4/22 - 4/28 - Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles

Tiny little Gecko hanging out on the "hot coals" at night
The heat is on in Tucson and training this week was like walking into a blast furnace. The combination of the powerful sun with the radiating heat off the ground makes things difficult, but my desire to always train in the middle of the day just compounds the issue. This won't last long as I am only here in Tucson for a few more weeks and then hopefully by that time the Midwest will have finally thawed out and I can make my return home.

Right now I am still unsure of whether I will do Ironman Texas or Memphis in May. I haven't done any "real" endurance training since my build into Ironman Cabo, but nonetheless I feel the tractor beam that is Ironman pulling me towards Ironman Texas. I have spent this entire build almost entirely dedicated to speed and I do like experimentation so going into Ironman Texas without those "textbook" endurance workouts doesn't scare me. Truthfully, I won't make my decision until I pack all my stuff in the car and get rolling. Actually I won't have to make the decision until I come to the fork in the road in West Texas on I-10.  One path leads to Dallas and then to Memphis, the other leads to Houston. Who knows, I might even show up in Houston just to get a pulse on how everyone else looks and then make my decision. That is the beauty of traveling by car.

As for my training this week. I got in a solid interval workout (12x400 @ 1:12 with 400 jog recovery) and a solid lactate threshold (5K at 16:20) workout on the run. My biking consisted again of only about 50 minutes of real work doing 8 min intervals somewhere short of threshold. They are being done as field testing and are based on a precise course so roughly 8 mins. I did them at 333, 325, 335, 347, 339, and 349 - Powertap watts, dirty chain, and I am a robust 157lb right now fwiw. Lastly for the swim, I got in four solid sessions - which are never comparable because I don't do flipturns - and consisted of 25s, 100s, and 200s. None of it was aerobic, none of it was LT, it was all above LT for the swim.

Volume has been down a bit from my Ironman build pre-Cabo. I am sure there are plenty of amateur athletes putting in much longer weeks time wise, but I really like this 17-22 hours for me. It works well with my schedule and I must say that I have been feeling surprisingly strong as I focus on getting in a ton of healthy fats (4-5 avocados a day) and lots of bananas on the carbs side.

My weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 184 Miles / 18 hours 49 minutes
Swim: 20,350 yards / ~12 miles / 5 hours 49 minutes
Bike: 136 miles / 8 hours 21 minutes
Run: 36 miles / 4 hours 37 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

4/15 - 4/21 - Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles

Flowers blooming atop a cactus here in Tucson
Spring is here in Tucson and that has brought about some changes. For seasonal allergy suffers this was no good, but despite a week of none stop nose blowing, it was actually a great week of training for me.

A couple of weeks have passed since Ironman Texas 70.3 Galveston and I have had some time to reflect about how I want to proceed with my development as an athlete. The beauty of triathlon is there are so many moving pieces and part of managing progression is being able to spot the trends from all the single data points that we collect. One thing I have seen from the pro ranks is the progression of  how much faster the swim has suddenly gotten. No doubt, a big part of this is the increasing size of the field which makes a big difference. The bigger the field, the easier it becomes to swim fast because more water is being disturbed. The problem is that if you are not in the disturbed water then your day is actually a lot harder than it has to be.

Although I got some bad luck in Galveston there is no reason I couldn't have come out of the water with the main pack. Last year maybe not so, but after another off-season with a heavy swim focus, I know my swim is better than it has ever been. Unfortunately that wasn't reflected in that particular swim on that particular day. Regardless, I am not just going to sit back and wonder what could have come of that swim had everything gone to plan. Nope, I am going to increase the focus on the swim. I need to be in the main pack. Cluster or not, I need to be there.

So with that being said, this week was all about the swim. I am a creature of habit, and this week I strung together six consecutive swims that were all at a higher level than any single swim completed last year. I don't know when this pool-speed will show up on a race day but I will keep working at it over and over again until it does. I know that moving my swim up to the main pack will make for an easier bike and thus an easier run.

Lastly, Galveston taught me to have confidence in my bike regardless of whether I feel like I am putting in the work. For those that don't know, I do so much commuting to do general errands, grocery shopping, massage/scrapping, Trisports, and the pool/gym, that it leaves me wondering about my bike. Commuting by bike is part of my DNA and that won't change. What needs to change is how I view my bike. Despite biking for 9 hours and 17 minutes, only 50 minutes of that was real work. And to be honest, I am perfectly ok with that. Prior to Galveston it may have left me wondering but not anymore.  Going forward, I am not going to worry about the bike. If it doesn't show up on race day maybe I'll reassess, but for now I have confidence in my strength.

My weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 200 Miles / 20 hours 20 minutes
Swim: 25,000 yards / ~14 miles / 6 hours 44 minutes
Bike: 152 miles / 9 hours 17 minutes
Run: 34 miles / 4 hours 16 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

4/8 - 4/14 - Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles

With John Cobb in good old Tyler TX
With John Cobb in good old Tyler TX
After Ironman 70.3 Texas - Galveston on Sunday, I made the trip to Tyler, TX for my bike fit with bike fit legend John Cobb on Monday. Oddly enough, the biggest thing I learned from visiting the world's best bike fitter had nothing to do with the bike... It was about my run. Don't get me wrong, we made plenty of changes to my bike as well, but I really think my time with John is going to help my swim and run more than anything.

After Tyler, TX I made the long trip back to Tucson and I banked another epic car ride in the process. After returning safely back in Tucson, I got back to work on Wednesday. Truthfully, this was the first week since Ironman Los Cabos that I could actually start to move fast again. It has been a good five weeks since I got in some serious training, and the layoff has been enough to rid my body of the built up fatigue. It is reminder of just how hard Ironman is on the body and leaves me undecided if I really want to beat myself up again at Ironman Texas when I could do some shorter races and work on building up more speed. Ideally I would work to parlay that speed into late-season sustainable speed.

Although I got back to work this week. I didn't do any serious biking or running and focused on getting in some solid swim sessions.  It was nice to be able to put forth the effort into the swim, instead of showing up to swim when I was already tired.

As for more on the fit, well sorry for the tease - I'll write up a more detailed post on my fit with John Cobb at a late date (soon).

My weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 130 Miles / 13 hours 53 minutes
Swim: 19,600 yards / ~11 miles / 5 hours 15 minutes
Bike: 101 miles / 6 hours 24 minutes
Run: 18 miles / 2 hours 12 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

4/1 - 4/7 Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles

The Developing Shiner
The Developing Shiner
This week I am coming to you from Tyler, Texas. After a busy week, I made a last minute
decision to go through with racing Ironman Texas 70.3 Galveston under the rational that afterwards I would make the trip to Tyler to see the World's best bike fitter John Cobb. I have been wanting to see a true expert in the field for some time now and I figured this would be my best opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

Although not recovered from Ironman Cabo, I did my best attempt this week at blowing on the coals to stoke the fire on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, with an easier day Thursday, followed by another epic 1150 mile drive on Friday. On a side note, this was the 20th time in my life that I did a solo drive covering at least 1000 miles in a day. However, the trip was far shorter than my single day record of 1460 miles. On Saturday, instead of warming up, I decided that I would totally modify my bike position. I knew this would be my last chance to experiment on the bike and so I went with something completely new to me, but seen on the likes of TJ Tollakson (minus the nut cups) and Floyd Landis in a sort of "Praying Mantis" type position.

As for the race. Well the swim didn't exactly go to plan. About 400 meters or so into the swim I got elbowed very hard in the eye socket, causing blurriness in my left eye and a leaky left eye gasket. At the time I thought my eye socket might be broken and I was already thinking about the huge medical bills that would result. In addition, I am left eye dominant, and that ended up being a huge problem as I had to switch to sighting with my right eye. Although seemingly minor, it totally changes the way you lift your head and affects your body position. As a result, swimming became tough and I struggled to main contact with the group. It ended up being a solo swim for the remaining 1400 meters and I came out of the water down major time from guys I should be able to swim with.

Despite the poor swim, I got on the bike knowing that I could very well bike my way back into the race. Coming out of the water I was 22nd, but I was making up major time and picking off one guy after the next. Oddly enough, on a totally flat course, nobody was too keen on riding with me and I continued on at a torrent pace until mile 48 when I caught up to pre-race favorite and british ITU stud, Will Clarke. At that time, I turned it off, rolled into transition in 6th place, and I headed out for a quick 13.1 miles.

Although my race would have been much easier had I gotten out of the swim with the pack, it was actually a blessing in disguise as it gives me the confidence that my bike power has returned to a level I am satisfied with. In addition, the combination with the "Free Speed" that I have picked up in thanks to Atomic is helping to give me the confidence that one of these days I am going to make a move in a major race and that will be the race.

My weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 210 Miles / 16 hours 12 minutes
Swim: 14,800 yards / ~9 miles / 3 hours 52 minutes
Bike: 173 miles / 8 hours 59 minutes
Run: 29 miles / 3 hours 19 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes