Sunday, 21 April 2019

Something old

Something of a blast from the past today, I actually went for an open water swim. Not only did I go for an open water swim, but I did it in a wetsuit. I don't think I have done that for years.

The prompt to go swim in the river on one of the colder morning's of the year was a mate of mine who asked me to go. Sometimes those reasons are all you need. Being one of the coldest morning's of the year so far, there was no way I was going without my wetsuit, although to be honest the river isn't actually that cold yet. My extreme softness for wearing a wetsuit was even pointed out by a little old lady down by the river who herself had been swimming in the river in the dark at 5:00am in preparation for a coming crossing of the English Channel. Way to be put in my place. Still I am glad I had it, even it was just because it helped me keep up with my mate who is currently swimming very well.

I haven't actually swum at all for about 2 months, so given that I was very pleasantly surprised by how the swim went. To be honest I would just have been happy to survive the 3km open water swim, but it was actually pretty quick. It can be easy to forget the power of a good wetsuit, but I was certainly reminded today. 3000m at about 1:23min/km, I will take that very happily if you don't mind, even if it was wetsuit enhanced. Shows the power of good cross training as I think the swimming has been maintained somewhat by my paddle training.

The swim was so nice that I am actually keen to do some more. The river was a reasonable temperature, the water quality outstanding and the swimming feeling okay. What was there not to like. Not sure I will still be in the river when the real winter temperatures kick in and the river drops down to around 15 degrees, but happy to make the most of it until then.

Nice to try new things, even if they are actually old things in disguise.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

On the way

A good tough bit of training for the Busso folks today. Not the last bit of hard work the athletes will be doing before race day, but certainly a very important session, both physically and mentally.

The session today was a brick session, but more than that it was a race day simulation. 60km on the bike and 12km on the run, all done at 70.3 pace. The session is a very good work out, but the idea of the session is to also to practice pacing, race preparation, double check equipment selection etc, all the little things that need to be ironed out before racing. For these reasons we view it as a very important session and one that we run every year.

As well as dialing in race preparation, when done right the session is also a great one for building confidence. The race is two weeks away from today and so all our athletes they should be well and truly ready for race day. That means that while 60km and 12km is a tough morning out, it shouldn't be that taxing. Achieving those distances and knowing there is more in the tank can give a great boost leading into the final two weeks of training.

I am happy to say that all up I think the session achieved its aims. Everyone got through the session looking pretty comfortable and capable of doing more, which is exactly what we wanted. The only hiccup of the session was actually another good lesson. As yesterday was one of our first wild days of autumn weather, today was our first cold one, almost freezing in fact. These chilly temperatures caught everyone by surprise and caused a few numb toes and fingers. As I said though, even this was a good learning opportunity as the half Ironman in Busselton is sometimes very, very cold and so figuring out strategies to race in those conditions is never a bad idea. This morning was a great morning to work out those strategies.

Yep, for most of our athletes race day is becoming very real. There is still a bit of work to do, but as this morning demonstrated, most of them are well on their way. Very nice.

Friday, 19 April 2019

Winter Came

Perth has had a crash course in Winter today. Roofs torn off houses to the north, high winds, countless rain fronts, cold temperatures, today has had it all. A real welcome to the season type of day.

Actually just this week we were discussing that we have had a remarkably mild autumn so far. It doesn't feel like it today, but the weather has been pretty friendly to triathletes this season. Here we are two weeks from Busselton Half Ironman and this is only the second weekend we have had of properly wild and wintery weather. I am sure by this time last year we had been out riding in the rain numerous times, whereas this year it hasn't really been an issue yet. Last winter was one of the wettest on recent record and so it is not surprising that we haven't been rained on as much this year, but still, the change is welcome for most of the athletes out there I am sure.

I have written a couple of times recently about training in poor weather and the upshot is that it shouldn't really stop you. If you give it sufficient preparation and thought then poor weather isn't an excuse for poor training. However, the reality is that when the weather turns nasty it does make it hard to produce quality sessions. For example I would have hated trying to get it some decent bike or running time today. Certainly possible, but it would not have been particularly fun.

Hopefully tomorrow turns a bit brighter and our luck we have had with weather so far this year holds out for another couple of weeks (including race day). Fingers crossed.