Wednesday, November 03, 2010

First Injury and Ironman Access


Arrrgggghhhh, the first injury of the season, training must be kicking off in earnest. Woke up 10 days ago having had a bad nights sleep and not being able to straighten up.
I managed to create a rather large panic (only in my head) when I thought I had trapped a nerve in my back, lying prone on a foam roller that morning trying to stretch it out probably didn't help but I was gutted I could have done this by having a bad nights sleep, as of a week ago it still wasn't too bad but I could still feel faint twinges, so I had a full day off.
It was a wierd one, I had managed a gentle run Thursday night and bike Friday morning after it happened but couldn't stand up straight and extend or arch my back. Thanks to most people who sent advice and no thanks :-) for others who sent me horror stories of 6 months laid up with no training ! Thankfully I am back to normal I hope, physio couldn't find any residual mess so a full weeks training has followed this week.

Ironman Access

The biggest piece of news for triathlon in the last week or so was the introduction by WTC of the Ironman Access program, this caused a public outcry and the normally tame social networking sites went bonkers !
In a nutshell it was advertised as a premier tier membership costing $1000 for people who don't like standing in line and meant you could enter an Ironman branded race a week early, you still had to pay the race fee but the $1k meant you jumped the queue and then got 2 VIP tickets for that race and a number of other small tokens. Well talk about pissing off your entire target audience. Have a look at the Ironman FB page for the carnage that ensued.

The initial explosion of resentment was further stirred up by the next delivery by WTC stating the reasons for this apparent commercial suicide, it was to stop people entering 3-4 ironman races and then pulling out once they had raced one and maybe qualified already, thus restricting the places for others who might have just wanted to do the 1 race.

Couple of things here, have a decent refunds policy, maybe deferring to the following year, it seems to work for major marathons well enough, might mean a bit of extra admin for our £350 but that wouldnt go amiss anyway to make up for the crap rucksacks ! (ed - I have just thrown away 3, one from Austria 2004 !!)

The other way to solve this helps both parties, on the day after the refunds policy closes, open the registration to a waiting list to fill up the supposed 10-15% drop out, effectively selling the place twice and making Joe public happy, add £30 premium to account for admin, race organiser happy, full races. Its not difficult.

What 'is' difficult is getting into certain high profile races, as to how to change the race entry criteria process, thats a hard one.
Wisconsin has a policy that if you marshall one year you get to join a preferred queue at the race venue the day after the race to enter, once that queue is gone, then it's opened to people who want to queue up at the race venue that day too, so reducing the online entries available.
For some of us that don't live there and rely on internet entry this can be a bind, however if the races had an allocation for international entries, say 50 and they were done on ballot it would open a few more doors. I used this for Wisconsin and found the process superb.

I am sure the perfect solution won't magically appear or it would have done already.


Done OK over the last 2 weeks, I missed 2 swim sessions with the bad back and the long run last Saturday with the day off but I feel OK for it.
This week just gone has been much better, I had a coached swim on Thursday with Chris. We chatted about his swim gala the previous weekend, if I can remember right, highlights in my head were, 4.23 for 400m free, and 2.16 for 200m fly in amongst the 5 races he did over the weekend. I don't think it was his best swimming as he is coming off a year of long distance but they look good to me !!
Anyway, to my swimming, technique getting better, need to use my legs more. This suprised me but I seem to have a half decent kick so I will use it. My flat out 100m time hit 1.31 with the recent changes so down from the '1.27' 2 weeks ago but I have had a week out of the water with bad back so not too unhappy. More work for the next 2 weeks.

Running sees me in a new pair of trainers, Asics Kinsei 3, thanks to Phil at D&M Cycles for getting me those in, straight out to do a 10 miler and felt great, few niggles with new lace up pattern but that can be sorted.

Cycling, along with the midweek turbos I have had 2 good weekends, held a good pace (20+mph) for the longer Sunday run last week with a 1.15 run off the back, then today I had a good ride with mates in Chester for just over 3 hours. All in all doing OK. 20 hours over the last 2 weeks with a few missed sessions is not bad going but I have yet to do a FULL week and I am determined to get one before the end of November.

Final but of good news is the eventual purchase of the treadmill, YES ! Sorted it yesterday, had to travel 6.5 hours to get it there and back but I have just set it up and I hope its worth it, its for myself and Kelly, me so I have no excuse in bad weather and for some pace training, Kelly as I wouldn't let her go out on her own now in the dark and we can't both go out with Teya, its too dangerous in the evenings. I will still go out as often as I can to run outdoors, its not a substitute for that, its a helpful tool for the days we are not able to, and when I am babysitting and can't leave the house, my options are now not limited to the turbo, woohoo !

Anyway, train well, and for those of you out on the bike in the crisp sunny mornings, get those LED lights on, might be bright but cars still can't see you, until next week.