Sunday, June 24, 2012

Week of June 17

Somehow the overall volume in my training plan snuck up on me this week. Don't know how that happened, as I plan out all the workouts and know the duration going in. Anyways, I jumped from about 11 hours last week to 14-1/2 this week. Throughout the week, I found myself waking up sickeningly early to do some long workouts, and being very, very tired at night.

About half of the 14-1/2 hours were on the bike. Tuesday brought a 90-minute computrainer ride with a 30-minute tempo interval, Thursday, a 2-hour Computrainer session(started at about 4:45 for that one), and Saturday a 3-1/2 hour road ride (covered 65 miles). The long ride was really solid. I maintained a 19 mph pace and averaged 126 HR. Still working on the nutrition, but I'm pretty confident with the bike at this point, and looking forward to exploring higher mileage sessions in coming weeks.

The week also included a 2-hour run last Sunday--my longest since the half marathon in April--and a 90-minute, 4,000 meter swim on Wednesday morning. I was excited about the swim, as the distance is longer than the ironman swim, and my split times (the workout was mostly intervals of 200-300 meers) remained relatively consistent all the way through.

Overall, I feel pretty good. I've had a little tightness in my left Achilles that tends to work itself out as I run. And a little soreness on the outside of my right knee in the late miles of my rides. Neither is stopping me, but I am trying to be aware and careful. Luckily, this is a recovery week on my plan. There's a test session in the pool on Wednesday, but otherwise the workouts are shorter and low intensity. Should be an opportunity to heal.

12 weeks to go.

Sunday: 2 hour run, zone 1-2
Monday: 45 minutes of weights; 1-hour run, zone 1
Tuesday: 1-1/2 hour bike, zone 1-2 with a 30-minute zone 3 interval
Wednesday: 90 minute swim (endurance)
Thursday: 2-hour bike; 45-minute run
Friday: 75-minute swim; 45-minute run
Saturday: 3-1/2 hour bike; 30-minute run (brick)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Geneva Border War Triathlon

This morning was my first triathlon of the year: the "Border War" at Geneva State Park.

It's a sprint-distance: 1/3 mile(500 meter) swim, 13 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. We had a beautiful morning for it, and since the start was at 7:45, we missed the heat of the day.

My goals for the day ... First, check out some new equipment--my bike and wetsuit, primarily. Second, check out my fitness.

I haven't swam in the open water yet this year, but my pool work has gone well, and I was pretty relaxed going in. Of course, open water is a slightly different beast, and we started swimming directly into the rising sun. It was very difficult to sight on the "out" of the out-and-back course, but somehow I nailed each and every swim marker. It was the first time I've worn the wetsuit in the water, and it was just fine, so no issue there. Out of the water in about 9 minutes. Pretty happy with that.

I also haven't bothered to practice transitions this spring, so I moseyed over to my bike and just took my time. The wetsuit slipped right off and I methodically got my bike gear on. I did catch a father berating his 12-year-old son from the sideline for "moving slowly," so I guess I'm glad he wasn't paying attention to me.

If I ever talk to my kid like that at a "sports event," please, please kick me squarely in the ass.

On to the bike.

The course went out of the park, and on a loop that included the GOL strip and rural roads. It was flat and the Tarmac was in great shape, so it was very fast. I have a new set of Mavic race wheels on the way, so for today I used Jen's wheels (same make/model), and they were very smooth. I averaged 22 mph, per my garmin, for the 13 miles, at my threshold HR. Pretty happy with that.

I wheeled into transition and didn't see too many bikes around, so I felt pretty good about things. I went through the simpler bike-run transition pretty quickly. The legs felt pretty good from the get-go, as I took off at a comfortable pace, around 7:30/mile. I'm a slower runner than a biker, so I'm used to seeing a lot of the people I passed on the bike come back and get me. That's just the way it goes. Sure enough, as I hit the first turn, about a half mile in, I saw about 8 guys within 100 meters of me. By the time I made it to the one mile mark, I was 8 places back!

I held my pace pretty steadily, though. The course is flat, mostly through the woods with a pass by the park marina. I finished with a 7:37 average--very happy with that.

For benchmarking, I'm comparing this to the Crossfit tri last June. Same distance and same kind of terrain (mostly). I was a bit faster today. All in all, a good morning.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Well, been a while since I checked in here!

The training, in a phrase, is moving along. I'm nearing the end of the long, long base-phase stretch. Just day in and day out, consistent, repetition. Stocking the hay in the barn.

I'm still relying on the Computrainer for a lot of my bike training, but I have gotten out on the roads over the past few weeks for some longer rides. That trend will increase, though I'll still rely on indoor riding during the week. Fortunately, the indoor training seems to translate well to the road. My longest ride to date has been a 46-miler, averaging 19 mph at low zone 3, last weekend. Followed that with a short brick run. Oh, and my new bike is terrific on the road. Comfortable and fast!

My running, which I think has been my big opportunity area, has been coming along too. My weekly long runs are in the 10-11 mile range, and I'm running about 25 miles a week. My speed is going up slightly, as my heart rate remains steady. I'm a long way from my running fitness from back in 2004-05, but happy with the progress.

I've been consistent in the pool. I'm only in twice a week, but the workouts are pretty focused and I've made measurable gains.

The first couple weeks of June mark a turning point. I'm doing my first race of the summer in a week--a sprint in Geneva, OH. I'll treat it as a workout, including my first open water swim.

The outdoor pool opens up next week as well, and I'm looking forward to that. For one thing, since the pool is literally a five minute walk from my desk at work, it opens the possibility of hitting the water during the daytime, maybe once a week. And, I just like swimming outdoors ... Feels like summer.

Finally, the build begins in a couple weeks--the long drive to September. I'm looking ahead at my calendar and figuring out the progression to rides of three hours, then four, five and six. Long days in the saddle loom in the near future. Trying to shoehorn all this in between work and life ... Fortunatey Jenny is very supportive. And I have a lot of personal time built up at work--might be cashing in a little of that.