Monday, November 2, 2009

Weekly summary

So last week was a very good week.

Monday 1 hour strenght training. With my personal trainer David. Started off with 10 minutes warm up on the bike got 5.8km so it was more of a sprint than warm up but it did the job. Going through lounges, squads and push-ups I felt strong and good throughout the whole training. Ending with 3x one minute sprints on the rowing machine.

Tuesday, pennants squash (that I lost, see previous post).

Wednesday 1km swim. Went to a swimming pool that is in 15 minutes walking distance from my house. It has a 50m pool and a lot of lanes all marked for different skills. Fantastic facilities, cant believe I havent been using it. Going in the water was a strane feeling. I have not done any swim training for a year or so. Did the first 100m lap and thought I would die! My breathing was irregular and my forearm strength was gone. I stuck with it and managed to finish 1km, but averaged about 2:20 per 100m which is veeery slow. But the feeling of swimming was so good, the lungs the muscles, the mind just all felt so good. Cant wait to get to my previous swimming form (which wasnt spectacular but at least decent).

Thursday In house squash competition. My opponent didn't show. Rather dissapointing. Played the same person I played last week. Got a bit complacent as I have beaten that person 6 times without dropping a set. This time it was two sets each and I ended up winning by a single point. Not exactly a stellar performance.

Friday 1 hour strength training. Another session with my trainer David. We usually do just one training per week but the lucky b****rd is going to spend this week in Thailand so we did two trainings last week. Everything was going well until a third set of a routine which had 20x squats with a overhead lift, 20x lunges while twisting weights and 20x pushups then 1 minute rest. In the third set I suddenly felt a sharp pang of pain in my left elbow. I tried several times but I could not get any weight from that side on my elbow. On the other hand we moved to reverse pushups and that was no problem. The pain dissappeared and never came back, I did pushups both Saturday and Sunday without any problems... wonder what it was, a nerve maybe?

Saturday 1 hour walk. I meant to go for a swim but somehow plans changed and I ended up walking along a beautiful beach. White sands, sun slowly receding in the sky, boats floating around the river. It was so beautiful. Ans although I did not get my excercise I ended up walking for just over an hour which is a nice rest day.

Sunday 2km swim. Went back to Beatty Park. Took the first kilometer and went for the showers, in the showers I felt this urge to do more so I jumped back in and did another kilometer. Not fast, not pretty but hopefully I will pick up my errors and fix them sooner than later.

2 weeks of training done and just today I had three seperate people commenting on how much stronger and fitter I looked, that must be a good sign (or a sign that I was really out of shape!)

Have to keep it up this week with my trainer away!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Good week after an interesting weekend

Been a good week so far, started off Monday by a session with my personal trainer. The session was a really hard one, pushing muscles in legs and arms, but most of all the core. After lounges, push-ups, squats and reverse push-ups it was time for the rowing machine again.

Good workout all in all. It posed a problem the following day as my forearms were aching and I could not stretch them out properly. That would normally be a welcome sign as it shows the muscles are being stretched. Only problem was the timing. Pennants squash match on Tuesday night without being able to outstretch your arm is a pretty challenging one!

I lost my game 3-0 but thankfully my amazing team mates both won their matches so we won the night and retained our top position in the league.

Today I went to a swimmingpool for the first time in a year or so. I swam 1km in 100m intervals (50m pool). My times were not at all impressive, averaging at around 2:15-2:20 for each 100m. Have to work on that and get it under 2 minutes again.

Tomorrow it is squash again and on Friday another private training session. Then on Saturday I might be buying a triathlon bike. Just found a guy selling a bike in fine condition (according to photo and description) so will go and try it out.

Aside from training I spent last weekend scrubbing a former boarding school built in 1908 in New Norcia. The school (and the whole town) is built by and around a monestary still active. We went to prayers with the monks and slept in another former school (4 schools in the town, one was for white boys, one for white girls, one for aboriginal boys and one for aboriginal girls... so wrong but just the way things were before).

It was amazing spening the weekend with a group of volunteers having fun and contributing to keeping these beautiful buildings in proper order. I am all scrubbed out though, not going to scrubb any more walls for the next 6 months or so.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Good start to the week

The week started off well.

Had my personal trainer come back from Sydney, full of new ideas and learning on positioning and weight distribution. So we did some interesting exercises that showed just how much I use the muscles in top of the knee instead of the glute. Something I really must focus on to relieve pressure of the knees.

Then he stepped up the intensity and after weight-squads and pushups it was time for 3X250m sprints on the rowing machine. I can feel me strength increasing every week so thats positive, I still need a fair bit of reshaping to do before I go back to triathlons or longer runs.

Today my team was playing in the pennants squash league. I played a player some 15 points below me and probably some 45 years senior, but if I thought I might have an easy game I was in for a surprise. After losing the first game 9-8 I fought back and won 9-1. Full of confidence (possibly too full) I went into the third set and got tought a squash lesson, lost 9-1 and didnt get to run at all as every single shot was dropped by accuracy I can only dream of achieving. Back to reality and I got the fourth game 9-5 and going into the fifth game I saw that he was finished, running wise. But again he started dropping the ball from most unlikely positions. Before I knew I was trailing 7-3 in the fifth set and the situation didnt look good. I managed to calm my self down a little bit and got some lucky shots on my side. At 8-8 he chose to play to 10. I got a point straight away but he won the serve back and from that one a point, 9-9. I won the serve back but lost it, he had a matchpoint serve but again I was fortunate enough to win it back. Back and forth it went 3 times until I managed to score the winning point. 10-9 and 3-2 in games.

The player (John) being around 70 years old played amazingly and showed that speed and stamina only takes you so far, he played with intelligence and accuracy that I can only hope I will have achieved and retained when I am 70. Good work John!!!

My team had a very good night and my two team mates both won their games in three sets. With our team being second in the league (6 team per league, double round) it will be interesting to see tomorrow the results from the other matches.

The plan for tomorrow is an early start, smash work so I can go out early for an hour on the bike. Then on to a Malasian cookery night, organized by my friends at Curtin University.

The summer is rolling in with Saturday reaching 37 degrees (Celcius), thats a little bit too much for an Icelander like my self but beautiful it was and a nice change from 6 months of rain (this has been the wettest winter for some 90 years here in Western Australia)

Anyways, I am back on track, putting my faith in David, my personal trainer to keep my injury free so I should be able to start doing short triathlons by the end of this summer.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Back from dead

I'm back, maybe not quite back from dead, but at least back from the most annoying knee injury!
A lot has changed since my last post (one year old, or more). I have moved, not only between neighbourhoods but from my beautiful Iceland over to the land down under. Now I live in Perth, Australia.

I started playing squash again, playing in a pennant league and an inhouse weekly competition. In addition I have hired a personal trainer that has been working on my legs, stretching out my IT bands and trying to work out what has been meesing up my knees so badly without any apparent medical reason.

So far so good. I am not anywhere close to the physical shape I was in after I ran the marathon or the triathlons but I guess I have to start from somewhere.

Trying to keep a 4-5 trainings a week and that seems to leave my knees fresh, it is far away from the 12 trainings a week but at least it is training.

I have been doing some long bikerides on a gym bike, going to 60km but normally taking the olympic 40km distance. It is very different riding a gym bike but getting those muscles working again is the first priority. Next step is to buy a triathlon bike, they are just redicilusly expensive here and after the credit crunch (as you might know Iceland got hit really bad) I have decided not to buy anything on credit, not cars and definetly not bikes.

Not really running too much, started running 4-5 times a week after I moved (in end of Feb) but the knees didnt really feel good although the pain wasnt there which is good. I decided to build up strength and focus on biking for a while, anyway that was my weekest part of the triathlon and looking at the time you spend on the bike in an Ironman it makes sense to focus on the bikeleg for a while.

If there is anyone who knows good trails to run at around Perth, please let me know!

Anyways, good to be back! cant wait to start posting training logs and times.

Tomas the Icelandic Aussie

Friday, May 23, 2008


Well, it is official, I have finished my first triathlon. Although a very short super sprint it was a triathlon.

It took place last sunday and Ásgeir (Ironman and fellow swimmer) was in charge of organizing the event. The days before I had more or less not trained at all due to the knees and increased workload (hopefully temporary).

It was very interesting swimming with 6 people on each lane. Lots of pushing and kicking in the beginning and to my surprise I ended up being second on my lane. Even having to slow down on several occasions as I touched the front swimmer. I decided not to overtake her as to use her drag and to control my tempo. The time for the 400m was 7:47 which is under 8 but still not a great time. Transition took way too long and was partly due to the fact that I had to put on knee protectors that no one else had to put on. And believe me, putting on tight knee protectors on wet legs while trying to hurry up is not an easy task.

Finally I was ready and I ran the 100m or so to my bike (Pusi was very calm and acted like a pro). The bike leg was ok... 10.6km in 23 minutes... I would like to go under 20 minutes, but there were 6 hills, 3 of them big (the same hill three times). Also the front tire got really soft so all in all this is acceptable but still needs a lot of improvement.

The run was the part I was really anxious about. Would my knees handle the pressure. I went out slowly, partly due to the fact I was testing the knees and partly due to the fact my legs felt like led. After the first km my legs felt better and my knees were not complaining at all (maybe due to the ibufen I took before the race). So I managed to step up the pace and overtake Siggi from my swim team. Tried to sprint the last 200m to catch the next guy but I was to far behind.

12th place the result in 45:36 minutes. only 2:40 minutes from the 6th place. Next triathlon will be on the 1st of June, 1/2 olympic distance. I will not rain much as the specialist told me to cut down intensity for 3-6 moths!!! But I will definetly race and see how my knees handle the 5km run.

The organization was really good. The course was well marked (although I took one wrong turn on the bike), volunteers stopping traffic and cheering you on. Big thumbs up for this initiative and I look forward going longer and longer untill the Ironman in 2009

Monday, May 5, 2008

Good week!

Last week was fine...
2 swim trainings, doing a 1500m at 32:03 minutes which is on track for a sub-30 minutes this summer.

3 spinning classes, really putting the resistance up and giving those calfs something to work for... 3 strength trainings, admittedly easy this week.

2 runs, this was supposed to be a lot more... have to start picking up more time for this... the knee is healing and I did my first painless 3.5km run this week.

In 13 days I have a super sprint triathlon and then I will see if my knee can take the 1/2 Ironman in 41 days...

Friday, April 25, 2008

And a run it was!

The Boston Marathon is finished... Bunch of Icelanders ran the race, some were fast, others were not so fast but they can all claim participation in the oldest and the most respected marathon in the world... Also Frank, mentioned in a previous post ran, although still recovering from an ultramarathon. Jen improved her Boston time by 11 minutes and Scott Dunlap (see blog links) ran the distance although obviously not pushing for a time. But he runs over 20 races over 42km each season so they can't all be the fastest.

Inspired by this I started my short run recovery... Taking the advice of my friend Ásgeir I decided to run 1.5 km... if the knees would handle that go a bit longer and work my self up... I must work my self up to 21km by the 15th of June when I plan to race the 1/2 Ironman.
So I set out. I felt silly dressing up in my running clothes knowing I would only be going 1.5km. The preperation it self took as long as the run. I tried to run with knee support and that really worked well. I ran downhill for around 750m and then steep uphill for 750m. My knees held up fine. No pain, only a little tingling sensation that worried me for a little bit.

That night I was working a night shift and my knee felt a bit weak, but not in pain. So something is going right. I am using massage (credit to my aunt), omega-3 fish oil, voltaren, knee support... anything that will work, traditional or not.

I didn't time my run or check the pulse (as it was such a short run) but the speed was fine although I can feel that 3 weeks of not running really brings down the stamina... but stamina is easy to build up. 51 days to go!!!