Monday, July 18, 2011

Evergreen Olympic Triathlon -2:33:59.4 (2:51:08.4)

I went into this race with the intent to specifically fix the things I did wrong last year, especially related to hydration and nutrition.  I think I did that.  I probably left just a little on the table, but I’ll take that over last year’s experience any day.   All in all, I think like I executed a pretty good race.

Age Group Place:  13/31 (14/26)
Overall: 138/390 (198/426)

I feel like I swam pretty well (for me) during this race.  It’s frustrating to know your swimming 1:30 100s in the pool and come out of the water at 2:07/100, but I’m building endurance on to those fast 100s now, and I know that’s a limiter.  Open water is tricky, sighting, contact with other swimmers, and running out of the water all make it a little harder.  That said, I’m about as fast as last year. 

Distance: 1500m
Time: 34:45.6 (34:22.3)
100s: 2:07 (2:06)


Socks…the bane of my existence.  No socks last year.  I run with socks though.  I’m training for a big race and can’t screw up my feet, so I was going to race with socks too…  I sat down to put them on.   Nuff Said…

Time: 2:17.4 (1:34.9)

Bike conditions were about perfect.  I ramped up to about 90% FTP and intended to hold that for the 40k.  I knew at that level of effort I’d have a real solid chance of doing pretty well on the bike and still being able to run. 

My strategy worked well for the first 13 miles.  Turning north I picked up a tail wind.  I tried keeping my cadence high and my power up, but I couldn’t hold it together.  I was hitting heart rates in z4 if I were running, and my cadence was over 110 at 30+ mph on the flats.  I was spun out.  I bled off about 7 Watts from target.  My bike split was great, but had I a) pushed harder into the wind b) ran an 11-25 instead of a 12-25 c) been brave enough to run closer to 95%, or d) all of the above I’d have easily broken 24 mph.  Oh well, still a great ride. 

Oh yeah, and even though it was cooler I drank a bottle of EFS and 12 oz of water on the bike, and I was happy I did.  I’m an athlete that needs lots of fluid, that’s just how it is.

Distance: 40K (42K)
Time: 1:03:07.3 (1:12:08.9)
Mph: 23.63 (21.6)

My transitions stink.  No excuses…  If I ever did short course for serious, it would be a big focus. 

Time : 1:58.1 (1:45.5)

I came off the bike feeling much better than last year, and I took things pretty easy for the first .5 miles.  The run felt smooth, and I performed pretty well.  I was trying to get my heart up to z3, but I was really struggling to push out of z2.  It seemed like I was muscle limited rather than a heart limited.  Maybe it was mental.  I’m not sure.  Regardless, I ran what I had, and what I had was way better than last year!

Distance: 10K
Time:  51:51 (1:01:16.8)
Pace 8:20 (9:52)

Overall, things went pretty well.  I used the fitness I had pretty well.  I’m still a MOP swimmer, a FOP biker, and BOP runner.  This year I’m slightly more FOP on the bike this year, and very slightly less BOP on the run.  My fitness is improving, but more importantly my race execution skills are getting better. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Swim, Bike, Run, Eat: Big Recovery Dinner

I had the day off to recover today, after yesterday's 107 mile bike/6 mile run, so I had time to cook for myself tonight. 

I'm honestly feeling pretty weak and unmotivated at the moment, so dinner wasn't super involved.  Here it is:

-Sesame Crusted Tuna and Bacon Wrapped Scalops- Pre-done from The Fresh Market

-Spinach with sea salt, butter, and a dash of hot sauce

-Roasted red and blue potatoes from Prarierth Farms, Green Beans from the local farmers market, and onions.

Oh, and Water Mellon for desert!

Big Day 2 7/9/2011

Disclaimer:  My apologies to all my readers.  This post is even less polished than normal.  Time is very limited, and I'm very tired.  I wanted to get this all down, but it's not pretty...

 So with that, on to my second big day "report"

My first "big day" of training occured just three weeks ago, in week 8 of my 20 week build.

Now, three weeks later, here we go again. 

The plan was originally to swim 1 hour, bike 4 hours, and run 1 hour, the same as week 8.  I got a better offer though.  A local charity ride, pedaling for kicks, was running this Saturday.  It topped out at 67 miles, but I talked to the folks putting it on and they said I could ride the 67 mile loop and keep going on a second loop.  It was a perfect opportunity to get some serious bike time in!  So, I changed the plan to a 6ish hour bike with a 6 mile brick.  I ran the idea past RnP, the endurance nation coaches and they said that would be an "epic" day.  I like the sound of that, and I'm on board for epic.

I was a bit worried about holding my race pace target for the entire 107 miles at this point.  I've come a long way in my training, but I have alot of fitness to build still.  So, I knocked it down to .68 IF from  .7 IF. 

Here's how it went:


Breakfast was coffee and a PB&Honey on wheat bread at 4am, as I drove out to the ride.  I really dig the sandwich for early morning training.  It's easy on the tummy even with intense training, and it goes together the night before.

As stupid as it sounds, I've learned a great trick for the PB&Honey.  If you apply PB to both sides of the bread, it keeps the honey from soaking into the bread in the fridge over night.  Very important!


I've gone through alot figuring out what works well for me.  I needed salt. I needed caffeine. I did better if I had BCAAs.  I needed sugar.  I needed LOTS of water.  I ended up with a few different plans that were all wicked complicated. 

Then lasts weekend I tried concentrating EFS from First Endurance.  It worked REALLY well.  EFS has the aminos I was after, the calories, and it has enough sodium that I don't have to take salt stick if I'm drinking it.  I'm calling out EFS here because it worked really well for me and they deserve alot of credit for making the most advanced sports drink on the market IMHO.  They don't sponsor me (although they should!). 

 Here's how I did it:

1.  I marked a 24 oz bottle at 8oz, 16oz, and 24 oz, filled it with 7 servings of EFS, and then added watter to the 24oz line.

2.  I drink 8oz of this mix every hour, which is approximately 2.5 servings.  This gets me:

240 calories
750mg of sodium
5g of aminos!

3.  I'm very careful to drink lots of water with this mix, and drink more if my stomach feels wonky at all.  I'm a 1.5ish bottle / hour kinda guy.

I've ridden with this mix twice now, including this ride, and I've felt really good both times.  I picked up a mini bagel with some PB half way through for some solids, which was nice but probably unnecessary.  It's very likely I'll use this strategy for IM.

The Ride

My typical Saturday is a 4 hour ride with HARD intervals, netting me 80+ miles, with a 30 minute brick. So, honestly, 6 hours at 68% was pretty easy, even with all the fatigue this training has piled on me.  Thats ok though, easy is good, and a huge confidence builder.

The biggest struggle of the ride was maintaining focus.  Without intervals to break things up, it was hard to stay focused.  I was totally alone the first 3 hours of the ride.  I didn't see a soul on a bike or in a car until I stopped to refill my bottles. 

After the first 67 I met up with some friends and they rode with me for 40 more.  That made things way more fun, and I was able to chat most of the time while holding my desired power level, which probably means I've earned the right to ride 112 at 70% on race day.  That's great news.  Also, BIG BIG thanks to Mark, Jessica, and Seth for keeping me company on those last few hours, that made it so much easier!

I did really well at riding steady power uphills.  Thats a good thing too. 

I did coast way too much...and I found myself loosing focus far too often.  I will have to work on that, but I also know from my HIM experience that won't be as much of an issue on race day. 

The Run

By the time we were finished the temperature had gone up from 66 to 98 (according to my Garmin, in the sun...probably wasn't that bad). 

The ride started at a country church and there was no shade.  The sun was pretty oppressive.  I decided I'd ride home and run on the trail there, and have an air conditioned car ride as T2. 

The break was nice, but maybe a bad idea.  It was really hard to get started again after I had stopped.  I ran 6 miles, very very easy, and honestly it was hard.  Can I run a marathon after 112 miles of biking?  I dunno, maybe, but not yet.  I was visiting the pain cave after about 4 miles. 

Quick Summary - "State of The Training Block"

  • Training fatigue right now is VERY VERY high, I'm right at the edge of failure on most workouts.  I have some recovery coming this week though.
  • Nutrition is spot on
  • All things bike are going very well, but I can focus better. 
  • The run...ehhh...I dunno.
  • Swimming?  Well I don't sink. 
  • If I can stay healthy until IMOO I have a good shot at finishing strong.  Anything can happen, so no predictions, but I have come a long way and I'm really starting to surprise myself with the amount of fitness I've put together in the last few weeks.