Professional Ironman Triathlete

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Review of the Year Part 2

Part 2: Bike / Run

Biking is perhaps the discipline where there’s the most time to be made currently. With really only 3 years on the bike, there’s a lot of miles I need to make up in order to get good. So base this year also focussed on increasing my weekly bike volume. This was the sole aim – pace and specific sessions were set aside in favour of bike time. Epic as an incentive definitely made me get out on the roads a lot more! (motivator: FEAR!).

Whilst my times in races didn’t show much improvement, my ability to run closer to my potential off the bike has definitely shown some improvement.

Aims for next year: consistent work on the bike, focusing on zones of effort as well as base volume. What I didn’t do this year was spend much base time above easy heart rates. Some testing in NZ prior to Epic showed I’d been spending most of my ride time below a heart rate that should have been base training. Oops. But my riding has improved to the point where now I probably am more capable of training in zones on demand! Target bike volumes: average 400kms+ a week in base. Get some decent advice on bike training too – a return to Epic NZ in January should be good for this.

Running has had some ups and downs. Epic certainly taught me to bite the bullet and get out there and run – no excuses! Have put together some decent blocks of 80 – 100+ km weeks, which I was pleased with. 3 years ago I went off running a bit after being plagued by injury (I had to have 2 months off running going into IMAustria ’05 and still had problems going into IMGermany ’06, despite another 3 months off running over the winter, physios and orthotics etc etc). This year has been a good one for consistency (since Epic, anyhow!). Note: ALL my running has been nice and slow!

For the coming year: I’m going to try to put some more speedwork in (like 1km reps etc) at the end of off season and see if it works for me. This may well just dissolve into tempo runs if it fits better with ongoing volume training. Obvious goal for next season is a sub-3 hour marathon.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Year Review Part 1

Part 1: Swim

This has definitely been a good year for swimming. I committed back in October to increasing my weekly swim volume and getting some technique help. This started in New Zealand, where I had access to a pool that was practically empty on a permanent basis. I wanted to have several blocks of 20+ kms a week in the pool, through base (Oct-Feb) just working on technique. I had a couple of endless pool sessions with Tony Lambdon (of HBTriStudios near Napier in New Zealand) which were invaluable in sorting out some of the major problems with my stroke. The improvements showed up by IMOz where I came out of the water in 55 minutes – a big improvement on 59:30 (IMAustria 2005) and 1:02 (IMGermany 2006 – non wetsuit). But by the time I returned to the UK, the volume of swimming and a period without coaching had meant that my technique had gone to pot again. By the time I was training in Italy in May, some video analysis with Dan showed my swimming to be shocking again. So back in the UK I signed up with Andrew Potter (of T3 Performance Coaching – for some one on one coaching sessions. The results speak for themselves – within a few weeks I swam 53minutes at IMAustria, and then swam 49:47 at IMUK to finish off the season (ok, so the swim was probably a little short!). Andrew’s coaching is HIGHLY recommended (for any level)… he’s got stroke analysis down to a fine art and shows you step-wise how – and why - to change your stroke.

The increase in swim volume (still only averaging 16kms a week) did have a noticeable effect on my swim endurance. I can put at lot more effort into a race without affecting my race later in the day. The new wetsuit probably deserves some credit too – Sailfish ONE – awesome piece of kit.

Aims for next year: to consistently be near or sub-50 minutes, and maintain competitive IM swim positions. Maintain solid swim volume (near 20km/week) with regular technique checks/improvements. More masters swimming.