Recovery – The Ten Week Ironman

Easy Week?

Well this week just gone was supposed to be an easier week and when it comes to training it certainly was but that was lucky because there was nothing easy about the rest of it.  Work in particular threw me a few curveballs and stress was high from Monday to Friday.

The Training

Honestly there isn’t a great deal to tell on this front.  Late finishes at work and a couple of sub-optimal nights of sleep meant there were sessions missed and in the end it was only one run, one ride and two swims for the week.  All of them were quality and I don’t concern myself too greatly in a recovery week as long as I keep ticking over.

You don’t want to get stale but you do have to remember that this time is about creating a good environment for your body to super-compensate and build itself back up stronger.  Unfortunately the effects of physical stress and mental stress are fairly similar so it probably wasn’t the ideal environment for me but this is life as an amateur triathlete with a real life, job and family getting in the way and we simply have to deal with it and remember what the important things are (triathlon is NOT one of them.)

Everyone Can Train Like A Professional

Yep, even you.  Look at your life and there I don’t think a single one of you couldn’t find the 20-30 hours a week somewhere.  An hour in the morning, two at night and ten hours on the weekend would be doable for most.  Sure, you wouldn’t see much of your family and life would be dull but you could do it.  What you couldn’t do is recover from that training while holding down a full-time job and getting six or fewer hours of sleep a night.  Once you train in excess of your body’s ability to put itself back together you’re just going to deteriorate until you have to stop.  This week my ability to recover was very low and therefore so was the training.

It can really mess with your head but learning to back off is a discipline equally as important as that of pushing through.  In almost a decade in this sport my only real injury was a flare-up of an old knee problem from basketball that occurred due to a mis-step during a race.  I rarely stretch or foam roll, I don’t visit physios and the only massages I get are the free ones after I’ve finished an Ironman race and at over 90kg most of the time this isn’t the most gentle of sports.  The only thing that I can put it down to is that I really do listen to my body and let it take care of itself.

The Week Ahead

After Monday and Tuesday work should settle back down and I can get back into it properly for another week of breaking myself down.  With only seven weeks to go I really need to start getting myself prepared for the specific demands that the race will place on me.  Get myself used to going (relatively) slow and steady and fuelling myself at the same time.  Sometimes keeping the ego in check is the hardest part, not that I’m particularly egotistical.  😉

 

Trav (aka Stikman)

Athlete Profile – Rob W

Nickname: Slim, Slimbo, Slimshady, Slim Dusty

How long have you been in tri?: 25 years so far!

How did you get into tri?: I was trying to impress a girl so we agreed to do a triathlon, so I signed up, turned up on raceday (she didn’t) so I did the race and finished! So I thought I would train properly for one and improved heaps been doing them ever since.

How many bikes do you have?: 6 currently. It was 7 but sold one so looking at getting back to 7 next year hopefully.

Something we wouldn’t already know about you?: Most people don’t know that I am a qualified Masseur and I like both country and western music.

What do you want to achieve this season?: I want to enjoy another good season with PHTC and cheer my club mates on, share my knowledge with a new batch of novices and anyone else that wants help and keep training after the end of the season to help my recovery from my next surgery in July!

Athlete Profile – Abdul

Nickname: Raf, Abs, Maddox, Dooley, Chocolate legs

How long have you been in tri?: My first event was an enticer in the Armadale Triathlon in 2013 where I stopped half way through the swim so I could catch my breath. I think the trisuit I’d never worn before was a little tight. My result

How did you get into tri?: I’ve always loved running, mainly sprinting. Started riding after signing up for the the inaugural Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer after my dad passed away. Never been a fan of swimming, as I was afraid of the deep end in school, but always wanted to improve. So I figured why not put all three together.

How many bikes do you have?: 3. One I bought, another I won a month later and my little brothers old one.

Something we wouldn’t already know about you?: I was a referee for a season in the WSBL, Womens State Basketball League.

What do you want to achieve this season?: Experience a few club events, especially the regional ones, and see what’s involved so I can hopefully help out with running a club event in the future.

Athlete Profile – Brian S


(c)FinisherPix.com

Nickname: Brizey

How long have you been in tri?: 4-5 years

How did you get into tri?: A dare in a spa party!

How many bikes do you have?:  2 – one road one TT

Something we wouldn’t already know about you?: I’m a spraypainter by trade now working in operations management for a paint distribution company.

What do you want to achieve this season?: sub 6 hrs at Busso 70.3 – it’s not fast but it’s a 33 minute potential PB; and complete 5 Dams ride for shits n giggles.

Conquering Karri Valley Triathlon

Floora shares her race experience conquering the beautiful yet challenging KVT.

I had been warned about Karri Valley leading up to race day (thanks team, I think?). “Great prep for Busso!”, “oooh it’s a pretty big race!”, “better take it easy, big race this weekend”. Good. No need to freak out then…

The big day had arrived. The day started with a sleep in, with race briefing not till 9:10. That’s how I like it!!! Mosey down to registration and transition at 8:30. Rack the bike anywhere, suss out transition entry and exit points, and get insider knowledge from Slim to soothe the worries.

Swim

The sporadic rain led me to get into my wetsuit early to keep warm, waddling back to the lake for the start. It was an hour between briefing and start. Anticipation was rising, the rain kept threatening, but the 147 competitors were ready. Finally it was our wave start! Quickie warm-up in the lake meant I knew what temperature to expect when diving in. Luckily it was surprisingly mild. Swimming in fresh water is definitely a different experience. And I LOVE IT! no salt drying out your mouth, calm waters guaranteed with no swell, currents or waves. I quickly found some feet and kept up with the pack for the first 800 m. After this I was in a nice rhythm and finished with 0:30:47 on the clock.

It was a long run to transition, down the driveway onto lawn. I had made the decision to leave old shoes on the way to avoid foot injuries. In hindsight I think this may have been a waste of time. As long as you run carefully and watch your step it should be fine. The organisers of the event cleared the majority of foot-injuring sticks and stones.

Ride

On the bike in my team suit. Hurray! Finally my support crew (parents, husband) could identify me from the crowd! Up the first 5km hills I was grateful that I knew what to expect on the course. First its up, then its down. Just keep pedalling. I was quick to find my cadence and fell into a comfortable form.

Channybearup Road opened up into fields. No more protection from trees. On the way out I knew there must be wind because even up hills I was over 30km/hr. As soon as I made the turn it hit me “hey, there it is!”. Blustering side and headwind all the way back to Vasse Highway. I was pleasantly surprised by the camaraderie out there. Lots of friendly people including the volunteers and marshals. First lap down in one hour. And I still felt good!

There was some slowing on the second lap, particularly in the head wind and my mind was already starting to fret about the impending run. By this time I had passed people and they were already nowhere in sight. This added to a feeling of exhilaration that I was ACTUALLY doing this and doing it well. Thank you training rides and interval training! Nutrition also worked a charm. One date ball every 15 minutes and a drink of coconut water with pinch of Himalayan rock salt. Water every 10 minutes. I came in at 2:10:26 super chuffed with myself and still smiling.

Run

Running. *sigh*. Running. The best thing about this leg is the camaraderie gets even better and you are closer to spectators who shout encouragement. Lacking the wolf pack, it was even more important for me to have my family there (and the cameras that come with them!). It made me keep my form (when in sight but in the bush this form sometimes fell apart), and gave me that extra push to keep up the 6km/min.

On the run you see familiar faces around every turn and encouraging yells and high fives started at lap 2. Yes, the run had some minor hills, but they were all short enough to look forward to going down. Being protected in the forest under shade made for pleasant conditions. On lap 3/3 I had a breakthrough, focussing on a slow exhalation ensured deep breaths and avoided the shallow panting. This made lap 3 infinitely easier. Must remember this in training! Finally, after nearly 4 hours of slogging it, I sprinted through the finish.

Finisher

A funny thing happens to me at every race finish line. Tears. Low on blood sugar, low on energy, the brain has been in a stupor for several hours with the majority constantly telling me to stop and lay down, while a small stubborn little nugget of it refuses to give in and pushes the body to its maximum. The tears come and there’s a panicky feeling of hyperventilating and not getting enough oxygen. I force my focus back on my breathe despite wanting nothing more but to lay down. Deep breaths. Eat something, ANYTHING, and then bask in glory (and champagne and chocolate and all things yummy).

Lessons learned

As my biggest event to date, I learned a few important lessons:

  1. Arrive early the day before so you can do a familiarisation ride. It gave me a chance to feel the conditions, see the grade of the road (for only a small part of course), and the ‘lay of the land’. After climbing 5km straight outside Karri Valley resort I started to set my goals for the bike leg.
  2. Want peace and quiet? Don’t stay at the resort, or near a start line of any event.
  3. If you find yourself without a wolf pack, bring family and friends.
  4. Control your breathing – avoid panic attacks that come with panting, and breathe deeply.
  5. If you see me cry at the finish line, its normal.

Absolutely psyched about Busso, more challenges and things to learn.

 

Big weekend of racing

The wolves were all over the state this weekend, from Bunbury to Mullaloo, racing, supporting and enjoying the tail end of the season.

Mullaloo Tri

XTR’s Mullaloo triathlon was another fantastic event on the club race series with a choice of junior, sprint, olympic, duathlon and enticer events. Ten athletes made the trip north to gain some valuable club points to help secure the wolves in second place. Conditions on the day were fair. Although there were some gusty winds, the ocean was relatively calm but the bike leg had some challenging headwinds heading north.

Snelly had a great race and said of the conditions, “It was tricky, but also made it a bit of fun with some of the downhills hitting 50 plus km/h.”

Bunbury City Classic

The wolves also had a good showing down south for the Bunbury City Classic and the State standard distance championship. Sadly another swim was cancelled, this time due to a freak swell which TWA and safety officials determined to be too dangerous to continue. Jenny was one of the few enticers to have gotten in to the water but it was rough going and a number of people had to be rescued. Certainly, it created a lot of debate amongst some seasoned open water swimmers who thought athletes should be given the right to choose. However many agreed it was a good call to prioritise safety in such conditions.Congratulations to everyone who raced and especially to Emma Moon who took out a prize for her age group.

Weetbix Kids Try

Big congratulations to newly-minted junior triathlete, Ally, on her maiden race. The smiles say it all!

Freo Corporate Tri

Freo was a small event with about half the field from Kolbe Catholic College and Scotch College. The corporate teams also made up a large number of competitors. The swim was at Bathers Beach in nicer conditions tan last year’s rain and choppy swell.  The water was calm and very little swell. A long run to T1 made sense as the swim was only 400m for the sprint distance. The bike course started with a look around a roundabout before joining the main course and consisted of 6×3km laps. Tight twisty course down one end and a flat, fast section to the far turnaround. The run course across the train line was a 2 lap flat out and back with a slight headwind heading out which meant an easier run back to the start/finish. Congrats Floora and her corporate partner who won a gold in the duos.

Athlete Profile – James M

Nickname: None really but my sister calls me Wamesey….

How long have you been in tri?: On and off since I was 16. I had a three year career break whilst I studied/drank at University.

How did you get into tri?:
I’ve always enjoyed long distance running and was part of a club in England. A few members would do the local tri’s so I joined them in the first of the season. We all finished close to each other and had a great time so I entered the rest for that season and continued from there.

How many bikes do you have?:
Just one in Australia – Cannondale Supersix. Plus one in England – Giant TCR Advanced. I love both but I get a lot of bike envy so one day I’ll get a TT bike!

Something we wouldn’t already know about you?:
I spent four months working at a cattle station on the Nullabor, I learnt to ride a motor bike and muster cattle. Before that, I was petrified of cows.

What do you want to achieve this season?:
My goal was to go sub-5 hours at Bunbury Sufferfest which I achieved. I want to race a couple more times this year but I have no real goals in mind.

Sunsmart Women’s Tri

Gallery

Always a fantastic event, the 2018 Sunsmart Women’s Tri was a windy but enjoyable day out.

Anna did the mini which has lit a fire under her after missing a podium place in her age group. She will be working extra hard in the pool over coming months.

Jenny did her first sprint. She said of the event, “Great course, cross wind on the ride was a bit challenging, but it was also a blessing having the wind on the run course.” She is already planning her next race.

The blokes were down there supporting with unofficial club photographer Alex capturing the event and Coach Rob helping as a TO.

Shoalwater Classic seals second place for the wolf pack

Gallery

The Rockingham Tri Club Shoalwater Classic was a battle for club points. PHTC was third on the clubs ladder and a good turnout at Shoalwater ensured we jumped up to second place.

The night before the race was wild and windy but mother nature turned on a beautiful morning. Everyone had a great race and a dedicated crew of supporters from the wolf pack rode the blustery freeway to support the crew.

The Prez got back in the saddle and Nikky and Leanne took the plunge and did their first Olympic distance race.

Athlete profile – Floora

Name: Floora

How long have you been in tri?:  2.5 years

How did you get into tri?: It’s hard to say…it started with cycling. I then did the cycling leg of a Busso half ironman and got hooked on the atmosphere I think. Before you could say “swim bike run” I was signed up to the Sunsmart triathlon series in early 2016.

How many bikes do you have?:  3 – my Colnago Acr road bike, a Merida 96 3000D mountain bike, and my old faithful Malvern Star Oppy.

Something we wouldn’t already know about you?: English (Aussie) is not my first language, I speak Dutch in my family home. I have lived in Africa and Columbia.

What do you want to achieve this season?: Survive Karri Valley long distance and do the Busso half in under 6 hrs.