Monday, August 9, 2010

VO2max Booster Completed

it's now two days after finishing the VO2max Booster Program and i'm actually finding the thought of just going out for an easy run hard to fathom. especially considering the rain that is falling outside.

while i haven't run a test to check out if i gained fitness (improved VO2) i'm definitely feeling fitter as a result of the intensive 14 day training block. from start to finish the workouts actually started feeling easier and on the last day i even needed to up the pace during the final 30-30s session to try and max out rather than quit because of boredom.

ok i'll give a brief overview of my day to day while on the program.

day 1: skipped the 5min VO2max test scheduled and used my VO2max speed (3:20 pace) taken from my physiological test results conducted at the NSW Institute of Sport. next time (yes thinking about repeating this program in two weeks) i'll run the test to get a picture of my current physical status.

during the week (monday to friday) i also included a 8-15km easy run maintaining a HR effort below 75%max.

day 2 (wednesday) - before commencing this program i had already ran the previous three days with moderate-high intervals.

20min warmup, 10 x (30+30sec), 30min easy

Got through the warmup feeling good and when it came time to run the intervals for mathematical ease i extended the interval from 30sec to 200m so that i didn't have to constantly look at my watch. ran all intervals around 40sec and the recovery was extended to 100m but run slightly quicker than prescribed. legs felt fast, bouncy and surprisingly fresh.

day 3: legs felt awesome and less fatigued than is usual while training with high volume.

10min warmup, 3 x (5+10min), 5min easy

i increased the warmup to 20min and then ran the session as 5min @ 3:42 pace with 10min @ 6:40 pace (which felt too slow but i kept to the program), 10min cooldown. felt comfortable throughout the session.

day 4: recovery great

20min warmup, 3 sets of 6 x (40+20sec) 4min easy, 14min easy

another session which felt easy. maybe next round i'll increase the repeats up to 10.

day 5: felt fresh after yesterday's short repeats

10min easy, 20 x (15+15sec), 10min easy

today was a scheduled recovery day with short sprints. i actually liked this session and will continue to use this a short recovery day. it really helped to flush the legs. i also ran the 15sec fast segments closer to 110% of vVO2.

day 6: felt rested after yesterday's short session

20min warmup, 4 sets of 5 x (30+30sec) 5min easy, cooldown

when it came time to do this session didn't have it written down and ended up running five sets rather than four. still found that i could do more sets especially with such a long (5min) easy jog between sets.

day 7: happy with the thought that i'm almost halfway through this challenge

10min warmup, max x (30+30sec), 15min easy

went into this session with my stomach a little off but thought 20 would be a good number to hit. ended up stopping at 24 repeats due to stomach and not my legs or lungs which was a good result. it is suggested that it is better to stop a session knowing you could do more rather than going to complete failure. of course not going to the brink leaves you with the question of where your failure point is. need to push through sometimes in order to find your limits.

well that's a short seven day summary of the program. i'll try and post the next seven days of the program when i have some more time.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Finding one's limits

Finding one’s limit, to push (break) the boundaries, to extend one’s frontiers, to expand one’s horizons, to seek the unknown, to experiment, to explore the realm of possibilities, to boldly go….

Actually I like to think that I’m trying to push beyond my boundaries and see what’s on the other side (or on the inside). Hopefully I'll discover a higher realm of fitness and understanding about what my body can absorb and adapt to. Everything I do with my body, mind and soul is an experimental journey to find out what works and what doesn't. I generally take everything to extremes some healthy and some not so (drinking, smoking, insert other bad habits here...) but the path that I'm trying to follow will hopefully bring me to a higher level understanding about me.

Which brings me to now...

I was reading a post from the fitness black book (i think) and from the page I followed this link and after reading through the program I decided to adapt it to running and give it a go. Looking back at my training this year it looks like I’ve either been building or maintaining my base fitness from the early season ultra-marathons but as I’ve decided to try to get faster and race more often I need to incorporate some regular speedwork sessions into my program to improve and take it to the next level.

So now that I’ve completed Day 3 of the program and started to maintain a training log again I can see that I’ve actually run 5 days (maybe more but no memory or records of runs prior to Sunday) of quality sessions back-to-back. Sunday was an 80min longish run which out of boredom necessitated that I include 4 x 10mins at marathon pace effort (~4:00/km) to reduce the mental strain, Monday included a 15km moderate run (61mins) at lunch and after work I ran a hard 30min tempo session at close to 10k race pace (3:50/k), Tuesday morning I ran an interval session which included 1x1000m (3:36), 3x800m (2:52, 2:53, 2:50), 6x200m and then ran another 9km at lunch. So why would I then decide to move my training right into a 14 day VO2 boost program. Doesn’t make sense does it but a lot of what I do is considered a little crazy and on the brink of insanity which is often pointed out to me by my endurance junkie mates. Well Day 3 (or Day 5) has come and gone and I am laughing in the face of fatigue. My legs feel great, no niggles whatsoever and I'm feeling very fit... and very hungry.

Here is an outline of what I'm doing for the next two weeks.

VO2 Max Booster Program

This training program will dramatically boost your race performance in only 14 days. The training program can be used by any cyclist… or in my case adapted for running. On top of what is set out below I’m also keeping up with my twice daily runs making a second run either before or after the VO2 boost session an easy run of 40-70mins or a cross-training session which will either be a ride or a spin class.

I’ve often included “crash-training” principles into my training from time to time but I was attracted to this program after reading the following statement “The VO2 Max Booster Program is intended to be used by healthy athletes who want to increase their performance in just 14days. It’s clear that this short time limits the improvements you can achieve. Still, you will probably be amazed how much this time effective training program can do for you!”

Day 1
Total time: 1hr training
20min incremental warm up
5min easy rolling
5min VO2 max test
30min Easy/medium rolling

Now it is time for you to enter the VO2 Max Booster Program by performing the 5min test as the first step out of 14 steps to a higher VO2max. Good luck! OK I skipped the test as I had a physiological test done for both VO2 and LT when I ran my last marathon and I feel that my fitness is currently close to that level. After the completion of the program I will do the test (or enter a race) and see if I’ve effectively improved my fitness.

Day 2
Total time: 1hr training
20min incremental warm up
10 x (30+30sec) 100 / 50% VO2 Max
30min Easy/medium rolling

Day 3
Total time: 1hr training
10min incremental warm up
3 x (5+10min) 90% / 50% of your VO2 Max test result
5min Easy rolling

Day 4
Total time: 1hr training
20min incremental warm up
6 x (40+20sec) 95% / 50% of your VO2 Max test result
4min easy rolling
6 x (40+20sec) 95% / 50% of your VO2 Max test result
6 x (40+20sec) 95% / 50% of your VO2 Max test result
14min easy rolling

Day 5
Total time: 30min training
10min incremental warm up
20x(15+15sec) 100% / 50% VO2 max test result
10min easy rolling

Day 6
Total time: 1hr training
10min incremental warm up
5min 70% VO2 max
3min 75% VO2 max
2min 80% VO2 max
5x(30+30sec) 100 / 50% VO2 max
5min 50%
5x(30+30sec) 100 /50% VO2 max
5min 50%
5x(30+30sec) 100 /50% VO2 max
5min 50%
5x(30+30sec) 100 /50% VO2 max
5min easy rolling

This is a super hard VO2 max interval session that will dramatically boost your VO2 max. It is time effective and guaranteed to change your view of what interval sessions can do for you. Go for it!

Day 7
Total time: app. 1hr
10min incremental warm up
5min 70% VO2 max
3min 75% VO2 max
2min 80% VO2 max
10min 60% VO2 max
?? x (30+30sec) 100 / 50% VO2 max (close to your max repetitions, but no failure training)
15min easy rolling

Day 8
Total time: 1hr
20min incremental warm up
3x (5+3min) 80 / 50% VO2 Max
16min min medium/ easy rolling

Day 9
Total training: 1hr15min
15min incremental warm up
50min race/fartlek
10min cool down

Day 10
Total time: 30min
10min incremental warm up
5 x (30+30sec) 100% VO2 Max
10min easy rolling

Day 11
Total time: 1hr
15min incremental warm up
6 x (3+2min) 85% / 50%
15min easy rolling

Day 12
Total time: 1hr
12min incremental warm up
3min 80%
3min 50%
2x(3+3min) 100 / 50%
10min 50%
2x(3+2min) 80 / 50%
10min easy rolling

Day 13
Total time: 40min
20min incremental warm up
5min 85%
5min 50%
10min easy rolling

Day 14
Total time: 1hr15min
20min incremental warm up
8 x (30+30sec) 100 / 50%
7min 50%
8 x (30+30sec) 100 / 50%
7min 50%
?? x (30+30sec) 100 / 50% (Maximum number of intervals possible!)
10min easy rolling

Congratulations! You’re have completed the VO2 Max Booster Program! Afterwards I recommend you to take some easy days, maybe a day off, to recover from this overload of VO2 max intervals. Remember what I said about overreaching? You are not overtrained now, you are overreached and in the next couple of days you will begin to super compensate for the last 14 days impressive workload.

5min max test to find your new VO2 Max - Well I think I can find a race instead.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

north african goat curry

ok here is the recipe for the goat curry that i substituted with venison...

North African Goat Curry (recipe from Sporting Shooter, dec 2009)


1kg goat meat, cut into cubes
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1-2 tablespoons Ras el Hanout (see below)
3 tablespoons cooking oil (I used coconut oil)
1 cup veggie stock
1 tin chopped tomatoes
500gms sweet potato, peeled and cut into large cubes
500gms baby potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
100gms dried fruit (apricot, prunes or raisins)


Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F.
Combine goat, garlic, onion, Ras el Hanout, cooking oil, tomatoes and water in a deep casserole dish. Stir well with wooden spoon to combine. Cover the casserole dish and bake for approximately half an hour. At the end of this cooking time, add the dried fruit, sweet potato and potatoes. Mix well again, recover the casserole dish and continue to cook for about an hour and a half or until the goat is tender, veggies are cooked and the dried fruit is plumpy delicious.

Serve with plain or savoury couscous for a touch of the authentic.

Ras el Hanout (spices)

2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom pods
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3 cloves
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Grind all the ingredients together in a mortar and pestle (I used a coffee grinder). It made up 2 tablespoons worth.

Monday, March 22, 2010

venison african curry

on a visit to my folks the other week i scored some of last season's venison and a recipe for african goat curry with recommendations to give it a go...

here's how it turned out.. (not the best picture)

it was great and the older kids loved it too!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


yesterday: 1h run w/ 3k progression + 6x800m moderate (~MP) in around 3:05 with 200m jog recovery + 20min easy spin on bike

friday training and diet:
5:00am - black coffee (organic) + small snack (nuts, seeds, raisins)
6:45am - 10k run to work (44mins) - ran with pack loaded with clothes & food (heavy!)
8:00am - smoothie: coconut water + flesh, hemp protein powder, chia, cocoa, banana, berries and kale
10:00am - 3 hard-boiled eggs
12:30pm - cottage cheese/sweet potato
2:00pm - almonds, dried apricots (pre-workout)
4:00pm - run: hill workout - about 2 hours worth
6:30pm - large salad - cos, tomatoes, cuke, peppers, red onions w/ beef and cheese. steamed sweet potato (another big run in the morning out on the race course).

Monday, February 8, 2010

rediscovering self worth...

with a few setbacks behind me i think i've finally managed to get over them, rediscover my self worth and regain my focus. success over the years has made me question my ability after reaching and often exceeding my expectations. often success has brought on a feeling somewhat akin to depression and with that a loss of focus. time to find the value within myself and set my sights on the achievements i set out to conquer.

here we go...

yesterday: 70 minutes running; food = paleo; weight 78.8kg

today (tuesday 9feb):

0700: smoothie - coconut cream, 3 organic pastured eggs (raw), hemp protein powder, chia, LSA, organic cocoa (3 fish oils, 4000iu D3)
1000: 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 banana, 1oz almonds, 2 hard-boiled eggs, black coffee
1200: 40min run - felt tired and a little run down
1330: 106g sardines in oil, small salad (carrots, tomatoes, sprouts), 2 golden peaches
1530: 1 apple, 1oz almonds
1700: 50min run
1900: kangaroo, steamed veg (kale, spinach, broccoli), sweet potato (steamed) - a little fuel for a hard day of training tomorrow.

Day 2: Early start

After discovering that my wife's bike had been stolen from the bus stop where I had chained it up for my ride home last night meant that...