

Run Melbourne 2011- My first Half Marathon

Run Melbourne 2011 was a massive learning curve. My first half marathon (HM) won't be my last, but long story short, the injury that took place really destroyed my confidence. I won't go into detail as it's (almost) a distant memory now, but I will just say a BIG thank you to all those that helped me raise $500 for The Butterfly Foundation- this was about the only thing that kept me going through the most painful 21.1km of my life.

Moving on...
Thanks to some great treatment and my consistent dedication to the foam roller I am now lateral hip syndrome free!

Time to rebuild the confidence & get back out there!

A little about me...

One triathlon season (well, 4 races): check.
One half marathon: check.
Injury: check.
Re-motivated & injury-free: check!
So now it's time to take things a little more seriously. This season (11/12) my plan is to start with a few sprint distance (SD) tri's and hopefully by January I'll be ready for my first olympic distance (OD). Stay tuned.....