This morning I was meant to run an early morning intervals session of 9*800m at 5k pace, with 400m jog in-between each set.  That’s a tough session.

Instead I got up, played with my puppy and ate a grapefruit.

I say that so off-hand, but actually making the choice not to do the workout was a tough one.  11045389_873075352736017_1218951752553398124_n


The internet is full of memes, slogans, quotes etc like the one above, but I don’t think they are necessary.  Most competing athletes tend to do too much, I think, rather than too little.

It’s hard to know when to rest, especially when your training plan is hammering away.  I had a pretty killer track session on Wed night, which ended up being nearly 15km of speed work.  Thursday morning early I got up and ran my 70 min easy, or as I logged it – “dead man’s shuffle.”  While easy runs are supposed to be at an easy pace, I’ve run ultra marathons faster than I ran yesterday morning.

I should have taken yesterday off so I could have done a quality intervals session today.  But it is what it is, and tomorrow I have 20 miles to run and I am deeply weary and to put it simply, my butt is killing me from the 200m sprints we did at the track.  So I took a big breath and put my trainers back into the closet.  For today.

I’ll be back tomorrow.


Weekly Update – last week

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 08.04.15

Last week was a decent training week.  I got in two tempo runs, a track session, and a long run.

And some horse riding, as I mentioned last week!  I’ve had some questions on the riding, so if you’re interested:

  • My heart rate for a tempo run is usually around 175 bpm (beats per minute);
  • my heart rate for an easy run is around 130-145;
  • my heart rate while riding was around 100 when trotting and 120-145 while cantering.

This shows that riding – at least for me – is a good fat burning sport, but it really doesn’t burn a whole lot of calories compared to running or cycling.  Good for core strength, though!

February totals:  56 hours

Swim:  5 km / 2 hours 18 min

Bike:  323 km  / 11 hours 28 min

Run: 267 km / 24 hours 32 min

I’m always amazed at how marathon training (versus Ironman training) takes much less time overall, and yet I feel more tired… !

This is an update to my recent post on fast = sexy when it comes to male cyclists (scientific fact, apparently!).

My friend Daniel (who is also a very fast cyclist), pictured below zooming along at top speed, has suggested a sexy cyclist:

Daniel Russell = fast

No, he wasn’t nominating himself (we will wait for his wife to forward that suggestion), but MARIO CIPOLLINI as a sexy cyclist, going against the grain of my words that male cyclists aren’t identified as sexy.

This news flash is warranted mostly because when I googled Mario, like Victoria Pendleton‘s photo in my last post… this came up:

Mario Cipollini


At a time when @FiftyWomenToKona is rallying for support for women in triathlon, I say hurrah for a very small expression of gender equality!


January is, supposedly, a time for New Year’s Resolutions, fresh starts, ending bad habits.  So just to switch it up a bit, what are your guilty pleasures, your indulgences?  A few of mine:

  1. Garmin data.  It’s ridiculous but I love it.  I upload within minutes of getting home from a workout and I study the data meticulously – even if it’s just a silly slow 5km run.  I go nuts when an upload loses my data.  I love the maps, the splits, the weekly tallies, the stats, all of it.  And I love seeing yours, too. (Follow me on Strava!)
  2. Sports kit.  The worst offenders are LululemonSweaty Betty* and Oiselle. During peak Ironman training I calculated I was wearing (and sweating in) 3 sports bras a day, sometimes 4 ((1) morning workout; (2) cycle to and from work; (3) yoga at lunch; (4) evening workout) which means really that I need at least 15 to get through the week.  I probably have double that number…. not to mention everything else.  We do a LOT of sports kit laundry in this house.
  3. Popcorn.  I love the stuff.  In the UK it was all about Tyrrells.  I used to buy about 6 bags in our weekly shop!  If anyone can tell me where to get Tyrrells popcorn in the US, I will be grateful! In the meantime I’m making do with a poor replacement from Fresh Market. (Yes, I make my own too.  But it doesn’t taste as good as Tyrrells).

*Want to try Sweaty Betty? At checkout, click on “been referred by a friend” on the right side of the page, and enter “Julia Kelk” for a cool $20 off your first order.  Alternatively, you can enter your email here to receive a $20 coupon.

What are your guilty pleasures?  As above.  Also, chocolate.  Ice cream.  Corn on the cob (6 cobs being the most I ever ate in one sitting).

Weekly Roundup

New Year’s happened.  I was in bed by 10.  Because I was tired (and happy) after doing a mock tri on New Year’s Eve that consisted of a 2700 m swim, a 30 km bike and a 5 km run.  It pissed it down while we were cycling and it was all a totally awesome way to end a brilliant year of training and racing.


Feeling that chilly December air!

Add in another 2 brick sessions, 3 swims in a week, and even some yoga and strength training and all in all it was a great and exhausting week.  The best type!

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Total:  15:34

Swim: 5730 m, 2:14

Bike:  213 km,  7:53

Run: 34.5 km, 2:59


Now for a mini-taper – I have the HITS Half Ironman in Naples on Saturday.


My sister and brother-in-law at the pool with us – new tri recruits?!




02. January 2015 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

I stumbled upon a great headline from the BBC from earlier this year:

imageWhen I googled “sexy cyclists”, all the images that came up were of women – and half were of Victoria Pendleton, the Olympic gold women’s cyclist who posed nude for glossy magazines.

Most people don’t think of male cyclists as sexy.  There is no David Beckham equivalent on a bike…nobody doing underwear adverts (unless you know of one, in which case please let me know in the comments!).  Why is it that men strutting around in skin-tight bike lycra isn’t considered as hot as say, the Olympic swimmers?  (Same thing, less lycra?!)

Mark Cavendish strutting his stuff


Ever since I first spotted my husband Tom coming back sweaty and dishevelled in his tight Helly Hansen base layer post-winter cycling, I’ve liked the lycra look.  And it seems that his speedy prowess on the bike may be the reason why.

Tom, sans lycra

Tom, sans lycra


The BBC article tells us of a scientific study that examined the relationship between perceived attractiveness and success in cycling:

Dr Erik Postma, from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Zurich, asked people to rate the attractiveness of 80 professional cyclists from the 2012 Tour de France. The cyclists were all of a similar physical stature, were tanned and around the same age.

Around 800 participants were then asked to score the cyclist’s attractiveness based just on their facial appearances. Their scores were excluded if they recognised the athlete.

In brief, it found that women rated the better cyclists as more attractive, even though they didn’t see them cycling.  Apparently this athletic success is written across the very faces of these men.  That’s right:  the winning riders were also winning the ladies.

You can read the full article here.


And the top ten most attractive cyclists*, according to the study?

1.  Amael Moinard

2. Yann Huguet

3. Maxime Monfort

4. Andriy Grivko

5. Michael Schar

6. Martin Velits

7. Christophe Riblon

8. Adam Hansen

9. Rui Alberto Costa

10. Manuel Quinziato

*Mark Cavendish, pictured above, was excluded from the study because he was wearing sunglasses in his team photo.


My fast and attractive husband!

My fast and attractive husband!