Monday, 25 August 2014

Week 21 of 26

Gosh... it's getting close! This week was the start of the 3 week peak build.

Monday was a 4km swim set in the evening. 400m warm up, 10 x 100m swim, 200m fast swim, 10 x 100m pull buoy, 200m pull buoy, 10 x 100m swim, 200m fast swim. Tuesday was the usual 90km ride to Lakeside and back. Daylight is getting shorter already. Sunset when I had another 30 minutes to go, had to race back before it got too dark. Will bring my lights out for the next weekday evening ride.

Wednesday I was planning to run but it was forecasted to have thunderstorms so I took a rest day instead. It did shower intermittently but no prolonged rain. I went with Li-Ann to her workplace social event and had a pretty late night. Thursday I ran at Springbank for 80 minutes with 10 sets of 7 minutes fast intervals followed by 3 minutes easy after each. Felt really good, weather was cool with lots of cloud cover. One of my faster training runs at 4:22 per km average.

Friday morning I swam a long swim set - 1.2km swim (20:28), 2km pull buoy (35:42), 800m pull buoy with paddles (13:01). In the evening I ran for 75 minutes but chose a different route. I started from UWO campus and went through Gibbons Park to Springbank and back. What a nice undulating route - I'm surprised I didn't know about this earlier! It was pretty hot and I struggled the last 15 minutes or so.

Saturday was my first 180km for the year. It started out a bit foggy and it stayed cloudy throughout. Bit humid though. I rode to Lakeside and then down south to Talbotville and back. Bit of headwind on the way back. But glad I maintained just over 30kph average. No brick run this time but will have in the next two 180km rides. In the evening, Li-Ann and I watched the Ninja Turtles movie at Westmount Mall. It was fun but very Michael Bay-ish. Does anyone else also think that Shredder had an uncanny resemblance to Megatron?

Sunday morning I did an hour's session in the gym - alternating arms, legs and core, 30 repetitions each. In the afternoon I ran for 2.5 hours. It was cool and cloudy. I maintained a decent pace of 4:30-4:35 per km for the first 2 hours or so, and then slowed it down to about 4:45 per km pace. Total distance covered 32.6km. Next two weekends I'll be graduating the long runs to 3 hours.

With the big mileage these couple of weeks, recovery cannot be any more important. Have to make sure that I get adequate sleep and eat well in between sessions.

Week 21 of 26 statistics:

Swim 8.2km (2 hours 24 minutes)
Bike 271.5km (8 hours 51 minutes)
Run 67.6km (5 hours 5 minutes)
Gym (55 minutes)

Total 347.3km (17 hours 15 minutes)

Monday, 18 August 2014

Week 20 of 26

So the big race is coming really close... only 6 weeks away! I was meant to race the Olympic distance at Goderich on the weekend but I decided to clock in another long ride and long run instead. I kinda regretted not racing, as looking at the results, I could have given myself a chance to be on the podium. Anyway, it's always easy to say these things on hindsight.

The week started with a 3.7km swim set on Monday evening - warm up 400m, 5 x 200m, 4 x 300m (1st and 3rd pull buoy, 2nd and 4th pull buoy with paddles), 2 x 400m, 200m fast and 100m cool down. Tuesday was supposed to be a 90km ride to Lakeside and back. But partway through it rained heavily with thunderstorms - it was fine and sunny when I started! Luckily I was able to find shelter and Li-Ann came to pick me up.

Wednesday was Splash N Dash at Lake Whittaker, the final one for the year. I swam two loops for a warm up. The water was very choppy as it was very windy. I quite enjoyed it actually, reminds me of swimming at the beaches back in Australia. The first swimmer was a super fish and I came out of the water about 2.5 minutes. I worked hard on the run but was only able to take a minute off the gap, still my best run so far. Overall time was 45:50, which was 25:26 for the 1.6km swim and 20:24 for the 5km run.

Thursday was 90 minute run at Springbank. Bit windy and cloudy, nice cool weather. Friday was a 4km swim set, 4 x 1000m - 1st swim (16:09), 2nd pull buoy (16:55), 3rd swim (16:23), 4th pull buoy with paddles (15:44). Happy with the quick times but it was in a 25m pool so I shouldn't get too excited.

Saturday I had my long ride but I kept it to 140km. Did my usual course of Thorndale and Talbotville. Slight tailwind on the way back so I had a good average pace of 30.5kph. I caught up with the results of my coached athletes who raced the Desaru 113km half iron triathlon back home in Malaysia, many who achieved massive personal bests and podium finishes. I'm so happy for them - one of the joys of coaching!

Sunday I had a broken up brick with a 2.5 hour ride in the morning to Lakeside and back. In the evening, I ran for 2 hours. There were lots of cloud cover and the weather was cool. That made a huge difference and my legs felt great - managed to keep under 4:30 per km overall pace.

Expecting to hit some big mileage in the next couple of weeks, especially during the weekends. The temperature is starting to drop and daylight is starting to get shorter, which can be a challenge for midweek rides, and for heat training to prepare for the extreme heat at Ironman Malaysia. But I'll do my best.

Week 20 of 26 statistics:

Swim - 11.0km (3 hours 6 minutes)
Bike - 270.9km (8 hours 47 minutes)
Run - 52.1km (3 hours 50 minutes)

Total - 334.0km (15 hours 43 minutes)

Monday, 11 August 2014

Week 19 of 26

Monday was the Civic Holiday and the final day of the Niagara Camp. We started with an hour's swim in the Welland canal. Ben Sayles - Zoot rep for Ontario (and one freakishly fast triathlete!) had some Zoot wetsuits for us to try. I thought might as well, saves me from having washing my own later hahaha. It felt great. But I'm not looking to replace my wetsuit for the moment. After the swim, we did long run on the footpath along the canal. The rest were already tapering for Ironman Mt Tremblant in a couple of weeks, while I had 2.5 hours in my program. The footpath seemed to go on forever, I started with an 16km out and back, had a few minutes stop at the feed station, then a 10km, another stop, and the last 6km I sorta struggled. But glad to have clocked an overall 4:39 per km average for the entire 32km.

Drove back to London right after and glad that Tuesday was a day of rest. Wednesday was Splash N Dash in Lake Whittaker. We had something different this week - balloons! I had mine tied to my waist as I figured that was the best place to put it, without obstructing my stroke. Did a two loop warm up swim and it wasn't too much of a distraction. It made drafting and sighting easier too. I got dropped off the front pack but I had two others with me for company. Started the run with those in front way too far to catch. Still, I worked pretty hard and finished with overall time of 46:49 - 26:12 for the 1.6km swim and 20:37 for the 5km run.

Thursday was the usual 90km ride to Lakeside and back. Slight tailwind on the way back which was a nice change. Friday morning was a long swim set - 2 x 2km - 1st swim (34:00), 2nd pull buoy (35:46). Saturday was 5.5 hour long ride starting to Thorndale and back, and down to Talbotville and back. My legs felt good and despite the headwind for the last 15km or so, I managed to keep the ride to just over 30kph average. The 30 minute brick run after too felt pretty good and I managed a 6.7km in.

Sunday morning I caught up with home through Skype. My dad at 59 years young, did his first ever sprint triathlon in the classic Port Dickson triathlon in Malaysia. He's hooked and aiming to do the Olympic distance next year. My sister and a few of my coached athletes did the Olympic distance - everyone did well. I went to the gym for an hour for some weight training - alternating arms, legs and core, 30 repetitions each.

In the afternoon I did my 2 hour long run, started at about 4.30pm. It was still pretty sunny and the sun was directly above me. Legs felt pretty good and I kept it to well under 4:30 per km pace until the last 15 minutes or so where I had to slow down about 5 seconds per km. Managed to clock 26.7km.

A somewhat easier week next week with lower mileage during the weekend but weekdays keeping pretty much the same.

Week 19 of 26 statistics:

Swim 10.3 km (3 hours 2 minutes)
Bike 265.0km (8 hours 25 minutes)
Run 70.4km (5 hours 20 minutes)
Gym (55 minutes)

Total 336.8km (17 hours 42 minutes)

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

A camping we will go

It was the Civic Holiday long weekend and what better way to spend it than to have a training camp in the Niagara region. We swam in the Welland canal, biked big hills under continuous rain and ran along the canal footpath that seemed to go on forever. Coach Sheri brought it up a notch this year with feed station on the course and bike racks while we refuelled and refilled. Some added extras - magic show from Phil during the barbecue dinners and Zoot wetsuit demo test by Ben our Zoot rep (and one freakishly fast triathlete!) made it a really fun outing!

Many thanks to all the volunteers - manning the feed stations, cooking the barbecue meat, kayaking on the swim course and much, much more. I definitely enjoyed myself and had a productive weekend of hard training as well!

All photos taken from Coach Sheri's Facebook page.
Tried out the Zoot Prophet 2.0 wetsuit, felt great! 
Some pretty cool magic tricks by Phil
I'm always asked to climb on someone's back for these pyramid poses... and can never get it right!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Week 18 of 26

Some pretty big numbers this week, in my books anyway. With the training camp in Niagara for the Civic holiday long weekend, it wasn't surprising. And I did my sessions during the week with that in mind, just pacing myself so that I can finish strong at the end.

Monday was a 3.5km swim in the evening. Some shorter sets - 10 x 50m, 10 x 100m, 5 x 200m pull buoy, 5 x 100m. Tuesday was the usual 90km ride to Lakeside and back. I took a gamble with the dark skies and had a brief period of drizzle but didn't get too wet.

Wednesday was Splash N Dash in Lake Whittaker. Did a warm up swim of two loops. Goggled didn't leak this time but it fogged up pretty bad. Luckily I was able to stay close to Matt's feet throughout the swim. Started the run with Gillian and Matt. The young Gillian is a star runner, she only did 1 loop of the swim and was on her second lap of the run, I had trouble keeping up. Matt did a surge just before the end of the 1st lap and I was unable to respond. But the gap stayed about the same. Total time 45:46, a new PB - 1.6km swim 25:22 and 5km run 20:24.

Thursday was a 75km ride to Thorndale and returning the opposite direction to Vanneck and back. Some light drizzle. Got overtaken by an older cyclist attacking the hills but my steady pace managed to catch up to him later ;) Friday I managed to get off work early before the long weekend, so I ran under the sun for 80 minutes in Springbank, 18kms. Immediately followed by a 3.4km swim - 400m warm up, 200m pull buoy, 200m pull buoy/paddles, 3 x 400m swim, 3 x 400m pull buoy, 100m cool down. My calves cramped a couple of times so I needed a few minutes to massage them.

Saturday morning, a 2 hour drive to Welland for a training camp in the Niagara region. First workout was a 75 minute swim in the Welland canal. I tried on my skinsuit which I intend to use for Ironman Malaysia as the race is non wetsuit swim. The water was a bit cold and I almost gave up halfway but soon got used to it. Had a bit of chaffing at the back of my neck as there is padding unlike the wetsuit. Managed to swim 4km. A 2.5 hour ride later with some big hills, my legs felt rather empty. Must be all the kicking in the water without the wetsuit. It was a pretty hot afternoon too. Pot luck barbecue dinner that night and we all slept well.

Sunday was the epic long ride today. Only a couple of us have Ironman races in September, while the rest are tapering for theirs in a couple of weeks. It drizzled throughout and some of the roads had quite a bit of gravel, so we had to be careful especially in the descends. I had a gentle fall sideways when I slowed down too much and got caught in gravel. Nothing serious, just a soft landing on my right palm. Rode with the main group for almost 4 hours and then just the two of us for another couple of hours. I then did a 10km run from the Welland residence to the canal and back.

One more day of camp left, an hour's swim tomorrow followed by the long 2.5 hours run, so I'm heading to bed now to get my beauty sleep and rest.

Week 18 of 26 statistics:

Swim - 14.0km (4 hours 13 minutes)
Bike - 397.9km (13 hours 48 minutes)
Run - 33.0km (2 hours 26 minutes)

Total - 444.9km (20 hours 27 minutes)