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Showing content with the highest reputation since 16/07/18 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    Race Report.docx Race Report Aquabike World Championship 2018 Background After 33 years of triathlon racing around the world, my left knee finally told me to stop running or else! The last decade of racing had involved mainly ironman and half ironman races culminating with the world championship 70.3 race held locally here in Australia. Fortunately for me the global body for triathlon decided at that time to introduce Aquabike to the annual world championship titles. Whilst relatively unknown in Australia, this category of racing, which includes the first two disciplines of triathlon, has been expanding greatly in the US over the past decade and is the fastest growing element of the sport there. I decided this type of racing was going to be my future, competitively speaking, so I attended the inaugural Aquabike world championship last year in Canada to gain some experience and check out the level of competition. I discovered that it attracted some really fast swim/bikers in the mature age groups who, like me, could no longer run but have very good engines. I knew that my best shot was going to be in 2018 when I moved up to the next age group 70-74. Preparation My training remained focussed on swimming and cycling with the distances increasing gradually as the months went by. I was almost ready to race a month out from the event and was swimming faster than ever over 3km and cycling the 120km comfortably a couple of times per week. I also threw in a hills session each week around Buderim to build up strength. I learnt from talking to people who raced in Canada who did only 60-80km rides in training that the last 20km of the race became a problem for them and I was determined not to fall into that trap Having built my own race bikes for years I spared no expense in preparing what, for me, was going to be the ideal bike – lightweight, aerodynamic and comfortable. Nine months out from the event I booked flights and accommodation. In the weeks prior to the event the organisers released the names of competitors and I began to research my rivals. With most results of races accessible via the net, I perused mainly ITU world championship results from previous years as well as those of the Ironman organisation. One guy stood out from the rest as the main contender and favourite in my age group, a GBR athlete named Michael Smallwood. He had aced me a few times in previous Olympic distance races and had been on the podium on several occasions. His forte seemed to be the sprint and Olympic distances and the only long distance success he had had was at a European championship. Nothing in the ironman archives. Nevertheless, he had the runs on the board and I knew he would be preparing himself well for this race. I discovered from British press reports that he was basically the long-term British champion in his age group and his rivals at home found him unbeatable. I focussed on this one name. Race Day I had planned my morning pre-race organisation meticulously and everything went without a hitch. I was as relaxed and well-prepared as I was ever going to be. I met my training partner Cookie and we joked around as we waited for our wave to enter the water. When the horn sounded there was bedlam in front of us as we began the long swim. Unfortunately, after about 10 seconds someone hit my goggles off my head and they filled with salt water. I had to stop, drain the goggles and then proceed without being swum over from behind. I then discovered my sight was obscured by the water that had been in my goggles and was going to remain thus. I hoped I could navigate with the little vision I had but soon suffered the ignominy of having a paddle thrust over my arms and a paddler telling me to go back around a buoy I has swum the wrong side of. The remainder of the swim was uneventful and I put in a big effort without any regard for conserving my energy. As I took my bike out of transition I glanced at the other bikes near me to see if anyone in my age group had led me out of the water. Most, if not all, were still there. So far, so good. I discovered only when I arrived home and analysed the results that I had the fastest swim and transition of my age group. The air temperature was about 13 degrees and overcast so with a wet skimpy race suit on I thought I would get cold. However, I was concentrating on racing so much that I didn’t give it a second thought. I was motoring along quite smartly and settled into a good pace considering the 120km ride ahead of me when a guy in a blue race kit flashed by going like a rocket. As I glanced at him I read his name on the back of his suit – Smallwood. My heart sank. How the hell could a guy in my age group be going so fast. Certainly faster than I could possibly go I thought. In the next few seconds I had to make a decision. Do I let all that time, planning, effort, training and money count for nothing or do I try to do something about it. I then said to myself – either go hard or go home princess. So off I went in pursuit of the blue streak. I eventually caught up to him but it took a toll. The only performance reference I use is a heart rate monitor and it had raised to what I knew would be an unsustainable level over the course of the race. However, I knew I had to keep with him or die trying. I remained the legally required 5 bike lengths behind him as there was no way I was going to have my day ruined by a technical officer in the draftbusting role. And there were plenty of them going by all the time on the back of motorbikes. So here I am hanging on to this guy like grim death as the kilometres fly by. We finish the first loop of 60km and head out on the last loop with me still in hot pursuit and the pace not easing. However, as we approach about the 80km mark I notice my heart rate gradually falling. Wow! Maybe I can stick with him. I start to get a bit excited about my prospects and plan how I might be able to take him down. Do I wait until the finish line is in sight and take him on in a sprint? Or do I go from about 1km out and try to outlast him? The one thing I was not planning on doing was to take the lead anytime soon and have him hunting me rather than the other way around. As we approach the final aid station with about 25km to go I notice that he is really easing off and I am starting to feel refreshed. My heart rate is right down and I am feeling good. I am not even sure he knows I am trailing him although I suspect he does know as he had glanced back slightly as he approached several right angle corners in the road to check his line was safe. The entire field was dominated by US, GBR and Japanese racers and the green and gold I was wearing stood out clearly. I had emptied all three bottles I was carrying and had made sure I had taken food and gels during the race as well because I know that Endura alone will never get you to the finish line in good shape by itself. After about 4 hours of racing we both take bottles from the aid station attendants in quick succession and after we had squeezed the contents into our refillable bottles lying between our aerobar extensions and throw the empty bottle away, we pick up the pace again. However, an unexpected thing happens. Smallwood slows even further, takes out a banana, and starts to ingest it. Two things I do know about eating a banana in a race – they are an excellent source of energy; and also they are difficult to peel with one hand and consume while you are racing. In an instant I saw my opportunity and grabbed it with both hands. I belted past him as fast as I could go and determined to put some time into him. I was jumping out of my skin as I knew this was my best chance to win a world championship. I was now redlining but was determined not to give this sucker an even break. For those last 25km I busted my buns and was not going to die wondering. Because there were so many GBR athletes on the course there was no point in looking back to see if he was coming at me - but I knew he would not give up easily on the title he may reasonably have been expecting. As it turns out, he did not pass me and I had that warm glow of having had my best and most challenging race ever. Not only had I beaten him, I had outmanoeuvred him. And I think it was from my race preparation for that distance that I had the legs to go when he was flagging. Only when I arrived home and was able to check out the results online did I realise how well I had done. I knew it was fast but the fact that I would have won silver in the age group below me and come fourth in the age group below that again, made it feel extra special. I think I will retire from competition now – how could I top that?
  2. 5 points
    There's something wrong with the link. I'm clicking on the red and white play button but it's not playing.
  3. 4 points
    Dial it way back. Also, take lots of raw garlic. I don't know whether it works the way most people say, but all those sick f-ckers will stay away from you due to the odour, so you're less likely to pick up anything else.
  4. 4 points
    Hey Sam. I've a 'few' rehabs and am familiar with that switch! I've found a good tactic when your head is in that space is to just focus on what you can do that do and build on it tomorrow. Forget 'eating the whole elephant' and just focus on the current slice you have on your plate. Building on the day before keeps things incremental and consistent. If you didn't do anything yesterday, do something today. Also remember, rest days and listening to your body when it needs rest is doing 'something'. 😎
  5. 4 points
    Marathon done. It was so hot and hilly. I was praying for the pain to stop and was definitely getting emotional in the last 3km but worked my nuts off and managed 4:26. Christ, never again, seriously ! ETA: results are in. I came 176/606 overall. Improvement of over 200 places compared to last year.
  6. 3 points
    I’ve got hold of an ocean ski to play with while I consider my options with my hip. Im very new and still swimming a lot but after nearly 30 years of being harassed by car drivers this morning being “buzzed” by a dolphin was a very pleasant change.
  7. 3 points
  8. 3 points
    I just made my fist purchase on ebay, myself, without sending an email with the link to my wife and saying "can you buy this please".
  9. 3 points
    Since when does having a small dick stop someone from talking?
  10. 3 points
    By Dashcam, did you mean something like this????
  11. 3 points
    To all those needing a boost I would like to share this. You are no less important if you are falling short of the tip of the iceberg.
  12. 3 points
    This is more what I expected. A hard 1600 this afternoon. No chance for a warm-up, just straight into it. 1:38 pace down, 1:36 pace back. I wish I could get back to my 1:30 pace though. I must have been taking it easier than I thought the other morning. Although I couldn't have gone much further this afternoon at this pace. I actually felt a bit ill driving home after it.
  13. 3 points
    Cheers Mick. Yeah Flipper is ready to beat her old man soon haha Hmm. Got a 5 HR drive to let some thoughts settle but right now, I can't away from the place fast enough! Ok thanks. There was no fast efforts yesterday which helped. If anything, my right calf is feeling it this morning. I will see how they settle down.
  14. 3 points
    What's his next event - 50 IMs in 50 days 🙄
  15. 3 points
    My elderly mother is in an aged care facility. She suffers mild dementia. I have been at a loss trying to do something for her to raise her spirits. A few family members have underestimated how alert she actually is. She has always enjoyed reading. I give her one of her old Mills and Boon Books and tell her to read to me. She mumbles a bit, than gradually her speach improves after a couple of pages. Magic.
  16. 2 points
    I had been researching on how to set up my bike to be as fast as possible and was intrigued by the oversized pulley systems available. Because I build all my own bikes I thought I would experiment with a relatively cheap system that was on ebay. It was not compatible with the Dura Ace 9100 RD I use but I had a spare 9000 one lying about that was compatible. It was a little tricky to attach to the main spring system in the RD but seemed very light and the pulley wheels spun forever. It felt really nice to ride with but nor sure if it was faster, which is the main point. However, when I was assembling it, the axle on the lower pulley wheel touched the spokes ever so slightly so I reversed the axle. Unbeknown to me, this meant that one side of the lightweight and flimsy cage at the lower pulley wheel was not attached and on one bumpy downhill section the chain worked its way out of the cage. Back to the drawing board. Because I was preparing my bike for the Aquabike world championships in Denmark, I was prepared to lash out and spare no expense. I ended up buying the ridiculously priced Ceramic Speed oversized pulley system which has 13 teeth upper pulley and 19 teeth lower pulley and was attached to the DA9100 RD. There was very little clearance between it and the disc wheel when in the 28 tooth cog of the cassette but enough for adjustment etc. Anyway, it felt smooth and quiet if not faster. The proof would be on race day. So how did it perform at the world champs. I am not sure how much it contributed to my 120km ride on race day but I had the most exciting and challenging day's racing of my 35 years of racing. I will save that for a race report. However, the result was good. Not only did I have the fastest bike leg of my AG, I had the second fastest bike split of the AG below me and the fourth fastest of the one below that. And at my age, the discrepancies between AGs becomes more marked. Overall, I would recommend trying the oversized pulley system out for yourself as I think there is some benefit to be obtained. Just don't tell anyone else in my AG!
  17. 2 points
    Not one iota... the only time id be interested is if I was cycling in mountainous terrain, seeing how high i had gone after the fact...
  18. 2 points
    A short (600m) angry swim in my 20m pool. 3 x 200m.
  19. 2 points
    What utter bullsh*t. Long course athletes have been giving up when out of contention for years so that they can back up somewhere they can make a quid, this is no different.
  20. 2 points
    Yeh nah. I'm even too chicken to go out to Springfield for the duathlon. 2 deg out there on Sunday.
  21. 2 points
    On clouds - Slow shoes IMO. Bored@ got em from me and seems to like them though Very different to the Clifton etc she mentioned... a good shoe in their own right but quite different from those mentioned.
  22. 2 points
    I think I worked for her a few years back.
  23. 2 points
    Nah Stickman he is fast His 9.40 Ironman and his 4.35 70.3 are proof !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  24. 2 points
    Yes Hamilton Island is a nice place to train, there are a few distractions though
  25. 2 points
    Next Sunday I start working on my main goal for 2018 - on October 13th I am going to be in Hawaii for my 19th go at the Ironman - I have traditionally swam OK and ran OK but lost places on the bike, even though I had often had the fastest bike in my age group in Australia. This year I am going to go there in the best shape I can possibly be. I intend riding six days a week for the 16 week build. I'll be racing basically the same group of guys who have come up through the different age groups with me, I can't stop them doing what they're going to do. All I can do is go there in the best shape possible and go hard from the swim start to the run finish. I can't set a time goal, conditions vary so much - I can't guarantee a position goal but I will be laying it on the line to be hard to beat 😎