Jack v Sarcoma Ironman Blog – Week 19 (17/06/19 – 23/06/19)

Monday – Strength Session

Apologies in advance for the lack of pretty pictures…

Enjoying these gym sessions. Main exercises (squats, deadlifts, lunges) all feeling really good. The workout also has small bits of core mixed in which is definitely feeling stronger. They take a while to knock out but I can definitely feel improvement from session to session. Going to try and focus on getting some nutrition immediately after each session going forward. Today I grabbed one of Virgin Active’s café shake thingys which was pretty good. Maybe a little too sweet?

Tuesday – 1:00 Swim, 10km Run @ 5:20 Pace

Again, the swim was terribly boring. Really need to look into swimming with a posse going forward and eventually doing some open water stuff. I’m thinking the water might be super cold now though and I don’t have a wetsuit so will have to hold off on that I think.

For the run, I didn’t really go through any kind of warm up and felt a little niggle on the inside of my left knee. Stopped 1km in and went through my stretches in front of an old lady’s house which seemed to fix the problem. Felt like I could carry on at this pace for ages and was a great way to ease into another week.

Wednesday – 1:30 Indoor Cycle, 10km Run @ 4:50 Pace

I did these sessions back to back to try and replicate the game day situation. Hamish (conditioning coach) mentioned that doing a bike workout on the indoor trainer is roughly 20%-30% more difficult and I definitely felt that today. Legs felt like goo afterwards and my hip was randomly sore on one side. It was definitely better than my previous indoor cycles from a while back so good to see some progression. Note; I sweat too much.

Moved into the run once I got home and early doors realised if I’m going to do this again, I need to bring some kind of nutrients on the cycle and run. Felt tired and weak for probably the first half and the uphill components of the run definitely had me on the back foot. Despite that, actually ran some good time and with a pretty good heart rate (averaged 162 bpm). The aim for this run next week will be to up the pace to 4:40 – 4:45 mins/km. I’m confident I can get it there with a bit more careful planning with my nutrition before and throughout.

Thursday – 1:00 Swim, 1:30 Indoor Cycle

Absolutely freezing today, 0 chance I was doing an outdoor ride so hit the indoor trainer for another 1:30hr session.

I wrote the above comment on Thursday morning. Karma is confirmed and 100% real I’m sure because it turns out I’d forgotten my joggers, so following the swim, I dragged myself home and onto the regular bike for an 1:30hr session. After 20mins of warming up, it wasn’t the worst thing ever. Ideally I would’ve done the session indoors but that’s what I get for getting too cocky.

Friday – HIIT Session (Boxing), 1:00 Run, Strength Session

Have done a lot of these boxing sessions over the past few months and they’re always great fun. They are my only extremely high intensity workout each week.

The run was nasty cold, but it feels good getting out of work for the week and going through the run and weights session to end the working week.

Saturday – 3:00 Cycle

Decided to try out the Olympic Park loops which I really enjoyed. At no point did I feel like I was going to get hit, run over, knocked, and flattened by a car or truck so this immediately made it the most enjoyable ride yet. I suspect this will be my new go-to cycling route. If anyone’s up for a big cycle each Saturday morning going forward, please let me know! Will hopefully ramp up the duration to 3.5hrs next Saturday.

I definitely need to be better prepared for nutrition on the ride though. I didn’t bring any food or gels on this one and was ready to stop with about 30mins left

Sunday – REST

Following yesterday’s ride, we travelled down to our nation’s capital to watch the Brumbies in their Super Rugby quarter final. After a ripper performance, I had a few too many Ribenas and ended up too unwell to partake in a run today. I will have to knock this one over tomorrow. Fingers crossed I can get the distance up to about 20km. Keen to see how I’m tracking with these longer runs!


22 weeks until game day!

I’ve got a follow up nutritionist appointment on Friday to align what I’m eating more closely with my new conditioning plan. Excited to get that sorted and try some different meals


As always, if you have any suggestions or ideas to help raise awareness for sarcoma research and/or the work CRBF do, please shoot me a message on social media or via email (jack.racklyeft@gmail.com). Please share this, or any information from my donation page below to anyone and everyone you can. I have no doubt that slowly but surely, we will start to raise awareness and to make a truly positive change:


Jack v Sarcoma Ironman Blog – Week 18 (10/06/19 – 16/06/19)

Monday – Strength Session

The public holiday on Monday meant I could relax while going through the session. Quite enjoying these and I try to have a big stretch afterwards which helps with recovering from the weekend’s big runs/rides.

Tuesday – 1:00 Swim, 0:30 HR Run, Conditioning Meeting

Had a great skype session with Hamish Gorman regarding my conditioning program. The biggest takeaway from the session was that I needed to massively up my time on the bike. The rule of thumb of a minimum time I should be spending on the bike (and run) per week was the total time I’d be on the bike in the race. At this stage I’m estimating 6.5 hours, so really I should be cycling for at least 7 hours a week… I have not been doing that at all (closer to 4 hours).

Following the meeting, I did my usual swim (extremely boring but swimming well) and then completed a 30min run, trying to stay at 172 bpm. It had to do with staying at my threshold heart rate so that Hamish could better calculate my proper heart rate zones.

I’ve included my updated conditioning plan below:

  Morning Evening
Monday REST Strength Session
Tuesday REST Swim

10km Run (5:20 pace easy)

Wednesday 10km Run (4:55 pace) – increase pace each week x 4. RPE 7 1.5 – 2 hour cycle (try to incorporate 2 x 20mins @155bpm w/5min active recovery)
Thursday Swim 1.5 – 2 hour cycle (try to incorporate 3 x 10 min @160bpm w/5min active recovery)
Friday Swim 10km Run (5:10 – 5:20 pace easy)

Strength Session

Saturday 3-4 hour cycle REST
Sunday 1.5 – 2 hour (5:00 pace, extending time each week) REST

Wednesday – HIIT Session (Boxing), 2:15 Cycle       

Incorporating Hamish’s main suggestion from yesterday’s meeting, I planned on doing a big ride after work. The Garmin app has a useful ‘routes’ function where I can chuck in the distance I want to go (at this stage I’m predicting 20km/h travel speed) and it will upload a route onto my watch to follow. The function also avoids roads which aren’t great for cyclists (i.e. Parramatta Road, freeways, etc). Today’s ride took me out to just beyond Lidcome and was moderately dangerous…

Thursday – 1:00 Swim, 2:00 Cycle

Another boring, boring swim but once again, feeling “efficient”…

The routes app spat out a slightly different route out west this time which was great, but it seems my watch can only save/store X number of direction changes because at nearly exactly halfway, the route stopped coming up on my watch. After a small break and deleting a few routes from the watch, I was able to re-upload a new one to get me home. As my nutritionist suggested, once I’m getting up near that 2 hour mark and beyond, I need to have some fuel on-board to have at around the 45 minute mark to sustain me. Near the end of the rides these past two days I’ve really noticed a drop off in energy.

Friday – 1:00 Run, Strength Session

Jogged home from work and back across to the gym near Wynyard. The run felt great and was cranking out some great time with minimal HR increases.

Foolishly, I wore my “running” style shorts for the run, without remembering to bring any shorts for the weights session. My running shorts are notably tighter around my “weak trunk” so as to hold my phone more securely for the runs. The issue is that trying to use said shorts to improve my aforementioned trunk will undoubtedly result in my splitting my pants during a squat. As such, I had to forego my squats. Despite that, it was still a great session and the control exercises with the bands and exercise balls are going really well.

Saturday – 3:00 Cycle

My longest cycle of training yet and it was definitely my best yet. My average speed was higher on this ride than it was on the two previous this week. The route my Garmin decided to send me on was also a lot safer and hence, more enjoyable. I would define safer as the routes with the least traffic light stops in dense traffic, where me failing to properly clip into my cleats has somewhat higher consequences… Uphill stationary starts at lights, in heavy traffic are the worst for sure.

The cycle loop took my out to near Cabramatta, through the Olympic Park area where the wide open spaces mean I can really enjoy my cycle without having to worry about being flattened.

I only brought one energy gel and one water bottle which I will definitely have to increase going forward. Around the 2 hour mark, even with the energy gel I started to hit a bit of a wall. One more gel at around the 1.5hr mark will hopefully get me through going forward.

Sunday –1:30 Run

After a monster rainfall Saturday night and all morning, I pumped out a great run on Sunday afternoon. The goal with the Sunday runs going forward will be to try and stay at my expected race pace (around 5:10min/km) and week by week, increase the distance I’m going. This week I got out to nearly 17km, but at 5:00 pace which I was surprised at when reviewing afterwards. My HR also stayed at an average of 164 which I was stoked with.

Great signs for the running, especially this far out with so much room for improvement.


22 weeks until game day!

This week I’ll be looking to fully complete all of the new elements of Hamish’s conditioning program, with a bit more of a focus on getting the right nutrition on board before and during the trainings. Overall, feeling good, no niggles or anything and I’m getting some good results across the board in terms of swimming efficiency, cycle speeds and running pace so can’t complain!


As always, if you have any suggestions or ideas to help raise awareness for sarcoma research and/or the work CRBF do, please shoot me a message on social media or via email (jack.racklyeft@gmail.com). Please share this, or any information from my donation page below to anyone and everyone you can. I have no doubt that slowly but surely, we will start to raise awareness and to make a truly positive change:


Jack v Sarcoma Ironman Blog – Week 17 (03/06/19 – 09/06/19)

Monday – Strength Session, Nutritionist Meeting

In light of previous revelations regarding my “weak trunk”, the strength sessions two times a week will mainly focus on legs and controlling my core during various movements. I’m feeling more solid already.

I also met with nutritionist Rebecca Hay during my lunch break to discuss plans to sort out my diet. Whilst we will need to fine tune it once I’ve locked in a new plan with my conditioning coach (next week). The general improvement points revolved around more rapid consumption of proteins and carbs immediately after a session, as well as consuming a small breakfast before my morning workouts. She also gave me a few meal prep ideas to make for work lunches which will certainly replace the chicken and rice combo I’ve had going the past few weeks…

Tuesday – 1:00 Swim, 0:45 Run (Z2) with 4 x 2min Z4 sprints @ 1min

The plan was for the above session. However following a rubbish day at work I stopped early in the swim (15mins) with my mind all over the place and not focussed on the new technique movements I’d been working on. I genuinely stopped mid-lap and just had no motivation to keep pushing through which was extremely frustrating.

Smashed out a run/sprint back home through the rain which helped bury some of the frustrations. Ran some solid time for the nearly 5km run (4:10min/km) but still disappointed I couldn’t get through the swimming session.

Wednesday – 0:45 Bike into 0:30 Run (Z2), Strength Session

Massive session, took ages. Started with weights just because I saw a rare moment that the squat rack wasn’t occupied by some massive Bulgarian dude. Have found that chucking small plates under my heels during the squats has massively increased my range of motion which will no doubt be beneficial.

Rode hard in Z3 for the majority of the time with 4 intervals of 1min all out thrown in to test myself. Was definitely sweating more than normal today which was gross. Quickly rotated out of the indoor bike and on to the treadmill for a solid run at 3% gradient. Was also sitting in the Z3 lactate threshold throughout. Felt great afterwards and tried to incorporate the nutritionist’s advice by having a protein smoothie thing (YoPro, yes I’m open for sponsorship) immediately after while waiting on the bus. Vanilla is always the best flavour of anything…

Thursday – 1:00 Swim, 1:15 Bike (100rpm+) (Z2), Running Analysis Session

Completed a running analysis with Robert Mullard. Similar to the swim, great to get some personalised advice as to what I can improve upon. He gave me a few drills to work on and will touch base with my strength coach to try and incorporate some routines in there to help with my running. The main takeaways for my running technique included:

  • Moving my arms from my shoulders rather than by just rotating my torso side to side.
  • Running with more of a forward slant/tilt in my upper body, which will in turn get my foot plant much more below my centre of gravity and allow me to run on the balls of my feet more easily as well.

Really put in a good swim session to make up for my rubbish one on Tuesday. Felt great throughout and my watch’s efficiency measure (called SWOLF or something funny like that) has recorded notable improvements since the lesson a couple a weeks ago which is awesome. The lower the SWOLF, the more efficient the stroke (i.e. if you take less strokes per lap, but with a really fast time, you’ll have a lower SWOLF score thingy because your swimming action is more efficient).

Following the debacle of Sunday’s “dooring” by the mother of two in Willoughby, I slumped back to the safety of the Iron Bay loop. It was bloody freezing but the arm-warmers from Tyron’s collection were sufficient to get me through it.

Friday – 1:00 Run (Z2)

Ripped around Pyrmont and Wentworth Park for a couple of loops. The main objective was to work on the running technique tips from yesterday’s session. My pace on the run was significantly better for this run, with my heart rate still staying at a solid level (averaged 155bpm) throughout.

Writing this now on Saturday, I’ve also definitely noticed less soreness in my back after the run, which is often a slight issue just due to the nature of running on concrete. Happy with the changes I made thus far

Saturday – 2:00 Cycle (Z2)

Used the Garmin “routes” app for the first time to give me a route to cycle up near Palm Beach. I input the start/finish point, how far I want to go (50km) and which direction I want to travel (any) and it spits out a cycle-able route which I can then read off on my watch as I’m cycling.

This was a ripper ride and far better than my Willoughby experience last week. The drivers up and around this area also seemed less pissed off with me than those around Northbridge which made cycling on the main road more enjoyable. The hills up and around the back of Bilgola were nasty. I don’t really know what elevations and hills are considered relatively “difficult” in the cycling world but I’m pretty sure that this was as difficult (and probably more difficult) that the hills those Tour de France chumps do.

All in all, no major crashes and heavy sweating = good workout

Sunday –1:30 Run (Z2-Z3)

Went on a long run up and around the hills near Mackerel Beach. Tried to really push myself throughout whilst incorporating the techniques from the analysis. Found that I ran at a great tempo, with a dip in the pace during a big section of walking trail running, where I was running around rocks and plants. Looked a great area for a cycle if I could be bothered driving up the coast to get to the start point.

23 weeks until game day! This week I’ve got a conditioning meeting with endurance specialist Hamish Gorman to change up the workouts I’ve been doing for the next couple of months. Thus far I’ve mainly been focussing on longer, endurance-based sessions, trying to stay in that Z2 heart rate and essentially just improve my ability to use my legs for a long time. I suspect Hamish will look to introduce a lot more interval-based sessions to more effectively boost my fitness levels, whilst using the weekends to fit in these long, steadier heart rate sessions to ensure I’m still ticking that box. Hopefully I can share this new program on the blog next week for y’all to take a look at.


As always, if you have any suggestions or ideas to help raise awareness for sarcoma research and/or the work CRBF do, please shoot me a message on social media or via email (jack.racklyeft@gmail.com). Please share this, or any information from my donation page below to anyone and everyone you can. I have no doubt that slowly but surely, we will start to raise awareness and to make a truly positive change:


Jack v Sarcoma Ironman Blog – Week 16 (27/05/19 – 02/06/19)

Monday – REST

Tuesday – 1:00 Swim, 1:00 Run (Z2) with 4 x 2min Z4 sprints @ 1min

First swimming session after the lesson on Sunday. Just did 20 x 100m sets, focussing on:

  1. Breathing earlier in my stroke
  2. Not diving my hands too deep into the water with each stroke (i.e. allowing me to “catch” more water, higher on each stroke)

My technique got exponentially better as the session went on and I could really feel a big difference when everything was falling into place with the adjustments. The run was solid and ran some good times at a good HR.

Wednesday – 0:45 Bike into 0:30 Run (Z2)

Nothing interesting to report. Slowly picking up speed on the bike

Thursday – 1:00 Swim, 1:15 Bike (100rpm+) (Z2)

The swim was tonnes better than Tuesday’s. Felt like I was far more efficient throughout the whole session which is a great outcome. I’m finding that my muscles are taking some time to adjust to the more elevated catch, but they were certainly less fatigued then they were on Tuesday.

It was a cold evening but had a great cycle around Iron Cove. Work colleague Tyron has gifted me about 4-5 sets of his cycling gear and it makes a big difference, particularly in the cold where the arm warmers do wonders. Cheers mate!

Friday – 0:45 Run (Z2)

Had a football game this evening which meant I had to scrap one of the sessions. Chose the swimming session and used the run as a good warmup for the football game. Knocked the top off of my knee wound again. The constant dressing of it to avoid ruining every set of pants I wear to work moves into its third week…

Saturday – 1:30 Run (Z1 – Z2)

Completed an early morning 1hr run before a boxing class which went well, and the remaining 30 mins in the afternoon with my mate who’s training for the City2Surf, having never done any long distance running. Seems to be ticking along well.

Sunday –2:00 Cycle (Z2)

The plan was to ride from Annandale out to Belrose to meet up with Lexie, her brother and his wife + baby. I feel like people cycle this route a bit, but I hated it. So much traffic and so much that could potentially go wrong. Speaking of which, got clattered by a lady opening her back right passenger door as I cycled past going up towards Boundary Rd around Willoughby.

She opened without looking from her parked car and I slammed into the door and flew off to the right onto the active traffic lane. Thankfully, as I tumbled onto the road there were no cars behind me so I managed to not get run over today. Pretty traumatising experience to be honest and I suspect I’ll be sticking to the safety and security of the usual Iron Cove loop from now on… Finished the ride cautiously…

To round it all off, as I was arriving home a spoke on my rear tyre broke so I’ll have to look around for some new ones in the coming days.

25 weeks until game day! Next week I’ve got a nutritionist appointment lined up to help shred some poundage and improve what I’m eating before the long rides/runs. Social media competition coming in hot also!


As always, if you have any suggestions or ideas to help raise awareness for sarcoma research and/or the work CRBF do, please shoot me a message on social media or via email (jack.racklyeft@gmail.com). Please share this, or any information from my donation page below to anyone and everyone you can. I have no doubt that slowly but surely, we will start to raise awareness and to make a truly positive change: