Monday, June 29, 2015

Running Season

The leaves have fallen off the trees and the chill factor has definitely hit Melbourne; most mornings the temperature gauge struggling to get above double digits.

Running Season.

So long as it's not raining I find I enjoy the chill factor of running in this weather; I don't over heat and as long as I have the right gear on (hat and some gloves) I find I can really get the legs turning.

More importantly in the past two weeks Super Wife has gotten her grove back, the one person that really inspired me to take up more running was her. Watching her cross the finish line at the Brighton Marathon (England) was a real eye opener, the joy in her face, the buzz she had and the feeling of accomplishment after all those hours on the treadmill and running around the parks in Southampton paid off.

I wanted that feeling, so I turned to her parkrun group as she got pregnant and couldn't run as much and started off slowly and now I couldn't imagine NOT running now. It's taken 3 months since the birth of Z-Girl but she has slowly gotten back to running 5km - it's great family activity we can both enjoy compared to my rugby matches.

It's a great feeling to have the three of us out on the running paths together at parkrun this weekend just gone; I've taken to pushing the pram around with what I thought was good success; knocking out a 25:41 over 5km and put in some nice splits to go with it.

With the Duathlon around the corner and Run Melbourne 10km also now only 4 weeks away; not to mention the Sommerville Geelong Ride this weekend it's an action packed couple of weeks.

The wife has signed up for the Half Marathon in Oct with me which will be great and gives me another training buddy; and with all the stress of being a parent I know sometimes she doesn't have the energy so it's great if I can do the reverse and motivate her. Super Wife is also keen on the Run Melbourne 10km at the end of July as a tester.

So it's officially running season! I need to make sure I'm getting a longer run in when I can as well as short one over the weekend with the family. I tested my endurance and route by running to work this week - with a good distance of 10-12km I can make it as hard or as easy as I like and really pushed me even going at a steady 6:10 per km.

With my monthly training plan now coming up for review again (will post it in the coming days) I need to look at ways of adding more with out losing evening time with Z-Girl. I have certainly found I'm more productive with my training early in the morning than I am in the evenings and so will factor this in; along with upping my KM's on the bike and running legs - not quite ready to add in swimming till August at the moment but need to make sure I'm leaving plenty of adaptable space to add it later.

I've rested more this month and gotten back to recovery; also given alcohol the boot which has helped with the early rises and even the bank balance $$ ca-ching!

#forher #runningblog #dadathlon #parkrun #trilife

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sommerville Sports - Fresh Kit Review

My Sunday morning coffee ride group just got their brand new kit for 2015 and it's a sensational pro-fit kit; it fits so nice I just gotta rave about it - in fact if I rave loud enough maybe I will get some fresh stash from them.

Sommerville Sports

Stripped from the website:

" Founded in 2001, we were initially a coaching and bicycle fit service. We worked with athletes to develop their best potential and many of our client achievements have ranged from winning local club races to national championships.

A New York City-based cycling team followed. As the team's size and stature grew, we were regularly invited to race all over the world, including events in Spain, China, Macau, Canada, Venezuela, Belize, El Salvador, Thailand, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Taiwan and more. Needless to say, our passports have a lot of stamps.

Fast forward thousands of training miles, hundreds of tire punctures, and a few years of pain-staking product development, we have launched our clothing business and haven't looked back. "

This positively hip and cycling focused company has now hit our shores here in Australia with an official supply line for all clubs and lovers of good fitting, well performing cycling kit;  Small minimum orders (min qty of 5 pieces) means even the smallest training group can get the "Pro Look" on a Sunday morning as they scramble for the best tasting espresso.

I mean other than NY Giants not much bad has ever come out of New York and this stuff passes the test; my kit includes a pro fit jersey. With nice seams and the fit is tight but with a little room to grow/ age into; the bibs are made of race quality Lycra with a quality chamois for those long days in the saddle as well as fitting perfectly with good grippers to keep them in place. 

At the end of the day when you order a custom kit you want good advice and a great product to match; the product is a no brainer, you only have to put these items side by side with cheap Chinese imports and you know this is winning every time.

As a Dad-athlete I got mouths to feed but I also want quality for the money I lash out and with this kit I know it will last beyond one summer on the bike. 

The second best part is the Australian distributor Ivan is a true cyclists! Not just that guy that rides a bike when the sun is out and has seen a money making opportunity; Ivan is involved with the cycling and running community and a kit addict himself he knows what looks good! And wouldn't wear it if it didn't! with a keen eye on style and function he can help with material selection, fit and design. 

And for those lucky enough to get the invite you can come out on Sommerville Sport Australia's constant weekend search for vert, nothing makes this guy more happy than more vertical that horizontal metres after a day in the saddle. 

Check the facebook

And find them on the grams

#freshkit #sommerville #newkitday #dadathlon 


I ride upwards of 100km a week to work, not including the extra KM's I try to cover in morning sessions and weekend group rides.

Since September 2014 I started riding to work and I must say I've not really had a particular incident with cars; the odd yelling out of the window or a car speeding past me a little close but nothing that has ever realyl bothered me.

Till now ...

7:20am Sparks Ave; I ride down in regularly on my way to work. Not going at any real pace as its a wet morning and I know to take it easy on the slick roads as I roll along I can see a silver Holden car edging out from a side road. Flicking the brakes as I think they are going to pull out but maybe they aren't?

YES THEY DO! Right as I'm 2 meters from the car; I jam both brakes and slide a little hitting the drivers side door; they stop, briefly look at me as I yell something like "hey hey hey stop!"

They didn't stop - instead jamming down the accelerator and speeding off to the next intersection. My bike seems ok, my hip is a little bruised but I turn to catch part of the number plate "SDR" - I turn my bike in the hope of catching the rest of the plate number, but they again speed off.

I'm in shock! It's wet on the roads a light drizzle and I'm only 3km from home and this guy didn't even top to say sorry, check if I'm ok?

I've watched CSI, Borderwatch and read how they have tracked a murder with the DNA of a cigarette butt; yet calling my local police without a full plate number I can't place a report!! I know the car make, I know the colour and I know the first 3 letters - this must close down the net a little smaller for searching on a computer.

This mug is going to get away with this; a careless act - and they reckon registration helps stop crimes! Be mistaken it doesn't make a difference. I'm angry at the worlds idiots seemingly getting away with more and more.

Hopefully he is a local employee who drives like I ride the same route most mornings as I won't forget that car or his face as he looked at me and will collect the rest of the plate number and STILL put in my report.

Don't ever talk about registration for cyclists stopping crimes, or careless cyclists running red lights anymore - I witness DAILY cars going across red lights, breaking the law and driving at speed and dangerously more than I ever have or seen from cyclists.

An angry morning on the bike but it won't stop me from riding just make me even more aware.

#hitandrun #forher #cyclingalways #dadathlon

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Another BRICK in the wall

Building up to the dualathlon for early July; I felt I need to begin to add in a couple of BRICK sessions.

To the unknown these are Bike/ Run Sessions - some triathletes will refer to a back to back session as Brick but most commonly are bike followed by a run.

I haven't done one of these in sometime, in fact not since the end of summer when I backed off training. These can be a little stressful on the body if attempting since a break. In the past I've ridden to my parkrun and then slogged out 5km after a 15km ride.

This session was done in the relative warmth of the house - actually more the garage/ training room/ bar/ man cave. Having set the bike up on my wind trainer I got the bar stool out set-up to watch some cycling on the ipad while I shifted the wheels while catching up on all the news.

When using the wind trainer I find I work harder on my riding than I do normally for a variety of reasons; firstly there is no training partner to slide up next to and talk about how we wished we were pro, a lack of movement towards any cafe, no traffic lights to stop at and most of all no coasting on downhills - with a constant spin required means a good 20 mins can certainly feel like twice as much.

Tonight's session was a simple 20/20

  • 20 min bike spin 
  • 20 min run

I like to aim for a time off the bike rather than distance as I find this starts to build my strength better; If I've done a long ride I will only run for a short period, just enough to shake off the riding legs.

Running just short of 4km into an evening headwind I could certainly feel the legs in the last 1km; and needed to find a little more to get myself around the block and back home.

Returning to super wife on the couch with the heater up full-blast meant a warm reception that felt like a yoga session was going on, 20/20 was a the perfect amount of time for my BRICK - 40mins in between getting the Z-Girl to sleep, eating dinner and then returning for a yummy fruit & yogurt recover feed with a little foam rolling to boot.

It would be harmful I think to pound the body with these sessions every night; but having spent the day out with the family this was a really time effective way to get a great session completed in the evening.

A strong house is built with good bricks and you could say the same about a triathlete; as a Dadathlete these combo sessions are a MUST to get the time put into the legs in the lead up to July's first event of my season.

#dualathlon #triathlon #dadathlon #forher #Geelong2016 #BRICK

Friday, June 5, 2015


The left over of the working-class sport of outdoor velodrome racing is scattered across the Northern suburbs of Melbourne, with many clubs still in operation as the sport begins to make a bit more of come back with the younger crowds willing to risk skin and bone on these concrete bowls.

Velodromes like people come in all shapes and sizes, big ones, steep ones, flat ones, broken ones and dodgey one - and of course the flashy ones! From Coburg, Preston, Brunswick, Blackburn and Hawthorn they present a great training opportunity even for the novice rider.

These rings of fire are perfect for continuous speed and interval work without the hassle of cars, people and sometimes on midweek mornings, cyclists!

Knowing Hathorn Velodrome was not far off my normal path to work on my slightly longer commute (20km instead of 10km) I wanted to test out what it was like, my previous experience is with Brunswick Velo - which is only for the hardcore, steep sides of rough concrete meet you and the concern of falls.

Hawthorn is a baby in its steepness to say the least but offers a good bank to build speed going into the turns, setting myself up simply to put in some laps my routine was simple for my first time around - hard/easy!
  • 3 lap warm-up at moderate pace, that said I'd already rode 15km to get there. 
  • 5 moderate to hard continuous 
  • Sprint intervals - 1 hard lap, followed by 1 coast lap ticking the legs over x 10

What a great session, got the blood pumping found it easier the more I did and on checking my times improved almost every lap.

Will be adding this in most Fridays if time permits as a great chance off the back of my midweek run, to add some sprint work to my cycle training and start to build up some further cycling skills. .

#velodrome #hawthorn #newblog #AR2G #forher

Captain I just don't have the power (Albert Park parkrun review)

I'd always been keen on Albert Park parkun - the flat, the city coffee opportunities and the possibility of smashing a PB on this course got me excited.

Well 2 out of 3 ain't bad - getting my training partner Scotty out of bed took some convincing, bribes included giving him a lift, coffee and the promise I wouldn't run off on him (no PB today) the poor guy hasn't run 5km since .... well actually I don't know, he can ride a bike but that's where it stops.

It's a nice spot Albert Park, the sun gazing over the lake and at 7:30am there is plenty of parking. With the crowds gathering I had heard this can have up to 300+ runners on any given morning you could feel that it was going to be a big crowd.

Maybe I caught them on a bad day, maybe they had lots of announcements, but personally I like it when parkrun starts 8am SHARP! let's get it going - but with a bit chit-chat and awards and discussions on the course going on I don't think we took off till 8:15am!

The course as promised is flat as a surfboard and follows the gravel path around the outside and quite close the water edge, the path is quite narrow so early on in the run there is a bit of jousting and getting stuck behind a few people until the herd thins out after the first 1.5km and then you have some room before the first turn at the top end of the lake.

Scotty was going well - I kept talking to him to keep him amused and less worried about his heavy breathing; we discussed his various injuries over his years of football & cricket. As my lone true man about town single friend his life amuses me no end with stories of women issues and working out if he is going to play golf or shag some lady friend this afternoon - part jealous and part grateful is how I tend to feel after our talks, let's just say he is more suited to it than I am.

Coming around the boat houses he starts to ask that quitters question "how far to go?" I explain we are just past half way and he is doing great - but I'm no Richard Simmons super inspiring type I tend to hope my actions speak louder.

ANNND he's out!

With a wave of the hand as we jog past the golf course, he tells me to go on without me, like a solider in battle I don't want to leave my buddy - explaining between exhales he say's something a long the lines of

"if I die you can have my golf clubs! Now go on without me ..."

Thinking he has a great set of clubs, and maybe he might throw in his new sports car I get shifting; having sat in 2nd gear I try to click up and start attempting to pick off other runners hoping I can get in around the 25 min mark.

My gas started to fade, and running in a long sleeve seemed great at Scott's Pace - but now I was burning up, crossing the line just over 25mins and I was happy, warm but happy.

My good pal came steaming in a few minutes after I had stretched down and complain all the way to the coffee shop (which is pretty standard, he does that on group rides as well)

It's a great flat course, need to position yourself up the front if you want a good time on the tight running track - but worth an attempt if just for the city location, will work this in again as part of Bike/Run session and throw in a lap of the Yarra Boulevard Hills to create a great workout.

#forher #AR2G #parkrun #dadathlete #newblog #running

RUN BRIS (parkrun review)

Work took me to Brisbane for four days, so I took my training shoes - and aren't I glad I did.

There is a reason why Triathlons elite like to base themselves in warm climates to maximize training; Brisbane was what they call a cool 20C for me it was ideal running weather.

My week started with a recon run of sorts, as I laced up for Forrest Gump style morning jog (this is a run where I have no route I just run!) rolling the feet over down towards the river and then back up to my hotel I found Brisbane to have more hills that I thought, with the city itself seemingly perched above the river.

A long week at a work conference about horse racing, had me very tired Friday night so a chicken roast meal and some rugby viewing on the telly-box, amazing how Parramatta Eels can send you to sleep.

It's an early rise for parkrun in the State of QLD with Melbourne runs kicking off at 8am here it's 7am; not to fuss a long black and piece of fruit got me going. As a rounded the corner to join the pre-run chit chat the sight was amazing a huge grassed area right by the river; a volunteer running a whole group warm-up session before we got going.

The course itself has its hazards; a few bollards to dodge before the first river crossing, and being on a very popular cycle route there is a few of my velo friends to contend with; I wasn't out to break records - in fact I don't think I had it in me, but getting stuck at the back of the very large I'd say over 300 runners! meant I needed to get a wriggle on.

Stepping up the pace a bit I extended myself along the river with great views of early morning high-rise buildings coupled with the river to my left made for great running experience, and then the next obstacle ....


Yep they have a set of stairs, and not just a couple a good flight of stairs up onto the 2nd and final bridge crossing, after running close to 3km stairs seemed a bit of a push and would certainly factor in some interesting PB attempts, and of course what goes up must come down - so more stairs on the other-side!

Another interesting bike vs. runner crossing that is manned with a volunteer (they must have close to 10 required) was a little interesting and then a dead flat finish. From the finish line which they have made a thin single entry chute, which I think is great for the timers - you then have to walk another 200m (cool down) back to the start line to get scanned.

And greeting you is warm-up volunteer running a group cool-down! on the banks of the river with the sun rising; what more could you ask for. My first parkrun outside of Westerfolds was a great experience and Brisbane has showed with plenty of volunteer power you can create a amazing atmosphere (but the warm weather always helps)

#parkrun #AR2G #forher #running #triblog #dadathlete 

Monday, June 1, 2015

The winter is coming (June Training Plan)

I can't even feel my jaw, and I have a good bit of facial fuzz. It's numb as I ride into the chill air, my toes I think are still on the ends of my feet but won't be able to confirm until I get in the shower and feel them burning in the warm shower.

Winter is here; and I just signed up to the IM70 & have a Dualathlon and 10km event coming up.

June is a big build-up month and also going to be tough to get the training hours in, so I'm getting by with a little help from my friends as Barry Crocker would say. Convincing a group of them to sign-up for the first race of the Dualathlon Series starting July 12th means I have some training partners.

They are all pretty novice or former triathletes than stopped a few years back to ride or run only.

Having a group to call on means I have the motivation of not letting the guys down; and so far the results have shown with a 60km group ride and a run with a friend around Albert Park. It's been a casual building of strength with repetition more than anything else and making sure I'm preparing a good base to race off come July 12th.

The colder months brings with it plenty of rain so my ability to rely on my daily commute by bike to work as training hours is going to become difficult, so need make sure I'm getting in an even spin on the trainer or when the weather is nice heading out early and clocking some 50+ km rides.

With running I'm working a 2 per week of at least 5km if not long - really working on tempo rather than pushing hard for PB's as I know it's tempo in Oct for Half Mara & Geelong that will get me over the line.

Z-Girl has graduated to the big girls pram which means I can now start to think about running/ jogging with her; will need to start off slowly but this adds an extra family element to training I'm keen to explore and some parkrun events.

The aims this month is 2 good rides and 2 good runs per week, and making sure I add in a rest day on a Monday where I get back to foam rolling as I've let this slip and I can feel the body getting tight. Need to start to look after the body better in the tougher months to be ready for a two event month in July.

We have the luck of a nice long bank holiday weekend, which is always a good opportunity to relax a little more in a change of environment, and with the now traditional trip to the northern border also bringing with it nicer weather means I can stretch the legs out on some BRICK sessions along with plenty of family time relaxation.

So June is a the month for preparing and repairing - tuning up as July will be here quicker than I think.

#newblog #forher #triblog #trilife