Monday, 30 July 2012

Week 30 - Sunshine Training

23/07/12 - Spin Session

Easy session, a 10 mile leg spin over 55 minutes, which was a done with a training partner today, not a lot sweating today and mostly chatter.

Session Details
Duration 00 =55 00
Distance 10 Miles

24/07/12 - Rest Day

25/07/12 - Free Run

Its boiling hot outside and here I am, doing a run on the treadmill in the hot gym. I know I should go out on the road, but I wanted to do a flat run and its too hilly outside work to do anything flat. I know that is a poor excuse but I'm sticking with it.

Its been the first time in a while I've needed to get the "drive" to go and train and I need to stap out ofthis quickly as I've still got a few races to go this season.

Simple session, free run at 08.06 minute mile pace, and a average heart rate of 163 BPM, but I clocked in a maximum of 190 BPM. I haven't seen my heart that high for some time.

Session Details
Duration 00 45 00
Distance 5.60 Miles

26/07/12 - Rest Day

27/07/12 - Free Run

Not as much time as I wanted to train today, I wanted a long run, but a fast tempo run for 45 minutes was all I could get in.

Session Details
Duration 00 45 00
Distance 5.88 Miles

28/07/12 - Rest Day

29/07/12 - Rest Day

Week 30 Totals
Cycling - 10 Miles
Running - 11.48 Miles
Swimming - 0 Meters

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Tri Exercise Pembrokeshire Olympic Triathlon - Race Report

The second race to my triathlon season has arrived already, so quick after the half Ironman, was I ready, was I fully recovered, it was too late to turn back now.

As this was a Welsh championship race, I knew it was going to be a fast race and some cracking athletes would be racing it, I was lucky enough to be racking my bike next to Oliver Simon, so I knew I was going to have plenty of space to take my wetsuit off in transition as he would be long gone by the time I got there.

It has been raining constantly for the week leading up to the race so I was hoping for a bit of sunshine for race morning, and just as I wanted the sun turned up bring and early. This race was a late start (well for triathlons anyway) 10am swim start, so I got some sort of lie in till 6:30, which was nice, 2 more hours than the half Ironman.

While driving to the race, I noticed that we were going down hill most of the final 5 miles of the journey, I then thought "I've got to cycle or run back up these hills" in then donned on my that this hard race was going to get harder. I parked the car up and looked out to sea it looked lovely and blue, a few waves caught my eye but I wasn't to bothered by it. A quick and easy registration and off I went to transition. I'm carting far to much stuff so I'm going to have to look into streamlining my stuff and get a smaller race box/bag. I arrive into transition get tagged on my arms and legs with numbers and Welsh championship category, and I'm escorted to my transition racking place.

It took me about 15 minutes to setup get my wetsuit so I left transition otherwise I'll only fiddle around with my kit and break something. I even remember to get my drinks right this time and put them on the bike, no running back to the car last minute like Cotswolds113. After the race briefing we made our way down the beach and into the sea for a warm up, I needed a warm up the water was bloody freezing.

A quick 10 minutes acclimatising and then we came out, over the timing mats, into the race pen "HONKKKKKKKKKK" and off we went.

It was cold, and my face was hurting, I soon got into my stroke and the coldness disappeared, It was quite tough getting out to the first buoy and after the first turn it got tougher. As I only breathe to the left I knew this was going to be a challenge for me as the waves would coming in at quite a rate so I had to work hard to lift my body out of the water to get that vital breath in before I ended up with a gob full of water. after the second buoy I decided to up my stroke rate and this caused me to go off my race line as I wasn't sighting so much and I couldn't see any other swimmers around me, I soon noticed the errors of my ways and head to the final buoy, and then I was finished, out of a tough swim and into transition, and as I guessed there was plenty of room for me as the people racked next to me in transition had long gone. A standard T1 time for me and out I went along the sea front and up the first climb, it hurt!.

After the first climb it was time to get some fluids on board and get rid of the taste of the sea in my mouth, as it was making me retch. I found my rhythm on the bike relatively quick, there wasn't many flats on the course I took advantage of every downhill as much as possible, by getting into the high gears quickly on the brow of the up hills so my legs were working overtime. I found a great place and was gaining on a lot of people from the swim. Then disaster struck, my chain came off at the bottom on a steep incline I was stranded, I put my chain back on, covered in oil, only for it to slip straight back off. I repeated this a good 5 or 6 times, to which cyclists passed, a few asked if I was OK. I decided to push the bike up the hill to the flat, so I could get it all sorted, it took me a total of 12 minutes plus to get this sorted. All my hard work on chasing people down has gone. I was gutted, but the show must go on and so set my sights on having a good run.

Into transition, rack my bike, clean my hands off from the oil, bike kit off, run kit on and out I go for what I understand a hard 10 km run. I think its best not knowing sometimes what's out in front on you. I definitely was suffering with tired legs, I've raced every 2 weeks sine the half Ironman and I think Fatigue was showing at this distance race. Its my 2nd year at triathlons and I'm loving every race.. even the tough ones!

The first 3 km of the run was a mixture of beach, coastal path and it was majority up hill which didn't help my already tired legs after the ride. When you hit the summit of the incline your blessed with a cracking view of the Pembrokeshire coastline, blue seas and blue skies.. you cant ask for more, also there was a water station, this scenario cant get any better.

After a quick drink, I turned the corner off the coastal path and onto the road, hurray only 7 more KM to go.  I was getting pretty hot by the 6KM marker and I was happy to see another water station, 2 cups of water went over my head and it cooled me right down for the final 3KM. I had managed to chase a few people down on the run, and only being passed by 1 racer in the final KM was a good feeling and as the final half KM was downhill it was good to open he legs up and lengthen my stride again. I could see the finish line, 500 meters accross the beach and I was there, I heard my name and number being called on the PA system and it gave me that extra push to finish on a high.

This was a cracking race and I'd recommend it to any athlete, I can see why Welsh Triathlon gave this a championship status. It was well turned out from athletes as far as Cardiff and the organisation was brilliant. I will definitely do this race again and I know what to expect next time.

Although it wasn't a great time on the clock I had a great time and it will make me strong for my next race.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

GU Brew - Review

Again the lovely guys at GU have sent me some GU Brew electrolyte drink tablets to try out and report back. I have been using a variety electrolyte tablets for some time and a it was great to hear that the GU have released a product on the market. If they compete on a high level like the gels then they will be a brilliant product.

As an athlete I tend to drink a lot of water before, during and after training and racing to keep your hydrated long enough to reach your intended goal. But what about replacing the other items you lose through sweat? Sodium, Carbohydrates and Potassium. Well Gu Brew tops you up back up to make you feel normal again. You simple drop a tablet into 500ml of water and drink away. Its that simple!

I was using GU Brew before sessions and after to rehydrate, You can also use it as part of your training session, but I didn't. GU Brew comes in a two of flavours, orange and lemon lime, and I was lucky enough to get to try out the orange flavour. It tastes great, its not over powering in flavour its very subtle in the water, its not over sweet, it made from natural flavours and best of all is didn't effect my stomach which is a must for any athlete.

I used GU Brew for all session, from a 45 minute easy run, to an full Olympic triathlon, I find it worked for me what ever distance and duration I have completed. I drink a lot of water already so it was nice to change the flavour and help my body as well in the process.

For the calories counters people there is only 10 calories per tablet so its not going to effect your calories controlled diet at all.

Compared to other electrolyte tablets I have used, there is no heavy after taste so you dont need to go and find another drink to get rid of the flavour left in your mouth, which is a bonus. You can make the drink as diluted as you want, if you want a strong GU Brew then drop two tablets in, but for me one tablet was fine with 500ml of water. The other products I used was 750ml and it was either too weak with one tablet, or too strong when you dropped two in.

There are five flavours of the tablets available in the UK, orange, lemonlime, pink grape fruit, peach tea and tri berry, so plenty of choice.

I'd definitely recommend GU Brew to anyone, its a simple and effective way to make sure your topped up with the correct level of hydration, pre, during and post workout and it tasted pretty good too.

You can purchase GU Brew from HERE

Thank you Charlotte..

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Week 29 - Too Busy Too Lazy

Poor week this week as I've been busy with work and child care, I dont really mind as its good my legs. Since the half Ironman I've raced every 2 weeks. I do feel it sometime after a heavy session so a good couple of rest days wont hurt me to much.

16/07/12 - Spin Session

Light session on my legs, nothing high revolution, just a simple spin. I'm still feeling a little tired from my cold and post races this season. I'm not sure if that's a good feeling knowing that I have a race on Saturday, so I will take it easy for the next couple of days. Plus I'm on child minding duties as my wife is way with work.

I put the bike in a low to middle resistance and found  a rhythm for 45 minutes.

Session Details
Duration 00 45 00
Distance 10 Miles

17/07/12 - Rest Day

18/07/12 - Rest Day

19/07/12 - Rest Day

20/07/12 - Rest Day

21/07/12 - Gower Sprint Triathlon - Race Report HERE

22/07/12 - Rest Day
Week 29 Totals
Cycling - 25 Miles
Running - 3.10 Miles
Swimming - 750 Meters

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Cotswolds 113 - Race Report

Its arrived the main race of my season, Cotswolds113 Half Ironman distance race, it takes me a step closer to my ultimate goal of a full Ironman distance race, which fingers crossed will be in 2013.

Race day started with a 4 am wake up call for breakfast, this consisted off a massive bowl of porridge and 2 pieces of wholemeal toast. As the nerves kicked in from the moment I woke up I had to force the food down as I felt sick with nerves!.

As I was in Wave 1 for the swim I wanted to get to transition early, so I could get everything setup just the way I wanted and I knew that I had everything sorted before the race. As we arrived at the venue, the traffic was a nightmare, there was a massive queue just to park the car so I decided to leave the support crew (my wife & son) take the bike off the roof and grab my transition box and walk to rack my bike and this left my wife to go and park up. After 10 minutes of setting up, and faffing I noticed that I had left all my gels and hydration in the back of the car, I started to panic and as soon as I decided to make a run for the car (about half a mile away) the race organises announced on the PA system that the race start was being delayed y 30 minutes. This eased my panic but I still had to run to the car, grab my bottles and gels, run back  to transition and finish setup. I decided not to wear a watch for this race, I wanted to race it how I felt, my gut feeling.

As transition was about to close I had finished putting my wetsuit on, and was ready to leave, I had forgot to get the wetsuit lube on my neck so I used the emergency supply my wife keeps in her handbag as I couldn't go back to transition. I got in the water to acclimatise and and it wasn't to cold, considering the amount of rain we had, I got under the water and as normal it takes your breathe away, but after that its fine, after paddling about for 10 minutes, we were under starters orders, off when the air horn and the first wave was off.

The water was crystal clear and didn't taste to bad, i try not to drink the lake water, but its going to happen, it was a far better taste than swimming in the sea. I managed to find my rhythm on the swim and got comfortable quickly, until the first boy where the cool, calm lake decided to get a little cross wind which made breathing in the water quite tough, as I only breath to the left, perhaps this is something I need to look into as I have by laterally taken breaths while swimming and the more I sea swim the more I think it will come into play. One thing I did notice was that there was a nutter in front of me swaying back and fore with his strokes, he directional compass was all over the place so it made it hard for me to get a decent line of swimming without sighting on the shore line and changing my position in the water. After completing the Pacmac shape loop of the lake I noticed that some of the wave 2 swimming were joining me on the way out, up the exit ramp, they had gained a whole 10 minutes on me, not that I minded, my aim for the race was just to finish.

Into transition and out my wetsuit, rather quickly but the slow point was putting my socks on, the next sprint race I'm doing it without sock, just to see ho quick my T1 time speeds up. Also I hope it doesn't give my feet to much of a battering, but for a sprint it should be over relatively quick. As it was still drizzling I wore my new Gore wind bike vest/jacket, I also had arm warmers on to keep some of the heat in, as I could see it being cold especially into the little cheeky head wind. Down the muddy transition mats and off I went into the cycle stage of my first half Ironman race.

My arms felt nice and loose and my legs felt fresh, I was ready to smash the bike course, I didn't want to go out to fast on the bike so I made sure I paced myself. I wanted to make sure I could get a get around both laps at the same speed, if possible a negative split. It was a a nice flat course with to minor climbs, it was a great day for me on the bike, everything seem to click into the right place. I was finding it a little tough on the saddle area, and I was getting a lot of road chatter through the bars, I suppose I'll have to deal with that until I upgrade the bike, but I definitely notice some pain from the bars after 56 miles. I only needed to change 1 bottle for the bike stage, I used all the water in my aero bottle, so it was nice to get a fill up on the first lap. There was plenty of water and High 5 for all athletes, which was great. I was happy with my USN energy product so no High5 for me. The stations were well marshalled and the roads were managed excellently, it made my experience of the day so much easier. This was the only easy thing for me that day. After 1 lap of the bike, I was greeted with a smile and cheers from my wife and 5 month son, they have been my backbone for this race and I couldn't have done it without there support.. Thank You Vicki & Iestyn and thank you for your lovely sign, it made me finish strong.

I felt the urge to wee in the last 5 miles on the bike, I was hydrated for the run, a bit to much I think, but I knew I could use the toilet when I got to transition, I came in after the 2nd lap to a great crowd and I was on such a high I forgot to go to the toilet, as it was a 3 lap run I knew I'd get a chance again. I got into transition, hooked up my bike, stripped off the jacket and helmet, new shoes and off I went. I made a big error, I left my gels in my transition box. This hard run, was only going o get harder without my supplies. I knew they had gels out on the course so it didn't faze me to much. After 1 tough lap on the run, the sun decided to come out and I was starting to feel the heat, also the need to use the loo had returned. It was a tough lap, I mean a really tough lap, and I got slower. I saw my window to use the loo, it was at the camp site, a new shower and toilet block, I went off route, and used the loo, It was 3 minutes and it was the best spent 3 minutes on a race. It helped me so much and it gave me the spring back in my step. Lap 2 was hotter again, but I had a good feeling in my legs to kick on and it gave me the quickest lap of all 3. I saw my family and mates at the end of lap 2 this gave me the drive to get out there and finish what I started 5 and a quarter hours ago. I can do it!

The final lap on the run, hurt, at the last feed station, I took a bit of everything, from jelly beans, coke, pretzels, and cake. I think it helped me finish.. I dont remember tasting it, I poured 2 cups of water over my head and off I went. The end was near, about 3 miles to go. I dug deep and thought of the finish line where everyone was waiting for me, 16 weeks of dedicated training for this race was about to be over, I turned into the final straight, the finish line was there waiting for me, I went over the finish line to be greeted by a marshal, who put my medal around my neck and I turned to see my wife and son who were smiling at me, what a pleasant site to see when you have just given your all in a race. I took my medal off and put it on my son, I had a cuddle and cried a little tear of joy. I dont get emotional very often, I blame triathlons.

What a brilliant days racing, I thoroughly enjoyed my Ironman experience, I will definitely take what I haven't learned today to my next race and I will definitely race Cotswolds 113 next year on my way to a full Ironman  in 2013 (family permitting). After the race was over, I had a soak in the lake for my legs to cool, but I was made to have an ice bath for further recovery which I must say worked a treat. Thanks to CompressSportUK to helping me get over that finish line, I couldn't have done it without you to!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Week 28 - A Mixed Week

09/07/12 - Rest Day

10/07/12 - Insanity Workout (Cardio Power & Resistance)

I'm new to the Insanity workouts, but I will start introducing them into my training plan and its going to be a great workout over the winter.

11/07/12 - Illness 

I have managed to catch a cold which has made my head fat and its blocked my nose and given me a chesty cough.

12/07/12 - Illness

13/07/12 - Spin Session

Easy session back into it after the sniffles and chest, I'm wheezing a bit when I was upping the tempo,  so didnt go all out in this session.

Simple and easy spinning session on the bike, and clocked in 10 miles.

Session Details
Duration 00 45 00
Distance 10 Miles

14/07/12 - Sprint Interval Session

I was really looking forward to this session, I've really missed on working on my sprints. Since going over to my Ironman plan its all been endurance based, so it was great to change things up. The session was half mile sprint T5, half mile recovery T2. My aim was to complete the sprints in 3 minutes and under and the recovery was a slow jog / walk to get the heart rate back down before the sprint, so I would aim for a 6 minute recovery.

I went over the the 3 minute marker 3 times in the session, which I wasn't to happy about, but it was my first speed session for some time so I'll just take it forward to the next session and try and break the 3 minute marker.

In the half mile sprint I gave it my all and worked at a higher intensity than I have for some time, so I felt fatigued in a different way, but I noticed I recovered a lot quicker and got my heart rate down quicker too. I want to try and take on this to 20 sets (10 miles)

Session Details

Duration 00 47 49
Distance 5.00 Miles
Average HR 143 BPM
Max HR 181 BPM
Average Pace 9.21
Best Pace 4.39
Calories 667

15/07/12 - Rest Day

Week 28 Totals
Cycling - 10 Miles
Running - 5 Miles
Swimming - 0 Meters

Monday, 9 July 2012

Week 27 - Another Race Week

02/07/12 - Rest Day

03/07/12 - Free Cycle 

I'm feeling a little tired so I'm keeping the sessions short, and the heart rate high(ish). This was just a simple session as I'm racing an Olympic on Saturday, so I just wanted to turn the legs over and keep loose for the race. Just wanted to get in Zone T3 and peddle it out for 45 minutes.

Session Details
Duration 00 45 00
Distance 15 Miles

04/07/12 - Free Cycle

Same session as yesterday really, keep loose and get into T3. Simples, with 3 maximum climbs for 3 minutes and finish with a high spin for 8 minutes.

I know its a tough ride and run on the weekend so I hope there is enough in my legs to get me through it fine, I'm not expecting ground breaking results but a finish on a tough course will do me. Its a Welsh championship course so its going to be a popular and technical course I think.

Session Details
Duration 00 45 00
Distance 15 Miles

05/07/12 - Rest Day

06/07/12 - Rest Day

07/07/12 - Pembrokeshire Olympic Triathlon - Race Report HERE

08/07/12 - Rest Day

Week 27 Totals
Cycling - 57 Miles
Running - 6.6 Miles
Swimming - 1500 Meters

Monday, 2 July 2012

Week 26 - And Relax..A Bit..

25/06/12 - Rest Day

26/06/12 - Rest Day

27/06/12 - Free Ride (Gym Bike)

First session back after the half Ironman, and I feel a lot better than I thought I would. Monday, hurt, Tuesday was worse, but today I feel nice and loose, so why not have an easy bike session at the gym.

The purpose of this session was just to get the body back to a training state so I dont forget what pain is!

On a serious not it was import to get the legs back working with an active recovery, I didn't go flat out, just a gentle session to get a sweat on and get the legs lightly working out again.

Session Details
Duration 00 45 00
Distance 10 Miles

28/06/12 - Rest Day

29/06/12 - Free Run

First proper run since Ironman, I was inching to get out and blow the remaining cob webs away. The was a mixture run of, up hills and down hills, in the lovely country side of Devon. I was lucky enough to have company for this run, a new rugby convert to triathlons, check him out HERE Ryan is really keen and I wish him luck with the new training adventure. I was following Ryan on the route so it was nice to be dragged around the run with some company.

Session Details
Duration 00 45 00
Distance 5 Miles

30/06/12 - Free Run

Last of the holiday runs and it was a tough hilly session. A short route than yesterday, but just as tough. I thought Wales was full of hills, well so is England... Well the South West. The Sun made an appearance to which was a nice surprise for an early morning run. My legs felt a little stiff from yesterdays 5 miler but after the first 1km they soon loosened off and I was happy to be climbing hills again.

This was the second session where I trained without the Garmin and just on the Timex watch and its amazing to feel the difference in training. I often go by the heart rate to see how hard I'm working, but as I'm on active recovery its good just to watch the clock tick by without feeling guilty. Why can all training sessions be like this?. Roll on next week, im sure  have a race planned?

Session Details
Duration 00 25 00
Distance 3 Miles

01/07/12 - Rest Day

Week 26 Totals
Cycling - 10 Miles
Running - 8 Miles
Swimming - 0 Meters

Ironman Wales 2016 - Race Report

Ive been a while writing this one.. Nearly 2 years but its still fresh in memory, like it was yesterday, so grab a cuppa as your in for a...