2010 Summary

This has been a great year with Challenge Roth being the obvious highlight. Cologne 226half in sub 5 hours was another great race after which I should have ended the season to avoid the Frankfurt Marathon fiasco... Here's the obligatory summary:

What's the plan for 2011? I would like to focus on shorter distances and do 2 half Ironman races. 70.3 Wiesbaden will be the highlight plus 70.3 Austria or Elbaman, depending on how things pan out.

I am also going to make some changes in how to record workout. So far, I had an Excel spreadsheet (see above) plus Garmin Connect and also the blog here. In the spirit of moving your entire life in the cloud, I am moving to a great system called TrainingPeaks. So, any individual workout information (more data you can ever digest) will be at www.trainingpeaks.com/isotonicturtle supplemented by sporadic posts on the blog (new kit, gear and gadgets, race reports and any other relevant information).

31 Dec 2010

8km - 45:30

First run in almost 2 weeks. Have been down with some very persistent form of flu. Still not 100%, but slowly getting better. I hope.

Body Composition - End 2010

Body Fat18.1% (LA 17.2 RA 15.4 RL 16.1 LL 16.1, B 19.6)
Total Body Water57.4%
Muscle Mass68.7kg (LA 4.0 RA 4.1 RL 11.3 LL 11.0, B 38.3, 5)
Physique Rating7
Basal Metabolic Rate2099 KJ
Metabolism Age29
Bone Mass3.6kg
Resting Heart Rate??
Wow. Heaviest in more than a year plus desperate body fat measurements. Time for some serious training.

19 Dec 2010

11.8km - 1:06km

First good run in a while at moderate speed.

15 Dec 2010

10.25km - 53:00

Nice run in Belfast at moderate speed.

14 Dec 2010

Swimming (Endurance):
2300m - 60:00

Quite a demanding session.

Last of 4 physio sessions in the morning. Plenty of exercises to do for a month, before we review the situation. Bottom line is some of my core muscles don't seem to trigger at all!

10 Dec 2010

13.75km - 1:18 (Z1)

Easy earl;y morning run. Had to do a couple of detours to avoid flooding.

09 Dec 2010

Swimming (Technique)
1200m - 60:00

Very tough session. 10 * 100 technique, followed by 50m drills interrupted by planks and push-ups!

08 Dec 2010

60:00 - 11.8km (Z2 - Z3)

2km easy, rest moderate / hard. First good run in weeks. Hamstring also getting better thanks to physio treatment and new exercises.

07 Dec 2010

Swimming (Speed):
2000m - 60:00

After a mini break (mini trip away, mini flu and loads of snow), winter training is starting today.

Oh, and I got a little certificate and a pineapple(!) at the club's xmas do for being 1 of 17(!) members who completed an ironman in 2010 - nice touch.

30 Nov 2010

Swimming (Speed):
2000m - 60:00

29 Nov 2010

10km - 54:00 (Z1 - Z3)

First 7km hilly and moderate effort, then 2km fast (4:48). First run in snow this winter - quite enjoyed it.

Oh, and I got a fantastic pair of heated insoles for cycling in the freezing cold for my birthday. Can't wait to try them out!

24 Nov 2010

60:00 - 10.8km

Easy run with the Up & Running club in Belfast.

21 Nov 2010

48km - 1:38

Easy flat bike ride. Legs slowly willing to take on something a bit more daunting...

19 Nov 2010

9.35 - 50:00

Easy / moderate speed and undulating run. Had to stop early because my eye sight went after 40 minutes. Lack of sleep, I guess.

18 Nov 2010

Back Training 60 minutes

Last session unfortunately. Time to sign up for a gym again, I guess.

Swimming (Technique): 1200m


Finally went to see a physio about my back and hamstring issue. He reckons that it is to do with a nerve. A few more exercises and a few more sessions and we'll see.

16 Nov 2010

Swimming (Speed):
2100m - 60:00

Quite a tough but good session.

14 Nov 2010

km - 1:20 (180m / 78rpm / 27.2kmh / ???bpm)  

First ride in 4 weeks in very mild conditions. Very pleased with the new (black!) Garmin 500 which has replaced my old Garmin 705.

13 Nov 2010


First attempt to track down a few caches near home. Found the first two, but had to abandon at the first stage of a multi-stage cache. Here's the tracks of the Garmin Oregon 550:

11 Nov 2010

Back Training 60 minutes

Quite a tough session - very good. Left hip not great - need to see a physio.

Swimming (Technique): 1200m

Another excellent session. I was told that I don't use my latissimus muscle while swimming. And that's the most important one apparently...

6 Nov 2010

8km - 45:00 (Z1)

Easy run, hamstring not great.

04 Nov 2010

Swimming (Technique): 1500m

First technique session in the pool. Very, very good, but sometimes hard to concentrate when the coach is the June model of the latest triathlon calendar...

02 Nov 2010

1500m - 45:00

Very easy swim session; a lot of pull buoye usage to give the legs a bit more rest.

31 Oct 2010

Frankfurt Marathon - 4:17:05 [Certificate] [Results]

1: 5:12
km 2: 5:25
km 3: 5:23
km 4: 5:23
km 5: 5:24 - 26:48
km 6: 5:27
km 7: 5:18
km 8: 5:30
km 9: 5:30
km 10: 5:23 - 27:10 - 53:58
km 11: 5:14
km 12: 5:20
km 13: 5:23
km 14: 5:22

km 15: 5:22 - 26:43 -1:21:41
km 16: 5:24
km 17: 5:17
km 18: 5:22
km 19: 5:23

km 20: 5:19 - 26:50 - 1:47:31
Half - 1:53:47
km 21: 5:43 (pee stop)
km 22: 5:20
km 23: 5:22
km 24: 5:28
km 25: 5:21 -27:16 - 2:14:47
km 26: 5:12
km 27: 5:19
km 27: 5:19
km 28: 5:29
km 30: 5:28 - 26:50 - 2:41:37
km 31: 5:42
km 32: 6:02
km 33: 6:03
km 34: 7:35
km 35: 6:37 -  31:59 - 3:13:36
km 36: 7:04
km 37: 9:14
km 38: 9:00
km 39: 8:37
km 40: 9:36 - 43:37 - 3:57:13
km 41: 9:09
km 42: 9:12

M40: 1406 (1729)
Men:  5981
Total: 6912 (9555)

What a total and utter disaster. Conditions were perfect. 12 degrees, sunshine, no wind. First 25km were like clockwork and bang on time. I then tried to speed up a bit as planned to see how the legs were and I realised quickly that they didn't want to speed up, so I adjusted back to 'normal' pace which was ok until 30km when I started getting cramps in both(!) calves. Things started to get unpleased very quickly and I stopped every so often to stretch which didn't help much. The last 5km must have been the most painful ever as I simply couldn't run. Every time I started in a slow jog the cramps and spasms got so bad that I had to walk again. I guess the km splits say it all. I considered pulling out 35km, but decided not to after last year's exit.

The red-cross people grabbed me as soon as I crossed the finish line, but let me go after a short while. I hobbled into the athlete's area and took a drink of something fizzy after which I got quite sick and back out it went again... The weird thing is that I don't really know what went wrong as I started at a slower pace than usual. I have never had cramps like these before and I can only put it down to 3 things: lack of salt / isotonics (which I didn't take), not enough training (two 25km runs are probably not sufficient) and the realisation that a body can only take so much in one season. It shows again that the full marathon is not a distance you should run unless you are 100%. Marathon #14 was a personal worst - time for a well needed rest period.

Here are a couple of videos of the misery: [Video]

29 Oct 2010

8km - 44:00

Last tapering run before Frankfurt Marathon, last km fast (4:30). Feeling good; well as good as it gets at the end of a very long and quite hard season. Hamstring still not great, but it'll hold.

The strategy is to run the first 25km in 2:15 (5:24 min/km). If I feel good I'll speed up a bit to 5:12 min/km aiming at 3h45 (best case), if not I continue and hopefully get in under 3h50. If I hit the wall then hopefully I beat my PB from Berlin; if it gets even worse it doesn't really matter as long as I finish.

Body Composition - Pre Frankfurt Marathon

Body Fat16.5% (LA 16.6 RA 14.5 RL 13.8 LL 14.8, B 18.0)
Total Body Water58.6%
Muscle Mass68.4kg (LA 3.9 RA 4.0 RL 11.4 LL 11.0, B 38.1, 5)
Physique Rating6
Basal Metabolic Rate2083 KJ
Metabolism Age26
Bone Mass3.5kg
Resting Heart Rate??

Weight quite high at the moment - let's see how it goes on Sunday.

28 Oct 2010

Back Training 60 minutes

Quite a good session. Decided not to go back to the spine session.

27 Oct 2010

8km - 43:30

Very easy tapering run, last km fast (4:30).

26 Oct 2010

Swimming (Speed):
1000m - 30:00

Very easy swim session - a lot of talking between splits.

25 Oct 2010

50:00 - 9.25km (Z1 - Z2)

Easy undulating tapering run.

24 Oct 2010

Core: 30 minutes

My training plan says 3 hours easy on the bike. The weather says wet, cold and windy; just couldn't be bothered going outside. Winter just came 2 weeks too early.

23 Oct 2010

1:30 - 16.8km (Z1 - Z2)

Last longish test run before Frankfurt. Feel like I am running on 60% - hope it is just the usual tapering blues...

21 Oct 2010

10km - 53:00

Another run on a very dodgy treadmill in my hotel in Paris.

20 October 2010

30:00 - 5km

Easy run on a treadmill in hotel in Paris. Wanted to check out hamstring which feels much better.

19 Oct 2010

Core: 30 minutes

I had planned to go for an asy run, but my hamstring didn't feel good (andd it is freezing cold outside), so I did a core session instead. Let's hope the sensibility will pay off...

17 Oct 2010

Schönbuchlauf 25km - 2:03:47 [Certificate] [Results]

1: 5:19
km 2: 5:37
km 3: 4:46
km 4: 4:33
km 5: 4:42 - 24:57
km 6: 4:43
km 7: 4:48
km 8: 4:53
km 9: 4:54
km 10: 4:54 - 24:12
km 11: 4:49
km 12: 5:08
km 13: 5:08
km 14: 5:06

km 15: 5:27 - 25:38
km 16: 5:43
km 17: 4:45
km 18: 4:58
km 19: 5:11

km 20: 5:15 - 25:52
km 21: 4:26
km 22: 4:25
km 23: 4:42
km 24: 4:40
km 25: 4:32 -22:45

M40: 58 (121)
Total: 233 (655)

It was 5 degrees at the start, so long sleeves and tights it was. Heart rate was quite high at the start which wasn't helped by a hill after 3 minutes. Had a mini AF thereafter and was struggling the next 10km which were all down-hill. As soon as the uphill started, I was fine and overtook half the field. Good time in the end, given the undulating course, the rough ground and the freezing cold. A bit confused about the A, but optimistic about Frankfurt. Tapering time...

16 Oct 2010

km - 2:40 (90m / ??rpm / 28.2kmh / ???bpm) 

Ride was supposed to be 3 hours, but couldn't cope being out there in the cold, wet and wind.

15 Oct 2010

Spine Training: 60 minutes

12km - 1:05 (Z1 - Z2)

Good, undulating run. Autumn is here.

14 Oct 2010

Core: 20 minutes

Quick session in hotel before heading to work.

13 Oct 2010

60:00 - 11.3km (Z1 - Z3)

Nice run in Greenwich Park which is far hillier than I expected. Hamstring not great.

Note for the German readrs: It is 'Grenitsch', not 'Grienwhitsch' ;-)

10 Oct 2010

km - 3:27 (250m / 82rpm / 28.8kmh / 128bpm) 

First long bike ride in quite some time. Rather tedious at times, but ok.

09 Oct 2010

50km - 1:45 (60m / 78rpm / 28.4kmh / 108bpm)

20km - 1:44 (Z1-Z4)

Very easy bike ride, followed by quite a good and controlled run. Did get some stomach problems after an hour on the run, so needed an unplanned stop at the local athletics stadium - maybe those gels aren't right after all?

08 Oct 2010

Spine Training 60 minutes

First session of spine training class. Quite good, apart from being the only male...

07 Oct 2010

Back Training 60 minutes

First hour of back training in an organised group. Targetted at a slightly older generation, but good exercises nevertheless.

06 Oct 2010

2:15 - 25.2km (Z1 - Z2)

Good test run, but hamstring wasn't great afterwards. Would need to do another 17km in 1:30 - hmmm..

Ran in new shoes. Sticking with the Brooks Racer ST4. Unfortunately, this year's model comes in bright yellow - not sure if my image consultant would approve with that. Also, need yet another half size bigger than last year. Either my feet keep growing or Brooks shoes get smaller every year. Start on a 45 3 years ago and am now at 46 1/2!?

05 Oct 2010

10.5km - 57:00

Easy undulating run. Feeling much better, even though half a back tooth has broken off.

1600m - 45:00

First indoor session after the summer. Definitely prefer the outdoors...

03 Oct 2010

48.5km - 1:37 (80m / 81rpm / 30.1kmh / 118bpm)

17km - 1:30 (Z1-Z3)

Very easy bike ride, first in over 3 weeks. The intention was to run 90 minutes easy, mimicking a long run (which I won't be able to do before Frankfurt) without the strain on the body. Strangely, this was quite hard from 45 minutes on. Maybe driving for over 10 hours the day before didn't help. Got quite sick afterwards. Slightly confused.

01 Oct 2010


Short swim in a rather cold 20m hotel pool.

30 Sep 2010

1:15 - 15km

10 minutes easy
12km - 57:00 (Z2-Z3)
Rest easy barefood on grass

Very good run in Elba. Fast test on a running track. Quite promising.

Dropped my Garmin on the tiled floor which caused the glass to break. Not so promising...

29 Sep 2010

Swim: 500m

Quick splash in 20m pool in lovely hotel on Elba.

28 Sep 2010

8.5km - 48:00

Early morning run with a couple of sprints towards the end to loosen legs.

Core: 30 minutes

26 Sep 2010

2:00 - 21.4km (Z1 - Z2)

Longest run since Roth. Undulating and very windy all the way.

25 Sep 2010

10km - 55:00
3km easy / undulating
5 * 400m hard, mostly uphill into head wind / 400m jog downhill
3km easy / undulating

23 Sep 2010

Core: 45 minutes

1:35 - 17.3km

Easy to moderate and undulating run. Starting to get the grasp of Ceosican hills...

21 Sep 2010

Core: 30 minutes

First session - very, very stiff...

1:15 - 13.9km

Moderate and undulating run. Very scenic.

20 Sep 2010

Swimming: 500m

Lovely swim in the Mediterranean in Corsica.

19 Sep 2010

60:00 - 11.1 km

First holiday run in Corsica. 3.5km uphill alongside a busy road as I trusted female instructions...

16 Sep 2010

12km - 1:04

Easay / moderate run in a small park in Essen. Hamstring not great.

14 Sep 2010

10.65km - 58:00

Easy run alongside the River Lagan and through Ormeagh Park. Good to be bakc in very windy Belfast for a couple of days.

Physio & Massage

Back in Belfast for a couple of days so I had a good physion session in the morning (hamstring and back as usual) at Belfast Physio and a massage in the evening to get rid of all the lactic acid floating around in my body.

12 Sep 2010

10.2km - 56:00

Another easy run. Legs feeling much better.

11 Sep 2010

km - 1:04 (40m / ??rpm / 28.1kmh / ???bpm) 

Easy bike ride with Cube. Legs still feel like jelly.

10 Sep 2010

45:00 - 1500m

Last outdoor swim in 50m pool for this season. Still tired from Sunday.

07 Sep 2010

6km - 35:00

Easy recovery run because swim training had to be cancelled.

05 Sep 2010

Cologne 226half 4:59:28 [Results] [Certificate]

Swim - 37:29
T1 - 2:43
Bike - 2:26:26
T2 - 3:38
Run - 1:49:13

M40: 65th out of 168
Male: 246th out of 650
Overall: 262nd out of 778

WOW. SUB-5!!! Amazing swim in the arena where usually international rowing regattas are held. 8 wide lanes spread across about 100m - it was almost like swimming in a pool and still, my time was the atrocious - I have no idea why my swimming has gone from bad to worse? The bike course was completely flat and there was hardly any wind. Speed was just silly, but was helped by a lot of drafting that went on from km 20 due to large number of competitors and simply not enough room on the roads. I reckon I gained at least 5 minutes because of it. Average speed was 36.8km and average cadence was 88!

I knew I had to run a half-marathon in 1:50 to crack the 5 hours after managing agonising 50+ steps in T2. Everything went fine up to km 15 when I started getting cramps in my right upper thigh. Very painful, but I managed to battle through it. I really had to go to my absolute limit and nearly collapsed at the finish, but recovered very quickly.

Well, I was aiming at a sub 5:10 and got a sub 5, but only because of the drafting on the bike leg. Still, a great day in Cologne which we finished off by enjoying the reclining chairs and the free food & drink on the 'athtlete's boat' in the River Rhine.

03 Sep 2010

Swim: 1200m

Last session in the 50m pool before Cologne. 6 * 200m easy. Minor AF.

Body Composition - Pre Cologne226 Half

Body Fat17.2% (LA 16.7 RA 14.6 RL 14.0 LL 15.3, B 19.0)
Total Body Water57.9%
Muscle Mass66.3kg (LA 3.8 RA 3.9 RL 11.1 LL 10.7, B 36.8, 5)
Physique Rating6
Basal Metabolic Rate2020 KJ
Metabolism Age27
Bone Mass3.4kg
Resting Heart Rate??

Weight good, but body fat and muscle mass poor - seems to be the ongoing connundrum... Let's see how it goes on Sunday.

02 Sep 2010

10km - 51:30 (Z1 - Z3)

Moderate / fast pace. Felt very good - heart rate a bit higher than expected.

01 Sep 2010

km - 1:17 (180m / 82rpm / 30.6kmh / 137bpm) 

Not a good start to September. Rode for half a mile and had a flat tyre. Walked back home to change front wheel. Fast, good ride all flat apart from the last hill when I had another AF. Slightly frustrating.

On a more positive note, I finally got my heart monitor back. Following DC Rainmaker's hack, I am now using the Garmin transmitter with the superior and more comfortable Polar Wearlink+ strap

31 Aug 2010

60:00 - 11.2km (Z1 - Z3)

15 mins easy, 5 mins fartlek, 15 mins easy, 5 mins fartlek, 15 mins easy, 1lm fast (4:24)

1750m - 45:00

Water getting quite cold now.

29 Aug 2010

1:30 - 16.3km (Z1 - Z2)

Easy run in quite cold and windy conditions.

28 AUg 2010

Brick Session: 2:33

61.2km - 2:02 (160m / 84rpm / 29.9kmh / ???bpm)

6.1km - 30:00 (Z2-Z3)

First brick session in almost 2 months. Relatively easy bike ride and fast run. A bit tired, but all good.

26 Aug 2010

12.3km - 1:03:30

Moderate to fast pace, mostly undulating. Fastest run in weeks - starting to get some pace back in my legs...

25 Aug 2010

km - 1:42 (530m / 80rpm / 27.2kmh / ???bpm) 

One half flat, other half hilly. Finally got the SRAM Red 26-11 cassette fitted, but something is not 100%.

24 Aug 2010

60:00 - 11.1 km

30 min easy
4 Yasso 800s - 3:31 / 3:34 / 3:32 / 3:27 --> 3:31
5 min easy

Legs very sluggish, so took it easy during Yassos.

Swim: 2200m

Choppy open-water swim with some technique at the end.

22 Aug 2010

14km - 1:17

Longest run since Roth. Legs a bit tired from cycling yesterday, but all ok. Ran from home to the V-Card Triathlon in Viernheim. As I had a number I decided I might as well do the swim and pick up my paid for goodies.

1500m - 30:08

Wetsuits were banned because the water temperature was 23+ degrees. Felt very good throughout, so a bit disappointed by the slow time. Swim included a running passage where we had to leave the water an enter again.

Watched the final race of the Rhein-Neckar-Cup in the stadium, which also included T2 - this is as German as it gets ;-)

21 Aug 2010

km - 3:13 (630m / 81rpm / 29.2kmh / ???bpm) 

First long(ish) ride since Roth. Very easy in a group of 4. AF after 45 mins.

18 Aug 2010

Core: 30 minutes

First session at home. Very frustrating to see how poor my flexibility and core strength is. A lot of work required over the next few months.

km - 1:23 (170m / ??rpm / 32.7kmh / ???bpm) 

Quite a fast ride in windy conditions. Bot sure how accurate the reading is as the Garmin freaked out again - time for a reset.

17 Aug 2010

Swim: 2000m

Choppy open-water swim. I feel that my swimming is getting worse; just don't seem to have any forward power.

16 Aug 2010

60:00 - 10.95 km

30 min Easy
3 Yasso 800s - 3:20/ 3:19/ 3:24 --> 3:21
10 min barefood on grass

First Yasso session in a long time. Hard work, but getting there. Knee ok again, but left hamstring problem is back. I think there is a pain in my body that just keeps moving around ;-)

70.3 Germany 2011

Still insured, so I thought I sign up for next year's 70.3 Germany in Wiesbaden which also includes the European Championship.

14 Aug 2010

km - 1:48 (150m / ??rpm / 29.8kmh / ???bpm) 

Very easy ride. Started to feel tendion in right knee after approx. 45 minutes and took the shorter route. Garmin went bananas after an hour...

13 Aug 2010

Core: 25 minutes

Yet another early morning session. Tendion behind knee hasn't really improved, so only going for a short test spin tomorrow to see how it feels on the bike.

12 Aug 2010

Core: 20 minutes

This seems even harder early in the morning and in Istanbul heat and humidity.

10 Aug 2010

Swim: 2000m

Easy open-water swim. Tendon behind knee is still not 100%, so decided to skip planned bike ride yesterday and run today. Off to Istanbul tomorrow morning, so 3 days of core training.

09 Aug 2010

60:00 - 11.45km (Z1 - Z3)

Moderate to fast run. Legs slowly coming back. Heart monitor freaking out - pulse apparently up to 251! Bit of a niggle behind my right knee; feels like ligaments, but not sure.

07 Aug 2010

km - 2:52 (230m / ??rpm / 31.7kmh / 126bpm) 

Looks like my cycling legs are back. Heart rate a bit high towards the end, but ok. Changed the position of the pads on the aero bar which feels much better.

06 Aug 2010

Swim: 2000m

Quite a tough and very good session with new swim coach. Glad I was too lazy to run in the morning...

05 Aug 2010

Core: 20 minutes

I decided that I need to start working more on my core strength and flexibility. Hoping to do this instead of going to (and paying for) the gym as this also works well when travelling. Some of the exercises I can't do at all, especially the balance ones.

Update: tummy muscles very sore the day after...

04 Aug 2010

km - 1:00 (200m / ??rpm / 30.0kmh / ???bpm) 

Quick ride before heading off to the airport. First few hills since Roth.

03 Aug 2010

60:00 - 10.85 (Z1 - Z2)

First solid run. 15 minutes easy, 20 minutes moderate, 10 minutes fartlek, 15 minutes easy.

Swim: 2000m

Good open-water swim

02 Aug 2010

Gym: 40 minutes (upper body)

Quick gym session after a well needed massage.

01 Aug 2010

10.2km - 58:00 (Z1)

Easy run from home to Heidelberg to watch the HeidelbergMan.

31 Jul 2010

km - 1:30 (50m / ??rpm / 32.7kmh / ???bpm) 

First ride since Roth. Back on the Plasma. All falt. Seems impossible to go slow this machine...

28 Jul 2010

8.6km - 49:00 (Z1)

Another easy run with a few hills.

27 Jul 2010

Swim: 1500m

Short open-water swim. Legs still tired.

26 Jul 2010

5.5km - 33:00

First very easy recovery run to Ladenburg to watch the Römerman race.

18 Jul 2010

CHALLENGE ROTH 11:35:13 [Results] [Certificate]
Swim - 1:18:14
T1 - 4:10
Bike - 5:40:51
T2 - 2:00
Run - 4:29:59

M40: 378th out of 608
Male: 1476th out of 2370
Overall: 1587th out of 2678

A fantastic journey has come to a successful end. I am an Ironman!

We drove to Roth on Friday. The entire city was already in triathlon fever. Banners everywhere, flags on every pole and shop windows covered with memorabilia from previous races. It seemed perfectly normal that people walk round in compression socks, cycling bibs or sports bras. Very impressive triathlon village with huge expo. Registered and picked up my race pack, had a nice meal and the hit the pillows relatively early.

1 day to go. The hotel is full of athletes who are all starting to get their gear ready to check-in. Bike-porn in action... We drove to the swim start where I checked in the bike and dropped of my run bag. By this time the temparature had risen to the low thirties, but the forecast still promised us some rain during the night and a bit of a well needed cool down. Finished off the day with some more packing and a good carbo session with a few others from the club.

4am. I managed to get almost 6 hours sleep which was great. The weather looked promising, but the wind had picked up. Breakfast. Everybody is very quiet and I manage to get down everything I had planned.

5.30. In T1. Beginner's mistake: the cover got blown off my bike in the storm during the night. The cushioning of my helmet and the aeerobars were completely soaked. No problem. The Frenchman next to me is about to hyperventilate. I borrow his pump and drop off my swim bag.

6.00. The first start wave. Very spectacular and emotional. I am still relatively calm and start going through my routine. 30 minutes to go. Aileen is wearing a specially made Challenge Roth Guardian Angle body. I am very humbled. Good luck wishes from my family ("See you tonight...") and off into the start area. One last visit to the loo, a short lie-down in the grass and then our wave is called.

7.20. That's it. We are in the water. I am getting away ok, but seem to be boxed in a lot. I stay calm and manage to find a good rythm soon. For some reason, I keep drifting towards the edge of the canal. Orientation should be dead-easy, but I just don't get it right. I feel good throughout the swim, but I seem to be zig-zagging all the way. 100m to go - a quick wave to my 'support crew' and then into T1. Over 1:18. Very slow, but I feel good and had no cramps. The T1 tent is packed. I find a bit of space on a bench and a helper assists me getting my wet suit off. A quick pee before I get off on the bike.

The crowds after a few miles are already unbelievable. I start eating early as planned. Heart rate is good; bike is good; legs are good. After about an hour on the bike, I am overtaken by the first professionals. Rasmus Henning, Norman Stadler, Seb Kienle, support cars, TV cameras - all very spectacular. KM 30 - the first big hill, but no problems with all the spectators. Then, the bit on the plateau and the wind is getting quite strong. Chrissie Wellington is overtaking me. What an athlete. KM 73 - I turn right and there it is. The Solarer Berg. Thousands of spectators creating this Tour de France feeling. Cycling up that hill is impossible to describe. I am in tears. Lap 2. Speed is very good, but I start getting mild stomach cramps. I take another bottle with iso drinks at the feed station, but it isn't closed properly, so half its content goes all over me. I add the rest of my water bottle to wash off the sticky stuff from my legs.One thing that was a problem was my Garmin: the cadence sensor didn't work and the heart rate was shown incorrectly after a few hours.

T2. 5:40 for the bike leg. Wow, that was faster than planned. My legs buckle under me when I get off the bike, but I don't feel too bad. Relatively quick transition and off we go. I have to run the marathon in 4:53 to get under 12 hours, but all I need first very urgently is a toilet as my stomach is starting to rebel. First km. 5:08. Way too fast. Big relieve after a loo stop shortly after - I'll spare the details - and I am starting to find a good rythm very early. KM splits are still too fast (around 5:30) and I manage to get the pacing right soon. The feed stations every 2 kms are welcome as it is now quite warm. I walk all of them to take on plenty of iso and water. KM 15. Legs are starting to get tired, but I am still running. KM 20. My dad passes me some vaseline which I need as well as some needed encouragement. Half-way point. I am well in time, but I am gettig fed up with the canal and the ground we have to run on. I run from feed station to feed station and walk through them. Getting started is the worst, but things improve after 50m or so. 10 hours on the go. I know that I'll crack the 12 hours, but I just want to be there now. KM 35. Last encouragement from my folks. KM 39. Back in Roth. Down to the city centre. Cobbles. Almost a mile going uphill. Adrenaline is kicking in. I can hear the finish. I am in the stadium. I can see my family. This is not real.

Felix Walchshöfer shakes my hand, somebody hands me my medal. I can see my family. Hugs and kisses and tears. Aileen in my arms. I will never forget this moment!

On to the finisher's area. All I want is a drink - Erdinger of course - and something salty to eat. There are about a hundred beer benches which are used for massages. Bizarre. I pick up my finishers t-shirt to meet up with my folks. I feel much better than expected and we spend another hour or so at the event to calm down a bit.

Picking up my kit in T2 becomes a bit more challenging as my legs are starting to stiffen up, but we manage to get to the hotel ok to have a shower and some food. 10pm. In bed. I can't sleep as the adrenaline is still pumping through my body. I still can't believe that I am an Ironman...

Would I do another long-distance? Definitely. Would I do it next year? No! I want to enjoy the sprints, olys and middle distances next year, built up a lot of (core) strength and then have another go in 2012.

Body Composition - Pre Challenge Roth

Body Fat16.4% (LA 16.5 RA 14.3 RL 13.4 LL 14.6, B 17.9)
Total Body Water58.6%
Muscle Mass67.7kg (LA 3.9 RA 4.0 RL 11.3 LL 10.9, B 37.6, 5)
Physique Rating6
Basal Metabolic Rate2060 KJ
Metabolism Age26
Bone Mass3.5kg
Resting Heart Rate54

Weight gone up by over 1kg over the last few days due to carbo-loading and lack of training. Will come down on Sunday ;-)

15 Jul 2010

30:00 - 5.1km

Easy early morning jog. Well, that's it! I have swam 130km, run 1030, cycled 4240 and been to the gym 25 times this year. All that is to do now is to get to that finish line on Sunday.

14 Jul 2010

32.5km - 1:11 (360m / 69rpm / 27.1kmh / ???bpm) 

Good short evening bike ride. Last 10 minutes in torrential rain and thunderstorm

13 Jul 2010

45:00 - 8km

Very easy run intercepted with a few brisk minutes. No HR, no GPS - nice...

Swim: 2500m

Good open-water swim.

Digestion etc is also all back to normal, so happy days.

12 Jul 2010

32.5km - 1:10 (360m / 75rpm / 27.0kmh / 123bpm) 

First half flat, second hilly. Nice new route. Feeling better, but still not 100%

Had a massage in the morning.

11 Jul 2010

1500m - 30:00

Open-water swim, followed by

60:00 - 11km (Z1)

I felt pretty good during both given the last few days, but am still a bit concerned about the severe diarrhea which hasn't improved even though I am now on tablets.

More aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhh

Well, that has been a tough 48 hours. Body temperate of 39 degrees, severe diarrhea, a full day in bed and weight loss of almost 3kg. This is far from ideal to say the least, but I have started eating again and hope to go for an easy jog tomorrow.


Down with flu and some sort of stomach bug since yesterday afternoon. Been on Lemsip all night to sweat out the bugger and have spent a lot of time on the toilet. Obviously no training today; hope to be back tomorrow. Not ideal, but better this week than next.

07 Jul 2010

27.2km - 1:05 (610m / 62rpm / 24.9kmh / 129bpm) 

Short ride, hilly all the way. No real problems.

06 July 2010

60:00 - 11km (Z1 - Z3)

6km easy, 3km fast (13:50), rest easy again.

Swim: 2500m

Good, non-stop open-water swim.

I spoke with the cardio at the heart clinic today (himself a 4 times Roth finisher) where I had 2 ops done in the past and he gave me the green light for next week, so rock'n'roll!

04 Jul 2010

100.5km - 3:24 (600m / 76rpm / 29.6kmh / 119bpm) 

Easy ride with few hills. All good. Well, sort of.

03 Jul 2010

2:00 - 21.45km (Z1 - Z2)

Easy / moderate mornign run to avoid heat. Supposed to be 36 degrees today. I am struggling with my breathing when it goes above 30 degrees. Not sure if it is the heat, the sun, the ozone or a mix of all three.

02 Jul 2010

Gym: 60 minutes (mixed)

Gym instead a run because of the severe heat outside, followed by a

Swim: 2000m

Felt weird swimming without a wet suit in water temp of 27 degrees.

01 Jul 2010

3500m - 1:09:50 (9:15 / 9:34 / 9:56 / 9:59 / 10:11 / 10:22 / 10:29)

Very slow early morning swim. I didn't zip up my wet suit properly, which caused loads of water getting in at every turn. Very tired.

50.0km - 5:45 (600m / 65rpm / 26.1kmh / 124bpm) 

First hour very easy and flat, then a 14% climb which caused me severe problems. Tiny AF (about 10 seconds) which is not good timing. Going to avoid the severe heat in the next few days to be on the save side. Also lost a CO2 cartridge...

30 Jun 2010

60:00 - 10.7km

Easy early morning run in London Hyde Park. A bit of a niggle on my right Achilles.

Plans for 2011

Well, now is the time to make the decision what big triathlon to do in 2011 as most registrations open in the coming weeks. Most fill up within hours; Frankfurt, I believe, is already full! I definitely want to do another long distance race and this time round it has to be one of the Ironman series. The 2 favourites are Ironman Europe in Frankfurt and Ironman Austria in Klagenfurt. However, I have decided to postpone until 2012 for a number of reasons:

  • Training for Challenge Roth was very exhausting, especially the last few weeks. You're supposed to up your training by no more than 10% per year - I more than doubled my distances on the bike and in the water in the last 6 months!
  • I started training with a hamstring problem. I am still training and racing with the same hamstring problem. This has to go wrong at some stage, so I need to sort this out first before another big venture.
  • There are tons of really good races near my new home and I have done a single one so far. I am going to spent time to race shorter distances which should also improve my speed.
  • I want to run a decent marathon, but cannot do this while training for an Ironman.

So, the plan is to run a marathon in spring time - hamstring permitting - and focus on a number of Olympic and middle-distance races. Top of the list are Challenge Kraichgau,Austria 70.3 and Elbaman.

Disclaimer: if I am going to pull out of Roth in 2 1/2 weeks time then my plans might change. But this is not going to happen... ;-)

29 Jun 2010

2500m - 46:10 (8:56 / 9:06 / 9:16 / 9:22 / 9:27)

Good early morning swim.


Good massage today. 80% legs, 20% shoulders and back.

27 Jun 2010

20km - 1:58

Very slow run in 30 degrees morning heat. Legs very tired after yesterday's ordeal.


26 Jun 2010

Brick Session: 6:15

170.0km - 5:45 (1370m / 74rpm / 29.4kmh / 145bpm)

5km - 26:30 (Z2-Z3)

Last test before the big day. 2 laps of the Roth cycling course in very hot weather and without any isotonic drinks as I forget them at home. Got severely dehydrated at some stage and bonked at 4 1/2 hours - beginner's mistake... We did a short run afterwards alongside Lake Roth where all the preparations were underway for yet another triathlon the day after.

This was very tough; let's hope it'll be a bit cooler on the day.

24 Jun 2010

Swim: 4000m

That's as far as I go. Good swim in pool. Forgot watch, so no time. Feel confident now that I can do the distance relatively comfortably.

62.0km - 2:15 (780m / 67rpm / 27.5.0kmh / 139bpm)

Hilly bike ride. Legs and body quite tired, so another rest day tomorrow.

23 Jun 2010

Brick Session: 1:30

30.0km - 1:00 (150m / 77rpm / 30.0kmh / ???bpm)

30:00 - 6.25km (Z2-Z3)

Speedy brick session after physio in the afternoon. We decided that it is better to pause treatment for now as we don't make much progress while I am still training like a lunatic.

22 Jun 2010

60:00 - 10.25km (Z1)

Very easy recovery run.

Swim: 2500m

Good open-water swim. Also realised that when I wear the FR60 under the wet suit, it won't fog up afterwards which is a result. Still having problems with chaving on my neck.


45 minute massage on rest day. Legs only; they deserved some TLC.Mostly legs and some back.

20 Jun 2010

km - 5:45 (1430m / 72rpm / 26.8kmh / 132bpm)

Home to Idar-Oberstein. Cold (as low as 9 degress), wet and windy (mostly head wind). I can't say I enjoyed this. Legs ok, but speed slower than expected.

19 Jun 2010

Brick Session: 3:40

20km - 41:00 (60m / 81rpm / 29.3kmh / 120bpm)

31.7km - 3:00 (Z1)

Short and easy bike ride (all flat) to test out the new setup (Zipps now on Cube). Run was very steady without any major problems except the usual left hamstring issue.

18 Jun 2010

km - 1:35 (590m / ??rpm / 27.6kmh / 151bpm)

First hilly ride on new bike in very windy conditions. Struggled at times to control bike and had problems to hold the aero position for longer periods. I decided that it is too risky to ride Roth on the Plasma and use the Zipp wheels on the Cube instead.

Swim: 2200m

I guess this is what would be declared as junk miles by a coach. Really tired after the bike ride. Loads of breaks, no speed, no fun...

17 Jun 2010

3800m - 1:12:50 (8:38 / 9:27 / 9:30 / 9:42 / 9:40 / 9:54 / 9:54 / 5:59)

First time that I have the the distance. No cramps which is good, but splits towards the end are getting very slow.

km - 1:04 (320m / ??rpm / 29.8kmh / ???bpm)

First ride on my new bike! Slightly surreal feeling, but very, very good. SCOTT Plasma Ltd with ZIPP wheels and SRAM Red components.

15 Jun 2010

1:15 - 13.7km (Z1 - Z2)

Good run. Mostly easy, partly undulating.

14 Jun 2010

60:00 - 10.7km (Z1 - Z2)

Half an hour easy, 15 minutes fartlek, rest easy again.

Swim: 3000m

Good open water session, but some major chaving on my neck - seems to be a common problem which I never had before. Vaseline needed. Also used new Blue Seventy Vison goggles for the first time. Not 100% sure yet.

Oh, and I have been back to the bike shop with all my savings gone... Will pick up my new toy on Thursday.


Another good massage on rest day. Legs only; they deserved some TLC.

13 Jun 2010

km - 6:49 (700m / 80rpm / 30.3kmh / 122bpm)

Wow. Longest solo bike ride ever! Rode to Heilbronn to watch the City Triathlon and after a 2 1/2 hour break back again. Got lost, hence extra 50 unplanned minutes...

The good news: no problems with my back and legs are twitching, but not as mad as usual. The bad: I buggered the bike again. Spoke broke after 30 minutes - back to the shop tomorrow.

12 Jun 2010

2:15 - 23.2km (Z1 - Z2)

Easy longish run in mild weather. No problem, just started to feel left hamstring towards the end.

11 Jun 2010

Gym: 60 minutes (mixed)

First gym session in a while. Even less enjoyable during the summer heat...

10 Jun 2010

Swim: 3000m (57:20)

Longest non-stop swim so far (in 50m pool) with no sign of cramps! I have stopped drinking milk for a few days now as I read that it can affect your mineral household. Drinking plenty of milk today and see what happens tomorrow. Don't you just love those experiments...

60:00 - 10.7km (Z1 - Z2)

Another easy run with a few hills. All good.

09 Jun 2010

.7km - 1:23 (140m / 72rpm / 26.4kmh / 1??bpm)

Very easy and slow recovery ride after a good physio session. Something is still not right with the bike.

08 Jun 2010

45:00 - 7.2km

Very easy recovery run in undulating terrain on lovely forrest ground. Legs ok, but left ham string still a bit itchy.

Swim: 2000m

Good open-water swim with no signs of cramp whatsoever!

06 Jun 2010

Challenge Kraichgau 5:51:13 [Results]
Swim - 34:32
T1 - 2:07
Bike - 3:09:42
T2 - 2:17
Run - 2:02:36

Total: 1040th out of 1542
Male: 923th out of 1307
M40 228th out of 327

The plan was to have a decent swim, a good bike ride and then take it. Easy during the run. Reality turned out to be slightly different...

I was in the last wave which wasn't ideal as it included all the relay swimmers. I managed to get a good line and came out of the water with no cramps which was a big relieve. The time was a bit slower than Antwerp, so either Antwerp was too short, Kraichgau too long (which I doubt) or my swimming has got worse.

I got on the bike ok, but somehow didn't feel right from the start. My heart rate was far too high and the speed was pathetic. I had to use much lower gears on the uphills than usual and made very little progress. I stopped and checked my bike after 32km and realized that the back breaks were jammed which explained everything. I opened the breaks and things improved a lot, however, I had expended a lot of energy and was struggling for the rest of the pretty tough course. Had to stop again when the chain jumped off at a silly gear change and also lost my salt tablets. The bike time turned out to be very poor, but so be it.

Got into T2 when the temperature in the shade was well over 30 degrees. Problem was that there was no shade to run in. The 3 lap course was undulating and, given the heat and the bike in my legs, not a good one to take easy. I tried to control my heart rate, but the Garmin freaked out every time I either pored water over me or ran under a sprinkler. At some stage it showed 209!?

Finished in a disappointing time, but body felt ok afterwards. Lesson learned: check bike, check bike, check bike. And find out why the Garmin cannot cope with water... And get a new salt stick...

All in all a fantastic event. Perfect preparation race. Let's hope things will be less chaotic in 6 weeks time.

04 June 2010

10km - 55:00 (Z1)

Very easy run to loosen legs for Sunday. Summer has finally arrived. Very warm and sunny.

Got my calves covered in Kinesio tape. Let's hope that'll help preventing cramps...

Body Composition - Pre Challenge Kraichgau

Body Fat17.0% (LA 16.6 RA 14.4 RL 14.3 LL 14.9, B 18.7)
Total Body Water58.1%
Muscle Mass66.7kg (LA 3.8 RA 3.9 RL 11.1 LL 10.8, B 37.1, 5)
Physique Rating6
Basal Metabolic Rate2032 KJ
Metabolism Age27
Bone Mass3.5kg
Resting Heart Rate??

Hm, body fat has gone up and muscle mass down a bit. This always seems to happen during the taper.

03 Jun 2010

1900m (35:00)

Early morning swim in 50m pool with NO cramps! Bit of a twitching towards the end - hopeful for Sunday. Mini taper time.

02 Jun 2010

42.7km - 1:44 (740m / 63rpm / 24.5kmh / 1??bpm)

Deliberate slow bike ride. Took it very easy on the hills. Both calves are now twitching which is a bit frustrating.

01 Jun 2010

60:00 - 11 km

30 min Easy
4 Yasso 800s - 3:20/ 3:22/ 3:20 / 3:19 --> 3:21
Rest Easy

Good Yasso session. Legs felt a bit heavy, but times ok. Left calf still not 100%.

Swimming: 1500m

Relatively short open-water session as the water was baltic. Mild cramp in left calf again, but nowhere near as bad as last time. I am sure the freezing water doesn't help.

30 May 2010

Brick Session: 2:55

27.3km - 1:00 (75m / 87rpm / 27.3kmh / 113bpm)

21km - 1:55 (Z1)

Wet bike ride at relatively high cadence followed by a very controlled run.

Oh, and courtesy of Veet, my legs are now as smooth as a baby's bum. Things you do in the name of sports...

Number 2446

Just received my start number for Challenge Roth. 2446. I like that number.

Will be starting in wave 13. 49 days to go.

29 May 2010

145km - 5:08 (1320m / 71rpm / 28.2kmh / 135bpm)

Longest solo ride so far without any major problems. Home - Challenge Kraichgau route - home.

Also sorted out rear cage. New Bontrager Race Lite Rear cage fitted which holds tools, pump and 2 CO2 cartrigdes.

28 May 2010

Gym: 60 minutes (mixed)

First gym session in a long time. Right calf very tight from yesterday's cramp.

Swim: 2200m
1500m / 300m / 300m / 100m

Started to cramp up again, so stopped session early. Spoke with a club mate who has exactly the same problem and also has spasms in his calves after long bike rides. Massages helped him. Booked one for Monday.

27 May 2010

Brick Session: 2:04

Swim: 1900m - 35:00

44.6km - 1:29 (360m / 75rpm / 30.0kmh / ???bpm)

Swim was the course of the Kraichgau Challenge. Got a severe cramp 100m before the finish. Quite scary, I must admit. Need to strech before swims in cold water, take more magnesium and take on more liquid.

Rode first 25% of Challenge Kraichgau bike course and turned back.

26 May 2010

12.7km - 1:12 (Z1)

Easy, undulating run in torrential rain.

25 May 2010

Swim: 2500m

First open-water swim of the season. Very good to swim in a group. Mild cramp in left calf towards the end.

24 May 2010

RTF Ried-Odenwald Rundfahrt
156km - 5:11 (1980m / 69rpm / 29.7kmh / 134bpm)

Fantastic event in perfect conditions. 28 degrees, sunny and little wind. Cycled the first 40 km in a large group of about 100 riders (including Norman Stadler) before the hills started.Got nutrition right for the first time and could have gone on or run in the end.

Garmin stopped recording at some stage...

23 May 2010

26.7km - 2:33

Long run in very warm conditions. Legs a bit tired in the beginning, but generally ok. Left hamstring started to hurt on the last few miles.

22 May 2010

Brick Session: 4:06

94.2km - 3:04 (370m / 77rpm / 30.7kmh / 130bpm)

11.8km - 1:02 (Z2 - Z3)

Felt quite strong on the bike, but struggled on the run to get hearte rate under control (avg 162bpm!). The heat and lack of liquids didn't help. Was mid 30s in teh sun by the time I finished.

21 May 2010

Swim: 3200m
500m warmup
1000m (10 * 25m left arms / 25m right arm / 25m normal)

400m (4 * 100m @ 2:00)
400m normal

400m (4 * 100m @ 2:00)
400m normal

100m cool down

First club session in the 50m outdoor pool in wet suit.

20 May 2010

First day rest due to tiredness and poor time management. Went to see physio in the afternoon and things look a bit better. We'll decide what to do next after the heavy Pentecost weekend.

Watched Germany going through to the semis in the ice hockey world cup in Mannheim for the first time in 57 years. Great game and fantastic athmosphere.

19 May 2010

60:00 - 10.4km

(Very) early morning run alongside Chorley canal. Very slow.

18 May 2010

Swim: 2000m

Easy swim in Chorley 25m leisure centre. Stopped, because started to get cramps.

12km - 1:04

5k easy (Z1), 5k fartlek (Z2), 2k easy (Z1) alongside Chorley canal.

16 May 2010

2:00 - 21km (Z1)

Easy and long run. Legs a bit heavy at the beginning, but generally ok.

15 May 2010

102km - 3:36 (1050m / 76rpm / 28.3kmh/ 129bpm)

This included a lap of Challenge Roth. One nasty hill, a couple of bumps and the rest undulating. This is doable! I don't think the total ascent is correct, though.

13 May 2010

Amberg Olympic Triathlon 2:26:57 [Results] [Certificate]

Swim - 24:30
T1 - 3:19
Bike - 1:16:20
T2 - 1:54
Run - 40:52

Total: 93th out of 191
M40: 6th out of 19

The swim was in a 50m pool with 8 athletes in each lane. Things were a bit hectic during the first 200m as we all swam same speed. I decided to drop to the back to avoid the clashes at every turn. We all came out of the water within a few seconds which was followed by a very long run (over 300m ) into T1. My heart rate was at 178 at this stage which is plain stupid.

By this time the heavens had opened and at 13 degrees the cycle wasn't to be pleasent. The bike part comprised of 2 laps with a total of 340m altitude. It took me a bit of time to get my pulse down again and never really felt comfortable due to the cold and wet. By the time I got into T2, my feet were like ice blocks.

The run was very good and very fast. It was 550m short according to the organisiers. All in all a good event, but the poor weather resulted in very few spectators and virtually zero atmosphere. Perfect preparation race with a promising time.

11 May 2010

60:00 - 11.1 km

30 min Easy
4 Yasso 800s - 3:18/ 3:22/ 3:24 / 3:22 -> 3:22
Rest Easy

Bit of a struggle, but ok otherwise. Been back to physio and the problem appears to be around the lumbat vertebrae. Need to do more core work! Nothing to worry about for Thursday's race, though.

Swimming: 2000m

Easy wet suit swim in 50m outdoor pool.

09 May 2010

99km - 3:33 (930m / 64rpm / 27.8kmh/ 131bpm)

Organised test ride of Challenge Kraichgau route. So much easier to ride in a group. Back ok, but not 100%. Oh, and I (accidentally) overtook Hawaii winner Thomas Hellriegel on the bike (for about 2 seconds).

Also tried out Volcano Energy bars by Pharmica for the first time. Really like the taste and texture of them. They are not as sweet as other products and seem to be an ideal complement to my existing nutrition.

08 May 2010

Brick Session: 2:00

32km - 1:00 (40m / 85rpm / 32.0kmh/ 140bpm)

11.45km - 60:00 (Z2 - Z3)

First training after back problems. Bike all flat and no problems, despite speed. First half of run fast (6.2km), rest easy. Bit of a niggle halfway through the run, but ok now.

Body Composition - May

Body Fat16.6% (LA 16.0 RA 14.2 RL 14.3 LL 15.1, B 18.1)
Total Body Water58.4%
Muscle Mass67.2kg (LA 3.9 RA 4.0 RL 11.1 LL 10.8, B 37.4, 5)
Physique Rating6
Basal Metabolic Rate2045 KJ
Metabolism Age26
Bone Mass3.5kg
Resting Heart Rate56

End of build phase and values haven't really changed in the last month. Not sure if this is good or bad. Feeling good, though!

07 May 2010

1500m - 24:45

Another outdoor swim. Slightly bizarre conditions: air temperature 8 celcius, water 21!

Back is much bestter than yesterday. Decided to give it another rest and resume running and cycling tomorrow.

06 May 2010

Swim: 2400m
100m normal

400m (4 * 50m pull buoye)
50m easy
300m (6 * 50m legs only)
200m (4 * 25m 8 strokes, 4 * 25m 6 strokes)

Back a bit better, but still not good. Decided to stick to swimming only. Also purchased a second hand Swopper which hopefully helps my back as well.

05 May 2010

1500m - 24:50

First wet suit swim in (heated) 50m outdoor pool. 80% effort and already faster than last year's best time - looks like the winter training was worth the effort.

Also been to physio. Problem is only partly muscular. Have to apply heat, do some gentle stretches and monitor how pain develops over the next few days. Able / allowed to exercise, but have to be careful. Also should avoid any abrupt movements.

04 May 2010


11.2km - 1:04 (Z1 - Z2)

20 minutes very easy, then 10 minutes fartlek, reast easy. A bit concerned about the sharp pain in my lower (right) back.

First test with new Garmin FR60 which I am planning to use for races. 

Swim: 2300m
600m (2 * 300m normal)

1500m (10 *  25m left arm / 25m right arm / 25m 3 strokes / 75m normal)
100m (2 * 25m arms breast stroke, legs normal)
100m normal

The  severity of my lower back problem has increased quite drastically. Before the swim I couldn't even lift my leg without sharp pain. Swim helped a bit, but not great. Don't think it is macular; it feels more like a trapped nerve.

02 May 2010

143.3km - 5:10 (1050m / 68rpm / 27.7 kmh / 125bpm)

Longest ride so far which included the Challenge Kraichgau route. Cycled in a group of 4. A bit slow for my liking, but maybe this is what I should do every so often. Could have gone on which is good. Some lower back pain afterwards.

01 May 2010

25.4km - 2:25

Longest run so far. Very slow and completely flat. Tried to run a bit more upright in order to minimise hamstring problems (part of physio treatment). Did work quite well, but normal pain started after 1 1/2 hours.

30 Apr 2010

Gym: 70 minutes (mainly upper body)

Good gym workout with new programme followed by another tough physio session.

29 Apr 2010

60.0km - 2:09 (760m / 71rpm / 27.9kmh / 135bpm)

Very good ride in georgous conditions. First time I was able to cycle in new Gore summer top.

Swim: 2500m
100m warmup (medley)

200m (2 * 100m @ 2:00)
800m (2 * 400m)
100m (2 * 50m @ 1:00)
50m easy
200m (2 * 100m @ 2:00)
400m (2 * 200m)
100m (2 * 50m @ 1:00)
50m easy
400m (8 * 50m pull boye)
100m normal

28 Apr 2010

14.4km - 1:17

8km undulating but easy, 5km fast (22:49) last 2km downhill, rest easy.

27 Apr 2010

43.8km - 1:36 (630m / 74rpm / 27.2kmh / 1??bpm)

Felt much stronger on the hills.

Swim: 2350m
300m (3 * 75m high elbow, 25m medley)

300m (3 * 75m catch-up, 25m medley)
600m (6 * 25m left arm / 25m right arm / 50m normal)

600m (12 * 50m @ 1:00)
400m (8 * 50m legs only)
100m (2 * 25m 8 strokes / 2 * 25m 6 strokes)
50m easy

25 Apr 2010

20km - 1:53 (Z1)

Very easy Sunday morning run in 25 degrees. Summer! Watched Heidelberg Half Marathon afterwards. Must race for next year!

Bit of a sore throat since last night, but nothing serious.

24 Apr 2010

Brick Session: 4:50

114km - 3:58 (515m / 78rpm / 28.9kmh/ 134bpm)

10.5km - 53:00 (Z2 - Z3)

Longest brick session so far. 85km flat (30km/h) then tough hill and last 10km flat again. Run very good (and fast), but heart rate still too high. Tried out some new gear:
  • De Soto Forza Tri Short 4-Pockets in red  (finally, my favourite short with pockets)
  • SKS sub 40 bike pump (39g! My old one just stopped working for no reason)
  • Schwalbe Ultremo R.1 (replacement for old tyres)

23 Apr 2010

Gym: 60 minutes (upper body)

Gym after anotherphysio session. Got a revised plan to increase weights and decrease number of repetitions plus extra exercised to tackle the lower back problems.

22 Apr 2010

Bike: 42.8km - 1:39 (720m / 70rpm / 25.8kmh/ 1??bpm)

Hilly ride. Felt very sluggish for the first half, a bit better after that. Speed very slow.

Swim: 2550m
100m warmup (medley)
2 * 800m

50m easy
200m (8 * 25m @ 0:30)

200m (2 * 100m @ 2:00)
200m (8 * 25m @ 0:30)
50m easy
50m (2 * 25m arms only)

100m normal

21 Apr 2010

60:00 - 11.1 km

20 min Easy
4 Yasso 800s - 3:24/ 3:21/ 3:23 / 3:20 -> 3:22
Rest Easy

First track session. Still feeling quite tired.

Also had my 2nd physio session and it looks like we have a diagnosis. The pain in my hamstring and down my left leg is cause by a nerve at my lower back. However, the real issue is that there are some muscles at the lower back which don't seem to work. So, the objective is to get them to get their act together over the next few weeks. I'll assist this by more silly looking hip rotating exercises and core strength.

20 Apr 2010

45km - 1:42 (200m / 74rpm / 26.3kmh/ 122bpm)

Easy recovery ride in quite windy conditions.

Swim: 2550m
300m (3 * 75m high elbow / 25m medley)

300m (3 * 75m catch up / 25m medley)
1000m (5 * 50m normal / 25m left arm / 25m right arm / 50m 3 strokes / 50m normal)
50m easy
800m (6 * 100m arms only @ <2:00)
50m (2 * 25m arms normal, legs butterfly)
50m easy

19 Apr 2010

Gym: 30 minutes (upper body)

Very quick gym session after first physio treatment. More needed as expected.

18 Apr 2010

125.9km - 4:22 (1258m / 77rpm / 28.8kmh/ 143bpm) - Garmin

Toughest ride so far. Blew up at the first (really, really) steep hill and never really got my heart rate under control after that. Treated myself to a well earned spaghetti ice cream 2 miles from the finish ;-)

15 Apr 2010

Swimming: 2500m

(Vey) early morning swim in old pool in Telford before travelling for 30 hours because of the volcano mayhem.

14 Apr 2010

60:00 - 11km

3km very easy, 5km fast (23:36), rest easy. Early morning run in Regent's Park again.

13 Apr 2010

11.9km - 1:07

Very recovery easy run in London's Regent Park.

11 Apr 2010

123.4km - 4:36 (1175m / 70rpm / 26.8kmh/ 132bpm)

Longest ride so far. First 38km with tailwind then Challenge Kraichgau loop (with a few mistakes again). old, wet and windy again. Felt pretty good all the way and managed to take plenty of drink and "food" on board.

10 Apr 2010

20.7km - 1:54 (Z1 - Z2)

Another point-to-point run, this time from Oftersheim to Schriesheim. Longest run so far, very even pace. Hamstring caused problems from 1:30 - physio appointment made.

08 Apr 2010

42km - 1:32 (400m / 69rpm / 27.4kmh/ ???bpm)

First ride in shorts! Very windy and still fatigued, so cut ride short a bit to avoid hills at the end. Replaced back wheel with wheel from old bike until Easton is fixed.

Swim: 2600m
200m warmup

100m medley
200 catch-up
1200m (4 * 300m 5:45 / 5:40 / 5:35 / 5:30)

50m easy
600m (6 * 100m @ 2:00)
200m ( 4 * 12.5m dive! / 25m normal / 12.5m 8 strokes)
50m easy

07 Apr 2010

60:00 - 11.2km (Z1 - Z2)

Bike still not fixed, legs very heavy, 23 degrees and gorgeous sunshine, so I went for an easy run instead of Yassos.

Blog post #1000!

06 Apr 2010

Swim: 2000m

300m warmup
200m high elbow

200m 8 * 25m arms normal, legs butterfly
300m legs only (3 * 25m left arm / 25m right arm / 50m both arms)
50m easy  
200m Catch-up
600m (12 * 50m 6 strokes @ 1:30)
50m easy
100m normal

Bit of a strange session. About time to go outside...

05 Apr 2010

Brick Session: 3:10

77.3km - 2:40 (150m / 77rpm / 28.9kmh/ 125bpm)

30:00 - 6.12km (Z1 - Z2)

Best brick session so far. Relatively easy ride, followed by a good run in the right heart rate zones. Getting there...

Spoke broke again and bent the back wheel. I hope it was the replacement spoke which wasn't an original Cube one and not an ongoing issue with the wheel.

04 Apr 2010

16km - 1:26 (Z1 - Z2)

Easy run from Schriesheim to Plankstadt mainly into a head wind.

03 Apr 2010

Gym: 60 minutes (mainly upper body)

Quick unplanned session.

02 Apr 2010

Bike: 92km - 3:15 (880m / 69rpm / 27.9kmh/ 135bpm)

First attempt at the Challenge Kraichgau bike course. Pretty tough, but doable. We got lost a couple of times and rode a major part back to front, but got the general idea.

Body Composition - April

Body Fat
16.5% (LA 16.5 RA 14.6 RL 13.6 LL 14.6, B 18.1)
Total Body Water
Muscle Mass
67.3kg (LA 3.9 RA 3.9 RL 11.3 LL 10.9, B 37.3, 5)
Physique Rating
Basal Metabolic Rate
2050 KJ
Metabolism Age
Bone Mass
Resting Heart Rate

Half-way through the build phase and the weight has certainly come down, but it appears that muscle mass has also gone down.

01 Apr 2010

Gym: 60 minutes (upper body)

Swim: 2700m
100m warmup
600m (3 * 200m @ 4:30)

50m easy
600m (6 * 100m @ 1:00)
50m easy
600m (3 * 200m @ 4:30)
50m easy
600m (6 * 100m @ 1:00)
50m easy

Back to back sessions. Felt tired in the gym but good in the pool.

31 Mar 2010

10.8km - 1:03 (Z1)

Very easy recovery run in undulating terrain.

30 Mar 2010

Bike: 45km - 1:38 (600m / 81rpm / 27.7kmh/ 133bpm)

35km hilly, rest flat. Best hilly ride so far. Starting to eat those hills... Wind was good, though.

Swim: 2400m

300m warmup
200m high elbow

600m (6 * 25m left arm / 25m right arm / 50m 3 long strokes)
50m easy  
600m (12 * 50m @ 1:00)
50m easy
600m (4* 100m arms only / 50m legs only, arms breaststroke)

Born to Run

I just finished reading "Born to run - The Rise of Ultra-running and the Super-athlete Tribe". What a fantastic account on long-distance running. Forget Runner's World...

28 Mar 2010

Freiburg Half-marathon - 1:38:43 [Certificate] [Results]

1: 4:55
km 2: 4:43
km 3: 4:45
km 4: 4:51
km 5: 4:46 - 24:00
km 6: 4:46
km 7: 4:44
km 8: 4:43
km 9: 4:42
km 10: 4:44 - 23:39
km 11: 4:42
km 12: 4:40
km 13: 4:40
km 14: 4:40
km 15: 4:29 - 23:11
km 16: 4:31
km 17: 4:28
km 18: 4:25
km 19: 4:30
km 20: 4:33 - 22:27
km 21.1: 5:17

M40: 211 (826)
Men: 982 (4339)
Total: 1043 (5910)

This was a perfectly timed race on quite a tricky course (mildly undulating, about 2km on cobbles) in poor conditions (cold, wet and very windy). Very pleased with new PB, especially a day after more than 3 hours on the bike. Looks like the winter training is starting to pay off. Misedd mz 'old PB' by 5 seconds...