Friday, June 17, 2011

So, This Is What Training For an Ironman Feels Like

In one word, consuming.  It's 85 days until Ironman Wisconsin, and already it's all Ironman, all the time.  It's a good thing I have a triathlete wife, and triathlete friends.  Otherwise, they'd all hate me by now.  It's probably all I talk about it.

But who wouldn't be consumed by it.  I'm planning on trianing for this thing that is somewhere between "wow, thats cool" and "that's silly, why would you do that to yourself."  I know it's what I do today that will get me across the finish line.  Race fitness isn't going to just happen "sometime" between now and then.  Every run, bike, and swim is money in the bank for Madison.  Every time I work my life around my training so I can get both done, that's money in the bank too.  Every tweak I make to my electronics setup, my nutrition strategy, my bike fit, they're all lessons learned to help me succeed.  So, yeah, consuming, but more of the purposeful kind and less of the obsessive spinning your own wheels kind. 

And so that's part of it.  If I had to pick another word?  Exhausting.  At the moment I'm training about 15 hours a week, which is 5 under my high water mark from last year...but it's a HARD 15 hours.  I'm pretty much always tired.  And this week is special!  This week I'm doing my first race rehersal.  A real IM worth training event for sure!  Here is what the week looks like:

Monday - Swim 3K
Tuesday - Long Run
Wednesday - Bike 75 minutes with 2x20 @ 100%  with 30 minute run brick
Thursday - Run 60 Minutes with speedword / Swim 3K
Friday - Run 45 Minutes
Saturday - Swim 1 Hour @ IM Pace / Bike 4 Hours @ IM Pace / Run 1 Hour Eazy

One more word?  Ok sure, why not.  Hungry!  At this point I'm typically burning 1200+ calories a day training.  I'm constantly hungry. 

So, that's what it feels like to train for an Ironman.  Consuming.  Exhausting.  Hungry.  :)  Oh yeah, and awesome!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tri-Shark Classic Triathlon 1:15:55.7

Note:  Since this is my third year doing Tri-Shark, I've put last years results in parenthesis for comparison.

Age Group Place: 8/31 (11/36)
Overall: 76 (124)

Well, here it is!  The first triathlon of the season.  I wish I had better news to share, but it looks like this year is off to a bit of a rough start.  Honestly, I had a bad day.  It was bound to happen though.  Rather than beat myself up about it (because believe me, I did a little of that) I'll try to use this race report as an opportunity to reflect and get stronger.  My fitness was better than ever this year, but where I failed was in execution, a few times in fact...  Here's what happened:


Distance: 600y
Time: 13:18.3 (11:51.5)
100y: 2:13 (1:59)

I went sans wetsuit, hoping to shave off some transition time this year.  The water was warm, and I didn't think it would be an issue.  It really wasn't.   My body position is way better, it was probably the right call.

I set myself up on the inside line in the swim just because that was where I kind of fit in the pack.  There were about 30 people in my AG, and the start area was very crowded.  This was a mistake, as I didn't find clean water until about 200 Y in (past the first bouy).  I lost ALOT of time in that first 200, I was tangled up with about 6 other dudes the entire time, and no one was giving up ground.  There was kicking, punching, it was a bad time.  At the first bouy things got clear and everything was fine.  I did pass an elite doing the backstroke about 300y in, not sure what was up with that, but it looked like he was having a worse day than me.  

Lesson:  Take the outside line and get to clean water fast, even if it means swimming a little further.


I kept T1 very minimal, but still didn't do a flying mount.  I don't practice short course transitions, and that's not really my thing, so I'll just take the hit for now.  I did go sockless, so it was sunglasses, helmet, shoes, go.

Time: 1:32.9 (2:46.1)


I got out on the bike and set up riding at 95% of FTP.  I passed a few roadies that I knew, so I was feeling pretty good about things, but then about 5 minutes in, I was in the hole, way over LTHR.  I backed down to about 85% and tried again.  Same thing.  For the first 5 miles, every time I pushed over 90% things went to hell.  I was perplexed, but for the last 6 I kept it at about 80-85% and just did what I could to manage things. 

I'd find out the next day, that my powertap race wheel had somehow broken.  It was reading between 11 and 15% under my training wheel.  What is worse is that the number it was giving me was variable.  Luckily Bloomington Cycle and Fitness stepped in to help me get it sent in for repair!   Those guys are life savers, with any luck that will be good to go by my next race.  I'd been having some wierd issues with it at TTs, and in retrospect I now see in my data that it has been getting worse and worse over the last few months.

Also, of note here.  I wasn't planning on carrying water, but Lana really wanted me to and I was glad I did.  I drank every time I had the opportunity, and needed it.  We had a big temperature swing this week, and no one has really had time to acclimate to that humidity / temp change.  

Lesson:  If you're going to depend on quantitative data for racing, you instrumentation has to be at 100%, checked and triple checked. 

I still managed to hang on to a good bike split, ending up at 16th overall on the bike, and 1st in my AG on the bike.

Time: 33:28 (35:02.8)
Distance: 13 Miles
MPH: 23.3 (22.3)


I got the bike in, changes shoes, and started the run.  When I reached the chip mat i realized I was still wearing my helmet.  Doh!  Classic newbie mistake.  I had to run back and put it back.  This was about a minute of my race.  Did I practice my transitions?  No...  I didn't make time for that.  My training has been really busy...shoulda coulda...anyway.

Lesson:  Transitions are part of the race, and you can't expect to do them well if you don't practice. 

Time: 1:54:.0 (1:18.8)


The run went really bad.  I recently ran a half marathon faster than I could pull together this 5k.  Very disappointing.  Why?  Couple ideas...  Because of the PM issue I was doing VO2max ints for the first 6 miles of the bike.  That can't help.  I struggled with the temperature and humidity, as did many other people.  There was alot of suffering out there.  Also I recently made some run form changes with a coach that haven't really soaked in yet and are causing me to wear out a little faster.  It could have been any of those things, it was probably a combination of all of them.  What's the lesson here?  Not sure.  The PM thing happened.  The heat was something that hurt everyone.  The run lessons will help in the long term, but suck in the short term.  Oh, I know.

Lesson:  As in life, bad things happen.  Keep moving anyway.

Time: 25:42.5 (25:51.9)
Pace: 8:17 (8:20)