I haven’t written since I started getting back into my training back in June. It was great to have a solid stint of uninterrupted training and no racing from June until now. This is a first in my world as I don’t remember ever having more than 3 or 4 weeks between races. My first week back was a shock to the system. My new coach Bevan wanted me to get some baselines. Something I was largely unfamiliar with. Results were not flash but I wasn’t fazed. Always solid room for improvement when your starting at the bottom again. At that point I was looking at about an 8 week block before my first race in the Philippines (Asia Pacific 70.3).
In my second week back into training I went up to Auckland to spend a week with Bevan and do some testing at AUT Sports Performance Clinic. It was a huge eye opener for me into what is possible in the world of sports science and the ability of these guys to pin-point areas that I could improve in.
They ended up doing the a VO2, lactate and metabolic efficiency report. The quick summary was that I had a “great aerobic engine” and the upper end of my endurance training pace is 3:45 sec per km. Meaning that I can run at that pace for quite awhile. Bevan was pretty damn excited by this news as he is an ironman fanatic and is still fizzing to prepare me for ironman in 2017. I’m on the fence. My lactate threshold came out at 3min 19 sec p’/km. Proving that I was pushing s….t up hill if I wanted to be a top Olympic distance triathlete. I’d figured that one out already but was good to know that I wasn’t just being a soft.
I was also found to have poor fat metabolism. Meaning that if I could eat lots of fat and little carbs for awhile that I might be able to transition my preference for fuel to fat, which would mean that I might not blow up. Also if I run at a slower pace for longer then I will get batter at utilizing fat instead of carbohydrate. I have never done a lot of run training or volume but since then I have focused n this recommendation and feel like my running has come along way.
I am also hypermobile (too much flexibility) and that this was probably what caused my Achilles injury in 2015. Because my soleus was always over-stretching it was putting too much force into my Achilles.
I was stoked to start my training block with these assessments and felt like I had a team looking our for me that had a good understanding of where I was at and my limitations and areas for improvement. Bevan was quick to integrate all of Kelly’s (from AUT) feedback into my program. I had a few more weeks working on improving my endurance base before heading to Mooloolaba in Australia with Bevan and a few others for a training camp.
Mooloolaba was one of the best training areas I have found for 70.3. Colorado last year was good, but the altitude kicked my ass and by the time I got acclimatised I had to leave. The weather was consistent sunshine, 22-26 degrees and no wind. We smashed ourselves for 7days straight until we couldn’t train any more and then everyone went home. I trained through a few days of fatigue post the training camp before having a few days off. I then got some good intensity training in when everyone left and now I am about to get on the plane to fly to the Philippines. I’ll have 3 days there before race day and I’m feeling pretty good. Maybe better than I ever have before I race. Always a bit funny when you turn up feeling good. I sometimes think that I prefer to feel a bit below average as then I lower my own expectations on myself and feel more relaxed. When I feel good its harder to chill out. But I know I am better prepared for a 70.3 then I ever have been.
It’s a good field. Craig Alexander, Tim Van Berkel, Bradley Kahlefeldt, Sam Betten, Brent McMahon and Tim Reed are some of the big names. I’ll have my work cut out, but I am looking forward to it. I think I should be in the mix with the top bunch on the swim and I know my bike is stronger than its ever been. I am also hoping that my run is going to return as my strength. Last year I was pretty much just pulling out a run on race day and hoping for the best as my Achilles was too sore to train on. This year I have had more run training than I ever have. When I was first asked by Bevan what my average mileage was per week running, I think I answered with around 30-40kms. I’m now up to 70-80km which is still way under what most professional 70.3 athletes do, but double what I used to do. We will see if it makes a difference.
After the Philippines I will head to Malaysia for Challenge Iskandar Puteri. I made a last minute decision to do this one as Amelia Watkins told me they were paying a solid amount of euro’s and it was only 3hours from the Philippines. The Challenge Family being awesome got me in last minute.
I think 8 weeks training is about as much as I can manage before racing, so I’m pretty happy to be able to bash out two races before I get back into a two week block and into World 70.3’s. Bevan has acknowledged that racing is just part of training and thinks it’s the best option for me to go the double too.
So….we will see what happens.
Thanks to Flight Centre Active Travel for sorting all my travel this year, 2XU for my kit, Specialized for the best TT on the planet and Red Bull for my cool hat.
Subaru and Rhino rack are also the best combination of car and racks I could ask for.
Without these guys I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing.