Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rest and Recovery week

Yeah not much going on this week in the way of training. Some though in the way of thinking. I am wondering about some goals to set. I have been thinking my marathon experience cannot be only way I experience marathon. I need to do better. It scares me a bit because I went a whole week sure I would never do another one. I didnt have any trouble during training. I had a bad day. I have solidified my near future plans. Run shorter distances and run faster. May be even run more trail and hills. I just want a more efficient run. I think that is the keystone to any triathlete. This week I will run a new 1 mile all out and have a look at my new VDOT. Use that to structure goals for upcoming races and workouts. I cant wait to run that.

I would like to take this time to acknowledge my wife, her sister, and Andi, my best friend in law. They are training for thier first triathlon. They did an open swim/bike brick that is way harder than the race course and all of them killed it. The long swim today in open water was quite impressive as well. Here is another thing I am impressed with. Does anyone have a friend who when faced with a group situation they do not like they sit and complain about it? My friend Karl is just the opposite. He is the man. We all went for a long open swim today and he did not have a wetsuit but he didnt complain. He got in, sucked it up, and swam. In 54 degree water. Sure he was very very cold but he did it and did not complain. I am very impressed by that. Way to go dude.

"the ladder of success must be set upon something solid before you can start to climb"

I feel the climbing, I am having more success, I am continuing to build my base...WHAT AM I CAPABLE OF?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

PR streak continues

With Rage 2010 under my belt, I am happy. It was an Olympic distance triathlon on the same course from last year. I beat last years time by 8 min. I have not had all of the pictures delivered to me yet so may be there will be pictures coming. Here is the race recap in the same format as last year.

I do not JUST want to finish anymore. Im over that. No more just finishing for a while. I want to be faster and perform. I dont care what anyone thinks of my times. Its me compared to me. Well, for the most part. lol. I want to compete. Yesterday this mindset was put into motion. My buddy Karl (who crushed his first ultra-marathon yesterday too, CONGRATS BUDDY, YOU ARE A MACHINE....check his blog out) put a quote on his post something to effect of shut your brain off and go. That was my theme. SHUT UP AND GO.

Swim: Last year: 37:04, Goal: 35:00, Actual: 35:24

No thinking. No analyzing, just swimming. Let it all hang out. I was not holding back. I spring to motion at the horn. Glassy eyed dudes waiting for the churn to pass held back as I went. I didnt sit in the back either. Middle, middle. I didnt look around, I didnt let anyone dictate to me, I went. I remember last year the ladies in the wave behind us caught me in the first quarter of the swim, this year, as I turned the last buoey with 300 m to go. I was not tired, I did not have any pain. I felt in control of my respiration rate and breathing. Comfortably hard pace. 2 funny things that have never happened to me. I had plenty of time before the start of my wave so I slowly went about my tasks. I am suited up and ready to head down to the water and I get the urge. I think it would be a bummer to get 500 m into the swim and realize I have to poop? Oh man you cant do THAT in your wet suit. I dont care how warm it is. So I had to de suit in the porta-potty and do the business. WIERD. Second thing was I had something in my mouth the whole swim. Lake Mead isnt exactly pristine water but it felt like a string in my mouth. Algae? Mucus? What was it? I dont know actually. Every time I turned my head to breath I felt it on my chin, WIERD. What can I do to get faster? Train the intervals like I have been doing. I think that has really helped me.

T1: last year: 5:02, Goal: sub 4:00, Actual: 4:46

No real issues. I didnt forget anything. I did not practice it at all. Just have to get faster at it. I didnt feel disoriented or out of breath or anything.

Bike: Last year: 1:47:50, Goal: 1:30:00, Actual : 1:38:26

Easily the thing I need to work on the most. Half the race is spent on the bike. I got out of T1 with only a little problem. I slipped trying to clip and banged my nacha on my bike seat. OUCH. Ignore it, push on. Now the first mile is up and big up. I get up no big deal. As I take body inventory at the top and onto the highway my swimming muscles are tired and my legs are not awake. WAKE UP LEGS. 5 miles in still not awake. My watch says I am moving the way that I want to but my legs fell sluggish. I thought if there wasnt any wind I could go a bit faster. There was a slight head wind going away from the lake which meant that the largest part of the ride would have a tail wind. I have an unofficial checkpoint and on my fastest ride it had been 50 min. I arrive at 53 min. I am passing a lot riders too. I am climbing well and I feel good. The only issue was lower back soreness. I am hydrating well and I have not had any cramping or other distress. I got to the second checkpoint at under 1 min. I am on track for my goal. I got to the last climb and passed 2 riders. This point last year I was praying I didnt have to walk it. Coast home and get ready to run. What do I have to do to get faster? I have to hit them dam hills and learn to climb faster and I need to get higher cadence riding more often in training. I think the hill repeats need to be emphasized. My time trial bike will start to get some miles in it. I rode it today 10 miles and it is fast. I need to be stronger and have better core strength for that bike. I ned to learn more aero related skills.

T2: Last year: 4:31, Goal: 4:00, Actual: 4:02

Off the bike and got the runners on. Off I go. Is it time to get some tri shoes? Sitting down putting socks and shoes on isnt terribly time efficient. Next time do not let the race belt get tangled up, messed around with that for a second. Off I go, lets run.

Run: Last year: 1:03:36, Goal: 55:00, Actual: 1:08:12

My only disapointment. Shaking off the biking legs did not go so hot. No pain, no cramping, nothing out of the ordinary. Just couldnt get the legs going. The first and last mile is all dirt and rocks. After the first mile the road turns up hill. Perfect to let them legs get going-NOT. By the second mile the road turns again up for a mile. At least this road is paved. Then to the turnaround. I am starting to feel good. I am happy to say that all the olympic runners that passed me all got passed except one. I needed an all out sprint at the end to catch him and I didnt have that. But once I turned around I had a massive negative split. I lost time on this run in the first 2 miles. I wish my watch had mile splits to see what they were. I bet it was a 5 or 6 min negative split. Once I was in run mode I killed it, it just took way to long to get there.

Total: Last year: 3:38:02, Goal 3:13:00, Actual: 3:30:49

I have set a new PR at this race by 8 min but fell short of my expectations in the bike and run. May be a little lofty goals. Id rather have that than too lax a goal. I did not spend a lot of time triathlon training this year. I am fitter, lighter, much more conditioned but not as fast as I want. I think the biggest issue was not having ease with transferring to the next discipline. My legs did not respond when I changed. That sums up all athlete struggles but I took way too long to do that. I am happy with my time, just not content, like always. I felt like I belonged. I passed people and held them off. I went as hard as I could go. I didnt let fatigue or pain stop me. I need to get faster. FASTER!! I did not feel out of shape. I did not have trouble with the distance. I just need to be faster!

So what now? Even though at this moment I do not have any soreness or lasting tiredness, when I am fully recovered I want to do another Vdot. Get my run just so much faster. No more just finishing. Go back to small races. 5 K's and 10K's. May be a sprint or 2. Just go fast. I need to get ready for the San Diego marathon relay and use it as a fast workout. Then Ragnar Wasatch and get ready for hills. I want to get my long bike up. I want to get my bike speed faster. I think I will adopt a 10 day revolving schedule of 2 days biking (one hill repeat and one long), 1 swim either long or interval alternating each 10 day cycle, 3 runs (one long and the other 2 do some speed), and 2 days of strength training. Emphasize legs, core, kettle bells, scapular and cervical stability to get ready for aero riding. Then the last 2 days off. I am not sure how my triathlon schedule will look for the rest of the year. All I know is that i want to kill the half Iron Silverman this year. FASTER!!!

IF I wanted to put myself in place with the rest of the field ( I am a competitor after all) here is how that goes. Overall 158 out of 204. Div place 9/10. Top 10? lol. Sex place 117/142. If I reached my goal I would have come in 6th in my division. The winner beat me by 41 min. The bike is my biggest down fall. 15 min too slow compared to my division. On the run 10 min too slow and for the swim 5 min too slow. Hmm goals for next year perhaps?

“If you're not making mistakes, you're not taking risks, and that means you're not going anywhere. The key is to make mistakes faster than the competition, so you have more changes to learn and win.”
John W. Holt, Jr.

umm yeah....thats what I am doing.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

less than a week...

Endurance sports are interesting. Anything can happen on any given day. The different variables make it very interesting. The science of everything impresses me first. Your overall VO2 max is of little relevance but if you can perform closer to it you perform best for you. If you have a different VO2 max for swimming, biking, and running and will you be able to perform closer to those maximums? Best for you is a funny thing too. In endurance sports most people are competing against themselves with each other in the same race. Am I nourished what is best for me? Am I trained what is best for me? How will I handle the heat? What if it is windy? Is my training working for me?

That was the brain fodder on my ride today. I felt the strongest I have ever felt on a bike today. I have now posted that al least 3-4 times in the last year. I had my checkpoint time 3 min faster than last week. Next checkpoint 2 min slower than last week. The headwind was miserable. I felt stronger though. I recovered faster on my climbs than last week but I had to climb in a smaller gear than last week. Hmmmm, so different. I feel so different than last week. What will be different for my race on saturday? I have been thinking about how much better trained I am and how much lighter I am and blah blah blah but that can be taken away if its so damn windy. But what if its absolutely calm? How much faster can I be? Did the last couple of days of nutrition influence my ride today? I do this before I race....think, think, and analyze. What will happen in this chapter? My second triathlon race season. I am so competitive yet I havent mashed when I want to. I havent mashed as long as I wanted to. The only place I talk about this is this journal. Should I talk to others about this stuff? I feel so different. Much more confident yet still over analyze some things. Funny.

As I read the posts last year leading up to this race (last year it was my first Olympic distance race) I crack up. I was so concerned about the length of the race. I was happy to finish. As I sit here I not concerned at all about distance. SInce this race last year I have raced in 2 other triathlons including a half Iron, 4 half marathons, and a full marathon. I guess what I am worried about is all that fitness improvement, all that race experience, and what if it isnt faster?

Thursday-Long swim. 2000 meters. Total: 51:38. Per 250 meters 5:50, 6:23, 6:15, 6:23, 6:43, 6:39, 6:32, and 6:50. 6:27 avg. Felt strong. Starting to remember how to swim fast. I had no fatigue post swim. Rage last year was 38 min. Can I do it in 35?
Saturday-Softball, 3 games new team.
Sunday-Bike/run brick. Started out wanting to do the whole route and a 4 mile run. I cut the bike short to get out of the effing wind. Last years training spoke of a lot of wind prior to rage. I wanted to kill the run though. I didnt. The landscape around the lake has changed and the dirt road portion of the race was very soft sand today. Baby giraffe legs + soft sand = trouble. lol. I was more wobbly than ever. Negative split by 4 min. Head wind out, tail wind back helps. 4 miles complete. I think I need 2 runs this week. Can I do the bike in less than 1:30? ( a 17 min improvement from last year) Can I do the run in 55 min? (last year was 1:04). What will be the mix of factors influencing my performance on one day, race day?

“And above all things, never think that you're not good enough yourself. A man should never think that. My belief is that in life people will take you at your own reckoning”
Isaac Asimov

BELIEVE that you are good enough.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

2010: 2 races, 2 PR's, Part II

So I decided to this post in 2 parts (at least) so it is not too long...I wonder if my posts tend to be too long. Any how this course I went to was at the University of Virginia. UVA is getting to be known as the leaders studying runners. The course was entitled "RUNNING MEDICINE 2010: Running throughout the ages." I attended last year and I was very impressed with the contents presented. This year was no exception. Here is a bulleted list of things I learned. If there is something you would like expanded on, shoot me an email I am happy to share more.
  • There are 3 studies done on barefoot running. UVA was one of them. They had this to say about barefoot running. IT IS DIFFERENT. Not better, not worse. It has been shown to decrease stride length, increase cadence, and decrease VO2 max. Not more or less likely to get injured. Actually increases energy cost of running and joint torque or makes it harder on your body. 5 finger shoes are closer to shoes than to barefoot but offer protection. May be a better option than barefoot. Here is what the keynote speaker Frank Shorter (1972 Gold medalist in the Marathon) said about barefoot running. There was a guy who won the Gold medal in 1976 barefoot from africa. 4 years later he won it again 4 min faster WITH shoes on. Hmmm interesting.
  • Reinforced the dramatic importance of gluteus medius in runners. Yes the little guys below your big booty muscle is in charge of slowing down the femur (thigh) while running. Prevents foot/knee/hip/back pain in runners. IT Band tightness, patellar tendonitis, some stress fractures can be the result of weak glut med.
  • The VO2 max of aging people does drop but very slowly. As people age they get less and less active. Its not the aging that is the problem it is the general activity level. Increased fitness helps you age slower.
  • Do motion control shoes prevent injuries? Did you know there is absolutely no evidence in the literature that deciding what shoes you wear compared to your foot type is accurate? It is not proven that it is a good idea to match shoe with foot type. These guys studied it, they took 81 female runners. Grouped them by foot type as neutral, pronated, and over pronated. then they randomly assigned them shoes either neutral, stability, and motion control. Then they put them on a 13 week training plan for a 1/2 marathon. They had some interesting results. They over pronated feet with motion control shoes had the most injuries and had the most girls not complete the marathon. THAT IS PEOPLE WHO "SHOULD" BE WEARING THOSE SHOES!! The over pronated feet did the best in a neutral shoe, the neutral foot in stability shoes had the least injuries overall. They conclude neutral foot people should wear stability, pronated feet should wear neutral shoes, over-pronated feet should wear neutral or stability but should not wear motion control!
There was a lot more but I thought was the meat and potatoes. GOOD STUFF. Here is how my week has gone so far:
Monday-Swim intervals. 3 warm up laps, 3 laps at 85% of what I would consider all out, rest 2 laps, X 3, then 3 lap cool down. 1050 meters. felt good.
Wednesday-1 hour bike ride with 5 hill repeats of about 1/2 mile each. Comfortably hard.
Tomorrow- Run in am and swim in pm. Short run/long swim.
Saturday-Softball tournament
Sunday-Bike run brick...QUOTE:

“It should be the function of medicine to help people die young as late in life as possible”
Ernst Wynder

That is my one biggest goal in life. Help others dies as young as possible

Sunday, April 4, 2010

2010: 2 races, 2 PR's, Part I

I say part I because this post would be very long. I had a race and a continuing education course on running. I think this post will be about running and I will highlight some of the running info I learned in the next. My first marathon and my first 10 miler are easy PR's. Charlottesville 10-Miler here we go:

Seems like all race morning everything is hunky-dory. This one was no different. No clouds in the sky or wind to speak of. My best buddy Karl and I were excited. The race course was basically in and around the campus of University of Virginia and downtown. It was the 35th running I think. A storied town and a storied race. It was hilly too. It was supposed to be hot but wasnt. It was georgous. I wasnt sure how I was going to feel, marathon recovery and all. I felt good. I am recovered. The people of Charlottesville are very nice, outgoing, and FIT. Everyone runs there. Its very cool. They came out and supported this race too.

The advice for people who dont run around here was go out slow. The hills will kill ya. My first 2 miles I wanted to be 9:30 then turn it up. Through 6 miles I was at 9 min miles. Thats good for me. Then the hills got to me. I walked until I got passed by a very old man, breathing very very loud and had both knees wrapped up. I chuckled then finished it up. I beat him. 1:37 and change. If it wasnt for the walking in the end I would have killed it. Its my first time racing a 10 miler. I like that distance. There should be more 10 milers. Its a good distance, not too long, not too short. No pain, no fatigue, no soreness. My buddy Karl 4th in his age group in 62 min and change. Nice work man. Fun time, great course, good run. Here is how my week went:

wed: swimming intervals. 5 lap (slow 6 min, 30 sec) warm-up, 3 hard laps , 2 easy laps X 3, 3 laps cool down. Went well.
Thurs: Ran in VA. No route, no watch, explore. 5ish miles.
Fri: Rest
Sat 10 miler.
Sunday-Back home, desperately wanted to get a bike TT on the race course at rage. 25 miles. 1:37. Hmm look familiar? Same as my 10 mile run. I had a head wind. I felt strong. My legs were alive. It has 3 climbs. One medium, easy, and hard. I crushed em all. This time last year I couldnt do the hard one. Today was a 10 min PR on this route. I am having a bike issue though. My gears or chain are missing. Gonna have that checked out. Next post: Medicine of Running: Running throughout the ages. QUOTE:

“This I believe: That the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.”
John Steinbeck

There is nothing like exploring a new place by running it. I love that.