Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2010: Swimming Update

It's three weeks before Ironman Wisconsin and now is when I do some cramming for the swim. All that hard biking that occured over the last couple of weeks makes it hard to add in some quality swim sessions.

Today was my first of the bunch: 30x100s. My goal was to hit sub 1:15 with an interval time of 1:25. It wasn't a problem. I average 1:12.7 for all thirty without any drop in pace or increase in effort.

The goal for the next two weeks is to swim 5x/week with the three weekly key sets each week. They are: 30x100 on 1:12/1:25 ; 15x200 on 2:30/2:45 ; 7x400 on 5:00/5:20. The inbetween swims are easy filler ones.

Monday, August 23, 2010

2010: Pigman HIM

Cook my eggs over easy, please!

This was the hottest race I've ever done. Because of fog on the lake and roads, the race was delayed 45 minutes. Hence, we all got to feel the heat of Iowa and let me tell you, it was hot!

The swim was uneventful. A lead group of ten or so swam hard and I let me them go. I ended up swimming with the lead women (Lauren Jensen, Cyndi Bannik, Jackie Arendt).

The bike was an adventure. At mile 3, Jason Maurice went past me with David Cohen. At that point, I knew who my riding buddies would be to help me get a fast bike split. The three of us rode together for ten miles until Cohen eventually pulled away (and subsequently blewup on the run). Maurice was a good carrot stick and I decided to ride behind him for most of the race. I did put in one big surge for 30 minutes in the first quarter of the race to catch Scott Bowe that probably wasn't in my best interest. Given the speed I was already travelling at, it was a needless waste of carbohydrates. In the move, I dropped Maurice who eventually caught me 15 miles later.

Given my only goal for the day was a PR bike split, I accomplished it. 2:19 and change was a decent time considering the heat. Uber biker David Thompson rode slower intentionally because of the conditions. It was a good lesson for all of us.

I expected the run to be tough. Right out of transition the legs felt tired, I had stomach cramping, and wierdly enough, some right knee pain. Add in sensations of overheating, I thought I was fully cooked. DNF was on my mind, but when I reached mile one I was right at 7:00 pace. That kept me going, at least for another 1.5 miles. Knowing that I seeking a good workout this weekend and not a bottom of the well, PR type of experience, I proceeded cautiously. It was a good move. I ended up walking to cool down my body. From there on out, I walked all the aid stations, and ran very slowly just to get the race over with. I stopped and thanked the volunteers, cheered on others, and simply enjoyed the rest of the day. It was a lot of fun.

In summary, I had a great time despite the lack-luster time. A lot of us blewup from biking hard. On a cool overcast day, the results would have been very different.

Things to Remember:
- When my shoes get wet, especially the left one, the sole slips. Use double sided carpet tape to tape the shoe soles down.
- In hot conditions (85 degrees and +), slow it down on the bike and run.
- Use a visor, not a hat when above 75 degrees.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

2010: Bike Crash, Training, and Planet X Bikes

When I did my 2 hr bike ride on Thursday night, I got a late start so the last few minutes of my ride were in the dark (yes, I did have lights on). In doing so, I missed seeing a huge pothole that my front wheel fell into. I was sent flying to the pavement landing on my left shoulder. I got mild road rash on the left shoulder, left forearm, and left knee. Nothing too serious that a few days and some tegaderm couldn't heal. As a result, I took Friday off to recover.

On Saturday night I resumed training by doing my 13 mile MAF-10bpm test on the track. It went well and I averaged 7:06 pace and held even within a few seconds from start to finish. The drift upward at the end was from it being so dark I couldn't see my watch, hence I pushed a little strong:

1- 7:08 146bpm 2- 7:13 146 3- 7:08 146 4- 7:03 146
5- 7:03 147 6- 7:03 147 7- 7:12 146 8- 7:09 146
9- 7:08 146 10- 7:04 148 11- 7:02 148 12- 7:01 150
13- 7:05 149

On another note, Adrienne finally got her new bike. She ended up replacing her Planet X Exocet with the Planet X Stealth Pro. Our local bike shop mechanic Ryan, at Emery's, spent some time shortening the cables for us and checking everything over. He's our go-to guy for bike repair here in Milwaukee:

Our basement is full of Planet X bikes, plus we have another white one on the way. Brian Ray at Planet X USA and Brent Emery at Emery's Bike Shop have been great through the whole process of getting Adrienne a new bike since her bike crash.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2010: Build for IM

In review, I polished off my third week of Base 3 with the hard 100 mile ride with Joe and Thomas in Madison mentioned in my previous blog post.

The recovery week was not much different: a solid 3 hr ride on Tuesday, a solid 2.75 hr run on Wednesday at 7:52 pace with neighbor John Lancanster, and again, a hard ride with the guys. Although, this time I got two flat tires reducing my ride a few miles to catch up. I drafted a bunch, unlike last time, allowing me to keep up. Joe held 271 watts for 3:53. I ran 40 minutes afterwards around 7:00 pace. It wasn't all that bad. I swam three times: 3K, 2K, 4K. Plus, I added in the track workout of 4 x 5:00 at 6:20 pace with 2:00 minute recover instead of past week's 6 x 5:00.

Weeks 1-3 are the my build weeks followed by a two week taper. The mainstays are the hard 90 mile bike rides, shortening up the long run, doing some 800s on the track, and adding some more mileage to the swimming. Nothing fancy.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

2010: Late Season Training

I was kind of like the picture above for four hours last week Saturday: a facial expression of Oh, God! and hanging on for dear life.

Rumor has it that we rode 260 watts for three hours, at least until I had to ease up the fourth hour. I rode a total of 100 miles, but timed only 94 miles of it at 4:14. That's a new land speed record for me.

I learned a few things riding with Wisconsin's IM rockstars Joe K and Thomas B. First, they mash the pedals more than I thought possible. I mean they crank it at 70-80 rpm to keep the watts high. Second, the hills were no different than the flats. Ride them strong and stiff. Third, a quality 100 mile ride means no stops. Carry what you need and, if possible, never slow down. Fourth, riding behind someone even 25 to 35 yards offers some draft. It's common to see a 5-10 watt difference when behind someone at this distance when riding really, really fast. Finally, a powermeter is a wonderful tool for keeping it real. I don't have one but these guys did and they kept the effort steady. Certainly something to think about for 2011 for optimizing training.

Last year, I did German Rides that were similiar to what I did with Joe and Thomas this past weekend. In retrospect, my German Rides had too many granny gear hills, stop signs, and turns. Thomas's route was a great blend of everything making it for a very humbling ride. Pushing the pedals for four hours without stopping is really hard, especially when riding with guys like them.

While it was a humbling experience, I noticed that when I rode hard a few days later, I could feel the benefit of the past weekend's ride. Pushing hard and steady for hours and hours is a learned skill and one that I "thought" I mastered, but was mistaken. I look forward to another dose of reality this coming weekend.

Overall, I've backed down the training volume to about 15hrs/week the last two to three weeks. The quality workouts of long bike, long run, shorter-harder bike, shorter-harder run are all getting done. The nice thing is that I'm not feeling like burnt toast all the time like in years' past. The other positive thing to mention is that Adrienne is back racing. She did a great job at a local olympic distance race taking second, plus she ran a 41 minute 10km. She thinks she can catch me. I'm starting to wonder that myself.