Sunday, December 18, 2011


Well, the time flies at this stage of the year. So the past couple of weeks I tried to have a little hit out at the Taupo Half Ironman, have done some christmas shopping, watched Ava grow, and done some good training.

Taupo Half was a tough day at the office and I decided to call it a day after the bike, the body had some big bricks on its back and couldnt get them off. So a easier week after and I am starting to get some better sensations in the legs and not pedalling squares :)

So what would I like for Christmas? Well next year I am pleased to confirm that I am going to be back with Team Timex and we are changing bike sponsors, so one of the below is going to be just like christmas :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Update, Taupo Half Ironman

Time has been flying since baby Ava has arrived. A little less sleep at night, some training sessions, coaching and the days seem to disappear very fast :)

This weekend will be my first race in a while, the Taupo Half Ironman, I have had a win, 2nd, 3rd, crash DNF in the past couple of years in Taupo. Its a great course, and a perfect chance to practise on the IMNZ course if you are stepping up to the IM distance or to get a feel of what IM will feel like.

A very good field is due on the start line on Saturday morning, Cam Brown, Callum Millward, Mark Bowstead, Jamie Whyte, Brodie Madgwick, Kerin Doe and a few others so it should be a cracker of a race.

Training wise, I am in the middle of a big build up for Challenge Wanaka ,I have been thinking about this race ever since making some stupid mistakes last year. Check out my old blog if you want the details.

Hopefully Taupo is not like it was in 2009 (see photo below), must thank the volunteers for battling in the below conditions

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ava Jean

So little Ava has arrived, Tracy has been extra busy and I have been getting a little less sleep :)
The birth definitely put in perspective pain tolerance on a big scale, I will take Ironman any day

Check out my photo blog below for some of the action

After run session at birthing centre

After Bike session

She likes the sound of water, my little trick to get her to sleep

Quite energetic already!

First friend

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Baby, birthdays, racing

Well its waiting time in the Williams house at the moment. The little baby is past its due date so should arrive any time now.

So training at the moment involves taking the cell phone and always letting Tracy know where I am going. Candice had her birthday the other day so we had a 10 kilometer set in the pool and I was half expecting the lifeguard to come over and give me some good news, that I would have to rush home, but it didnt happen.

I had a few athletes racing at the weekend and all showed some really good improvements from the work they have been putting in over the winter. All have plenty more to come, good things take time. I like the quote from Percy Cerutty
 "Hard things take time to do, impossible things take a little longer"

Erin 5th and Ange 21st at Long course world champs
Candice backing up her big weekend (K2 + Auckland Marathon) with a win at the Gisborne Duathlon
Tamsyn 2nd at Ashburton Half Ironman

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New York Marathon

The New York marathon is coming up in a couple of weeks and I was shown this great little video of the NZ great Rod Dixon. It gives a great insight into proper pacing and beleiving in your plan.
Kimberly Smith is also on the start list this year, so it could be another great Kiwi victory

Some stats for the numbers people

 Bronze 1500m at Munich olympics
 1500m = 3min33sec
 5k = 13min17sec
 10k = 28min11sec
 Marathon = 2hr08min

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Kona 2011

Who watched the race on the weekend?  I was certainly glued to for a good chunk of the day, but still managed to squeeze out some good solid training.

What an awesome race!  Seeing Craig Alexander cramping towards the end of the run and being forced to walk made it an incredibly exciting race, especially with Pete Jacobs chopping out time from him with every stride.  But he held on to get his 3rd Hawaii Ironman title, and broke the course record at the same time!

And how about Chrissie Wellington coming from over 20 minutes down off the bike to win the race with a stunning display of pure guts and grit.  She really is that 1:10000000 race horse.  No complaining before the race of her injuries, just got in there and got the job done with the tools she had left.

Anyway, I had a competition for people to give their picks for the mens and womens champions, with the winning run split required to decide the closest guess.  The prize was for an awesome Team Timex training jacket.  Most people picked Alexander and Wellington to win it - surprise, surprise, so I have some on to it readers :)

But the person with the best picks actually got 4 out of the 6 top 3 positions correct. So Brodie Madgwick takes the prize. I will be in touch. What are your picks for the World Cup Brodie?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What training did I do today?

So what does a typical friday look like for me these days? At the moment I am working on increasing my bike power and strength which I need for next season.  The basics behind the sessions is too really overload my cycling legs more than usual, while keeping the running and swimming ticking over.

This morning started with a session on the erg (indoor trainer) which consisted of a long warm up, some short intense intervals with a long rest interval, followed by a long warm down. The reason for the longer rest is to let my legs recover completely so I can hit the next interval with the maximum of effort, and hold good form the duration.  I am set up in the lounge in front of the telly, playing a mixture of "The good morning show, Juice TV and MTV."  Its amazing what a good song can do for the brain, the time goes alot quicker and its easier to switch off and just get the work done.  I also learn some great housekeeping skills at the same time.

I have some 'work' work to do before heading out for the next session and then its back on the bike this afternoon. I am going to ride hills for a couple of hours, which will include climbs such as French Pass, Te Miro and Sanatorium.  For those who aren't familiar these range from 5-15 minutes in length, with a range of gradients, from "it dosent hurt much" to "works the legs no matter what"

I will follow this bike session with by putting on the Saucony Fastwitch's and run a number of short intervals, not too many but just enough to get the heart rate up and to remind the legs that to run a fast Ironman you still have to run FAST!

The below photo is from last friday, plenty of Magpies around at the moment, these ones a little worse for wear.

Check the random quote below, I quite like it.

Also, dont be scared to put in a entry to win some timex kit, check out link below

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Win Team Timex gear - Kona picks

With the Ironman World Champs in Kona, Hawaii coming up in a few weeks time I thought it would be fun to give my top three picks in the men's and women's races.  See below.

For the closest pick of those who post it on my blog I will give away an awesome Timex thermal cycling vest. You will also need to put down a time for the run split of the 1st male in case of a tie. Put your picks and times below in the comments section. Entries have to be in before the gun goes off - which will be early in the morning of October 9, NZ time.

  1. Andreas Raelert 2hr42min
  2. Craig Alexander
  3. Frederik Van Lierde
  1. Chrissie Wellington
  2. Miranda Carfree
  3. Mary Beth-Ellis
Raelert Vs Alexander

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011


    I just read the below quote and think it is a great example of how to many coaches and athletes over analyse everything. Keep to the basics, you don't need to over analyse, x watts, heart rate to the nearest beat, cadence 89.67, 21 grams of carbs. Over analysing causes a lot of lost training and most of all recovery time when you could be resting your brain and body from triathlon, because that is when you are actually getting fitter

    I have highlighted my favourite line

    Lydiard got back from a European tour in the 60s, while he was away he was introduced to the physiology of what was actually going on. He introduced to his squad the concepts such as anaerobic and aerobic exercise.

    He "lost" his squad almost at the outset. Bill Ballie (world record holder 20,000m and 30,000m) chirped up saying "You mean fast stuff and slow stuff, coach?" Olympic Gold medalist Murray Halberg was even more to the point "Coach, does this change anything we are doing in training?" "No, not at all" said Lydiard. "Good, So we can cut the bull shit and get on with it!" replied Halberg.

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    What does a beginner need to do to complete a half Ironman?

    2k swim, 90k bike, 21k run

    Well the basics are like what Arthur Lydiard devised in the 50s and 60s to produce multiple gold medalists and world record holders in the form of Snell, Halberg, Magee and Baillie etc etc….
    What you need to do is to build up the stamina and strength to complete the distances. And remember it is a triathlon, not a swim race, bike race or run race. If you have not trained enough on the bike it does not matter how good a runner you are, you will not be able to run to your potential if you are not fit on the bike.
    The swim is made up of approximately 1 stroke every meter of swimming so approximately 2000 strokes. In order to be able to do this on race day you need to show your body what it is like to swim 2000 strokes, so at least once per week you should build up to swimming a main set of 2000 strokes. One of my favorites for developing athletes is 10x200m on 20sec rest done all as Pull (pull = paddles + pull buoy)
    The cycle consists of 90 kilometers. Again you need to build the strength and endurance to be able to complete the ride so you can get off and run. This involves a longer ride each week, and then several shorter rides focusing on building strength. For example another favorite of mine for developing athletes is simply to jump on the Turbo or indoor trainer, and do a 10min wup/dwn and 15x1min in a big gear at a very strong intensity. So you get nearly an hour worth of aerobic work and build strength at the same time.

    You can check out the rest of the article here

    Me at the New Plymouth Half Ironman

    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    Back Home, New arrival, Cambridge Half Marathon

    So I made the flight home from Copenhagen with no Dramas. A slight headache from the beers from the after party but that disappeared by about the time I arrived in Hong Kong. I found some nice seats in Hong Kong airport which don't have any intermediate hand rails and had a real good sleep.

    I arrived into Auckland Airport with Tracy to meet me, and she has changed quite a bit since I have left. Someone has been growing quite fast inside her. I am not allowed to post a photo of Tracy so its first bike will have to do :)

    I had the first week off any real exercise, one bike, one swim and a cycle to catch up with some athletes to check on their form etc. The second week was about the same until Saturday when I decided I would go out for a Ironman brick session with Erin and Candice, two of the girls I coach. So we had 3+ hrs on the bike with some 50min efforts to keep things interesting. Then we where lucky enough to have the inaugural Cambridge Half Marathon starting at 12pm so we finished the ride, and got straight into the run. I just about missed the start by time I had packed the bikes in to the car etc.
    The legs on the bike didn't feel to bad, but the heart rate felt like it was through the roof. Onto the run and I have to say Candice's and Erin's form is a lot better than mine after 2 weeks off!, the first 10k where not to bad, but after that it was all downhill :) my left leg started cramping badly so it was a slow jog in to the finish. Quite a good session to kick start the body, even though it was not very enjoyable last 40min at all. I don't think I am going to try a IM a week apart or two weeks for that matter unless I trained through the first one and got rolling very quickly after the first one.

    So I am back into the training this week, time to build a bigger engine for next season

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Challenge Copenhagen

    So I am just back to New Zealand after Challenge Copenhagen on the weekend. Three flights and just over 40hrs door to door and it’s good to be home.

    Some positives out of the race, but a few big negatives too...

    Race day started with me just about false starting the entire field, they had some music playing and I knew it was very close to start time when a little bang went off on the song playing and off I went. I only got a couple of steps and there was a lot of yelling and I realised we hadn’t been given the cannon. So quickly back to behind the line and only about 10secs later and we where off with the proper bang.  Bayliss and a few other swimmers quickly opened up a gap from the start and I settled into the second group where I remained the rest of the swim. I had a quick look at the watch and read 49.30 so I knew the damage would not be too excessive to front.

    Onto the bike and a group formed containing all the strong Danish guys + Bastie + Dejan. We picked up Berkel and Jimmy at about the 30k mark. Bjorn Andersson was starting his demolition of the cycle course and continued with it the entire ride.

    At the 40k mark I picked up my first every drafting penalty. I thought our group was riding really clean, we had a motorbike with us the nearly 90% of the time. Then next thing I know a marshal on a motorbike  who I hadn’t seen all day came up to me when I was rolling through some corners. I had to do a double take and look behind as I wasn’t sure if it was for me or someone else. About 1min later the same marshal gave Berkel a penalty, I am not sure his was for either as he definitely wasn’t in the draft zone.

    Rolling in to the second loop I tried to put some pressure and split the group but everyone seemed to be riding about the same and after about 40k of trying there was only a couple that had been popped . And then with about 25k to go my legs started to fall apart! Not exactly what I wanted to happen. Bastie and Berkel then rode off and I lost some time coming into transition with Jimmy and Dejan. The next part was very hard mentally as I knew I had to serve my penatly, so I stood around for the 4min trying to keep positive. I was little relieved to see about 50 numbers on the board so knew I wasn’t the only one with quite a few numbers from the top 10 seeds.

    Out on to the run, and the legs felt pretty good and I settled in to a nice rythum, a couple of toilet stops on the first lap and I could also see the damage to the front which was a lot to Bjorn but I was still in the mix with the rest. I was running along at about 2.42 pace and was feeling good. I caught Bayliss midway through the first lap, and the next 18k ticked over nicely picking up a couple of guys. I was on the coke and gels. At the 26k mark I had a Red Bull which within a couple of minutes I knew it was a big mistake. If anyone reading saw the video of me at Challenge Wanaka it was quite similar, everything started coming out and my stomach was in knots. My stupid mistake in using something different, so a good lesson. So I ended up having a little sleep on the side of the road and a couple of IV drips later I was feeling a lot better. A DNF besides my name, not the best way to finish my trip to Europe. Jimmy and Tim had a great battle for the win which was a super exciting race for the spectators.

    Big thanks to the Challenge Orgainsers for putting on another great race and Angela for coming over to watch from London and looking after me.

    Next up for me is a little down time then time to work on getting stronger before a big New Zealand season.

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    A few photos and update from copenhagen

    So I arrived in Copenhagen on Wednesday night to some stormy weather. A little trip on the metro and I was at the very nice Bella Sky hotel. You dont get many building like this in NZ!

    Yesterday I got registered, had the press conference, a trip to the supermarket, a few movies and not much else :)
    Today is pretty much the same, a little exercise, the race briefing and some more movies. Saturday will be the same again and then it will be game on Sunday morning. The past year has gone super quick and it definitely does not feel like a year ago I was on the startline to Challenge Copenhagen. 

    Check out some photos below

    Inside room

    Orbea ready to roll

    #2 this year

    Staying in the very nice Bella Sky

    Press conference

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    Some photos from Hilpoltstein

    This could be very dangrous, BIG party this weekend in Hilpo

    Me on the Orbea

    Driving and photography not reccomended

    One of the many quiet country roads to ride through

    For my farmer friends, harvest time in Germany this week

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    German Update

    Since Challenge Roth, I had a few very easy days and then started rolling again. The body seems to have pulled up well and I have been ticking off some good training. I have just done a Barry Magee weekend running so the legs have had a good working over.

    A few things I have noticed in Germany
    •  At the pool, a lot of people like to do breaststroke, more than any other country I have been too. Lucky the pool is normally pretty empty so there are never any lane rage issues
    • Another pool observation, the women seem to love to wear bath robes to the pool
    • The signage on German roads is outstanding, you not only get the street names but always the direction you are headed, makes getting lost a lot harder.
    • The road surface here is super, the NZ goverment, local councils, transit etc, need to come for a lesson in building roads. 
    A really dumb thing I did in Germany
    • So this past weekend I was suppost to fly to London to see some family. I was flying out of Frankfurt but didnt even consider checking if there was more than one airport when I jumped on the train. And guess what? Frankfurt has two airports, and I ended up at the wrong one, completely missing my flight......
    My routine of the past couple of weeks is to get the training done and then settle down for some Tour De France action in the afternoon, so next week might be a little different. Also it was great to see our Kiwi runners smashing it on the weekend also, Nikki Hamblin and Nick Willis both breaking the national records.

    Next update soon

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    Challenge Roth Race Report

    At the beginning of the day I knew my gold medal was going to be a podium finish and that’s exactly where I ended up, 3rd place in the biggest race in Europe, Challenge Roth. I have never experienced a crowd like it, I thought Challenge Copenhagen was pretty special with over 100,000 people on the course last yr in the middle of town. But the German people, over 180,000 of them packing the climbs and run course made an unbelievable atmosphere. Turning the corner and approaching the Solaberg for the first time, I had goosebumps on my arms and couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing. During the run I used a Ipod for the first 20k and numerous times, I couldn’t even hear the music for the crowd noise. I said during the press conference it was like been at a rock concert and that wasn’t a joke!

    It’s a definite must do race if you are ever coming to Europe or want to experience something very special.

    So to my race, I was pretty relaxed race morning and rode the 1km on a Cruiser bike to the start area. The swim is down one side of a canal and back up the other side. My swimming has been going really well and prior to the race that was what I was least worried about, but it ended up being my worst section of the race. I got a little pumped at the start and after 1500m or so found myself just of the back of the second bunch. From there the gap stretched and I ended up leading the rest of the swim with the 3rd bunch. Out of the water in about 30th position and there was not many bikes left in the Pro rack which was not the best start to the day. Time 51min30sec

    Long distance races are all about keeping going and not giving in, so I knew I just had to quickly forget about it and get on with the bike. I slowly started picking off riders and formed a little group with two other athletes Rota and Fuches. I had no idea how far back from the main group I was and the German bike axes who where further of the front. Riding up the Greding climb I could see a large pack of men about 1min up the road. By time we had got to the Solaberg we had bridged the gap and I knew I was back in the race apart from Andreas Raelert who was doing a demolition ride. The rest of the ride I tried to keep the pace steady, look after the nutrition and get the legs ready for the run.  Riding up the Solaberg was insane with the noise and crowd. I think there must of been at least 20guys together at the top of the Solaberg, but by time I jumped off the bike the group was down to about 6 guys.

    So I was off the bike in 11th with a 4hr26min ride but had no idea of this during the race. My german is not the best, just a couple of words J so couldn’t understand any of the people yelling at me.

    Into the run and the legs felt pretty good for the first 10k, by time I was at the first turn around I could see Raelart and Kienle where a long way up the road, but everyone else ahead was in striking distance. The legs started to feel pretty heavy after 15k but I was still catching/moving along ok. At the 27k mark I saw James on the side of the road, and was into 4th with Ritter not far ahead. I then caught Ritter running through the forest and finally had a push bike with me, what I was wanting at the start of the day, meaning I was in third. The last couple of kilometres where through town and back on to the pavement, they where pretty tough but I knew I had third in the bag unless I blew pretty bad. So I tried to enjoy the last section, even if the photos don’t show it! So the run ended up being a 2hr54min and total time 8hr16min.

    I have massive respect for Raelert  who absolutely smashed the course for the win, and has moved the bar so much higher and Kienle with another great race. Also Chrissie Wellington, she again showed what a amazing athlete she is.

     I am super stoked to get on the Podium, its definitely a career highlight so far. I am still waiting to lay down a really good run this year which I know is waiting in the legs, so some more work before Challenge Copenhagen in 4 weeks time and hopefully I can put together a complete performance.

    A big thanks to my homestay family, it’s been so easy preparing for the race and to Felix and the Challenge crew, another great race in the Challenge family of events.

    Also, check out the Utube video at the bottom of page, world famous table run after the prize giving between Felix and a young french pro 

    Ritter, Schuman, Me, Kienle, Raelert

    Running into finish

    Pleased to be finished

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Challenge Roth

    Ok, the race report is coming, but I have some photos of the day, the atmosphere and crowd was like nothing I have ever experienced before

    My homestay, Dominic, Joshua, Junea.
    Junea told her dad tonight that I was the man that lives in the basement!

    My Orbea ready to roll

    Swim start

    Transition 1, over 5000 athletes in total, big day!

    Me on bike

    Through the finish - happy to be home, 3rd place

    Seb crushing bike

    Big crowds, 180000 on the course, CRAZY!

    Solaberg hill - Very VERY noisy

    Dominic sun burn

    Finish line

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    A few photos from Challenge Roth

    My homestays road

    On the race course

    Small German Village

    My Car for the week, thanks Challenge!

    Local Pool - Stainless Steel 50m

    Up close on the pool

    Beer tent at Expo

    Saucony tent

    Random farm we drove past - had to stop for a photo, 30cows in total, this if for my famer friends....

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    Euro Travel + Jet Lag

    So I am waiting at Auckland International Airport for my journey to Roth Germany. I will give you a little time line of whats going to happen

    7pm NZ time - leave Cambridge for drive to Auckland

    9pm - Arrive at airport, say goodbye to Tracy with a big hug :)
    check in, bike box and my life checks in at 23.1kg - love it, no excess baggage charges with air NZ and its booked all the way through to Nuremberg, 3 flights

    9.30pm - write this blog on a really small keyboard, there is free internet stations on the way to gate 6 and 8 which are about 30m from the pay ones! top secret

    10pm - finish this blog

    10.30 - Kill time by looking at the stars............

    11.15 - Finally on plane and ready for lift off

    11.30 - Check the movies, plan my next 3hrs before i hopefully passout for the rest of the 12hr flight to Shangai /china with the aid of a sleeping pill

    12-3pm  - watch some movies, get annoyed with the snoring lady beside me who keeps falling asleep on me

    Arrive in China some time, not sure on times now as in the ZONE

    Go nuts as I have a 7hr layover, read a book, do some laps of the airport, write some programs, hopefully find a free wifi connection

    1.15pm china time - Leave for 12hr to Frankfurt - Germany
    Get cranky as getting a little tired and hungry, need some more airplane food.
    Going to try and have a nap but not to long, as i want to get into Euro time asap.

    8hrs into flight - been through all the decent movies, been to toilet 6 times, practising my ironman mental preparation of Switching off, ignoring the time.....

    6.45pm Germany time - Arrive,sweaty, tired and most likely grumpy, stretch the legs for 3 hours and on to the final flight.

    9.45pm - Fly out to Nuremberg, thankfully only a 40min trip!

    10.25pm - Arrive, so so glad to get the flying done. Hopefully the bike has made it in one piece and my homestay is waiting for me.

    11.30pm - Get to ROTH, crash and burn for a big sleep - Hopefully!

    So 2 x 12hr flight + a 45min flight, about 10hrs of layovers and some driving. Love it.................

    Next update soon.....

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Packing for Europe + Dead Snake

    Times flies and its just about time to head to Europe for Challenge Roth and Copenhagen.

    I am really looking forward to my first time at Roth, I have heard so many good stories from the race, with the atmosphere and course, it should be a ripper.

    Since I am flying through Asia, the baggage allowance is only 23kg so I have written a list of what I need and don't, as its always a struggle to stay under 23kg! I use a cardboard Orbea Box and carry on bag for laptop, book and any heavy stuff

    • Orbea Bike
    • Durace 75 Race Wheels
    • Training Wheels - may have to leave at home and borrow some
    • Saucony Kinvara's and Fastwitch shoes, one of each, I can save weight, wear one pair on plane
    • Compressport Calf compression - wear on plane, save weight
    • Orca wetsuit
    • Sugoi Race kit
    • Sugoi training kit, one kit
    • Drink bottles - get in Europe
    • Pair of jeans - wear on plane
    • Jacket - wear on plane
    • Undies - 3 pairs, wear one on plane
    • Socks - 3 pairs, wear one on plane
    • T shirts - 3
    • Shorts - 1
    • Laptop
    • Bike Pump - borrow
    • Timex Race Trainer Pro watch - wear on plane
    • Aero Helmet
    • Normal Helmet
    • Cycling shoes
    • Lydiard running book - always get me motivated
    • Passport
    • Wallet
    • Toiletries, just take the tooth brush and get the rest there
    That's about it, so if i get desperate I normally stuff all my smaller clothes in to my Jacket pockets and if I really need to put three t-shirts on at once. It does not sound like much but it all adds up.

    Packing Car

    Random Dead Snake on Farm

    Close up

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    A few photos from Brasil

    On the Orbea

    On the run

    On the podium

    With Dad, Bia and winner Sturla

    Kiwis in Rio
    Timex, Tracy, Dad and I at beach