Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas! Week 6 Training Summary

I hope all of you reading this had a great Christmas! It was great getting to spend time with family and friends. I also hope Santa was good to all of you, maybe bringing you some new training devices for he 2010 triathlon season. Jen got me a set of swim paddles to use in the pool while training and I also got a Finis Tech Toc from my parents. I'm excited to try it out. It is a device worn in the pool to measure hip rotation while swimming. The week was very up and down for me. I began with a plan to run every other day. My achilles seems to swell up about 5 hours after running but it gets better quickly with rest. I was able to get 26 running miles in this week with my first interval workout of the year on Wednesday over at Augustana's indoor track and also got my first long run on Sunday. It was a great help to have friend Stephan Marsh home from law school break. We did a lot of swimming and running together. In addition to the running, I also swam 19,400 yards, biked 70 miles, lifted weights 3 times, did speed drills and strides three times, lunges and plyometrics twice, and core work 5 times. On Thursday I swam a 6,500 yard practice with the PV High School team. That was my most yards in a practice in as long as I can remember. I continue to feel stronger in the water every week. The week was looking to be a really big volume week until Christmas night when I got the stomach flu for the 2nd straight year on Christmas! I'm not sure why Santa punishes me with this. This is the 4th time over the past 8 years I've gotten this sickness over the holiday season. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy! It forced me to miss a swim workout on Saturday and a lot of bike time over the weekend. I'm looking forward to getting this out of my system soon! My favorite workout of the week was without a doubt the track workout at Augustana. It felt great to be back on the track for intervals. I warmed up 2.5 miles and then did 8x800's with 90 seconds rest between each. My target time set by Augie Coach Ron Standley was 2:50. I ran 2:45, 2:46, 2:44, 2:44, 2:37, 2:37, 2:35, and 2:28. It didn't feel tough at all until the last few. I lost 3 lbs. last week and I can tell the body fat that I've lost has given me a boost running despite not being able to run near the mileage I would like to. My total workout time for the week was 17 hours. I hope to be recovered from this illness and get a 20 hour week in this week. Merry Christmas! Enjoy the New Year! Thanks for reading...DREAM BIG!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Week 5 Training Summary...Thoughts on Weight Training

Week 5 was another solid week of training minus the running. I'm still having some achilles swelling after I run. I saw a specialist on Wednesday who did an ultrasound on the tendon to make sure I didn't have a cyst returning. She found the tendon to be in really good shape. She was not sure what is causing the swelling around the tendon. I was prescribed some anti-inflamatory cream to put on it 3 times a day. She said I could continue to run if it didn't hurt. I ran Wednesday for my 6th day in a row and when I finished it had swollen quite a bit and was sore so I stopped running for the week. The good news out of this injury is that is has allowed me to spend more time in the pool and on the bike. I swam 17,100 yards this week and biked 120 miles on the trainer. My swim workouts have been going better than ever. I've really been working on some technical things and I'm seeing big improvements in the water. I certainly don't expect to be leading any races out of the water but I do believe I can close the gap substantially over last year between the leaders and myself. On Friday I did a set with our high school team that consisted of 4x (100, 75, 50, 25). I went with the fastest lane and did the intervals all on the 1:20/100 so it was 1:20 for the 100, 1:00 for the 75, 40 seconds for the 50 and 20 seconds for the 25. I hit all 4 sets with plenty of rest. I was swimming my 100's in 1:08-1:10 which shocked the heck out of me. I had two great bike interval workouts this week and they went well. My total training time was 17.5 hours. I lifted weights 3 times, did lunges 3 times, plyometrics and speed drills once, and core work 6 times.

Speaking of weight lifting...I've been reading a lot about weight lifting for triathletes on, a website that has a triathlon forum. Most of what I read is very negative on the benefits of weight training for triathletes. I could not disagree more. Most of the opposition to weight lifting comes from people who say triathletes are better spending the extra time running, swimming, or biking. They say that the movements in weight lifting are not the same as the movements in swimming, biking, or running, thus it is a waste of time. It is my belief that by weight training I am building my maximum power output, especially for swimming and biking. I believe that as I get stronger I am able to produce more watts on the bike per pound of body weight. More power = more speed. My other big belief in getting stronger is that if you can increase maximum power it will be easier to sustain a higher level of power over the course of a race. This is the same reason I believe in doing speed work on the track. If I do intervals at 5:15/mile pace when I get into a 1/2 Ironman and want to run 5:45 pace it feels relatively easy because it's so much slower than what I've been training at. You won't find the weight lifting naysayers scaring me out of the weight room. I have no doubts that my big improvements over the past year have much to do with the time I've spent in the weight room. One of my yearly training goals is to increase my leg lifts by 20% over last year. In summary, I believe weight lifting is extremely important for triathletes and it is more valuable than the extra swimming, biking, and running I could get in the 2 hours and 30 minutes I spend each week lifting.
I lost 2 lbs. last week brining my total loss to 5 lbs. since I resumed training on Nov. 16th. I expect to lose another pound or 2 this week. I have my official weigh in every Monday morning. I'm feeling very fit...but am getting anxious to get my running mileage back to where I want it. Thanks for reading...DREAM BIG!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Week 4 Training Summary...Paying the Price

Week 4 was a very solid week of training despite not running much due to some achilles tendon soreness. I didn't run Monday through Thursday to let the achilles heal and then ran Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It's something pretty weird because it doesn't hurt at all while I'm running but afterwards it swells up. Going up onto my toes doesn't cause any pain but when I come back down I get a pretty intense burning sensation in the achilles. I'm seeing Dr. Kaminski from Kaminski Pain and Performance Care tomorrow and hopefully he'll be able to work his magic on it. I used the time I missed running to swim extra yards and bike extra miles. For the week my total training time was right at 18 hours. I ran 15 miles, biked 120 miles, and swam 18,500 yards. This was my highest swimming yardage for a week since the summer months when I had a couple of 20,000 yard weeks. I'm feeling really good about the swimming. It's been a big help to train with the PV High School swim team a couple days a week and the Stingrays Club team once a week. My best workout of the week was a 5,500 yard swim practice with our high school team on Saturday. I'm really working on fixing a couple of technique flaws in my stroke and I'm seeing improvements over the times I was swimming in workouts a year ago. For the week I also lifted weights three times, did speed drills and strides twice, lunges three times, plyometrics once, and core work 7 times. I'm really starting to feel like I'm losing body fat. I used a belt loop that had never been used on Friday. I believe if I can hit my goal of reducing my body fat % from 13 last year to 9 this year I will see tremendous improvements in my performances. I've continued avoiding junk in my diet and it is much easier now that I'm feeling the results from it. I've began to think a lot lately about the price that athletes have to be willing to pay if they want to reach high goals. The workout time I spend is a high price to pay, the soreness of the swim workouts...avoiding the junk that sits around at the holidays...especially in our teacher's lounge. I believe I am paying a price for greatness right now and I am very confident it will be well worth it come summer when the races begin. I'm dreaming about success at the pro level. I know the price I pay in training day in and day out will make a difference. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kiwami Triathlon Wear Partnership; Week 3 Summary

I am thrilled to announce a partnership with Kiwami Triathlon Wear for the 2010 season! I knew I wanted to find a top of the line race jersey that would allow me to recognize the sponsors that have helped to make this journey what it has been. After doing my research I found the top race wear brand out there to be Kiwami. This week I learned that they also believe in my abilities and will be providing me the gear I race in and train in. I could not be more excited to have such a great company on my side. Check out their product line at They are the company that many great triathletes around the world choose to race with. Matty Reed is probably the most notable from the U.S. When I saw him racing in Chicago this year I got to see the cool design of the Kiwami product and Matty made it look really fast! It means a great deal to me that I have a company like Kiwami that believes in my abilities as I begin my first year as a professional triathlete.

This week was a little up and down training wise. On Monday I felt a slight discomfort in my left achilles tendon. This is the 4th time since beginning the journey last year that my left achilles tendon has had some issues. It wasn't anything much so I ignored it through Wednesday but then decided to shut down the running since it wasn't improving. I managed to get in 20 running miles this week but I picked up some extra biking and swimming with the cancelled run sessions. I swam 12,000 yards this week and biked 100 miles. I also lifted weights three times, did plyometrics once (skipped one session due to the achilles soreness), lunges twice, and core work 6 times. For total training time this week I managed to get in 15.5 hours. I also got some sort of sickness Friday-Sunday...H2N2 possibly?? They say that is coming and it's twice as bad as H1N1. I can feel that I'm getting stronger and I'm losing body fat. Those were two of my big training goals for the year. I'm not too worried about the achilles thing right now because my first big race isn't for 6 months but if it isn't better in a few days I'll probably see a specialist again to find out what the problem is. One of my big goals of this early training season has been to eliminate junk from my diet. I have always loved to eat tasty treats but in 3 weeks I've done pretty well. 3 times I've had junk...once a Dairy Queen sundae, once I had some M&M's at a wedding, and once I had concession stand popcorn. Other than that I've had no pop, candy, cookies, chips, ice cream, desserts, cappucino...all the places I used to add junk calories. I feel like it's helping me reduce my body fat and that makes it easier to pass on these things. I have big goals for racing and if they are going to happen I need to hit my training goals. I'm confident the results will follow if I can hit the training goals I've laid out for myself. Swimming has been good. I'm way ahead of where I was in the water at this point last year. I also did my first bike interval workouts this week...2 of them that made me want to cry but I was glad I got them in. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!