Monday, March 28, 2011

Singapore 70.3 reflections

Its been a week since the Singapore 70.3 and I have had time to analyse my race and give some thought to the things that went right and the things that went wrong last Sunday.

I am generally happy with how things went during the race. My swim was solid, leading my category out the water. Given the strong current in the water it was easier for the pack to stay on my feet for longer in the first lap. The small run section (only 30m) made it tough to get going again on lap 2. It is a skill we practice and I have done it before in races, however the first 100m after is always painful.

Into T1, after the long run from the swim finish I missed my bike on the rack. A bit of an rookie mistake but I new as soon as I ran past it I had gone to far. I stayed calm, backed tracked a few meters and continued on. The rest of my transition was smooth and controlled. I mounted my bike, secured my shoes, glasses on, nutrition in the back pocket and away I went.

My bike section was great and I felt my nutrition was spot on. I picked up water on each lap (no dropped bottles!) and made sure I was riding efficiently. My lap splits were very even. This is the best half ironman ride I have done to date.

T2 was again smooth, controlled and focused. This was the first time I have used socks during a race and I think it was worth the extra 5 seconds (in the humid conditions).

The run was disappointing. However after giving it some thought and considering I walked every aid station I have realised it could have been a lot worse. The first 4km were just slower than my ideal pace. The next 10km things fell apart. During this time I tried to stay positive and made sure I got the rest of my gels down. I managed to get going in the last 7km which was a good thing. This has helped me mentally for my preparation for the ironman later this year. During the bad times you just have to persevere, trust the training you have done and do what you can do well.

From here it is back on the training track for another hard block before the Busselton 70.3 in May. I can't wait for this race. Last one of the season!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Singapore 70.3 Race Report

Race day was finally here! We were up at 5am and Lisa and I went down to get a quick breakfast before grabbing our bags and heading down to the lobby. A mini bus had been organised for a group of us which was great and we were dropped off right at transition.

Mark and I number and ready to head to our bikes.

First thing to do was to get numbered. They use the number stamps which I thought was pretty cool (just like they do in Hawaii). Then it was time to set up my transition area and head out for a quick warm up jog. After that was done it was time to relax for a while before a swim warm up and our wave start.

Just did my run warm up and final check of my bike. Ready to roll!

I lined up in the front line on the beach and made sure I was positioned far over to the left as there was a strong current. When the start siren went I was very quick off the mark and quickly made my way towards the front. One very fast team swimmer went off the front of the pack and we didn’t see him again. There was a bit of jostling for position for the first couple of hundred meters but I eventually found my way to the front of the pack and got into a good rhythm. The swim course was two laps, with the first one being smaller on the inside of the main buoys. I couldn’t sight the small orange buoy used to mark the inside lap but that wasn’t too much of an issue as I made my way towards the rope that went around the entire swim course! In the last 400m of the first lap we started to pass the slow female swimmers (who started 10mins before our wave). I made the decision to go straight through them and it worked pretty well as there were quite a few gaps.

At the end of the first lap we ran up onto the beach for approximately 30 metres before starting the second lap. It took about 100 metres to get the legs and arms going again after the little run. It is always a struggle to get back into a rhythm. The second lap was congested with the female swimmers but again I didn’t get into too much trouble. I worked hard on the back section into the current but another swimmer got a small gap on me. I tried to bridge it but it was difficult with the congestion. On the way back to the swim exit I had a very good line, slightly closer to shore than everyone else and that seemed to work as it got me right on the turning buoy for the last 50 metres into shore. I had a quick look back once I was out on the sand and there were only a couple of blue caps around! I then started the long run to transition (never fun).

My swim time (including the run to transition) was 33.42 and I was first out the water in my age group and I think about 2nd or 3rd in my wave.

After the long run to transition I made my way to my bike, I did have to double back as I missed it by a few bikes. As the swim was a non wetty swim all I had to do was clip my race belt on and buckle my helmet up and I was off. Just as I was leaving my rack I saw Matt Burton run to his bike, this was going to make the ride a little more interesting!

After a quick transition I was ready to get to work on the bike.

Out onto the first of three laps the roads were quite, with only the faster female age groupers on the road and the pros. About 5km into the bike a team rider came past me and shortly after Matt came flying by. Once we were out onto the main section of the bike course (a closed highway with two lanes going each way) I bridged the gap back to Matt and stuck with him until the turn around. At this point I made the decision to hold off as he was going a little too fast for me that early in the race (he went on to have the fastest age group bike slipt). I had a chance to see where the rest of the field was when I made the turn and I was happy with the gap I had after the swim!

On the bike course there is an extension, which is a closed 6 lane highway (3 lanes each way) which was pretty cool (I could image the Abu Dhabi race being like that for 200km). On the way back to complete the first lap I saw a few crashes in the opposite direction and there were many more throughout the day. The course goes back to a narrow tight section before detouring onto a foot path and back onto the service road to transition, not the best course design... It was great going out onto the second lap and to see everyone cheering!

The second and third laps were much busier and the narrow bits were not much fun. I was yelling ‘keep left’ most of the time and the riders were pretty good at moving over. I made sure I drank my water and electrolyte and had my gels (very important given the humid conditions!).

I had a very good ride and I felt in control and comfortable and was in a good frame of mind heading into the run.

Bike Lap Splits:

Lap 1 (30km) – 44.12

Lap 2 (60km) – 44.12

Lap 3 (90km) – 44.25

Total – 2.12.49

I was quite impressed with how consistent I was with my laps!

Into T2 with a smooth dismount, I ran my bike to my rack (not passed it this time) and pulled my socks on a slipped into my K-Swiss Konas.

The run was two laps with a 4km loop heading towards the airport before heading back past transition and the finish line and out for a 6km section. I left transition feeling good and was running in a reasonable rhythm. I kept a keen eye on my GSP and my speed was all over the place! I got to the first aid station and no one was holding out cups for us so it was self serve.

Coming back past transition for the first time it was good to see Lisa and the others. I put a brave face on because I wasn’t feeling great. Tom gave me a split to Matt who was 3 mins up the road. This was better than I thought as he was only 2.30min ahead of me off the bike. We deviate off the foot path on to the grass as we go past the finish line. It is only a 50 metre section on the grass but it was probably the hardest part of my day. I think was I running at 6 min/km pace. Just as I got back on to the path I had to stop and stretch my legs. I continued onto the next aid station slowly and I was hurting. I made sure I got my gels down and walked the aid station to get water down.

It took forever to get to the far turn around and it wasn’t made any easier by the busy foot path. For some reason the race organisers didn’t close the foot path and we were weaving in between walkers, bike riders, roller blades and dogs.

At the start of the second lap I once again saw everyone which was great. I think they all saw the hurt in my face and gave some words of encouragement. I pushed on in survival mode and got my gels down, took on 100 plus, cola and water. Once I came past transition for the last time I knew I wasn’t too far from the finish. I put in everything I had and it hurt! I saw Matt who had made the final turn and was about 4km from the finish (I was about 6km at this point) and gave him a thumbs up to say congratulations. Once I made the turn I crossed paths with Mark and was about 1km in front of him. When I was about 4km from home my calf’s started cramping. I pushed through from as long as I could before I had to stop and stretch them. With 1 km to go I had a quick look back to see if Mark had caught up and I then put in a last effort to get to the finish line and I sure was happy to finally get there!

Smiles all round, finally at the finish line!

I finished the last 7km at 4.13min/km so I was happy I finished strongly. The middle 10km was slow, averaging 5.17min/km! My run time was 1.40.38.

I finished in 4.29.53, 2nd in my age group, 27th overall and 7th age grouper.

The athletes from WA put on a good show with some great results. The Male 18-24 age group was made up of guys from Perth. Matt Burton was 1st, I was 2nd and Mark was 3rd.

Some of the WA athlete on the podium. athlete Michelle Wu continued her dominance at long course racing finishing 3rd, backing up from her win at the Australian Long Course Champs last week.

A big thank you to everyone who supported me during the race. Particularly Lisa, Teresa, Dave and Kate Luckin and Ian who came over to watch Mark and I race!



(Next up is the Busselton 70.3)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Singapore Day 3 (day before the race)

We had a bit of a sleep in this morning waking up at 8am. I had a really good sleep which is always important two nights before the race. It was then time for breakfast before a final check over the bikes. We checked our bikes in nice and early to avoid the crowds and get it over and done with. We rode down to the transition area, got our timing bands and racked our bikes. A few of us ran back to the hotel as our final run before the race.

Today was a lot hotter than previous days but was not unbearable. I am now thankful for the hot and humid weather we had in Perth at the start of the year! Mark, Peter and I jumped into the hotel pool to cool off! Mark and I went back to our rooms to rest our legs for a while. Ian made it to Singapore at lunch time so we met up with him before eating lunch at Subway.

The afternoon was low key. I had a couple of hours sleep and chilled out in our room before dinner. A group of us went across the street to a pasta shop and then got a sundae for desert! Great pre race food J.

When I got back to the hotel I packed my bag for the morning and watched Monsters Inc!

Only one more sleep!

I am really looking forward to the race, I know I have done the work and now it is time to put it all together.

Singapore Day 2

The only training I had on the cards today was a swim. So we were up at 6.30 to head down to the swim course. We met up with Scotty and Caitlin who had just arrived at the hotel and were room less (like we were). Scotty came with us for a swim and we gave Caitlin our key card to get some sleep while she waited for her room.

The swim area/transition had changed from last year (Mark, our inside man had not realised this) and it was quite a bit further away than we expected. What we thought was a 15 min walk turned out to be 1 hour and 15 min walk! When we finally got to the start we jumped in and did swam just under 1km. The water was calm and warm with low visibility.

We caught a taxi back and made our way to the buffet breakfast... It was AWESOME!

Planned for the rest of the day was a trip to Universal Studios. We had a fun time going on some rides and seeing a few shows! Scotty and I had to leave early to get registration and the race briefing (and my legs were getting tired).

Race rego and the carbo dinner was at the SunTech convention centre, a taxi or bus ride away from the hotel. Rego was a straight forward affair (I’m race # 208) followed by a quick look at the small expo, briefing and the carbo dinner.

100 Plus is the official sports drink of the race

Caitlin and I with some dinner

Race briefing

Singapore Day 1

We finally got into one of the three rooms we had booked at around 9.30. We used this time to set up our bikes, one of the downfalls of travelling to races! Both Mark and I use the XU1 Sport bike boxes and thankfully, our bikes came in one piece. Some of Mark’s training buddies were not so lucky, with a cracked frame and broken rear derailleur.

After some lunch and a nap we I went out for a quick spin on my bike. Everything was working nicely until I ran over a sharp little stone, putting a small hole in my front tire... It was only a slow leak so I rode back cautiously to the hotel. The next task was to find a bike shop. I was recommended to go to one on the other side of town, so Lisa, Kate and I jumped in a taxi and made the trip across town. We didn’t make it to the shop we intended to but the one we found was AMAZING. I have never seen so many top end bikes in one shop. The guys were very helpful and fitted the new tired on for me. Problem solved ($135 later....)!

The rest of the day was pretty low key. Mark and I went out for a 20 min run and we had an early dinner at the food hall across the street. We had an early night for a much needed sleep after out long night of travel.

Our hotel


I am writing this in the lobby of the Grand Mecure Roxy while we wait for our hotel rooms to become available (sigh...). We arrived in Singapore at 5am on board an average Jet Star flight. Lisa and I had seats towards the back of the plane, which someone on a previous flight had been sick in and as a result our seats and the ones in front smelt gross! The couple in front of us moved before the flight took off and soon after takeoff, we did the same thing (the smell was unbearable to handle for four and a half hours!). This move was a great one as on the opposite aisle seat to me was a drunken guy making lots of noise. I managed to sleep most of the flight which was nice but uncomfortable and I woke up every 30 minutes with a sore neck. Thanks Lisa for letting me rest my legs on you!

I travelled over with Lisa, Mark, Dave, Teresa and Kate and Brian was on the same flight over as us. Today will be a bit of a struggle with time to kill this morning waiting for our room and the lack of sleep last night! The annoying bit is nothing opens until 10am, except McDonald’s which opens at 7.30....still an hour to kill. The joys of budget airline travel!

I am happy to report I am feeling great! In fact better than I ever have before a half ironman which is a really positive thought for me. After a relatively flat race in Albany 2 weeks ago I knew my body was ready to start the taper. I had a slightly longer taper then normal and I think this was due to the fact that this is my 3rd half ironman since December and I had no break after NZ. During my taper I had a couple of key session which I felt I really nailed, especially the running sessions. We did a 1km TT in the pool yesterday morning which was pretty good. I did 13.47 (1.23 min/100), which is right on the money for my predicted swim time on Sunday!

Just before we left for the airport last night I jumped onto my Tanita scales and had a look at how my body composition was tracking. I am lighter than I ever have been and my % of body fat it lower than ever!

More to come over the next few days!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Coogee Jetty Swim 2011

This morning I competed in the Cockburn Gate Way Coogee Jetty Swim. I was a late entry into the race so I was put in the last (of 3) waves. This race presented itself as a good opportunity for me to work out my plan of attack in Singapore next weekend. It is a 1,500m jetty to jetty swim in very calm waters and today was a perfect day for a swimming race.

I estimated my swim time as 20mins and came out the water in 20.23 (just under 1.22/100m). I was happy with my swim however I think I took a line that was slightly to wide. It may have been a good move because a a did pass a lot of swimmers all on the inside of me. I pushed the 2nd 750m hard and felt really good.

It was a nice little morning splash before Lisa, Helen and myself went back to Johan's house for a 2nd breakfast, a movie then lunch at Missy Moos with Scotty. Nice relaxing Sunday!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


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Monday, March 7, 2011

Albany Classic 2011

Each year on the Labour Day long weekend Albany Triathlon Club hold the Albany Classic Olympic Distance race. I did this race last year and really enjoyed it so Lisa and I once again made the 5 hour trip to Albany in the Great Southern region of Western Australia.

Mum and Dad also came down to watch and we all stayed in a beach chalet at Emu Point. It was nice not having to set up a tent and to have food cooked for a change! (We normally camp for these country races). We spent the night playing a card version of Monopoly, lots of fun and it got very competitive.

It was off early night as it had been a pretty long day for me. My good friends were racing Ironman New Zealand and I was up early to follow them. Have a look after my race report for details on that!

The swim course was two and a half laps in very calm waters at Middleton Beach (last year it was very rough and according to the race director has been rough for the last 2 months!) and was a non wetsuit swim for the open field. I had a great start and was swimming well. The front group got a bit of a gap on me and I unsuccessfully tried to bridge the gap. At the end of the first lap there was a bit of congestion in the water with the other waves now all in the water. I did my best to zigzag around them (apparently this is a problem in Singapore so it was good practise).

All smiles after the swim.

Transition was nice and quick with no wettie to pull off and I was out onto the 3 lap bike course. On the straight sections I could see a few guys in front of my so I tried to push the pace to catchup to them. It was at this point I realised I didn’t have any power in my legs. I continued around the course and got passed by two bikes. I tried to stay with them but could not hold their pace. I felt very average on the bike all day and did what I could to get around the course.

No power in these legs today!

Out onto the run course I was feeling ok for the first few kms, after this my legs started to feel pretty heavy. Just after the first turn around point I could see Mark was flying on the run and knew he would catch me shortly. I wasn’t running fast but I felt I was at a pace I would be able to maintain over the half distance. At the 5km turn Mark passed me and told me to come with but my legs couldn’t go any faster today.

Half way through the run. If only Mark ran a little faster we could have had a photo together!

It was a tough slow day in the office for me, but happy to get to the finish line. I was hoping to go a lot faster over the bike and run but will have to save that for Singapore in 2 weeks!

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing, sleeping and doing a whole lot of nothing.

As for Ironman New Zealand, 8 Eclipse Fitness athletes went over to compete. Johan and Helen had pretty amazing Ironman debuts. Johan won his category (M 18-24) in a time of 9.13 and finished 13th OVERALL and Helen came 2nd in the Female 18-24 in 10.43. Janine, was another stand out performace, probably one of the best on the day. She won her category (F 35-39), in an amazing time of 9.55 and to top it off was the first age group female across the line and 8th female overall. Scott, Ash, Prinz and Max also competed and finished in what looked to be pretty miserable conditions on the day.

Luke Harrison a fellow team member was the number 1 age grouper on the day finishing 6th overall in 8.58, with a 2.55 marathon!

Johan (on the left in black) crossing the finish line just behind the female champion Sam Warriner.

I have a few hard sessions to do this week before the taper for Singapore starts. The countdown is on! 14 days to go.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

2 weeks to go!

Its now just over two weeks until we head up to Singapore to race the 70.3!

My training has been very consistent for the past two months and I am really happy with how things are going. I am heading down to Albany this weekend, located about 5 hours south of Perth, to race in the Albany Classic. The race is Olympic distance and will be a good hit out before Singapore. I did this race last year and really enjoyed the course, so it has been penciled in on my calendar for a while. There is $1,000 up for grabs for first place so most of the guys will make the trip down for this one.

Ironman New Zealand is on this weekend and a few guys from our squad have gone over to race. I am really excited for my close friends Johan and Helen who are racing on the weekend. I spend a lot of time with these 2 and am excited to see what they do! Good luck to everyone who is racing, Johan, Helen, Janine, Max, Scott, Ash and Prinz. My coach Stu has also gone over and was meant to be racing but has unfortunately had to pull the pin on this one.

With my coach and training buddies away this week I took the opportunity to get on the running track at Challenge Stadium with Brad Hosking's running group. It is the first time I have done a running session on a track and I had a great time. The session was individualised for each athlete based on recent results. Brad has a table that calculates your 'i' pace and that is the pace you run during each effort.

We did a simple warm up before the main set which involved:
  • 3 min @ i
  • 2.40 recovery
  • 4 min @ i
  • 3.40 recovery
  • 5 min @ i
  • 4.40 recovery
  • 4min @ i
  • 3.40 recovery
  • 3min @ i
  • 2.40 recovery
My 'i' pace was 3.41 min/km. My GPS showed I ran 10km during the session, or which 19min was was 'i' pace. I was happy with how the session went and would recommend going to give Brad's session a go. They meet at 6 on the track!

In other news I have been working with Ian (XU1sports) and to get the CEEPO distribution rights in WA. We just put in the first order and will have some CEEPO bikes on show at the Busselton 70.3 in May. If you don't know much about these bikes have a look at

In work news, I handed my sample reports into the Australia Property Institute at the start of this week. I now have to wait to find out when my professional interview will be and then once that is completed, I should be a Certified Practicing Valuer! Exciting times.