Sunday, May 26, 2013

5/20 - 5/26 - Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles

Best Birthday Cake Ever!!! Thanks Mom!!!
After a full seven days in transit across the country, I finally made it back to Madison, WI for summer training. Along the way home from Tucson, I was able to see some new parts of the country, meet some new people, and see some old friends. I also celebrated a birthday, and as my family very much knows, I am very much not about celebrating my own achievements in life and that includes birthdays. That however, didn't stop my mom from putting some candles in what is the perfect cake for me. I must say it took many many years of tough love and prompted many onlookers to question my behavior, but in the end I was able to switch my mom from giving me unhealthy fats, refined sugars, and refined flours, and giving me something much tastier and healthier instead.

As for training, overall I felt pretty rusty on Tuesday when I arrived home in the middle of the day. Tuesday's sessions were a reminder of just how hard long distance traveling is on the body. However, after a good nights rest, I got right back at it in building some fitness with some solid swim, bike, and run sessions as I build towards Ironman Coeur D'Alene next month.

Going forward with my long-distance builds I am aiming to get in a single endurance bike ride per week and then a single endurance run the following week. In the past I have been too worried about getting in a longer endurance bike ride and a longer endurance run, but I find that I just don't have enough days in the week to be able to get it in without it affecting my key speed sessions which I personally get more benefit out of anyway.

Lastly, I wanted to mention that I will be continuing my usual summer plans of frequent hard training races at the Pigman Sprint, Elkart Lake, and the Rockford Triathlons in lead-up to Ironman Coeur D'Alene. I know the Pigman Sprint is all filed up but I there are still spots available for Elkhart Lake and Rockford Triathlons. I have done Elkhart Lake many times and it is a fantastic race, at a spectacular venue, with one of the clearest lake in Wisconsin. This will be my first year at the Rockford Triathlon but I look forward to making it annual affair going forward.

My weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 163 Miles / 18 hours 35 minutes
Swim: 24,651 yards / ~14 miles / 6 hours 39 minutes
Bike: 96 miles / 5 hours 33 minutes
Run: 53 miles / 6 hours 22 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Sunday, May 19, 2013

5/13 - 5/19 - Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles

The CC gals at McCullough Jr High made me some race inspiration!!!
Tonight I am writing from the middle of the country as I make my way back to Madison, Wisconsin for
summer training. In case you hadn't seen, I did attempt Ironman Texas yesterday and although I felt pretty good out there, it just didn't make good business sense to continue the race. In the end I would swim (57:51), bike (4:34:27), and do a ~9 mile loop on the run before calling it a day and cheering on the rest of the professional field including male winner Paul Amey and female winner Rachel Joyce.

To be honest, I got exactly what I needed out of the day - nothing more, nothing less. There were many factors that went into my decision to pull the plug on the race, but ultimately, the biggest one is that it just wasn't the focus of my race season and I simply wasn't in a great position coming off the bike.

Going into the race, I already knew what type of race it was and what to expect and as expected it didn't disappoint. In this case, the course, field size, and tactics favored the swim, leading to a less than important bike on a relatively flat course. I certainly expected people to crack on the run with the brutal heat, and although I felt confident I could run up to a top 8 finish, it just wasn't what I wanted and I certainly wasn't looking forward to the 6 week recovery that would come from smashing myself in the last 30K of the run.

I did want to give special thanks to the Collins family for providing a fabulous homestay along with Atomic for giving my bike some TLC to make sure I could go as fast as possible on the bike while spending as little energy as possible. My week leading up to the race was chalk full of adversity, but both the Collins family and Atomic really helped to counterbalance all of it.

As for my training this week. It was pretty limited and what I did was ad-hoc given that I was in move mode. I will say that I purposely ran at 1 to 2pm on Monday and Tuesday (102 when I finished) and then drove across the country without AC. And of course since I have to know a little something about aerodynamics, the windows stayed up. The drive was brutal, but on race day I did not even notice the heat and humidity. It was super-acclimation at its finest.  As I said, when I pulled the plug on the race I felt great and I feel spectacular as I write this.

My weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 167 Miles / 12 hours 36 minutes
Swim: 11,900 yards / ~7 miles / 3 hours 14 minutes
Bike: 138 miles / 6 hours 35 minutes
Run: 22 miles / 2 hours 46 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Monday, May 13, 2013

5/6 - 5/12 - Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles

My roomate trying to "fatten" me up for Ironman Texas
This was the last full week I spent in Tucson and I must say it was a little bit of a doozy. Admittedly I look back on my Wildflower race and I can get a little upset with myself for being a little too cavalier. I chalked up my poor bike to the fact that I simply hadn't done enough endurance rides, when very well it could have also been that internally I was already getting very sick. The symptoms finally caught up to me on Tuesday and I was like a walking zombie with a brutal upper respiratory infection that I get periodically. What is frustrating about this one in particular though is I wonder if it was completely avoidable.

Truthfully I will never know what happened to my bike at Wildflower, but what I do know is there were a ton of things I did outside of my normal schedule which is usually centered around staying out of the hustle and bustle, and keeping on the straight and narrow. I won't analyze it any further than that, but I will say that I will keep on making sure I stay on the straight and narrow going forward. Yes, it may be boring and not what the typical onlooker imagines the life of Professional Triathlete to be, but frankly, the days leading up to the race are often the most important when it comes to rest and recovery and I give myself an "F" as in "Fred" for my efforts at Wildflower.

And that leaves me to where I am at now. Five days later on the Zpak and I am feeling much better. I have a ton of packing a head of me in the next 24 hours as I head for summer training back in Madison, Wisconsin. I have given things a lot of thought between Memphis in May and Ironman Texas. As of now I am planning on leaving Tucson on Wednesday morning at the "crack-a-ja-we-a" to make another 1,000+ mile drive to the middle of the country. While on a Zpak I have a rule that I only do zone 1 activity to bottom of zone 2. I actually feel it makes things better as it loosens up the chest a bit. Being on the Zpak and the speed training leading up into Wildflower has led me to be woefully under trained for an endurance event like Ironman so the plan is to take the day in stride. If I feel ok then I will continue on. However, if at any point I don't feel ok, then I will pull the plug at Texas. It is already difficult enough to move and race in the same trip, but I still think I have the potential to do well at Ironman Texas on Saturday.

My weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 152 Miles / 14 hours 47 minutes
Swim: 18,850 yards / ~11 miles / 5 hours 19 minutes
Bike: 121 miles / 7 hours 01 minutes
Run: 20 miles / 2 hours 25 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes


Monday, May 6, 2013

4/29 - 5/5 - Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles

This weekend I did end up racing at the Wildflower Triathlon up in Bradley, California. Truthfully, I could write so many words on just the experience itself, but unfortunately when you drive to and from races, there doesn't leave a lot of down-time to be exceedingly verbose so a quick summary will have to suffice.

The race itself didn't exactly go to plan. It has been an odd year already weather wise. Last month, the normally 80 degree swim at Ironman 70.3 Galveston was somehow 64 degrees. In the 31 years of Wildflower it has always been a wetsuit swim for the pros. Well, with some record heat the water temperature had risen to a point where the pros couldn't wear wetsuits. It wasn't really bothersome as I tend to overheat anyway, except that I ripped my swim skin on Wednesday in a practice swim. In addition, I was also super stoked to wear my new 2XU X:3 wetsuit. I wore it at the pool on Wednesday on a 100 degree Tucson day with the sun at peak level. For once I didn't overheat and I attributed that to some design decisions that 2XU put into the wetsuit. But like I said, the race wasn't wetsuit legal, so I wasn't able to put it into action.

For this race, I told myself to be aggressive remembering the words Matty Reed told me about swim starts. Unfortunately I wasn't aggressive enough as they packed all the pros into a small start area. As always, the swim was violent, and I made the main pack only to be the last one to be spit out of it. From there it was a casual swim until the next group caught back up. I swam in with that pack but we were already 5 minutes down from the leaders, and 2.5 minutes down from the main pack.

Getting on the bike was no better. Although I had good initial power, the lack of recent longer threshold and endurance sessions really hurt me and after about an hour my power started to fade. However, I was able to catch up to longtime friend and family man Gavin Anderson and we got a chance to "catch up" on the bike. The one benefit of the pro stagger rule we follow in non-WTC races is that we can ride side-by-side as long as we are 2m apart. We were both hurting so we rolled in casually to T2.

Although the bike course at Wildflower is epic, it is the run that really makes this course truly epic. In fact, when some of the other pros started to walk part of the run, I figured I should walk as well seeing that I was a Wildflower rookie. I even walked a super-steep downhill in the middle of the course. It was probably the best decision ever as I was able to cruise the rest of the course, including running down the infamous Lynch hill without even feeling the slightest pain in my quads.

From a race on paper it may have not been the best result, but I got exactly what I needed out of the race. This is truly a course were course experience is vital and I will be more prepared to barrel up and down the steep trail sections next year. As it stands, I got a solid endurance session in if I decide to show up at Ironman Texas in two weeks. It was also a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and met some new friends in what has been dubbed "The Woodstock of Triathlon".

My weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 179 Miles / 14 hours 55 minutes
Swim: 13,100 yards / ~7 miles / 3 hours 44 minutes
Bike: 147 miles / 8 hours 13 minutes
Run: 25 miles / 2 hours 57 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes