Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Next up IRONMAN Ballarat 70.3

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Challenge Family Shepparton Half 2015

It has been a while since racing in Shepparton however I have fond memories of holding the course record on the previous track. The event now is conducted in the heart of Shepparton drawing on the towns support of sporting events.

Race day temperature was as close to ideal as you could ask for, a little chilly to start with, however perfect for racing once you got going. My plan was to take advantage of the strong swimmers Sam Betten, Nick Kastelein (Jan Frodeno's training partner), Mike Phillips and Matt Pellow both from New Zealand, sitting on their feet and trying to keep the heart rate low so that once on the bike I could take advantage of the gusty conditions.

After the five of us exited the lake in just over 23 minutes it was onto the bike. I took the first 5km to settle myself down and get comfortable before turning into the block head wind and surging to the front. For the next 20km I put my head down and focused on holding pace until the first turn around where I was surprised to see that I had already build a 2 minute lead. The remainder of the 90km bike leg I concentrated on keeping things strong. Riding a 2.06 for the 90km and obtaining a new 20min peak power output for a race scenario at the beginning. Happy days.

Dismounting the bike at T2 and onto the 3 lap 21km run my lead had built to 6-7minutes. I just wanted a smooth, steady run and to keep things in control and let the guys battle it out behind. Finding my legs straight away and settling into a steady tempo it was nice to enjoy the spectacular run course which covers bushland, park and lake taking in the support from athletes, family and friends eventually crossing the finish line in 3.51. Sam Betten edged out Nick Kastelein in the final 1km to take 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Challenge Shepparton Half was a fantastic event and I have always had fond memories of racing in the area. A race as good as any and one that I would recommend to anyone.                                                         Best Luke Bell.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Melbourne has turned it on for our arrival back. The summer has started early and it sure does make it easier to get out the door. 

As soon as I arrived back I have been consulting various medical practitioners and nutrition specialists to investigate what may have contributed to the severe dehydration that ended my day in Kona. For those that do not know the day ended being loaded onto a stretcher at T2 with a blood pressure of 80/40 and 3x 1L IV bags. After 3hrs in medical and the IV’s I still came in 2.5 pounds under morning race weight. The medical staff in Kona were excellent and I can't thank them enough in assisting my recovery, I had none other than the well known AFL (Australian Football League) doctor Peter Larkin literally pick me up off the pavement at T2.

Moving forward we are back into the swing of things as there is still some racing to do in the Asia-Pacific region to round out the year starting with Ironman Mandurah 70.3. It is always a fast race and will be good to go at it with Terenzo Bozzone and a few of the European boys out for the summer. Last year we rolled around under the course record chasing Michi Raelert pre his big Challenge Bahrain win. 

On another front I have been welcomed to be a part of the Penrith Triathlon Clup (PTC). PCT is the largest triathlon club in Australia and has some of the strongest age groupers getting around, each year taking out the club championships at Ironman Australia in dominant form. It will be great to work with these guys as they have a great balance of Triathlon and life getting the most out of every aspect. 


Along with working with PTC I will also continue to work with Ironman here in the Asia-Pacific region racing, promoting and getting young, old and new people involved in triathlon and an active healthy lifestyle. I have always been a believer of “Life long activity”. 

It is a busy few months to end the year and to start 2016. I love being involved in our sport so would not want it any other way. The 2016 race schedule is starting to take shape so once it is all sorted I will be sure to let you know. 

For now I will keep you all posted on the races and activities to round out the year. 


Monday, September 21, 2015

With a quick stop off in Melbourne (quick as temps were 2 degree C/35F ) to see the family and for Lucy to spend some time at home with Matilda I was off to the Gold Coast to finish off those long hard miles that everyone posts about leading into Kona. Only a stones throw away now as the days tick by.

Being on the Gold Coast and Mooloolaba only a 2hr drive away (also being the 2016 70.3 WC course) I decided to break up the training with a weekend away with friends for a hit out. It was never going to be pretty with no rest and in hindsight I should have realized that lead in races never fare well for me.

The course is spectacular and with an ocean swim and add in some waves, it made for a more enjoyable and interesting swim than the standard races.  From the gun I was on the rivet to hang onto the lead guys setting the pace and things did not change from there. Onto the bike and the body decided not to turn up to play. The high end threshold rev limiter exploded soon after T1 and as we rolled onto the motor way hitting speeds of 55-60km/hr and I watch the guys disappear up the the road.  Tim Berkel, Terenzo Bozzone and Luke Mckenzie had a close and cracking race for the podium positions.  These boys had turned up to race while I had chosen to keep things rolling in the build to next month. It is always hard to predict where and what your competitors are doing one month out from Kona.

This past week involved a few days easy recovery before getting back into the final 10 day block before resting to absorb all the hard work.  To give you an idea of what things have looked like, the past few weeks have included some long rides ~200k (124 miles), some solid riding behind the motor bike pacing at 45-50k (~30 m/hr) to deal with the top end speeds and descent from Hawi, Some LSD runs to harden the legs along with solid tempo sets. There are 50m pools and squads a plenty up here on the Gold Coast so there is never a shortage of surf swimmers to keep you honest and kick your butt in the pool.

All in all, things have gone well, training has been hard but enjoyable and the time up here has been productive. Today it was nice to head down to Byron Bay to catch up with a few of the boys (Tim Berkel – 7th Kona 2014, Tim Reed – multiple 70.3 Champion and Clayton Fettell) for a long run through the forest and looking for whales! Laughs a plenty, what it is all about.

From here it is wrapping things up and trying to live by my 3 simple rules. Be consistent, don’t get sick and don’t get injured. Lucy, Matilda and myself look forward to getting on the plane and getting to the sun, sand and surf of Hawaii.

Luke J 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"The back end" 2015


(Photos - Cardiff San Diego, Ironman Australia 2015)

With the month ticking over from June to July it is time to get the second half of the year underway. June was mainly spent with "head down bum up" training, being consistent and ticking boxes so it all can be drawn upon later in the year.

As I mentioned June was spent building those blocks. It is sort of a two fold build. One to get in a good solid preparation leading into Ironman Canada (Whistler) on July 26th and the second is that it is a major part of the Hawaii Ironman phase of strength and conditioning. The speed/speed endurance will be done in the Hawaii prep later in August and September. But it is not possible to put the body under that sort of load without the foundation.

First up however is Vineman 70.3 this coming weekend. Vineman has always been one of the major event on the US circuit and favourite of mine. The fondness is aided by placing both 1st and 2nd there in the past. The field assembled is always 1st class and this year is no different with in form athletes, internationals, Olympians and multiple world champions toeing the line such as Craig Alexander, Tim O'Donnell, Sam Appleton, Tyler Butterfield and Kyle Buckingham from South Africa. The timing of Vineman 70.3 is also perfect being 2 weeks out from Ironman Canada.

Post Ironman Canada it will all about recovery and then building on the fitness leading into the Ironman Wold Championships. As I mentioned the remainder of the year is a busy one so it was essential to get a mid season break in after Ironman Australia and then a build before hitting the events through till December.

But for now it is time to pack the bike, put the feet up and get the body ready to race the next 2 events. Ironman 70.3 Vineman and Ironman Canada - Whistler.

Thanks again to everyone and I am excited to get this second half of the year rolling.

Best Luke

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bahrain Endurance 13 and Ironman Australia - 30th year.

It has been a big few weeks with the announcement of the Bahrain Endurance 13 Team. A global Triathlon team full of world class athletes and role models, promoting sport and an active healthy life style.

Along with the new team announcement I headed up to Port Macquarie for the 30th Ironman Australia. This was a quick turn around (6 weeks) post Ironman Melbourne's unfortunate day, and a day I knew that would have to be raced with the head and not the heart. With a depleted immune system post Ironman Melbourne it was not unexpected but still disappointing to come down with a virus race week and all efforts were made to make the start line in as best a condition as I could.

The swim itself was swift with Graeme O'Grady from NZ stringing everyone out. I settled in quickly on Graeme's feet from the gun with 2012 Ironman World Champion Pete Jacobs tapping my toes. We exited the waters in high 44mins and a nice buffer on the rest of the field.

Onto the bike and Pete Jacobs set a solid steady pace for the first lap before letting it rip heading back out of town. Feeling the effects of the quick turn around it was a mental effort to stay focused and keep the pressure on all day. I kept focused on holding a strong power and staying positive.

Pete's lead grew to 3mins however Paul Ambrose (2012 Ironman Australia Champion and course record holder) was on the move riding extremely well.  Ambrose and I reeled in Pete at around the 120Km mark and then Ambrose set about building a lead heading into the run.

Heading into T2 it was Ambrose with a 7+ min lead after a cracking ride. The first lap of the 4 lap run course was a slog struggling to find a rhythm but slowly pulling small fractions of time. Into the 2nd and 3rd laps the legs came around and I went about trying to real in as much of Ambrose's lead while I was feeling good. Taking around 3mins back in each of the 10km laps I was within striking distance obtaining splits of 35-40 seconds behind Ambrose. It was going to be a close exciting race!

To Ambrose's credit what ever I thew at him to try and bridge the small gap he hung tough and dug deep. At 35km mark my run at him was slowing and felt like I started running on the spot. Ambrose hung on for a gutsy win and I came home for a close exciting 2nd.

It was nice to know you can get it done and hang tough on a day that was an effort from the gun. To cross the line knowing you have given 100% of what you had on the day and get that close is satisfying.

It is time to now recover and get ready to head to some warmer weather in the Northern Hemisphere.