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

Christmas Morning Ride / Walk 

I have often said people really don't know how good they can feel until they feel REALLY good. Well, even though I already felt REALLY good, some how this week I took in to a whole new level. Now it makes me wonder in general if there are even more levels of happiness to achieve in this journey called life. I can chalk my even increased level of happiness to many things including amazing friends and family, workouts, music, clean food, and a little bit of sun. However, as I reflect on the theme of social media this week, I can't seem to think that I might be alone. It seems everyone is always talking about moving on to the next year or the next thing, while in reality I really don't want 2012 to end. 2012 has been an amazing year for me and I hope 2013 is even better, but I am sooo not ready to let 2012 go.

Anyway, I had a great holiday week and had many great runs and swims, including a repeat of the same treadmill workout I have done the past two Sundays. This time I did it on Saturday, the day after my long run, and I had a hard 5K swim right before this workout. For the sake of precision I also switched to a different shoe and I didn't get my lucky treadmill, but if you have followed this workout the last two weeks then here are my numbers.

5K: 16:06
Mile: 4:57
400: 1:09

I had no DOMS today and smashed it again today on the treadmill. I should be able to drop the 5K below 16 with no problem. However, seeing as the mile is never going to be straight mile TT and I'm already significantly gased by the time I get to it, I'm not sure I'll be able to get it down to 4:45.  I still have a few weeks left in this run block and I'm using this workout as a loose baseline.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 167 Miles / 20 hours 29 minutes
Swim: 22,450 yards / ~13 miles / 6 hours 04 minutes
Bike: 103 miles / 7 hours 50 minutes
Run: 51 miles /  6 hours 04 minutes (not a mistake, same as swim)
Hiking: .75 miles / 30 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

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

My Makeshift "Powerbar" Holiday Tree
While my Facebook feed was dominated by stories of the Midwest getting buried in snow, I found myself buried in work outside of the normal swimming, biking, and running. As a result the volume was down a bit this week, but I made sure to get in some intensity to shock the systems. This included ending each day with some hard efforts, on long rest, that were 4x30 seconds on/in the bike/pool. They were close to all-out efforts, but when you do them at the end of the day they are never what you are fully capable of.  Nonetheless they can be very effective in shocking the system.

As for running, well I never would do 30 second efforts at this period of the year, but I have been changing things up a bit. It has been many years since I ran on a treadmill, but I decided I am going to do a lot more treadmill work this year. I have always been a big fan of the treadmill, but the last couple of years I have really worked on my swim/bike and I haven't focused on improving my running. Those who know me, also know that I am big fan of repeating the same workouts over and over again. By doing the same workout over and over again, you gain a level of knowledge about your body that you just can't get if you are always changing things up.

Barrel Cactus Fruit Motherload Tucson
Barrel Cactus Fruit Motherload
Today I repeated a treadmill workout that I did last Sunday. Both sessions were just about developing the foot speed again to be able to run to my potential on a treadmill while still be challenging. After a long swim (5800 yards), I hopped on the treadmill and warmed up for a mile before doing a 5K, 1 mile, and a 400. Last week I did the 5K in 16:47, and the 1 mile at 5:00 flat.  However I was really hurting toward the end of the mile. This week I did the 5K in 16:25 and the mile easily at 4:58, and finished it up with a single 400 at 1:12. I'm going to try to repeat this workout for the next couple of weeks and drop that 5K to 16:00 flat and the mile to 4:45.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 148 Miles / 19 hours 05 minutes
Swim: 18,950 yards / ~11 miles / 5 hours 38 minutes
Bike: 101 miles / 7 hours 21 minutes
Run: 36 miles /  4 hours 25 minutes
Core:  1 sessions / 1 hours 30 minutes

7-Day Food Log Journal for Ironman Pro Triathlete

Simple CARBS that sit well during training
"What gets measured gets managed" it is one of my all-time favorite quotes. Food journals are a a great way of measuring what you are eating to help manage body composition, macronutrient intake, and overall well-being.

Keeping a food journal is not something I do 365 days a year. I take breaks in the offseason but I find it is important for everyone, even if you only do it once a quarter. Simply put, it creates much greater conscious awareness, and tracking it even 7 days a quarter, will result in better eating habits for the other 12 weeks.

Personally I think I have a relatively clean diet, I also have a simple diet. I tend to vary foods over periods of time, but over 7 days the number of different foods I eat is low. On a typical day when I am training hard I will consume about 5,500 calories, however, since this is the off-season, and I'm only doing base training, it has trended down a bit.  

MyWeigh KD8000 Food Scale - My preferred scale
Lastly, I will say that the activity of eating is a highly social activity. However for me eating is part of my job and I have to take it very seriously. I eat to fuel my body and perform better on race day.

Below is a complete 7-day food log. This list does not show the amount of water, coffee, and tea that I consumed. It also does not include another small set of calories that I would get from supplements like fish oil and condiments like mustard, I don't eat ketchup. Everything I eat is weighed to be as precise as possible. These are the scales I use to weigh things.

Weekly Total of Calories (7 days): 32,606
Average Calories Per Day: 4,658

As far as timing of food goes. I am eat most of the carbs in the morning. Powerbar product is consumed during the day with Kona Punch as my go-to gel, and Strawberry Banana when I need a little extra boost of caffeine. At night I tend to eat more of the fats, proteins, vegetables and complex carbs.

Lastly if you are a triathlete or endurance athlete, I have set up a FREE Ironman Q&A group on Facebook. Feel free to ask any question you might have about Ironman Training or endurance sports.

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

The "Sidewalks" of Northwest Tucson (Looking North)
The "Sidewalks" of Northwest Tucson (Looking North)
When I think about this week, I can't help but think how it was a "character building" week for me. I have always considered myself to be a rather hardened individual, but my Achilles heel has always been the cold. This is not to say that I am wuss for the cold as I'm not. But it is true that I have always preferred warmer weather.

For those that are not aware, I have a policy where I ride my bike everywhere. During the off-season I only use the car to make sure the battery stays charged so I can actually use it to travel to races. Last year there were a couple of times - I can count them on less than one hand - where I cheated on this. They were really cold and rainy/snowy Tucson winters days and I drove to the pool instead of riding my bike. #Fail

Anyway on to the character building.  So I have only been swimming at night here in Tucson because the pool I belong to is undergoing renovations and is only open at night. The rides have become bone-chillingly cold as of late. On both Monday and Tuesday I nearly froze and I could not close my hands when I arrived home. It may not seem like much to some, but when you hop out of the pool and have to change in open, dry air, your body loses an incredible amount of heat. Then to bike home with still wet clothes just adds to the losses. It doesn't matter how many layers of clothes you wear, you still freeze.

The "Sidewalks" of Northwest Tucson (Looking South)
On Wednesday I headed to the pool on a cold and rainy day.  It was certainly a day where last year I would have wussed out and drove, but I am determined to bike everywhere no matter what the conditions might be. I have the ability to do it, and I know I can set a good example for society, and I have always believed you should lead by example.

However, before heading to the pool I took out everything but the bare swim essentials. I replaced the "normal essentials" with a spare set of clothes and put them in a waterproof trash bag to ensure that I would at least start with dry clothes for the way home.

Along the way I got dumped on, and it was cold, but I knew that I would only have to hop in the pool to warm up. When I arrived I was greeted by 4 very unenthusiastic lifeguards. The pool was empty, and they were less than thrilled to man the guard chairs even though they were dressed to survive a week in the arctic. I could feel their death stares on me for the first 3400 yards. Then they pulled me out of the water. Apparently if they can't see the bottom of the pool then the pool has to close. With 4 lifeguards and 1 swimmer this seemed a little impractical considering I swim on the surface of the water. But there was nothing I could do but laugh at the situation. I put on my dry clothes and headed for home.

Living in Tucson I don't get a chance to ride in heavy rain too often, but I was quickly reminded of why bike fenders were invented. I could barely see anything with water splashing up everywhere, and I could barely make out my path. The only thing my enormous 600 lumen light was doing was creating a fuzzy beam which did more to distract me than illuminate any sort of road surface. I was frozen stiff and I all I could do was dig in to the well. I thought about a recent Bear Grylls "Survival Special" where he was showing people how to survive incredibly difficult conditions. In that episode he was being sprayed with cold water in a snow environment and he was trying to start a fire. After 1 hour Bear did something he rarely does. He gave up. He apologized to the film crew and his viewers. But he gave up. Although it was NOT nearly as cold as Bear's environment, in that moment, I realized that I can handle some miserable environments. I don't have to like it, but I can survive it, and that is a strength of mine.
My First Attempt at Eating a Coconut

After that epiphany, the ride became almost enjoyable. I had a rush of endorphins and I knew I would make it home. I started to embrace the cold and I knew every minute I stayed out there was a minute longer than my fellow competitors would have. It was a great experience and all I could do was smile. I conquered the cold.

Anyway this was a little different take on my normal weekly update but I thought I would share it. And for those counting, yes I didn't put out my food journal this week as promised. Truthfully I was going to put it out on Friday but in the wake of the shootings I decided against it. I will publish it this week however.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 177 Miles / 22 hours 52 minutes

Swim: 20,850 yards / ~12 miles / 6 hours 06 minutes
Bike: 126 miles / 8 hours 43 minutes
Run: 39 miles /  5 hours 02 minutes
Core:  2 sessions / 3 hours 0 minutes

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

My Saturday Night Dessert
After a couple of weeks of active recovery, I finally closed the books on 2012, and made the switch to focusing on 2013. If you missed my annual training update then here it is.

Anyway, this was the first week of training for my 2013 season and I must say that it started out rough. However, with ever day that past I got stronger and stronger. Even though no activity had any sort of effort much above a casual aerobic pace for me, it was clear that the long 2012 racing season had taken its toll on the body. As a result, I have already changed my training plan this year to include a little more base building than I originally planned. In addition, I am focusing mainly on the swim/run for now and I am going to let the bike take a back seat.

I have also started getting back to core in an effort to build up all the structures that I believe greatly helped me in 2012 seasons in terms of overall durability. I have put myself back on the calorie counting regimen as well, and although I'm not eating to it, I think it is good to have a conscious reminder of what you are eating. I am planning to share a full 7-day log with readers later on this week, but here is a sample of my dessert from Saturday night.

Here are my weekly swim, bike, and run totals:

Total: 173 Miles / 22 hours 46 minutes

Swim: 17,600 yards / ~10 miles / 6 hours 18 minutes
Bike: 102 miles / 7 hours 05 minutes
Run: 61 miles /  7 hours 53 minutes
Core:  1 sessions / 1 hours 30 minutes

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Yearly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For 2012 Season

Moon Rise Over Mt Lemmon in Tucson, AZ
Moon Rise Over Mt Lemmon in Tucson, AZ
About a year ago I started writing these weekly updates as a way to force myself to reflect on how my week went and how I was feeling.  In retrospect it was a good idea. Whether you choose to make it public private, I would encourage everyone to look back on their training. With that being said, it is now time to aggregate all those weekly updates into the 2012 yearly report.

Here are my yearly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 10,278 Miles / 994 hours 

Swim: 522 miles (920,000 yards)  / 259 hours
Bike: 8,348 miles / 491 hours
Run: 1,407 miles /  176 hours
Core:  68 hours 

Those numbers come out to an average of 82.83 hours a month, and 19.1 hours per week.  For reference it is about 502 miles from San Francisco to San Diego down the 5 in California, it is 7,793 miles by air from Chicago to Hong Kong, and it is 1391 miles by air from my hometown Madison, WI to Tucson AZ.

For those looking for a little more granular data by month then here you go:

Training Hours by Month
Training Hours by Month - Total
Training Hours by Month - Swim
Training Hours by Month - Swim
Training Hours by Month - Bike
Training Hours by Month - Bike
Training Hours by Month - Run
Training Hours by Month - Run

Training Hours by Month - Core
Training Hours by Month - Core

2012 Ironman Arizona Race Report - 10th Place

The 2011 edition of Ironman Arizona was my first pro Ironman. I think back to that race and how many dumb moves I made - I no idea how real race dynamics worked.  Since that race I have learned a lot and here is how the 2012 edition unfolded:

Swim (54:29 / 25th):  Per usual I got to the start line as the last pro. Immediately I got to work surveying the line of men stretching 75 yards. A last minute switch to the wall left me with what I thought was the faster, and more importantly, a larger group of swimmers that I thought I could hold onto. I awaited the gun as the pro creep started.  Mike Reilly was yelling at us, "back up", but it was futile.  The gun went off and I swam hard.

I had planned to go completely anaerobic for the first 400 meters and the execution was no different. At 200 meters I was with a large group but the pace for me was on. At 400 meters I was still in the group but suffering. I recited in my head, "just a few more meters and I know this pace is going to slow. Hang on, hang on". The pace finally settled, but the damage was already done. In the 64 degree water I managed, to again, completely overheat and nuke myself just 800 meters into a 4000 meter swim. I had no choice, but to let the group go. I was done, cooked, and my arms felt like jello.

I kept on swimming with what felt like terrible form.  Finally, after what seemed like forever, I hit the turnaround buoy and headed back for home.  I honestly wasn't sure where I was in the swim, and with extreme muscle fatigue, I wouldn't have been surprised to finish and see a time of 1:00.  However, I stayed rational and thought about previous IMAZ swims and the swims of my competitors.  I sorted everything out and I knew I was ok, in no-man's land, but ok.

With 800 meters to go I got passed by another swimmer.  Lucky for me I had recovered a bit so I was able to hold the feet for the final section. I hopped out of the water and I was relieved to see that the clock read 54 and the guy in front of me was Justin Daerr.

Bike (4:28:54 / 12th):  Seeing as I missed Plan A - getting out with the chase pack - I resorted to Plan B, ride hard early and see if I could bridge the gap. I worked hard for the first 30 mins and reeled in the stragglers from the chase pack.  Unfortunately it was harder than I wanted to ride that first 30 mins, and instead of burning a match to make a decisive pass on them, I decided to sit in and recover a bit.

Heading out on an open Beeline Highway
I knew that Daerr was a solid rider and I was hoping he would come along shortly and we could work a bit.  However, Daerr never came and instead I was surprised to see a charging Jozef Major. Jozef made the pass and he tried to make it a decisive one. He cracked the other guys very quickly and I was left to close the first of many gaps that would open during the race.
As I headed out to the tail-end of the course, I got my first time check to the leaders.  It was Starky with a small 30 second lead over TJ Tollakson, Ian Mikelson, and the foreign contingent. Then there was a large gap to the next chase pack which was being driven by Olympian Tyler Butterfield.  Clearly I had a lot of ground to make up.

Jozef and I continued along and picked up a struggling Torsten Abel.  It was at this time that I think Jozef tried to break us both. Abel held on for a brief period, but then popped off and left me to close another gap.  In doing so I watched my power climb to unsustainable levels.  For 14 minutes it took 310 watts to stay a legal distance behind Major.  It really had me thinking that something is wrong here - how the heck could someone have me pushing soo many watts for so long... is my tire flat? are my brakes rubbing? what is going on here? who is this guy? how fat am I?

I knew the pace was not sustainable, but I committed and I told myself that at the turnaround the pace had to get easier.  As soon as I hit the turnaround I was greeted by a substantial tailwind, and going downhill made it even easier. With a click of the shoes I found myself back in Tempe ready to start lap 2.

Bike Lap 2: Lap 2, glorious lap 2, where you merge with everyone just starting lap 1. It becomes a giant cluster: cars everywhere, fans everywhere, volunteers everywhere, motos, dogs, cats, police, and then 2500 other athletes and their bottles launching off their bikes. If you have ever played Frogger or Paperboy then you get the idea.

 Beeling highway no longer so open
I headed out thru the minefield and I quickly knew my voice wasn't going to last. "On your left, on your left, please on your left". Thankfully I continued to let Major do the majority of the work, minimizing the time I spent out front. Along the way we picked up some more riders from the foreign contingent.  In true form, they decided they wanted to be aggressive on the drafting boundaries.  Unfortunately for them, the sun was shinning perfectly, casting our shadows in such away that it gave the officials all the evidence they needed to issue a RED Card to them.

Per usual, the foreign contingent threw up their hands in disgust protesting the call. Meanwhile, I was stuck at the back and couldn't pass because there was traffic on both sides. I waited patiently until the RED carders calmed down and then I burnt another match to close the gap. I went up the climb a second time and then back down to Tempe to start lap 3.

Bike Lap 3:  Lap 3 started just like lap 2 - surprise surprise - except by this time the male bits were beginning to get a bit sore and all I wanted to do was be off the bike. Thankfully, the power was still high and I was beginning to sense weakness in Major.  On the 3rd trip up the climb I decided to make what I hoped would be the final pass of Major. The winds had changed and I knew there would no longer be a tail-wind heading back into Tempe. This would making staying in contact more difficult, and the extra effort would all be worth it.

Unfortunately things don't always pan out the way you expect. With the cluster of all the age-groupers, numerous crashes, and even some crashed mottos, I think the officials must have been instructed off the course. As I caught some more cracked riders we started to form a group and the 10 meter gap we are supposed to ride was cut to 7 meters or maybe even 5. I had thought about trying to push to get away, but if people were not even going to play it legal, then there was little hope of getting away. In my last three Ironmans - Ironman Louisville, Ironman Wiconsin, and Ironman Florida - I have always raised the pace in the last 20 miles. I pushed when others had nothing left to push, but it seemed futile here, and instead of getting the group to T2 2-3 mins faster, I opted just to ride at the back of the group.

Run (3:08:49 / 10th):  I had come off the bike in my last three Ironmans in 2nd place and faded to 3rd, 6th, and 11th respectively. Coming off the bike in IMAZ I wanted to run a smart race and be conservative. After seeing Torsten Abel, Mathias Hecht, and Fraser Cartmell blow up on the bike, I was hoping to see a few more causalities on the run and possibly run myself back into the race for once.

The legs didn't feel great starting the run, but they never do.  Early on I got passed by a few people and lost some more time at mile 1.5 to hop in the porta-john.  On a sidenote, I really need to work on learning to pee on the bike. In 15 Ironmans I have peed once on the bike.  Anyway, I continued on running at a conservative 6:45 pace and I was happy with that as I focused on getting ahead of my nutrition. Before you knew it I was done with lap 1 of this 3-loop run course.

On lap 2 I started to experience that natural creep that comes with Ironman. I still felt ok but I was not moving fast. Per usual, I used a lot of Coke, Powerbar Perform, and a gel every 2-3 miles. It was hot, but not so much so that I felt like dumping ice down the suit.

Always nice to go thru the official Trisports aid station
Midway thru lap 2 I stopped in the porta-john for a 2nd stop.  It was then that Matt Russell opened up the door on me and I knew I had to get in gear to hold off the stampede of runners that was bound to be coming. He exited his porta-john first, but for some reason I knew I had to stick with him.

I sprinted a good 50 meters to catch back up and stayed on his shoulder. I knew the pace wasn't sustainable, but I didn't care.  I would run with him for what I could.  The 6:35s we were running felt like 5k pace compared to what I was running.  I managed to stay with him for a few miles before falling off the pace and heading into my 3rd porta-john of the day.

When I got out I knew I had made up significant time with Russell and still thought top 8 was possible.  I didn't have the ability to push, but I thought there was a chance that a few more people would falter.  In that last 10K, I caught and passed a couple of guys but it wasn't enough and finished the day 10th.

Overall (8:36:05 / 10th)  Overall I am stoked with my performance. For the first time since Ironman St George - onset of Achilles injury - my placing after the run had been higher than after the bike. In addition, I am getting closer to hanging on to the chase pack in the swim and that could be a great thing.

To ask my body to respond to its full potential after Ironman Florida is a lot to ask and I was thankful to put in another solid performance.  Racing like I do is not easy, but it is giving me the confidence that I can be competitive at the highest level of endurance sports on a body that isn't rested.  I may have not hit a lot of home runs, but I have confidence that all the singles and doubles will add up and help me hit a dinger sometime in the future.

If you made it to the end of this report then congrats.  I know it was long and I want to thank you for spending the time to read it.  I also want to thank those people and companies that have helped support me at IMAZ including:

Trisports - for all the great tri gear you carry and for providing it in the most earth sustainable way. You can always help support me as an athlete by using my 20% off coupon code for Trisports that is tied to my name. Each code is unique for you so please contact me thru the above "Contact" tab and I will email you back the 20% off code. Codes can be used at anytime - no waiting for a special sale. They expire 12/31/14. Please remember to fill in your email address so I can reply back to you. If you don't provide an email there is no way for me to contact you. You can also tweet at me or message me on Facebook if you prefer.

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 race day.

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

Paul Phillips / Competitive Image - for always taking great photographs.

and most importantly...

My competitors, for challenging me and giving me the drive to get out of bed every morning and work towards being the best athlete I can be.  Without you I would never be the athlete I am today.

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Nov 12 - Nov 18

Helping out @ the Powerbar tent on Sat
Yesterday I had the opportunity to finish out the 2012 season with another top 10 finish at Ironman Arizona.  It was my second Ironman in two weeks and the second time in two weeks that I went 8:3X.  It has been an amazing first pro rookie season and I couldn't be happier with everything I have accomplished.

After the race, fellow pro Devon Palmer posted the following on my Facebook wall "COZUMEL! DO IT! ONE MORE ONE MORE ONE MORE".  Truth be told I don't have a passport, otherwise, honestly you might have found me in Cozumel.  Although mentally I am ready to continue this journey, I know that yesterday was tough.  The systems at times felt very much online, but at other times it was a struggle.  I am going home for Thanksgiving on Thursday, and minus some active recovery, I am going to give my body a chance to recover and rebuild.

I started doing these weekly updates at the very beginning of the season and I haven't missed a week since I started.  I am not sure if I am going to provide an update in the next few weeks and may instead provide a few summary posts of my 2012 season.  Rest assured that when the 2013 season kicks off that I will be back chronicling my journey.

As for my final week, here is what I did:

Mon: 80 min bike with 3x10 at 70.3 pace, 4x30sec on 2 at threshold

Tue: 60 min run with 4x3:00 on 6 at Ironman pace

Wed: 60 min bike with 3x7 on 12 at Ironman pace, followed by 2x30sec at threshold, easy bike to pool, easy swim with 4 fast 200s

Thur: 4.5 mile easy run with 2x3:00 @ Ironman pace, easy bike to the pool with two 1:30 intervals at threshold, easy swim 2700 yard swim with 4 fast 200s

Fri: Off with the exception of biking to the pro meeting

Sat: 30 min easy bike, 10 minute swim with a few surges

Sun: Race

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 233 Miles / 16 hours 19 minutes

Swim: 11,100 yards / ~6 miles / 2 hours 50 minutes
Bike: 187 miles / 8 hours 44 minutes
Run: 39 miles /  4 hours 44 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

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

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Nov 4 - Nov 11

The reason for my tempo run to Costco
I can't believe that in less than 7 days my 2012 season will be over. It has been a long season, and although I am mentality prepared to continue on indefinitely, I know my body is at its limit and needs some rest in preparation for the 2013 season.

This weekend I am planning to race Ironman Arizona.  It will be my 5th Ironman of the year, 6th if you count Leadman Bend.  I say planning, because you never know what can happen until you reach race day.

Although this week I had some amazing training sessions that have been a real confidence booster, I have also been met with some unforeseen pain.  The pain is not unusual and has been something that creeps back into my life as the temperature drops and is something I have had to deal with the last two winters.  I hoping that the pain keeps my volume and intensity down and ends up being blessing in disguise for my race next week. We shall see.

As for this week, here is what I did after Ironman Florida on Saturday:

Mon: 1400 mile drive back to Tucson

Tue: Easy bike to PT, easy bike to pool, easy swim with 4 fast 200s thrown in

Wed: Easy bike to Costco, easy run, easy bike to pool with two 1:30 anaerobic intervals thrown in, easy swim with 4 fast 200s along with 4x50 on the minute all out.

Thur: Bike 3x10 on the bike at treshold, tempo run to Costco

Fri: Run with MS as (4 miles fast just below threshold, 4x30 at 1:15 on 3:30), easy bike to pool, swim with 4x400 fast

Sat: Off

Sun: Run with MS as 5 miles at Ironman 70.3 pace with an emphasis on good form, endurance swim 2x(400, 2x200, 4x100, 8x50 on 1:25 no flip turns)

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 149 Miles / 15 hours 03 minutes

Swim: 15,000 yards / ~9 miles / 4 hours 13 minutes
Bike: 107 miles / 6 hours 37 minutes
Run: 33 miles /  4 hours 11 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

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

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Oct 29 - Nov 03

Swimming at Barton Springs in Austin, TX
I had never done an Ironman 70.3 on a Sunday and an Ironman the following Saturday, but now I have that in the books.  After a long drive back from Panama City Beach, along with a Costco trip to break it up, I have had a chance to reflect on the week and Ironman Florida.  I'll save the full reflections for an official race report, but in general I was happy with my race.

I will also say that I'm a big advocate of doing a race once before really excelling at it.  I've never been as gifted as many of the other pro athletes out there and I have always had to work harder and smarter to get where I am at.  Given the chance to rewind, there are many things I would do differently that would all lead to greater success.  Gaining as much experience as I can is one of my top priorities.  I hope to make Ironman Florida and Panama City Beach a yearly tradition and intend to be back next year.

Here is what I did for the week:
Fueling up at Costco for the Road Trip Home

Mon: Swim (1 hr easy)

Tue: Bike (1:30 with a few pick-ups), Run (25 minutes easy), Swim (easy 45 mins)

Wed: Travel

Thur: Bike (See IMFL run course), Run (20 mins easy), Swim (10 mins easy)

Fri: Bike (20 mins easy)

Sat: Race

Sun: Rest

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 206 Miles / 14 hours 38 minutes

Swim: 11,524 yards / ~7 miles / 3 hours 05 minutes
Bike: 165 miles / 7 hours 20 minutes
Run: 34 miles /  4 hours 13 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

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

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Oct 22 - Oct 28

Race week is always an exciting week.  After weeks and weeks of hard training you start to question how much longer you can keep hitting it hard.  You wake up in the morning and you feel more tired than the previous night.  Sometimes you just need to throw in a race just to make sure you don't dig yourself too big of a hole.

My biggest successes have often come the week after a failed race and I'm hoping this come trues for Ironman Florida this upcoming week.  Ironman Austin 70.3 did not exactly goes as planned, but I did gain some valuable experience.  This experience is a big part of why I race much more frequently than my peers, and I'm confident that it will come in handy some day.

As for my training this week...  I hit it hard Monday thru Thursday in hopes of topping off the fitness tanks for Ironman Florida.  Overall volume was down, but I still did 2x20 just below threshold on the bike, and 3x7 at 70.3 race pace later on in the week.  I did lots of descending 100s in the pool.  And for running, I did some mile repeats and 1/2 mile repeats at 70.3 race pace. I was happy to travel to Austin on Friday, and enjoy nothing more than an easy bike ride on Saturday.

As for the race...

Swim (28:06): Well I totally cracked on the swim.  I made the mistake of jumping on Chris " Macca " McCormick's feet and not staying in the group.  In reality, Macca and myself were actually ahead of Andy Potts and crew 100 meters in.  Unfortunately the 71 shore-edge temp turned out to be way warmer in the middle of the lake and I badly overheated and cracked like I never have before.  Before you knew it I had guys crawling over me and I couldn't even stay on their feet.  Then the girls starting crawling over me.  It wasn't good.

T1 (2:59): I got out of the water and I was fully prepared for a freezing bike.  My mid-day Tucson training really came back to bite me at this race.  I got to my bike and the rapid change and loss of heat in 45 degree temps made me feel so sick and I felt like I wanted to vomit.  I looked at Patrick Evoe and he was just shaking his head.  I put on 2XU compression socks and full winter riding gloves and in the process had one of the slowest T1s of the group..

Bike (2:16:14): I got going on the bike and I instantly turned into an ice block.  Although my Powertap was actually working for once, I spent almost no time looking at the power screen, and instead focused my attention on the temperature gauge.  It read 45 and still getting colder.  With a 7:40 sunrise the sun provided no relief.  I struggled to keep blood flow in my hands even with full riding gloves on.  After spending the last year watching survivor shows, I knew my hands were in trouble when I lost the ability to control them.  They actually would not respond and it became scary.  I knew that I can win a war of attrition and I was just hoping people were suffering as much as I was.

I continued on biking only to pass one of the gals who swam over me in the swim.  I was shocked she had no gloves on.  Now granted in the end she DNFed, but I asked her about it 5 miles in, and she said she was fine and that really worried me.  Too make matters worse I had major bike mechanical issues at 6:30am in the morning for this 7:30 start, and I ended up having to remove the rear brake from my bike.  I also had a loose derailleur hanger making shifting poor.  In addition this affected the stability and stiffness in the rear of the bike making it downright scary.  In the cold, my muscles were tight and I could really feel it in my hips.

By 9am the temperature was still 45 and not getting any better.  Despite the cold, I hung in there and eventually the temps increased to a balmy 53 degrees by the end.  It was an awful bike and I really don't remember much because I was so fixated on the temperature gauge on my bike computer.

Run (1:21:36): Heading in to the run I had no idea where I stood in the race.  I passed a couple of guys on the bike but never caught up to the main group.  However, coming on to the run there was a long of string of guys all within 1/2 mile of me.  It gave me some confidence that I could possibly run myself back into the race.  After a large run block - my first since February - I knew I could do some damage on the run.  In that first 1.5 miles I passed all 6 guys running 5:15 pace.  I knew it wasn't sustainable but I didn't care.  I would run hard until I could asses where I was at in this 3 loop course.  At about mile 1.5 it became clear that there would be no podium.  Tj Tollakson, Andy Potts, Jeff Symonds, Chris McCormick, and Brandon Marsh had too big of gap and I decided to turn the run into one last training run for Ironman Florida.  I dialed down the pace for the next miles to a reasonable pace between Ironman 70.3 and Ironman, before doing a little cool down for the last 2 miles.  In the end that still got me a top ten finish in this stacked P500 race.

Overall (4:10:11 / 9th Pro): In reality the race ended up being the perfect training day for Ironman Florida next weekend.  In the process I learned a lot about racing in the cold and what I will need to do to prepare for it in the future.  Racing thru harsh conditions and knowing what you are capable of and comfortable with gives you the ability to remain calm and confident shall future situations arise.  We shall see what happens on Saturday at Ironman Florida, but I'm feeling good about things as it stands now.  As I write this I don't even feel like I even raced yesterday and I think that is a testament to the much increased run volume.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 213 Miles / 16 hours 29 minutes

Swim: 12,700 yards / ~7 miles / 3 hours 30 minutes
Bike: 175 miles / 9 hours 17 minutes
Run: 31 miles /  3 hours 42 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

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

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Oct 15 - Oct 21

What I found over 27 days in Tucson, AZ
This week of training was the final push in punishing the body.  After a stretch of late season racing that left my bank account nearly empty, I got back into training this past month and made some quality deposits.

Every time I train in Tucson I keep a lookout for loose change on the roads and I almost always find some. It is a subtle reminder of the extra effort I am willing to go through that others may not.

The loose change is also a mental reminder to me of all the fitness that has been banked. Seeing progress is often impossible when looking at a single workout, but when you take a step back you can see the bigger picture.  To me this picture is a reminder of all the hard work that was done in the last month.  For those counting at home this is $3.50, found over the course of 27 days, and the oldest coin was a 1944 penny.

Now that all this fitness has been banked it is finally time to start making some withdrawals again.  Although I still have a few solid days of training this week, most of the real work is done, and I can finally start recovering for Ironman Austin 70.3.  I don't have any expectations of being fully recovered for Austin 70.3, but that is perfectly ok, and is all part of the plan.  I'm going to race Ironman Austin 70.3 on a slightly fatigued body and do my best to swim hard and bike hard.  If I am in contention off the bike, then I am giving myself the green light to run hard and see what I can do.  I know running hard will certainly affect my ability to recover for Ironman Florida, but if I can do well at Austin I'll take it.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 294 Miles / 25 hours 10 minutes

Swim: 19,800 yards / ~11 miles / 4 hours 59 minutes
Bike: 223 miles / 12 hours 48 minutes
Run: 59 miles /  7 hours 22 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

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

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Oct 8 - Oct 14

Preparing to summit Mt Lemmon on my commuter
While everyone I knew and their mother was in Kona to watch Pete Jacobs and Leanda Cave be crowned the 2012 Ironman World Champions, I was in Tucson putting together one of my biggest training weeks of all time.

In actuality, this was one of the easier weeks to train for and reminds of an interesting effect that used to take place in college. It occurred toward the end of the 2nd semester when it started to get nice in Wisconsin.  In a school that was curved, I found that kids simply wouldn't study as hard, but I actually would hit the accelerator and I'm confident it was this short window of say 2 weeks where my entire grade was made.

As this relates to triathlon, well I know some of my competition was distracted by Kona - either as spectators or participants - while others have hopefully been distracted by cooler training temps and shorter days.  Meanwhile, I have had a laser focus towards what needs to be done to have success in my late season races.

Although truth be told, I'm not exactly sure how/when the increased run volume will show up in race performances, I am confident this is something I need to work towards and is something I'm committed to doing.  Looking back at this week, I ran more miles than I did in the entire month of May, and almost as many as the entire months of June and July as well. Although my training logs don't go back to the beginning of my career, this may be the most I have ever run.

The plan for this week is another heavy week before backing it off just a bit heading in to Ironman Austin Texas 70.3. I'll then back it off even further with a short 5-day recovery taper before Ironman Florida.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 320 Miles / 28 hours 0 minutes

Swim: 18,200 yards / ~10 miles / 4 hours 35 minutes
Bike: 248 miles / 14 hours 8 minutes
Run: 61 miles /  8 hours 27 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

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

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For Oct 1 - Oct 7

While it seems like everyone I know is headed to the big island to either spectate, work, or participate in the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, I have been hunkered down in Tucson doing what I do best - adding pennies to the penny jar. Although the week was not without incident, I did get in some solid training, with a continued emphasis on my run in preparation for run intensive Ironman courses including Ironman Florida and Ironman Arizona.

However, I did manage to nuke myself mid-week doing a staple in my training of 4x10 on the bike with equal rest.  Although, this is my third winter in Tucson, I obviously have not learned that you can't do 4x10 midday when it is a 108 with no shade.  The result was 2x10 with a thermal-nuclear shutdown by the end of the 2nd effort resulting in me pretty much being a vegetable for the next 36 hours.  I lost a complete day of training and I was careful to scratch any intensity from the schedule as I resumed training on Friday.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 256 Miles / 21 hours 19 minutes

Swim: 16,000 yards / ~9 miles / 4 hours 11 minutes
Bike: 192 miles / 9 hours 52 minutes
Run: 54 miles /  7 hours 15 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

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

2012 Ironman Wisconsin Race Report - 6th Place

Going into Ironman Wisconsin, I was very unsure of what to expect from body. I tried the back-to-back Ironman thing in 2010 as an amateur, and although the performances looked ok on paper, I certainly underperformed in terms of what my potential was.

Going into the race I had absolutely no expectations. This was the first race of the 2013 season for the Ironman Pro Circuit and the field was relatively stacked for a low P1000 race. The guys coming into this race were well tapered and focused heavily on doing well. For me it was simply more of a feeling like I had to do the race. After all, I literally live two blocks from the start and finish of the race. As an athlete who takes his job seriously, the better business decision would have been to go to a bigger race with a less stacked field at Rev3 Cedar Point, but with another race looming - Leadman Bend - I didn't want to deal with the travel and extended recovery required with traveling. In addition, Ironman sweetened the pot a little bit by adding back the Timex bike and run premes and I thought there was a good chance that I could get at least the bike preme. Anyways, here is a recap of the day including the good, the bad, and the disgusting...

Midnight at the Pro Racks on the Monona Terrace

First the bad... As many people are aware I have a homemade disc wheel that is basically just a regular wheel that is made into a disc with some tape. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no experience with rain and this wheel and so you can imagine the freak out the followed when the night before the race we had a torrential downpour and my bike was sitting totally exposed to the elements. I knew I would never be able to sleep unless I at least attempted to go dry it off, so while everyone was in bed sleeping, I got up and walked over to the Monona Terrace. It took some explaining with the security guards but thankfully one had recognized my wheel in transition and knew the story I was spewing was no BS. Thankfully they escorted me to my bike and we were able to wipe it down as much as possible and I was able to go back to bed and get my typical 3 hours night rest.

Then the disgusting... Race morning came early and because of the midnight rendezvous, I decided to sneak out every last bit of sleep and opted to set my alarm for 4:50. Two hours is plenty of time normally to take care of everything, but this day was different. With the cold weather, all the families and friends supporting athletes were crowding the hallways and choking off all the access points at the Monona Terrace. Because of the expected chilly morning I made a last minute decision to add some gloves to my T1 bag and simply lost too much time in the process and was never able to go to the bathroom.

Pro Swim Start 

Now I will say that I am not that athlete who believes they are "special" and can just budge some line and thus I decided I would forgo the bathroom. This turned out to be the wrong decision and as soon as I got in the water I had to go really bad. Having no other options I opted just to go in my suit. I tried my best to flush it out, but then I swam out to the start line and had to go again. 30 seconds before the start of the race I found myself on the verge of vagaling and seeing stars. It wasn't ideal, but I had no choice. I simply hoped that through the swim that most of it would get cleaned out.

Swim (54:42): Thanks to a last minute fulfilled panic request to 2XU, I was faced with a decision on race morning to go with a sleeved or sleeveless wetsuit. Although, the sleeved wetsuit is faster on paper, I knew that I ran the risk in the unusually warm water temperatures of overheating and I went with a sleeveless instead. I think this ended up being a great decision and I would do the same if I had to do it all over again.

Before the start of the race I lined up next to race favorite Ben Hoffman. I knew he would be the man to mark and when the gun went off I did just that. I swam on his feet for bit but the pace was too hot and I decided to drop off and switch to "Plan B" which was to mark Justin Daerr. Fortunately for me I was actually leading the chase pack at this point and I just dropped the pace until I merged with a large group of swimmers including Daerr. Although the swim was a little brutal from a contact standpoint, it was a relatively easy group to swim in because of all the turbulence. Before I knew it I was done with the swim.
Exiting the Swim

T1 (4:26): Running up the helix I knew I was right where I had to be with Justin Daerr and Blake Becker right in front of me.  I took my time in T1 putting on socks to avoid some issues I had on the bike at Ironman Louisville.  In this time Justin and Blake put a little distance on me, but I wasn't too worried about it

Leaving T1
Bike (4:45:22): I got on to the bike and made a small effort to catch back up to Blake and Justin and then I pretty much just sat there.  With Justin as the likely other favorite for the win, I knew that all I had to do was bide my time and not let him out of sight.

We rolled out of Madison and picked up a few people in front of us along the way.  A few made up time from behind and before you knew it our group was 8 strong.  Nobody really wanted to push the pace at all and everyone pretty much seemed fine with Eduardo Sturla doing most of the heavy lifting.  The individual mentality of riding in a group always seems to be "why would I do all the work and give the rest of the guys a free tow" and as a result we ride slower than if we actually worked together.  As a result we were consistently giving up time to Ben Hoffman riding solo, but it was way too early to be making any solo breaks.  

Early on in the Bike
In Cross Plaines
Somewhere on the Bike
Each hour I took a lap on my Garmin and each hour it showed that the group was fading.  In hour two my power was down 20 watts, in the next hour it dropped another 10.  For me, it was simply group riding well within my limits, so either the guys were sandbagging more and more or the group was actually starting to suffer.  At some point Daerr was at the front and a gaped opened up and nobody worked to close it and Daerr simply rode away, out of sight, out of mind.  The thought had cross my mind to bridge back up, but at mile 75 it was still too early to go.

Lap Two - The Group has Thinned
At mile 82, at the aid station in Cross-Plaines, I decided it was the right time to go and I made a move from the group.  I road hard and looking back at my power file it was actually the highest 20 min segment of the entire race. On the first of the three-sisters, I caught back up to Daerr and from there we would ride together as we rolled back in transition in 2nd and 3rd place.

T2 (1:31):  Typical T2 for me.  I had to go to the bathroom bad, but I figured I would run a few miles and build up some body heat before taking the detour to the porta john.  I left T2 in 2nd place.

Run  (3:12:19): I headed out on the run and was briefly greeted by an old college friend who was the 2nd place male bike leader.  She lead me for a bit, but it didn't last as Daerr made the pass about a 1/2 mile in.  I told my new lead biker that I would be stopping at the next porta-john and I did just that.  I will spare you the details, but after a lengthy stop I decided not to risk any sort of contamination from the swim incident and went to the next aid station to thoroughly wash my hands with water and antibacterial wash.  I figured with the weakened immune system from doing an Ironman, the last thing I wanted to do was contaminate all the food I would be eating on the run and I really didn't want to end up in the hospital.  Looking back, I could really cringe at the amount of time I gave up here but sometimes it is better to be safe the sorry.

The Strongest Drug on Earth #GetSome

Finishing My 6th Ironman Wisconsin 
With 24 miles to run and still in 3rd place, I needed to get in gear. I started back up and clipped off some nice mid 6 minute miles before the gradual Ironman creep started to kick in.  I ran strong, but I was still passed by the likes of Eduardo Sturla and Michael Goehner and that resorted me to 5th.  Coming thru lap 1 I was only about 2 minutes up on Blake Becker for 6th place and 7th wasn't much further back.  I wanted to at least end up on the awards podium and get another pro award and small check and was committed to salvaging 6th.  I picked up the pace a bit, but Blake caught me the second time up Observatory Drive.  Then, when I got to the turnaround on State Street, I could see I was only 30 seconds up on the next guy.  I wasn't feeling great but it was huge step down to 7th and I was committed to finishing 6th.  

For the next few miles I ran out of fear and didn't take any nutrition - I just ran.  With a little over 3 miles to go I hit the last turnaround and I had put a little time back into 7th.  However, I wasn't going to give him any chance to close the gap and I continued pushing it all the way to the finish. 

Overall (8:58:20 / 6th Place):  Overall I was pleased with my race.  The time gap between 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th were all close and I would have liked to HTFU a little bit earlier in the race, but part of my overall strategy is not having to go deep into the well too often and for too long.  I know there is an extra level of discomfort that I am prepared to go to, but I have had success in my conservative approach and I think it is part of what keeps my mind mentality strong.  

Realistically I went for it a little bit on the bike, and although I'm not here to make excuses, racing tactically is certainly different than racing your own race.  I was exactly where I wanted to be out of the swim and coming off the bike, and given my struggles with my Achilles, I am actually pleased with what I accomplished on a tough run course.  I know that given my swim and bike advancements this year that my run is now the lowest hanging fruit, and I will make my run a heavy focus as I head into Ironman Texas Austin 70.3, Ironman Florida, and Ironman Arizona.  

Thank Yous: Before I go, I want to take a moment to thank the people and companies that continue to support me including:

Trisports - for all the great tri gear you carry and for providing it in the most earth sustainable way. You can always help support me as an athlete by using my 20% off coupon code for Trisports that is tied to my name. Each code is unique for you so please contact me thru the above "Contact" tab and I will email you back the 20% off code. Codes can be used at anytime - no waiting for a special sale. They expire 12/31/14. Please remember to fill in your email address so I can reply back to you. If you don't provide an email there is no way for me to contact you. You can also tweet at me or message me on Facebook if you prefer.

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, even when sometimes it is more of a grimace ;)