Swim Test

I did a swim test today.  The test I do is called Critical Swim Speed Test (CSS) with the main part of the test being a 400m time trial followed by a 200m time trial.  I did get a personal best time in each the 400 & 200.

The CSS session is
Warm Up:
300 freestyle
200 of 50 broken arrow, 50 freestyle
200 of pull & paddles with breathing per lap 3/5/7/3
100 of 12 scull, 12 doggy paddle, 25 freestyle
Build:
4x 50 of 25 fast, 25 easy +10s
4x 100 ll fast +20s
Main Set:
400 time trial
5min rest with 100 easy in the middle
200 time trial
Cool down:
200 easy choice
Results:
Looking back, I have only done three of these tests.  I really need to do these more often but here are all the results:
  • 27/12/2017: 400 @6:30 & 200 @3:14 giving a CSS score of 1:38
  • 27/7/2018: 400 @6:34 & 200 @3:17 giving a SCC score of 1:39
  • 14/5/2019: 400 @6:29 & 200 @3:13 giving a CSS score of 1:38

 

Master Plan

At a glance, this is what the next two years should look like “if everything goes according to plan” I have 26 training blocks with each training block consisting of four weeks.

 

Block 1: Recovery & Transition

Block 2: Cycle Focus

Block 3: Cycle Focus

Block 4: Cycle Focus

Block 5: Transition from a very cycle focus to a very run focus

Block 6: Run Focus

Block 7: Run Focus

Block 8: Run Focus

Block 9: Run Focus & Marathon

Block 10: Transition and build towards 70.3

Block 11: 70.3 Geelong, recover & build back

Block 12: 70.3 Build

Block 13: Big family holiday

Block 14: 70.3 Build

Block 15: 70.3 Cairns & Recovery

Block 16: Transition

Block 17: Swim Focus

Block 18: Swim Focus

Block 19: Swim Focus

Block 20: Big bike Volume

Block 21: Ironman base training

Block 22: Ironman base training

Block 23: Ironman base training

Block 24: Ironman Build

Block 25: Ironman Build

Block 26: Taper & Ironman Australia

 

Focus Blocks

During these focus blocks I will be maintaining and working on the other disciplines however the main objective is to really focus on the goal discipline.  The strength training will also be targeted towards the block’s focus.

 

Boot Camps 

I have already set out the boot camps for the next two years with the following:

  • Block 3 – Two week boot camp
  • Block 4 – 1 week boot camp
  • Block 14 – 1 week boot camp
  • Block 19 – 1 week boot camp
  • Block 20 – 4 week cycle focus boot camp
  • Block 25 – 3 week boot camp

 

104 Weeks Starts Today

I am now 104 weeks till Ironman Australia in 2021.  I have this week off from all training so I can rest up after the triathlon season that just ended last weekend and get stuck into a few things I have on my to do list.
One thing I will be doing this week is mapping out the next two years of where I expect my training to be, what I want to be tracking including When I should take leave from work so I can go into a boot camp.

A rough number to look at is, I need to improve around 9%

 

 

70.3 Busso Race Report

Going into this race, I am swimming and running the best I have ever. My cycle is around the normal.

Swim:

I have never swam in such horrific conditions.  I always thought the swim at Ironman Cairns was bad, this was just crazy.  The first 30 meters was all seaweed and once around 200 meters into the swim, the ocean was so bad, I thought at times I may drown (and I am not joking, I did think about pulling out).

Before the race even started, I knew I was in for a treat when I saw the male pros take off and they were getting thrown around in the ocean and one group pros went in one direction and another group of pros went in a completely different direction.

We took off and I tried to swim at the back of the group but I was struggling to see where I was going and often couldn’t see the person who was in front of me.

I got out of the water 42:51 and having swam almost 300 meters longer than I needed too.  This was my slowest half Ironman swim ever and over 8 minutes slower than my last half Ironman swim.
Bike:

Not a lot to report here, Yes it was windy but I was just sticking to my power numbers and around 30 minutes into the bike, I saw my average pace was around 38km/ph so I decided to back the watts off from 220 watts to 200 watts so I can arrive to the run with fresher legs.

My bike time was 2:34 with an average of 35.1km/ph

Run:

I was never going to look at time or pace on the run, only my run watts from my Stryd Power Meter.  I wanted to keep an average of 260 watts throughout and according to my prior calculations, this should give me a 1:39 to 1:40 run split.

Back in January I did a half marathon with an average of 155 watts where I got a time of 1:41. That was a rolling hill course and the Busso half marathon is a very flat course.

I don’t know what happened but at the start of my last 7km lap, I looked to see what my average pace and times and I saw my average pace was lot slower than I ever thought it was or should be. As I was feeling good, I decided not to look at my power meter again and just run as hard as I could.

My time was 1:43 with an average pace of 4:56. around 10-12 seconds per km slower than I thought. My average power was 270 watts, 15 watts higher than in January but my pace was much slower…….. need to do more research I think.

Finish

I finished the race 5:07 –  This is my slowest half Ironman since 2012.

 

Master Run Program

I am looking for runners and triathletes who currently run at or slower than 6:30 km pace.

I am wanting to run a case study with a set number of runners who run at or slower than 6:30 km pace that are keen to work on taking their running to the next level.  for four athletes who want to be part of this case study, I have reduced my coaching price down to just $25 a month.

In this program, you will require:

  • Available to run a minimum of three times a week
  • Able to complete short core strength sessions that last around ten minutes
  • Possibility of needing to complete plyometric training
  • Able to send video footage of run technique

 

Things that would help but not a must:

  • Garmin/GPS device that can be uploaded to Final Surge (this is the platform I coach from)
  • Foot pod that is connected to Garmin/GPS
  • Heart rate that is connected to Garmin/GPS
  • running power meter

If this sounds like something you would like to be part of, please email me tim@trainsmooth.com

Ten year photo challenge

The current ten year photo challenge that is all over Facebook and Instagram has had me thinking a great deal about the past ten years and comparing myself from 2009 to now in 2019.

In 2009, I had a 24 hour business and I was working long hours. I hadn’t yet fallen in love with triathlon but I was into cycling.

Looking only from a performance point of view, I am significantly

  • Faster
  • Stronger
  • Leaner
  • More flexible

 

In the past decade, the only measure of my performance where I can pinpoint a degree of deterioration is my agility. I am not as agile as I was when I was 29 years of age and this mostly is coming from my core, even though my core strength is significantly stronger now.

While I can handle more volume and more intensity now at almost 39 years of age than I could in 2009 when I was 29 years old, I do need to focus on recovery now, for example mobility sessions, foam rollers, etc., to assist my recovery in the same amount of time I was once able to.

If you had told me when I was 29 years old that I was going to be faster, stronger, leaner and more flexible by the time I reached 39, I would have laughed.

This has caused me to think hard about the next ten years.

Can I prolong the signs of aging and deterioration from a performance point of view? Can I say I will be stronger and faster in 2029 than I am right now?

A few years ago I read a report stating seasoned amateur marathon runners were still seeing improvements within their performance in their early 50’s while elite marathoners would start to see a decline in their mid-30’s.

I do plan to start focusing on becoming more agile. This includes playing a lot of ball games with my kids that will increase my flexibility and agility in areas where I would otherwise not need to extend myself. When I do my mobility sessions, I will spend a little extra time working on my back. In addition to this, I will donate some time researching the topic.

I will still continue to work on speed, strength and improve my flexibility. I made a promise a few years ago that I would do the following for the rest of my life:-

• Lift weights a minimum of once a week
• Three mobility sessions per week that are approximately half an hour per sessions
• Three core strength sessions per week that are a minimum of 10 minutes per session

I know as years roll on I will need to add things to this list. I often look around at the aging community in Tasmania and wonder, ‘What if that person started yoga in their 30’s, or if that person started lifting weights in their 40’s, or if that person had just made small changes in their diet in their mid-20’s, etc.’ Had they done so, would they have better flexibility and mobility in their later years and have a better quality of life?

 

2009 weighing around 95kg

Tim Egge 2

 

2019 Weighing around 77kg

Tim Egge 1

 

I look forward in doing a follow up blog in 2029.
Let me know about your past ten years. You can email me tim@trainsmooth.com or leave a comment below.

When a training diary starts to pay dividends

I have kept a training log for around ten years or so now. Mostly just recording swim, bike, run and strength sessions and any data my Garmin would provide from these sessions. I also recorded my weekly body weight. This alone has been useful to go back through and look for reasons why I may have been injured, or why in one race I arrived in better shape than another, and breaking down a training session or a race.

In mid-2016 I started to collect a few more bits of data like oxygen deprivation sessions, mobility sessions, using swim cords, meditation and I also started to collect my body composition information every week.

In 2017, I started to also include any rehab sessions, any body maintenance sessions like using foam rollers, massages and all hours worked.

In 2018 I started to collect sleep data , (time, quality, etc), daily step count, diet quality, stress levels, motivation levels and towards the end of 2018 I started to record when I use compression clothing, when there is a family events and when I take a nap.

In addition to this, in August I started to log all my daily food and drink intake on good and great days but didn’t record any information when my diet wasn’t all that good….. more on this soon.

In June 2018, I started to give each day a ranking, if I am moving closer or further away from my goal. I call this my Target Chart. In August 2018 I started to rank every training session in regards to how valuable that session was.

At the start of this year I have started to record my morning muscle soreness and my daily body weight.
There is a trend here. Over time, I have slowly started to collect more and more data instead of just jumping in hard and fast with the data collecting and falling off shortly thereafter. I developed new habits slowly over time so I can stay consistent over the long term.

20190119_201824
Nutrition Log
As already mentioned I started to track everything that I consumed on good days and great days since August 2018. As of this year I have started to record everything that I ate and drank every day. I use a notepad and I will write the time, the food intake and calories. Nothing flash, just pen and paper.

I know there are many great apps out there that can do this easier but I have found over many times of trialling and failing, that I am more conscious about what actually enters my mouth if I have to write it out instead of hitting a few buttons on my phone.

This nutrition log has proven to be more valuable than I could ever have expected. I really have been creating a blue print on what is working for me and how I can change what isn’t working. More on this in a minute.
Looking at everything:
While I have been collecting all this data over the years, from time to time I look at it and take some small valuable information from parts here and there, that help shape what I will be doing in the months ahead.

Over this past Christmas period, I took everything I had collected and really started to break everything down. I made lots of notes, wrote comments and really delved into everything I had on record. A few things that stood out to me are:

  • My diet quality for a week was significantly higher when I would have oats for breakfast. As one snack I would have some rice crackers and for another snack, a nut bar, and on these weeks when my diet was on point I would also meditate two to three times a week. Any time I only meditated once during that week, my diet quality was not as high.
  • My cycling fitness would show signs of improvements when I would add a strength endurance ride on the Monday after a weekend of a long bike and gym session on the Saturday and a long run on the Sunday. However the improvements were not as obvious if the Monday ride was more of a recovery ride.
  • I need to spend around 2-3 hours a week focusing on recovering my body or the quality of the sessions are not as high. These recovery sessions include mobility sessions, using a massage stick and Venous Drainage.
  • I noticed with my sleep. My training quality, weekly volume and motivation levels were all higher when I would get between 47-49 hours sleep per week and the more sleep I would get during a week (50hrs, 54hrs, etc) the less value the sessions were, the less volume I would do and the less motivated I would become.  This actually took me by surprise.

vitals
Diet Quality in 2019
My race weight has always been around 78kg. I would often just lose a heap of weight over a training block and start walking around with a six pack and say I am race weight ready. At the start of this year I was weighing 81.8kg. Now I am currently weighing 77.1kg and I haven’t got a six pack yet, however I am by far leaner all over, legs, arms, shoulders, etc. I have never experienced being this lean before and I still have some fat left to lose as I still only have a four pack!

Every day this year I have been writing down everything I have consumed. I haven’t had a “cheat day”, however I have had some “cheat meals”, and on each occasion this was when we would go out with friends and family.

I believe the success of this was the result of my focusing on what really worked from the diet log I have been recording since August last year, and I am also focusing heavily on what isn’t working for me since I have started recording everything consumed from this year.

As I mentioned, I have been recording my diet value every day since early 2018. The rankings for this is:
1. Horrible
2. Poor
3. Average
4. Good
5. Great

This year I have 6 great days, 7 good days, 5 average days, 0 poor days and 0 horrible days.

I will do a follow up blog on this in May when I race 70.3 Busso.

Tim Egge