Booked myself an entry in the January 2008 'Challenge Wanaka', which is a big part of the inspiration for the entries.
Update, am now booked for 'Challenge Wanaka' 2009(completed so have some new challenges lined up).
Races locked in for me now are 'Challenge Roth' in July, ITU world age group champs in Septmber and 'Challenge Wanaka' half in January 2010.
At the present time it is a blog of what I find so don't really want people to take it as advice, but more some ideas to consider.
Countdown to 'Challenge Roth':
.........already blasted off and finished.......... another mission acomplished.
Hello from Wanaka.
July 11th 2011
Just to prove I am still keeping fit I put this image in of some 'wind trainer' action out the front of my current residence. And still getting use out of my old bike which you may recognise from the photo a few entries ago racing on it 20 years ago.
Will have to get another photo now as the snow is all around now and it is pretty (cold). So it is off to Frankfurt for me in one week to photograph ironman Germany and then a trip around the UK. Well it will be great to escape 7 weeks of the NZ Winter.
So I had a break from putting entries in this blog and the main reason is that things have been pretty busy for me. The next 7 weeks will be a good break though or at least that is the plan. Will try and keep this blog updated with some photos of the trip as a diary.
Not really doing any specific training at present, but only feel really good after I have done some sort of exercise (which is not everyday).
S o the good things is what i prefer to talk about. In Wanaka they had a 5 day Winter festival with great talkers and plenty of adventure movies. A talk by Steve Gurney and his freind who climbed Mt Cook recently was really interesting. The main interest was that Steve's friend did it the old fashioned way with all the old mountaineering gear from 100 years ago. they also talked through with photos another recreated adventure from 100 years ago which went from the West coast to the East coast of NZ. It was real typical pioneering type adventure which is something I am proud of as it does seem to be a big part of kiwi heritage. Will write more soon....
Life threatening near miss on the bike an hour ago.
March 7th 2011
Going down a tree shaded hill coming into Wanaka from Glendu Bay (NZ). Straight road and car crosses over in front of me. I did have my head down for a split second, one arm on aero bars and one on a brake (i think?). Had time to slow a bit by braking hard and swerve to the otherside of the road. The car was completely side on in my lane as I swerved over to its original position (lucky nothing was coming behind it) . Just prior was thinking of the dangers, even thinking of some other triathletes who have been badly injured on the bike so was looking out a bit for people pulling out. Then wamo a car turns in front of me (to a lakeside pull in area). Once I had regathered myself and counting my blessings I turned round and went back to see them(the car). It was gone. I wasn't angry, just wanted to ask one question and that was if they hadn't seen me (am pretty sure that was the case as it was a sunny day so under the trees I would be hard to see) .
Got home and and my friend pointed out her black kit maybe hard to see. Looked at my own and it is a black/grey tri-suit. First time wearing that kit on a training ride. Will write more later. I am fine and will be even more vigilent.
Reason to write here is to warn others of the dangers out there. Have been discussing with others since this occurred about 'near misses' as there may still be some dangers I haven't considered.
By the way I was aware of the dangers of what this car did as it is my current favourite swim spot. There is a safer entrance about 100m before this one and I choose to use it when I drive in there always. sighhhhhhhh....... happy to be alive..... and I don't think it will be the first or last issue at this entrance off the main road.
Am thinking to get a mountain bike and do my training off road, mindyou am picking there will still be a few obstacles where the mountain bike goes.
Christchurch, New Zealand - February 22nd, 2011
Condolences to all those affected. I am in the South of the New Zealand, an area where pretty much everyone has some contacts in the Christchurch region. There is a strong triathlon community based in Christchurch which will pull through for sure.
Challenge Wanaka and swimming in rough water.
February 1st 2011
Challange Wanaka 2011 was more challenging than usual due to strong gusty winds all day long. I managed to get a few photos of the day which can be seen by clicking here or on the photo above.
I was running a tent at the 3 day Challenge Wanaka event expo with a cousin who does a sports magazine in NZ called VO2max and it went well. Well it kept us both pretty busy and it was good selling some of the triathlon clothes that had been sitting around a while. But the whole thing kept me pretty busy and getting good photos was tricky for me. Have been too busy recently and to give an idea of that, I left work after 2am and drove for 3hrs to get to Wanaka the day before the expo started. Went to bed but didn't sleep(as it was cold) and got up at 8.30am. Enough about me anyway as things are improving.
Back to triathlon, and specifically swimming in rough conditions. I did a half iron-distance race at Lake Hayes a few years back in similar conditions and it went well. Anyway really good swimmers who are fit won't be slowed down much by tough conditions. One guy(Ross) in a team did the 3.8km in 48mins this year I am told(will have to check that). Quite possible anyway as know he is a champion swimmer and the top 3 individual full day competitors went 52mins. My first tips are to breath away from the waves and tuck in behind groups where possible to save energy.
I am lucky enough to be spending quite a bit of time in Wanaka recently and was swimming in similiar conditions today. There was some quite strong current due to the wind and some were pushing me along and others were holding me back. When you are swimming into a current you need to swim as well as you can(and as strong as you can) otherwise you won't make much ground and could even stay stationary. Swimming with waves behind you is a skill also and you can even let the waves pull you along if you know what you are doing (like the Australian ' kellogs ironman' athletes who do those fast swim, sea ski/kayak run events). I also change my stroke a little bit(shortening it a little bit sometimes) and if the cuurent is sideway you may want to compensate by swimming into it a little bit so you end up swimming in a straight line. Someone else will know more about it than me, but otherwise practise in those conditions yourself and take note. Basically you are best to train on the course to know it well and even train at the time the race starts so you are ready for the sun to be in your eyes for example. I aim for a marker which is the highest point on the horizon and that works well for navigation in rough conditions. That is one reason to swim around the course a few times, that is so you know all the horizon markers. Go hard and enjoy.
Oh yeah contact me if you are after a team swimmer next year. I will trying a few contacts to do that as part of a team in 2012 for sure..
Bringing the New Year in with a great local sprint triathlon.
Dunstan sprint triathlon, Cromwell, N.Z - January 2nd 2011
There are always a few brave(crazy?) souls who do the roughly 400m swim without a wetsuit. I went to get mine the night before and realised it was at my parents home which is 30mins drive away, so a no wetsuit swim it would be. The water was slightly warmer than previous years and it was still not more than 16degrees celcius. I enjoyed the swim having done quite a few swims in previous weeks but was back further than usual after it.
Note the runners heading out while some of us were just coming in from the ride.
The 22km bike seemed to be better than the swim considering the limited number of cycle training recently. Well had to do it as have been living in the same town(Cromwell) as it is held for the past 9months. Note to self is to get some orange tinted shades(sun glasses) again for those overcast days.
And here is part of the 5km run course. The whole race is pretty flat but there is usually a headwind for the first half of the bike course. there was also a duathlon and kayak multisport race run at the same time.
In keeping with with the local triathlon scene a junior olympic champion won this years event(junior Aaron Barclay in 55mins 54sec). There is always a young local guy or women winning the local races who has placed or won an ITU event or such like in the previous year. Results link here :
Aaron Barclay(above photo) is doing the swim as part of a team at this years Challenge Wanaka with last years winner Richard Ussher doing the bike. The Challenge organisers offered a a free run position as part of the team for the person who posted the best story why they deserve it on the challenge facebook website.
I went swimming just yesterday in Wanaka and it was cooler than usual due to alot of rain the night before. Well there were a few warm patches but the only issue I had was all the boaties(which will drop off after next weekend when everyone is back to work). Well the boaties could be avoided if one swims very early on in the day.
Due to a tent I will be running at the Challenge Wanaka expo this year(in conjunction with Vo2max magazine), competing it is not going to happen. I will be trying to get some good images of raceday however and will try and do a few laps of the swim if time allows in the preceding days.
And I talked breifly with the guy who set up the first Challenge race with Felix after he completed the Dunstan triathlon. He is putting on a race in Wanaka the same weekend as ironman NZ which is now my next target to complete. It will be a 2km swim, 65km bike and 15km run if my memory is true. Anyway the distances will suit me and I will have plenty of time to get back in shape before then. I will post a link to it later.
I see Jamie Whyte and Nicky Samuels took out this years Lake Hayes Xmas triathlon and they are certainly names to follow in future. Results link here :
The aerobars above were some of the first clip on ones made under the Scott brand. Image is a bit blury and was taken from a car by a highschool mate at the time(1990). Not a bad image considering the speed was about 40km/hr. The lump on my back is a tubular tyre that was replaced during this race.
And above here is another image well known triathlete Scott Tinley from the same vintage.
November 27th 2010
It has been a sad week it the South Island of New Zealand but particularly for the West Coast where 29 coal miners died underground. I was also working at a new place the past week getting up at 5am so was a bit tired and so it seems my emotions come to the surface a bit more (seemed to have a tear in my eye the past days). I did work as a mixed animal veterinarian in that area for about 6months back in 2000 and seem to remember one of the faces from there(who didn't make it). Also I did runs and walks to the mines and a few of the memorials in the bush from previous mining loss of lives in that area. It was a nice area and I was treated well by alot of the kind local people.
It appears they did have certain safety protectors in place including ventilation and warning devices/detection meters with alarms. But clearly the system failed. For the past 4 years(of and on)I have worked in a government regulatory job which involves conitinuous auditing of company systems so that serious problems don't eventuate. Between the regulatory job and my own few businesses I am trying it is quite clear things will and do go wrong. Human error can occur, but even worse are equipment failures. Likely to happen though is equipment errors in combination with human error. There seems to be a lack of good rescue options available also in part due to a 2km+ entry tunnel through solid rock leading to wher the coal starts.
I only just caught a flight now as my dam computer changed its clock overnight and was referring to it the morning of my flight. Had corrected computer only weeks earlier as it had changed incorrectly to adjust for daylight savings and now it went and changed it self again(only a few weeks later).
Will have to write on something more positive next time. Still managing a run every otherday and a few swims. Catching up with a few people recently in Auckland has been great also and swimming at St Helliers and Kohimarama beaches has been very pleasant.
Enough for now as have plenty to keep myself busy.
Hope you are all keeping fit and active.
November 6th 2010
Well I have been using facebook to keep up with what everyone is doing. Also have been reading a few blogs to get outside of my own insular world. I have been keeping busy with many things. One of them has been keeping track of the wine I had made and since it hasn't sold as grapes or bulk wine then bottling it is my next step. So have designed this label, well come up with the idea to use an old stamp I really liked. Well was going to go for the wine name 'Wakatipu' but this time around it will be 'Lake Wakatipu' wines. Tasted the finished Pinot Gris wine today and am very happy with it. May also bottle some Pinot Noir this year, well it is on the cards anyway.
Am starting to get my life back(some free time that is), since I didn't carry on with the vineyard lease for another year. There was no way I could reasonably carry on when all the payments from the main buyer were months overdue(and alot still is). Really wanted to carry on with it, but there will be other opportunities in future.
And other things keeping me busy is selling lots of clothes on this website and through other avenues. At this years 'Challenge Wanaka' I will be selling triathlon clothes and equipment at the 3 day expo(in collaboration with ORCA). So after doing the event the past 3 years I won't be doing it this year. Well it will give me a chance to take a few photos in between running the tent.
Otherwise I have been going for a run every otherday and having a bit of time out before starting back at my veterinary work next week.
Will write some more soon and plan to get back more on the topic of triathlon or aspects of it anyway. Also planned are some sports medicine articles for the subscription part of this website before Xmas.
Take care out there and enjoy.
Getting some fitness back.
October 28th 2010
Track running near Waihi Beach through some native bush(and gorse). Have been getting up to the North Island of New Zealand quite a few times in the past months and the exploring has been fun. Some highlights were a trip to Russell(N.Z.'s first capital city) by boat from Paihia and a bit of sailing near Auckland.
And since this website relies on clothing sales here are some new additions(size and number available is shown in brackets below the photos) :
M(5), L(5), XL(2), XXL(3)
And here is one of the above tri-suits on a training run. If you want a 5% discount, then just ask me at TriathlonShots@hotmail.com and quote my blog.
September 18th 2010
Some improvements in different areas of my life,,,,, well this blog is about me but hopefully a whole lot more.
Have been paid 'up to date' for the grapes I supplied a few months ago(payments were overdue for about 3months). Still have quite a few payments coming due so not getting too excited, but the payments now mean my personal finances are not drowning like they were(now they are 'treading water' comfortably). Carried some debt on a Visa card over for 2 months and saw my first ever debited interest payment from them, it seemed a very high amount considering how much was outstanding and I am interested in the fine print of there interest terms.
I like pushing things to the 'max' occasionally and did that with the grape production venture. Pushing things to the 'max' financially only means extending myself about 2 months ahead of what my job pays me and am sure some would go bigger than that. The payments I have received so far now take the grape venture to the 'zero risk' stage I think all business needs to attain(at some point). It could still cost me more than I intended to get my money back out in wine with what is still owed.
Was talking to myself the otherday about business, well not out a loud. In future I won't be selling anything without seeing some money paid in advance or on delivery. To achieve this though I think the 'one' providing the service/product will need to be able to walk from the deal until this transaction is done(this can be acheived but you need to create/have available these other options).Getting paid the 20th month following for a service/product is fraught with issues from my experience.
Having limited monetry savings which are easy to access certainly restricts ones options. For many though tying up all their savings is a way of saving(self enforced). Certainly having lots of your savings easilly accesible could be a problem if you start buying things that you don't need or that cost you money in the long run. Life is definitely not all about money but a few skills in managing ones own budget are essential in this fast moving western society in my view.
Enough about my personal finances, write about it because I like business and want to share with others how I see business. Onto a new topic of this site and its inter-relationships..
This website is filling a few previous voids for me :
- It is allowing me to be creative(photos and a little bit of design).
- It is allowing me to communicate with a larger group of people(going by this websites statistics there are quite a few page visits to this blog). There is a 'two way' social networking factor also (quite a few e-mails bouncing around about buying/selling triathlon gear, photos etc).
- It is combining my passions of photography and triathlon, and as such keeping me motivated to keep pursuing them.
- It is a very small business that is doing better than just 'treading water', but note it was not initially set-up to be a business. Well my hobbies are covering there costs anyway.
- It is using up my spare time. This can be both good and bad. Good if the spare time is effectively utilised and benefitting, but not so good if it cuts into other important aspects of life.
- will add more when i think of it ....
- here is another. I am getting really interested in the whole world/work associated with making up websites. This making websites just evolved from starting this site. I set up another for the first time just a week or two ago and put a link to it in the last post. Setting up a website is one thing but the marketing of it is a whole different thing. Marketing or spreading the word about anything new either takes alot of time or alot of money (well some things market themselves and if you can make that happen you have succeeded in my view).
I have recently(July 2010) set up an account on 'Facebook' and there is some good to come out of it. It is interesting to see that in recent months people in the USA have spent more minutes on 'Facebook' than all the 'Google' owned sites combined. So Google will be working on getting into this business for sure.
So a question, are people wasting alot of time on all this social networking? More time will answer that question, but one thing I am certain of is that people are spending alot of money doing all this electronic communication. There is certainly some over usage such as cell phone texting and calling, but I do see a safety aspect in having a cell ph on ones person all the time. Life would be a bit busy nowadays if you were the most popular kid at school and everyone had your cell ph number and online social contacts, but then again you could just do updates on your 'facebook' page to let them know whats keeping you busy.
And my training, well it is a bit 'up and down' just like the weather here recently. Have been doing a bit but it is going to take some time to build back to the level I am aiming for.
Had a great run today.
September 7th 2010
Maybe it was the warmer sunny day or maybe it was the track by the river I found today. Well am pretty certain it was both these factors plus I have been slowly building into more swimming, running and biking in the past 2 weeks. So am pretty sure it was close to an hour of running and the track was along a road and then alongside the Kawarau river. Great, better get some sleep so I can do the same again soon. I challenge any readers to start getting fit again if you are out of shape.
September 8th 2010
Weather is warming up in Central Otago, N.Z.
Just managed a 1 1/2 hr bike ride and it was very pleasant, explored the roads around Bannockburn and the roads winding through the vineyards alongside the Kawarau river.
And on the internet front. I made the page up below for another website name I bought 'Tri-Suits.com' . What is interesting is that just making a new website isn't enough to register on the search engines like google. Come up with the idea for the design myself and made it all myself. Well I didn't create the store front image but I found one just as good today on my ride that I will photograph and use for my next store front(a non triathlon website I am going to make soon). It isn't expensive making websites if you do everything yourself.
You can also find the above page at a separate website I just set up here Tri-Suits.com
August 25th 2010
Just managed to link my two hotmail accounts together. Well I did this about a week ago but only today realised it was working. You can link all sorts of e-mail accounts together so I just found out a week ago when I went investigating. The trick here( found today), was that when I clicked on my name on the top right of 'hotmail' , it was then that my other hotmail address dropped down. It will save me alot of time so just wanted to make sure everyone who reads here knows about linking emails to one location. This will save me a fair bit of time wastage.
Have been checking out 'facebook' and can recommend it. It is well linked up to other 'feeds' and I like the set-up of it. The internet is where I see the biggest developments happening in the world at present. But maybe there is plenty more going on. However outside of computers I think some things are really being re-invented or recylcled and fashion is a good example of that. Alot of the really big scientific discoveries have been made already I think. Some discoveries have been made but there usefulness is yet to come into effect. I am reading a very big book on inventions at present and it is helpful/insightful. Da Vinci is my favourite in the book and that comes partly by the exhibition I saw of his drawing back in 1996 that is owned by the English Queen. He invented so much that would be used, but what is incredible is that some of it was only used fully centuries later. Let me think on that....hmmmmm. I was encouraged to be inventive from a parent so have come up with a few ideas myself. OK have one ........ what is an invention? I really do think the software on the internet is all a big invention, but that could be argued. Did the first person who created software for online sales invent something new......probably not... but did the first person who made the software for bank transactions invent something new? Anyway my point is that alot of new things only come about with new technology and when the need arises. It was interesting early on following what was almost a war between online search engines. I was using altavista early on and some others but eventually found google to be my favourite and I haven't looked back. Anyway enough rambling on for now... I will be reading around and following new developments so please do share....or sell the idea to someone who will !
Am so happy reading about the miners that have been found underground in Chile. I couldn't think of a tougher situation to be in than that, especially when they had no contact for the first 2 weeks or so.
August 21st 2010
Firstly I will try and tie all the following to triathlon training. Think through what it means to you to pay for personal or group training? If you want to be great then I do recommend paying reasonable/appropriate money to the very best coach. But if you just want to be good then I believe you can be self taught. So with that in mind read on.... Also keep in mind this is written from the 'number 8 wire' kiwi can do view point. Also I do think self teaching isn't for everyone or at least you have to learn how you learn and keep working on it.
Just succeeded in getting a 'favicon' to work for this website. So now you should see a little version of this beside the website address at the top of the page. It will also be present as the symbol if you save the website address to your favourites.
'Favicon' is web terminology for 'favourite icon'. I like all these new words developing due to the internet. I am starting to think that the skill of running a website is quickly becoming as important as say basic accounting. For example you can save alot of money if you can keep your own receipts and add them up yourself rather than get the accountants to do it. I am talking from the small business point of view though but if you can get big or start big(more risky), then outsourcing is your other alternative.
Well like myself I am sure you like challenges. It feels great when you put alot of time in then finally succeed. To be honest it took me about 4hours of mucking around to get the little 'favicon' working. I was aware early on that my computer was saving its browser history so possibly it was working after about 2 hours. I am pretty much self taught when it comes to most things. But saying I am 'self taught' is definitely egocentric because I didn't invent or create the original version/knowledge to acheive it. When saying self taught I am referring to reading and learning rather than going to a paid lecture/course.
In the end many would say 4hrs is far too much time to get a 'favicon' working and to a certain degree that is true. It would be about 10mins listening time if you went to a lecture to understand it. But there is a catch to that line of thinking and here are some points :
- during the 4hr process I did learn alot more than just getting the favicon to work
- the 4hrs was downtime for me when I had nothing planned/better to do ; was learning in free time and choosing to learn what I wanted along the way
- going to courses is alot more costly and time consuming than you might think, especially if you are honest about it(it works though as it keeps alot of people off the dole queues)
- there were alot of different websites offering expertise and even though some were very good, none had the easy straight forward solutions(that was because there are several steps to getting a favicon to work)
- It is fun using 'open source' software and knowledge and that way you can see the developments that have been made and the latest creations. As it turns out the latest developments for using a 'favicon' actually meant website coding was not neccessary. All that was required was to make a 'favicon' icon and then upload it(again simple when you know how).
- yes it is the process of learning which is important. If you have good processes that are repeatable you will succeed in almost anything you wish to. Of course 'success' is a relative thing and the word 'goal' in its place is probably better.
Now of course I could write a really long list of why courses are useful but will save that for another day. All I am saying is that there are pro's and con's for doing courses. Even if you want to be the best at say triathlon for example you could do it with a few short specialist courses. The hard part with triathlon is finding the time, money and motivation to keep going. Probably the best thing about courses can be hanging around with other like minded people. The course leaders should be 'like minded' but if they aren't then you need to find a course leader who is.
A big problem with courses is that the course creators really have to be good(up to date). This is especially so for specialist areas where things are changing fast. Basic concepts that are relevant through all the ages will be free to all on the internet very soon. I do believe people should even protect these 'basic concepts' on their websites with encryption. I use some encryption software on this website that is very effective(the most effective I have seen) and it is made by 'Protware'. Of course you can protect your website even better than what 'Protware' does by having your own server and passwords etc, but that is for big business/governments. But protecting a website used for business is different than trying to make the biggest used website addresses like say google. In between google and big private business is sites more like 'Facebook' which do have privacy settings. The success of companies like 'Facebook' is and will continue to rely on new software development. One mode of thinking is that you want everything to be visible to everyone, but that is only the case for some websites ; don't be fooled by people who say total visibility is the future.
If anyone wants to know how to get a 'favicon' to work in about 5mins then I will tell you but don't want to bore people on here. My contact is TriathlonShots@hotmail.com
And going by the above, I think it is pretty obvious i am getting into this modern day internet age.Must admit the 30min play with an 'Ipad' a few weeks back was alot of fun(to me it is a toy I could spend alot of time on). But for work the 'Ipad' isn't neccessay for me at present( $800nzd is too much to spend on a toy for me at present).
And yes have laid down a swim and a run in the past week so should be able to get right back into it. It was looking after 17ha's of vineyard for the past year that wiped out all my triathlon specific training. The vineyards haven't resulted in a very profitable situation for me to date(more like a big loss at present), but I did gain plenty of new skills. I pushed my time usage to near maximum, definitely a challenge and truly it feels like about 5 years in the last 360 days. I am not recommending to max out your time usage, but it was interesting. To be honest I have done so much and learned so much in the last year that I have to slow my thought process down and retrace just to remember it all. Things that happened 15 years ago certainly aren't very fresh in my mind like they used to be. So there is a good point of maximising your time(overloading your schedule), and that is that it forcibly clears your mind. I think of it this way and that is 'there is no limit to how much knowledge you brain can hold'. You won't keel over from burn-out exhaustion as long as you keep some balance of the physical and mental. 'Burnout', mental breakdown whatever you want to call it does exist, but not if you keep a clear mind. Never worry about things you can't control and don't hang around people who are in a bad frame of mind. Well you may hang out around those in a bad frame of mind, but be careful. I suppose it is possible to be in 'a bad frame of mind' for valid reasons, but these people need to find another way to express there emotions/feelings.
Back to triathlon ....really.....time to move ahead.....world champs age group race is in NZ in 2012.
I would rather do than talk. But I like this, how did a small country like NZ get this. There will be some financial side behind this but talking about money is boring(well it bores me). NZ is 'punching above it's weight with regard to sports and especially triathlon. I know some reasons and number one is the people(athletes and adminstration). Enough said...
Because of the above I might get fitter than ever before and I know going faster is possible.... several ways I will do this, first is loosing weight and the other is knowledge.
And in the middle of this blog some tips to both the men and women out there(looking to build relationships with the opposite sex). Don't read on if you don't want my thoughts on relationships. If you are female then let the guy know you care.... ask
are you happy" for example....don't ask about specific work questions though(because this can be 'very fluid'). And for guys, well first will say this has to be genuine to work. Tell your potential partner if you really want to have a family. Us guys quite often don't think very deeply on this subject and even if we do then we don't talk about it. It wouldn't and is not a big deal to discuss this as a guy, but if it is what you desire then mention it. Plenty of 18-25 year olds out there chucking it around and talking alot. basically I am talking to either mature people or people older than 25years. You can be mature at 18 years old but to start a family you either need a good family background or 'one in a million' direction(tax payer will look after you otherwise, but that would mean you are a dependent person).
Back to triathlon. I like it from the 'all round' health benefits the sport can and does create. But to be professional(making a living), is a whole diferent story. Obviously you need to have the basic physique and skills, but even more important is that you 'have to want it'. I think the above paragraph on relationships is important. To be the best triathlete as a women means you are focused on physique 100% and relationships would be support. That is different from what drives every living thing on earth. I think most woman would only do triathlon at the highest level if they fall into it(from a young age), the other group I won't discuss.
Another thing I have been thinking of for a while is 'the pain barrier' related to long distance traithlon. It is also part of training. There are different types of pain and the pain can emanate from different areas. Of course all sports people feel pain in some way. I know that I only tolerate pain for short periods then I pull back. However it is quite obvious some people have little respect for the pain barrier. Won't say what I really think(indepth). To be the best in long distant requires pushing the pain barrier. So I think it is dangerous. One way to reduce the danger is to build up slowly over many years and my mind tells me Craig Alexander fits that category. So that moves onto my next thought(leaving behind the pain barrier danger). Long distant triathlon is maintaining my interest as I like seeing some of the olympic distant triathletes finish their 'triathlon career' at the long distance. ITU is very focused on professionalism and as such the quality of athletes has alot more depth and consistency. I am not so sure that 'promoting 'ironman distance' as something everyone should try and do is such a good goal. Long distance triathlon is something I like to promote as more of 'a long term commitment', rather than a must do(bucket list type thing). If I was an event organiser I would target the 'half ironman distance' group.
Some more points to get off my mind. The internet is my preference over TV. The only TV programme I like at present is the UK dancing on ice competition. Went skating this week and it was ok, and it makes me really admire all those on that show.
So a surprise maybe. This blog is going to take some 'time out'. I can write so much more but it is a bit egocentric. My last point to myself is to start reading around more peoples blogs(both old friends and old aquaintences). Will search(internet) and may even go down the facebook route??
Also this website survives by clothing sales, so any purchases(subscriptions) are supporting the photo pages.
If you want long distance triathlon advice check this out :
I did read one other article before finding this one. It is only a new thing as far as I know that such specialist people are writing freely on the internet. All I think without reading past the first sentence is for guys to be aware of the heavy chest feeling and the aching pains in the shoulder region.
Last reminder to myself is to do some of the 'endurance training' camps around the world in the upcoming years. **reminder to selfhere**
Back to triathlon.
June 25th 2010
It was pointed out to me that below was a bit serious. Also the question of direction/purpose of this blog was put to me.
Funnily enough those same questions(sentences above) were popping into my mind over the past few months and during the last 2 entries. Anyone looking for insights into triathlon may well have been 'scared away' by now. This blog used to be mainly my thinking and direction all related to triathlon training and more generally this website(TriathlonShots.com). And so it shall return to being my triathlon blog. This blog was starting to turn into my open diary and I am unsure of the advantages/disadvantages of that. About 6months ago or so I also thought about stopping this blog and getting other writers for articles on the broader website. Anyway time to get back to this triathlon website.
Have been reading 'endurance corner' and all Gordo Byrn's blogs since he started triathlon and do find them to be very helpful. He has taken his website/business to another level by getting more articles by both his coaching team members and even those being coached with relevant expertise(and others such as the best triathletes current and past). What they are doing certainly appears to be the way to go and sure it will work, but am guessing it will take time. I think making triathlon work really well as a business is quite a challenge. One thing I think with any business is to have an open mind, because 'new doors' will open. Just which ones to go through to reach goals or change direction is the challenge(fun part in some ways).
Several new photo pages have been added and there is going to be some info put in the subscription area soon So I am going to do a small 'drive' to this websites customers sometime in the next month. Things are starting to get back in order for me(fingers crossed). Did my first windtrainer ride in a long while tonight and must do more! Will try and get back to some more fun ideas popping up on this page....hmmmm. **reminder to selfhere**
New photo pages:
' UK 70.3'
2010 ' American TTT'
A quick reflection of the past 40 years.
June 20th 2010
This blog entry will be a bit 'all over the place' and could be a metaphor to describe my life so far. Being 'all over the place' has worked out for me as seeing new places and making alot of new aquaintences along the way has been very interesting and stimulating. Don't have so many close friends nearby that one would have if they had stayed in the same village continuously. But watching TV tonight see the head vet on a wildlife programme and say hey I know that guy pretty well having worked alongside him for a year or so. Picking up an Asian 'nat geo' magazine when flying between China and Korea and to my surprise see on the first page are some rare wildlife photos from a French vet I just caught up with....so it is nice/rewarding in a way to know people well from many varied nationalities. You can meet and work with people from many countries even if you stay in your home village of course, but it is still not the same as working alongside them outside your home country on a big team project.
Some time in the next years I would like to do a bit of voluntary work related to animal conservation and covering it in photos for a group is pretty high on my agenda. This wouldn't be a totally 'out of the blue' idea for me though as have started along these lines in a small way.......link to .......some nature photos mostly taken by me.
Here is a link to a NZ native bird that has been in the news lately, so if you are interested in endangered species check out this link to some history on the Takahe. It was rediscoverd having thought to be instinct and this is an area that interests me. Surprising to me is the number of new species still being documented for the first time in recent years.
Update 8/8/2010 ; went to the Tiri Tiri Matangi island where there are some Takahe's running wild and here is a photo I got ;
There are only about 250 of this species left in the world. There are 27 on this island if my memory serves me correctly.
I do have to go back to this island though as didn't get to see the Kokako. Wonderful island and a great day-trip from Auckland.
Financial wise moving around has also worked out ok, but am pretty sure staying in one place would have been the same or better in this regard. Choices to keep moving around were based to a certain degree on where work was but also to get new work experiences. Getting a science and veterinary degree has also worked out fine, but would choose a different path if us humans stayed fit and healthy for a couple of centuries.
Ideally I think it is good to be able to use many skills gained previously in any future work, so I keep that in mind of course with my decisons. Old skills typically come to the fore again in some form, unless of course far superior technology makes the old skill obsolete. All the veterinary work seems to me to be very worthwhile but in my mind it is very challenging(probably due to me being a 'jack of all trades' type vet). I like tough challenges and can say all the veterinary work certainly fits that. To make the work more manageable(less challenging) as I get older an answer would be to specialise in one area. However it is not quite as simple as that, because when one specialises you can be passed some of the toughest challenges in your chosen specialty, which again would mean the work is not exactly straight forward.
Speaking from living in the 'Western' world I would say it is amazing all the choices we have today. In reflection can say I have been presented with plenty of opportunities or 'crossroad' times in my life. Maybe someday I will list them on here. But basically we/I can only be in one place at any one time and we all get older and our skills develop/change.
I had to resign from my last veterinary job because the value of the contracts for all the wine grapes become very high as the last 4-5weeks before picking approached. As was the case for the past 4months I couldn't take a single holiday from this particular vet job as the employers were really stretched for people to cover my position. In previous years it wouldn't have been a problem to have time off, but my employers were unfortunate that many staff had health issues during the months i required some days off.
So I started looking around at options and for any vets out there here is a link to one job. It has been a while since I was in practice, but here is one where I imagine they are hiring :
Royal Army Veterinary Corps -
Looking after the welfare of military working dogs and horses
It is very unlikely I would apply for the above army job, but am sure it is an option many commonwealth country veterinarians haven't considered.
Since my previous vet employer have been consistently short of vets then I will give there name here. That is NZFSA-VA and you can easilly find there contact by doing an internet search to check out the work opportunities with them. I will probably apply and hopefully work for them again, so can say they are reasonble employers.
Am certainly very disheartened about my first real venture into he wine industry(the past 12months of my life). It is a month today since I was due my first payment of $20,000. And today being the 20th June I am due my second payment of $20,000. So am not holding my breath about getting this in the short term either obviously. Will be approaching the wine industry from a very different angle should I be involved in future.
I would say our upbringing determines to a large degree the choices we make in life. Growing up on a family farm is a big part of the reason I like to be a 'jack of all trades'. In my mind small 2 person business which creates a self employed situation is also something that appeals to me greatly. But to reduce the risk doing a salaried job at the same time or for a good part of the year is a reasonable compromise.
Oh and about getting older. Age is really just a number once you pass 30 I would say. As long as you have both your mental and physical health then you can do anything. That is not to say an individual can't be very successful without both these types of health, it just cuts out some options if ones health is not close to 100% in all areas. It is also well documented that certain lifestyle choices are more conducive to a long healthy life also and it makes sense to get this area right. Certainly there are always risks associated with all our life choices, but this makes it interesting. Managing the risks and finding good solutions to most everything(and all parties), is the angle I approach things from these days.
Another thought I have is that the world and the way we live in it is changing as fast today as it ever has. Would say computers are one of the big changes I have seen over the the past 40 years, but there are many others. Regardless of the changes, it makes sense to remain open to new ideas and to be adaptable to a certain degree.
Well the above is plenty enough 'soul searching' and/or insight into what makes me tick. Hope the above post doesn't come across in bad way, as really am just trying to portray what has made me happy to date and also what is behind some of my choices.
Oh yeah, one last point. Throughout this entire blog you will read many generalisations I have made, and of course there are always exceptions to generalisations. My definition of a fair generalisation to make is something that holds true say 99% of the time. An example is the generalisation I made previously that the really fit and fast people in professional triathlon are healthy and there results reflect there health status. Of course anyone can loose there health quickly, but I would say it is only very few(<1%), who will have some unfortunate underlying health issue.
On that note there are a few sayings that have bothering me lately and need to get off my mind. For example 'a poor workman blames his tools'. I believe having the right tools specific for a job is essential, so much so that the saying annoys me. Another saying put to me recently is 'everything happens for a reason'. To me that is like saying everything is fated or pre-determined and I don't believe that. The way I see it is more like 'we create our own situations' and as such almost everything can be avoided from going down the wrong path (with some extra thought).
Take care and enjoy.
Some basic business ideas and more.
June 14th 2010
Firstly would like to be writing more here, but have been keeping pretty busy.
The grape production went well with respect to tonnages and grape quality, however payment date schedules in the contracts are not being met and it is leaving me 'strapped for cash'. Total costs to produce the 60Tonnes harvested was close to 6 figures. Roughly the cost to produce each ton of grapes was about $1400+ and that is not including any of my time. And that was alot of time as I pruned about 2/3 of the 17ha myself. Those costs are pretty high because it was mainly Pinot noir produced and to do it to a high standard requires alot of hands on work. It is possible for the costs to vary alot from the figure above and that is a few pages of information on its own. Keeping your costs down is half of any business I would say. The figures are being disclosed here are best not to be compared to others as there are so many variables that I won't go into. It is not always wise to discloses such figures but it is extremely unlikely i will carry on the next year with viticulture on these vineyards. It consumed all my time and there was always more that could be done. The vineyards(17ha total) was a bit much for me and blew my time and costs out. Mindyou I did have another fulltime job for 5months of the last year so that was part of the reason I had no spare time. The fulltime job was 3hrs driving away from the vineyards so for 4 1/2 days a week I couldn't really be on the vineyards. I only took on the 2nd vineyard when contracts were presented to me for pretty much all the grapes from both vineyards.
The full payments will come to just over 6 figures if I ever get paid and am having some of the grapes not sold made into my own wine(will be listed for sale as bulk/unbottled wine also). The plan was to carry on with this grape producing business and it would have been more easy the 2nd year doing it. But no payment has me thinking it is not worth it. If I had an idea the contracts wouldn't be honoured on time I would have only taken on roughly half of what I did.
My understanding is that the reason for the contracts not being honoured is that the winery has not been making the sales the intended to, so there cash flow is not happening.
So my first basic business '101' recommendations are :
- diversify who you are making your sales to.
- make sure you do all your taxes early on so that you have all your cash available as soon as possible(well that is assuming you have a tax refund due).
- know how every part of your operation works (this maybe impossible).
It was always risky and the wine grape buyer will have to pay for the grapes otherwise there business will fail. The positives for me is quite a few different skills and also much knowledge gained/solidified over the last year. One of the worst case outcomes is that I end up with alot of the grapes in wine.....but will think about that more if it happens.
In future I would much rather just make the wine myself from any grapes produced. Could put a direct link to the website of the guy who is not honouring the contracts but that wouldn't be professional. Do believe I will get paid out in full but if it is all months later then that leaves me in a very tight sitaution anyway. Could get out of this 'cash strapped' quickly but that would require me to sell some assets built up over many years.
Enough about the above and will get through it all. Not happy though as it is restricting what I can do for a while.
Taking on these vineyards meant the finishing times of the 3 triathlons done in the last year were not what I desired. In fact at 120km on the bike at 'Challenge Roth' my power dropped right off and my thoughts started turning negative for a while. This also happened at about 60km into the bike at the 'Challenge Wanaka' half. Things were not good for me either at the age group ITU world champs on the Gold Coast as some muscles around the scapula area were very tender due to pulling a muscle a week earlier as a result of pruning on the highwire using handheld mechanical pruners. On a positive is having fitted in alot of varied challenges in the past year and my body is still in one piece, even more positive is that I am slimmer due to all the work and have certainly strengthened alot of muscles, especially the core. With all the above said I still have very good memories of all events and apart from going slower the end results are still similiar in my mind.
Will go off track here a bit, but this oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico' is turning out to be a pretty big problem for the leading(?) Western countries, namely the USA and Britain. Unfortunately it brought back memories of one issue I did have on the vineyards in the past year. It was the computerised water irrigation system on the vineyard on Felton Road. My knowledge of irrigation systems was limited and so was my time so I was happy to pay quite well for a person from an irrigation company to help me on this. Early on I got a person out to explain and sort it out which was very helpful. A solenoid that was stuck in the off position was replaced at the time. As it so happened this same solenoid got stuck on later and as a result the water run non-stop(like the oil leak). I realised something was wrong within days of this problem occuring but was so busy working I thought it was the irrigation computer that was the problem( water was still running in other zones as well). The next day I did ring the irrigation company worker who had been there to help me several weeks earlier, but he didn't respond. Phoned the worker several times but it was 3 weeks later before a visit was made to see the problem and replace the solenoid(I had turned off the water mains before this). The point is I take full responsibility as should have been more knowledgeable and been there fulltime. In the end this problem ended up costing me a few thousand dollars extra and more of my limited time. The reason is the solenoid remained stuck on for about 10days(when I finally turned off the water mains), in total resulting in excess growth of grass and vines in this 1ha area of vineyard. Was away working my other job for 4 1/2 days after I first realised there was a problem, which was why I tried outsourcing/contracting this problem out. I did get a couple of joke texts from the irrigation person which was not the reply I sort an unfortunately didn't remedy this costly issue. The end result of grape quality and therefore wine quality will be the same, it just cost me more work time/money to get it to the same finish point/stage. How come the costs, well for starters the steel in a PTO blew to peices due to mowing the extra grass.....and then there was all the extra costs of work to be done on the vines.
So the Gulf of Mexico oil leak is on an entirely different level. Not being able to turn off a leaking oil well is an unreal and devastating scenario for all parties involved. It can't be allowed to happen again and there must be multiple points where such oil can be cut off in future. Working at one mile under the sea and the pressure of the oil is the problem I see. Manual/auto cut-off valves for these wells need to be both above and below the sea bed I would suspect. My first thought is that there would need to be at least one total cut off valve, that is one that can't be turned on again. They can always redrill new openings. There would need to be multiple valves and there functioning would need to be by different methods. I certainly hope they find better solutions to the current leak, but I really don't have the knowledge to speculate on this.
My take home is you might as well not outsource/contract out any work ; and if you have to contract work out then it would be best to closely oversee it and be certain it is done to schedule. The ultimate responsibilty lies with the project business manager/backer so you have to be there pretty much 24/7 and be able to understand/solve all issues that crop up yourself. Look at BP if you don't believe me and follow what will happen. They contracted out alot of the work and even if that is where things went wrong, they will end up with pretty much all the reparation bills.
So what is happening on the triathlon scene? Plenty of big triathlons happening at present as it is the Northern hemisphere Summer. Am constantly looking at the events happening and asking myself why i am not there. Going to triathlon events and photographing them rates much higher on my list of wishes than doing viticulture.
I will be sorting out the subscription page in about a week and soon after I will e-mail the 1000 or so people who have bought from this website or from me elsewhere in the last 2 years. This website is my passion and it is also covering its costs, so it is much more encouraging than leasing vineyards.
Some photos from the 'American Triple T' triathlon is the latest addition to this site along with several more articles by reknown coach Dr John Hellemans.
Well there is 4ha vines left to prune and a bit of maintenance work then I will be free of vineyards. Free to get fit again and start enjoying life............... well that is the plan anyway. Take care out there and enjoy!
From triathlon to wine grape production.
May 4th 2010
Here is a series of photos showing you what has been consuming all my spare time since mid June 2009. Well since mid April 2010 it is my fulltime work/business.
Quite noticeable in the 3 photos below taken this week is all the yellow leaves due to it being late Autumn time. This is especially obvious if the comparison is made to the photo which was posted on this blog back on January 24th (early Summer).
Bird nets coming off. Vineyards are pretty labour intensive and in todays economic environment the ability to do much of the work yourself is invaluable.
' The Sluicings ' vineyard is about a 30minute car drive from the other one photographed back in January. This vineyard is on Felton Road and the grapes from this area are pretty much the most sort after in New Zealand.
Do an internet search for the neighbouring vineyard to here called 'Felton Road Wines' and you will see what I mean.
This a square block made up of 6 hectares of Pinot Noir grapes. There are 2 windmills visible in this photo which are both located 25rows in from either end of this 100 row vineyard.
Machine harvesting of the Pinot Noir grapes.
Well in future they will be hand picked from this vineyard(assuming I am still retaining the lease for the next year).
Will go into the reasons later.
And for anyone who has no interest in grapes here is a bonus 'triathlon page' for you. It is a page of the best photos from IMNZ 2010, a page which was meant to be in my subscription area only. The page is fully encrypted but due to time constraints and errors on the page below it hasn't been put into the subscription area as yet. The photos with sections missing is an indicator of some of the small issues I have been having. On top of that I am now pretty much restricted to very slow internet and fast internet isn't available in my new home town in Central Otago. The only option was a mobile broadband and the costs are very high. Anyway here is the page link:
The topic of cycle safety has been bought to the forefront in this blog post due to the serious injuries to popular professional triathlete Jordan Rapp(see news and results page for full story). All I want to add to this is be a 'defensive' cyclist with regard to avoiding problems on open roadways.
Since my last blog post here there has been several pages added on ironman NZ and an article written by John Hellemans. Further articles on a monthly basis by John will continue on this website and more photo pages are lined up. This website covers it's costs by the clothing sales pages and people who purchase get the premium service(subscription area) of more information. Some of John's articles and some photo pages will go in the premium service(subscription area). Since last October I have had a problem with the subscription page but the main reason it hasn't been updated recently is that my other work has been 'flat out' (a day job plus 17hectares of vineyard in two separate sites). Will post more about how the vineyards work out over the next months and I plan to make up a separate website to promote the vineyards and some of the wine being made from the grapes.
My favourite healthy foods.
February 24th 2010
I made a list a year or so back and refered to it when heading to the grocery store. Can recall some food items from it but regardless here is another list :
- potatoes(home grown and several varieties)
- fresh vegetables, especially home grown in rich soils
- nuts and raisons
- fish ; both fresh and canned such as tuna or sardines. It is getting near time to treat myself to a bit more crayfish and other tasty exotic seafood.
- lean red meats including wild game like Duck and Venison
- eggs, but only several a week. Will have to start buying 1/2 dozen eggs a week....hmmmm
- a big variety of fresh fruit and especially those in season
- breakfast cereals and bread bread(but I need to cut back my bread intake a bit)
- a small amount of wine but no more than 2 glasses in any one day
- drinking water instead of ready made drinks(this can save you alot of money also)
- quite a bit of honey. I don't have raw sugar available in my house though.
And now to be honest, I don't eat enough fresh vegetables at present. And I do eat a certain amount of junk food(eg biscuits), which will need to be cut back when aiming to get back in top athletic shape. I don't eat many takeaways, however some can be healthy such as subways without too much dressings or cheese.
Getting yourself to optimal race weight is where we are aiming to get to for the best triathlon performance This will require not only eating healthly but also matching caloric intake with your training
I don't eat very much dairy products and want to cut this right back to none bar milk in my coffee. I haven't had butter, cheese or yoghurt in my fridge for several years now.
Writing in progress..........................................ok made it back...first thing is I will make time for a swim in Lake Hayes tomorow no matter what(Get fit again Mr !).
Am putting off talking about my half ironman race. Really not much to say, but my finish time was 5hrs 33mins and I was happy enough with that. Swim time of 30mins flat, cycle time of 3hrs flat, run time of 1hr 54mins and the rest was transition time.
So can do the calculation but would say since mid June I have done:
- two 1hr swims(including Roth) and four 40min swims
- about four 1hour rides, three 3.5hr rides(at Kona), plus the 5hr 29min Roth ride.
- about six 50min runs. The last of which was on the the Wednsday night before the Challenge Wanaka half and I run well with new shoes but had very sore legs for 40mins of it for some reason.
So the above is not enough training and can say i was alot fitter a year ago when doing the whole Challenge race in just over double the 5hrs 33mins above.
I like to think my motivation is starting come back. And yes my excuse is the vineyard, but I chose to do it and it will pay off(was and still has certain risks as with any farming).
Finally got a photo(taken with a fisheye lens) on here of one of the vineyards I have been looking after since mid June 2009. You maybe able to make me out in the photo. It was taken to show about 6hectares of the 17 hectares I am looking after for this season. I still have my veterinary job which runs from mid November through to mid May(my choice to work seasonally). And this website is my other hobbie/work/income.
And something to show I still find time to relax and have some fun. Myself and three nephews on Xmas day a month back.
My next post on here is to be a list of my favourite healthy foods.
January 7th 2010
Have done 2 more swims since last time and one was a 2.2km swim total which was across Lake Hayes and back after photographing the triathlon on the 27th. The other was a 40minute hard out swim in the pool yesterday and some detailed technique study I printed off and went through(well that might help more than lots of kms).
Lake Hayes Triathlon
Well have just got back from a very good 8km run during my work lunch break, but have a little sore twinge just lateral to my knee joint(which will be right soon).
Am pretty sure I have done one more 30km ride since last time and probably another 5km run.
So I am not trying to be smart and show how little one can do. Rather I am trying to turn it into something useful to show those who pull out of races they entered because they didn't get the time to train. I do like to think my base over the last 20years is there and hope I can show how well you can go if you just keep the weight off and make it to the start line in a healthy state. I will be disapointed if I don't do the 'Challenge half ' in under 5 1/2 hrs and would still like to go 30mins for the swim, 3 hrs or less for the bike and 1hr 40mins for the run.
I also plan to get some start line and finish line images myself of the full 'Challenge Wanaka' and hopefully will have another photgrapher there also getting images. The Geelong 70.3 is planned to be fully covered on this site also and have a great photographer lined up. If anyone out there is at IMNZ this year and thinks they can get great images then contact me as I do pay well for the photos. Have tried a few contacts but like myself people are pretty busy these days. I could have got quite cheap tickets before Xmas to Taupo as made a booking for my folks the same weekend up there to a wedding. But that weekend in March is when I will likely be putting nets on 18hectares of vineyards.
Better go, but will say this website is still high on my priority list.
Have a safe Christmas holiday and all the best for the New Year.
December 24th 2009
It has been a while. If you are reading this then I am sure you can acheive your goals for 2010, maybe they will even be goals which are working towards bigger goals the following year.
My training since getting back from Kona in mid October has been two 10km runs, one 20km bike ride and one 10min swim in Lake Hayes without a wetsuit. And I have about 3 weeks now to the 'Challenge Wanaka' half.
So the good news is that I have secured a contract for over half the grapes I am leasing this year. As part of the arrangement I picked up a further 6 ha of vineyard on Felton Road near Cromwell and that helped sell the grapes. I will put a photo on here soon of one or both the vineyards. I took the first 11ha vineyard on 3 weeks before I headed to Germany to do 'Challenge Roth'. That was 5 weeks out from that Roth race day so my training has been quite limited since mid June.
So if there are ever any triathlete people passing through Central Otago/ N.Z. then I have plenty of work I can offer you. Actually one guy I met who is very good at triathlon is passing through soon so it will be good to catch up with him. He has offered to help me change the look of this website a bit so we will see. This website could do with a spruce up and changing the look a bit should make it more interesting for any regular viewers.
Well I had better run, actually a bike ride for today. I will keep a record of all my training since mid October so you can see what can be acheived on limited training.
My build up has been ok though as I got a bit of base in Kona with three 3hr plus rides there and some running and swimming. Plus I have kept the weight off and my metabolism up by working every free hour in the vineyards.
Well I have also been busy sending off lots of tri suits around the world. The places I visited this year in Europe have returned the favour with one Italian guy buying 7 tri suits and a guy from the place in Crete where my girlfriend and I holidayed buying one yesterday.
Here they go:
You can get to them by clicking on them. I have a few more to add in the next day as I have just restocked from ORCA.
Kona, training, work and website.
October 28th 2009
A little cartoon above to keep it fun.
Well haven't been doing any training to speak of since being in Kona and the reasons are to freshen up and also am waiting for the weather to warm up here.
Probably the biggest thing using up my energires is the vineyard work...
Kona ironman world championships.
October 10th 2009
Kona was a very beautiful place.
Swimming in the sea on the course felt easy and there were plenty of dolphins swimming alongside those training on the course.
The above photo shows the cyclist Chris Lieto who had the best ride leading here.
Had some trouble on the flights back home as 'Go' airlines didn't get the luggage of myself and 8 others to Honolulu. so I flew back to NZ with no gear. Terenzo Bozzone who was 11th was on the same flights and he headed back to NZ with none of his luggage which included to very expensive bikes.
The photography went well and the media was treated well by the organisers, which always helps.
I went with Ken Glah's group and that worked out pretty well. My condo for the week was very handy to downtown and was good quality although it was pretty hot(fans but no air-conditioning.
But I managed to link into free wireless internet connection from my condo so that may have been one of the best things ; it meant I could get my pages done and uploaded quickly.
Also managed three 4hr rides on the course and it was some of the most superb cycling ever. Did 2 swims and a few runs also so a great week altogether.
Basically it would be an honour to get to this race and it seems very similiar in overall quality to 'Challenge Roth'. They seem like the two best triathlons I have seen and are certainly the biggest in the sport.
More to come..............
Off to Kona in a few days.
September 29th 2009
Am slowly getting organised and feeling better than when I last posted on here. There is quite a bit of work required in keeping a website looking good and working effectively ; both the look and content of this site needs more time but that will come.
Have been looking through this site and trying to fix a few errors. Come across this page of wisdom I wrote some time ago, but it doesn't really fit with my 'Tri Tips' page, so here it is :
Also it saddens me everytime when hearing of another cyclist being critically injured or killed on the roads, so my advice is to take care and be a defensive cyclist. I wouldn't cycle in 'built-up' areas these days with the way many are living the fast life.
There was probably some not so useful talk it my last post on here. Really to summarise it when you are doing something important or you are doing a lot of things then you are better off to organise your own travel and accomadation, otherwise they are variables you have lost control over. And since I am trying to do a number of things well, then uncontrollable variables need to be avoided. It comes back to what I said some months back and that is , "you can acheive what ever you desire, but you need to be very organised". Reducing the chance factors is an important component and that applies equally to your endurance sports training programme.
It was always a 50:50 call for me to race at the worlds and looking back I still wonder about the cost/time versus gain benefit. I don't always compare like that and have tried to be very easy going the past few years, but time is important to me at present......could go on but time to remember the lesson and move on.
The bigger cost versus gain benefit that has been on my mind is the vineyard I am in control of for this season. Yes I have run all the figures on it and at present it isn't a zero risk situation. Before posting a photo on here of this very beautiful place I will see how well the Spring frosts can be managed.
So off to Kona, where I will take my swim, bike, run gear and try and do a good burst of training.
ITU World age group champs.
September 18 th 2009
Well I got plenty of good images of the events on the Gold Coast which was really my number one objective. Also finished the the triathlon in my age group of 35-39years in just under 2hrs 19mins which equalled my fitness, but not really the time I had in mind. Overall it was a 'must do' event considering this website, but am not sure I needed to do the race or be part of the 'NZ team' .....maybe I could have done the aquathlon but that idea just come into my mind as I write now....hmmmmm.
Just recently have really been pushing the boundaries of how much one person can try and fit in, but so far it is o.k and have intentions to pull back. For instance after 'Challenge Wanaka' this year I will step back from entering events and just train when I have spare time, so still doing something most days that is. Things that have cropped up as hassles for me have been my main work laptop dying on me( I had a back-up one ready obviously but it is not quite the same) and a shoulder injury(which is resolving).
I invite any readers of this site who do triathlons and that pass through the South of NZ to contact me and do a few bike rides or such like. Likewise anyone who is doing the 'Challenge Wanaka' event this year is welcome to get in touch and my contact is at the top of this page. My base in my spare time is near Queenstown and 45mins from Wanaka.
It was neat seeing some of the triathlons top athletes up close the past weekend as they are a real inspiration, and I am always impressed with how the triathletes 'come across' and act.
So I already intend to go to Budapest and photograph the final next year, but after going to Beijing in 2007 to photograph the ITU triathlon it would take alot to get me back there ever again. Have visited Budapest back in 1996 when a special visa was required and it was really 'Eastern Block' then with all old style Russian cars that were stained black from soot on the sides.
The 'Challenge Wanaka' half is actually my target/A race and part of my preparation was the world age champs and 'Challenge Roth'. About 4 weeks before 'Roth' I took on(by choice), a large well established Gibbston valley vineyard near Queenstown with about 26,000 vines, and it has kept me busy so pretty sure it has taken the edge off my times. I did most of the pruning with a mate, but several weeks ago he pulled out on being an equal partner in it ; he had good reasons to not stay 50:50 but mainly due to getting a good deal on a property he wants to have a house on by Xmas.
So did times in both Challenge Roth and the ITU worlds which are slower than what I had in mind, such that going sub 5hrs in Wanaka is indeed going to be a 'Challenge'.
So enough details about my life above as there are only a few people who read this and don't want to be a bore.
Two weeks to go untill I head off to Kona for 12days so better get back to it. Got the media accrediation so hopefully the media truck will get me out to a spot on the Lava fields for some good bike images.
This blog.........hmmmmm.................... really it is where I am bouncing ideas around and that is what it will continue to be. That is, it is a diary but will also be my preamble writings for some special features/articles on this website. So one major revamp for me is to get the 'News/Results' page looking less amateurish. To reiterate again though, there has been almost no outside help in making this website so far, and I just search out the code to make this sites features from the internet. Everyone is in the same boat in life when it comes to your business/work/hobbies and that is everytime you outsource work/buy something you will be after a return. If you are not getting a return in say improved happiness/health or even monetry well then you are going backwards. We all take some risks, but if they are very well calculated then the risk can be reduced to near zero.
Enough talk for now, but wish all readers well. It will be a while before I post on this blog again...time out for me until Kona ironman World champs.
Actually while writing the above I had few stomach cramps but like any minor hassles they pass quickly and you just get on with it. Lying in bed with stomach cramps isn't any better than just taking it easy and I can say doing the computer side of this website has been straightforward/relaxing enough for me....... two laptops down/completely dead over the past 3 years of doing this site though has been the only thing I don't like, but they were both second hand and I did get my 'moneys worth' out of them. Biggest hassle for the weekend was the AirNZ rescheduled flight that left me stranded overnight at the Chch airport with 6hrs to kill ; and the disrupted sleep has affected me now. AirNZ are really good and that reshceduled flight was due to the NZ triathlon team organisers who planned to charter it. They were just trying to do their best so overall I respect them, however there is always a small concern in my mind that the 'powers that be' commercialise things for their own interests and not those of the 'greater good'. This site is just built out of passion for triathlon and as part of that I can truly say triathlon can be done on a reasonable budget and still be enjoyed ; so I will protest a bit if and when the commercialism appears 'out of hand' to me.
I think the money for the professionals should mostly come from their own sponsorship and a relative who was a pro triathlete told me 99% of Michellie Jones earnings were from sponsors. That is actually a relevant topic as the pros got together and approached the ITU delegation while on the Gold Coast to stop ITU from banning 'their own sponsors logo's from being printed on their ITU tri-suits.
My Greek holiday and the oldest image of an athlete running.
Knossos, Crete, Greece
The above image of an athlete running was recreated from small pieces that were found in the ruins of the Minoan Palace(below) of Knossos. Athletics first began in this area of Greece.
A Greek person told me the name triathlon was a Greek name but am guessing he just means the 'athlon' part of the word.
The Minoan Palace(above) of Knossos lies at a distance of 5 km from the town centre of Iraklion (Heraklion) on the island of Crete. Parts of it have been recreated such as the building center picture, as alot of it had worn away over the last 3700 years.
The view above is from the hotel's restaurant. Managed a few good swims out here for my build-up to the age group world champs in Australia in September.
NOTE to self is to try an put video in here I made of swimming.
update - Actually the video sound didn't work when I put it on my computer, but someday video clips I make will be put on here and also on 'youtube'. Well thats the plan.
My girlfriend and I eating out. Good mixed fish meals in Crete.
Did run the 'red eye' reduction on this image and it helped a little.
View of Venice on the flight home. Not the best image but part of the holiday which I liked was the views over the big cities on my flights including London, Moscow, Hong Kong and many more.
Euro-Rail trip continued.
July 28th 2009
Below is a series of photos from an area along the West Coast of Italy called 'Cinque Terre'. There is about 2hrs of decent walking trails along the coast which links up 5 fishing villages.
I have put a few photos of vineyards in the photos on this blog as viticulture work is what I will be filling in my spare time with for the next year or so ; around my day job and triathlon training of course.
Many of the old towns in Italy have narrow streets like this which all make it very special.
This area of vineyard is a bit overgrown. Other areas of the vineyards needed some fertiliser and better management, but these didn't look to be commercial vineyards but rather local produce.
You can see a village in the distance, and I started walkng from the first one just around the corner from the furtherest point you can see.
I like how the vineyards, olive trees and other gardens for food are all part of the village life.
It wasn't easy to get these images in amongst a large crowd. I didn't apply for a media pass but did think about it. You do get different angles of the event from all the media accreditated photographers so it is not all bad.
Two of the new 2010 Toyota car models.
This photo and the one below were taken from the display shops that were on the Champs Elysees.
Firstly you have to buy it 1st class. So for 4 countries and 6days it was $439 euros. I did get my value out of it by just using it for 4 days so far, as it suited me to travel a long way on these days.
I did have extra fees of about $40euros on top of the initial cost. And in Italy I got fined $50euros for not validating the ticket, which was very annoying. Thought that the ticket got stamped by the train director people as that is what was done on the first day I used it.
So the ticket is good value but you need to be aware of the rules and have a trip plan beforehand. If you aren't sure you will make it to a destination which is very far away in a day, then you could just pay the next days train trip as separate from this ticket as it would be cheaper.
It was neat going all the way from Paris to Stuttgart in less than 3hrs on the TGV, also from Lyon to Paris on the TGV was like 2hrs.
Europe is expensive due to the high comparative value to other currencies. france was the most expensive of the four countries I have visited in Europe this trip(although you can find ways to travel cheaper in all countries).
A Euro-Rail trip.
July 20th 2009
A series of photos below taken from the train and all from a single days trip using the 'Euro-Rail' 6 day pass.
This days journey began 1 hr by car from the Stuttgart train station and finishes in Genova / Italy.
These passes are only availble for 1st class travel which is nice if you are on the train for long days.you are covering alot of distance.
Vineyards near Frieberg / Germany.
Looking across a corn field to a farm house in Switzerland. My laptop in the foreground as I was working while enjoying the sights( there was plugin power in 1st class on this train).
This trip also passed by Interlaken in Switzerland so there were some nice mountain views across the Lake like my home area in NZ.
The 1st class dining area of the train. It costs about 30euros for the whole menu, but I didn't try it.
Still the same trip as the above 2 photos, but this time looking across a lake in the north of Italy.
The next three images were taken the day after in Genova(Where I got to the day before).
I stayed with a friend in Pegli / Genova and she loaned me her house for 4 nights which was unbelievably relaxing and nice, especially since I had it to myself as she stayed with her boyfriend.
My ride at present while following 'Le tour de France' cycle race.
I spent two afternoons in this Cafe watching several hours of 'Le tour de France'. Well it is part of my work as I plan to photograph the 'time trial' in Annecy/France on the 23rd July.
All the streets were narrow like that above in the old centre of Genova, which is 1000 years or older in parts.
Myself about to do some laps at the swimming pool in Pegli / Genova. My friend loaned me her pass so I did get a few swims in the 2 days spent here at the pool. It was very busy here a few days after this photo on the Sunday and the sights were truly amazing, especially from a 'red blooded' males view anyway.
I forgot to take my swimcap and togs this day so wore shorts and a borrowed cap ; it was compulsory to wear the cap for swiimming.
The location of this pool is by the sea which is just visible through the rails above my head. This area was very popular with tourists before the last war but since it has become an important shipping port. However the beaches beside this pool and this pool area were jam packed with people on the Sunday ; just Italans though so I was a novelty and after explaining NZ was my home everyone treated me superbly for some reason.
There was also a bar and cafe here and I watched an hour of 'Le tour de France' here also.
Challenge Roth accomplished !
July 14th 2009
My bike in transition the day before raceday. May remove this photo later as it isn't that exciting. All the bags were provided by a sponsor so i think they should re-use them, but am pretty sure they don't. Most plastic gets recycled here in Europe though. A wet bum for me on the bike to start the next day isn't a problem but guess the plastic does give everything some protection.
Trying to poke my stomach out, but maybe i wasn't too overweight....just a bit under trained.
Swear I didn't draft although this photo shows otherwise. Was sitting up while cycling through here and only caught a glimpse of my girlfriend this one time all day when i looked back.
Just over 61mins for the swim so that was o.k. And just over 5hrs 28mins for the bike ride which is also good for me, but my strength really dropped off at about 100kms into the cycle. The crowds were great along the cycle course and it was perfect riding conditions in all ways.
My T2 time was 5mins or so, which indicates i was ready for bed after the bike. I went too fast for my endurance fitness level and averaged about 34km/hr for the first 90kms.
These events really test ones endurance, but that goes without saying.
My girlfriend sitting down and my host family mother holding a flag for me. My hosts were great and they had this flag flying when I arrived at their home. And the food was the best as she was trained as a chef.
This photo was taken by the son of my host family
and he got a few other great photos for me also.
Gave the host family a few presents including my ORCA wetsuit(to the son to get him motivated to do it as relay member). I have three spare wetsuits back in NZ.
I did have a cap and should have worn it as 4hrs 39mins running was along time ; fortunately the sun only come out from the clouds for a brief time. Another mistake I made was putting on suntan lotion only pre-race. At 'Challenge Wanaka' they even had suntan lotion at the aid stations which helped(probably due to sponsor arrangements).
You can do it also, well whatever the limits you set yourself anyway.
On the way to Europe.
June 30th 2009
Have booked quite a few different trips around the world this year, so decided to join the AirNZ Koru club. Knew I had a few longer stopovers but this first one of 6hours in Auckland somehow skipped my memory ; boy am I going to sleep well when I get on this flight. So the first photo below is where I am sitting writing this from, the AirNZ Koru lounge. Joined the Koru club mainly so I could have use of the wireless internet access to carry on this website. Due to making a small profit on selling clothes and subscriptions to all corners of the world this trip will be claimed as a business expense; a big thankyou to all those who have supported this site in some way.
But the reality for me the past 2 weeks has been 'hard out' pruning of a large Central Otago vineyard. Sitting here in the AirNZ Koru lounge is also the first time in several weeks I have had any free time to update this site so have just added some photos to the 'News' page. The opportunity has come up due to alot of people being cautious in the wine industry and the fact that they had a bumper crop in 2008 which is now coming on stream. So if anyone in the NZ wine industry wants 50Tonnes of Pinot Noir grapes then please get in touch :
The only bike ride I have got in the past 2 weeks was about 2hours on my indoor trainer at my home base in Southland while watching the mens Madrid ITU series triathlon. The image below was taken during that so you can also see from the photo where I am keeping my costs low so as to travel alot this year ; I don't live the high life that much but it is nice to treat oneself occasionally and recharge the batteries.
Above image of indoor training and my set-up is a bit precarious but do have intentions to get it so my TV can play the internet via my computer when I can sort the neccesary cables out.
Also I am trying to sort out some ways to reduce the noise from the cycle trainer ; either that I will try and get some headphones to connect to my video/computer/TV player. The list of gear required is ongoing or am I just getting carried away?? There are quieter indoor cycle trainers but they are more expensive and I am not sure where i can get one from a store ; hard to know what one is getting on the internet sometimes and the postage could be costly, but I will keep an eye out for alternatives.
Well all the vineyard work has been great as am sure I have lost several Kgs(bought a couple of pairs of jeans today and don't remember ever fitting a 32inch waist before). Have managed about 4 swims and several 1.5 hour runs each week for the past fortnight. My mate and I have 26,000 vines to prune and we are doing it all by hand and were working long days with a short lunch break only, so have roughly half it done already. It has been a bit cold in the morning but I would run up and down the rows releasing the wires to warm up so that was great stamina building. Physical work in a beautiful environment is really where it is at for my mind and body.
So triathlon has still been on my mind and have been reading around in all media sources to 'keep up to date'. The ITU world series is really exciting so am looking forward to seeing the racing live. I have been reading the 'Going Long' book a bit more and starting to understand it ; they do actually suggest using HR as a measure of one's anaerobic threshold(AT) and even give some tests to work it out. I re-read that section of 'Dave Scotts' book and now understand it. Now I remember 20 years ago it took me several reads to comprehend that section also and the reason is I am just reading it in a relaxed matter but also it isn't totally straight forward. So below I will explain another take on anaerobic threshold(AT):
Prior to the 2008 'Challenge Wanaka' a group of us did a training course with Dr John Hellemans in Wanaka and a nutritionist and exercise physiology specialist assisted also. We all wore HR monitors on a tough road pass over the Crown Range while cycling and aftrewards all the data was downloaded onto a computer. Afterwards we had individual discussions regarding the results and my records showed my HR stayed below 160beats/min. I did push close to max so 160 was said to be close to my AT. On the day of 'Challenge Roth' 8 weeks later I wore a HR monitor but really rode by perceived exertion ; but I did glance at my HR monitor every time I pushed beyong my comfort zone and sure enough my HR would just be sneaking over 165 beats/min or so. The bike rode flew by and I did look what my HR was doing at least every 15mins and can say it was sitting at about 155beats/min the whole way ; did run out of 'steam on the 2nd lap of the run but I put that down to poor pacing on the run(my first time over this distance.
So there you have it, the above paragraph explains how you can use your HR to roughly guage your AT. The above is an example of a training test to find your AT and the 'Going Long' book uses a different one involving a cycle time trial which I beleive would be equally as valid.
So will fix up my book review and post it on the index page very soon.
Wetsuit testing to decide on a wetsuit for upcoming races.
June 21st 2009
Just did my first wetsuit test in the pool today and now have a whole new respect for others who have done similiar tests. I was wet when putting the first wetsuit on and am guessing that was why it was so difficult to get on. Dried off to test the 2nd wetsuit and it was a pain getting on also.
Anyway this was just a test of two almost identical 'ORCA Apex' wetsuits in a pool, but one was newer and the other had several inches cut off the legs. I did the same warm up for both wetsuits and the time differential for the 200m was neglible ; 2min 41sec for one wetsuit and 2min 40sec for the other. Chose not to swim further as I can warm up alot in a wetsuit when in an indoor heated pool, which isn't good.
For both the above I checked my HR was at the same point when starting the tests(all pushing off the wall).
Afterwards I did a 200m with no wetsuit and my time was 3min 4secs which was alot slower. I can hold 45secs somedays for 500m+ so am not sure what was going on there.
And after that I did a hard 100m in 1min 19sec with a dive start, but it was a bit sloppy as was already a bit tired from the test(especially pulling the wetsuits on).
Anyway did the tests to convince myself or at least confirm what wetsuit I will use in future. For my own reasons I will only swim with the legs cut short, so the new wetsuit will be getting the legs cut shorter soon also.
I must admit was happilly surprised with the times of 2mins 40secs and did the first 200m comfortably(sub anaerobic threshold the whole way).
The above wetsuits were longsleeve so for me they make about 5secs difference/50m.
My kick maybe is my weak point so will follow some of the drills Dave Scott shows on 'YouTube' before the non-wetsuit swim at the GoldCoast in September(at least i think it will be non-wetsuit?).
Using work to keep fit for endurance sports.
June 16 th 2009
Have a feeling I will be another year older about now. Still not too many grey hairs, and feeling more healthy than ever. Had a really good swim session the otherday and towards the end when I was tiring some top junior swimmers started doing laps beside me and I wasn't too far off the pace. A few days later I saw the girl who was swimming in the next lane just beat the olympic swimmer Stephanie Rice in the 200 IM, so it seems I can go well at times. At the time I was just training for 3 weeks with little other work and was doing some strength training at the gym specificaly for swimming and it seemed to be working
The opportunity has just come up to manage a vineyard in my local area and I have some spare time between training and boating so am taking it on with a mate. It is getting boring sleeping into 10.30am now, but I had an excuse as was working to 2am in the morning for the previous 6 months. Note is to get a photo of the vineyard we are managing here. It will require at least 20 ten hour days of pruning for the 2 of us so that should build my stamina up. If you are not doing a physical job then i think you should be exercising 6 days a week.
Update June 20th. Have started the pruning and it is going well. Have to release wires that were holding all the vines in so am running to do it fast and train for 'Challenge Roth' and the enduarnce training is good but obviously it is a lot of stop- start. Just carried on running when it become too dark to work tonight and then ran up a steep hill for an hour with my hat and gloves on as the air temperature is around zero degrees celcius. Then went for a swim and it felt good also so better get some sleep....goodnight.....
So why did I start writing here today...hmmmm....to promote my site a bit as am picking some people just read certain parts of this site. Here is a little photo clip I made up over a year ago with photos taken in 2007 for the 'PlanetXsport' part of this site:
More recent additions to this website can be linked to by clicking on the photos. You will see that the womens event is by subscription. This site started selling subscriptions and giving free subscriptions with clothing purchases in mid March. In the first 3 months there have been over 160 subscritpions given out to people who have paid for it or bought clothing. This site will be closing down the clothing sales for all but a few ORCA trisuits when I go to Europe for 6 weeks from 30th June. But if you don't need triathlon/sports clothes then $5USD for a 2 year subscription can't be bad value?!
This site will continue to have some free event photo pages and other articles but the plan is to slowly rewrite them to improve the quality and put them in the password protected area.
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Well it is the middle of Winter here so am happy with the balance of work, training and adventure at present. Today I biked up the 'Crown Range'(to the snow level), and did it pretty easy so am feeling good that the strength is in my legs. Would like to prove to myself what level of endurance I have at present and a long(3hr +) indoor bike trainer session is planned for this. Still haven't got it set-up really comfortably yet and will be trying to get some decent earphones with a long cable so I can plug it into my laptop and TV.
Am also intending to contact Xentis wheels in Austria to see what they can do for me regarding getting hold of some new clincher wheels, but am wavering on this as it could cost me money that is hard to justify sensibly. I will be in Europe for 6 weeks and am starting get a little nervous about the planning involved, but really my trip is planned better than ever before ; really it is the cost in dollar terms that could make me nervous but i try not to dwell on it. Really I am well sorted, but still leaving some options in my trip.
For my social life and adventure outside of triathlon I have been going boating the past few weekends. The last weekend was the biggest adventure in that the big motor broke down and it was near dark and we were on the opposite side of the lake from civilisation. We have a small 5hp auxillary motor but we managed to break the shear pin that is required to put the motor into gear. We had shot a deer and caught a trout so we had food(plus we had matches). We were lucky to manufacture a temporary shear pin from a peice of metal. There was just my boat sharing/owning mate, myself and his father who had come along for this trip. I was the only one with a cellphone and it was beeping due to a low battery. Since we had a guest, he somehow called the shots and instead of going straight across the 2km wide lake in the dark(with the repaired auxillary motor) as my mate and I would have, my mates father chose to ring a friend and get him to drive to the nearest road access(about 5kms away). So he chose to walk out a long a good dirt track that runs along the lakeside. Meanwhile my mate and I went back and picked up the deer then used the auxillary motor to get back along the side of the lake. Anyway we ended up all safe but it was midnight when we got home and it was freezing. Following our guests wishes was sensible and it was the safe option. If the boat had stopped in the middle of the lake in the middle of the night it would have been a long cold night, but we would have been fine especially since one guy had walked out and someone would be able to come and get us on another boat. Someday I will put some photos on here of our favourite boat fishing spots but not the Deer shooting spots as they are a secret. It is the scenery and solitude/remoteness of these spots that really make it special.
Have a small pocket camera lined up to get so this is a note to myself. It seems strange though when I already have two nikon D200s. They are quality cameras but not practical for taking on bike rides and some other occasions where I want to take a few quick images.
I can relate the above boating 'breakdown' story to bike preparation also. Basic bike maintenance is required to minimise breakdowns during racing and at all times when out training one should take a couple of spare tubes and decent tyre levers. Basic bike maintenance will be covered in an article with a link here:
The above adventure/story didn't take much out of me as I am on glide time. I really can't get motivated to just train solidly with no outside interests. To break the monotony of focusing on training I have also been doing a few short work stints helping prune my parents small vineyard and some of the associated jobs also give me a good workout. For instance when pulling the net back in after picking I would use an overarm technique simulating the swim stroke and keeping the elbows high. It gave the muscles that are not normally strength trained a good workout and since then have also been doing similiar exercises in the gym. This weight training is definitely helping me to go better in the pool and it feels as though I have made modifications to my swim stroke in recent months which is giving gains.
The endurance I have built up over the years and the consistent maintenance training will get me through 'Challenge Roth' without difficulty assuming commonsense is followed. The only thing that is a bit of unknown at present is how fit I am for 'going long' and at what intensity can be maintained ; because of that it will make sense to really hold back to at least halfway through the marathon. That last point is advice I have been reading in the 'Going Long' book ; am also reading through 'Dave Scotts' book and still finding alot of useful tips there.
So below is a few notes to begin the book review which when finished will have link on this websites home page:
All the contributors to the books being reviewed have the race result credentials and/or coaching successes, so the only way you can really argue the advice is by saying your physiology is different. As a side note to the previous point I think to reach another 10% of the market the authors could have put a section in which relates more specifcally to woman. John Hellemans did this and he is rewriting his book so it is possibly more suited for woman. That said much of what is in the two books reviewed here is relevant to everyone.
Both books have very well written sections on nutrition and these sections are my favourite. The overall gist of the nutrition information is very true(to me) and great from the perspective that applying it in reality is useful to my situation. Even though the science behind some of the advice is not completely proven, the advice still fits with my experience and understanding. I will still be having a slightly bigger pre-race breakfast than Dave Scott's book recommends and it will vary a bit from his. These people that start there day off with a couple of slices of toast are different to me ; toast is just too light and fluffy for me and I like to start with a full tank. Chrissy Wellington's pre-race breakfast is also like Dave Scott's. I am a bit doubtful of Dave's pre-race breakfast because the version I have of Dave's book was written in 1984 and it wasn't until several years later that he laid down his fastest times(which are still competitive today).
Just to remind myself, my pre-race breakfast will be 4-5 weetbix in whole milk. And also a milkshake with 1-2 eggs and some fresh fruit blended in, or all these foods eaten in some form. Probably also a coffee. My raceday weight will be at least 82kgs which may explain why I would eat a bit more. My understanding is that if the food is easilly digestable like all that above then it will be available as energy a few hours after ingestion. I will also eat my breakfast 1.5-2 hours before the race starts(ideally would eat 2-3hrs before but my choice is to sleep)..
Both books break the triathlon disciplines of the three individual sports down and go into detail on technique and equipment. This sort of information is obviously essential and another topic both books do well is on strengthening training exercises you might do in a gym for example.
Both books are very 'to the point' and there is no waffle in them. Having been involved in endurance sport for over 20 years now I have heard most of the advice before, but can still open up either book on any page and find something that has dropped from the forefront of my memory. To do well in 'long distance triathlon' there is a certain amount of knowledge and preparation which is unavoidable. The only alternative for anyone who wants to see what their potential can/could be is to have a coach with all the knowledge.
Both books have plenty of information for making up training programmes and how they should be constructed. I haven't been using these training ideas/programmes in recent years as just try to fit in training whenever possible. I know what is required and any more pre-planned structure which is inflexible doesn't suit me; for instance I have to change when to do the hard sessions based around tiredness due to unforseen work/life committments.
I find Dave Scotts book slightly more 'easy to read' as it is less wordy and the lettering is bigger. Being a visual person Dave Scott's book appeals more aesthetically with it's many photos( those photos have defined to me over the years who were the first big 'ground breakers' in triathlon at the highest level).
The above said however it is pretty clear that there is more content in 'Going Long', and that content doesn't repeat itself so really you are getting alot of 'bang for your buck'.
'Going long' has a great section on the mental preparedness for long endurance racing.
'Going long' is obviously a bit better in that it is more 'up to date'(written 24 years after Dave's book), but there are still some invaluable pointers in Dave's book that are not found in the book 'Going Long'.
'Going long' could easilly be a bit daunting for someone new to triathlon, and to the authors credit this is well catered for in that advanced sections are highlighted.
Dave's book did certainly hit the spot for me when I was relatively new to triathlon back in 1988. It looks like there is still a market place for other books or internet sites with information tailored to those new to the sport. The most specific thing that comes to my mind is working out one's anaerobic threshold. Both books suggest this should be done it a laboratory but for 90% of people I don't think this is going to happen. This anaerobic threshold(AT) is then related to making up the training programme in both books.
??Note to self is to see if there are altenatives in the books for the above??
I have my theory to calculate one's own AT and that is by relating it to your measured heart rate(HR) in training. For anyone who is not looking at breaking 9hrs then this will be enough. You don't even need to workout what HR coresponds to your AT as you can monitor it by listening to your breathing when you are pushing it in a race or training. Both these books were written by top professional triathletes who had worked to optimise everything, but it just makes me feel a bit empty when I don't see an alternative to deveolping a plan where AT is not worked out in a laboratory.
I will write how your HR can be matched to AT sometime later. And sure your HR will change a bit as you get fitter but so will the speed you can go at a certain AT.
If there is anything that can be read as 'a bit critical' in the above book review then this following note should counteract that. And that is all the invaluable informtion I have cleaned from Gordo's old website and his new one at 'EnduranceCorner.com'. Also his co-author provied some great images from ironman Kona in 2008 for this site and he also has a great website. Also there is me very useful information from Dave Scott on the internet and my favourites are the swim tips he made which can be found on 'Youtube' or the swim tips on this website. With certainty I would say that the advice they have provided in their books and on the internet is essential to compete well in 'long distance triathlon'.
Making a race plan
May 25th 2009
The above is a day count down to keep me focused. So from today I have roughly 7 weeks to go. It is the last 7-10 weeks which really count towards how fit or how fast you will be on raceday. Time to start getting serious. Have just completed a pretty good week of training so it will be a matter of keeping it up. You don't really gain much race fitness in the last week as you should be tapering but I do like to think my swimming can be fine tuned in the last week.
So I should really have a plan written out for the following weeks. I have made many of these 10 week plans before but mostly for sitting exams, and it does make you balance out what will be possible for each discipline. Recently I read the current ironman world champions blog and he made the point of saying to write down a plan for the last 10 weeks training before you big raceday. He also suggested getting along to a swim squad occasionally so I have planned for this later in the year before the 'age group world chaamps in the Gold Coast, Australia.
If you have done alot of triathlons in the past you will be able to complete the race without writing any plan down. If you are building up alot of mileage quickly and you really are making big gains then a plan may not work anyway. In that case writing down on a calendar or in a diary what you have done each day is useful. It is something to look back and give you confidence with what you have done. It can also be useful to look back and see if you have missed anything that you need to catch up on.
Former pro cyclist and triathlete Steve Larsen has died aged 39 during a track run workout
May 16th 2009
This has me thinking a bit as I am turning 39 myself in less than a month. But really from what has been reported it could have happened at any age. There is more on this sad event on my the 'news link' page of this website. Steve had been seeing a doctor in the weeks preceding his death with the symptom of difficult breathing.
What it has really got me thinking about is how much if any training/racing should be done during illness or when still recovering. A few months back I had a severe throat virus and during it I didn't train, but i did do a triathlon only 5 days or so after my throat pain went away. Have done a triathlon before when I was still coming out of a virus and both times was alright afterwards but felt pretty flat during the events. It is uncommon but anyone can get a viral or bacterial infection in the heart valves/muscle which can be deadly. So basically you want to reduce all the stress on your body that you can during times of bacterial/viral infection.
Have said in the past that I trained during colds, but some of these weren't colds. I have been getting mild allergies due to a few different things and it wasn't straight forward for me to determine if it was a cold or allergy. I definitely don't plan to train or race again in future with an active viral/bacterial infections or other such like maladies.
So the moral off the story is to 'listen to the signs your body gives you' and respond appropriately. I have already written about this before so to save internet space here is the link.
There will be a new health related topic covered in the subscription part of this site in the next days titled, " Iron and iron deficiency".
And I have been getting in just enough training to keep myself in form. Made it along to the gym 3 times and to 2 spinning classes which were great workouts. Also at the gym I managed three 30min runs and it is quite interesting to be able to set the speed ; am running in the range of 12-15km/hr. have also done four 40min swims this week and several 2 hour sessions at my home on the indoor cycle trainer. It really has been such bad weather that training outdoors hasn't been an option.
Training was going well enough
May 16th 2009
It is great to check back here and see my training was going well 10 days ago. Winter hit pretty fast and hard where I am so have just managed a couple of swims in the last week. It feels like alot longer since I was last training properly but the dates indicate otherwise so I will relax a bit. My computer space bar seems to have corrected itself and that was annoying for me when updating this website.
A bit more history of triathlon. If you watch the whole of this series you will see that it involves 3 races called a 'Triple Super Sprint'.The races are super fast and they have different starting orders of the swim, run and bike. So here is this triathlon series video from Sydney 1997 :
At the finish little screens will come up at the bottom of the above picture which you can click to view. There is such great close-up camera work on all three legs that makes it interesting to view. The commentators do a great job also so definitely recommend watching parts 2 & 3 of this race.
So here is a little music video which I hope some of you will like :
Well I know it won't be to some peoples liking.
So here is a nice one that some woman will likely prefer :
Well I have all my plane tickets bought for the upcoming triathlon adventures. Am really looking forward to flying into Germany in early July and meeting up with my German girlfriend.
Well with the weather change and finishing my seasonal job, it is taking some adjusting. Back to the training tomorow!!! Will post again soon.
If you are into extreme ski-ing/snowboarding then this link is worth cutting and pasting. Do come back to visit though!