Saturday, February 23, 2013

2013 CEC Pro Camp - That's a wrap!

The last day of camp was a 4.5k swim day that ended with....No, NOT a 1000 or 2000 TT; Cliff was generous and had us do some relays!  My diving was laughable, but somehow we still won.

This year was much different for me at camp.  I trained well throughout camp and felt good about where my fitness is and the timing for upcoming races.  I still have plenty of work to do, but I wouldn't be in the sport if there wasn't, right?!?!

So now it's time to get back into a solo groove....

That would have to wait a day though, today was a bit of a bust on the training front.  I had a lot of other things to get done, plans to write, etc. So I elected to swap Monday's session with today's.  I headed over to Mt. Lemmon for 3hrs of fun on the lower slopes.  Note to self, do NOT ride up Mt. Lemmon on the weekend, a few days after it snows. It was definitely a superhighway of cars going up.

Next up, long run tomorrow.  Followed by a few more solid/big days, before I get 5 days of adaptation, with big rest.

Thanks for following along this year at camp.  I will continue to post periodically.  My schedule may change a little bit, from what many of you are expecting. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

2013 CEC Pro Camp Day 9

Today, as you may have gathered through social media, it was not very "Tucson-y."

However, the training was.

Swim - 5km


800 choice

2x50kick, fast between the flags on :60
100 easy swim on 1:45

4x through on 2:45
25 build
25 easy
50 build
100 easy 


Graduated to Laurel Wassner and Lauren Goss' lane. Just happy to be swimming with the front group.

12x100 HIM pace on 1:15 (1:05-1:08)

400 easy

8x100 on 1:15 (1:05-1:08, then cracked a bit in the last few)

Longer easy cd

Run - 1:55 - 25km

Pretty good run around Reid Park today. This is a flat 2.85mile loop. 

1 loop plus pick-ups and functional work.

Mainset as follows each on 21minutes with some active recovery between.
1 loop HIM pace (5:45's)
1 loop a bit faster than HIM pace (5:30's)
1 loop HIM pace (5:45's)

1 loop 

Here is the fun in the form of a file for you. Thanks to Cliff English for being out there in full support mode!

Back at it with a long ride on tap for tomorrow.  I hope this amazing weather we're having, breaks!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2013 CEC Pro Camp Day 7 & 8.

Day 7 - Leg's off!!

Today was a great day off the legs, which were definitely thankful. We did get a good 5k swim, which I followed with some quality time at the coffee shop; first for breakfast with friends and then for some plans and a little wasting time.

Today's swim:

5x400 mixed :15

- 200 on 2:35


- 200 on 2:50

Easy longer cd after.

Day 8 - Back at it.

Strength swim 4.5k

600 swim
500 k/swim
400 d/swim

6x50 band on 50 (:33-36)
2x300 pull with pads on 3:45 (3:20/3:17/3:16/3:18)
300 moderate on 4:00

Easy longer cd after.

3.5hr ride up Mount Lemmon.  It's a great climb that lasts about 25miles (the real climb is only 20.5).  You start at 2810' above sea-level and climb all the way up to 8420. Not bad.  The legs were pretty worked from the get go and I almost got dropped at mile 3 of the climb.  Luckily a few power gels  and some refocusing words from Cliff, I got back up with the lead bunch.  The wind was howling today ahead of a big storm.....I was tired and just tried to stay on as long as I could...the legs were says no, but I just kept saying "1 more mile"..."1 more mile."  Eventually I couldn't cover JD and Chris Bagg any more. Both of them were riding very well and I said my goodbyes at mile 18.5 and just conserved while trying to not get blown off the road.

Here is the power file from the climb, not impressive by far, but that's not what it's's about putting in hard work day in and day out and knowing that you will have good ones and not so good ones... You just keep on rolling!

Now just an easy 30' jog before dinner if I can muster up the mojo, then back at it tomorrow!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

2013 CEC Pro Camp Day 6

Long run day in the bank.  JD and I usually run pretty well together. Similar thoughts on pacing, similar ability and it makes for good company.  Total run was just under 25km with a good main set of 3x5km on 4minutes recovery. We had a nice descend throughout from about 6:25 through the first mile to 5:50ish for the last few.  Not too challenging, not too easy, a great way to end the first week.

Here is a TP graph of the main set if you are interested.

The afternoon consists of some easy cycling and swimming, before group dinner.  Then we start things all over again in week 2.

I have noticed that this year I am quite a bit more relaxed, confident in my abilities and pretty centered all around. It could be that I am a year wiser, it could be all of the work I have put into the psychology side of things in the last year, or that I am just a bit more fit.  Whatever the reason, it's very clear to me that I love this sport and am thoroughly enjoying the process and meeting great people. Needless to say I am looking forward to the season ahead.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

2013 CEC Pro Camp Day 5

Today was a bigger volume day for all of us.  I was unsure how the legs would feel after a pretty solid week of training, they had been quite sore on Friday.

Soon enough we were off and it was nice not having to wear 4 layers of clothing to warm-up. The temps were in the 50's and the forecast was for 75* as a high.

The plan for the day was to ride out and climb Madera Canyon.  On windy days like today, it's a challenging ride, so pacing and fueling is very important.

For the first 30miles we rolled a double pace line at a fairly steady pace.; 50w under IM was the goal.  Once we reached 30 miles at the end of Mission Road, we rode through Green Valley and got ready to climb.  It was 13 miles up to the end of the road at about 5500'.  This isn't nearly the top of the mountain (that's about 9500), but it's a honest ascent with a VERY VERY steep last 1-2miles.

To my surprise, the legs felt pretty good and I was able to build nicely throughout the climb.  I am always unsure what power numbers indoors translate into outdoors, so days like these are good.  I knew that I had regularly ridden indoor intervals at HR's of 183-187, so building up to 180-181 on this climb left me feeling pretty good.  CP-30minutes for the climb was 334 watts and CP-20minutes was 340 watts.

Here is the ride file:

After the descent from the climb it was a mix of easy/steady/moderate riding home. Total ride was right at 100mi (need to calibrate my SRM wheel circumference) and just over 5hrs.

Post ride I hit up Wendy's for a Chocolate Frosty and then a massive sandwich. A late afternoon nap was a perfect way to recover. Then an easy 40minute evening run before dinner....which was an awesome pork roast made by my roommate Casey. She used a pressure cooker and had it done in 45minutes (normally takes 4hrs)...Of course, now I am going to have to get one.

Camp is rolling along nicely and I am happy with my fitness at this point of the year. Next up is long run day tomorrow.

Friday, February 15, 2013

2013 CEC Pro Camp Day 4

Today was a welcome day of R&R on the training front.  The afternoon has been great, spent at a U of A coffee shop. With the sun and temps of about 65*, I have no problem working on training plans for 4hrs.

This morning we did have a good swim, followed by a better breakfast. So here are the details...hopefully there aren't too many pic's of my amazing dives, floating around out there.

800 choice

6x25 sprint on :20
200 easy
10x25 from a dive on :45
300 easy

400 on 5:10
300 on 3:50
200 on 2:35
100 on 1:15
50 on :20

Easy longer cool down to 5.5km

Have a great weekend, everyone! Big day coming tomorrow.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

2013 CEC Pro Camp Day 3

Happy Valentine's Day...

Today was a bike/run/nap day for me.  The legs continued to feel pretty good and the new large Speed Concept is performing well.  For the past two seasons I have been on a medium frame and have had some terrible handling issues, mostly while descending over 35mph.  I would get a speed wobble that was uncontrollable.  In the short time I have been on the large, I have had it 40-50mph on a few pretty technical roads and have had zero issues. Good to know and to remember for both myself and athletes I work with.

Back to the day.  Cliff has been fantastic this week and we are all having a great time...from what I can tell.  Everyone has a different focus, background, goals and it makes for a great environment.

Today's set was done out on Sandario Road.  It's a flat road that's about 12 miles long.  Total ride time was 3.5hrs, about 68 miles or so.  Mainset was 30/20/10.  30min at 320, 20minutes at 330 and 10minutes at 340w. All were done on 10minutes recovery.  Warm-up and cd was pretty chill over Gates Pass.

Off the bike was a short run on the track with a few efforts at IM and HIM effort (1:31, 1:25) Nothing long, nothing fast, just getting the legs to feel good.

After training was done, I failed on my mission for Jamba Juice, so went back home, did my recovery thing and hit a massive nap.  After a nice chill evening (minus the Badger loss), I'm ready for a legs off day tomorrow. The plan is for a bigger 5k+ swim and then some quality coffee shop time; partly to work on coaching plans, partly to make sure that the world isn't ending with my athletes and partly to talk some $#*! with a few friends.

Have a great Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2013 CEC Pro Camp Day 2

Solid day all around today with temps in the 60's.

Here is a recap....

Swim 90minutes 5500yards

3x400 easy warm-up w/some kicking and drilling.

3x4x50 draft practice alternating formation w/3 others on :45
3x400 drafting practice w/3 others on 5:15
300 easy

10x100 best average on 1:20.  Didn't have my best day here, but still held 65-69.

Longer easy cd after.

Bike to and from the track. 75 minutes

Run at the track. 90min 18km

Longer warm-up, then into the following.  Nice descend from 5:20-4:40/mile pace.

1600 on 7:30
1200 on 6:00
800 on 4:30
400 on 3:00

So far so good. Day 3 ahead, along with some warmer temps!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2013 CEC PRO Camp Day 1

Today was a first good day of camp, though it SNOWED here in Tucson and the surrounding areas.  As a result, Mt. Lemmon was closed, so we improvised today. Here's a recap.

75minute swim. 4500 total

600 choice swim
400 as 25drill/75swim
600 as 150free/50choice

4x25 band on :30
200 ez
4x50 band on :60
200 ez

4x400 pull with pads moderate on 5:00

600 choice cd

Then onto the bike for 3:20 through beautiful Saguaro National Park. 5 loops through the park with a solid climb on each loop. As you can see, the ride got a bit hot during the last two times through.

Easy 15' run off the bike to wrap up the day.  

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Will Cross-Training Benefit Your Triathlon Performance?

When looking at what makes a successful athlete in any sport, there is more than single sport training that goes into maximizing potential.  But how much more is the question, what should we do and how does it apply to triathlon?
First, let's look at single sport athletes. Take just about any sport and look at the top athletes.  Then look into their training programs.  Typically you will find that the MAJORITY of the work is done in their primary sport.  Then the athlete usually spends a much smaller amount of time doing exercises that compliment their sport.  Benefits may help build cardiovascular fitness, improve power, agility, mental acuity and speed.  
Examples - Think running for boxers, plyometrics for runners and agility training for football or hockey players.
But what about triathlon?  
That statement usually gets a few laughs because most single sport athletes would look at a sport with three disciplines and ask why an athlete would want to add any MORE variety. But assuming we do, here are some thoughts for some of the following questions.
QUESTION 1 - Does any one of the three disciplines in triathlon (swimming, biking and running) help me become better in another?  
ANSWER - Generally not.  There is a small cross-over from an increase in bike training to improved running. However, running does not help cycling, neither helps swimming and swimming doesn't help either one of those.
There is generally one exception and that is the new athlete. When athletes first get into endurance athletics, general aerobic conditioning will give them small gains across the board, regardless of where the training is being done. This is usually because the individual is coming from doing almost nothing, to something.
QUESTION 2 - Does cross-training (outside of swimming, biking and running) help triathlon performance? If so, what are the best cross-training methods to implement into the training?
ANSWER - That answer is: it depends.  There is an improvement in performance for some work done in a sport specific manner, assuming the athlete is still swim, bike and run training. 

Here is a short list with exercises and benefits.
- Functional core strength. This helps limit breakdown of form, improves flexibility, which can improve economy.
- Plyometrics. The easiest way to understand this is think about this giving us more returned energy from our foot strike.  This also improves motor skills, agility, power and economy.
- XC skiing and snowshoe running. This is a great way to improve general cardiovascular fitness, increase strength within your running and maintain core strength.  XC skiing tends to help cycling and snowshoe running tends to help running. This doesn't mean you cut out biking and running, it just means that it can complements them well.
- Outside of the benefits from the exercises listed above, cross-training can improve:
- Agility
- Handling of the bike
- Mental acuity
- Motivation
Consistency and motivation are huge keys to success in endurance athletics and there is a lot of success to be had by integrating them appropriately within an athlete's year. 

Generally speaking, athletes who are cross-training should not take their focus away from swimming, biking and running. By doing so, the fitness lost will outweigh any benefit made.
Keep in mind that the above is geared toward the performance oriented athlete.  If you are a social butterfly type of athlete, then by all means, pay attention to that and cross-train with the seasons, you will be much happier in the end.
Lastly, for those performance oriented athletes, there are no short cuts, if you want to be better at something, you need to do more of it. This is of course, assuming that you recover from the work that you are putting in.