Professional Ironman Triathlete

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Oz week one

G'day! Arrived thursday morning, but jet lag had the best of me for a couple of days. Its still spring here, so weather's a little variable - but yesterday was a cracker at 29 degs - took advantage with a beautiful ride out to Geelong. Liz and Ian (and 2 year old William) are off camping for the weekend so I could recover from jet lag without feeling too antisocial. Am staying at their place in Williamstown - a suburb of Melbourne. The town itself is on a peninsula, so there's lot of seafront, boat jetties, nature reserves etc to run through (and no hills!). Just getting ready to head off for a run down the coast to Altona and back. The week's been a bit of a right off for decent training, but starting the new regime tomorrow (again - I tried to start it this week but flying half way round the world wrote off more time than I'd anticipated!) so no worries.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Off to Oz

Flying to Melbourne tonight (and tomorrow and the day after!) - only booked my flights on friday, so I've been a headless chicken for a couple of days sorting everything out. See you all soon!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

...and finally...

... I have a coach - the legend that is Steve Trew. Having met Steve back in Cesenatico in May, he's agreed to coach me. Very exciting!

What a week!

Finished the exams, popped down to the Bike Show and then headed off to Cyprus on saturday.

I got to Limassol around 6pm in time for the race briefing. With a small field, the atmosphere was informal and very friendly - the event organiser Bambos seemed to make it his mission to know everyone by name! After a cracking pasta party - IM organisers could learn a thing or two from these guys - I went to set up the bike I was borrowing from Stel (road bike as ITU race) ... and was up til just before one a.m/ struggling with my cleats - all threaded (note to self - rust screws from too much turbo use make cleat changing a pain in the arse). Managed to get two screws in one shoe to tighten and only one in the other - I was going to have to go for the elastic band racing start out of T1 to avoid running on them and ruining them completely.

Luckily, the cypriot race day is relaxed ... start time 9:30! So not too much lost sleep. We drive down to T1 at 8am to see no road markings, cones, marshalls or police anywhere... but were assured that they would all be sorted in time! And they were - materialing while we were in the water. I was having a good swim until the end of the first loop when I took a detour round the exit bouy, adding a couple of hundred meters on, and losing me first place out of the water. By the time I reached T1, I had no idea where I was, and could see several bikes already gone from the racks. Onto the 4 lap bike course. The sprint racers were out already and so it made it difficult to work out who was ahead. I saw Stel at one of the turnarounds and so started to chase as I figured he was ahead of me. By the last lap I finally found someone - a Brit - to ride to T2 with for the last 5km... up til then I'd only seen a couple of groups draughting effectively and not managed to take advantage of the draught legal race at all - I'd been a little nervous about being in a draught legal race as I'd never done one before, but it seems I shouldn't have worried! Through T2 I was in second or third with the guy I ridden the last 5km with. Stel, who we'd caught by the 39km mark, didn't pull into transition with us like I'd expected... he must have been on lap 3 - ie had a shocker of a swim thanks to breaking his collar bone not so long ago.

The run was 6 laps, and I'd moved into 1st by the 2nd lap. My shins were playing up so I switched from heel-toe to forefoot regularly to keep the pressure off my shins from building too much. Luckily I didn't need to push the pace up as I was comfortably extending the lead without any trouble. The first place bike marker was very entertaining and chatty, making the experience quite surreal!

Our calculations had been good - no elites turned up last minute!

Spent another couple of days out there, riding up to Troodos on Tuesday with Stel - a 50km hill climb with frequent 12%+ sections... a relentless climb (2000m climbing) worthy of the Alps! What a way to ease back into base training :)

I've been working on getting some sponsors recently too... with some positive results (thanks especially to Kev). When they're all 100% confirmed I'll put them up on the website... but I don't want to jinx it before then!

Friday, 5 October 2007

Happy days....

... only a week until I can get back into training properly. I've been on 'off-season' for a little longer than intended. It will be eight weeks of unstructured, low volume, low intensity 'training' when i finally get back in the saddle properly next weekend. Post-IMUK, I was going to give the Vitruvian a go three weeks on (a middle distance race at Rutland Water) but my body was telling me that it was time to have a break. Having been training pretty consistently with only short periods of down-time since October last year, I decided to listen! Off-season's settled down to 9-12 hours a week. A good few weeks with no swimming included in there following a bit of a tumble off the bike and some very bruised ribs.... have only just started to ease back into the pool. (Very good timing - was very pleased to have got injured in off-season!)

The end date of off-season has been fixed, however, by the date of my last exam. Yes, my Masters is finally coming to an end :) At the moment I've just finished the second of four exams, with the last two next week. So I have kept training at low volume to allow for the stock pile of work and revision that I've needed to get through. But next weekend I am free and base training starts again.

I blame Stel completely for the fact that 'base training' will be starting with a last minute entry to an olympic distance in Cyprus - but I couldn't resist the chance of some last minute sun, and it seemed a great way to ease back into some longer riding as I'm staying out there a few extra days. This is definitely going to be just for fun! Instead of being in Kona (that will have to wait!), ending the season, I'll be in Cyprus starting mine... can't wait.

Back to the books!