Monday, November 16, 2009

Tri Sport Taupo Youth Camp.

Last weekend saw the first running of the TST Youth Camp at the AC Baths in Taupo. The weekend was a huge success with full capacity at 20 athletes from 11 to 17 years. Each day consisted of a swim, bike, and run session. We did a 400m swim TT, 5KM TT at the valedrome and a 6min all out VO2 MAX run test at Spa Park.

We have such talented adults in our area, it’s great to tap into that and have them share the wealth of knowledge and experience. I look forward to some great summer racing from these kids as we build toward the NZSS Tri Champs at Karapiro in March.

Thanks to those that helped me organise and run the camp, bring on the next one!


Taupo Sports Awards

Well I am stoked at winning the Taupo District Coach of the Year award on Friday night. It was a great night out with 200-300 people attending. Thanks to everyone who have supported me and to Tri Sport Taupo for nominating me.

I believe now I head to the Waikato Sports awards.

L2L Camp 09

Each year Neil Parkinson and I get together to hammer each other, see a new part of the country, and genrally wind each other up as much as we can with endless banter. Last year we went down south to tackle the Waimak and Goat pass but this year Taupo was the venue with a brief excursion to Lake Wakaremoana. The latter was definitly the highlight! we had decided to go over and do the 4 day tramp in a day, a 45km run which is to be leg 3&4 of the Lake to Lighthouse race.

We got a shuttle from Onepoto (the end of the run) to Hopuruahine with a local by the name of 'Jeff' and boy could he spin a good yarn. Tales of uncivilised tribes with half naked woman that he frequented and hunting pigs with spears he kept us entertained for the 40min trip. Jeff informed us that people up here made their living from possums and 'Gardening' and we parted with no doubt he had done a bit of gardening himself. Not to mention his yarn about a man/machine named Richard Ussher who was hooked up to compters and what not.

Anyway, the run/walk is amazing. it is fairly flat for 33 odd km before a beast of a climb up the Pinekeri bluffs which takes about an hour before a steep drop down to Onepoto. This tramp/run is a must do and I'm surprised at how many people have no idea where it is! With its well groomed tracks, swing bridges, steep ascents and decents, impressive hutts, and unbelievable views it is something to add to the 'bucket list'

It took us 6&1/4 hours to run it, all 45km, and with tired legs, empty tummies, and great stories to tell we made our way to Home bay for a massive chip sammie feed and enough coke to hydrate the Sahara.

Between this, 2 trip around the lake, some solid paddling on the Waikato and lake it was 2 broken arse fellas heading home for the weekend. Good times.
Bring on the L2L - 20th/21st November.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Motu Challenge

Well this years Motu was the toughest yet!! it was blowing a gale all day and with some fresh snow on the hills it made for an epic day and a day I just loved. I had been hanging out for this race and the weather wasn't going to put me off. The race went well for me with a solid 3rd for the 3rd year in a row! but I was almost 20mins faster than my 3rd 2 years ago. I felt really comfotable in a strong group over the Old Motu coach road, my Scale 15 was awesome and the perfect bike for this ride, thanks to Huka Honda for supplying it and to Scott bikes. I was sticking to my 160bpm heart rate and feeling well in control. Once at Motu things started to get pretty cold on the bike so I was happy to get the running shoes on and head for the bush. After 17km of running I was back on the bike and staring at a 50knot wind, the legs were starting to tire!

I was lucky to find a team rider for 10km or so, take some food on, and compose myself. The wind virtually pushed me up the dreaded traffords hill and before I knew it I was on the home stretch heading for transition and a much appreciated rest for my legs.
Coming through the Waioeka gorge on the bike the wind had been strong but It was about to get whole lot worse! the river was pumping and I was feeling good until about an hour into it things turned to custard... On a flat stretch of river I caught a massive gust to the side and it blew me right over, before I knew it I was in the water and not on it! and it was freezing! Unfortunately the river was big and brown making it hard to get to the side and to see the rocks aswell. somehow I managed to get to the side but not before my boat wedged against some rocks - suffice to say it now has a big crack in it but I was lucky it was in one piece, my bruised knees are a different story. After losing about 5-6 minutes I got going again only to be passed by 2 individuals, thinking I was in 5th I was pretty dejected, things had been going so well.
Coming into transition I was told Dwarne had fallen out too and was out of the race putting me in fourth... Well I went all out and managed to pass 1 guy and almost the other to finish 3rd.
After all that I am pretty happy with this. One day I'm sure I can improve on this, maybe next year eh.
Thanks to my wicked crew Ian, Mike, John, and Nic.
see you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I had been struggling in the lead up to XTERRA with some fatigue and a lack of training time. After doing Goldrush and the AY UP 24hour mtb race I was feeling pretty flat so I had an easy week and tried to race hard at the Highlander but it wasn't to be. I struggled with a sore back and had to walk for a while, that was a low point for me this year. Still I stayed positive and tried to complete all the sessions Gordon had given me, staying as fresh as I could for the race. I was doing some reps up at the track - 6*1km at around 3.30min/km. These were REALLY hard which I knew was not a good sign as before Ironman I was chopping out 8 of them without too much trouble. In the pool I was slower too. He had me doing 10*100 at 1.30 on 1.40 (10 sec rest) which I found tough, where before Ironman I was doing 30 of them. I was also trying some faster stuff at 1.20/100m on 2.30 but I just couldn't swim that fast. Luckily I had only the mtb work to do so it was hard to tell where I was at, which was probably a good thing. I know my power would have been down so it was good not to have that to remind me how tired I was.

Still come race day I was confident that the nerves and my Ironman base would pay off, which it did, although I really struggled with the pace of the race. Halfway through the swim I knew things were going well when I found myself with Tim, Richard, Scott and some age groupers. A 14.22 swim saw me 2mins faster than last year, which was great, so I was happy to be steady on the bike and not blow. It was tough early as about 6-7 guys went past me on the climb up to Billy T but I hung tough and stayed positive. Near the top I was able to give it everything and hall some in and by the bottom they were all behind me. It just goes to show you have to stick to your plan and not let others effect your mental state. I could have easily gone with them and blown, but I resisted - I think I'm learning this game. I kept pushing the bike from there, picking people up regularly and building momentum which build my confidence. Half way through the bike I was 5mins down on the leaders. Coming into transition this had pushed out to 8mins but I was happy with another PB by 5mins. Out onto the run and I started to fade, things were catching up with me, but I just dug deep and pushed through the pain trying not to puke.

In the end I ran the same time as last year, which was fine given the other 2 were faster. I finished 7th and more importantly for me 8 minutes faster than last year. I hope to come back next year much fresher and with some more speed under my belt, hopefully another 8minutes quicker which would almost give me the win.

So now to the C2C in 2010... I'll be putting the feet up for a few weeks first I think.

Here is a quote from Gordon Walker about my 'top 5' C2C aspirations and also a great summary of what I feel I achieved at XTERRA this year.

"Top 5 can be quite a vague goal"...Anyone can show up on the day.

"Better to focus on improving personal standards and bests and then see what happens."



Well it has been a long time since I updated this Blog - slack from me but I've been suffering from extreme procrastination and some form of writers block...the form that non writers get...or maybe thats just procrastination...probably. This post is an ode (although not exactly a poem) to Jeremy or 'Big J' for he has now retired, or so I say anyway, as Jane had their first child on Friday night... Hannah beth weighing in at 2.9kg.
It is a long way to go to Alexandra from Taupo, 3000km actually, including going round in circles for the race, but it is worth it. We had originally entered as a team but since it was $500 per person I figured I would rather do the whole thing and get my moneys worth, Jeremy agreed and so team Deloitte was formed as a tandem. Unfortunately we couldn't get a tandem bike, which would have been a laugh, so we paddled the Hyper together and everything else was on our own.
The race is a bit of a beast with so much mountain biking, particularly on the second day, we decided to take a 'steady' approach to the first day and build from there. Ofcourse this raraely ever works out and as the gun went we found ourselves sprinting for our kayaks. Tip #1 - dont try to both get into the kayak at the same time with half of it wedged on the bank and the other half in the water... So Jeremy was in the drink throwing his toys at my over zealous 'encouragement' and our opposition (well the whole field actually) were paddling off in the distance...not a good start. Once we had composed ourselves we set about repairing or long lost dignity... and that we did. We got into a really good rhythm ploughing through what seemed like the whole field. It is alot of fun paddling the Hypernova and if you get the chance - take it, they are virtually indestructible and can take on some massive waves. We found ourselves out in front at the end of this section so we ploughed through the mtb with great vigour, probably too much as half way through the final run we slowed alot allowing a tandem team to pass us (damn grasshoppers... they could run well!!). So we finished day 1 at the Mannerbourne dam 5 minutes down in second and very satisfied with our efforts.
Day 2 was tough, especially after a rough nights camping on the side of a hill being terrorised by gale force winds and sub zero temperatures. First up was a massive 50km mtb which included a 400m ascent of 'serpentine' where we would have to carry our bikes for 30mins. As you reach the bottom you look up and see a stream of riders/climbers heading up into the clouds like something out of jack and the beenstalk, it was nasty, but I loved it, for some reason I like carrying my bike up steep hills, I guess it brings out the sadistic personal trainer in me. After a fast descent and an even faster 24km road bike we were running the famous rail trail. Unfortunately we didn't have boobs to flash so we lost more time to the lead team (woman get 'bonus' points for flashing) so we just took our time and enjoyed the scenery. We did consider hiding in the bush and enjoying the 'scenery' more but thought that might be a little perverse. The final 50km mtb killed us! this was brutal, people had warned us but I didn't expect it to be so bad. with over 1000m of climbing we were struggling big time but the decent from the top made it all worth while... a good 15minutes of fast 4wd roads all the way into Tarras for the night.
Day 3 was probably the best, 2*50km road cycling sections split by a 30km paddle of the clutha river. As we hit the river the sun was coming up and the fog was coming off the water it - was an impressive sight. By this stage we had an agreement with the other team that we would stick with them so we chatted away and enjoyed the scenery keeping to a steady pace. Cycling and running beside the Clutha back into Alexandra it really is a magic part of the country and well worth the adventure.
Thanks to Ian, Dave, and Megan for their fantastic support crewing and all the 'banter' that came with it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lucky Legs...

I've just finished reading Steve Gurneys book, and it's well worth the $40 for a copy. It's definately thought provoking and somewhat entertaining. After Ironman last weekend and reading the book this week it has got me thinking about motivation, what makes an athlete tick? This has always intrigued me and I find myself digging deeper all the time with my clients, searching for that button that makes a person strive to succeed. People have been saying "so what's next for you"? "What are you going to aim for now"? "are you going back next year"? It didn't take me long to realise I have fallen into what I have labeled the 'gurney trap'...

As athletes and humans I think we become so future orientated it clouds our sight and we forget to 'live in the now'. We are constantly looking for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, that illusive breakthough victory, that sub 5 hour Taupo, that sub 3hour karapoti, or that C2C top 10, but really these are such external motivators that are really just there to fuel our ego. I'm not saying these goals aren't great, and worth persuing, but I think we can become so serious about them it almost takes over our lives and it doesn't need to be that way. I think this drives alot of our pre race nerves, the constant need to prove to not only ourselves but to others what we can do. It also instills a state of fear in the athlete, a fear of failure, especially when there are friends, family and sponsors to keep happy.

Gurney describes this as 'happily ever-after' concept. He describes the age old childhood story of The Three Billy-Goats Gruff. " you know, the one where the three goats longingly eyed the lush green grass over the bridge. Thwarting the goats' plans to get to those greener pastures was the big, bad troll, who lurked menacingly under the bridge. One day a grass shortage crisis forced the three goats to hatch a plan whereby they tempted the hungry troll with a bigger and bigger meal of sweet, tender goat until he was faced with the oldest and biggest goat, who in the ensuing fight bunted the big bad troll off the bridge." "The three billy goats lived happily ever after in contented plentitude." I think alot of us think this way, that ultimate result, that win, will change the way we are, but it won't. This 'mindset' is very dangerous, and ultimately leads to dissapointment.

Now, I'm no expert on how to deal with this but I do have some ideas, which I will dive into in future posts. I think it's important to recognise it first and then put together a thought process to make a change.

A few people said to me "why have you entered Pro (for Ironman)" and " but you could win your age group" but I am glad I entered pro and gave it my best shot. I think we have to put ourselves in a position to challenge the best there is, with no real accolades, and focus on putting in a great performance rather than a result. For me it is all about the process and striving for improvement, whether that be first or last place, it really doesn't matter. So in some ways i'm not like Gurney, but I think I have become too future orientated, looking for that next event to fuel my fire. I think 'getting back on the hoarse' and enjoying my training again is the key.

At the end of the day you have to find what motivates you, but I think the majority of it needs to come internally, free of ego. So if it's having fun, meeting cool people, seeing some great countryside, pushing out of your comfort zone, and achieving the best you can be then get out there and get amongst it. And if it's not...