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Building a Road Map

I’ve recently been looking over some of my old training data and trying to apply it to training for three sports instead of one (swim/bike/run).  I thought it might be a fun idea to share a little bit about how I track my training/racing.

TrainingPeaks.com

TrainingPeaks.com is an awesome resource for tracking training and metric data.  One that I’ve been using for a long time in conjunction with WKO+.  Thankfully, both utilities work incredibly well with triathlon.  Essentially, TrainingPeaks.com allows you to both plan workouts and then go back and analyze data as well as gauge fitness.  This includes things like power/heart rate data, GPS, and your own personal description of the workout.  You can track race data as well, but it’s not quite as robust as it should be.  The main issue is handling multisport files.

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Back in the Pool!

After several weeks of not being able to swim post surgery, I finally got back in the pool today and did a solid 1200m.  I decided to keep the workout short so I wouldn’t overdo it on the wrist, but I wasn’t in the slightest bit of pain the entire time. Yeah!  Also, I didn’t realize how much the cast was holding me back.  I got in the pool and was easily keeping 1:40/100m pace and didn’t have any problem kicking up to 1:20/100m.  Mind you, before, I was averaging closer to 1:50-2:00 comfortably.  Man, fiberglass sucks!  Still a crappy swimmer, but at least there is hope now.  I’m hoping I can get down to a 1:30 before the Boulder Tri, but we’ll see how that goes, I’m a little short on time for that.

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A Shameless Plug

In my last post, I mentioned having a problem with a pain in my abdomin when running.  Well, about 30 minutes after I posted that, Matt Gibble of Raining Faith Message messaged me with a couple of tips and a YouTube video on some things to try (the video is posted below).  They worked and so this is my shameless plug to Raining Faith Message.

For those unfamiliar with Matt and RFM, this sort of thing is extraordinarily common with him.  I’ve worked with him for the past couple of years and anytime I have a question or concern, he always goes above and beyond to help me out.  His messages are second to none and he also provides motor pacing in the Broomfield, CO and surrounding area.  As far as I’m concerned, I wouldn’t be the athlete I am today without his help and I know there are many more just like me who owe a lot to his expertise.

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Recent Articles

7
May

Surgery Sucks!

ImageI’m two(ish) weeks post surgery and all I can say is I hope others reading this blog don’t have to got through the same issues as I have.  The drugs are terrible, the pain is so bad, even with medication, that I can’t ride on anything but the trainer and not being able to swim eight weeks out from my first race is sort of a problem.

On the plus side, bike and run training are actually going pretty well.  On the run side, my anticipated 5k time has continued to drop.  I now estimate it to be around 5:45 a mile, down from 6:00. And I am getting more and more comfortable on my long runs.  I do plan to add some more transitions runs shortly, so I don’t flop coming off the bike when it really counts.

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3
May

The Holy Grail of Running: The Track

When you talk to most endurance athletes, they will tell you about how many yards they swam, how many miles they biked or hours run, but there’s something that many miss: speed work.  When asked about structured training (speed work), it’s almost like ask a war veteran about their experiences.  No one likes to talk about it.  There’s this sense that the thing that athletes fear most is hard intervals.  It’s easy to just drone away for endless hours in the saddle, but allow me to set the record straight, and I make no apologies for what I’m about to say, if you are serious about getting fast and want to take your racing to a new level, you have to learn to love hard training.  There’s no two ways about it. Read more »

30
Apr

Learning Curve

Triathlon is a strange beast.  If I told you it was three sports, I wouldn’t quite be telling the truth.  If I said it was one, that wouldn’t be quite right either.  The truth of the matter is that tri is three sports in one, but each one has a symbiotic relationship with the other two, which is somewhat obvious to the naked eye, but that exact relationship may not be as simple.  Specifically, recovery is much more of a balancing act than I anticipated.  I always thought there was some residual fatigue between workouts, but couldn’t never quite fathom exactly what that meant.  Learning the push and pull between stimulus and recovery will probably be my greatest challenge in taking up triathlon.  After several weeks of training, I now have an initial idea of what that means: Read more »

28
Apr

Under the Knife

Wow!  What a crazy day Monday was.  For those unaware, several months ago I was involved in a bike accident that ended my cycling career, but spurred my entry into triathlon.  Unfortunately, part of that accident was a chip of bone floating around in my wrist, cause excruciating pain whenever I move it.  Well, on Monday the doctor removed it!  It was quite the process, although not particularly exciting.  I’ll be out of the pool for a couple of weeks, but, once everything is healed, I’ll be back to doing a poor dolphin impression in no time!  After I cam out of the anastesia, I was a mess though!  Apparently, all I could talk about was my wife’s pregnancy as well as this website!  I was very adamant that the nurses visit my little corner of the internet. Read more »

26
Apr

First Race

I’ve scheduled my first race and it’s going to be the 5430 Sprint Triathlon in Boulder.  My form, so far, is coming along nicely to the point where I think I will be in contention for a top 10 overall or better.  The biggest question mark for me, at this point, is the swim.  My plan of attack is to continue to work on my form as well as get some more solid endurance swim sets in.  Additionally, I plan on going to a few Master’s swim sessions to gain a little more top end speed. Read more »

23
Apr

A New Set of Goals for 2012

With my departure from road racing, I’ve had to scramble to come up with some new goals for my budding triathlon career (I use that term loosely).  Why am I posting them like this in a public forum?  Easy.  If I make them public, then I can’t hide from them later.  Now, when someone asks me if I am a 5:40 runner, I can’t say, “I’m really only shooting for 6:00″.  I have to be accountable about where I am.  This also has the added side effect of ensuring that *I* can’t fool myself into thinking that I’m hot stuff when I’m really not (or am hotter than expected)! Read more »

19
Apr

The Pain Cave

There’s been a lot of change in my life the last couple of weeks.  Not only have I converted full-time to triathlon, changed my bike fit and moved to a new apartment.  The first order of business has been finding appropriate training routes, which has been difficult given the new suburban area I now live.  All is not lost though, this new-found challenge has given me motivation to try something new in my training.  Trainer work! Read more »

16
Apr

Getting in the Groove

Well, my second week of triathlon training is now behind me and I’ve made some solid progress.  The hours this week are still light due to me wanting to properly acclimate my body to running and swimming.  The last thing I need is another injury.  Actually, this transition has been easier than I anticipated, but that may just be the honeymoon period.  In the coming weeks I’ll have my racing schedule ready to be revealed, but, until then, you’ll just have to imagine what my racing plans will be!

I have had a couple of major lessons learned and they were both in the realm of recovery.  Firstly, I learned that I need to spread my sessions out more.  I struggled through a couple of FTP session on the bike because I was still exhausted from my swim.  I’m still so new to swimming that any session I do is an intense one because I have only one speed (fast).  As I progress, I suspect this will be less and less of a problem.  The second lesson has been in overall food intake.  I’m struggling to keep my weight up due to the increased training loads of the three sports.  Normally, I sit comfortably at around 143, but I’ve dipped down to 139, which is too low.  With the added upper body mass of swimming, I’d like to see my self somewhere between 150-155 pounds and 10% body fat. Read more »

14
Apr

Strengths and Weaknesses

The first thing that any aspiring athlete that wants to take their sport to the next level should do is create a list of their strengths and weaknesses.  How else are you going to create a plan to effectively target the short-comings in your game in order to get better?  The second thing they should do, CREATE A PLAN to target those weaknesses whilst not giving up too much in their strengths.  This all sounds very simple and common sense, but it amazes me how many athletes I meet that just sort of go with the flow and never actually get any better and then wonder why.  Outside of the first couple of months or years of competing in a sport, you won’t make magical strength gains.  You will eventually plateau and every performance gain thereafter will take serious dedication. Read more »

12
Apr

A new sport, a new fit!

Given my recent conversion to triathlon, the first order of business was to get the fit on my tri bike dialed in.  In road racing, you’re generally not on your time trial bike for very long, almost never are you on it for more than an hour and 90% of the time, it’s less than 30 minutes.  As such, you can ride the most aggressive and uncomfortable position that man has ever seen.   Read more »

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