Last night I did my old stand by 48 mile loop followed by a 30 minute run.

I did this exact workout (same route, followed by the same run) an equal time prior to IMAZ.

I did this ride about 7 minutes faster then I did it prior to AZ, and the run was right around 7:00 mpm (versus ~7:30).  The ride was hovering just above a true IM effort, but not much; and the run was at 145 HR max, mostly around 141 – so very fast, but also very aerobic.

Sometime back in may I did this route in 2:20 something, which I can’t fathom how I did that, but I was happy to beat it last night with the 2:19.

To top it off, it was far from ideal conditions.  I started around 4:20 shortly after some rain and thunderstorms cleared.  Only to get 15 minutes into the ride where I started to get pelted by fat, cold, painful raindrops that were getting whipped around by some pretty nasty winds.  The rain and wind lasted until about 20 miles into the ride.  Had it lasted any longer I would have been pretty miserable – I was near the end of my tolerance after 45 minutes of it.  To top it off because it looked nice when I started I was just in shorts and a jersey.  Once the rain passed I was comfortable though.

It’s an easy day today, short run, short bike.  Tomorrow is easy, but with a broken IM distance swim: 300, 500, 3×1000.  Going to am for cracking 50 minutes swim time.  Sunday is a 4 hour ride + 1 hour run – race sim.  I had been planning to ride towards Whitewater and back, but I got all hot and bothered for the trainer today.

Feeling pretty good this week – my confidence level is definately up.  The key workouts thus far this week are definately indicative that I am in Rock Star shape (relative to myself).


Had a great run last night.  I was pretty nervous for it all day, especially with how my legs felt during my swim in the morning.  It felt like every flip turn, I was reminded how tired my legs were.  It wasn’t painful tired, but a more “If you make us work today, we’ll do the work, but you won’t like it” kind of tired.

Last night’s run as a 90 minute or so run on a fairly rolling course, I intended to try and make the conditions kona like – and fortunately for me the weather cooperated: 72 degrees, 85% humidty.  Add in that I wore on of my winter running shirts (long sleeve, insulating) – I was in for a treat.  The plan for the run was to run at a progressively harder effort throughout.

In the end the run was 1:32:27 total time, but I lost a LOT of time due to stop lights and traffic on the way back, I’d say in the neighborhood of 2 minutes – it’s hard to say.  Not to mention that I’m the type of running that if I stop (especially when I’m “moving”/hurting) it takes a lot of effort to get going again.  Total distance was about 12.6 miles.  I was sopping wet and hot when I finished – the artificial heat and the humidty really made things fun.

All in all I was happy with the effort.  Tonight is an easy bike ride and run – and pick my bike up from the shop.  Tomorrow is a 2 hour to 2:30 ride with 30-40 minute run.  I haven’t decided how I should execute that workout, prior to AZ I did it as a steady state effort workout near HIM pace…maybe I should do it that way again to compare.

The Big Show and Poker

In 19 days, I’ll be racing in Kona.  Last week was a tough week for me mentally, I didn’t feel the greatest in training, I had an urge to do lots of hard work to build my fitness because my race was rapidly approach and I need to get in better shape.  Fortunately, cooler minds prevailed and I took some good rest last week.  This coming week will be mostly "easy" workouts with a couple tough ones to try and push my fitness to the next level and to ironout the details of pacing and nutrition for Kona.

Speaking of pacing – last week I had a little something to say about pacing the bike in an Ironman and the implications good/bad pacing has for your ability to run well.  I was thinking about this some more, and I came to the conclusion that sometimes it may be appropriate to make choices about pacing that appear to be "poor" choices in hindsight.

I did this a few times this year, at each of the half IMs that I did (Rockman, Appleton, Racine), in two of the races I got burned, and at Rockman it paid off.  That’s all well and good when you’re talking a B race in June or July, but what about when it comes to your A+ race of your career thus far?  Do you hold back and play your cards, or do you go all in?

Thinking back to my limited experience playing Texas Hold ’em, there were two times when I would feel comfortable going "All in" – if I knew that my hand was going to win, or if I knew that my hand didn’t stand a chance, but I knew my competitions didn’t either – in other words; I feel it is entirely appropriate to go "All in" when you have nothing to lose – in fact I almost think that when you have nothing to lose – it’s the only choice.  So how does this relate back to Kona?

In some ways while Kona is my A+ race of my triathlon career (thus far), and it my just be the biggest race of my athletic career to date.  However, the goal this season was not to have a kick ass race in Kona, but to simply qualify for Kona at IMAZ or at IMWI.  I accomplished that, I qualified at Arizona, and accomplished my goal for the season.  Racing in Kona this year is icing on the cake – sure if I had qualified at IMWI and was going to race Kona in 2008, I might look at it differently, but I accomplished my goal this year and can live happy with that – what have I got to lose in Kona? 

Nothing.  Seems to me like it’s a good time to go out and see what I’m made of.


He had a great admiration for the Spartans, you know the Grecian army people who I remember even as a kid myself, reading some story, I can’t remember whether it was in mythology or some ancient history book anyway, but where a Spartan had stolen a fox and he’d been detected, and rather than get detected and lose face, he hid the fox under his clothing and the fox ate his stomach out and he didn’t let out a sound. I mean being able to stand enormous pain without showing it, and of course the other part of the Spartan was the Stoic, and again, the person who basically doesn’t show emotion particularly. And he’d put those two together to come up with ‘Stote’, and so you were supposed to, as the great ‘If’ poem says from Rudyard Kipling: ‘To treat triumph and disaster as the same’, and realise there was something bigger behind it all anyway, so it’s not worth getting excited about or depressed about. So that was basically what the Stotan stuff was. 

-Herb Elliot

I’m tired

I was going to do this week as a tough week, a near duplicate of last week – but I’m pooped.  I did my normal 48 mile loop last night and just didn’t have much pop in my legs – and it’s definately not there today.

So I’m going to follow my original plan for this week and make this a recovery week.  Not sure what this weekend will be, but today, tomorrow and Friday are going to be fairly easy days so i’m fresh for my efforts next week – and anything I do this weekend.


Recently on slowtwitch there was a thread where someone was asking for "the secret" to training for a fast Ironman marathon.  While my 3:27 and 3:28 IM marathons aren’t the fastest ever – I think that I have a decent understand what it takes to run a good IM marathon.  Despite what some people think it’s not really that complicated.  In my opinion it’s all about pacing – mostly on the bike.

I know of a fella who has done a 1:15 open half marathon – that is smokin’ fast.  Way faster then I could go – way faster.  This same guy recently did Ironman WI and put out a 3:38ish run.  Considered by itself, 3:38 is a great run, but when you consider his raw running speed it’s not so great.  In my opinion a good run for this person would have been in the 3:05 to 3:10 range.  My personal opinion on why the run was a 3:38 versus faster was this person’s 5:12 bike split!  He took 10 minutes on the bike, and gave up 20+ minutes on the run!

Just a good reminder for me in Hawaii!

I had possibly my best weekend of training ever last week – it was crazy!  Here’s how last week broke down in reality

  • Monday – Off
  • Tuesday
    • AM – slept in
    • PM – 2 hours on the bike trainer – steady – 18.8 average (fastest to-date for a 2 hour ride) + 6 mile run in 43 flat
  • Wednesday
    • AM – alarm was set for 5:20 PM not AM – DOH!
    • Lunch – Treadmill speed workout – 8×1000 @ 6 minutes – 4 @ 6:15 pace (3:53 work), 4 @ 5:49 (3:34 work) pace
    • PM – 2 hours steady on trainer – 19.0 average – wtf?  I thought I did good yesterday
  • Thursday
    • AM – 3,800 yards – 4×100 @ 1:20, 4×150 @ 1:55, 4×200 @ 2:45
    • PM – 90 minutes on the bike – 8×4 minutes @ threshold, 1-7 were good, faded on #8
  • Friday
    • AM  – 8 mile run (1:00:40)
    • PM – Easy hour ride outside – it was cold and windy – really sucky
  • Saturday
    • Swim – 3,500 SCM – 3×600, negative split and descend 1-3.  Nailed them all – last one 3:58 + 3:57
    • Bike – 5:30 minutes on the trainer, 18.8 average (was up to 19.0, but I backed off the last hour)
    • Run – 8.5 miles (1:00:29)
  • Sunday
    • 20.6 mile run in 2:29 flat – 7:13 mpm, first 5 ~ 7:06, second 5 ~7:15, 3rd ~ 7:2X, last 5 ~6:59
    • Easy 30 minute swim to work out some soreness

Today is definately a total rest day – maybe some yoga, or a nice walk tonight, but I really need to make sure my I don’t ask to much of my body after a week like that.  It wasn’t huge volume wise (21 hours), but I really put a lot of stress on my body and it responded like a champ.

I’m not sure what the plan for this week is.  My original training plan called for this to be a rest week, but I’m not sure if I want to do a full rest week, or beat myself silly before going into my taper.  We’ll see how I feel tomorrow at my swim.  It was a big confidence booster to have such a killer run as my last really long run (if I go hard this week my long run will only be 2 hours) before Hawaii.

Now to just figure out how to keep myself cool on the run.

The Final Countdown!

I think I may have used that subject once already, but it’s OK.  I’m currently 32 days out from Kona – it’s coming fast, but before I blabber on to much about my stuff – I just want to say how proud I am of my wife, Mary, and how well she did at IMWI two days ago.  She went 12:33, and finished as the 124th women!  She ran tough the whole time and looked great!

I had a good week of training last week, was a bit of an odd week trying to fit in workouts while making sure I provided the support Mary needed.  The highlights of the week:

  • Friday – 3 hour indoor bike (Spinervals Tough Love) + 30 minute run
  • Saturday – IMWI Swim course sans wetsuit, + 52 mile bike on the course (20.5 mph, ending on the hilly portion, was as high as 20.7 with 6 miles to go, dropped to 20.2, and then back up, I felt good)
  • Sunday – 20.2 mile run in 2:31 minutes – ran from Monona Terrace to Verona to watch the bike.  Felt awesome

I have 5 full weeks of training left here’s how they are going to shake out

  • This week
    • Monday – off
    • Tuesday
      • AM – off needed some extra sleep to catch up from the long weekend
      • PM – Tough Love DVD + 30-45 run
    • Wednesday
      • AM – Track workout 8×1000 @ ~6 minutes, 4x 3:53, 4x 3:37 (same as last time)
      • PM – EZ to Mod 2 hour to 2.5 hour ride
    • Thursday
      • AM – 90 minute long swim
      • PM – 90 minute ride – Interval workout + 30 minute run
    • Friday
      • AM – 10 mile run
      • PM – 1 hour easy ride
    • Saturday
      • 1/5.5/1 SBR
    • Sunday
      • 20 mile run (2.5 hours) with my recoverying IronSherpa
  • Next week is likely to be a repeat of this week, or it will be full recovery week depending on how I feel Monday and how my run goes
  • The two weeks after that are the beginnings of taper – mostly easy workouts with a couple killers
  • Then it’s race week – pretty much do what it takes to get ready!

I really hope I can pull this week and next week off, mentally I could really use them – I’m not sure how much of a physical boost I need from them, but mentally I really need them!

It’s back

This upcoming weekend I get to experience something entirely new!  I get to go to an Ironman and watch!  That’s right – I get to be at an Ironman and just watch!  I’m really looking forward to it, but I do have a part of me that really feels a draw to take part in IMWI this weekend – fortunately I’ll be supporting my wife, Mary, in her first Ironman!

Back in Feburary I wrote about Fear and how it affects me.  Well guess what?  I’ve got that feeling back in my gut, a feeling of deep, irrational terror.  Terror of what?  I don’t know exactly.  I think they are the fears that we all deal with when it comes to a “big event.”  The fear of under-performing, fear of being unprepared, fear of the pain, or maybe it’s the fear of something that’s better left unsaid.

Time to harness that fear and use the motivation that it provides to rest hard, train hard, and have one hell of a great race in 6 weeks.