Sunday, 31 May 2015

Day #63, Week #9: BRICK Day

TheTorrevieja Greenway is based on the old Albatera-Torrevieja railway line

TWO WEEKS to race day and time to peak my training for one more week before tapering. Today a triple BRICK training session with a 750 metre swim, 45 km bike ride, and 5 km run.

Performed the full 750 metre swim straight off in the marina with the pull buoy and paddles, sighting between two buoys.

Then biked just under 45 km, and included a 20 km time trial along the RSK Kanaltempo segment of the service road alongside the canal between Pau 8 and San Miguel de las Salinas (4 lengths @ 5 km each). Best segment 10:08 with an average speed 28 km/h. Using the Cadence Trainer app from the Apple Store set at 90 rpm.

Finally, off up the Torrevieja Greenway for a 5 km run. My pace was slower than my previous 10 km run at an ave 6:40. Legs were heavy after the long bike ride. View run on Nike+
I'm satisfied with today's session and my progress.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Day #62, Week #9: Swim Day

VERY DISAPPOINTED with the new Speedo Rift Biofuse swim mask, it leaked water straight away. The strap slips because the clips on the side are poor, which makes the strap difficult to tighten. I may have to tie a knot, or perhaps try a tie wrap to hold the strap with sufficient tension. Eventually, after faffing around for several minutes, I got the mask to stop leaking and was able to do some training.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Day #61, Week #9: BRICK Day

A SORTA BRICK day, swim in the morning then run in the evening.

Maybe it's the shape of my head but my trouble with swim googles may finally be solved with a new pair of Speedo Rift Biofuse, which is more of a mask than a goggle. My Zoggs Predador Flex were OK, however they let in water occasionally and I managed to loose them anyway. When I couldn't find another pair at Ciclos Boyer Elche I purchased the Zoggs Phantom Elite as a replacement and they let in water. I also bought a pair of Speedo Aquapure IQfit, they let in water and fog up. So with a bit a research, I decided to try a mask style goggle. These sure feel good, will test tomorrow.

For an evening run I wanted to test my endurance with a long run and I achieved my farthest so far, maintaining a steady pace throughout. I ran 10 km at an average pace of 6:02 min/km. That's a speed I am happy with for now and hopefully I'll get it under 6 minutes on race day, Needed a good stretch session to finish. View run on Nike+

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Day #60, Week #9: Rest Day

RESCHEDULED A rest day to help my stiff shoulder recover.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Day #59, Week #9: BRICK Day

MORE SWIM training this morning with the pull buoy followed by a 40 km bike ride.

I have a slight muscle pull in my left shoulder following the swim, hope it repairs itself after 24 hours rest.

Day #58, Week #9: Swim Day

PULL BUOY drills in the marina at Playa del Acequion up and down four times. Performed a bodyweight routine on the beach gym at Playa Naufragos.

Regarding strength training, the initial split programme has proven to be too ambitious. However, I am fitting in some total body workouts around the endurance sessions ad hoc.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Day #57, Week #9: Swim Day

EXTRA SWIM training today with Mush. Back packed my new pull buoy and kickboard then biked the short journey to the pool at Torrevieja Sports City (not an intense enough bike ride to qualify as a BRICK session).

Struggled using the kickboard in the pool because my legs sink and I can not generate a lot of propulsion. John Wood offered this advice on Facebook via this link, Body, Line and Posture. The KEY to avoiding sinking legs. Like John says, it's not so much of a problem swimming in the sea in a wet suit.

Much better using the pull buoy.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Day #56, Week #8: BRICK Day

SWIM TRAINING with a Speedo Elite kickboard for about 1000 metres in the marina at Playa del Acequion. Working on improving balance and a relaxed kick stroke together with proper breathing. Followed that with a shower to warm up, a meat & nuts breakfast, and then on to the bike for a 56 km ride.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Day #55, Week #8: Swim Day

A VIDEO of my front crawl stroke filmed at the Torrevieja Sports City indoor Olympic size pool earlier today.

Practically all of my swim training has been in open water, so I experienced a very different sensation from swimming in a pool. I struggled to find rhythm in the pool and my stroke did not feel as efficient as when swimming in the sea. This maybe due to the aided buoyancy of a wet suit, plus I have been training with paddles which aids pull. Legs sink faster in a pool.

What I see viewing the video is that I am over rotating, this is causing me to loose balance and consequently my leg action is uncoordinated and I'm kicking way to hard. Also, my head is coming up and out of the water too high to take a breath. After swimming 50 metres I was knackered... and no wonder, the stroke looks very inefficient.

On the plus side, as I am aiming for a smooth catch up stroke, the tempo feels OK, but could be a little quicker. There is obviously still work to do... and no, that's not me in the photo.

Watch video >>>

Post script: comments on Facebook

Dave Knight, Triathlon Coach  "There is quite a bit of stuff going on here. The main things is where to start really (no offence wink emoticon). For me you need to look at (in order): 1. Stroke rate and stroke timing (very slow with catch-up and pauses). 2. Breathing, head and body position (unilateral breathing, high head/low legs) 3. Kick (kicking too deep and from the knee). Once these have been looked at for a while it will set you up for a better catch/pull and at that point you can look to tune up your propulsion."

Glen McArthur "I think that you are making hard work of what should be a relaxed stroke. You've mentioned the over rotation and that is evident. You breath very high out of the water which in turn is exaggerating the arm lift. Try reducing the head left/turn out of the water. Have you tried bi lateral breathing, i.e. both sides?? If you aim to 'touch' the end of the pool on each part of the reach phase, then this will make your stroke longer, more effective and encourage better body position. If you can isolate the legs during training with a pool buoy, you can focus on the top half."

Ferdinand Mulder, Triathlon Coach "First problem is your cross over with your left arm and your breathing. By breathing to the right you have to only rotate your neck not your upper body, that's why you cross over."

John Wood, Triathlon Coach "First and foremost, get your core involved and get your legs straight. At the moment your back is bowed, everything comes from the shoulders and the knee bend is dragging your legs lower and lower in the water. All other things are superfluous because that will give you a foundation. It means you will create less resistance and equally all your propulsion will push you forward rather than up.

James Flack, Triathlete "A lot of good advice on here already especially about head movement - try to keep your head in the water rather than lifting to breathe. When you breathe, try to rotate your body from head to foot and this will allow you to breathe without lifting your head up so far - keep one of your eyes under water, even if you ship a bit of water while you try to get this right. By rotating your body all the way you can keep your feet together while kicking which will create better propulsion for the rest of the stroke. You also need to think about your arm movements to aid your breathing and pulling."

Phil Jarvis, Triathlon Coach "Sort your head position out first - you are lifting your head so far out of the water to breathe that its causing your legs to sink, hence your legs are having to work far harder than they should. Look to join a masters swim club with a Coach, this will help you greatly as you should get technique sessions as part of the weekly training and will be able to train (under duress to start with) with other swimmers to get your technique and fitness together."

Muchas gracia to the guys who took time to view the video and comment with advise.

Straight after this I went out and purchased an Orca pull buoy and a Speedo Elite kickboard and got to work. I found the pull buoy especially usefully and it is now my new best friend.

Friday, 22 May 2015

TriWhite Cup 2015 in Pilar de Horadada

Day #54, Week #8: BRICK Day

STEPPING IT up with and an extra training session, no rest day today. Swim-bike training this morning with a 700 metre swim, then 20 km bike ride. No falls.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Day #53, Week #8: Run Day

SPEED WORK this morning with fartlek training on a run to the end of Torrevieja pier. Performed my fastest ever 5 km in 29:05 and continued running for 7.5 km. View run on Nike+

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Day #52, Week #8: Bike Day

MY LONGEST bike excursion so far, a 46 km ride in the morning and a short 13.5 km ride with Mush in the evening. Had one fall (my third) during the morning ride because I failed to unclip properly when stopping and consequently toppled over, so in the evening I went out again to practice unclipping the pedals before stopping.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Day #51, Week #8: Swim Day

SWIMMING WITH paddles this morning. Covered about 1400 metres in the marina at Playa del Acequion with a mix of drills and front crawl. Stroke is improving with each session.

Day #50, Week #8: Rest Day

REST DAY Monday. Dropped off the bike in the morning for repairs at Bikemania, and picked it up in the evening. No major problems. Great service as usual.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Day #49, Week #7: Bike Day

GET YOURSELF some proper cycling shoes for more pedal was my advice to Andy today... having forgot earlier to unlock my shoes from the clip pedals when coming to a halt, and consequently falling over... again. "That's not a smile. That's holding back the tears. Very misleading photo." claimed Senor Ward.... yeah, right!

It was an Oscar winning performance near Rebate right in front of a large group of mountain bikers, performed much to their amusement. Then further up the road and my derailleur decided to part company from the bike frame, and off I fell again... double ouch. No bones broken, just a bruise on my left hip to match the bruise on my right hip from the crash four days ago. It wasn't a fault of the cycling shoes, but inexperience on my part.

Dust me self orf and up an at 'em! I did manage to do some cycling, 37 km before the incident. It was my first group ride and a lot of fun despite the breakdown.

Thanks to Andy Ward, Dave Tait and Paul Baxter. I hope we can all do it again soon.... I think I put Andy off cycling shoes.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Day #48, Week #7: BRICK Day

THEY SAY the best way to train for a sport is to replicate the training like the actual event.

That was the aim of today's session which covered the distances of a sprint triathlon but without the "race time" transitions. First up was an open water swim, then on to the bike for a 20 km ride, followed by a 5 km run.

For the swim I used the paddles and fins, drilled for 350 metres, followed that by 700 metres performing mostly front crawl with some balanced kicking on the sides, followed that by 350 metres front crawl straight off. Next time out it's time to loose the fins, but I will stick with the paddles for now as they really help work the shoulder muscles.

Then on to the bike to test trial my sparkly new Mavic Tri Race shoes, and headed off up the Torrevieja Greenway to the Quesada roundabout and back. I can certainly feel more available power in my legs using proper cycling shoes. Increased ave. speed to 25.7 km/hr. Very happy with yesterdays purchase.
Back to the apartment for a change of gear then off running to the end of Torrevieja pier and back. Well pleased that I managed to maintain a 6:00 min/km pace for a sub 30 5k. View run on Nike+

Great session, a 1000+ calorie burn and progressing in the right direction.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Day #47, Week #7: Rest Day

REST DAY Friday and a chance for my body to fully recover from the trials of the last few days.

An early evening visit to Bikemania and I came away with a pair of Mavic Tri Race shoes, new clip pedals, a Wilier Cento 1SR jersey, and Wilier water bottle.

First group bike ride training session this weekend with Andy and Dave around Pilar de Horadada. Unfortunately Wally, our fourth team member, is in the UK. Should be fun!

Day #46, Week #7: Run Day

NO ILL effects from yesterdays accident on the bike, so training as normal this morning. Fartlek training for speed work today along the Torrevieja Greenway, run hard for 500 metres, then speed walk for 250 metres recovery, x 8 times.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Day #45, Week #7: Bike Day

BIKE RIDE was going well this morning... right up to the time I came off. Just after 41 km and whilst trying to maintain a pace ave. of 25 km/h I got my first opportunity to practice how to look cool after falling off a bike .... major fail!

I was picking up speed on an incline and hit the curb exiting a roundabout. Too fast or bad corning? Probably inexperience, Perhaps I should have L plates. Poor Willie suffered a split front tyre and a puncture, while fortunately I limped away with just a few scrapes.

Whilst trying to repair the puncture I wasn't able to get the tyre back on the wheel and managed to punctured the new inner tube in the process, so Mush came to the rescue in the Sparksmobile and we headed straight for Freddy at Bikemania for the repairs.

On the plus side, I got a funky looking new red and black Maxxis Detonator KV 60 TPI front tyre.

Day #44, Week #7: Swim Day

OPEN WATER swim along Playa del Acequion in the marina. 4 lengths of about 350 metres each. I am able to swim a full length fairly comfortably aided with the paddles and fins. I just have to catch my breath a few times by swimming on my side for a moment. Next step is to loose the fins.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Day #43, Week #7: Rest Day

INTO WEEK #7 with Rest Day Monday. A stiff left calf today following cramp during the swim session yesterday. Hopefully a rest day will help recover the muscle.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Day #42, Week #6: Swim Day

MY FIRST swim-bike-run training session yesterday allows me to concentrate just on swimming today. Covered about 1400 metres up and down the marina this morning mixing up swim drills with the catch up stroke.

The mechanics of the stroke feel good, though I'm sure a pro trainer would put me right on a few things. However, I don't want to complicate things at this stage by taking swim lessons (perhaps later). I will continue to work on the drills I have watch on YouTube and steadily increase my distance performing front crawl. My breathing technique has improved and I'm able to hold a steady pace, though not for any considerable distance yet. The one thing I must do to prepare for race day is complete 750 metres front crawl unaided. I must be confident on race day knowing that I am able to complete the distance. That's the goal in the water for the next four weeks.

I find this drill particularly useful, balanced kicking on your side, it's also useful if you loose your rhythm mid stroke and need to catch a breath >>>

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Day #41, Week #6: BRICK Day

OVER HALF way through the programme and into the building phase of tri-training with a first time triple effort this morning, an open water swim followed by a 40 km bike ride followed by a 1.5 km run (without transitions). No unexpected problems occurred. The Orca race suit performed brilliantly.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Day #40, Week #6: Rest Day

REST DAY Friday and an early morning walk with Bailey while Mush did some intervals.

My body fat took a sudden dip today and I am now under 14% for the first time at 13.7%, and my weight unexpectedly dropped to 73.1 kg.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Day #39, Week #6: Run Day

FARTLEK TRAINING along the Torrevieja Greenway this morning performing 500 metre intervals with 250 metre recovery 8 times. Pace ave. 6:11/km. View run on Nike+

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Day #38, Week #6: Bike Day

WILIER WEDNESDAY and a 30+ km bike ride this morning. The bike is certainly helping to improve my endurance levels. No technical issues here.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Day #37, Week #6: Swim Day

FINALLY CUT loose the centre snorkel this morning and performed swim training aided with just the paddles and fins. Went through the usual drills and then got some rhythm going with what felt like a reasonable catch up stroke. I feel that I am over rotating slightly in order to breath, and I'll work on trying to keep one goggle under the water as I turn my head. However, I'm breathing a lot better now and it's time to start racking up some metres.

Got back into strength training this evening with a good shoulder workout.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Day #36, Week #6: BRICK Day

BRICK TRAINING this morning, a 29+ km bike ride followed by a 5+ km run (without transition). Pace ave. for the run was good at 6:16/km. Aiming to get consistently below 6:00/km for race day and I'll be a happy camper. View run on Nike+

New gear purchased from Bikemania... Mavic HR bike gloves  >>>
>>> looking out for a full finger pair too.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Day #35, Week #5: Rest Day / TriWhite Cup 2015

ROUND 2 of the TriWhite Cup 2015 in Alicante today, so I rescheduled my training in order to spectate and try to pick up a few tips. I arrived in time for the start of sprint triathlon and waded in to the sea for a quick video shoot >>>

My first impression of the event was how it appeared to be organised chaos with participants, spectators and tourists everywhere. However, as White Events are very experienced in organising these events it soon became apparent everything was under control and the triathletes all got underway on schedule in the there respective events. Note to self is to arrive early, get registered and avoid the hassle, though I expect the Pilar de Horadada event to be less busy.

It's clearly a good idea to stick to the outside at the start of the swim to stay out of harms way... unless you're Michael Phelps out front going for gold.

I also noticed how a lot of the participants struggled with the first transition, from swim to bike, getting their feet into their cycle shoes on the bike pedals, Some even came to a complete stand still for what seemed an eternity while they faffed around with the pedals. Practice, practice, practice... it's free time!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Day #34, Week #5: BRICK Day

ONE FOR AW... Vocal Boothers train colour coordinated. Mi amigo Andy Ward, Vocal Booth Weekender Top Dog, purchased a bike yesterday and started training for the big day. Must remind him about the party at his pad after the event... that's the reason we're doing this, isn't it?

BRICK training this morning, an open water 1400 metre swim up and down the marina twice (with snorkel and fins) followed by a 38k bike ride up the cycle path to the AP7 motorway. Tried out the new Orca 226 race suit under the wet suit and it was perfect. Changed gear for the bike ride this time around, will try out a proper transition next weekend. The new Oakley M2's are fantastico!

Dropped my iPhone from the bike and broke the screen for the second time in a fortnight. At this rate it'll be cheaper to buy a Garmin power meter. 

Friday, 1 May 2015

Day #32, Week #5: Run Day

PREP FOR race day, purchased an Orca 226 race suitrace beltspeed laces and Oakley M2 frame sunglasses from Circlos Boyer in Elche.

Fartlek training along the Torrevieja Greenway this morning. 500 metres x 250 metres recovery x 8 times based on this track tip from Mark Allen.