Sunday, January 27, 2008

Recovery Ahead!!

Ahhhh coffee! The above picture represents the place where I will be spending most of my recovery week coming up. I am in the process of moving my coaching over to Training Peaks and that should take most of my free time.


My first training block down in Clermont is all but done and has gone very well. Volume has been moderate (25, 27 & 30 hrs), but there has not been much in the way of easy training. Most has been in my steady zones (IM pace/power) or harder.

Last week finished with a solid block of riding. Here are some numbers for those that like them. Keep in mind that the numbers below are on from cycling only.

4 days, just under 15hrs in the saddle and a combined TSS (Training Stress Score) of 688. My TSB is currently at -72 and I have increased my ATL (Acute Training Load) by 118 points over the last 3 weeks. Needless to say, it is time to absorb all of the work.

The most notable ride was the last one (yesterday) of 5:15. The TSS score was 266 with most of that coming in about 4:45 of the ride. The first 5hrs of the ride saw 4000kj's (calories) of work done with increasing watts each hour. No intervals, just a solid IM/Base riding.

I did learn one thing that I think many might find useful. In the past I have seen a fade in power at about the 4hr mark of my rides during training/racing. This year I have increased my calories consumed each hour from 350 to 500 and that fade has gone away.

So if you see the same thing in your training. Here are some ideas to correct it.

#1 Make sure you start your training/racining with full glycogen stores.

#2 Try increasing your calories consumed each hour on all rides.

#3 Make sure that you take in proper nutrition and hydration after your sessions.

As a side note: Most people do not take in as many calories as they think they do throughout their training. Some examples of why are: spilling, forgetting, leaving gel/sports drink in your bottle or taking in less than a full gel.

I hope everyone has a great week!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Exceeding Expectations

The above picture really has nothing to do with today's post, but I wanted to put it up. My friend Cindi sent it to me. The name of the place is Blake's LotaBurger and it is a chain restaurant located in New Mexico. It shouldn't be hard to find one, as there are 76 locations throughout the state. I will have plenty of time on my LOOONG drive from Florida to Arizona.
If you have eaten here, please leave a comment and let me know what you thought!
I wonder if I get a free burger??????
Back to my title. To exceed expectations, I think we need to be realistic in what we expect. If we always expect the BEST CASE SCENARIO, we will often be disappointed. This sets us up for getting discouraged, frustrated and eventually quitting whatever we are doing. Not to say we shouldn't set the bar high, but we need to keep it real.
This idea could relate to any job out in the world, but let's talk triathlon (big surprise, right???) Check out my buddy Justin's blog for a good take on knowing and accepting our current level of fitness. If we know where we stand with our current level of fitness and we set realistic goals, we will accomplish our goals more often. We are then given a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that will aid in our motivation in the sport.
What else?? Oh yeah, we will also ENJOY the process a lot more. After all, that is what really matters, right?
Today I exceeded my expectations on a run. Now I wasn't suppose to run at this pace today, but I did prove something to myself...that I do have run speed.
I have had the same "half ironman speed" workout for the last few weeks. It consisted of a 30min warm-up, 30min at 6:00 pace, 10-15min cd. Since I have been coming back from my foot issue, this workout has been tough on me.
Today was a huge breakthrough. I went into the workout with the goal of running a little better than the 6:10's I had been putting out over the past 2 weeks. Realistic, right? Well, from mile 1 things felt better. I had my stride and the pace was effortless to my HR. I ran the 30min easy and then covered the next 5 miles at 5:36 per mile at a HR of 171-173. This is about 12 bpm below my LT and the fastest I have seen in some time. Needless to say, I felt pretty good at the end of this one.
Here is to:
- Being realistic.
- Finishing every workout strong.
- Exceeding Expectations.
- Always seeing that glass half full.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Finding My Groove

Well, I have found my groove and am really starting to feel nice and fit. Best part is that I still have almost 3 months to my key spring Ironman.

Weekly Training Summary

Total Hours: 27:10

Swimming: 25,832 yds
Cycling: 262 miles
Running: 49 miles
Strength: 1 hour

The best workout was 17.5mi long pavement run on Sunday out at Lake Louisa. Warm-up followed by very hilly 7 miles at IM effort. Finishing with 7 miles rolling at IM HR 150-153, pace was surprising, at 6:20-6:40 per mile. This is very close to being faster than I was last summer.

Also, I found some great new shoes, Adidas Supernova Light 6. I am getting custom orthotics molded on monday to make them fit even better. They are are a good mix of cushioning in the forefoot and support, while weighing in at only 9oz.

Now, no thinking....just doing and results will take care of themselves. Another big week to come.

Go Packers Baby!!!!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Workin' It LCM Style

The above image is of the National Training Center pool down here in Clermont. In this pic it is set up in Short Course Yards, which I haven't seen much of since coming into town.

This year before coming down to Florida, one of the things I focused on was my swimming. I put in about 6-10 hours each week for six or seven weeks to hopefully give me a boost. All of the swimming was done in a short course yards pool.

I arrived down here in FL to a pool that is Long Course Meters(LCM) about 75% of the time. Let me tell you, there is a HUGE difference between the two and it was a big wake up call. I have been patient though and knew eventually my swim fitness would start to come through.

I started out at the beginning of last week swimming about 1:27 per 100 meters at a pace that was mod-hard. After about 12 days of swimming, my pace has dropped to 1:19 per 100 at the same effort.

I am really starting to feel good about things in all three sports. In addition, I have dropped 5 lbs in my first 12 days of training. Even though I have a ways to go, I am moving quickly in the right direction.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

3 More Days Banked

The past 3 days have flown by. Training has been around 4-5 hours each day with some solid sessions. In between I am not doing too much besides coaching work, napping and eating. I need to recover the best that I can during this first block of training. It is always one of the toughest.

Today's bike session was the highlight of the week. It leads me to believe that I may have increased my FTP/LT slightly during the threshold focus I did in November and December. The ride was 3.5 hrs ending with 2x20min at HIM effort. The normalized power for the ride minus the warm-up and cool-down was around 255 watts (about 3hrs). The 20min effort were at 286 watts and 292 watts with HR only in the low 160's. This is about 15 watts higher than I saw last year. It is only one ride, so I won't get too excited just yet.


I went to the foot doctor earlier this week to get a follow up x-ray on my foot and I got some great news. He talked with me, looked at my foot and then took x-rays. He comes back into the room and says, "Who told you that you had a stress fracture(SF)?" He held up the image and there is NO fracture line and no sign of any bone healing...anywhere. He checked this from 3 different angles to confirm.

So here is the deal.

I told him that my SF had shown up on a bone scan. Well, apparently stress reactions (the step before a SF) also show up. He told me that this was likely the case. He also told me that I have fairly high arches in my feet, but because of the way my heel/foot naturally turn out, it looks like I have less of one.

He took one looked at my DS Trainers and said there is no way these can give me what I need in training. I was then shown how thoughout my stride, because I didn't have enough support, too much load is passed over to be second and third metatarsals.

Long story a little shorter :), I got shoes with a proper fit, have run twice and I have no pain or funny feeling.

All I have to say is that this proof that a second opinion is ALWAYS warranted. Lesson learned.

Have a great week....looking VERY cold for the Packer game!


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Starting to roll---Week 1

This week went very well considering I was coming off of 8 weeks training where I averaged between 12-18 hrs per week. The 3 weeks before that, I averaged even less.

I still have a long way to go before I am ready to race, but I was surprised at the numbers that I saw this week and it is proof that we can maintain our fitness without much volume at all.

Here is a summary of the week along with a few details.

The total hours for the week was just over 25, which included just over 24k of swimming, 12.5 hours of riding (243 miles) and 5 hours (41 miles) of running. I also had 1 hour of strength work and a good time during the Packer Game yesterday ;)

Swimming went ok, but was not my focus.

The riding went well. My weekly TSS score was just shy of 550 and I had several good rides, which means I have a good starting point for this coming season. The highlight was a 4hr steady ride with normalized power after the warm-up of just over 240 watts. I also had 2 shorter hard rides of 2.5 hours.

The running went ok. My long run was 15 miles and I had a tempo run of 10 miles with some hard miles inserted into the middle of it. This run was a little too much for my foot and I had to back off for two days after it.

The weather has been great (but is expected to get cooler) and it is good to see everyone that I know down here.

I hope everyone's year is starting off on a good foot. I will send out another update in a few days!



Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Another piece to the puzzle???

I am spending a lot of time looking into my past ironman performances and trying to learn what I can do better in the future. I am specifically looking at substrate utilization (what my body uses for fuel) and carbohydrate absorption (how much my body can use during exercise).
In addition to reading on the net, I am getting some good input from the guys over at Endurance Corner, specifically Alan Couzens. So far, I have come to 2 conclusions that will hopefully aid in my ability to use fat for fuel and absorb more calories during exercise.
1) Incorporate significantly more "good" fats in my diet.
2) Increase my intake of calories on the bike, close to 500. Alan indicated that by taking in 480 calories per hour, my body should absorb close to what is possible (290 calories per hour). If I can get my body to accept this, I will hopefully eliminate that "bonk" that I have experienced too many times.
I will report back in a few weeks on my progress
Training today:
Run of 10 miles this morning with 4x1 mile at half ironman pace inserted in the middle. Tough session on hilly terrain. Hot out at the clay trail (80's). Foot felt OK...I still feel that I need to watch what I am doing to make sure I don't over-do it (at least until the first training block is done).
Followed the run with a ride of about 1:45, zone 1-2, high cadence.
Afternoon straight swim of 2.1k LCM with mixed cd after.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Why.... not illegal EVERYWHERE to smoke with your kids in the car??

People who do this should be arrested, not just fined $100 like in some states. I was coming back from a ride today and a car rolled up next to me at a stop sign. Two kids in the back...younger than 1 and maybe 4, two adults in the front...SMOKING with the windows almost all the way up!

First of all it is Florida and it was 81* today, so why your windows aren't all the way down is beyond me (this car did NOT have air conditioning). Second, if you did smoke with your kids in the car, why wouldn't you have your windows all the way down.

This is not the first time I have seen this. This winter in Wisconsin I saw a woman smoking with the windows all the way up with her child in the back seat.

Stay with me here, I am almost done on my pedestal, but why isn't this illegal in all states? The kids have NO say in what is going on and even if they did, THEY ARE KIDS!

Better solution, to make smoking illegal. Here is an idea:

In Wisconsin this this year, they increased the cigarette tax $1 per pack ($10 per carton) and are offering free help if you would like to stop smoking. What a great idea! Now let's raise the price again. The goal is not to make money, but to make smoking soo expensive, everyone is forced to quit or go broke. Maybe I will write my senator/governor.


Training today went very well. Here is a summary.

- Swam 5400 this morning followed by weights.
- Ran around 10k at noon
- Rode 75min this evening.

Now I am a little tired and trying to find some energy to go watch the LSU OSU game tonight.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

2008 Clermont Training - Day 1

Well, I made it down to Clermont, FL yesterday. If you are wondering where clermont is, click here. It always seems that a weight is lifted off your shoulders when you come from a place like Wisconsin in the winter, to a place like Florida...anytime. Around this time every winter in the north, it seems that myself and many others I know, go on a winter depression roller coaster. I am not sure if it the decreased daylight, the cold, or just the fact that trying to train in December in Wisconsin is just not fun...

In conclusion, I have decided that if I choose to spend an entire winter in a colder climate, racing an early season Ironman will probably not be in the cards.


Today, I started off with a morning run out at the clay trail with Heather Gollnick. Pace was pretty easy today, but I want to avoid crushing it this first week. I have put myself in that hole more than once. Total run was a little over 13 miles in 1:39.

I followed up the run with a 4km long course meter tanning swim. I am definitely more fit in the water this year. 1:25's were not terrible.

Later after noon ride to check out the new position (I will report more in a day or so). I got a F.I.S.T. bike fit at a shop in Illinois called EndureIt. VERY nice place. Anyway, my new seat angle is about 80* and my from end is about 4cm lower. The angles were not much different, I am just rotated forward into a more aerodynamic position. Pic to come soon.

Ok, back to playoff football. More to come soon!


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2007 Review & 2008 Goals

Well, I decided to add up my total training time for 2007. The numbers were about middle of the road for me. I would have hit 1,000,000 in the pool, but I got sick during the last few weeks of the year during a big swim block. I also had two running injuries that limited my running for a good chunk of the year.


SWIM: 963,495 YDS

BIKE: 17,446 KM

RUN: 2,924 KM



TOTAL HRS: 1,114

Training and Racing Goals for 2008:

For 2008, I have several training and racing goals. Regardless of how things turn out, the number one thing to keep in mind is all that matters, is that I keep improving.

But since I am a driven, competitive person...I have a few more detailed goals then that. This year I am sharing them on my blog.



#1 - Swim a 5:18 500 SCY (B Standard for USAT Development Team)

#2 - Swim 1,200,000 yds for the year.


#1 - Raise my FTP t0 340 watts at sea level (currently 320w)


#1 - Remain injury free

#2 - Run sub 6 for my MAP (HR 160)



#1 - Keep getting faster in Ironman :)

#2 - Go sub 4 in half ironman.

#3 - Run 2:59 for ironman marathon


#1 - Finish top 3 at Ironman Wisconsin

#2 - Qualify for Kona


#1 - Execute correctly at every_single_race.