8/19 - 8/25 - Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles

2013 Ironman Louisville Pro Podium
 #1 Chris McDonald, #2 Patrick Evoe, #3 Thomas Gerlach
#4 Jonathon Sheron (not pictured) #5 Ryan Bates #6 Mike Hermanson
The most important weeks for me to document are the weeks after Ironmans and the weeks before. This blog has been my own sort of repository I can look back to when I am on the road traveling or out and about and I need to reference something quickly. I encourage everyone to write even if it is not in the public space. It forces you to take a closer look at your training, your body, and your recovery. I haven't wrote a more in-depth race report in quite some time so I will write a more lengthy Ironman Louisville race report later on this week.

The short and skinny from Ironman Louisville this past Sunday was that I had another great race. The race for the win was pretty much out of the question with Chris McDonald putting the race out of reach early on the bike. It ended up being the same podium as last year just in a different order for Chris and Patrick Evoe, and myself still taking third. In the end I went 8:41:11 with a 51:52 swim, 4:36:28 bike, and 3:07:12 run.

For those interested I will be doing a live show on the podcast "In The Big Ring with Ben and Lindsey". We are shooting for a 9pm central start but you can always watch it later as it is recorded. I'm sure we will talk a little about Ironman Louisville, Ironman Wisconsin, and a few other subjects.

If you have been following along you will know that my taper basically started last Monday morning. Here is what I did this past week leading into Louisville for that taper:

Monday: Bike #1, 18.5 miles, 59 mins, 2x8 min intervals at race pace, 1x5 min interval at race pace. Bike #2 easy cruise to Masters swim practice.  We swam a varying set of 200s. Feeling pretty terrible in general today. Last 200 was 2:38 LCM.

Tuesday: Run 6.5 miles at 7:30 pace middle of the day, to acclimate to heat. First hot day we had in Madison in a long time. 90 with humidity and wind.  Bike, 27 miles, 1:30 min, road a trail where I road race pace from one intersecting road to the next, then did the next section of the trail at recovery pace, and repeat. Ended up being about 10x race pace intervals for a total of about 20-30 mins of race pace work. Swim 2000 meters, 38 minutes. Just swim easy. Still feeling terrible.

Wednesday: Run 5.5 miles with race pace intervals. 3x .5 mile, 1x 1.5 mile.  Goal was to burn the race pace into the legs and to continue heat acclimation. Scorching mid-day, midwest heat-wave run. Easy bike to the pool. Swim 3000 meters in 59 minutes. 5x200 LCM descending. Still feeling terrible.

Thursday: Travel Day

Friday: Swim 1800 with ms as 8x100 desc on 1:30 in 1:16, 1:15, 1:14, 1:13, 1:12, 1:11, 1:10 1:09.  A perfect descending set just to get the body going. 1.25 mile run from where I parked to the Galt House for the pro meeting. 13 mile bike, 42 mins, I biked the out and back technical section of 1694 twice. Feeling ok.

Saturday: 8 mile bike ride 27 min with 2x3 min intervals at race pace, .5 mile run. Basically ran from my car to transition to pick up my run and run special needs bag that I was missing. Feeling ok but not worried about it.

Sunday: Race. Felt fine all day. Made a crucial swim mistake early. Biked pretty easy, but back tightened up around mile 100 or so. Ran easy but I was very tight.

My weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 242 Miles / 18 hours 28 minutes
Swim: 15,032 yards / ~9 miles / 4 hours 08 minutes
Bike: 193 miles / 9 hours 22 minutes
Run: 41 miles / 4 hours 57 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

8/12 - 8/18 - Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles

Hay is in the Barn
Looking back at my training logs I can't believe how different the training has been in the lead up to Ironman Louisville for this year in contrast to last. Last year I was battling Achilles Tendinitis for the majority of the summer and that was really hampering my ability to get in the run miles. The same injury worked wonders for my bike as I focused on lots of lactate threshold intervals and V02 max intervals. This year I haven't worked so much on moving that red line. Instead I have focused more on getting more run miles and longer bikes. In addition, last year I went into Louisville after two weekends of racing at Rev3 Wisconsin Dells and Ironman Steelhead 70.3. This year I had two free weekends off.

Although overall I am feeling pretty good, I have no idea how the race will go this weekend. I have built up a good amount of fatigue with 4 century rides in just the last 10 days and a long run on Friday. I know it is very aggressive taper just leaving a short 7 days, but I remain cautiously optimistic about the race.

Regardless of my feelings on the day, I am at a point in my career where I know I can contend for the win in the right field. Looking at the race, the smaller field size suits me and the challenging rolling bike of Louisville suits me as well. It has been a terribly cool year in Wisconsin and I can't remember the last time we had a 90 degree day. This could potentially leave me unacclimated if weather presents itself like it did in 2010 and 2012 but nonetheless I'll take the day in stride. However, whatever the day brings, if I find myself in a position to make the winning move I will not hesitate. The days of me racing and people congratulating me on my consistency are behind me. I'm going to Louisville to win. I don't need anymore 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th place trophies, I want the big one. Next week my update will come from Louisville and we will see how the chips fell. Until then here are...

My weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 285 Miles / 23 hours 03 minutes
Swim: 18591 yards / ~11 miles / 5 hours 39 minutes
Bike: 234 miles / 12 hours 18 minutes
Run: 41 miles / 5 hours 04 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

8/5 - 8/11 - Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles

Sign I Came Across At End Of 200K Ride
Since Ironman Texas (May 19th) there has been two weeks where I did not have a race scheduled on the calendar. They were the weekends after Ironman Texas and Ironman Coeur d'Alene. This weekend made it now my 3rd free weekend and I took every advantage of it to get in as much training as I could. Truthfully, I'm feeling a little bit like a zombie right now and that is something I haven't felt since my Cabo build earlier this year. Fortunately with Ironman Louisville in less than two weeks there isn't much more punishment I give my body and still gain from it so I have no choice but to lighten the load. I'll likely hit it hard over the next few days and then start a short 10-day taper for Ironman Louisville.

As for specifics on this week, well I got right back at it after my appearance at Ironman Steelhead 70.3 last Sunday. Because I pulled the plug on that race at Mile 48 of the bike, I was able to get right back at it on Monday and set a personal record for a 1 hour "power-hour" time trial in the pool. I had a few other good swims as well with a collegiate swimmer I have been swimming with, but the real focus was to keep building in the bike miles. It was one of those weeks where every pastry was starting to sound good and I had quite a few cookies, muffins, donuts, and pancakes on my way to my highest weekly mileage since the Cabo build. Power wasn't great but I attributed that to so many hard & long "race" bikes and I am hoping that the increased endurance miles will help me run to my potential at Ironman Louisville.

My weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 368 Miles / 30 hours 47 minutes
Swim: 24,825 yards / ~14 miles / 7 hours 02 minutes
Bike: 302 miles / 17 hours 09 minutes
Run: 52 miles / 6 hours 35 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

7/29 - 8/4 - Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles

2013 Ironman Steelhead 70.3 Bike
The late season endurance training has began as I try to do some crash training for Ironman Louisville, Ironman Wisconsin, and Ironman Hawaii. Yes for those that had not heard, I am proud to say that I was able to secure enough points to secure my spot in the big dance in October on the big island of Hawaii. In total there were 580 pro males that had points for the World Championship and the top 43 were given their slots at the end of July. 10 more males will receive their slots at the end of August.

As for my plan, I don't have a lot of time to train for Louisville so the loose plan is to go into Louisville fatigued and see what happens. If it doesn't go well I always have Wisconsin as a back up and I would hopefully be more rested for it. I'll deal with Hawaii after Wisconsin but the whole point of going to Hawaii is to get some experience. I know given my swim and the group dynamics of triathlon that I stand no chance of success without the front pack swimming ability. After much debate, I have been mostly convinced that the honor is too great and the sport is just too strong to forgo the spot. Here are the other 43 qualifers.

2013 Ironman KPR Males
2013 Ironman KPR Males

As for racing this week... I packed up and headed over to Michigan to race at Ironman Steelhead 70.3. This was my 4th time at Steelhead, 2nd as a pro, and I did it 2x as an age-grouper. Last year it was my first 70.3 event as a pro, and despite a poor swim I was able to TT solo back up to the lead pack and came off the bike second to race winner Daniel Brestcher. Because last year Steelhead fell the Sunday before Louisville I ended up just cruising the run, but this year I had different plans, and I really wanted to run hard if I was in a good position to do so.

Coming in to the race I had a good amount of fatigue built up in the training days leading up to the race. The shake-out swim, bike, and run on Saturday before the race went terrible but I attributed this to normal travel day fatigue from the previous day. On race morning, I felt pretty good, and although the swim appears slow based on time, I was actually really happy with it all things considered and it was much better than Ironman Racine two weeks prior.

Onto the bike, and in rare form, I asked Chris Bourdeaux if he wanted to work a bit with me on the bike. He agreed and we set sail on reeling in the guys from the front swim pack. After reeling in a couple of guys we caught up to a pair. It was clear that the larger and stronger athlete (Josh Seiferth) was simply just bringing his tailgater along for the ride and when it comes to riding I hate to give anyone a free ride.

After a few failed attempts at shaking the rider I had to draw on good old problem solving skills. It was one of those "get the sheep, hay, and wolf" across the river but only take one at a time kind of problems. In the end I was able to shake the rider off my tail and I regrouped with the two that were now ahead. The three of us continued ahead and we working pretty well until a side wall blowout at mile 48 effectively ended my day of racing. Luckily for me I actually learned something from last sidewall blowout and brought a tire patch along with the normal supplies. Unlucky for me was that I didn't realize it was a sidewall cut until I had already wasted my spare tube and CO2, but I am very grateful for the age-grouper who stopped and gave me his spare tube and C02.

I rode the bike in for the final 8 miles and the half patch held up fine and I was off the bike. I was well out of the money at that point but I still needed the miles for my Ironman training so I ran the half marathon. I was planning on running every mile at a different pace to work on contraction rates of the muscle fibers at different speeds, but halfway thru I got suckered into running a few miles at a more constant pace with long time friend Mark Vermeesch. I also got in a bit too much socializing in the first couple of miles, but overall I got the miles needed for my Ironman training.

2013 Ironman Steelhead 70.3 Run
And that brings me to my moral of the week. Often times I will tell people "to get what you can out of the day". I am not one of those "finish by all means" people, but I do expect people to give it some thought when things are not going their way. There is always something to be salvaged. If that is a finish then so be it, if that is some fitness then so be it, if that means stopping to live to fight another day then so be it. Regardless some thought is required.

And lastly a couple more thank yous are in order. I wanted to thank the Lear family for having me as a guest at their home this weekend. And thanks to Ali Engin for his great photography work and providing the pictures for this weekly update.

My weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 284 Miles / 21 hours 42 minutes
Swim: 13,290 yards / ~8 miles / 3 hours 53 minutes
Bike: 222 miles / 11 hours 19 minutes
Run: 54 miles / 6 hours 29 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes