Welcome to my world.

A quick snippet from my world. I started triathlons when i was 12 in the northwest of W.A and never have looked back. The bikes and gear were pretty simple back then but it was great fun. Now the gear is a bit more high tech but just as much fun. In February 2010, I took the next step in my racing and full filled a small childhood dream of mine, I gained endorsment as a pro triathlete. Now the fun really begins and the training intensifies 10 fold.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Townsville GO TROPO and my First BIG CHEQUE

The Townsville GO TROPO was on again bigger and better, it's definitely going to be one of the races to put on your calendar. We had competitors coming as far as Darwin and New Zealand to compete. The course was tight and very spectator friendly which makes a change from the old "out and back courses" that we are used to. The weather conditions weren't the best, with high winds and a choppy swim, but it made for an interesting race.

The swim was one of the tougher swims that I have done in a long time, the swell was small but really annoying, so much so, that you couldn't really take advantage of the runners coming through. I came out of the water in 4th and managed to make up 2 places in the transition (just goes to show, practicing your transitions really pays off). I caught the lead ride by the end of the first lap and managed to hold the chasing pack for the next 4 laps and come in to transition hold first place.

The run was a big of a struggle, I may have put a little too much into the ride and was paying the price for that. The good thing about having a 2 loop course is that you can see how quick the guys chasing you are coming up behind you. Fortunately I managed to hold the chase and hang on to first place overall. With the win I picked up my first cheque and I also managed to bag the fastest ride as well. The Townsville Go TROPO is definitely a race I will be putting on my calendar for next year.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

"To Trigger or not to Trigger" that is the question

Simply put "YES". A lot of people out there suffer pains and strains in and around the knee, hip and lower back area, usually from training on the road for running and from training on the TT bike for those effort sets, myself included. Once the tear in my quad had healed, I was still experiencing pain and tightness in and around my knee. The first thing you think is "Great my ITB is going the dogs now, if its not one thing it's another". This is where Trigger Points come in. In sciency talk they are called myofascial trigger points and are tiny contraction knots that develop in a muscle when it is injured or overworked.

Each muscle contains muscle fibres and in that muscle fibre the parts that actually do the contracting is a microscopic unit called a sarcomere. Contraction occurs in a sarcomere when its two parts come together and interlock like fingers. Millions of sarcomeres have to contract in your muscles to make even the smallest movement. A trigger point exists when over stimulated sarcomeres are chemically prevented from releasing from their interlocked state.

These trigger points usually send their pain to some other site. This is an extremely misleading phenomenon and is the reason conventional treatments for pain so often fail. It’s a mistake to assume that the problem is at the place that hurts!

Massage of the trigger point flushes the tissue and helps the trigger point’s contracted sarcomeres begin to release. In dealing directly with the trigger point, massage is the safest, most natural, and most effective form of pain therapy. With trigger point massage, myofascial pain can usually be eliminated within three to ten days. Even long-standing chronic conditions can be significantly improved in as little as six weeks.

There are a lot of Trigger Point information on the Internet, with some really use full charts, that will show where the Trigger Point is usually located and the referral pain pattern goes. There is also a very good application for those who have an iPhone called "Trigger Point" and costs $3.99. This is the one I use, it shows the referral pain and the Trigger Point to attack and i have had a lot of success with my ITB.

Good luck, train hard race hard

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Long Road to recovery

My name is Andrew and I'm an addict - I love to race and its killing me not be able to.
Unfortunately the worst part of being injured is the temptation to race, thinking she'll be right, I'll go slow. As if that happens. It has been close to 2 months since i tore my quad at the Newcastle tri and I'm only just getting to the point where i can run for 30min with no pain, it's not fast mind, but its something.

This is where the problems start. Because racing is such a big part of a triathletes life and training program, its really hard not to race when you think you are right. I'm at that point now, where I could race but I would more damage than good.

The best piece of advise I could give to anyone who is the same boat - take the time off to relax and let your injury heal. From most injuries there is no quick fix and you need to let it heal. But there are a few things you can do to help the process. Such as:
1. Before you go to bed, put some EMUL GEL on the affected area and wrap it with glad wrap, then wrap it with a bandage or the like (to keep the heat in). This helps the healing while you sleep.
2. Self massage. You should self massage the area every night, while you watch TV.
3. Physio roller. This is a great way to roll out the problems and is commonly known as the poor mans massage.
4. TENS electric therapy. Helps to relieve pain, increase the blood supply to the area and speed the rate of healing. In the later stages, it can be used to re-strengthen the affected muscle.

The last part and the most important part is to TAKE YOUR TIME, let the treatment run its course and don't rush back into a race just because. You can always do the race next year.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Not what you want

This is not exactly the best race preparation. Going for a ride with the group on a Saturday morning and then you have a crash. Not the way to I would have picked to start a morning.
To the left is the after effects of the crash, two busted spokes, hole in my saddle, gear levers bent inwards and a hole in a cover, scratch in the frame and on the rear drailluer and a knock on my sore knee just to top things off.
Below is a picture from an ultrasound showing the damage I did in the Newcastle race with a bit of extra swelling from the for mentioned crash.
Happy training

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Weights workout for the week - not for the faint of heart

This is a really good weight session for cyclist, to be build strength and endurance. Its a 6 week cycle, if you haven't been doing weights long, keep the weights fairly light for a bit, you'll still get a cracking session out of it.
Weight - 30-40% one rep max(1rm)
Sets per session - 3 Rest between sets - 1min rest(m/r)
Exercises - squats, seated leg curl, seated calf raise (for a quick upper body workout in conjunction with the legs you can add in seated row and upright row)
Remembering its a 6 week cycle - here is the set

2 weeks 30%1rm for 4min NON STOP, 2m/r
2 weeks 30%1rm for 7min NON STOP 2m/r
2 weeks 30%1rm for 10min NON STOP 2m/r

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Something unexpected

The Newcastle olympic triathlon was an uxexpectedly enjoyable race. The swim was a straight 1500m down to a beach near the break water. The race was supposed to start at 0630, but due to the sun not playing the game (someone didn't check sunup time) we had to till 0700, which kinda sucked as it was a no wetsuit swim and it wasn't real warm standing around waiting. Once underway it was a fast swim, with the tide on its way out, the 2 leaders were about 1minute in front of our pack - which was about 20 strong - we came out of the water in a shade under 19minutes which was sweet and a good way to start a race.

The bike course was quite tough, 5 laps, with 2 climbs in each lap. The first climb was the hardest, upto the lookout and around the park with a fast desecnt back down to the water front then back up a quick rise and around the fort. The ride was pretty busy being on a tight course which made for fun times. With a small pack of 2, we were able to work well totgether and catch the lead back on the second to last lap, which put us in the thick of it for the run leg.

And thats where it all came unstuck for me. The run course was a flat fast course, with a bit of cross country in the mix to make it interesting. Out of transition i was 5th overall and was feeling pretty good for once. Then on the start of the second and last lap my leg/knee started to tighten up and didn't let up at all. During which i lost 5 places and the finish wasn't pretty at all. I ended up finishing 10th overall, 3rd in my age group (30-34). The Australian Defence Sports Triathlon Assoc. (ADSTA) were holding their National Titles in conjuction with where i took out firsr place.

A few weeks later the Navy News came out with the above picture on the back page, not what i was expecting at all.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My first race as a pro

Didn't exactly go according to plan. The format for the race was an eliminator, which meant 3 races of the same distance 300/8/2. In the first race 16 people get knocked out, in the second race 8 people get knocked out and then its on for Young and old to win the race and the loot.

The swim was a smash fest, from the gun there was arms and legs going everywhere. I think i swallowed more water than taking breaths. I came out of the water just behind the leaders which i was happy with. The ride was a nice short dogs leg, with 2 180deg turns and a nice high speed corner in the middle. the pace was no higher than training but with all the extra salt water on board the body decided to shut down which made for a hard ride. i managed to hold the lead group for 2 laps and then got dropped. I made it back on to the back 3 more times by then the damage was done - i was knackered. i got popped off the back and rolled home. The run was on the same course, 2 times. nothing exciting happened there, i didn't loose a place and i didn't gain one.

I finished 24th out of 30, which meant i was out of the next race, which kinda sucked but that's racing. I then turned my attention to the long course race the next day.