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2016 and 2017 Update

Well, things have changed quite a bit! Since posting the Busselton 70.3 results, I went on to finally run a 12km road race at under 5:00 min pace, 3 weeks later. After that I broke a toe, started to train mornings during winter, and then did only two triathlons before packing up and moving to Seattle, having accepted a new job with Amazon.

Since then, I’ve been focusing on trail running, taking the most of the opportunities to do something a bit different over here. Longest so far was a trail half marathon at Cougar Mountain which too 3 hours, with a lot of vertical gain!

2015 Busselton 70.3 Half Ironman

I complete the half ironman in 6:25:34 – so I met my ‘B’ goal of sub-6:30, but was quite a way off my ‘A’ goal of sub-6.

The swim took 50mins, which was 5 mins slower than expected, and the bike was 3:11:56 – so 12 mins slower than I wanted.

The run was 2:16 which would have be pretty much OK, if the other two legs had been to their correct time, but since they weren’t I would have had to have done a sub-2 half marathon, which simply was not going to happen.

On the whole it was a great experience, I think I paced the day’s effort well, as each leg I increased my age group placing, and I didn’t find myself having to walk on the run. I still managed a sprint finish, after a 5:38 final KM.

Nutrition strategy worked well, and felt pretty good all day. Of course, I would have liked a faster time, but I knew if I pushed any harder everything would have gone pear-shaped. So I left it for the final half lap on the run to build towards the finish line.

Winter 2014

Winter.

It’s that time of year when training means freezing your backside off. Fortunately I invested in a bike trainer, so that I can at least do indoor bike workouts. I hate the treadmill, but running outside is tolerable, despite the cold.

I’m trying my best to do an average of 4 hrs per week during winter, but it’s more like 3hrs at this stage.

Anyway, I’m also working on putting in my race reports for last summer. They will be posted under the date of the race, so they will make sense from a timeline perspective.

I had to get a new stem for my bike as the original installer had stripped the thread during installation, so it was only a matter of time till the clam screw ripped right out. On the plus side my local bike shop had a 25% sale on FSA items, so I got a cool FSA one to replace the Merida Pro one my bike came with. It nicely matches my FSA bars, and the overall red and black them of my bike. Oh, and the face plate clamp is carbon, so that looks even cooler that the white Merida original 2 piece clamp face.

http://www.fullspeedahead.com/products/601/SL-K-STEM

FSA SLK

Mandurah Olympic Distance – Shortened Swim Leg

The 3rd race of the Telstra Triathlon Series (my 5th race this season) was going to be a big challenge. However, due to the extremely strong currents, the water safety staff reduced the swim to about 250m instead of the standard 1500m.

More thoughts to come later, and race reports for the other races, but I did manage to do a sub-60min run for the 10km so I was pretty happy with that. 51st out of 54 in my category – at least I didn’t come last! Bike average 28.4km/h.

Left Bank Triathlon 17 Nov 2013

New Season.

2013-11-17 Left Bank

The first triathlon of my first full season (and therefore 4th ever triathlon, after completing 3 races last season) was the Left Bank Triathlon. This was the first event of the second-most popular race series here in WA the Total Triathlon Series (new sponsor this year). These events are run with a bit less for a formal style than the Telstra Tri Series, but certainly just as fun.

This was also the first race I’d have my new Garmin 910XT – so I could actually get some data to analyse after the races, and get real time information during the run and swim, previously I just had a non-GPS bike computer.

Swim Leg (400m): 11:01 

Fortunately for me some of the events in this series have shorter swims, with regular length bike and run, and the Left Bank was one of these. With a 400m swim in the Swan River (near Fremantle) the opening leg shouldn’t be too challenging.

I was within the last 5 out of the water in my wave. Swim actually felt fairly good, and after starting towards the back, I didn’t lose contact with the others at my speed, and wasn’t overtaken by the final wave (one of the hazards of being a late wave is that you could be last out of the water!).

Bike: 19km – 40:22 (28.8km/h)

I was feeling OK heading onto the bike (probably because of the short swim). This was the first race on my new bike the Merida Scultura 905-e. The bike felt great – more responsive and stiff, I could feel it was more efficient, converting my extremely modest power output into forward motion.

The bike course is a bit challenging, immediately heading out of transition there’s a climb after 50m. By the third time this was very tough. Other than that it was fairly steady, and I overtook a few others (though not in my age group) on the downhill, pushing it a little faster than they were willing to go.

Run Leg (4km): 25:47 (Actual: 4.9km, 26:33, 5:28min/km)

(The run course followed the bike course up the first half of the climb, and then took a left turn onto a more gradual incline. 2 laps of the 2km course seemed to take a lot longer than I expected. The uphills were very tought, but the downhills felt OK.

Overall

1:19:30

36th out of 38 (in 20-29yr Age Group)

Overall, I was happy with the event, but felt I should have been better on the run.

City 2 Surf 2013

City2Surf. The most popular running event in WA is run around August time each year. People run it for bragging rights, to prove their training, or for prize money. This year there were 48 000 runners – the largest attendance in the long history of the event.

Apart from a brief moment of confusion as to where I was supposed to join the large start wave I was in (Category 1B), everything went smoothly. The race starts on the main street in Perth (St George’s Terrace) so after about 100 metres I passed my office building. Then there’s the first hill up towards Kings Park, and then some more undulations through to the Subiaco cafe district.

There are more hills through Perth’s western suburbs, and then a final downhill to City Beach, with about 300/400metres running north on the home stretch. About 8 hills in all. My normal training loop near my house includes 2 hills each 5 km loop, so this was quite good preparation, but still, hills are hills, so my average pace (5:13/km) was below what it would have been had the course been flat, like Run for a Reason was in May.

I did improve my time from Run for a Reason by 3 minutes (1hr 3min vs 1hr 6min) – which is a good result. 3 mins faster on a much more difficult course would indicate the 3 month training plan was effective.

From a race management perspective, I had a HR monitor on, but wasn’t really running to a specific HR, I just ran at a pace I perceived I could sustain. After 30second, my heart rate was a 183, which is well into the top zone (which starts at 175). It basically never fell lower than 177, so I spent the entire race in the top zone, for an average of 181. A marked contrast with Run for a Reason which was 40% in Z4, and 50% in the top zone 5.

What this indicates, I’m not sure – perhaps I’ve not really got much more efficient at running, but the training has helped me handle a higher heart rate. This may be OK for sprint triathlons, but probably will bring me unstuck for the Olympic, given that will be 2.5/3 hrs.

The Grumpy Triathlete (Left), and my two (younger) brothers

Your friendly Grumpy Triathlete (left) and my two (younger) brothers. I beat my youngest brother in the sprint for the line, after 3 attacks each in the final 400m, but as he crossed the start line 4 seconds after I did, he actually had the better time! Brother on the right (but in the middle age-wise) did a 52min run – he’s the serious triathlete.

In other news, my bike arrived, so I’ll be able to start my 40km each way commute a couple of times a week throughout spring in preparation for the summer triathlon series.

I’m also planning to start the 5km training plan from Adidas MiCoach – with a goal time of 20:00 in 3 months from now. Current PB: 23:20.