Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More Local Fun...

This last weekend I ran the Madison Quarter Marathon as a part of my short course focus, which will last through the first half of the season. I won and ran well, but still have a little ways to go before I switch to Ironman focused work in July.

Throughout the next 6 weeks I will keep on, keeping on, with the local events. They are turning out to not only be great for my fitness, but a lot of fun as well. The next two weeks will include 2 time trials of 10miles on the bike, a 5k run road race and a local sprint triathlon on June 7th.

As a side note, Madison has the World's Largest Bratfest, which is held every Memorial Day weekend. For those of you that don't know what a brat is...it is like a suped-up hotdog....bigger and better. They are best served with sauerkraut, relish, ketchup, mustard and of course with a cold beer. This year, they set a wold record again after selling over 208,000 brats! GOtta love Wisconsin.

That's it for now, maybe next time I will talk about what cheese curds are, HA!

Have a great shortened week everyone!

Blake

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Perspective...

Some of you may know the name Steve Larsen and some of you may not. I had the chance to meet him at Ironman Coeur d'Alene last year for the first time, after hearing a lot about him and his career.

Steve was a Professional Triathlete, Entrepenuer, husband and father of 5. He was one of the best athletes in our sport a true symbol of how to balance life. Steve passed away on tuesday from unknown reasons during a track session.

My deepest condolences go out to his family.

There is a memorial fund set up here, if you are interested in donating.

http://xtri.com/features_display.aspx?riIDReport=5633&CAT=24&xref=xx

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memphis & TT'ing IT Locally

MEMPHIS

I made the trip down to Memphis in my mini with good friends; Brian, Justin and Laura...we also met up with Laura's other half, Denny, once down there. Brian and I drove from Madison to St. Louis, where we picked up Justin and Laura, who flew in from Colorado. The drive isn't too bad, but when you have 2 bikes in boxes, 2 bikes out of boxes, luggage, food and 4 athletes who can't sit still, the drive is long enough.

The event was a bit different this year, in that the pro races started at 1030am, after the age group race had finished. Besides a rockin' north wind, it was nice to have the 1700 age groupers + spectators, cheering you on!

I had a decent non-wetsuit swim and came out in a touch over 20minutes....not bad considering there was some chop in the water. The fastest guys swam just over 16minutes, so I have some work to do if I am going to be competitive in the water without a wetsuit, over the short distances.

The ride was TOUGH, but uneventful. I held back in the first half of the ride, because of a tailwind and then lifted my watts significantly throughout the second half. It paid off for me, in that I ended up with the 3rd fastest split of the day and bridged the gap up to 3rd, 4th and 5th place.

The run was a different story though. I had a tight glute muscle that was giving me problems in the week leading up to the race. I thought it wouldn't be an issue once racing, but unfortunately that wasn't the case and I was forced to slow to a jog for the last 4 miles of the 10k. I still crossed in 9th, but know that if I was healthy, I would have walked away with a paycheck. The good news is that everything seems to be getting better since the race, so hopefully the injury is behind me. Congrat's to JD, Denny, Laura and Brian on their races as well.

Before heading back to Wisco, we finished off the weekend down on Beale Street in downtown, for some BBQ, Blues and a few drinks. If you are in the area, this is a place that you hvae to check out!


Local Time Trial

This year I have decided to partake in more local events and races. Partly for the social aspect and partly because I think it is good for my head. Lastnight I did the local thursday night time trial. It is a very low key event, but it is comprised of a great group of cyclists and triathletes.

I had a ridden long the day before and run long, plus swam in the morning of the event. So needless to say, training was not ideal for great performance. Despite being a bit tired, I still came away with a very solid 15+minutes of racing. I averaged 385watts over the 11km course. I do believe I can do 400w when fresh, but I have to walk the walk, before I can talk ;)


Next Up

I will racing a TT each week through June, as well as running an 11k and a 5k. On the multisport front I will be racing 2 sprint distance events and ending my speed work block with the Philadelphia Triathlon on June 28th...let's hope for wetsuits!

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

BB

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Less IS More

TRAINING YOUR STRENGTH

I was recently talking to a friend of mine about athletes that look to other successful athletes and convince themselves that they need to do what that person did in order to be successful.

This can work sometimes, but what happens if you have a tremendous swimming and cycling ability and you are looking at someone who is 10kg's lighter and pure runner? No matter what you do, u will never become that type of runner, nor will you ever have your best race trying to be. But on the flip side, they will never have your swimming and cycling ability...so what do you do?

What we have to do is evaluate ourselves and identify our own strengths....then train them and race them. Pick courses that suit you, choose a race strategy that plays off of those strengths and race in a way where you have a chance to use them.

In addition, if you are a woman that is 60kg's, or a man that it 80kg's...it does you no good to try to become an athlete that is 10kg's+ lighter. Though you may get there, you will become weak and wont be nearly the athlete that you are when you work with your body.

Just some food for thought!


SEASON UPDATE:

The shape of this upcoming season has changed many times as I put together a plan to focus on what i believe i need to do in order to take my racing to the next level.


What I have found since I have gotten back into things is that I was in a pretty big hole...one that took almost 10 weeks to crawl out of. 3 weeks almost off, 6 weeks training as I felt, then another week almost off. That is how much time I truly believe it took to get out from under the blanket of fatigue. In my mind I rested just in time. Another season of pushing the envelope in that state could have resulted in months or maybe longer to get back to good. Use that to avoid the same issues that I have run into.


Since that time, I have been training for about 5 weeks and not much more than about 15hrs each week. The quality of the sessions has been great and am starting to climb above the top end plateau that I have seen for so long.


Here are some recent highlights from the last week of my current training block.

In the pool, a set of 10x100 on 2minutes. Started at just over 60seconds and finished at 58.

On the bike, 2 sessions that stand out are #1 3x15minutes at 340w, #2 8x4min uphill averaging 380w (started at 370w and finished at 400w)

Run, my key sessions have been 30-40min tempo's at 5:30 per mile and 12x400 at R-pace(4:48 pace).


In the past, these sessions would have toasted me with higher volume. Now, I am training alot smarter and when I am not doing these sessions, I am resting. This is really allowing me to hit it hard a lot more often and my body is accepting it.

This weekend will be the first test and measure as to where I am at. I will be heading to Memphis In May Olympic Distance on Sunday and while I won't be peaked for this race, I am excited to see how things are going. I will check in after!

Have a good week!!
BB