Red Dog's run wild at Straddie

 

August 25, 2015

Sarah Crowley

 
 
 

 Photo: Finish line, photo thanks to the Straddie Tri team

I had the most fun in ages at the Straddie Salute. We all headed over on the Friday and made a weekend of it. I even got caught letting my hair down at the pub on Saturday night. 

Swim

The event was a lot of fun. It was a 10.07am Saturday start for me. The swim was a short 650m sweep assisted wet suit swim in the stunning waters off North Stradbroke island. I picked an awesome line on a mini rip through the break and made it around the first buoy in the lead. The remaining buoys whooshed past me as the sweep hurtled us down the beach. I was swept a little further north at the swim exit but didn't mind as it was quicker to just let the waves take me in than fight them for a direct line. 

Ride

The ride was a simple 20km out and back course to point Amity, which included some challenging rolling hills. The road was shared on the way out with the Straddie Salute mountain bike athletes who had started a fraction earlier. It made for an inclusive event sharing the road with these guys. 

Run

The run was a picturesque yet challenging 8.5km. I would say the run was possibly the most technical run leg I have ever done in a triathlon. It had everything, stairs, beach, trail and road. It was amazing to observe people whale watching, roo spotting and surfing while we were racing. 

Afterwards

It was a great weekend for me. I have been loaded up with so much training. This event was a perfect opportunity to kick back for a weekend and put the legs up and enjoy nature.  There is limited phone reception and not much traffic. It all made for the perfect escape to recharge the batteries before sharpening up for the Sunny Coast 70.3 in three weeks. The Red Dog gang had great results, with lots of firsts, seconds and thirds. I was awesome to take home an epic trophy and memorable to share the podium with star athletes Susie, Adsey and Andrew.

Big thanks to Steve Guise from Icon events for making the trip possible for me and for putting in such an amazing amount of effort to make the Straddie Tri such a memorable one. The Event next year will be in May so watch out for it  as a perfect end of season escape. 

 Photo: RedDog domination, photo thanks to the Straddie Tri team

 Photo: Awesome company, photo thanks to Mike


 

 

Noumea International Triathlon 2015

 April 26, 2015 Sarah Crowley

 

 

New Caledonia was relatively short notice for me. I had always wanted to do it, but information about the event is limited and it had slipped my mind. 

 

Getting there I landed on Friday night after a long transit from Sydney. There is a one hour drive from the airport to central Noumea. I didn't end up getting into the hotel until 11pm (10pm Brisbane time). I built my bike and went to sleep. I was glad for a sleep in on Saturday. Packo and I decided to ride at 8am. The week leading up was hectic; with a super session and a awesome conference in Noosa earlier in the week, coupled with working on the go in transit on Friday, I was pooped. 

 

We rode the course in the morning. I would have to describe the location as stunning. Very clean, very organised and very Euro! French speaking so "Palez Vous Englie" is useful. I treated myself to a sensational croissant for breakfast and a stack of other pastries and chocolate sauce..so good.

 

Short swim in paradise then race briefing and pasta party for lunch. Everyone in the race was provided with a sit down lunch. Off for another short swim and then a nap. I also did a quick twighlight run before pizza for dinner.

 

It was easier preparing for this race than the super session the week before. I just filled the front bottle on the rig, stuck on some stickers and a jammed in a gel and spare. That was it. 

 

Swim (2 x 750m)

The race start was hilarious, all the Aussies and kiwis could not make out a word they were saying and were really jumpy before the start. It is a mass start. I wasn't keen to tussle and got a bit pommeled. Such is life, I moved on. 

Ride (3 laps)

I used the new Scott Plasma Premium 5 for the race. Given the geometry is very similar to Plasma 3, I was pleasantly surprised with the improved performance. The course is stunning. It is relatively flat (one small climb x 6) and follows the island coastline for the whole ride. I passed for the lead after the first lap. I continued on my way and tried to conserve on the final lap before the run. 

Run (4 laps)

I was tailed by a Segway for the entire run. It was cracking me up. I had a decent lead and so attacked for 4kms and then relaxed for the last two laps. I did get hot on the last lap but the race had bottled water and cool sponges. The real battle was going on behind me. I saw Rach get passed for third and thought that would be the outcome but she battled on and showed real guts to pass back into third for the final spot on the podium. 

If you are after a little Europe on a tropical Island within 3 hours (direct flights) from Brisbane and possibly a tri, this is the place for you.  

http://www.lnc.nc/actu/l-australien-ryan-fisher-remporte-le-triathlon-international

Shout out to Scott from Flight Centre Active Travel for working out the best flights. Thanks Russell at Scody for getting my new custom kit sorted, No More Knots for fitting me in and the rest of the support crew Brooks, Endura, Reddog Tri Training, Orca, CompressSport, Aussie Tom, Avanti Plus the Valley for the new rig. 

Anyone intereted in a bit of retro tri, check out this video of the Noumea Tri in 1987. Its pretty much the same course. If you what to the run leg a guy actually shoves a 2L water bottle down his top. 

 

http://www.sarahcrowleytriathlete.com/#!blog/c18y3

http://sarah-crowley.blogspot.com.au

 

 

Ironman 70.3 Geelong

February 9, 2015

Sarah Crowley edited by Kristen WalkerFour seasons in one day was the theme to Geelong. This course had everything wind, hills and a class field. I have not raced in Geelong since 2006 when it was the national olympic distance championships. This year it was the Australian Long Course Championships and I was glad to be back. 

Pre-race

This race was a bit of a band camp. I was headed to Geelong with Kristen and Dale for a weekend packed with laughs. We were on the 7.55AM flight on the Friday before the race (after sneaking in my favorite sharp swim set at the Valley Pool at 5AM). When we arrived we had to fit a square peg in a round hole when it came to packing the rental car. For the record two bike bags and three people can fit in a Mitsubishi Outlander! Three people and two bikes in one car, thanks Scotty from Flight Centre Active Travel nice pick with the Mitsubishi Outlander

The first stop was at Brooks headquarters  where we got a sneak peak at the new range for this year (very colourful) before cruising into Hawthorne for a quick lunch with some of my family. After lunch we made the road trip down to Geelong. Lucky for us we were upgraded to the best suite in the house with a massive balcony and views of Corio Bay. After unpacking the car I headed out for a short run and then we ventured down to the pier area for dinner. 

I went to bed with a scratchy throat on Friday and was super worried but thanks to Walker I had betadine gargle at hand. I spent a lot of time relaxing over the next day to keep it off my chest. We all slept in on Saturday. Dale and I went out and explored the bike course, while Kristen ran parts of the run course. Saturday was pretty low key, we checked out the local coffee scene and then attended the pro briefing and finished with a short swim (in the refreshing rain). The water was crystal clear. 

Standard stress relief 

Race morning
I woke up and the first thought that comes to my mind, “is this a full-blown head cold or just a scratchy throat?”. I decided that I felt ok so, I got up and ate and then gargled again. Other than this distraction I was feeling spot on to race. We headed down nice and early to transition did a small warm up jog and stretched the wetsuit on.

Tattoo nightmares - ready to roll 

The Swim
I had a better swim start than my last race (Glenelg - http://www.sarahcrowleytriathlete.com/#!Qattro-Glenelg-Triathlon-2015/c12dh/39364D8E-4576-43C6-8893-610A48546C34) but I got my right arm tangled with someone and I couldn’t get out of it. I moved laterally but I still couldn’t get free. I think it cost me the feet of the front pack, which I was aiming to hang onto for a while longer. I am not sure who it was but I’m sure they are thinking the same.

We settled in and Maddie Oldfield moved to the front of our group for the next 800-900 meters. On the way back in I moved to the front of the group and tried to lift the pace. It fragmented the swim a little and gave me a bit of a break into the transition.

The Bike
I had a quick T1. Our pack was two minutes down on the front three which included Liz, Bek and Gina. I put the foot down in the first 30km trying to make-up some ground but the girls were out of sight. At the first bike turn around I was passed by Burrel and decided to pace off her and not push the pace. It was nice to have Dale out there on course cheering while cranking out his own race.  I focused on relaxing on the bike and not fighting the strong head wind, placing more attention on staying ready for the run. When we turned for home we had gapped the other girls that we had exited the water with but another group of girls were fast approaching by the time we reached T2.

The Run
T2 was quite fast for me. I try and keep it very simple in transition. I only had to put my socks on, then shoes, then pick up my sunnies, hat and number belt. While unclipping and ditching the helmet as I ran off. One tip here is to keep the number belt clipped up and to simply feed it over your head as you are running out of T2. It is quicker than standing there and clipping it on.

Can't miss the new Fluro Brooks T7 Racer

I left T2 on a mission. I was confident as I’ve been running fast so, I just legged it and believed that what I had been doing in training and racing recently would hold true for this race. I had to back myself. I pretty much switched off thinking and just concentrated on pace and form. I knew Gina was 4 minutes up the road and when I had completed 6k and had cut the gap to 2 minutes, I knew I was in with a shot at the podium. I have raced a number of times in this situation and knew that it didn’t need to all be done at once. So I gave myself a short breather and re-assessed what I would need to do over the remaining kms. Walker was there working hard as support crew giving me time splits and was a nice distraction from the intensity of the race.

I attacked the hills on the back half of the course. I ate into the gap significantly by doing this (although it did hurt me a little too) but I then recovered back through into the main race venue before heading out for the multi-loop hill where I had planned to put in another effort. I passed Gina on the hill on the way out of town. When I got to the top of the hill I realised the others were not too far away. I took a gel and put in a few more surges. I could see the gap narrowing but I was fast running out of road. By the end of the race we were all within a minute or so. The girls had done just a bit too much damage on the bike and I couldn’t reel it in.

I am super excited to have my run back. It has been a combination of full recovery from my leg injury, six months without crazy travel and a truck load of consistent training. I really can’t wait for the rest of this year! Below is a short race wrap video. 

Just a side note, photo credit for the finishing shot and the shot of the three podium girls is to Delly Carr and can be found here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.869385023125986.1073741864.282021031862391&type=1 

Thanks, so what’s next?
Thanks Scody, Endura, Brooks Australia, Rudy Project Oz, CompressSport, No More Knots, RED DOG Tri training, Aussie Tom, Avanti plus the Valley, Mike and my training buddies. I’m going into a bit of a training hiatus for the next few weeks. Tags:Scody Australia reddog triathlon training avanti plus the valley rudy project oz endura endura sports nutrition scott bikes Geelong 70.3 brooks running M5 Management no more knots orca Bike Box Aussie Tom 

 

 

 

The benefits of short rest interval sets

January 11, 2015

 
 
 
 

Today we had an epic bike/run session out at UQ with a large bunch of Reddog's. It was close to a three hour session and I was pretty toasted after. 

The session included a bike followed by a number of short rest intervals. I find this is key session to my race preparation, and it is particularly important for long course athletes. Have you ever wondered what its all about and exactly why we do it?... believe me its not just so we can post a hardcore facebook status.


There are obviously three things that can be played with when designing an interval session: 1. Time or distance, 2. Speed or pace and 3. Rest between intervals. I'm sure most people can see the impact of changing time and speed but what about the rest?

Manipulating the rest helps to gain fitness whilst speed and tempo can be improved in the process. Its like doubling your money (maybe not quite but if you add the mental toughness required to finish the session's gotta help). Mind you its not an easy session but when used appropriately by your coach can have many advantages. 

How it works

On a regular long run, that includes some tempo efforts you will usually pace yourself somewhere between your 10k and half pace for the efforts, somewhere around 75-80%. Definately below lactate threshold. 

In contrast, on an interval set you may run closer to 85-90%, and will be closer to your 5k or track pace. This sort of set will require a longer rest to recover from crossing over your lactate threshold. 

To construct a short rest threshold set you add a short rests into your tempo efforts. This assists you to run around 5% faster, but because of the short rest you can maintain the pace accross all intervals. 

How I felt about today

I tried to do this properly today and found that I was just able to catch my breath before heading out for the next interval. One thing I focus on with this session is to maintain steady pacing from the first interval to the last. I find sometimes I can get a little excited in the first few and run too close to threshold and pay for it by the last two intervals. If I fail in my pacing and get tired and slow down I try to maintain the same rest despite the effort taking longer. This happend to me on the last two where my paced slipped but I still maintained my rest.

It was really hot today so hydration was important the only Breeze was Breeza. I drank every second interval (because it was an out and back).

Allthough nasty I walked away today feeling pretty pumped. Hopefully the rest of the gang felt the same. Thanks Redman for this one, it is one that is sure to help the team on race day. 

 

 

Tags:brooks compresssport ocra no more knots reddog triathlon training endura sports nutrition rudy project oz sarah crowley triathlete

 

 

 

Hot summer ~ The return of short fast racing

 

January 3, 2015

 

This past week I have been away dabbling in the short stuff. I was lucky enough to have timed my trip to see my family for Christmas in line with the Sam White Aquathlon and the Phillip Island F1 racing. 

I was returning to the Sam White to attempt what had only been done by Maria Kostavitz (5 x Elite Champ). I had previously won the race 4 times between 2006 and 2009 and returned last year to be beaten on my attempt for 5 titles. It is a really challenging event 1.6k run/500m swim/1.6k run/500m swim/1.6k run with a large part on the soft sand. A pretty good race wrap can be found here https://www.facebook.com/oursportinglifeSA/posts/355514501287512 with some pretty good pics thanks to Peter Argent.

I flew to Melbourne on the Tuesday before New Years to see Mike's family. Then we travelled down to Phillip Island on Friday to have a go at the F1 racing hosted by XOSize at the Phillip Island race track. Thanks to Flight Centre Active Travel for organising my accomodation at the Silverwater Resort and my hire car. 

I was feeling pretty tired after a week of travel and only 6 days between races. The boys had three races, two heats and a final. The grils had two heats, with the final position determined by a points scoring system. The fomat was 250/6 (which was 6 hot laps)/1.6 (which was 2 x 800). 

Heat 1: In the first race I wore a full tri-suit which was a big mistake. It had drag in the front section and impacted my swim. I was 14 seconds down after the first 250m and could not pull back the gap on Charlotte on the bike. I had a solid run to finish Heat 1 in second. Every second counts in this type of racing an I had a slow T2.

Heat 2: I changed into bathers for heat two and closed the gap to 8 seconds. At T1 I jumped on my bike to find my shoes with the opposite foot forward. I nearly stacked it! I'm telling myself dont panic. Finally I got my feet in but Charlotte got away. I headed onto the run with a large deficit to Charlotte. I did have another fast run and peg some of it back. Conditions were hot. 

Second for the day. Not too shabby after a solid week of racing. We are spending a couple of days down on Phillip Island for a break before heading back to Brisbane for some long form training in the lead up to some 70.3 races. Ciao i'm off to see some penguins!

 

Murray Man SA Long Course Championships, Barmera, Riverland

 

November 13, 2014

 

Murray Man Long Course

So many race reports at the moment I can't keep up! I have tried to add photos in this post that are not already on social media. 

I flew into Adelaide in business class on Friday night after work. It was a relaxing way to travel especially with a three hour drive the next day. 

In the morning I did a small jog from by parents house and went to breakfast with my mum and dad. We then left for the riverland driving through the town I grew up in until I was five (Karoonda). 

Road home via Gawler (edge of the Barossa)

 

 

Mum at Karoonda (Murray Malee region)

 

We arrived in Berri at about 2pm and took a nap before checking the bike in over at Barmera. My brother drove up in the afternoon and met us for dinner at the Berri Hotel. Matt was born in Berri so it was great to visit the town and see where we had lived before I was born.

It was a late start (7.30am) so there was plenty of time to get to the venue and set up transition, have a run and get my nutrition right for the day.

The swim was in Lake Bonney. Beautiful place, flat, warm and a clear swim. We started with the men. I was hoping to keep up with the guys but didn't get a great start and missed the hip. It was a small group so it fragmented quickly. I was with Maddy for the whole swim and couldn't shake her, not without trying. 

Swim start, Photo credit: Grant Swatty

We exited together and I probably lost some time in transition but had a great flying mount onto the TT which was a first. I decided to attack the first 3 laps of the bike. With a strong headwind on the bike, the gap I had established was easy to maintain which allowed me to spin my legs out a little after 70k. The ride was very pretty as it overlooked Lake Bonney.

Bike mount, Photo credit: Grant Swatty

I wasn't sure how my legs would go on the runs after such a stong headwind. I got started and they seemed to feel ok. I once again attacked the fist two laps of the run and consolidated on the third and held pace on the fourth. I was happy to win and bring the racing block to an end with a great result.

 

 
 

Noosa Triathlon 2014

 

November 13, 2014

I was up at the Noosa triathlon on my own this year, Mike had exams. I was very keen to peg myself against the girls so I was happy to keep it low key and do my own thing. 

Race morning was easy going with a walk down from the outrigger only taking 10 minutes. Being Olympic distance it didn't take long to get the gear ready.

The seeded men got called and then the women shortly after but there was not much time between the waves so we had to sprint to get from the shore to the start line. 

I started on the right hand side closest to shore, hoping that I would have a good line to the first right hand turn buoy. I was in the pack albeit at the back until just after the second buoy when there was a surge on the straight where the current is pushing outward. Unfortunately if you get dropped off the back in this section it is much harder to get back on. I swam the remainder of the swim in a small pack of three. 

It was quiet in transition there were only four bikes left so I knew I would have to put some work in to make up for the swim. I took off from girls I was with and attacked the ride. I was about a minute down. Mel passed me on the hill and ride up to the next group. I didn't reach them until after the turn around. I think I moved up three positions on the bike.

Noosa Bike leg (Photo credit: Adrian Cowan)

Into the run and I hadn't realised the gap the front girls had put in on the bike. I thought I had a cracker ride but really the lead group had pulled away by a further 3 minutes. This is something I need to address. 

Onto the run and I couldn't seem to get the speed going. I settled in nicely but wasn't really running the quick. I was passed by felicity just before the bridge and worked my way passed Radka at about the 7 k mark. I was in 8th, Mel was about a minute ahead and Radka the same behind. I decided to just control the rest of the run and so I finished in this position. 

Noosa run leg (Photo credit: Rachael Paxton)

All-in-all an ok day finishing in 8th amongst a strong field, but it does raise an issue with my bike strength at the moment or potentially that the swimming is hurting the very first part of the bike.

Thanks to the Reddog team for all the support on course and Kristen for looking after my bags! Thanks also, Endura, Rudy Project, CompressSport, No More Knots, Brooks for the continued support.

 

 

 

 

 

 
MONDAY, AUGUST 18, 2014

Samoa Warrior Race 2014

After the fantastic experience I had in Samoa last year, it was an easy decision to return. This year I was limited to a shorter stay in Samoa as I am headed to the USA for the Hyvee US 5150 championships on the 31 August. It was great to be able to showcase the country of Samoa this year to fellow pro Sam Betten and to share the communities enormous hospitality and culture.

We arrived in the early hours of the morning on the Thursday before the race so the first few days were spent relaxing, visiting rock pools and sipping coconuts. Friday we gathered for the parade through Apia and the opening ceremony for the event. As the highest ranked female returning warrior, I was asked to say a few words about the race at the ceremony. It was a great opportunity to thank Seti Afoa and his team for the event and all the work he has been doing to support triathlon in Samoa.

 

We stated in the dark on race day. It was barely day break when we started the swim (clear goggles recommended). I was happy with my progress after the first lap, sitting comfortably with the main pack of men. I was delighted to see a young Samoan boy mixing it up in the swim pack, there is definitely some raw talent in Samoa. The swim for this years race was in a slightly different location requiring a 600m run from the swim exit to transition. We all decided to use shoes to run the distance. I fell a fraction off the back of the group towards the end of the second lap of the swim and decided to run bear foot to transition with shoes and socks in hand. A slightly risky strategy but it was ok in the end.

I left T1 in no mans land and was struggling to obtain momentum on the bike. Last year a number of the he pros had flat tyres so in the week before the event I took my bike into Avanti (the valley) and had my training wheels put on my TT bike and changed to thorn proof tyres. I didn't get any flats but, far out they were slow and tacky with terrible roll! The tussle for the lead commenced at about the thirty km mark where Julia passed me for the first time. I knew I'd be safe from flats so remained positive despite feeling very sluggish. The next time I saw Julia was on the return from the climb up Falifar Pass. Julia would have been a good 90 seconds to 2m ahead at the top of the 5k climb so I needed to get a wriggle on if I was going to regain the ground I'd lost. About 20k from home I regained the lead after Julia got a flat. In the end the trade off between a flat for terrible tyres seemed about even.

Mead Norton Photography

I hit the run out it T2 in front, but after a quick first couple kilometres I became vey cautious of  the heat. I would have been at least 34 and possibly more with the radiant heat from the road. I decided to play safe and run conservatively. So after two kilometres Julia passed me back. I started to notice a number of the men struggling with the head and so I payed very close attention to the ensuring my hydration and nutrition were optimal. I drank at every aid station and used the sponge at every aid station. I took three Endura gels on the run, using two, one at 9km and the other at 14km.

By 15km I had somewhat recovered from the ride and was starting to feel the effects of the gel. My energy levels were up and I could see Julia fading off the back of Jo Carroll (one lap behind but running superbly). I decided that if I could control myself in the heat I could make a play for the lead. At the 15k turn I was about 400m behind and after receiving encouragement from the crowd, I up'ed the pace. I ended up catching Julia at about the 17.5k mark, with 3ks to go I pushed on. I was uncertain how much she had left, particularly as we had been battling and switching all day. I wasn't even sure I had enough of a gap until I could see the finish line at 100m to go!

 

Mead Norton Photography

 

I am delighted to have taken the win and will use this as a very positive experience going in to Hyvee. Most of my training has been focused on shorter faster racing in preparation for Hyvee. I was very happy to have survived and am encouraged by the strength of the back end of the run. The times for the day were significantly impacted by the road conditions, the steep climb on the bike and the heat.

All in all tough day out in the heat and tough terrain but worth it for the views and the racing.

Thanks to my sponsors, Endura, Compressport, Brooks running, Orca and Red Dog Triathlon Training.

 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Challenge GC ~ Scott Foil vs Plasma ~ I vote Penny Farthing

 
This weekend myself, Ew-Dog* and GB* went solo on a recon of the CGC course. Intending to start a 6'ish we were naturally late after Ew-Dog (without fail) sleeping in and GB dawdling at the start. So after an early morning bakery stop, toilet stop and rough guess at the course, it wasn't until 7AM that we headed off.

For a summary before I start, check out the official Challenge GC bike course below on the really cool 2m video (see http://sarah-crowley.blogspot.com.au/) .
All three of us were on road bikes. I had my Scott Foil Premium (11 speed compact with 12/27 range), GB and Ew-dog both ran standard chain rings with 12/25 on the rear.

Ew-dog was keen to go moderate from the start so I enjoyed the scenery from business class on the first "finger".  The first "finger" was exactly 20kms and was very uneventful. There was a slight natural uphill outbound with some mossy wet corners to note near the turn around. The turn around is at an Eden ..something wall sign.

We rode back much faster taking advantage of the slight downhill. There is one sharp curve around a U bend at perhaps 26km. Next is a left turn at the 30k mark. Then uphill toward the "pinch" which starts about 300m up the road. There is a lead-in hill that is similar to the bottom of Mt Gravatt which lasts about 150m (at 5%-8%) then a plateau before the pinch of 15-20% for about 80m before left and right turns where it pitches up a little more for another 50m or so. I managed to stay seated for the full length of the ride. Ew-Dog stood up and took off. It is not anymore difficult than perhaps Clear Mtn Road ~ if you head from E-x'ing road to Wynn Road direction. The decent from this side is safe.

 

Another 5-6km along (having passed through a round about) you will hit a T-intersection (at lights) then turn right. A couple more kms down the road there is a gradual hill (max grade 8%) followed by a sharp decent the other side (a little more fun on your way back in). The remainder of finger 2 (including the little thumb) was basically rolling hills. Continue on Finger 2. At the 49km mark take a left on Peitch Creek Road (may have the name wrong). After about 3km do a U-turn at the buss stop (just prior to the road significantly narrowing) and return to Finger 2. Turn left. Head out until 60km (basically it will be as far as you can go again before the road narrows. You will pass 2-3 narrow water courses. After this turn you return home (by-passing the little thumb).

The "pinch" from the other side is way easier as it is a series of inclines and flats. The decent is a little dangerous as you follow the switches at the top before the drop down the steep hill. Once you return to the T-intersection on the first finger turn left and return to the start (we started at the school pool).

This is unquestionably a TT course (so the Plasma wins ~ once the gears are fixed!) unless you are a beginner or out of condition in which case you may consider a road bike for comfort. For a challenge it would be fun to see your roll over in a penny farthing. We sore this guy driving around when we got back to our starting position. I am pretty sure he didn't do it but you never know.

We rode around moderately and finished in about 2hours 45ish. One thing we noticed was that we had pretty saw backs when we tried our 10m run off the bike.

The scenery was fantastic. Lots of rolling hills, sub tropical forest, water passes and rural properties. The roads are a little bumpy with some pot holes but mainly on the shoulder. On race day you will be able to take advantage of the main part of the road. We were all pretty impressed and look forward to having another go soon. For anyone interested here is my Strava. For Brisbane based guys one word "Brookfield".

 

Get out there have a go and enjoy the beautiful scenery!

*Nick names used to preserve privacy of campaigners (although known well to Red Dogs)
 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Winter Warmies..what to wear when cycling in winter

 
It appears winter is upon us. Temperatures in Brisbane dropped below 10 degrees Celsius last night. It is by no means "Jack Frost" type cold  but it does raise the question of what is the most appropriate quantity of winter warmies to be pulling on without looking too delicate.

I have come up with this scale (temperature across the top):

 

City2South ~ What to do in the week after a race that goes wrong

 
After my last write up, I have been thinking about how I react when a race goes wrong. Particularly when you are training the house down and have much higher expectations. I think the learning's from the past week are useful in both sport and other aspects of life.

Surround yourself with positivity
I have been fortunate to have a great support crew to which I owe a great deal of thanks (www.reddogtriathlontraining). There have been a number of people that I have talked their ear off. No doubt they are sick of hearing about it, but same said they were prepared to listen. Getting it off your chest is the number one thing.

Get back on the horse
You don't need to go straight back into 30 hours a week training but a gentle river loop or frolic at the pool the next day and before you know it you will be back building the engine.

Look to the future
Re-focus on the next race. Whether its a small fun run or a global race focus on the future. I almost immediately signed up for the @city2South. Considering I was only giving myself a 7 day rest, I was happy with a 52m (3.45km avg) run over the hilly course. I ended in 5th. My fellow Compressport athlete Clare was the winner. I was as always kitted out in my Brooks running shoes. Thanks for the on course support from the RedDog team and to Aussie Tom for reminding me of the short rest between races and the agony on my face.

Focus on the controllable
Reflect on what went wrong. Was it controllable? If its not controllable then try not to focus on it, remember some times things just don't go your way! Let it be.

If all else fails go shopping
Retail therapy is a cure all. With winter fast approaching next week I will be reviewing what to wear at various temperature ranges as the temperature drops further into our Queensland version of "winter".

Above all... step away from the cookies. #saynotosugar

 

Cairns 2014

 
So I am back in Brisbane thinking... what just happened. The last week was a bit of a blur. I know my fitness is there but I didn't get the results I was looking for. I have played both the Coral Coast and 70.3 race over in my head many times. The first issue was controllable the second was completely out of my control leaving myself thinking why that race..

Coral Coast
I only decided to do the Pt Douglas 5150 on the Tuesday before the race. So I was still fully loaded with a big super session from the previous weekend plus a 5 x 1k track on Tues and a TT on the bike on Wednesday. I wasn't sure of how well I would go but knew I would be hurting with the added intensity of an olympic distance. I wanted to race because it is a great lead in to the 70.3.

I had everything ready and was looking forward to the race (even if the legs were not!). It was a beach start. I got a great start and was out in second by the first buoy. Yes me in second in the swim. I have been working on my swimming (in a slightly different way to ever before) and it has started to pay off with good swim results in Byron and the past two races in Cairns. I went a little wide as the swim was slightly angled. I was counting the buoys and by the last Ironman Branded buoy I could see the swim exit so headed in. I was racing in when I was caught by a guy on a ski saying I had cut in short. I looked back and sore the girls heading around a smaller yellow buoy further along the beach. My heart sank. I sprinted back to the buoy and ended up in transition as the girls were leaving.

Heading out onto the bike I bolted and cooked what little I had in the legs. I eventually made it back to second (and first for a short amount of time) on the run but my day was over. I had to conserve for the 70.3 so strolled around until the finish. I ended up in 4th.

Couple of lessons learned. Confirm the course (you are responsible for knowing it) and be patient and race to your plan. If I raced to my original plan (even after the miss hap) I may have consolidated but instead I baked myself on the bike.

Cairns 70.3
This race would have to be right up there with one of the most disappointing things that have happened in my triathlon racing. I was really ready for a cracker. I had taken the week pretty easy. Other than flying to Sydney on Sunday night and driving to Newcastle for work for the week until Wednesday!

I took all precautions with the course and walked both transitions the day before. Everything was ready.

We had a 4.15 start to catch the bus to Palm Cove for the swim start at 6.36. We started in knee deep water. It was a funny race start they sort of blew a weird quite horn. I got off well and was in the main chase bunch for the swim. It was a solid group with 19 pro females on the start line. I am really enjoying the improved swimming as it helps with my bike and run legs. I was out the water and through transition quick with only Caroline, Lisa up the road.

I jumped on the bike and headed through the streets of Palm Cove, quickly realising that my gears didn't seem to be responding. I ignored it for the first section out toward the main road but became concerned and realised my rear derailleur Di2 was not working. My heart sank. I was chumping at the bit to get out there on the bike but could only spin along until I found a mechanic.

The mechanic reached me on the ocean road but was not much help as we really needed an electrician! The gears were stuffed from the rain. No luck for me. I was able to tighten the derailleur cable into the 18 which meant i had only 53/18 and 39/18 to choose from for 90ks. I got on my way but not after loosing no less than 11 minutes to the lead girls. My day was over. Almost as hard was the fact that the race photographer was taking pictures of me on the side of the road with my heart on my sleeve.

I fought on because all too often Pro's pull out. I am inspired by my age group training buddies who wouldn't DNF for anything. It was a tough task, re-commencing with the AG females but I got on my way. It took me until 60ks to catch some of the Pro females. I was motivated by this and fought on catching a couple more on the run. I ran out of transition trying to catch but lost heart by the end of the first lap realising top 6 was out of touch ending in 11th.

 
I look forward to the next race. It was just such a shame because of how much I love the Carins 70.3 race having won in 2012.

Thanks to Reddog Triathlon Training, Brooks, Endura, Aussie, Compressport, Avanti Plus the Valley and Orca for all your support. Special thanks to the mechanic out on the course that advised me on the issue at least I finished. Lots of positives to take away for the next one!

 

Byron Bay Tri 2014

 
Commencing at the more civilized time of 12pm. I wasn't quite sure what to do with the morning before the race started!

For anyone who hasn't done Byron the swim starts up the beach with a square shaped swim. There was a strong sweep up the beach which led to a few different strategies on the way in (some better than others). The open males ran at least 50m up the beach before jumping in.

I ran 25m and couldn't help myself so started to run in early. Within about 2 seconds I had a wave coming at me which I unwisely decided to jump dolphin through (It was only 2 foot high) so I came up with goggles all over the place after I hit the ground with my face. Interestingly the three of us on the podium took completely different lines and merged together at the 200m mark. I'll take credit for the best line because the other girls were much better swimmers.

I was 1 minute 30 down after the swim. Not bad by my standards. I have worked out a solution to a problem I have always had in open water and it seems to be helping.

The Byron bike course is  a little like a battle field. Cars, people, pot holes. I managed to worm through the obstacle course on the way out of town and settled in. The road does get better the closer you get to Lennox. I kept punching until I hit the lead but I couldn't get away off the front so relaxed and prepared for the run.

I had a slower transition than normal. My hip flexor cramped a little and I could not get my shoe on. I almost considered sitting down! Luckily the legs were good and I hit the run really hard. I clocked the first lap fast and then reduced the pace for lap 2 and 3 before building the last lap. I built a firm gap on the run so I was able to practice control and run a strong back end. More importantly the race was only 2 weeks after my 79 half at Noosa. Things are feeling good and I'm looking forward to my next race.

 


 
I would like to claim the race time but I think it was a tad short. Swim 26:34, Ride 57:32, Run 31:00.







News URL: http://www.northernstar.com.au/news/byron-bay-triathlon0test-of-fettle-for-lennox-athl/2254825/ 


Cheers: Reddog Triathlon Training, Endura Sports Nutrition, Brooks Running Australia, Compressport Australia, Aussie Tom, Avanti Plus the Valley, Orca

 

 

Adelaide OTU Duathlon Championships

 

May 2, 2014

 

I was really excited to have a home town race. It was set with (Adelaide Oval) as the back drop. The race featured the new foot bridge and the challenging Monteforie hill. 

It was a late start for us, 12pm. So I was able to wake up at 7am eat breakfast and head into town for a second breakfast at Sean's Kitchen. Check it out if you are in town, all class.

Race check-in commenced at around 10am. It was a serious matter. I forgot all the ITU checks. First race suit photo, then seat position check, tri bar check, bar end check, wheel depth and brand check etc. For the record Matty White and I owe Tom Currie a BIG THANKS for the ITU compliant tri suits. I was ok with wearing an SA suit, albeit a boys suit that was a bit big.

After a course familiarization lap, I really did realize the damage the hill could do and reminded myself of my race plan. I have been focusing on getting quicker at the running in the past 4 weeks, not to run a faster first run, but to run the first run more controlled and attack the bike.

Lining up as Ma and Pa Currie (literally as we were vastly out numbered by string bean whippets), Matt and I took the line sporting our SA kits. I quickly realized during the athlete call that the race was going to be hot.

We were off at 12.02pm. When I say off I mean off!  I figured I wouldn't be able to set a 5k PB as I would be wrecked and won't be able to ride so I controlled my run holding back enough for an attack at the start of the ride.


Into transition and my second tip is always have two pairs of shoes. This was even more relevant in ITU racing as once an item is used it must go in your box. This includes your running shoes. Which means that you'll have to dig them out of there if you want to use them again. 

I entered transition with Annalise but had a really smooth one (and a clean mount). I hadn't practiced that for a while so it had the potential to be a disaster. On the bike I focused on attacking the hill and punching over the top each lap. Redman has had us standing over a hill at St. Peter's recently and it was ideal for this hill. One problem I did notice was the dry heat. I drank all my bottle but couldn't get relief. I spun at around 95-100 cadence for the last k into T2 and had another quick transition. After attacking the first k off the bike I slowed up fairly hard with a stomach cramp largely due to the over hydration. Lucky for me it was only 2.5k run to home. 

I had a great time at home. I did a session with the Meteors and spent some good time with the Fuse gang. After formalities I was straight over to Haigh's to re stock for the journey back to Qld. I really think this was a great race. It was a street circuit with full road closure for both age group and elite and had a shady flat and fast run.

Thanks to Endura, Brooks Running, Compressport, no more knots, Orca, Reddog and Avanti Plus the Valley.

 

 

Stealth visit to the Nepean Tri

 

May 1, 2014

 
I think I only decided on the Thursday morning prior to the race to venture down to the Nepean Tri. I didn't have any major plans for the weekend and couldn't see how it would hurt my schedule. I initially investigated an entry and once I could secure that I looked into accommodation.

I found a nights stay at the Chifley Penrith Panthers and was able to lock in Virgin flights for $6 after using some velocity points. So there you have it I was headed to Western Sydney. I hadn't been out to Penrith before, but was confident that I could wing it out to the race.

When I landed I had a call from the fabulous Tash who was able to advise me on catching the correct train. FYI it is very easy. I caught a train from the airport to central and then straight out to the race. The journey was only 90 minutes and $18. When I got out there I used a cab to get to the Panthers and then checked in before cabbing over to rego and back.

I rode down to the race on race morning and was really happy to see the other girls. Spring racing in Australia is fabulous because everyone is back in town and its a great opportunity to catch up with some old training buddies. Emma Jackson and I swam down to the start line from a pontoon further up, it took a bit of convincing to get in the water as it looked a little green. No one was stressed on the start line it had a very relaxed feel. The buzzer sounded and we sort of just eased into the swim. A small gap formed at around the 500m mark which turned into around 45 seconds by swim exit. There was a group of 4 then our group. The swim is in the Sydney Regatta so its a very easy swim with only one turn buoy.

Race venue

For some reason I didn't feel myself on the bike. Despite having a fast bike it was not as quick as I would have liked and so I didn't make up any ground from the swim. The Nepean race is pretty flat so there is no opportunity to make up much ground.

Onto the run and I just started chipping away at the girls. I caught 2 by the first lap and had Felicity in sight but she took off on the second lap and I was left with a comfortable fifth.

Results summary

Well worth it, lovely race. I was in good company at the presentations.


Top 10 men and women

Thanks to Trent from Reddog Triathlon Training for helping with the logistics, Endura, CompressSport, Brooks Running, Scott Bikes, Avanti Plus the Valley, No More Knots and Rudy Project Auz

Tags:

compressport australia

endura

nepean tri

no more knots

reddog triathlon training

rudy project auz

scott bikes

virgin

 

 

Samoa Half Iron

 
I can not describe how beautiful my adventure Samoa was. We arrived in the early hours of the Thursday before the race and we welcomed with some local musicians. I was then greeted by two local triathletes and was transported to a nearby hotel. I was brave and agreed to get up in 2 and 1/2 hours to go for a ride over the course...literally we rode about 70km. I prepared my bike and fell asleep waking to the phone ringing as the pick up was waiting out front.

The ride was great and really worth while. We headed out along the coast road passing though the villages that were preparing for the weekends race. There was a competition for the cleanest village that could also tie up its pigs, dogs and chickens. Each village was given a country to support which added a lot of excitement and vibrancy on race day. The verdict on the conditions was hot (bloody hot) and a little bumpy on the roads but generally good and very well organised, scenery spot on.

 

I spent the rest of the day relaxing before registration, race briefing and dinner. 

The next day was a blast. After a long breakfast we headed to sliding rocks for a wade in some cool water.

At midday we had a parade of nations led by Apia police band. I have never felt so welcome. Samoans had never seen a triathlon and they really got behind it. We were welcomed at the end of the parade by the president and were left to do a open water swim and make our final preparations.

Race day
I woke up ready to go on race day. It was a pretty relaxed vibe. No wetsuits water temp was around 27. It was a brilliant morning and the sun left a fantastic hugh over the water. I exited the swim about 2m down (not bad for me). In transition I wasted a further minute putting on socks and cycle knicks. I was happy I did this as the bike course was a little bumpy. Out on the bike and I settled into a rytham. I was not aiming to tear the bike up as I was heavily focused on completing the run.

The cycle was incredible, there were sweeping landscapes of a tropical paradise. We passed through staggered villages along the way. All the villages had been given a country to support and were to be rewarded if they could demonstrate they were the cleanest, showed the most decoration and spirit and tied all their animals up. We the athletes were to vote. I was very impressed with the vibe it gave the course. There were supporters the whole way along. Special thanks to the lady in the village supporting the USA for the large bucket of cold water you threw on me!!

What to do about nutrition in extreme heat...
Returning to the transition, I was becoming cautious of the heat. By now it was approaching 10am and the sun was starting to bite. I left transition well hydrated (I used 3 bottles on the bike 2 with Endura, 1 with water to utilise my gels). For me the nutrition plan was working. I had the theory on the run to use every station, there were 3 on the course, each of which you could access twice per lap. The first was just 1km after transition. I took water and ice. I then commenced taking water at EVERY station. I rubbed the ice on my neck and back and it seemed to be melting in my hand faster than it was cooling me... so hot. After 8km I took my first Endura gel. I then started drinking sports drink and water at each station there after. It was by no means my fastest ever run but I did not seem to fade on the run. I also found that the next day I was not as sore as I had expected. I was very pleased with third and feel I can take a number of things away from the race for the US.

I head to America next week to race Des Moins and Vegas. Thanks to all the support from Endura, Avanti Plus the Valley, CompresSport, Orca, RedDog, Brooks and AllSports Toowong.

Thanks to Scottie T photography for snapping these images of me in action. Visit Scottie's site at http://www.ScottieT.com/. If you are  a keen photographer Scottie offers regular tips on his newsletter so get on it!

 

 
 

 


The presentation ceremony was outstanding. We were treated to a traditional dance, a fire dance (shown below) and a traditional meal (with plates made of palm leaves)!

 

video
 
Yes the place is just as beautiful as the photos they were taken on my IPhone so no special effects here! If you are keen on going next year check out the race website http://www.samoahalfironman.com/ 
 

 
 

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