Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Road to Austin...Weekly Training Summary

This was my third week back to regular training in preparation for the Longhorn 70.3 race in Austin, TX on October 25th. I've really started to feel in great shape again. I'm slowly building my long ride and long run back up as I believe those are keys to racing well in the longer distances. For the week my total training time was 23 hours. This would have been a modest week during the summer but now that school is back it is probably the highest volume I've had in a week where I worked 40 hours. For the week I ran 55 miles, biked 165, and swam 9,100 yds. In addition to those totals I lifted weights 3 times, did speed drills, strides, lunges, and plyometrics all twice, and core work 5 times. My toughest workout of the week was a 70 mile long ride on Saturday followed by a 4 mile tempo brick run right after the ride in 23:14 (5:48 pace). I did the run on lots of hills to simulate the run course in Austin. On Wednesday I had a good bike interval workout. I did a 43 mile ride with 6x 10 minutes hard followed by 5 minutes recovery in the middle of the ride. I've done this workout 3 straight weeks now and my wattage numbers have increased each time on the 60 minutes of hard riding from 258, to 271 last week, to 280 this week. On Sunday I did a long run of 13 miles which was the furthest I've gone in 5 weeks. I'll get to 14 next week but won't go over that before the race. I was fortunate to talk to triathlete Chad Beert who raced in Austin last year and he was kind enough to go over the course and details of the race with me on the phone. I'm excited to race a great field there and hope to be in contention for the win. 3 more weeks of tough training before a week long taper. Thanks for reading...DREAM BIG!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Longhorn 70.3 Weely Training Summary

Well...let me start by letting you know I couldn't think of a creative title for this post. It's basically just a recap of how training went this week. I'm not sure whether to count these weeks as part of last year's training or a new year. I'm not even sure when the official triathlon year ends. I'm thinking I may call last week my first week back of training which would make this week 2. I guess I'm being too technical with this decision. Training is training and this was a good week of it...probably my best week since my 10 Days and 10 Nights camp in early August. For the week I met all my weekly goals. I ran 50 miles, biked 155, and swam 9,500 yards. I lifted weights three times, did speed drills and strides three times, lunges and plyometrics twice each and core work six times. I also got in to see Dr. Kaminski for ART once this week and that left me feeling great. My training time totalled 21.5 hours this week which is a great week now that I'm back to teaching. I'm getting more used to the routine of training after school and am trying to iron out the most convenient schedule to be efficient with the training.
Since my volume is less than the summer months of training I've really been focusing on the quality of the workouts. I biked 4 times this week. One day was long but I had two of the other days where I did very tough quality intervals. In the pool I began swimming with the Stingrays Club team. They are mostly junior high and high school kids and I'm thankful their coach has given me the chance to work out with them. The workouts have been very tough for me but training with a group is what I need right now. For running I had a great workout on Friday of 5x 1 mile repeats after a warmup. I took 2 minutes rest between each one. My goal was to run the first one at 10k pace and cut down little by little. My times were 5:32, 5:29, 5:25, 5:20, and 5:02. I went very hard on the last one but was excited to run nearly 5:00. I've also been excited by my progress in the weight room. I've increased the weight on my leg lifts by 10% in hopes that the additional strength will lead to improvements on the bike. More than anything this week while I was out training alone...which is nearly every workout, I began focusing on the task at hand. I began thinking about Longhorn 70.3 on October 25th. I'm excited to race there with a goal of being in the top 3. I'm trying to find as much as I can about the course and conditions. I'm very confident and excited to race another 70.3.
On a side note, I skipped a race in Iowa City this weekend. It is one I would have liked to do but my goal is on Austin and I know how valuable the weekend of training is. Had I raced in Iowa City I would have missed some key workouts. Instead of that race I was able to get 8.5 hours of training in this weekend. That decision will be well worth it come October 25th. Thanks for reading...DREAM BIG!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Iowaman Triathlon Race Report and Results

On Saturday, September 12th I competed in a local triathlon called the Iowaman Triathlon. This is the second year of the event that is held at Scott County Park. It is pretty small and had only 104 participants but Top Shelf Race Productions does a nice job with this local race. It is a 400 meter pool swim, 15 mile bike ride through rural Scott County roads and then a 5k run within the park.
I arrived pretty early for the 7:30 race so I would have time to get in a longer warm-up than I typically do for a race. I wanted to get some mileage as I'm building up for the 1/2 Ironman in Austin, TX on October 25th. I ran a 1.5 mile warm-up and then did 7 miles of biking. I didn't time things well as I found myself in a hurry to put my race jersey and shorts on about 20 minutes before the start. I found the world's most disgusting porta-potty across the road from the race site and held my breath while I changed. By the time I got down to the pool everyone was already lined up in order of expected swim times.
Swim: I entered the water as the 4th competitor. It was a time trial swim start with someone starting every 10 seconds. The swim was a disaster from the beginning. Being in a pool I expected to be doing flip turns on the end but ran into the first wall without turning because the wall had no marks on it and the color of the paint blended in really well with the water. I changed strategy and decided against the flip turns. I had no rhythm at all in the swim as I was running into the lane lines and couldn't figure out which side I wanted to breath to. The swim was short enough I just counted my losses and decided to try to make it up on the bike. As it was I exited with the 5th fastest swim of the day in a time of 6:33. This was only 8 seconds faster than last year and I'm a much better swimmer than that.
Bike: I had a good transition to the bike and came out of it in 2nd place. I could see the leader, Chris Scott about 30 seconds ahead of me. Chris is a good triathlete from Morrison, IL. We've raced against each other quite a few times. The first couple miles was through the park with some steep descents and a couple sharp turns. I was pretty cautious through the park and caught the leader just as we exited the park. At that point I started riding really hard and had a solid ride. I had done a much more intense workout on the day before the race than I have all year since I was training through this one so I didn't know what to expect. I finished the bike leg with a time of 34:58, which was a 25.7 mph average. This was about a minute faster than last year's bike time. My bike ranking was 1st in the race out of the 104 competitors.
Run: Another good transition had me out on the run deciding how hard I wanted to push. The only brick run I had done in the previous two weeks was the night before the race and this week had been my highest mileage in a month so I wasn't sure how the legs would feel. I put the Garmin GPS watch on to check my mileage pace. I was able to hold 5:35-5:40 pretty comfortable until the last mile. Some of it is through a trail in the woods and the grass was still wet so I slowed it down and proceeded with caution. We then finished with a couple good hills and my pace had slowed to 5:45 by the finish. My final run time was 17:44 which was also about a minute faster than last year. That run split was the top ranked of the day. I finished with a time of 1:01:14, a couple minutes faster than last year. Chris Scott took second place in 1:05:08. Complete results with splits can be found at Congratulations to all the finishers of the race. For many it was their first triathlon and hopefully they enjoyed it and are hooked on the sport. It was great seeing lots of members of Team Tri-Fit at the race. The title sponsor of the race was Cafe Express and they are owned by club members Teresa and AJ Perisho.
For the week I began my 6 week progression with 140 bike miles, 45 run miles, and 7,500 swim yards. I also got back in the weight room and lifted 3 times, as well as doing lunges twice, speed drills and strides three times, and core work 4 times. My total training time this week was about 17 hours. I'm looking forward to getting back into good shape and having a great race in 6 weeks. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!
For the week

Monday, September 7, 2009

Austin, Texas...Here I come

After finishing the Chicago Triathlon last weekend with my best race to date I was contemplating taking some time off of training. I took 3 days off to start the week. This was not only needed mentally but also physically as my right hamstring was slightly strained from the effort last weekend. On Wednesday I decided to look up the 70.3 1/2 Ironman race series to see if any races were left this year. I found one in Austin, TX that looked very appealing. Being a 70.3 race it is a pro-qualifier where the top 3 amateur finishers can turn pro. This race is also not until October 25th which gives me 7 weeks to build back into good training and then rest up for the race. I kept thinking about the movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" where they are collecting the dead bodies and they bring out the guy who isn't dead yet. The famous line from the movie, "I'm not dead yet" kept reciting through my head and I decided to sign up for the race. I resumed training over the weekend and will set goals each week building up for the next 6 weeks before tapering for 1 week before the race. My goal for this one is pretty simple...a top 3 performance. I'll continue giving training updates every Sunday leading up to this race. I'm excited to resume regular training and I should be rested due to the long taper leading to Chicago and the time off after the race. I feel a little out of shape only 1 week removed from my best race yet but that's expected considering how much I backed off for Chicago. I will be racing a small local sprint triathlon next weekend. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!