Last Day of February

Well it’s crunch time – not for training, but for my website, since tomorrow is a new month, the blog archive feature will kick in, and all of these posts will disappear from the main page and Feburary, 2007 will show up in the archive box to the right – that’s all well and good except I don’t have the archive display code working, so you won’t be able to go back and read them! Yikes – guess I have to fix that tonight!

In other things, had a great day of training yesterday – an IM swim practice in the morning followed by a 2:30 run.

The run was probably one of the best I’ve had recently – I started out at a easy-mod pace (Sub 140 HR) – which translated to 7:40 mpm or so. It’s actually a pretty fast pace, but the effort was very easy and very aerobic. At about the 13 mile mark I swung past my house and got some more water, and went back out to finish up the last ~45 minutes or so. I cranked off a 10k in that time, for a total of about 19.4 miles in 2:35, with a running time of about 2:25 or so (had a bathroom emergency, a couple long stop lights, and a fluid refill/jacket change) – for an overall average of sub 7:30. The last 10k was hard.

An easier day today – sleep in late for my morning workout, and a nice ~2 hour spin on the trainer followed by a 30 minute run. Should get me ready for some good intensity tomorrow!

After my run last night, I’m pretty confident that I’ll be able to run a 3:20 IM marathon assuming a properly paced bike, paired with good hydration and nutrition! (Last year my long runs were ~7:50 mpm at the same HR, and I ran 3:28)

Why a website?

I was visiting a website today, that of another amatuer triathlete Mark Gingrich, and I remembered a thread on TNO (Trinewbies) a while back, where Mark was hasseled pretty badly for having a nice website, and claiming to be an elite triathlete. While I may or may not consider Mark an elite triathlete (We’d give each other one heck of a race), I got to thinking about what people may think of my website, and what it says about me.

First and foremost I have a website because I am a geek, and it is basically required. That said that doesn’t mean I have to have one about triathlons. To me however, I feel the need to have a website dedicated to the triathlon side of my life, it’s one of my passions, and considering I spend 15-25 hours a week on it, I need to document my thoughts, feelings, and results – mostly for my own reasons, but partly because it’s fun to throw thoughts, numbers and other stuff out there and see what others make of it when they stumble on it.

Take Skudd, here you’ve got an average dude, out there just blogging about his life, and how somedays it’s great and other days it sucks. Imagine the value of being able to look back and see what you though on this day, or did on this day, or felt after this race.

That’s why I have a personal triathlon website!

Long swim

Monday is my “recovery day” and my long swim day. I do a 90 minute swim or so and try to get in about 5k SCM in that time. This morning I did two main sets:

  • Main Set #1
    • 4×150 @ 2:15
  • Main Set #2
    • 2×200 @ 3:00
    • 2×400 @ 6:00
    • 1×800 @ 12:00
    • 2×400 @ 6:00
    • 2×200 @ 3:00

Made for a pretty good workout, I’m pretty tired this evening, part of that stems from the fact that I feel like I might have a bit of a cold coming on – to bed early tonight – especially with the week I’ve got lined up.

Crank choice

About a month ago I made the decision to go ahead with my training and race Ironman Arizona on my powercranks. In the back of my mind a small amount of doubt over this decision has crept in – some of it related to “Am I faster on them”, “Can I ride 112 miles strongly on them”, “Can I ride 112 miles in aero?”, etc. As I wrote earlier this week, I was going to do a test to try and have the choice be easy – unfortunately the results of the test weren’t straight forward and conclusive.

From a power perspective, according to the Kurt power formula, on a workout that consisted for a 20 minute, 15 minute, 10 minute, and 5 minute intervals, progressing in effort – the middle two intervals were identical, with the first and last intervals siding on Regular Cranks. So definately not a straight choice.

After talking about it a little with my wife, I think I am going to race (and execute the remainder of this training cycle) using standard cranks. I made this choice based on a couple reasons:

  • Aero and comfort – I am more comfortable on the bike with standard cranks
  • Power is a wash
  • Confidence
  • Familiarity of riding on the road with them

Once I get done with Arizona, I’ll figure out how to work the PC’s back into training/racing plan – if I had a second bike it’d be easier, but I don’t so it will be a bit of a challenge.

More later

Great weather

It’s amazing what a short stretch of nice weather will do for your mental state. We’ve had a couple nice days here in Milwaukee – nice enough to ride outside. So for the first time in over a month I was able to suit up and go for a ride outside. It wasn’t the fastest ever, but I enjoyed it like not other – the wind in my face, real road beneath the wheels – much, much more enjoyable then the trainer

Bad part is they are saying that the weather is about to get nasty again, so I might be back on the trainer for a bit, fortunately Daylight Savings Time starts, March 11th this year, so the sun will start setting around 7:00 pm; which gives me enough time to do my weeknight rides outside. As long as it’s not sloppy out I’ll be slogging it out there come March 14th!

This week – A OK

So far training this week has been A-OK. It’s a rest week for me, so I don’t do anything super long, but most of my other workouts are the same. Last night was beautiful, about 35 degrees (F), which for February in Wisconsin, is awesome. Did an 8 mile run in 59:18 – which is 7:24 mpm, which is really good.

Had a great swim this morning did 3,400 SCM – with a main set of 4×500 on 7:30 (did the first on 7:20) – held between 6:55 and 7:01 for all of them, doing a short bike ride tonight with a six mile or so run – I’m moving my time trial test to tomorrow.

Actually, I’m thinking about just skipping it, and having faith that things will work out.

Other then that not to much else, today is the first day of Lent and I’m going to give up Ice Cream and snacks at work! That’s going to be tough

55 days

55 days. That’s all that stands between me and Ironman Arizona. 3 weeks of hard training, a rest week, 2 weeks of taper/intensity, and then it’s race week.

It’s coming fast, maybe a bit faster then I’m prepared for, but I’ll be ready. This past week was a pretty good week for training, I got a long run in, a long ride, and then a mediumish ride on Sunday. I still haven’t had any weeks that have been the “perfect” week. It seems I am always dropping a workout here, cutting one short there. In the big picture it’s not that big of a deal, but not having any weeks that I’ve really nailed, is a bit difficult to handle mentally. The worst part about this training cycle is not having any races to serve as feedback to gauge my fitness. I really have no idea where I stand

To that end, this week I am scheduling two time trial workouts. Both of them will be a 15 mile trainer ride with a 3.6 mile run afterwards. I plan to do one of them with my Powercranks, and one with standard cranks. I plan to compare them to each other to make one last decision about weather to ride with Powercranks or standard cranks at IMAZ. I’ll be evaluting my Average HR, RPE, Speed, and time in the aero position on the bike, and time, HR, and RPE for the run. Which ever is the best blend is the winner.

Other then that, I’m hoping that a chance to go hard against some sort of a standard will be a good motivator for my last month of hard training.

Fear

For some people fear is a demotivator, something that causes them to freeze up. For others pressure causes this same reaction, everyone is different. Personally, in some situation pressure causes me to freeze, while in others it doesn’t – same with fear; sometimes it’s my worst enemy other times I welcome it.

Last year before Ironman Wisconsin, I was pretty much terrified of the run, partly because I felt my run preparation wasn’t up to par, and partly because of how terrible the run had been the year before. Race day came and went, and I had an incredible run, way better then I could have imagined. I’m starting to get the same feelings for Ironman Arizona, which is just a little over two months away. I’m scared that both my bike and run preparation will be lacking and I’ll die.

You know what else I’m scared of at the moment? Some of the metrics I’ve seen in traininng so far – I’ve had a couple workouts where I’ve done 8+ mile runs at 6:50-7:00 minute pace at 145 HR. That’s scary, typically I run 7:45 to 8:15 minutes per mile in training, and to do runs at 7 minutes at what is a moderate HR scares me. Is that right? Am I peaking to soon? Have I gotten that fast? I’ve seen similar things on my bike, 5+ hour bike rides where I’m averaging 220+ watts (according to my Kurt Kinetic trainer) – some of those numbers are literally insane. My mind has trouble interpretting what that means.

Are my measurement devices just flat out inaccurate? It makes it a really difficult struggle in setting a realistic race plan for Arizona – which is something I struggle with to begin – those metrics indicate that I should be able to go some crazy fast times if I execute properly.

The heat, how will my body deal with the Arizona weather when I’ve been training in our beautiful Wisconsin climate?

Oh well, all I can do is take the fear, make it my own and use the energy in it, rather then let it control me and sap me of energy!

Thanks for reading

First off, thanks for reading my blog, I’m not totally sure how you got here, but thanks

Well if you are here, you must know who I am and what I’m about – to some extent.

Before I get to far into rambling I have to give some credit to Chris McDonald as his website had some heavy influence on mine.

Now that that’s out of the way, things are going pretty good training wise. I’m currently building up for Ironman Arizona, and while it isn’t going exactly as I planned it, I’m doing pretty well. It’s weird, even though I’ve done a volume of training that’s for the most part comprable to what I do in the summer, it seems like a lot less. But that’s the way it felt last year as compared to the year before – same amount, but perceived as less. There must be something with just getting used to the workload. Not much else to share at the moment, but again thanks for reading!