Saturday, 29 September 2012

Training (b)log added

Added a new page on my daily training - check out the tab above.

Over time, I'm hoping to add more details on the training plan I'm following including the reasons behind the different types of workouts (detailing L.T. (lactate threshold tests), FTP (functional threshold power) and potentially VO2 max (maximal oxygen uptake) info and changes throughout the year), pages on swimming / cycling / running (including details on technique, hydro- and aerodynamics and the technologies involved - especially cycling), potentially diet info (carbs / proteins / fats / vitamins and minerals) and then photos / videos from events and training.

Anything else I should add?! ;-)  Let me know!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Look up!

Look on the title bar for Previous Race Reports… Happy Reading.

Any comments or questions? Give me a shout!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Starting out: building base level fitness

So, when did all this (madness) begin?

I'd been working on strengthening my knees following my operations in February 2011 but decided I really needed to get my fitness back on track.

Looking back, I was able to run a bath, but not run the length of the street without my heart beating out of my chest in complaint! My mass had increased to 94kg… remember kids, weight is a Force and is measured in Newtons, Mass is a measure of how much stuff you contain - which, given 1 Mole of Carbon atoms has a mass of 12g, we're probably looking at 5x10 to the power of 27, or 5,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms!!! In fact, there are more atoms in your body than stars in the universe…

Anyway, in March 2012, being the gadget geek I am, I managed to get my hands on a Garmin 910XT - which, for those interested in improving their fitness, is the training aid. It is perfect for triathlon training, using an accurate GPS receiver to calculate your distance and speed whilst running, cycling or even swimming in open water. It counts your laps in the pool (something which I am hopeless at) and even recognises which swimming stroke you are doing. The heart rate strap connects wirelessly to the device and records your heart rate during activities so you can tailor each workout - a much more effective way than using R.P.E. (rating of perceived exertion - i.e. how tired you are on a scale of 1-10). So, when you see the training logs later in this blog, they've all been recorded on my trusty watch… although I still haven't figured out how to show the time  ;-)

Armed with my new toy, I set out to build up my base level fitness...

Total training sessions to date:

March 2012: 23 activities, 179 km, 14 hours of training, 6,946 kCalories
April 2012: 10 activities, 313 km, 12 hours of training, 6,638 kCalories
May 2012: 19 activities, 341 km, 21 hours of training, 12,185 kCalories
June 2012: 28 activities, 382 km, 24 hours of training, 13,954 kCalories
July 2012: 65 activities, 725 km, 53 hours of training, 31,983 kCalories
August 2012: 34 activities, 563 km, 35 hours of training, 21,903 kCalories

So over the last 6 months I've run, cycled or swum over 2.4 Million metres and used up close to 100,000 kCalories - about the equivalent of 413 Mars Bars...

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

I must be mad...

Welcome along for the journey!


My name is Gavin Gall and I'm a Physics Teacher at Carluke High School in South Lanarkshire.

In this blog I'll be describing the trials and tribulations of training for an Ironman event… I'll be competing in Ironman Austria in 2013 on June 30th, 2013, with my good lady wife!

For those of you who haven't heard of this race, it's basically a long, or should I say, very long triathlon…

Ironman distance triathlons feature a 3.8km / 2.4 mile swim, followed by 180km / 112 mile bike ride then topped off with a full 42 km / 26.2 mile marathon.

Utter Madness you're no doubt thinking… and you're probably right.

Why an Ironman?

I had successful bi-patellar tendinopathy (knee surgery on both knees) in February 2011 to correct damage from years of playing football (and never stretching out) in my youth. Boy did that come back to bite me. Both patellar tendons were a mass of scar tissues that needed to be cleaned up through key-hole surgery using a radio-ablation method. The orthopaedic surgeon recommended I take up in-line sports (cycling, running and front-crawl swimming) to help strengthen the tendons and get me (literally) back up and running.

I've done a couple of marathons in the past (Edinburgh and London) and could ride a bike (back in the day, even with no hands!) although swimming was not a strong point. I could swim a couple of 25m lengths in the pool, rest for half an hour or so and then give it another bash but qualifying for London 2012 or Glasgow 2014 was definitely not on the cards.

My better half had completed a couple of triathlons of varying distances, and after no doubt upping the health insurance on me, suggested I try a tri. Not content with starting with a sensible distance, I decided that I'd give the Ironman a go… after all, how difficult could it be?  

Read on and find out…

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