Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike and Run Miles For April 23rd - April 29th

Finishing St. George in 2011
They often say that getting to the start line of Ironman is half the battle.  Although it is not exactly race day, I am feeling great about things for this weekend's race at Ironman St. George.  The start list includes Ironman winners Maik Twelsiek, Chris McDonald, and Ben Hoffman.  Although on paper I can't beat these guys, I know the race can't actually be won on paper and that anything could happen on race day.  Realistically, I am looking for my first Ironman podium and I think it is a reasonable goal that can be attained.  For those interested, there should be a live feed for the race through Universal Sports or, or if you are lucky enough to get Universal Sports then you may be able to watch it on TV.

As for training, well this week was another full week of training similar to my week leading up to Leadman back in March.  Because I didn't have any monster weeks in training for this race, I felt that my body didn't build up enough accumulated fatigue to warrant a full taper going into Ironman St George.  However, this week I do plan to reduce my volume significantly while keeping some of my taper staples handy including: 2x(8x100 descending on the 1:30 or 1:45) in the pool; either 1x20 sub-threshold, 2x20 tempo-approaching sub-threshold, or 2x30 @ race pace on the bike; and 1x3 mile tempo at the track for the run.   These workouts should keep me fresh while allowing my body to recover for the race.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 211 Miles / 23 hours 05 minutes

Swim: 24,500 yards / ~14 miles / 6 hours 25 minutes
Bike:  171 miles / 9 hours 34 minutes
Run:  26 miles /  2 hours 36 minutes
Core:  3 sessions / 4 hours 30 minutes

Weight: 157.0 lbs (average over the 7 days)
Body Fat: 6.8%

Calories Consumed: 33,696 / ~4,814 (as of 7:36 Sunday night)
Calories Burned: 31,730, / ~4,533 per day

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike and Run Miles For April 16th- April 22nd

The Heat is on in the Dirty-T
A long time ago I made a commitment to myself that I could continue to self-coach as long as I continued to see improvement.  I never like change just for the sake of change and why change something that is not broken.  Year-after-year I have gotten stronger in the sport and lately it seems like my pace of growth is actually accelerating despite reaching the very pointy end of the triathlon field.  2012 will be a new year of racing and I'm excited to chase my next near-term of goal of finishing on an Ironman Pro podium.  I know that one of my strengths in this sport is patience and I have been patient in putting forth the effort and not expecting too much from it too soon.

Lately I have embarked on a new project I call Swim 3.0.  Although I knew "how to swim", I never actually swam until I was 25 years old.  In the winter of 2008-2009 I went back to the drawing board and revamped my swim.  I was patient at the time and was willing to see a decrease in speed before making a breakthrough.  It was tough but I knew that's what it took. With Swim 3.0 I know that I am in for a similar road but I know it something that has to be done.

The key to swimming faster for me is to swim more efficiently by working on maximizing the amount of water I can catch/pull while minimizing drag.  It has been a tough road the past few weeks but I am starting to see some huge gains.  I remain skeptical partly because of the fact that despite how awful I am as a pool swimmer, I seem to hold my own in open-water, and tend to do even better relative to my peers as the conditions get tougher.  As a result it remains to be seen how I will fare in open water with Swim 3.0, but I'm certainly excited to test it out at Ironman St George.

As for this week, all I can say is that I felt invincible.  My weight has been creeping up ever so slowly but I'm feeling so fast and strong running that I'm hesitant to implement my typical Ironman weight reduction plan.  Part of the increase I know is simply increased hydration.  It has gotten Hot Hot Hot in the Dirty-T and you simply can't get enough water.  That combined with the copious amount of all-you-can-eat sushi and sodium has caused a lot of water retention.  This week was my biggest and most challenging block of training but I felt great throughout the entire week.
Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 330 Miles / 31 hours 30 minutes

Swim: 21,800 yards / ~12 miles / 6 hours 51 minutes
Bike:  278 miles / 15 hours 15 minutes
Run:  40 miles /  4 hours 53 minutes
Core:  3 sessions / 4 hours 30 minutes

Weight: 157.5 lbs (average over the 7 days)
Body Fat: 7.0%

Calories Consumed: 36,946 / ~5,278 (as of 9:42 Sunday night)
Calories Burned: 36,862, / ~5,266 per day

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike and Run Miles For April 9th- April 15th

Random Tucson Palm Tree Motherload
This week was supposed to be a bike focused week, but unfortunately I took a pretty good spill running on Wednesday.  The spill left me with a very swollen and bruised hip along with some pretty good road rash on my arm, shoulder, and hip.  Thankfully this time around my knee survived with some minor road rash on the back of the calf but no swelling. As a result, I took Thursday, Friday, and Saturday as active recovery days. Today the hip is still quite painful but I'm hoping that it is only a badly bruised bone and that it won't derail my plans for a podium finish at Ironman St George.

As for workouts, well this week I ended up doing the exact same swim and run workouts all week long.  This might be insanely boring to some, but it is what I need right now to become a more efficient swimmer and runner.

As I reach the top of the sport I know seeking out some of those inefficiencies is the key to going faster with the same chassis and engine.  Some people believe that changing form is a waste of time, but I'm determined to become as efficient as I can.  I know for a fact that I am running much more efficiently than in the past and I'm confident with my swim but unfortunately open-water Ironman swimming involves a lot more strategy and I really won't know where I am at until after St George.

On the bike I found that I was a lot more fatigued thAn expected from last Saturday's ride.  As a result I did a lot of unstructured biking early on in the the week but got in a solid interval ride in today.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 220 Miles / 25 hours 14 minutes

Swim: 21,700 yards / ~12 miles / 7 hours 10 minutes
Bike:  188 miles / 11 hours 12 minutes
Run:  20 miles /  2 hours 22 minutes
Core:  3 sessions / 4 hours 30 minutes

Weight: 157.4 lbs (average over the 7 days)
Body Fat: 7.0%

Calories Consumed: 32,080 / ~4,686 (as of 8:18 Sunday night)
Calories Burned: 29,050, / ~4,150 per day

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike and Run Miles For Apr 2nd - Apr 8th

The only open water I have ever seen in Tucson
April 2nd - April 8th: The short build towards St George has begin and I'm excited to see what kind of gains I can make now that I'm starting to focus on the bike.  I had largely neglected the bike as I focused on my run and swim but now it is time to put in some solid bike work and see what we can do in preparation for St George. This week I felt great with a short recovery from Leadman, but by the end of Sunday my body was trashed and a much needed recovery day is in store for tomorrow.  Here is a summary of my week:

- Swim: 2x1500, 1x1000
- Bike

- Swim: 3x(5x100 fast on 1:45, 100 pull)
- Bike
- Core

- Bike: 3x10 at 351 watts, 361, and 376 watts
- Swim
- Run: 4 mile @ tempo

- Swim
- Bike
- Run: Tricats track practice (3 mile TT in 16:16, 1 mile TT in 5:04)
- Bike

- Swim
- Bike
- Core

- Bike: 5x30 at 253 watts, 263 watts, 269 watts, 273 watts, 275 watts

- Run: 4 x 3 mile at the track with 400 recovery
- Core

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 248 Miles / 24 hours 56 minutes

Swim: 16,750 yards / ~10 miles / 4 hours 48 minutes
Bike:  211 miles / 12 hours 26 minutes
Run:  27 miles /  3 hours 11 minutes
Core:  3 sessions / 4 hours 30 minutes

Weight: 155.8 lbs (average over the 7 days)
Body Fat: 6.9%

Calories Consumed: 35,777 / ~ 5,111 (as of Sunday at 9pm)
Calories Burned: 31,648 / ~4,521 per day

Leadman Epic 125 Triathlon Race Report - Las Vegas

In over 85+ triathlons I can honestly say that I have never done a race as EPIC as Life Time Fitness' Leadman 125 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  If the course wasn't challenging enough, on race day we were all blessed with gail force winds, cloudless skies, and above normal temperatures.  Truthfully there are no adjectives that can do the weather conditions justice, but for reference here is a chart.  This data is from Boulder City which is just south of Lake Mead Recreation Park, but is much more sheltered than the exposed bike course which take places on the north end of Lake Mead.

Leadman 125 Las Vegas Triathlon Weather Data - Saturday, Mach 31st, 2012

In all honestly, if I could do things all over again I would do many things differently, but I wouldn't change the weather conditions if I could.  Despite being scared for my life on the bike, I loved every minute of it and I even managed to make it up on my first pro triathlon podium.  Here is a recap of that EPIC day:

Taking a look at the competition
Copyright Jim Cruze
Swim (38:51 / 5th):  The pro men wave went off at 10:00 and I tried to grab some feet.  Unfortunately the small pack started out fast and I was in no mood to blow all my energy on what I knew would be a long day of suffering.  Instead it meant that for the first time in quite some time that I had to swim by myself. As a result I slowed down my stroke and just focused on nice smooth strokes. All was going to plan until I reached the second turn buoy on this rectangle course and headed south directly into the wind and chop. I knew value-for-value that it was best to get this section done as quickly as possible so I bumped up the level of effort.  I paid for it though and I reached shored completely gassed and disoriented.

Bike (3:08:57 / 3rd):  I struggled to get my balance out of transition but managed to make it up the access road and out to the main road without incident.  From there I focused on a nice smooth pedal stroke and settled into a relaxed pace.  On this day I knew it would be critical to save as much energy as possible for the headwind return and so I made a conscious decision not to put out too much power too early in the race.

Hanging on for dear life
An hour into the race I started to see glimpses of someone in front of me and then a second person.  I was making up ground.  A couple miles from the turnaround I caught up and passed Ian Mikelson and Lewis Elliott.  I was a little bit in shock as I never beat either one of these guys and I was slightly concerned that maybe I was going to overcook myself despite what I thought was a conservative pace.  The gap with Ian grew immediately but Lewis hung tight until the turnaround and then he dropped off too.

At this point I was riding in 2nd place and I knew I was in for a brutal ride back to transition.  It was also at this point that I really started to curse some decisions that I had made including, why on earth I thought riding a disc and a deep front would be a good idea.  It was a classic "knowing-doing gap" and I knew I should have just rode a training wheel up front but that isn't what I did. Despite some dicey moments I was able to stay aero roughly 85% of the time on the way out. On the way back in I struggled to stay aero and in the end I would estimate that I was only aero for 25% of the ride back and spent 75% on the hoods.

By mile 40 I had gone thru all 11 (1210 calories) of my Powerbar gels and there were only aid stations at 40 and 55 for fluids.   I would have to rely on what little calories was in HEED for the remainder of the bike ride.  I felt like I was on of those "survival" reality shows as I tried to save precious fluids with only one bottle cage on my bike.  My lips were so dry that they were stuck to my teeth.  Thankfully my biking legs had showed up to play and that made the return trip home manageable.  Matt Russell eventually caught me on the bike and by the time I hit transition he had put a good minute on me.

Run (1:02:56 / 2nd): I started the run about 40 seconds down from Matt Russell and focused on a solid stride. Surprisingly the gap with Matt wasn't expanding and was actually contracting over the first mile.  At mile 1 he was roughly 15-20 seconds ahead and I tried to close the gap but then it started to grow. I started to lose 10-15 seconds per mile and in the end I finished in 3rd place just a couple of minutes down from Matt, and 7:45 back from winner Maik Twelsiek.  I finished roughly 7 minutes in front of 4th place finisher Ian Mikelson.

Awards with Jaclyn, Angela Naeth, and Debbie Claggett
Overall (4:52:42 / 3rd): Overall I couldn't be happier with my race.  I had one of the worst swims, but I followed it up with one of my most amazing bike and runs.  I was able to beat guys that I have never beaten before and judging by the number of times Matt Russell looked back on the run I knew I had applied pressure to one of the best bike/runners out there.  This race really gave me the confidence in my own coaching methods and hopefully it is a sign of what is too come with the rest of the 2012 season.

As always I want to thank the people and companies that make this happen including:

Life Time Fitness - for putting on a great race
Jay Childers - for an awesome homestay
Trisports - for all the great tri gear they carry and for providing it in the most earth sustainable way
2xu - for the wetsuit, compression gear, and everyday training clothing gear that rocks!!
Powerbar - for getting me to and thru races with their fantastic nutrition products
Drip Drop - for making sure I stay hydrated
A to Z Cares - for your continued support of my training, racing, and overall well-being

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike and Run Miles For Mar 26th - Apr 1st

Leadman Triathlon Pro Panel @ Lifetime Fitness in Las Vegas
March 26th - April 1st: This week was a recovery week with a short 5-day taper leading into my race at Leadman Triathlon on Saturday.  I wasn't sure how my body would respond with the two weeks of heavy lactate threshold work that come before this week. Truth be told, I felt pretty awful all the way up until Friday morning. Once again I scrapped daily weigh-ins and calorie counting, but I will get back on track starting this week. Here is how my week looked:

- Swim easy

- Swim (mainset as 4x400 descending)
- Bike (mainset as 2x30 at 70.3 pace)
- Core

- Swim easy
- Bike easy to and from the pool
- Run (mainset 2x1600 with 400 rest @ 10K pace)

- NO SBR - travel and rest day!!!

- Bike (25 mins with 3 short threshold efforts)
- Run (10 mins @ 10K pace)
- Swim easy (10 mins)


- NO SBR - core, refocus for Ironman St George build which starts Tuesday!!!

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 147 Miles / 14 hours 24 minutes

Swim: 11,700 yards / ~7 miles / 3 hours 30 minutes
Bike:  127 miles / 6 hours 7 minutes
Run:  14 miles /  1 hours 46 minutes
Core:  2 sessions / 3 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A lbs (average over the 7 days)
Body Fat: N/A%

Calories Consumed: N/A / ~ N/A (as of Sunday at 5pm)
Calories Burned: N/A / ~N/A per day