Sunday, March 29, 2015

Relay for Life - Inspired Running

Got the call from my Mum nothing out of the ordinary for a Tuesday; but this was a call for help. More so assistance from my legs. The Rotary Group she has been involved in were attending the Relay 4 Life at Greensborough Aths Track.

A worthy cause no doubt, these events have happened in all sorts of towns and states ran by the Cancer Council. My mothers group wanted to make sure they were raising the bar from last year and had enlisted a few younger sets of legs to get some laps in for them.

A 24 hr event where community groups meet and camp out at the Athletics track over night to be involved in raising money for Cancer is a noble cause and one I hadn't been involved in.

Quick background my mother has worked in the nursing profession her whole life and dedicated herself to the care of so many people from being a midwife, emergency departments, aged care and also palliative care. Cancer is something she had to help care for families and loved ones during this awful disease.

So the to run was a no brainer! But with little Z-Girl at home causing all sorts of late night havoc and the wife not ready to run at the moment, I bypassed my usual Parkrun BRICK session and got on the bike to ride to the track. I could only spare an hour of my Saturday due to Dad duties so I wanted to make every minute count.

Getting along side my brother we jogged out 6km together before he (not a runner, but trying to convince him) had gone far enough, I pushed on. Inspired by the survivors walking the track, and the messages of support pinned along the fence as I ran that mentioned the hope and spirit that drives over 500 people to spend 24 hours straight walking around a out of the Athletics track.

I didn't break any land speed records cruising at a comfortable pace of 5:40 per KM but including my cooldown walk I run over 10km - which was quite taxing on a circular track, mentally I had to stay to task after the 8km mark as my head started to want to slow down, but I just kept throwing my feet in front of each other.

35 laps of the track I left them with; but big props to my brother who clocked up 75 laps including some midnight loops.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Time vs Distance

A debate worthy of parliamentary time; is it better to run for time or distance when training.

My 2 week old Z-Girl is unsure of the answer to this, in fact I think she is only sure of two things in this world currently; sleep & breast milk! 

One of the most common debates in run training is whether it is better to base workouts on time or distance. In the world of ultra races, running based on time is an accepted approach.

A lot of the IM workout schedules do base a lot of the training on getting the 'hours' in rather than the distance. Working on the endurance and mental fatigue of the the athlete first and foremost. 

Straight out of some resent research shows:

" First, the researchers had all 38 kids run a 750-meter time trial as fast as they could. Then they split them into two groups—one ran the 750-meter trial again and the other ran for the amount of time it took them to run the first trial. For the former group, they managed to cover the 750 meters in about the same amount of time. The other group who ran based on time, however, covered significantly less distance than they did the first time. The researchers concluded that this was likely a result of the fact that time cues are less tangible and therefore make it more challenging to judge pace than information based on distance where, for example, you can actually see the finish line. Give yourself a concrete distance to complete for your next all-out workout or time trial and you might just go a little faster. "

I look at this from a real world Dadathlete way of thinking: 

I ain't got distance to run, all I have is time - I have a window of 2 hours when Z-Girl goes to sleep and I need to maximize that time with either a ride or a run, as well as clean the kitchen and feed the cat. 

Every race you enter is based on distance without a doubt, but I think a better way of training would be with time and intervals to increase race day pace. 

Try the below training programs instead and make use of that 'spare' time between nappy changes and cooking dinner.

Recovery run: Turn off the data and just enjoy the run. These runs are about letting your body bounce back from a previous workout.
Fartlek: By their nature, fartleks are easier to base on time and help with internal pacing.
Tempo:  These types of workouts are key to helping an athlete learn pacing based on feel.

All Roads to Geelong 2016.

This wonder kid reminds me of our cat, eating one minute and then hunting for food the next!

Not a bad life if you could scream and then get what you want; that said customer service seems a very similar industry when you put it like that. 

First 2 weeks have been relatively easy; breast feeding cuts me out of the loop for most of the feeds except for my evening bottle and having been off work for this time it's meant finding time for a run/ ride have been pretty easy to do at midday or late afternoon.

But I'm back at work now - on the grind 8:30-5:30pm; not including my PT Group on Mon/Wed and Rugby Training Thurs (yes I'm still playing, counting it as x-training in the winter) So I need to look at how I'm going to plan for my upcoming events over the next 39 weeks of the year, yep just 39 left of 2015.

It's obvious I will need to make some sacrifices; not just time but also that dreaded dollar bill needs to stretch to pay for items and entry fees (still no big sponsor is yet to tap on my door) 

So on a long traffic filled bus trip I started to do the math for the $$ and the counting of dates to the training plans. 

I also forgot to mention I added a 70.3 Geelong IM to that first events list and cut out Sprint Series (well part of it) So all roads lead to Geelong in 2016 1.3km Swim, 90km Bike, 21km Run. But between that I still have:

March: Charity 1 hour Run Event
April - July: Rugby Season 
July: 10km Run Melbourne
September: Dualathlon 
October: Lake Mountain Ride
October: Melbourne Half Marathon
November: Gatorade Elwood Sprint
December: Gatorade St Kilda Olympic
Feb 2016 Geelong 70.3 Ironman; EEK!

It will take upwards of 8 weeks to prep for a half marathon, and 6 months to fully prepare for Geelong; so I need to time my training around these dates working backwards so as not to over work or to peak too early. 

So to begin with I'm going map out my training guide each month so you can see how I'm going to obtain my final goal of finishing Geelong in hopefully good condition rather than a bumbling mess of spit and sweat.

At this stage its about maintaining a strong fitness base for the rugby season with Half Marathon training coming into effect in June. 

April will bring the Rugby Season and also some colder weather so some treadmill runs along with bike rides and some kettle workouts will keep me conditioned - I invested in a indoor wind-trainer for my bike which will help me clock some bike hours when the weather doesn't look as inviting. 

Naturally my party days at the clubhouse might have finished; even the odd couple of beers at home. Cutting back on the excesses in my life isn't a bad thing; and I guess I've been known to push the boundaries between athlete and bar fly in the past somehow still being able to perform after arriving home earlier that morning.

With constant wake-ups by Baby Z I will need to be on my game; and also need to get those workouts done later or earlier than normal. 

So April is not far away, let me get this plan together and post up here in a week.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A true Marathon

After a few months of preparing for the DADathlon life - it happened!

Normal sort of Wednesday really; got up early set the bike up for a spin into work the warm morning air had me already thinking I'd go via some hills on the way home to clock up some extra KMs. That was put to a stop as soon as I arrived at City Square - the phone call "I think I'm having contractions?"

I'm not sure how everyone else reacts to this, but I'm a inquisitive person and a double checker so i asked "are you sure?"

It was pretty obvious this race had begun but like most Marathons there was no sprint start just a process of waiting and working hard; I spent most the day at work (how I got anything done I don't know) then at 3pm I'd had enough got on board the Bianchi and rode home, sadly not at a great pace as luck would have it I got EVERY Red Light coming out of the city on Wellington and even red lights I didn't know existed were turning against me. 

Today was not the day of the birth, in fact neither was Thursday as we both worked side by side for upwards of 36 hours; the wife was amazing her strong will and endurance showed in her ability to handle pain and pressure. 

In the end not for health or emergency reasons but we had to have a C-Section so the recovery is going to be tough for the Super Wife; 6 weeks and some major pain killers but spirits are high now that I have both my little ladies home after 4 Days in the Hospital. 

Zara was born at 12:51am March 13th having taken a few days off I joined my group ride Sunday morning at 7am to the delight of the crew and the cafe; FREE Coffee all round.

Training will change and at the moment I'm still recovering myself from 30 hours of no sleep, the Sunday ride helped put me in a better state of mind, but I left Monday as a recovery day. 

I've set-up the wind trainer on the spare bike so I can get 30mins of spinning legs tonight and some kettlebells; and hopefully a run tomorrow morning.

Let the games begin! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How far is too far?

A lunch spent at a good friends baby full moon (it's an Asian culture thing) imagine a baby shower/ birthday in one with lots more noodles.

Once again and hopefully for the last time this year we were the only couple that didn't BYO Child, which was a shame as the blow up bouncy castle looked a treat. 

Waiting for a baby must be frustrating for my wife, as an active person herself (runner) the fact she has had to sit still for the past 4 weeks must be driving her crazy! For me it's over thinking that gets in my head, the thoughts of 'Am I prepared' or ' What do we need' I even get to second guessing if I'm cut out for this Dad stuff. 

So to clear my head after a couple of hours with people giving me all the advice on labor pains, poo filled nappies, no sleep - a ride is a must.

Rolling to meet a good mate in Richmond we discarded the usual Boulevard Lap and opted for a summer spin towards Port Melbourne for a cheeky pint, going past the crowds for the Moomba Festival, past the Casino making our way down to the silent streets of South Melbourne for a sunny beer at The London. 

How far is too far?

Well despite putting away a weaving 55km's it could be said I was only really 20km from home as the crow flies, and if the call had come in I may of broken some 5km sprint times! But the truth is, like most things pregnancy ain't like the movies. It's not a 30min event, more of a marathon effort. 

So it was a surprise when the next early morning joining a new riding group the Salvo Riders (Salvation Army) for a very early but rewarding Boulevard Ride that included a sprint section at Richmond - of course completed with a coffee; that a few of the guys were surprised my attendance considering my wife was 48hrs overdue.

Me I just shrugged it off - not a in a rude way or as uncaring; but at 2 days overdue and no movement happening what is a guy to do? I would have driven the wife crazy sitting at home, I'm not much of a garden type of person (that's the reason for the fake grass lawn)

For obvious reasons I have the phone on LOUD and always charged; I even stopped for a text message only to see it was my brother about a football score. I'm on a good edge, but on edge none the less but I need the clarity that running & cycling gives me to be focused and switched on when the time comes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Product Review: Premax Creams

It's about time we had a product review on here. 

Now I don't get endorsements (yes! shameless plug for free stuff) so I can promise that any reviews on this blog will be up front and honest; and if it was the case I'd say so you knew I was just blowing some corporate hot air. 

I'll stick to reviewing new items I purchase/ or are given and give them a bit of a test run, and then leave the rest up to you; hopefully you provide your feed back if mine is somewhat off the pace so to speak. 

PREMAX Sports creams

An Australian Company - and we love local products! that is well know in cycling circles as sponsors of Cycling Australia teams.

From the website:

Premax was founded in 2006 by Australian Sports Physiotherapist, Randall Cooper.
In the pursuit of the perfect tool for his work, Randall decided to see if he could create a range of new massage products which were non-greasy yet long-lasting and glided on the skin and therefore suitable for clinicians such as himself.
I happened to come across the products receiving them from Cycling Australia having won a twitter comp; yes you can win twitter comps - off topic I've been cleaning up with free tickets and the like. 
In the post from Cycling Australia I received a sample size of the Sunscreen, Anti Friction Cream, Arnica & Sports Massage Cream. A great little pack for a busy cyclist over the Dec/Jan period. 
The sunscreen is good sunscreen, plenty of coverage, it talks of being super quick drying not so sure about the super bit of the statement but it does dry well, without leaving my hands greasy. The little 50ml tube is a good size for kit bags at tri-events and as a bald man I need some sunscreen. 
Anti Friction Cream is not something I've had exposure to, generally I've used a bit of petroleum jelly on the rubbing areas when at Tri-Events as I find the salt water and running can cause a little rubbing at times. Most of the time I don't ride more than 25km and I never have an issue with chaffing. 
I needed a good long ride to test this product so on a journey out to watch/ride the Cadel Great Ocean Road Race (they need to shorten that name!) I figured an early morning damp ride over 50km would be just the trick, not sure on application levels I tended to get a 20 cent piece size in my hand then gave it spread around in the downstairs department.  
As mentioned I've not used cream down there - but this felt a little sloppy; like I was sweaty without having done any exercise. But once I got moving everything felt pretty slick, it was a damp day as anyone who watched the race on TV between Channel 7's constant advertisement breaks, so the chance for chaffing was high.
Results were good and I came out with a mark; would be great to test this in a Triathlon with more changes in conditions, but it past the 50km test.
The Massage Creams Arnica & Sports I haven't used extensively. Arnica was a favorite of mine for recovery massages and I found helped to ease pain, this cream is very smooth and non-greasy leaving a nice but not overly strong odor. Sadly I don't have a young Swedish Masseur to assist with application and a Pregnant Wife was not so excited at the prospect of testing it either. 
So it was me massaging me - remember this is a family friendly blog! 
The Sports Cream on opening the lid has that Football/Rugby/ Soccer home team locker room smell; a heat based cream great for warming up those legs prior to an early morning ride; I'd almost consider putting it on regularly just to get out of bed daily in the morning these days.
Again not an oil so a bit easier to self apply, non-greasy and provides good coverage with a small amount of application. A good smell if you like deep heat but not as strong more of a gradual heat. 
I'm yet to have a rating system - but I give it a Thumbs Up! 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Breaking 22

As mentioned in previous posts breaking and making a new PB is not something I think about or plan for; and Saturday morning was no different.

Pre-planning a BRICK (bike/run)  session with a riding/running buddy of mine, with a short 13km ride to Parkrun in the morning before taking off for a 5km run. Morning started well no wheel issues like last time and we were off down the road, crisp morning greeted us as we weaved down along the river.

Arriving with plenty of time to change and mentally prepare for the run; we weren't doing a traditional BRICK session as there was a few minutes between our ride and run but the legs were certainly warm and conditions lent to good times - overcast and not too warm.

At the start line we spoke with Celine Hepworth (2014 Gatorade Series Champion) former world champion dualathlete and a great source of knowledge to talk to; she also runs the very successful +Top Gear Cycles

Getting out hard was the idea, tagging on with Ivan a faster runner than myself and trying to stick with him for at least 2.5km even if I crashed out later.

The first 2km went well out of the blocks and into 4 minute kilometers; but the heart was pounding as we rounded up the 1st incline I knew at this pace I wasn't going to last. Naturally dropping down into a 4:30 km I felt my heart rate reduce and my body felt better heading into the heartbreak hill.

That Hill! I don't care who you are it's a tough one after getting out of the blocks early. 

Shuffling up I had lost a little time with 5:00 km knowing I would need more pace on the way down and to the uphill finish I started to get my stride right regulated my breathing.

It hurt, the lungs were busted but the time was there - grabbing extra minutes on the first 2km's made the difference so even dropping a 5min km in the middle didn't change the result. 21:48 and under 22 for the first time, my 3rd PB this year already. 

I was pleased to come off a regular riding pace and still perform comfortably into the run, in many respects a 5km run should be straight forward but I really pushed myself to an early threshold to see how I would react; I think doing this will help with upping my speed especially if I couple this with a mid-week hill run.

** Officially marked as 21:47; 12th overall but 1st in my age group.