Sunday, February 28, 2010

Numbers: Week/Month

so I escaped to Naples, FL to help my parents a bit--had 3 real nice runs--post 2 injections the left knee feels pretty good (doesn't feel normal but doesn't kill). Of course the bike has suffered with the absurd snow totals and I was denied a bit down here as the Gulf was very rough--did get to try the Water Rover for 15 minutes yesterday in 4-5 foot waves...insanely buoyant but hard to get a good read....will probably have to spend some pool time with it in the next couple of weeks.

That are the numbers:

11,800 yards swimming
238 miles biking
45 miles running
26.5 hours total training including X-training

40,050 yards swimming
745 miles biking
158 miles running
99.3 hours training

so, I'm happy with where it is at this point. I had a strong running month. My bike has been lagging but it's very difficult with all the snow.

Mid-terms start next week with the B&A half-marathon....27 days out from Oceanside.....


Wednesday, February 24, 2010


It's coming again! another 8-16 inches! That's what she said.

Seriously, I have now shoveled everyday I've been here for the last 25 days and mega storm 5 is about to show up. We still have snow 6-7 feet high and most of my gutters are ruined. 8-16...please!

I'm supposed to fly to San Francisco tonight and then redeye to Ft. Meyers on and important family matters.....jeeez

On the unimportant front I've just finished 3 5+ hours days (16 hours total so far) headlined by a 66 and a 71 mile ride, 3 solid swimmies and a very tough run interval w/o among my 9 SBR w/os this week.....

bring it on!

Monday, February 22, 2010


on the bike for 66+ today....felt the love--good rhythm and suppleness....lots in the 220-250 watt range!....much better than I had feared--I actually felt reasonably fit which was a nice surprise given my lack of outside riding....the way the weather is working I might get another shot on Wednesday before i hit the road....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The totals are....

This week:

173 mi on the bike
34.2 mi running
11,000 yards in the pool
21:14 total workouts

Good week considering one rest day and two trips to NYC

keep on keeping on!

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's not about the bike--but the swim says maybe it is...

So, I'm still shoveling a lot. If I included it in my w/o time it would be by far the dominant component of my X-training time....The garage roof let it's load down onto my nice clean parking place today and I just spent 75 minutes removing at leat 3000 pounds of snow. And there is a lot more where that came from!

On a different note, So I decided to make a tactical shift in philosophy in my swim training. I'm feeling very good about my swim fitness so I don't think there is much downside to deviate from the tried and true path. I've decided to concentrate my swim time between now and Oceanside in swimming at my Threshold or Critical Swim Speed--especially during my quality sets. What that means is that I'm going to be swimming a lot of 1:30-1:32/100 SCY over the next 5 weeks. This is equivalent to a 31:30-32:30 1/2 IM swim pace.

Today I did 4 X (200/100) and I did my 200s in 3:00-3:04 and my 100s in 1:30-1:32 versus where I've been recently which is 2:50-2:52 for the 200s and 1:18-1:24 for the 100s. The difference is that instead of going on 4:00 for the 200s or 2:00 for the 100s I'm going on 3:30 ande 1:45 respectively. As a result I'm swimming slower but resting less. Today I did 1200 yards (out of 3000). Over the next few weeks I'll take that up to 2400 yards with the same 6:1 work/rest ratio. I'm really trying to dial in my race pace and my familiarity with working at that pace. These workouts feel easy in the beginning and then become progressively harder as I'm never quite able to get my HR down after each repeat....

I think these are somewhat analogous to tempo runs or cruise intervals in running.

Which got me to think about my bike. As you know, I'm by far the strongest on the bike and I've made the choice to focus on the run and swim in this build-up before OS. However, I've come to the conclusion that with our weather that my bike is just not going to be good enough on race day unless I start giving it some extra emphasis. I've always believed that the best way to have a good run in triathlon is to make sure you can rock on the bike. I'm worried right now that I'm behind the curve there.

Sooooo....due to my swim I've decided to try to figure out where my critical bike speed is and spend a lot of time on my CT to make sure I can deliver at OS. To that end I did a "Stairway to Heaven" today:

1 min @ 290watts/1 easy (all the rest are 1:1 hard:easy)
2(280), 3(270), 4(260), 5(250),6(240), 7(230)....tough w/o

Based on this I think I need to swallow my pride and focus on getting solid for a 1/2 IM ride in the 200-220 range as oppossed to my normal 220-240....and so I shall!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

To knee or not to knee....

Not really a question.....

Saw my ortho today and got my first injection of this the 13thh or 14th injection cycle. The good news is that I went a whole 6 months without it this time and my knee has been holding up (cept for a few rough spots here and there).

We got into an interesting talk where I told him that when i drop 25 pounds as I have recently that while it's only 13% or so it seems to make a big difference--especially as my run fitness comes up and I run faster--and I think-- in a more biomechanically efficient manner. He told me about Vicki Huber--a friend of mine who ran the 5K in a couple of Olympics who lives near us at the Shore--and she has had a similar experience. Not the weight thing because if she dropped 25 pounds she'd weigh like 7 pounds, but that she feels less pain the faster and more efficiently she runs. Vicki also gets Syn-Visc injections so she has similar knee pain as i do.

Anyways, he once again expressed amazement that I can continue to run with my knee--he says it defies logic and all of his experience. He told me he thought I would be able to do triathlons for 1-2 more years at most--this was 5 years ago when he first diagnosed my lack of articular cartilage. He also said at this point he had no idea of how long I can continue before I need to get it replaced or some other radical solution--"we'll find out". He said he was no longer in the business of telling me what I can't do with my knee and that he looked forward to my on-going experiments....

Back to the lab!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A little cross training....

So last Thursday, alex and I fled the land of the endless snowfalls here in wilmington to go searching for more snow in Park City, Utah! And we found quite a lot of it. 6 inches the first day, more than 12 new the second and the third a brillantly sunny day where we went powder hounding in the trees--here are a couple of pics from that last day:

Need less to say, I took a bit of a break from the tri scene and really enjoyed a great time with my youngest son.

Training stats for the week:

97 miles on the bike
6000 yards with my bathing suit on
32 miles running
EFX, weights and I'm giving myself credit for 10 hours of snowboard cross-training. I know the latter doesn't matter as far as tri-training goes but I do want to be mindful of the impact on my body. With the boarding and a short run at altitude (7500+) each day and all the shoveling last week I started this week quite sore.

As a consequence, I took a whole day off (my travel day back on Monday) to start this week which turns out to be my first rest day of 2010. It also ended a 16 day consecutive running streak which is a bit of a record for me (post knee).

This week has a lot going on with two trips to NYC but I did do a 30 minute tempo run @ 7:30/mile yesterday. I won't say that this was an easy run but it did feel like a solid tempo effort. My ending HR was 165 which is at the upper end on my 1/2 Mary range and my HR dropped 37 bpm over the next two minutes. All of this says that I'm developing a pretty nice aerobic base run-wise (rapid HR decceleration) but that I need to do more tempo work to get to where I want to be. I'd say that this result is consistent with a 1:38-1:40 open half-marathon run fitness and probably around 21:20-21:30 5k capability. I'm aiming of-course to get my tempo runs down to or below 7 min/mile so a ways to go--but getting within spitting distance.

Tomorrow, I get my first injection and I'm hoping my knee doesn't swell-up so i can stay focused on my run training--I have a speed and long run session still to go this week....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Unbelieveably we are getting hammered with yet another epic snowstorm--yesterday and today. I've already shoveled for close to 6 hours today. Before this storm, we here in Wilmington had already exceeded the recorded record for mso snow in a season. I'd say we've had at least 18 inches so far and probably very close to two new feet. It's kinda' absurd now. The snow piles are higher then I am in many places--I honestly don't know where I'd put much more snow.

Now the winds are zooming--sustained at 35 mph and gusting to 50+...I wanted to go out on my mountain bike (like Pete did in "What it Takes") but even I decided this was too much.

So I didn't get my swim w/o in. Nor what I wanted to do on the bike--did get a boring trainer ride in. Stepped it up on the run with 20 minutes tempo @ 7:47/mile as part of a 7 mile run. Felt very comfortable. I do feel at some point I'll be able to get my 1/2 marathon tri-run pace down around 7:30/mile again. Ran for the 11th straight day--72 miles (6.5 miles/day)--so feeling good about that!

supposed to get my next injection tomorrow morning and to go to Park City tomorrow afternoon--we'll see......

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Swow and Stats

So we officially received between 26 and 28 inches. For the Philly area, two of the three worse snow storms in 120+ years have already occurred this winter. We are already over 58 inches for the winter--which is just a few inches off the 120+ year record and we have another storm coming in Tuesday night. By comparison, Boston has just 28 inches this year and I'm pretty sure all my Cali based Oceanside competitors haven't seen a snow flake for years....tough training environment for the home team!

On that note, I did put up a solid IM calibre training week. 26:20 of training time yielded 238 miles on the bike, 46+ miles running and 11,250 yards in the pool (plus some weights). The bike was solid--given what we had to deal with this week (two snow storms and over 30 inches total). The swim was an hour short (3000 yards) of what I wanted but the Y closure didn't help in that regard. The run total is very satisfying. The last time I ran that much in a week was in December of 2007.

Today's speed w/o was a good one. The speed section included 3 sets:

5 X (1 min @ 6:58/mile, 1 min @ 9:31/mile)
4 X (3 min @ 6:58/mile, 1 min @ 6:18/mile/ 6 min @ 9:31/mile)
10 X (15 sec @ 6:00/mile, 45 sec @ 9:31/mile)

The fast stuff worked out to 3.49 miles at an average pace of 6:44/mile. The middle set was a real confidence builder--basically I was doing a cruise interval (around 5K pace) for 3 minutes and then running a hard extra minute. The 3.5 miles/23.5 minutes of speed work were both new high water marks this season.

Looking ahead--I'm going to try to jam as much into the next 4 days as i can. I do have to be in NYC on Wednesday and I also have my first knee injection of this cycle on Thursday morning so that will create some limitations. Than it's off to Park City with Alex for three days of shredding on our boards and some Olympics watching at night--how sweet is that?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cross Training?

Well it snowed somewhere between 25 and 28 inches last night and today. I went out in the backyard and measured. I spent 4 hours today shoveling (I must have a bit of OCD because I do like to do it)--does that count as cross-training? My lats would vote yes but alas my training workout log does not have an icon for it so I guess not!

Did spend 2 and a half hours on the CT today (something I think will be the norm for some time with all this snow--by the way, I blame that groundhog Pete--nothing but a big rat--why did you have to see your shadow?). All the usual CT stuff (SL drills, high cadence, spin-ups, etc.)--my key interval set was 8 X 2 min @ 280+ watts with 3 min of recovery--ouch!. Hopped off and did a 30 min tran-run and have to say the old legs felt pretty darn good. Yesterday I did a very challenging 8 mile trail run and was positively attacking it over the last 3 miles! Happy-happy! I start my injections on thursday so it looks like the mini-knee crisis of a couple weeks back has been overcome...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I hope it's not about the bike!

So today was one of those days--an Ironman day! got up at 4:30. In the pool for a quick 2500--drill oriented swim.

Went home and got Alex off to school--Judy is away visiting her parents.

Ran 45 minutes on the Tready with 3 miles at an easy Tempo pace of 8 min/mile.

Drove to NJ and rode 64+ miles over 4 hours. Weather at game time was 29 degrees with 15-20 mph wind. Sunny though so not so bad. Snaked a Wawa hoagie in woodstown afterwards.

So 3 hours on the CT yesterday and 4 outside today--sounds like good stuff on the bike--the reality is that it's very difficult to be truly fit to attack a HIM bike leg in March. I'm 50 days out from Oceanside and my bike has a long way to go.

Normally (in the summer) I'd be banging 3-4 rides each week over 40 miles and 1 of those in the 80-120 mile range. I'm lucky to get outside twice a week now. We had 2 inches of snow on tuesday which put a crimp in yesterday's ride and I moved up my longer-ride to today because we are looking at 18-24 inches starting tomorrow afternoon.