Monday, January 31, 2011

Swim TT and January totals

As i posted earlier, from time to time I'm swimming a straight 2500 yards TT--I've found that pace I hold for 2500 yards in a pool translates fairly well to my open water half-ironman swims (with a wetsuit). In practice I swim the pool TTs at a higher effort but the wetsuit and drafting seem to put my H-IM swim at just about the same pace as when I do these TTs.

On January 19th of this year I did this post about my first pool TT of 2011:

"Did my first TT in the pool this year. I've decided to focus on 2500 yards this year vs. 3000 yards last year--given my general shift towards shorter/faster stuff this year.

I did a relatively easy 43:58 for 2500 yards which works out to 1:46/100.

On this day last year I did the 2500 equivalent of a 40:35 which is about 1:37/100. I didn't get a lot faster after that and I basically did a 1:35/100 pace at Oceanside in late March (low 33s).

I'm not surprised by this as I started swiming in earnest a month earlier last year. In December of 2009 I did 40,000 yards and I did just 12,000 yards this past December. I'm really only into just my second serious swim week. So I'd say I'm about a month behind. My guess is that I'm sub 41 by the 20th of Feb--we'll see.....If I do I'll be good to go...."

Anyways, I jumped in the pool for TT#2 and turned a 40:26!!!! This works out to an average of 1:37/100 or just under 34 minutes for a half-IM swim. I did a low 33 at Oceanside last year. I hit 1250 yards in 19:59 so I slowed a bit over the last half of the TT--a reflection of the limited swimming volume I've done so far. This is none-the-less, very be within shouting distance of where I was last year and where I need to be competitively, after just 3 real weeks of swim training is very gratifying. My swim leg still seems to be improving and I see no reason now why I can't be thinking about a 39:30 TT by the end of February which would translate into a low 33 minute half-IM swim leg....


for the month of January I did the following (2010 volume is within parentheses for comparison):

swim: 35,250 yards (44,000)
bike: 733 miles (882)
run: 164 miles (126)
time: 84 hours (94)

So you can see the effect of my change in training emphasis from 2010 to 2011. I'm doing slightly less volume on the swim (I missed a few days with all of the travel early in the month this year) but I seem to be making the progress that I'm targeting. My bike mileage is down but my intensity is up quite a bit with my FTP workouts. I have yet to see all of the progress in my FTP that I had hoped for as I'm stuck around 275-280 watts but I found during this month that I needed to sacrifice some of what I wanted to do on the bike to make sure I ran as much as my training plan called for. My run volume was right in line with what I'd hoped for. I started speed work a week earlier than planned. I've run for 37 consecutive days which has to be a bit of a post knee problem record for me. I'm very optimistic about my start to run training for 2011--I'll just need to stay consistent to keep making the progress I hope to achieve in 2011.

February wil bring a lot of the same (training wise) as January. However, there will be some shifts. My swim frequency will be in the 3-5 X/week range with a very heavy emphasis on 1500-2000 yards of interval work per session. 10,000 yards per week will remain the volume objective. Bike-wise, I don't expect to change my overall volume but with the addition of no-running days, I should be more consistent on my FTP workouts and I plan to get several 60+ mile rides in as well to begin to build some of my stamina. I want to keep my aggregate run volume up above 150 miles/month but plan to take 1-2 days off per week (starting tomorrow). In exchange, I'll be adding longer, long runs (10-13 miles) and at least 1 speed session per week. I also have a half-marathon scheduled for 2/13.

Exciting times--2011 is well underway and on plan!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today's FTP workout and the week's totals

Did a fun little computrainer workout today:

70 minute easy spin focused on form...around 170 watts
10 min single leg drills: 1 min R/30 sec Both/1 min L/30 sec both--3 sets
10 min high cadence: 112 rpm average
2 min @ 320 watts/3 easy
4 min @ 300 watts/6 easy
8 min @ 280 watts/7 easy
16 min @ 250 watts/4 easy
10 min spin to warm down.

I then headed outside and cruised through a nice 8.5 mile run....

Totals for the week:

9000 yards swimming
182 miles on the bike
35.6 miles running
20:55 workout time

due to a two day business trip in NYC I had to substitute in a much shorter run than I wanted on Friday so ended up being about 6-7 miles short of my plan and an hour less workout time. Still a good week. I feel pretty good and believe that I've made an acceptable amount of fitness progress during January. I'm looking forward to February as I'll cut back a bit on frequency but have greater variety in terms of intensity and duration--February is focused on developing race-specific fitness as oppossed to january which was all about getting back in serious training mode after my break post Kona.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

ahhhh--"speed" on the run!

So awoke this morning with another 14 inches on the ground--that's beyond the 6 that fell Wednesday morning--this me and my new snowblower subsequently and dutifully cleared. 14 inches is a whole nother thing than 6 inches (at least that's what she said). I spent 3+ hours from 5:45 am making the driveway safe for all things mobile christofferson. it didn't help that it was heavy snow, but my snowblower is definitely making the christofferson's the envy of the hood. Best thing I ever bought--cept maybe my toaster with the glass sidewalls--no more burnt toast....

Anyways, while not the same as 3 hours of shoveling, wrestling a 90 pound snowblower, cleaning off the cars, and all the shoveling on the perimeter was a pretty solid effort. No time to rest as i promptly got in a 1 hour easy spin on the bike and then my first speed workout run-wise of the year--on the tready. My Vdot (from my 5k) dictated that I set my 400 pace at 9 mph (6:40/mile) so i banged out 8X400@1:40. this proved to be easier than i would have expected and definitely easier than past early season efforts. makes me think (well--I'm convinced) that I'm faster than a 22:57 5k guy right now. The first 6 400s my HR would rise up to 162 and then tail off rapidly. Numbers 7 and 8 finally begain to stress my body as i felt it RPE wise and my HR rose to 165 and 167 respectively on the last two. Still--well below my ATHR of 172 so I know this was a relatively easy first speed session.

Which is perfect! I want to work up to 3+ miles of speed work and feel like only the last .5-.75 miles is really tough. Eventually, I hope to nail 12X400@90 sec and feel good. Today was a good first start in that direction. I've run now for something like 35 days in a row and I'm about to transistion into a 6/5/6/5 runs/week progression which will allow me to run longer and harder (as the case may be) in my workouts. My experiment with high frequency (running 40 days in a row) seems to be a success as even though my legs are always pretty sore, I still seem to get good quality runs in once I warm-up.

I finished off with a form-specific 1500 drill swim and then headed up to NYC for a bunch of meetings. Tomorrow will be a very easy day--probably just 1 hour. I'll hammer Sat/Sun and then enjoy a "recovery" week next week....

more on that soon

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Putting the time in

6 inches of snow this morning with another 6-12 tonight.....Since it warmed all the way up to 38 yesterday, I decided to change up myschedule and went outside for a 65 miler. It was still quite cold as it was about 29 when I started and very damp--in fact it lightly snowed for the first half-hour or so....jeez. Today's snow was very wet and then it changed over to sleet/rain so I'll be confined to the great indoors for a while. Why again do I live in Delaware?

In the pool today I did one of my old favorite interval workouts which I have found correlates pretty well to my Olympic distance swim time. After my warm-up/drills (which was 1250 yards), I then do a broken 1500--500/400/300/200/100 set of intervals. The twist on this one is that I go on the equivalent of 2 minutes per hundred (so after swimming the 500 I start the 400 at 10:00, etc.). It's a lot of recovery time so it allows me to push all of the segments (although by the time you get to the 200 and 100 you can be pretty cooked if you do it right). Anyways, I keep track of my total time which today was 23:48. I have found that this correlates reasonably well to my 1500 meter (open water/tapered/wetsuit/drafting) time if I add 2:00-2:30 and it correlates to my half-ironman swim if I add 10:00-10:30. This would imply a 1500 meter time of 25:48-26:18 (1:34-1:36/100 yds). The half-ironman equivalent is 33:48-34:18 (1:37-1:38). Historically, I've been happy with my competitive swim times when my 1500 broken interval test comes in at 22:30--so some work to do (about 5 seconds/100)....

Lots of indoor time ahead of me so my swim will get it's fair share of attention....

Tomorrow, a speed session on the tready....and a trip to NYC--amtrak willing!

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Running Interval Targets

So with my race yesterday, I'm establishing my target zones for my running speed workouts. I'll keep these until I run in the Palm Springs Half-Marathon on 2/13...and hopefully adjust them to be a bit more challenging:

400s: 1:40
800s: 3:25
1000s: 4:25
1200s: 5:20
1600s: 7:15

My tempo runs will be 7:50-8:10/mile and my tempo intervals (like 10-15 minute intervals) will be at a 7:45-7:55/mile pace.

Right now my Vdot indicates that I'm capable of running a 1:46 half-marathon and a 3:44 full marathon.

Of-course these are open run times--my triathlon run splits would of-course be slower....

Training and Optimism

Was thinking about this as I pushed the last 50 of one of my 250s in the pool today--as my body was screaming at the discomfort it was feeling:

Racing is all about Ego. You set an aggressive goal--beat a time or beat your competitors and in the race it's all about striving to get the satisfaction of doing so. It's all about you. (I know you can race for other reasons--it's fun and a social experience for example--but I don't race triathlons execpt to hit my goals).

Training on the other had is such an optimistic thing. It's inherently optimistic. I'm going to do all of this work and the reason (or at least one of the main reasons) I'm doing it is because I expect/hope to do something great in the future....I think this is one of the reasons I feel so good when I'm training hard....

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Check this new site out!

It's cold, I'm old, but still close enough for hand grenades?

So today I ventured out into the artic tundra for my first taste of racing in 2011. I awoke this morning and it was 6 degrees--the coldest point of the winter (so far). It warmed a bit by game time but with a 20 mph wind, the wind chill was still low single digits. After registering, I went out for a two mile warm-up jog and discovered that most of the last half of the course was covered in ice and extremely slippery--especially with racing flats! Further, as I looked out at the river, for the first time in my 16 years living in Wilmington, I saw ice skate rink quality ice--I have never seen the lower Brandywine River frozen before! Clearly, this is the longest stretch of very cold weather that I've experienced here in Delaware. Now, my reader in Minnesota (yes I have one) is laughing at me now as it was 22 degrees below zero there this morning but hey, it's too cold to feel really positive about doing a 5k.

The RD saw the ice and made a course change--right call for sure. Unfortunately, this led to a finish that was 52 feet higher than the old course (the one I did last year). The total up-elevation increased from 153 feet to 224 feet--a gain of 69 more feet climbing.

As I mentioned previously, with my ear infection and a heavy training work load, my expectations were low to begin with. With the course change, matching last year's time would be more difficult. Further, last year I was 5 weeks into a speed program and this year's race was to be my very first speed effort....I also made a wrong turn during my warm-up and arrived at the start-line, with a jacked-up HR, just 30 seconds before the start. At least I didn't cool down! I spent 10 seconds being negative--what the f am I doing? I calmed down for 10 seconds and then I thought "lets just get a good tempo run in and see if we can establish where my Vdot and my LTHR is."

The gun went off and off we went, immediately into a hill climb. I spent the first quarter mile fiddling with my iPod (yes I know, if I was serious I wouldn't have one--but this is not serious). Then I settled down and actually felt pretty good (in stark contrast to my warm-up where my legs were lead-like from this weeks training load--more on that latter). Adrenaline is an amazing drug!

The first mile of the course is more down than up and I tried to hold back. I hit the first mile in 6:56 with an average HR of 157. Last year I did a 6:53/159 over essentially the same course. I'm very pleased with that.

The next mile I pushed up to 172 bpm which has historically been my LTHR and was fine until about 1.5 miles or so and then I could feel my lack of speed work--especially my lack of tempo runs...I was having trouble buffering the lactic acid. I hit the 2nd mile with a 7:20/170 average as compared to last year where I was 7:10/172. This tells me that (not surprisingly), I'm not as 5k race ready as I was at this time last year.

The third mile was completely different with the course change and all of the aforementioned extra climbing. It took me 8:08/170 (vs.7:38/172 last year). Now, could running up an extra 69 feet--call it 5 stories add 30-40 seconds to my time? who knows? I do know the 3rd mile was a real struggle, up hill and into a very strong wind (good thing I do this for fun!)

I managed to stop my watch at 22:57 (vs. 22:32 last year). My last tenth of a mile was 33 seconds this year vs 52 seconds last year which with the hastily reconfigured course throws into question all of the splits.

Last year I finished 26th out of 149 (83rd %-tile) and this year I was 29th out of 208 (87th %-tile).

so how did I do? Who knows--probably close enough to last year's effort for hand grenades! I'm mostly inerested in ducking under 1:40 at the Palm Springs Half in on 2/13....untill then this effort strikes me as good enough!

After the race i ran the course again and even caught a number of the walkers just completing the 5k....not something to write home about but we continue to have lower standards in this blog!

As for the week I just finished, it was a good one/optimistic given my fitness/way too much too soon--given your point of view:

I swam 11,150 yards which is the most I have done in a week since the week I raced Kona. the last time I had a regular training week with this much volume was the week of Feb 22, 2010.

Bike-wise (as is my plan) was a pedestrian 176 miles but with two high quality workouts.

On the run, I managed to put in 41 miles this week, which is the first time I've been over 40 since the week of May 24th, 2010. It also marks my 6th consecutive week over 30 miles. I'm cautiously optimistic about this. I'm beginning to feel good on the run and my knee is hanging in there. Despite the ambivalent results of today, and as I am about to embark on an extended speed training phase, I feel like I can really reverse the last few years of run decline--no excuses this year...either I can or I'm just getting old--I'm going to do the work and find out!

Total training time was 21:34, the most since a month before Kona.

So where do we go from here?

I feel pretty good all things considered. I'm trying to jump-up to a higher plane after 3 months of sloth, so I'm inclined to hit it again next week--with lots of run volume and now some speed/a little less swim volume but more quality/continued restraint on the bike but at least 2-3 high quality sessions...probably over 20 hours again. Rolling the dice a bit and then a back-off week the week after....

Good to be in the game and feeling like I have a little juice despite the old and the cold!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Body to RC--Hello!

So, not unexpectedly, I felt a little wasted this morning. My first hard week since before Kona has a way of doing that. I talked to Anders last night and he reminded me that I don't need to be killing it in mid January if my primary goal is an IM in late November.

I realize that and also realize I have a tendency to push the edge in my training. that said, I'm following my plan and the plan calls for a couple of hard weeks to jumpstart the engine. I knew I would be tired today so planned an easy day anyways with an optional FTP workout on the bike which i skipped.

I'm running a 5k tomorrow--it's suppossed to be 9 degrees (count em--and these are in Fahrenheit!), it's a slow course and I'm training right through the race so my expectations are low. That said it would be nice to do 22 minutes or so.

I do have a low grade infection of some type--ear is swollen/clogged as my body is complaining about incresed workload and caloric restriction. I'll reevaluate my plan for another tough week if need be based on how my race goes....

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ah...That old time feeling

Went back outside today for a bike ride. Almost 4 hours which was my longest ride since Kona more than 3 months ago. A little bit longer than I'm shooting for in this part of the training cycle but I did an out and back with the back part into a strong headwind (the rides that test one's soul) so I didn't take that into account well enough....

It was 34 degrees at gametime with a 15-20 mph wind but my Assos bikewear rocks! There was black ice everywhere in DE so I went across the bridge and did my favorite "WaWa" ride in NJ--the ride ends back at a local WaWa shop where I repair to post ride for refueling--love it!

Great to be outside today and I felt pretty good for the first couple of hours but definitely felt my lack of endurance training down the stretch--no surprise there. I saw an Ostrich at one point and was very surprised. Not that there was an Ostrich hanging out in the artic weather but by how little I knew about where they like to hang out....

Learn something about yourself on every long ride!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

TT in the pool

Did my first TT in the pool this year. I've decided to focus on 2500 yards this year vs. 3000 yards last year--given my general shift towards shorter/faster stuff this year.

I did a relatively easy 43:58 for 2500 yards which works out to 1:46/100.

On this day last year I did the 2500 equivalent of a 40:35 which is about 1:35/100. I didn't get a lot faster after that and I basically did a 1:35/100 pace at Oceanside in late March (low 33s).

I'm not surprised by this as I started swiming in earnest a month earlier last year. In December of 2009 I did 40,000 yards and I did just 12,000 yards this past December. I'm really only into just my second serious swim week. So I'd say I'm about a month behind. My guess is that I'm sub 41 by the 20th of Feb--we'll see.....If I do I'll be good to go....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

No excuses on the run this year

Last year my main goal for the year was to qualify for and finish Kona--If I did, then 2010 was a success. So even though my bike injury led to slower results than i would have liked in 2010, because I hit the main goal--2010 was a mission accomplished.

In 2011, my main goal is to nail my "best" ever IM at IMAZ in November. By best, I mean, if the conditions are acceptable--which they probably will be--then it's setting a new PB for the IM distance. I'll need to do this to qualify for Kona again and if I do I'll have a reasonable shot at it.

To nail IMAZ, I'll almost certainly have to run the fastest marathon that I have run in an IM. I suspect my swim time will be similar to IMFL2007 (66 minutes) but the bike I did at IMFL (5:06) will be faster than what i will do in IMAZ. firstly, the IMAZ course is a little bit slower. Second, I intend to ride at a lower intensity factor this year to try to get more out of my run. I could be as much as 25 minutes slower at IMAZ (by design). Therefore, I'll need to run in a new IM PR (4:30). In fact, I'd like my time to be a whole bunch closer to 4 hours than 5.

This is definitely doable. All the data that I've looked at says I should be running a 3:55-4:05 IM marathon. To do so, I'll need to race smarter than I have in the past and I think I have the right plan set-up now. Also, I'm going to have to work really hard on my run in 2011. I can't let other things (like lots of bike miles) get in my way. Thus the changes to my bike strategy: less miles but way more intensity--to raise my headroom so that my IM bike feels very easy. Also, my emphasis on run frequency now and starting this week an increasing emphasis on speed/strength work on the run. I'll focus on distance on my run come August.

The key thing is I want to get to that starting line at IMAZ without any regrets about my run training--then I'll execute on race day.

Today's highlight was a mid Z2 10.1 mile cruise. My HR was stable at 147/148 and I was able to do most of the run (except warm-up/warm-down) locked in between 8:41 and 8:49/mile. This is actually faster than I need to run at IMAZ but was the right intensity. By mid November, I hope to have quite a few 16+ mile runs at that same midZ2 intensity. this is a good place for me to be in mid far, so good.

I did 50s in the pool all in the 41-42 second range--nothing to write home about but apparently good enough to make my blog (ha-ha)....

Monday, January 17, 2011

Clocked in and back to work!

Close to 4 hours today. Highlights were 200 repeats in the pool all in 3:00-3:03. For mid January that's just fine! Also did FTP repeats on the bike (5min@ a comfortable 295 watts). The good news about last week is that I'm pretty well rested!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The week that I needed to get through

So, I've been travelling for 5 straight weeks now....this past week was a bit ridiculous...I was busy every day somewhere else....From a life standpoint all of it was good. I was at my company's offsite yesterday and today and I gave a speech on Saturday night about the Sistine Chapel (as a metaphor) which was kinda fun! Training-wise, I punted on this week and just tried to fit maintenance workouts in when I could. My swim and bike really suffered as a result. Stats for the week:

Swim: 4000 yards
Bike: 111 miles
Run: 37.1 miles
Training time: 13:43

The good news was my run. I hit 37 miles this week and frankly I'm feeling really, really good on my run. I've run for 22 consecutive days now--all of the runs have been at least 30 minutes in length. My knee feels pretty good and I've decided to put off my next injection cycle for a few weeks at least....I had wanted to run the Icicle 10 miler today but my work obligations knocked me out. I lost a chance to get a pretty definitive snapshot of where I am with my run fitness but on the plus side, I can continue to focus on building my run fitness as I feel like I'm in a good space run-wise. I hope to step up and push my mileage up above 40 miles per week in the next few weeks. I feel like volume and frequency is what I need as I try to rebuild a semblance of competitive run fitness.

Training wise--2011 really will start tomorrow. I have a clear week next week and I'm going Monk-mode starting tomorrow...probably at least through the end of Feb. I expect next week will be a major week of training. I'm about to sit down and plan it out.

all good!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dad picture

Was just down the last few days with Kara/Jenny visiting my Mom. Helping sort through all the things that need sorting through. Helped my Mom get a new computer set up as well.

Training in maintenance mode of course.....

Here is a pic my Mom took on December 9th of my Dad. This was during my last visit with him. I bought him the blue sweater he is wearing as his Christmas present. He wore it that night when we went out to dinner for the last time. A few days latter he was confined to his bed.

He was very happy on this day and still living life the best that he could. Two days after this he learned that his brain tumors were back and that the end was very near.

My mom gave Jenny this sweater which she is going to wear....

I miss him...

Monday, January 10, 2011

first week down

totals for the first full week of 2011:

8500 yards swimming--a couple of solid interval sessions
177 miles on the bike--3 FTP sessions
35 miles running
19:50 training time

a solid first week

My bod is very fried---not used to being in the game....back is going out so having to be careful right now....down in Florida helping my Mom--post Dad passing away.....2nd week will be a bit of a placemarker.....

all part of the game!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Out of the gate....

Big first few days in January--especially two FTP sessions on the bike have led to fried leg backing off a bit the next two days. My run seems to be improving as I get out there every day (10 days in a row now). three sessions in the pool so far--usual early season rust....100s are 1:32-1:34 on 2:00...but not a disaster....long ways to go to get to 1:15 on 1:45 but I've been down this road before.

Most importantly, I am motivated...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Further Comments on the 2011 Training Plan

Here are a few thoughts:

1. My principal focus in 2011 is to have a great IMAZ. I'd love to set a new IM PR (weather permitting) and qualify for Kona again (competition permitting). A great IM will definitely be comprised of a solid bike split and especially a solid run. We'll know it when we see it but something like: 5:25/4:30 would float my boat. My swim will be fine.

2. My season conveniently breaks down into three parts. This is a result of the luxury of a late November IM. I haven't had this since 2007 (which "coincidentally" was the last time I had a solid IM). One late-season IM is the race configuration that best matches my talents and my lifestyle. If i'm going to deliver against #1 above my focus on IMAZ will definitely be a major contributor.

3. My three "seasons" in 2011 can be thought of as: 1. Pre-Season; 2. Short Course Season; and 3. Long Course Season. My training plan for 2011 is tuned to support these three "seasons".

4. During the pre-season I'll have the usual task of making sure I'm ready to race when my first triathlons roll around. However, this year is distinctly different from any of my past seasons. I'm treating my 2010 season as my base period (you know--the 10,000+ bike miles, two Ironmans, etc.) and jumping right into a short-course build orientation during pre-season. Lot's of intensity on the bike. Lot's of frequency on the run (this is a result of my hsiorical issues run-wise). I will avoid my usual LSD bike/run workouts. I hope to exit the pre-season with a sparkling FTP on the bike (say 290 watts) and a decent run capability (21:30 5k/sub 1:40 half). I'll race a couple of fun events in North Carolina and try to better last year's Kona qualifying performance at IMCA70.3 with this emphasis. I know I won't qualify here (XC rule changes) but I hope to race considerably faster. If so, I'll be locked and loaded for a great second 2011 season.

5. My second season (Starting April) is all about SC races: Sprints and Olympics. Ironically, because my swim has improved as much as it has over the last 10 years, I feel that I am now a better Oly than Sprint racer. i tried to enter a bunch of Olys but these tend to be bigger races and I got shut out from a few (such as NYC). I hope to race at least 5 OLys (vs. 7 in my career to date). In any event, during this period I'm going to be focused on intensity and SC race performance. I will not be an Ironman guy and indeed I'll have no LC races. Just a lot of short ones--light 'em up--let's go! should be fun. It will be great to be at the shore and not have to worry about IM volume--just need to go fast all the time!

6. August 1st marks the start of serious time. I'll follow a rigorous 16 week IM build and hopefully kill it at IMAZ. I'll still race SC races but will add in a couple of H-IM type races. a new thing for me this year will be ten 16-22 mile runs--at least half at my marathon target pace. If I can do this I am confident I can kill IMAZ and qualify again.

There are lots of nuances in all of this of-course, which I'll elaborate on as the year unfolds. For example, my nutritional patterns need to change. I used to block my LC workouts together without a lot of nutrition in between--better to simulate the reality of an IM. with my current focus on intensity and frequency i find I need to eat 6-7 times a day--between workouts so i can deliver the watts necessary to achieve my goals.

Also, I have a learning curve to march down. I did 9.5 hours of training over the last 2 days with a fair amount of quality and I'm fried tonight. My legs feel like I just raced a H-IM. I had planned another Project FTP threshold bike workout tomorrow but I'll probably need to adjust as my body and I head into this brave new world....

MY Motivation is HIGH! I'll talk about that and related factors in the next couple of days....

Thanks for reading!!!


Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 Training Plan

2011 Training Plan

Overall Season Objectives

Prime Objective: Race the “strongest” Ironman of my career at IM Arizona on 11/20/11. If conditions are amenable, this will result in a new IM PR (11:19). I am also hopeful that this will yield a 2nd Kona slot.

Secondary Objective: Win my AG at least eight times during 2011 (eight is my prior season best). I hope to do this despite being at the top-end (age –wise) of my AG in 2011.

Meso Cycle One: January 1st to April 2nd (92 days)

Objectives: Build race fitness with principal focus on bike intensity and run volume/frequency. Major race focus is IM California70.3 on 4/2/11. Will also race two “pre-season” triathlons in North Carolina in March as well as several longer running races. Improve body composition and get down to race weight (163-167 pounds) by end of this cycle.

Swim: Follow approach similar to 2010 Cycle One. Target 3-4 X/week and 8,000-12,000 yards/week. Key workouts will be 2 structured interval workouts and one longer TT swim. 4th weekly workout would be a moderate effort, continuous swim. I will include techniques oriented sets throughout.

Bike: Intensity first focus. 2-3 FTP-type interval efforts (initially on my Computrainer) per week. Long-rides will be capped at 3 hours. Lower aggregate volume than 2010—less than 200 miles/week. Intent is to increase FTP to above 290 watts. This would increase my power/weight ratio to 3.9 watts/kg.

Run: Principle focus is to generate significant (by my standards) aggregate run volume: ideally 150 miles/month. The primary emphasis will be on frequency with long runs being capped at 13 miles. Beginning in February will add hill and speed sessions in once per week. Targeting open road race speed of sub 1:40 for the half-marathon and sub 21:30 for 5k.

Meso Cycle Two: April 3rd to July 31st (118 days)

Objectives: Focus on intensity and short course speed. I will race extensively during this period—all short course races.

Swim: A continuation of Cycle One with shift to mostly open water training in mid June.

Bike: Continued emphasis of FTP development—stretch goal of reaching 300 watts. Will employ two FTP interval sessions per week or 1 FTP/1 race. Long rides will be capped at 3.5 hours but will focus on achieving average power output of 70-72 % of FTP (Ironman target intensity).

Run: Will cut back slightly on run frequency and volume (target: 5X/week and 130-140 miles/month). Greater emphasis on threshold intervals and tempo running. Open 5k target of sub 21.

Meso Cycle Three: August 1st to November 20th (112 days)

Objective: Shift focus to 16-week Ironman build. Training focused on achieving optimal results at my only “A” race in 2011: Ironman Arizona where I hope to PR at the distance and qualify for Kona again. I will also race two other LC races as part of my IM build.

Swim: Will incorporate one 4000+ yard continuous swim per week. Every other week will be at target IM intensity (63-68 minutes).

Bike: Will reduce FTP efforts to once per week. Will build weekly long ride to 6-7 hours. Will also include one 3.5-4 hour ride per week at IM intensity. Aggregate weekly volume will reach 250+ miles.

Run: Target of 4-5X/week with one threshold effort, one long run of 16-22 miles, and moderate distance tempo effort. During weeks that I race there will be no tempo run.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Race Schedule (preliminary)

Here is a first pass at my 2011 racing schedule (numbered events are triathlons/lettered events are other races):

A. 1/16. Icicle Run (DE): 10 miles
B. 1/23. Super Bowl Run (DE): 3.1 miles
C. 2/13. Palm Springs Half-Marathon (CA): 13.1 miles
D. 3/6. B&A Half-Marathon (MD): 13.1 miles
1. 3/12. Azalea Sprint I (NC): .2/10/3.1
2. 3/13. Azalea sprint II (NC): .2/10/3.1
3. 4/2. Ironman California70.3 (CA): 1.2/56/13.1
4. 4/16. Rumpass International (VA): .93/24.9/6.2
5. 5/1. Bassman Sprint (NJ): .35/12/3.1
6. 5/7. Devilman Sprint (NJ): .4/20.5/4
7. 5/22. Columbia (MD): .93/25.5/6.2
8. 5/28. Hammonton (NJ): .25/11/3
9. 6/5. Independence (NJ): .25/10/2
10. 6/12. Tri It Sprint (DE): .25/10/2
11. 6/19. St. Andrews' (DE): .25/16/2.8
12. 6/26. Philly Olympic (PA): .93/24.9/6.2
13. 7/2. Avalon Islandman (NJ): .25/11/3.1
14. 7/9. Lake Lenape (NJ): .25/10.3/3.3
15. 7/16. Tuckahoe (NJ): .25/12.5/2
16. 7/30. Chase the Police (MN): .25/17/2.4
17. 8/14. Steelhead70.3 (MI): 1.2/56/13.1
E. 8/22. Livestrong Challenge Ride (PA): 100 miles
18. 9/3. Marlton (NJ): .25/12/3.1
F. 9/4. Tim Kerr 7-mile Island Run (NJ): 7 miles
19. 9/10. Pine Barrens International (NJ): 1/24/6
20. 9/24. SkipHack LC (MD): 1.2/64/10
21. 10/2. Bassman International (NJ): .5/29/4.2
22. 10/9. Cape Henlopen (DE): .25/14/3.1
23. 11/20. Ironman Arizona (AZ): 2.4/112/26.2

Sprints Triathlons: 14
Olympic/International Triathlons: 5
Half Ironman: 3
Ironman: 1

Triathlons by State:

New Jersey: 10
Delaware: 3
Maryland: 2
North Carolina: 2
Minnesota: 1
Michigan: 1
California: 1
Arizona: 1
Pennslyvania: 1
Virginia: 1

This is quite preliminary although I have already entered 10 triathlons. Some of these are dependent on being able to register when they open (I've already been shut out of a couple of races I wanted to race). also, if I was able to qualify for Las Vegas at either of my two 70.3s I would most likely go and race that World Championship.

This is obviously a very aggressive racing schedule. The most triathlons I've ever raced in a season has been 14. It remains to be seen if my body can take a workload like this. However, my overall training plan calls for a lot of intensity early and then after July to begin to shift to Ironman specific training. All of this racing (especially early) can be part of that overall quality emphasis.

In any event--it should be fun!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010: Training Stats

Another year has come to a close. Below is a quick look at my summary training volume stats for 2010 as compared to the prior three years:


2010: 357 (000 yards)
2009: 254
2008: 303
2007: 472

Observation: My swim performance in 2010 was the best of my career. Relative to my "natural" capabilities/potential, my swim was the strongest of the three legs this year. I emphasized technique and frequency versus distance. The consistency of my approach to swimming ultimately yielded the second highest volume of these four years.

Looking ahead to 2011, I'll try to basically replicate my approach in 2010. Volume in the 300-400 thousand range seems right. Of the three disciplines, I'll put the least emphasis on my swimming as I feel I have already become very competitive and further competitive gains would entail far too much of a training investment to achieve.


2010: 10,017 (miles)
2009: 7,753
2008: 9,185
2007: 8,586

Observation: I rode a lot in 2010--probably the most I have in any year. However, my bike performance was disappointing given my historical numbers and this investment of time. Some of this was clearly related to the bike accident (hip, hamstring) I susatained in April which, in retrospect, basically affected my entire racing season. However, I think I spent far too much time involved in long zone 1/low zone 2 rides and not nearly enough training in zone 3 and zone 4.

This is in direct contrast to my approach in 2007 when I rode 15% fewer miles but included much more quality in my rides. My intent in 2011 is to return to my approach of 2007. I expect to do somewhere around 8,500 miles but with a lot of intensity. Further, the emphasis on intensity will come in the first half of the year as I'm effectively treating 2010 as my "base" period. I'll add a lot of longer rides as I get close to my Ironman in November.


2010: 1,348 (miles)
2009: 978
2008: 1,228
2007: 1,511

Observation: A similar conclusion to the bike can be drawn about my run training and performance in 2010. I put a far amount of volume in but it was of low quality. I was also significantly affected by the April injury. My run was the weakest of my three legs (relative to my potential) and it has become my most significant competitive liability.

Unlike the bike, I do need to increase my aggregate run volume in 2011. I'd like to be in the 1500-1700 mile range for the year. In the first half of the year, I'm going to emphasize frequency--in fact I plan to try to run every day in January. After the middle of the year passes I'll start adding longer runs and more rest days. I'm also going to put an early emphasis on hills and speed work up through July.

Cross Training

2010: 77 (hours)
2009: 91
2008: 32
2007: 80

Total Training Hours

2010: 984
2009: 791
2008: 864
2007: 934

Observation: with all of the biking my total training time hit a new high in 2010--an average of almost 19 hours/week. with the above changes I expect this to drop a bit in 2011--perhaps somewhere in the 875-925 hour range. I don't have a specific target as this measure is more the "output" of the above training strategy.

I'll post a review of the 2010 racing season as well as my detailed training plan for 2011 shortly.