Training sessions 28 February 2011

Time to increase time on the saddle. We will keep the weights but lets going to step up the weights to 8-10reps:
1xweight session  1x3h hilly ride (if unable to go to surrey you can do kingsto hill in richmond) 1x4h more flat kind of ride. If you’ve got problems with the time, let me know.

Coach Fran

Training regime for the L’etape du tour begins

I completed the training for the Switzerland Ironman and completed the race in July his year. I want to do the L’etape du tour and have enrolled. The training starts now and like the Ironman my coach has been in the gym working my legs for strength first. The serious training starts in January so the time I have until then is for strength training.

I went to the gym last Wednesday and had maximum strength tests completed for squat, lunge and cleans. The max for each exercise were as follows:

Squat 90kg, lunge 26kg, clean 60kg.

My coach wanted me to train at 90% of max for the squats 3 sets of 3-4 reps, maximum for the lunge 3 sets of 6 reps and maximum for the clean 3 sets of 3-4 reps.

This week he sent me this program:

Let’s focus on strength for the next few weeks, increase flexibility and fascia release.
Mon 29 Nov  strength (if you can)
Wed 1 Dec  strength
Sun 5 Dec 2h easy bike ride

I have been to the gym twice this week. I had pain in my knees because my ITB’s were still tight from the Ironman. Before starting weights I rode the stationary cycle for 25 minutes, foam rolled the sides of my legs to loosen the pressure on my knee caps and then started. My knees felt no pain with the exercises and after the first session I stretched and foam rolled my calfs, hamstrings and quads. In the second session my ITB on the right was tighter and I could feel discomfort when performing cleans so I stopped. I also noticed my right wrist and left shoulder were hurting from the cleans. The pressure of holding the bar with my wrists fully bent backwards did not feel great.

I can feel my legs are responding already and I am looking forward to the ride this weekend if it is not snowing. I have an Ironman riding with me this weekend. I am excited about getting back on the bike. The winter kit comes out again and my bike had been serviced and is ready for action.

I feel this race does not have the same intensity as the Ironman or the same prestige but it will be a tough challenge with lots of hill climbing. I am looking forward to training with other guys as I trained alone for the Ironman. I have taken the Aero bars off my bike and placed the Garmin Navigator right in the middle of my handle bars. My Zipp 303 wheels are ready for action next year when the weather is better and I have built up some strength in my legs.

On December 14 my bike Mechanic Dave Taylor is running a workshop for intermediate cyclists. He will teach us how to manage our bikes when on the road and away travelling. If you are interested in a bike workshop contact me on

I start my massage sessoins in the new year and will be revising my nutrition for the race. I would like to look at natural versions of energy rather than the synthetic products we all buy. If I have the time I will do this.. Brendan Brazier is an ironman and produced the Vega range range of products. He is vegetarian and has become a successful speaker on healthy nutrition for Ironman. At the moment I want to eat good carbohydrates like pumpkin, sweet potatoe, and butternut and find better sources of protein.

I have a client who has not time to make food and we are looking into company which delivers three meals a day for £21/day. The meals are high protein (120g/day) and can be adjusted to add carbohydrates as needed. They provide two snacks and the food is frozen to be made as and when it is needed. This is a good alternative for the busy person.

It is great to have another physical challenge over the next 8 months. Going the gym with a purpose in mind makes it all the more meaningful. Time to get the bike out and prep it for the ride this weekend.

Beginning of L’etape du tour Training

Today I started my training for the L’etape du tour. My coach had me in the gym doing high volume training for my legs and upper body. It is 10 weeks since I finshed the Ironman and it feels like I am starting from scratch again. I enjoy the focus of having a new goal. I am looking at what I have on in the next three months. I am shifting house and getting married so getting this base training will be a challenge. I know I want to enjoy this race so getting this training in now will save me a lot of pain on race day.
Training in winter will be tough. I plan to ride in the mornings during the week and on weekends. I want to join a cycle club to get used to riding in a pack and learning about cycling. I need a new pair of cycle glasses and want to buy the Radar Path Oakleys.
I have to rest well for this race. I want to train hard and allow my body to recover and grow srong. My nutrition will change to match the increase demand for carbohydrates.

Looking forward to this challenge. Here we go…. July 17, 2011 …stage 9 of the Tour du France.

Entry into the L’etape du tour

I have been searching for companies that can provide a service to take us to the L’etape du tour. There are 4 companies which provide this service. I will provide these options in the following post.

I spoke to a friend who completed it this year. He said choose a company with hotels close to the end of the race.

The best company of the 4 choices is Ronan Pensac Travel. Here is the link for the L’etape stage I am doing.

I am doing stage 9 of the Tour de France. It is 208km long with continuous hill climbing with accents as high as 12-1400 metres.

Benefits of using Ronan Pensac Travel are:
1. 2 star hotel is highest standard of accommodation
2. Hotels at the start and end of race. Other companies require up to an hour wait for the bus and then an hours drive back to the start hotel
3.There is a bike pick up service in London so we do not have to pack our bikes
4. Fly in with transfers arranged for our hotel
5. Single accommodation or shared
It runs from the 15-18 July 2010. Race is on the 18th and registration is on the 16th July.
The total cost including flights is about £1000.
I have possibly 3 other riders interested in joining me. This will be a completely different challenge to the Ironman I did this year. The hill climbs will be torture. I have been advised to get three cogs on front gearing and high gearing on the rear cassette on the bike. It will be a real challenge to see how my body copes and it is time for me to hit the gym and stretch my legs.

Decision to race the L’Etape du Tour

It has been 5 weeks since I finished the Ironman in Switzerland. I have been eating whatever I wanted and I noticed my metabolism initially was very high. After eating a meal I would get hungry within 2 hours and I could feel my body getting thinner, especially my face.

My body wanted to continue training but I resisted and in 5 weeks I have completed only one,  45 min run. I got straight back into work as a physiotherapist and had very little sleep over the first 2 -3 weeks. This exhausted me to the point of feeling sick. I had not felt this way so often before and I think my body tired much faster after the ironman. I could rest and felt great for 2 days but if I had another late night the tiredness returned. The Ironman does take all your reserves of energy and I am still recovering today. Maybe without late nights and work I could recover faster? I am feeling better this week than last week and with a more sleep I know I will recover fully.

I wanted another challenge after the ironman. The time it takes to train for an Ironman is too much to continue doing these events. I know my strongest discipline is the cycling and I have decided to learn more about this sport whilst continuing to compete in shorter distance triathlons.

The decision I have made is to complete  a stage of the Tour de France which is called the LE’tape du Tour. I want to learn how to fix bikes, the biomechanics of cycling, training correctly and the etiquette of the sport. I plan to use this experience to help my knowledge of endurance events and improve performance in Triathlons.

I got my bike out of its bike box, after the ironman, and reassembled it. I had taken the front fork out of the body of the bike and it took some guess-work how to reassemble it correctly. If  you are taking it apart make a mental note of how the bearings and smaller spacers fit together.

I bought new Zipp 303 wheels as I was impressed with the Zipp wheel set I used for the ironman. I got advice from my bike mechanic, Dave, on which wheelset is suitable for road cycling. The 303’s have been designed for aerodynamics both up and down hills. They are strong enough to train on and will be less affected by cross winds when cycling.

I took the new Zipp 303’s into my cycle shop in Putney and had Patrick, cycle mechanic, show me how to put on new tires, change the rear cassette, and alter the brakes when I switch from training wheels to the Zipps. I have these lessons videoed on my youtube site on

We decided to put Latex inner tubes on the wheels to keep them extremely light. If I am spending £1550 on wheels it is worth maximising their performance. I now have both training wheels and Zipps to race on and I can put them on my bike when I choose.

I will now talk to Fran, my coach for the Ironman, and we are putting together a training program in the gym to prepare me for training on the bike. The idea is to build up Strength, Endurance and Power and then start training in a structured way from January. The date for the 2011 L’Etape du Tour has not been decided yet. The organisers must wait for the official Tour de France  race dates to be set, last year the race was in mid July.

This week I start in the gym and will see my coach on Friday for a training plan.