Showing posts from 2014

Need to shed those Christmas pounds

So after a nice Christmas break and time with the family I have been picking up the training once again as my big ultra distance event is fast approaching. I certainly am in need of some serious exercise as after a long 25km run yesterday and a decent pace swim tonight I just weighed myself to find myself still a good 6 pounds over my healthy bodyweight and probably nearer a stone off my race weight and what I should be aiming for in April.I have set out a basic plan to run 3 times a week. 2 shorter distance (5 to 10km) as strides, hill reps, intervals or tempo and one long distance run. For recovery and cross - training I will build in swimming, cycling (mostly turbo / MTB) and some strength work at the gym.A typical week should be as follows:Mon - swim
Tue - strides run set
Wed - bike turbo / swim
Thu - tempo run
Fri - gym / spin class
Sat - swim
Sun - ─║ong runI need to pushing back up to 10 hours by mid January and 12-14 during Feb / Mar.My long runs need to increase to 30km - 50km…

A little run in Morzine

Back in Morzine for a few days skiing before Christmas - very lucky!There isn't much snow around but we luckily found a few pistes open so got a few solid hours of activity in over the last three days.Yesterday after we came off the slopes I managed an easy run around town and a short loop of the town, finding the scenic river bed, oudoor swimming pools, ice rink and high suspension bridge over the valley.

Gower Peninsula MTB weekend

Well what a weekend of cycling!A very early start on Saturday morning meant I joined the boys at breakfast and well in advance of their proposed start time. The weather looked good so we saddled up and headed for those hills.To be honest we were already pretty high up so almost immediately benefited from the amazing views of the surrounding countryside and picturesque beaches - it was simply breathtaking. I have been privileged to have cycled in some great places: South Downs (home), French Alpes and Spain but none were as dramatic as the trails and views of the Gower peninsula. We were very fortunate as over the 2 days the weather was also very well behaved and I would even go to say pretty hot on the Sunday, however that aside the views was really what won the day.Throw in some great company, good food, decent enough accommodation,  a few beers and Joe's ice - cream (a local favourite) this was an amazing way to relax and spend some much needed time on the bike.If anyone is thin…

Life turned upside down

Sometimes in life you are thrown a curve ball and before you know it everything is out of sink.

Unfortunately I lost my Dad 10 days ago and so you would not be surprised to hear that my focus on training has been somewhat lacking. I was very close to my Dad and he will leave a very big hole, however he has left me with many magical memories. He also would have wanted me to get right back on that horse and live my life to the full.

So here I am again, trying to cling on to some kind of normality and keen to get back to my beloved training.

I last left you with a brief post confirming a bit of an adventure and an off-road MTB ride covering the route I will run in April 2015 (Centurion 50-mile ultra event from Worthing to Eastbourne over the South Downs Way). I did start that ride and despite the wet and muddy conditions got to around the Firle-Alfriston area before being picked up. No disasters I just underestimated the time it would take and had arranged to meet me wife for lunch. I ro…

A bit of an adventure

Tomorrow I plan to cycle to Eastbourne on my mountain bike via the South Downs Way. It will be a perfect opportunity to check out the route and all the 'ups and downs' in preparation for the South Downs Way 50 mile run.Full report to follow.

The start of a training plan and goals today

Well I thought whilst on gardening leave I would have plenty of surplus time for training, blogging, resting etc.

So far, it hasn't really worked out like that! I am a little bit like a 'fish out of water' and somehow filling up my days with stuff - I think mostly productive, however certainly time-consuming and the days just fly pass.

There has been a gradual increase in training but I worry that unless I have a plan my beloved fitness regime is going to pushed further down my busy 'to do' list. Also, with the loss of my morning commute, there is a danger that my total hours swimming, biking and running are just not going to end up at the numbers I would like.

So time for some structure and increased focus!

My training plan starts this week. The first 9 weeks to just after Christmas I have labelled as my 'Base', working on a 3 week cycle: 2 weeks increasing in volume and 1 week lower. So week 1-3  is 8-9-8 (hours), week 4-6 is 9-10-8, and week 7-9 is 10-11…

What's new Tri Hard Dave?

And I'm back!!

It has been a while since my success at Challenge Vichy when I logged another ironman-distance race in my training/event diary.

Since then my training has been light (around 5-8 hours per week) as my focus has switched to recovery mode. It has also given me a bit of time to work on other tasks both at home and work, which is no bad thing and makes for a more balanced lifestyle.

On Sunday I managed to get in a longer trail run (20km plus) and now feel that I am ready to up the training volume once again in preparation for the challenges ahead.

So what events have I got coming up and what are my goals for the months ahead.

Goals for the coming months:

Gym / strength work in off-season to improve core - consider crossfit or joining a gym, take some fitness classes'A' race - Centurion South Downs Way 50 mile ultra-distance run (target time - under 12 hours). Scheduled for April 2015Complete Level 1 British Triathlon Federation (BTF) coaching course - start in Nov …

Success at Vichy - goals achieved

Well I did it - another ironman-distance event under my belt and pretty much all of my race goals achieved (see

I definitely finished the race with a smile on my face and saved a bit of energy so I could run strongly to the finish line (yes - I did say run!). The time on the clock was 11:42:56 so 40mins quicker than my first attempt at Austria, a new 'Personal Best' and under my 12-hour target. I was able to run the full marathon distance and only walked through the aid stations to take on some nutrition. I would have ideally liked a 4:15 marathon time but I can live with 4:26:10.

The other good news is that post-race my body feels pretty good. Straight after the race I was able to drink and eat (I even had a beer in the athlete's finishers tent and a glass of wine later in the evening). My legs feel good even after a 600 mile drive back to the UK on the Monday. So much so I am thinking …

Race strategy for Challenge Vichy

So with my main 'A' race in less than a week it is time to review my goals and overall strategy for the big day.

My main race goals, in order of importance for Challenge Vichy are as follows:

1. Finish the race with a smile on my face after enjoying the whole experience
2. Getting a personal best at the ironman distance of 12:23 or less
3. Obtaining a sub 12 - hour finish
4. Running the full marathon distance (only walking through the aid stations), with a sub 4:15 time

My race strategy starts on the Saturday after our car journey down to Vichy. Once I have registered for the race and racked my bike I intend to top of my energy reserves with some decent nutrition. Not too much walking around the expo and an early night to get as much sleep as possible.

It will be an early start when I take on the first food of the day, likely to be some granola, nuts, yoghurt etc with some toast or a bagel. Just before the swim start I will take an energy gel.

I will start the swim easy, atte…

Taper time in Turkey

Well it is finally here - I am well into the taper period of training just 11 days from my 'A' race, Challenge Vichy - a full ironman distance event.And what better place to spend some time tapering than a week in a 5 star all-inclusive spa hotel in Turkey. Plenty of R&R and light exercise - swimming,  aqua aerobics, running,  and some gentle strength work in the gym. The only problem with such an excellent resort is the all-inclusive food and drink.  I am trying to be good, mostly going for the healthier options, whenever possible - I love fish, which is a bonus. Although I do accept I am on my long-awaited family holiday so I am certainly not living like a monk, ironman or not!One day I did probably over do it in the gym and as a result had a slight ache in my left shoulder.  Since then I am taking it nice and easy. I am writing this blog after 15mins on the bike in the gym, 15mins run around the resort estate and 10mins swim. Then 5mins in the steam room before heading …

Less than 4 weeks to A Race

During the week of the Brompton World Championships my legs (and generally whole body) felt relatively fatigued and so I was grateful for a few recovery days.

Last week my intention was to build the volume back up for the final 2 weeks before my taper period. So how did I do...

Well not too bad. I unfortunately missed the long Wednesday Club swim (1:30) but got in a decent 17km run and a 113km ride on the TT bike. In total a 15 hour week with no ill-effects and lingering fatigue.

The long ride was another dress rehearsal with tri suit, race helmet ('Sonic the Hedgehog' look), and nutrition practice. Going to go with the ZipVit energy bars (3x bars cut up in chunks) and some Macadamia nuts for salt/protein, together with a sports drink / electrolyte as fluid (probably High 5). When I put together my race plan, which I plan to post to the Tri Hard Training Blog in due course, I will re-confirm my nutrition strategy, not just for the bike but on the run.

So the ironman journey is…

A much needed recovery week and BWC race report

Last week's training was considerably lower volume than previous periods. I did however feel I needed it, hoping it would give me a short break before ramping it back up for another 2-weeks prior to the start of my taper for Challenge Vichy.I had intended to take 2 recovery days (Mon/Thu) but it ended up being 3 as I was unable to make the Club Handicap on Friday evening due to a bit of a family crisis (nothing serious) that arose a few hours before the race.I was however relatively fresh for the Brompton World Championships (BWC 2014) on the Sunday afternoon.The venue for the BWC was the Goodwood Race Circuit. It consisted of a run to your bike (pictured below), an unfold and then 4 laps totalling 15.2km. I knew the competition was going to be fierce. A large number of very fit looking Italian cyclists had made the journey over to the UK to compete in this iconic race.Keeping with tradition the race is a 'no Lycra zone' and you are encouraged to wear a shirt, tie and jack…

A little fatigued but hanging in there

Another big volume week in the bank. Highlights being my 5th attempt at running into work (28km plus) and another dress rehearsal on the TT bike at IM pace.The only issue was that 3 of the heavier sessions were on consecuetive days and by the end of the week I very much needed a break with my energy levels running low.So this week (fortunately down as a recovery week) started with a rest day on Monday.Tuesday's morning session was a strange one - a 15.2km time trial on my folding Brompton bicycle. Why, you may ask, a bit random and not very IM race specific?The answer is simply that I have a bit of a fun race on Sunday, although I need to treat it with some respect. I am competing in the Brompton World Championships, hosted at Goodwood Race Circuit. 4 laps totalling 15.2km but the rules are that you have to wear a suit and tie and of course ride a Brompton. My time on Tuesday for the 15.2km ride was just under 30mins, relatively respectable but only good enough for 170th position …

4 more weeks of peak training - plan of action

So getting closer... Only 4 weeks of peak training remaining followed by a 3 week taper before my 'A' race - Challenge Vichy (an ironman distance event).

This week is another big one in volume, although not as high intensity as last week, which included some intervals, strides and a full-on dress rehearsal cycle session (on tri / time trial bike).

In total 3 swim sets (two Club swims in the pool and one in the lake), 3 runs (one long and easy) and 3 bikes sets (again mostly easy), broken down as follows:

Mon - 1:00 steady run [DONE]
Tue - 2:30 easy-steady bike (commute)
Wed - 0:45 run/fitness set; 1:30 Club swim
Thu - 1:30 easy bike
Fri - 3:00 long run (IM pace)
Sat - 1:00 Club swim
Sun - 3:00 easy-steady bike (IM pace - TT bike); 0:45 lake swim

As it is all relatively easy training I am not taking a rest day, although will review as the week progresses.

With a bit of easy strength work / foam roller massage thrown in I am aiming for around a 15-hour training week.

The followi…

Great training week - feeling strong

It was one of those weeks - decent volume, great sessions, no injuries - ended feeling strong and wanting more.The highlights were a strong sea swim in choppy Brighton waters, an interval bike session and a Vichy dress rehearsal with tri bikes, tri suits and race nutrition.All in all a 13+ hour training week with some quality workouts.Looking forward to next week and maintaining the quality and keeping strong and injury free.Will check in soon with my plan for next week, which is likely to include another long run to work.

A mix of tough sessions and rest days

A quick round up of last week's training:

Generally it felt more like a recovery week than a 'run/swim' focus and I actually took 3 rest days in total - Monday, Friday and Sunday. In between those rest days were some pretty good quality sessions.

On Tuesday I was on the track with some easy laps mixed up with 2x Tabata sets. For those not familiar with the so-called 'Tabata' set, it is only 4 minutes of training broken down as follows - 20 secs 100% and 10 secs of recovery - repeat 8 times. They are quite tough sets, 2-3 in any one sessions is probably more than enough.

On Wednesday I had a little spin back home on the Brommie (fold up bike), leaving the car at the office. This gave me the opportunity to have another crack at running into work on Thursday. It was a glorious morning when I began my long run. I opted to run to the bottom of the South Downs, power walk up to the top, and then run the rest of the way into the office, a total of 30km. All went generally…

An update on training and few interesting bike sessions

To bring you up to date...

After my Arun Ironman swim I had an easier week planned, which was useful as a nice little taper into another Club event - Sprint Triathlon (750m lake swim, 20K bike, 5K run).

I was delighted to record another PB for this event with decent bike and run splits. Total time was 1:11:24 with the bike and run leg being 32:43 and 22:18 respectively.

Last week was down as 'bike focus' and I recorded nearly 13 hours in the saddle - it consisted of 3 non-standard, albeit interesting, sessions. The first two were part of a Charity ride - Tour de Baker Tilly - networking again! Day 1 was London (a lot of stop and starting), via Bromley, to Tunbridge Wells and then on to Crawley. Day 2 was Crawley to Southampton via Guildford. In total about 250km, mostly easy riding, but with a few nasty hills and fast sections.

The third bike session was part of a 'Stag Event' for a friend at the Club who is getting married. The Best Man decided we should be dressed u…

Equipment Review: Z3ROD Vanguard Black (Stealth) wetsuit

Back when I joined my local Triathlon Club (Horsham Amphibians Triathlon, HAT for short) coming up for 5 years ago now, I purchased a mid-range Orca Apex 2 wetsuit at the TCR Show. There wasn't really much thought that went into my choice for my first wetsuit - at the time I had little to no knowledge of my specific requirements, I suppose the general feel and overall cost were my main criteria. A sales rep at the Orca stand squeezed me into what generally felt to be the right-sized suit and gave me a good deal - sold!

To be honest that original Orca wetsuit has done me well and I have no complaints. OK, over the years it has developed a few nicks but there is still some life in it and I could have quite easily stuck with it for some time yet. The one (big) negative with the Orca wetsuit was that I simply struggled to record good times and was typically slower than when swimming in the pool, despite the buoyancy benefits, that normally helps to improve my swim times. I felt that t…

Run & Swim Focus

Following my long 115 mile 'King of the Downs' sportive, Monday was taken as my recovery day.However, I had big plans for the rest of the week...As this is now my 'peak phase' of training my goal is to try and put the quality and quantity together in a series of 3-week blocks. The first week is run/swim focus, the second it's all about the bike, and the third is a slightly easier week to ensure I do not burn out / overtrain / get injured. On Tuesday evening it was out with my fold-up Brompton for an easy spin / commute home. With my car left at work I was all set to run into work on the Wednesday morning. The weather had turned nasty overnight by fortunately it was only light rain when I left the house for the 28km journey. I ran at Ionman pace (just under 6mins per km) - nice and easy.Wednesday evening I was in the pool for the long weekly Club session. Thursday was another recovery day with a minimal amount of stretching (had planned to do more). Friday was cool …

Race reports and back on track

So a good week of training and it looks like I am back on track as I enter the all-important 'peak' phase.The highlights last week must be the Club Handicap race and then the 'King of the Downs' 115 mile sportive.On Friday evening I managed to escape from work to be up at Southwater Country Park by 7pm. My handicap of 10mins, felt a little severe but I was just happy to have an opportunity to race and wasn't too worried about getting a top 5 spot and potential cash prize.I started with two other triathletes that were certainly faster than me on the open-water swim so my goal was simply to tuck in behind them to benefit from a draft. After about 100m they pulled slightly ahead so my focus went to sighting properly to try and execute a straight swim across the lake. I was pleasantly surprised with my speed and direction and as I pulled myself up on the pontoon I was not too far behind the other swimmers.My transition was relatively good, deciding to exclude socks as …

Plan for the last week in the build phase

'Scores on the doors' last week - a lower volume of training with some intensity work on the bike.
This week is officially my last within the 'build phase' with the focus on a greater level of intensity and lower volume - quality above quantity.
My plans over the last fortnight have been slightly disrupted as my Achilles tendon problem (left ankle) has flared up again. Fortunately any pain, albeit minor, has eased over the last couple of runs and I am hoping to be fully recovered by next week when the 'peak phase' starts in earnest. During this phase, arguably the most important, I would expect to strike a good balance of quality and quantity, with the focus on race specificity throughout. If all goes to plan the volume should increase from the current 8-12 to 10-16 hours but steadily built up over a few weeks.
This is what I have planned for this week - some intensity including a supersprint race event but a long ride on Sunday as I transition to 'peak pha…

Slow recovery

Well this tendon niggle is here to stay despite all the daily exercises and ice treatment!It is certainly not as bad as last time and only confined to one side (left ankle), however it is a bit of a bore and stopping some of my planned higher intensity run sessions.I am gently re-introducing the running but progress is slower than I would ideally like and of course I hope the light exercise and stretches is helping to make it stronger. The discussion out there appears to be split between those advocating complete rest and those recommending slowly strengthening the tendon area.Hopefully my next post will confirm a complete recovery and back to 'training as usual'. Only another week of the build phase and I am into the lumpy peak period when I expect to push the weekly training hours from 8-12 to 12-20 hours.I will keep you informed!N.B. Getting more interested in doing an ultra distance race next year - probably a 50 miler first.

From 'feeling stong' to 'falling apart'

Last week's entry was titled 'Feeling Stong' and was posted after my long run into the office. Since then I feel I am falling apart a little, although as I now recognise the issues, hopefully I can take appropriate action before it gets more serious.On the day after my long run I felt a niggle in my left tendon. Giving my experience when I last had tendonitis problems, which took almost a month to rectify fully, I immediately backed off the training. I also began my various stetching exercises and ice therapy, at least once a day.  All of which worked before (after time). A week later I have just done my first run since the niggle arose, keeping the pace and volume nice and easy.For some reason I have also been suffering by some neck pain. At first I thought it was simply as a result of an awkward night of sleep but not sure if it is related to my swim stroke. Over the last month as the focus in the pool has moved to higher intensity I have been reverting back to breathing…

Feeling strong

Last week I recorded a higher volume training load, just coming in under 12 hours.I am still in the build phase so the focus remains on some higher intensity workouts and lower overall volume (8-10 hours per week), however I do not wish to lose the feeling of getting in a longer session so still keen to include at least one a week.Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to be invited to cycle around the Isle of Wight with the boys from the Club - a stag event would you believe it? From my last experience the IOW is quite hilly and I knew there were going to be plenty of tough sections during the 100km ride.All of the Club riders were strong and the pace was brisk for most of the ride. I was most pleased, not that I could simply keep with the pack, but I felt so strong at the end. I remember feeling, is that it, I could do that again! Of course, the friendly banter, fantastic conditions and beautiful scenery all helped to make it a great day. Not sure I will feel the same after I finish t…

Getting some races in the diary

After my success at the Club's long duathlon event I have been keen to get a couple more races in the diary.My plan was to select some longer single-discipline events that would be similar distance to my forthcoming Challenge race in Vichy. The one exception being the run as from experience it takes some time to recover fully from a marathon and I cannot afford to take a week or more off from training.I decided on the 'King of the Downs' 115 miles epic cycle sportive on the 1st June and the River Arun Ironman swim on the 14th June. The cycle sportive includes nearly 3,000m of climbing so it is going to be a lot tougher than my ironman distance event. For that reason I do not expect to ride it at full-on ironman pace, nevertheless it should be excellent training and time in saddle. The ironman swim is like to be at slightly above race pace. Generally swimmers get good times beacuse of the fast flow of the river (if the race organisers get the timing right). My PB for the 3.…

Another 'Personal Best'

Well it is nice to report a personal best (PB), especially as I am not getting any younger and they are certainly becoming harder to come by. On Easter Monday I was up early to compete in the Club's long duathlon event, quite a tough one - 10km run, 40km bike, 5 km run.I wasn't planning on a long taper beforehand but my training at the end of last week didn't come together as exactly planned so I did get a good 2-3 days of light to no execise leading up to the race.Some of the seasoned racers were absent but there were still a number of competitors that I knew would be faster than me, especially some of the younger Club stars.I tried to keep the first 10km run at a steady pace, just ensuring 1-2 of the faster runners were in my site. My 10km time was 43:00, which I was generally happy with. T1 was not lightening fast but there were no problems in jumping on my TT bike for the 40km circuit.I knew who I had to pass and who to stay ahead of. The bike pretty much went to plan …

Build phase going OK - the week ahead

Now 3rd week into the build phase - all going OK. Doing a little more than the target 8 hours - 12 hours in week 1 and 9 hours last week, however not overdoing it - trying to do the hard sets 'very hard' and the easy sets 'very easy' and stay out of that middle 'Pegler' zone!

I have the Club long duathlon coming up on Easter Monday - 10km run, 40km bike and 5km run - so I will taper down at the end of the week but meanwhile my plan looks as follows:

Mon - Rest day [DONE]
Tue - 1:30 off-road run incl. hills [DONE]
Wed - 1:30 easy cycle; 1:30 Club swim
Thu - 2:00 bike of which 1:00 interval set; 0:30 run stride set
Fri - 1:00 brick set (0:30 turbo + 0:30 run)
Sat - 1:00 Club swim
Sun - 2:00 easy bike (possibly MTB)

Last year I completed the Club long duathlon with the following times:

10km run: 44:32
T1: 1:08
40km bike: 1:10:35
T2: 1:06
5km run: 24:16

Total 2:21:37 (10th position out of 23 competitors)

In 2011 I did the same race in 2:20:40 so I will be aiming fo…

Saying fairwell to a good friend - my Garmin 910XT

Hardly a day goes by when I am not using my trusty Garmin 910XT, although recently my old friend has been a bit poorly!
Unfortuately the elevation data has been very suspect. I go out for a 45min run and from my data it looks like I have climbed the Alpes. Garmin Connect and Strava are good at correcting the elevation data but it is a bit of a bore and I don't like my equipment to be faulty.
I tried to reset the watch and followed all the instructions to put it right but with no avail. Yesterday I decided to call Garmin for assistance.
I did have to wait approx. 25mins in the phone queue but when I finally got through to someone I was most impressed. They quickly listened to my concerns and then took me through a few tests on the watch, when I had to press a series of buttons and read out the data to them.
Within a couple of minutes they confirmed that little could be done and the only option was to send the watch to Garmin. I did go to the trouble of registering the watch on the…

Lactate Threshold Heart Rate test

As explained in my last blog I have now entered the build phase of my ironman training and it is time to focus a little more on quality and intensity.
Good to my word, this week I have built in some higher intensity sets and the opportunity to review my heart rate training zones. The plan is to complete a 30min tempo test set for both the run and bike.
This morning I hit the 600m outdoor cycle track at Preston Park in Brighton for a 30min tempo run and to test my lactate threshold heart rate. Joe Friel, the well-renowned triathlon coach has this to say about the test:
Determine your lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR) with a short test. (Do not use 220 minus your age to find max heart rate as this is as likely to be wrong as right. This is explained in detail in Total Heart Rate Training.) This LTHR test is best done early in the Base and Build periods.
To find your LTHR do a 30-minute time trial all by yourself (no training partners and not in a race). Again, it should be done as if i…

Highlights of the last fortnight and transition to build phase

The week after I completed my longer 'Run to Work' (3hr+) and Peak District cycle (6hr+) sessions I opted for lower volume but an increase in intensity. The week of the 23rd March included both a time trial in the pool (200m/400m) and the Club's short duathlon race (5km run + 20km cycle + 3km run). Times were as follows:

400m swim time trial: 6:50
200m swim time trial: 3:17

Club Short Duathlon
5km Run: 21:46
T1 + 20km Bike: 34:32
T2 + 3km Run: 12:30

Total 1:08:48

Last week (the last of the base period) was supposed to be another high volume week (above 12 hours). I started well with 2 cycle commutes and an extra swim although 'fell at the last fence' and only managed a short one hour run yesterday (rather than the planned 2:30) - had some family commitments (Mother's Day). My total volume for the week was a respectable 11.5 hours.

It is amazing that my base has now been completed (18 weeks of mostly aerobic activity - building up the volume). This week I have e…

Epic Ride in the Peak District

This weekend just gone was the Club's trip to the Peak District - a great venue and a very enjoyable couple of days.
We opted for road bikes this year and planned an epic route with plenty of hills to test our endurance. The temperature dropped about 10 degrees travelling up from Sussex to our Youth Hostel destination in Eyam, however the wind chill factor reduced it further so full winter gear was required.
Our epic ride was planned for Saturday - After a quick stop and view of Derwent Reservoir our first big climb of the day was Snake Pass, which was approximately 10 miles in distance straight into the wind. Going was very tough but it didn't get any easier at the top as the strength of the wind was making it very difficult to stay upright on the bike. There were a number of times that we were almost blown into the passing traffic - a little unnerving, to say the least. During the part of the downhill we had to pedal hard to simply move forward.
Our coffee stop in Glossop w…

A long awaited update and a big run effort to report

First an apology for any regular followers - over the last few weeks I have been merrily updating Strava with details of my training and my blog has gone to pot!

I think I may revert to some smaller and more punchy posts that I can maintain relatively easy and more timely - if you have any ideas or feedback about the content you would like to see going forward then please add a comment to this post.

Originally my blogs were simply a diary of my training and preparation for my 'A' races such as Ironman Austria, with the occasional comment about triathlon gear, nutrition, injury advice etc.

So what have I been up to...

Well there have been a couple of weeks of sub-volume training, where I have got in 6-8 hours and some quality sessions but have come up short on my target. I am still in my base period but had expected to raise the volume to 10-12 hours. Last week I came closer to that goal and I feel that I am finally getting more motivated and making some improvements.

This week…

Back on my favourite coastal path

I have a long way to come to run my favourite coastal path but I couldn't help packing my running shoes on our short trip out to Spain to see my wife's parents.

With children all off on school holidays we packed light and went with hand luggage only. I was tempted to bring my Brompton fold up bike but for a 2-3 day trip that was supposed to be devoted to some quality time with my wifey and her family that might have been a bit cheeky.
Anyway I still got in 2 runs, the second of which was via my favourite coastal path from La Zenia beach to Cabo Roig. Next time I come back to visit I expect they would have successfully extended the path by at least another few kilometres. Meanwhile, it was great to get a couple of runs in, especially as I didn't need my long Lycra tights, gloves, hats etc (all the winter gear). Unfortunately we are back home later today and I will certainly miss the 20 degrees plus temperatures.
The good news is that I hope to get a bike session in tomorrow…

Training Weekend

I knew it was going to be tough to get some quality workouts in at the start of the week because of a number of work commitments and early morning journeys to the airport so by Wednesday I was not totally surprised that the Strava bank was empty.
With only one easy hour run (wet and windy) logged by the weekend I was hoping that the scheduled Club Training Weekend could push me into the black although I knew my goal of 12 hours was going to be a struggle.
Saturday morning started with some land-based stretching and then into the pool for the normal coached swim. After a coffee and some toast with honey I was off for an hour run with the guys. The group was mixed and on this occasion I was one of the more seasoned runners. After a 2-mile warm up and some stretching the main set was 10x 45secs sprints uphill with a recovery jog back down each time. It was quite a tough workout and I was pleased for the easy jog back to Christs Hospital leisure centre.
After some lunch I was back for more, …

Long time no see

Well my recent 11 hour plus training week was followed by an easier period of just under 8 hours. This coming week and next it ramps up yet again.

Last week included some tempo work both on the bike (all turbo trainer) and track but nothing too long. I was pleased to get in another 3.5 hours of swimming (3 sets), which is certainly helping me to improve in my weakest discipline. One of the swim sets was some 1-2-1 coaching with Mike (one of the Tri Club's swim coaches). He was generally impressed with my progress, especially in relation to my bilateral breathing and better body position (improved roll) but gave me some homework to help with hand entry and my catch / pull technique.
This week will be interesting as I have a number of work engagements and early morning commitments (taking children to airports at crazy hours!). Normally it would have been very difficult to get in 12 hours plus of training, however I am fortunate that the Club has a training weekend planned, which sho…