Thursday, July 31, 2008

Going Well...

Just a quick update to let everyone know that things are rolling along really well. The last 3 weeks totaled about 90hrs, with some very solid sessions. I am now easing off for a few days, before hitting it again.

This last training block has really put a new perspective on training to me. I am now working toward my 3rd of 4 or 5 Ironman races this year and I am loving the training more than ever. My job is to just be out there working hard each day...every_single_week. Some days are good and some days hurt a lot, but that is life as an athlete.

In the end I believe that this is what gets you to the top. Consistently being consistent, day after day, month after month and year after year. For ohhhhh, about 10 or 12 years. ;)


Oh, a few weeks ago i posted something about news regarding a passport/visa. Well, I will be going to Australia to train from November 24th to March 17th with my friends Chris and Marylin. I trained with them in 2006 and am really looking forward to getting back out training with them. They probably know me and my attitude toward training as good as anyone!

I will post my purposed race schedule for my time over there soon, but it is looking like Ironman Western Australia will be race #1 on December 8th.

Train Hard,


Monday, July 28, 2008

"The Tree" or "The Forest?"

The title is something that Kurt constantly reminds me of and is something that I am always pushing on my athletes. Let me explain.

"The Trees" are specific workouts, intervals, HR's, watts, sets and small details.

"The Forest" is the big picture and what could be called your fitness.


If you look at a forest from above, will you notice if a tree is missing? I don't think so. The same could be said for missing a workout for the sake of recovery, family, or anything else. It is NOT going to make or break your fitness. Now if you don't take that day off and get injured, all of sudden you are missing 30 or 40 trees/workouts....THIS makes a difference.


Another point that could be made here relates to the details of your training. Does it really matter if you are running at 144 or 145bpm or 7:30 or 7:32 per mile? What about riding a loop at 167 or 169 watts? Should you pay attention to things like this?

While it is important to watch for trends through your training and it is important to train to appropriate zones, don't get too hung up on the details...especially HR's. The important thing is for you to get out there day in and day out, stay healthy and work hard (enjoying it, of course)...your fitness is just the reward of all your hard work.

So next time people start debating over 2watts or 3bpm, know that they are just talking about the trees.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Numbers Are Fun...

So today, after 6hrs in the saddle and short run, I decided to come home and see how much work I have put in this year. It is not my highest volume training year, but it is one of my most consistent years, with no injuries or major set backs.

In roughly 6 months worth of training (about 2 weeks off after each Ironman), here is what I have come up with. Keep in mind that numbers are just that....numbers, which mean nothing. BUT, they are fun to look at.

Total Hours: 688 hours
Swim: 566,847 yds
Bike: 7,137 mi or 11,485 km
Run: 1,230 mi or 1,980 km

Friday, July 18, 2008

"It's Just One Workout"

I have talked to a few other coaches about athletes who sometimes get upset or worked up over a bad session or workout. As much as try to design a training plan that yields successful key sessions, we are not machines and sometimes we "just don't have it."

There are so many variables that go into our performance on a daily basis. A few examples include; fueling before/during/after previous workouts, sleep during the previous week, anxiety, hydration, weather, our mental attitude toward the session....and the list goes on.

Sometimes we can't pin a failed workout on anything specific, we "just had a bad day." Just like we have days where it all clicks, we also have days where nothing does! It happens to everyone and the best thing you can do is just put it out of your head and keep rolling. Don't try to make up for it in the next session. Just continue as you normally would. Remember, you can't control anything in the past...all you can just learn from it.

So next time you have an off day, don't sweat it. Just learn from it, figure out what may have caused it (if you can) and move on.


On the training front, all is well on this end. I have hit 23, 27 and around 31 hours this week. I have been integrating some new stuff into my training that I will talk about in the coming weeks. I have one more week in this training block and then I am headed out to Boulder for a weekend for get some testing done, as well as catch up with some friends.

I also have some exciting training news regarding this coming winter....let's just say that my passport and visa are ready to go ;)

Have a great weekend, good luck to all racing at Boulder Peak, Lake Placid, Spirit of Racine and Vineman.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ironman....a different type of challenge

If you have followed me at all since I started racing, you know that I have executed and done well at all distances, except Ironman. This is despite training soely for Ironman.

I have thought a lot about this and have heard all different explanations that ranged from metabolism issues, to the wrong type of workouts, to muscle fiber make up.

Well, after much thinking and talking with my coach, it seems that the above issues are NOT the problem. The only issue is that I just continue to be an idiot on race day. If you look at all of my power files, you will see what looks like a double black diamond ski slope. I over pace the first 2hrs of the ride, not necessarily by average or normalized power, but by integrating too many power spikes over threshold power.

The result is that I feel like I want to crawl into the ditch and hide at about the 4hr mark of the ride. I don't, but I do suffer a lot (and slow wayyy down) in that last hour. It then gets better. I have to get off the bike and run a marathon after feeling like I got hit by a truck. Not fun, but I do it and cross the line pretty far back from my potential.

OK, so why don't I learn from my mistakes....11 times in 11 Ironman races??? Here it is...maybe you'll see some similarities with your racing and training?

My background was not in swimming, cycling or running. Infact I disliked all 3. I played baseball, golf and lifted weights and was pretty successful with them. But each time out in practice or in a game, the goal was to do better than....either your opponent or better than you did the previous time out.

"Throw harder."

"Shoot a lower score."

"Bench press more."

These were what I focused on each time out. From the age of 6, to the age of 18...a long time. No wonder it is tough to correct.

Anyway, now let's relate this to triathlon racing. If we try to swim faster, bike harder and run faster than we have before, what happens?

Olympic Distance - This is good, the goal is to go as hard as you can.

Half Ironman - Not terrible, but after riding too hard, your run times suffer by a few minutes.

Ironman - You Blow Up....EVERY_SINGLE_TIME.

Here are a few other situations that fit into this catagory.

1) An athlete that saw quick success in another sport growing up.

2) An athlete who had/has success in the business world.

3) Any athlete that lacks patience.

Ironman training is different. It is more about doing the training that is appropriate and beneficial for you...nothing more, nothing harder. Then going out on race day and using 100%, not 101%, of that fitness on race day.

You can't be in a hurry for results. Ironman is a very long term process and it takes patience and persistence to reach your potential.

Unless you are contending in Kona, your best result from running your race. Anything else will do nothing but slow you down in the end.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Back Rolling Again...

After a week almost completely off(4k of swimming), I am back rolling again. The body and mind feel great and I am very motivated to have my breakthrough race in my hometown. This week consisted of a little over 22hrs of training, but with no very much intensity. I posted a brief summary below.

Before I get to that though, I have had some time to analyze my race in CDA, go over it with Kurt and gotten input from others.....though some people have trouble understanding why I am disappointed to be the 10th can easily see why by my power file. I again over paced the first half of the bike and paid for it in the last hour of the ride and on the run. I am determined to get this right and when I do, it will all come together.

I am going to post a blog this week about why I think it is tough for me to get Ironman right, as well as why other might have trouble. More coming soon!

Training Week 6/30/08

Swim 3k
Bike 1:30
Run 40min

Tuesday -
Bike 1:50
Run 50min
Strength 30min

Wednesday -
Swim 3.5k
Bike 2:35

Thursday -
Swim 4k
Run 55min

Friday -
Swim 4.5k
Bike 1:50
Strength 20min

Saturday -
Swim 3k
Bike 5:01
Run 20min

Sunday -
Run 1:30

Weekly Total
Swim - 4:30 - 18,076 yds
Bike - 12:40 - 239 miles (TSS 501)
Run - 4:10 - 35.3 miles
Strength - :50