Thursday, 17 May 2012

The cost of ambition



After coming to terms with what I was getting myself into yesterday (which included the announcement to Aimee, which was met with her ever enthusiastic sarcasm!) I have started to seriously plan the route ahead.

I need coaching

Lets be honest, there is no way that I would get through the training required without understanding what it takes, let alone the hell of the course itself.
Spending time looking around and searching for training programs and reading heaps about what others put themselves through to complete an Ironman, I decided that I wanted a comprehensive training plan. One that I could stick to and one that others can hold me accountable for.

Enter Bondi Fit

During my search I found a local triathlon club Easts Tri Club that operate around the Eastern suburbs of Sydney. Perfect. The training partner is the seemingly well respected Bondi Fit.
After firing back and forth a few emails with the Bondi Fit crew about training plans and schedules and having an inspiring and confidence building chat on the phone with Sarah, I decided that I had found my training inspiration and decided to jump on board, starting off with their 3 month Triathlon Program.

I had it on good authority from many people that Spot Anderson from Bondi Fit is the man in the know to develop and push me towards what I wanted to achieve. The team are competing in the Sydney Half Marathon this weekend and are having some celebratory drinks Sunday afternoon, so I plan on wandering down and meeting them for the first time.

This weekend happens to be the Eastern Suburbs Relay for Life, and I will be spending the night in the cold at Centennial Park with many a bottle of Port to keep spirits high. It also happens to be my last weekend before I dive into my training program. Then...

Game on

Come Monday morning it is game on. First session in the pool to sort out where I stand (or rather float) in the water, followed by more sessions as the week progresses. Next Saturday looks like it will be my first session on the bike to get a feel for where I have to get to. Exciting times!

As you could imagine this all comes at a cost. I had done some quick scribbles on what it all may involve (ok I lied, anyone that knows me, yes, I have a bloody spreadsheet) and it is manageable but significant!

From my quick sketch (read: detailed spreadsheet) I have built up a list of what I need to get in order to complete my goal. Simply there are a few key items that I never thought I would ever own... yes, including bike shoes and bike shorts... But that's all part and parcel!

I was fortunate enough to find a really good deal on a new road bike (the fixie wasn't going to cut it!) from the good guys at BikeLAB Bondi Junction. I looked around a fair bit and by far the two best places were BikeLAB and Albion Cycles. In the end it only came down to which of the bikes I tried fitted and felt better and ultimately that choice was the full carbon Kestrel rt800sl

Never have I ridden something that had it's own desire to go fast. It fits well and feels good. Most importantly I think I feel comfortable on it, more so than any of the others I tried.
Paired up with my first set of clipless pedals and shoes (and lycra...) I feel fast!
To be fair though, those clipless pedals (that are actually clips... I still don't get it...) are tricky to use at first! There were plenty of "OH SHIT!" moments stopping at lights for the first few days! But I soon learned the tricks to get out of them fast!

Based on my goals and the importance of being able to analyze my performance (and my underpinning addiction to toys and gadgets 'He who dies with the most toys wins') I wanted to set myself up with a triathlon watch that was going to be able to provide me all the information that I wanted.
I have researched and looked at many options although there was one that was recommended above all others that would provide me the details I wanted and the race useability to make it worth the money.
The Garmin Forerunner 910xt with the Heart Rate Monitor was the choice.
Being able to use it during the swim leg, pair it up with a cadence sensor for the bike leg and then utilising a foot pod for the run leg made it a great choice.

Now it's time to find myself some flippers and some dignity saving swimming shorts and get in the pool ready for my first swim session!

Bring it on!

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