Sunday, September 30, 2012

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Sept 24 - Sept 30

Getting Gas in Cali - I Could Never Live There
I'm back in Tucson and the first week of training went great.  After lots of racing and the transition to a new environment, I wasn't exactly sure how the body would respond, but my body seemed to be firing on all cylinders despite the tremendous heat and the dusty environment that seems to really trigger the allergies.  The biggest mishap this week was bringing Powerbar Gel Blasts to the pool.  They completely melted on a September day - this would never happen even on the hottest day in Wisconsin and is reminder of how different life can be across different geographical locations.

As for my training, I will say that the time has come where I need to get serious about my run.  For those that have heard me preach, you know that I am not a huge advocate for most triathletes having a heavy focus on running.  It just doesn't make sense in my opinion, and I myself have followed my own advice as I have worked tirelessly on my swim and bike. However, I have reached a point where the lowest hanging fruit is probably going to come from the run.  Yes there are still improvements that can be made with the swim and bike, but I'm going to focus more and more attention on the run and that started this week.  Now, my Achilles is no where back to 100%, but it is much better than say in June-July and I feel comfortable bumping up my mileage as I gear up for running centric races including Ironman Florida and Ironman Arizona.  Given that last 5 years have been focused on swimming and biking it will be interesting to see if I can make a similar transformation to my run.  We shall see.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 177 Miles / 19 hours 15 minutes

Swim: 22,200 yards / ~13 miles / 6 hours 08 minutes
Bike: 121 miles / 7 hours 31 minutes
Run: 43 miles /  5 hours 33 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

Calories Consumed: N/A
Calories Burned: N/A

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Sept 17 - Sept 23

My New Wyoming Friend
This is the last week that the training update will be late. Starting this week I will be back to publishing on Sunday night or Monday morning. For the last few weeks I felt like my life has been in constant transition, but now I am finally back in Tucson and I am planning to get back to some actual training once I get settled in.

This past week I packed up all my possessions - minus a few things (mainly my professional clothes) - and headed for Bend Oregon to race Lifetime Fitness' Epic 250 Leadman Triathlon.  As you may have heard, I had a pretty good day at Leadman and finished 3rd.  This was actually the first time I have ever put together a good race in conjunction with a cross-country move.

Normally I would do the 2000 mile drive in two days, but this time around I decided to tackle it in a more reasonable 3 days.  For those counting, the furthest single travel day I have ever done was ironically 1460 miles, exactly 10 times the distance of Ironman.  However, this time around I broke it up and did some training and less traveling per day.  On Wednesday morning I had a great bike/run combo in beautiful Laramie Wyoming.  I also made sure to get settled into my accommodations each night at a reasonable hour and put a heavy focus on stretching and foam rolling to keep the body fresh and loose.

In the end I didn't get in a lot of training this week but here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 201 Miles / 11 hours 55 minutes

Swim: 8,400 yards / ~5 miles / 2 hours 14 minutes
Bike: 178 miles / 7 hours 42 minutes
Run: 18 miles /  1 hours 58 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

Calories Consumed: N/A
Calories Burned: N/A

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Sept 10 - Sept 16

Shipping the mountain bike to Tucson
Argh, super late on my weekly update again.  Don't blame me though as I was busy doing my 25th move in the past 12 years, along with driving 2000 miles, across like 7 mountain ranges, and 3 wildfires.  I always forget how difficult and time consuming moving can be, but nonetheless I haven't missed a weekly update since I started and I was reminded by some fellow pros tonight at the Leadman Pro meeting that people actually read this and find it helpful.  Post Ironman weeks are interesting weeks so I will reflect on what exactly I did for recover week.

Monday: Went for a good 3.5 mile walk, physically still ok and mentally very strong.

Tuesday: Always my toughest day following Ironman and the systems felt weak.  Went for a very short easy swim just to flush out waste but I was pretty much dead.

Wednesday:  Easy swim, easy 7 mile run, easy bike.  Felt ok.

Thursday: Easy longer swim ~3.5k, easy bike.  Felt better.

Friday: Easy long swim 6K, 3x8 on the bike with equal rest done below V02 max, transition run with mainset as 4x1 miles continuous descending from 70.3 pace to Olympic pace.  Run was absolutely sick, best run since St. George build.

Saturday: Longer bike with 3x30 intervals done at 70.3 pace but I couldn't even hold 70.3 pace.  Intervals done with 10 minutes rest but I was really hurting on this ride.  Tried a short run afterward but killed it after I decided I didn't want to nuke myself any further.  You have to be able to listen to your body and I feel this is one of my greatest strengths.

Sunday: Hard swim, 10x200.  Hard run with mainset as 2x2 mile at Olympic pace with 2 minute rest in between.

Overall it was a pretty typical Ironman week given that I had to juggle recovery with also trying to keep some fitness for Leadman Bend the following week (now in two days as I write this). Overall my running is way better than it has been as of late and I'm not sure what to attribute this to other than being forced to do some solid running from my last racing block of two half Ironmans and two Ironmans.  But as is triathlon, the increased run performance was offset but a decrease in my bike performance.  Hopefully the bike legs show up on race day at Leadman on this Saturday.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 133 Miles / 13 hours 12 minutes

Swim: 16,322 yards / ~9 miles / 4 hours 42 minutes
Bike: 103 miles / 5 hours 53 minutes
Run: 21 miles /  2 hours 35 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

Calories Consumed: N/A
Calories Burned: N/A

Monday, September 10, 2012

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Sept 3 - Sept 9

Drew Says "Go Baby Blue!!!"
Yesterday I had the opportunity to compete and complete my 13th Ironman. Although I wasn't sure if I would even complete this race, I ended up doing just that thanks in part to my Team Baby Blue cheering squad. Although mentally I bounced back as fast as always, I know the race took its toll on me and I certainly pushed more than I would have liked.  I did what it took to scrape by while trying to salvage my body for one more EPIC effort at Leadman Bend in less than two weeks.  On that note, if you want to join me in Bend, Oregon, you can use code LTFTRI18 and save 40% off registration.

As for biking... I had very low key week leading up to the race.  Part of this had to do with some ill-timed saddle sores of massive proportion that made riding virtually pointless.  I did enough to keep the legs revved up but not aggrivate the sores even further.  For those that don't ride or have never had them, don't even ask, and just be thankful you haven't had to deal with them.

As for swimming... On Monday I did get in one final pool swim at my local pool, but then it closed for the summer and I'm too poor to afford a daily swim pass anywhere else.  As a result, I was relegated to Lake Mendota and Lake Monona for the rest of the week and did the same workout just decreasing the mainset each day.  That workout was a couple hundred yards warm-up followed by repeating 200s following by a short cool-down.

As for the run, I went on a couple of light runs that included some work in the 70.3 pace range and a small amount of work just slower than threshold pace, but with a marathon on Sunday I didn't want to run myself into the ground.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 216 Miles / 16 hours 08 minutes

Swim: 13,326 yards / ~8 miles / 3 hours 24 minutes
Bike: 168 miles / 7 hours 49 minutes
Run: 40 miles /  4 hours 53 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

Calories Consumed: N/A
Calories Burned: N/A

Thursday, September 6, 2012

2012 Ironman Louisville Triathlon Race Report - 3rd Place Male

Going into Ironman Louisville, I can honestly say I was in full experimentation coming off races at Rev3 Dells and Ironman Steelhead 70.3.  As many have read here, I have had a difficult go at it this summer and I was never able to put in the solid Ironman training block that so many Ironman athletes are accustomed to.  In addition, I was nervous to say the least, about running 26.2 miles on an Achilles that has been giving me trouble since my last Ironman.  In the end, everything turned out ok and I was able to come away in 3rd place behind Patrick Evoe and Chris McDonald. Here is a recap of that day:

Swim (56:19):  I knew the swim was likely going to be the key deciding factor in my race and I knew I needed to come out in sight of race favorite Chris McDonald.  As a result, I simply lined up next to him on the fair left side of the pro field as we waited for the fun to begin.

The gun fired and we were off.  I swam fast, but controlled, and it appeared I was in great position early on.  That is until about 200 meters, when I found myself swimming into a fallen log in the narrow channel.  I never panicked, but for some reason with the chaos there was no way to go right so the only thing I could do was shimmy over it. In that time I watched the lead pack swim away and gain a 10 meter gap.   However, I wasn't about to let the race slip away, and I don't know if it was adrenaline or what, but I found myself clawing my way back to the pack. Before you knew it I was back and happy to recognize the very identifiable arm swim of Chris McDonald. 

From there on out I was able to relax as I found some feet and dialed down the pace. Given that the water temp was 85 degrees, and the forecast for the day was low 90's, I knew dehydration was going to be the real battle of the day.  For a while I swam on Bree Wee's feet, but then she faded, and friend and local Madisonian Jackie Ardent took over the pace making.  At this point I knew there were only a few caps in front of us and I was hoping Jackie would make the effort to close the gap but we never made up any ground.  It didn't really matter though as the only goal was to come out with Chris, and that was accomplished.

T1 (2:14): Knowing that Chris McDonald was right by my side I knew I was in good position, but I didn't have a lot of time to fumble around in T1.  Normally I put socks on in T1 for the bike, but I didn't have the time and instead decided to keep moving and put them on in T2. As I ran to my bike I made sure to take notice of which bikes were gone and I was pumped to see Patrick Evoe's bike still in transition as Chris and I headed out together.

Bike (4:39:52):  On to the bike we went and Chris and I settled into a comfortable pace.  Place wasn't important at this point, but we were in 3rd and 4th place respectively. After a few miles on the bike we passed 2nd place pro Jared Woodford and made it a decisive one as we continued out of Louisville.  Chris and I would trade places for a while as we played cat-and-mouse, but we played too much as Patrick Evoe caught up to us by mile 25. From there the pace briefly accelerated but it become quickly apparent that the three of us were going to be riding together for quite some time.

At mile 28 we made the pass of Andrew Hodges and we took over the lead right before the start of the loop. Overall the pace was pretty conservative as nobody wanted to take a leadership role, but I wasn't too concerned as we were still making good time and the longer we stayed together the bigger the gap we would have on the run.

We would continue together until roughly the 75 mile mark when Patrick finally made a move. Sensing some weakness from Chris I was happy to let him go in hopes that maybe Chris would burn a few more matches closing the gap, but he never made a move and he was clearly done pushing. I made an effort to push at that point, but it was too late, Patrick was gone.  

I continued ahead solo and when I made the turn back to Louisville I knew I would have a headwind for the last 33 miles.  The weather forecast did not dissappoint and to make matters worse I had developed the worst "hot spot" ever on my right foot.  It was my first Ironman without socks and it was definitely a mistake.  Regardless, I sucked it up, cranked out the watts, and tucked into aero.  It was brutal, but by this point I just wanted to be done with the bike and get on to the run.


#1 and #2 Lonely on the Racks in T2
T2 (2:44):  To be frank, T2 was a disaster.  For some reason I had this great idea that I would summon all the volunteers to get water and dump it on me too cool me down, but it ended up only creating a muddy pond beneath my chair as I attempted to finally put some socks on.  The socks would end up soaked and muddy from the get go, but there was nothing I could do other than to chalk it up to poor planning on my part. Lesson learned.


Cooling off on the run
Run (3:21:33): I headed out on the run and over the bridge to an early out-and-back section that would tell me all I needed to know.  Unfortunately it told me I was a little less than 5 minutes down on Patrick and frankly I lost focus of the win at the point. With the day being as hot as it was, I never take for granted anything, and passing out is certainly never out of the possibility  I knew that catching and passing Patrick was possible, but with another Ironman in two weeks and Leadman Bend in four, I made the decision to keep the run on the light side and simply roll the fitness forward.  It was a bitter pill to swallow to throw in the towel so early on, but sometimes to win the war you have to lose a battle.  I realize this isn't the way a lot of other athletes or coaches think or want to think, but as someone that races as much as I do, I know that going that extra 5-10% lengthens recovery by 50-100% and as a developing athlete I remained focused on developing.

Never a hand I don't slap
For the rest of the run I had as much fun as possible as I cheered on Jackie Ardent going for the win and other familiar faces from the triathlon world.  I had my signature smile going from ear-to-ear, and I don't even remember having any dark moments, which is weird because everyone has dark moments in an Ironman.  As always, I came down the finishing chute smiling, and I can honestly say that the feeling never gets old. I slapped every single hand I could as I savored the moment of electricity on 4th avenue.

Overall (9:02:48):   Anytime you can finish an Ironman with a smile on your face and on the pro podium is certainly a good day.  Despite the fact that nobody gave me any shot to win this race, I felt I could have made some different moves that could have led to me winning the race.  Regardless, I have to realize that I am still new to this level of the sport and I still have a lot of experience to gain.  It simply isn't the person that has the best fitness that wins these races and you have to come into these races with the right plan, execute it to the T, and have a little luck along the way.

Final Reflections: I continue to make great strides in this sport and I feel like I have moved my swim to the point where it is starting to put me in the right position going into the bike. Although I am not pushing my run at all in these races, at some point I have to take a chance and go for it.  Looking back at it and knowing what everyone ran there is no reason I couldn't have run a 3:00:00 flat marathon to win the race, but unfortunately I haven't been a gambler and instead have focused on growing as an athlete as fast as I can.  I continue to be smart about racing and I have been trying to extract the most amount of experience and swim/bike fitness thru racing frequently. However, with that being said, if I see the right opportunity I will take it. I'm racing again this weekend at Ironman Wisconsin and you never know what can happen.

Thank Yous: Before I go, I want to take a moment to thank the people and companies that have helped me along this journey including:

Don and Jan Wilcox - Jan and "The Don" had a amazing homestay for me that allowed me to perform at my best on race day.  Jan has one of the best attitudes on life I have ever seen and she is inspiration to me as an elite triathlete with her can-do attitude. She is going for her first Ironman at Ironman Florida and I hope I can be there to put that medal around her neck.

Trisports - for all the great tri gear you carry and for providing it in the most earth sustainable way.

2XU - for your wetsuits, compression gear, and everyday training gear that rocks!!

Powerbar - for getting me to and thru races with your fantastic nutrition products!!

Drip Drop - for making sure I stay properly hydrated on a 90+ degree Louisville day.

A to Z Cares - for your continued support of my training, racing, and overall well-being.  If you ever need Asssisted Living Placement for a loved one in Tucson please check them out.

Steve Schwartz Coldwell Banker Realtor - for your continued support of my training, racing, and overall well-being. If you need a great Realtor in Madison, WI please consider Steve.

Ali Engin - for always taking great photographs and capturing that smile.






Sunday, September 2, 2012

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Aug 27 - Sept 2

Recovery Ride To Get Some Chobani Yogurt
Post Ironman weeks from my experience are always a crap shoot.  Realistically the races are so long and demanding that any sense of planning is just wasteful in my opinion.  Really, truly, you have to listen to your body and take things hour-by-hour.  After my last Ironman in St. George, I can remember how taxed my body felt for a few days, and then by the next Thursday I felt great for a few days before things turned south again.  This time around I didn't feel nearly as taxed on Tuesday, but the systems still seemed relatively sluggish.  As I type this late Sunday night, I still free pretty good and I have my fingers crossed for Ironman Wisconsin this weekend.

As for specifics this week, well I planned my week around recovery while also getting in some work to keep the systems fresh to "race" again this weekend at The Great Illini Half-Ironman.  Unfortunately on Friday I found out the race was cancelled due to Hurricane Issac but that didn't stop the prep:

Monday: off, travel day
Tuesday: easy bike, easy swim
Wednesday: 3x8 on bike at 70.3 pace with equal recovery, easy run, masters swim where we did a broken 1500 for time.
Thursday: easy bike with Costco run for Chobani yogurt, and easy swim
Friday: hard swim, easy bike
Saturday: 3x30 on the bike with 10 recovery at 70.3 pace, easy run
Sunday: easy bike, hard swim

Unfortunately I had to pull the plug on both the hard swims on Friday and Sunday as my groin felt strained pushing off the wall midway through both mainsets.  It is a reminder to me that just because the cardiovascular / aerobic systems feel fine that not all the stabilizer muscles were healed after the long day that was Ironman Louisville.  It is also a reminder that I have to stay committed to core work.    I have been terrible with this since I came back home to Madison for the summer but I look forward to getting back at this soon.

I also thought I would mention that I threw my position out to all the armchair quarterbacks on Slowtwitch and I made some changes to my bike fit both on Wednesday before my ride and Saturday based on some feedback. Clearly I am in full experimentation mode and both changes resulted in me feeling better, but we shall whether I stick with the changes.

As of right now I have no clue how Ironman Wisconsin will go and I have no expectations.  As it stands, I am down a few pounds, and for the first time all year I still feel as powerful as always on the bike.  This leaves me excited to see what is possible, but then again the last time I did back-to-back Ironmans it didn't exactly go well.  This year I am going to take things as-is and if I need to pull the pin and save it for Leadman Bend I can do that as well. Wisconsin has a stacked field this year and even finishing in the Top 5 will be certainely be challenge.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 156 Miles / 13 hours 22 minutes

Swim: 12,248 yards / ~7 miles / 3 hours 35 minutes
Bike: 133 miles / 7 hours 49 minutes
Run: 15 miles /  1 hours 57 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

Calories Consumed: N/A
Calories Burned: N/A