Archive for the ‘Thoughts and quotes’ Category


Training on the bike 20-30hrs a week is a lot of time on the bike. Think about it: 20-30 HOURS a week on the bike. How you approach these hours is going to have a massive impact on your progression.

There is no doubt riding long hours on your bike consistently for months straight will strike a righteous fitness profit in your legs. But, let us not forget: training is not only about your legs. Training must primarily be about the mental connection between you and your legs.

This winter I decided to ditch the headphones. No music. No French lessons. No Radiolab science hours. And I trained by myself. Alone. No distractions. No hold-ups. I only had the rhythm of my breath and the monotonous quiet whirr of rubber on pavement as my companion. Days when the wind roared and the rain came violently from the skies were a gift. They offered variation as my mind fought for focus.

HARM Racing – Winter Arsenal

Today at work I caught a country train service to a small little town, got off and rode down to the little coastal village of Barwon Heads, met up with a bunch of colleagues, and had a seriously delicious second breakfast.

After second breakfast this dude on a BMC with rainbow stripes on his jersey showed up for a chat and took us for a 35km roll around some pretty nice back roads at a very chatty pace.

I was worried the whole thing would be a bit naff or feel contrived but it was actually really, really awesome. Cadel and his training buddy (Brinton? One of the Torq Racing dudes — involved in a nasty over-the-bars wreck resulting in induced coma a few months back) were both totally chilled and chatty. It was really like any normal bunch ride where you spend some time next to a guy you don’t know. Pleasantries. Awkward bicycling handshake. Chit chat. Bike talk. Race talk. And then the group shifts. All very natural. The biggest difference is that the speed was much slower but who cares, it was such a beautiful day, and how often do you get to share a few words with a TdF champion, let alone one with whom you share enough cultural customs that you can actually have an exchange.

After the ride we were treated to duck, five-spice and pear (OMFG) salad at Annie’s Provedore and I found myself seated next to ASO commentator and seriously nice bloke, Matt Keenan, from whom I learned some interesting stuff about Alberto Contador. Namely that in spite of the trademark pistolero salute he’s a pretty humble guy. He lives across the road from his parents in the house he lived in before turning pro, he’s married to his high school sweetheart (like me!) and is managed by his brother.

After conferring with my colleagues, we decided to write off the day and spend the afternoon rolling between coastal towns and eating ice-cream at the end of jetties.

Above: Andrew, who will be my suffer buddy in the Odyssey next year.

83 km / 372 m / 3:21:05 / more

Not a bad day all in all. Thank you REA!

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AIS Selection Camp: Don’t Keep Your Courage in a Box

Very deliberately, we were exhausted physically within the first 3 days. We were given no feedback, either positive or negative. We had no spare time to ourselves. We were never told more than a few hours in advance what challenge we would face next. We were sleep-deprived, woken unexpectedly, and at times not fed. Our challenges took us far outside our comfort zones. Our performances – good or bad – were greeted by blank expressions. Each night, we had intense de-briefs where a few of us would be grilled mercilessly about the decisions we had made that day. We were videoed and interviewed, all the time – constantly under the microscope. Half the time they probably didn’t even have tapes in the cameras.

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— Gertrude Stein

Last season at the GILA… I was with a good friend and I woke up in the morning dreading the coming stage. He quickly pointed out that I should be stoked…. “You get to race your bike today.”We train so we can race. Then on race day we forget that racing is why we ride. Racing is the gift. Racing is what you should be stoked about..……. not a new set of carbon wheels… or a cool new cycling kit…. We ride so we can race. We train so we can crush people…… then in the race when we get crushed… we should figure out how to train better, harder, smarter. etc……. instead we make up all sorts of crap…..ignore the gift of racing and never improve upon our past performances because we are blind to what is holding us back.

It isn’t flat tires and heavy bikes that slow us down…. It is our FLAT SQUARE MIND….. Leaking air and spewing crap all over the place. When you show up for a race and people ask you how you are doing… Tell them you are ready to rumble… ready to hurt… and hopefully you can end up on top today. Don’t tell them about how hard your work week was, that you have been sick, that this isn’t an “A” race… that you haven’t started your V02 block of training yet…. Blah…. Blah….. Blah…. If you are going to spew excuses then I suggest you take up a different sport. My good friend Jason has more legitimate excuses not to train than anyone I know. But he rarely ever uses any of them. At 4 a.m. almost every day that dude is on the trainer or out on the roads 350 days a year crushing it. It doesn’t matter if he is sick, didn’t sleep, or if the damn sky is falling. He has missed very few days of training in 7 years. His hard work is what motivates me. I can’t quite live up to his standards but I try. He was the first rider I knew that had a CTL of 100, 110, 120. It didn’t kill him and made him stronger… I gave it a try and I can’t put into words what it did for my riding.

Sam Krieg knows speaks only truth.

Long to long-ish, mentally challenging conditioning workouts that probably have to be tried to be believed.

I am going to check these off.

  1. 50 Bastards for time @ 2x 16kg KBs.
  2. 100 Thrusters, as fast as humanly possible.
    Rest as long as needed in any position, but if the bar touches the ground, you run 400m.
  3. 100 Hang squat cleans to thruster @ 2x 10kg dumbbells (Rx: 15kg)
    Plus 5 Burpees every minute, on the minute.
Here’s a sample (thanks Paul):

A certain online acquaintance had a high gravity day and mental check-out on this workout. It’s been a long time since I’ve been there (most Frans, a certain workout of Pete’s involving a lot of overhead walking lunges) so I thought I’d see if I couldn’t feel his pain and show some camaraderie. His local CF box will be doing three rounds of these movements in one minute stations as an anti-cancer fundraiser in the coming weeks. Best of luck CF Dogtown. Best of luck Ana and Paul.


Power clean @ 32.5 kg (Rx: 42.5)
KB Swing @ 24 kg
Shoulder to overhead anyhow @ 32.5 kg barbell

= 36:10

First thoughts: Kicking off with power cleans makes the barbell feel pretty light’n’easy, so the temptation is there to either go for the prescribed weight or to really crank out the reps. After putting that thing overhead 21 times and walking over to do swings knowing that you’re not even close to the halfway mark is a sobering thought. I paced myself from the get go, hoping to maintain a solid tempo and not hit the wall and have to grind out messy singles at the end. I think it worked. 11+10 splits for most movements in the first round (except double-unders, which are easy in such small numbers); 5+5+5, straight through all the nines but for the push-press/jerks that went 5+4; fives again in round four and 7+7+7 to make the 21 (except double unders and burpees, which were solid).

The only real difficulty was the swings in the last round. Reps 8-14 were nasty as hell, grunting and lifting with the arms because I’d lost the midline. I rallied for the final seven, just hoping to keep safe by locking breath and spine for the lower half of the movement and it worked like a charm — the final reps easier than the middle ones.

So it went ok and the time isn’t awful, considering how much I’ve been training lately, but this could easily become a suckfest if you got outside your limits early. Once that happens, the only way forward is to go into the not-nice-place and just refuse to peek out any further than the next few reps. Twenty-one? Shit no. Seven. Then seven more. Then seven more. Now swings. Not twenty-one. Five. And as the fifth is coming down, just two more. Five and two. Five and two. You’re done. Burpees weigh nothing. Get down on the ground! Get up! Look up! Jump! Repeat.

That’s how it goes. You don’t pay any attention to progress, you just keep counting and if it has to suck, make it fucking suck by being vigilant about what’s limiting you and attending to that limit. Keep the needle just at that red line. What I’m saying is, don’t walk around huffing and puffing like you need to get some air when you could hup that breath in and be working. If you have to drop a knee and breathe don’t let the bar go. Be present. Decide how many breaths you’re going to allow yourself to recover (5? 10? 20? The same number as the number of reps you just did?) and hold yourself to it. And finally, don’t get sloppy. Keeping your posture, technique and tension is both more efficient (easier!) and the way you avoid getting hurt.

It’s been a huge week with not a lot of time for training.

I have been on the bike a little, and I’ll fill those posts in soon, but not as much as I’d like to have been. I started a new job on the other side of town this week, spent the first two days in a conference and the remainder shuffling to work with the masses on PT.

The simple truth now is this: Whatever slim sliver of fitness I have right now is what I’ll be taking into the Amy Gillet Gran Fondo. I couldn’t care less. I’ll ride myself silly and love every moment of it. Here’s to being an empty shell!

5 Press @ 30kg
5 Press @ 35kg
5 Press @ 40kg

Row 1,000m
50 Thrusters @ 20kg
30 Pull-downs @ weight stack random number generator in lieu of pull-ups
= 9:42


Falling back on a basic Wendler 5/3/1 courtesy of strstd.com and a bit of ye olde maine site. I just haven’t been committed enough to make bike training work with the consistency it needs. It hurts more than conditioning, it doesn’t have an immediate pay-off and — and this is the big one — the time windows for doing it are compete directly with family, sleep and project time. So until I can get back onto that properly, it’s back to the old staples of upstairs lifting, jumping and running. The rules are: go hard, be consistent, don’t drop a ride in favour of gym, don’t fall into the obsessive traps that can come with CF (must get stronger). Just turn up and get it done.

I’ve also been reading a little bit about Leangains and have decided to have a bit of a tinker with the method. Basically a condensed eating window with a 16-ish hour daily fast, a little protein before the workout and the biggest carb load placed immediately afterward, the make-up of everything else will be straight paleo. Not aggressively low carb, but it’s going to turn out that way regardless. I’ll try to take a photo in the next few days to help keep an eye on any change in body comp. Don’t expect to see any such thing posted here anytime soon though.

July 2020

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