Conditioning, Ironman 70.3, Motivation, Psychology, Running, Training, Triathlon, Uncategorized

Oops I did it again :0)

As Britney so famously sang “Oops I did it again…” here I am saying the same thing “Oops I did it again” I’ve signed up for another Ironman 70.3

Ironman

“Why have I done this, wasn’t the first time enough?!” my friends cry with incredulity when I tell them the exciting news

To be frank, It was! The pain of training (It took two years and six visits to A&E before I could get this life dream complete) was the biggest ball buster lol. I would far prefer to just get on and get it over with.

But after more than a year layoff – and when I say lay off I mean I laid off completely to almost horizontal – the itch for accomplishment and challenge is back so here I am and rearing to go.

For any novices out there looking to do their first Ironman 70.3 here are the steps I am taking to succeed once again – feel free to use as you wish

Step one : Choose your race

Everybody will enjoy a different scene – Give me warm, mild weather any day over cold, wet and rainy (sorry UK, but I won’t be racing this distance in this climate anytime soon) I also – because of my heart condition – need to choose a race which isn’t tough (big climbs and crazy weather). But that’s what I love about Ironman – they ahve races all over the world so there are events for everyone

For this reason I chose Budapest as my first event – Beautiful city, great course, fast, flat, scenic, warm.

Unfortunately for some reason they are not racing in Budapest this year so I’ve gone for Ironman 70.3 Vichy which from what I’ve read and seen videos of is a very similar race environment

here’s a link to all events http://eu.ironman.com/events/triathlon-races.aspx#axzz59joRa5Ow

Step two: Set your Goals

As the saying goes “Failing to Plan, is planning to fail”

Whats great about goal setting is that they don’t have to be all about performance metrics (speed, time, pace) although do be aware of the cut off time. They can also be about experience, mindset etc

My goals for this year are as follows

  • Finish time: Finish the event – ideally in under six hours (cut off is 7:30) –

My last event I completed in 6:25 and I feel that with the right preparation and experience I now have this is an achievable goal

  • Finishing state: Alive, healthy, with a huge grin on my face, my chest swelling with pride, breathing easily and lightly.

This piece is critical for me and a goal that I continuously need to repeat to myself as I am highly competitive and if I am not carefully am liable to push to hard with serious consequences.

  • Smaller goals: 
    • Swim leg – Swim 1.9km in less than 35 min (last event took 48)
    • Bike leg – Cycle 90km in under  hours (about the same as last time)
    • Run leg – Run 21km in under 2 hours (this is the one that hurt most last time and probably my biggest challenge)
    • Transitions: keep each transition under 5 minutes
  • Racing state: Have fun, smile, relax and enjoy

Step three: Create the plan

I have just under five months/ 25 weeks to go which seems like a lot of time but believe you me time flies by. My learn from last time round was rather start slightly earlier which give you time to build up the distance and minimise stress and injury. I have the plan and will share this my next post.

There you have it time to get back on the road –

Have you done an Ironman? What would your advice be?

From Impossible to I AM POSSIBLE

 

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Want the sweet deliciousness without the unnecessary sweetness then this is the recipe for you. #eatcleanraceclean

Lets Do Lunch

Me and my chocolate cake recipes, right?!?  I just can’t help myself especially as they are the easiest recipes to make up from what you have in your cupboard.  This cake however is smothered in real chocolate icing – which rather ironically is the reason for baking the cake.  I had left over icing from baking a “full-fat” birthday cake for my boss and wanted to use it up so I invented a super healthy cake for a super un-healthy icing!

I’d prefer you smother your cake in a healthier version of icing, for example extra light cream-cheese mixed with good quality melted chocolate = chocolate cheese cake topping. Or what about mixing peanut butter with cocoa and agave nectar?  For a runny sauce heat coconut milk, truvia blend and honey in a saucepan – simmer for 10 minutes and allow to cool.  Yum!

Ingredients
140g brown truvia baking blend (or Tate…

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Healthy Chocolate Cake

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Best Ever Butternut Soup

Nutrition is an essential part of the ironman Journey. This delicious, nutritious butternut soup not only replenishes the body but its warm buttery goodness soothes a tired soul ~butternutsoupforthesoul

Lets Do Lunch

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I can’t believe I haven’t blogged my ultimate soup recipe yet!  I always have a few Tupperware pots of various versions of this soup in my freezer for a low-cal, nutritious and delicious dinner when I run out time or ideas for dinner.  And I always bring a small pot of left-overs for my work lunch and simply don’t grow tired of it.

Since making this soup, I am constantly floored by anyone’s need to put cream, butter, milk or any other fat laden ingredient into a soup.  There is no need and my recipe is proof of that.

This post features butternut, but I’ve also made the soup with different combinations of sweet potato, courgette, carrot, broccoli, peppers and any other left over veggie I have in the fridge.  I always add the lentils not only to thicken the soup, but add to its nutritional content.   As always, any…

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Illness and Injury, Ironman 70.3, Training

Illness and injury…. A comedy of errors

It was a terrible end to 2014

After an amazing year of accomplishments and a fabulous holiday in Marakesh  I started my campaign to Ironman 70.3 with a spring in my step, happy heart and an indomitable desire to smash my training.

Of course the universe has other plans :0) one being to test how solid your resolve really is.

First my achilles tendons. Okay in all fairness this was a lot less to do with the universe and more with me making the following classic (weekend warrior) errors

  • Poor/inconsistent  stretching: Yep, I am one of those guys. Love to train – the adrenaline, the pump of blood through my muscles, the feeling of awesomeness as I increase my P.R week on week. I also don’t like the stretch as much – slow, sedate, hurts (not in the nice way)
  • Poorly conditioned muscles (who would have thought lol): Here’s something I learned from my subsequent trips to the physio to get this issue sorted, Apparently as a minimum standard of conditioning a runner should be able to complete 3 sets of 10 reps of slow/controlled/full range sgl leg calf raises…mmm again not one of my favourite exercises
  • Changing your running style without adequate coaching and conditioning: Yep not only did I not stretch and not condition adequately I also in my infinite wisdom decided that I was – in my quest to be more efficient and faster in my running – going to change to forefoot running.

I must admit that I was very glad to find out that I am not alone in this matter. Thanks James Dunne from Kinetic Revolution for your insight into this :0) Forefoot running for athletes, This actually led me to a fourth sin

  • Pushing through a strain: So I went for my first forefoot run and about 2.5 km in picked up a serious strain in both calves, Not wanting to let my gorgeous running partner (and wife) down – okay I didn’t want to look like a woosy – I simply change back to my heel strike and continued on the course. Of course when I got home what did I not do? Stretch

So there I was beginning of November and no more running for four weeks. Okay I can live with that I thought, I can ride and do strength conditioning and stretching.

Of course if only it was so simple. Next came the flu – I alluded to this in previous post. The flu this year has been crazy it never seems to clear, one day your good the next your throat is on fire the next your coughing a lung…grrrrr I hate being sick

Achilles injury? check!

Cold and flu? check!

Then I went an put the nail in the coffin.

  • Do not watch white colour boxing, drink copious amounts of beer and then wrestle with your mates! If only I took my own advice :0( because I went and did exactly that and ended up popping my knee in the process. Medial ligament as the primary strain, 6 weeks of rehab

So here I sit beginning of January two months into my planned program, 7 months away from D day and no activity.

Thankfully I am almost at full strength and mobility. I have managed to start training again and cant wait to get fully into it again

First major change. On the 20th January I am booked onto a running workshop to maximise my efficiency and speed on the run, cant wait!

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Conditioning, Illness and Injury, Motivation

The universe is conspiring against me

Sick

Its funny how the moment you commit to a goal, the universe conspires to test your will. Last week 3 days into starting my training for Ironman 70.3 the dreaded ‘Man flu’ struck and I have been man down – no running; cycling, swimming, weights and conditioning. Not a great start…grrrr

There was a time when I was a young pup that I would have pushed through and sweated the nasty lurgy (South African slang) but luckily wisdom (and longer recovery time) has prevailed and nowadays I choose to retreat and live to fight another day. Anybody reading this might be asking themselves “Why the fuss, you have 9 months?”

Great question! Here’s my conundrum – Hyper-obstructive Cardiomyopathy (enlargement of the heart muscle) is a sudden death condition. When I was diagnosed my cardiologists opening statement was

“You have H.O.C.M, Stop exercising or die”

The road back to where I am today has been a long, long road made up of two steps forward, one step back. A road which has forced me to learn to listen to my body, accept my limitations and celebrate each small improvement as a major victory. Each day that I miss my scheduled program means that the next session I have to play catch up which increases stress.

Does this mean I have been idol? Not at all, there is always something I can do which will help me achieve my goal. At this point flexibility and balance is the bain in my life so I focussed on and successfully completed each required day of the 30 Day Challenge

Having things around me to keep me motivated and eyes on the prize really helps when I am down. This clip really kicked &$ss the first day I lay pitifully in bed feeling sorry for myself

Thankfully my decision to rest has worked I am feeling 80% better and should with a great nights rest be at 100% which means I can get back to the program and also start

STAGE 2: Basic Strength & Core Training

Here’s Day 7’s session

Strength Exercises

  • Split Squat (video) – 2 x 10 each leg
  • Hip Thruster (video) – 3 x 10 reps
  • SL Straight Leg Deadlift (video) – 2 x 10 reps each leg

Today’s Core Exercise

  • Mountain Climbers (video) – 2 x 20 (10 each side, alternating)

Cant wait to get going again

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Conditioning, Motivation, Off season

Building self discipline

Day 2

A little harder to get up this morning. Bed is all warm and cozy, its slightly colder than yesterday and I am already stiff from yesterdays leg session…Its just stretching, I can have just five more minutes…

“The difference between those who succeed in life and those that do not is that those who succeed always do what is most beneficial for them at any given moment whether they feel like it at the time or not”

This saying (author unknown to me) pounds into my conciousness. Darn, this self discipline thing is a tough gig :0)

Up I get, downstairs, stretch mat out, 30 Day Challenge Day 2 on the laptop. I start my routine and breathe

Basic Mobility Drills

  • Hip Flexor Stretch (video) – 3 x [20sec hold + 20 active reps] each side
  • Hamstring Stretch (video) – 3 x 20 reps each side
  • Adductor Stretch (video) – 2 x 10 reps [7sec contract : 10sec relax + stretch]
  • BONUS DRILL – Low Back Mobility (video) – 2 x 20 [10 each side alternating]

Today’s Balance Drill

  • Single Leg Balance – Eyes Closed (video) – 2 x 30sec each side

Mmmm don’t know if the stretch and balance drills from yesterday are feeling better or worse (I have this thing about getting results super fast) and todays bonus drill again highlights my level of inflexibility and tightness but I keep reminding myself “success is a journey not a destination” and my key focus at the moment is doing what I plan.

Gym session was awesome, a good friend and training partner is back from a business trip – partners really help to push intensity, its amazing how much more you can do just having somebody stand by you going ” you can do one more”

Todays session

  • Warm up

Stretch, strength routine

Pullups, Dips, Handstand Push Ups, Wall sits (each week increase by 1 or 2 reps; each day different style of pull up)

  • Main

Lat Pull Down 2 x20 (start at 65% of max, each week increase weight by 10%)

Straight arm push down 2 x 20 (as above)

Weighted Pull ups 5 x 5 (same as above)

Bent over row 5 x 5 (as above)

Barbell clean 1 x 5 (practising the movement)

  • Warm down

stretch, roller

Tomorrow swim/bike

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Motivation, Triathlon

A little motivation goes a long way

I love to see people succeed. I get a buzz from watching people attempt acts of bravery and courage. The focus, determination and triumph of pushing through physical and mental pain to achieve their goal. Here’s a cool Youtube clip from World Triathlon

What motivates you?

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