Category Archives: Training
Current Training Schedule
This should say ‘how I recover‘ rather than claim it for absolutely everyone and by ‘quick’ I mean as soon as POSSIBLE.
‘Possible’ being the key word.
I could provide sources for most of this information, evidence given by some other ‘reputable’ website.
However, after years of experimenting and hundreds of strenuous races/training sessions, the following is what 100% truly WORKS for me.
HOW TO RECOVER IN GENERAL
The most profound and true advice I have ever been given that is significant to my training today is:
“Listen to your BODY”
What does this mean??
This can be hard to explain if you don’t know your own body signals well enough. Basically there is a difference between:
“I don’t want to train at 6am because it’s cold and dark and I’m sleepy”
“I feel exhausted more than usual, this is extremely mentally draining”
You’ve started your session and the muscles aren’t working the way you know them too (slower pace/speed, lower power, harder to increase). Knowing your body would help you to understand whether these messages are because you are overtrained a bit OR you may have fatigue and just need a longer warm up.
Experience is what will make the difference here. Ironically you need to do more training to find out if you are training to much or too little!
Tools such as Heart rate monitors and Power meters can make it easier to analyse.
For example MY Heart Rate is roughly 140bpm (beats per minute) when running at 4:20minkms pace (on flat pavement). IF I find it hard to run at this speed and I struggle to raise my heart rate over 125bpm then I may persevere for another 15mins, if it remains a struggle I will RETURN HOME and cancel my planned session.
That’s right, even though I paid my coach to tell me to do that session I still return home.
I have enough experience to know that I can recognise the symptoms by feel on whether I simply need to warm up more or need to return home and rest those muscles (or more severely, my brain)
YOU COULD force yourself through that session (be it 1 hour or 5 hours). BUT you are likely going to have a miserable time and be of poor quality. I’m sure you’ve heard this before:
QUALITY VS QUANTITY
So you might think the above is more talking about training rather than RECOVERY? It’s the same rules. You must understand YOUR body’s symptoms to know what REST it needs. A bit of common sense usually does wonders too.
Now we’ve covered that part:
HOW TO SPEED UP THE RECOVERY PROCESS
I’ll keep this simple:
Rest – Relax, sleep, rest your muscles and your mind.
Ice – This doesn’t necessarily mean ice. My favourite is running the muscles down with cold water in the shower then hot water alternating between temperatures about 3 times and 30secs to 1min each temperature.
Compression – The classic tights, full legs, or just calves, ever arm one’s/upper body. I use knee high compression socks the most often.
Elevation – the legs or specific muscle high in the air above the chest. My usual is lying on bed with the legs reaching high up the wall at one end. Leaving there for 5-10mins while reading a book or playing on the phone.
FOAM ROLLING (This is self massage. Light before sessions and heavier rolls before bed) https://www.instagram.com/p/BPtv6epgys6/
SPORT MASSAGE (Once a fortnight for me during high training periods, I would have more often if I could afford too)
STRETCHING (See Video below)
It’s difficult to type as the ferry sways every direction while it scoots across the Cook Strait. For the fourth year in a row the Vanette joins me in this trip to the mainland, this time it is loaded with everything I own. And there is no return trip booked. Of course I am participating in the Coast to Coast multisport race once again hence the annual trip but the primary purpose of this trip is change. Change of job, change of home, change of routine. After nearly Six years I have left my job with the RNZAF.
Here’s a few paragraphs on the time between now and the successful September of China racing:
I obviously returned home on a high. It felt pretty good and whilst I rested from proper training I remained very active still by heading out on the same disciplines for the pure pleasure and recreational side of it. Not long after, I returned briefly to my home town of Wairoa to spend some time with family over Labour weekend. Squeezing in trout fishing with Dad and a challenging 30km run in the Urewera’s including a climb over Manuoha. Check the GIF and Video below.
On return to Auckland I developed a flu/chest infection. That next weekend was the South Head Challenge. I wanted to race and support my local club. But I never should have started. I took off on the third and final stage, a 10km run, in the lead, within 600m I stopped and walked back. I knew I’d over done it. I was suffocating, like breathing through a blocked straw whilst sand paper grated my throat and lungs. From then until the week before Xmas I canned most events and was sick in constant bouts. Still training when I could but that might have prolonged it! But it meant I didn’t lose too much fitness.
Xmas arrived and I was finally cured! Running Goat pass on Boxing Day with the Uncle.
Competing in the 55km Clutha Classic kayak race on the 28th and then drinking with my Airforce mates in Queenstown for the next 6 days to celebrate the New Year. On 3rd Jan, five mates and I ran the Routeburn track. They found it humorous that I suffered while dripping with alcohol sweats.
10th Jan I competed in the Rangitikei River kayak race (52km) coming 2nd to Sam Clark. 20th Jan I had my last day in uniform. The very next day I was on the plane to Wanaka for the Redbull defiance race.
Redbull defiance, I teamed up with Hamish Fleming. You should know this guy already, he’s pretty famous these days, if not read previous posts. We even found ourselves in the Otago Daily Times before the race even started.
Everyone raced in two person teams, and we were in the Elite male category. I was in the middle of a heavy training load for Coast to Coast 2016 and Hamo who is not doing C2C this time round was simply training as he felt suitable (although that guy is pretty quick most of the time regardless).
We still were confident for a good race. My confidence was blown a bit not long after the start gun. First up was a 45km Mountain bike down the west side on Lake Wanaka. Full of steep climbs and decents over spurs, river crossing, hike-a-biking and a strong tail/cross wind. 1km into the start the front group of riders crawled further away while Hamish looked at me with a question mark on his face. I also noticed my main source of water had bounced out of its holder. My legs had very little to give. It was frustrating but as hard I pushed I couldn’t go faster. He pushed me up some of the steeper climbs but by the time we reached the transition area we were 8mins behind the leaders. Now a 12km run over and around rocky mountain by Glendu Bay. I was happy on the flats but the team mate still towed me up the steeper climbs. I knew I was pushing hard because I even struggled on the descents with no sense of co-ordination, not normal for me. At the big abseil we checked in and were allowed a max of 5 neutral minutes to get harness and safety gear on. We sucked it dry and I knocked back food, water and a bit of rest. It was supposed to finish with a 17km kayak to the water front of town but strong winds had it cancelled. We paddled a token 4km across Glendu Bay while two teams rode our wash and I fiercely cramped up in both legs.
To finish the day we now had a 15km run along a lakeside track to town. Soo much running. Once I found a way to exit the boat and get my shoes on while cramping in my arms now too (I don’t usually have this problem!) We took off chasing 2nd place who were only 50meters ahead at this stage. However after towing me all morning Hamish was now cramping in his hamstrings. I was keen to chip along at my pace, my rhythm, But Hamish couldn’t quite keep up and I had no energy to tow. We fought with 2nd place all the way finishing behind them. However due to our clever rest at the abseil our time meant we were still 2nd! Buuuuuuut 28mins behind 1st!
This is a two day event and the local boys at 2bar8 cooked a magnificent chicken pie that night in prep for the next day. First up on day 2: a 20km kayak across the lake and down the Clutha River. We led for a bit but soon realised that sitting behind another boat required little or no effort. We exited in the front group of six teams for a 2km run down the river bank to the Clay bird shoot activity. Leading the field until the last 200m where Dan Jones and Alex Hunt (Leaders of Day 1) passed us. Hamish hit the clay on first shot while I quickly knocked back a red bull drink. Now a 26km Mountain bike with over 1000meters of climb over Mt Criffel. We were back in the lead but soon passed on the first climb by the same boys. Speeding across a paddock the guys in front told us it was the wrong way so we spun around and went back to the last marking to investigate, some 400m away. I decided to ride over an irrigation hose and promptly was thrown to the ground heavily smashing my knee and twisting the jockey wheel guide on my rear derailleur. Gears now clunky but still working… except the lowest gear which would have been nice for the big ascent ahead. Within the hour of constant uphill we were in cloud and the buzzing choppers that had been following us all weekend could now only be heard.
The massive descent which was tricky for me. I had little confidence in this wet terrain, struggling to hold onto the handle bars tight enough and avoid hitting rocks. Olly Shaw and Sam Shaw caught us near the bottom who are both very talented riders (and full suspension bikes!). The Shaw boys were the team we were battling for 2nd place. We exited the transition in Cadrona Valley on our feet heading out for a very steep 30km run. The Shaws got out ahead of us and so did top mixed team, Simone Maier and Marcel Hagener. Hamish advised often to slow down and pace ourselves better, we had a big run ahead. Naturally you want to pass those in front so I had to resist the urge. Near the top of the first mountain (Mt Alpha) we sneaked past the Shaws finally but they dug deep too and stayed with us while we traversed the ridgeline. Mt Alpha was only 10kms into the run, over 1600m high and had taken us 1.5hours to get there. We had a long way to go still. Soon over Mt Roy at 16km in and the descent began. The Shaws decided to smash the downhill (over 6kms!) but we held back and decided to pace better. The never-ending downhill came to an end and now all that remained was 6.5km of flatish track to finish. I felt very comfortable on the flat and happily took off after 2nd place ready to give it all. Within a kilometre we passed them and didn’t look back. Eventually crossing the line, claiming 2nd place. Huge credit to the top mixed team, who I mentioned earlier, Marcel and Simone. They beat us overall too and actually had 2nd place OVERALL but obviously out of our category and a convincing win in theirs. And of course to Dan and Alex who made it clear who were the better team on the weekend with their huge lead of 50mins to us.
Now in the week after I’ve spent it packing bags, driving, massages, cold showers and eating well. A solid mix of attempted recovery in time for C2C and travelling to the South Island. Annnnnnd…. I’ve picked up the chest infection again. More rest required..
One more post on nutrition prior to Coast to Coast to follow soon.
9.5 days away, heaps of time. No worries. I just took 3 months off work for this day. No big deal.
I can handle the pressure, I love this part: The taper. Finally I feel light on my feet and full of energy. After months of crazy thoughts that conclude on negatives and sometimes positives ideas, I’m now maintaining a confident and positive approach. It is easy all I do is not allow any negative thoughts to enter my head. I am buzzing at the thought of how close it is, it gets my heart racing.
I’m really fit. Just sitting down I can drop my heart rate to about 40BPM within 20seconds. I’ve been wearing a heart rate monitor all summer. I hate it. It has left a lovely tan line and itchy Eczema marks. It is sweaty and chest restricting. But with my main man Cam Durno who has been Coaching me since October it is a requirement. Sessions are focused around Heart Rate zones and I have soaked up a whole lot of quality training. Yes now I have a coach. I should update my Bio I suppose.
I spent all of December in Wairoa, Hawke’s Bay on the farm. The sun there is the hottest in the country by far. So many days in the mid thirtys. Long runs on the exposed farm land hills were tough sessions. The Wairoa river is always flat so an excellent chance to get a month of technique training in the K1. Waikaremoana and the Ureweras were an excellent as a training ground too. I spent a little bit of time doing some club races with the Gisborne cycling club. Loved the long rides by myself around Mahia peninsula stopping only at the dairy for a Oslers Bakery steak pie before heading home.
New years day I made the trip south, gorged myself on the incredibly addictive beer batter fries on the Blue Bridge Ferry and did a massive training day in Blenheim the following day. A practice ‘longest day’. Cycling on the Marlborough flats, running up Mt Robertson and kayaking the Wairau. It was here the symptoms of my cold began. I finished the drive to Canterbury that day where I was to reside at my Aunt’s & Uncle’s home in West Melton for a few weeks. I spent the next two days in bed with sleepless nights and a heavy fever. The fever lasted about 10 days. It didn’t help that I trained through it. A run over goat pass included dunking my head underwater a few times to cool the overheating head. Ahhh bugger.
I paddled the Waimak quite a few times and watched it get lower over time and scrap the bottom off my precious battleship. Eventually I got my energy back and the fever left me. But plenty of remnants of flem and snot.
On January 17th I competed in the Greymouth MountainMan race. It has been set up to sequence the same in stages as Coast to Coast but shorter. Idea was to treat it as practice for the real day. I felt good and confident in the morning. The day went nearly perfect. I nailed my nutrition and raised the intensity where I would want to. I was however slow, really slow. I placed well back. No speed work and perhaps the leftovers of the fever. Disappointed with the placing I got but reminded myself to be patient and took good points of learning from the day.
Three days later I moved to Lyttelton Harbour at my Grandparents home, where I stay till race day. Further from Arthurs Pass but an excellent training location. The water 20 meters from the front door and trails to run on everywhere. I’ve participated in some cool bunch rides, Tuesday Worlds from Princess Margaret Hospital and Sunday rides from Homebase in Shirley. All commenting on my sweet new ride. It is a beaut of a bike, so fast to ride and finally I have a nice wheelset! Thanks Giant Bikes and Torpedo7 for your support.
I spend most of the spare time doing maintenance on the bikes, and the kayak. At least 10 hours this week has been spent on repairing my foot block/ steering system which snapped last Friday 1 HOUR INTO THE WAIMAK. Lucky then and not in the race. Also time sanding down the boat, filling the deep scratches with resin and putting on a fresh coat of paint. Fresh set of tyres on the bike which are wearing in this week. Recovery time in the neighbours spa, and some proprioception work on the tight ropes at the confidence course and rocky stream in the park across the road.
Things are running smooth (including wheel bearings and the bottom of my boat). Getting organised ahead of time for once. Counting out 10 band aids is annoying for compulsory gear, I do need to find a long sleeved paddle jacket still (mine is short sleeved) and I haven’t got a support crew that are capable of running up the hill for the kayak transition with me yet!
Apparently I have been ‘seeded’. It is an honor to be recognised. Very cool. However I don’t like it really. I prefer to not be mentioned before the event. However that’s what I get for not winning the race the first year. Now I’ve become a familiar face!
There is now an App which you should download – Free. Live updates of the race all days with GPS tracking too. Search “Speight’s Coast to Coast’ in your App store. Or try clicking here Andriod OR Apple
Countdown is on. I would love any support on the day. If you’re in the area try and visit me on the day! A cheer always helps. Otherwise yelling at the digital screen is good enough too :D. Here’s a map of the final ride route if you are going to be local.
Playing catch up since the last blog. Check it out to see how flat-out things have been. Some exciting news but not revealed until end.
The race in Aussie – Augusta Adventure fest has been and gone long ago. I came 5th place in a huge field and struggled to raise the heart rate all day. LOVED the race but a shame I couldn’t give my best result when challenging Aussie rivals. Especially since I was given THE number 1 bib! and it was specially marked with a kiwi silver fern to reflect my NZ representation – what an honour! The world best multisport athletes – NZer’s Braden Currie and Dougal Allan took 1st and 2nd place so NZ was still made proud. Olly Shaw – World class triathlete/Xterra athlete from Rotorua was also there to represent NZ, however like myself he also was suffering from a disobedient body – placing a still admirable 8th place. Pretty good consider he doesn’t paddle at all normally.
After the race Olly and I congratulated Braden Currie and Dougal Allan on their top placing, at the same time both were thinking about our own results: bugger this – time for a blow out. We drank beers till late that night, I dropped Olly at the international Airport two days later then I had a week in Perth clubbing at the bars till dawn and chilling at the local parks/beaches with my long lost cousins.
After getting to bed one morning at 6am I ended up borrowing a boat and entering a surf ski race 13km in the open sea that afternoon. I came nearly dead last but loved it. I could live in Perth – what a life!
As soon as I got home, one week of work then I ended up travelling to Queenstown the following weekend to compete in the Southern Lakes 24hr Adventure Race. Didn’t go quite to plan but we finished. I spent most of it half asleep ( from lack of sleep obviously) but the real issue was the part where we got very wet and cold… more than once.
Anyway.. one more week at work then again I was away that following weekend to Christchurch. This time to take my uncle on a guided trip over Goat pass (you know- the run section the Coast to Coast). Still lacking in sleep. Strong NW annnnd rain galore up in Arthurs Pass= rivers way to high.
We ran Avalanche peak instead (don’t get out of a planned run session that easily). Planned kayak trip down the Waimak the following day also cancelled due to high levels so I had a lovely paddle in a sea kayak around Godley Heads and Lyttleton harbour for 3 Hours…
ONE MORE week at work, orientated around it was squeezing in beers with the boys, early morning training and late night packing away gear to move out of my flat… That’s right I’ve moved out.
A person who wants a super serious crack at C2C needs to have good quality training right?.
I have taken some serious time off work, unpaid of course to train full time until race day.
Exciting and scary, but damn exciting still. What is my body capable of? Will I over-train? Will I make the most of the time available to me now?
One the way down to Hawke’s Bay I detoured to Whangamata to compete in one the coolest mini Multisport races around – The Whangamata Multisport Challenge. 8km kayak, 9km Run, 25km Mountain bike. It was going well until I missed a few markers on the on the run section… bugger, tried to make up for it and then did the SAME on the bloody Mountain bike!! ended up 3rd place to JJ Wilson from Christchurch and old mate Luke Osborne(aka 2nd Dad) from Hawke’s Bay. Amazing local seafood feed at the prize giving after too!
Now I am in Hawke’s Bay for my December training block. Staying in Wairoa in the house I grew up in, absolute paradise here. Amazing being with the family, must resist the temptation to keep drinking all the beers in the fridge and Hokey Pokey ice cream in the freezer!! Arrr!
Day after New Years I’ll be straight down to CHCH to live there until race day – live and breathe the Southern Alps and the Canterbury plains.
Cheers for reading team, for watching me move around (backwards, sideways and sometimes forwards) and standing by me.
Please remember that the purpose of this blog is to capture the rise (and sometimes fall) of someone from a rather ordinary life to world class athlete in a shortish amount of time (four years so far!) through simply commitment and self-belief.
To prove that anyone can achieve anything so long as they want it enough. Who knows how I will cope with this 3.5 months off work full time training. Though may as well give it crack!
Don’t get too lost in the silly season. Stick to your goals. Stay inspired. Watch this space, big things are happening.
Where am I and what the hell am I doing? Winter has finished here in NZ, but the warm weather can’t come soon enough so Wednesday 3September (one day away) I fly to China to catch the aftermath of their Summer. The NZ fresh air will be sorely missed but the thrill of racing again and racing with my awesome team mates is higher regarded right now.
Where is my training and fitness at? Some big bick sessions for endurance: E.g Racing trail Half marathon, 100km+ cycle home, then paddle K1 in harbour for 1.5hours. And sessions for power/speed: Intervals, Hill reps, Farlek.
A new purchase of a indoor cycle trainer in May has meant for many boring sessions indoors.
Despite that, Ive missed so many sessions due to commitments such as work and volunteering myself that it is clear I am (as usual) not at the level I had planned to be. Never the less i’m still looking forward to kicking arse in China as I am still feeling strong.
China – I will, for once, provide daily updates. Of each event.
Event Number one is The Suqian Luoma Lake Challenge: a Non stop four person adventure race. Final event details were released last night as well as a map that proves this event to be rather unique from the others and mind numbingly boring.
2km lake swim, 20km Kayak, 20km inline skate, 58km Mountain Bike, 2km run/abseil, 35km Kayak, 60km Mountain bike, 40km run.
whoop whoop. Check out the amazing country side we get to experience over this long distance: click on it for full size…
Racing with Super team Oso Negro: Ailsa Rollinson, Hamish Fleming and Luke Osborne.
That will take place 6th-7th Spetember so update should be here by 8th ( this sunday night/monday).
The Second Event is The Taining Outdoor Challenge. Sepember 14th,15th, 16th, 17th. Updates available each night (4hours behind so quite late for NZers). Course unknown but 5-7hours expected each day.
Two person team racing in Taining so I will be racing with the invincible Marcel Hagener. An honour to race with such a reputable athlete.
On a final note. The Auckland Multsport Championships have been recently invented.
See http://www.wcmc.org.nz/amc/ for full details.
The first event up is The South Head Challenge, October 5th. On the first weekend back from China (Sep 20th), me other experienced club members will be offering a FREE session to anyone who has interest in doing this event and mulitsport in general. Ranging from nutrition, designing your own training program, transitions and one on one paddling technique. All based at the Waitemata Canoe and Multisport Club in Te Atatu. Like the Club, or The South Head Challenge Facebook pages for more info.
Being in Auckland means lots of sponsors, which means LOTS of spot prizes and prize money!
Enough of that. time to pack.
So much training over last 3weeks! Fitter and faster than ever, and all in preparation for the Speight’s Coast to Coast Race. This week ahead will be my last hard and long one before tapering off, It’s getting close now! Below is my plan for the year (Roughly). Only C2C and Godzone is confirmed for now, but who knows what might come up!
- Speights Coast to Coast – Longest Day 9th February
- Orion Health GODZone – Team Konica Minolta 8th – 16th March
- Xterra Rotorua Festival – Xterra 13th April
- Xterra Auckland Trail Run Series – Superlong 19th May – 1st September
- Coromandel Classic – Individual 23rd – 25th August
- The Genesis Energy Lake Waikaremoana Challenge – Individual ??November
November 15th 21012 to December 2nd 2012 called for two weeks down in the South Island of NZ. The purpose being to train with the adventure racing team I’m in – Konica Minolta. To see if we can actually work together and get some XP points while at it.
Flying direct from Auckland to Dunedin, I stayed at team mates Josh Harris’s Flat before roadying it to Cromwell the next day for the Southern Lakes 24h Adventure Race (See previous post). The team of four met together for the first time: Rob Lord, Me, Naomi Whitehead and Josh Harris. Unfortunately Naomi had to sideline this race because of a injury.
Afterwards Josh and I were back to Dunedin where I did some outdoors activities while Josh worked before heading up to Christchurch. Also got to meet John Hyde the great man who got Konica Minolta behind our team. That Saturday, the team joined properly this time to do Le Petite Brevet – a 300km Mountain bike up, down and around just about everywhere on Banks Peninsular. Check out Alastair Mcdowell’s blog write up on it on it HERE. He did a great story. Our team could probably write a short book about each other after this event. We learnt a lot about each other and ourselves that will be super valuable for Godzone (The race we are preparing for).
Here’s a video that Rob did of us during the Brevet. We are up on the Summit road above Akaroa. :Click Here
Unfortunately we did not complete the entire course due to a team decision, but that didn’t matter. We still achieved the objective of testing each others mental strengths in all directions and how as a team we coped with working together at the right times. Each person in the team has strengths in quite diverse areas, together we seem to be a very capable group of people. I look forward to the challenges that Godzone will bring.
Afterwards I took advantage of being in the south and used the opportunity to train on some of the Speight’s Coast to Coast stages. I paddled the kayak section with Rachel Cashin – 70kms of paddling down the Waimakariri River. Need to make a soft seat I think – way to long to be sitting in a kayak! Then two days after, Josh and I completed the run stage over goats pass:
From then I was left on my own in Arthur’s Pass with the aim to get to Nelson because that was where my flight left, Josh headed back to CHCH for work. The next day I stuck my thumb out at midday and got to Nelson by 10pm that night, not bad I thought – a lot of awkward waiting though, probably won’t do it again for a while. I couldn’t help but feel a little bit rude for trying to get free travel.
In Nelson I stayed with team mate Naomi and her Husband, Ash. That morning I explored a bit of Nelson township then never short of keeping active I mountain biked the local Coppermine track. 50kms long with fast riding and great views.
Later that afternoon Ash and I went out into the sea on Surf Ski’s, I’d never paddled one before and surfing waves with them took a bit of getting used to. Yes I fell off, but only once!
The following day we drove to Blenheim to do the Wakamarina Track on mountain bikes. It covers about 35kms from Onamalutu reserve to Canvastown. We found a good sort to do shuttle for us.
Heaps of steep climbing over rugged roots and rocks with a wee bit of bike carrying on impassable sections. However the downhills were awesome! Steep and fast with frequent drop off’s and switch backs to skid around on the beech leaves floor. Technical but great for the adrenaline.
After a swim and “wash” in the Wakamarina stream afterwards we drove to Renwick to celebrate a friend of Naomi and Ash’s Birthday. The following day we returned to Nelson and Ash took me for a run up a hill on a trail just a few meters from there house. Nelson really is the perfect place if you are into outdoor adventures.
However that evening my holiday came to a close, I left sunny, hot Nelson and I flew back to Auckland – which of course was cold and raining.