Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking back and moving forward…

This was the list from this time last year…let’s have a look shall we…

  1. Keep it real, fun and with the family! – kids ran their first mile race and then went onto a 5k, that’s a long way when you are 3 years old, good use of the walk/run methodology!
  2. Drop 20lb and get back on the good food bandwagon – currently 17lbs down and actually hit the 20lb lost mark in the fall, gained a few over Christmas
  3. Pick up 4 minutes on my 10k and 7 minutes on my Half Marathon – didn’t race a 10k but dropped a good 2 minutes off of my 10k PR of 44:01 during raining runs. I did shave 30 seconds from my 5k getting closer to 19 minutes flat. I killed my HM PR and went sub 1:30 and took 13 minutes from my marathon PR with a 3:32, although I missed my target and BQ. I also restamped my Ultra Runner Passport for the first time in 2 years!
  4. Plan the work…then work the plan – went with the FIRST plan for the HM and nailed it!
    1. Consistency is king and that's where the results live -  first half of the year was a mess, managed to get my shit together for the second half and finished December really strong! 
    2. Cross Train; I got the bike now I need to use it! – yeah plenty of bike miles this year!
    3. Do the good stuff I am supposed to; foam roll, stretch, yoga etc – hmm yeah about that! 
    4. Transition to Mid/Forefoot – spent 6 weeks being very deliberate in transitioning to mid foot, I am in Newtons full time now and I attribute this change to my results
    5. No new kit in Jan, Feb or March! – I think I managed this but I am sure I made up for it in the other 9 months! 
    6. Sleep…get more than I get now! -  total fail!

    So as for 2012, I has my race schedule pretty much locked down, there will be a few more events that will be added, some shorter races and longer bike rides; Centurys and the like. Goals for the races will unfold with the training so here is a list of non “race” goals:

    1. Bi-lateral breathing, I had convinced myself this was impossible but having swam 500 yards doing it this week it seems much more possible
    2. Swim Swim Swim, once I have this figured out swim some more!
    3. See # 7 above
    4. See #10 above
    5. Work more on my diet, and periodize to reach racing weight on race day
    6. Become a better cyclist; stronger climber and more confident descender
    7. Be a better bloger; both as a writer and reader, this year I slacked off on both!
    8. I will (no point setting myself up for failure) am going to try the keep the kit to a minimum although as it has been pointed out to me; triathlon is Greek for wallet rape!
    9. Do it for the kids, my eldest is off the training wheels and has a new bike, maybe I can get him to work on his swim and run too!
    10. Enjoy the journey, smile and have fun…it’s all to easy to take all this way too seriously!

    Happy New Year!

    Fireworks in Ink from karlo benson on Vimeo.

    Thursday, December 29, 2011

    Walter needs a new home…

    I first met Walter about 6 years ago; he was clean and tidy and had no real signs of abuse. Prior to out meeting he had been in a series of short term relationships, he was a rental, pimped out during the summer and those “let’s go for a ride” days! The relationships he had had, none of them lasted longer than a day and some were as quick as an hour. He longed for something more substantial, a partnership where he could dig in and provide support over the long term, see some of the world and be there through the ups and downs.

    To be honest I have lost track of the distance we have gone together, it’s a long way, something north of 8000 miles maybe even 10,000 miles. Some more memorable occasions were my aborted Century Ride (broken spoke halted me around mile 80) and a ride through Death Valley to Badwater.

    Badwater We have crisscrossed the Santa Monica Mountains on countless rides and spent cold dark nights in the garage with nothing but the hum of the trainer to keep us company.


    During the years he had some changes, a new crankset replaced the original as well as replacement wheels, the stock rear one buckling under impact during a 40mph decent…it was a straight line! During all of these years and miles he has kept me upright and he never tried to throw me to the curb!

    But last year things changed, Thor came into my life and Walter took a back seat, it was inevitable and I had been preparing him for over two years for this event and he was ready to embrace his new place…for the last year he has hung out in the garage and has now taken on a hue of neglect, a thin patina of abandonment covering a willingness and wantingness to be out on the open road.

    Now I consider myself pretty fortunate, while I can’t go out and drop wads of $$$ without thinking about it I can, with some dedication, save up for those big ticket items over time. I understand that for other folks this may not be the case and sometimes somethings are just out of reach and so this is my offer. Walter needs a new home and he needs some TLC and if you offer that then you can have him for free, gratis, nix, nothing, nada...except the cost of packing and shipping!

    There are no conditions other than he needs to go to a home where he will get some use, want to cross train, ride a century, race a duathlon or like me become a triathlete here is your chance otherwise maybe your partner needs a bike to accompany you as you run or ride or you have a parent or child that could do with it, all I want to avoid is him ending up on eBay or Craigslist and the cash in your pocket and so I will completely trust that your intentions are honorable.


    So here are the details, he is a 2005 58cm Raleigh Grand Prix, I am 6’1” and he fits perfect, anyone who is between 5’8” and 6’3” should be fine. He has a triple chainring at the front and 9 cassette at the back. The frame is aluminum and the fork and seatpost carbon. The groupo is a mix of Shimano, Truvativ and Tektro, Cane Creek wheels round it out. He will come as you see in the picture above without the Profile Design bottle cages, saddle bag and pedals.

    All you have to do is leave a comment telling me who will get him (it’s ok if it really is you) and why and I will choose the most compelling. As mentioned you need only pay for boxing at my local bike shop and shipping, I am guessing you will get change out of $100 for domestic US shipping which is the only geographical limitation, we can settle up through PayPal…of course if you’re local you can pick him up…I will pick a winner in a week or so.

    Oh and he can become a she too for you who prefer to name your bike Tracey or Susan or black ninja stealth assassin from the underworld, Walter is only a nod to the brand Raleigh, Walter Raleigh, explorer, adventurer…get it…nevermind!

    I think it’s a pretty good deal as $100 will get you diddly squat in most bike shops!

    So if you didn’t get a new bike for Christmas here is your chance to get one for 2012!

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Cold and Christmas…been and gone!

    Ah Christmas week, the perfect time to catch a cold! So I did…nothing major although I felt pretty crappy for a couple of days and it’s now in the rear view mirror. Inevitable really given that 80% of the people I work with were sick and half of the household likewise. So that was that, I eased off the gas took a day off and then took Christmas day off and that was the week done!

    So behind on all fronts in terms of the goals with on 3000 yards covered in the pool (2000 short) and 90 miles on the bike (35ish short). No point worrying about that now. Not sure I mentioned this but I have had a couple of swim lessons. They went “kinda” well, but I ended up with some conflicting info especially about my arms being straight vs. bent on the catch, (I am bending), but I did get a lot of good info, and I am getting better slowly…or should I say I am slowly getting better. I only had two as that was all that was available before the pool shut over the holidays and now it’s up to me to practice. I am shifting my frequency from 3 times a week to 4 or even 5, this is allowing me to focus on my form and create that muscle memory rather then “muscle” through and reinforce bad habits.

    On the bike front I took receipt of two ISM Adamo saddles to try out for the next two weeks, the Fizik saddle that came with my Cannondale Slice was just bloody awful so I have the first one fitted and after some fiddling it is feeling pretty good, ironically as a worshipper of the red/black/white color scheme this comes with a green trim…which matches my trainer! I have only an hour on it so far and it is feeling pretty good…of course minus the pineapple!  photo (3)

    So I have another 5 days left with this one the Time Trial Model and then I will switch it out for the Breakaway model which has more surface area and perhaps more fidget room. One thing for sure is that the Cervelo will taking a back seat for a while as I dial in this bike and put some serious training miles on it! I have the following profiles to ride, these are the two longer race days:

    image Vineman…fast and flat

    image IMAZ…fast and flatish and far!

    I will give you a full report on the saddles in a couple of weeks once I have spent some quality time with them both. I was also channel surfing the other day and I came across some coverage of the 2010 IMAZ…all good recon work:

    Get Microsoft Silverlight

    Sunday, December 25, 2011

    Merry Christmas...

    treeGeseënde Kersfees,Een Plesierige Kerfees, Rehus-Beal- Ledeats, Gezur Krislinjden, Milad Majid, Feliz Navidad, Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand, Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun, Selamat Hari Natal,Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!, Vesele Vanoce, Feliz Natal, Shubho borodin, Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat, Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo, Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!, Feliz Navidad, Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun, Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan, Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito, Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo, Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth, Pace e salute Rot Yikji Dol La Roo, Mitho Makosi Kesikansi, Sretan Bozic, Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok, Glædelig Jul, Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak, Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast, Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!, Gajan Kristnaskon, Ruumsaid juulup hi, Melkin Yelidet Beaal, Rehus- Beal- Ledeats, Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar!, Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad, Hyvaa joulua, Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar, Joyeux Noel, Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!, Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar!, Bo Nada, Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr!, Froehliche Weihnachten, Kala Christouyenna!, Juullimi Pilluaritsi!, Froehliche Weihnachten, Jwaye Nowel or to Jesus Edo Bri'cho o Rish D'Shato Brichto, Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar, Shekara!, Mele Kalikimaka, Mo'adim Lesimkha, Chena tova,Baradin ki shubh kamnaaye, Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!, Mele Kalikimaka ame Hauoli Makahiki Hou!, Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket, Gledileg Jol,Selamat Hari Natal, Idah Saidan Wa Sanah, Jadidah,Nollaig Shona Dhuit, or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat, Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut, Ojenyunyat osrasay, Buone Feste Natalizie, Shinnen omedeto, Kurisumasu Omedeto, Mithag Crithagsigathmithags, Sung Tan Chuk Ha, souksan van Christmas, Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!, Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno Gadu!, Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto, Priecigus Ziemassvetkus, Linksmu Kaledu, Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar, Sreken Bozhik, IL-Milied It-tajjeb, Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa, Meri Kirihimete, Shub Naya Varsh, Merry Keshmish, God Jul, or Gledelig Jul, Pulit nadal e bona annado, Bon Pasco, Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu, En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!, Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Año Nuevo, Maligayan Pasko!, Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie, Feliz Natal, Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha, Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi, Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua, Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn, Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn!, Craciun Fericit, Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom, Buorrit Juovllat, La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou, Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou, Hristos se rodi, Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce, La Maunia Le, Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou, Nollaig chridheil huibh, Hristos se rodi, Subha nath thalak Vewa, Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa,Vesele Vianoce, A stastlivy Novy Rok,Vesele Bozicne Praznike Srecno Novo Leto or Vesel Bozic in srecno Novo leto, God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År,Maligayamg Pasko, Masaganang Bagong Taon,Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal, Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech!, Sawadee Pee Mai or souksan wan, Christmas Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun, Srozhdestvom Kristovym, Naya Saal Mubarak Ho, Chuc Mung Giang Sinh, Nadolig Llawen, E ku odun, e ku iye'dun! and Cestitamo Bozic!

    May your God go with you!

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    ‘tis the season…

    …of sales, sales, sales.

    So it occurred to me in a moment of something that I should perhaps try my wetsuit on, that seems of course the perfectly practical thing to do on a Christmas Eve after a 30+ bike ride right! My point being that if it did not fit now would be an opportune time to get one that did; i.e. in a sale!

    So from under the bed I pulled it out and unpacked it. It is an Aquasphere Racer suit which by all accounts is a pretty good one, it was designed with Faris al Sultan who won the Ironman World Championships in 2005. I never choose it I was fortunate enough to win this earlier this year in a competition on Daily Mile sponsored by Ford Training Team in conjunction with Ironman, which is why you see all the MDots on it. Much as I would love to sit and describe the smell of fresh rubber and neoprene I figured a photog edition would be best…and so on with the show:

    photo (69)

    It comes in it’s own case

    photo (71)

    And is all wrapped up…well it is Christmas

    photo (72)


    photo (73)

    One foot in…someone in the know told me about using bags!

    photo (74)

    Two feet in…and with some wriggling…

    photo (75)

    Note aforementioned mentioned box!

    photo (76)

    Stupid look is compulsory!

    photo (77)

    So I adopted one…if I can’t outswim maybe I can make them laugh!

    photo (78)

    Have a nice day…

    My initial thoughts are that it is snug, which I hear is a good thing, there is no room for the forecasted Christmas pounds. It’s also flexible, I windmilled my arms around a bit and that seemed fine. It’s a little tight from groin to shoulder but that is probably just because it is new and I have nothing to compare it to. I did notice it was hot, I put on tri shorts and vest under and with all the wriggling I was getting pretty warm!

    So with all that done I need to go and find some open water or at least an outdoor pool to try it some more!

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    Review; Zhip smartphone stand

    At this time of the year it’s a pretty common thing to find people confined to the treadmill either in their home or the gym. If you are like me the treadmills at the gym seem to have a revolving menu of Judge Judy, Home and Gardens TV and a really grainy image of something Korean! In the past I have run (no pun intended) the risk of using my iPhone to watch a movie and thanks to my OtterBox it has suffered no damage despite taking a couple of good falls from the treadmill and one from the top of a stairclimber…now this is not a review of OtterBox but it is a review of the Zhip


    You have probably seen holders/kickstands for your iPhone (or other smart phone) but the Zhip takes it one step further and essentially secures it to your treadmill etc. The integration of the retractable and lockable cord allows you to “hang” from something and will not let it fall to the ground. Oh and you can take pretty weird pictures when you use a mirror!

    photo (5) As mentioned the Zhip will fit a smart phones, it expands with two internal springs and will accommodate anything up to 3” wide. The retractable cord is a meter long and as mentioned locks to avoid any “bounce” leaving you focus on the important thing; your workout. Once finished it folds down and is not much bigger than a Zippo lighter…of course as an athlete you will know exactly how big that is right!

    And beyond that there is nothing much more to say…like all good products, it works! Here is their video…

    Available like just about everything through Amazon the Zhip will set you back $15.00 and makes an excellent last minute stocking stuffer!

    This product was provided by Zhip. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at

    Sunday, December 18, 2011

    Swim, bike, rinse, repeat!

    This week was always going to be a challenge, three days on training courses, two of which were out of town. I booked a hotel that had a pool, no one could answer when I asked about the size, the photo of course was very deceiving and the pool was at best 10 yards long! Fortunately there was a 24Hour Fitness next door which had an outside pool, chilly; yes, but needs must, although the pouring rain, thunder and lightening was a little off putting thankfully it had stopped by the time I got there! It was a but chilly but once I got going it was all good and I even went there after the second day to avoid sitting in the “Orange Crush” as the rush hour traffic is called.


    I also had a swimming lesson this week, it just made sense and there is a local school, if fact my sons go to it, and I have another next week, lessons learned:

    1) My legs are like a breakdancing frogs - fins, swim from hips, keep ankles straight, point toes
    2) Smooth stroke - breath every 4, bi-lateral is not happening, tilt head out don't rotate whole shoulders etc
    3) Propulsion - nice long straight arms, pull through water etc
    4) Streamline - look down not at angle/ahead

    So that was what I have been focusing on…so far so good, kinda! 5250 yards for the week!

    On the bike front I rode one Sufferfest in addition to the Threshold test and another TrainerRoad ride. That left a chunk of mile needed for the weekend. So this morning I headed out looking for a bit of everything, rollers, flat, descents and climbing oh and of course miles! Fortunately for me the Santa Monica mountains are criss-crossed with roads which provide the ups and downs and the Pacific Coast Highway is a great place to get on the drops and just dig in.

    So a feather short of 5 hours later, including time taken to stop and strip off at a porta-john, (tights and cycling bib take a little wrangling!) I was done with a metric century on the clock, (62 miles). 20 miles of rollers, a 3 mile 1000' decent followed by 25 miles of almost flat along PCH and then a ball busting 1850' elevation gain over 10 miles before a hair raising roll down the other side (some parts are a -10% incline) and back home! Overall I felt solid but I can be stronger on the climbs but my real weakness is going down...nerves from big crash years still ago plague me! Upon reviewing the data I over half the ride was in Zones 1 and 2 which is good.


    Obviously all the climbing kills the average pace for the ride but further inspection on the flats reveals an average pace north of 18mph, so I am getting closer to my goal of 20mph, although I was drafting a wee bit off of speedy carbon chick on a TT bike for a mile or two! This coming week I should receive some trial saddles for my Cannondale Slice and I’m hoping the speed will transfer over from my Cervelo…we’ll find out next weekend!

    So with 110 miles on the bike here endeth the week!

    13.1 Los Angeles winner…


    FatOldTrailRunner…contact me at Quadrathon at and I will send you the entry code!

    Thanks everyone who entered and did the required! If you decide to go anyway, I recommend you do, and you see me please stop and say hi!

    131 bling Congrats and see you on the 15th!

    Friday, December 16, 2011

    Zoning out on the bike…

    This is bit of an impromptu post that occurred to me while I was traveling so I thought I would share it. So for the past two nearly three weeks I have been working on my swimming and my bike, my midweek rides have been typically riding along with the Sufferfest with a long ride at the weekend I have also tried a couple of rides using TrainerRoad

    trainerridestewartTrainerRoad Output screenshot

    To mix it up I decided to ride a Spinervals DVD that came with my Kurt Kinetic trainer and during the week I rode a #17 “Threshold Test and SufferFest”. Before I get into the results I have to say that this is THE MOST BORING RIDE DVD EVAH!!! Watching a dozen or so riders on trainers in a Mercedes Dealership…really, really!!!

    imageimageYou pays your money and takes your choice!

    I mean come on, as I side note rant this DVD retails for $30, for that and the price of a cup of coffee get yourself three Sufferfests or six CycleFilm DVDs which are currently on sale!

    Now that being said there is some benefit to this DVD which is the 20 minute Functional Threshold Test, it’s a steady state effort over 20 minutes designed to allow you to work out your cycling zones and power output…the idea is to ride at a sustainable pace somewhere around 85-90% of your RPE (Rate of Perceived Effort), from there you take the average HR an plug it into this calculator…easy!

    imageSlow build up to the 20 minutes 

    Result in SportTracks

    As for the results I was pretty pleased, for the 20 minutes (actually 21 to round it up) I sustained a 20mph pace, average HR 153.8 let’s say 154, so there is plenty of headroom there and my average cadence was 91.25; not too fast or slow. So when I plug my heart rate into the calculator I get the following:


    So armed with the data I can upload it into my Garmin Edge 500 and this will allow me to make sure my hard rides are hard and my easy ones easy…of course all of this was done on my Cervelo road bike and I will need to execute and update it on the Cannondale Slice once I have sorted out the saddle…more on that later!

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    13.1 LA Giveaway!

    The good folks at the 13.1 Series have given me a race entry to give away! I have run this race the two previous years, this is only the third year, and have nothing but good things to say, you can read prior years reports here; 2011 and 2010.

    This year there is a change of route and the race will now stay on the coast and in addition to running along the Venice boardwalk the course will take runners down to Marina del Rey, the largest Marina in the world!


    So how do you win and free entry will it’s pretty simple really;

    1. Follow my blog (of course you are already following me right?), that gets you your first entry
    2. Like the 13.1 series on Facebook, is your second.
    3. Follow me and 13.1 on Twitter and Tweet the following statement for your third - I just entered the @Quadrathon contest to win a free entry into @131Marathon Los Angeles in Jan 2012, you can to at #131LA
    4. Comment on this post telling me what you have done gets you fourth
    5. Easy right!

    Winner will be drawn Sunday…watcha waiting for!!

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    The Dance Card

    2012 is shaping up to be a fun filled year, here is what is on the radar…

    There will be a few others that will flesh it out but this is the framework!

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Quadrathon 2.0; time for a facelift!

    In this era of misspelt words that signify a whole website and one image that is supposed to portray everything that you stand for it seemed like the right time to give the blog a bit of a facelift. Blogger has, over the last few years, become much more updated and flexible and the look and feel of my site was mostly unchanged from when I started it back in 2007! Yes I am coming up for 5 years!

    I have been playing around with a beta site that I use and after lots of tinkering I think I have a pretty good finished product, it’s a lot cleaner and I have gotten rid of a lot of the buttons and badges that have cluttered it up. It’s all subjective I know…damn I hate marketing, but if you have any feedback please let me know.

    The other thing that has reappeared is the old podcast, three episodes in the last month have made it to the interwebs, I aim to use to keep track of my progress to Ironman Arizona next year and while there will should be more blogging than this year, (was it me or did a lot of people just take a bit of a hiatus?) the podcast will also serve as someone to put down my thoughts etc, you can check it by clicking the page tabs above.

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    This week and next…

    Not a bad week, not great but not bad! As expected it was all about the bike and pool. I managed to get my 5000 yards in the pool done and even threw in an extra 50 yards for shits and giggles it took three trips to the pool and that seems manageable. At the suggestion of several people I have taken the plunge (no pun intended) and booked up some swimming lessons. I am still struggling with the heavy legs and even though my endurance is improving I need to work on my form, the idea being that I can build up through the rest of the year.

    For the bike, all of the week was spent on the trainer humming along to Sufferfest rides, I clicked three off and also threw in an recovery ride before getting outside at the weekend. Family commitments meant I had to have a super early start on Saturday and it was a trade off between being safe in the dark and not freezing my ass off. Things got better when the sun came up and I clocked in 50 miles by 9:30am and that was enough to get me north of 100 for the week but I ended up a shy of my goal of 125…it will all come out in the wash by the end of the month. My miles are being accumulated on my road bike right now, I need to trade in the saddle on my Tri Bike as it is just not working out so I have two ISM Adamo’s coming to me next week for try-before-you-buy, these biggish mile weeks are the perfect time. I have a few more bits to figure out before I can really start cranking the miles in.

    Finally I did get my running shoes on for a quick jaunt and that was it for the week.

    • 109 miles on the bike (51 road/58 trainer)
    • 5050 yards in the pool
    • 4.3 mile run…told you it was a quick jaunt

    Next week is going to be a challenge, my wife is out of town and then returns with my in laws for the Holidays and I am out of town for two days too, it’s that time of year I guess!

    Sunday, December 4, 2011

    Drills and hills…

    So having set myself up with the target of pool yardage and bike mileage it is only fair that I report on my progress…blogging etc tends to keep you honest that way!

    My week shook out pretty well, I was in the pool at 5:00 Tuesday, a mile later I got out. Thursday should have been the same but the fly in the ointment was my wife having a last minute trip to San Francisco which stopped me from hitting the pool in the morning so I dashed over at lunchtime for a quick 1000 yards. 2750 done total so far! Most of my swimming is continuous and with a Pull Buoy I am having issues with heavy legs which I am trying to address but I am doing drills to help my glide and catch and other swimming jargon that, like the water, is going over my head! A friend has offered to watch some video of me and suggested I take some lessons to reset the basics that I know. I have bumped into another swimmer at the pool several times who shares the penchant for the early mornings and they have given me several pointers which have helped as well. So come Saturday I was left with 2250 and that was always going to be a stretch. I managed 2000 yards Saturday morning so I ended the week with 4750; close but no cigar!


    Heavy legs sinking down and apparently straight arms is a big no no too!

    The bike was a bit easier and I set myself up on the trainer three mornings and one evening riding three Sufferfest rides and also a CycleFilm DVD which are all on sale now! Check them out here! By the time the weekend rolled around I was left with 59 miles to make my goal of 125.  As is the usual modus operandi, this would mean an early start on Sunday morning so a good 4 hour ride would not eat into to too much of the day. I was out the door and in the saddle by 7:00am a little later than planed and it was freezing, layers of Pearl Izumi Thermals barely kept the cold at bay and the only break I got allowed my to remove my long fingered gloves and uncover my ears…that’s it!


    Pacific Coast Highway…a favorite for cyclists, can’t think why, the view is terrible!

    The plan was to ride through one of the canyons to Pacific Coast Highway head north and then sweep around and back home, this would leave a long hard climb around the 50 mile mark, I have only ridden it once well over a year ago and with a triple!


    The ride was uneventful, the way I like them and the climb proved a challenge to say the least but I huffed and puffed up it and was very happy to get to the top with no dabbing…or flipping over backwards!

    Totals for the week then:

    • 4750 yards in the pool
    • 131 miles on the bike
    • 10 miles ran…a couple of little jaunts!

    One week done…four to go!

    Saturday, December 3, 2011


    A few things heard this week for anyone to ponder on while out training this weekend…

    • Perfect practice makes perfect – not practice make perfect, in other words don’t reinforce bad habits
    • Ride lots – Eddie Merckx response when asked how what was his advice to become a great cyclist
    • Train your weakness race your strengths – if you only train your strengths you'll only be good at what you are good at!

    Be safe and train hard!

    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    Review; The Sufferfest; Hell Hath no Fury!

    Like a woman scorned right! So put her on a carbon bike and tell her to go!


    From the warped mind that brought Angels, Downward Spiral and A Very Dark Place comes their latest, greatest pain inducing video; Hell Hath no Fury!

    Featuring an all women cast including riders from HTC, Garmin-Cervelo Rabobank and many National Teams there is never a dull moment, these ladies lay it down thick and fast!

    A classic 2 x 20 workout the ride breaks down like this:

    • 3:30 Warm-up
    • 5:30 Stage 1: Easy, flat terrain at effort level of 6/10 with a few accelerations
    • 20:00 Stage 2: Rolling terrain with a series of attacks as the pack tries to take the lead from you
    • 6:00 Recovery
    • 20:00 Stage 3: More rolling, attacking racing in which you try to break away to get the lead back
    • 4:00 Recovery
    • 3:30 Stage 4: Team Time Trial in which you have to crush yourself in order to take the lead
    • 6:00 Recovery, featuring Mental Training Reflection

    Nice aye…dare you come and play!

    This rates as an 8/10 on the Sufferlandian scale of pain…something akin to having shutting your tongue in a door and walking backwards really fast while somebody strums the open bars of the House of the Rising Sun on it!

    The 2 x 20 minutes do not fly by, they are not easy and there is no comfort. You are presented with riders who must weigh all of 100lbs soaking wet, who grit their teeth and ride breakaways like they are being chased by a pack of rabid zombies on Japanese crotch rockets, stand and climb hills so it looks like their legs are grape crushing in fast forward and descend like a gravity has been doubled!

    It looks like this on the flipside!

    HHNF In other news, the Minister of Scorn has developed a sense of humor and there is an enjoyable storyline to this video, assuming you can see between the tears. They have also increased their budget as the footage quality and editing skills have also improved...either that or they have gotten a bigger stick to hit the crew with!

    Available for the wallet busting price of $11.99 you can pick this up now here, (affiliate link) or otherwise go mad (‘cos you would have to be not to) and pick up a full set of ‘fests for the killer price of $84.99 saving nearly $20 in the process

    This product was purchased (yeah sick I know). If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at