Coach’s Corner with Coach Peta

Heart rate and training zones

Athletes often ask how to use heart rates in training. I would like to write a simple article however I believe that heart rate zones are not always the best option and should be used in conjunction with other zone indicators.

Saying that, heart rates zones are not a bad guide to help you determine your pace for a training session designed to be in a certain “zone” for running and cycling. By maintaining your heart rate within certain parameters, you can target session goals and be reasonably confident you are on the mark.

For example an aerobic long run is normally at zone 2 or below. Maintaining your heart rate below the zone 2 limit indicates that you have met your goal for an aerobic session.

There are different methods for setting zones. Some people prefer the method of using % of maximum heart rate. Jack Daniels, running guru, suggests this as a method in his book The Running Formula.

Alternatively, Joe Friel’s method involves testing to obtain the lactate threshold heart rate then setting your heart rate zones based on percentage of HR lactate threshold.

Lactate threshold is the tipping point, where your body can still produce enough oxygen to use the lactate in your system, lactate being an alternative energy source for your body. At a higher heart rate you can no longer obtain enough oxygen to keep up with lactate production and in order to clear lactate from your body, you need to slow down or stop.

The limitation I find with using the heart rate zone method is that it can affect the quality of some training sessions. I’ll explain.

If you are running 4-5 threshold intervals at HR zone 4, then it is going to take some time to get your heart rate into the zone. You are likely to run extra hard in the first couple of intervals. The issue with this is that your first couple of intervals are going to be extra fast but the last 3 intervals are likely to suffer because you have spent all your energy going too hard, too early. Quality, therefore decreases as the session goes on.

My preferred approach is to use pace zones in conjunction with heart rate in running and rate of perceived effort (RPE) in conjunction with heart rate with cycling. Pace zones can also be calculated using the Joe Friel method, where FTP is the functional threshold pace.

You can read more about the Joe Friel Method on the training peaks site. More importantly, come and talk to one of your friendly club coaches!

 

Tips from Triathletes – Beat the 3pm Snack Attack

wholegrain sourdough toast with ricotta and fig

In the morning I start out with good intentions of eating well. But by 3pm I lose all self control and the fundraising chocolates sing to me like a siren luring a desperate sailor to certain death (by chocolate). Here, some of our club athletes share their best tips for beating the 3pm snack attack.

Yanti – Keep some nuts handy throughout the day and nibble. They’ll help keep your blood sugar stable and are very satisfying because of the healthy fat and protein content and the nice crunch.

Peta – Eat regularly throughout the day. Don’t try and starve yourself, you will just end up binge eating. Try and stay away from high sugar food options, they usually just make your hungrier.  My go to 3pm snack is potato with tomato and zucchini topped with cottage cheese.

Slim – Hickory smoked almonds. Eight to 12 does the trick and they taste like bacon. Winning!

Mike – Low fat yoghurt with a heap of frozen blueberries and a small spoon of maple syrup. Mix until it turns to frozen yoghurt and eat.

Renee – Cottage cheese, grated green apples and cinnamon, with a little honey for sweetness. David Bryant’s banana bread with ricotta and cinnamon. An icy pole hone made with half juice and half water.

Nikky – Vegetable sticks with homemade hummus.

Ian says Hola from Spain

PHTC wolf, Ian, recently spent some time in Spain for a once in a lifetime experience watching the La Vuelta, cycling some crazy Spanish hills and watching the Aragon MotoGP. Here, he shares his experience and some photos for us all to enjoy. 

Hola wolf pack,

I’m writing this from my hotel room and that crazy castle looking thing is the view from my window.  I’m on the last leg of my trip and it’s Friday morning 1:30am in a little town called Zaragoza.

So far the trip has been truly amazing. I have seen some incredible things, and tested my self on some unfathomable climbs.

The cycling culture here has to be experienced to explain it properly. There are climbs for road and mountain bike further than you can imagine. And trails too run as far as your stubbie little legs will take you.

Never once was I yelled or tooted at, only clapped and cheered on.

I’m a little sad the trip is almost over, but really looking forward to getting home to my little family and my business. It’s crazy how only from afar do you realise how lucky you are to have amazing friends and family in your life.

I will leave you with my passing thoughts.

Do you really need that new shinny TT bike that will shave 40 seconds off your time? Or before you click yes to your next Ironman consider this – either of those will easily get you a ticket to Europe.

Take the time to see the world, you are worth it.Take the challenge to scale a mythical climb on a bike, you never know there may be a new you at the top waiting.

You will never know if you don’t take the chance.

See the world one pedal stroke at a time.

Ian

 

Expert Opinion with Mark Tabone

This month we hear from cycling expert Mark Tabone of Midland Cycles about what he thinks will help athletes get ready for race season.
 
1. Be race ready. What I mean by that is clean your bike, lube your chain, check your brakes and check your tyres for wear and holes.
 
2. This could be the most important thing I write today – saddle selection. No, you won’t get used to it. No, numbness is not a good thing. We have tools to measure sit bones which gives a great indicator as to saddle width. Having the correct size saddle will give you flexibility, pelvic rotation and support where it is required. You can even test different saddles to see how they work for you.
 
3. Now this could be the most controversial thing I write today – mental strength. What I’m referring to is knowing that you are able to do the distance. In terms of cycling, I would suggest that if your event has a cycle leg of 40km then train on the bike for 50km. This is something I have personally always done. My body knows that it is capable of 50km so when you’re racing harder and fatigue starts to set in, your mind is capable of pushing through.
 
4. Cleat placement is a major part of a bike fit. Do you get “Hot Spot” when you ride? Do you get numb feet? Both of these things can be cured by cleat placement. Not only can it solve “comfort” issues, but it can increase power and eliminate dead spot (when your cranks are at the top of pedal stroke).
 
5. Nutrition. I’m not a qualified nutritionist but it is important to re-fuel after a racing and training too. As a athlete you have approximately 15 – 20 minutes to get fuel back into your body and this will benefit your physical recovery.
 
6. The last point i would like to share is personal to me – why do we ride bikes or do triathlon? For me its all about fun. Yes, I push myself and I do hurt at the time but all in the name of fun. The second and more serious side for me is mental health. As a sufferer, I find it is the best way to unwind, forget what a bad day I have had and it simply clears the mind.
 
Mark is the proprietor of Midland Cycles and has been racing anything with two wheels since he was a young tacker. An original BMX bandit, he raced BMX into his thirties before turning to road and mountain bike racing at both a state and national level. These days he rides mainly for fun and fitness in between running his business and being a doting dad.

Coach’s Corner with Coach Slim – Brain Training

We all spend many hours training our bodies each week for triathlon, but how often do we train our brain?

I read a great article by Daniel Ricciardo, Perth’s only Formula One driver. He was saying how he was watching the Eagles v Power game last week and when the game went into extra time all the coaches and support staff went out onto the field to coach and advise the team.

Like Formula One drivers, this does not happen for us as triathletes so we need to be able to deal with any situation that may arise at any time.

My first advice on this subject is “If in doubt, don’t!”

What that means is that if you are not sure whether you should or should not do something, then you probably shouldn’t do it.

All sorts of things can happen to us during both training and racing and we have to roll with it and keep a good attitude.

An example that has happened to me a number of times is getting a flat tyre during a race. In this circumstance you have two choices – you can calmly change the tyre and carry on with your day; or you can curse and swear and ruin the rest of your day. But ultimately, it is your choice and you are in control.

This is where ‘brain training’ comes into effect. Brain training is teaching yourself to think before you act and if you can do that when things aren’t going to plan then you can cope with it mentally and not ruin your day.

Novice Program Launch

In August 2017 the Club welcomed triathlon veteran and coach Rob ‘Slim’ Wiles into the wolf pack and he was keen to get straight into it and start a novice program.

Slim has competed in triathlon for 24 years including representing Australia in the world long course championships twice. He has coached novice programs for five years and helped 150 athletes break into the sport. He is also a triathlon technical official with 20 years experience.

“I love teaching novices and current triathletes to see them improving themselves and helping people get over their own fears and insecurities,” said Slim.

“Anyone can have a go at triathlon, I once coached a lady in her late 50’s and she hadn’t ridden a bike in over 40 years.

“The novice course will teach budding athletes the core swim, bike and run skills to build their fitness levels and help them reach their triathlon goals while having fun.

“I like triathlon because of the friendship and support of the entire triathlon community and the Perth Hills Triathlon Club members are an awesome bunch.”

The Club novice program commences on October 7 and runs for 10 weeks.  For more information head to our Novice Program page.

 

Nikky’s Pumpkin Soup

“Coriander?  Really?  Actually yeah, that works!” – Travis Bentley


Ingredients

 

  • 20ml oil
  • 1 small butternut pumpkin peeled and chopped into 4cm chunks
  • 1 large leek sliced
  • 3 carrots chopped into 1cm slices
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 100mls cream

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot then add leak and fry gently for 2 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, coriander and cumin and fry for 1 minute
  3. Add all ingredients except cream.
  4. Simmer gently for 60 minutes with the lid on.
  5. When all vegetables are very soft, add cream and puree.
  6. Add additional stock if the soup is too thick.
  7. Serve with cracked pepper and crusty bread

This recipe can be done in the pressure cooker or slow cooker. If you are being healthy, skip the bread and serve this as an accompaniment to your main meal to boost the veggie content.

Changes for the 2017/18 season

As you all know, PHTC prides itself on being a club run for and by its members.  We always have and, at least for as long as I am leading, always will strive to be as accessible as we possibly can.  Our goal is to remove as many barriers as we can to participating and enjoying triathlon and other multi-sports whether they be cultural, social, emotional or financial.  Looking around at the variety of people we get at our sessions I hope you’ll agree that so far we seem to be doing a good job.

One of the ways that we have achieved this is by trying to operate exclusively using volunteers.  We believe that this works for us in a number of ways:  firstly and most obviously it keeps our costs down which means not only lower fees for our members but also that we don’t need to constantly worry about fundraising; secondly it instils a real community feel in the club, it encourages everyone to help out and be an active participant rather than a passive receiver; lastly but certainly not least it means that the people who choose to be involved do it because they love it and I think we all can agree that one of the keys to success at anything is passion.

So by now I guess you are asking yourself “where is he going with this?”  Well following this ethos all of our coaches work on a volunteer basis.  There is not a single hour of session coaching that this club has paid for since December 2015 and it’s our intention to continue this.  This is great for our members but our coaches have costs involved in volunteering their time which I think you would agree is not ideal.  It’s one thing to give up your time but to be expected to pay for the privilege is perhaps a bit much.

So starting the first of July we will be doing our best to ensure that all coaches who regularly contribute to the club are compensated for these costs that they incur, primarily things like the cost of their ongoing coaching accreditation with Triathlon Australia.  To encourage more people to become coaches we also want to offset the financial cost of their training so that it isn’t a burden that negatively influences their decision.

For coaches that are already accredited with TA the club will reimburse their membership and accreditation after they have volunteered 20 hours of coaching time to the club.  For coaches that have taken the more expensive option of a professional license that allows the club to host non-members the club will pay not only the initial payment after 20 hours but also an additional payment covering their professional license when they have volunteered a further 30 hours of coaching.  Newly trained coaches will get 50% of their course cost reimbursed on gaining their accreditation and the remainder after an extra 15 hours.  There is no “per session” payment to coaches, only these staged reimbursements.

Of course to do this and remain sustainable the club must find a way to pay for these costs and rather than raise the membership price we favour a user pays model.  To this end every session (except weekend rides) will increase in cost by $2 for members.  Social or non-members will pay $5 for run or turbo sessions and $10 for swim sessions in recognition of the fact that we must pay for professional coaches to accommodate them within our insurance.

Our club membership fees will remain as they are (there is a slight increase in the Triathlon Australia portion) and we will still have the lowest cost training in town.  The new fee structure for the 2017/18 season is set out in the tables below, we hope you understand the need for these changes and as always appreciate any feedback (positive or negative) that you have for us.  You can do so directly to the coach at training, by email to contact@perthhillstri.org.au or through the anonymous form on the bottom of our committee page.

We’re looking forward to building on the success of the last twelve months with you all in the new season.

Travis Bentley

President

 

 

Brizy’s Season in Review (including Busso 70.3 Race Report)

How it all started…

My season really started in august when like most people I had a rush of blood to the head and a tax return burning a hole in my pocket 😁  I went and bought a brand new TT bike , the reason was I wanted to do Busso 70.3 solo, I had done it as a team cyclist in may 2016 And had got the bug!!  By September I had entered it as well……another rush of blood.

Once I had the bike I then was committed, I joined our club and started a strength training program.  This season for me was to get into club life and finish all the events I entered, all had their challenges but were met and completed.

The training

So to get a bit of a look at what I needed to do this season I was doing a bit of training….what I thought was good enough.  Hahhahahha how wrong I was, I couldn’t swim 750m with out switching to breast stroke, couldn’t run 1k with out my lower back giving up on me, my cycle was my strongest leg but I was pushing too hard and my legs and back were even worse.  All of this was made very clear at the interclub event at Mandurah.  So I spoke to the club and got some training plans and loads of advice and the improvements came in big waves, kept to the strength program and the results were coming, all the work was starting to come in results in the way of being able to complete the distances.

Kicking goals

Because the goal was Busso 70.3 I needed to do more distance races to get used to them, so I did my first Olympic distance in Busso in January and also did Karri Valley (the hardest day in the office…) and the longer distance in the legs was paying off again.  By now I was well into the club 70.3 program with Peta and loving the structure and club life, I could now do the full sessions in the pool and swim all distances and my lower back issues were gone.  Roll on May and Busso 70.3.

Race day (with added shark!)

All was well with the body, I think I was the only one with out man flu that week hahaha.  With everything set up and ready to race I was very calm and soaking it all in , a few bouts of banter before the race with Trav and other competitors was fun, until some one mentioned a shark in the fun and banter (you know who you are…..)  Well needless to say everyone know Mr Shark did come to say hello to the the competitors in the last wave, yes my wave… I got pulled from the water like a fish and dumped onto the deck of the boat, 300m from the beach.  I didn’t think too much of it once I was on the boat however the heart rate says different when told to get out the water!

The bike leg was good for me I did it in a personal best time and also had another first on the bike (I peed for the first time on the bike) LOL.  Into the run, I knew it was going to be a long hard leg.  I had never ran more than 16 km and it was always my worst leg, I cramped at about the 2km mark and then managed it at every single aid station with all they had to offer.  It stayed away but was always in the front of my mind, then when I pushed it would come back.  I settled into my plan and made it to the finish, but not with out the help of Trav.  He helped me through the last lap and a half and made the hardest leg so much fun, the beer and pizza helped as well but having all the club there supporting everyone and myself was amazing. 🙂

To the coaches Trav and especially Peta, thank you for all your help this season and getting me through my first full season.  Onwards and upwards from here for me.

Brian Stearn

#MPFP 😁

That Dams Ride

The “Not a Race” Report by Sue Thomas

I had originally entered the 3 Dams as I had unfinished business from a couple of years ago when I entered but then pulled out before the event. Then I changed to the 5 Dams event the day before, after being inspired by the distances being ridden daily by the riders in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race, and as a tribute to fallen rider Mike Hall.

Dam one – Mundaring Weir

The 5 Dams riders rolled out at 6 am from Curtin University in groups of around 20 riders, leaving every 30 seconds. I joined up with a group containing Belle and Stephen, who Monica had put me in touch with the night before. I stayed with this group until we hit Greenmount Hill, where we began to string out as people climbed at different speeds.

We rolled through Mundaring and turned at the lights to head down to the weir. It was here that I began to feel the first twinges of fatigue in my legs. Hmm – I’ve only done 40k – shut up legs, you still have a long way to go. What followed was a nice 7k descent to Mundaring Weir which had my legs feeling good again. A quick stop, refill the bottles, eat a banana, go to the port-a-loo, then I was back on my bike and heading up the hill. My group had all split up by now, so I rode on my own but there were always other riders around, and the faster 3 Dams riders were coming past me now too.

Two and three – Churchman’s Brook and Wungong dams

The next checkpoint was Churchman’s Brook at 84k. The 3 Dams riders had turned off earlier, so there were fewer riders around me now as I climbed the hilly road up to Churchman’s Brook. A quick stop here to refuel, then off again up an even steeper climb. I am so glad that my new bike has such low gearing. I would really have struggled with my old bike, as many around me did.

It was only another 10k to the lunch stop at Wungong Dam, which was 93k into the course. Here we had a choice of filled rolls and banana cake. I ate a cheese and salad roll, and put some cake in my bag for later as I wasn’t that hungry. Another big climb took us up to the dam wall which we then cycled across. This was pretty cool and I stopped for a selfie. More climbing to get out of the dam, whilst the 3 Dams riders came whizzing down the hill on their way into Wungong. It was starting to become hard work by now, and I made sure to eat and drink regularly. I also took an Endurolyte tablet every hour to boost my electrolytes and ward off cramping. I broke the ride into manageable sections between check points, rather than thinking about how far I still had to go. It was only another 17k to the next check point.

There’s always time for one more dam selfie!

Canning Dam – four down but not yet half way!

Next up was Canning Dam, at the 110k mark. To get there we turned onto Albany Highway for a short stretch of a kilometre or two, then turned onto the road to Canning Dam. This road was in poor condition, and was the bumpiest, bone jarring ride ever. As with the other dams, there was a long descent down to the dam, and a long climb back out. Here they served up Winners bars, and I ate one and put one in my pocket for later. I climbed the bumpy road back out towards Albany Highway, feeling the fatigue mounting throughout my body. There were many 3 Dams riders around me on this road, and they too seemed to be suffering in the heat on this awful, bumpy, hilly road. At the junction with Albany Highway, the 3 Dams riders turned right to head back towards Perth, whilst the 5 Dams riders were directed left, to ride 15km along Albany Highway to the Jarrahdale turnoff. This was the section I was dreading the most as I don’t like riding on busy roads, and the memory of Mike Hall’s accident was still fresh in my mind. I hugged the edge of the road as much as possible, gripping the handlebars tightly whenever a vehicle flew past. That 15km couldn’t go by fast enough for my liking, and eventually the turn off to Jarrahdale came into view and I thankfully turned right off the highway. I stopped and had a little stretch here as my lower back was beginning to ache.

Serpentine and doing fine

This section through Jarrahdale and on to Serpentine Dam was probably the toughest for me as it was hot with little breeze and I was beyond tired by this time. Riders were very strung out and at times there was no one else within sight. It crossed my mind more than once that I could call someone to come pick me up when I reached Serpentine Dam if I felt I couldn’t go on. Eventually I reached the dam at 154km and tried to force down some pasta but I was too tired to eat much even though I knew I had to eat to give me the energy to continue. I looked at my phone and had to chuckle when I saw there was no service. I had no choice now but to keep riding. I took a Nurofen and a No Doz tablet, downed a bottle of electrolyte, and set off for the final stretch home.

I rode past Karnet Prison Farm, but they were all inside. I enjoyed the fast descent down to South West Highway. OK, I was on the brakes most of the way down the hill to keep my speed in check, but it was a nice relief to not have to pedal for a few kilometres. A short 100m or so along the highway, then we turned right and onto some quiet back roads which were flat and enabled me to ride along at a decent speed. I had been worried all day about making the 6pm cut off, and was very happy to be able to get my average speed up again and try to hold it there.

The familiar freeway

The painkillers and caffeine seemed to be doing their job as I maintained a good speed all the way down Karnup Rd to the freeway where I happily joined the cycle path. To my pleasant surprise, I met two of my friends who had been tracking my progress online and had ridden out to meet me on their bikes. We rode together for a while, enjoying a slight tailwind on the cycle path towards the city. At the 200km mark I stopped at the Freeway aid station, refilled my bottles and ate a killer python to keep my energy up. Steve told me that at this pace I would likely finish around 5.30pm. I was relieved to hear this and kept the pace going. My friends peeled off at the servo and I rode the rest of the way by myself, my spirits having been lifted by their company.

The kilometres ticked by, I crossed Mt Henry bridge and onto the path beside the river. I knew we had to ride across the pedestrian bridge to get over the freeway, but I wasn’t looking forward to this as I knew my legs had had it and it would be a struggle. Soon the bridge came into view and as I started up it I noticed a bike coming across the top towards me. It came down around the corkscrew bend on my side forcing me into the railing. I clung to the railing as my legs cramped, and I was stuck – unable to lift my leg off my bike due to cramps. After a few moments I started crab walking the rest of the way up the bridge, then sat on and rode down the other side.

Thankfully the cramps stayed away for the rest of the way back along the cycle path to Curtin University. I crossed the finish line and looked at my watch – it was 5.30pm, just as Steve had predicted. My friend Karen was there to congratulate me as I pried my tired body off my bike. I had done it. 5 Dams, 240km, over 2500m of elevation, in 10hrs 18mins. Box ticked – Mission accomplished.

Job done!