Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Climb to Lac d'Emosson

Two panoramic shots of hairpins on the way up

Another two shots from the top, Lac d'Emosson on the right, French Alps on the left in the distance

Any another training video :)

video

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Col-de-la-forclaz


Beautiful mornings training in Switzerland :)

video

video



Saturday, 26 June 2010

Morning number 1

What can I say,

Of all the places I could have come for a summer training camp I don't think any could have suited my personality more than Chamonix. I arrived yesterday to a hoard of Ultramarathon runners getting ready to run the 42.2km "Mont-Blanc Marathon" route this morning from Chamonix - La Tour - Planpraz, an incredible 8,200 feet of vertical gain. Nuts. But it's nice to have a few hundred guys running around town in compression socks, makes me a feel a little more normal.

It's only 7.40am but I had to get up early to cheer the runners off, going to be a stunning day, below are some pictures of the view from my window...


Mont-Blanc getting early sunlight...at 4810m it's understandable!

The start of the marathon


Up close and personal...never enjoy watching other people race when I'm not but today I think I'll leave them to it.


Day 1 of altitude camp so don't want to overdo it, big ride planned though, hopefully will get some good pictures and maybe a video or two...will be up later!

Mike

In transit

Sitting in Geneva airport waiting for my transfer through to Chamonix, almost at the final destination.

Can't wait to arrive, get settled in and start to train and explore the part of the alps famous for its challenging terrain, not to mention beautiful scenery.

Hopefully by the time I'm back in Geneva airport in 5 weeks time I'll be a little leaner, a little faster and hopefully a little better at French too :)

Un peu plus, chaque jour.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Packing up

Been a little ill since getting back from Windsor last week, the price you pay for swimming in the Thames. Feeling much better now and have still been ticking over with training, though all hell breaks loose on Saturday.

Flying out to the alps for 5 weeks of altitude training, staying in Chamonix, one of the most famous all round mountain resorts in the world and I can't wait.

Last summer my mid season training break was spent in Gerardmer, France which was a great place to swim/bike/run. This year though will be a little higher and a little tougher as well.

Once I get out on Saturday I'll start taking pictures and keep everyone up to date with training and any other adventures.

Today is also my last day at home for quite a while, after Chamonix it's off to London, Vancouver, Whistler, Kelowna, Penticton, LA and Dallas before winding down the years racing. Will be a long time out of a suitcase :)

EXCITED

mike

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Good days and bad days

Here is my theory, if you take the number of hours between a race and a blog post and divide it by 1, you will get the probability that the race went well.

Therefore as I am posting 2.5 hours since my race finished, I had a good day.

3 weeks ago I raced in Strathclyde at the ITU European Cup race. Pretty much just had a sucky day, a very aggressive swim and suffered in the heat. So last weekend it was nice to get over it with a 2nd place at the Stirling triathlon. To prove my rule though I think it was about a week before I blogged after Strathclyde, its tough when things don't go well.

Today was a little better. This was my 3rd year racing at Windsor, another awesome week staying with my surrogate family the Yeoman's. Prep went well, lots of easy sets and short race pace work. Last year I had a super day coming out of the water first by around 20m and staying with the lead pack over the 42km bike.

This year the field was a little stronger with Gave Noble racing as well as Richard Stannard & Co, so before the race I was hoping to swim at/near the front for the first 500m or so before attacking at the turn buoy. Things went my way a little earlier though and after a great start I took a massively different line across the river from the rest of the field. Will have to wait and see the TV footage but I think I was out on my own from pretty much the very start.

Built my lead over the 1500m and came out a mile in front. Not quite a mile but close enough! Ran the 400m through transition pretty steadily wanting to feel fresh on the bike, got to my bike, out of wetsuit etc, out onto the bike first, into shoes, energy gel, drink of water....still no one in sight. It took the chasing group of Noble, Stannard, Jenkins and Halksworth the best part of 1km to catch up, so a good day in the water.

Felt progressively better throughout the bike and once the groups came together/everyone started freewheeling I rode from the back of the pack to the front and off for a while. Didn't get too far ahead but for about a minute I rode off the front making the guys work a little to catch me up, then went again once I was caught. Wanted to string things out a bit as there looked to be all the favourites/good runners in the group. Felt nice to be at the front making a difference though :)

Run was the run. I had worked very hard thus far in the race and definitely felt a little sluggish over the first lap. Did my best to limit the position losses and hopefully didn't finish too far down (results still aren't out)! Felt very good crossing the line though, starting to get more involved in these races and its nice to be out in front, very nice to be out in front.

Blueseventy Helix rocked the swim today, no other suit came close. Also thanks to Zone3 for a cracking new trisuit, SLS3 for my compression (that I'm in now) and Cervelo for my ride.

Good day.

Mike



Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Stirling tri, packing up shop, off to Windsor

So after my disappointing weekend in May at the Euro Cup in Strathclyde coach and I went back to business putting in some hard training in the 2 weeks following. Some more race specific stuff and building back into running after a sore calf hampered run work in early May.

The plan had always been to race Blenheim on June 6th but race entry issues (ie the organisers letting in a whole load of age groupers) meant I remained on the "waiting list" all the way until race morning. As a substitute Blair got me an entry (with many thanks to Andy Turnbull) to the Stirling sprint tri.

Race was great, strong swim (8.29 750m), smashed through T1 which was nice after spending all of last season huffing and puffing between swim-bike. Bike course was cracking, flat as a pancake with a few twists and turns in the middle and a nice ascent/descent at the end. Had the tri bars on the S2 so could get into a decent TT position, was nice to hold on to my 30 second swim buffer over the bike course and out onto the run.

Run was solid, nice hill each of the two laps so did my best to work that, managed to hold onto the lead until around 3.5km in when I was passed by Rory Downie. Tried to hold on for a few hundred meters but lost touch on an incline. In my head I could have put it all out and stayed with him but I'm trying to save those extra gears for Sunday.

Sunday is the Windsor triathlon, a pretty legendary British race that I've done for the past 2 years, this year being my 3rd. I always get to crash with my main man Mark Yeoman which is worth the trip in itself, we always manage to entertain ourselves even if its just Mark slagging me off for having a massive head. So should be the funnest race of the year and probably the one I'm most looking forward to. The course is great, an out/back swim in the Thames which should be too crazy, I lead out last year by quite a margin though no doubt guys will be a little more wary to let me go off the front this year. The bike is a 1 lap 42km course with no technical sections but some nice drags, hopefully we can make the break stay away this year and the run is a 3 lap technical course through Windsor itself. Technical in that there are cobbled sections, pedestrians to dodge, a killer hill up to the castle on each lap and plenty of turns and dead turns to contend with. Last year I crawled around the course in about 43 minutes which was my slowest 10km of the year...in fact the slowest 10km I've ever done ever. Hence the goal this year is to go faster! Not too big of a task but as I learned in Strathclyde anything can happen in triathlon.

Will post again before the race but I imagine my race report will come as I am making the train journey back to Scotland on Monday. Currently I am on the train south, free wifi making the 9 hour journey a little better.

Once I get back to Scotland next week I'll be in my last 10 days at home, a scary thought. Last Thursday I finished university (and am anxiously awaiting my marks) and the next 6 months are occupied by foreign travel to racing and training. After Windsor I'm off to ITU Brasschaat in Belgium followed by altitude training in Chamonix France for 5 weeks. Then its the London triathlon, ITU Kelowna in Canada, the Vancouver triathlon, the LA Triathlon and the US Open triathlon in Dallas as the season finishes up in mid October. But more on that later...

Mike

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

blueseventy and swim times

How much difference do blueseventy suits make to us triathletes?

100m F/c Max from a dive;

No suit; 57.4


blueseventy Helix Wetsuit; 53.1 (from a push start)

Moral of the story...

blueseventy=FAST