Rail Trail Duathlon – Training Diaries – Week #4

Week 4 of the Pulse Fitness Alexandra Team training diaries with less than 2 weeks to go to the Rail Trail Duathlon on 25th & 26th Feb 2017. They are still smiling!? Is Mark enjoying training in the heat of Western Australia? Is it all going to plan?

Team “no pulse” – Pippa Wellstead and Fiona King
Pippa Wellstead
“Week 4…eeek! That means two weeks left to go, in fact, 2 weeks today and we’ll be done.

This week has been a real mixed bag of training and emotions with having to farewell a dear friend who lost a very short battle to cancer. She was diagnosed 4 months ago and died just last week. This week has found me thinking about her a lot whilst out running – trying to sort out the unfairness of cancer and to fathom how we really and truly take on the approach that we need to not sweat the small stuff as life can be just too short. So me, moaning about feeling sore and tired just isn’t right. At least I am able to feel sore and tired. With that pep talk going through my head, I will do the Duathlon with Yvonne in mind and do it with a smile on my face – because I can.

Pippa bumps into Fi and Camille training on the Rail Trail. Pic: Pippa Wellstead

Monday saw me doing Tribe Punch which I have taken a real liking too followed by a run on the Rail Trail. I have learnt to keep my head down and not look forward as the trail is so long, straight and sometimes boring that it feels as if you are not getting anywhere fast. However, when I did look up, it was magic to see Fi and Camille riding towards me heading out on a training ride!

Tuesday was a rest day then on Wednesday the day was dedicated to Yvonne but to clear my head that night, I got dropped off over in Clyde and had a fabulous run home. I never thought fabulous and run could go in the same sentence!

Thursday I also went for a run – this time my usual 10k trot around Earnscleugh and I wasn’t so smug as found it hard going.

Friday was a busy day and I was only able to squeeze in a 30 minute run but I really gave it a lot of welly and felt good when I finished.

Saturday I was heading to Hawea for the weekend but arranged to meet a friend at 7am to fit in a run before the weekend got in the way. Paula Penno is also running the duathlon, this will be her 3rd time and it was great to hear her vote of confidence that I will be just fine! We will see in 2 week’s time I guess.”

Fiona King
“I felt I lost a little bit of momentum this week. I had sore legs on Saturday after my basketball game Friday night. They weren’t used to the jumping around! So didn’t achieve much in the weekend training wise other than a trip around the block (Clyde to Alex around rail trail and river track loop – approx. 21km).

Fiona and Camille before their ride to Chatto Creek from Clyde (Waitangi Day). Pic supplied

On Monday I went out with Camille for a ride to Chatto Creek and back (50km) which I have done a couple times before. However riding with Camille made me go a bit faster than my usual sedentary pace which definitely pushed me a bit out of my comfort zone. The legs were a bit more tired than usual after that.

Fiona battling the wind as she arrives at Chatto Creek with Camille. Pic Camille O’Connor

She tells me next weekend its to Oamkau and back which will be my longest ride yet. It is definitely more interesting to ride with someone though and makes the time go by faster.

The rest of the week proved a bit of a push to get much more training in. I managed another 40 km ride one evening and a couple of round trips to work and back.

Highlight of the week was the Molyhawks winning the Summer League Basketball title in a close game. Well done team, great effort! On the countdown now- only 2 weeks to go!”


Mark Wellstead & Camille O’Connor

Camille O’Connor
“I took the opportunity on Waitangi day to do some specific training for the duathlon. The gym was open in the morning so I took an RPM class (45 min interval training on the bike) at 10am and then home for a bite to eat and then down to my neighbour’s house (which happens to be Fiona from Team ‘NO Pulse’) and off we went on a 48km ride Clyde to Chatto Creek and back on the Rail Trail.

My lunch before our ride (combination of Carbs, Protein and Fat!).

Before we departed we were trying to assess the wind conditions and work out whether the way out or the way back was going to be hardest! I don’t think we had any idea that we would have a cross wind, tail wind and BIG head wind all in the space of 2 hours on the way out AND on the way back! The conditions were challenging and our average speed and time to get to Chatto Creek reflected this … but who knows … these could be race day conditions so it was good to test how we were are going to cope.

Average speed to Chatto Creek with the wind (17.4km per hour)
Fiona and I at Chatto Creek. Pics Camille O’Connor

The rest of the week has been pretty normal in terms of my classes – 1 x pump, 4 x RPM’s, 3 core classes, 1 Tribe FIT plus a Massage for recovery.

When I look at my diary for the next two weeks I am hoping to get 1 more good ride in on the Trail before the race (now only two weeks away!). Next weekend will be out as we have a wedding to go to so most of my remaining training will be indoor bike and gym based.

I am feeling really good at this stage and not worried about my fitness level and I know I am stubborn and competitive enough to be able to withstand any weather conditions and push myself on the day … what I do worry about though is getting a flat tyre!!”

Mark Wellstead
“This week I flew back to site and it is humid and hot so running has not been pleasant, however I have had a couple of training partners so that has helped with the enthusiasm. We have trained on Mount Nameless several times and it is still as painful every time but very satisfying to reach the top.

Mark on top of Mount Nameless in WA. Pic supplied.

All the guys that I am running with are a lot younger and lighter than me so I have had to push myself to keep up, and on the mountain run I have felt slightly old and slow in their company.

The view from Mount Nameless in WA. Pic Mark Wellstead.

The weight loss has been going to plan though and I have broken through the 90kg barrier and the aim is still to be 88kg by race day. I have definitely realised though that no matter how much I train, real speed is never going to happen again, but determination has reached a new level.

I have decided that going on a strict diet is not for me but I have eaten hardly any sugar which has made a huge difference to the way that I feel. It will be over soon and I am looking forward to getting back to New Zealand to run in a place that does not boil your blood, and where you can go for a run without swallowing a dozen flies.”


Click here to read about the Pulse Alexandra Rail Trail Duathlon Team Members.

ENTER the Rail Trail Duathlon here: https://v2.eventplus.co.nz/start?eporg=RTD17

More information about the Rail Trail Duathlon here: http://www.otagocentralrailtrail.co.nz/rail-trail-duathlon-and-mountain-bike-race/

More about Pulse Fitness here: http://www.pulse-fitness.co.nz/

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