Wanaka Training Camp – What I Learnt


– Need to make my stroke a little bit wider

– Cut up a survival blanket and wrap around you under the tri suit when the water is cold… pull it out once on the bike and warmed up


– I need to work on my cadence, bring it up further

– I need to do more efforts, I just died miserably on the efforts. 6 x 45sec up a slight incline.

– You can do these efforts of the bike, if you did a hill strength bike, finish with a hill strength run.

– Run of the bike at the pace you plan to run the marathon… you can build this pace.


– Core doesn’t just mean abs. In a triathletes case we should be concentrating on the gluts up to the scapula.

– the left glut can very often be more lazy and not fire as well as the right(explains a lot about me) so always start the exercises on the left


– Always finish strong, that way the mind will remember the last part of the session, eg finish a run with 6x20sec stride out. Make long rides always finish with 1hr hard, the rest on easy pace

– Theres a thought that you need to start the run faster, as you will slow down after the first few K’s. So need practice that

– On race day

  1. It is going to hurt
  2. Your are going to give it 100%

Why Worry?

– Visualisation – Visualise the entire race, but do it bit by bit. ie one night visualise the transition to bike

– Add salt / salt stick / noon to electrolyte drink

– Its the sessions that you decide not to do that gives you the edge not the sessions that you do (ie don’t do a session if body is tired, recovery is important). Though for some sessions you just need to suck it up and do it, no matter how hard it hurts.

– When you go to bed ask if you could have done anything better to achieve your goal.

– Theres responders and non-responders. I’m a non-responder we just have to keep training

I’m sure there was a heap of other stuff that I learnt, but this is all I can recall for now


Wanaka Training Camp – What we did

I’m going to structure this  in 2 parts, what I learnt and what I did… theres probably a cross over

Friday night, we gathered together at Oakridge resort and did the normal intro and what group you were in. I was in group 1, still not sure if it was the stronger group or not, I think they were fairly randomly assigned.


I got up nice and early on Saturday morning and headed to the Kitchen (I’m staying at x-base backpackers. actually rather nice room with en suite and pretty cheap. Only downside nowhere to park the car). Turns out the kitchen doesn’t open to 7am, that didn’t quite work because I was supposed to be in the pool at 7am. The only food in my room was some muffins and V. So that turned into my first breakfast and headed to the resort.

The first session was in the pool, it was a rather icy morning and the pool was outside, lets just say getting in and out was a bit of a mission. The session was taken by Fi, and we did a session set out by Sam. We also did a few drills and technique tips, I got a few tips out of it.

Then we had a theory session, that Sam took. I think one of Sam’s advantages is that she understands the work/training split that us everyday age grouper have to cope with. She worked and raced for several years before going fully pro. Unlike other pros out there that all they have ever done is race. She gave a few interesting tips etc

Then it was the dreaded run session, I felt so slow and fat compared to the rest of the group. I had until this point thought my running had been coming along ok.

We headed out at a jog for about 20min. Then went through some drills, and then some did some efforts. Sam says she doesn’t do much, “just run for a hour” she’ll add in some efforts or try and do a negative split. After been left behind in the efforts, it was time to run back to base at a pace we wanted. unfortunately there was a big damn hill on the way back. I thought I had been getting better at hills, but that one killed me.

Then it was a question and answer session, dinner and a movie of Sam. I was feeling tired after dinner so missed out the movie. I have to give Oakridge Resort ups for providing the location of the camp, but we waited ages for our dinner and wasn’t really worth the wait.


Due to daylightsavings changing over, we were back in the resort in the dark. Our group had a core session to start the day, it was taken by Val Burke, and I learnt a whole heap of interesting facts.

Then we had our long bike, we started with the half loop out from wanaka, my group got to do it in reverse (or the direction the course will go next year). The weather didn’t start very co-operatively, it was raining, but at least not cold. The wind was blowing, and as the weather cleared the wind just got worse.

So we had a strong wind to start into Hawea. Sam wanted us to do the first hour easy, 2nd moderate, 3rd Moderate Hard. But the first hour we were also to do big gear up the hills, this was to make the legs hurt early on. But with the wind it was really hard to manage these levels, because once we past Hawea, we were flying on the way back, and the false flat up  by the lagoon that everyone curses was awesomely fun going the opposite direction, with a false flat.

We past the other group at this point and they were groveling along in the opposite direction, felt rather sorry for them (but chuckled slightly because I wasn’t doing it). But I was sure they were chuckling at me once we reached the State highway that takes you back to Wanaka, I was groveling. We were all to be back at the show grounds at 12:30, so I still had 40min, so I headed 20min out towards hospital flat, this was the worse part of the entire ride, I was barely moving at times. I came back in half the time it took to get out there.

I had got alot respect of the guys in my group, I was the only girl to keep up with the faster guys, and got a few comments about my thighs?? Something along the lines of having big ones… I sure it was all supposed to be positive. When we got back to the showgrounds everyone else was there, looks like they had cut the ride short. All our shoes were nicley laid out for us

So was a slick change over, unfortunately we at to run around a rugby field for 20min, doing 20:40 efforts. Holy crap that was hard. Concentrating on keeping the cadence and technique going well and going around and around. Sam said it was good for our mental focus. But she does 3hr wind trainer sessions, so there must be a point where success breeds madness.

Then we were back at the pool (after a rather fast lunch) doing open water swimming practice. We practised starting in groups, the faster guys starting behind so they had to swim over the slower ones. Practiced sighting and swimming around bouys, it was all good stuff, but was getting a bit tired and over it by the end.

Finally, a final theory session on race day preparation, and covered quite a bit on mental preparation.

Its now 8pm Saturday night, and I am knackered. The wind on the bike, truly killed me, though strangely enough I didn’t have any issues with the chip… maybe I just accept it now.

A few tips so far

I do a better summary at the end of the weekend, but these are some useful tips I have gained so far… I’m writing them down before I forget.

  1. Cut up a survival blanket and wrap around you under the tri suit when the water is cold… pull it out once on the bike and warmed up (keeps the intial wind chill off as well as keeping you warm in the water). I’ll be using that tip at Wanaka Half.
  2. Its the sessions that you decide not to do that gives you the edge not the sessions that you do (ie don’t do a session if body is tired, recovery is important). Though for some sessions you just need to suck it up and do it, no matter how hard it hurts.
  3. When you go to bed ask if you could have done anything better to acheive your goal.
  4. Theres reponders and non-responders. I’m a non-responder we just have to keep training
  5. Run of the bike at the pace you plan to run the marathon… you can build this pace.

Well I thought it was very postive… the time might not make it seem that way

Hah is that the longest title or what?

Oxford Half Marathon – Sept 2010

Today  I did the Oxford Half Marathon. I went into it with no taper, actually the opposite. I had done a 3hr hill ride yesterday, and before the race I did a 1 hr ride.

I arrived in Oxford just after 8, and found the Squash courts reasonably easily. There was no one around at that time so parked the car where I hoped it wouldn’t be in the way and got on the bike.

OMG it was freezing, there was a frost on the ground and the close foothills had snow on them, I was rather glad I had  put on my hat that morning (My new hair cut was standing up like a porcupine first thing this morning, mainly put the hat on to hide it). I headed out towards Waimak Gorge, a magpie out decided to swoop me for good luck. Obviously the Magpies out there are no where as aggressive as our locals, it seemed almost friendly to me. The plan was to go out hard for 40min and then spend 20min easing it off, I ended up getting back into town early so took a bit of a ticky tour of Oxford.

When I got back to the car there were a few more people around. So I got changed and registered. I had packed my compression socks, I was umming and ahhing weather to wear them. In the end I decided that given the work load I have done, it would be a good idea. But I felt a little odd at this country fun run with my long compression socks. Its OK wearing them at Tri’s, Tri people are equipment geeks, but runners are a whole different kettle of fish.

It was still cold, so jog around a bit to keep warm and wait for the start. The start was funny, the lady gave us a brief briefing and then just said “And GO”. No 1 2 3 go… so we were off.

The start of the course is really nice, and I was quite enjoying myself. I was just going to see how the legs were feeling to see if I should go for the PB. I went past the 5K mark at 25:36 which surprised me a lot, considering that it hadn’t been an easy 5K, a few hills in there. So then I thought, “its on”, the legs felt good and I felt nice and strong and no ill effects from the previous sessions that weekend.

The next 5K were actually on a slight descent, so they went quite well. But just before the 10K I felt my tummy to start to rumble. It is something that happens to me occasionally so stopped and found a tree to hide behind. In the end I went past the 10K in 53min, wasn’t that impressed, but still thought I feeling OK lets try for a negative split.

Then we turned into the main road, it starts as an uphill false flat and the wind was blowing straight on to us. It was really hard work. I went past the 15K mark at 1:25, so 6K to do in 35min, “easy as” I thought.

But then my stomach really started to rumble… I tried to walk it out, but when ever I started to run again the stomach got really bad, so ended up walking the last 5K. Just before the finish there was a public toilet that I ran into. It meant I was able to run the last 1/2 K or so thought the finish 🙂

So finish time was 2:10. Its better than some other half times I have done, but not even close to a PB. But I am not disappointed in my performance at all.

Now all I have to do is work out why the tummy rumbled… didn’t have a unusual dinner , breakfast. I was trying the gels that are used at Taupo, I had, had 1 at about 7K, just before the tummy started to rumble.

The earthquake hasn’t scared the Magpies back to Australia…


Image via Wikipedia

… it just seems to have made them angrier.

Today I braved the hills again, I was still worried about a 5+ Quake (you don’t feel 4’s on the bike) but the chances of them seem to be getting smaller and smaller. As the road up to Evans from Lyttleton is still closed, I decided to take the opportunity and do a completely different Route, so headed up Dyers and into the governors and made my way around to Diamond Harbour, turning back and over Gebbies and heading home.

I descended really slowly, the roads in places were a bit a a mess. Descending into Allandale (bitch 1 when you are going up it) there was a new sign  “Beware un even surface”. That just made me laugh, for those of you who know it, there is nothing “even” about the surface up or down. When I did come to the new “uneven” surface it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the old, just a big crack in the road.

So rather than the quakes being an issue, the magpies were. Coming back for diamond harbour one very determined magpie kept on bashing my helmet. The other 2 weren’t quite as determined, they just came really close and made that loud clapping sound next to you. One on the descent of gebbies, the other along the main road back to Tai Tap.

Its going to be a fun spring out there this year:)

PB Half Marathon?

So tomorrow, I’m off to do the Oxford Half Marathon. I have an hour ride before hand… I have my leaving/ arrival times all worked out, lets hope I got it right. I can’t say I am all that motivated for it. I am supposed to be aiming for a PB, but I might end up turning it into a long jog. I suppose we’ll see how I am feeling once we start.

Wanaka training camp in snow?

The training camp has come along quickly, will be heading down there this Friday. I’m just hoping that the bad weather that is coming up the south Island is gone by then. I got a Email from Sam the other day, with an outline of what we will be doing etc. Getting a bit excited about it. Plus it will be good to get away from the shaky land and see Wanaka again (Its become one of my favorite places in the last year or so)

She doth give, then she doth take it away

Yesterday, I was my 4 weekly catch up with Aimee. I wasn’t expecting miracles, what with the entire eating plan going to disarray because of the earthquake. But I had achieved half of the goal for the 4 weeks, which I can live with (goal was 2kg, I managed 1kg).

But Aimee decided that the extra snack she gave me last time was too much, so its now gone 😦 So somehow I have to get through the afternoon on one piece of fruit. Maybe I can make it a really large piece of fruit!

I am allowed muffins though, she gave me a couple of recipes. So I think this weekend I will do some baking (If I can fit around the training… its a BIG weekend of training coming up… well not big compared to  8 Months ago, but big in comparison to recently ).

Earthquakes are disastrous for the food plan

My life is out of kilter, my food plan gets out  of kilter, choclate and junk food get introduced. Then it hard to get back on track. I don’t think I am going to meet the weight loss traget for this month.

Think I will start the food diary again form tommorrow, hopefully that will get a bit of strucuture back into my life.