Monday, 23 August 2010 20:31

Stories Never Cease to Amaze Me

The stories of the competitors of triathlon never cease to amaze me.  I had a conversation one time regarding triathlon and how I would stop to help a fellow competitor b/c I know what they have gone through just to get to the finish line.  Their response was 'but aren't you competing to win?'

The answer to that is yes, I am competing to win but winning is not done at all costs.  The idea of just running past somebody while they are out of it does not appeal to me and does not say that I beat that person at their best.  The thought of cycling past somebody who has a flat without asking if they need help makes little sense to me.

I am out on the road running and cycling close to 10 hours per week and I know others are doing the same and thus we have a sort of bond as with being in a fraternity.  Helping out a fellow triathlete in desperate need is something that I would do.

As a matter of fact, at the Pioneer Power Sprint Tri we were standing around near the finish line when a competitor crossed the line then essentially stumbled over to our area and collapsed.  Karen and I were quick to get them water and ice towels and a race director to make sure that he was OK.  He looked to be suffering from dehydration as it was terribly hot that day.

Here is a story from an Xterra race in Portland, OR where a racer in 2nd helped out the racer in 1st after she had collapsed.  Just an all around inspiring story:

2nd place racer helps 1st place racer and finishes in 3rd

For more inspiration on triathlon and specifically Ironman Hawaii run, don't walk, to get this book:

17 Hours To Glory

I have read more then half this book in about 2 hours.  Great stories of unbelievable accomplishments.
Published in Uncategorized
Tuesday, 08 June 2010 10:01

Slow and Steady Wins The Race......

.....that is the lesson from the tortoise and the hare correct?  Well, slow and steady almost killed the triathlete yesterday.  Oh my, is it tough staying in Z1 while trying to get 3 miles in and really it might have been best to do it outside.  I did it on the treadmill b/c I had strength/core afterwards and when I tell you going 45 minutes on a treadmill with it barely moving is a struggle.

I emailed Coach last night that this was quite possibly the toughest workout yet.  Not because I sweating profusely, or my legs were sore, or I couldn't breathe but more about getting that muscle between my ears (there's that muscle again) to understand that there was a point to this.  We are building a base for quick turnover of the feet so that you do get faster, but the theory of going slower to go faster is tough to understand epecially when you just hate the treadmill.

I had my head phones and listened/watched the Rangers-Mariners game on the tube ahead of me and I tried not to look at the miles as they ticked off on the treadmill but you wonder how far you have gotten.  Baseball is a long, slow game (that I grew up on and love watching) but when you can go a few innings and still not have gone 1 mile you know you're going slow.

Anyway, I got the 3 miles done in about 45 minutes.  I counted my steps every now and again and at some points I was 21-23 steps per 15 seconds or essentially 84-92 steps per minute.  The 21+ SPM was something I recalled reading in my training for this week so I used that as a base.  Doing what I was doing was right in that zone so it was successful and I know what it is like to have quick turnover and all the training is about muscle memory.  Getting your body to say to itself 'oh yeah I remember this and I can do this' while convincing your brain that you have done it and it's no different now then during the training.

Today I have a 60 minute bike ride in Z1-Z2 followed by a 30 mintues run in Z1 with a cadence of 21+ (now I remember where I saw that.)

Again, slow and steady wins the race.  At least this time I'll be outside.

Published in Uncategorized
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 13:35

Threshold Swim

Today's workout consisted of a threshold swim.  Essentially what this is is a swim that you go as far as you can as fast as you can.  Coach C wanted me in the Z4 range for my HR which is essentially 148-167 or breathing rather heavy.

So I did my 100 yard warm-up which is always harder then any other part of the swim.  Just getting the muscles used to the movement and the body ready for the water.  Most of all get the brain ready to swim for an hour.  I believe that at the race on Saturday I'm going to get in the water and do at least 2x50 to warm-up prior to the swim.  Get the body ready to move and the head ready to swim.

I checked my HR after the 100 and it was around 120.  I took a deep breathe and waited about 1 minute and took my HR again and it was 108.  I was ready to do my threshold swim.

I started out and had my body moving.  I was gliding.  I was kicking on the breathes, I was turning around smoothly.  I was actually swimming very efficiently and it felt great.  I checked my watch after 200 yards as I was turning and I was at 3m09s.  I was doing awesome.  I kept on going and pushing and could feel my HR moving higher but I was still very efficient.  I got to 400 around the 8 minute mark and just pushed myself to get the next 100 in.  I thought I was going to stop after 400 but I kept going and finished with 500 yards in 10m25sec.  I wound up with a pace 2:05/100y.  That is great for me and as the distance got longer I probably got slower so I feel like I can do a great job at the Grapevine Tri this weekend.

My HR after I was done and stopped to breathe and find my pulse (about 30 seconds) was at 138 which is still Z3 but because it had come down I have to think that I was in the 145-150 range prior to that.

I will be able to better gauge my HR in the pool after today since I bought a Timex Ironman Road Trainer.  This watch is capable of being used in the pool with a HRM.  I'm psyched b/c I really want to see how hard I can push myself in the water, especially in the OWS.

Being able to do 500 straight with no rest has boosted my confidence in my swimming, and every time I step in the pool my confidence grows.  Getting confident with my swimming is going to lead me to faster times in my overall time b/c once I translate the swim confidence to the bike and run I will be going harder and faster then ever.

I don't have any swims planned until the triathlon but I really can't wait to get into the Open Water again and push myself to complete that 600 yards and prove to myself that I am fully capable of doing it.

I can't wait to see a picture of me like this:

Now off to the grind of work until my evening meal (Man's Day) with my step-son and then off to the gym for a strength/core workout.
Published in Uncategorized
Sunday, 30 May 2010 16:30

Open Water Swim to Start My Sunday

I am so excited this morning over having completed my first Open Water Swim (OWS.)  It was incredible to have swam 1100 yards in the open water of Lake Grapevine.  I had such a blast becuase of the effort that I put in but also because of the fact that it is another learning experience for me.

Learning to deal with the waves and the various currents that come and go against your body.  Sighting is a big difference as there is no big black line on the bottom of the lake floor to follow.  I am really learning to enjoy the water and I almost feel like going out to the pool this evening for more swimming but not sure Coach C would want that (I've already emailed her to find out.)

In searching for ways to get better at the OWS I found an article written by Hazen Kent for that essentially says the best way to get better in OWS is to practice in the open water.  With that being said the 1100 yards this morning seems more and more important to my overall plan of doing Ironman then I would have thought.  Coach C told me she just wanted me to swim and that is essentially what I did and it was great practice for me.  This article reinforces that idea while also giving me some tips and drills for working on in the pool that will help me in the open water.

The link to the article is right here:     Open Water Swimming Tips For Triathletes: Overcoming Your Fears

After putting in 1100 yards of swimming which was essentially 50 and 75 yard drills with :20 RI I had a 9 mile easy run to put in.  The 9 miles was fairly smooth and easy.  My average HR was 145 with a max of 156, but that was always on the uphill portion of the run.  The average pace for the 9 mile run was 10:10 and I couldn't be happier with that run as it was so easy.

In looking at past easy Sunday runs the HR was slightly lower but they were more difficult and most likely because of the fact that I completely ignored my HRM and just ran.  I did not feel like my body was tired or dehydrated and that I could have run for miles at that pace and felt great at the end.

All in all, the Sunday training session was one to remember and one to build off of.  Next week when I head to the open water it will be another set of drills where I'm doing 75 and 100 yards with :20 RI to get in 400 yards and then maybe heading out and around the buoys for the last 600 yards and do those with the rest intervals of floating on my back and kicking to keep moving.  Now that I have done an OWS the intimidation is fading and the competitor in my is starting to show through.

Here is the map with some data of my run this morning:
Published in Uncategorized
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.
Published in Uncategorized