Monday, April 18, 2011

Introducing my Ceepo Katana, aka King Arthur!


I don’t think I was a ‘needy’ child. (David, was I?) But my latest acquisition has been on my ‘want’ list for a long LONG time.

The old adage “all good things come to those who wait,” is a favourite with my mum. As it probably is the same with every parent on the planet when trying to keep their kids wants under control.

I have only ever owned 2 bikes.

My first was a Scott road bike that I used for my first triathlon that happened to be an Ironman. (Yes it was a silly thing to do). I then broke the bike and having already fallen in love with triathlon I knew in my heart a tri bike was all I was ever going to need.

I don’t draft and when I do try I am terrible at it. I like to sit up front. I like to ride solo. So all the signs were there early on to invest in a tri bike.

So I sold my soul (read: got a loan) and brought myself George the Cervelo P2C. George has done me proud, we have had lots of wins and podiums but when I changed my job last year I knew it was time to change the bike also.

Fresh start and all that.

I have always had a soft spot for Ceepo bikes; there is just something about them. Their brand, their design, and the fact they are a PURE triathlon bike company. I fell in love with them much like I fell in love with triathlon...READ MORE

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why Should triathletes beef up?


Are you a triathlete carnivore in hiding?

Time to get out the steak knives and dig into a bloody steak.

Yesterday I ate a filet steak. Nothing unusual you may think. But for someone who eats less and less meat these days but is NOT a vegetarian, steak is usually off my menu.

Perhaps down to price, convenience and also my diet is pretty raw with more vegetables than bugs bunny could handle!

But my buddy Kharis is always tweeting about the Las Vacas MEAT shop/restaurant in town. There are two outlets and one of them is now within walking distance from his new office. VERY dangerous on two counts: the pocket (he has a weakness for Wagu) and on the waistline!
My bloody lunch sitting in the chiller
But this got me thinking. I know beef is good for athletes. Well lean cuts not the fatty stuff :) So I thought why not meet the ‘Butcher’ and and listen to what he has to say about his product and outline exactly HOW good lean beef is for you. READ MORE...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Triathlete in Manila

So where has this triathlete-in-remission been for the past week?

It was a change of scenery to recharge the batteries. Now one might visualize an escape to a dessert island to do this, not a city bursting at the seams with people, traffic and chaos.
While Manila is all of those things it is also so much more. I have always a nagging doubt about getting around such a city where sometimes bad and crazy things happen and where your bag is checked with the 'magic stick' each time you enter a building. Would I feel safe? Would I become a victim?
But as with any new city, a couple of days to adjust and I am reminded why I enjoy the Philippines. The people are refreshingly open and confident, and always looking to strike up a conversation. If I had a buck for every time I heard "your beautiful" of which my response was always, (after I had stopped laughing) "I am just different."
Now who wouldn't love that! But it's not not really hard to point out the white chick walking thru the city or hailing a motorcycle taxi!!

Between the chaos and confusion of a colorful city I found clarity, a new goal, a fresh perspective and my faith...READ MORE

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Not So Funny Week

Bloggers NOTE: Apologies if you are not a cat lover. But it was that or a picture of a muscle! Plus it's my blog column - so I say what goes :)

Do you ever get the feeling you have been dealt a crummy deck of cards?

Whoa...last week was a tough week in my simple life. And I do not mean tough as in training.
I am a cat lover. Always have been. In the genes ya see (mum's side) dad took a little longer to warm up to the idea of cats, he finally got it after 6 trys and now numbers 7 and 8 are 'part of the Bishop household - UK'.
A very smart cat from a young age. She could open windows, doors, sliding doors, boxes - you name it. She even used to play 'fetch' with a tiny teddy bear I used to throw her.

She was a queen and would not give anyone an audience except me her owner or should I say, servant...READ MORE

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Road Testing: K-Swiss California

Yet to be released the Women's K-Swiss California running shoe looks cool.

But looks are not everything. Oh okay, so looking good and cool account for 90% of triathlon. But those of you who know ME, know I rarely match my top to the bottom, shoes to bike, helmet, runners...you name it.

I think that's why I get free stuff. Manufacturers take pity on me and want me looking a bit more erm...can I say 'serious' - HA!

So I picked up my new K-Swiss California's from Runnerz Circle the other day. I am road testing a sample. It says so in the tongue (I mean it says 'sample' NOT 'Road Testing' - but that would be cool wouldn't it!) READ MORE...

K-Swiss Women's California - Stability shoe

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Training 'YARD'

You may have noticed that my posts have become, slower and fewer. I have not gone anywhere, it's just that there is only so much writing I can do - Yes even I have a limit!!


Anyway, over at www.beyondtransition.com/blog you may have noticed my thrice weekly (when on a roll) column called Funny Simple Life aka FSL OR Funny SINGLE Life!!


So what I shall do is post a snippet here and if you would like to read more then please hop over to my new home of BeyondTransition :)




Triathlon training in Modern Day Malaysia.
I thought I would give you a little peek into my current training backyard. It’s tropically hot and exposed but being able to handle the elements is why we train right? The plus side of training under the scorching sun is the unique landscape of this location.
For the past couple of weeks I have joined a bunch of Aussie guys for Saturday training. Since I am not really doing much long stuff this means driving to a start point to join them.

I like these guys as I no longer have to get up at 5am....readmore

Thursday, February 3, 2011

An Long Overdue LONG BLOG

Did I fall asleep? My last training post was on Jan 3rd. Today is the last day of January (that’s when the first draft was written). Oh My GOSH I fell asleep, well I sure needed it.

I am alive and have been climbing out of a very large hole. 56 days ago I had had enough. I wanted to end it. I wanted out. I was at the lowest point EVER in my life.

Looking BETTER, NO, looking GOOD!
I glossed over the New Year and with some expert guidance from Kristian and some very good friends and I KNOW things have finally turned a corner. Why you may ask? Hasn’t she done that before only to fall back and sink even deeper?

Honesty is my policy when writing. When I write about other peoples journeys they are kind enough to open up and be honest with me in the hope they can help others. So that is my policy here to.


But sometimes I have to delay what I want to say until I am strong enough to handle actually writing it down and revealing my inner weakest moments. I do this for two reasons. To prove that I am a strong person and that there is nothing to be ashamed of. And to hopefully help anyone else out there who may read this and be going through a similar experience. 

So. If you calculate correctly 56days ago was Christmas Day. Prior to the 25th on the eve I woke up and knew it was going to be a bad day. WHY? Ok briefly…

Thursday it started to build the pounding headache, the anxiety. I should have stayed at home but forced myself up and out of bed  - I cannot remember now if I span on the bike or not. It’s not really important.

I went to work, I went for a meeting. Sitting in the coffee shop I felt bad. Hard to explain but when you have CFS other symptoms that happen are the following: paranoia, anxiety, depression, as well as the inability to sleep, body aches, brain fog. Ok enough of that. So sitting there and my heart rate started to rise, I started getting fidgety and very uncomfortable. By the time my friend had arrived for the meeting I was in a right state, burst into tears and just had to run. YES, I collected my things and RAN.

Driving home with tears streaming down my face (I could also not stop crying), now I get angry with myself. I really have had enough. My head starts pounding and by the time the evening rolls round I had found solace in sugar.

Woke up Friday Xmas eve and could not move. Could not stop crying and the effort (mentally not just physically) to get up and go downstairs was immense. For 2 days I did not wash or leave the house (my bed) except to find solace in the only comfort I had become so addicted to…chocolate.

On Christmas day, well I would rather glaze over that day. But by that time I had had enough of my life. I felt a burden on friends and basically shut down, shunned anyone who extended warmth and a kind word. It is not a nice feeling to not want to live. I know I would not do anything about it. But just having the thought is bad enough.

I text a friend. I reached out and On Christmas day she became my savour as I started on the path to an honest recovery. I am by no means there yet, but I now feel strong enough that when the bad days come I can handle them. I DO HANDLE THEM, because I have had them since.

For too many months I care to admit I have run away and avoided my friends because I cannot handle being around them, the questions, the paranoia that everyone is talking about you. I know this is not the case – but this is one of the symptoms of this disease.

I have read so much material on CFS. I found forums, chat rooms where people with the same problem come together. I found this extremely uncomfortable. WHY? Because I felt the people in these forums were too negative, complaining about their problem rather than helping one another. Suggesting medications to take.

I have never wanted to revert to medication to help me through this. I do not believe in it. I believe there to be another way. And after reducing the stress, the work the training there was only one thing left to change.
MY DIET.

This meant taking away the only comfort that I knew. Chocolate. But it was a comfort in sheep’s clothing as no sooner had I consumed the bar the feel good ‘rush was replaced with GUILT, depression and sadness.

In an email to Kristian he replied with so much POSTIVE useful information on CFS that I started to see light. He has introduced me to a new way of eating that I have embraced. He also told me not too fall to far into the black hole and that I have so much to give.

Other people close to my work and me tell me I am great. It’s hard to believe these things when so low but now I read this and I smile. Not cry :)

So amongst some serious positive thinking and channelling of energy the diet changed. I detoxed for the first time in my life and the results were not what I expected.

Actually I do not know what I expected, never having done it before or read much on the subject. You see I guess I am a kind try it first, read it later kind of person.

I have learnt a lot, I am still learning. And for someone who never EVER took supplements I have learnt that this body was way tired and I could not go on treating it the way I was without some inner damage. So now Supplements are a daily intake.  More on what I have introduced later.

Also and finally, just how did I get to this place? I know I raced last year in this fatigued state. Why? How do I know this? Because I stopped improving during training a long time ago and was finding it harder and harder to execute any training and have a solid session. And when I think back my hard sessions where hard because I was already in a depleted state – they were not getting quicker. NEVER.

It is no ones fault except my own. I take full responsibility for it. Coach did not force the training. And the work…well I just kept taking more on and never said stop, that’s enough I cannot handle this anymore!
Getting better and better EACH DAY
So now I see the error of my ways. I train lightly at the moment. I have one international race on the cards for this year already registered for :) And I am working part-time.


I believe I am 90% stress free. 10% of stress I do have is attributed to daily stuff like driving, queues and ignorant people – I let those wash over me and avoid negative people and places like the plague and if I find my self gripping the steering wheel and my knuckles turning white. I say a mantra. I take a deep breath and RELAX.

So I am not going to detail the training, there is nothing to learn there. It’s going along well and Kristian and Charlotte (who is expecting their first baby in a matter of days) have been a rock. As has my dear friend Julie and Lynn and the wonderful support and understanding of Big D.


I just completed my first full week for 3weeks. This morning as it is the first day of the Lunar New Year I chose to ride Putrajaya with Mark rather than do the turbo. We had a great chat and now I am off to an open house.

Please check out this website that Kristian put me onto: www.foodmatters.tv. I have been sharing this with everyone I meet:




When I was viewing I just kept thinking OH MY GOSH. The next day after watching this…I detoxed.

Take care, train safe and please listen to YOUR INNER BODY – forget about whats happening on the outside – that falls into place once the inside has the warm fuzzy feeling of happiness :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

TriSpecific: New Year Blog Wk3


This past week was more about reflection rather than training.

The training was there and it got done. But this is a New Year. And while I have never been one to make resolutions – I do have a good look at what the past year has been like.

If I was to be totally honest it was a bit POOP. I qualified for Kona last year, February. Something I had targeted and worked towards for quite a while. The victory didn’t taste as good as I dreamed it would, I was never well enough to enjoy my little moment of glory. And then things progressively slid downhill from there to the point I withdrew from the October World Championships.

I struggled all year with my self-esteem, demons, one minute up the next minute down. I reduced training. I stopped training. I exercised. I put on weight. I started to really dislike who I was and what I saw when I looked in the mirror.

I thought it would all be okay if I just got back to where I was post illness and fatigue. I thought if I could make the outside look the same as I used to then I WOULD be happier and learn to love myself again.

Don’t get me wrong; last year was far, far from ALL bad. I have found when I am away racing or working at races I transform. I simply love to be in the triathlon playground. For me it is like going to church. There is so much positive energy all around, you cannot help but get high on life and being alive.

I first learnt this when I took a month out and went to Kona as a spectator. That month’s holiday was perfection. I started to heal and spiritually feel good about me again. And I am now going to make that trip (so long as financially able!) my annual pilgrimage, as a friend said to me over the weekend. You can’t take money with you when you go, so enjoy it.

So back to the outside casing of Emma; after hitting rock bottom I had (with the help of some guidance) a revelation of sorts. It all seems so simple now. Why did I not see this before? But sometimes you have to hit the bottom before you can start swimming back to the surface. This is going to be a long journey, hence my use of the swimming analogy – the swim is slow but steady as will be my recovery!!

I am trying although it is extremely hard to forget about what I look like on the outside. I now understand the real battle lies deep within. Get control of that and everything else will fall into place. It works. I am learning (and again this is VERY hard) to focus on me, one thing at a time, and to have belief that I can heal.

It seems crazy to say I find that hard, as I never had any trouble believing I could qualify for Kona. But this belief is deeper and a slower, calmer process which is totally the opposite of how Emma functions.

Example:
I went for my first Pilates class the other day. The instructor was shocked at my lack of movement and also the first comment was; you are not used to doing things slowly are you? I started laughing. "NOPE. That’s why I am here. I need to learn how to slow my life down, one thing at a time."

So training went smoothly and slowly and calmly. Kristian was very helpful with his advice and support in my woes and worries and information on CFS. The more you read, the more you learn, you can never stop learning.

Once again I cannot emphasize how helpful it is to have a coach with sound advice in your corner. When the chips are down, just a few words of encouragement are all you need to start moving forward again, or in my case get out of bed! :)

So if I wake up in the morning and feel like I have slept. That is a result, a HUGE result. In the old life I would have a list of 10-20 tasks to do in a day. WOW I am scared just typing that. These days I have maybe a maximum 5 tasks a day that includes training and meetings.

The goal is not to think about any of the other tasks until the first is finished. When that is done if I feel good to do the next and am clear in the head then I will do it. If I don’t finish everything in the day – then it’s not a problem, I will not stress and the world will not stop rotating!

I have been very lucky that I am still able to work whilst feeling so pooped. I do not think I have let anybody down and while some people have to quit work and have no income when handling CFS I count myself lucky that I am still able to do what I love.

2011 - THE ONLY WAY IS UP !!!
Happy New Year Everyone!
Train Safe, Train Smart, SMILE :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

TriSpecific: Training Blog Wk2

Well it's been Christmas hasn't it, so I treated this week with the holiday respect it deserves and had a little break! Totally back to normal next week I think. But a few of you have been asking questions about the new training, how it is different, numbers, hours, volume etc. 

So I asked Kristian to document his thoughts for you, so there is something for you to read this week and it is probably much more interesting than my waffle!!

Remember we are in the midst of putting together plans for Malaysia. If there is an area or something specific you want to target then let us know and we may be able to help you shape your goals.

TriSpecific Head Coach, Kristian Manieta explains in more detail the Low volume Vs High volume training and how it all works


I was previously an IG's coach running operations and coaching in Australia and NZ. I continue to use many of the concepts I learnt with IG's and couple those in with previous knowledge and also new knowledge I acquired from learning via my talks with many athletes and other coaches and of course the experiential learning part of it, from my own training. Learning and application is a never ending pursuit. 

TriSpecific was around before I partnered with ig and I relaunched TS due to the stress involved with ig.

My goals are quite simple with my coaching. Provide athletes with the tools and education to not only perform but to ensure a holistic approach to longterm sustainable health. When we provide a foundation of health, performances will come.

There is also way more to coaching than the plans we write and there is way more to results than just following the plan. The plan becomes just a small part of the picture. In one2one coaching we take in the athletes life circumstance and develop them in line with those circumstances and make sure their stated goals are congruent with their current life circumstance.



When it comes to athletes that follow a generic download plan or membership site plan we will see vastly different results for the same plan. Talent doesn't really count that much. How those athletes apply themselves in each and every sessions counts big time as does there day to day nutrition, recovery methods and their attitudes also play a major role.

Coaching whether its one2one or a generic plan or membership site, needs to contain other important knowledge transfer such as the role of nutrition, the role of sleep, stress reduction, regeneration, among other things.

Results come from consistency. Not just in the plan but the above factors also. Many athletes that train 20+ hours/week lack the long term consistency to get great results. Typically they get so aerobically whacked they will miss sessions, due to excessive fatigue, sickness or injury. You'll get better results following year round training at a sustainable volume than you will from 12-20 weeks of higher volumes. There will always be outliers but I talking about the typical age grouper.

When it comes to iron distance racing there is a commonly held belief that you need big volume to perform. Over the years I have found that not to be true. Your base grows from session to session, year to year. This year I have had some major success with athletes doing a lot less volume than most of the age groupers out there.



Out of the five athletes I had in Kona in 2010, four of them where AG champions in the 2010 season and I had three podiums from those five in Kona (1st, 2nd, and 3rd). The volume these guys and girls do is totally linked to their current life circumstances and even so for the most part it stays under 15 hours. Even my pro athletes train under 20 hours/week.

Its all about getting the best return on investment for your training buck. If you had to do 30 hours per week to go 9:30, I would say that is a terrible ROI when I see athletes going that on 8-10hr/week. I know some athletes who train in the 14-15hr bracket and have gone mid 8:30's! They don't miss sessions and each session is very focused and has a purpose to it.

The major issue I see with volume is with the so called 'base' training. The norm is to do long slow sessions early on and then upping the volume and adding in a speed element. The problem here is that excessive volume coupled with high intensity will kill an athlete quickly. Its just so catabolic on the body. With all the long slow stuff, you essentially train the strength and speed out of your body as you wreck your immune system.

Flip that on its head and do more strength and speed work early on to develop those crucial skills and you develop aerobic capacity anyway. Repeat that for the long term and then in the lead up to the race, 6-8wks out you can up the volume in some sessions to marry the specifics of the race.

This works so well, because you have increased not only your cruising paces but have more efficiency and will complete the longer race specific work faster and using less energy expenditure.

In terms of hours, unfortunately there is no magic number of hours that will see results. As I mentioned above, it's so much more than the training. Everything counts. Looking at my generic 20 week Ironman plan we see an average training week across the board of 12.5 hours. But there is 8 weeks where the volume is between 16-17.5hrs on the advanced plan.

For between 14-15hr/week you can get:
SWIM: 3-4  40min sessions
BIKE: 1x70min, 1x 90min, and 1x4hour
RUN: 4-5-  2-3x 40-60min, 30min and 1 x 120min. 

What's important here is how these sessions are placed and what they contain. ie intensity and quality are very important. Quality does not always mean intense effort. Quality can also mean intense focus on form.

So I believe we start talking lower volume when we are under 15hours per week. Between 12-15hours is a very sustainable model for the majority of athletes competing over the iron distance. I know others that successfully train and race with much less than this. For example: 8-10hour week. When we train under 14hours, each and every session is very much key.

I do emphasize swimming as it is so important to your overall results. Even though its the shortest part of the day, it can take massive amounts of energy away from the bike and run. Being swim fit is a key component to triathlon success.

As Emma mentioned we're working on a Malaysian part to the TS site and will have that up and running soon.

Hope you all had a great Christmas and have a Happy New Year

Kristian

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chrishmush Cake anyone?

Courtesy of Disco:



Mmmmmm-perfect-
recipe :
Ingredients;

2 cups flour
1 stick butter
1 cup water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
lemon juice
4 large eggs

nuts
2 bottles wine
2 cups of dried fruit

Sample the wine to check the quality. Take a large bowl, check the wine again. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer.  Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the wine is still ok.  Try another cup....Just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit up off the floor. Mix on the turner...If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the wine to check for tonsisticity.  Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Check the wine. Now shift the lemon juice and stain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar or some fink. Whatever you can find. Grease the oven . Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally throw the bowl out of the window. Finish the wine and wipe the counter with the cat. Go and buy a cake
Bingle Jells 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

TriSpecific: Training Blog Wk1

Well I am still alive and kicking (even though now that hurts). The idea was to ‘gently’ ease back into things, so actually I have done less this week than I have been doing previous weeks past.

So what's the difference? Now I execute with meaning and with the effort required, this can also be determined as effort available!


While my new routine and work pattern have heaps LESS stress I sometimes have the tendency to try and fit too much in. When the afternoon rolls round I am pretty much useless and so if able I will take a nap. I think it is much wiser to do this than to carry on in a zombified state and go to meetings with a trance-like glaze over your eyes! (sorry Denis, and everyone else).

I harbour no secret desire to qualify for KONA next year. Lets make that clear. While I would love to race and race well, at present I am happy to have renewed motivation.

Monday:
I have enjoyed my swims this week. Something a little different but not too different, remember what I do now is similar to the old stuff just less volume.
I got through Monday unscathed from a 1.5k swim set.

Tuesday:
Tuesday morning and I am reunited with my friend the bike trainer. The bike legs are still there, just under some extra padding, once again, I escape unscathed and went off to work.

Wednesday:
Another short 1.5k but rather odd swim set that I really enjoyed, with that in the bag my first double session (a run) was in my mind for the afternoon.
The run is my first of the week and my first run of any intensity. For months I have just being going out and trying to maintain some sort of fitness, never really pushing it.
It was only 40minutes (the idea is to ease into things), but the intention is negative splits, (this HURT).
Not sure if I started off too quick, I guess time and trial and error will teach me. But I managed a final set of negative splits and also managed to nearly throw up. I think this affirms the fact that I was trying (or was it the litre of ice cream rolling around in my stomach before hand?)!! NO NO NO JOKING!!!

The good thing about the session is while it is short, it allows me concentrate and to have the confidence to PUSH into the nasty uncomfortable pain box. You just have to keep telling yourself…it’s just for a little while. It will soon be over. Spittle flying, heart popping, the legs didn’t actually hurt during this session…then again it was their first real outing!

Thursday:
We get back on the trainer. I looked at the session and thought piece of cake. But with a warmer morning, no fan or air-con as I was out on the car porch I was overheating. Short 1minute efforts are no problem in the heat. Longer efforts take their toll. Lydia and Dave revived me with ice water that I poured over the head to cool down and before the last effort I had to get off before I fell off and let my body temp come down before I started the final set.

Power is there, legs a little queasy after Wednesday run and a note to self…put a bloody fan out next time!

Friday:
Friday morning and swim time again. I am swimming a little without the buoy and paddles. It feels weird but trust in what I have been told and just execute. I really do not question much at all. I just do it. What I am doing different though is making sure the coach knows how I FEEL.*

Friday afternoon I had a short run dialled in. Friday was a mentally mind numbing day. The brain was mush from work and it rained for most of the day. But it was just 30minutes and sometimes/most of the time when I get my butt out there I DO fell better for it. Now in hindsight, maybe I should have skipped it, because Saturday came and kicked me swiftly up the butt!

Saturday:
When you only have a short time allowance for your only road ride of the week, one word of advice. Make sure you ENJOY it. So what if you have to drive to a scenic loaction and spend 45min’s in the car. The pleasure you get is so much worth the drive and you still get home earlier than if you were doing a 100plus k ride.
Mother Natures perfection can be found just a short drive outside of Kuala Lumpur
I drove to Ulu Langkat. Easy is on the menu with my last 20mins moderatly hard. I still have a tough time determining what is easy, easpecially when on the bike. It being my strength even in my current level of fitness I never quite know what to do. Does it mean not pushing any resistance? Or just keeping an extremely low heart rate, which funnily enough while the weight increased over the past few months this is the one factor that has remained a consistent low.

So I kind of keep it on the small chain ring. Yes you read correctly. For a short while at least. I do not gun it up Perez (a 9km climb). The final TT section back to Batu 18 I push so I am uncomfortable. Nasty headwind yesterday but I believe I still averaged 38/9kph from the 12km marker.

I ran off the bike. This was my first run off the bike since August. I was ready for pain, for serious discomfort.  Imagine my surprise when it never came? Hip is pretty uncomfortable but after four minutes I was shuffling away and enjoying the scenery. Drove home and that is where the day ended for me. The week caught up and the body gave up for the rest of the day. So I accepted my fate and vegetated.

Sunday:
A short run (Read 50minutes) this morning over rolling hills, so I went to Bukit Aman. I started out really REALLY easy. I have never truly followed a Sunday run plan to a T, so now I am going to try and execute. Nothing to lose I figure. After 25minutes of really easy I ramp it up (well try) for just 15minutes. I make myself uncomfortable and just keep telling myself it’s only 15minutes. I felt good. My legs are killing me from the week and the fatigue in my system but my breathing that usually poses such a problem was not a hindrance today.

So the week is done, tomorrow it all starts again with a slight increase. It seems a bit bizarre starting training with Christmas just around the corner. But I think I have had enough eat-whatever-you-can-lay-your-hands-on time and now I need to start moving gently forward again.

*If you are embarking on online coaching, remember your coach cannot SEE YOU. A lot can be revealed in seeing an athletes face; fatigue, tiredness, sickness, health, your spirit etc. So it is your job as an athlete to relay how you feel to your coach.

I get this now. Some coaches can read it through how you write. You feel good training is all hunky dory and you are blogging and face booking up a storm, simply put, the world could not be rosier.

But then come the crossroads, the doubt, and the tough days. You are having a rough time and you shut down, close out the virtual world. When this happens they can only help you IF you seek them out and explain what’s going on and how you feel.

Never think you are being a pain in the butt (I always thought this, so didn’t ever bother my coach much). But this is the priceless advice that you are buying into: The guidance. It’s not so much about the plan and what to do and how to do it.
It’s the support network, the understanding, the peace of mind a coach can deliver to you.
Use it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Zeal for Christmas

I should have blogged these a couple of weeks ago but have been rather busy and now the 10 pairs of samples I received from Zeal Optics are reduced to 6 pairs!

If you are looking for a last minute Christmas gift then a pair of Polorized sunnies could be just the ticket item! For a long time I have used Oakley to train and race in because nothing else fit and felt comfortable. Thing is only one design worked!! 
I want a sunny that I can run in and race in, bike in and socialise in and Zeal offer all of this and more.

Lifetime warranty, ALL designs are polorized and prices start from just RM350. Designed in Boulder, Colorado, USA by outdoor sports enthusiasts, these guys know their stuff. 

I am in the midst of putting a larger order together now, but that will not arrive until the new year, this however is what I have left. Interested? You know where to contact me!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

TriSpecific: Because the answers have changed

This Monday 13th of December training resumes. Since August 22nd I have not trained. I have tried to stay healthy and exercised when the body allowed but there has been no structure what so ever. This was hard at first to get used to, but since returning from the states I have relished not having the pressure to train for a race or do certain things and just go with the flow.  I have a lot of people to thank for showing me how to think and live this way; once you ‘get it,’ each day without structure gets easier.

On December 1st I started the next chapter in my life. I am not quite sure how many chapters we have got to by now. And while not exactly the riveting page turning stuff of ‘The Girl the With Dragon Tattoo’, each journey on a very personal level, has been a huge learning curve.

While I am no longer working with The Bike Boutique I have relished the time I spent with them. It was sad to leave, but necessary for me to move forward and get well. The plus side about working in triathlon is that the world is so small that you never really say goodbye. And so while I am not in daily contact with my old team I will always see them at events.

Starting a new job (or jobs, I am now doing a few different things) was just one of the changes that had to happen. I needed to also make changes to my training life and racing decisions. Just like it was time for me to move on in my career it was also time for me to try something new for training.

TriSpecific has elements of familiarity that I am used to, the big difference however is I will no longer be doing large volumes. This is so important for my body to heal and hopefully with a good diet will enable me to finally get this CFS under control. I still have days when I cannot get out of bed, but now I usually know when they are coming on and as such do not let myself feel guilty about sleeping for a whole day. I wish I could say the same about the depression that comes with those bad days, that’s pretty tough to handle and that is also why I have done something else totally new and moved house and now am cohabitating with two VERY outgoing people. I am hoping when my dark days come they will just give me a good kick up the backside and help snap me out of it!

So back to the coaching, I first met Kristian Manietta last year at the 70.3 Philippines. He is an awesomely fast age grouper and also happens to be husband to the lovely Ironman champion of China and Busselton, Charlotte Paul. We all got on like a house on fire last year and had lots of fun. I met them again in Kona this year and then again in Maui and that’s when things started happening and wheels began turning.

I have always wanted to help the tri scene here in Malaysia. And I am amazed in the past couple of years at how triathletes here have started taking training more seriously. I personally think most people can go faster with a little help and A LOT of self-discipline but my old large volume training was admittedly scary and the biggest problem with working triathletes is precisely that, WE WORK. We have FAMILY. We have other COMMITMENTS. And so while triathlon is our lifestyle it has to be balanced in with everything else we do.

Not everyone has 20 plus hours a week to train. Not everyone wants to or physically can train for this amount week in week out. So how about training less with exactly the time YOU have allowed for your sport but also the knowing that you can be faster.

Sounds good right? But remember. Just like a diet, unless you follow it with the discipline and willpower it deserves you won’t get faster. That is your choice.

My choice is to try something new and I feel with Trispecific I have the opportunity to train again and be fast while not over extending myself. My life next year will entail a lot of travel, training will not be easy, so it is all about balance (there’s that word again, admittedly I have not been very good at this in the past!), huge trust in what you are given to do and execution on those sessions.

After much discussion with Kristian about how we can offer help to Malaysians at an affordable price we came to the conclusion that a 20week IM program as an introduction could be just the key.

The program is targeted at IM China 2011, but even if you are not doing an IM maybe you want to do a half or an Olympic distance. Maybe you just want to get ‘tri-fit’. Programs are customised to cater to your time available. There are all sorts of other perks that will be made available to you should you be interested.

As for me, the idea is racing China but I am honestly not thinking about that right now, it is just an idea. And if I do not race in China I will still do the training at a lower intensity so that I can train and follow anyone that is with TriSpecific, think of me as the one holding the whip, your conscience on the ground!!

So my training starts on Monday and I will be doing a weekly blog to let you know what is going on in my tri-training world – good and bad! Interested in joining me and getting more TriSpecific? Drop me an email or go to trispecific.com to find out more.

See ya on the road!