Thursday, 13 September 2012 14:48

Ironman Arizona Update

[caption id="attachment_6488" align="alignright" width="300"]ironmanarizona_triathlon_training Source: Ironman Arizona
If the roads are that paved I will be one happy person[/caption] Ironman Arizona is a tad over 9 weeks away and the training is entering its peak phase for sure.  Coach doesn't provide me the schedule in advance so I only know what I am doing for the week on Sunday afternoon/evenings.  I like it this way, and she plans it this way, because I can't look ahead as to what might be hard and so I lose the focus and purpose of the current days training.  For me every training session must have a purpose otherwise I feel as if I am wasting my time and I hate wasting time. My overall impressions of this training cycle, in comparison to Ironman Texas, are that it is going better.  I feel stronger at this point of my training cycle than I ever did for IMTX.  The workouts that have been prescribed are harder because there is a lot more interval and hill work but it has certainly been paying off.  When I raced Rev3 Maine a few weeks ago I felt strong in the water (the wetsuit didn't hurt) and very strong on the run.  I had the fastest run split at the 70.3 distance at that race and this is coming off of 8 months that included 70.3 Puerto Rico and Ironman Texas racing and training. I received some great news from Rebecca when she rode the course last week.  Her feedback was that it can be a course that I spend the entire time in the big ring on.  She said I MAY have to go to the small ring when I get out toward the turn-around of Loop 3 but otherwise should be more than OK in the big ring.  After the sh*t show that was last weekend's ride into the 15-20mph headwinds my biggest concern is not the course itself but more mother nature and the winds.  I know that there is nothing I can do about it and that we all will be dealing with it, but that wind can play havoc on your mind. In addition to Rebecca's first hand scouting I asked Aimee about the course since she raced IMAZ last year and she gave her impressions.  Again the bike wasn't the biggest deal in terms of the course but more a concern when it came to the wind.  If it's there it's there but that is nothing I can concern myself with as I keep pushing forward and adding miles and miles to my tires and legs. My runs have been outstanding and my hope is that I am not peaking too soon with that discipline.  I ran 17 miles on Tuesday at a 9:37/mi pace and kept my HR way down.  The cooler weather is helping out tremendously with this, but so is the fact that I was running smart in the 100* days here.  I took it slow then and now the pay-off is here with faster run splits.  Yesterday I was scheduled to run 50 minutes at LT pace and when I first saw the schedule I was thinking how painful it was going to be.  Running with an HR of 155-165bpm coming off a 17+ mile run was not going to be pleasant, or so I though.  I got in the pool first and swam a hard but enjoyable 3800 yard set and then set out on my run.  Surprise, Surprise!  I held an 8:00/mi pace while keeping my HR at 151bpm. [caption id="attachment_6489" align="alignright" width="300"]ironmanarizona_triathlon_training Source: Ironman Arizona
I'll be sure to point out who I am when they take the pic this year.[/caption] My goal is to run a sub-4 hour marathon and if I am able to hold an 8:00/mi pace at 151bpm then holding a sub-9:00/mi pace at a 140-145bpm level is certainly feasible.  Aimee mentioned that the course was flat outside of the ramps going up from the lake.  If they are short then there is plenty of time to recover on the flat sections and run fast to make up for lost time on the uphills. I have also changed up my nutrition plan and have been using it in training and raced with it at Rev3.  For Ironman Arizona I am getting rid of the water cages on the back of my saddle and using only a torpedo and a down tube cage (read that as no speedfil.)  In the torpedo mounted bottle I will have 400 calories of EFS Liquid Shot watered down (Kona-Mocha of course.)  In the down tube I will have 400 calories of Herbalife24 Prolong and Prepare mixed (Mango flavor for that brunch feel when combined with the Kona-Mocha.)  In the side pockets of my jersey I will have two HoneyStingers (1 vanilla, 1 chocolate) and I will start the bike with a lemon flavored honeystinger.  When you add up all the calories you are looking at 1280.  For a 6 hour ride that comes out to 213 calories per hour.  If I need to I will supplement with perform on the course (used it on a training ride and it didn't bother my stomach so we should be good to go.)  I will also take a water bottle and drink and toss at the aid stations every 10 miles. Out on the run I will have a tiny handheld in my shorts pockets.  The racing kit I have has shorts that have a pocket that is perfect for holding the mini-handheld and you don't even realize it is there.  I will have them filled with 400 calories of EFS Liquid Shot (vanilla to change-up the flavor) and I will have 2 HoneyStingers (vanilla) in my jersey for at the 1 and 3  hour mark.  This will give me 720 calories for a total of 180 calories per hour. My plan is to take 10 second walk breaks every two miles at the aid stations to get water in me.  If I am on target I should be hitting the aid stations approximately every 18 minutes which is perfect timing for a swig of EFS and a swig of water to wash it down, then keep on going.  I have been having success with this practice on my long run and hope that it continues on race day. So all that being said the training for IMAZ is going well.  I feel strong and mentally ready.  I know that I am only going to keep getting stronger in the next 4 weeks and I have to be smart to stay on top of my eating and sleeping habits.

If You Have Raced IMAZ What Are Your Tips/Tricks To A Successful Day?

Published in Train
Monday, 06 August 2012 14:03

Training Camp Triathlon Style

Training Camps have opened all across the country for the players of the National Football League.  For me, this past weekend was a training camp as well but this was a triathlon training camp.  I made the decision about a month ago to invite myself down to the Houston area to spend the weekend chasing The Carrot (Jeff Irvin) all around his neighborhood.  The timing worked out perfectly as Jeff was going to be doing his final big block of training in advance of Ironman Mont-Tremblant and I am in the throes of training for Rev3 OOB Maine and Ironman Arizona. [caption id="attachment_6303" align="alignright" width="300"]triathlon_training_cooktraineatrace_danglethecarrot_ironman At A Rest Stop Flashing Off Jeff's FLO CYCLING Race Wheels[/caption] Our plan was for me to head out from Dallas on Friday afternoon to get to Jeff and Annie's by dinner time.  We would eat, load up water bottles and be asleep early so that we could catch up with a group ride that started at 630a on Saturday.  We would ride for 4 hours then follow that up with a 30 minute run.  After that we had no plans but to make sure to get to bed early again so that we could be on the road running for 1.5 hours by 530am and then hit the pool for a good swim and then I would be back on the road to Dallas by lunch time.  All sounded great and you know what.....we nailed it. Friday around 1pm I got on the road after packing as if I were moving in with the Irvin's and not just staying for a weekend. This sport of triathlon that I love involves a lot of shit.  Let's see what I brought:  1 cooler with Herbalife products, rice cakes, powdered peanut butter, honey, plates and knives and forks.  1 triathlon bag with cycling shoes, helmet, water bottles, running shoes, swim cap, goggles, pull buoy, towels and running sneakers.  1 bag with clothes for wearing and clothes for training.  1 bag with laptop, ipad, cords and magazines.  Oh, and don't forget the bike and the pump in the car plus the small cooler that had fruit and 3 water bottles for the 4 hour drive.  As I had planned on taking it slow I didn't mind stopping nearly every hour to have to use the restroom.  Pulled up to the Irvin's house around 5pm and unloaded all that garbage.  As soon as Annie got home it was off to dinner. Now here is a funny story about dinner.  We go to an Italian restaurant and I order a veggie pizza with no cheese.  After Annie and I split a hummus plate I can see the waiter walk up to the table with the pizza and then turn around to head back to the kitchen.  Annie says that there was cheese on the pizza and so they had to take it back to make a new one.  After the food comes and we are chowing down and laughing and having a good time the waiter comes by with a complimentary dessert.  Guess what he brings?  He brings a cheesecake?  Really?  I just ordered pizza with NO CHEESE and you bring a cheesecake to make up for bringing the first pizza over with cheese?  Annie, Jeff and I just laughed at the irony of it all.  Off to the house we watch some Olympics and then early to bed. When the alarm went off in the morning I hit snooze about 100x as I was just not ready to hit the road but it was time to go.  Jeff and I load up the Team Baha vehicle and head out to the Lifetime Fitness gym.  From there we would ride two miles to the launch site of the group ride.  When we got to the launch site I had to buy some HoneyStinger waffles.  I got two vanilla and 1 chocolate.  I had never tried the chocolate and it was good.  Not as good as the Vanilla and Honey but better than Strawberry.  7am comes and the ride starts.  After about 30 minutes we are stopped by a train crossing and as we are standing there I say to the group:  Nobody told me we were going swimming in the ocean first.  I was covered in sweat and could feel the wet blanket of humidity covering me.  It was unreal how covered in sweat I was. Jeff and I split off from the group and ride at our own pace and move around the area at a very nice clip.  The one thing I noticed about this ride is that it is FLAT.  I mean completely flat.  I downloaded my Garmin data and the total elevation gain over 70 miles was 217 feet.  The ride in and of itself was great as it was a different route, obviously, than I had been riding but the company was awesome.  Jeff and I talked the whole time and laughed a lot throughout the ride.  One thing that was key was that we stopped a few time and I had to pee which meant that I was hydrating properly. At one point Jeff and I were going about 20 mph and enjoying ourselves when this terrier comes tearing out of his yard and chasing us.  We picked up the pace to the tune of 28 mph and the little dude was not just hanging with us but he got right in between us which means he was going faster than 28mph.  It was hilarious and I could not stop laughing at this dog.  Thanks pup for giving us our interval work for that hour. [caption id="attachment_6304" align="alignright" width="300"]triathlon_training_danglethecarrot_nap Dangle the Carrot and Cook Train Eat Race enjoying the Olympics[/caption] When we were done we put in a solid 30 minute run and the legs were starting to feel it by the end of the run.  There was this feeling of a huge gorilla sitting on my chest.  The air is thick and damp and it is a much different climate to work in than the weather in Dallas.  Once we were done with the run we decided to have lunch and as we were getting ready to go grab food we made the best decision ever which was to go and shower first.  Now here is where I feel for Annie.  In to the house come these two smelly and sweaty guys that had just finished working out for nearly 5 hours.  It was a horrendous smell that came into the house.  Shower off to lunch then onto the couch for some Olympics.  Now when they invent the ability to watch TV through your eyelids Jeff and I will be ready. As you can see from the pic we both passed out. On Sunday morning we were going to put in 90 minutes (sounds much longer than 1.5 hours doesn't it?) and then hit the pool.  As soon as we walked outside I knew that the run was going to be a slugfest.  Jeff and I had planned on running 10 miles in the 90 minutes for a 9 minute pace.  We decided to incorporate a 10 second walk break at each mile to simulate the aid stations at the Ironman races.  Once we started that gorilla on my chest had been joined by an elephant.  Seriously difficult to breathe with the humidity.  After about 2-3 miles I finally felt in a groove.  After 45 minutes we stopped at the car to top off liquids and off we went.  It was at this time that the sun was coming up and the weather felt great.  That lasted about 20 minutes and then the heat began to creep in.  When the 10 miles was up (after 95 minutes) and we were walking toward Starbuck's I could feel the bucket of sweat just dripping down over me.  I changed shirts in the parking lot and could actually ring out my clothes they were that bad. At the pool after the run and the 70* water felt cold.  Once I started my swim I thought:  Holy crap this is long.  Did the heat and humidity sap every ounce of strength from me?  That is when I realized that this was a 25 meter pool and not the 25 yard pool I was used to swimming in.  Every set felt longer than the next and it actually was.  I put in 2500 meters of swimming and it felt good on my legs.  The hot tub felt even better. Back at the house and Annie had made us waffles......yaa-hoo!  Oh these waffles were the best thing I had ever eaten.  I jumped in the car for an eat and run incident but I knew that if I did not start driving I would never make it home as the exhaustion would take over soon enough.  I managed to get home in about 4 hours and when I walked through the door the only thing I could think about was food.  I was starving and wolfed down dinner then watched Running the Sahara with Karen and started to doze off around 8pm. An awesome triathlon training camp weekend with Jeff was done and it was time to get ready to get back into my routine.  I cannot wait to have another triathlon training camp and right now we are looking at February in Austin where we can get some climbing in.  Thank you Jeff and Annie for hosting me.

What did you do this weekend?  How was your training?

Published in Train
Friday, 15 June 2012 13:37

Ironman Arizona Bike Setup

Ironman Arizona is still nearly 5 months away but I am getting mentally focused for this day.  Having the experience of having just raced Ironman Texas I want to put my lessons to good use and train over the next 20+ weeks with the focus on making AZ a fast race. With that in mind I have been emailing with Jeff about getting the bike setup so I am not carrying around extra weight, especially since the Arizona course is flat. Having the ability to pound away and not lug unnecessary items is going to be a tremendous benefit.  Between emails to Jeff and last night I went searching for a single cage for the rear of my saddle and found an X-Lab one.  I sent out a tweet to Kevin, Matt,Jon,and Jeff and they found the Tri Rig for me which is what I'll be going with. Joe from RockStarTrialso provided his thoughts and all I can say is thank you. Twitter and Facebook and this blog are awesome for connecting with people who are in the know. Up front I have the clips from Profile Design that will hold a water bottle.  I will swap out the Speedfil for a regular cage for another water bottle.  The rear saddle cage will hold water from the course.  I will have replacement bottles at special needs to swap out at the midway point and keep going. So I am going from a bike setup like these photos show: [caption id="attachment_6071" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="70.3 Ironman California. Didn't Have Torpedo Yet."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_6074" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Speedfil blocked by bag but it is there."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_6073" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="2 Cages On Saddle, Speedfil and Torpedo Upfront."][/caption] To a bike setup like this photo shows: [caption id="attachment_6075" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Sleek Setup........"][/caption]   Yes, I do expect to get at least an hour faster on the bike now that Crowie and I will be sharing the same setup.  That is what is supposed to happen isn't it?
Published in Train
Monday, 02 July 2012 14:48

Ironman Arizona Weeks 3 And 4

Ironman Arizona training is in the process of being right in the middle of the throes of a Texas summer.  I sure paid the price this weekend with the heat and the humidity kicking in and really kicking my butt.  I can't recall the last time I had to slow down to the point of basically walking but the lactate threshold ride followed by the lactate threshold run put a whopping on me and reminded me that liquids, liquids, liquids are very important. For the past two weeks I have struggled mentally with my swim.  I felt like I was going backwards and I can trace it to the fact that I was trying to hard.  I was putting so much pressure on me to get faster and faster and faster that I paralyzed myself.  I would get to the pool and just not want to get in because of the worry of whether or not I would be faster. After my open water swim I emailed my coach with the subject:  Swimming......UGH!  I told her that I felt like my swim was going backwards and that no matter what I tried I was struggling.  As usual her response opened up my mind and allowed me to swim freely the very next day.  I was so comforted by her words that my text message to her was:  From Swimming.....ugh! to Swimming.....hellz yeah!  I have had two swim sets since our email exchange and they have both been very good and I am looking forward to today's swim set. I have changed a few things about my training for Ironman Arizona in comparison to Ironman Texas.  For IMTX I did my Monday ride in the morning on the trainer.  It has been a 1 hour ride in the aerobic capacity zone.  This time I am going out on the road and starting around 6:30am and doing a 30 mile loop and I am loving it.  I have created my own race against myself and am pushing myself. Here is a comparison of the last two Monday's in which I rode the same course.  The one from today I hit the start button on my Garmin one mile into the ride so the total ride was 1:36:19 and I am excited about that.  It was warmer with a steadier wind of 10mph versus 1-2mph last week. [caption id="attachment_6138" align="aligncenter" width="600"]ironmanarizona_imaz_training_triathlon Very Comparable Week To Week[/caption] The second thing I have changed is that instead of swimming at 5am in the morning I am doing my swims at lunch.  Although I have hated the swim for two weeks I think this is a good change.  I can focus on the form of my swim instead of sleep-swimming through the set.  I am still getting up early but I am doing the ride or run and then coming home before going for a lunch swim.  This has forced me to make adjustments to my schedule but I think it is better for me. The numbers for the bike have been down for the past two weeks but the run mileage has picked back up a bit.  Overall time for each of the past two weeks spent training has been just over 13 hours.  This week should be in the 15 hour range when all is said and done. Here are the numbers to date: Swim: 18.4 miles Bike: 452.9 miles Run: 79.7 miles   [caption id="attachment_6140" align="aligncenter" width="600"]ironmanarizona_imaz_training_triathlon Will Be Interested To See If Weight Drops As Summer Drags On[/caption] Thank You For Reading!
Published in Train
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 11:44

Ironman Bike Strategy

[caption id="attachment_5829" align="alignright" width="360" caption="Formulate A Plan And Stick To It"]ironman_triathlon_race_strategy[/caption] An Ironman bike strategy?  I haven't really thought of one other than I don't want to burn my legs out so that the run is one miserable step after the other.  I have an Ironman marathon run strategy and I've been so focused on that portion of the race that I haven't given true consideration to the bike. For example, on the run I want to run a 4 hour marathon.  To accomplish this goal I need to run 26.2 miles at a 9:00/mile average.  Seems feasible considering that I ran the Las Vegas Marathon at an 8:03/mile pace to finish in 3:31.  The problem is that I hadn't swam 2.4 miles and biked 112 miles prior to that run.  I have read that you can add anywhere from 10% - 12% to your stand alone times for the same distance in triathlon.  3 hours and 31 minutes converts to 211 minutes.  If I add 10% to that number I am at 232 minutes or 3 hours 52 minutes.  If that number is 12% then I am staring at 236 minutes or 3 hours and 56 minutes.  Having a 4 hour goal makes sense.  To accomplish said goal I plan on going out at a 9:15-9:30/mi pace for the first 6 miles.  This is approximately 3 total minutes slower than my goal over the 26.2 miles.  After the first 6 miles I am looking at running 8:30-8:45/mi for 4 miles and then back it down and continue this cycle until I cross the finish line.  Sound plan with executable numbers.  I am going to be drinking every 15 minutes along with taking one half of a HoneyStinger waffle every hour.  Nutrition won't be a problem.  I also plan on sipping water at every aid station while I take approximately 30-45 steps.  Sound plan, but what about the bike? Well I know how fast I think I can finish the bike, but then I read this post from Endurance Nation and it made me think twice about that number.  During my three Half-Ironman races I have been conservative out of the gate and just found my rhythm and then started to turn up the gas a bit.  In California this plan worked fairly well as the middle section of the bike was climbs and I managed to catch and pass most of those that flew by me earlier in the race.  In Austin it worked to a T as I had plenty of gas in my legs to finish strong.  In Puerto Rico I found myself tiring at the end of the ride but still managed a solid 56 mile split, and the fastest 56 mile split I have done.  The reality though is that the two runs in Austin and Puerto Rico were slower than the run in California so maybe my plan wasn't perfect after all.  I know that Ironman is a different beast and that strategy needs to be different. Here is what Endurance Nation proclaims to be the right plan and my thoughts are in red: There's No Such Thing as a Good Bike Followed by a Poor Run The last time we checked this was an Ironman TRIATHLON - swim, bike, and run. The difference between a "good" swim or "bad" swim is only about 2-4 minutes. The difference between "easy" bike or a "hard" bike is only about 10-15 minutes. But the difference between a "good" and "bad" run can be measured in hours. If you boil down the numbers and I ride a 5:45 which I think I could and riding a 6:00 which I think I should that 15 minutes is not a big deal.  To ride 112 miles in 6 hours means a ride of 18mph and that is something well within my capability.  Considering I rode 92 miles on the course at 19.5 mph the prospect of going faster than 6 hours is conceivable.  Two weeks ago I rode 112 miles in exactly 6 hours and felt strong off the bike.  My time could probably fall in between but setting a goal of 6 hours will allow me to remain calm and comfortable on the bike without any added pressure of HAVING to go faster. Ride the Bike You Should, Not the Bike You Could Your "could" bike split is the one you dream about, the one you told your friends on your last long ride when they remarked how fit you look, how hard you've been working, and ask you what you could ride at IMXX. In contrast, your "should" bike split is the bike that sets up the run. In our experience, the difference between Could and Should is about 10 to 15 minutes - add 10-15 minutes to that sexy Could split and set up the run. Same points from above apply here.  Would it be nice to see a 5:30 bike split?  Of course, but not if it comes at the cost of a 5 hour marathon.  Think about that for a second.  Sacrifice 30 minutes on the bike to gain 1 hour on the run.  That is a 30 minute swing in my favor.  Makes total sense.  And let's say that 5:45 feels good and I am not hurting, then that means that we are looking at a 45 minute swing in my favor. Do the Opposite of Everyone Else In our experience, over 80% of the Ironman field doesn't know how to properly execute the bike. Proper bike execution is then largely a matter of doing the opposite of everyone else.
  • Ride easy for the first hour. Are you being passed by a LOT of people? That's a very good thing, trust us.
  • Managing your effort on this hill, setting up the run vs racing for $100 KOM prime they are not handing out at the top…and going backwards through the field? That's a good thing, they will come back to you somewhere during the day.
Going back to the theory that I have had for the 70.3 distance the same applies here.  There are going to be athletes who are just better cyclists than I am and there is nothing I can do to stay with them.  There are going to be athletes who explode out of T2 only to burn out.  Can you tell the difference between the two when they pass you?  Neither can I so why stay with any of them.  This is my race and one I will use as my mantra as it seems the world passes me by.  That is OK I will pass them later on the bike or most certainly on the run.
Flatten the Course You best cycling strategy to set up a great run to maintain a very steady effort across all terrain - no big effort surges on hills, no excessive coasting on downhills, etc. Imagine your foot is on a gas pedal. It is funny to read this about the bike because it is exactly what I have been doing on the run for the better part of this training.  I have found that by exerting the same amount of energy going up a hill or down a hill as on the flat sections allows me to maintain a steady constant heart rate and pace.  It would only figure that doing the same on the bike makes sense.  Focusing on my HR and my perceived level of exertion will allow me to not crush myself going up and not coast to much coming down. Show Up with Enough Gears on Your Bike Having the proper gearing for your course is an important part of our "flatten the course" strategy above. What gearing is best? In general, you can never have enough gears in an Ironman. More specifically, these are the gears that Coach Rich, a 5:05-15 Ironman cyclist, would ride on US Ironman courses:
  • All: compact crank, 50/34 gearing, then…
  • IMTX, FL, AZ: 23-11
  • IMSG, IMCDA, IMLP, IMNYC, IMTremblant: 26-11, or 25-12
  • IMWI: 26-11
Isn't it a good thing that my bike set for IMTX should be exactly the same as that for IMAZ.  After speaking with Jeff Irvin a few months ago he assured me that what I have on my bike is good for IMTX.  I am not a bike nut nor will I pretend to be so I always turn to Jeff, Kevin, Matt, BDD and Patrick for help in that category.  If they say what I have works then I am not going to spend another moment thinking about it.
Look for Free Speed First
112 miles is a long time for smart, slippery, aerodynamic choices to express themselves. In our experience, your biggest return on investment opportunities on the Ironman bike are:
  • Bike fit: The largest aerodynamic component of the bike/rider system is YOU. A proper bike fit can dramatically improve your aerodynamics while keeping you comfortable on the bike.
  • Aero helmet: A big aerodynamic return for your $130-200 investment.
  • Bottle/tools placement: An efficient, clean, well-thought-out setup will also significant
I am going to get a bike fit this week to ensure that it is dialed in.  I can't imagine 112 miles of being uncomfortable.  I can say without hesitation that the long rides I have done during this training cycle have been very comfortable.  The old adage: Better Safe Than Sorry fits here.  I have an aero helmet and my bottles/tools placement has been decided as well.  I am using my torpedo mount without the A2 straw along with my down tube speedfil.  I am also putting a bento box on the frame behind the bottle to hold the HoneyStinger waffles.  The tube will be taped to the under side of my seat and there will be CO2 cartridges and that is all.  The allen wrench will be taped to the tube or in my back pocket as there is a zipper on the race kit.  


Published in Race
Wednesday, 21 March 2012 12:14

Ironman San Juan Race Report

Ironman San Juan was an incredible experience (outside of getting home but even that was an experience) and one I cannot wait to repeat again next year.  That is correct......I have plans to compete at Ironman San Juan next year.  The venue was incredible, the people better than that and the food was top-notch.  It did not hurt that this was like going home and one that I will cherish forever. If you had been following my wife Karen through Twitteror Facebook you know that I missed my goal times but a hefty margin but after much contemplation and conversation with my coach the end product proves what a terrific race I had.  I would be remise if I did not say Thank You to all of you for your support.  It has proven to be invaluable and a tremendous source of inspiration and motivation. Now let's break this down Hubie Brown style.......


ironman_triahtlon_sanjuan_cooktraineatraceGeting ready to Race

Having booked a room at the host hotel I did not have to wake up super early to travel to the race site.  I set my alarm for 4:30am so that I could eat breakfast by 4:45am which was 3 hours prior to my wave start.  Those three hours would provide me with enough time to go to the bathroom and clean out the system before the gun went off.  Typical of race day my breakfast was granola with almond milk, one rice cake with peanut butter and 1/2 sliced banana and a Herbalife24 Carb-Smoothie with the other half of the banana.  One cup of coffee would accompany this breakfast and help to get the system moving and functioning properly. After breakfast I headed downstairs with Karen to make the 2 minute walk to Sixto Escobar Stadium where transition was setup.  Once at my rack I laid out all my clothes and that is when the fireworks started going off.  In the 45 minutes I was in transition I heard no less than 5 wheels blow from being over-inflated.  It is hot in San Juan, hotter than normal this time of year, and thus the air was already expanded in the tires and when the athletes were trying to fit in 140 psi the tubes or clinchers would blow.  The noise was loud and kept happening over and over again.  My buddy Juan popped over to my rack with his bike pump and I filled up my tires, laid out my cycling shoes, running shoes, helmet, race belt, sunglasses, and HoneyStinger Waffles.  Poured the Herbalife24 Prolong into my Speedfil and filled up the A2 with the liquified EFS Liquid Shot Vanilla.  Placed my tiny cooler with my two handhelds of EFS and my recovery food of peanut butter and banana sandwich, an apple and a pear.  All set up and grab Juan to walk out the stadium when we run into Richard.  Photo opportunity taken and time to head back upstairs to relax before walking over to the swim start. After laying down in the bed for about an hour it was time to head over to the swim which was a 10 minute slow walk.  Karen and I took are time getting there and once there I figured I should do some warm-up swimming and tossed myself in the water for a few minutes.  The water was warm but the swim felt good.  I was ready for this day.  As we walked across the street I found my wave and stood in line with the rest of the athletes, when I over heard the dreaded question:  What are you shooting for?  The question was not directed at me but the conversation broke down like this:

  • I am hoping to be around 6 hours.
  • Yeah, I want to do a 40 minute swim then hold 230 watts on the bike....blah, blah, blah
  • Oh you race with watts.  I use my hear rate.
  • Dude, once you go watts you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner.  It is the best.  Best since sliced bread.  You know that sh*t that Samuel Jackson and John Travolta looked at in Pulp Fiction?  Yeah, watts is even better than that.  You thought the invention of the wheel was big......shoot WATTS is where it's at (not exactly this way but it might as well have been.)

ironman_triathlon_sanjuan_swimOut Of The Water And Onto The 500+ Yard Run To T1

 I had made the determination to put myself in the middle of the front row and go for it.  Swim all out for 200-300 meters to breakaway from the fray and then settle into a nice rithym.  I stood on the beach until about 1 minute to go and then waded into the water and when the gun went off so did I.  I swam as hard as I could without sighting because every time I turned to breathe there was a guy there.  In addition to that I tend to swim to my right which in this case was a good thing as the buoys were all lined to the right and we were swimming in a clockwise motion. After some feet slapping and quick kicking I settled in.  I felt like I was cruising and trying to figure out if I wanted to push harder or save myself for the bike and run.  I was never alone and felt that I was doing a good job of swimming at a good race pace.  Before I knew it I was making the right hand turn at the red buoy when a few of the swimmers from the wave behind me started passing me.  Around the second turn buoy and headed for home.  I know I had 9 orange buoys before hitting the bridge and I started counting them off.  The sighting was very good and eventually I was passing swim caps from two waves prior to the M35-39 age group. Once I got to the bridge the sea floor rose quickly and was slightly disorienting.  Through the bridge and we were in an area with a lot of chop.  Being on the small side I was getting tossed around by the 1 foot to 2 foot swells.  At this point I was swallowing so much water and pushed to get to the end.  This is when I turned and saw the Hammer Nutrition race kit.  I thought it might be Richard and as I got out of the water it turns out that it was Richard.  I knew that he was a fast swimmer and thought to myself that getting out with him was a good thing.  I looked down at my watch and saw 41:XX and felt the disappointment immediately. I had to block it out because it was now a long run to the transition area.  By long I mean long.  Well over 500 yards to where my bike was stationed on the opposite end of transition.  Trying to forget the swim and not trip on the way there were the only things on my mind.

  • Goal:  35:00 - 37:00
  • Actual: 41:37 (2:11/100m)
  • Rank: 620 Overall; 129 M35-39
ironman_triathlon_sanjuan_bikeCheck Out The Ocean Behind Me
After mounting the bike I knew that I would be facing a very flat course and told myself to hold back a bit because I did not want to fry myself before the run.  Having driven the course the day before I knew the way out would be the tailwind and then the way back would be the headwind so it made more sense to enjoy the out but conserve energy.
As I started out I went to take a sip and immediately the tip of the straw flew out and down to the ground.  I would be riding this course with no Prolong was my immediate thought.  Of course though the straw worked fine but I would have to keep it pointed up to avoid spilling all over.  Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.  As we get started out we do a few climbs to get out on the highway, which was completely closed down for the triathlon.....just an incredible feeling to be riding a highway devoid of cars.
It wasn't until between Miles 5 and 10 that I finally realized that the wind was in my face and that I could stop thinking about the swim.  Nothing could be done now so just enjoy the ride.  I was passing a handful of riders but not really pushing the effort level.  I looked at my watch a couple of times and noticed that my heart rate was fairly constant in the 150-155 range but I also knew I had to bring it down as that is pretty close to lactate threshold for me on the bike.
When I hit the turn around I knew I had just gone 20 miles and the legs felt great.  On the way back into town it felt like I was riding for forever and the reason it seemed that way was the wind shifted and was again in my face.  The 8 miles back to the turn around to do the second loop felt forever and when the rider next to me asked 'Where is the turn around?' as I was passing him I knew I wasn't the only one feeling that way.
I also may have felt that way because I was not drafting the way the majority of the riders were drafting.  These guys were wheel sucking big time.  At one point I could here disks and aero wheels coming up behind me.  Fully expecting one or two riders the amazement on my face must have been priceless when 10-12 guys passed me as a peleton.  Not even trying to draft I got scooped up in the wind pull.  I was there for about 15 seconds before they dropped me but you could feel the advantage they gave each other.  There was also another rider I was behind who made zero attempts to pass the rider in front of him for a good 3-5 minutes.  It was insane and the officials were out in full force.  I saw two red cards handed out and that made me happy.
Around Mile 45 I saw a man jumping up and down and cheering like crazy.  I did a double take and he looked just like my Dad.  It was eerie and I immediately welled up inside.  I could feel the tears build up in my eyes bought fought them back and did what I could to maintain my composure and then it happened.  I ran out of liquids and instead of panicking I pulled back a bit more knowing I only had about 20 more minutes of riding.  Not a bid deal and just needed to get through it.
Trying to finish strong was tough as the end of the ride was on and off ramps and bridges so essentially the majority of the climbing was at the end.  Knowing that I was about to get started on my run I pushed through and passed a few more riders along the way.  I got my feet out of my shoes and coasted into the dismount line ready to run.
  • Goal: 2:40 - 2:45
  • Actual: 2:46:15 (20.21 mph)
  • Rank: 433 Overall; 105 M35-39
ironman_triathlon_sanjuan_runRunning Through El Morro
After grabbing a handful of cold water out of my little cooler I slipped on my running shoes and grabbed my two handhelds of EFS and was ready to hit the run course.  My goal was to try to negative split the run which meant going out slow and getting comfortable and then turning it on at the end.
I was true to my plan as I saw splits in the 8:30/mile range.  This made me smile as I was actually executing the plan I had set out to do.  The only issues I did not factor into my pacing plan was how hilly the course turned out to be and the heat that we had to deal with.  Karen heard natives of the island even say that the temperature was very hot for Puerto Rico that time of the year.
Not one to make excused I pushed through and made it a point to grab water and ice on the way through every aid station.  I poured water over my head, chewed on ice and what I did not chew on I tossed inside my kit.  When the first hill hit I immediately thought of San Francisco and saw so many people walking and knew that if I ran I would be able to gain valuable time on them.  I did not let up and just kept pumping my arms up and down all of the hills through out the course.
When I hit the turn around for the second loop I could not believe that I was 7 miles away from completing my third 70.3 Ironman race.  This gave me some extra inspiration and I picked up the pace and that is when I felt the first rub of my toes on my shoes.  With all the water being poured over my head plus the hoses on the course my feet were shifting inside my shoes.  Going up hills was tough but was worse going down the hills.  Every step became tougher and this pushed my splits for the final 2 sets of 15 minutes to 9:09/mi and 9:39/mi.
It was at approximately the 11.5 mile mark that I knew I had to just bury my head and run through the pain.  The faster I ran the faster it would be over with and so I did.  I was passed by a guy in my age group with a kit that said Energizer on it and I was not going to let him beat me.  I pushed and right at the Mile 13 marker I passed him and pushed through the end.  My final half-mile was run at an 8:30/mi pace.
I crossed the finish line happy that I would finally be able to take my shoes off and let my feet breathe but also caught another lump in my throat thinking about my father.  Karen was right there at the end the way she always is and that made the pain of the day go away.
  • Goal: 1:40 - 1:45
  • Actual: 1:57:00 (8:47/mi)
  • Rank: 267 Overall; 67 M35-39
ironman_triathlon_sanjuan_finishAll Done And Ready To KEEP Eating
While my goal time was not met I am very proud of my race.  I executed the plan to the T.  I busted out of the gate in the swim, I held back on the bike and still managed 20 mph and did not fly out of T2 into the run and burn out.  After talking with Coach there are a couple of tiny things I would change.  First I would not go all out at the swim start but instead swim my race and find feet to draft off of.  I know I can swim faster but burning that energy and going anaerobic may have cost me more than it saved me in time.  On the bike and run I could have pushed slightly harder.  On the second half of the bike I was at an HR of between 135 and 140bpm.  I could push that to 145bpm for sure and not have wasted energy.  From the run perspective I could have pushed harder on the second half as my HR stayed in the 150-155bpm range.  These hear rates are great for an Ironman but for a Half-Ironman I can probably push just a tad harder.  This is being nit-picky because that is how I am built, but all in all on a very hot day I executed a tremendous race.  My nutrition and hydration were spot on and shows that I have learned how to pace for upcoming Ironman Texas.
  • Goal: 5:03 - 5:13
  • Actual: 5:29:35
  • Top 25% Overall
[caption id="attachment_5541" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Dinner In Old San Juan"]Ironman_Triathlon_Sanjuan_dinner[/caption] I ate just about everything in sight.  It was a hot day and I know I must have dropped close to 10 pounds out there.  I ate oranges and bananas and pizza, then my recovery sandwich and fruit.  If I could get my hands on it I ate it was pretty much how it went down.  After spending some time gathering my thoughts of the day I went and retrieved my bike and made my way to the hotel room to lay down. This was short-lived as Karen was hungry and we decided to go to eat and early dinner with Juan and his wife at Cafe Berlin.
Do it if you can.  The swim course is excellent outside of the final 200 meters but in the grand scheme of things that is nothing.  The bike course is gorgeous.  Beaches and ocean views along with nature preserve parks can't be beat.  The run course is very challenging but with a run through parts of Old San Juan and past the castle at El Morro and the history is with you.
The volunteers and crowd were tremendous.  The people were cheering for you even if their athlete passed two hours before you even reached them.  There was singing and dancing on both the bike and run course.  Vuvuzuellas were played and there was plenty of water, bananas, oranges and Gatorade on the course.  The only downside was no sponges to hold onto during the run but otherwise zero complaints.
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Published in Race Reports
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 14:21

Tips for First Time Triathletes?

Last week I found an article on about Training Tips by Peter Reid for triathletes and it got some traction and conversation.  These tips were great for those that were further along in their triathlon career and not for those that haven't even tried the sport just yet.  I was thinking about what I would tell the person who is just getting into this sport for the first time. How would I describe what they needed to do?  Would I go into the 'just enjoy the first race' or would I tell them they had to train for it and really be committed to it?  I would not want to scare anybody off because I think this is a great lifestyle.  I enjoy testing my limits and finding out that those limits are further away than I can imagine. I love the idea that food is not for comfort because I am stressed or bored but it is fuel for the fire that burns inside to keep me moving on that last 1/4 mile of a tempo run.  The ability to push ones mind into darkness so you can embrace the suck (thanks Chris McCormack.) Maybe I point out the ever ongoing conversations via Twitter, Facebook, Text, Email and smoke signals to learn from and help out your fellow triathlete.  It is an ongoing lifestyle that for me is hard to describe but if I had to I would say it in one word:  AWESOME. So how do you translate AWESOME into tips for first-timers?  I haven't got a clue but does and they laid it out nice and neatly for me.  This article was written by Paul Taylor for Toughman Triathlon.  Once again I lay out my thoughts as best I can without just saying AWESOME.

10 First-Time Tips From Everyday Triathletes

You have a job. You have a family. You signed up for a triathlon. You want to get a great time and still balance other important parts of your life. How do you manage it all? There's no better way to find out than by talking to those who have. We found six age groupers who have not only balanced the demands of life and the sport, but have succeeded at them all. What's the common thread? The Toughman Triathlon in Westchester, New York, offers the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run while recognizing the time constraints of everyday life. Many finishers of the Toughman have plenty of advice to pass on to newcomers. "Our race is intentionally designed for age-groupers," said Richard Izzo, event organizer. "We attract time-pressed athletes looking for a half triathlon their whole family can enjoy." What did they have to say? We spoke to them and walked away with 10 tips for success this year: Get a Plan: Ann Williams, age 46, family physician and faculty member at Columbia, placed second at last year's Toughman in her age group. She tells everyone to find a plan. "If you can't afford a coach, find a program and stick to it. Don't just wing it." Ann fell into the sport as an injured runner looking for exercise. Today she says, "Anything you do well at is a lot of fun."
  • This goes without say.  While you want your first one to be fun and enjoyable you also don't want to bonk or you will wind up hating every stroke, pedal push and step.  There are a number of free plans out there so download one and get started.  It might not be the perfect fit to start out but it is better than just saying I will run for 3 miles on Tuesday and 5 miles on Thursday, then swim on Monday and Friday.  Inevitably you will not be prepared for the race and can risk injury.  If you are injured you will not enjoy the sport the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
Train Consistently: "Train an hour and fifteen minutes on some sport every day," advises Michael Begg, former Penn football player and current account manager at Presidio Network Solutions. Michael, 42, lost over 60 pounds training for the event last year. "Results are measurable." Begg, from Trumbull, Conn., likes the sense of empowerment he gets from the races. "It's something the whole family can enjoy."
  • I don't agree with this because unless you are only planning on swimming for 1h15, cycling for 1h15 and running for 1h15 then how will you be fit enough to conquer a 3hr bike ride?  I found out the hard way that you have to actually swim farther than the race distance to be prepared for the race distance.  For my first triathlon, a sprint with a 250y swim, I swam exactly 250 yards and got out of the water.  Come race day I was able to swim 200 yards and walking nearly 50 yards in the pool.
Know the Course: Christine Dunnery, age 42 from New City, New York, holds the race record. "Preview the course. In the case of Toughman, preview the bike course, if even by car." Christine, age 42, is a seventh grade English teacher and track coach when she's not raising the bar for the rest of her competitors. She likes triathlons because she like pushing her limits and "leading a healthy lifestyle."
  • I think this goes without say.  You can formulate a proper strategy for when to go hard, when to change gears, etc.  Now some courses you won't be able to do that with but look at the elevation maps and correspond them with aerial maps so that you can see where you are on the course and what you need to do.  On the swim know if you are going clock wise or counter clock wise so you can setup your angle for going around the buoys.  There is more to a triathlon than just racing it and knowing the course is a big part of that.
Eat Right Before the Race: Williams willingly offers a good prescription for food. "Prerace nutrition starts at least a week before the what you normally eat when you train. Find a routine and stick with it."
  • I couldn't disagree more with this.  One week is not enough time to fuel your body properly.  You should make this a lifestyle commitment even if you decide not to pursue the sport of triathlon.  Eating food that is wholesome and not processed should be a lifetime commitment and it will help support you in anything you decide to take on.
Get Plenty of Rest: Mimi Boyle, age 38 from Greenwich, Connecticut, placed second overall this year at the Toughman. "Don't underestimate the amount of sleep you need." Mimi is an account director for a package design company. Mimi stays passionate about the sport because, "I want to always try to go faster...I honestly feel better, eat better when I train for a race."
  • Rest days are vital to recovery.  Your muscles don't get stronger while you are pushing your body to its limits.  They get stronger when they are rested so do not overestimate the necessity for rest.  Your body will tell you when it needs rest but you should also plan a rest day in your training.  I train at the wee hours of the morning so that my body has 24 hours to rest and recover before the next mornings training session.  I believe that this has helped me get to where I am today compared to where I started.
Pack Everything the Night Before: Begg advises people the night before to, "Pack all your essentials. I have one big bag, and three smaller bags...[ones for] swim, bike, and run."
  • To me this is a no brainer.  This removes any chance that you might skip a workout because you are running 'late' trying to look for gear. Pack it all up the night before and be prepared for that next morning's training or even that session you have planned after work.  If you remove any obstacles in your path you will have no excuses to miss a session and don't look for one either.
Visualize Success: Mimi Boyle encourages other athletes to prepare mentally as well as physically for the race. "Do a little bit of visualization. Imagine a relaxing swim. Visualize yourself executing a perfect race."
  • I always visualize me crossing the finish line of the race or pumping my fist when a training session goes well.  Success is like a virus in that it breeds upon itself.  Once you taste that satisfaction of a successful race or workout you hunger for more.  You want to keep momentum on your side and it starts by visualizing the positive to your race or session.
Pace Yourself: Don Henry, age 45 from Pound Ridge, New York, says it is critical to, "Pace yourself. The swim is always the swim. Understand the hardest section of the course and don't blow up. At Toughman, the first 25 miles of the bike are the toughest and the ones to do carefully." Don is a financial adviser in Westchester County. He used to play golf and weighed 20 pounds more than today. Why does he love the sport? "Being part of the community and enjoying the camaraderie of fellow triathletes," he said.
  • If you have trained properly then you should be able to know your approximate finish time of each discipline.  Take a look at Jeff Irvin's pre-race predictions and then read his race report and see where he fell in line.  Had Jeff not trained properly he would not have known how to pace himself for success in accordance to his plan.  There is a simple correlation here.  Proper training = expected results on race day.  Can you have a day that is worse or better?  Of course, but you can eliminate a lot of that from happening by being prepared for the race.
Don't Panic: Scott Harrison, age 56 from Darien, Connecticut, took second place in his age group at the event last year. The general contractor for a commercial/industrial construction firm tells fellow athletes, "Don't panic. The swim is daunting for first timers." Scott used the sport to beat addiction. Today, triathlon is his lifestyle. "I travel with friends to events. This is what we do."
  • The swim is always going to be daunting and that is because it comes first so your pre-race nerves/jitters are right there.  If the bike were first or the run first then that is where the jitters will occur.  Either way know your capabilities and find a rhythm.  Discover your breathing patterns and stick to your plan.  I cannot stress enough how creating a plan and sticking to it will help ease the burden of any panic that might set in.
Don't Let One Problem Ruin the Day: Christine Dunnery wants everyone to expect that something will go wrong. "Don't get caught up on a single thing that happens during an event -- like a flat tire." Get off the road, fix it, and know that you will finish the race.
  • I really like this piece of advice.  The best way to say it is to expect the unexpected.  Anything and everything will happen on race day, but if you have planned and trained and visualized then these setbacks will not affect you as much as if you were not prepared to race.
  For me these tips are excellent but they all boil down to one thing:  Preparation.  Failure to prepare is preparing to fail as the cliche goes.  As questions and listen, then apply those answers to your training and racing.  Triathletes are some of the most friendly people I have met.  We are all competing against each other but there is a brotherhood in the sport and we will work with each other to help each other out as well.  

What are your tips for a first-time triathlete?  First time marathoner?

Published in Train
Sunday, 15 May 2011 13:11


If you are a baseball fan you will remember T.W.I.B.  The acronym stands for This Week In Baseball.  It was narrated by Mel Allen, who was a famous broadcaster for the New York Yankees who had a great voice and ended spectacular plays with the phrase 'How About That?' So I am taking the liberty of using that acronym to my advantage and looking back on my training.  T.W.I.T. stands for This Week In Training, but could also stand for This Week In Twitter.  This week's Twitter brought about some new verbiage that I will talk about in a few, but first let's discuss training for this week.


Ever since training picked back up after recovery from 70.3 Ironman California I feel like I have struggled with it.  I have kept to my schedule and not missed one session but they did not feel like they used to.  Felt more like a chore than enjoyment even though I was hitting it and hitting it hard. Part of the problem resulted from the thought of #thinkSPEED.  I wanted to get faster on the bike and on the run off the bike.  I got it in my head that I needed to do more and do it faster.  I think that wrong thought pattern cost me.  One morning I decided to run the 10k with the group I was training but I wanted to do it at a fast pace and I certainly did.  I ran the 10K in under 47:33.  I then went for a bike ride to then follow that with another run.  That second run felt like I was running in quicksand and my legs have felt heavy ever since.  That is until this week. This week's training resulted in my finding my mojo again.  It's back and I am not letting it go.  I plan on building on this and building a house that can never be blown down. Monday -
  1. 2525y swim on the schedule with 4 sets of descending 75s.  I nailed every set.  Started each around 1:26/75y and finished at 1:10/75y.  Fastest set was the last one at a pace of 1:10 and the best part was I was not panting in the pool, but ready to take on the world.
  2. Later that day I had a 1 hour and 30 minute ride that was to be in the aerobic state with undulating hills.  I covered 30 miles in that time and my legs felt great.  No complaints at this point.
Tuesday -
  1. 60 minute run that resulted in the following splits: 8:14, 7:29, 7:43, 7:32, 7:56, 8:07, 8:15, 8:15 pace.  I covered 7.59 miles in 60 minutes for an average pace of 7:54/mile
Wednesday - Raining so moved brick to trainer
  1. 2350y of swimming: W/U 50s : :53; :48; :48; :43 (used :15 RI); 300 Drills of paddle, pull, paddle/pull: 5:50 ;2x 300s: 5:28; 5:37 100 Kick : 3:07;  5x 150s: 2:36; 2:37; 2:40; 2:41; 2:40; 100 Kick : 3:19 6x 50s: :56; :56; :56; :55; :55; :55
  2. Bike - 40 minutes building to LT and then 20 minutes at LT.  Covered 16.65 miles at 16.7 mph and felt great.
  3. Run - 20 minutes at LT and covered 2.67 miles for avg pace of 7:29/mile.  Avg HR was at 168
Thursday - Track training that frightened me at start of the week
  1. The training called for: Warm up +4 strides.6 x 800 meters (recover for 400 meters) at 5 seconds/400 meters faster than 5k race pace. After last recovery run 2 miles at 10k+10 seconds/mile pace. Form! Times? Heart rates
I forgot to enter my times into Training Peaks but I nailed it.  I hit every one of these requirements and felt my MOJO being there with every step.  I know that my final 2 miles were at 7:54 pace and 7:30 pace.  I was coming back Saturday - Brick of 2h30m ride (aero) and 45 minute run (LT)
  1. The bike ride was 2hours16minutes and covered 37.65 miles.  I felt great the whole time and thought at each interval:  Wow I am here already?  It was amazing.  I will say that each peddle stroke was harder than the previous one because of the headwind.  The same route the week prior with much better conditions saw me average 17.1 mph compared to these at 16.5 mph.  I feel like I accomplished more this time because it was a harder ride but I enjoyed it more.
  2. The run was 45 minutes and covered 5.83 miles for an average pace of 7:43/mile.  I felt like I had heavy legs but I focused on form and pushed through to the end and was surprised by my pace.  The week prior was done at an 8:22/mile pace.  I think I learned that if I go a touch slower on the bike I can make it up on the run.
Sunday - 1 hour 20 minute run and a swim.
  1. Find out from Twitter how it goes because I am about to head out for the run and a swim.

UPDATE:  Just ran 10.05 miles in 1:20 for a pace of 7:58/mile with an avg HR of 155.  Coming back later with swim numbers.

It has been a great week of training so in the words of Mel Allen:  How About That?!?!?!

Now for T.W.I.T. ==> This Week In Twitter we have discovered a bunch of superheroes.  Those superheroes are now known as the Extraordinary League of Tri-Geeks.  It is a group that I am proud to be a member of and while the nickname Sancho to Jeff Irvin's Don Quixote is hilarious I am changing my name, whether they like it or not, to The Golden Warrior. Why the Golden Warrior?  Come back on Tuesday to find out.

Have you ever lost your mojo?  What did you do to get it back?

  [caption id="attachment_2194" align="aligncenter" width="160" caption="Next Race -- MoJo needs to be there"][/caption]


Published in Train
I cannot begin to express what I feel is a tremendous breakthrough this morning during my bike/run brick training workout.

The workout was to consist of 20 minutes at 90 RPM followed by 20 minutes of recovery followed by 20 minutes at 90 RPM followed by a 30 minutes run.  The 20 minutes of recovery was to be at 135 HR.

Well Robert and I took off on the bike and hit the 90 RPM pretty quickly and rode for 20 minutes but it really seemed like 5.  The 20 minute recovery felt like forever b/c the pace while not slow was not about spinning your legs, but then the next 20 minutes was gone in a flash as well.

Averaged 17.7 MPH with a HR of 147.  Maximum HR got up to 164 and burned 954 calories but overall the ride felt great.  Averaging 17.7 MPH while going down to a recovery of 135 HR is awesome for me.  During the 90 cadence periods I was at an average of 19.0 MPH which is 2.5 MPH faster then the last tri I did.  Not to mention my HR was never higher then 164 and probably averaged around 155.  I am getting very excited for the Grapevine Tri on June 5th because of this.

After the run we hit the road on our feet.  I turned off my HRM to allow myself to just run.  After 30 minutes of running I covered 3.19 miles at an avg pace of 9:18 with a HR of 149.  This also picked up my spirits that all the training is coming together.

During a race my HR is probably close to 170.  Having the ability to be more efficient in the water will allow me to ride faster and run faster at that same HR because I won't have burn so much energy getting through the water.

Going to be heading to my first open water swim on Sunday.  Coach C wants me to do 1000 yards and thinks that it should be fine.  If I get tired she said to just flip over and float on my back for a while and then back around but that the 1000 should be ok.

I agree with her considering that I have been doing 1500-1800 in the pool already but the open water swim is a little intimidating for my first one but at the same time 1000 is about only 60% of what I normally swim.  Either way I am fired up for it.

This article has convinced me that it isn't going to be as bad as I think it is.  This is from USAT and was written by Dr Mitchell Greene.     Searching for Confidence

Once out of the pool it will be time to run 9 miles.  I am ultra pumped for this weekends training as it should be tough but tons of fun as well.
This morning there was a knock on the door and it was the UPS man.  I got my hopes up that the order from had come in with my new goggles and bag.  I got to the door and there were two boxes there.  One was for Karen and the other for me but it wasn't from it was from 24 Hour Fitness and was a sort of care package.

I posted a link to my blog on their FB page and they sent me a nice gift.  It had a gym bag, water bottle, running socks, wristbands, pins, t-shirt and a gift card.  It was totally unexpected and so very nice of them to do.  Completley unnecessary as I'm trying to get viewers to my blog but will be very well received as well.
Published in Uncategorized
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