Sunday, January 29, 2012

On (to) Wisconsin -- 31 weeks to go

Another week done, and looking ahead to the next -- 31 to go! I should point out that at this stage I'm not yet training specifically for IMWI. This is the base period: time to get in steady, lower-intensity miles, work on technique, and train very specifically in heart rate zones designed to increase endurance. So a lot of time I'm trying to work at very specific levels of effort -- not too much, not too little. Just call me Goldilocks!

Totals for week 32:

Swim: 2:25, 6900 yards
Bike: 3:20, 55 miles
Run: 4:00, 28 miles

Core/strength: 0:40

Total: 10:25

Friday, January 27, 2012

On (to) Wisconsin -- Late Week Thoughts

I've been reading "Going Long" by Joe Friel and Gordo Byrn. A lot of good pratical advice in there, though I think I'd probably self-destruct if I tried to put together a training plan from it. A lot of it's a bit over my head at this point.

But one thing they talk about that's pretty relevant to me is the discussion of "limiters." A limiter can be as simple as weighing too much, or being a poor swimmer, or it can be a bit more refined, like your approach to pacing during the bike leg. It's got me thinking about my limiters. So let's see -- here's three off the top of my head, with thoughts on how to correct them.

1. Too heavy. OK, Carmel would slap me for saying that, but I do weigh a bit more than I need to. I weighed about 165 at the time of Eagleman back in 2006. I've stayed near that since then, but I've drifted up a bit this winter and I'm at around 171 now. Better diet, less beer and more training should correct that over time. No need to panic or diet.

2. Bike endurance. Relative to my age group, I ride pretty well, but I don't always come off the bike as well as I'd like considering my strength as a runner. In an Olympic, I can run pretty close to my 10K standalone time (46 minutes olympic vs. 43 standalone), but I've had less success in longer races. My standalone 1/2 time is 1:34, but I've never broken 1:50 in a 1/2 IM. More long rides and better run pacing would suggest themselves as answers.

3. Focus. I've got a tendency to get too caught up in the moment when I'm racing. Getting too pumped up is bad for my pace, and getting frustrated with other racers for sloppy riding, etc. is just wasted energy. Got to work on just getting in a zone and chilling out. A lot can happen in the course of a long race, so I'll need to stay on an even keel. I'm looking forward to my 25K trail race coming up -- it should be good experience in going with the moment and rolling with what comes.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On (to) Wisconsin -- 32 weeks to go.

Wrapped up a good training week today with a snowy 10-mile run. It was warm enough that I didn't have to worry about footing, but the big wet flakes of snow gave it an appropriately wintry feel. Ran with Marc, a 30-something runner and triathlete. Good company -- he's pretty new to the sport, so I was able to pass on some veteran wisdom (or at least opinions) as we ran.

It was nice to get some time outside, even with the snow. I end up spending a lot of time indoors during my winter training. I've usually got cycling and swimming work in the morning, and if there's a run to do as well, I just hop on a treadmill or scoot around the indoor track at my gym. And my tolerance for cycling outside drops quickly when the temperature starts falling below 40. Of course, that's once reason I chose to do a September IM!

Training totals for last week:

Swim: 7000 yards, 2:20
Bike: 60 miles, 3:30
Run: 23 miles, 3:20
Core/strength: 1:20

Total time: 10:30

Sunday, January 15, 2012

On (to) Wisconsin -- 33 weeks to go.

Last week was a good one. Nothing huge in terms of miles or time, but every session felt good. Wrapped it up on Sunday morning with an 8-mile run. The plan was to pick up the pace over the last 20 minutes, finishing at around 10K pace.

I ran an out-and-back course, and as usual on a 32-degree winter morning, it seemed the wind was in my face no matter which direction I went. But with a long-sleeved shirt, vest, tights, hat and gloves, it was pretty tolerable.

Out to the turnaround in 35 minutes and change. Flip around and head back (wind in my face, of course). Pace picking up nicely. I felt smooth and pretty quick -- concentrate on a good forward lean and keep my core tucked in. With 20 minutes to go I kicked it in. Down a hill, across a busy highway and then a steady climb. Big breaths of cold air, and I can feel the sweat building up, even with the chilly air.

The turn for home and a mile to go. 10K pace should be about 7 minutes, so it was time to dig in and go. I was running harder than I had in quite a while -- time to put those base miles to work.

Done. Hit the watch. Back in 31 minutes and change. Last mile in 7:30 -- not too bad, considering a steep hill near the end -- and the wind WAS in my face.

Totals for the week:

Swim -- 7000 yards
Bike -- 49 miles
Run -- 18 miles
Core -- 60 minutes

Total time -- 8 hours, 40 minutes

Friday, January 13, 2012

34 Weeks Update -- Testing and Training

As I mentioned in my last post, the schedule for this week hasn't been too heavy, primarily because there were a few test sessions involved.

I did the first on Thursday morning. A bike test of 20 minutes all out. I did the test on one of my gym's spin cycles, since they have a watt meter and HRM installed on them. I don't train with power on my bike, but at least I can use that as a reference point for future tests. After warming up, I dove in, and felt pretty good about the effort:

Time: 20 minutes
Avg HR: 161, with a max of 171 near the end.
Avg Wattage: 296
RPMs: 96

This morning was a run test. After warmup, 4 miles, with 1-minute rest periods, each at 70% of my Heart Rate Reserve (HRR). The idea is to see if you're able to maintain speed without spiking up the HR. If so, it's time to ramp up the intensity of the runs a bit.

I think the results were good. Speed stayed the same or got faster as I went along, while keeping the AHR below the 70% HRR. I was surprised to find myself running at marathon pace with such a relatively easy effort -- guess the discipline of holding back this winter has been paying off.

1 - 8:24 - 134 AHR
2 - 8:17 - 138 AHR
3 - 8:15 - 140 AHR
4 - 8:20 - 138 AHR

We'll see what Coach Debi has to say about where I stand, but I'm feeling pretty good about that.

The rest of the week is pretty light: an hour easy ride and 4 mile run on Saturday, then an 8 mile run with some speed towards the end on Sunday. I'll post totals and look ahead on Monday.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

34 Weeks to go

Good training last week. Basketball season is on for Colin, which makes the schedule a little tricky. The weekend bike ride had to be turned into an early morning spin session on Friday, since we'd be in Richmond for a tournament on Friday and Saturday. Of course, that meant I'd have to run on Saturday and Sunday, but that's life.

Had a good run on Saturday morning, but felt a little dead on Sunday morning, so I cut that run a little short. Otherwise, I felt good about everything else, including a good kettlebell session on Thursday morning. Think I'll do some more of that.

This week looks pretty easy, with a bike and run test to provide Coach Debi some feedback. Here's last week's totals:

Swim: 1.7 hours, 5100 yards
Bike: 3.25 hours, 55 miles
Run: 3.25 hours, 21 miles
Strength: 1.35 hours

Total time: 9.55 hours

Friday, January 06, 2012

35 Weeks to Ironman Wisconsin

I've put off doing an IM for some years. This will be my 8th season of competing in triathlon, and I've been pretty lucky along the way. I've stayed pretty much injury free, with the exception of knee surgery after my first season, and I've had some pretty good results along the way -- a 5:09 1/2-IM, got to race Boston, plus a smattering of AG awards.

So with my son Colin graduating from HS this year, it was time for me to pull the trigger and give the IM distance a shot. We'll see how well my 53-year old body will handle the training and racing, but I'm feeling pretty confident at this point. My coach, Debi Bernardes, will have a good plan for me, and I've been getting in a good training rhythm over the last month or so. Need to work off a bit of weight, but I'm confident I can do it over the long haul.

I'll try to update how training is going every week, going forward, along with my usual race reports.