Tuesday, January 29, 2013

IMSG training Week 4 & 5

I am never that keen on combining training week summaries and there is usually something that I forget from the first week, some great (or awful) moment in an workout that I would want to capture and communicate, not so this time for the simple reason that Week 4 was a bust. It started out well enough but per my last post a sore throat on one day was Bronchitis by the end of the week.  Two workouts for the week followed by five days sick and a sixth rest day, the week was basically a wash. So started week 5.
While I was still pretty “chesty” I decided to avoid the pool and substitute the swims for weights. I managed a couple of weight sessions but nothing greater than usual. One brick bike/run had to be cut short (read no run) as I ran out of time. With that being said it wasn’t all bad. Instead of the brick I decided to retest my FTP using TrainerRoad and despite being sick had a pretty good result upping it from 240 to 251. I also had a short pyramid run session which involved ramping up through my zones over three miles resulting in 8:45, 7:45 and 6:45 and then maintaining that over for varying elevations 4%/1% incline over tenths of a mile I did end the week strong with a 3.5 hour brick; 3 hours on the trainer and 56 miles in the bank and a 30 minute run on the treadmill. I was pleased with that as anyone knows riding a trainer is all riding…there’s no coasting!image
I rode this at 120% for the first 90 minutes and 130% for the second and ended up with roughly a 3 minute negative split over the 56 miles. My best time for this distance is still from Vineman in 2:52 so to get close to that on a trainer is somewhat pleasing
So basically Week 4 was essentially a write off, hoping to build on Week 5 onwards!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Vote for me me me!!!

I have been nominated for an award…dun dun dun!

Needless to say it’s always nice to have unpunctuated rambles noticed! To vote, click this image, this will take you to page with all the nominees, it’s a bit overwhelming so my advice is Ctrl F and then search for “quad”…voila!

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Still here…

“Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated” Mark Twain

Well it’s not quite that bad but it’s nearly two weeks since my last post.The truth is that there I was merrily starting my training plan and I picked up a sore throat that turned into a cough which became bronchitis! Fun times resulting in 5 days off from training! Added to which my workload has suddenly gone through the roof and after a couple of days off work sick and I was well and truly on the back foot.

That being said a swift kick in the pants with some antibiotics brought me back to life and a restful weekend in Las Vegas was a good R&R prescription. I took this week off from swimming just to get me into the clear and I am feeling a 95% recovered now.


I am still looking to fall into  the “groove” with my training plan for IMSG70.3 in May and there is only 12 weeks to go! For IMAZ I really felt at one with the training but this time around I am seem to be struggling, it’s something quite intangible it may be because last year everything is new? I do think that is a factor along with it’s winter, yes we do have them here! It’s cold, dark and in recent days rainy. It’s no way a pity party but just an observation of how I feel.

The race is practically sold out, there are literally less than 10 slots less I have been told. The Pro list has expanded with the Likes of Craig Alexander, Andy Potts and Sebastian Kienle; the current men's 70.3 World Champion. On the female side Leanda Cave who currently holds the World Champion titles at the 70.3 and Ironman distance, Linsey Corbin and Meredith Kessler, the list is longer but this gives you an idea of the line up. I am assuming the turn out is also to do with the fact that the race is the US Pro Championship.


Some of my other plans for the year are changing but I am rolling with the punches and thinking long term, more info on that when things firm up a bit.

Finally I will leave you with this, it just flat out made me laugh…

I want cake!

Monday, January 14, 2013

IMSG training Week 3

This is the last week of “prep”. My volume compared to weeks 1 and 2 is down but that is mainly due to the completion of the Tour of Sufferlandria over that period so it was only to be expected, I had to mix things up to fit it all in and I managed to fit it in with the exception of one yoga and one core session so it wasn’t all bad. I had a cold most of the week so the reduced volume was well timed as I felt pretty crappy on a couple of days.

There are definitely signs of improvement in the gym, now I have figured out a routine I can get through thing fairly cleanly. Tuesday night track club was pretty productive, 5x800s which I managed all within a 6:00-6:06 pace. Another cold swim at the new open air pool I am going to. California is actually having a winter this year after 3 years on nothing close to the cold we have had had recently. Temperatures are in the 30’s and only hitting 50’s during the day! And yes I know the rest of the country (northern hemisphere) is under 3’ of snow but well you know! A couple of early morning  Z2 trainer rides rounded things out!


Highlight of the week was winning a race entry into the 13.1 Los Angeles race from Billy over at LARunr, I had decided against this race to save some pennies so wining the entry made it even sweeter, the race is in its fourth year and I have now run all four!


So here are my deets for the week;


imageLike I said the volume is down, don’t worry this is about to change!

It was also the week to make a decision about what training plan to follow for the next 16 weeks for IMSG. Having cogitated over the Fitzgerald and Fiiel books in the end I decided to go with a plan from Beginner Triathlete, I followed their plan for IMAZ as I liked the structure. The Intermediate 16 week Plan is available through their Silver Membership (TriMag2013h for 30% discount) It’s described as;

This plan is an advanced plan in terms of volume and intensity and appropriate for someone who is looking to go under 5:00 and as fast as 4:30. There isn’t a lot of fluff in the plan as it starts out with a good amount of volume in the first week and continues to build. The plan does have recovery weeks but even some of those weeks are still in the 12-14 hour range”.

That sounds about right, day 1 is a 7 mile AE run 5 miles at 20bpm below LTHR and a 4750 yard swim!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Postcard from the Tour of Sufferlandria!

There is an ancient Chinese saying that if you want to eat the pig whole you had better have a flip top head! Despite my ability to navigate my mouth around some of the largest slices of toast, I do not have a flip top head.


And so it was with my attempted consumption of the Tour of Sufferlandria, 12 rides over 2 consecutive days totally over 10 hours on the trainer on the last weekend of the year was not quite to be. An enforced reduction on the trainer on day two and a rest day (or two) meant that the Tour was extended into four days.

Here are the details; 180.55 miles, ride time 11:34:19, Ave HR 118, Max HR 160, total distance traveled; about 20' moving my bike from one of the room to the other!

Each ride was ridden following Trainer Road and I dialed my FTP back to 80%, below is the Garmin Connect data from each day. You can look at my Trainer Road data here, a couple of the rides were out of sync but mostly they were fine.


Day 1; Fight Club, There is no Try, A Very Dark Place and The Extra Shot


Day 2; Angels, Hell Hath no Fury and Downward Spiral


Day 3; The Hunted, Revolver and Local Hero


Bottom line was having been off the bike for nearly 6 weeks since IMAZ other than the occasional poky ride here or there my toughness had softened and while heart was game my undercarriage had a very different viewpoint! Would I do it again…of course and next time quite possible in the two days or maybe even one to join the vaulted company of the Knights of Sufferlandria!

If you are interested there is an organized Tour being held online, you can see more details and register here.

With the Tour in my rear view mirror I am looking forward to starting my Training Plan proper next week!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

IMSG training Week 2

Another week and more miles and time in the bank. This is really pre training and as mentioned earlier I am using the first three weeks to really just get the blood flowing and fall into a routine, especially with the addition of hitting the weights and adding some yoga, something which is new to me.

This week obviously had New Year’s Eve and Day at the beginning so my week ended up being a little back ended, not that that was a bad thing in the end as I had a rest day on Monday during the Tour of Sufferlandria (post Tour write up to follow), what that did mean was I had to double down on two days worth of weights in one day and had to throw in abs and yoga all on the same day but I seemed ok the next day so it worked out fine in the end. Overall I ended up less miles and time than Week 1 but the drop was from the bike.

The other thing that started as 2012 rolled over into 2013 was to jump back on the vegan band wagon, no real issues so far and I am still allowing milk in tea and half-and-half in coffee, I am applying the 90/10 rule and I sleep fine with that.

So here are the deets for the week and log so far;


imageA little short on my swim for the week…literally 8 minutes, but a great 15 mile base training run on Sunday and I hit all the weights and yoga goals!


Friday, January 4, 2013

2012; A big year…

It’s that time of year, the annual review. It’s kind of a given that this was a big year. It was ambitious, a year of Triathlon from my first Sprint to an Ironman in 9 months. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous when I signed up for Ironman Arizona, a race that was almost a year away from the day I parted with the entry fee. As the months ticked by the training came together, the short leg of the three legged stool was always my swim and so I spent time in the pool…a lot of time.

In terms of straight up numbers here they are;

This time last year I listed a set of goals in addition to the races I had scheduled, they are listed below. My thoughts on this year are in italics;

  • Bi-lateral breathing, I had convinced myself this was impossible but having swam 500 yards doing it this week it seems much more possible – didn’t happen, it should have but it didn’t, I would like to say this year it will but we will have to see if this becomes reality
  • Swim Swim Swim, once I have this figured out swim some more! – I think the numbers speak for themselves but I need more and more and more time in the pool!
  • Do the good stuff I am supposed to; foam roll, stretch, yoga etc. – better than the year before but plenty of scope for improvement, off to a good start this year but consistency is key
  • Sleep…get more than I get now!  - better again but still plenty of room for improvement!
  • Work more on my diet, and periodize to reach racing weight on race day – this worked really well, I switched to a vegan diet and hit the start line within spitting distance of where I wanted to be (168lb target 165lb). Made a decision to get off the Vegan wagon in December and now I am back on it indefinitely 
  • Become a better cyclist; stronger climber and more confident descender – descending was not such a major thing for IMAZ but I certainly spent plenty of time in the saddle this year…over 250 hours! That being said I need to get my climbing and descending sorted for IMSG with the road back into town offering speeds up to 50 mph!
  • Be a better blogger; both as a writer and reader, this year I slacked off on both! – Yeah, maybe, kinda, just, 2 more posts than the prior year. I read but failed to comment on others; best described as room for improvement! To that end I have cleaned up my blog roll and I am trying to avoid the distraction of Twitter and Facebook! 
  • I will (no point setting myself up for failure) am going to try the keep the kit to a minimum although as it has been pointed out to me; triathlon is Greek for wallet rape! – inevitably a fail. That being said December was a breakthrough with my only expenditure being a new Road ID and a yoga mat from Marshalls!
  • Do it for the kids, my eldest is off the training wheels and has a new bike, maybe I can get him to work on his swim and run too! – not to be, early in the year my wife and I separated and by Thanksgiving we were divorced. So with still a focus on getting the kids involved and now that both of my boys are off their training wheels maybe Summer Tri amp is in their future this year?
  • Enjoy the journey, smile and have fun…it’s all too easy to take all this way too seriously! – well last year was a total blast as the ups far outweighed the downs and 2013 is set to be even better

I also wanted my training to be more consistent, I kinda was, I had a solid Spring  but I eased of in the summer as I was flirting with Injury going into Vineman. I had a good ramp up during the late summer and fall for IMAZ injury free and then tapered into the race. The second half of November and December were basically off! So it was periodized in some ways but more by luck than judgment, 2013 needs a bit more judgment



In a year where 4 out of my 7 races were firsts it’s a but unrealistic to say they were PRs. That being said I did manage to shave nearly a minute off a 10kPR that has been around since 2010.

So onto 2013…

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