Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Inner Conflict...Week 12 Summary

When things are going well my confidence grows quickly. Through 11 weeks I had gained much confidence and fitness as I prepare for the 2011 season. When things don't go well however my confidence seems to slip faster than I gained it. It is my biggest inner struggle. If I miss a pool workout I begin to think I'm going to lose fitness. If I miss a long run I start to worry if I'll have the endurance required to finish the marathon at the end of an Ironman. Week 12 was certainly a test of my inner conflict. I woke up on Monday feeling super congested. I had felt a sickness coming on last weekend but it was bad enough to keep me home on Monday. My only workout was a short 30 minute bike ride. I missed my scheduled weight room session and my run. Tuesday the sickness was even worse as I was coughing uncontrollably. I missed my swim on Tuesday and managed only 2 hours of workout time. I only slept about 3 hours on Tuesday night because I was coughing so hard I couldn't get to sleep. I was home from school again Wednesday to see the doctor. I missed my weight lifting again and had to cut workouts short. My confidence was slipping quickly. For the first time in 12 weeks of training things were not going as planned. On Thursday I was feeling better and was back at school but Super Mom had a really long meeting at work so I was home early after lifting weights to pick the kids up and get them dinner, baths, and to bed. 4 days in a row away from my routine. I began to wonder how out of shape I would slow I'd be in the pool since I hadn't swam in a week. Then I decided to call on my coaching mind. My coaching mind reminded me how fit I am. My coaching mind told me I could lock myself in a closet for a week and come out ready to race fast. I had nothing to worry about. It is impossible to go through any season, especially one as long as the triathlon season (10-11 months) without going through periods when things don't go as planned. A few easy days are probably the best thing for me long term. Endurance athletes tend to be type-A personalities who hate missing workouts but in most cases the rest is better than the workouts. I remembered when I was coaching cross country and we had a kid by the name of Devin Allbaugh who was the best runner in the state his senior year. Devin had racked up over 700 miles through a 10 week summer heading into his senior year. He had a lot of miles in the bank saved up if he needed rest. He went through the first 2/3rds of the season without losing to anyone from Iowa. He was going to win the state meet. We knew that. Near the end of the season he had a stress reaction in his leg and we wanted him to rest. He had trouble listening to that advice. I realized this week that I was in the exact same boat as he was. Devin believed that if he didn't run every day his fitness would deteriorate quickly. As coaches we told him he could take 2 weeks off before state and still win the meet. We had no doubts that he would be just fine with the rest. He had done more than enough work prior to the injury to rest and still be a stud. We were able to convince him to take some time off and he did win the state meet. This week I needed to step back and remind myself that there was absolutely no reason to begin doubting myself just because of a few days away from my routine. I had to put to call on my coaching mind to help me out of this inner conflict.
It ended up being a great week. On Friday I did a track workout of 4x 1200's with 2 minutes rest between each. I didn't want to hammer them coming off the sickness so I ran them at 5:15/mile pace (3:56, 3:57, 3:56, 3:57) and then finished with 4x200's in 33 seconds. It felt good to be back on the track and I could tell the sickness had nearly run its' course.
The weekend was the highlight. I put together what I called an Ironman Training prep weekend. Each time I increase my volume to a level beyond what I've hit in training I adapt really well it it. Early on in training that was getting a 4 hour day in. After a few of those I noticed my body had adapted to that level and 4 hours was no longer taxing. In December I started putting in some 5 hour days and felt I had adapted to those so this weekend was about putting 2 big days in back to back. On Saturday my total training time was 6 hrs. 25 minutes. It began with a 2.5 hour ride with a nice group at Kaminski Pain and Performance Care with 3 minutes at low cadence/high wattage on the 10 minute intervals through the entire ride. I then did a 6 mile brick run right after the ride. In the afternoon I went to the pool for my Ironman Swim Day in which I do long straight swims of 40 min., 10 min, and 10 min. with only 60 sec. rest between each. After my swim I did a core workout and my speed drills and strides. I then did a 90 minute ride in the evening with my 5x5 workout in the middle where I couldn't believe I was able to hit 320 watts on the first 4 and then 330 on the last one. I did the workout fresh at 320 watts for the first time 2 weeks ago and I know I'm stronger now by this week's effort. Following that workout I did a short 2.5 mile brick run with my first mile at goal 1/2 Ironman pace (5:43) before cooling down. I woke up on Sunday and continued the big weekend with my longest run of the year at 14.5 miles (1 hr. 40 min.) There is being tough and there is being stupid...I think I fell into the ladder for my long run today. It was -7 degrees wind chill outside and I have mile frostbite on my left ear right now. It's really red and sore to touch. I need it to warm up soon. After the ride I went to the pool and swam 3,400 yards and then came home and rode for 1 hr. 15 minutes on the trainer. After enjoying the Bears game...or should I say the time with family during the bears game...I lifted weights and jumped rope and did lunges. I finished off the day with a 30 minute bike ride and core work. Sunday totalled 5 hrs. 35 minutes so my 2 day total for Ironman prep weekend was 12 hours workout time with 7,100 yards swimming, 115 miles biking, and 23 miles running. I felt pretty tired on my afternoon ride but much better tonight after getting in calories at dinner. I relied on a lot of aweomse GU Energy products to get me through the weekend. They have a new flavor of chomps, Peach Tea, which are amazing! They are like the best fruit snacks you've ever tasted and they contain amino acids and carbs to fuel 2 hours of workout in a single pack! Chomps are the best energy chews on the market. You can find an awesome comparison of the top brands here and you'll find just what makes the GU Chomps the best! Notice they are the only ones on the market with amino acids. Histidine is proven to delay the onset of lactic acid and it is why I use Chomps and Roctane in races. Speaking of GU Energy products, next week at our Saturday morning ride at Kaminski Pain and Performance Care we'll have some great GU products for everyone to sample. I have no doubts that right now I'm fit enough to race a good 1/2 Ironman. I have some work still to be ready to race a good full Ironman. Not a day goes by that I don't think of my 1st pro race in San Juan just 8 weeks away and my first Ironman in St. George, Utah which is now only 15 weeks away. Next weekend I'll be doing an indoor triathlon in Muscatine, IA which consists of a 900 yard pool swim, 10 mile bike ride on a spinning bike (they got rid of the Devil's Schwinn Airdynes), and a 2.5 mile run featuring 40 laps around the banked race track at the Muscatine YMCA. I'm hoping to have time drops over last year in the swim and run. The bike is on something different and I don't put a lot of stock into spin bikes when everyone has to pedal at level 6 and the instructions say if you hit 130 RPM's you must slow down because the bike monitor will shut off. On a side note I've decided to do all my bike training on my Orbea Ordu this year which means I'll be selling my 2004 Trek Equinox 7 (size medium- 54-55 cm) that I have trained on for the past 3 years. The specs of the bike can be found here. I'm also going be getting a new Zipp rear wheel with a power tap in the wheel so I'm selling my Cycleops Power Tap integrated into a Mavic rear wheel. If you know anyone interested in either of these have them contact me. $600.00 for the bike. $400.00 for the Power Tap. The Power Tap has been a great training tool for me and I wouldn't train without one since I've seen the benefits from it. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!!


Adam Beston said...

I ran a Half Mary in SG this weekend in shorts and a T-Shirt and got fairly hot. People were actually throwing water on themselves. Keep up the good work. Make sure to rest a tad going into San Juan with the travel and time change.

Chad Bishop said...

Good luck in Muscatine... I will actually be recording a tv presentation for MPW Digital TV that day... hopefully I can run into you and you will give us an interview?

Yeah, those spin bikes are a step up from airdyne, but I have heard lots of grumbling about the decision to set them to '6', but spinning at 130rpm for around 20 minutes will give all a great challenge and 'save the legs' for the run. later.

Chris Wichert said...

Hey Jeff,

What model power tap are you selling?

I enjoy reading your blog, sounds like things are rolling in the right direction. I'm also a first year pro, i'm in for St. George and possibly Oceanside 70.3 as of now.


Jeff Paul said...

Thanks Chris! Best of luck this year. Looking forward to meeting you at St. George. Thanks for following the blog. It is a Cycleops Powertap 2.4 but it is not wireless. It's been a great training tool for me. I'm getting new Zipp wheels to train on so I'll get a new one integrated into them.