Friday, January 31, 2014

It's good bye from him

I'm officially back at step one.

The weight is back on, and the fitness has completely disappeared. My fall from Half Ironman finisher, to this in the space of just 12 months has been staggering.

I'm not going to let is stay like this tho, I will lose the weight, claw back my fitness and although I've said it before, this time I will make it stick.

But as I'm back to square one, it's time for a new beginning.

So this is the end of Andy Gets Fit. I got fit, then I lost it.

It's on to something new.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Intermittent fasting?


That’s the number that stared back at me from my scale on my Monday morning weigh in. It’s disgusting that I have put myself back here, it’s not good enough, and I deserve better from myself. But what it shows clearly is that what I’m doing at the moment is not working. Something has to change. It’s time for something drastic.

As luck would have it that evening I watched a documentary ‘eat,fast and live longer’ which investigated intermittent fasting. The documentary showed some dramatic weight loss and health benefits from this style of diet.

Well that put the idea in my head, so after a few hours trawling the internet for information I have determined to give it a go. I’m going to try doing the ‘eat, stop, eat’ system, where I have 1-2 24 hour ‘fasting’ periods a week. For example last meal dinner Monday night, fast, next meal dinner Tuesday night.

So being slightly impulsive, I've dived straight in and am currently half way through my first fast. I had dinner at about 8pm Monday night, and will be attempting to go till about the same time tonight before eating again. Depending on how it goes, I will try again Thursday or Friday. I’m planning to give this 3-4 weeks to see how my weight/training etc. is affected. But we will see how I feel after today’s experiment.

A few rules for this experiment:                                 
  1. Fast days must be light workout days. Today I’m planning on only doing a 30 min run
  2. This is not compensating for a terrible diet. I must make better food choices and eat healthily on normal days.
  3. Try to give it some time to see if it works. I can’t expect magical results after 1 day or even 1 week of this. It will still be months till I return to an acceptable weight.

So far it’s not too bad. I’m a little bit hungry, but not ridiculously so. I didn’t really miss my morning toast at all. I expect lunch time and the drive home to be hardest. But to be honest this is more because of the physiological side of things. I love my rituals, going to get a sandwich for lunch… or stopping at the bakery for a drink and something tasty for the drive home. I do have a backup plan, it’s not ideal, but if the worst comes and I cave, I’ll have a banana. But I’m going to be trying to avoid that.

** All this writing about food has been putting ideas in my head, and I’m not noticeably hungrier than when I started that paragraph. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

September Traning

What to say?

Well I think I had marginally more consistency than previous months. The only gap in my training was due to being out of town on work. But unfortunately, I was out of town for work, and again for a week at the end of the month/start of October, which has put the breaks on my increased consistency.

To be honest, the Taupo HIM in December is looking increasingly unlikely. I'm thinking that I might have to change to Tauranga, or possibly the Ironman AKL again, both in January. Either way, I think It'll be a last minute decision.

My weight is also not doing what it should be. I've been staying at about the same for 3 months now. That's not good enough, the crap food needs to go.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Back on track?


Since my last post, I've trained 22 out of a possible 25 days. So that is a massive turn around from what I was doing in June/July. I'm still not totally back on track, I am really struggling to get back into before work workouts, and I have yet to go for a swim, maybe this week, definitely next, and my weight is still massively out of control. But overall I'm showing much more consistency than I've had in a long time.

And as I well know. Consistency is the key.

I have run 4-5 times a week, for about 20km/week for the last 3 weeks. I've also re started training by heart rate. Aiming for zone 2 workouts. This is proving hard to achieve, and i am going slow, and still struggling to keep out of zone 3 by the end of a run. Over the next few weeks the plan is to continue to keep the heart rates down, and increase the running, up to 3-4 hours.week.

I've also had a change of plans for my bike training. I've begun a program, based around indoor trainer workouts which is intended to increase my critical power on the bike. I'm riding 3 times a week on the trainer for about an hour, and once a week outside on the weekend to get some endurance. I'm not sure how good an idea this plan is, or how ideal it is for my training. But I do know that it is very focused, and I feel that I'm working harder than I have before on the bike. So that has to be a good thing.

And finally weight, I'm not sure how bad it is,  will weigh myself tomorrow, but this is the biggest thing holding me back at the moment. I think, I hope, I have had the epiphany I need to get myself back on track. My last weigh in was 115kg... which is disgusting, I was under 95 in December last year. I don't think it's going to be possible to be under 100 for taupo. But the goal has to be to lose as much as possible, this is holding me back, and will continue to do so until I take ownership of the problem again.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Back to work

In January this year, I completed my first HIM. This has been a goal that I had been working towards for over 2 years. It was supposed to be the start of bigger and better things.

Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out as planned.

After the HIM, I continued to workout, but dropped the intensity and volume off a little bit… I had earned a break I thought…. 4 months after the HIM, I completed my 4th northern crossing. It was a new best time for me, but overall I was disappointed in how little I had improved from the previous year. So the plan was take a few easy weeks (the race coincided with a few trips away for work) and then get back into it.

Well that didn’t happen. In the 2-3 months since the northern crossing I’ve done very little… Always found an excuse not to… away for work, to cold, to rainy, I’m too tired… And my diet went from bad, to worse. The end result, a huge loss in fitness, and a huge gain in weight (10kg up from my northern crossing weight)

Well I’ve had enough! I’m not going back to the big, lazy guy I was. I need to get back into training, eating well and achieve new things.

So I am developing a plan to do a full ironman in early 2015 (either IMNZ in March, or challenge Wanaka in January) Between now and then there will be more 70.3’s, I am eyeing up 2 for this coming summer, (Taupo in December and Auckland in March) and other events which I have yet to decide on, to use as intermediate goals for the Ironman.

The overall goal of this is to get fit and healthy, and stay there.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

May training log

Well not great really is it?

After the northern crossing I've been on a bit of a break from serious training. And I'm beginning to show signs of it. Over the next week or 2 I'll be getting back into a normal sort of schedule... which I'll talk about more soon... once I've figured it out.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Northern Crossing 2013

Build up:
I have been somewhat slack since the HIM in January. I have only been able to do 8 hour training weeks, rather than the 10+ which I should be for an event this long, so I went in a bit under prepared. On the plus side however I have now had over a year of consistent training. So that should count for a lot.

Pre-race routine:
We drove up the day before the race and spent the night in Opononi. The morning of the race didn't go great. Got up nice and early, and set up transition, but my stomach was feeling a bit upset, not something I usually experience  so all I was able to have for breakfast was a powerade and a bumper bar. I had no warm up to speak of, intending to use the first few km of the run to ease my way into the day...

Run 1 29/31 7.6km, 43:56 GPS here


There was a new run course this year, the run began at the top of flagstaff hill, as previously, but instead of going through a farm, up the vicious climb and along the beach, we stayed on the road the whole way, straight down the hill avoiding most of the climb to a transition 3km further up the road. 

This course was shorter, and easier than previous years. For the same fitness the new course was probably 15-20 minutes faster, at my speed. 

Run start

My plan for the run was to run at my easy training pace, about 5:45-6:00 min/km. And get to the bike feeling fresh and ready to go. Unfortunately, I got a bit carried away at the start of the race, blasting through the first 2km at 5:15/km average. I calmed myself down by the bottom of the hill and slowed things up a bit, running the rest of the run at a conservative pace, about 5:55/km. I finished the run feeling good, and ready to tackle the bike. Compared to most of the athletes, I was slow. But I was quite happy with how it went.

What would you do differently?:
I've been on a bot of a run focus in the month between Kai Iwi lakes and the northern crossing. and in that time my run has improved. It's still not where I want, but with my fitness on the day I felt it went well.

The only change I would make was to smooth out the average speeds, slower at the start, but faster through the middle stages. 

End of Run 1


Not the best, changed shoes and helmet on nice and quick, but the weather had cleared up substantially since I set up, so I changed the lenses in my sunglasses to the dark ones. That cost a bit of time.

What would you do differently?:
Have he right glasses ready and waiting.

Bike: 27/31, 80km, 3:31:04, GPS here.


The bike course had also changed since the previous years, as before there are 3 climbs of about 100m each in the first 20km, and as before the next 20-30km is spent in a long, steady climb across the country. Here, at the half way point the course changes to a fast descending section, followed by a final 100m climb to finish the course, in the last 10km of the ride. This new climb made sure that I finished the bike with nice ad tired legs. 


I started the bike feeling fantastic, spinning along in a relatively easy gear sitting just over 30km/hr until the start of the first climb. 

Unfortunately it went downhill from there. I'm not sure what caused it, I think it was a bad night on the hotel bed, but I developed a pain in my lower back, and neck, both on my right side. These made it quite painful to maintain an aero position, which in turn made the ride harder, and slower. 

At times I wanted to quit... This ride felt pretty aweful. But I soldiered on and completed the ride 15 minutes faster than before. (Yes it was a new course, but the climbing had increased from before, making the ride harder) During the ride I had several GUs, 2 bumper bars, 2 bananas, a bottle of powerade and in the last 15km a bottle of flat coke. 

What would you do differently?:
I didn't stay in aero nearly enough. Like I said above, I think that it was mainly due to the quality of bed at the hotel, but I will be spending a lot of time on the trainer, and on the roads over winter in aero to ensure that it isn't a fit problem. 

Also I need to learn to enter the pain cave... at times I know my body had more to give, but I stayed in an easier gear/lower cadence  Pushing a little harder could have been a big difference. 


Quick and easy, had a banana and off on my way. this year, unlike last I remembered to take my GU for the run with me. 

What would you do differently?:
Other than arriving at T2 earlier in the day, I was pretty happy with it. 

Run 2:  25/31, 7km, 54:10, GPS here


The 2nd run began with a run through a farm, for a few kms before entering the bush and running along the Kerikeri river. The course featured fences to be climbed and streams to be jumped, before reaching the trail along the river, at which point it became a trail run. Finally, just to mess with us, the finish had been moved to the other side of the reserve, making the run a few hundred meters longer than previously. 

I started off running a comfortable (well as comfortable as can be after an 80km ride) pace of around 6:20/km for the first 2kms. But once I had to stop to get over the first fence I found it increasingly difficult to continue running.

I fell into a similar run/walk technique that I used previously, jogging the flats and down hills, and walking up the small climbs. I would have liked to run the whole thing (even if it was at 7min/km) But was not able... clearly I need to work harder on my running. 

But, this was actually my best leg of the race (in terms of position) and I overtook a few people in the last 2km of the run (seeing someone else walking up ahead would give me a boost and keep me running) so I can't be too upset with how it went. 
What would you do differently?:
I need to develop the mental abilities to keep going when the body says quit. I need to not allow myself to walk when I should run... 

This is a common theme across my races this year. So really something I need to fix before my next big event.

Over all     25/31   5:09:12, 40 minutes faster than last year. 

Post Race:

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Well overall I'm just not as fit as I want to be. I can improve in every single aspect of endurance sports. So I guess the answer here is everything. But some specifics 

1. Weight
2. Run more 4-5 hours / week
3. More hard intervals on the bike
4. Higher intensity for long rides on the bike

Event comments:
Another good experience in this event. But still some unfinished business .. I lost my bet with Kris, whos previous time was 5:27, and said he expected 5-5:30 this time... but ended up with 4:35. It should have been close... And I still have a lot of work to do before I can beat him. 

But a great event. And I'm sure I'll be back next year.