Monday, 20 January 2014 12:44

Ironman Chattanooga Training Week 11

Ironman Chattanooga is creeping closer and closer all the while I have my sights set on the Rocky Raccoon 50 and Lake Martin 100.  The and I suspect it will continue into Ironman specific training.  The more work I do on the trails the more I am coming to the conclusion that overloading one's body helps their mind as well as their ability to be stronger and faster. When I did the two large cycling blocks in September and October (nearly 1600 miles in two months) I noticed that my running seemed to be easier than it had been before the large cycling block.  With the large volume of run training I am doing now I am noticing that my running ability as well as my swimming ability have taken a step forward. I started thinking about this last night and how this can be incorporated into a Ironman specific training cycle.  Typically, I would have 3-4 swim sessions, 3-4 bike sessions and 3-4 run sessions per week.  What if we changed that up to be very specific.  Week 1 - Swim heavy with nearly 20,000-30,000 yards.  Week 2 - 70-80 miles of running.  Week 3 - 250-300 miles of cycling.  Obviously in those weeks you would still have some of the other sports but not enough to make the focus go away.  Then in Week 4 that would be a recovery week with limited volume for all three disciplines and then started again.  In a 16 week schedule you would have 4 very sport specific weeks in which you just worked your ass off on that sport.  You basically buried yourself in that sport for the week.  You may cry for mercy but then the next week would be a different sport.  Thoughts? Anyway, this is Week 11 of the Ironman Chattanooga Challenge and while KC contemplates another 100 mile ride for next weekend, I contemplate whether or not I want to do an ultra run two weeks post Rocky Raccoon as a training run.

KC's Ironman Chattanooga Challenge Week 11 Recap

[caption id="attachment_9360" align="alignright" width="300"]ironman chattanooga - triathlon - running - triathlon KC's Keeping It Simple And Effective[/caption] Keeping this week’s re-cap short and sweet. As you can see from my training week above, I started easing back into the running. I still have some tingling and numbness in the toes but it’s much less and not as painful. I got my 3 days of Xfit in, love that and did my 3rd century bike ride of 2014 …that’s 3 for 3 if anyone is counting. Let’s see if I can pull that off again next weekend. Anyway, not a whole lot going on training wise at the moment, except just keeping a solid base. There is a half marathon I may do on February 23rd but haven’t completely decided if I really want to do it or not. Other than that, I have a 70.3 coming up March 22nd and I will be super ready for that. It’s a hilly one, which I love the challenge of a nice, hilly bike and run course, so bring it on. Upward and Onward!

Jason's Ironman Chattanooga Week 11 Recap

[caption id="attachment_9359" align="alignright" width="300"]ironman chattanooga - training peaks - running - triathlon Lots Of Running Miles . 71.79 for the week[/caption] This week was all about the trail run.  This was the second week of overload for RR50 and it did not disappoint.  The week consisted of two 10 milers mid-week, a 24 miler on Saturday and a 13 miler on Sunday.  I banged out the two 10 milers but the first one I hated.  I posted on Facebook that the 10-12 miler is quite possibly the worst distance to run because it is too long to be considered short and too short to be considered long.  On anything less than a 10 miler I know I will be out there for anywhere between 45 minutes and 1h15.  I can handle that.  On a run longer than 12 miles I know that I am looking at close to 2 hours based on my current Z1 pace.  I can live with that, but the 10 miler is just awful. Anyway, when I got to Big Cedar Wilderness on Saturday morning it was dark out and I borrowed Karen's headlamp.  Figuring with the 6am start time for RR and the fact that the Lake Martin 100 miler will take me from sun-up to sun-down I better get used to running with a headlamp.  Karen's headlamp is badass and I believe that I lit up the night with it.  I only needed it for a few minutes but running with a headlamp is not terrible.  The 24 miles I was supposed to run turned into 21.8 miles because it is nearly impossible to map out an exact amount of miles when it comes to trails especially when you go must make up routes.  I was happy with the 21.8 as I finished them in less than 4 hours at a decent pace. Sunday was my third round with Cedar Ridge Preserve which is a tough trail course here in Dallas.  The last two weeks it has beaten me up to the point that when I get home to climb the stairs it is a chore.  Yesterday, that did not happen.  I took it to Mr CRP and when I was done I posted this to Facebook:

Float like a butterfly Sting like a bee Scheduled for 2 laps finished with 3 Guess who won this round That would be me See you next week Mr CRP

It was a blast.  I covered the 16.5 miles in just over three hours and felt great.  My legs were strong the entire time and I held a consistent pace over the miles.  Since each loop is 5.5 miles I could see what pace I was running for each section and compare them to themselves.  Steady was the name of the game and now my mindset for RR50 and a goal time is starting to come together.

[caption id="attachment_9358" align="aligncenter" width="300"]ironman chattanooga - cedar ridge preserve trail - running - triathlon Cedar Ridge Preserve Trail[/caption] [caption id="attachment_9357" align="aligncenter" width="300"]ironman chattanooga - big cedar wildness trail - running - triathlon Big Cedar Wilderness Trail[/caption]

What Are You Training For And How Is It Going?

Published in Train
[caption id="attachment_9230" align="alignright" width="300"]swimming - endurance nation - triathlon Source: Shelton Monroe Swim Team Rapids[/caption] Endurance Nation posted an article on their site on November 19th titled: Why Swimming Year-Round Can Be Hazardous To Your A Race.  It is an enlightening article and one that all triathletes regardless of their level should read.  For those of us that are not swimmers we dread going to the pool, and especially this time of the year in the United States when the weather is not conducive to the idea of getting into a pool.  I know for me that swimming was a lost cause the moment that Ironman Texas was over.  I had zero desire to hit the water three to four days per week.  As a matter of fact it got to the point where I was barely swimming at all.  I would force myself to the pool and get in 1500 yards before calling it a day.  I had no motivation, not that there was much for running and biking either. Five months post Ironman Texas and now I can see myself getting into the pool on a more regular basis and that is what got me to thinking about this article.  Most athletes consider the winter months to be their off-season and are just not motivated to get going.  You have the holidays and all the cake and cookies, huge meals and alcohol thwarting the best laid plans.  The temperatures below your age and your bed sounds so much better.  For me, the training season began three weeks ago which would be right around Thanksgiving.  That means that I am training on a regular schedule throughout the holidays making that the focus and not the huge slice of pecan pie. Yesterday I posted about a new swim training cycle that I am starting.  I am going to the pool Monday and Tuesday morning as well as Friday evening.  My plan is to swim for 30-45 minutes and get out.  Monday will be purely recovery will very little intensity.  Tuesday's intensity will pick up and then on Friday it will be back to recovery as I prepare for the huge weekend of run volume.  Why 30-45 minutes?  It goes back to the Endurance Nation article.  In the article you read about the amount of time it takes to swim, not the actual swimming, but the time to drive, change, swim, change and drive.  Those minutes add up and I do not want to feel beholden to 2 hours of training for a simple swim. Right now my mind can process 30-45 minutes of swimming because on the easy days of running I am going 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes.  My easy bike spins are an hour and my strength/core sessions are 30 minutes at most.  This is breaking it down into manageable pieces for me.  Even with that setup though I can see the time-wasting away as I leave the house at 4:45am to get to the Y by 4:55am.  The Y opens at 5:00am on the dot and I am in the water no later than 5:05am.  After 40 minutes of swimming, changing and driving back home it is 6:15am.  That is 1 hour and 30 minutes for a 40 minute swim.  Luckily for me, these are not Ironman focused swim sessions and purely recovery so they are needed but the amount of time wasted can add up. When Ironman Chattanooga specific training does start-up I will have to juggle my schedule to fit in the 1 hour and 1 hour 30 minute swim sessions.  I think those longer sessions will be few and far between as I have to be home in time to get Chico off to school.  This means that in the 1 hour I have the intensity will be through the roof and I will have to be prepared for that.  How do I prepare for that?  By doing what I am doing now and going to the pool 3 times per week.  When IMTN training starts I do not want to be behind the swim eight ball.  These three days per week for the foreseeable future will help me acclimate to the water again and allow me to not fight the water but instead be friends with it. So while I agree with the Endurance Nation article in that swimming year round can be hazardous to your A race I also believe that in certain circumstances it is necessary.  I took time off from swimming but now I am back at it and the Ironman specific training has not started.  I am getting a head start on that training cycle while also allowing my body to recover from the pounding of hours and hours and miles and miles of running.

Is Endurance Nation Correct Regarding Swimming In Your Opinion?

Published in Train
Sunday, 08 December 2013 19:44

Week 5 Of The Ironman Chattanooga Challenge

Uhh……did somebody not notify the calendar that it should not move this fast?  I mean seriously how in the world are we on Week 5 already?  When did this happen? Hopefully this is because the training is going well and has not been a burden on life and responsibilities (yet!)

KC's Week 5 of Ironman Chattanooga Challenge

[caption id="attachment_9201" align="alignright" width="300"]ironman chattanooga - challenge - triathlon KC's Log For Week 5[/caption] Not my best week but I'll claim it. I have a funky thyroid issue and have had it for at least 10 years. It comes and goes as it pleases and for right now, it's here trying to bog me down but I won't allow that to happen. I went for about the last 2 years without needing any medication to keep it well controlled but for some reason, it's rearing its ugly head now. Stress induced? Who knows! Anyway, started popping the magic pill about 5 days ago and already feeling better as of yesterday.Now hopefully, I can hop back on the running bandwagon and get my miles back up. This week kinda sucked in the running department. There's no other way to say it. I do feel that I rallied a bit yesterday and today, so maybe it wasn't all that bad of a week. I'll call today my best workout day out the week. Now to ride this strong wave into next week. That's what I'm gonna do!! We've been blessed here to be having high temps in the 80's and will continue into next week, so lots of outdoor workouts for me. It's so crazy to think we're in December and sweating out asses off still. Unreal! Besides training stuff, I've been on an organizing kick lately and have been going through closets full of clothes, donating stuff, tossing stuff, just getting rid of excess. I hate clutter! I had to step back today and admire my progress. Looks great and feels great to de-clutter. Not much else exciting happening here, so that's all I got this week. Just keeping on with forward progress. Is there any other option? I think not! Upward and Onward!

Jason's Week 5 Of Ironman Chattanooga Challenge

[caption id="attachment_9200" align="alignright" width="300"]ironman chattanooga - challenge - triathlon My Training Peaks Log is missing that blue of the water.[/caption] If you have been following my Facebook posts or Twitter posts you know that I have been iced in here in Dallas.  It has not been enjoyable to say the least, but it is important to not forget the goal of this training and that is to be ready for the cannon to go off and pursue the finish of my 4th Ironman race.  Along the way to training for IMTN I have registered for Rocky Raccoon 50 and that has become the focus for the next two months.  With the ice came the opportunity to run on the treadmill.  Now, I am no Emily but I will say that I actually enjoyed myself for over 4 hours and 29 miles.  What I have noticed during these past two weeks of Rocky Raccoon 50 training is that the bike block I put in during September and October has paid off big time.  These runs are sub-9:00/mile and barely above Z1. All is not unicorns and rainbows though.  After the 12 mile run of last Sunday I could feel a little niggle in my hip.  Uh-oh.  I immediately called my chiropractor and put myself on a recurring appointment for Thursday evenings.  Why Thursday?  The reason is that Wednesday is the mid-week long run and then Thursday and Friday are recovery days heading into the high volume of the weekend.  By getting my body put back together after that mid-week run and prepared for the long runs I feel as if I am doing the best I can to ensure that I avoid any injuries during this training block. One item that I am not pleased with this week is that I logged a whopping 0 yards, 0 hours and 0 trips to the pool.  Monday I had a board meeting for the FWTri Club and instead of swimming monday morning I slept in a bit and then jumped on the bike for an hour spin.  I thought I would be able to get to the pool on Thursday and Friday but as fate would have it the ice storm hit and getting to the chiropractor was more important on Thursday and the pool was closed on Friday.  I do have my bags packed to get to the pool first thing in the morning on Monday to get at least 2000 yards in. Overall the recovery issues I was facing last week are gone.  Whether it was taking care of my body from a nutrition standpoint or breaking through the plateau I am not sure, but what I do know is that my legs feel as good as you can expect them to feel after back to back weeks of 50+ miles.
Published in Train
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 13:24

My Favorite Things.....Your Turn

I was perusing through Competitor Magazine online yesterday and saw a post titled My Favorite Things.  I read through it and thought it was pretty cool plus this is the time of the year when we are most festive so why not spread some cheer around.  There is only so much diet and nutrition talk one can take.  We all know about protein and carbs and fat.  We all know about how we get stronger at a particular discipline is to continue doing that discipline but what we may not know is who is on the other side of this or any other blog.  With that being said I am going to list a few of my favorite things and want to see what are your favorite things.

My Favorite Things:

Endurance Sports Related:

Triathlon Distance:  140.6 Miles.  I am not 100% sure why I love the distance but it fits me.  Something about pushing your body for hours on end just seems to make sense to me. [caption id="attachment_9182" align="alignright" width="300"]favorite things - track - speed session - mile repeats Source: Miles To The Trials[/caption] Speed Workout: Mile repeats.  There is something sadistic and satisfying about the mile repeat.  You know it is going to hurt and hurt bad, but you know it is only going to be for a fraction of time.  I am capable of running my mile repeats in about 6:30 and then I get to recover.  Do that a few more times and the workout is done. Training Session: The long bike ride.  Getting out on the road and riding for hours on end, whether with friends or alone, is a great way to gather your thoughts while getting fit. Friends: I have friends far and wide and every one of them helps to inspire and motivate.  There is nothing better than sitting on your couch on a Sunday afternoon after a long run and getting a text or email from a friend who has done the same thing as you but has a hilarious potty story or a rant to get off their chest.  It helps bring all of this endurance sports into perspective.

Food Related:

Eggs: I absolutely love eggs and all the ways in which you can cook them.  Poached, Scrambled, Over Easy, Over Hard, Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled and the list goes on and on. Brussels Sprouts: It is a sad day when I go to the grocery store or farmer's market and cannot find brussels.  Yes, I could just buy cabbage but it just isn't the same.  Brussels can also be used in a myriad of ways. [caption id="attachment_9181" align="alignright" width="300"]kale - vegetable - favorite thing - food Source: Save The Kales[/caption] Saturday Morning Breakfast with Chico: Every other Saturday Chico and I go to the farmer's market and then to breakfast while Karen is out running.  It is always a good time as he tries different foods at the farmer's market and gets exposed to new vegetables.  After that we head to The Local Diner (that is the actual name) and he orders pancakes and I will get a veggie omelet and we chat away about the most random of things. The ShopListFree AppThis is the one app that I will promote.  Having an organized shopping list is the one way to get in and out of the grocery store without buying things that you do not need.  I update the list as items run out this way I know exactly what I need to replace.  I then will add items to the list based on meal planning.  Not only do I just buy what I need which saves money but it also helps avoid waste in the form of throwing out food which is also waste in the form of your wallet.


Social Media: I make a living in the world of digital marketing and social media, but it is the interaction from this blog and the other platforms that I really like the most.  I have my opinion and those that respond have theirs and while they are not always the same they create an opportunity to converse and I think that is the key to social media.  Conversing with people instead of shouting. [caption id="attachment_9180" align="alignright" width="300"]waitresses - diner - smoking Source: Marketing Land[/caption] Waitresses At Diners That Call You Hon or Sweetie: I cannot put my finger on why but this always makes me smile.  Usually it is done by a waitress who has worked at the diner for years and years and years and remembers you and your order.  It must be the comfort factor that I enjoy but regardless of the reason getting called Hon or Sweetie in the diner is a favorite of mine. Direct Deposit: The best, absolute best financial creation ever.  You wake up and check your account and there is money.  No going to the bank, no signing a check, no having to remember a deposit slip.  It is all done for you and it doesn't get any easier than that.  The next best thing will be for Capital One's mobile app to have the ability to take a picture of the check and have it go into your account without having to go to the bank.  C'mon Capital One get with it.  Spend money on that technology and not Mr Baldwin and his commercials. These are just a few of my favorite things.  Things that make me laugh or smile. Things that make me think.  Things that in general put me into a good mood.

What Are Your Favorite Things?

Published in Race
ICC (Ironman Chattanooga Challenge) is already into its third week.  Where does the time go?  I can now understand how those that are preparing for their first Ironman can feel as if they did not get everything in because the minutes/days/weeks/months fly by and before you know it the cannon is going off.  This reminds me to say to those of you that ARE preparing for your first: cherish all the moments, even the bad ones.  These training sessions and cycles will not be able to be done again so embrace all that they are.  Embrace the suck, the great, the good and the recovery/rest. In addition to KC and I charting and giving you the good, bad and ugly of our  training for Ironman Chattanooga we have a new addition to this challenge.  Liz Young used the Contact Me form to ask if she could participate in the challenge.  As I want this to be an open and honest discussion about what it takes to get to the start and finish line of an Ironman I said yes.  The beauty is that Liz has a different story than KC and I so you, the reader, will benefit from a third perspective on what the Ironman training is and what it means to different people. ____________________________________________________________________________________

Jason Bahamundi - Ironman Chattanooga Challenge - Wee k#3

[caption id="attachment_9157" align="alignright" width="300"]Ironman Chattanooga - ICC - triathlon - training Lots Of Pink Signifying Lots Of Running Coming Up.[/caption] This week started with a trip back from Ironman Arizona and ended with the longest run I have done since Ironman Texas.  After October finished with the cycling mileage I knew that I wanted November to be run focused and it has in a way but it has also been more of a step back MONTH or so it feels.  When you run for one hour compared to a 6 hour bike it feels as if you are not doing a lot.  That is all about to change. Coerced, inspired, or fooled by Jeff to run the Rocky Raccoon 50 Mile trail race my training is about to take a big turn.  Weeks of 25 miles of running are going to be replaced with weeks of 50 miles of running.  Months of 4000 yards of swimming are going to be replaced with weeks of 4000+ yards of swimming as I will need it to recover from the pounding my legs are about to take.  Spinning on the bike is going to be included but there will be nothing hard about those hour-long sessions.  My heart rate will barely break Z1 on those spin workouts. What I am most excited about is getting my nutrition back on track.  With the turn of the calendar to a new week I am going back to a no sugar diet for the month.  I will be avoiding all added sugars outside of the recovery shakes that I use since recovery is going to be the key to getting my legs prepared for the next days workouts. If you take a look at the picture to the right you will see lots of pink for next week.  Those are all running days.  The light green are the spinning days and then the blue.  Oh the blue and how I have avoided you.  Maybe the running will push me back into the love of swimming. ____________________________________________________________________________________

Kristie Concepcion - Ironman Chattanooga Challenge - Wee k#3

[caption id="attachment_9158" align="alignright" width="300"]Ironman Chattanooga - ICC - triathlon - training Swimming. It is still part of the IMTN race day right? Not if KC had her choice based on her training calendar.[/caption] Wow! It feels like Ironman Florida was 3 months ago, not 3 weeks ago. Remember that cold bug I said kept trying to get me for the last few weeks, it finally settled in for the first half of the week. I still got my training in though and it never got any worse. I finished off the last half of the week feeling much stronger.
Here's a little tip for you that I learned the hard way. If you are starting to catch a cold, how do you know when you should back off the workout or keep pushing on? The answer is ...if your symptoms are from the neck up, go for it. If the symptoms are from the neck down, fuhgetaboutit!
Ok, back to the training, so this morning called for a 12 mile run but I felt so good, I took it an extra 1.5 miles and cranked up the speed a bit on the last 3 miles just for fun. I also hopped on a trail for a while for the peacefulness that running on the road less traveled provides.
Looking forward to Thanksgiving week. No, not for Thanksgiving but for all kinds of free time to train like a beast! Maybe I'll get a little crazy and swim! Imagine that? Seriously, the best part about next week is that I'm doing a 5K, on Sunday, with a newbie runner. She's doing her first ever 5K and I am doing it with her. Let's see if the running bug bites her.
Hope everyone has a stellar week! Upward and Onward!

Liz Young - Ironman Chattanooga Challenge - Wee k#3

I am currently 3 weeks out from IMFL. That was my 4th IM distance race. I would have to say that consistency is my theme. While one always strives to get "faster" at these things, I remain constant. All of my races are within 35 minutes of each other. So as always, for the past 3 weeks I have been mulling over every detail that I can remember.
This time period is really difficult due to 1. rest and recovery (something that is difficult for most, especially when we have our next race on the calendar) with my age of 50, people are telling me I need to take time off, but I really don't feel like it.  2. I live in NW Ohio, it is now 15 degrees and the high is going to be 26 today (I like it hot and muggy) Chattanooga should be great weather. 3. Training in the dark! Just a bummer.
I am excited to begin my winter strengthening though. Yoga is a must for me this year. (I hate yoga because it brings to the forefront all those weaknesses and imbalances that our body has. We like to train the stuff we are already good at).
 As you can see training for an Ironman will come in all shapes and sizes, just like the athletes that race this distance.  You can also see that not everybody will follow the same type of plan.  I am training for a 50 mile trail race in February. KC is racing a marathon at the end of this year. Liz will be doing strength training and yoga throughout the winter.

The point is that not all people are created equal and neither should their training be.

Published in Train
Ironman Arizona was the second of three Ironman races I did between May 2012 and May 2013.  The next Ironman race for me is not until September 2014 at Ironman Chattanooga but loving the sport as much as I do and having a handful of friends racing Ironman Arizona 2013 I decided I would head to the desert to spectate.  This idea was born last year when Susan Lacke said she was racing and we talked about me coming out to cheer for her.  As the year went on I didn't think I would be able to get out there, but as we got closer I realized that I had to go.  I owed the sport and my friends who have supported me throughout the past year.  Little did I know how much spectating would affect me.  The one problem with going to Tempe was that I was going alone as Karen could not make the trip. On Friday morning I flew to Tempe and had one of the most interesting flights ever.  I boarded the plane and sat and waited for everybody to get on.  Finally my row mate asked to get into the row as I was in the aisle.  From the moment he sat down he started shaking.  I texted my wife and a couple of friends to let them know that this guy was making me nervous.  He was checking his watch and shaking.  I thought that I would have to tackle him from trying to charge the pilots.  I normally fall asleep before the flight attendant has started talking about falling oxygen masks.  This time I was awake until about 30 minutes into the flight before I fell asleep.  I woke up and he was still shaking.  Fell asleep and woke up as we were landing and he was still shaking.  I could not fathom being that nervous but I was thankful we were on the ground and I could get away from him. I drove to Emily's house and the festivities began.  We got caught up and her family arrived and we all went out to eat dinner.  The next morning I was up early and down to Tempe Town Lake to get a run in and try to catch-up with as many people as I could.  I found a ton of people and chatted with them all.  Those that were racing looked ready.  Those that were spectating looked nervous.  The electricity was in the air, but not the way I would feel it on Sunday morning.  After catching up with everybody I went to breakfast with Susan and her family along with the Iron Leubs (Heidi and Brian).  Lots of laughs and lots of food.  My goal was to balloon up to 155 pounds during this weekend. (I failed and only reached 153.)  We departed company and I headed to Emily's before heading back to Scottsdale for dinner with the guys I have been training with for nearly two years.  I will allow the pictures from the weekend to tell the story now. [flagallery gid=25] I was overcome with emotion seeing the athletes struggle and then overcome those struggles.  None more so than Susan though.  I saw Susan around Mile 3.5 as seen in the photos above and she looked good but told me that her ribs were hurting from being kicked.  When she came back around at Mile 17 I could tell she was hurting but her legs were still moving.  I ran with her and talked with her and asked her if she needed me on the other side of the bridge and she told me no that she would be fine.  When I saw her last, around 200 yards from the finish, the look on her face said:  Is this ever going to end.  We ran together until the bright lights of the finish line showed on her face and the brightest smile I have ever seen came across her face.  I was so inspired and in awe of her accomplishment.  I later found out that she had a cracked rib from getting kicked during the swim.  That is one tough hombre.  Susan - I am proud to call you friend and impressed by your persistence. Watching my buddies Jeff, John, Julie and Judy march on during the run was also inspiring.  They did not let anything get in their way and kept pushing.  Our support crew was there for them every step of the way as well.  We cheered for them and ran with them.  Gave them encouragement and supported them on their way, but the real work was done by them.  They trained hard and long hours.  They jumped in Tempe Town Lake before the sun came up.  The rode their bikes 112 miles and then ran a marathon.  The memories of them throughout the day will stay forever and the passion for the distance was rekindled. September 2014 cannot get here fast enough but in the mean time I will go through these pictures and watch this video until then.  Remembering what I saw that day will not soon be forgotten.

Ironman Arizona 2013 - What A Terrific Day

Published in Race
Monday, 18 November 2013 09:03

Ironman Chattanooga Challenge Week - 2

Welcome to Week #2 of the Ironman Chattanooga 2014 Challenge.  If you have made it this far, congratulations.  If you are just starting out be sure to check out Week 1 as well as the introductory post that explains what this challenge actually is.  For those of you who are not keen on clicking, the cliff notes version is that KC and I are both training for Ironman Chattanooga 2014.  We both have a handful of Ironman finishes under our belt but wanted to chronicle the ups and downs of training from two different perspectives. KC: Female, No Sugar/No Grain lifestyle, lives in Florida. Me: Male, Plant-Based Lifestyle, lives in Dallas. We both work full-time jobs and have lives outside of swim, bike, run but we are determined to toe the starting line in the best shape possible but that also does not mean that it comes easy.  Ironman is hard.  Ironman training is harder.

Ironman Chattanooga Challenge - Week 2 - KC 

[caption id="attachment_9136" align="alignright" width="300"]ironman chattanooga - training - triathlon Week 2 of Ironman Chattanooga Training for KC.[/caption] I am now 2 weeks post IMFL and have been fighting an off and on sore throat, cough, and stuffy head the whole time. It's pretty annoying. I wish it would get me already and run its course or just go away but unfortunately, it seems to want to linger. Even with a scaled back training schedule (refer to my training calendar - yes, this is scaled back for me), the cold symptoms remain. 
This week was my Hal Higdon, week 1 of 8, marathon training program that I mentioned in week 1's recap. I got off to a good start this week, except I had to scrap today's 1-2 hour run. I listened to my body and it said, drink some theraflu, hot tea, and take a long nap, so I did and I feel better. I did manage to sneak in a 50 mile bike ride though, yay!
Tomorrow is a new day ...and I WILL feel better!
Upward and onward!

Ironman Chattanooga Challenge - Week 2 - Jason

[caption id="attachment_9135" align="alignright" width="300"]ironman chattanooga - training - triathlon Ironman Chattanooga Training - Week 2.
Color coded for Jeff.[/caption] As you can see from my training log I put in a total of 4 hours.  This was not an easy week for training from the simple fact that I just was traveling .  The long hours typically logged on the weekend were nearly zero because of my travels to watch this girl and the other athletes kick the crap out of Ironman Arizona and well this is what you get.  Truth be told if I tracked my running during the event along with the walking back and forth everywhere I probably put another 5 miles on my feet in the time I was down at the event. Am I disappointed in the lack of training?  Not one bit.  This is the 'off-season' so I am ok with missing workouts or not logging in as many hours or miles as I typically do.  The fact is that we have lives and not every waking moment can be consumed by triathlon, as much as we would like it to.  I have discovered that I have to make my workouts count these days.  When I was working from home I could get by with a one hour trainer ride that was sort of just getting through it, but now with limited time the workouts have to have a meaning and if I think I am just going to coast through it I do not bother. The perfect example is Wednesday's workout.  On Tuesday nights I stay up late watching Sons of Anarchy so when the alarm on Wednesday goes off at 4am if I am not jumping out of bed ready to go there is no point in getting up at all and slogging my way through a workout.  This week I had intended to go swimming that morning.  A late night coupled with 29* weather in the morning made me hit snooze and go back to bed because the idea of swimming right then and there was out of the question. I would have dreaded the drive, hated jumping in the pool and been even more mad at myself for just slogging away.  Moved the swim to the next day, got extra sleep and that evening got myself on the trainer for a solid one hour focusing on keeping a low heart rate that would not push me over the edge. I am looking forward to a more disciplined training program but for now I am doing the work I need to do and pretty soon that work will most likely involve prepping for a 50 mile run in February.
Published in Train
Tuesday, 05 November 2013 16:34

Off-Season Training Observations

Off-season training has been going on since the middle of May.  I had planned to continue with structured workouts but after having raced Ironman Texas as my 3rd Ironman race in 12 months along with 4 Half-Ironman races in 18 months I decided it was time to take a break and get away from structured training.  Getting away from a daily schedule, however, did not mean that I was getting away from working out. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Side bar:  If you are swimming, cycling and running with no ultimate goal (a race) are you just working out? If there is a race does it become training?

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I came up with the cycling goals of 650 miles in September (rode 747 miles) and 800 miles in October (rode 809 miles) and along the way I have seen a handful of changes in my base.

Off-Season Training Observations

  • Regardless of my base if I do not drink enough on a long ride I will dehydrate and that will cause my recovery to be longer than it should be.  I learned this lesson, not once but twice, as I almost passed out after a one hour session on the trainer in which I left my water bottle in the kitchen and was too lazy to get it and felt good.  During a 4 hour ride in 55*-60* weather I did not feel myself sweating and thus did not take in the liquids I should have. That evening my legs were more sore than they had been in nearly 2 months after 1500+ miles of riding.
  • I have run a total of 117 miles from September 1st through October 31st or an average of 58 miles per month.  This is low volume for me yet as I picked up running again in November my pace is faster and my RPE is lower.  I am running more efficiently than I did prior to the overload of bike miles I put on.
  • Swimming has been non-existent for the past month.  In October I swam a total of 1200 yards and that is because I felt a bit of guilt from Maria sending me an email and essentially asking me if I needed directions to the pool.  What I noticed in the pool was that my form was horrible.  I was crossing over and my pulls were far deeper than they had been.  On the positive side I noticed that my fitness was great considering the wasted energy with my poor form.
  • Nutrition.  This has been a 'bit' of a struggle because of the lack of structure.  Without the structure of a training schedule I have had a lack of structure with my meal planning.  I am no longer tracking my food and just winging it.  Throw in the fact that I am now getting home from work, working out for an hour and I am eating between 7pm and 8pm.  Prior to this change my dinner was being consumed at 430-5pm.  My off-season weight has been ideal for an off-season as I am anywhere from 5-8 pounds over racing weight.  This is very easy to lose and can be done in a week so I am not concerned about any off-season weight gain.
  • I am a morning person, without a doubt, but I am noticing that I am enjoying the evening workouts as much as I do the early workouts.  I am getting in two workouts per day right now with each being an hour and they are both enjoyable.  At first the evening workouts were dreaded but as the commute home has become unbearable some days it is an opportunity for me to get away from the world and focus on me.  Some times I come up with solutions to work problems, and other times I am lost in my own thoughts that I barely remember anything from the workout.
  • I cannot stand training with music.  I recently went on a run with headphones and at first I enjoyed it, but after about 2 miles of running I wanted to throw the earbuds and iTunes into the river.  I was no longer able to focus on my footfalls or the rhythym of my breathing and the cadence of my run.  I have vowed to no longer use music as I am truly at peace with the world and my body when I cycle and/or run without any distractions.
  • [caption id="attachment_9108" align="alignright" width="290"]off season training - triathlon - ironman - sufferfest The Sufferfest - Beat Your Own Ass Today To Kick Their Ass Tomorrow.
    Source: The Sufferfest[/caption] The Sufferfest is an invaluable part of my training.  With days getting shorter the rides on the trainer are becoming more important to this off-season training cycle.  Firing up the various videos from The Sufferfest make the hour go by without a blink.  In addition to their normal videos they have introduced much shorter heart pumping videos that are to be used as add-ons.  The Long Scream is a favorite of mine and that is truly a leg and lung crushing workout.
The off-season training is something that I have enjoyed but there is a bit of me that is starting to get fired up about structured training and re-discovering all that Ironman training encompasses.  Pushing my body and my mind to its limits and beyond.  Understanding how one workout compliments the next.  How the recovery shake at the end of each night prep's my body for the next morning's workout.  Why the particular swim drill is aiding my overall ability to swim more efficiently. In the end the science of the body and its limits is something I look forward to.

What Has Your Off-Season Training Taught You?

Published in Train
[caption id="attachment_9096" align="alignright" width="238"]young - triathlete - ironman Is This Too Young To Race Triathlon?[/caption] Yesterday I read an article in Triathlete Magazine about 12-year-old Jared Clark racing 70.3 Oilman.  This story hits close to home for a couple of reasons.  The first being that I was supposed to race Oilman before I decided that I was not ready to race, more about not being ready to train to race.  Secondly, I worked with a pre-teen while running the Marathon Makeover North Dallas business. I took my responsibility seriously and spoke with the mother of the child as well as making sure that he got approval from his family doctor to participate.  I also took it a step further and told both parent and child that when we reached 8 miles that he would no longer be under my domain and that if they wanted him to continue in the training the mother had to take full responsibility for the child. I was concerned about repetitive use as well as well a more fragile and under-developed skeletal system.  As time went on I found that he was able to hold up with what we were doing and even though I was no longer 'responsible' I still coached him as if I were.  I gave him advice on when to slow down and take care of his body and everything went well. The story of Jared Clark on the other hand is a different one because it goes beyond running.  This involves swimming and cycling before hand, not to mention the contact during the swim portion that could truly affect his mental state as it does with most adults.  The difference being that he is possibly half the weight and when other athletes swim next to, bump, swim over his anxiety level could hit the roof.  I do not doubt his ability to swim the 1.2 miles, cycle the 56 miles or run the 13.1 miles.  I am not concerned about his well-being either as I am sure his parents and doctor's have done what they need to do to feel comfortable with him racing. Where I take issue is with the outsiders.  If you visit the Facebook page of Triathlete Magazine and read the comments you will see that they are all over the place.  The opinions bounce everywhere but what I didn't notice was the fact that he has already trained for this.  He has already put in all the hard work and now he gets to enjoy himself on race day.  The race itself isn't the issue, in my opinion, but braving the training.  I know adults who cannot make it through a training cycle for a 70.3 or a 140.6 due to injury from overuse.  Typically, that is because adults do not listen to their bodies that well.  Kids on the other hand do, and if the parents are doing their job they too are paying attention to how he looks and feels. As a society, in general, we have become TOO over-protective of everything and not just kids.  The introduction of the 24 second news cycle into our lives has given parents the opportunity to see, hear and react to every news nugget there is.  As a kid growing up the only thing I knew about Texas was where it was.  If somebody was murdered in Texas I had no clue as the news wasn't covered in New York.  Now, I can get news from anywhere and that ability has given parents a reason to be frightened to new levels.  I have a 7-year-old step-son and I worry about his well-being but at the same time I want him to explore and understand the world.  I want him to have some fear so that he does not go off and just jump without looking or thinking.  Our roles as parents is to raise responsible adults not to be buddies with our kids or to protect them so much that when faced with a real world problem they do not know how to act. Jared Cook has trained for this race with the approval of his parents and family doctor so who am I to pass judgement on their decision?

Do you think Jared Clark is too young to race an HIM?  If so, at what age do you think somebody can race a 70.3 or 140.6?

Published in Race
Friday, 25 October 2013 10:51

Bend It Like Beckham. Or Race Like Ramsay?

    [caption id="attachment_9084" align="alignright" width="275"]beckham - ironman - kona - triathlon Wonder What Triathlon Tips Ramsay Is Giving To Beckham
Source: Parade Magazine[/caption] David Beckham is going to be the next 'celebrity' that will be able to go to Kona, Hawaii to race the Ironman World Championships without having qualified.  Typically we do not hear about these celebrities garnering entry into the premier triathlon event until the summer prior to the event, but this time we are hearing about it weeks after Fredrick Van Lierder and Mirinda Carfrae crossed the finish line as the first male and first female competitors.  I have not hidden my displeasure of the entry of the celebrities into Kona.  The 2013 version featured Hines Ward and Gordon Ramsay and the year prior featured ??????  I really have no clue so obviously this form of marketing is lost on those that are in the sport so how can it be effective for those not in the sport. Hines Ward got in due to a sponsors exemption (don't forget to refuel with chocolate milk) and so WTC cannot be blamed for his entry.  Gordon Ramsay on the other hand was given not only a spot at Kona but also in Vegas for the 70.3 World Championships.  There will be those out there that will stress their point that the celebrity showings is good, if not great, for the sport because it brings attention.  That the pros will get more money because sponsors will be paying more money to be affiliated with the race.  That the ratings will go up and thus allow WTC to sell the rights to the broadcast for more money.  The problem, as I see them, with these theories are:
  1. If the ratings go up then you will only know that after the race has occurred and it will be another year before the race is broadcast again and by then that celebrity will have been forgotten and the idea of racing a triathlon for those not in it may be lost.
  2. If pro purses were growing because of the celebrities participating then why are there pros out there that are writing articles about why they choose to DNF so that they can race again rather than putting themselves at risk of injury.
Having been in marketing my entire adult life I have a bit of experience about what it takes to promote.  The way that WTC is going about this is not completely wrong but they are not asking enough of the celebrities to whom they are granting free access to Kona.  These celebrities are not promoting the sport year round.  Instead they are discussing their entry one month prior to the race and then a week or two later you never read another article about them recovering or preparing for the next one.  It happens and it floats off into the ethos of the world never to be seen from or heard from again.  Do you remember Joe Bastianich racing Kona?  How about Rocco DiSpirito racing 70.3 Cleremont?  Oh, and how about that woman from Biggest Loser racing in Kona?  Yeah, me either so how well was the promotion of the sport if a person like myself who consumes all things triathlon can vaguely remember any of these athletes? My ideas are to require those that are interested in participating in Kona on a WTC exemption slot to do the following:
  1. Make guest appearances at triathlon shops across the country on a monthly basis.  Speak to those that are in the sport and bring in those that are just dipping their toes in the water.
  2. Participate in two 70.3 races throughout the year in whatever race they choose.  It does not have to be in the United States but they do have to participate so that they are not just showing up in October for one race and are gone after that.
  3. Raise money for the Ironman Foundation, bring attention to the Ironman Foundation including a donation to the foundation.
These are just a few of the ideas that first popped into my head about how WTC can actually leverage the celebrities that they are granting access to race in Kona to work for them and garner attention for the sport.  By just giving away slot after slot year after year they are not generating anything other than drawing the ire of those that want to race in Kona but miss by 10 seconds or the athlete who is passionate about the sport and wants to protect the sanctity of the Ironman World Championships because qualifying is how you should earn your blue wristband.  Your blue wristband shouldn't come because you caught a football in the Super Bowl, can cook a beef wellington or married Posh Spice.

What Would You Require Of David Beckham To Participate In Kona?

Published in Race
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