On the burner

Short update on what the plan for this week is

  • Monday
    • Off
  • Tuesday
    • AM: Broken Ironman distance swim 300,500,3×1000 @ 15 sec rest – swimming time was mid 53
    • PM: Long run – targetting 18 miles in ~2:20
  • Wednesday
    • AM: Track workout (1st of 4 before HI)  4×1200 @ 10kish pace
    • PM: Easy bike
  • Thursday
    • AM: Swim – focus on strokes
    • PM: EZ Aerobic bike/run (3 hours total)
  • Friday
    • AM: 10 mile run – no faster then 7:15 mpm
    • PM: 2 hours steady aerobic trainer ride
  • Saturday
    • Ironman WI Bike course (110 mi) + 6-8 mile run
  • Sunday
    • EZ Aerobic bike/run (3 hours total)
    • EZ swim (LCM)

Total volume for the week should be around 23 hours.  Next week is a recovery week.

July in Review

Here’s a breakdown of my training for july:

  • Swim
    • 41,500 meters
    • 12 hours, 12 minutes
  • Bike
    • 962 miles
    • 50 hours, 55 minutes
  • Run
    • 153 miles (18 planned tonight)
    • 19 hours, 17 minutes (2:20 tonight)

Both the bike and the run are my largest volume (distance) 4 weeks of the year, with biking being the biggest timewise by about an hour and a half.  Looking at last year it looks like this was my big week (distance) on the bike ever. 

Something has got to be wrong with me because I didn’t think my training was going that good – wow.  Hopefully, the rest of this week goes good and I go into my rest week next week on a high note. 

Year to date totals:

  • Swim
    • 315,650 meters
    • 97 hours, 12 minutes
  • Bike
    • 5,212 miles
    • 285 hours, 48 minutes
  • Run
    • 901 miles
    • 116 hours, 9 minutes

Over the year that’s a breakdown of about 20% swimming, 57% biking, and 23% running.

It’s been a great year so far, hopefully I can keep it up.

Spirit of Racine 2007

Extremely short race report for this one – in the end it was a very solid day.  It fellshort of what I had hoped for, but how can you complain when you turn in a time that is a minute off your time from last year and you had an aweful run?

No complaints – just a reminder to work on my run.

The day started off with my typical swim, I had a bit of a tough time sighting on the way to the first buoy.

The bike was pretty good, I thought there was a bit of a wind headed South and west. I ended up at 2:22 – I’m pretty happy with that – felt like just the right mix of go hard/pace it.

The run was a disaster. I rode way to fast for where I am at right now with my run. I’m not exactly disappointed with it as I had a feeling it would happen if I rode the way I intended to. I was great until around mile 5 – struggled until a little after the halfway point.  Around the halfway point I started to feel a little better, I wanted to try and catch Mary on her first lap and see how she was doing, that lasted until around mile 8 or so, then I just suffered in the rest of the way. 1:37:00

I ended up coming in at 4:29, something like 60 seconds slower then last year – which was a “perfect” race. Looking back at yesterday I might have been able to run a bit faster had I paced the bike more, but I wouldn’t say that it would have been a sure thing, or that I would have even come out with a faster overall time. In the end it was a very solid day, and a very powerful reminder to stop ignoring my run.

Weekly update

Got a fair amount to write about today.

I had a Dr. appointment yesterday concerning my breathing issues – he felt that it was a minor exercise induced asthma caused due to seasonal allergies.  He told me to try taking a claritan everyday and prescribed an inhaler to use prior to workouts.  So I figure I’m going to go on that for a while and during my next rest week, go sans the inhaler to see what happens.

I was reviewing my training log this morning and my training load had actually been pretty high this year, a lot higher then I expected.  I’ve averaged 16.5 hours of training a week thus far this year.  At this point I am 70k yards swimming, 1100 miles biking, and 400 miles running behind where I was last year – total.  The way I figure it before Hawaii I’ll exceed last years totals by about 200k yards, 2600 miles, and 300 miles (swim bike run).  That’s a percentage increase by about 50%, 42%, and 23%. 

Those numbers tell me a few things

  • It’s pretty obvious I’ll have done 2 ironmans this year
  • I’m ignoring my run
  • No wonder I’m so tired

So i’m planning to try to really crank some run miles to get that back in shape and make up some ground.  I am a bit concerned about the fatique – it’s still a long ways to Hawaii and a part of me wonders if I should take a small break to get some extra rest or if I should just press forward to my next rest week in two weeks…

Another thing I have been thinking about, especially since Racine didn’t go as well as I had hoped for (not that it went bad), but I’m starting to think that 8:59:59 might be a goal that I need to work on for a couple more years.  I think I’m definately capable of it and most likely have the fitness for it, but I’m not strong enough.  I rode a 2:22 at Racine, and while that didn’t seem to taxing for a half – I ran very poorly off of it.  I’d like to blame it on breathing issues, or something, but I just didn’t run well.  We’ll see how it goes and those metrics are still what I’m working towrds (~250W @5 hours, and 7 mpm long run pace) – will it happen this fall?  I dunno, but I’ve got a heck of a journey to enjoy.

One of the things I hate about Ironman triathlons is the need to plan a season so far in advance – in order to do one or more Ironman races next year I’ve got to plan now – before my current season is even over – talk about dividing your attention!  Right now It’s looking like my A-race will be Ironman Canada, with a follow up at Kona if the stars align themselves right.  Now on the off chance I were to win my age group at Kona this year, this plan would probably change.  Since it’s next to impossible to register for IMC, I’m most likely going to do the California 70.3 to get an IMC slot.  I’ll probably fill in the time inbetween with the Triple-T, and the Rockman Half Iron.  I’m going to do fewer races next year, but try and focus on each of them a little more.

Workout wise just a normal base week, should come in around 22 hours total.  Had a pretty good long run on Tuesday and a nice recovery ride last night.  Tonight is some hard intervals on the bike to get the legs working.


The Test

Well this is it.  The test.  I’ve sent that last few weeks rebuilding my fitness after my training downshift after Arizona.  How will Racine go?  Will I blow away my previous PR, or will I just blow up?

After this past weekend I’m pretty confident in my fitness, I did two IM distance rides – one pretty casual and then a second on Sunday at build-to-IM effort.  I clocked 5:37 @ 112 miles on Sunday – over 20 minutes faster then I have ever ridden that particular route before.  It also happens to be my second fastest time ever for 112 miles.

In a way it’s a bit scary – am I putting to much work out in training – or am I just that much "stronger" then last year?  I’ll find out this weekend in Racine.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, this weekend is the Spirit of Racine Triathlon.  Other then Ironman Wisconsin, it’s the biggest race within driving distance if you ask me.  2,000 entrants – big pro prize purse – bring your game or don’t come.   It’s a Half Ironman that has a pancake flat bike and run course – and a swim that is as close to an ocean swim as you can get in Wisconsin.  If you’re gonna PR here’s the place to do it.

Enough of the "attitude" talk sounds a little on the cocky side me thinks…

The bottom line is I’m nervous for this weekend, it’s a big race and some big names are going to be there.  Based on my past experiences at this race, and the way my training has been going – I think this is a great time to swing for the fence; race with a "Devil may care, three sheets to the wind" attitude and see where things fall.  I know I can finish the race, so why not see what happens when I just let go.  I had an incredible race in Pleasant Prairie a few years ago when I just decided to let it rip – I think it’s time for another one of those.

I guess me and Fluffy are just gonna let it all hang out.

July 11th

I still feel pretty tired even after taking a fairly easy week last week – I'm really struggling with my breathing during training.  I feel like I'm getting winded fairly easily and just not getting enough O2 – which is a pretty big demotivator from pushing hard.   But I'm doing the best I can, if things don't seem to get better in the next couple of days I may pay a visit to my doctor to look into allergies and/or asthma.  In the mean time I'm just trying to get as much sleep as I can and trying to stay away from the intensity.

What's on the plate this week?  I really want to focus on hitting each of my workouts right as planned – get all the volume, with just a thin frosting of intensity.  I also want to focus on staying in good spirits if my training doesn't go according to plan.  Anyways here's the plan

  • Monday
    • AM: 1 hour easy swimi
    • PM: Off
  • Tuesday
    • AM: 1 hour swim – 7×200 @ 2:55 SCM
    • PM: 2 hour run – a little over 15 miles – really hot and humid
  • Wednesday
    • AM: Off
    • PM: 2.5 hour bike + 30-45 minute run
  • Thursday:
    • AM: 1:15 swim – planning to do 20-30×100 @ 2:00 SCM hold 1:14-1:16/100
    • PM:90 minutes on the trainer + 30 minute run
  • Friday
    • AM: 10 mile run @ 7:30 mpm – no faster, no slower
    • Midday: 20-30 minute open water swim 
    • PM: 2 hours on the trainer
  • Satuday
    • 70-112 miles biking on the IMWI course + 30 minute run
  • Sunday
    • Lake Geneva Bike loop – 112 miles good mix of hills and flat + 45 minute run

At first I was disappointed with my run last night, 8 mpm is slow, but then I looked at my log from IMAZ, and at 13 weeks out it's about the same distance I did then as well as the same time.  Considering the heat I was running in, it was actually pretty good.  Post run I weighed in "normal" after drinking ~90 ouces of water, so I was super dehydrated

Shell shock

For the first time in quite a while I'm pretty shelled from a training point of view – I had a fantastic week of training last week, and I'm really seeing the "results" of that training.  I'm tired.  I haven't been this tired in a while.  As a result I've made a concerted effort to slow down this week and just focus on some volume (and rest) rather then speed/power/pace.

I've done OK on most fronts, but it hasn't been easy – my running partner John dragged me through an hour run yesterday at 7:16 pace or so – after that I had a good ride with my friend Matt.  It was a 3 and a half hour ride where we averaged right about 18 mph – it was pretty much just what I needed – some good endurance work, but not hard.  Just riding.  I need to do more of that.

It's great to drop training PB's like I did last week, but it's dangerous because you contantly like to beat them – Gordo had a blog entry on this exact line of thought today – I think it's a great read.

In a way it's interesting that I find myself thinking these thoughts after a great week of training, and then when I do my daily check of Gordo's blog he has an entry on that exact same subject (much more eloquent then I write though).

I just need to remind myself to chill and do the work – there is no need to race in training.  Forget about those mini goals (beating Terry, going a 4:12, etc) – and go back to this goal – 8:59:59 Ironman (51/4:50/3:10) and focus all my athletic energy on what it takes to do that.

That was a nice aspect of training for Arizona – I had one race on the calendar to focus on.  I didn't have the temptation to make compromises in order to excel at a mid-cycle race – I was able to purely focus on the metrics I determined as critical to my sucess in Tempe.  And it worked!

In that light I've got a 10 mile run tomorrow morning – and I'm not going to let John force me to run faster then I should.

Wish me luck – seriously.

Just another day

Had some good training recently and some bad training.  I had two great rides over the weekend.  I topped the weekend off with a 94 mile ride @ 20.6 mph, followed by a 6 mile run @ 6:45 mpm – crazy fast.  A bit scary that I'm riding so well in July with my target race in October – but it indicates good things for Racine in a couple weeks.

Last night I did my "long" run.  I say "long", because it only turned out to be 12.3 miles/1:34.  It was awful, my pace yo-yo'd between 7:00 to 8:30 – I just didn't have it.  To top it off I had really bad heart burn.  Part of me wonders if I was being a little overzealous about my pace for my first long run of the cycle.

Hopefully things will go good again this week!

Recommended Reading

I have been searching and searching for an article by Gordo Byrn on a two year plan for “elite” base training, and what it takes to place well in Kona. I even sent Gordo an email about it and he and his webguy was convinced it was lost, but through the miracle of the internet I found it!!!!