Monday, December 31, 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I hope 2008 is your best year yet!

Things are back on track in Madtown and I am getting ready to "fly"....ok, DRIVE south. I am leaving in 4 days to what feels like my second home in Clermont, FL. Thanks Graham and Stacy! I will be there for about 8-1o weeks, before heading west to Arizona for most of March and part of April.

On the training side, things are good..."WOW, seems like a while since I have said that!" :) I hit 77km of running last week, which felt great. Today marks 12 weeks since my stress fracture and I finally feel like I will soon be at 100%. All I have to say is I will be avoiding those at all costs in the future!

When I am down in FL, AZ & CA...I will keep everyone in the loop with regular training updates.

More to come from the Sunshine State!

BB

Thursday, December 13, 2007

To Drill or To Drill It?



We are now getting into the colder months here in the northern hemisphere, or what some call the "off season." It provides an opportunity to work on our weaknesses, which for a lot of us is swimming.

Ok, that gets us to the next question; How do I improve my swimming? Do I just do drills? Do I swim long....or hard? Do I swim more frequently? Which one is it coach?

You will talk to some who will tell you that swimming is 70%+ technique and 30% pure fitness, so most of your time should be spent perfecting your technique......ok.

Then there are those that like the phrase "more is more." They will tell you that if you want to swim faster, you have to swim MORE. More meaning; longer, faster, more often.......ok

So which one is it? BOTH

I argue that to swim faster, you need to do both. You need to include drills at the beginning of your workouts, you need to swim hard during your main-sets and you need to swim more often.

You hear it all the time: "The best way to swim faster is to swim like a pure swimmer."

Do you see swimmers excluding drills from their training?....no. Do you see them just out there drilling and swimming steady?.....no. They do both.

Here are a few ideas for you:

1) Swim as often as your schedule allows, but don't forget about riding, running and your strength work. Keep these other disciplines in maintenance mode.

2) Structure your week around 2-4 key swim workouts, these workouts should have a warm-up with drills, a transition set(prepare you for main-set), a main-set and maybe a pull-set.

3) In your key workouts, ALWAYS include drills in your warm-up. Then focus on speed and strength. This includes HARD intervals(sprinting), pulling and paddle work.

4) Focus on drilling and aerobic sets during any extra swims that you add each week.

5) Get your stroke looked at every few weeks by a GOOD swim coach. When you are swimming easy, at race pace and fast (sprinting). Most people's form changes significantly.

So if you are looking to bump up your swim this coming season, you need to keep the drills mixed in, but you also need to JFT...or SWIM HARD!

Off to the pool...

BB

Monday, December 03, 2007

GOLFing in the Pool


I am about 5 weeks into my swim block and am making some great progress. I will share some times and number in another week or two, but first I wanted to share a great drill that I have learned and seem results using(in both myself and my athletes).
Over the course of the last 5 weeks I have learned a lot from those that have spent their entire lives in the pool. One "drill" or "game" that I have learned is called GOLF. No, there are no clubs or balls used in this game. It is easy, yet VERY effective. The goal is to swim fast with as few strokes as possible. The sets are usually made up of descending 50's.
To get your score, you add the number of strokes it took you to complete the 50, to your time. For example, if you swam a 50 with 32 strokes in 40 seconds, your score would be 32 + 40, or 72.
The purpose of this drill is to keep you "long" in your stroke. Most triathletes have a tendency to have a short choppy stroke(especially when swimming fast) and this can be a fun way to work on improving that.
So, the next time you are at the pool, add in a set or two of "4x50 descending GOLF" on 15s rest in to your warm-up. The goal would be to get a lower score for each 50.
Try it, give it some time and let me know what you think.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Never did I think...

NEVER DID I THINK I would do 10k in the pool again after last winter. Let alone again this year. Well, a friend who swims masters in town told me that he and a group of swimmers were going to swim 10k this weekend. Since I am doing a swim focus, I was in. Following the workout, we had a potluck and some GOOD FOOD!

Instead of a boring 100x100 or something like that, everyone brought a 2k workout and then we picked sets to swim out of "a hat." Here was the resulting 10k workout. All intervals were 1:15 per 100 SCY + 10sec or faster. So 100's were on 1:25, 200's on 2:40, 300's on 3:55, 400's on 5:10, etc....

1200 mixed warm-up

Set #1 400, 2x200, 400p, 2x200p, 400

200 ez

Set #2 4 x (4x25,2x100), 3x100, 2x150, 2x200

200ez

Set #3 400, 3x100, 300, 3x100, 200, 3x100, 200

200 ez

Set #4 400, 300, 200, 100, 300, 200, 100, 200, 100, 100

200 ez

The brunch after included eggs, fruit, polenta, ham, muffins, milk, chili and there were even a few beers scattered around the table!

++++++++++

On a related note, the swim block is going well. Week one was about 26,000 yards and this week was just over 32,000 yards. I will do 3 days hard and then recover for 4 days over Turkey Day. Then repeat the pattern of (2.5weeks hard, a few days easy) 2 more times before I head to Clermont...

Enjoy your turkey!

BB

Thursday, November 15, 2007


This shoe may look familiar to some folks...or maybe not if you have never run in the Asics DS Trainer line. Anyway, this is next year's shoe(DS Trainer 13) that I have ordered from the UK. It should be here in a week and about 2 months before it is released in the US. The DS Trainer 12 seemed like a step down to me, Asics changed the overall "feel" of the shoe. It went from a shoe that felt like a racing shoes, so somewhat of a heavy trainer. The 2008 DS Trainer 13 is said to have a lot of the characteristics that were present in the older versions of the shoe. We will see and I will report my thoughts after a few k's in 'em.

++++++++++++++

In other news, I have decided that swimming makes you the most hungry out of any of the multisport disciplines. I have also decided that it is necessary to eat mass quantities of CHO all the time to swim fast.

I will be getting a few lessons in the pool this week, in an attempt to gain some more free speed.

Hope all is well....Christmas lights are going up and the Starbuck's cups have turned red, must mean that it is going to get cold here soon!

More soon,

BB

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Can I grow gills?

I just wanted to post a quick update today. I am back to training, as of about 3 weeks ago and things are going well. I am slowly building my running, as I want to be careful that I am nothing below 100% come the new year.

I have a few focuses until then:

#1 I will be attempting to grow gills :) Well, maybe not...but I will be swimming like a swimmer until January. I will post some of the more notable sessions as I complete them. I am shooting to be able to hold 1:08 per 100y over a 1k TT.

#2 Boosting my FTP on the bike. My first field test gave me a NP of 338w for a 20min TT... My goal is to see if I can hit 350w by January.

#3 Build run volume through frequency. Nothing hard and nothing crazy long. Just consistent, steady running.

I hope everyone else is doing well and enjoying their Holiday's...if you are in Madison area, don't forget about my upcoming seminars at the Trek Bicycle Stores. The topics will include off season training mistakes and making the most out of training through the busy holiday season. We will have A LOT of free food and shwag. There will also be a raffle with over $1000 in prizes!

Dates:

- Tuesday, Nov 27 at 6pm, Trek Store East
- Thursday, Nov 29 at 6pm, Trek Store West.

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

An Early End

Hey All,

I hope that everyone is enjoying the last few warm fall days before all the leaves are gone and the snow starts to fly.

Unfortunately, I have some bad news to report. About two weeks ago I had a bit of pain that came on toward the end of a big training day. I did not think much of it at the time, but after a few days of things not getting better, I decided to see the doc. A bone scan revealed that I had developed a stress fracture in the head of my 3rd metatarsal on my left foot. As a result I will be forced to withdraw from Ironman Florida and start my off season early.

When I first got the news, I was pretty bummed out. My fitness was getting better and I had figured a few things out at IMWI that I was looking forward to applying down in FL.

However, maybe this short break will give my body a chance to absorb this last season a little bit better. Everyone needs a short break at the end of each season and I have a hard time taking one, unless I am forced to. In looking at the big picture, this could end up being a very good thing for me.

Over the next week or two, I will be putting together my plans for 2008. When I get everything finalized, I will send out another update.

On another note, congrat's to everyone that raced in Kona this weekend! It was one of the most exciting races that I have watched.

Stay happy and healthy,

BB

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ironman Wisconsin Race Report

2007 Ironman Wisconsin Race Report

Swim: 59:20 Bike: 5:18:14 Run: 3:12:59 Finish 9:38:15
15th Professional Male



Well, I had done 8 IM’s before this year’s Wisconsin and I had not made any significant progress in my running. So this year was a big step in the right direction for me. I had some really good things that came out of the day, as well as some learning experiences.

Race week was very boring and I was getting a big itch to race another IM. I even had a few butterflies. At the pro meeting we were told that we wouldn’t get wetsuits because we had a separate swim start and the water temperature was over 72*F. This was a pretty big surprise to everyone.

Race morning came and I went through my usual pre-race routine and before I knew it, I was in the water. I warmed up for a good 20min before the start and actually got cold, we all just tried to keep moving. We lined up and I started second row from the front. The horn went off and the swimmers that were around me, stayed around me. The pace was not that quick and I saw a few of the pre-race favorites in the group, so I was ok with things. My Blue Seventy Pointzero3 suit was awesome and I think it gives a huge advantage. Actually I know it does, 3-5sec per 100m. We came out of the water at just over 59 minutes.

I got onto the bike and felt great. This year I decided that I would try racing just by HR on the bike and not so much by power. I did have the Powertap on the bike for feedback after the race. Well, I was fresh and was able to push a few more watts than I could in training at my race HR. I went through 90k in 2:28 and was holding my own against the main chase group. However the watts soon caught up and I don’t think that I was able to absorb the calories like I needed to. The result was a bonk that lasted through the last hour of the ride. I just tried to stay calm and take in as many calories as I could, even though I was losing significant time. I rolled back to transition and tried to stay optimistic. “I will just run one mile at a time and see how it goes,” I thought.

I started the run and didn’t feel great. My pace and HR were low, but things got better with every mile that passed. I eventually worked my way down to my goal IM pace by mile 8 and felt ok. Nothing too exciting happened and I stayed pretty smooth until about mile 18, when the second trip up Observatory Hill really worked me. I faded a little toward the end, but still ran a solid PR of 3:12:59. I crossed the line in 9:38.

At first I was pretty disappointed with the day, I had wanted to get a Kona slot and wasn’t that close in the end. But I am making great progress and as long as I keep getting faster, that is all that matters. I will now recover for a week or two here and then build again for Ironman Florida in November. I am more motivated than ever to collect a few more pieces of that “Ironman Puzzle,” and to accomplish my goal of going under 9hrs this year.

I want to thank everyone that has supported me this year. Especially my parents, Timex, The Trek Bicycle Store of Madison, Fleet Feet of Madison, Blue Seventy and Trigger Point Therapy. You all are awesome and I couldn’t do it without you!

Friday, September 07, 2007

2 Days

We are now two days out from the IMWI and the weather is looking great. Right now, the forecast is caling for a morning low of about 55* and a high of 77*. The wind direction has changed over the last few days, so we might not get that headwind I was hoping for in the last 25k of the ride.

Today is almost a total rest day for me. I will head to the pool for a little splash and that will be about it. Pro meeting is at 12:30 and then everyone at Timex is having lunch at 1.

Tomorrow is just an easy spin and trot off the bike. I have a Q&A at the expo for Timex at 2:00 and then will check my bike in after that. These last few days really fly by and it always helps to have everything ready to go well in advance. This is another huge benefit of being at home during race week.

The body is really starting to feel strong and I am anxious to race. Thank you to everyone that has sent me encouraging words and support.

This will be my last check in before Sunday. I am lucky #13 this year! See you out there!

BB

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

10 Days

Well, I am now 10 days out from my next big "A" race and I am getting a little bored. I have taken care of almost everything that I needed to this week and am ready for race week already. Even though I think that body has no problem resting for a few extra days:)

I gave my last seminar of the season lastnight at the Trek Bike Store, here in Madison. The topic was Ironman Wisconsin (of course) and I had about 20-25 turn up. I get a lot of reward out of doing this type of stuff. I really felt like a lot of people will have a little less stress in this last 10 days because of the questions I was able to answer. We had A LOT of left over food, so we need more to show next time.

Today I had a track workout this morning and will be headed to the pool for a short swim in a little while. Hopefully the rain will clear for me ride this afternoon. I basically have 4 days of important training left after today. From then on in, it is time to watch a little more t.v., drink more coffee, maybe read(but I never do so well in this department) and catch up on a few things that I have let go in the last 6 weeks.

Just wanted to check in and I will do so again in a few days!!!

BB

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Anyone up for a game of Packman?

THIS is how I am viewing Sept 9th. The last build has gone MUCH better than I expected and I feel like I am finally going to be able to show that I can contend...ESPECIALLY in my own backyard. I have spent the summer on this course and doing my research over every inch of it. I know exactly how to "play the game" depending on the conditions.

I have seen PR's across the board and feel that quiet confidence building as we get close to race day. Oh yeah and another small detail, I am finally HEALTHY ;)

Now I rest...2 weeks with a few hard key sessions and a lot of down time. Luis Vargas, my coach has been great in dealing with me and getting me ready for this day. From now on, it is "worry about only the controllables."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I also want to pass along a HUGE congrat's to some of my friends that raced today. Chris McDonald won his first Ironman in Louisville today!! AWESOME job!! JD had a VERY solid day at Ironman Canada and so did Marilyn(Chris' other half). Nice job to all, enjoy your recovery, Yout deserve it!

That is all for now. See you on the 9th.

BB

Sunday, August 19, 2007


The Becker Buzz
August 19, 2007

"Pre Ironman Race Sandwich"

My last race seemed like an eternity ago and since then a lot has happened, so I thought I would update everyone as to what I have been up to as Ironman Wisconsin approaches. I have put all of my 'eggs' in the Ironman basket this year. My training called for me to hold back for a huge portion of the year, this was something that was new to me and was also something that proved to be move difficult than I thought. But my coach, Luis Vargas, assured me that there would be a time to go hard and that it would pay off.

Well that time came and we decided to insert two races into the schedule. The races were treated as HARD training sessions. They would follow a big training block and would be preceded by 3 easy days. Here is a results summary, with details below.


Iron Abe Olympic
July 29, 2007

Swim: 22:27 Bike: 56:58 Run: 36:46 Finish 1:57:22
2nd Overall
http://www.onlineraceresults.com/pdf/5997.pdf


Pleasant Prairie Olympic
August 19, 2007

Swim: 19:13 Bike: 58:05 Run: 35:11 Finish 1:54:44
1st Overall
http://www.pleasantprairietriathlon.com/raceresults/index.asp


I found the Iron Abe Triathlon just a little over a week before I needed race. It was about a 4 hr drive south to Springfield, IL (birthplace of Abraham Lincoln…thus the name "Iron Abe Triathlon") and I seemed like a good race. Oh yeah, it gave an opportunity for a small paycheck as well. Anyway, I stayed with a friend in the area and before I knew it I was getting set up on race morning.

The water was WARM, so there would be no wetsuits. But I had my Blue Seventy Pointzero3 speed suit. Through some testing done in the pool by myself, as well as another teammate, I knew that this suit could save a few seconds per 100m. The gun went off and I found myself gapped by a few meters, at the first buoy. I really try to build my swims to allow for me to have a few options as things sort out. In doing so, I was able to close the gap by the turn and decided to sit comfortably in the group. About ¾ of the way through the swim, I realized that there was another swimmer off the front!!! I had sworn that we were the first group, but there was another swimmer about 75m up. I tried to lift the pace, but it just wasn't worth it.

I hopped on the bike and just tried to get into a good rhythm. The ride was flat, so I could see the lead rider just ahead. I was steadily clawing back time and the gap was down to about 40sec at the turn around. The roads were not all that smooth, but one really nice feature of the TTX is that the carbon really eats up the vibration from the roads. On the way back I got within about 20sec, when a car that was stopped at an intersection, decided to do a Y turn right in front of me. I nearly lost it, but managed to squeeze through. It was a bit frustrating, as the gap was now back to about 40 sec.

After a quick T2 I was out on the run about 30s down. I felt ok, but legs were just not there. I had only been doing speed work for a few weeks and I didn't have the turn-over that I needed. Daniel Bretscher, a very talented short course guy, took the overall win and I cruised in about 2min back. It was a solid day, but I knew that I could do more.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In the 3 weeks after the race I put in my most intense IM specific block of training. I was a little MIA at times, but I got through it. Ironman is so much more than just how many watts you can push and what pace you can run at what HR. There are so many unknowns that need to be addressed. This was where my focus was over these weeks and while I reached new levels of fitness, I also answered all those questions. I was now hoping for a good "fitness pop" before I start to taper.

After 3 lighter training days, I felt ready to give a good effort. I awoke to POURING rain….which was beginning to feel like the norm. We have had almost 10 inches in the last week alone and it wasn't looking like it was going to stop for the race. I drove an hour to the race site from a relative's house and was debating turning around, just about every exit. I arrived, parked and rode my bike from the remote parking to the race site…in the POURING rain. The buzz around the race site was that they would make an announcement soon. Well, somehow the weather let up and they decided to give things a go.

After a quick set-up, I put on my Helix…aka, "Second Skin" and jumped in the water for a good swim warm-up. I jumped out and we all lined up on the beach for the downhill FAST start. The gun went off and we sprinted for the water. I went out strong to find some feet and it worked out well. I was fourth in line and we were alone. Only problem is that the two guys directly in front of me popped, one-by-one. I pulled around and worked it solo for the remainder of the swim. I held the gap of about 15seconds and hopped out in a new PR of 19:13.

I got onto the bike and didn't feel great right away, but tried to stay smooth. My Timex HR Monitor showed that I was where I needed to be, and my Powertap SL showed good power. I knew that it was just a matter of time until I felt better. I never got into a groove, but did hit the wattage that I had hoped for.

I came off the bike with a good lead, but still tried to push the pace as much as possible. I wanted to see if I could make a good improvement in my run split from my previous race. I came through mile 1 in 5:26 and felt good with a HR of 168. I knew that my training was working and pushed, but also enjoyed the rest of the race. I crossed in 1:54:44.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I now have three weeks until Ironman Wisconsin and I feel like I am right where I want to be. I have a great team, coach and support system to hopefully let everything fall into place on Sept. 9. I will check in again as we get close. Thank you to everyone for their support. Please visit my website for more info, www.blakebecker.com

My Coach Luis Vargas: www.luisvargas.com
Saris Cycling Group – www.saris.com
Timex Team Site: http://teamtimex.timexblogs.com/
Madison Trek Bike Store: www.trekstoremadison.com
Fleet Feet Madison: www.fleetfeetmadison.com
Blue Seventy Wetsuits: www.blueseventy.com

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hard Work....DONE

Just a short note tonight.

Training has been rolling great over the last 6 weeks and I have really built a lot of fitness and have gotten lean, while still building a lot of strength.

I am now past the majority of the hard training and feel ready to go. I am happy, healthy, fit and confident. I will now try to get quiet over the next month to really dial in. I will check in every week or so with a few updates and thoughts.

I am racing this next Sunday at a competetive olympic distance race. Should be fun.

Have a great week.

Blake

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Where I am at....

The last month has brough a lot of great things on the training front. I will give you a brief rundown.

After an ok race at Lake Stevens, I went right into a tough 2.5 week training block. It was mostly volume focused, but still had some top end work mixed in. This block a few great markers, one being a 20min TT where I was able to average 342 watts.

I then decided to race an Olypic Distance event down in IL. I will post a race report soon, but the race went well. I finished second to a guy that will be known by all soon. I was able to swim with the pack and then almost closed the gap to the front on the bike and averaged 302 watts for a ride of 56:58. This included a stop for a car that made a U-turn in front of me. On the run, I didn't have my top end there(probably from the volume), but still came across in 1:57:22.

This week I am back at it with 2 big days and 2 long runs. I have seen some real breakthroughs this week. Here are the details from two of my key days:

Wednesday: This run followed a big day training on Tuesday. 16 mile run. 10 miles averaging 6:40 per mile, 5 miles averaging 5:45-5:50 per mile and 1 then mile cooldown. Route was run through the UW arb. Challenging terrain in spots.

Saturday:

Swam 4.5km prior to ride, in wetsuit, open water with the guys I have been swimming with late this summer. Majority of the swim was moderate to mod-hard paced with HR of 150-55. Total swim time was 1:05.

Onto the ride, rolled out with race sim transition. I waited until I was past the majority of traffic before settling in. Just kept it steady the entire time: I rode the IMWI course.

Total Bike Split 5:06. (Keep in mind that there are 21 stop signs per loop on the bike, they are pinching cyclists around here, so I believe I lost time here. Also training wheel set-up. The idea was to see if my power on this training ride would yield a sub 5hr split, as well as to see what affect it would have on my run.

Had almost zero fade within the ride, even picked it up a bit toward the end. I nailed the nutrition part of it, 2000cals over 5hrs on the bike. If you include the swim, then it is 2000cals spread over the first 6:05.

Quick transition and onto the run, ran about 7.5 miles(just over 50minutes). Felt great and ran well. Ran on the IMWI run course. 6:45-6:48 for all miles.

My assessment of the level of fatigue is this. I felt like I was car racing. I really wanted to down shift and open it up, I was holding back the entire time, just waiting adn getting more excited as the miles clicked by. Fast cadence and relaxed. I ended with the feeling of endorphins flowing and great visual images.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

MY PLANS:

I will finish out this block in another 10 days and then rest and race Pleasant Prairie Olympic Distance race on August 19th. I love this race. It can be very fast.

I will then recover and finish my peak stuff for IMWI.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I hope everyone is doing well and if you race, I hope that your final late season training is going well. If not, I hope that you are enjoying the rest of your summer.

I will check in again soon.

BB

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Rolling Along

There has been a lot of training talk as athletes get ready for their big late season races. In the past I might have tried to do what other athletes are doing or try some risky approach, but this year is different. I have a great coach and a program that I believe in.

Here is what I have done the past 7 days. I have built steadily over the last 8 weeks to this volume. In addition, I had another ride and run scheduled, but I had to move it to Sunday because of a wedding on Sat. This week finishes off this cycle. Next week I will race and then have a 3-4 week block that will be similar to what you see below, but with more intensity added in.

Day 1 - 8:25

Started off with a tough 5000 yd swim and then hopped directly on the bike for 132 mile ride in 6:42, all steady on a hot day. Mix of hills and rolling terrain, 30min run off the bike.

Day 2 - 3:01

3:01 Run, just under 25 miles total. Last 90min in the hills on pavement.

Day 3 - 5:05

Good swim of 4500 to start and then a solid 3:45 ride in the hills, 75 miles.

Day 4 - 4:45

95min 13.5 mile run in the morning. 10mile mainset at just under max aerobic HR. Short hard swim of 3500 LCM followed by weights. Evening 1:20 spin.

Day 5 - 4:00

Morning track session, hot and humid. Mainset was 8x600 on 1:05 rest. All in 1:56-8. Then 4x100 on 40s rest. 15-16sec for these. nice improvement. Easy swim of 2500 directly from the track and then a steady 2:10 ride of 41 miles.

Day 6 - 8:40

Morning open water swim of 4500 with mix of efforts. Directly on the bike for 7:00 in the hills. 131 miles. Tough ride, felt great throughout. Run off the bike of 40min and a little over 5.5 miles.

Day 7 - 4:00

Solid morning run of 2:40, 23 miles in the hills, followed by an easy swim, 2000. Weights

Swim 6:10 22km
Bike 20:57 404 miles
Run 9:28 80 miles
Weights 2 sessions.
Total Hours 37:56

Something new to this week is that I felt stronger as I went. I am getting down close to my goal race weight and making sure to do all the small things to make sure that i am recovering well. I believe that not many athletes arrive at their key race knowing that they have done everything that they could to prepare both physically and mentally to win....I am.

Thank you to all that support and believe with me. 7 weeks to go...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Lake Stevens 70.3 Race Report

The Becker Buzz
July 8, 2007

Lake Stevens 70.3
Swim: 26:51 Bike: 2:21:20 Run: 1:21:17 Finish 4:11:36
10th Overall
I headed out to the Northwest on Thursday before the race to hopefully see a little bit of the course, as well as the beautiful scenery. The northwest is beautiful!! The city of Seattle itself is a bit crowded, but does have its draws. The city is comprised of “hills,” or neighborhoods that overlook various waterways and other geographical features. The backside of the neighborhood where I am staying has a view that will raise a few hairs on anyone’s neck. If you look to the left, you see Mt. Rainier. If you look right, you look across the Puget Sound at the Olympic Mountains. Definitely a “WOW” factor going on here.

Ok, onto the race. I was able to drive both the bike and the run, which was good, but it would definitely have helped to have ridden the loop before the race. No worries at all however. My race plan was to try to swim with the pack, ride my own race and then have a good run.

Race Day:

The weather was cloudy and cool at the start, with temps around 50*, so I made sure to get in a good solid warm-up. I tried a longer swim warm-up of 20-30min, just as I would in the pool, and after this race I will make sure to keep it in my routine.

I racked my red rocket (the TTX) and thought I was ready to roll. However, halfway through my swim warm-up I realize that I forgot to lay my socks out for the run. I cut across the course, cut through transition, got them out and thought I was set again (more to come on this a bit later in my report).

I adjusted my Full Sleeved Blue Seventy Helix and before I knew it, I was on the starting dock. As the National Anthem played, I looked around. “Where did all of these guys come from?” I wondered. There were over 20 male pros at the start.

My plan was to find Chris Legh and stick to him like glue. I somehow managed to lose him right before the gun went off (only to later realize he moved behind me). Gun goes off, I find feet and we are cruising. About 800m into the swim I look to my left and there is Chris. “Great.” I thought. “This is right where I want to be. We zigzagged all over the place (the pack does NOT swim straight) and things were good until about 1600m into the swim. Somehow, the notion popped into my head that I had forgotten to put my Power Tap computer on my bike. I spent the remainder of the swim debating what I should do. To add to things, the pack was going left and the exit was to the right. I decided to break off, which proved to be a bad idea. It is MUCH faster to sit in the group, no matter what! I only lost about 25sec to them, but it would have been nice to have gotten pulled through entire swim. Still, I exited in 26:51 a big PR for me.

I got to my bike and decided to leave the computer in my bag. I didn’t know exactly where it was and I was supposed to ride by HR anyway. I got on and just couldn’t get things rolling. I was cautious about going too hard on the first of two challenging loops, but the legs were just not there and my HR was beginning to fall. I had a few cyclists go by and just tried to keep my head in it. At about 25 miles, things started to feel a little better, but my HR was still low. Then I just decided to DRILL the first 10miles of climbing on the second loop to re-pass and pull away from a few others. I got back to transition less than happy about my ride, but I did manage to negative split the loops by about 3 minutes.

As I headed out on the run, I was told I was in 12th. I could see a few guys up the road, but didn’t make any progress as I the first two miles were a bit slow. Then at mile 2, Jordan Jones, a great runner from Boulder, came by. I made a decision to stick to him and to my surprise I did. We were clicking off miles just under and just over 6min pace. My HR was not as high as I would have liked, but I just focused on hanging tough.

I managed to pass Jordan back and catch Adam Jensen, who was just sixth as Ironman Coeur D’Alene and Brent Lorenzen in the final miles. I came across with a solid run of 1:21 and in 10th overall.

I was a bit tired from all of the IM training, as was indicated by my low HR’s, but I was satisfied that I went as well as I did. The main focus is September 9th. Now I am taking it easy for a few days, before starting the next block of training.

Thank you to my great host family, my friends and family, as well my sponsors who believe in me. Here are some related links as always:

Lake Stevens 70.3 Results: http://www.pem-usa.com/racedata/ls07/LS07elite.html

My Coach Luis Vargas: www.luisvargas.com

Timex Team Site: http://teamtimex.timexblogs.com/
Madison Trek Bike Store: www.trekstoremadison.com
Fleet Feet Madison: www.fleetfeetmadison.com
Blue Seventy Wetsuits: www.blueseventy.com

Friday, July 06, 2007

Drawbridges, Evergreen Trees, Hills and Coffee Shops

The title of this blog comes from the three features of the Northwest landscape that I noticed the most. I am staying out in Seattle, WA for the Lake Stevens 70.3 race on Sunday. This is my first time out here and it is beeeeeautiful! I am staying with the family of a friend and they have been great in making me feel welcome in their home!

The landscape is covered with trees. Most of which, are tall evergreens that tower over the houses. In fact, there are so many that at times, you wouldn't even know you are in the middle of a major city.

I have only been here about 24hrs, but I thought I would give you an idea of what I have seen thus far. The area of town that I am in is VERY hilly. I am not talking about Midwest hills, I am talking about hills that are a half mile in length and have a grade of 20-25%. It is a good thing that it doesn't snow here very often, because you could not get around.

A few other unique features of the area include coffee Shops EVERYWHERE (yes Starbucks started here, but there are a million others to choose from) and drawbridges that can significantly impact your ability to be punctual.

I am sure most of you thought I was going to mention rain somewhere in this blog, but believe it or not, there is NO (that is right, ZERO) chance of rain in the next week. WOW! I guess this is the healing time for those that easily get depressed from the rainy, sunless weather.

+++++++++++++++++

As for the race on Sunday, I am headed up to check out the bike course this afternoon. I have heard that it is challenging and I will report back my thoughts before the race. I am anxious to get out there and test my mid season fitness. Training has been rolling along really well and even though Ironman Wisconsin is priority number one, I hope that I can put together a good day on Sunday!

More to come...

BB

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Where is Blake????

I have been getting a number of emails asking what I have been up to and how things are going. So I thought I would post a short note letting everyone know that things couldn't be better!

I am into week 6 with my new coach Luis Vargas(http://www.luisvargas.com/) and things are going well. Things are pretty similar to what I had been doing in the past, but the structure is different to allow for better recovery.

Each week I have a HARD ride and run, while everything else is just steady(HR's of 143-163). This is actually more challenging than I thought it would be...especially when riding 130-150 miles or running 23-26 miles.

I have just finished up an 19 day block of about 85hrs total volume. 67k in the pool, about 1400km on the bike and about 240km of running. The volume and intensity left me pretty tired at some points, but by doing all the small things, my recovery has been great and I have been able to train hard day after day. I have also been using my morning HR and weight as measure of how I am assimilating all of the training.

I am now in rest mode for about 4-5 days before my next test out at Lake Stevens 70.3 It looks like a tough field, but I believe that I can hang. More to come from Washington!

Blake

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rockman Race Report


Rockman Half Ironman
June 10, 2007Swim: 28:22 • Bike: 2:16:03 • Run: 1:24:40 Finish: 4:11:39 • 1st Overall
The Rockman Race Director, Chip Griffen, asked if I would like to come down for the weekend to race the inaugural Rockman Half Ironman in IL. The race sounded like it had potential to be a great one down the road, so I committed.

I have just joined up with a new coach, Luis Vargas (www.luisvargas.com), who works with Mark Allen at the www.markallenonline.com coaching website. After training with Luis for only 2 weeks, I really feel that he knows what my specific limiters are and how to improve them. I am very excited for Ironman Wisconsin on Sept. 9, knowing that I will be fully prepared to rip that race.
I made the trip down to Rockford on Friday to scout out the course and relax a little bit, thanks to the race management who put me up the host hotel for the weekend. I got in and was pleasantly surprised to find that my hotel room was upgraded to a suite because of overbooking. WOW, all I got to say is that taking an Epsom Salt Bath in a Jacuzzi is SAAAWEEET!
The course looked to be challenging and beautiful. The race took place in Rock Cut State Park, which is a few miles north of Rockford and only about an hour south of where I am living in Madison, WI. The two loop swim was straight forward. The only issue would be negotiating the weeds on the backside of each loop. The bike was an out and back with the first 15 and last 15 miles having numerous steep rollers. The run was, well, HARD! There were steep ups and downs for probably 75% of the run. We were protected from the wind, but not always from the sun, making fueling and hydration even more important.
Race morning I got into the water for the mass start swim and bobbed around for a while in my Blue Seventy Helix Wetsuit….This is my second year in the suits and I love ‘em. Gun went off and I found myself in the front pack with some guys that can really swim. We made the first turn and all of a sudden my goggles were pulled down by a huge clump of weeds. I flipped over, adjusted the goggles and kept working. I had only lost a few meters, but couldn’t close the gap in the weeds. I finally had to swim with my head out of the water, which caused my low back to get a bit tight. I backed off a touch and let the group go, now focusing on getting my back to relax. After several hundred meters, I finally was able to pick up the effort again and exited the swim in 8th position.
I got onto the bike in 6th and planned to keep things pretty civil for the first 20 miles or so. I needed power data, I so was riding my training wheel built with a Power Tap Pro Hub and a disk cover (thanks to my good friend Josh for lending it to me for the weekend). It weighed about 400lbs, but having the data was a lot more important than an extra few minutes on the bike.
I caught the leader at about mile 20 and then picked up the pace. To my surprise, he stuck with me. As we headed back into the wind and over a few rollers, he was really punching it. I wondered if he could keep this up. I raised my effort a bit through last part of the rollers at about mile 45 and opened a gap that quickly turned into about 90sec. I have really started to love my Trek TTX. The machine is aerodynamic, super stiff and is a bike that suits almost all types of terrain.
I got out onto the run and relaxed through the first section of steep stuff. My HR was steady and comfortable, while my pace was quite good for this terrain, about 6:30/mi. I ran strong and kept pounding the salt tabs, which I feel are the key to long distance success. I enjoyed the beautiful course and great volunteers that were at the aid stations. I approached the 11mile turn around and saw a gap of about 7 minutes. I cruised the last downhill and arrived at the line in 4:11:xx.
The day revealed a lot of information that I feel show signs that I am getting strong. I saw a 4% power improvement from my previous HIM PB and felt that my run was very strong given the terrain. I want to thank the Rockman Race Management, especially the race director Chip; this race is going to get big. The Timex Multisport Team along with all the affiliated sponsors, The Trek Bike Store of Madison and Fleet Feet Madison for supporting me this year! You guys are great!
I look forward to seeing everyone soon. I will be racing some local TT’s and road races, as I prepare for my next race in Lake Stevens, Washington on July 8th.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

Becker Buzz' In Disney

Ford Ironman Florida 70.3 Race Report
May 20, 2007
Swim: 28:38 Bike: 2:15:04 Run: 1:25:43 Finish: 4:12:55
18th Professional Male


Today I raced the 4th Anuual Ford Ironman Florida 70.3 Half Ironman at Disney World in Sunny Florida. I have done exactly 2 speed workouts in the last 8 weeks as I prepare for Ironman Coeur D’ Alene, and was just looking for a solid all around day against a world class field. That is exactly what I got. Temperatures were pretty moderate and the winds were not as strong as they could have been.

The gun went off at 6:20am and I found myself swimming pretty easy in a group…It was still fairly dark, so sighting was a bit tough and didn’t know if I was with who I wanted to be swimming with. I decided to just hold tight and see where it put me as things got sorted. Well, I rounded the second turn buoy as we headed back toward transition and I could see that the next group was not that far ahead, so I moved to the front of the pack and tried to bridge the gap. Yeah, 800m to close a 1min gap to a group, THAT wasn’t going to happen, so I backed off and returned to the pack.

To my suprise a fair number of good swimmers were close and it was a TIMEX PARTY in T1. Jordan, Curt and myself were all at our bikes at the exact same time. Saweet, only problem is that I didn’t think I could stick with them for the entire 90k. After a few misdirections that sent Jordan and I off course 2 times, nearly crashing both times. We got out of the park and the fleet of TTX’s was in high gear. I was able to hang with Curt for about 15k, but then had to let him go. I just tried to watch my HR through my Timex Body Link system to make sure I wasn’t working too hard. I tried to get as low as possible, which my aero-drink bottle really helps me do….you don’t have to move at all to get the hydration that you need.

As we got to the first out and back, the first pack was way out front, then about 5min back was a pack that Lewis, Jordan and Michael Lovato were in. Behind them were one or two other riders, Curt, my friend Zach and then myself another 40sec back. I solo-ed the rest of the way into T2 and came off feeling good. I have really learned to love the Power Gel. The reason is because of the 200mg of sodium in each packet. THAT seems to be the key to ward off the cramps.

Out onto the run I felt good, but I didn’t have that HIM pop, but didn’t expect to right now either. I actually warmed into the run, I was able to raise my effort and HR, while descending the pace of each loop and bringing mile splits from 6:35, down to 6:10 at the end. All great signs for IM fitness. I arrived at the line feeling good physically and ok everything else…besides the blisters :-0 I am really looking forward to CDA on June 24th.

It was great to be racing with so many other teamates, everyone had a great day out there! Congratulations to everyone on their great races. I want to thank my mom for coming down to FL to watch me race. It always means a lot when she gets to watch, also Graham Partain who let me train out of his house the last 2 winters and stay there again for this race. Of course, AWESOME Team Timex and The Trek Bike Store of Madison for helping me get to the race.

Now back to wisco……

BB - www.blakebecker.com

Monday, May 14, 2007

Log May13

Today, I headed out for my longest run, 6 weeks out from CDA. 45* and pouring rain were not ideal conditions, but at least I didn't have to ride in it :)

For prep for CDA I have making sure to incorporate plenty of hills into both my cycle and run training. The UW Arboretum gives me the perfect opportunity to do this. On the road, it is a 10km loop that be extended any number of ways. If you want to run on the trails, the preserve is over 70 square miles that are laced with single-track trails. Need to run 2hrs? Don't want to run on the same trail twice? Not a problem here.

Anyway, for my long runs I usually carry gels and take them at a water fountain at about 7k into each loop, then take coke and water before starting the next one.

Today I extended the first 2 loops to 12.5k and then did a 10k+1km cd to finish. The goal was to run at least 2:#0 on the pavement. I really think that for me, having a few long runs on the pavement can be very beneficial(IF it doesn't injure you:) That is what happened 6 weeks out from Arizona). The run was just a mix of easy/steady/IM paced stuff, with a few harder efforts on the hills.

Total run was 2:44:xx and 36 km or just under 23 miles. Good day.

Now I will hvae a mix of recovery days and some days with hard efforts before Florida.

BTW - Here is Wisconsin weather for ya. 45* and rain on my run yesterday. Forecasted high today is almost 90* with sun!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

BUENO

This last week I have had some good sessions. Last Tuesday I had a great ride and after a recovery day on Wednesday I had a 20k interval run on Thursday that went extremely well, the mainset of the run was 800, 4x1600, 800 all at LT with 45sec recovery on the 800's and 90sec on the 1600's.

I decided to make sure my body was getting the most benefit from my training by taking a rest day on Friday. I had only one day completely off since I started training after Arizona(though I did have a few days of swimming only).

Today I hit it hard again. I started the day off with a 4k swim that included 3000 yds of LT swimming. The day was meant to simlulate race day stress, so I was on my bike within about 15min rolling over to the start of the Ironman Wisconsin course.

After a 20min warm-up, I went right into my mainset that I got from my good friend JD. 8x30min at ironman power on 5min easy spinning between. It went great, only problem was that my powertap cut out after the 3rd interval and worked after that off and on. It would reset every 10-15min. My 30min intervals targeted IM wattage on the flats, while I imposed a cap up LT watts on the hills(I admit that I had to go higher on many of the climbs to keep the momentum rolling).

Anyway, HR's for the intervals follow: 145, 151, 147, 143, 137(water stop), 143, 140, 145. Ride Time was 5:27 and 182km total. Solid day, pretty windy as well.

Run off the bike was good as well, 4k build to pace followed by 4k building to mod-hard finish. Avg HR 140. 36:xx total time.

+++++++++++++++++

On another note, JD's grandfather passed this last week. My best goes to him and his family.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

May 7,8,9

After my big block, i followed it up with a day that included only 2500y of swimming, followed by a 5hr aerobic maintanence day on Monday.

Monday included a 5500yd swim, 64min 14k run, 30min of core work and a 2hr 61km ride.

Tuesday was a good day. Started out with a 3km swim that included a 2k mainset of 60x25 on 25sec, every other hard, the last 10 with pads. Then 500pull strong to finish it out.

Straight onto the bike where the idea was to warm-up and then ride 3:30 IM Race Simulation on the IMWI bike course. The weather was good. Low 80's and humid(for wisconsin) with light winds. I rode 10mi to the loop and then started and just pinned the HR in the low 140's and rode on feel for all the climbs. Nutrition was EXACTLY how I wanted on race day.

Though I don't have my PT for another week, i was very happy with the results. Almost 2 full 42mi loops, with the last one being about 1minute faster than the first. HR average on both was 143 and speed avgeraged out to 22.1mph in the middle of a training block, on training wheels, i am very pleased with my progress since my overload block.

I rolled home for a total of 149 km (about 93miles) in 4:35 ride time. Ran 8km off the bike very steady in 33:xx.

I have figured some stuff out about the IMWI bike course that will make a huge difference should I decide to race here again this year. I will that in my pocket until race day.

Today and tomorrow will be easier days before 3 solid days on the weekend that will include some faster stuff and long LSD(haha) ride in the hills and then a SOLID long run on sunday.

I hope all other midwesterners are enjoying the weather and I look foward to racing in about 10 days.

Until next time.....

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Absorbing Your Training

There has been a lot of buzz revolving around "absorbing your training." It seems that is use to be train BIG, recover, train BIGGER, recover, etc. Then it seemed as though it went to train consistently and people focused soley on that.

Now there is a new buzz around town. Train consistently and train as big as you can and still absorb what you are doing. So what does "absorbing" mean? Well, I believe it means going from one training block to the next without compromising the quality of the training.

I believe that focusing on absorbing your training will also help you avoid injury and stay mentally sharp.

+++++++++++++++++

Ok, so I do think that there is place for overload. Like this past week. I trained all winter and mspring at moderate volume with intensity ranging from steady to vo2. Then I raced, then recovered. I felt that my body was use to the usual training, so I decided to go a different route. I wanted to spend 1 -2 weeks in the hills(both riding and running) at steady to moderate effort.

I have decided after talking with a few others that I trust, to only go for 1 round of aerobic overload. I now have 2 easy days and then will hit some more race specific stuff before Disney.

I felt that my swimming was strong, so it would take a backseat for a little while. Emphasis was on solid run volume and bike big miles in the hills. Here is a summary of what the past week included for me:

Sunday Apr 29 - Bike 3:32 113km

Monday Apr 30 - Swim 1:14 5km, Bike 2:16 71km, Run 1:30 20km

Tuesday May 1 - Bike 6:14 205km, Run 1:10 16km

Wednesday May 2 - Swim 1:03 3.8k, Bike 1:31 40km, Run 2:19 31km

Thursday May 3 - Swim 1:05 4km, Bike 2:01 65km

Friday May 4 - Swim 47min 2.75k, Bike 2:53 95km, Run 1:33, 20 km

Saturday May 5 - Swim 1:02 4k, Bike 4:09 131km, Run 1:04 15km

Sunday May 6 - Swim 50min 2.5k

Totals for Block:

Hours: 37:13
Swim: 6:01, 22,100 yds
Bike: 22:36, 720 km
Run: 7:36, 102km
Strength 1:00

So not all that Epic, but I think that it gave me what I was hoping for. Now 2 days easy and then 8 days solid. Before a 4 day rest leading into Disney.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Day 1 & Day 2

Day 1 - 5:31

Started out well with a 5.1km swim as a part of a 30th birthday swim set of 30x200 for my good friend Cindi Bannink. I got in a bit late and only got in 5.1km in about 1:15 swim time.

Late morning steady run in the hills of 1:30 and 20km. Some moderate efforts on the ups, but just steady on the flats in the UW Arb.

30min afternoon core session.

Late afternoon ride of 2:16 in the hills. 90min at IM effort mixed in. Total distance was 71 km.

++++++++++++++++

Day 2 - 7:24

Started early with an 8km easy run in 36:20.

Hopped on the bike for a long day in the saddle. The goal for the day was to climb as much as possible in zones 3 & 4. I managed somewhere just over 10,000ft of climbing. 6:14 ride time and 205km.

Run off the bike at pace, 33:50 run for 8km, HR 150. Felt good.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Epic?????

Well, the two week 'recovery' period following IMAZ is over and even though I cycled quite a bit in the last 8 days, I feel good physically and 'nice n hungry mentally.

Ended last week with two solid rides:

Friday included:

60min 3500yd swim with a solid mainset of 400s 90% effort on 5:20(4:48), 200 easy, 600 70% effort(7:40), 200 easy, 400 90% effort(4:49), 200 easy, 500 TT (5:45). I was really happy with the 5:$5 b/c the truth was that I was not feeling that great in the water and still pulled off a good time.

3:50 ride, solid on all climbs, 120km total with ALOT of climbing.

Run of 52min and 11 km in the evening.

Saturday was easy with a 48min 10k run in the morning before heading up north for some pre-wedding festivities with a good friend from college.

I got back just in time on Sunday to head out(quite tired) for a 3:32 ride, I rode the ups at HIM effort and steady on the flats. Really windy. 113km total.

+++++++++++++++

This week marks the start of a two week Epic training block where I will hopefully hit a few numbers that I have not seen in about a year. I will then rest for a few days before Ford Ironman Florida 70.3 on May 17. I will keep you posted on how things are rolling along.

Cheers,
BB

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Getting moving again

Well, recovery has been a little slow from travel and a few beers here and there, but I am starting to feel normal again. Feet are getting better each day and I can SBR with no issues. I will write a bit more in the week to come, but for now I will catch you up on training this past week.

Monday:

Swim 2.5k all easy in the pool Foot hurt for this one.

Run 37min and 8km easy, in the arb. good to be out there.

Bike 2:35 and 75km, easy in the hills

Tuesday:

Bike: 3:17 95km easy with some steady in the hills with Boulder J(now a madcity resident)

Strength 20min

Wednesday:

Swim 45min and 2.5km mostly easy with 10x100 on faster 100's mixed in

Run 48min and 10k mostly easy in the arb, gd!


Thursday(Crappy day out there today, 40* and rain):

Run 1:29 and 20km easy for 30min, then 60min of steady mixed with IM effort. Pouring!

Swim: 56min and 3200 yds, 600s,2x300 pull,6x100 mod on 1:30, 400s, 2x200p, 4x100 mod on 1:30, then cd

++++++++++++++++++++=

The idea behind this week is to take it easy and just get moving again. Next week i will start with mixing in some steady and get plenty of strength work in the hills. The plan right now is to race a local 20k on sat. Assuming recovery goes well.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Old Stomping Ground

This last week has been a whirlwind and it has dropped me back in Madtown, also known as my own stomping ground. There is something about riding where you grew up that is very relaxing.

After the race, I flew back to Clermont on Tuesday with my cankles...I seriously looked like I had clubbed-feet. I hung out with a few friends on Wednesday night and then shoved off in the 'soccar-mom mini van' early(3:45am) Thursday morning. My original plan was drive for about 12 hours and then stay the night somewhere in TN or KY, but at the 12 mark I was in a zone and decided that I could make it one straight shot.

After a little construction and a "short cut" that wasn't so short, I arrived a little over 20hrs later in Madtown.

I have slowly been getting back into things, but recovery is just starting to come around. Plane rides across the country and 20hr road trips are not condusive to reducing foot inflamation.

This morning I recarpeted my parents screen porch...a simple task that is not all that simple. :) I was proud of it when I finally finished. I then got out for a nice ride in some gusty winds.

Here is what physical activity I have done over the last week.

Monday - OFF

Tuesday - OFF

Wednesday - Spin 20min

Thursday - Spin 30min

Friday - OFF

Saturday - Spin 1:20

Sunday - Easy run 33 min , Ride 2:35

Over the next week I will get rolling again with all zone 1 and zone 2 stuff. I will error on the side of recovery.

I hope everyone is doing well. Thank you for all of the words of encouragement after AZ...9 weeks to redemption time in Idaho!

More to come soon...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Becker Buzz...

“A Step In The Right Direction”

2007 Ironman Arizona Race Report

Swim: 54:58 Bike: 5:13:25 Run: 3:38:38 Finish 9:53:12
19th Professional Male

After the race this year I was chatting with my good friend Graham Partain. He and his wife have put up with me training out of their house for the last 3 months and both of them are some of the most giving people that I have ever met. I was going over the race with him and told him that there were a few things that I was happy with, but that overall I was a bit disappointed. He simply said; look at the positives, “it is a step in the right direction and this is just the beginning.”

My last build going into the race was not ideal, but I was optimistic heading into the race. I had some soft tissue stuff going on that compromised my run training. As a result I swam and cycled more, hoping it would help to make up for the lost miles.

Then Tuesday of race week came around and I developed what started out as mild tooth pain…nothing that a few Ibuprofen couldn’t take care of, or so I thought. By Wednesday night, I knew something was definitely wrong. I called my dentist and she pulled out my x-rays to see if she could see what the problem might be. The films revealed that during a root canal that I had done several years ago, a piece of the dental tool had broken off in my root cavity and now looked to be infected. The pain was unreal and actually brought tears to my eyes on Thursday. I was given some antibiotics and told to take a lot of Ibuprofen to help ease the pain. “HOW was I going to race, when I couldn’t do more than just sit in a chair and stare at the wall?

Another day passed and after getting no reprieve, I decided to take my own action. I will spare you MOST of the details, but my tooth was raised up probably ¼” above the others. I decided that I needed to level my teeth back out….skipping ahead a bit, I took care of the fluid build up under my tooth. After an hour or so, things got MUCH better.

Hoping that the worst was past, I tried to once again focus on the race. I was told to stay on the Penicillin and that it hopefully wouldn’t have any side effects come race day.

Race morning arrived and I felt ready to go. A small group of us started on the buoy line, while a larger group started further out. The cannon sounded and we were off. All of the swimming that I have been doing was finally starting to pay off.

Our group had 4 in front and 3 of us were in back. After about 300-400m, I swapped positions with the swimmer to my right and made a small mistake. I moved too far to the right and moved right off the side of the group. Once you are off, you are S.O.L. and on your own.


No worries at all, I had done many long TT’s in the pool and was confident in my ability. In the past, all of my wetsuits have really tired out my shoulders, but the new Blue Seventy Helix was awesome! I found a strong, but steady rhythm; breathing 2 strokes right, 2 strokes left and sighting every 2-3 cycles. Before I knew it, I was getting ready to climb the stairs out of the water (a bit tricky). I glanced at the clock as I was cruising past the wetsuit strippers and saw 54:53. FINALLY, I seem to have made some progress from my 58min IM times.

I got onto the bike and was excited to be out in the top 20. For this race I was unable to race with a Powertap, because of production issues. I had to let my HR and perceived exertion guide me through the cactus and tumble weeds.

After a few miles I developed a very tight left quad and I am still not sure why, but I hoped that it would go away as I got into a rhythm. By the first turn around I was right where I wanted to be and my new TTX was rolling, as Dave Harju would day, “frickin’ awesome! With my HR floating around 145, I ended the first loop at 1:36, right on track.

As I started the 2nd loop, the winds started to pick up and my cramping was not getting any better. I missed special needs and as a result I stopped at an aid station to make up for things. No biggie. For the remainder of the second loop I was fighting head winds that were gusting over 40mph. I did all I could to ride strong into the wind and take advantage when there was a tail wind. I will say that my Bontrager disk makes for a great sail and is VERY fast. The only problem was that when we got the tail wind, we were riding uphill, so I continued to work fairly hard.

I was really missing my Powertap, but was making it through the highs and lows and trying to keep my moral high. I knew my targeted ride time of 4:45-4:50 was out of the question and just didn’t want to fade to bad late in the ride. I tried to stay positive as I battled through the third loop and thought about all of the riding that I had done into the wind down in Clermont.

I arrived back in transition after a ride of 5hrs 13min. I saw a few people that I knew which helped lift my spirits and after a brief “stop,” I headed out onto the run.

I didn’t have the legs that I had at the start of IMFL last year, but I focused with hopes that they would come around later on. I stayed smooth and took in the coke and water that I needed.

By mile seven I knew that it would be a “best effort” type of day, so I tried to enjoy the atmosphere of the race and soak it up. I even tried, jokingly; to get a sorority girl at the special needs run station to run the third loop with me. I was unsuccessfulJ I am guessing that the crust of Power Gel, coke, sweat and a few other things probably pushed her away!??!?!?

The good news was that all of my fatigue was muscular, and not in my joints like past races. I stayed steady at around 7:30-5/miles through 20miles and then at about mile 21 I had a big blister pop on my right foot. “Oh Crap,” this was going to hurt and it caused me to slow quite a bit as I got close to the finish.

Eventually I crossed in 9:53:12 as the 19th pro male. I am seeing progress and I am not far off from nailing an IM in the near future.

I am now recovering on my way back to Wisconsin for the summer. In the next few months, I will race Ironman Florida 70.3, the Rockman Half Ironman, the Apple Duathlon, a few running races and then peak for Ironman Coeur d’Alene on June 24 where I hope to get a Hawaii slot and go under 9hrs.

I want to thank Russ Brandt and Julie Holt for putting up with me. I couldn’t ask for better hosts. They put up with me for 2 weeks!! I want to thank everyone that believes in and supports me. I also want to thank Timex, Blue Seventy, Bontrager, Trigger Point Therapy, Trek, Powerbar and the Trek Bike Store of Madison.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Roller Coaster Ride - April 11 & 12

I will bring you up to speed on what has gone on over the last few days. I awoke with a tooth ache about 4 days ago. At first I didn't think much of it(didn't even mention it in my blog), but it progressively got worse each day.

I will spare you the details, but in short I have an old root canal that has become infected. It has caused swelling, stiffness and tear-filled pain. Yesterday I was thinking of pulling the plug on the race. I couldn't lay down, let alone race. I called my dentist and she prescribed some antibiotics. The prescription meds along with A LOT of IBProfin and some pushing on my tooth has forced the fluid out and relieved the pressure.

The result is that today I am feeling much better. Still stiff, but things are looking great for feeling good on Sunday morning. I will keep you posted.

+++++++++++++++

Ok, today was the first day of Ironman Expo and there were fit people everywhere.

The water is perfect for my Helix Fullsuit, the temp is about 69*. I really like the set-up of this swim, one big loop.

The winds have been crazy here today, gusting to 50mph. There have been power outages all over the city. I rode a loop out on the course and flatted halfway through, out in the dessert. It was AWESOME(a little sarcasm). But it was almost movie like, with tumble weeds and dust devils all over. I hope things settle by Sunday.

In the afternoon I did a seminar for North America Sports and Timex on our new Speed & Distance Body link system. It will be available for viewing on www.ironman.com this weekend.

After the long day I made it back home. I will post pics and more updates from the weekend soon.

+++++++++++++

Training:

Thursday Apr 12

Swim 31min and 2000y in Town Lake. Steady with several hard efforts. Felt good.

Ride at noon, 1:32 and 58km. Good ride with several hard efforts. Flatted in the middle.

Wednesday Apr 11

Julie did some ultra-sound on my calf(still swollen).

Ride of 1:15 and 35km with Russ and that was it for the day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Gremlin, "That Guy," and "Hey Russ..."





Meet Harry...Harry looks like a gremlin, but is the hairless cat that lives here at my homestay with Russ and Julie. He is a 'trip.' Sometimes, hairy gets angry(as you can see). He is more like a dog. He fetches, drinks by dipping his paws in water, then licks them, he leaves his toys in his water dish and likes people food. Crazy cat, a lot of personality.

Well, race week is finally here. It seems like I was waiting, waiting, waiting for it to get here and now it is flying by. Tuesday is almost done. I guess that is how most things go. Like vacations. Everyone always looks forward to a vacation and it seems like such a long wait, then before you know it, it is here and gone and you are back at work.

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While I have been staying here, I have been swimming at the ASU pool. Very nice! Now, if you saw the pool you might say "WTH, this pool is somewhat dirty, the lawn-chairs are from the 70's and there is no music. Seems pretty average. Now, check out the same pool on the weekend and you will change your tune. Regardless of if you are a guy or gal. Beautiful weather = beautiful people.



Anyway, the reason that I bring this up is that, as triathletes, we lose perspective on occassion. Ok, maybe we have perspective on occassion.:)

Example: On Saturday I did my swim at 1pm. Being close to a race and having trained in sunny FL, I might be fooled in thinking I was impressing a lady or two. This is where we lose perspective.

Remember when you were at the pool in either high school or early on in college? Remember the guy that always walked in and swam in a speedo? Remember what you thought about him? All of a sudden, I was "THAT GUY." We all had a good laugh over that one the other night.

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Blog is getting long, so I will only tell one last story. The other night I am telling Russ about how I will be carbohydrate loading for this race. A series of short HARD efforts 2 days out and then a HUGE amount of CHO(1000g) for the day. I will be loading as 80% Martodextrin / 20% Fructose...I have maltodextrin, but needed fructose.

I asked Russ, "Do you know where I can get Fructose around here?" He proceeds to open a cabinet and pull out a bag of, "what do you need?" He pulls out a 5+ lb bag of none other than FRUCTOSE! I have a pic of it, but couldn't get it to post down here. You'll have to take my word for it.

++++++++++++++++

Alright, I have to go ride in the heat again. Here is a quick summary of yesterday and today.

Monday Apr 9 - Nothing, Nada, Massage and that is it. Boring.

Tuesday Apr 10 -

Swim of 1:05 and 3500 yds as follows:

800wu

5x300 HARD on 5:00. (3:44, 3:40, 3:40, 3:41, 3:40) Not great but ok. 200 easy

2x4x100 on 1:45 as (25h/75e,50h/50e,75h/25e,100h) swam 1:07,1:06 for the 100h's

200 easy cd

Afternoon spin of 60min very easy around town.

30min run off the bike with 5x1:30H on = recovery

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Easter Apr 8 & 9

Sunday April 9 Easter

Well, no chocolate bunnies this year....but I had my last "training day" before IMAZ.

Ride 2:45 on the course. 94km Rode 20min easy and then 30min at 260w, 30min at 230w, 30min at 250w and then 40min at 230w. I learned a lot today about the wind on the course and to expect it to change throughout the ride.

For example. On the first loop I had a head wind and averaged about 35kph up to the turn. On the second time around I had a tail wind and averaged 39kph uphill at 10 less watts. Speeds on the descent were slower on the second loop because of the wind. I will make sure that I have some left in the tank after 150k of riding.

Run off the bike of 22min and 5km all at IM pace. Felt good, HOT. Lower leg was tight for about the first 50m of the run, the n good.

Afternoon swim with Russ...really tired so i kept it easy. 60min and 3000m (3300 yds). Good stretching later in the day and done.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday Apr 7

Swim 45min at 2500 yds

Ride 55min and 30km

Soid stretch and core work 30min.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Catching Up Apr 1-6

Ok, I know I haven't writtetn in a while, but things have been crazy. I will try my best to get you up to speed. I traveled to San Diego for the Timex Team Camp. GREAT TIME! I love the team and everyone that is related to it. Ben, our team manager did a great job in his first year putting the camp together. Nice Job!

Each day we got presentations from all of our sponsors...of which I will name a few. Blue Seventy has an updated cuff for the 2007 Helix wetsuit. It solves the issues with leaky sleeves. They are by far the more versitile wetsuit that I have tried. Keep your eyes open for something special regarding next year.

The TTX frames...well, I have already told you how fast they are...seriously though, they are much more stiff than anything carbon that I have ever been on. Perfect for the IMAZ course.

Spenco is a sponsor that makes insoles for shoes and cycling gloves. I am helping them with their launch of the "Rip-It" triathlon specific gloves. More to come soon. Their insoles have now replaced my superfeet and are much softer. If you ever get sore feet during long runs, it could be from inserts that are too hard. Spenco makes a soft insert that is still very stiff. Check it out.

Related to my injury, the TPMassage Rollers and Balls are helping to fix my foot and ankle problems. The tightness actually stem from up into the calf. Check out the site http://www.tpmassageball.com/ I think that every athlete should give them a chance. You won't go back to anything else that you were using.

Ok, enough rambling....here is what I have done the past week. I had to treat camp like complete recovery almost....I am feeling better because of it.

Saturday Mar 31

OFF Travel to San Diego

Sunday Apr 1

Run 8k easy in 40min, calf a bit tight.

Easy ride of 1:15 and 35km

Short easy swim of 50min and 2500 yds

Monday Apr 2

Hard ride with Dave Harju...this guy is strong. 1:57 and 70km

Swim of 45min and 2200 yds with Dave and Natasha, mainset was 60x25 on :30, 3h/1e

Tuesday Apr 3

Run 43min and 10km with Brian Shanning and Josh Ritchie...both great guys.

Travel to Phoenix

Wednesday Apr 4

Swim 3400 yds in 1:02, short mainset in hot pool, yuck, 5x200 on 2:45, 12x100 on 1:30.

Descending run to 10k effort,20easy/20build to HIM/15min at 10k pace...felt good by the end.

Ride 1:50, 1 loop of the course. 60min at 240-260w. 68km total.

Thursday Apr 5

Swim 4300 yds in 1:05, mainset:
800p(9:46), 8x100s on 1:30(1:10-1:12)
400p(4:39), 4x100s on 1:30(1:10-1:12)
200p(2:17), 2x100s on 1:30(1:12)
Easy cd

Easy ride of 1:10, 40km

30min run off the bike at pace, 7km

Friday Apr 6

Swim of 3100 in 50min, 1650 in wetsuit TT, 18:49..new PR.. Nice to see training fatigue gone.
Core and strength work for 45min.

Ride of 1:40 with 18x1min at 350-360w target...took 5 to feel good. Then 3x5min at 250-60w uphill. Good ride, HOT. 55km total

Run of 5k and 22min steady off the bike.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mar 31 - Travel

Saturday Mar 31

Ahhh the airport...I am writing this blog from the Orlando Airport Terminal, I have about an hour until my flight leaves. Note to self, hang out in the Continental Gate, the internet is free. I don't know if it is at everywhere, but I hope that I have it in Houston, which is where my lay-over is, because I would like to follow the race out in Cali via the net.

I am excited to head to San Diego for a few reasons. First, I have never been there. It is the 'other' triathlon mecca, the other being Boulder. I don't think that I will get a chance to see much when I am there, but I am anxious to go either way.

Secondly, I am looking forward to team camp. Once a season, the entire Timex Team has a camp somewhere around the country. This year the camp is at the awesome palisades Resort in S.D. We get a chance to get to know everyone on the team, a chance to met representatives from all of our sponsors for the year, as well as time to just relax.

Having "a team" is really something that I wanted the season. Most of the time I go to races alone and have to find ways to kill the time. There is also the stress of getting your bike ready to race, as well as making sure everything is ready to go. Now, I have the Timex Team Truck and the entire support crew that comes with it; mechanic, team manager, other reps, etc...not to mention the other athletes. I do relax most of race week, but the area acts as a central support station where I can spend some time and is also a place where I will know others.

Before I board, I also want to send a huge Thank You to Graham and Stacy. They are the couple that I have stayed with for the past two winters, here in Clermont. They open up their house to me as though it was my own...I was joking with Stacy this morning(she drove me after getting almost no sleep lastnight) that I feel like one of the family. They are some of the most giving and hospitable people that I have met and I will prepay them down the road for all that they have done.

If you are reading guys, the first way will be a trip to the new sushi bar and Benchwarmers, when I get back. I will be buying the saki and beer, despite winning the NCAA Bracket that we decided to do as a part of the yacht Club Tourney. :)

Alright, I will check in once I get settled out west. See you all soon!

BB

Friday, March 30, 2007

Mar 29 & 30 Here we go...

Friday Mar 30

Well, looking back on my 2004 log (which is partly what I am using for this build), I saw that this weekend's key session is the one where I should see higher numbers...well, I did!

Here they are for your enjoyment:

The day started out with a 4250y swim in 1:02. 2500 mod. straight to start. Then 5x200p mod-hard on 2:40(all were 2:25-30). Then 5x100 build by 25 to all hard by the end. Then I finished with 250k mod-hard.

Straight onto the bike. 15min easy, then the following set:

60min 230 target: 235w - HR 138
10min easy
45min 240 target: 240w - HR 143
10min easy
30min 260 target: 261w - HR 151
10min easy
15min 315 target: 318w - HR 172 - Highest I have seen in a while. (Cherry lake Road)

Finished steady, total ride of 3:31 and 121 km.

Run off the bike of 5km, avg 6:52 pace with HR of 140-45.

Massage at 3 and then packing for the rest of the day. I fly out tomorrow morning for the Timex Team Camp and will then spend the last 10 days in Tempe putting in my final preparations on the Arizona Course.

++++++++++++++++++

Friday Mar 29

Swim 1:05 total and about 3500 total swimming. 2500 in the morning on easy swimming and drilling in the pool with Nina Kraft and Martn. More talking than swimming. Very nice people.

Then an afternoon easy lake swim with the Zilla as he prepares for Xterra Miami this weekend. Good luck to him. Crush it buddie.

Also, 'The Predator" JD is racing in Texas, Natasha is racing at Cali. 70.3 and Lisa in OZ. Good luck to all this weekend. I look forward to hearing about the races.

Afternoon ride of 90min and 40km easy flat spin. Legs felt good.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mar 28

Wednesday Mar 28

Today I had another good day...that almost wasn't. The swim was the highlight, so I will start there. I was SOOOO tired this afternoon, even after a 90min nap, that I almost didn't make it to the pool. Well, I finally made it there at about 4:30. Here was the swim, maybe the best times that I have seen thus far in this build. Funny how things work sometimes.

Warm-up: 600 mixed, 600 d/s

Mainset:

800p strong on 11:00 (9:48)
100 easy
4x400 swim hard on 5:30 (4:48,4:49)
100 easy
2x200 pull strong on 3:00 (2:14, 2:16)
100 easy
4x100 swim on 1:15 (1:09,1:11,1:10,1:12)

CD to 4k.


Morning was a good also. Last long run of the build. 1:45 total time and 24km. Here was the outline...all on the treamill. HR's were really high for me today...dehydration, tired...not sure. It was hot on the treadmill, no fans in there.

25min wu build to IM pace.

Then 5x through:
10min at IM 6:53 pace (150, 153, 153, 157, 156)
2min at HIM 6:00 pace (166, 167, 168, 168, 171)
3min recovery at 8:30 (139, 132, 144, 142, 147)

5min very easy cd.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mar 27

Tuesday Mar 27

Good day today.

Swim first at Lake Louisa with Natasha. 50min total time, about 3000 yds. 10min wu, then 8x100 strokes(about 150 m) hard with swim back recovery. Cooldown after...no gator sightings.

Directly onto the bike. 30min wu into

2 x 10:00 at IM effort with 5:00 recovery

2 x 5:00 at HIM effort with 2:30 recovery

4 x 2:30 at 40k effort wtih 1:30 recovery


Here is the data:

10:00 intervals : (#1 237w, #2 249w)

5:00 intervals : (#1 278w, #2 277w)

2:30 intervals : (#1 289w, #2 299w, #3 295w, #4 295w)

The data is not all that consistent because of the rolling hills and turns in the park. Had to do a few U-turns, etc. Happy about the ability to raise my HR.

Total ride was 1:40 and 51 km

Run off the bike of 6km and 22min. 800 hard off the bike HARD, then easy for 400, then IM pace to 5km. Ran well today on the roads. Exactly 6:52 per mile pace.

Massage with MONA.....finally she is back! In Clermont I have Mona, in Boulder I have Nikki and in Madison, I have Cindi. Thanks to all of you.

++++++++++++++++++

Time is really flying and I can't believe that my time is almost done here in Clermont. Graham and Stacy have been AWESOME and are truly very good people and some of the most generous people that I have met. Thanks guys!!!

Here is what I have planned for the next few weeks.

Long run tomorrow 1.75hrs
Easy day Thursday
Long ride Friday...3.5hrs

OFF - Sat to travel to Timex camp in San Diego
Sunday - Aerobic Maintanence day fairly easy

The next week I travel to Tempe to get my last few sessions on the course. I have 4 days with intensity on the bike/run...the other days are VERY low key.

You can follow the race on April 15th via www.ironman.com I will post my bib number, etc as it gets closer.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Mar 25 & 26

Monday Mar 26

Early run of 40min and 8 km easy steady on the path around Lake Minneola. Felt good.

Swim with Natasha at the NTC 1:21 and 4800 yds.

1k wu mixed with a few drills
8x50 on 2 patterns of 4. 3,6,12,all hard with cruise 25 for recovery

Mainset:
3x (400pull mod-hard on 5:30, 4x150 HARD on 2:30)

#1 400(5:04), 150's (1:51,1:49,1:49,1:48)
#2 400(4:58), 150's (1:50, 1:48, 1:47, 1:45)
#3 400(500), 150's (1:50, 1:46, 1:44, 1:44)

Easy cd. Very happy with the 150's hard, but comfortable swimming in that zone.

Afternoon ride that was HOT and WINDY. Very exciting route today (Very sarcastic). 561 to 33 to Green Pond Rd to Van Fleet and Back Bay Lake, Lake Erie). Ride was 2:48 and 88km. All easy/steady.

+++++++++++++++++++++

Sunday Mar 25 (3 weeks out)

Very tired and hungry today. Managed 2000 LCM (2200 yds). Too shelled even to do a longer float swim. 45min total.

Long nap in the afternoon and lots of water helped. Calf is tight, so recovery day is welcomed.

3 weeks to go from today. 2 more runs of 90min + and 2 rides of 3-4 hours left. A few days with faster stuff mixed in, before a big rest before the race.

Hope all else is going well for everyone. I checked the weather the other night and it was 73* in Madison and 72* here in Clermont....freaky for March.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mar 23 & 24

Saturday Mar 24 - Last Race Sim

Morning swim of 3.8km LCM in 57min (4250 yds)

500 EZ mixed in wetsuit.

2500 Timed in wetsuit(HOOOOOT)
1500 in 19:54
2000 in 26:27
2500 in 33:01

8x100 pull with pads on 1:30 (1:24-6)

Simulated race transition and out to ride. Total ride was 4:38 and 153 km

40min EZ to steady
40min build to IM effort
40min @ 250 target (HR 143)
15min EZ
45min as 3x(12IM/3HIM) target was 240/270
15min EZ
40min @ 250 target
10min EZ
build to HIM watts home

Right onto the treadmill with cal bottle, coke and water.

Run was 10k as 5x1mile with 15s recovery to get in cals.

#1 - 7:21 - HR 126 EZ
#2 - 6:48 - HR 136 Build to pace
#3 - 6:39 - HR 139 Pace
#4 - 6:39 - HR 143 Pace
#5 - 6:39 - HR 145 Pace
Cooldown

Good stretch after and some stength stuff later in the evening. about 7hrs total for the day.

+++++++++++++++++++++

Friday Mar 23

Open water swim in the am 1:05 and 4500 yds mix of easy building to hard.
(5000 total for day)

Set was 10strokes hard, 10 EZ, 20h/200ez, 40h/40ez, 80h/80ez, 160h and back down. Used the perminent poles and border the swimming area.

Noon ride of 2:18 and 64 km easy with a good bit of steady in the hills.

Afternoon 30min water run and 500 of EZ swimming.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mar 21 & 22

Thursday Mar 22 - Back at the track

Today was a good day. I got back on the track...first time in 2 weeks and I have confirmed a few things. I lost nothing and my taper is starting to build.

Rode over to the track on the bike, 45min and 20km wu, then warmed up for 3.6k building to AT and then LT over the last 200. Did 400 broken 50 strides, 50 walk, 4 times through.

This workout is great for IM athletes. The 600's help teach you to hold back and patience. The effort required to run a 600 at AT after running an 800 at LT is very little. Much the same as the first part of the marathon, it is VERY easy to go to hard.

I checked HR, but wanted to go by feel...good for race day. It was hot at the track, 80* and sun, so you can see the HR drift. But I was really stoked to see what without seeing splits as I went, the times were within a second or two of each other with one or two exceptions. Here is the data

Then 4 x 2400 as outlined

600 @ AT
100 EZ
800 @ LT
200 EZ
600 @ AT
100 EZ

#1

600 - 2:31 - HR 147
100 ez :38
800 - 2:51 - HR 169
200 ez 1:07
600 - 2:26 - HR 152
100 ez :36

#2

600 - 2:35 - HR 148
100 ez :36
800 - 2:50 - HR 170
200 ez 1:06
600 - 2:32 - HR 152
100 ez :36

#3

600 - 2:35 - 152
100 ez :36
800 - 2:51 - 173
200 ez 1:07
600 - 2:33 - 154
100 ez - :35

#4

600 - 2:36 - 153
100 ez :35
800 - 2:51 - 174
200 ez - 1:04 (maybe a bit hard here)
600 - 2:29 - 159 (also, maybe a bit fast...the track was packed)
100 ez :36


Afternoon tanning session...I mean swim. 3300 yds 1:00

500 swim mixed strokes,
50k
500p with band
50k

Then 60x25 on :30 3hard/1ez...every 3rd set of 4 with pads. Swam about 1-2s per 100 faster than during the month of feb...Great sign.

Longer cool-down after. Solid day scheduled tomorrow!

+++++++++++++++++++++

Wednesday Mar 21

Morning swim of 1:40 and 6000 yds. Solid day, 4800 mainset.

1k wu as 400s, 4x50 d/s, 100k, 6x50 build on 1min.

Mainset:

800p mod on 11min (10:05)
8x100 hard on 1:20
600p mod on 8:15 (7:27)
6x100 hard on 1:20
400p with band on 5:30 (5:19)
4x100 hard on 1:20
200 band only on 3:00 ( 2:45)
2x100 hard on 1:20
100 band on however long it took me to take band off, :)
100 hard, 1:08

EZ cd.

I need to work on my band swimming :) 30min water run after.

Afternoon ride, Bay Lake through Groveland, 2:07, 64 km. Rode 45 ez, 60 steady, then ez home. A lot more comfortable on the bike.

Ankle is a bit tight today, actually more of the arch in my foot. No pain though.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mar 19 & 20

Tuesday Mar 20

Well, after my ART apt yesterday, I decided to head out for my first 'long' run since I pinched the nerve in my ankle. I had sushi lastnight with Natasha, Graham, Stacy, Gavin and Kimberly...and I thought it would be the perfect pre-long run food. Actually turned out to be awesome! Maybe a regular thing????? We'll see.

Anyway, the plan was 30km out at the clay trail. 15min warm-up, 1:45 at IM effort and then 15min cd.

The run went great. I lifted my arch up in my shoe and am running with more of a forefoot strike...this takes a lot of pressure off of both my ankles and my quads. My calfs did pay the price a little bit in the last 20min. Not terrible tho.

I now feel that I have the confidence back for my run to be ok on race day. I will shut it down now, with a few key runs here and there before race day.

Today's sessions:

Run 2:15 30km
Swim 20min 800 yds, mostly kick to get the junk out.

Erin Kummer, an athlete also racing on Timex is in town for a few nights. I met her in Boulder last year while training over the summer. She is excited to be soaking up some of the nice FL weather! Maybe everyone will start flocking to Clermont to train???????

+++++++++++++++++++

Monday Mar 19 - Recovery day.

Swim in the am LCM with Natasha. 100 warm, followed by 2x(6x50 band only, 500 pull, 200 choice)...Natasha did 3 rounds(animal), b/c of band swimming yesterday, I was done after 2. 3000m(3300yds) in 1:10 today, 30min water run after.

Early afternoon ride of 1:20 and 42km before heading for my ART apt. Great again! Thanks Dr. McKeon.

Currently there are no ART certified chiro's in Clermont, but Dr. McKeon is thinking of making regular trip up if there is interest from athletes. He is very good, prices are reasonable(even for us athletes) and he is a good person. Check him out via www.mckeonchiropractic.com or drop me a line and I can pass along his info.

Ok, that is all for today.