Running in the Royal 

Posted by Linda Wednesday, October 20, 2010 11:55:00 AM

Great day today to head out for a run in the Royal National Park.  I was able to slip away from the desk for a couple of hours to get my longest ever run in!  I just completed 12km along the fairly flat Lady Carrington Drive.  The run felt really good and now that it is over I feel like I could have done more (didn't really have this feeling at the time).  I am working towards my 24km run at Christmas in the Snowy Mountains.  I have a few things on my training checklist

  1. Increase my distance up to 20km
  2. Learn to run with a Camelbak
  3. Run in my Salomon XT Wings

Todays run was focused on increasing my distance and introducing the Camelbak.  When I first set off running, the pack was a bit loose and bouncing around.  I had to tighten the straps till it was quite tight to stop the bouncing.  It took a little while to get used to the feel, but it was OK and I didn't have any rubbing or other problems.  It was really noisy though, the bladder was fairly empty and it was a bit distracting at times.

I ran at a 6 min pace which is my normal running pace so I didn't feel puffed at all.  My hip flexors felt a little tight after about 8km and my achilles was also a bit tight.  They both feel fine now and I will do some stretching tonight.  I plan on going on a light road ride tomorrow to make sure the legs don't tighten up.

I have been having a few ITB issues of late, so I am intentionally avoiding any hilly courses for the moment.  This is also the reason I chose to run in my road running shoes.  I could feel the rocks through the soles which was a little uncomfortable.  On my next run I will give it a go in the Saloman trail runners.

So all looking good for the Chrissy run.

Busy times at 

Posted by Linda Monday, October 18, 2010 4:49:00 AM

It has been a busy few days on the EnduroExplorer site.  We are really passionate about using endurance sports to get out and explore the natural environment.  Our holidays and trips are always centred around spots where we can mix running, riding and exploring with a beautiful natural environment.  Now you can share in some of the great locations that we have visited with the launch of the EnduroExplorer shop.  We have a few items in the shop at the moment including custom landscape calendars, prints and royalty free stock photos.  Each of the items has been photographed by Nick.  The choices will continue to increase over the coming weeks but if you see a photo on the site that you like and it is not yet in the shop just drop me a line.

Nick and I are always reading new books and many of these are related to training and sports in general.  We have read a couple of excellent training guides and have added some reviews in the Review section.  There are reviews on Advanced Marathoning and The Mountain Biker's Training Bible

I have also released a new trail guide for a mountain bike ride in the Southern Highlands.  The ride takes you from Kangaroo Valley to Cambewarra via Mt Scanzi Rd.  This was a ride that just sort of happened as I had been planning on doing a road ride from Kangaroo Valley to Berry, but was concerned about the number of cars and safety aspects on some of the roads.  So after a quick drive along this road I decided this would be a safer and more enjoyable choice.  This is actually the route of the Nowra King of the Mountain Run in reverse.  This is now one of my favourite rides of all time.  It is not hardcore mountain biking but there is a great hill to get the heart pumping and make sure you feel like you have accomplished something.  Coupled with some stunning views and the serenity, I would recommend this one if you are in the area.

Sunny Sydney 

Posted by Linda Sunday, October 17, 2010 5:29:00 PM

Great to see the sun out this weekend.  Unfortunately the wind was keeping the temperatures low.  The Royal National Park Loftus area was a good spot today, it was out of the wind and felt like a real spring day.  Family commitments had kept me out of the saddle on Saturday and by midday today I was definitely getting itchy feet and in need of some exercise.  I only had a very short window between more family commitments so I decided to squeeze in a trail run.  I have still been having a bit of trouble with my ITB so wanted to do a fairly flat course.  I set out from Gray Point Public School and headed towards the Visitors Centre, then I ran along the tram tracks and out towards the Temptation Creek turn-off, if you continue straight ahead here the track comes to a dead end about 500m down the trail.  This is almost exactly 5km, so with the return journey gives you a good flat 10km run.  My training for my Christmas run on the Main Range Track has been inconsistent, so it was good to get back out for a longer run.  The Main Range Track will probably be around 24km, on some more difficult terrain.  I was able to do the run today at a 6min pace and an average heart rate of 156, better yet my ITB did not flair up.

Most of my training is done early in the morning and I have not been seeing many other people out in the Royal National Park.  Today I was out just after lunch and it was great to see heaps of mountain bikers, runners and walkers.  Lots of the people were out there in pairs and it was fantastic to see everyone out there enjoying the weather and scenery. 

I am planning a big week of training this week (hopefully the weather will co-operate) and looking forward to the 50km Mountain Bike event next weekend at Dirt Fest.  It would be great to see a big turn out for the event.



NPWS Mountain Biking Discussion Paper - Sutherland Public Forum 

Posted by Linda Thursday, October 14, 2010 7:44:00 AM

A public forum was held last night at the Sutherland United Services Club.  The meeting had a really good turnout with in excess of 100 people attending.  The crowd was definitely tilted the way of the mountain bikers with only around 10 non/anti-mountain bikers in attendance. 

The meeting was facilitated by Anthony Burton a consultant and environmental scientist.  Narelle King (Experience Development Coordinator) for NPWS gave an overview of the discussion  paper.  She highlighted that visitation in National Parks is dropping and that NPWS see mountain bikers as an increasingly popular activity, which has the potential to increase visitation.

The attendees on both sides of the fence were very distinctive slices.  The mountain bikers were nearly all in the 30-40ish age category and predominantly male.  They seemed to represent the XC crowd with only a few admitting to be downhillers.  The non-mountain biking attendees were older in age.

The discussion was supposed to focus on high level state wide issues, but as expected the discussion actually centred on local issues to do with access to the Royal National Park.  The focus of NPWS appears to be to reduce/eliminate illegal trails within National Parks.  They have correctly identified what the XC riders are looking for in terms of experience, which is some single track that caters for all levels (i.e. multiple lines for technical obstacles) and connecting tracks that can be used to form larger loops.  They have decided to exclude completely downhill riders on the basis that they are not sustainable tracks and require too much infrastructure (i.e. car shuttle roads etc).  It was highlighted by a few that unless downhill riders are catered for close to the riders home , not necessarily in the national park, then illegal track construction will remain to be a problem.  I think most mountain bikers agree (even non-downhillers) that there needs to be  a legal downhill track somewhere between the southern end of the RNP and Wollongong.

A disappointing comment was made by Mike Trainer (Area Manager for Royal National Park and Heathcote National Park), stating that there would be no new track in the Royal National Park.  I am not 100% certain what he meant by this and I hope it does not mean that they will not reallocate some walking track to mountain bike use. 

There was a general consensus that a well designed and constructed track is sustainable.  It was highlighted that the single track near Loftus is now in better condition than when the trial began.  Thanks must go to the volunteers who work on these trails the third Saturday of each month.  If you are interested in volunteering please contact Ranger Grant Miller at the Royal National Park.

There is no timeline for the plan at the moment and it seems that it may be a while off.  At the moment it is still a discussion paper and before anything can happen the individual Plans of Management need to be modified for each of the National Parks.  The Royal National Park and Heathcote National Park Plan of Management is currently being reviewed, if you want to become a stakeholder and stay up to date contact Mike Trainer to be included on the list.

NPWS have however set some priorities for certain areas around Sydney:

1. Northern Sydney - New Experiences 

2. Blue Mountains - New Experiences 

3. Kosciosku - New Experiences

4. Upgrades to Royal National Park

5. Upgrades to Glenrock

If you want to have your say, you need to get in quick the forum will close on the 18th October.  Comments can be made here.

Otford Ride In The Rain 

Posted by Linda Tuesday, October 12, 2010 1:24:00 PM

I have been inspired after a hard couple of days riding to pick up my training a bit.  This morning I headed out it some unsettled conditions for an 83km ride down to Otford and back.  The weather initially looked OK and like it might clear, but about half way down to Otford the rain started and was quite heavy at times. 


I took the above photo to prove that I did actually make it down there!  It was a very hard ride this morning, mostly due to a drop in my fitness level but also due to that fact that I was concerned about slipping on the fast corners so I was riding the brakes pretty hard at times.

I have entered the Gong Ride for the first time this year and on reflection think I may have been a bit delusional when I checked the 3.5hr finish time on the entry form.  The ride this morning was a bit shorter and took me 4:10 to finish.  I am hoping that the less challenging terrain on the Gong Ride will allow me to get the time down a bit.

In news of a different sort, I have just placed and order for a GoPro HD Helmet Cam.  It should arrive in the next couple of weeks and allow us some new angles on shots for our videos.  Nick and I have both entered some events in the Dirt Fest Weekend on the 23-24 October at Cattai and I hope to have this camera setup for the day.  I am doing the 50km XC event and Nick is going to trim his run distance down a touch and try the 10km trail run (hope he makes it!).  I was thinking about the Off-Road Triathlon but have decided for now that we will use this event as the focus for our video coverage.

Death on Pointer Road 

Posted by Linda Saturday, October 09, 2010 2:07:00 PM

I probably should have taken it as an omen of things to come when I was passed by a hearse heading up Pointer Road near Lake Conjola.  I had agreed to a 6am road bike road with my (former) good friend Sara Burgess.  Now to be nice to me let me just say there is a little gap in our fitness levels.  After the hearse Sara suggested that we repeat this hill a few times to make it a worthwhile ride and after a few expletives I could hold my head high and say I had survived.  We eventually rolled back into Lake Conjola and I had thoughts of spending the rest of the day lazing about.  Sara had other ideas and grabbed her husband to head out for a quick jog!

The Lake Conjola area is a beautiful spot with lots of wildlife, in a couple of days we had seen wombats, kangaroos, echidnas and a breaching whale offshore.  The beaches, lake and bushland are all fantastic and it is a short drive (long and difficult ride/run) up to a lookout which has view all the way to Point Perpendicular the northern headland of Jervis Bay.

The next day I was treated to a great 30km mountain bike ride, it a had a bit of everything.  There was some sandy single track, some nice smooth firetrails and given it was a ride with Sara, lots and lots of hill climbs.

We are now at Kangaroo Valley for Nick to run the Fitzroy Falls Fire Trail Marathon and low key event along the plateau.  I plan on doing a ride tomorrow morning down to Berry on the road bike.  The legs are feeling a bit more recovered today.  Hopefully this will be good training for the Gong Ride which is about 4 weeks away now.  I am keen to get back into my regular training routine next week.


Coastal Classic Video 

Posted by Linda Tuesday, October 05, 2010 10:00:00 AM

I have just finished working on the Coastal Classic video. 


I edited this one with Adobe Premiere which has allowed a much more complex soundtrack.  The program is amazing and I am planning on a few different versions of this video in the future.  I just need to wait for my new computer to arrive, turns out the little laptop isn't quite up to it.  Many thanks to Michael Hennesy for allowing me to use his POV footage and also Gary Farebrother of MaxAdventures for appearing on the video.  Congratulations to everyone who ran the first event, a great effort on a hot day.

You can check out all our videos here.



Edge 305 The Battle Continues 

Posted by Linda Monday, October 04, 2010 7:02:00 PM

I previously blogged about the issues I have experienced with synchronising my Garmin Edge 305 with Garmin Training Centre.  I was sure I had it nailed this time.  It worked great right up to the point when I restarted my computer and then the error reappeared.  I have for the moment got the fix down to a few steps.

1. Connect the GPS

2. Open the Device Manager

3. Click on the GPS in device manager and expand.  Right click on the driver and select "Uninstall"

4. Remove and reconnect GPS.  This will start searching Windows Update.  Stop the search and select the option to install the driver.

5. You need to install version 2.2.1 of the driver.  You can get this from the Garmin site.  If you have any trouble contact me and I can send you a copy.

6. Start Training Centre and try to sync (probably won't work).

7. Close training centre

8. Right click on the GPS in the device manager and select update driver.  Now install the verison

9. Training Centre should open and now synchronise.

Hope it works for you guys!



Royal National Park Ride 

Posted by Linda Sunday, October 03, 2010 10:50:00 AM

I managed to get out yesterday morning for a ride around the Royal National Park, just before the rain started.  I live within riding distance of the National Park and try to get a mountain bike through it at least once a week.  The National Park does not have a great deal of single track but the pieces can be combined with some solid fire trail to easily create a 25km loop, this loop forms the basis of my mountain bike fitness.  I have been a bit shocked of late not to see more riders out enjoying the trails.  To combat this I am working on a comprehensive trail guide which I hope to have release in the next week or so.  Yesterday's ride was a very slow one as I was stopping at every turn to grab a quick snap.  I ended up taking 85 photos!  So it may take a little longer than I expected to compile the report.  The trails were in great shape, thanks to the volunteers who have been working hard to fix a few sections that have been suffering from erosion and closing off some short cuts that were begriming to be created.  The National Parks and Wildlife Service are very conscious of damage done by mountain biking, it is up to each of us as riders to stay on the designated tracks if we are going to keep getting access to these trails.

I am heading down to Lake Conjola during the week and will hopefully be able to return with some new mountain bike rides and on SaturdayNick is competing in the Fitzroy Falls Trail Marathon so we should have some new info from there too.



Managing Injuries 

Posted by Linda Friday, October 01, 2010 4:39:00 PM

 I damaged my PCL last year skiing (I will never downhill ski again).  It took around 9 months to get over the injury.  The PCL in my left knee is elongated and has a bit of play, it is unlikely that this will improve.  So I need to manage the injury.  I have found through trial and error the things that work for me.  It is basically a four part process.  Firstly I need to exercise regularly, the more riding and running that I do the better it seems to go.  Secondly I need to compensate for the damaged ligament by increasing the strength of the Vastus Lateralis (part of the quadraceps on the inside of your leg).  I do this by doing single leg press and leg extensions at the gym.  It is important to focus on flexing this part of the quadracep first, it takes a bit of practice.  The third element is stretching, patella femoral syndrome (knee cap tracking) is a common side affect of PCL injuries.  For me I get a very generalised ache around my knee.  The Illotibial Band (ITB) which runs from the hip down the outer side of the leg to below the knee works too hard to compensate for the damaged PCL, this results in ITB tightness which pulls the knee cap out of alignment.  It is really important to stretch (daily if possible) to ensure that the ITB does not become tight.  The last part and the least fun is the ITB release.  I do a myofacial release using a foam roller on most days.  This is really uncomfortable to start with or when the ITB is very tight, but it is crucial to stay on top of my injury.  When the ITB tightness becomes too much I have to head to my physio, Stephen Cunningham who seems to take great enjoyment in conducting an ITB release!  Seriously though when I first saw Steve around 6 months after the original injury I did not believe I would ever be able to run again.  Steve has taught me how to  manage this injury and I am now doing longer runs than before the injury.

It has been a strange week this following my first 100km event.  I have found the recovery really different.  I discussed the issues with post-race nutrition in a previous post.  I have also experienced a fair bit of fatigue.  The night after the race I was quite tired but did not sleep well.  It has taken a few nights to get back to feeling right.  I have not been out on my bike this week and my knee has been starting to ache.  Today I headed to the gym to do a hard leg work out and a short run.  This has immediately improved the aching that I was experiencing in my knee.  My ITB has been a bit tight and I have been working hard on stretching my glutes (upper attachment point for the ITB) as well.

I spent the afternoon cleaning the dust, mud and grime off my bike.  It seems to have pulled through the race well.  During the race it was sounding terrible and I assumed that I would need a new chain (at a minimum), I will have to confirm following a ride.  I considered lubing the chain at the half way point, but wasn't sure if this would just cause more dust and dirt to stick (any opinions on this would be appreciated).  So tomorrow I need to get back into my training plan.  I am planning on heading out to Loftus to do a long Royal National Park ride.  I will try to get all the legal sections of single track in and write up a trail guide next week, for anyone who hasn't tried the tracks out.  Hopefully the rain will hold off, if not I might do a run instead.

I have been working on the Coastal Classic video this week and have a few sections of POV footage to add in, then it will be sound mixing and final touches.  Hopefully I will be able to get this out next week as well.  I have started using Adobe Premier to do the video editing but my laptop is struggling to handle the load of this powerful application.  I have an order in for a new HP desktop, it should arrive in the next couple of weeks.  This will really speed up the editing process.  We have a few videos in the pipeline including a weekend of running and riding at Sparrow Hill in November, I am also considering covering the Highland Fling.  Let us know what you want to see and we will do our best to fit it in.


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