It has been a busy couple months with a new level of consistency in my training and preparing to visit Australia for 5 weeks. I have started working with somebody for my whole program and that is going well, especially in terms of swimming. The main difference has been the consistency especially during the week and are getting in some good hours across all three disciplines and are definitely a lot fitter than this time last year.
Race Day 1 - Cadbury Half Marathon - Jan 10th
I am now in margate, Tasmania (Just out of Hobart) and tomorrow brings race day in the form of the Cadbury Hobart Half Marathon. The course is definitely not flat and is rolling hills with a 500m hill in the last km. So not sure what the day will hold but plan on splitting the race into 4 rough sections.
The first 6km or so will just be about trying to hit a steady pace. This will bring me to a turnaround point and at this point I will try to workout where I am at in the race. Depending on how I feel at this point I will either look to bridge to the group or runners in front or drop back to the group behind. From here to the 14km mark which is the 2nd turnaround point I am going to look to sit in a group and just wait. The hard thing here will be to be disciplined enough to just sit and wait and not get bored. At 14km this is when the racing will begin, the course gives an opportunity to see who is coming back the other way so will look to pick some targets here to chase and try and drive the pace back to the finish.
Will see how it goes but thoughts will be to adhere to the plan and hopefully pull out a good performance. Weather is looking at being in mid to high teens so will be conscious to dose with water at the aid stations.
One of the things that has changed with working with somebody has been the amount of swimming. Not having had any exposure to this sport til I learnt to swim 27 months ago it has been good to see the type of volume and focus on technique that is required. The last 4 months have seen me spend more time in the pool than ever before and it is starting to make a difference. Still a long way to go but my 100m and 200m times are decreasing and are starting to be able to diagnose what is going right and wrong in the pool. hopefully this work will show itself in the 2010 race season so I can minimise the time I have to chase down after the swim.
Asides from losing a battle with a set of railway tracks everything has been going well. A lot of time spent on the trainer in Vancouver but now I am in Australia it is outside riding. flat is not something that exists in Hobart so getting plenty of hill work in and each of my rides starts with a 3 minute descent so needless to say they end with a longer climb. Today's ride was a short one (1 Hour) but still had 1450 feet of climbing in 30km so that gives an idea of the terrain.
Will know more tomorrow but asides from the odd bad session are feeling good. Speed work seems to be getting better but as is early year is hard to tell how much speed is in the legs. Race day at Cadbury will tell the story
I have another 12 days in Hobart and will be mixing, work, training and going to the cricket. After this are heading to Adelaide to watch some of the Tour Down Under. Main focus here will be to execute training and keeping stuff at work rolling. Will also be good to catch up with some friends in my home town. Looking forward to running around the Torrens corporate cup route along with getting in the ocean.
If I have a quiet day I really want to learn how to learn how to surf just so when everyone in Canada asks "do you surf?" I can say yes.
Beyond Tour Down Under will be heading to Melbourne and this will act as my training base, think will take the opportunity to do some riding in the dandenong ranges, some swimming in the ocean and and to do some runs which will definitely include a lap of Tan. Also plan on heading to the Australian Open Tennis for a day if possible.
After a my time in Melbourne it will be the short trip down to Geelong for the Geelong 70.3. Racing a half ironman this early in the year is a little bit daunting but thinking should be good to get an early mark of progress. Beyond that it is back to Vancouver (Via a tourist day in Tapei) in time for Vancouver 2010. All in all is going to be a busy 2 months but should be fun.
The Food update
After a while away form OZ is good to eat some of the iconic Aussie foods but they may not be good for me!!! Have been drinking a bit of Farmers Union Iced Coffee, Vegemite, Good Quality coffee that is 10 times better than starbucks, meat pies!!! A few more things are on my agenda to try including a pie floater, double cut ham and salad roll, balfours frog, melbourne coffee, fish and chips aussie style. Sure will think of some others but this is the short list at the moment.
That's it for now, need to go do some strides and rest up for race 1.
Below are some photos thus far of the trip are on my facebook page. Will load this up to picassa soon but for the moment it is at the link below or in a stream of the sidebar.