Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jailbreak Race Plan

This weekend I am finally escaping from jail! Jailbreak that is. Jailbreak is a triathlon with two distances, Maximum Sentence and Minimum Sentence. I am doing the Maximum Sentence which will see me swim for 2.2Km, bike for 88Kms, and run for 21Kms. It is just like a Half Ironman (HIM) distance race. 

The race takes place at Brandvlei Prison in the Worcester area of western Cape. It is a region famous for its great winelands which means FLAT and fast roads for us to race on! Im very excited about this race.

This afternoon I had a meeting with my coach to go over the last few weeks of training and to set up the plan for this weekend's race with a distance a little bit longer than a HIM with a swim 2.2Km instead of a 1.9Km. The meeting went well and I confessed to have gone over the BPM on a few of the longer runs because I wanted to go faster rather than smoothly. Neil explained that he wants to change me from being an explosive athlete, which I previously was with my tennis and track and field background, and wants me to get accostumed to the long, steady, easier runs with lower BPMs. Makes sense, and I took notes on it.

We talked about my swim, which I feel still sucks, and he told me not to worry about it too much this weekend.  We agreed I can look at maybe getting some private lessons in the new year and, hopefully, improve my strokes and times. One of the local tri clubs is hosting a week long swimming camp and I think I will join it.  We also talked about my rides, and I told him I had no problem with the rides, other than the loneliness of leaving at 5am every saturday, so he agreed to get me in touch with some other hardcore early risers to join me.  He did say Ind tat getting 5h and 6h rides in the next few months in order to be read for Ironman South Africa in Apri.

Race Plan
Right, Neil asked me to do as follows:

2.2Km Swim - Relaxed and smooth strokes. Bring it home and dont worry about the time.
88Km Bike - 7.5 to 8.5 out of 10 on Perceived Exhertion.
21Km Run - 7.5/10 on Perceived Exhertion and try to keep a steady pace. Bring it home.

So, this is the official race plan according to my coach.  We did not talk times, splits, or AG position! He basically wants me to take this race as a long, tough training day in order to prepare me for bigger goals such as Ironman South Africa and Ironman Austria next year.  But, and you know there was a but, I do have my own plan, which stems off his guidelines anyway.  I basically want to bring it home under 5h! I will follow his instructions on the swim, but will push hard on the bike and on the run.  I reckon I can bring the swim under 1h (I know, no comments please!), the bike under 2h:25m, and the run under 1h:45m. My last HIM time was 5h:15m at Half Challenge Barcelona earlier this year, so now I must try and improve from there. This is MY plan on the paper! I obviously need to make it work out there... so let's see what happens. 

Nutrition plan is to take 6 Powerbar gels on my bike and the Speedfill with Maxifuel's Viper Boost. Im still contemplating whether or not to take two additional bottles in the back of my saddle. I'll make the call race morning.  Detailed plan is:

Breakfast: Oatmeal and Powerbar Energize bar
15 minutes before swim: Powerbar Gel
T1: 1 Powerbar Gel, 1 Saltstick pill
-Viper Boost Drink: Drink as and when I feel I need it
-Powerbar Gel every 45 minutes
-Saltstick pill every 30 mins
T2: 1 Powerbar Gel, 1 Saltstick pill
-Powerbar Gel every 45 minutes
-Saltstick pill every 30 mins

It all looks very good on paper, I just need to make sure I implement it on race day!

Zipp Sub9 Disk Wheel
Now, you will understand me wanting to go fast on the bike, and the reason is my bad ass new disk wheel.  I just got back from London and I picked up a Zipp Sub9 Disk with a Powertap at for a bargain.  I couldn't wait to see it on my frame and here is the result. My superbike! Meet ONYX

Onyx - My Argon18 E118 TT Bike

Onyx - Zipp Sub9 Disk on the frame. No clearance problems whatsoever.

Swim start and transition area
Bike course. Mostly flat with some easy hills
Run course, mostly flat

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Jailbreak Half Distance Triathlon

It has been quite a long time since I last posted, but I have been very busy with work, travelling, and trying to fit in my training and family time on my days.

Things have now settled quite well in Cape Town and my wife and children absolutely love it out there, which makes my life much easier when I need to concentrate on work.

Training has been going well, although I must say I have missed some of the double daily sessions on my schedule as I try to workout early in the morning  (5am-6:30am) to leave the rest of the day to work and family in the late afternoon.  My wife and I sometimes go to the gym together at the end of the day, and when we do that I am then able to fit in my second workout session, but it doesn’t happen as often as I would like it to.

I have not raced since the Barcelona triathlon in July, and I am feeling the bug again.  I had planned a race in Mauritius, but had to cancel it due to an unplanned trip to Mozambique for work. My wife then decided we weren’t going to Sun City to race the 11Global triathlon…but I am sticking to my schedule and will fit one more race before the end of the year – JAILBREAK

2.2Km Swim – 88 KM Bike – 22Km Run are the distances I will have to cover, and I am comfortable with all of them but the swim! I am still not where I want to be in my swimming.  My 2013 schedule is quite tough with Ironman South Africa 70.3 in January, Ironman South Africa in April, and Ironman Austria in July, my swimming times need to trim down a lot and I need to dedicate a few more hours to the pool.

My rides in Cape Town are absolutely lovely. I usually get up on Saturday mornings at 4:15am and ride from about 5-9am, going for about 100Kms on a route that takes me through hills to work on my legs, and straights to work on speed. Its a great place to long as the wind is not blowing!

Here are a few photos from my recent rides and runs. I will post something a bit later on with a rae plan for next weekend's Jailbreak.


  1. What is your next race and distance? 
  2. Have you had to cancel any races recently? If so, why?
  3. Do you struggle to balance training and family time? How to you cope/manage real life with this hobbie of ours?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Trying to stick to it

After all of the latest travelling and me being sick for a few weeks, I was able to finally start with the training program Neil designed for me. So far so good, and my body is reacting fine. A few of the tests were worse than I expected, but I suppose that leaves plenty of room for improvement.

My racing schedule will be changing as well as my wife is not so keen in going to Sun City so I might just do the Jailbreak and thats it.

I will keep trying to stick to the program and make an effort to post more often.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Training in Cape Town - Getting Serious

Summer is over... and spring is about to start! Weird huh? But thats exactly where I am here in Cape Town with the European Summer behind me, and the African summer about to start.  Since making the decision to move to CApe Town, I have been looking for either a triathlon team or a coach to make me a better athlete, more competitive, and potentially even help me qualify before I change my age group.

After looking, and talking to several people in the UK and in Cape Town, I can now say I have a coach   who is BTA Level 3 coach and trains several Ironman triathletes....Neil MacPherson!

His wife Diana has been to Kona in 2006 and has had podium finishes in several IM sanctioned events.

I am very excited about getting involved with a professional coach who has taken people to Kona and hope to see my results improving.  I will be doing som testing this week and hope to post my results on here soon.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Summer Update

Wow, where to start? It's been nearly three months since I have last updated my blog, but between the birth of our baby boy and our move out of the UK and into Cape Town, South Africa, I'm sure you can understand my lack of time to write on the blog.

In summary, we are all well, training has suffered a but, but not much, we have moved to Cape Town and are now settling well, and my wife and kids love it here.  Here are some random photos from the summer in Barcelona, and I wil make an effort to keep the blog more up to date with news of my training and racing.

New bike. 2012 Argon 18 Gallium Pro.

Triatlon de la Vila de Barcelona - July 2012

New SRM Power Meter on the E118. 

Bike Porn

Angelo is a little angel!

My princess!

My treasures... my reason for living

Goodies from the US. My sister brought them for us!