Archive for December 2009

Clean toilets, a gleaming floor, an organised package of things including a salad for an evening with friends tonight: signs of training not done in the only opportunity I’ll get today.


  • 3 eggs w butter, olive oil, 1 carrot, 1 nectarine
  • Coffee w one shortbread biscuit
  • Roast pork, carrot, broccoli, lettuce, coconut milk
  • Cheese, salami, olives, pesto
  • Beef burger, pork sausage,  lamb chop, lots of coleslaw
  • 1 home brewed ginger beer (~3 drinks?)
  • 3 pieces watermelon, some grapes


Neil and I hit the trails for an few hours this morning. Nothing special, and everything that is special about riding. Play time. Talking shit. Re-riding dabbed features. Racing around a tiny figure-8 pump track. Coffee. Here’re the numbers.

I was sick for a solid three days over Christmas (which was great, thanks to both families), and have the remnants in my legs and lungs still. I deliberately ignored all the warning signs before hand and paid the price so the return is going to be slower than I’d like.

This morning’s roll takes care of today’s prescription for some extended steady state. If I can sneak a trainer workout in while Claire’s asleep tomorrow I will, but I won’t push it.

Food has been pretty solid for the most-part, owing to copious amounts of fresh fruit and delicious Christmas meats. I’ll be looking to tighten up and get strict again over the next week or so.


  • 3 eggs scrambled w butter, carrot, nectarine
  • Small bag of blueberries
  • Coffee, small quiche
  • Handful of walnuts, apple
  • Roast pork w dripping/gravy, carrot, coconut milk
  • 1/2 dark chocolate bunny
  • Ham and salad, w olive oil
  • Handful of mixed nuts
  • Iced cocoa
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2 x 20 Deck squats
50 x ‘The Bastard’ complex @ 10 kg DBs
3 x 20  Jump squats @ 35 kg BB

The Bastard = 17:18


I felt tired walking into the gym but shrugged it off. The bells didn’t feel extra heavy though and I figured if I could make it through the set unbroken the 15:00 benchmark would fall. I almost second-guessed the whole workout because it’s been a tightrope between training, sleep and sickness, feeling vulnerable after the antibiotics course, but I shrugged it off.

I didn’t take my hands off the bells once, nor compromise the plank position, but I was slower through the movements on account of spending more time catching my breath in the squat.

The jump squat finishers felt ok in the legs, but left me wrecked with HR through the roof after each set. I should’ve known better than to do the last one, but it’s just one set, right?


  • 3 eggs, nectarine, walnuts, coconut milk
  • Coffee
  • Christmas jelly
  • Veggie salad w quiche and olive oil
  • Hot chocolate
  • Haloumi w/prosciutto and salad
  • Walnuts
  • Dinner at Touks: Lamb pizza w glass of white wine



2 x 20 Deck squats
20 Box jumps @ 24″ box
1-leg Box hops, 15 (~1:30) es
3 x 15 es BB step-up, lunge @ 20kg
3 x 15 es Bulgarian split squat @ 20kg
5:00 DB long cycle C&J, switching hands every 5 reps @ 24 kg KB
5 ring pull-ups (strict)




Rx: 3 x 5 Long hill repeats

I wanted to do these in the morning and gym at home in the evening, but Fee needed the extra sleep so here’s the compromise: Gym in the morning, short hill repeats in the evening, but towing Claire and my bag (change of clothes, U-lock, couple of books etc) . Alright!



I got four repeats out before Claire wanted her dummy so I called that set, with the dummy-finding time the rest interval. The next set was six repeats to make up for the missed one from before and by then Claire was beginning to nod off. Given that she was up till 10 and full of beans last night I decided to call it a night and get her home.

Updated instructions from Jeff on these are 1. Stay seated, 2. Aim for consistency, 3. Go home if you slow more than 5%. The last one gives me a legitimate out anyway. Towing the extra 15-20kg was a big difference.



  • Big tin of tuna, pear, nectarine, coconut milk
  • 3 baked eggs w chorizo, malt milkshake, 2x short macchiato
  • Chicken schnitzel, 1/2 a rissole, carrot, 1/2 a pear, 1 orange, walnuts, coconut milk
  • Tea, walnuts

I’ve been reading an interesting discussion about a piece of research into intra-cellular glycogen replenishment last night. It seems the conversion of fats to glycogen can be spurred by training on close-to-empty. Things start to get detailed around Post #9.

Low muscle glycogen content has been demonstrated to enhance transcription of a number of genes involved in training adaptation. These results made us speculate that training at a low muscle glycogen content would enhance training adaptation.

This wasn’t a deliberate attempt to put that theory into practice, but today was run on vapour.




Trainer Day 1 — “Easy” day

Cadence ladder:

39:18, 1:00 each of:
70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125+ rpm

39:17, 1:00 each of:
70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125+ rpm

39:16, 1:00 each of:
70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 115, 120 (fail), 125+ rpm

39:18, 1:00 each of:
80, 85, 90, 95, 90 rpm




20 x Deck squats
50 x ‘The Bastard’ @ 10 kg DBs = 15:12
3 x 20 Jumping squats @ 35kg BB



Fee and Claire packed up and headed to Ballarat early. I broke out the trainer for an ‘easy’ spin. The 39:18 ladder was lumpy, and therefore un-easy. 39:17 felt good, leg remembering circles and tempo. 115-125+ is the lactic onramp, and it would have been a moderate session if it ended there, but the 39:16 set killed me at 125. I just couldn’t ramp it up again and failed, spun at 80 for 30 seconds and managed to make the final 30 sec at 125+ (more or less). A quick tin of tuna and then off to work.

The size of the puddle is a measure of the work done

With exactly one hour between meetings, Doug joined me in the gym with deck squats assisted by a 5kg plate, The Bastard at 1/2 weight, 1/2 reps, Jumping squats at 12.5 kg. It looked like hard going. We also did some light (5kg) TGUs with his nagging shoulder injury in mind.

When I postulated that if I ever did 50 reps of the Bastard complex I’d bump the weight up, I did so thinking that it’d never happen. Later it occurred to me that a better benchmark might be an unbroken set of 50. Today I took my hands off the bells exactly twice, and rested a couple of seconds on my knees again, exactly twice. Maybe 15-30 seconds rest in total; 50 in 15 is going to be pretty spot on for an unbroken set and it’s not too far away.

Jumping squats were through the newly agreed ~35cm cycling ROM and will be heavier next time. We began these with 3 minutes to go until my next meeting, which meant a quick shower and no lunch, having fasted (coffee notwithstanding) since breakfast.

I did manage to get a snack in 4:00, although by then I was barely hungry. I also finished off the last of the antibiotic course today.

Neil is in the hills and planning a 250:5 ride tomorrow (that’s distance:elevation … in kilometres)



  • Smoothie: 1 egg, 1 cup blueberries, coconut milk, water
  • Large tin of tuna, handful of walnuts (PWO)
  • Coffee
  • Walnuts
  • Coffee
  • Sardines, lots of walnuts, nectarine, 3 rum balls (thanks Elise!)
  • Chicken and veggie stir-fry – lots of veggies, little rice
  • Pear

Nothing today.

If you can call getting up with Claire, going to a 1st birthday at Werribee Zoo, then a family Christmas shindig in Camberwell, then dinner with friends in Blackburn ‘nothing’.


  • 3 eggs, butter, coconut milk, salt and pepper
  • Apricot, walnuts, coffee
  • Fig
  • Maybe 1/4 chicken, some fruit, 1 profiterole, 1 slice birthday cake
  • More walnuts, berries (blue, rasp, straw), 1/2 a Claire-discarded yo-yo biscuit
  • Indian: butter chicken, lamb korma, vegetable samosa, beef something, no rice, no roti
  • 2.5 glasses of sangria with Mick
  • Tea


In 39:18:
70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125+ rpm
x1:00 each


3:00 seated @ 39:16
3:00 standing @ 53:16
3:00 standing @ 39:16
3:00 seated @ 53:16
x3 rounds


In 39:17:
70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 115, 120 (fail, recover), 125+ rpm
x1:00 each

In 39:18:
80, 85, 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 105, 100, 95, 90 rpm
x1:00 each


GPS data: http://connect.garmin.com/player/20711949
(Notice how much closer HR tracks cadence on the second cadence ladder? Yeah.)

It’s funny how easy this looks on paper and how hard it is in practice (see previous post). The cadence ladder wasn’t too much trouble the first time, just and effort to keep it smooth. 39:16 is an easy gear, which is deceiving. Riding an easy gear out of the saddle at a good cadence is hard. Nothing too awful here in terms of threshold challenges (the second cadence ladder notwithstanding), but today’s lesson was there are likely huge gains to be made in mechanical efficiency if I can find the rhythms and get the lumps out.

Now, that second cadence ladder: I’m not sure if I was in the right gear or not, but I was within a tooth of it. Things start to require focus around the 90-95 range and get nasty shortly after. I couldn’t maintain 120 beyond the first 10 seconds of that minute. Way lactic and spun out. I rode the minute out at 80 rpm and managed to stick the 125, but, yeah, that hurts. Especially in the hip flexors. Glad I didn’t let this slip off my calendar altogether this week.

Tomorrow I have to pick up a BBQ, mow the grass, go to a 1st birthday at Werribee Zoo at 11:00, get home at 2:00 and head out at 3:00 for another Christmas catch-up. The programme offers cross training or 1hr+ mtb. The latter sounds awesome but … maybe if I get up really early? Hmm…

I have a little cough that I’m putting down to an immune system under antibiotics attack. Good food and early nights and I can’t wait to get off these pills…

In other news, three different people have asked me (all at stand-up meetings!) if I have a badly broken collarbone in my past. It seems I have a right shoulder which is visibly lower than my left. I suspect this has something to do with my right knee pain.


  • 3 egg and ham omelette, butter, coconut milk, peach
  • Pear, walnuts
  • Chicken, sardines, veggie salad, olive oil, coconut milk, walnuts, 1/2 cup blueberries
  • Handful of grapes
  • A few grapes, apricot, walnuts
  • 1/8th of a family meat pie, coconut milk, walnuts (again!), veggies

In theory, there’s no difference between theory and practice; in practice, there is.


Neil made a good observation about my perception of ‘cycling ROM’ in jumping squats:

Cycling ROM is 35 cm (175 mm cranks).




2 x 20 Deck squats
20 Box jumps @ 20″ box
1-leg Box hops, 1:10 es
3 x 12 es BB step-up, lunge @ 20kg
3 x 12 es Bulgarian split squat @ 20kg
4:00 DB long cycle C&J, switching hands every 5 reps @ 20 kg


Better form and a lower ‘box’ felt good. Nowhere near as hard as the first time (at home). The DB C&J was a nice switch-up too.

On the down side, I wasn’t able to fit in the trainer work-out I wanted to tonight, playing host to two sets of family visitors, settling Claire and Fee out at a Christmas party. The weekend is looking brutal on time-for-riding. Maybe I’ll get a session in during Claire’s nap tomorrow, or late tomorrow night.

Tis the season … *sigh*

December 2009

On the bike

CrossFit benchmarks

100 Burpees: 11:07 10:32
50 Burpees: 4:24
Angie: 30:47 (60 pull-ups only)
Annie: ---
Cindy: 13 rounds
Dianne: 39:07 (scaled)
Elizabeth: 24:47 (scaled)
Fight Gone Bad (3 rounds): 311
Filthy Fifty: 31:16
Fran: 10:31
Grace (35 kg): 4:25
Hangover Cure: 8 rounds
Helen: 11:10
Jeremy: 13:33
Kelly: 36:09
Linda (scaled): 1:17:04
Michael: 32:30
Murph: 54:17
Nancy: 17:30 (scaled to 35 kg)
Nate: 7 rounds (scaled)
Nicole: 3 rounds, 19 pullups

Row 1k: 3:26.3
Row 2k: 7:15.4
Row 500m: 1:35.7
Run 5k: 24:05 (Feb 17)

Weightlifting PBs

Bench Press: ---
Clean: 70kg
Jerk: 70kg
Press: 52.5kg
Snatch: 47.5kg+
Squat (back): 102.5kg
Squat (front): 85kg (x2)
Deadlift: 130kg
CrossFit Total: 623


3RM OHS: 55kg
3RM Front squat: 82.5kg (x5)
3RM Back squat: 90kg
3RM Deadlift: 130kg
5RM Press: 45kg
5RM Front squat: 82.5kg
5RM Back squat: 90kg
5RM Deadlift: 120
20RM Back squat: 65kg