Monday, March 30, 2009

Brick Results and Training this Week

Dear Athletes

Please be advised of the following training schedule this week:

Mon - am = run (as discussed at the brick session, please ignore program & shorten this to a 35 mins easy jog) & Time-4-Me at 9.30am; pm = bike (wind trainer session in Mount Hawthorn 6 / 6.15pm)

Tue - am / pm = all swims (5.30, 6.30 and 7.30am + 7pm) are all available. Easy session.

Wed - am = easy social ride at 5.50am & Time-4-Me at 9.30am.

Thu - am = Cottesloe Beach openwater session at 6.30am - come along for some FUN!; pm = recovery run drills and intervals at Lake Monger.

Fri - am = all squad sessions (5.30, 6.30, 7.30 and 9.30am) are available; pm = Rotto Boot Camp - meet at Rous Head at 6pm - don't be late!

Sat - am = brick session on Rotto (~1.5k, ~90k, ~10k); pm = afternoon swim skills session. At this stage, we may have to cancel or leave the 1pm squad swim with a session to complete (TBC).

Sun - am = run on Rotto. Ferry back at 11am.

Brick Session Results:

Today's Brick Session was a perfect display of how fickle it can be trying to predict race results and split times due to the varying nature of the elements! The ocean was rough and full of stingers, the bike was very windy, and the run was very hot...but you just never know if you might get these results at Busselton on the 2nd May, so well done for toughing it out TEAM! Take these results with a pinch of salt - they are not an indication that you are getting slower!!!!

It was a great turn-out this week, with 25 athletes completing the 1.5k swim + 73km bike + 12km run. My overall feeling is that a) people pushed a little too hard on the bike and then suffered on the run and that b) people's nutrition wasn't where it should be, most notably due to dehydration on the run. If you haven't yet listened to our advice on nutrition at, you need to do so as a matter of extreme importance - it just might save your bacon on race day! Having "bad days" or "tough days" at the "office" like this is what training for a HIM is all about - better to get it "wrong" today, than on the 2nd May!

As a "footnote" I was very proud with the tenacity and team spirit you all showed today - be it a good day or a bad day (weatherwise) on the 2nd May - this is what will get you to that finish line!

Results can be seen now at: (please note, guestimations have been added in yellow for those who didn't complete certain sections).

The results broke down like this:

Swim - on average ~ 2 mins slower for predicted HIM time than last week, apart from Mary who swam 45 seconds faster and Jo exactly the same! Well done girls!

Bike - bit of a "mixed bag" on the bike, some people quicker than last week's predictions, some slower, showing that the conditions affected people differently. Stand-out improvements came from Mel Cundy and Helen Masson this week, both riding ~ 7 mins better than last week.

Run - here's where the tale was really told though! Without exception, every member of the group ran between 5 and 15 mins slower than their predicted HIM time from last week, even if they were looking better on the bike this week. This simply shows that despite strong rides into the elements this week, the increased effort required on the bike resulted in a much slower run time. This is a lesson well worth considering for the race.

Total - everyone's total time (due to the run in particular) was slower than last week (by 5 to 20 mins), with the exception of Joanna Thomson who performed 5 mins better than last week, showing some great improvement! Well done Jo!

Hope that all makes sense - big shout out to the random lady who bought me a coffee whilst I was getting all of your splits down!



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Boot Camp Payments

Well Team, its just 7 days before we head over to Rottnest for our 2009 Team Core Boot Camp! I can't wait - it's going to be a whole lot of fun!

Athletes who are attending the course and have not yet paid for their spot, need to please do so as soon as possible, either online at or via cheque ("The Team Core") or cash to Paul at one of the squad swim sessions. Cost is $220.

Furthermore, there have been a couple of requests from athletes who cannot make it over for the full weekend's frivolities to come over and just complete the Saturday morning Brick Session from the Kingstown Barracks. I believe there is a 6am ferry over on Saturday morning for anyone keen to do this. Please let me know if you plan to head over for this session via email.

Thanks guys and girls - have a fun weekend (Saturday am = brick session at 6.45am Cottesloe Beach, Saturday pm = squad swim session at 1.00pm at Claremont Pool).


Saturday Brick Session

Dear Groovers

This Saturday's Brick Session at Cottesloe Beach will be an almost
complete re-run of last week, but slightly longer at 1.5k/70k/12k.
Come and have your race time predicted and see where your fitness is
at! You are required to know the course yourself so please familiarize
yourself with the details below.

We will meet at 645am in the cottesloe car park and hope to be started
a little earlier this time at ~ 710am. Please bring a suitable small
bag to collect all your gear together between disciplines as I'm not
sure I will have any storage transport again this week. Bring plenty
of fluid and nutrition also.

Full details for those who didn't attend last week can be found at:

...or just scroll down from the main Blog page.

See you then!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

40km Cycle Time Trial Results

Dear Athletes

It was a great morning for our 40km cycle time-trial down at Shelley with 17 athletes participating over the flat-to-undulating course. All went smoothly apart from Mary unfortunately dropping her light right at the start and having to go back and retrieve it - c'est la vie! Nevertheless, everyone performed well, even if they didn't feel up for anything so fresh and fruity at 5.50am! Athletes were instructed to ride the time trial at Half Ironman (90km) pace, and as such the results reflect this. Again, I have posted a predicted HIM time based on this being true HIM pace.

Please find the results at including the 1st and 2nd 20km splits as well as the difference (green indicates the riders rode the 2nd half faster than the first). The official GPS reading from Helen was just shy of 40.0km (39.7km) which would equate to ~ 30 to 40 seconds slower had the full distance been achieved.

Well done to all!


Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Night Wind Trainer Session Recommences Monday 30th March for 5 weeks

Dear Athletes

Please be advised that due to daylight savings putting the clocks back 1 hour next weekend, we will run a 5 week cycle wind training program at the Sweat Shack (22 Fairfield Street, Mount Hawthorn, WA 6016), meeting each Monday at 6pm for a 6.15pm start. Michelle will ensure that you can all access the shack and Paul will be along at 6.15pm to get the session started after finishing up at Claremont Pool.

All athletes to bring their own wind trainers or please let Paul know if you need to borrow one. This will be a good quality session and chance to put in your final preparations for the Half Ironman. Hope to see you then!



And the winner was...

Dear Athletes

Hope you have all had a great weekend and are looking forward to a great week of weather just perfect for getting some quality training done.

NEW OPENWATER SESSION - change of time:

Thursday's - 6.30am for 5 weeks, Cottesloe Beach Open Water Swim Skills Session. Starting Thursday 2nd April.

Just a quick note first, Wednesday evening's proposed new openwater swim session will not commence until next week. We've had a look at the sunrise / sunset times for the change to daylight savings (effective as of next weekend) and we've decided that this will make it too dark in the evening to attempt this session. However, Thursday morning's are free and so as of Thursday 2nd April we will be running a 5-week program aiming to develop your skills and confidence in the openwater in readiness for the Busselton Half Ironman on the 2nd May. These sessions will be suitable for any of our squad swimmers and will feature technique and fitness work in a fun environment down at Cottesloe Beach. Cost is just 1 credit off you card as normal and we will meet each week at 6.30am (stretching) for a 6.45am in-the-water start. Session will run for 45 mins followed by optional breakfast at Daisies. Hope you can make it!

The Hunt for the Squad's Most Consistent Athlete:

As you know, last week was all about consistent pacing and we put this to the test on the following 3 sessions:

  • Thursday's 4km + 3km + 2km + 1km run session (getting progressively faster per 'block')
  • Friday's 12 or 15 x 100m threshold swim session
  • Saturday's 1km + 70.5km + 9.25km brick session at Cottesloe Beach

Thursday's run session:

The whole goal of tonight's session was to start off doing a 4km run at ~ HIM pace + 1'30" rest and then do a 3km run, followed by a 2km run and finally a 1km run (1'30" rest between each set), aiming to get 10" per km faster in each set. Pacing was critical. 15 athletes attempted this session. Showing the most consistency on tonight's session was Mike Bowles, Dan Timbers and Neil - the results of which (including EVERY km split for EVERY athlete) can be seen below:

This was a good test for all the athletes and an important session for pace awareness.

Friday's Threshold 100s Swim Session:

Then it was onto the swim challenge of the week - who could hold the most consistent 100m intervals on a short rest of ~10 to 20 seconds for a total of 12 or 15 intervals. Topping the charts today was Jane Day, Andrew Maslen, John Harris and Judi Clemie, all of whom held their intervals within 1 second of each other - good work! 54 swimmers took part in this test and the results of each athlete can all be seen below (we are missing results for Guy and Annette van Hazel however - guys if you have yours, please let me know!):

Interestingly enough, several of the athletes were instructed to use the Wetronome swim pacing tool (see details of this great tool here - ). These athletes were using a new demo model of the Wetronome which can be programmed to beep at you every time you hope to be at 25m / 50m / 75m / 100m etc. For example, if Judi wanted to swim 2:04 per 100m, she would program the Wetronome to beep at her every 31 seconds and would then make sure she was at the 25m markers every time the beep went off. You quickly learn to slow down in the first 25m in order to maintain a consistent pace in the final stages of the session. It really will be an excellent tool for helping our athletes maintain consistency in their pacing - and as you know, that is the key to success in this sport!

Saturday's Brick Session:

Finally, 14 athletes partook in our 1km swim + 70.5km bike + 9.25km run "brick" session on Saturday morning in excellent conditions down at Cottesloe Beach. Again, the focus here was on consistency and aiming to establish knowledge and appreciation of what "Half Ironman" pacing really feels like. 182 time data points were collected over the course of the morning's session to ensure that EVERY athlete knew not only what time they had done for each of the respective disciplines (swim, bike and run) but also how their lap times compared from lap to lap. Knowing the exact distance of each lap, we have been able to determine the actual pace each athlete was holding for each discipline, which will allow them to now continue their development of this pace in the remaining 6 weeks before the Half Ironman. 

Most consistent:

Swim = Marius Grobelaar
Bike = Helen Masson (note that Lap 1A and 2A are the 'northern laps' of this course and 1B and 2B are the 'southern laps')
Run = Mel Cundy

Half Ironman Race Prediction:

What is more, after several requests for us to try and determine suitable target times for each athlete within the squad for each discipline (and a predicted race finish time), we have been able to have a reasonable attempt at doing this, as can be seen in the spreadsheet below (you will need Microsoft Excel to open this file):

Obviously their are a few caveats with this and we have assumed the following in these calculations:

  1. Swimmers will hold a similar pace for the 1.9km swim in 6 weeks time as they did in today's 1.0km swim. This is simply due to a) more efficiency within 6 weeks of training, and b) due to the beneficial drafting effect and the aid of a wetsuit on the day of the race.
  2. On Saturday's session we have assumed that each athlete was held at traffic lights for a rough total of 5'00". This could have been longer, it could have been shorter, and each athlete will accelerate / decelerate differently in response to the lights. We have "corrected" their cycle times in response to this and have used the "corrected" average speed for predicting their Half Ironman bike pace. Saturday's course was also quite lumpy and certainly not as flat as Busselton and without the effect of loads of cyclists on the course either. It was, however, 20km shorter and as such, we have simply used this pace to predict HIM pace, though my true prediction is that we can expect each athlete to ride ~ 5 to 10 mins quicker still than these times.
  3. We have factored in for between a total of 4'00" and 10'00" transition times in the Half Ironman prediction, except where the athlete has already competed in this event and we were able to access this actual time from the records.
  4. We have factored in a "fatigue factor" of 5% on the 9.25km run times from Saturday in the predictions for the Half Marathon run. My suspicion is that this may need to be as much as 8% in reality, but it's a start and may go some way to correcting for the slightly slower bike times than expected. Again, this is where the run-walk Galloway Method ( ) will really come into it's own on race day to help stave off this fatigue.

Having said all of that, once I fed all the times in to the spreadsheet from Saturday and then cross-referenced these against the four athletes from the group who have previously competed on this course last year, I was pleasantly surprised to find the following*:

  • Mel Cundy - 2008 race time = 5:49'42", race prediction = 5:49'40" - a difference of just two seconds!
  • Mary Tennant - 2008 race time = 6:42'15", race prediction = 6:42'10" - a difference of just five seconds!
  • Helen Masson - 2008 race time = 5:53'00", race prediction = 5:50'38" - a difference of just 2'22"!
  • Helen Buckle - 2008 race time = 5:22'00", race prediction = ~5:16'00" - a difference of just 6'00" (please note Helen did not complete the run on Saturday, so I am basing my assumptions here on Thursday's run session)
* please note that since the initial posting of this information, Helen Masson (our GPS guru) has informed me that Saturday's ride was 71.36km, not 70.5km as originally used in the formula. Correcting for this means that everyone's cycle times are actually now a little faster anyway, but I'd expect them to be another ~5 to 10 mins quicker still come race day. you could read this in a number of ways: 1) that the prediction calculator can't be too far off the mark; 2) that the athletes concerned are only a touch faster than this time last year, which may be disappointing if they were hoping to have improved; or 3) realizing that we still have 6 weeks to go, and knowing this 'information' should really help motivate the athlete's concerned to develop their performances in the areas that still need work. Take this information with a pinch of salt obviously, but hopefully some of you will find it useful / interesting to see where you're at currently.

Numbers, numbers, numbers...blah, blah, blah!

Now you could look at all these numbers and think "yeah, yeah, so what - it's what happens on race day that counts and you can't control X, Y and Z on race day to be able to accurately give a guestimate of what someone is capable of"  and I'd agree with you, up until a point. As much as I hate giving out athlete's my predictions of their future performances, simply because things such as punctures, bad weather etc may totally screw up your 'plans' and that if you see yourself falling behind your targets or slowing down too much when you are actually having a stellar day can really mess with the most important element of the race - your mental control. However, this week has been an excellent chance for those of you who participated in the various sessions to actually "feel" what it "feels" like to exercise at these intensities, so come race day, if you are in tune with your body and know what pace you feel you can maintain consistently, you're in a much better position than someone who has ignored the "numbers" and thought "she'll be right mate!" as "she" quite often is not!

Have a great week...need I say "let's make sure we pace it out well?!"



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hunt for the most consistent swimmer & Saturday's Brick Session

Dear Athletes

Hope you're all enjoying this slightly cooler weather - I know that I am!! I'm still collating all the results from Sunday, but if you could send me through your result and your race splits, that would be much appreciated!


Please be advised that on Friday morning we'll be running a nice little challenging swim session, titled "The Hunt for the Squad's Most Consistent Swimmer!" This idea was borne from the necessity to get you all to complete a really quality set of 100m intervals whilst holding a totally consistent pace with an element of friendly competition thrown in! You'll either be doing 12 or 15 x 100m on a cycle time appropriate for your lane's ability level and typically offering ~20 seconds rest between each one. Grant Hackett can do this set with roughly 0.4s difference between all his intervals which is pretty impressive! This morning the Time-4-Me crew ranged between 3 to 5 seconds difference which is also quite commendable. Anything more than 6 seconds and you've simply gone off too fast...and you know I don't like that! Myself and Adam will be helping you time these intervals, but you'll also be encouraged to make sure that you take your own times as well so that we can be assured that you have times for every interval. The swimmer with the most consistent lap times will be announced next week after all 3 squads have had a chance to do this challenge. 

It'll be a lot of fun, so I hope you can make it down - are you as consistent as Grant Hackett? Or will you be a Billy Blow-up?

SATURDAY'S SEDUCTIVE BRICK SESSION (1000m swim + 75km bike + 10km run):

On Saturday we will be staging our first structured / coached Brick Session down at Cottesloe Beach. The following time-table will apply:

6:45am - meet in the main Cottesloe Car Park out the front of the Cott Hotel. Set-up bike and bike gear down on the grassed area facing the pylon and receive session briefing / stretching. The sun won't be up until just after 7am, so please be there at 6.45am so we can start as soon as the sun is up. 

7.15am - swim start (mass-start). 1000m swim in your wetsuit (if you have one) followed by a quick transition into your bike gear.

~ 7.35am - swimmers exit the water, changed and onto the 2-lap (36.2km per lap) bike heading North up Marine Parade and then right onto Grant Street before turning left onto West Coast HWY heading North. Go through lights at Alfred Road and continue on WCH to Rochdale Road, turning right and heading east. Hop onto Stephenson Avenue (left) and then left again onto Perry Lakes Drive before turning left onto Oceanic Drive and left again back onto WCH to retrace your steps back to Cottesloe Beach (20km mark). Here continue South down Marine Parade before taking a right at the roundabout onto Port Beach Road which eventually does a right, then a left onto Ruddenham Drive past the lights by the old Oyster Bar. Ride down to the Rous Head ferry terminal and simply loop around and re-trace your steps back to Cottesloe Beach to complete 1 loop (map looks a little funny at this point, so just make sure you follow signs to the ferry terminal and simply turn-around at the carpark there). For a detailed map, please see:

Riders will be through the first lap by ~ 8.45am whereupon Paul will be waiting in the carpark at Cott Beach with a swap for your water bottle (please ensure you have a spare bottle to leave Paul so he can swap this over with you and practice this exchange "on the fly").

~ 9.55am - riders will complete the 2 lap bike course and will head out onto the run. This will be 5 x 2km out & back loops as per:

~ 11.00am - most athletes will have finished the session and will be advised to have a quick soak in the ocean and then off to Daisies for breakfast!

Cost of the session is included for all GOLD / SILVER program athletes (using PAYG card for Silver athletes) and just 1 session off your PAYG card for BRONZE athletes - that's a bargain! All athletes will need to complete the Medical Waiver at and have this ready for collection on the morning. Casual fee is $20 for anyone bringing a friend, but this athlete will need to complete one of our Medical Waivers for participation and will not be covered under our insurance scheme.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Massage Recommendation

Dear Athletes

A number of you have been enquiring with me recently about who and where you can be assured of a good massage to aid those aching muscles after a hard bout of training. I'd never recommend a service or product without having personally tried it myself and as such I am happy to recommend Jen Newman at for this very purpose.

Jen treats out of Body Balancing Nutrition at 176a Cambridge Street in Wembley (across from St. John of God Hospital) and has offered $10 off each 1hr treatment (normally $70) just by calling up and mentioning "The TEAM CORE". Jen can be contacted on 0433 308 733 for all bookings / to answer any queries.

Jen was my massage therapist in my lead-up to the Rottnest Channel Swim and I cannot recommend her highly enough.

Hope that helps!



Sunday, March 15, 2009

Training this week!

Dear Athletes

Hope you all had a great weekend. If you raced at the City of Perth
triathlon over the weekend please let me know how you got on. We want
to hear all about it! ;-)

All training as per normal this week and back onto a build week after
last week's recovery week.

See you tonight at the cycle session or tomorrow morning at the swim!



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Final Call for Bootcampers!!

Dear Athletes

This is a final call for anyone still keen on attending the Rottnest Boot Camp on the 3rd, 4th & 5th April. Its going to be a great, fun weekend and at an all inclusive price of just $220 is only a little more than the Perth Olympic Distance race this Sunday...bargain!!

Please complete the form at as soon as possible. We currently have 10 people signed up (8 athletes and 2 coaches). This will be a great chance to get some quality training in for the Busso Half Ironman in a really relaxed and fun environment.


P.S Some of you will be doing the Perth race this Sunday and we wish you the very best of luck with that. The recommendation is to have a day off on Friday, followed by a light spin of ~ 45 mins on Saturday and a short 15 mins run. For those not racing, it is still an easy week and as such on Saturday a ride will be leaving from the Bell Tower at 6.30am and heading off around the river - just steady!!

N.B Please note that all 4 squad swim sessions will be on tomorrow as normal despite the race (i.e. 5.30am, 6.30am, 7.30am and 9.30am) and Saturday squad swim session at 1pm will also be on as well. Please attend if you can. Thanks and have a fab weekend whatever you're doing!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Results from Thursday's 5km Run Time Trial

A good turn-out and some great results on Thursday for the 5km Time Trial run around Lake Monger - check them out:

Helen B
Helen M

Well done to everyone who took part!


A few more photos of Jackson

Thanks everyone for taking an interest in Jackson this week and many of you wanting to see more photos - being the budding photographer that I am (I've already snapped over 300!!) I thought I'd share a few more with you until you see him down on the pool deck very soon!

Cheers - enjoy!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Training this week & weekend

Dear Athletes

Hope you are having a great week - a little chilly out there the last couple of mornings!!

Just a couple of notices:

1) Next week is a recovery week and finishes off with the Perth Olympic Distance Triathlon next Sunday for those of you who are entered for that.

2) Next week also sees the start of Block # 3 of the Ironman Program, so please can those athletes on the Silver monthly program ensure that their monthly payment is made before next week so I can send out your next block of training.

3) I've been getting very little feedback from the Silver & Gold Plan athletes on a weekly basis. Please remember that I need you to complete the form at in order for me to check how you are progressing. This is critical for my evaluation and suggestions on how you may improve further.

4) Bronze Plan athletes, please complete the feedback form at in your own time to also let me know how this last 4 week block has gone for you.

5) All sessions running this week as per (save for the "yellow" swims with me!).

6) Saturday's ride will leave at 6.30am from the Bell Tower and will follow this route: through Mundaring Weir (very scenic). I should be there to ride out with you and manage the "peloton" for the first hour.

7) Numbers are a little on the low side at this stage for our super-fantastic Rottnest Boot Camp scheduled for the 3rd to 5th April 2009. I need to confirm numbers with the Island Authority asap, so please if you're keen to attend this super-value-for-money all inclusive* weekend for just $220 visit and register your interest online. Thanks.

* price includes return ferry, 2 nights accommodation, 2 breakfasts, top quality coaching sessions with Paul and Adam, Taper Time Tapas evening and bike transfers but excludes 2 evening meals and lunch on Saturday. 

Have a fun week!!!