So Christmas has passed and 2009 is only a handful of days away. My first major race (a 70.3 distance race) of 2009 is less than five months away. Not too bad one might say – however I will need to actually be training for more than a 70.3 at that time of the year. Initially this race was scheduled for early May, however due to a clash with the Barcelona F1 race it was delayed by two weeks. Sigh.

So my bike has been fitted with an SRM power meter. I plan on using power based zones for my training sessions leading up to Ironman Austria. I hope that this will be better than simply relying on heart rate based zones. The SRM is great in that it hooks up to the Garmin 705 using ANT+ wireless technology. I am yet to get out and about with the SRM and get some “outside” figures but have done some sessions on the trainer. I am starting to get an idea of my mean maximal power. I have attached a graph from WKO+ showing the power curve from a handful of efforts on the indoor trainer. Not very impressive at all.  It’s a starting point though and I look forward to it improving over the coming months.

Mean Maximal Power 2008/12/30
Mean Maximal Power 2008/12/30

I hope some outdoor sessions will improve this, especially in the 1-10 second region. Looking at the W/kg table in WKO+ (based from Training and Racing with a Power Meter by Allen and Coggan ISBN13: 978-1931382793) is interesting and shows I have a long way to go to becoming a competitive cyclist. One consolation is that the table is for competitive cyclists and not triathletes. OK OK, grasping at straws but you get the picture.  Training and Racing with a Power Meter is a superb book and covers power meter usage in great detail.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am still recovering from a bought of flu and am taking it easy right now. Hopefully next week I will kick into action again and start the training ball rolling once more. Hopefully 2009 will be a great year and one in which I am not dogged by colds, flu or any other injuries!

Well last night I sat down and took a closer look at the Monaco 70.3 bike profile. Not terribly pretty reading. The aid stations are at distances:

  • 18km (distance to station 18km)
  • 46km (distance to station 28km)
  • 67km (distance to station 21km)
  • 76km (distance to station 9km)

Looking at the small profile graphic my analysis indicates roughly the following:

  • 0-18km (18km): 18km climbing
  • 14-46km (28km): 5km climbing, 5km decsent, 12km flat and 6km climbing
  • 46-67km (21km): 3km decsent, 17km flat
  • 67-76km (9km): 9km climbing
  • 76-90km (14km): 1km climbing, 13km descent

Based on this my plan is:

  • Start the bike with 1.5 bottles of fluid (1.5 RIDE).
  • At aid station 1 I will pickup two bottles (1 RIDE and 1 water) and possibly dump any remaining water at the start of the climb.
  • At station 2 I will pickup two bottles (2 RIDE or 1 RIDE and 1 water if the race mixed RIDE is not to taste)
  • At station 3 I will pickup one bottle (1 RIDE)
  • At station 4 I will pickup two bottles (1 RIDE and 1 water) and drink about half the ride and switch to water

If the day is warm or hot and I am enjoying the RIDE drink I may pickup an additional RIDE rather than water. Since I typically eat gels on the bike too, I don’t want too many calories in my tummy on the climbs and hence consume some water – but in the heat I may opt for liquid calories rather than gels.

As for time estimates (13km/h climb and 30km/h flat/descent):

  • 0-18km (18km): 18km climbing (1h23)
  • 14-46km (28km): 5km climbing, 5km decsent, 12km flat and 6km climbing (0h23 + 0h10 + 0h24 + 0h28=1h25)
  • 46-67km (21km): 3km decsent, 17km flat (0h40)
  • 67-76km (9km): 9km climbing (0h42)
  • 76-90km (14km): 1km climbing, 13km descent (0h05 + 0h26 = 0h31)

So total predicted time of 281min = 4h41. Hmm, not great at all….

edit: 5km MORE climbing after the first aid station that I had not included first time round.

Well I was away last week for four days in Spain for some intense hill training. Covered about 220km in the four days along with some swimming and running thrown in. Much of the cycling was up and down hills with around 6% gradient at a less-than-race-pace pace. From the training I figure I’ll aim for a HR of around 170 on the climbs at Monaco 70.3 and then try to belt along the flats at around 160-165.

I practised some swim starts and got into the swing of things after actually trying to get going rather than simply dawdling. My plan at the moment for the Monaco start is to start at the left of the field and then head diagonally to the first buoy. Hopefully I won’t get swum over by the “seriously fast” swimmers who will go for the shorter and tighter line starting on the right. Of course, all this will probably change on race morning.

This weekend will see me getting some long cycling training in along with some running. Additionally, I will make a final kit check and ensure that I have everything (and that it’s working!!) that I will need to take with me.

By this time tomorrow I should be finished my first London Triathlon race. I’ve been watching the weather forecast over the past few days and have been seeing rain predicted for Sunday. This morning shows a different picture for tomorrow – “Sunny Intervals”. Let’s hope the rain stays away tomorrow as the London roads are bumpy and tricky enough without the added difficulty of wet, slippery surfaces!

The down side at the moment is that my knees have been making themselves felt again. Over the last week or so I’ve noticed some of the old aches and pains resurfacing. As such, tomorrow the plan is to take the run easy – so long as I don’t take longer than 3 hours! So I guess I can really attack the bike course which is flat and relatively fast, assuming the roads are dry. I do not mind having a poor run split for this race as it’s a “B” race for this season – it got demoted when I entered the Monaco 70.3 🙂

Better sign off and get my bag packed for tomorrow and give the bike a once over and check those pesky gears are cooperating.


Well it has been a while since my last post. I guess maybe I’ve been reeling from the monumental task ahead of me… or maybe I’ve just not had much to write about.

Eitherway, I have the club relays and the London Triathlon to look forward to. The other news is that I’ve entered another half-Ironman event which is taking place in 45 days time. Yikes. I must admit that I am concerned about the hill climbing on the cycle portion of the course. Lots of ups and then downs without many chances to use the aero bars.

I’ve been for a couple of swim coaching sessions and the feedback was reasonably positive. The area I need to focus on is the catch portion of the stroke which is what I have been trying to do during my last couple of pool sessions.

Anyway, a busy two months ahead and then a brief “taking it easier” period after which the big push for IM Austria will begin.