Thursday, March 4, 2010

Running out of Long Rides

One thing that is starting to worry me is my Long bike rides. Up to last weekend I could manage the long rides but from now on I think it is going to go pear shape.

Beginning of the year I planned my 2010 race schedule and decided that I am going to do more races this season than in the second half of last year. I didn't see it as a problem when I planned to do 2.5 half Ironman's before Ironman South Africa in April as I wanted more race experience and there will still be more than enough weekends to do those 6 hour plus rides.

I've seen from the second half of last year where I only trained and did no racing at all that I lacked some race sharpness when I raced at Kona.

Now here is where the problem starts. For the next three weeks I won't be able to do any long rides over a weekend.

This weekend I am racing the Midlands Ultra and it is between an Olympic distance and Half Ironman distance race. It will consist of a 1.8km swim, 60km bike and a 15km run. I actually don't see it as a race but as a weekend away with the family and as a training session.

I've always wanted to do this race and decided this year I am doing it. Now that I think of it two HIM's would have done the job and driving 5 hours plus to do this race is actually a waste.

With no taper this week my legs are very tired and I am not expecting a good result. I am actually thinking of doing the 60km bike leg on Saturday before the race just to get some bike mileage.

Next week I am flying to Argentinia to attend the International launch of the new VW Amarok and International VW dealer congress. It is a commercial vehicle in the 1 ton market which will be competing in the same segment as the Toyota Hilux which is dominating this segment in South Africa.

I am very excited about the trip but also feel a bit scared as we are going to the Patagonia region which is on the Chile border. To close to earth quake country if you ask me. It is a short and busy trip with two days of flying, two days of transfers from Buenos Aires to Bariloche and two days of attending the launch.

It's these kind of trips that leaves you buggered as there is no time to settle down as you are constantly on the move.

I did see that the Hotel in Buenos Aires do have a fitness centre with a pool which seems to be about 10 meters in length from the photos. At least I can do some stationary bike sessions and some treadmill sessions here and see how long I can handle the short pool.

The problem is in Bariloche, the hotel has no gym, so I guess I will only be able to do running sessions here.

We are back in South Africa the following Monday and then I leave again on the Thursday to attend the launch of another new VW model, the Citi Golf replacement. This is at Sun City and last for two and a half days. I might still be able to get my long bike ride in that weekend as we are back home the Sunday. Think I am going to swop my long run and bike sessions that weekend as I don't think riding 6 hours in the Sun City area will be a wise move. I don't know the area and what I've seen when we were there previously is the roads are not very bike friendly with lot of traffic.

Just hope I will be able to do the remaining four long bike sessions after these next three hectic weeks, but even if I can manage them I still believe that is not enough if I want to do well at IMSA. As they say there's no replacement for Long Bike rides, they are the ones that prepare you best for IM.

I ordered the book from Matt Fitzgerald, "Racing Weight" and it arrived just in time for me to have something to read on the 11 hour flight (one way). The reviews about the book are excellent and maybe I can learn some more to tweak my eating habits to perfection and drop those last 5 kilograms I am struggling to shed.

Only problem is I will only implement it after my return from the Congress as you always eat way to much on these trips.

Eddy doing some stretching the way I do it or is he copying DJ when she is practising her splits.

Just want to also say best of luck to my sister Etresia who is going in for a Hysterectomy operation tomorrow, be strong Sis. You are in my thoughts.

Training Totals for the week up to Thursday:

Swim: 6.2km

Bike: 130km

Run: 28.5km


  1. Hi Johan! I finally have had a chance to catch up on your last few posts, which are always a great read, thank you! I hope that your trip to Argentina goes well. Does your coaching help you figure out how to train with your upcoming busy schedule? I'm curious to hear your opinions about the book. And of course wishing all the best to your sister.

  2. Hi Johan. I'm thinking about getting a P4. Read your review. Can you email me about what you would do if you had to do it again? I can't decide between the P3 or P4.

    Thanks - Chad

    chadholderbaum at

  3. J, good luck with all the travel and training. Never easy. Although based on your last HIM result, I wouldn't be too worried, I don't think you'll have a problem keeping your fitness. And you still have 50 days until IMSA. Who knows, those last 5 kgs may be all you need to set a pb.

    Also, I hope all goes well for Etresia. Pass along my well wishes.


  4. good luck with the travels! you will love South America, beautiful mountains and scenery.. Was there 2 summers ago and going back soon it was so wonderful! PLease pass your wishes along to your sister as well. Cheers

  5. Nina
    Thanks, will enjoy the trip and will post my review of book. I can adjust my program but I can't do any long rides during the week due to work, so I am pretty munch buggered.

  6. B
    Thanks Bryan, I guess I will survive the bike but I set myself a stiff target this year and to achieve that I need to have a great bike which I don't see coming this year.

    Hopefully I can make up on the run as my running is one thing that is improving by the day compared to last year.

  7. John
    Thanks, yes Argentina is a lovely country. Me and Kim were there in 2006 visiting the exact same places.

    Only concern is all that Beef you can eat and those cocholates, need to keep an eye on that.

    will tell my sister, thanks

  8. B
    Thanks for thinking about Etresia will tell her

  9. Hi Johan, I hope the race is a great experience for you since you have been wanting to do it for some time. I am going to read about that book as I'm always looking for nutrition advice. And I love the picture of Eddy!!


  10. Travel safe and try to keep up the training. Maybe visit a gym or a bike shop over there and sit on one of their rollers...sure they will help you. How did the op go?


  11. Adena
    Thanks the race went really well. Don't want to read to much of book as I need something to read on flight but first two chapters been good so far.

    Funny but Eddy like to sit that way, does not look right but he enjoys it

  12. Jakkals
    Thanks, saw one hotel has gym but other not will try and do as much running as possible.

    thanks my sister is home and better.