Thursday, February 25, 2010

Equipment shopping and more bike

It is just one week until I'll be getting an early night and all the training will be complete. After yesterday's efforts I am pleased to report that I have just a few aches and pains which have been easily remedied with a good dose of Deep Heat.

New goggles... hopefully these will make the swim rather more enjoyable, yesterday my goggles were extremely painful, they leaked alot and they totally misted up so I was almost blind. I need to work out what I am swimming in.

Nike Hydroflow

I am keen to look at shoes for the run, I have been using my Nike AirMax which are great but a little rugged and I think that I might look at the Nike Lunar Glide tomorrow (again!).

Nike Lunar Glide

I did not feel that comfortable on the bike yesterday as was too crampt, so I extended and flattered out the bars with a pivoting stem and raised my saddle by at least an inch. The set up felt so much more comfortable and so much faster, especially into the wind, I think that this change has probably knocked 5-10 minutes of the bike. Completed a good 10k in the dark tonight which felt good. 

Need to buy a helmet over the weekend so that I comply with race rules.

Tomorrow will be a light training day, I want to work on my swimming to improve my technique and will probably bike too. Saturday I plan to complete the full track before lunch and then go to watch the Aussie V8 cars race at the Bahrain International Curcuit.

More to follow...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Trial run completed!

I am rather pleased with tonights training, 900m swim, 20k bike and 5k run, so the event is not just a dream now. I plan to take it easy tomorow though before getting back to training on Friday, I want to continue to work on my swim and spend some time ensuring that all my equipment is in order for the event.

I did experiment with different stroke and breathing pattens on the swim but I am so slow! My friend Carl gave me some tips before he cruised away but I plan to catch him on the bike. I think that 1:45 is possible but I will need to bike and run well to make that. I plan to compete a full trial Friday or Saturday so that I can set a time and have a plan to stick to.

More to follow...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I learnt alot tonight!

I finally got home early enough to get into the water. I was very pleased with the temp using just a 1mm titanium one piece and a long sleeved rashvest, towards the latter part of my swim these did start to chaff a little so I will need to work a solution to that. The second issue which is in fact much worse is the goggles I was using, I had used them before but they really were bad and will have to be replaced. The sea is very salty here and I need to be careful not to swallow too much or this will make me sick on the bike leg.

I need new googles...

I mapped my swim on Google Earth to find that it was 675m, slightly less than I thought, I must admit that I was ready to get out of the water at that point but I will have to swim longer tomorrow and will aim for 900-1000m.

I am very lucky to be able to train right on our doorstep!

As you can see I had a little run back home, then changed quickly into my running gear and set off round the island. This run was much tougher than I had expected, my shoulders were rather stiff and my legs solid, adding to my tiredness the wind was right in my face (as it had been for much of the swim), gradually my legs did loosen up slightly and I felt the strongest during the fifth km.

To sum up, I am very pleased that I managed to complete two of the three legs after a day of work, but I can really see how hard it will be to complete in a good time. I will concentrate on getting round and at this point I am aiming for 1 hour 45 min. I plan to complete a full trail run at the weekend and will clock that so that I can set a target.

Liz is competing as part of a team and has just got back from a 16km training ride.

More tomorrow....

Monday, February 22, 2010

AMWAJ TRIATHLON - 10 days and counting

Back from a evening of training, had planned on swimming tonight but didnt get back from work till 7pm so had to be run to gym, treadmill, bike then run home from gym. I feel surprisingly good. It is going to be 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run on the 5th. Hopefully once I finally get to swim I will be able to predict
a time.
I have now started to think about logistics so that I can get them together, need to think about what to wear, what to eat and what to drink, I also need to consider what watch if any to wear and possibly more important than all what songs to have on my ipod!

Today's times: 18:15 4km run and 21:23 10km bike, ran a few extra km on way to and from the gym too.

More to follow...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Amwaj Triathlon - 11 days to go

Since last updating two days ago I have stepped up the training somewhat and completed an hour long cardio session yesterday which felt great, there was not too much stiffness in my legs this morning although after being at work they did feel a little sore when I started on the treadmill. I had planned on swimming tonight but it had been windy today and was rather cool so rather than donning a full wetsuit I went back to the gym. I was pleased with the session tonight with a long cardio stint and short weights session. Back at home now and feeling a little worse for wear but nothing some good healthy food and a restful evening with Liz cannot fix. I must get into the water tomorrow fingers crossed for a hot day so that I dont have to cover up with too much rubber.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Amwaj Triathlon - 13 days to go

So I have officially decided to take part in the Amwaj Triathlon which is on Friday 5th March, thats just 13 days away. I have never completed in a triathlon or any long distance event. I am confident that the bike will be ok, I am confident that the run will be ok but, what I am a little concerned with is the swim and what it will take out of me, I guess that I will get a rest on the bike. The other thing is the cold, while the air temp has warmed up the sea is still cold and I am interested to see how that will affect things.

I need to work out a training program for this as being super competitive and given that some friends will enter as well I want to do as well as possible, however bad that might be.

One main area of concentration will have to be the swim, I will need to work on technique and stamina, I am yet to find out how far the swim is, I am fine with the distance, its just that I am (very) slow and I will be well behind before I have even set eyes on the bike, which will be slow because I will be using a mountain bike. If I have enough energy left I should make up some ground on the run. 

I think that I need to swim everyday and either bike or run as well, ideally I would do all three each day but that will be hard to fir in after work.

These are going to see some KMs in the next couple of weeks

I want to be ready for a trial run of the course 7 days before the event but that will depend on how well the training goes. I will report progress each day until race day.

More to follow...

Not much wind on the horizon but warming up

Well the temperature reached 30C today with glorious sunshine but no wind to speak of. Maybe next week will bring something. The Amwaj Triathlon is coming in 2 weeks, hopefully some more sun will warm the water up a little so that the swim is not so cold. in light of the upcoming event I had better stop typing and go running so that I don't embarrass myself too much.

The Amwaj launch area

More to follow...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Who needs a roof rack anyway?

I have been meaning to buy a roofrack for some time now. But I guess when you live only 1.5km from the furthest beach on a private island then there really is no need. This does mean driving around with the trunk open and the occasional issue as your board or mast goes flying out the back, you should see us on the way to the airport when we are going on a trip with boardbags hanging out the back, now I wonder what the local Bahrainis think of that! I would buy a pick-up truck but you can only have one here if it is owned by a local or a company, thats the law.

Surf Art by David Holmqvist

Thanks to our friend Dave's great shots from December we now have a great reminder of home on our wall. Check out Dave's website to see more of his pictures or visit his blog (in Swedish) to read more about his travels with his camera. It was Liz's birthday this week so I wanted to get her something that remindes us both of our favourite island in the Pacific and this photo printed on canvas was just perfect. Thanks Dave.

Size 42" x 30" printed canvas on wooden frame, photo taken at Peahi (Jaws) in late December 2009 by David Holmqvist © 2009. .  

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Picture perfect

Recently we have had some of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen,

and some of the most amazing sunrises,

that I have experienced, but the sky is not always so beautiful and today was a reminder of that!

as some car tyres are set alight!

Tomorrow is forecast to be windy,

if a little colder than normal!

More to follow...

Friday, February 5, 2010

The perfect Bahrain quiver

I have been based in Bahrain since late August 2007 some 30 months. During that time it has become clear that there are plenty of days of wind, you just have to be in the right place with the right gear. I have missed many days of water action from either being at work or not having the right gear.

I have explored a number of places and there must be more and better locations. I really see some of the offshore islands as possible spots and would like to explore further. I have been trying to think about the perfect set up so that I can maximise time on the water.

It is regularly 9-12 knots and flat, there are days of 15-18 knots, still flat and then there are the 20-25 knot days which generate some bump. There have been some 25-30 knot days with small waves and I expect that some of the islands might get this more regularly. There is also a flat water speed course that remains perfectly smooth no matter how windy it is.

It is one of those places that you can get by on a small selection of gear, which is what I have been doing but to really get something out of this place I think a little investment is needed.

The climatic condition are tough on gear with temperatures soaring to 120F (50C) in the baking summer sun and the beach is littered with sharp rocks and abrasive sand so pristine gear is probably rather wasted here.

  • 130 ltr slalom
  • 110 ltr slalom 
  • 80 ltr slalom 
  • 90 ltr freestyle 
  • 90 ltr wave 
  • 80 ltr wave


  • 8.5m slalom
  • 7.0m slalom
  • 6.0m slalom
  • 6.3m freestyle
  • 5.5m freestyle
  • 5.0m wave
  • 4.5m wave

You must not forget the boat (needed to get to some of the spots)!

Estimated set up costs $10,000 plus $7,500 for boat

With this gear I estimate that you’d get 75+ days a year on the water maybe more. If we take a 50% depreciation rate on gear and a 20% rate on the boat, that works out at a cost of $6500 / 75 = $86.67 per session.

Something to think about!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Serious speed potential - CONFIRMED!

I had been tracking the wind for almost a week and fingers were firmly crossed that this morning would be super windy. At midnight it was probably 30+ knots, we went for a drive around the island and there seemed to be quite a bit of debris flying about, all seemed to be in place, a solid night of wind to build up the sea and a high tide at day break. As my alarm went at 6am it was clear that it wasn't as windy but still blowing a bit, after driving round the island I decided to take the Sumo 105 and 5.3 Fire for a cruise. With the tide so high the wall was almost covered and being as there were no waves outside I thought that it was a perfect opportunity to try out the speed course. Since thinking about this in August there really hasn't been much in the way of wind. I worked my way up wind a little and got into place, it seemed somehow calm; the water was completely flat, like a bath tub. As I sheeted in I couldn't quite believe the feeling of smooth acceleration, a few feet from the jagged rocks which protect the course from the open sea where about 6-15 inches above the surface of the water so the wind was perfect.

With the curve of the wall the course gets progressively broader. It was a new sensation for me, flatter than Weymouth, flatter than Molokai; similar to the Ray but flatter. It is much warmer than most fast places too! The only problem I had as I tracked down the course was my equipment; I was using a 105 freeride board and a wave sail slightly under powered! After a few runs I had successfully confirmed that the course has serious potential to produce SPEED. While the conditions will not come about too often if they come together with the right gear then I see 40 as very possible.

More to follow...