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 -

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


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.