Monday, June 27, 2011

New Ride!

So i have been in France for almost a month now! I have been missing Donna like crazy since she left for her own traveling adventure, but thats another storey. So I have been at the whim of people driving me to get places further than a couple of kms, Until now!
Here is my new loaned ride curtsey of Nico a member of my club.


This bike is a beast of epic transportation purposes. It means i can get around now and chain it to a tree and not have to worry to much about it getting stolen. This bike has some amazing features. Here are my favourite things about it



Some very sweet Magura hydraulic rim brakes, yep hydraulic rim brakes!


Some sweet Vuelta USA wheels





And a very sweet collection of Ripcurl sticker, these would have to be the best part of my new hight performance machine! Thanks to Nico for the bike and Sylvia for finding me a bike and everyone else here in france making me feel at home on the other side of the world. 


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sharing my training

Ok heres one of my current gym sessions it mashes me!
Give it a try its hard than it looks!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Enough of the short videos time for some words


Ok so I will give everyone a bit of a insight into my background in sport and life. Well I should start from the start born 19/1/89 farther Stephen Walpole mother Sue Walpole. I have one brother 3 years younger than myself. I grew up in suburban Melbourne spending most of my life in Heidelberg, I went to the local primary school down the road. I guess this is where everything sort of started.

My parents put me into swimming lessons to teach me how to swim from a very early age and because I was a hyper little kid!  I made my way though the lessons of Jo love at Ivanhoe neons  http://www.ivanhoeneons.org.au/ to so mini squads and so on. I was never the best swimmer but kept at it and around grade 3 or 4 I started to win some local school competitions, which is still some of my most enjoyable memories ever. Around the same time we did a lot of athletics and cross-country at my primary school. This was because of Peter Ruff a athletics coach, who was also the school PE teacher. So from this experience I went onto little athletics every Saturday morning at the Doncaster club track for many years. At the same time just like all the other boys I was playing school football and cricket, I did show a bit of promises at both of these but really I think I was more to do with my competitive nature I had developed and my fitness compared to other children rather than my skill at these sports.

Around grade 5 I made state championships for athletics and swimming and in turn Mr Ruff got me down to the track training for 1500m and 800m in both events I made the finals at state championships finishing maybe 11th? So the next year I did the same made swimming state championships swam well. Made cross-country state championships finished maybe 9th if I recall, then came my main focus for the year the track season. Little Aths started and I ran well, Mr Ruff was down at the track pushing me hard in training and doing a lot of one on one coaching with me. I think at the time he saw something that no one else did at the time, I ran well all season state championships came and I felt really fit ran the 1500m on the first day and ran the whole way with another boy just getting outsprint, thinking about it I think I led the whole way not something that was best. Finished 3rd because there was a double final and one boy from the first final ran very very fast. This was pretty much is still one of the proudest moments in my life and the first time I realised that I could do well at endurance sport. The next day was the 800m I really wanted to win this event and I think I was in the lead from the gun till the last 100m not the smartest move again and finished 4th, with a new enthusiasm for running and training hard.

This was pretty much the end of my days at Heidelberg Primary and I went on to the big scary world of a massive grammar school! So I started at Carrey Baptist grammar in year seven this scared little kid from a class of 30( 5 girls in year 6) to a year level of 200 + I was always really focussed on my running and swimming and had a huge passion for this still, but I lacked focussed training and structure with the school Swimming and running program. I would train really well in the school term then do nothing for the holidays because I just didn’t no what to do. I was still swimming for Ivanhoe Neons with Jo love, but by the time I had realised swimming wasn’t what I was going to excel in. swimming in AUS I super competitive and just making a state championship was getting very hard!

At the same time we where heading down to the beach at Venus bay a lot and my parents got me into surf lifesaving. This gave my swimming new meaning after a few season at surf lifesaving I started to show promises at this as well. Surf lifesaving was the most fun ever, you would go to a compotation and do 12 odd events from flags to swimming and board paddling. At the same time my running was struggling because of recurring Achilles injuries and lack of structure and probably thinking back I never did much to look after myself stretching ect but what 14 year old boy does?

So surf lifesaving was my focus and I did pretty well racing at state championships again fishing on the podium but never the top step. Because my club Venus bay didn’t have a very strong competitive culture once I got out of juniors I never followed though with surf lifesaving. I was still running and swimming and dad suggested I should do a Aquathon (run swim run) I think I won the first event and enjoyed it a lot. From there I was logical to get into triathlon. I think it was maybe my 15th birthday  or 16th and all I wanted  was a bike to do triathlon! They seemed super expensive at around 1000 dollars for a entry level bike, me and dad went out looking and found I bike. We had no idea if it was a good bike or not but we got it and that’s where it started. It didn’t fit me we got sold a bike way to big for me! Huge and heavy but I loved it.

So off to my first triathlon and I just jumped in my Speedos as I was running out of transition in my little Speedos I was stopped and told I couldn’t go on because I didn’t have anything covering my top! So dad ran over and threw me a t-shirt.  After that my aunty got me a tri top for my birthday. So I did a few small triathlons and found my self at state championships again I finished 3rd whilst riding the bike with runners, I had no clue what I was doing I just went hard! From then on I decided to focus on this new sport to me. At the end of the season I told my dad that I wanted to make the Victorian team for the next year and in turn race at national championships. Without a coach I trained hard by myself with no real idea of what to do just lots of swimming, riding and running. Season came and I started slowly but ended up achieving my goal. After that I tried out for the development program in Victoria and got in, then it was time to find a coach. I ended up with bob Kelly and he taught me a lot and how to ride in a bunch.

Then it was time to race some elite races, started off getting dropped in every race on the bike. Went to national champs got dropped and finished near the back. After a 2 year stint with bob and some decent results I came to year twelve and my final year of school, with all the pressure from school and everyone else I decided to go it alone and leave bob and concentrate on my studies. So with a year of “study” and a bit of unstructured training I ended up weighting 10kg more than 12 months prior.

I went off to uni to study outdoor education in Bendigo. At a similar time I contacted Dave Huggett my soon to be coach. Dave did a huge amount of work with me and we became great friends. My first race back racing elite I got out of the water of the feet of 3 time world champ Peter robo then it went bad dropped from the first bunch dropped from the second dropped by the last few guys, I rode shit!

So with 4 weeks till the next race and my last race as a junior I put my head down and worked hard! Ended up finishing on the podium first time as a junior and in my last junior race.  I deferred from uni with the idea of getting some balance back into my life, going to Tafe and training a lot more. The next season was full of racing elite with a few average results and one podium racing open elite which was a big surprise.

The next season I had a stellar start to the season with a 4th against some very solid competition in my first race as a elite. Second race was equally as good, but then it went down hill from there. Had my authotics stolen and running without them for a week brought on my requiring Achilles injury. From then on it was hard to find consistent training, this was made worse by a crash in one of my races later in the season, I hit the deck at around 50kmph came out with only really bad gravel rash. But if anyone has had this it isn’t the nicest thing! So I managed to get myself up for one of the final races of the season and have a decent result. Had some time off at the end of the season and started training with a strong focus on the next season, but something wasn’t right. I kept on getting really burnt out and was sleeping huge amounts. I just couldn’t handle training, turns out I had worn myself out from burning the candle at both ends. I had returned to uni, was training hard and working 5 days a week. I had very low iron counts and was verging on chronic fatigue I was getting sick continuously. So I had to have another 6-8 weeks off with no training.

So I started the next season a little underdone but had some good races early on, but lost my focus. I didn’t race for the second half of the season and was lost at where I was at with myself, I looked for a change with my training and that led to me leaving the great coach Dave Huggett and starting up with a new coach Simon Knowles( Jarra sport ) Simon was great he lived close so I had people to train with almost every session. He had new ideas and ways of doing things. I started to see results straight away. At the same time I was talking to a French triathlon club trying to find myself a place to live and a team to race with for the European summer.

So with only 5 months training with Simon I was off to Europe to start racing for my French club and this is where I’m at now. Sitting in France righting this blog post. Obviously there is more to my life than just my triathlon journey. But apart from the amazing Donna nothing much is worth talking about. I always have many fly-fishing stories and many great adventures in the outdoors, which might have to be left for another blog post.

In a wrap, that’s my athletic career to date.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Some sweet Aussie tunes whilst in France

Angus and Julia stone and getting a flogging in France at the moment on all radio stations

My favourite song of theres would have to be.....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Inspirational stuff

I Know its old but how good is Beavan Docherty in a sprint finish!




Saturday, June 11, 2011

10 Days in France

So I have been here about ten days now, it's been pretty amazing so far and I have seen a lot of France in my short time here. Did my first race In Troyes http://www.troyes-triathlon.com/tos/index.htm It was a NON drafting race (my favourite, NOT! ) of 750m swim, 25km ride and 5-6km run in 36 degree temperatures, this was going to make things a bit interesting seeing as how Melbourne has been freezing recently and I had only been in the country 4 days.

I swam well out of the water, 3rd, but rode really hard loosing the front group at about 20km. Got off the bike at 5pm and it was baking hot! Ran hard but didn't really set any records on the run and it was bloody HOT!

The last few days I have been training getting ready for a team sprint race ( 750m 20km 5km) this coming Sunday. The team racing in France is huge, not anything like what we have in AUS. Most clubs have team racing in a French league, and it's pretty high competition. This is the main reason I'm in France, to race some French club racing and get some travel under my belt.

Other than training I have been in to Paris twice this week to have a look around at all the normal tourist things. Its a pretty amazing city, compared to Melbourne everything is so old and big!

Heres a Pic of the amazing Donna and one of myself in front of the Eiffel tower.


Monday, June 6, 2011

First few days in France

So this is where i live


This is me racing my first race in france



I will post more when i get the chance. Everyone has been amazingly nice and its great weather!

Stuart