Well I did some simple statistics pulling from WKO+ for the past three seasons. I based a season from December through to end November of the following year.

date from       01/12/2010    01/12/2009   01/12/2008
date to         30/11/2011    30/11/2010   30/11/2009
run duration    45h47:02       82h01:12    65h07:36
run distance    527.126km      957.505km   727.656km
bike duration   15h28:04       115h46:42   158h04:18
bike distance   260.632km      2409.497km  4337.618km
swim duration   6h04:00        30h26:00    36h58:00
swim distance   18.45km        94.031km    104.613km

(Yes, I realise we’ve not quite got to 30/11/2011 yet… so will update the 2011 season once it completes)

The figures include treadmill and Computrainer sessions along with training sessions and races.

I hope that I manage to do more training over the 2012 season – probably slightly down on the 2009/2010 season due to less free time these days. Maybe I should set some training targets for the 2012 season?

The bike average speed varies somewhat due to extensive use of the Computrainer in the 2009 season – due to the ERG training I was doing at a relatively higher wheel speed than on the road the average speeds are inflated.  So the times are probably more useful to compare than pure distances.





NY Marathon Splits per Mile
My overall place: 5596 (out of 45,350 starters/44,829 finishers) I finished in top 12.3%   Mile Total Time "Cur Mile Avg Pace/mile" "Overall Avg Pace" 0 00:00:00   3 00:22:53 00:07:38 00:07:38 4 00:30:39 00:07:46 00:07:40 5 00:37:51 00:07:12 00:07:34 6 00:45:02 00:07:11 00:07:30 7 00:52:15 00:07:13 00:07:28 8 00:59:46 00:07:31 00:07:28 9 01:07:08 00:07:22 00:07:28 10 01:14:32 00:07:24 00:07:27 11 01:22:11 00:07:39 00:07:28 12 01:29:46 00:07:35 00:07:29 13 01:37:29 00:07:43 00:07:30 14 01:45:10 00:07:41 00:07:31 15 01:53:07 00:07:57 00:07:32 16 02:01:07 00:08:00 00:07:34 17 02:09:06 00:07:59 00:07:36 18 02:16:49 00:07:43 00:07:36 19 02:24:51 00:08:02 00:07:37 20 02:33:01 00:08:10 00:07:39 21 02:41:36 00:08:35 00:07:42 22 02:51:04 00:09:28 00:07:47 23 03:01:01 00:09:57 00:07:52 24 03:11:03 00:10:02 00:07:58 25 03:20:37 00:09:34 00:08:01 26 03:30:24 00:09:47 00:08:06 26.2 03:32:35 00:10:55 00:08:07    

Well, I figured I should put a post on here about the New York Marathon 2010. I managed to get a lottery place and was really looking forward to the race. I have to admit I underestimated how cold it would be and that I also expected it to be flatter than it was.

Going over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at the start was amazing – it offers a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline in the distance. In some ways exhilarating and other ways scary that I still had to get all the way over there. The first 15miles went well – there was fantastic support along the course with many bands playing great music and spectators wanting to slap hands with runners on the way past. I felt like I had a just sub-3h30 time in my legs and was ahead of schedule until mile 25. Around the 15/16mile stage, going over the Queensboro Bridge, I took a bit of a knock. My foot started hurting . Also, going over the bridge there are no supporters to keep one’s spirits up. Add to that my Garmin lost GPS signal so I had no idea of pace – as it happens the pace stayed OK. Going over that bridge is tough mentally.

Turning off the bridge and heading up First Ave is great. The support resumes and the music and festivities commence once more. The only down side to the First Avenue stint is that it is a straight 3.5mile stretch of road heading off into the distance before you. Entering the Bronx (around 20 mile mark) you climb over a short steep (well it certainly felt steep!) bridge which saps the legs. The twists and turns in the Bronx are tough going and stop you getting into a rhythm. 

Returning to Manhattan and heading along Fifth Avenue is wonderful – the end is figuratively in sight. Unfortunately the two miles (23rd and 24th) along Fifth Avenue heading to Central Park are uphill – again leg and mind sapping.

It was around here that my foot was in serious agony and my quads had left for the day. The last four miles (two along Fifth Avenue and two in Central Park) were seriously tough and where I lost my time and 3h30 split. The last four miles took roughly 40 minutes and were pure agony. I resorted to a jog/walk routine and managed to limp home to the finish in 3h32:35 with an average pace of 8:07/mile.

I kept to my plan of a gel every 4 miles starting at mile 4. Towards the end of the race I starting taking on the sports drinks which prehaps I should have done sooner.

A great race at the end of the day with superb support and awesome iconic views.

Well yesterday was the 2010 Windsor Half Marathon. I went in aiming for around 1h40 – turned out I managed to do 1h26:47! Yes 1h26:47. Am over the moon with that result.

It was cool and a little chilly but no rain. The wind was gusty and at times annoying. The course is “undulating” but not ridiculously so – apart from the hill just after the 10mile mark.

I headed out during the first mile or so trying to get back on my target time after getting caught up in some runners at the start. In doing so I was running faster than my target pace. I decided to keep at the faster pace and managed to hold on much longer than I expected. After a while I realised that a 1h30 was possible and I fought through the aches and pains and started watching the mile splits anxiously. At 11 miles I realised I was on for the 1h30 and breathed a sigh of relief – all that was left for me to do was not fall over or slow down too much.

I had two gels (4miles and 9miles) washed down with a couple of sips of water – much less hydration than I’d normally do – seemed to work as it was a cool day. Now just to figure out the nutrition and hydration for the marathon in just over 5 weeks time….

I hope my right foot holds up over the next couple of weeks though – the dull ache still persists unfortunately…

So 1h26:47 and 58th overall based on my chip time and 63rd place based on race clock time.

Well it’s yet another month since my last blog post. I feel somewhat disappointed that I have not blogged more as I am sure it would be a great record to look back on. Anyway, I’m going to summarize the last month’s training efforts in a couple of paragraphs…

Early March saw me putting in a couple of big weeks of training to prepare for the training camp in Spain. The big weeks were OK but noticably draining. I think I do need to concentrate on getting more sleep during such weeks. More sleep equates to more recovery and more recovery equates to more training “freshness”.

The week in Spain was great. I went over to a company called Girona Cycling. Gareth and Fiona are friendly, knowledgeable and generally all round good coaches. I have been over to them a couple of times now and always enjoy the cycling in Span. The roads are great quality with almost no potholes! Although the company is called Girona Cycling they cater for triathletes too. This week consisted of a number of rides including two into France and back. One of the rides came back into Spain via the Col de Banyules. My word – what an awful (great if you’re a masochist) hill. Not too long but an incredible gradient. My Garmin recorded the following for the Col de Banyules climb:

  • last 250m avg 23% gradient
  • last 500m avg 17.3%
  • last 1km avg 16%
  • last 2km avg 12%
  • last 2.5km avg 10.2%
  • last 3km avg 8.9%
  • last 4km avg 7.3%
  • last 4.5km avg 6.7%

Quite a tough hill in my books. I recorded my highest ever cycling heart rate on this hill. At one point I was going so slowly I thought I was going to fall over. If you ever try this climb back into Spain I would suggest the use of a compact and a cassette such as a 12-25. I’m sure many cyclists would not find this hill too challenging, but for someone of my dubious calibre it was tough! At least I managed it all the way without stopping!

The training camp did wonders for my CTL… but with any rapid rise in the CTL my TSB plummeted to around -90. Upon return to the UK I came down with a nasty cold. It knocked me off any serious training for roughly two weeks. I managed to put some sessions in but nothing too long or too intense. In fact, I am still trying to get 100% over the stuffy nose.

Over the Easter bank holiday weekend I did some long cycles and runs which got my CTL to edge upwards. The highlight of the bank holiday weekend though was getting in a 4100m swim in 1h29. That’s roughly 2m10/100m which isn’t too shabby for me. So at least I know I can swim the IM distance now!

I did a 5hour cycle last weekend – a very slow pace. Too slow for me I think. We covered a bit over 110km so an average of around 21km/h which is quite slow. I need to target my training sessions more and ensure my training partners cycle at appropriate power levels and hence paces.

This week has been shabby on the training front and tomorrow is an easier day – 1hr swim and 1hr bike. Sunday is the first race of the season – a super sprint – 400m / 15km / 5km. I will be looking to do a “steady” pace as I don’t want to get injured at this point in the season. I am currently thinking I should have perhaps been targeting an Olympic distance race around now but hindsight is always 20/20!

So in summary my CTL is dropping since the training camp due to injury and some light weeks training (due to missed sessions and sessions done at too easy an intensity). I need to get myself back into gear and focus the training for the next two months (until IM Austria).

Wish me luck!

Well with the increased training comes increased statistic gathering. And statistics now mean using WKO+. While using WKO+ I have found three questions I need answering.

1) Anyone one seen or know how to resolve WKO+ putting the resulting .wko file from drag-n-dropped Garmin .TCX files into C:Users. I am running WKO+ on Vista and the Polar imports or Computrainer drag-n-dropped files create a .wko under the correct directory (c:usersmikedocuments….data) while Garmin .TCX files result in a file called c:usersmichaelm.wko.

2) What heart rate zones should I configure in the heart rate zones area of WKO+ – cycling or running? Swimming could also be added, but I very rarely swim with a HRM.

3) Pauses on my Garmin during work outs results in odd lap highlighting when reviewed in WKO+. The highlighted section for the lap with pauses does not include the entire lap, but rather only the duration of the lap (including the paused time).

Anyone got any thoughts or ideas?

Well I figured I’d put some statistics from the Monaco 70.3 race up…


Distance 85.1km
Time: 3h41:46
Avg speed: 23km/h
Max speed: 57.8km/h
Avg heart rate: 161bpm
Max heart rate: 194bpm
Avg cadence: 81rpm
Total ascent: 1560m




Distance: 20.28km
Total time: 2h20:30
Avg Pace: 6.55min/km
Avg heart rate: 155bpm
Max heart rate: 188bpm

  Turnaround Split   Casino Split
Lap1 00:00 0:24:05   00:17:19 00:27:32
Lap2 0:24:05 0:27:59   00:44:51 00:30:19
Lap3 0:52:04 0:32:19   01:15:10 00:36:43
Lap4 01:24:23 0:35:58   01:51:53 00:28:14
Lap5 02:00:21     02:20:07  

As can be seen, the first loop back to the start/turnaround was not too shabby at slightly over 24 mins. Had I maintained this pace for the full 4 and a bit laps, my time would have been 1h53:39. Had I maintained my last loop (casino to casino) pace of 28:14, my total time would have been 2h10:15 which is about the same as Austria 70.3. The slowing times for each loop back to the turnaround are reflective of my stomach getting progressively unhappy. It started to feel better for the last loop as evidenced by the last loop time of 28:14.


Well the bike and run average heart rates were slightly lower than I had aimed for. I had hoped for the bike and run averages to be around 166bpm. The bike is not too far off, but the run is significantly lower due to me walking much more than expected.

Note: these figures were as my Garmin recorded them. Slightly short distances which I attribute to recording intervals and tunnels.

Well Sunday saw me compete in the 2008 Monaco 70.3 event. We arrived in Monte Carlo on the Friday and I immediately noticed the heat. Saturday was hot too. I was sweating in the shade thinking “wow, this will be a hot race”.


Saturday saw all the bags and bikes getting put into transition. We also completed brief swim, bike and run efforts to get the body moving correctly.

I woke up at 4h45 on Sunday morning and noticed that it had been raining. We ate and then got down to the start area. Got the wetsuit on and handed in the street wear bag.


I placed myself midway forward and on the left. The signal to start went and I headed into the water. I started well and ran out of space so ended up being squeeze further to the left in the water. Unfortunately this meant navigating around the pier / water break along with many other athletes. In the mass start I ended up not being able to swim and got my toe dragged on a rock ending up with a cut toe. After the race I noticed rip in my wetsuit that looks like it came from an encounter with the rocks too. Doh! I’m not sure how easy it will be to get repaired but I am going to contact Sailfish Wetsuits to see what they can do for me. I am really not lucky with my wetsuit in the swim starts!

During the swim I ended up feeling like I was far out to sea with other swimmers drifting towards the beach. I’m convinced I was swimming relatively straight towards the next buoys with everyone else doing an odd route… could everyone else really not have been going straight? I got to the second turn buoy and headed in to the beach. The swim back to shore felt good. I got into more of a racing rhythm than my slower catchup like stroke. I felt fast. I got out the water in 41 minutes.


Slow and leisurely is th way to describe T1. I put on loads of sunscreen and generally dawdled. Out the tent I started the long run through the bike park. By the time I got to my bike I noticed one of my socks didn’t feel right so I adjusted it – more time lost!


The bike had three major climbs to cover. I felt good on the bike and felt reasonable strong on the climbs. I was keeping my eye on the distance covered and eased off slightly just before the climbs to ensure my legs were not “maxed out” starting the climbs. Of course, the 34/50 and 12-25 gearing on my bike probably helped, but my legs had to keep the pedals going.

I descent after the first climb was a little hair-raising. Lots of switch backs and blind turns with some rough bits of road. My hands got a good workout with all the breaking involved. The roads were meant to be closed but there was traffic to contend with on a few short sections of the race, including part of the descent back to Monte Carlo.

I kept to my plan of a bottle of RIDE and three gels each hour – much like for the Austria 70.3 race. I must admit that I had a couple of sips of coke on the bike ride too which was a welcome change.

All in all, the bike was not as tough as I originally expected. In hindsight I could perhaps have pushed a bit harder on the bike. A time of 3h41:54 on the bike.


The long run through the bike racking area seemed to take ages to complete. Into the tent and off with the bike shoes and socks and on with the cycling footwear.


As soon as I set out on the run I knew it was going to be a long run. My tummy felt full and bloated – similar to the Austria 70.3 race. Perhaps I am consuming too many calories on the bike resulting in my sore stomach? This is something I need to try and get right.

The run consisted of 4.5 laps. The run course is fairly flat apart from the long climb up to the Monte Carlo casino and then the descent back down to the beachfront road. I managed to run up the climb on the first lap but not the second, third or fourth. I did not feel comfortable for the first 3.5 laps. After picking up my fourth wrist band my tummy started feeling better and I managed to run virtually the whole of the last lap back to the finish. I felt relatively good on the last lap and I hope to get some timing figures for the 4.5 laps. I think the splits will be quite interesting.

I ran up the hill to the casino and over the finishing line completing the 21.1km in a time of 2h20:01. Not a great half marathon time at all. Roughly 10 minutes slower than my Austria 70.3 run time – although the Austria 70.3 run is much flatter.


Swim: 0h41:01

T1: 0h08:28

Bike: 3h41:54

T2: 0h05:48

Run: 2h20:01

Total: 6h57:12

Well a tough race, particularly the run. The bike is not that tough but is certainly slow going. The swim start is tricky due to the narrow exit from the swim area out to the sea. I think that I would start on the right of the start area if I was to start this race again. The toughest part of the race for me was the run. All in all a enjoyable and pretty well organised race.

Now to plan for the next one…

A quick note to summarise some info from my threshold run which I completed on 2008/06/20. I did a 10 minute warm-up before and a 10 minute warm-down after the actual 40 minute run.

I completed 8.86km in the 40 minutes. Average pace of 4:30/km or 13.3km/hr. Average heart rate of 196 with a max of 201. 

At this pace I would have a 10km time of 45 minutes or a 5km time of 22:30. Interesting since at the club relays I ran 5.05km in 22:35 is which marginally faster (4:28/km as opposed to 4:30/km). However at the club relays the average HR was 188 with a max of 199.

Not sure what the lower HR (compared with threshold run) was a result of – fitter? cooler weather? better hydrated?

Another fact is that yesterday’s London Triathlon 10km run (which I didn’t really put the hammer down for – avg HR of 171 and max of 191) was only 18 seconds slower than my fastest official 10km run time (Bupa Great Capital run 2007). Maybe I need to run a 10km race on a flat course and without too many competitors getting in the way…

Well the London Triathlon has come and gone. My wave was the Male Open heat which got started at 07h00 without any rain! A couple of days ago, rain was forecast but this changed yesterday – phew! Upon arrival I was a little startled by the scale of the transition area. In a word: HUGE. I was expecting it to be big but seeing it in person was a sight! 

The swim went reasonably smoothly. I would like to request that swimmers atleast have an attempt at seeding themselves correctly. Why-oh-why did breast stroke swimmers think that front row starting positions were appropriate? After less than a minute I was having to navigate around them- LESS THAN A MINUTE! Anyway, after that there was a bit of bashin’ and bumpin’ on the first half of the swim while we all fought for some space in the water and tried to get the pacing right. After the turn around the swimmers were spread out better and hence there was less bashing!

The start of T1 was bad – I couldn’t get my feet out the wetsuit. It’s not happened to me before but maybe I didn’t put enough body-glide on my ankles. With the wetsuit off and in the bag and the cycling shoes put on the bike leg started.

The bike went well. No major drama apart from a slight shortage of drinks on the bike. This was in part due to a fair amount of drink sloshing out of my aero-bottle – damn those bumpy London roads. I did see a fair few riders with punctures though.  Touch wood, I escaped that fate! I was cautious on the bends and corners and avoided painted lines and metal covers as there was still some moisture on the road. I was desperately trying to avoid skidding off unnecessarily in the wet. (I later saw someone who must have come off. He was covered in big plasters, 5×3 inches, down his back, on his right arm and left leg).

T2 was fairly smooth. I slipped off the cycle shoes and socks and slipped (OK, tugged and pulled) the running socks and then shoes on.

The run consisted of two laps out and back around the dock. It was fairly flat apart from the entrance and exit climbs to the ExCeL first floor. There were some cobbles on the run leg which were a little annoying.

All in all I was a happy camper! The race director’s offical distances were 1500m/38km/9.8km. My chip times for the swim, bike and run were: 29:40 / 1h15:54 / 49:43. Overall time, including transitions, was 2h44:07. I am very happy with my sub-30minute swim and ecstatic to be well below my 3 hour target.

I did some analysis of my times in each discipline. I calculated my position in the Men’s Open Olympic category for each of my times.

  • 289th for swim time of 29:40
  • 845th for T1 time of 5:25
  • 391st for bike time of 1h15:54
  • 902nd for T2 time of 3:27
  • 644th for run time of 49:43
  • Overall 465 out of 1083 for time of 2h44:07

I am surprised that I am now relatively strong in the swim. I thought my bike would have been slightly better positioned. To maintain 289th on the bike I would have had to knock off 1:24 or go 2% faster (less caution in the wet?). I’m not surprised by my run time as I was not pushing my hardest in an effort to protect my knees. I did run a negative split however (25:58 vs 23:45). So, based on this, I need to maintain my swim and work my bike training smarter and hopefully a bit harder. I need to strengthen my knees and associated muscles for the run in order to have confidence that my knees won’t let me down.

Transitions times were too slow. To maintain 289th after swim my T1 would need to be 3:42 (I did have problems with my wetsuit and did have to put a cycle sock on twice as it was not comfortable) which is saving almost 2 minutes. T2 289th time is 2:11 – again I was 1:20 slower. Thinking about it, maybe my slowness is due to wanting to get things perfect (no wrinkly socks, dry feet, HRM in place, etc) rather than suffer with socks that rub or missing glasses.

Getting away from the analysis (HR data to follow soon), I must re-iterate that I am chuffed with my time and performance. There is always next year to improve 🙂 I must remember to keep focused on the “fun” and “enjoyment” factor and not get bogged down on how to improve!