Monday, January 31, 2011

That Hurt!

This past weekend I headed up to Milwaukee to be part of a team time trial with the ISCorp guys out of the Milwaukee area.  The way the time trial was set up was that there were 16 computrainers set up, therefore there were 16 teams.  Each team had 8 riders, so there were 8 time slots where a member from each team raced.  I raced in the 7th time slot, so I was able to watch a lot of other races before.  The format was that each person raced for 30 minutes, the courses changed from hilly to flat.  I ended up on a flat course.  So essentially this was a 30 minute threshold test.

As I was warming up I saw Joe Kurian walk in, who is an awesome triathlete.  He took 9th overall in 2009 at Ironman Wisconsin, and raced as an amateur.  At this point I knew I would have my hands full.  I didn't know who else we had in our heat, but I knew I needed to try to stay with Joe.  The expo center was ridiculously hot!

So the race...after everyone was calibrated on the computrainers we had a few minutes to finish our warm up.  They counted down and it was on.  We were sitting around 360-380 watts for the first minute or two when all of the sudden Joe dropped the hammer and was cranking out over 600 watts.  So I had to go with, I knew that could be the race right then.  Did I want to hammer away that hard that early...heck no!  He put a small gap on me, and so I decided that I would try to slowly bring him back with the remaining time.  Well I did slowly catch up, but ran out of time.  I went 12.00 miles in 30 minutes, and he went 12.03.  I did end up averaging 304 watts for the 30 minutes.  This hurt...really hurt! 

The expo was cool, and it was nice to see a huge group of triathletes together in January.  Thanks to the Larsen crew for letting me stay on Saturday night.  It was nice to get a long run in on Sunday morning on a snow packed trail as well.  It helped me to remember why I enjoy running so much.  I think I just have to go do my long runs in different locations.  Let's hope for some snow in the next couple of days.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Volume is Returning

Now that we are towards the end of January, I have slowly been increasing my volume.  I do feel a lot better now too that the volume is going up, I'm guessing that's more mental than anything else, but it feels good none the less.  I found a great website ( which has some really good short articles on training.  One that struck me was the one titled "Mistakes I've Made Planning My Season".  This article helped to put some things into perspective for me.  Like a lot of triathletes we always think more is better right?  Year after year there are new things to learn, and new goals to make, this article was short but least I think so, and if you don't I'm over it.

Last night I hit the treadmill up for 40 minutes and even through some faster stuff in there for 10 minutes, wow did that hurt, but feel good at the same time!  Don't you love the feeling you get after a tough workout?  I mean is there anything like it?  I even followed it up with a solid effort this morning on the computrainer at Endure It.  The efforts are starting to ramp up a bit which is nice...

15' Warm Up

5 x 8'
- 2' @ 90%
- 3' @ AT
- 1' @ 110%
- 2' RI

Cool Down

Today I felt as if I could have ridden at 90% or above all day, even my rest intervals were 75% - 80%.  Not sure why but Thursday's seem to be solid days for me to ride.  What an awesome way to start the day!  Masters swimming tonight, we'll see how that goes, Thursday nights are usually "sprint" nights and for me my sprint is about the same as my "easy" and "moderate" so I'm sure it will be tough.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Finding Motivation

As I was riding to Endure It this morning at 4:40 a.m. I was thinking.  What the heck is it that motivates me to get up at 4 a.m. most days of the week to workout?  I think it's a number of things of which I don't have time to get into right now.  I train with a large number of people throughout the week, all of which have different goals, some are general fitness goals which is great, others have certain times they want to get in races, again great.  But then there are some which you wonder about.  I know I'm freakin nuts, you don't have to remind me of it, but if you're not going to give your best effort at something why do it?  I suppose you could think "something is better than nothing" and I would have to agree, but why give just something when you have more than that?  Seems like a fair question to me.

Anyway off of my little rant.  The set today was solid:

5' @ AT
4' RI
3' @ 110%
2' RI
1' @ 120%
2' RI
3' @ 110%
4' RI
5' @ AT


The numbers weren't coming as easily today, so I had to dig a little deeper.  The nice thing is that lower numbers during my "RI" felt easier, I never sat below 200 watts and it felt easy.  Still have to get a little run in this afternoon before dinner.  Looking for another longer run tomorrow somewhere between 8-9 miles will do.  The key is to get my butt out of bed in the morning to do it.  I have found that if I dont' do it in the morning it usually doesn't get done.  So 4 a.m. again tomorrow it is!

Monday, January 24, 2011

20 Weeks and counting

Ironman Coeur d' Alene is only 20 weeks away.  I think I'm in a good place mentally right now, and I've been getting some solid base work in.  I have been looking back at old blog posts about run times I had put up in training, and I am content with where I am right now.  My official "bike" program starts today (it's 20 weeks long).  My official "run" program starts on February 28th (it's 16 weeks long...and don't do the math on this because I just hope it's right).  I don't have an official "swim" program...that's just an ongoing project.

I have a lofty goal for June 26th, and I think if I'm smart in my training I can attain that goal.  I don't want to put the numbers out here yet but I want my swim to be a little faster, bike about the same (tougher course than Arizona) and run a lot faster.  My run training really slacked off towards the end of the Arizona build, and it showed on the course.  So I need to be consistent with that until the end.  Yesterday was a good start, and tonight I'm going to build on that.  I'll put the goal run time (well a range) out there that way everyone can help hold me accountable.  The range is between 3:10 - 3:20.  Attainable...I know it is.  The key is putting in the work, and a lot of that work is going to have to come when you don't feel like doing it (like when you're tired after a long ride, or fatigued from training, or unmotivated...that's when it counts!!).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Feelin it...

Do you ever have those days where you just feel like your on?  This week at Endure It the classes have been testing for their threshold numbers.  The way that we test is pretty simple, a 30 minute time trial on a flat course.  Ride as hard as you can and we use the aveage power as the threshold number for our next block of training.  Being my first season coaching these classes I wasn't sure how the athletes would adapt to the training.  We had some great results with some people making some huge gains!

So I was just planning on riding a tempo pace for class today since I will be riding an all out effort next weekend in Milwaukee with the ISCorp boys for a team time trial at the Multisport Expo up there.  Well I was doing alright sticking to that plan until about 7 minutes into the test when I decided that I just wanted to sit at my last threshold number for the remaining time to get some different work in (and to see if I could, come on who am I kidding).  Well when 300+ watts was coming easy to me still at the 15 minute mark on the test I decided to pour it on.  So I can't say that this was a true "test" for me since I was pretty conservative for the first half, but I'll take the results that I ended up with.  I ended up averaging 6 watts higher than the last time I tested which was about a year ago.  I'm happy with where I ended up, but think I have more in the tank.  I was encouraging athletes throughout the 30 minute test, which I'm sure had to take a little out of me, basically meaning I wasn't as focused as I usually would be on my test.  Anyway I'm not making excuses, and am happy with where things are right now.

On a separate note this months Triathlete Magazine and Lava Magazine have some interviews with the Raelert brothers which I found really interesting.  One of the biggest things that I think people need to take from it is that they said they make no excuses.  If someone beats them, that's it, they beat them and were better on that day.  Race season is still months away, but I can't wait for it to get here...well yes I can, I better get that running thing in order.  My legs are pretty trashed right now, but tomorrow a new chapter of training begins..."Operation Run".  I have some ideas that I'm going to use to improve upon it, excited to see how that plays out!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Zoot ULTRA Triathlon Team

I am pumped to share that this year I will be racing as part of the Zoot ULTRA Triathlon Team! I will share more details in the near future, but in the meantime I think this is a great opportunity to meet some amazing people and to have the support of the some of the best companies in the industry including Zoot, Ridley, Zipp, Garmin, Alcis, Fuelbelt just name a few. We have a team camp out in sunny southern California in early April which I am sure will be awesome!

Besides that training has been going well. Swimming is starting to come back around, I am sure my shoulders would tell you that too as they are screaming right now. Part of that is some different strength/core work that I have been doing too, it's nice to feel sore!! I have been riding quite a bit lately and really enjoy it. Rollers have been my weapon of choice when I ride at home, and I have even been able to get some single leg pedaling drills done on the rollers (without falling off). Running has been the slowest to come back, although I had a nice uptempo run on the treadmill the other night. I am trying not to over do it with the running too early, but that's going to have to change as Ironman Coeur d' Alene is creeping up here faster than I realize. Time for a bit more focus!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gotta Love This...a Top Gun Reference in Triathlon

Not sure why I hadn't seen this before, but it compares the Macca - vs - Raelert dual to that of the one in the best movie ever, Top Gun, when Maverick says "I'll hit the brakes, and he'll fly right by".

Every race is strategic, and I like Macca's go hard on the bike attitude in regards to Crowie, maybe because that's what I have to do when I race.  However, I would love to be able to combo that bike punch with a run follow through!  Still laying the base for the follow through now, and I think much of it is mental!  I have the physical abilities to run people down, I just need to get the confidence to go after them.  I will go after anyone on a bike (well except for the guy at IMAZ who smoked by me...I did go with him for a few miles, and then decided that was a bad move so early in the race), so why not go after anyone on the run too?  I let the one guy at Arizona open up a small gap on me within the first mile.  He never ran away from me until I stopped to pee, so why did I let him open it up.  I wonder if I had stayed right with him if he would have backed off, or pushed himself and blown up?  Yep all questions that you ask yourself after...of course these are dumb questions with no answer but you ask anyway.

I'm already putting together some "attack" locations for IMCDA in June, since I know the course a little from racing there a few years ago.  Anyone who knows that course has an idea where one attack point will be, but there are also a few more where I think you can either make up some time on people ahead of you, or run away from your competition.  Oh and I know where I'm going to attack the bike...the whole thing.  Can't wait for that ride, I have butterflies thinking about it already...that's kind of scary.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Quick Picture Update...

So I've had some pictures on my camera for a few weeks now and have meant to put them into a post...but I haven't gotten around to it.  So I'll try to catch up quickly here.

Winther and his Christmas present.

Roxy went to work right away!

My first cross-country skiing experience

About the time I felt the blisters forming.

My Christmas present to myself, the Raleigh Single Speed 29er Belt Drive.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Consistency... going to be the key word for this year.  Consistency for swimming, consistency for biking (which let's be serious is the easiest thing for me to do), consistency for running, consistency for core, consistency for strength training, consistency for eating well.  I think you can see the common theme here!

To keep that theme rolling I have to get in the water today.  I had to miss swimming last night to fill in and teach a CT class which was fine with me.  It was nice to talk to some different athletes, not that there is anything wrong with the regulars that I see.

We got about 4 inches of snow yesterday, and it all came down during the day, which made for a fun ride home!  I was sliding all over the place just trying to keep the rubber side down, I'm sure people were looking at me thinking I'm a complete idiot for riding my bike in that weather...oh well.  I did get my training log set up on my computer so I'm able to track everything that I do, and I included a separate "Bike Commuting" category, I'm excited to see how many miles I end up with at the end of the year.  I'm already up to 57 miles, and that's just riding between home, Endure It, and school.  I figure that I have already saved almost a quarter tank of gas.  If I can save a tank of gas each month that would be great!!

Yesterday's computrainer workout was as follows:

15 minute warm up
30 minutes @ 85% (30 seconds @ AT every 5 minutes)
5 x 1 minute (30 seconds @ 120%; 30 seconds rest)
Cool Down

I felt great during the whole workout, and really had to hold back to hit 85%.  I'm doing a 30 minute time trial later in the month, so looking forward to seeing what my threshold is at.  I'm thinking it might be up a bit right now, which would be great!!

Hit up 6.5 miles this morning with Wanner, great run, and running with someone has helped me to not go out and just hammer away!  We start out slower than I usually would, and I enjoy the runs more than I usually do (not that I don't enjoy running typically, but this is just a little nicer).  Some easy speed work is going to start up pretty soon here, we figured February we would start getting some small efforts in, with March 9th being the first "official" track session of our Ironman Coeur d' Alene build.  I'm excited for this race, as I don't feel any pressure to perform, and I really think that I'm going to be prepared for a great race!  I suppose I should figure out if I'm driving or flying though.

Tonight I will hopefully get in a TRX strength session and an easy hour or so on the rollers.  I'll put up some details about my season coming up in the next couple of days, but I will say that it's going to be exciting, and I'm thinking rather challenging with the race schedule too!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Comfort Zones

I think in most things that we do in life we kind of settle into a "comfort zone" of sorts.  It's just something that is comfortable and maybe not easy, but normal.  Since it's a new year I have been thinking about training, and how I go about it.  I do think I put in some good time, and some quality training, but at the same time I think that I am usually within my "comfort zone".  Is that really going to help me improve?  I think there is a great deal of value in training with people who are better than you, in return pushing you out of your typical routine.  You can push yourself beyond what is "normal" but I do think with that others can help to elevate that even further.  Not only do I need to push out of my comfort zone but I also need to be smarter about my training.  The little things are going to pay off.

Swimming has been feeling better, well except for the IM in yesterday's set, that sucked!  Do they forget that I'm a triathlete and will never swim anything but freestyle EVER?  I guess that's one of those "comfort zone" things though, so I'm glad I went ahead and gave the IM a hurt like crazy though!  I also hit up a core/strength class with a new coach, very informative and I have already put some of his ideas into practice during my run this morning.  I also finally put my training log together, so I'll be able to chart the training that I'm doing.  This morning was a nice easy 5.5 mile run.  I picked up the pace during the last mile to see what I could do and was alright with the results.  I felt as if I could have gone faster, but those darn hills...or I should say that one darn hill.

A little TRX tonight and some time to chill with the dogs, looking forward to it for sure!

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 is off to a great start!!

It's hard to believe that we are already a full week into the new year!  I suppose the time has been going by faster because I have started training once again.  I have been trying not to go all that crazy yet, and think I've been pretty successful with that.  So far I've been in the pool for over 11,000 yards which has hurt like crazy.  I never feel "good" in the water, but I have felt especially bad this where to go but up right?  My biking seems to be in solid form as I don't think that ever really dropped from racing in Arizona, and my running is slowly making a come back.  I some how bruised the top of my foot (at least that's what I think) so I want to let that heal up before I get too crazy.  In only a couple of runs I felt the fitness start to return so that's a positive.

Everything for Kona is booked/reserved/registered and all of that now the fun part, training!  Can't forget that there are other races leading up to Ironman Coeur d' Alene.  Better get going for that!

Some other good news which I will share in a little while awaits as well.  2011 is off to a great start, and I know it's going to be a great year!!!