dimanche 8 novembre 2009

la tranquilité de l'automne - taking it easy!

As the leaves fall and and the cold humidity sets in, i'm starting to enjoy the idea of just running or cycling or swimming - just for its own sake.
I'm doing at least one session of each until i start thinking about trying to build strength and muscle over the winter... the May LD Tri in Barcelona still somewhere in mind!!! It's cold and sunny this morning so i'll have an hour jog before work which will help me 'sleep' through the morning and afternoon.

samedi 31 octobre 2009

The Challenge of the Year

I am seriouly considering the Long Distance Triathlon (May 23) and then the Ironman (Oct 3) in Barcelona!!
Je réfléchi sérieusement tenter la Longue Distance suivi du Ironman à Barcelona en 2010!!

Je suis fou? Mad?

mardi 27 octobre 2009


http://www.challenge-barcelona.com/inscripcion/inscripcione1.phpMoving on and up in terms of category - Long Distance (1.9k swim, 90k bike, 21k run).

I'll be looking for an Olympic Distance closer to home before then, and maybe a Marathon.... but i'm definitely hooked on triathlon!

Je cherche aussi un Court Distance avant cette date, et peut-être un Marathon.... je suis accro au tri, c'est confirmé!!

mardi 20 octobre 2009

Triathlon de Barcelona

What a weekend!!
Arrived in Barcelona on Friday with Esther - beautiful weather!! Beautiful Esther!!!!!! We spent the afternoon wandering around Barcelona....eating tapas, oggling at the sights and people... it's a beautiful city - pity i'd forgotten my camera!!!!!!!!!
Saturday we did the same around the beach and hotel, collecting the race number, looking at the course and swim area... i paddled in the sea - a bit cold!!!!!
Sunday  - woke up at 6 to a cold, dark, blustery morning.. not ideal. The Hotel breakfast room (now this was a 4-Star Hotel - Princess - close to the Olympic Village)  was full of quietly concentrated triathletes - Irish, English, American, German... one Irish guy ate everything on offer on one plate - in about 5 minutes - he thought the triathlon meant breakfast, lunch and dinner at one sitting i think. He was happy enough anyway....

The atmosphere at the Transition area was a bit tense -
it was still dark and the wind blowing. At the swim start
the waves were crashing down on the beach, and it was
clear that the first part was not going to be easy - the
elite runners were due to start at 7.55, but at 8.15 they
were still waiting for the waves to calm down. Finally at 8.20
they set off....I was in Wave 03, white swim hats, and
we finally got into the waves long after 8.30....I had my
plan in my head - head to the right as the tape dropped to
avoid the kicks and elbows, which are typical as everyone
tries to advance. I wanted to keep out of the washing machine
effect,  but this proved pointless as the waves and the swell of the water were doing a good enough job of it without the swimmers!!!
I dived under the first two big waves and over another, trying to get my bearings - the huge buoy at 450m.It was difficult to swim in a straight line - something i'd trained at in the summer in Barcelona already... so i knew what i was in for - which makes a change!
I finally realised where i was when i heard the bell ringing on the buoy - i had gone way too far to the right, and so had to stop and check before making a 90° turn towards the buoy marking the first left turn - then a straight 700m or so before turning left again and back to the beach.... not easy.
  Overall, the swim was brilliant though... i had a really good rhythmn

 going and was kicking and breathing well.  I wasn't bothered too much by others swimming into me, and when someone did get too close I kicked harder to let them know i was there... a good tactic. Anyway, I couldn't stop smiling to myself as i really got into my stride - looking  up to my right and seeing all the other swimmers,  then to my left with the coast in sight. I was really enjoying it and though i felt pleased to feel the sand under my feet at the end, i could have gone on for much longer.
28m30 on the clock - quite good for me (my reference being 27mins in the Seine at Paris). Position 503

Esther was in the crowd waiting on the beach and shouted to me -  i was laughing all the way to the bike. I wasn't laughing long though - I must be the slowest triathlete in history in the transition area - what goes on first after the wetsuit is off? Mine went like this - socks, shoes, helmet... number belt....energy gel into back pocket - it was windy so i decided to put a hat under the helmet - helmet off, hat on, helmet on.... very windy, i'll put a windbreaker on, so n° belt off, jacket on, belt back on, energy gel into jacket pocket; ready? Bike down off rail, get out of transition area... forgot to zip jacket up - too late to stop - too many bikers now - on bike, do jacket as i begin the ride....
Get this sorted out.... nearly 5 minutes here!! I should be aiming at 2!!

Once on the bike and the jacket zipped everything was well!!The route was good - a nice cycling surface as the sound of the tyres revealed... a bit blustery as i head up
the Diagonale for the first time, but as i head back down the wind
is right against me.

So i said to myself,  get the head down and get pedalling, you're
in  Barcelona!!!! I managed to keep up with a group of riders, but as we u-turned i was Mr Cautious - too many recent falls
have made me a bit race shy i think... i'd rather pedal slowly than be picking bits of road out of my leg - i later passed quite a few who'd fallen - one onto the tramway lines on the Diagonale.

 It's too far to travel to fall off the bike... quite a few flat tires too
by the look of things - so i'm quite happy to finish the 3 laps of 13.3km in 1h09. Position 661 - cycling still remains my weak point !!!

The transition to the run was much quicker, but i still need to learn to tie my laces without looking....
After the Paris Tri I had decided in advance to take the first 2 kms slowly and then try and speed up....
this is how i'd trained (Friday had been Pool - Track sessions).
It was hard at the beginning as the muscles (especially the thighs, calfs as well as the back)  stretch out again after the tightening on the bike. By the time i'd got to the first drink station (at 2k), i'd already begun to feel like i was running well, well i felt like i was running...... I took a few sips of water and headed towards Barcelona - and the Ciutidella Parc, passing the Olympic Towers on the left. This was KM 4, and coming out of the Parc KM 5 - I was running well now and passing lots of runners. KM 6 came up at the Arc Triomf - with a water station at the bottom of the square. A few sips again, to take the dryness away.
As i run this kind of distance i always imagine i'm at the end of the 100Km de Millau - so at KM 6 i'm saying "this is KM 96, only 4 to go", and this makes the last 4 seem like nothing. I was still passing runners as we turned left after the Ciutidella now on my left, the Olympic towers now on the right.
A short steep hill (about 100m) was waiting here... i took it well but slowed for a few seconds to get my breath again as it flattened out. KM 7 right ahead now.
I could just see ahead of me the groups of cyclists who had passed me as we arrived at the transition area - Alicante Triathlon Club. AT KM 8 i caught them and went past them. 2KM to go - nearly there!! At Millau I would be crossing the bridge back into the town - i still see it clearly, i've arrived already, i'm telling myself.

I really try to get my legs going now - the final effort - no problem. KM 9 - the descent to the beach in sight
ahead, onto the beach walk, the Finish line in sight...
Two of the Alicante group go past me... i can't catch
them, but i'm still going past others. One final sprint -
yes, i can ... there's Esther shouting to me.... the clock
shows 2H37.... this is 1min slower than Paris.. but wait,
that time MUST be from when the first Elite swimmers
set off??? I ask an official - Si, si, he tells me... i'm trying
 to work out my time as i get the medal!!
Finally I'm at 2h26m17s - 10minutes faster than Paris... so i'm happy with that. But I'm really satisfied with the run... i enjoyed it and kept a good speed going:
41m44s for 10km to finish around 500 in all. This is pleasing because I thought i'd lost the ability to go at anything like this speed over 10km (not that it's particularly fast...) - 4'14"/km. I passed over 160 runners for a position 406 in the run-  so a big improvement on Paris (47mins).

A short film from you tube:
Molt Béé

jeudi 24 septembre 2009

Barcelona the Good Cause!!

The Barcelona Triathlon 2009 18 October
Je récolte des fonds pour aider la construction des garderies pour les moins de 5 ans en Afrique.
Raising funds for the construction of nurseries for under 5s in Africa.
Click here, read through and leave your donation!!
Clique ici, lis et laisse ton don!!

If i can do it better than Paris i'll be happy - si je le fais plus rapide que Paris, je serai content!!

vendredi 18 septembre 2009

Good Week!!!

This week was quite good training-wise.
I feel stronger than before, although i don'tknow if i'm actually getting any faster.
Knowing that age vastly reduces speed capacity (and at my age!!!!!) i suppose i should be content with the feeling!!
I love swimming longer distances and find a kind of cruise speed (like running and cycling) - and i may even buy an iSwim (this was on sale at the Paris Triathlon) - a waterproof iPod; designed for use by swimmers!!!  Esther!!!! my birthday sooon!!
Bonne semaine au niveau d'entrainement. Je me sens plus fort même si ma vitesse n'augmente pas - mais sachant que la vitesse diminue avec l'âge je dois me contenter quand même avec cette sensation de bien-être. J'adore nager pendant longtemps et arrive à trouver une bonne vitesse de croisière, comme à pied et au vélo. - je m'acheterai peut-être un iSwim - en vente au Tri de Paris - un iPod, résistant à l'eau, et pour les nageurs!!
Esther!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! C'est mon annive bientôôôôôôôô^^ôôô^ôôô^t

lundi 7 septembre 2009

Quote of the Day - "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional" (la douleur est inévitable, la souffrance est une option)

Those who run or cycle or swim, or do all together, will understand this quote - the hurt is the unavoidable reality of the exercise, but being able to take it and continue is something which we either have or we don't.
These thoughts come from Haruki Murakami's novel - so sorry to disappoint you if you think i've just awoken with some deep philosophical insight into the world of sport!!

Going for a one-hour jog this morning, before work - i need something to motivate me to start the day.

Ceux qui courent, font du vélo, ou nagent, ou tous les trois,  comprendront cette citation - la douleur est la réalité inévitable de l'exercice, mais la capacité de l'accepter et de continuer est quelque chose en nous - soit on l'a, soit on ne l'a pas. Les idées de Haruki Murakami - je ne me suis pas réveillé avec une compréhension profonde du monde du sportif, désolé!!

je fait un footing d'une heure ce matin avant d'aller travailler, il me faut une motivation afin de commencer la journée!!


Back from the One Hour Run in the wood near to home - great sensations again! This is looking good!!!
Au retour de la sortie d'une heure dans les bois à côté de chez moi - très bonnes sensations encore!! Ca promet!!!

dimanche 6 septembre 2009

Barcelona Training Day 1

Woke up at 8h - quite a cold morning, but sunny. Went out at 10h40 with the intention of just having a slow jog for about an hour - to get the legs going after last Sunday! I felt good, legs light, and most importantly, no nagging achilles tendon problem - that's been following me around since May. My calf muscle also felt fine (this is the one that stopped me starting the Barcelona Marathon in March but which  then made me decide to start training for Triathlons. I was told by Dr Polin at CHU Rouen that triathletes don't suffer as many muscle injuries because of the variety of training. Running is just pounding away at the same muscles, and recovery is more difficult...... On the plane back from Barcelona in March i saw an ad in one of the magazines given in the Marathon pack, for the Barcelona triathlon - not even  knowing when it was, i think i decided i was going to  do it anyway... and so here i am.......).
The injuries are less frequent, but as we probably all know (those who have had tendon problems) this just flares up and then goes away for no apparent reason.... it seems to have disappeared for now.

So.... i combined uphill accelerations, short burst sprints and nice steady periods at around 12k/h.
1H15 mins - i felt really good, and told esther that it was the first time in a long time that i really enjoyed running (i've had lmixed feelings since March and the Barcelona disappointment)....

jeudi 3 septembre 2009

"What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" Haruki Murakami

I just ordered this on Amazon... sounds like a good read. The Guardian says "His description of the physical and mental agonies as he struggled to complete a 62-mile course, followed by the near-religious experience of the last few miles, when he knew he was going to finish, is one of the highlights of what he calls "a kind of memoir". Non-running readers of his novels will probably ask: "Why on earth did he run 62 miles when he knew it would hurt so much?" Runners ask a different question: "Why have I never done that?"

je viens de commander ceci sur Amazon - il me semble bien!! Le journal anglais, The Guardian dit " en décrivant la torture physique et mentale pendant une course de 90KM, et puis l'euphorie quasi-religieux des derniers kilomètres sachant qu'il allait terminer, font partie de ce  "journal". Ceux qui ne courent pas diraient, "pourquoi courir 90km s'il savait que ca fait mal?". Ceux qui courent pose une autre question, "pourquoi je ne le fais pas?"

Having completed a the 100km de Millau twice, I know that more than half the battle is mental; believing you can do it...and Millau really is the most difficult 100km race in France  with it's repeated hill climbs after 50km.
Ayant fait deux fois les 100km de Millau, je sais bien que plus que la moitié de la préparation reste le mental; à s'y croire qu'on va réussir... et Millau est la référence en France, avec les côtes entre Millau et Saint Afrique après 50km de course!!!


mercredi 2 septembre 2009

Triathlon de Barcelona 2009

I'm resting this week after the Paris Triathlon before beginning a more specific training programme for Barcelona - Oct 18 now i know my weaknesses after Paris!!!!!! (swimming, cycling and running aaaaaarff)
I also have to think about the Templiers on October 24!!!! a different type of race altogether - i have my doubts as to whether a short distance triathlon and a 72km trail are compatible training-wise.... we'll see. Any thoughts????
So i'll just have one more cream cake before snack time before thinking about dinner!!!!

ha ha


La Grande Course des Templiers October 2008

La Grande Course des Templiers October 2008
Pehaps the most difficult race i have ever done - 72 km and 3100m+ uphill - and pehaps the most impressive.
5am start in the dark, 2000 frontal lights winding through the streets of Nant and then off road up into the hills of the Cevennes, south east of Millau.

mardi 1 septembre 2009

Triathlon de Paris 2009

i took this from you tube... it shows the washing machine effect quite well when you follow individual swimmers.... even swimming straight int o the canoes. i moved to the far bank (left screen) to try and avoid drowning, so i'm not in shot (i'm the one in the hat and black swimsuit!! gnarf gnarf) until you see the last yellow canoe at the top left after about 33 secs :0)...

27 mins for 1500m was quite satisfying for a first ever river swim!!! One minute behind Laurent Jalabert!!!! but i had an extra 100m to do in re-crossing the river!!!
Swimming in the Seine was a hoot!!!!