Tuesday, August 25, 2015
The Challenge was put out on the wires earlier in the week, my unofficial training mentor the Captain of Sommerville Sports Ivan had accepted a challenge from a former National Duathlon Champion from1996, but don't worry Celine Hepworth has plenty still in the tank! To pace and punch out a fast if not PB run at Diamond Creek parkrun, a flat course that is prime for running hard; I'm pushing to break 20 minutes and knowing Ivan & Celine would go under 19 minutes this was a great opportunity to run with champions and push myself. Quick chat with Super Wife and I had planned to swap the pram for a free set of running feet for a Saturday morning.
I used to walk the paths this run takes with Super Wife back in the old dating days, taking the walk from Eltham (her home town) to Diamond Creek and back; having grown up in the area it was a good chance to return to my old stomping grounds.
With any training in my situation the night/day before is the key preparing running gear, packing car, etc. Z-Girl is in a bad habit of waking at 2am & 4am and struggles to settle, early days we gave her a small feed to calm her but now it means she just doesn't settle without it. Breaking the habit means loud noises and no sleep. Working together we looked to try and break the habit, the poor little Z just didn't like the situation crying and crying, I got up to help at 4am and taking her downstairs just couldn't stop the tears, exhausted the poor thing finally feel asleep in our bed cuddled by Mum at 5am, but an alarm at 6:30am to get ready for our morning run was not what Super Wife needed.
In fact no amount of motivational speeches were going to fix this one; a terrible nights rest and a case of the Mothering Blues meant time was needed without Z-Girl; I had already made the commitment to Ivan and Little Z was all giggles at 6:30am ready for an adventure, so I would watch this running battle from the back of the pack with the pram.
Diamond Creek parkrun is a great setting by the bridge and with a 2.5km up and back route it gives you a great opportunity to see the leading runners heading to the finish line, problem also being for a guy like me that likes to run 4:30-5:00 min/km it was hard to get going with the morning joggers and a thin path made overtaking difficult.
Watching Ivan coming back the other way, considering he was running naked (without his Garmin, not real naked ain't nobody need to see that!) I was surprised at his good pace but concerned he might burn the match out, Celine was in hot pursuit and only a few paces back. I was still trying to pick my way to some space to stretch the legs out, Z-Girl was happy after her standard 1km grizzle and had now fallen asleep.
After the turn around point I started to get a little room and picked up the pace dramatically, even catching another pram runner (DC had a few today, maybe 6-7) I might not of been able to take on the challenge that was set during the week, but I did want to be the first pram over the line and pushed myself to keep going and get clear, with a respectable time and a very sleepy Z-Girl.
That's the catch I'm discovering as a Dadathlete; you got to be adjustable. Don't let a bad nights sleep get you down and just change it up. Ivan ran ahead of Celine and was happy with his time, Celine comes across like she is never happy and a perfectionist but always looking for the next challenge and I like that in a person, and me and Z-Girl well we proved we had plenty in the legs after a late night of nappy parties!
It's hard, that's the truth. It's hard to be a Triathlete, Dad & Husband and I won't ever say it's easy. But if I didn't have anyone of those things life would be even harder. All 3 make up big important parts of who I am and sometimes they clash but that morning I felt like we meshed them together in the face of adversity; the Triathlete needed a training run, the Dad needed to look after his Daughter and the Husband needed to give his Super Wife the opportunity to relax and recoup. That's a Dadathlon hat-trick if ever I've seen one!
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Outlasting my rivals with my ability to stay at a consistent high pace for the whole race rather than surging efforts, I built my lead lap after lap feeling stronger the more strokes I took. And it's this I'm starting to get back, the freedom within the grind, the joy in the movement. I'm finding my distance legs and feeling happier when the activity lasts longer than an hour; the only real draw back to wanting more distance is finding the time; and setting early on weekend and weekday isn't everyones cup of tea (or strong coffee) but then if everyone did, nobody would say I was crazy.
Friday, August 14, 2015
Let's face it working 5 days a week, training 6 days a week, loving my wife and family everyday of the week (Husband Bonus Points) doesn't leave much time for much else, in fact I'm starting to have to meet my friends either while running or riding so that just about shows you the amount of 'free time' I have.
So lets add something else to the schedule. Recovery.
First things first, listen to your body, if you can't hear your body you're not listening well enough as it tells you when it needs more recovery. That tightness in the calf, the tired eyes, the blurred thinking all these add up to moments when you know you need to take a step back, ease off and maybe look at your recovery.
Plan a day off. Nobody likes a rest day, if you're a ball of energy like me rest days suck! Getting the train to work and getting off a stop early to walk helps with taking the stress of training off the body.
Foam Roll. I'm guilty of not doing this enough, and hit home when I when I got a massage from Physiohealth to be asked "Do you foam roll?" and when I said I did sometimes, they said you need to all the time as my calves were rock hard and in need of some TLC. I find a couple of minutes a night, in fact I have my routine down to 1 min per body part making it no more than 10 minutes! That's perfect 5 nights a week or after a heavy session of running/ riding on the weekend.
Have an easy day. Sometimes I just don't go so fast, maybe I take the less hilly way to work on the bike, or I dial back the km/min ratio to 6 minutes instead of 4:30. I'm still moving, I'm still working but I'm not smashing it out. Active recovery they call it, recovery ride/ run. These usually follow my hard runs.
Find your Zen. In my early 20's I messed around with meditation & yoga, in my mid-twenties I went to the pub too much, in my late twenties I forgot everything and now in my 30's I'm trying to find my sweet spot. Take a few minutes to smell the roses. I have been adding in a Sauna session for 10 minutes after my swim, it's silent and calming to close my eyes for a moment. Take the nice way home on the bike and watch the sun go down, or even just go to your library in your lunch break for 15 minutes and read a book. Embrace the calmness and moments of silence, you can find it without looking at your facebook!
Fuel your recovery. This I'm becoming more in tune with than ever before, having been inspired by Eat & Run by Scott Jurek (the great Scott Jurek) I'm not just examining closer what I eat after an event, which lets face it most of the time we are good at this, grabbing our protein shake or having a fresh salad with chicken for dinner after a workout, but then 6 hours later we're knee deep in Fish & Chips or a Pizza. Our recovery food is much more than just than first hour after a workout, it's the whole day, the whole week in fact. Check that item as you take it off the shelf, think is this fuel or fire? Can I chose something the same but better, great example the other night I got a hankering for some Chocolate, I'm staring down the barrel of a sweet Cadbury Dairy Milk bar, then I look around and I see an organic chocolate, and next to that a antioxidant boosting dark chocolate so I reach left instead of straight.
Recovery is important, and the more I train and follow my path the more I see the need for it. Training back to back days requires recovery, and we're all one step away from an injury but the prevention is better than cure statement couldn't ring truer in this instance.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Training is starting to consume more of my life; it is taking over in areas I haven't even thought it would matter. I find I'm checking weather reports on Sunday afternoons planning my riding and running for the week, my evenings taken up with prep for the next day whether that's laying out cycling gear or finding a fresh towel for the kit bag. And I'm becoming more conscious of what I'm putting in my mouth, questioning if it's going fuel me positively or negatively, but more and more I'm starting to question my motives.
"He moves, he moves a lot"
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
I just didn't feel it this week leading in, I didn't really time my nutrition to factor with race day, I forgot to foam roll during the week due to being tired and a little lazy, the weather kept me off the bike, backed out of parkrun due to morning rain, so didn't stretch my legs pre-race and I did my long run for the week just 48 hours out from the race leaving me a little tight and sore. It wasn't a good week.
Feeling all out of sorts on Saturday night as I prepared my race bag I chose to watch a movie Wolf of Wall Street; which by the way is a crap film! Why I wanted to watch it I won't know, but I kept thinking about cocky Jordan Belfort and how much I hate power & money for at least the first 2km of the run leg.
Making the walk to the check in desk had a different element this time around, with Super Wife turned Super Supporter having to dash back to get her sweater she left in the car I walked Z-Girl in the pram, with my kit bag and Bike myself. It was a almost quiet moment where I forgot about performance pressure and how she won't care where I finish, or remember this run other than the cuddle she gets pre race and the one she gets post race.
Even with the sinking feeling of being out of sorts I still felt better prepared than previous races, I had a Sommerville Sports teammate with me which was a comfort having someone to chat to and warm-up with pre-race. And worked on my improvement areas of my warm-up routine, still work in progress but getting a rub down from the Physiohealth pre-race loosened out my already tight calves.
Lining up I let that doubt cloud sneak into my head; I started out hard and fast making the classic mistake of not running to my race plan, my Sommerville Sports guru Ivan is/was/can be a hell of a runner/ cyclist/ triathlete and has historical form in this department, on training runs I've stuck with him to beat PB's but I'm not so sure this was a good idea. Hammering hard on his tail drove me into the early red zone by the 3km mark, and as he drifted off into the distance and around the final turning point I could feel that I may of blown my engine early. I slowed down a little in the final kilometer and recovered heading into the transition area.
To my surprise post race I had come close to running a sub 20 5km, something I thought I couldn't do, so now I'm more confident I can get that sucker next time.
The bike leg started better, I got out in a good rhythm and my gearing was in the right place, but my legs were getting heavy as the ride wore on and my energy levels started to fade. My race plan was to hit up my energy gel on lap 3 heading into the final lap and run, giving me a boost. But this was an emergency so I turned to the back pocket on lap 2 instead.
Bringing my pace back up and pulling in a few other riders gave me some confidence and seeing Ivan on each turn certainly helped as we encouraged each other to keep pushing. I tried to find more power, but felt that I just didn't have anything else in the legs and settled for consistent pace instead of surging movements. Heading into the transition I remembered my slow change from last race and already had my shoes unzipped and made a quick change by a whole 15 secs from previous.
That final run was harder than I ever felt, running out of the transition area tailing another athlete that looked like they had more than me in the tank gave me a running goal to try and stick with them, I kept up for about 1km and then they too started to push further and further away. I shorten my stride as my legs were now burning and tried to keep the steps short but fast, this felt better but it didn't feel faster.
Running on an island is what I call when you're stuck in a race or group run on your own, when you're not at the front, not at the back, and have no one around you. That's the island, and it makes you start to over think things. I needed to get off the island and to do that I needed to find something to challenge me, and there he was Mr Hawthorn Tri-Club (due to his outfit he gets this name) He looked about 50-100 metres in front of me, so I wheeled the legs a little quicker and got to his tail.
A quick check of the watch suddenly had me thinking with 1.5km to go that I might be able to post a PB, in fact if I get a move on I could beat it by almost a minute! But I was stuck! Stuck behind Mr Hawthorn, and on the skinny running track it was hard to find energy & room to overtake, best bet was on the left hand turn into the trail to the finish, so I jumped out to his right, my legs hated me for it and edged my way in front using the down hill section to gain a little space.
The legs wobbled the brain was cooked, in fact the body was fried. I had that contorted face of pain at the finishing line rather than a smile of relief, but I had beaten my previous time by 1min 20 secs; considering my negative thoughts early and getting caught trying to pace with Ivan like a training run, it may of worked in my favour!
With nicer weather meant better athletes turned up, but better weather also meant more crowd support. Was great to have Ivan's wife and in-laws along cheering with Super Wife & Z-Girl, all of them giving you a little boost as you came up the main straight of the race. Family is what I like about Triathlons/ Running events, it's a family event where the kids can join in, Mum & Dad can compete, a friendly atmosphere compared to a rugby ground where half the supporters don't like you or your team.
Everyone is cheering for Everyone there is no booing, and with the week that professional sport has had in Australia around crowds and attitudes, it was nice to say I'm involved in this positive movement of people and fitness. I remember a friend saying to me Triathlon is more a lifestyle than an event, it's a not a season you turn off at the final whistle; you go home and live and breath its positive impact into your life. I'm starting to agree with them.
#dadathlon #trilife #islandrunning #duathlon #forher #IM70
Here comes the doo doo doo, here comes the sun and I say it's alright .....
Just thinking of my favorite little Beatles track as I wake to some August sunshine, make no mistake its a little chilly still and that wind can threaten rain clouds, but the evenings at 5:30pm when I jump on the bike to get home aren't pitch black straight away. And the weekends are offering more opportunity to get out on some longer less soggy rides without every thermal product I own on.
August is the beginning of the Ironman 70 Training EEK!
With a perfect 6 months out from the event in the first week in February 2016. It also means it's time to get back in the pool. I like swimming, in fact I'm pretty proud of my swimming exploits as a youngster, even to the point that I wish I had stayed on the black line in the pool more than I did chasing hoop dreams in the USA.
Now adding in another session without losing one is going to up the effort levels, and will require a late night swim to begin with until Z-Girl is joining us in pool. The initial plan was to start her in swimming lessons and that then gives me a chance to swim while Super Wife & Z-Girl paddle about, rotating every two weeks so I get to have some fun as well, and was part of another family training session.
Swimming lessons are popular for little ones so it seems and with all the bookings taken till September I'm going to have to start training without my No.1 Sidekick.
Last month I added in longer runs, no booze and better recovery techniques; I'm happy to say that I'm 5-6 weeks (I lost count) and still no booze it's now starting to feel normal waking up fresh without a fuzz on a Saturday & Sunday morning, so much so I don't even feel like a beer on a Friday.
The longer runs have built up my endurance levels; but they do take a little longer to recover from if I don't foam roll and eat clean foods afterwards. Been a bit slack with foam rolling and it's resulted in some soar weekend efforts. Running is becoming a friend more than an enemy, and even has me thinking bigger and badder trail runs this Spring.
This month will be about keeping the routine going; I think I have developed the plan well but now need to look at what surrounds it, diet! I got a bio-signature done by my good friend and super-dooper Personal Trainer at Fitness First QV shel (Thanks Ria) and it showed me a lot of what I knew and now need to fix. The results gave me 10% body fat, so in the elite range but I lacked protein and my sugar/carb levels were a little high.
I'm a sweet tooth guy and I chew up pasta for fun! So it's going to be tough getting cleaner, I'm not a dirty eater but I dabble in late night chocolates, biscuits from the tin at work with my coffee and maybe the odd muffin mid morning. I like sugar what can I say, with my carbs I think I'm conditioned in this area so need to just look at my in take and try not to double up with carbs for lunch and dinner.
August Training Plan:
Mon - Rest Day *
Tues - Ride to Work ^
Wed - Long Run 10km
Thurs - Ride to Work
Fri - Long Ride 35km - Swim Session Evening (8pm)
Sat - Running Group 5-8km
Sun - Group Ride 35km
* Might look to add in a AM swim if I can't make the Friday night swim session
^ I've changed my route to work, so my normal commute round trip is up from 20km to 25km
Events in August
Duathlon Race 2 with Team Physiohealth
Arthurs Seat Ride with Sommerville Crew
#dadathlon #tridad #triathlontraining #forher #geelong70 #ironman