When is it time to go back to square one?

On the surface Triathlon (and athletics in general) is an endeavor of the human body and mind to see how is the fastest, fittest, or strongest (and sometimes other attributes) depending on the sport.  While this is true, sport is ultimately something more then that.  It is really nothing more then project management wrapped in a bundle of blood, sweat, and tears.

Being a successful athlete ultimately means being a great project manager, or finding a great project manager and then executing their plan.  Simple right?  Not quite.  There are times when managing a project where it is easy to feel the techniques that saw you through past projects with great success – are outdated and can’t get you to where you want to go.

The truth of the matter is, only in rare cases do established formulas (that succeed) really need to be changed for further success – many times even formulas that have resulted in less then desirable results need changing – often times we simply executed them poorly.

What does this boil down to?  If you have a formula that has worked for you in the past – it’s probably best to stay with it.  No need for wild and crazy change.  If you read something that is new and you think has merits – incorporate it into your formula slowly – not quickly.

P.S.  This piece is mostly for my own piece of mind right now, as I am having a fair struggle trying to figure out my plan for this year – mostly as a result of all my new knowledge and wanting to in corporate it in.  My formula has worked great – I’ve done a 9:46 IM, 4:24 half, a half IM with a 1:26 run, a 2:02 Olympic – with the only times I’ve stagnated has generally been due to poor execution on my part!  Duh!

Had a good week

Finally had a week where I got everything in last week.  There were a few sessions where I didn’t get the amount I wanted, but I got them all!

Total for the week was 13 hours, 59 minutes.  Pretty good for January I think.  Going to shoot for a little bit higher this week and then slowly build to 18 or so hours and then hold there until after the South Shore Half Marathon.

The six weeks leading up to the South Shore half are going to be a very run focused segment of training.  I’d like to try and go a sub 1:20 Half Marathon.  Ultimately, I’d like to go a 1:17 – the equivilant of a 35 10k.  I’m going to enlist Matt’s help for pacing and as a rabbit to keep the suffering going.  I’m going to back down the Bike mileage a bit during those six weeks, but try to really push the run mileage the first 3 weeks, and the run intensity the second 3 weeks.

If all goes well it’ll help me close the gap on the run and put me in striking distance of a 25/2:20/1:20 half this summer.  Ultimately I’d love to faster, but I think it’s more realistic to do a 1:20 run then much faster then a 2:20 bike.  I rode close to 2:20 this year, but was riding a fair bit above my ability, so I figure 2:20 is a good target to ride conservatively.

Had a good swim with Lauren today – main set was a 2,700 SCM rolling ladder: 50,50,100,150,250,400,650,1050 (start at 50 with the next being the sum of the previous two)  did the 1050 @ 1:22 pace.  It’s nice to be swimming this strong now, but my stroke still feels terrible.

Fitness Test

I did a bike fitness test last night.

15 minute warm up5x1 minute Ascend effort @ 30 seconds rest30 minute TT, take the average HR of the last 20, and average speed for whole ride

I ended up with an Average HR of 160, and an average speed of 20.9 mph (289 watts per the Kurt Kinetic formula).

When I did this test last may shortly after IMAZ, and before a stretch of really good racing, I averaged 161 HR and 21.7 mph (314 watts via formula).

I’m really happy with the result from last night – it confirms that I should keep the same training zones, and that I didn’t lose that much fitness. 

I plan to do a run test next week.

Did 45 minute run this morning.  Easy warm up, 20 minutes @ 6:58 pace, then a cool down.  I chose that pace because I thought it was close to my Daniels "T" pace, based on my recent 5k, but turns out my "T" pace is more like 6:22 🙁

Help a guy out

There is a pro cyclist out there who lost all his belongings in a fire.  He was able to recover most of it (not from the fire, but in the sense that he is making do), but is looking for help in raising funds to replace his SRM.

Check it out here – rroof is the guy collecting money and then cutting the guy a check.

Pay it forward!

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2008!  A New Year, a new season, a time to start fresh. 

On New Years Eve I did a 5k race at the Wisconsin State Fair Park.  It was a fairly flat, fast race.  I finished in 18:29 – a PR by 12 seconds.  I’m not sure what to think of that.  I’m excited to have run a 5k race with a sub 6 minute average, but last year my 5k PR came ~5 weeks before Ironman Arizona, where I was in arguably the best shape of my life…while that 5k was a bit tougher course, it isn’t that much tougher…

Just weird to be running that fast when my total training load hasn’t been all that high.

On sunday I rode a computrainer for the first time.  It was a blast, I rode with a couple of people I know from TriWI at Transition (Cycle).  We did 45 or so miles of the Roth course.

I also decided that I’m not going to do Racine this year.  It was a tough choice, but I really want to focus my energy on Ironman Wisconsin this year – and want to focus solely on that after a early season stint of a few races.