Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Day #2, Week #1: Sprints at Dawn

One of the beach boardwalks is perfect for my sprints

OFF TO a good early start today with a triple session from the new training programme. Sprints at dawn following my intermittent fast and I'm focused once again (Monday's are intermittent fasting days for the next 6 weeks).

I performed 15 x 100 metre sprints along one of the boardwalks on Playa Naufragos. I haven't done sprints for a while, my legs were a little sore afterwards.

Followed the sprints with an ab workout then jogged back to the apartment to put on my wet suit for a swim. I worked on my stroke technique with snorkel, paddles and fins for 4 x 350 metre laps in the marina paying special attention to the left arm position not crossing over my body on the pull.

In the evening out on the bike for intervals along the RSK Kanaltempo (the service road between San Miguel de Salinas and Villamartin).

Monday, 29 June 2015

Day #1, Week #1: Starting A New Training Programme

ENOUGH OF this doing triathlons for triathlons sake and "been there, done that" mind set.... time to get serious.

Starting today I'm committing to a new competitive attitude together with a 14 week training programme for the TriWhite Cup sprint triathlon on 4th October in San Javier. My goal is to challenge the age groupers in my class, drastically improve my fitness level, and post a competitive time.

Monday's are rest days, and for the next 6 weeks (base training phase) on Monday's I will incorporate intermittent fasting to help reduce my body fat percentage down to a lower athletic figure. The goal is to be under 10% by race day.

This mornings weigh-in

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Swim drills + bike ride

AN EARLY morning swim in the marina practicing my stroke technique with drills for about 1500 metres, followed by some breakfast and then out on the bike for a casual ride along the coast with the missus for 23.5 km.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Running with Strava

WHAT IS the best running app?  I started using Strava for running this morning to compare with Nike+. One immediate advantage over Nike+ for bloggers is that you can get an embed code of your run. I ran a PB in the process at 28 min 42 sec, my fist sub 29 5k.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Calculating my Functional Threshold Heart Rate

TRAINING PEAKS explains "Your threshold heart rate will be the average heart rate from a recent intense race or very hard interval from a training ride, where you spent 45-60 minutes in duration at an all out effort."

Using a Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor I rode 60 minutes hard along the canal service road between Villamartin and San Miguel six times.  My average speed was about 31 km/hr and my average heart rate was 138 bpm.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Return to Training

AFTER THREE days of complete rest following my second sprint triathlon last Sunday I returned to training in the the pool today at the CDM Orihuela Costa 25 metre indoor pool in Playa Flamenca. I will have to use this facility for my next event because the 50 metre pool in Torrevieja is closed until September.

I performed a 400 m and 200 m time trial, to calculator my CSS (Critial Swim Speed) pace, 400 m at 11 min 12 sec and 200 m at 4 min 56 sec. CCS pace = 3:08/100 m .... that's slow!

The next event that I plan to enter is the TriWhite Cup sprint triathlon on Sunday 4th October in San Javier. With two sprint triathlons under my belt I now know I need to drastically improve on my swimming and running. So I'm setting some goals and implementing a training programme over the coming weeks to meet those goals.

Initial goal for August 1st:
Swim: 1000 m non-stop, 750 m under 20 min
Bike: 20 k under 38 min
Run: 5 k under 27 min

Intermediate goal for September 9th (my 59th birthday)
Swim: 1500 m non-stop, 750 m under 18 min
Bike: 20 k under 36 min
Run: 5 k under 25 min

Race day goal for October 4th
Race time: under 1 hr 30 min, to be estimated better nearer the event.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Race Day at Torrevieja


Swim: 00:23:05 - T1: 00:02:44 - Bike: 00:35:02 - T2: 00:02:47 - Run: 00:39:36 - Time: 01:43:14

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Google+ Slide Show

I've lost 25 kg in 11 months

SINCE STARTING this journey in August last year I have lost 25 kg (55 lbs) in body weight. This morning I weighed in at 71.0 kg with 12.9% body fat, 3.3% in the last 12 weeks.

I find it hard to believe that I was carrying around 12 and a half bags of sugar in extra weight this time last year reducing my waistline from 36 inches to 31 in the process.

After tomorrows sprint triathlon in Torrevieja I plan to change my training regime for the Summer months to incorporate building more lean body mass with strength training and continued fat loss.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Final Training Session before the Big Day

SWIM TRAINING at La Bocana cable ski, the site for the start of Sunday's TriWhite Cup triathlon in Torrevieja, and a final chance to test the course. At this stage, I'm not sure how the race is planned to start because of the large rocks surrounding the water's edge, but all will be revealed shortly.

I performed some sets with the centre snorkel and the pull buoy up and down alongside the buoys separating the cable ski from the marina, swimming about 1200 metres in total. If I can get the sighting right I feel confident of a much improved performance over last weeks swim.

Time to relax and chill and just get registered tomorrow evening, ready to tri again on Sunday morning.

Official Video - TriWhite Cup at Pilar de Horadada

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Swim Time Trial

MY CALF muscles feel amazingly a lot better this morning, and after complete rest since last Sunday I feel good and ready to rock. Time to focus on next Sunday's event in Torrevieja.

Swim time trial today at the Torrevieja Sports City pool, Started with 10 lengths (500m) with the centre snorkel concentrating on the left arm pull position not crossing over the body line, which is causing me to drift right. Then 16 lengths (800m) front crawl with the pull buoy, followed by 4 lengths (200m) without. The pull buoy is useful for keeping the legs "quite", to help prevent cramps. Got some magnesium effervescent tablets today to help with that.

Time for 800 metres 19:06, average pace 2:23 /100m.

Followed that with an easy bike ride to check out the route for race day.

A Second Recovery Day

REST DAY to let the soreness in my calf muscles fully recover. I'm planning three days of training before the next event this Sunday, nothing too hard, mostly swimming.

I did some research on muscle cramps. Here's what endura.com has to say >>>

"Do you get muscle cramps? Magnesium is necessary for normal muscular contraction and relaxation. Low magnesium levels are associated with an increased incidence of muscle cramps, which can often be reversed with the addition of magnesium supplements. In one research trial, swimmers taking magnesium supplements during their training and competitions found an 86% reduction in muscle cramps. The reductions occurred after only three days of supplementation. If muscle cramps are an issue for you, adding some extra magnesium to your supplement regime is a must."

Guess I'll get a magnesium supplement, it's certainly worth a shot.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

TriWhite Cup in Torrevieja on Sunday 21st June

REST DAY and time to reflect on yesterday's event. The thought was always in the back of my mind that if Pilar de Horadada went well I would sign up for Torrevieja the following week. So, I have now registered for my second sprint triathlon with White Events Goforit TriWhite Cup on Sunday 21st June.

The event mainly takes place on the pier side of the Torrevieja International Marina at La Bocana, cable ski site. The water should be calm and the bike and run route is completely flat. It should prove to be a fast course.

Swimming will be the discipline I will concentrate on over the next few days to try improve my poor performance at Pilar de Horadada. Plus better transitions times. Get those right and I'll knock 10 minutes plus of my race time.

swim 750 metres (1 lap)

bike 20 kilometres (3 laps)

run 5 kilometres (2 laps)

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Race Day at Pilar de Hradada ... my first triathlon

UP AT 05:30 for my banana-vanilla protein oatmeal breakfast, then it was off to the races for the Pilar de Horadada leg of the TriWhite Cup... so, how did I do ...

The 750 m swim... one word, "struggled". The sea at Playa de la Villas was breezy and choppy which proved to be a very different experience from swimming in the Torrevieja Marina where I did the majority of my swim training. I wore my wet suit to help with buoyancy, but the waves made sighting difficult, which caused me to drift off course several times. Just past the second buoy I got cramp in my calves. Once the pain subsided, the swim back to shore was better and I began to find some rhythm in my stroke, but I had lost a lot of time and fallen to the back of the field (swim time 31:01).

Transition 1... I opted to put my cycling shoes on by the bike stand rather than do the elastic band thingy. I thought it best to put bike gloves on, because of the heat, but that added on more extra time. Then getting Strava started on my iPhone made it feel like I was in the transition area for an eternity. To finally get out of there and get going on the bike was a welcome relief (T1 time 4:19).

The 20 km bike ride... a much improved performance on the swim. The bike ride eased the calf muscles somewhat, as I managed to spin away a lot of the muscle ache. I began to feel my strength return and pushed hard. Average pace was good at 28.64 km/hr (bike time 39:48).

Transition 2... a lot easier transition than T1. In and out without any problems but it felt slow (T2 time 3:03).

The 5 km run... 5:49 km/hr (run time 29:07)... video of me crossing the finishing line (thanks to Andy Ward)

Swim: 00:31:01 - T1: 00:04:19 - Bike: 00:39:48 - T2: 00:03:03 - Run: 00:29:07 - Time: 01:47:18

Total duration: 1:47:18.

Conclusion... the swim was a disappointment, but all things considered, it was my first sprint triathlon so I shouldn't be too hard on myself. Besides, there is major room for improvement and I now have a bench mark to improve upon. 

The triathlon was a great experience and a lot of fun, I especially enjoyed the camaraderie with mi amigos Dave Tait (1:17:11), Andy Ward (1:33:47), and Wally Walton (no times), along with the families and friends that joined us, including my niece Helen who flew in from the UK. Afterwards, we all shared our tales over a fine lunch in the Pirate Bar on the beach. This is one of the best days I've had in Spain since arriving over 14 years ago .

... no mas rookie triathlete!

Click to view Andy Ward's review


Day #76, Race Week: Race Day Eve

THIS IS it. tomorrow we tri. Triathlon training is over and it's time to take the test.  I struck to the 11 week training programme and apart from dropping the strength training at week 6, I trained every session, 5-6 days a week for the entire programme. I feel fit and ready, and all things considered my preparation has been as good as it gets.

Goal for finishing time:

Swim 750m: 17:30
Transition 1: 2.00
Bike 20k: 40:00
Transition 2; 1:00
Run 5k: 29:30
Total Time 1:30:00

Friday, 12 June 2015

Day #75, Race Week: Tapering

A MORNING 750m swim followed by an easy 12k bike ride in the evening. Keeping comfortable in the water and helping my muscles stay loose is the aim.... and I shaved my legs. Now I'm a proper cyclist.

Bike is booked in at Bikemania for a race check tomorrow at 11:00.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Day #74, Race Week: Tapering

JUST THREE days to race day, so an easy swim session in the marina this morning aimed at keeping familiar and comfortable in the water. Swam about 500 metres using the centre snorkel working on mechanics.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Day #73, Race Week: Tapering

A SUPER SPRINT triple training session this morning, swim 300m - bike 10k - run 1.6k with full transition practice. Time: 44:00 minutes.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Day #72, Race Week: Tapering

AN EASY paced swim this morning with the pull buoy, covered 750 metres and some.

Bought new Orca jammers and swim cap from Ciclos Boyers in Elche (was working nearby)

Monday, 8 June 2015

Day #71, Race Week: Tapering

REST DAY and the final week towards race day. Tapering with easy training sessions in order to be fresh for the event.

Yesterdays triple BRICK session saw quite a dramatic weight loss, 1.4 kg in body weight and 1.0% body fat. Body fat is currently my lowest at 12.4%.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Day #70, Week #10: BRICK Day

ONE WEEK to go to race day Swim-bike-run along the route of the course at Pilar de Horadada this morning.

I used two buoys for sighting as I swam about 750 metres off Playa de las Higuericas. Sea was calm.

Biked 3 laps of the 10 km route between the beach and the town via the bridge over the N332. View route on Strava

Ran 5 km along the boardwalk alongside the beach. View run on Nike+

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Day #69, Week #10: BRICK Day

SWIM-BIKE session today. Started this morning with a good 700 metre front crawl swim in the marina, followed by another 700 metres performing balance and propulsion drills with the centre snorkel.

After a tasty meat and nuts breakfast, out on the bike and headed up to the Quesada roundabout along the CV905 cycle path for a 30k ride.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Day #67, Week #10: Run Day Time Trial

5 KM RUN this morning to the end of Torrevieja pier and back. Time 29:50. Average Pace 5:58 km/h. Average HR 147 bpm. View run on Nike+

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Day #66, Week #10: Bike Day Time Trial

20 KM Time Trial on RSK Kanaltempo. Time 42:00.00 (19.6 km). Average speed 28.1 km/h. Average HR 134 bpm.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Day #65, Week #10: Swim Day Time Trial

SWIM TIME trial in order to gauge an estimate of my swim pace for race day. 750 metres in open water across the marina at Playa del Acequion. Yellow buoys either side of the marina mark a distance of 375 metres. Swim two laps. No training aids.

Time: 19:58.00. (Lap 1 09:37.76. Lap 2: 10:20.24). Average pace 2:39 per 100 metres

Day #64, Week #10: Rest Day

RECOVERY DAY following yesterdays triple BRICK session. 

After checking out reviews on the best swim googles on the market I decided to purchase a pair of Agua Sphere Kayenne swim googles at my local Forum sports store, Finally, could these be the one that don't leak?