Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Holiday sun wipes out all will power

Like a true dedicated athlete, I set off for the sun of Egypt last week with all my gym gear packed in my case.

After 11 weeks training for the London Triathlon, I was ready for a week lying on a sunbed, chilling out.

But I also knew I needed to keep myself ticking over and with a gym in the hotel, I was ready to do just that.

I remember Rebecca Adlington’s mum speaking about about how, on family holidays, her daughter would still be up every morning at 6am. No matter what the shape of the resort pool, she would do as many lengths as possible, finding a way around pools hardly designed for training.

Total dedication. Hence two gold medals at the Beijing Olympics a few years later.

As I dropped down on my sunbed on the first day in the heat of Sharm El Sheikh, I still had every intention of hitting the gym.

But, with my all inclusive band firmly wrapped round my wrist, the will power drained away. In double quick time.

A midday beer started the ball rolling and before long I had resigned myself to giving the gym a miss.

After all, I was on holiday. Why on earth would I want to be pounding the treadmill or on the bike?

I could always go tomorrow. But tomorrow came, the same happened and I soon convinced myself that a week off was just what the body needed.

Now I am ready for another two or three months of intense training. And I need it to shed some of that booze and food from the holiday.

Problem is, I have signed up for this Sunday’s sprint triathlon in Mansfield. My first.
Adlington’s complete dedication was the reason behind her gold.

As for me, I have a week to blow off the cobwebs to make sure I simply get round the course.
Come the starting point on Sunday, my lack of dedication on holiday might just be my biggest regret.

To follow Stevie's progress on Twitter, click here

For the full story behind Stevie taking up the London Triathlon challenge, click here
Visit www.justgiving.com/stevieroden to sponsor Stevie.

American-based sports giant Under Armour have backed Stevie in his quest to complete the London Triathlon and raise cash for When You Wish Upon A Star by agreeing to become his official sponsor.They have provided him with a whole range of their latest hi-tech training gear to help in all weathers, and a new tri-suit for the race itself. For more information visit http://www.underarmour.com

Thursday, 19 March 2009

All set for my triathlon debut

MANSFIELD watch out, Roden is ready for the big debut.

August’s London Triathlon still might be a while yet but after all this training, I am itching to get going.

So much so I have entered the Mansfield sprint triathlon on Sunday April 5.

It is no way near as long as what I will face in London as this will be a 400m swim, 14.5k bike ride and 5k run.

But for a novice like me, it is still a massive challenge.

I am sure there will be seasoned sprint triathletes in action, battling it out to be crowned number one.

I’ll leave it to them. I am not setting no targets, no times to meet.

But the practice of transitions and what it will be like on race day will be invaluable come the main event in London.

And I am looking forward to it. Not that it will be much fun until it is over, it will be sheer pain.
Only last weekend I did 40 lengths in the pool followed by a 45-minute spinning class and then straight out for a 3.5m run.

The result - a tired Roden.

I had been warned to get used to these “brick” sessions, doing two disciplines back-to-back so create what it will like on race day.

But after a punishing spinning class, my legs felt like they belonged to somebody else on the run.
I could not feel them, they were dead weights. I was almost dragging them round and struggling to pick my feet up.

But at least it will not come as a surprise when I take to the start line on the first Sunday in April.

And I have a few more pencilled in between now and London which might involve a few targets to meet.

But after weeks of training, I’ll find out where I am in my preparations after this first race out in Mansfield.

I am just keeping my fingers crossed that I prove I am somewhere on the right track and not totally out of my depth!

To follow Stevie's progress on Twitter, click here

For the full story behind Stevie taking up the London Triathlon challenge, click hereVisit www.justgiving.com/stevieroden to sponsor Stevie.

American-based sports giant Under Armour have backed Stevie in his quest to complete the London Triathlon and raise cash for When You Wish Upon A Star by agreeing to become his official sponsor.They have provided him with a whole range of their latest hi-tech training gear to help in all weathers, and a new tri-suit for the race itself. For more information visit http://www.underarmour.com

Monday, 16 March 2009

Training? A day at the races proves a safer bet

I hit a brick wall last week.

My whole body ached, I felt like a dead weight and could not muster the energy to get on the bike, in the pool or out running on the road.

After nine weeks of hard training, I felt it was my body telling me it was time for a break.
Rest up, relax. A bit of R&R would do me no harm.

Or maybe it was my subconscious working away because it was Cheltenham week. The best four-days of horse racing of the year.

I enjoy a bet on the horses now and again. Not big bucks, just a little flutter.

And when the Cheltenham Festival (top right) arrives, I get a little excited. So there was no better time to take a break.
But, maybe I abused it. A Chinese takeaway on Monday, fish and chips on Tuesday. Oh and on Wednesday I headed to Cheltenham for a day of gambling and booze. Did I mention the cooked breakfast on the way down and curry (with starter) at night?
To be honest, a day at the races was the best workout I could have had. And I lost a few pounds.

The heart was pumping faster than it ever does in training as one of my charges was head-to-head going to the final fences.

As usually happens with my bets, Carruthers decided to try and walk through a fence rather than jump it and the wind went out of its sails.
But the nervous energy from the day was a great workout in itself.
It was a refreshing change from the training and recharged, I got back into it on Friday before doing my own mini-triathlon on Saturday morning.
Unlike Carruthers, I don’t want to be faltering at the final fence so no more breaks from training are on the horizon.
But when that next brick wall hits me, will I be able to smash through it without a break for a flutter, curry and some booze?
I wouldn’t bet on it. After all it worked this time.
See Tuesday's Evening Post or visit www.thisisnottingham.co.uk for the story of arthritis sufferer Jacob Rickett's remarkable marathon challenge.

To follow Stevie's progress on Twitter, click here

For the full story behind Stevie taking up the London Triathlon challenge, click here
Visit www.justgiving.com/stevieroden to sponsor Stevie.

American-based sports giant Under Armour have backed Stevie in his quest to complete the London Triathlon and raise cash for When You Wish Upon A Star by agreeing to become his official sponsor.They have provided him with a whole range of their latest hi-tech training gear to help in all weathers, and a new tri-suit for the race itself. For more information visit http://www.underarmour.com

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Rocky Roden out to prove he's no Fraudley



A famous name in the world of boxing has just started following my progress on Twitter.

You ask is it Ricky Hatton, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jnr, Oscar De La Hoya?

No, a much bigger man than that. Well, in body anyway. It is Audley 'A-Force' Harrison.

Now I am sure it is just some Fraudley fan posing as the former Olympic champion.

And don’t get me wrong, the more Twitter followers the better.

But when it comes to boxers I would look up to in my hour of desperate need during triathlon training, Audley is hardly the one.

Champion in Sydney in 2000, it all appeared to go to his head and in recent years it has been one failed comeback after another.

The latest to Irish cab driver Martin Rogan, one to all but end his career.

Despite his under achievements, I take my hat off to anybody prepared to step between the ropes and take a brutal beating.

But as I look for inspiration, it is other boxers I call upon.

Sad, I know, but I even have the Rocky (top right) theme tune on the Ipod for when I am pounding the streets. Always a great track to get me to the end.

Although I still haven’t found anything akin to those famous Philadelphia Museum of Art steps for that last darting run as the finale to a punishing workout.

It comes to something when you would rather turn to a fictional slugger than Audley (below right) for your inspiration.

However, watching the 24/7 shows charting the build up to the likes of Hatton/Mayweather, it is jaw-dropping to see how much effort goes into those 12-week or so training camps.

Despite all the trainers, conditioning coaches and nutritionists it is still sheer blood, sweat and tears that gets them ready and in peak condition for when that first bell rings on fight night.

That is how I look at it. I have longer to train but when August 2 comes I want to be in tip-top shape so there can be no excuses if I fail to complete the London Triathlon.

For me, Audley always strikes me as a man who could have achieved so much more had he shown the application of the likes of Hatton or, dare I say it, the legend Rocky himself!

I do not want to be in a position to under achieve.

As for charting my progress, I hope I can impress the A-Force with my punishing training regime.

If not, I’ll just be another Fraudley.

To follow Stevie's progress on Twitter, click here

For the full story behind Stevie taking up the London Triathlon challenge, click here
Visit www.justgiving.com/stevieroden to sponsor Stevie.

American-based sports giant Under Armour have backed Stevie in his quest to complete the London Triathlon and raise cash for When You Wish Upon A Star by agreeing to become his official sponsor.They have provided him with a whole range of their latest hi-tech training gear to help in all weathers, and a new tri-suit for the race itself. For more information visit http://www.underarmour.com