Saturday, 19 June 2010 17:44

It is getting HOT out there.....

It is the middle of June and it feels like we are in August already it is getting so hot here in Dallas.  Today's temperatures during my training were 92 with a heat index of 98.  As you can imagine keeping my HR down was quite a chore, but making sure that I was hydrated and had enough calories in me was very important as well.

Last night I packed a small carry cooler with a banana, a peach, a pluot (if you don't know what they are go find them.....the sweetest, juiciest fruit I have ever eaten and I can't get enough of them,) an orange, 1.5 protein bars, 1 bottle of electrolyte water, 1 bottle of water and 1 serving of chocolate milk.  I made sure that I was going to have enough calories, protein, fat, carbs and hydration as I knew it was going to be a scorcher.

I picked up Robert around 5:45am this morning and we were heading to White Rock.  Karen and I love going to White Rock for a couple of reasons.  One is that it changes up the monotony of running/biking the same areas, two is that the lake is beautiful as are the houses and the third reason is the motivation and inspiration you get from all the other athletes out there.

Today's training called for 1.5 hours in the saddle at Z2 on undulating hills followed by 45 minutes of running in Z2 with 5x20sec downhill runs followed by 30 hops on one foot, then 30 on the other plus walking up the hill to the starting point again.

So we got to White Rock around 6:30a and it was time to ride.  White Rock Lake all the way around is 9 miles so you can get a good amount of riding in and it has some hills and flats and some climbs so it's a great workout.

The one issue you have at White Rock is that it is very croweded and you have to really work your technical skills as well which is just as important as going fast.  There are times when you have to almost come to a complete stop to get around some runners but be careful not to get in the line of a cyclist coming in the other direction.

After the first loop we stopped b/c Robert left his water bottle in my car and as I said it was a scorcher out there.  It was too hot to think that he could go 1.5 hours without water.  I had put a water bottle in the new Turbo Arm that I had installed on the back of my saddle.  It looks great, but it will take some time to reach behind me for a bottle of water and I ended up not even trying during the ride.  I took in some water before we left the parking lot and then again took some in at the stop plus I took a GU Proctane gel, which has 100 calories plus carbs and protiens in it.

The ride totaled 1:30:17 and we went for 25.0 miles at an average speed of 16.8.  My top speed was 24.5 and I wound up burning 1,247 calories on this ride.  My average HR was 142 with a max of 156.  My HR was truly between 140 and 150 the entire ride with very few peaks and valleys so it was a very consistent ride and it felt great.

Once off the bike it was time to run.  I had a very hard time keeping my HR down during the run.  It was too hot to really keep it down.  Once we got to the hill portion of the run I turned the max alert on the HR off.  There was no way I going to keep my HR down while hoping up a hill on one foot.

One look at my Garmin data and you can see exactly where the hill training came in.  The drill was to be at 400m race pace downhill for 20 seconds then turn around and hop back up the hill for 30 hops on each foot and then walk the rest of the way up.  After hopping back up and walking I would look at my HR monitor and it would be at 169 which is very high.  This drill was taxing on the body and not so much b/c of the workout but because of the heat.  Once our 5 sets were over we took about a 2 minute break before we did a 5 minute cool-down run.  I had to keep my HR monitor off b/c while I waited until my HR was at 133 to start the c/d it soon spiked up.

I feel strong after the workout and mentally I feel stronger.  I have stretched a bit, but will need to do more stretching to get the lactic acid out of my calves before doing the OWS tomorrow morning.

Here are my bike and run maps around White Rock Lake.  If you click on the details you will see all my data in terms of calories burnt (1,756 total with the run which means I can eat just about anything today and won't gain any weight - but of course I won't and will stick to my regular routine of 7 servings of fruits and vegetables along with whole grains.)

Tomorrow is the 1,800 yard OWS followed by an 8 mile run with HR below 147, but until then it is lunch with my gorgeous wife followed by poker with some friends.  Normally I would eat about 15 cookies as I am a cookie monster but with the training and putting myself in the open water tomorrow the amount of cookies and beer being consumed will be very limited.  I'm not afraid of the swim, but I am afraid at how not being cognizant of what I put in my body will hurt me in the water and an 8 miler in what is going to be another hot one.

Until tomorrow's posting remember to not just train hard, but train smart and as Coach C would say 'MOST OF ALL HAVE FUN'  That is exactly what I did and there is nothing like the high five and congratulations to your training partner after you have completed a tough workout.
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Tuesday, 15 June 2010 14:27

It's a Brick Morning.....

As has become routine my alarm went off at 4:04am and I decided to hit snooze, because as anybody knows in order to perform your best you need proper rest.  I stayed asleep for another hour before waking up and having breakfast and coffee.  First time in almost a month that I drank a full cup of coffee in the morning and boy it tasted good.

Karen woke up around 5:45a and I got to see her for a few minutes before I headed out on my ride.  The ride this morning was a maintenance and recover ride.  90+ RPM while staying in Z1-Z2 or essentially 125-145 which should be fairly easy to do.  BUT this morning I was having a difficult time getting my legs going for some reason and my HR was up around 135 while my cadence was 85.  This did not make me happy.  I couldn't figure out the issues.  Was I still tired?  Were my legs fatigued from the strength workout last night?

BUT when everything seems bleak, the skies opened up.  I saw the most beautiful sunrise on the ride and it reminded me how much I love living in Texas.  I can't recall seeing a sunrise like that in New York, at least not near the city.  We had some gorgeous sunrises in Oswego while I was in college but this was perfect.  Texas land as far as the eye could see with a purple sun and white clouds shrouded in a grey scale.  It was unreal.

So my cadence picked up a bit then and I felt much better, then the real cake topper happened.  I was riding and passed another rider on his bike in the aero position.  I always say hi.  I wave or nod my head.  We are a fraternity.  We are there to help each other as much as we are to beat each other.  The guy didn't even give me the courtesy wave.  My competitiveness flaired up right then and there and I got up to 95+ cadence and kept my HR very low and managed to do that for the remainder of the ride which was about 20 minutes.  I just kept thinking of picking him off as we inched closer to the finish line and I would not let him beat me.

Average speed was 15.0 MPH covering 15.08 miles in 60 minutes.  Average HR was 122 with a max of 141.  Burned 690 calories.

Then after that it was time for a 30 minute run.  I was ready to run today.  I felt good getting off the bike and figured this was going to be a great run.  Within my 30 minutes of running I was to do some drills which consist of high knees, carry over, straight leg and what Coach C calls hiney kick (or what I call ass kickin' - bring your heals to to your glutes.)

None of these drill is designed to go fast while doing the drills but to help you while your are running.  Doing these drills go my HR up even though I was barely moving.  Looking at my Garmin you can see where the drills were started and where they ended and when I was running.  The pace drops dramatically and the HR picks up.

Before the start of training today I was 145.8 lbs and when I was done I was down to 143.4.  Had a protein bar and a banana after the workout to get the proteins back into my system to help my recovery.  It is coming up on 9:15am and time to have a snack of fruits and probably a PBJ sanwich.
Tomorrow I am back in the pool and Coach C has me swimming quite a bit these days.  Last month I was around 1500 yards at most and now I'm up to 2000-2200 which is almost a 50% increase and I can tell the difference in my back and shoulder muscles.  They are a little more tired then normal and this is something that will happen when you change routines and shock your body.

But I can say how excited I am and how much confidence I'm building in the water.  These distances in one session were nothing but a dream and now they are reality.  So much so that Gorilla Multisport is hosting another OWS this weekend and I cannot wait to get in the water.  I am planning on doing 1800 yards or 3 laps since the bouys are 600 yards apart.  It is going to be a challenge but you can't get to the starting line of Ironman 70.3 without staring challenges in the face and then beating them.  All I have to do is remember my pool swims which are slow and easy and the 600 will fly by.  High elbows, proper hand entrance into the water, and if you panice slow down even more.  Easy....create a plan and stick to it and everything turns out fine.

Plus I will try out my new wetsuit.  Good times ahead.
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Saturday, 29 May 2010 15:20

Great Way To Start Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend got off on the right foot this morning.  The training was great and the weather was just as perfect.

Today's workout consisted of a 60 minute ride at 90 RPM followed by a 20 minutes run.

As usual Robert and I headed out to Lake Grapevine around 6:30am to get our workout in.  The bike was awesome although I lost Robert after the first 2 or 3 miles.  The point of the exercise today was to keep a high cadence going and that cadence was to be 90+ RPM.

One of the best things about today's workout, or any workout at high cadence, is that you learn to use your gears in order to keep your legs spinning.  The lowest speed I averaged was 15.7 and overall for the 17.5 miles that I rode this morning I averaged 18.3 MPH which is 1.8 MPH faster then my time in Grapevine last year.  That has me very excited because that means that I should be shaving some good time off of my bike portion next week.

Here is a map of the ride:

The run that followed was to be a 20 minute run.  I took the HR alerts off to allow me to just run and overall it was not that bad for the two miles.  My HR averaged 158 with a pace of 8:29.  I covered 2.31 miles today and I know that if I push myself that my pace will be faster then last year's pace at the Tri Grapvine.

Here is map and some information on the run:

Overall I feel great.  I need to stretch but my energy is there and I don't feel fatigues one bit.  I actually told Robert that I could have run at least another 5 miles and maybe not at 8:34 but certainly could have gone at a 9:00 pace for the next 5 miles.  I'm thrilled with where I'm at after about 3 full weeks of training.

I'm prepared both mentally and physically to beat last year's time and to be able to compete in my age group and be close to my time of 1:18:53 in the Caveman Tri.

Now, onto stretching then the shower and most importantly time with my family at our pool bbq'ing and laughing.

Memorial Day here we are.
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Tuesday, 25 May 2010 17:30

Great Article on Running

Just finished reading this article on how to get better at running and what is described as Rule #4 certainly pertains to me.

As I have pointed out the muscle that needs the most work for me is the brain.  I need to not focus on the HR, or the speed but just focus on the run and then analyze and see where it was hard and where it was easy.  Where the breathing was rapid, or where the pace fit the hurt.

Here is rule #4 from this article written by Marty Munson on the USAT website:     4 New Rules For Running Better, Faster, Stronger

4. Run as fast as you want to, not as fast as you think you can. Who’s imposing your limits? Sometimes it’s you, says Elizabeth Waterstraat, coach and founder of Multisport Mastery ( in Chicago. “Especially when athletes train heavily with technology, they can become wrapped up and limited by where the numbers should be, rather than where they could be.” Unplug the technology now and then, she says, “and tune into how running fast feels in your legs, what it sounds like in your breathing, and what it speaks in your head. If you look down at your device and see you’re approaching 5K pace, you might begin to fear that you will blow up or not be able to hold it. But you just might be breaking through in that workout. Save the evaluation for later. Don’t let your fears and worries limit how much you are willing to give.”

Learn how to define what’s truly hard for yourself. “Many athletes look to coaches or formulas to tell them what hard is by heart rate, pace, or percentage of VO2max. Hard is hard. You run hard. Until you connect to that, you will not run as fast as you want to; you’ll run as fast as someone tells you to go.”

Then, listen to what you’re saying. “You may be focusing on the negative (I am so slow) rather than the positive (I am getting stronger; this is a solid starting point). Running fast is so much about managing the physical pain; there is no hiding behind equipment (bicycle) or conditions (waves); it’s usually just you and the pavement. Your legs must be strong, but your head must be stronger,” Waterstraat says.

“To know your limits, you have to be willing to test them,” she says. “The best athletes take logical risks in training so they know how far they can go in racing.” Don’t be surprised if it’s farther than you thought.
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