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Name: Ian Tivey
Age: 29
Seasons in Tri: 3
Clubs: Cambridge Triathlon Club, Herne Hill Harriers, North Herts Road Runners
 Beardy Blog 
Challenge Wanaka
Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:25 pm tivmeistergeneral
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Challenge Wanaka race report

I’d give my lead-up to Challenge Wanaka a 6/10. An ITB issue that I couldn’t shift and a couple of pretty heavy colds during the 15 weeks build up between Ironman Wales and Wanaka meant I missed a couple of weeks of training and I had done relatively little running, managing a couple of 2 hour runs at a rather slow pace.

The winter has been quite kind in the UK in comparison to the previous year, but once the temperature dropped below 10-degrees most of my riding was confined to focused sessions on the turbo trainer. I also took delivery of a Power2Max powermeter in November, which helped maintain focus during those long indoor sessions.

Mark Racher spent a lot of time helping me with my training (and heard a lot of complaining from me when my mojo was low). Having spent a lot of time working with Mark on my swimming in the last 18 months it made sense to work with Mark on the whole package.

One of the things I was concerned about was dealing with the 13-hour time difference between the UK and New Zealand so I consulted a friend, who used to coach the England Women’s Rugby 7s team and is now a coach at Bath RFC, on their protocol for combating jet lag which basically involves controlling light exposure, training and sleep to shift the time the body experiences its lowest core temperature by a couple of hours every day. Starting this on boarding in London gives a 24-hour headstart and I felt great on landing in Queenstown and didn’t experience many of the typical jet lag symptoms I’ve felt on previous long haul flights.

Some of Martine’s sister’s friends were racing the half distance so I was able to do a couple of lake swims with them, including the pre-race swim on the course. There’s also a great 14km track which goes out to the golf course here in Queenstown, which is similar terrain to the run in Wanaka, which I ran a couple of times. Finding a relatively flat bit of road around Queenstown was nigh-on impossible though, so we drove to Arrowtown for one 90 minute ride and another ride I went to Kelvin Heights and back a couple of times which is a little lumpy.

I changed my tried and tested pre-race protocol slightly. I ensured I steered clear of fibre from 2-days before the race but also tried to steer clear of dairy as far as possible. I also drank 750ml of energy drink a day in the 2 days leading up to the race.

We arrived in Wanaka the day before the race for registration and race briefing. A short ride and run, followed by racking

Race Day

2:30 alarm

Breakfast (~1500cals) -

50g porridge oats made with water, with two desert spoons of honey and one desert spoon of peanut butter
2 scrambled eggs
2 syrup waffles
750ml energy drink

Snoozed 3:30-4:30

The plan for the swim was to try and jump on some fast feet from the off to (1) get a two and (2) get into the rhythm of swimming fast and try to maintain it. We started on the beach with the pros in the water about 10m ahead. The lake was very low so the start involved a 50m run before the water was deep enough to swim. It was going to be very difficult getting onto the pros feet but I stood next to a chap who I knew was a fast swimmer. When the gun went I started running but then tripped so by the time I dived in the water to start swimming I’d lost a few metres on the lead group and ended up surrounded by people swimming in all sorts of directions. The chop reduced any visibility of the first buoy so I was sighting off a mountain top, but I kept having to stop as people swam across my line. It also felt like forever getting to the first buoy, into the headwind and choppy lake. Rounding the first buoy and it became much easier to find a rhythm but as the lake became shallower the water temperature really dropped. I found myself in a group that I’d lead out and have the group on my feet so decided to sit-in and let someone else pull for a bit. In hindsight this might have been a mistake as I think I was setting the pace and dropping in resulted in a drop in pace such that, when I went to the front again the gap to the next group had grown significantly. The first lap seemed to go on forever and the wind and chop on the second lap seemed that much more severe than the first. As I hit the cold section again I started to feel a cramping sensation in my calves so I upped my kick to try and get some blood flowing. My left hand was also going numb, which I get in the pool during long efforts but never had in open water, which was affecting my catch and resulting in swimming toward the left. Sighting the final buoy was almost impossible into the sun, so I kept having to stop, try to see the buoy, look for a landmark and swim. I did this three or four times and realised the group I was in were swimming in the right direction and I was way off course. I was glad to be out of the water, with a swim time of 1:07 including the 200m run to transition I was 7 minutes off my time. Looking at swim times in the field they were generally a few minutes slow (apart from the uber-pros) but I should be swimming closer to 1:00 than that. A 4/10 for the swim!

On the way to Wanaka from Queenstown we had driven the long way around to drive some of the bike course, up from Cromwell to Wanaka. This is the flat part of the course and I hadn’t banked on the first half being so hilly. I was struggling to keep my power down on the hills, even in a 39x28 I was pushing 350-400W (my target range was 215-230) but my heart rate wasn’t spiking so I wasn’t too worried. I’d tweaked my position from IM Wales, bringing the bars up slightly which resulted in feeling much more comfortable maintaining aero position. The one thing you really notice on the road around Wanaka is how rough some of them are. At one point on a long false flat on the way down from Lake Hawea the road was so rough that holding 22mph required 220W and if you stopped pedalling for a second the speed would drop immediately. The first couple of hours on the bike was fairly uneventful, focusing on limiting power spikes up hill and pushing downhill to get momentum for the next hill, eating every 20mins and drinking plenty, and taking in the scenery.

Chatting to a friend before the start he advised me to hammer it down to Cromwell. As soon as we turned onto that road the speed picked up, the road being slightly downhill the entire way to Cromwell with a few lumps on the way, I was able to hold around 220W the whole way. Once noticeable difference between this race and Ironman-branded races I’ve done is the small field. At points, with a view down the road of a few kms, I couldn’t see anyone else on the road in-front. The power meter helped, giving something to focus on until I could see a fellow competitor down the road.

Turning back towards Cromwell the road turned really rough and started to go uphill. There were a few more lumps on this side of the lake, nothing massive but enough to break the rhythm. With around 50km to go the wind started to pick up, coming more from the side than the front and making some of the downhills a bit sketchy. I also felt like I wanted to close my eyes and go to sleep - Caffeine gel required!

It was with 40km to go that the road turned 90-degrees left straight into the headwind, straight back to Wanaka. It was here that my power started to drop, feeling demoralised by the wind and also starting to feel saddle sore due to the road surface resulting in shifting around on my saddle to find a comfortable position, for the next 30km I just had to try and focus on something else but without any competitors to chase I was finding it tough. I found myself wanting a hill to break aero position, get out of the saddle and stretch. I’d been peeing on the bike until now but I had to stop for a pee at 4:30 because I couldn’t get enough momentum on the bike. This turned out to be a good move as I was able to “rearrange” and find a more comfortable position for my manhood. Finally with 10km to go, just as you get back to Wanaka a left turn sends you away again with a tail wind for around 5km - Ahhh, nice - followed by 5km back into the wind.

I felt terrible getting off the bike but was able to click off the first couple of kms in sub-4:45. In the 2nd km a marshall sent me off to the left and it wasn’t until Andy (trex of tri) told the marshall, and I was 100m down the road, that the marshall decided to shout that I was running in the wrong direction. Bugger. After the first few kms the path becomes gravelly and sandy in some places, the windy whipping off the lake making running difficult at times. Then, at around 8km (and 29k), it gets a little bit technical with short, sharp ups and down. I hadn’t seen a single runner for about 6km. Then, emerging from the bush... Gunn Road. Less like a road and more like a wall... especially on the 2nd lap! My pace had started to drop to 5 minute kms and although I didn’t feel terrible I just couldn’t extract any more speed from my legs. I was passing a few of the tail-ender on the half distance but still hadn’t seen anyone from the full.

Coming over Totara Terrace (another hill) I heard my team of intrepid supporters making loads of noise and as I turned up Plantation Road (another hill), which was awesome and very well timed!

Passing through Wanaka after the first lap the atmosphere was awesome but hitting the lake path for the second time the wind felt even worse than the first lap, at one point I tripped over my legs as the wind took them out from the side. I was now having to play games to get to the finishing line - “you can walk for 30s at the next km marker”, “coke and water at the next aid station”, “gel and water and then walk through the next aid station”. I lost track of the number of “little walks” I had to take but I was still moving forward and I was focusing on power walking during the breaks rather than idly strolling. I power walked all of the steep hills on this second lap, as I wasn’t losing much time in comparison to running but was able to keep my heart rate down. The soles of my feet were burning like hell from running on the gravel trails. As I hit the top of the final hill I told myself I was going to run all the way into the finish and I was hurting but able to click off sub-5:00 kms all the way back into Wanaka, running myself into 3rd place in 30-39 AG.

Swim: 1:07:23
T1: 0:03:43
Bike: 5:35:09
T2: 0:01:52
Run: 3:39:27
Overall: 10:27:36

Post Race Thoughts“I should’ve had a faster swim, I should’ve pushed harder into the wind in the final 40k on the bike, I shouldn’t have walked so much on the run” - these are the thoughts I can’t shift, which are blocking the satisfaction of completing this race and positioning well. I guess that’s what keeps the motivation level up, the search for the perfect race. Positives - a PB & a Trophy!

For anyone thinking of doing this race, don’t hesitate. It’s such a great weekend and a challenging course. There’s the half on the same day, which basically takes in the hardest parts of the bike and a single lap of the swim and run, if you’re not up for training through the British winter for full thing! Plus you can combine it with an awesome holiday!

Beard - the new Carbon

The 10 day training cycle
Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:34 pm tivmeistergeneral
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Edit in response to lonestar's comment I've added "micro" and "meso". Read this if you don't know the difference -

A couple of years ago I experimented with a 10 day microcycle and it's something that has worked pretty well for me. With a 7 day microcycle I tend to try and cram too many hard sessions in per week, never have a rest day and find myself in pieces after a couple of weeks, take the rest week far too easily and then find it hard to get going again after easing up. I also find that weekends just end up getting eaten up by training, especially for Ironman, but with a 10-day microcycle there's usually a couple of weekends to play with... carry on and you'll see how...

Here's how I go about planning for 10 day cycles:

Step 1: Work out your mesocycle
If you want to perform something roughly equating to a 3 week on/1 week off cycle then start your first 10 day microcycle on a Saturday. This will result in (1)Sat->Mon (2)Tues->Thurs (3)Fri->Sun, (4)5 days recovery Mon->Fri. This results in a 5 week long cycle, instead of the 4 week cycle you'd get planning around 7 days.

Step 2: Define your sessions
is to define 4 "must do" sessions per sport and 2 optional sessions per sport. If you really need to focus on a sport then put down 6 "must-do" sessions for that sport - because I'm a relatively weak swimmer I have 6 "must-do" swims. I also add in 3 conditioning sessions in the gym per 10 day microcycle, focussed mostly in injury prevention rather than functional strength.

To give you an example, for Ironman the "spine" of training will be
1 long ride
1 long run
1 long brick (I define this as one bike and one run session)
1 long swim

you then need to fill in the blanks depending on what you need to focus on. For example you might have a tempo run and bike in there, an open water swim, some track work, maybe a medium length ride at faster pace... whatever you think you need to do to put flesh onto to your training "spine".

Step 3: Place your sessions
Start by placing any obligations that you have on your time in the next month. Then place your spine sessions, do you need to move any obligations or take a day off work to do these? The second microcycle is usually the hardest because you only have one weekend to play with so I'll usually shorten the long run and do it midweek (16 miles at faster pace instead of 20+ miles, for example) and do the long ride and long brick back to back at the weekend. On a 2 weekend microcycle I go for something like (depending on other obligations)

Saturday: Long Ride, Sunday: Long Brick, Tuesday: Long Swim, Saturday: Long Run, Sunday: Off

That one day off at the weekend works wonders.

Now place your remaining must-do sessions around what's left and then place your optional sessions. I have a few rules like, run at least every other day, try to run back-to-back (hard, easy) at least once. Make some rules for yourself and try to stick to them, but always try to...

Step 4: Be flexible
Stuff crops up that prevents you from hitting every session, however don't be afraid to move things around throughout the 10-day cycle so that you definitely hit the "spine" sessions, and hit at least 2 of the other must-do sessions. If you can do this within the set of rules you've defined then even better.
Beard - the new Carbon

~   Last edited by tivmeistergeneral on Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:32 pm; edited 2 times in total
Training for busy people
Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:30 pm tivmeistergeneral
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I have been deliberating how to put this blog to best use, rather than the odd random thought, so I am going to start a new blog series called "Training for busy people".

I generally find myself very busy. I have between 60 and 90 minute commute each way most days of the week, usually in the office 9:30-6/6:30 - occasionally longer - and need 7-8 hours sleep a night to function correctly. There are post-work social occasions to fit in, I am usually the cook in the house, I regularly have weekend obligations and don't want to completely sever my social life so have to juggle training with other things at weekend. I don't have any children.

So that's me. I'm not the busiest person in the world, there are busier people out there than me, but hopefully anyone stumbling on this blog will pick up some useful tips for how I manage to fit in training around the things that life throws at me.

And whilst I'm beating Poet the beard will never go, no matter what you say NewMan... actually, he won the last head-to-head, d'oh!

First tip later in the week...
Beard - the new Carbon

  Goto page 1, 2, 3 ... 16, 17, 18  Next 
-----Season 2009 So Far-----
24th Jan - SEXC Champs, 198th
22nd Feb - Brighton 1/2 Marathon, 1:17:58, 16th
7th Mar - Clumber Classic Duo, 2:00:51, 16th (3rd AG)
19th Mar - Vertical Rush, 5mins48s, 11th
29th March - Sandy 10, 57:40, 6th
25th Apr - Ashbourne Duathlon - less said the better
25th May - Brandon Forest Half Mara, 79:20, 3rd
14th June - Bala MD - DNF, knee injury so no running
28th June - A Day in the Lakes - 5:49:37, 69th (died on run)
11th July - Pembrokeshire Coast - 2:34:06, 4th
20th Sept - New Forest Middle Distance - 4:54:22, 9th
-------Season 2009/10 Plans-------
Where you can find me this year.

12/11/09 Stevenage 5k Series Race 1 - 17:30 (18th)
22/11/09 Hereward Way Relay, 3rd leg - 1:08:06 (3rd)
26/11/09 Stevenage 5k Series Race 2 - 17:03 (12th)
06/12/09 Luton Marathon Relay (with Savaloy)
10/12/09 Stevenage 5k Series Race 3
13/12/09 Bedford 1/2 Marathon
27/02/10 Beaver Challenge 26 mile (TBD)
06/03/10 Clumber Classic Duo (TBD)
11/04/10 Big Cow Duathlon (TBD)
24/11/10 Ashbourne Duathlon (TBD)
23/05/10 Inneos Swashbuckler (TBD)
27/06/10 IMFrance
-------------Season 2008-------------
[winning time in brackets]

:: 26 Jan - SEXC Champs, 252nd
:: 17 Feb - Brighton 1/2 Mara, 1:17:52 [1:11:08]
:: 8 Mar - Clumber Classic Duathlon, 1:53:53 (37th) [1:45:47]
:: 13 Apr - National Duathlon Champs, 2:04:25 (48th) [1:52:04]
:: 26 Apr - Ashbourne Duo, 2:17:25 (19th) [2:02:24]
:: 12 Jul - Beaver MD - 4:35:39, 8th [4:09:04]
:: 10 Aug - Wensleydale MD - 4:41:35, 9th [4:11:19]
:: 16th Aug - Race the Train
:: 6 Sept - Vitruvian, 4:22:39, 33rd [3:49:39]
:: 29 Sep - Rimini Duathlon Champs
:: 31st Dec - Ely NYE 10k, 34:21, 10th [31:15]
----------Season 2007----------
Best results of 2007

:: GEAR 10k - 35:39
:: Ely NYE 10k - 35:43
:: Brighton 1/2Mara - 1:24:40
:: Ranaleigh 1/2Mara - 1:25:30 (the morning after the night before!)
:: Race The Train - 1:44:35 (beat the train)

TT25 - 1:02:20

Windsor - 2:17
London - 2:10
New Forest Middle Distance - 4:59 (9th)
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