The plan for the year

So I’ve spent a long time hemming and hawing over how to train this year.  Something new?  The old reliable?  What?

Well I spent a bit of time looking at my training log for my 3 tri seasons to date, done a lot of reading, and thinking.  And I’ve come up with a basic strategy that will work and [hopefully] give me great success this year.

I’ve decided to use a different structure for my basic week this year.  I’m pretty happy with it, but the long run on Friday Morning will be a little rough.  Have to stay very motivated to make sure it never gets written off.

Monday: AM – Long Swim (Not until 4/28) PM – 45-60 minute easy runTuesday: AM – IM Swim followed by short, easy run PM – BikeWednesday: AM – Med Run PM – Easy BikeThursday: AM – Temp Swim PM – BrickFriday: AM – Long Run PM – BikeSaturday: AM – Long Swim PM – Maybe a bike/run, but not likelySunday: Long Brick

I plan to break my season into a several distinct phases, some short, some long, but each with a single distinct goal.

Phase 1 (Now – 3/23/08)This phase is all about raising my bike FTP, and doing some minimum maintenance work on my endurance.  The focus of the week is a ~90 minute bike workout on Tuesday and Thursday that is focused on building my FTP.  Friday AM I’ll do a 1:45 – 2:00 run, and then a 3:30 brick on Sunday.  Depending on what life throws my way some workouts may get moved to make sure I get in the two hard rides.  Wednesday morning will have some minimal run speed work – no more then 15 minutes total, although it may be built into a 45-60 minute run.

Phase 2 (3/24/08 – 4/13/08)This phase is fully focused on preparing for a Half Marathon on April 12th.  It’s only 3 weeks, but I will sacrifice a lot of swim and bike time to be able to do some very high quality running.  Going to use a prebuilt running plan for a 35 minute 10k.  Goal for the Half Mary is 1:17 (5:57 for 1:17:59).  It’s an extreme stretch goal, but I think with some hard work I think I can make it.

Phase 3 (4/14/08 – 4/27/08)Recover and regroup.  Take it easy, just a bunch of unstructured training to decompress and recover from the Half Mary and the high intensity training.  Reset my internal difficult perception gauge.

Phase 4 (4/28/08 – 5/20/08)LSD Base phase.  Just pure volume, no real bike quality workouts, no real quality running workouts.  Only quality will really be swimming centric.  Mostly just pure Steady State Training – reignite the aerobic engine.  End the month with the Triple T.

Phase 5 (5/26/08 – 7/20/08)Balance training.  Mostly LSD/SST work, one  quality bike/run per week.  Nothing like the workouts in Phase 1 and 2, but enough to stimulate all systems and get all cylinders firing.  Rockman 1/2 early in the period, and ends with "Stotan" week.  Plan to follow the 8 week ME bike plan from page 120 and 121 of Going Long.  Run will be basic tempo runs – NO TRACK!

Phase 6 (7/21/08 – 8/17/08)Specific race prep.  Focus is on preparing specifically for the IMWI.  End with Pleasant Prairie Olympic Tri

Phase 7 (8/18/08 – 9/7/08)Taper and Race.

Spare the rod, spoil the child

For a couple of years I have watched various internet forums and personal blogs rant and rave about powermeters.  For various reasons, a couple of years ago I decided I wanted/needed a powermeter.  Those reasons ranged from I want to be one of the cool kids with bling, to I’m a total geek and to be able to know all this cool information at my disposal during and after rides, and finally I felt that all these people can’t be wrong, this tool has to open some doors.After bellying up to the bar and buying an SRM, and exactly 3 rides using it – I finally hear Jimi – to quote Sidney Deane

Look man, Your can listen to Jimi but you can’t hear him. There’s a difference man. Just because your listening to him doesn’t mean you’re hearing him.

What do I mean?  Last night I did a Spinervals DVD (14.0 Totally Time Trial).  The main set of this workout consists of 4×15 minutes @ 2 minutes rest at your 40k effort.  As I posted earlier this week, I estimate my FTP to be about 297 watts.  So I planned to aim for an even 300 watt average, trying to have no more then +- 5 watts variation in what I saw on the powermeter display.  Reps #1, 2, and 3 went great.  Averaged 300 watts more or less on the head, and kept my variation pretty small.  RPE and HR were right were I expected them to be.

Along comes rep number four.  The first 5 minutes goes as expected, then my PE slowly started to creep up.  OK I think, I’m going to just keep doing this and these last 10 minutes are gonna fly by.  A couple minutes go by, HR is still where it should be for this type of effort, PE is telling me the engine room is at full tilt, and the PM is proudly displaying 270 watts.  “HOLY BUCKETS” I said to myself, and slowly dragged myself backup to 300 watts.  Minimal increase in HR, PE exertion goes up, but guess what?  Only doing the work I need to, despite what my legs are saying.

I get it.

Bike test v2

Did a bike fitness test last night.  It was great timing.  It was time for one, and my newly purchased SRM arrived.  After installing it and getting everything going I did the test.  I followed the same protocol as last time.

The result was 21.1 mph average (not sure if I selected the right rollout for my wheel), 313 watts (FTP 297), a bit higher then last time, and 155 HR.

I was a bit surprised to see the HR 5 beats lower, expecially because Mary had the same experience.  A little higher power (via Kurts formula), and a HR also 5 beats lower…

Did a short run this morning, 45 minutes at Daniel’s E pace (7:47; VDOT 56), with 2×3 minutes at T pace (6:15) inserted with 30 secs inbetween them.

Another swim time trial

As a follow up to my swim fitness test back in December I did another one this morning.  Bit of a different warm-up

  • 200 Swim-Kick-Swim
  • 8×50 Drill
  • 12×25 (world’s greatest transition)
  • 1×1000 TT

Final time was 13:10, just shy of where I had hoped to be when I did this about 7 weeks ago – was aiming for sub 13.  I am actually happy with the time though, as the more I got to thinking about it 1:18/100m is pretty darn fast.

Splits were as follows: 1:14/1:18/1:18/1:19/1:19 (6:28 500)/1:18/1:19/1:20/1:21/1:21

Gonna give it a try again in a few weeks – will shoot for low 12:50s as the goal.

Tonight – 90 minute ride followed by a 30 minute run.  Plan to do some short aerobic intervals on the bike tonight, Daniels E pace run.

Tomorrow morning is my long run – 1:45


Triathlon – a love – hate affair

There are parts of triathlon that I love and hate.  Not surprisingly this is how most things in life are.  Today I’m writing mostly about things I dislike in triathlon – I’ll save the love stuff for another snowy day!

I straddle two worlds in my day to day life.  One being an uber geek – serving as systems admin in a group that supports over 1200 Windows Servers, 100 VMware ESX Servers, along with doing other geeky things like writing web sites, hosting my own email etc.  The other being that I spend a lot of time pursuing triathlons.

One of the big differences I see between those two worlds is the sharing and owning of information.  The IT world (with some exception) is very open with information.  Much of the innovation is driven by open source efforts, which are available for free to everyone.  There are many, many proprietary things out there, which are guarded very closely.  The direction of the industry is shifting more and more to a service based industry where software is free and "open", and you pay for services.

In triathlon, I see this – people helping others and passing on information, but I have see a much bigger tendency towards "cashing in" and hoarding of knowledge.  In the last 24 hours alone, I have see two comments (on forums/mailing lists) that display this.  One dealt with a person being intentionally vague so as not to give a way proprietary ideas; while the other was "you probably won’t get many responses as people don’t want to give free coaching advice."

Seems foreign to me – if someone wants help I’ll help them.  No strings attached – well one.  Help someone when you can.  Makes the world a lot better of a place.