How long can you focus?

Here’s a blog post on Endurance Nation that is highly reccomended.  Key take aways:

  • Break your season into manageable chunks.
  • Don’t expect to be able to focus for a REALLY long time.
  • In November, you aren’t training for a race in September – you’re training to train for that race, or for other fun things before the race.

When I got into Triathlons, I could have used these lessons rammed down my throat.

Nothing to do in Chicago

This week I am in Chicago for a VMware training for work. I had intended to come down and do some running each day – unfortunately a cold/sinus infection caught up with me not long after getting here. So thus far I have not done much running.

The training class itself has been quite insightful and good for work, but other then that I don’t have a lot to do, I don’t feel good enough to run, and I didn’t bring any reading books. So I’ve spent the two nights so far watching TV and putzing around on the internet. Fortunately boredom leads to going to be early!

It’s given me a lot of time to think about my approach and goals for training for the upcoming season (even more then I already have).

Race reports

I added back the portion of my old site for race reports and links so as to not make google to mad.

As I fix the links in blogs and else where and set up healthy redirects I’ll banish them again!

I need a black bike

What are you thinking? Are you crazy? Black bikes have souls, lots of them, they sucked all the souls from ugly green, red, blue, and other clolr[sic] bikes. A black bike says don’t f*ck with this guy. It’s like having the worst of Satan and the best of Jesus in one bike. You suck the life from other rides and it goes into your legs, giving you more watts and taking watts from them. At Soma I rolled up on a guy on a blue bike that is from a highly esteemed maker. he said you are having a nice ride (I started 3 min behind him) I pointed at my Lucero – the badest badass bike out there and said “This bike gives me the power to crush you, take your energy and leave you twisting in the wind. You have nothing left for this race. BE GONE.” He finished several minutes behind me. A black bike is so bad ass that no one, not one single person tried to pass me in my last 3 races during the bike, well one tried but only b/c his bike was black and blue but he son succumbed to the rolling fury that my bike is. This is the power a black bike brings. Sure you could ride something cute and covered with flowers, maybe a bell or streamers on the handlebars, some color coordinated handlebar tape and/or a seat. You could try to ride fast, the kind of fast a yugo gets when going down a hill with the parking brake on. You could try to pass someone “excuse me, but person in my AG could you please move right just a touch so I can squeeze around you, please?” Or you could ride death, something to strike fear into the hearts and minds of those around you. 18.1 pounds of rolling fury, the sound of the disc (black of course) rotating around exuding power combined with the sound of the H3C (black again) screaming down the road. The sound of a 1000 anguished souls coupled with the roar of the mightest creator laughing at the terror before you. Where a simple phrase “on your left” and the sound of fury and hell moves people over into the gutter. Or you can ride cute and polite. You choose, badass or ass bad.

-Brian Stover, aka desert dude

My Amp goes to 11

Spinal_Tap_-_Up_to_Eleven

I almost feel this is a waste of a supreme title such as this on a post this time of year, but it is appropriate.  This is also a blatant rip off from Jeff Keils Blog.  Anyways.

Yesterday I mentioned a movie reminded me of the need for proper planning.  Every season I have attempted to make a detailed plan for the upcoming season, planning out how how I’m going to ramp up volume, how much I will do each week, etc.  This has lead to great results – and I think it will continue to do so.  However, I think this approach has a few fundamental flaws…

  • What happens if in the progression of the season life intervenes and I am unable to progress as I planned?
  • What happens when I am unable to complete a planned workout because of fatigue?
  • What happens when I foolishly plow ahead following the plan?

The answer to those questions and many more unasked questions is an increase in my stress level, a decrease in my confidence, and possibly going over the abyss into being over-trained.

With the exception of the upcoming “Out Season” plan I am following from Endurance Nation, I am only going to plan from a high level focusing on the basic objectives of the cycle.  Revising the objectives when the cycle arrives based on the realities of where I am.  Selecting volume, workouts, and rest on a little more than weekly basis.

So what are the objectives for 2009?  To put it up to 11 at three races: Triple T, Ironman Wisconsin, Ironman Florida.

How am I going to do this?  Simple Really.  As I mentioned earlier I am going to follow the Endurance Nation Out Season plan, starting November 3rd for 16 weeks.  The goal of these 16 weeks is to get in the position to run as fast of a 5k as possible, and raise my FTP as high as possible.  Right now I’m looking at 350 watts as a target FTP and a 16:15.  Both of those are really a steep improvement, based on the experience it’s not an improvement that is unlikely for people following the Out Season Plan – those on the plan in 2007 saw an average of 15% FTP increase, and a similar increase in run speed.  Will it work that way for me?  I have no idea.  I have hope and plan to be dedicated.

Once that 4 month phase is complete I plan to take a couple of easier weeks, then repeat a selected 4 week cycle of the out season plan.  In general the out season will have very little volume, but crazy intensity; I am a little nervous about this but I’m going to take the plunge.

After that I am going start rebuilding my endurance while working to maintain whatever speed/strength I gain.  That will last 2×6 weeks.   Those 12 weeks will be fairly high in volume, but with a sprinkling of intensity, but unlike previous seasons the volume will be gotten through consistent moderate volume workouts, instead of portion being a massive ride and long run.

After that I will do 10 weeks of specific IM training – this is where I will finally put in the 6 hour ride and 2:30 – 2:45 runs.  These 10 weeks will end with a brief taper and IMWI.

Finally a short recovery and rebuild, capped off with IMFL.

That’s the plan, the details will come when appropriate and will be appropriate for how the season progresses.

Into the Wild

This past weekend I watched the movie Into the Wild.  It is based on the true story of a young man who graduates from college and then goes on a two year odyssey across the USA, culminating in Alaska.  It’s actually a pretty powerful story, showing what a person is able to accomplish with focus on their objective, willpower, desire.  However, the movie also brutally depicts the cost of undertaking something without proper preparation.

Much like an odyssey through the wild, Triathlon is an activity where there is much personal satisfaction to be gained, lot’s to be sacrificed – and a lack of a plan and proper preparation can lead to great dissatisfaction – fortunately death is pretty rare!

What does this have to do with anything?  To be honest I don’t know, other than that it’s a good reminder to sit down and come up with a solid plan for racing next year.

Apologize in advance

Later today, or tomorrow at the latest I am going to be updating the appearance of my site, part of which includes a change/upgrade to the blog engine.  I have no idea how this will affect the RSS feed and google reader’s archive of it – so I apologize in advance.

Also for the time being, my site will only contain a blog, but the race report and race calander will return after not to long!