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Sat 25th May 2019
Bob Holloway: six weeks in...
Posted by: Bob Holloway
Posted on: Tuesday 6th August 2013

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We heard from Bob Holloway last month on his latest attempt to comeback to triathlon training and racing after some serious health problems in recent years. Well the good news is that his latest update follows swiftly below… all is moving in the right direction!

Here is Bob’s update on his July training.

You can follow Bob's column on tri247 HERE.

Bob’s July Blog

Six weeks into the comeback trial and things are shaping up nicely, at least fitness wise. The midriff isn’t shaping up quite as speedily but the weight is gradually falling off and it shouldn’t be too long before I can dust off those 32” waist trousers that haven’t seen the light of day since 2008!

Training wise, the staple diet remains one of easy, aerobic sessions, though at least once a week I do try to throw in a hard session – in relative terms of course - just to measure progress. For this, I use one of the virtual reality Tacx courses over 5 miles which has seem me progress from an average 156 watt power output over 15 minutes at the beginning of July to 214 watts over 13 minutes just yesterday. The rest of my turbo sessions are pretty routine and not terribly exciting, typically 45 minutes or 60 minutes at an average heart rate of 120bpm. This seems to be working because only yesterday I recorded a resting heart rate of 44, pretty much what it used to be when I was race fit. Things are also progressing well on the running front. My longest run so far is 6 miles completed at a very sedate 50 minutes, but at the moment, time on my feet is more important than pace. I am also encouraged by the fact that at roughly the same pace, my average heart rate over that 6 mile run was 147bpm compared to 165bpm during the first weeks of training. Just goes to show how quickly the heart, as a working muscle, can adapt and improve.

My plan for August is pretty much to continue as before. The focus will be on aerobic sessions on the turbo, though I may be tempted to try the odd Spinerval DVD and listen once again to the golden tones of Coach Troy. Echoes of “nice job” still haunt me to this day! Mind you, I think I’ll be leaving “Have Mercy” safely in the cupboard for now! My next phase of running training will see a gradual increase in distance, but not in pace. The next obvious target would be a ten mile run, but that would represent a significant increase in distance over a relatively short period of time with the attendant risk of an over-use injury. 8 miles by the end of the month should, however, be ok. At some time later in the year, I will start to incorporate one hill session and one tempo intervals session, but there’s no rush. Steady running will suit me fine for now.

My other big news is that I took the plunge last week, re-mortgaged the house and entered next year’s Windsor sprint triathlon. Entering an iconic race like this will give me all the motivation I need to get back into race shape. I’ve lost count of the number of Windsor Triathlons I’ve competed in over the years, but I’m old enough to remember the early days when the likes of Spencer Smith ruled the roost. And if the status, location and atmosphere of Windsor isn’t enough to sharpen my competitive juices, there will be the extra motivation of racing in the 60+ age group. Some of my old adversaries have unfortunately fallen by the wayside and hung up there trisuits, but I’m sure there are still plenty of fast pensioners out there for me to compete with. But if all goes well, I will also aim to compete in the early Thames Turbo sprint races.

These early season races will give me the opportunity to practice my race/transition technique and will also prove a useful yardstick in determining how well I could do at Windsor later in June. Beyond Windsor, the only other race I have pencilled in next year is the Cotswold middle distance event. Of all race distances, the half ironman was one of my favourites, given that the swim wasn’t that much over the Olympic 1500m distance and that the 56 mile bike was just about manageable on Olympic distance training. At one of the Sherborne 70.3 events, I finished in the annoying time of 5 hours and 7 seconds. Beating that 5 hour barrier at the tender age of 60 is a target worth aiming for.

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