December 9 – The week after the Tinman

I’ve worked pretty hard this week after the Tinman. My performance in the race suggested I need to put in a few hard sessions. So on Monday I did a 2 hour 10 min run in Cornwall Park, on Tuesday I did 75 minutes around Takapuna and Devonport before doing the 1 km Beach Series Swim – in a rather disappointing 29 minutes – and then on Wednesday I came down to the Mount again, had a 1 hour bike ride, a visit to nutritionist Rachel Scriven, and then some swim coaching with my friend Rex Harding, who’s won some NZ titles in his youth and was a long time member of Duncan Laing’s squad in Dunedin. He’s 53 now, but did the Tinman swim in 20 minutes – in other words just behind the elite competitors, although he was leading off a relay team. Anyway, he knows a lot about swimming and we had a session in which the emphasis was on relaxing in the water, about making the stroke longer and not trying to stroke too quickly. It was enlightening, and now I have to do a few good sessions to try and get the rythm and hopefully, increase my rather slow speed.¬†Today I’ve had a big day with a 105 km bike ride, and backed that up with a 14 km run straight off the back. I was concentrating on eating and drinking right, and made some progress in that area. I actually needed to pee between the ride and the run today, unlike on Sunday when I didn’t pee from before the race till about two hours afterwards.

I’ve also met a great guy called Jon Hume who’s done some work for me on my aero bars set-up, and made the position a lot more comfortable for someone like me who is not very flexible around the shoulder area. Jon’s a top quality athlete himself, was once among the best mountain bikers in the country and really knows his stuff about bike set-ups. He and I are going riding at 6.30 in the morning.
Only 4 weeks and 1 day to go to race day  and I figure on a couple of hard weeks, one of moderate work during my holiday in Wanaka between Christmas and New Year and then taking it easy the week before the race itself.
I was pretty stuffed after today’s workout – it was 5 and a half hours non-stop – but I’m glad I did it. Race day is going to be at least 90 minutes longer than that !

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